This week’s map is a re-imagining of a set of sewers where I was one of a group of adventurers in a recent campaign. We dealt with the thieves’ guilds of the city down here, and discovered that not only the thieves of the city were using these ancient tunnels and warrens of half-collapsed basements.
I think we must have spent four or five game sessions just exploring this section of sewers and what each exit lead to. It felt like an interesting cross between D&D and the first Top Secret module (which featured a variety of secret businesses linked together through the sewers).
The Sewers of Travon (Area 1) can be downloaded as a two-page PDF. This PDF version has a full-page high resolution version of the map, and the second page is the descriptive material below.
Everyone in Travon knows that the sewers connect to a lot more than just the gutters. It’s a common urban legend that the thieves’ guilds use the sewers not just to move about, but as a smuggling centre and as a place where the various thieves’ guilds leaders can gather and discuss business in private. Many of the more expensive houses that would normally have basements have purposefully sealed off their subterranean levels for fear of having them exploited by the local burglars… or worse.
Except when noted otherwise, the sewers are all made of old, wet masonry. Because of the dampness, doors tend to stick and jam. The flow of sewage is not very fast, and you never know what you’ll find flowing along with it or under it. The maps of the sewers are not to scale – wherever there is an X indicated on the map is a location where a corridor has been shortened to make it fit on one page. Typically these corridors are 100 to 200 feet longer than shown.
Area 1 of the sewers of Travon is under the border between a slum neighborhood and an industrial part of town. It is a veritable nexus of tunnels, sewers, basements and connecting areas that saw a lot of use by the guilds and is still used as a meeting place when the guilds have to gather.
A – The Kennels
This entrance into the sewers is under the local constabulary. They keep a kennel in the basement conected to the sewers. Because of the guild presence in the sewers, they won’t enter them without the dogs, and the dogs also keep thieves from entering the constabulary from beneath. The portculis between the kennels and the sewers is opened by a lever on the kennel side.
B – The Hungry Toad Flophouse
Basement of the flophouse. “Guests” arriving drunk or sick are sent to sleep down here where they can access the sewer directly for their bodily needs. The sewer here drops eight feet down to the main sewer.
C – The Cloaks Guild
This is the basement of a local thieves’ guild. The thieves guarding it come in from entrance D as they are not told where the secret entrance is. Only the guild leadership uses the secret stairwell from the guild to this area. They will occasionally use the northernmost room for meetings with non-guild parties of interest.
D – Smuggler’s Run
This long passage comes up into a secret door in the floor of a warehouse in the industrial end of town. Basements along the tunnel length have been converted into smuggling depots as goods are moved from the warehouse to the Teamster’s Guild at H. They used to use the tunnels to smuggle goods to the fence’s shop at F, but the recent ghoul activity has slowed that down.
E – Service Entrance
This iron ladder goes up to a padlocked grate. This is the official way for city workers to access the sewers. The rooms to the south of here are used by the thieves’ guilds for meetings on “common ground”.
F – Good Fences make Good Neighbours
The tunnel has been collapsed here on purpose to help hide the presence of the secret door to the fence’s shop above. The stairs lead up to a secret door on the floor of the back of his shop and is used to smuggle goods in from the warehouses.
G – The Arrow and Basilisk
Basement of the local dive (right next door to the Teamsters’ Guild). The door is barred and locked, but banging on it will get someone from the bar to open it within 1d6 minutes.
H – Teamsters’ Guild
This entrance is well concealed but is where most of the smuggled goods travel now when they come from Smuggler’s Run (D). The actual smugglers are a mix of Teamsters and thieves of the Cloaks Guild. They like to keep an eye on each other in this business.
I – Deeper Access
This sewer line runs down towards area 2 of the sewers, and the home of the Spiders Guild. Thieves of the Spiders Guild come up this way to meet with the leaders of the Cloaks Guild south of area E.
J – Ghoulish Basement
This half collapsed basement has recently become home to a large group of ghouls. The small sewer line to the southeast of here runs directly from a slaughterhouse and sausage factory. Twice a day they dump a large quantity of blood and guts and various body parts of slaughtered animals down sewer, which has drawn the ghouls here to partake in the daily feeding frenzy. Otherwise they remain mostly quiet and immobile here, waiting for the sounds of the hungry rats converging on the waste meat.