Sinister warehouses – hideouts for thieves, smugglers, cultists, and renegade mages – shelter criminals in plain sight in the city’s heart, often with the city ruler’s blessing.
This city adventure is setting and system neutral for easy adaption and improvisation.
- Tension is growing in the city as more people slip into poverty. The wealthy, the poor, and the criminals all look to the city’s packed warehouses, and conflict is imminent.
- In the city, someone is always watching, and on this particular day, the characters’ shadow can be tracked to a nondescript warehouse in the merchant’s district.
- The thieves’ guild needs an outsider for undisclosed reasons and offers payment for a simple job: break into the warehouse, go to the offices, and steal a ledger in the safe behind a shelf.
A typical warehouse has several entrances. The main doors open to the main street or a courtyard and should be able to accommodate wagons. Side entrances to both the storage area and the office area are common. Often the warehouse has a trapdoor to the sewers and hatches to the roof. Careful climbers may use the hatches and railings to enter the building, while anyone exploring the sewers may find a way up.
Merchants, thieves, city guards, and handlers all work for the warehouse at some capacity.
- Cily Dyna, Manager, Female Human Rogue. Dyna is mild-mannered and attentive, not missing anything. She is a well-organized cynic. She is loyal to both the merchants’ guild and the thieves’ guild and got rich fast once she realized how closely they were related.
- Morder Gallow, Security, Male Human Fighter. Gallow is handsome, charming, and violent. He often drinks with city guards, which add to the warehouse’s security.
- Oshi Vord, Handler, Male Human Warlock. Brooding and intense, Vord expertly handles the merchandise without losing sight of any customers. He is usually the one sent to shadow the customers and can be unexpectedly charming when he chooses. Vord is a cultist.
- Edwina Calla, Handler, Female Human Fighter. Calla is lean and healthy, with her silver hair usually in a braid. She has a big heart under her armor of cynicism and no longer sympathizes with her employer.
The building is held together by supporting pillars and railings. The central storage area has a high ceiling, allowing stacks of crates requiring a crane to manage. Part of the loft is floored, and this is where the crane is based and operated. The warehouse also has offices or smaller storerooms on both floors.
The trapdoor to the sewer is located in the back. The root hatches are for ventilation and access to the roof for maintenance.
d10 Random Trade Goods
d10 Random Contraband
- Stolen Goods
d10 Sinister Purpose
- Renegade mage hideout.
- Smuggler base.
- Thieves’ Guild front.
- Heretic cult shrine.
- Noble house compound.
- Sellsword compound.
- Assassin Guild front.
- Foreign spy base.
- Black marketeering.
- Slaver operation.
d10 Nefarious Plots
- Move illicit goods in and out of the city.
- Murder the city ruler and install a puppet.
- Hide fugitives from the authorities.
- Blow up a city landmark as an act of terror.
- Recruit new members to a sinister cult or organization.
- Destabilize the city and instill rebellion.
- Track down a hidden library of occult secrets.
- Find a lost artifact of malign power.
- Prepare an attack one of the city’s religions.
- Summon a demon lord in a dungeon below the city.
d10 Random Culprits
- City Guard
- City Rulers
- Slaver Ring
- Thieves’ Guild
Corruption runs deep in the city.
- The Serial Killer. The warehouse stands upon a larger, now forgotten complex, and the serial killer who recently appeared is looking for the entrance.
- City Watch Involvement. Some guards run a side-operation from the warehouse. They torture and kill off-the-book prisoners, blackmail citizens, and sell confiscated contraband. Some even help foreign powers.
- Foreign Spies and Terrorists. Foreigners run spy and terror operations from the warehouse. They store alchemical fire and explosives in barrels in the back of the warehouse, and some of the paperwork implicate locals if the false cargo manifests can be discerned.
- Shallow Grave. A city high priest murdered and buried his or her spouse here, and the city watch knows but dares not act. The deceased was buried with a recognizable wedding ring.
- The Slaver Ring. A slaver ring operates human trafficking from the warehouse. The victims are brought in and shipped off from the warehouse. Paperwork, rescued victims, and interrogated slavers may reveal other slavers, suppliers, and customers.
- Thieves’ Guild Operation. A local thieves’ guild prepares jobs and ships of stolen goods from the warehouse. They keep plenty of shipping manifests at the warehouse, all forgeries.
- Dark Master. The warehouse owner’s vast wealth and influence are due to a dark sponsor, and tension rises as the bargain soon end.
- Demon Cult. A demon cult uses the warehouse for nightly meetings, training, and rituals. The warehouse has begun attracting undead and supernatural events outside the cult’s control, and a demon guards the warehouse in the shadows.
- Undead Smugglers. The thugs running the warehouse smuggle undead to cultists or dissidents in the city to be unleashed on an unsuspecting population in the future. The stack of crates with wights is stashed in the warehouse’s back, and the locals blame the occasional scratching on the rats in the walls. All the paperwork is carefully forged to lead to the local lord.
- Unstable Portal. Cultists once built a portal here, and it has remained unstable since. The warehouse has an unsavory reputation for murders and disappearances, but no one has found the cause. Some blame monsters from the sewers, but the truth is far more horrifying.
- Vampire Coven. A coven of vampires uses the warehouse as a meeting place to deal with minions and quietly dispose of bodies. Charmed thralls and unwitting employees run the warehouse and guard its secrets, while the vampires hide in plain sight.
- Vengeful Dead. The warehouse is haunted, and the dead seek revenge for abuse and gruesome deaths. The city ruler sometimes visits the warehouse at night.
Several factions use the warehouse to conduct shady business: thieves, smugglers, slavers, assassins, greedy merchants, and corrupt city guards.
At night, less subtle creatures sometimes hide in the shadows and on the railings of the warehouse: vampires, toad demons, vulture demons, ghouls and zombies, wraiths, and wererats are but a few of the monsters feeding on the city population.
d12 Random Encounters
- 1d4 guards
- 1d6 city guards
- 1d8 thugs or bandits
- 1d6 cultists
- 1d4 giant spiders
- 2d4 ghouls
- 1d6 wights
- 1d4 vampires
- 1d6 wererats
- 1d6 wraiths
- 1 vulture demon
- 1 toad demon
d8 Random Events
- The warehouse owner and thieves meet after closing hours, plotting a heist.
- The warehouse is turned into a nightclub for the city’s underworld.
- Rogues interrogate a captive rival.
- Thugs are stacking stolen corpses for sale to necromancer apprentices or cultists.
- The city watch ambushes the warehouse to capture culprits of past crimes.
- Slavers hold an illegal auction.
- Thieves are breaking into the warehouse.
- Wraiths and Walking Dead stirr under the floorboards, ready to rise.
- The Sinster Warehouse One Page Adventure
- Into the City
- Into the Sewers
- Exploring the Arcane Ruins
- Dungeons of the Demon Cult
What Happens Next?
The adventures can go in many directions from this – papers in the office point to the Binder’s Sanctum or the Hinterlands Caves. A trapdoor in the floor leads down into the sewers and the Forgotten Vault.
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