Barrow of Brine — a small dungeon for Quarrel + Fable

sean f. smith / he, him
4 min readOct 14, 2023
Black and white line map of a small tomb complex on an island
Cartography by Dyson Logos

D3 hooks, D3 quests

How very FF#8 Scorpion Swamp

  1. Perimus wants to know what heraldry and insignia the soldier was buried wearing · pays 15ħ
  2. Foggomark wants you to bring him the finger bones of a herald · pays 20ħ
  3. Winchestaugh wants you to bring her a live gach · pays 30ħ

Approaching the barrow

The barrow rests upon a shallow lagoon along a coast far far from a large conurbation. Winds are rarely high enough to sail across and it’s easy to punt or row over. Swimming is discouraged on account of the jellyfish and algal blooms. (Getting those on your skin deals D3 damage and causes the loss of D3 LUCK.)

Map key

Black and white line map of a small tomb complex on an island, with six arrows overlaid. Three arrows are dull green, one is red, one is yellow, and one is a mix of yellow and red.
Cartography by Dyson Logos

Walls and floors throughout are marble flagstone. Doors are ship-treated oak and typically stuck (they can be heaved open by testing your mettle, taking STAMINA damage equal to the shortfall on a failed roll). Secret doors are found easily by anyone closely investigating the walls; they swing inwards towards the lower numbered room, with a locking mechanism similar to a kitchen cabinet.

1 — Jetty

Despite its age, the jetty is in workable condition. Ancient granite hooks remain accessible to tie boats down.

The area is also inhabited by GACHS — six-legged shark-skin amphibians the size of cats with looming lamprey mouths. They hide in weathered defiles of the barrow to ambush anything warm-blooded.

  • GACH SWARM · SKILL 6 STAMINA 16 · lamprey bite D3 · swarming= they make as many attacks as nearby foes, though entirely against one target

2 — False tomb

The tiles of this room are grouted with a deep cobalt blue, though the colour has washed away in the NW corner by the secret door. In the centre of the room, an open sarcophagus flanked by blue glass candlesticks. The cartilaginous skeleton in the coffin has been plaster-coated and painted to look like a real human skeleton. There is absolutely zero heraldry in this room.

The SE corner opens to the beach by way of natural weathering. Players with more LUCK than STAMINA can squeeze through unhindered; everyone else will take 1 point of damage.

3 — Temple to L’ah-Sithr

The Lord of Oceans (Lassiter in the common tongue) is goddess of all bodies of water, impoliteness, flow, and phlegm. This temple is several hundred years old, and while its cobalt-grouted floor tiles are typical of contemporary temples, the geometric symbolism is unfamiliar (those with archaeological or religious knowledge might recognise it for a stylised portrayal of her long-gone constellation). Tapestries (N+S) are woven from delicate algal twine and display these geometric patterns. The statue (W) is one great pile of horseshoe crabs made from shaped-fibreboard.

4 — Hall of heralds

The N wall has broken through to the lagoon. Passage to the water is simple though there’s nowhere to comfortably secure a boat.

Along the alcoves in the S wall, four BURIAL HERALDS stand. They look like wet human skeletons, though their bones are made entirely of cartilage. Instead of skulls they have the shell of a horseshoe crab, itself also cartilaginous. They are armed with catamaran-spears each worth 5ħ. They will attack if the party opens the door to room 5, except for any character who has spat on the altar (E).

The altar itself is decorated in simple blue agate and features the tidemarks of several small puddles, now long gone.

  • BURIAL HERALD · SKILL 8 STAMINA 12 · catamaran-spear D6

5 — Shrine to the soldier

Small tables (N) hold many raw candles and the remnants of some burned-out. A vast tapestry (E) is woven from delicate algal twine, pixelated with snailshell beads depicting a warrior with a spear killed by a dragon with a spear.

Two spears are painted in blue on the S wall.

6 — True tomb

A deeply spartan tomb, with a simple wooden coffin (made of the same treated wood as the doors throughout). Inside is the skeletal remains of a human soldier. Each of his teeth have been removed.

Along the S wall, stone facsimiles of longshields hang. On the left, the usual braille-mark pattern representing L’ah-Sithr’s war-form. In the centre, a spear-wielding rhino rampant. On the right, a blue chevron atop green and yellow chequers. (The rhino rampant of the Clan Salforth, some of the founders of Vespailing. The chevron is the old livery of civic Phthalogreen.)

Wandering encounters

1-in-6 each turn, or whenever the party cause a ruckus, D3 of the nearest hostile comes to investigate. None of them understand the secret doors.