20 Pieces of Dungeon Dressing for a Slavers’ Compound

Slaver compounds are horrible places; to those imprisoned within, they are literally hell on earth. Here sentient beings are bought and sold like any other good. Thus, the dungeon dressing the PCs encounter in a slaver compound should be different in such places, compared to a normal dungeon.

By Maciej Zagorski (The Forge Studios)


Use the table below, to generate minor points of interest for the PCs to discover during their adventure.

  1. Four long leather whips hang from pegs driven into the wall. All have dried blood on their tips and well worn handles.
  2. Two hoods without eye or mouth holes lie crumpled and discarded on the floor. Both are sweaty and obviously much used.
  3. A chalkboard on the wall displays a complicated tally system. Clever PCs can divine the system relates to the various types of slaves the slavers keep in their pens.
  4. A single smeared bloody handprint mars one wall.
  5. A set of stocks stands in the center of this chamber, on a raised dais. Several baskets of small rocks stand against one wall. PCs examining the baskets discover dried blood on many of the stones.
  6. The stench of sweat and excrement hangs heavily in the air. The smell grows stronger the closer one gets to the slave pens.
  7. One whitewashed wall has a price list of sorts daubed upon. The various kind of slaves—male, female, child, skilled and so on are all listed—along with their price. On closer inspection, the PCs discover smudge marks suggesting the slavers change the price of their captives.
  8. The faint smell of urine reaches the PCs’ nostrils. A suspiciously dark patch of wall slightly further on indicates where someone has relieved themselves.
  9. A large pile of rusting chains lies in a haphazard heap in one corner. Every set has either manacles or a neck collar attached. Twenty sets comprise the pile; perceptive PCs searching it find a small hidden coffer containing a small coin trove. In total the hoard comprises 123 cp and 49 sp.
  10. The initials GH and FR are faintly chipped into a wall low down near the floor. The carving is small and probably done hurriedly.
  11. A discarded pile of clothes lies in the corner. Investigations reveal the clothes belonged to several different people—they are of varying sizes and cuts. The clothes are filthy, ragged and infested with lice and flees. Anyone searching through the clothes could become similarly infested.
  12. Four thick books—the slavers’ ledgers—fill a small shelf. Each book is chained shut and fitted with a padlock. The slaver leader carries the books’ keys on his person at all times. The ledgers contain details of not only the slavers’ everyday activities but also details of their far-flung agents and contacts.
  13. Scattered drops of dried blood decorate the floor. The drops grow smaller and more indistinct the further away they are from the slave pens.
  14. A brazier full of smouldering coals sits in one corner of the room. Several branding irons are thrust deep into the coals, their handles wrapped tightly with worn leather. If pulled forth they are red hot, and clearly ready for immediate use. Each has a differently designed head: one has a stylised V design, another features an H design and the final brand has an ornate Y design. A close examination of the brands reveals flesh burnt onto their heads.
  15. A frayed tapestry depicting a high-sided ship with black sails wallowing in a heavy sea hangs from one wall. The tapestry is old and frayed. A dagger is concealed behind the tapestry.
  16. Daubed on the whitewashed wall in large faded black letters is the single word, “Obey.” Bloody handprints cover the surrounding wall.
  17. The floor in this area is awash with dirty water. Four empty buckets lie nearby as do a pile of dirty cloths. From the sodden, dirt-streaked cloths it seems the slaves are washed here—perhaps forcibly.
  18. Four iron rings large enough to run a chain through have been driven into the wall at about shoulder height for a human male. The inside of each ring is worn smooth, but the outsides are rusty and scratched.
  19. Dried blood on the wall and floor show where at least one person was savagely beaten. The stains—smeared and now dry—are large and bear mute testimony to the violence employed by the slavers to keep their charges under control.
  20. Straw covers the floor of this small area. Rings sunk into the wall with short chains hanging limply decorate one wall. The smell of faeces and wet dog fill the air. Graffiti—mainly scratched into the wall with stones hidden within the straw—covers the walls. Mainly the graffiti comprises dates and names. If the PCs are searching for a particlar slave, this is a good place for them to find a clue.

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This article appears in 20 Things #12: Slaver Compound.

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