The Trident of Mareen

This week I am picking up where I left off with The Chapel of St. Sigmund & the Grotto of Mareen. The followers of the Cult of Mareen have grown increasingly concerned about the encroachment of the Graun Empire on their way of life. With the rise of the church of Aunul, the traditional worship of traditional deities like Mareen has been deemed unacceptable by the empire and its religious advisors.

Having encountered followers of Mareen in their travels, my party was tasked with recovering an ancient relic. A few years ago, the church of Aunul raided a seaside shrine to Mareen and stole a sacred golden trident that was said to have been blessed by the queen of the seas herself.

The Trident of Mareen has since been kept in the nearby town of Marion, at the Archive of St. Sigmund. Established by the church of Aunul, the archive is a museum and library that houses relics and documents related to the faith of Aunul. The archive serves as a museum and library devoted to the faith of Aunul. While the party’s contact was unsure of the trident’s exact location, they seemed fairly certain that it was being held on the 2nd floor of the building.

The party is offered a handsome sum of gold if they are able to retrieve the trident from the archive and return it to the cult of Mareen.

The Archive of St. Sigmund

The Archive of St. Sigmund is a two-story wooden building located on the outskirts of the seaside city of Marion. The structure is adorned with intricately carved wooden panels and boasts a large set of double doors at the public entrance on the south side of the building. The building is also equipped with a set of double doors on the north side, which appears to be used primarily for bringing in large items and collections.

The Archive’s façade is punctuated by numerous windows of varying sizes and shapes that allow natural light to flood the interior during the day. The windows are fitted with shutters and sturdy iron bars to prevent unauthorized entry from the outside. A large, weathered sign hangs over the main entrance, with the words “Archive of St. Sigmund” inscribed in ornate script.

The Golden Trident of Mareen

In order to recover the trident, the party will first need to locate it. While it’s not an armed camp by any means, it would not be wise for the party to storm the Archive of St. Sigmund by force. I would paint a picture to the party that the best chance of success would involve coming up with a plan to steal back the trident with as little commotion as possible. A wise party will not want to make an enemy of the church of Aunul if it can be avoided.

A subtle approach will be necessary to locate and retrieve the golden trident. Perhaps a stealthy infiltration under the cover of night, or even a cunning ruse to distract or deceive the guards would be a more suitable plan. The party will need to proceed with caution and avoid unnecessary violence if they wish to avoid attention and successfully complete their mission.

Upon close inspection of the building, the party will notice that the northernmost window on the east side of the building (leading into location #4) seems to have a rotted frame. With some effort, it may be possible to remove the bars and gain access to the building. However, caution must be taken, as any loud noises or damage to the window could alert the guards.


The entrance to the Archive of St. Sigmund is guarded by two Inquisitors of Aunul around the clock. The pair is swapped out following 4-hour shifts. They spend the majority of their shift posted at the front entrance, though every so often one will circle the building.

Inquisitor of Aunul. Artwork © 2015 Dean Spencer, used with permission. All rights reserved.

Guests are permitted to visit the archive without appointment during daylight hours. The party would be able to learn this fact from other townspeople without raising any alarm. When entering during regular business hours, visitors would be greeted by an acolyte in the cozy entranceway. This cleric would ask visitors what business they have at the archive and ask them to sign-in for their visit. Visitors would then be ushered up the stairs directly opposite the entrance, in order to view the library and exhibit rooms.

During a daytime visit like this, there will be other visitors and staff members milling about. The party will need to be cautious about attracting attention. People will be keeping an eye on the exhibits and the staff will be watching to make sure that nothing is damaged or stolen.


The office is neatly organized, with a sturdy wooden desk in the center of the room and a simple chair behind it. An inkwell and quill adorn the desk.  Shelves on the walls display scrolls, tomes, and various knick-knacks. The room is tidy, and the air is filled with the faint scent of aged paper and ink.

If the party spends any time reading through the documents here, they will find that it consists mostly of boring information regarding items comings and goings of objects from the archive.

The Laboratory

The laboratory is a cluttered room with various scientific equipment and specimens, including alchemical items. There are shelves filled with jars of preserved creatures and a large dissecting table.

The Storage Room

This is clearly a storage area. Items not on display in the exhibit space, as well as those being shipped off to other parts of the empire are stored here. The space is filled with bookshelves, crates, and boxes of various sizes.

The party should have been advised by their contact with the Cult of Mareen that the trident is believed to be hidden on the 2nd floor of the building. If they do not heed this advice, they could easily waste a great deal of time rummaging through items in this area.

While there would not be any magical items stored in this room, there certainly are a number of interesting objects. Feel free to allow the party to find some useful items as you see fit.

Research Room

This appears to be a research room. Oil lamps hang from the ceiling of this spacious room. The walls are lined with bookshelves and two large tables are pushed together in the center of this room. Tomes on the shelves are largely contain information on religious history and folklore. The wooden tables in the center of the room are cluttered with parchment scrolls, inkwells, and quills. The chairs are sturdy and comfortable.

If any amount of time is spent digging through the parchment on the tables, a handwritten note will be discovered mentioning that followers of St. Sigmund’s believe uneven numbers to be unlucky. It seems to hint at a hidden significance of odd numbers in the religious practices of the order.

The Library

The library is filled with shelves of old books that stretch up to the ceiling. The shelves are made of dark, polished wood, and the books themselves are covered in leather bindings, many of which are worn and faded with age. There are several wooden chairs placed throughout the library, each one sturdy and well-worn from years of use.

Do what works for your game but whenever my players happen to have access to a library like this I like to make it worth their while. Obviously it would be impossible for me to rattle off the name of every title present in the library, let along what they contain. However, if I have a player asks about something specific I’ll often consider it and at least come up with a percentile chance that they will find what they are looking for.

For instance, if they party happened to be planning future travel to the country of Kosantia, a player might inquire whether there are any books about Kosantia present. I might decide that the party finds one such book and if they take it along, I’d be willing to allow for some reasonable bonuses to skill or knowledge-based checks pertaining to the area.

The Exhibit Room

The exhibit room is a spacious chamber filled with various artifacts from the church’s history. The room has several display cases arranged around the room and along the walls, containing items such as ancient manuscripts, ceremonial armor, and textiles.

In the southwestern corner of the room is a stone statue of St. Sigmund himself, standing at a height of 7 feet. Holding a great mace in its hands, the statue is finely crafted and appears to radiate a sense of power and authority.

On the eastern wall, hangs a large painting of St. Sigmund, surrounded by a golden frame adorned with 5 golden roses. The space for the sixth rose is noticeably empty. Players who searched the Research Room (area #4) may recall that followers of St. Sigmund believe odd numbers to be unlucky or they may simply decide to look for the missing rose on their own. At any rate, if the party spends any time actually looking for the missing rose, they should be able to easily find it within d4 rounds.

Placing the rose into the empty slot on the picture frame will cause the eastern wall to shift, revealing the secret room beyond.

Secret Room

The small secret room is cramped, with a low ceiling and dusty walls. The air inside is musty and stale. The room is empty except for a small table and a cot containing a mummified body. The Trident of Mareen rests on top of the body. The body appears to be ancient and is wrapped in tattered, brown linen bandages. It is impossible to tell the gender or race of the person from the remains. What, or rather who, the body is will be a secret that I’ll leave up to the GM. The identity and reason for the remains to be here could be completely inconsequential or it could be another plot hook altogether.

One round after the party enters the secret room, they will hear a loud, grinding sound coming from the exhibit room. The statue of St. Sigmund in the Exhibit room is actually a living statue and will move to attack once the secret room has been breached!


Since I’m merely trying to spark ideas, I’ll leave the rest up to you.

  • Will the fight with the statue draw the inquisitor’s attention?
  • Could even more reinforcements arrive?
  • What’s up with the mummified body in the secret room?
  • Does the Trident of Mareen have any magical properties?
  • Did the Cult of Mareen have any ulterior motives in hiring the party to retrieve it?

That’s all I’ve got for this week. Thank you for stopping by. Please take a minute to say hello and if you’d like to read some more, here are some convenient links

All of my posts detailing the locations in Cross Tree are located here.

For a list of all of my adventure hooks with maps, click here.

My random tables are collected here.

Finally, I’ve stuck everything else here.

Good Gaming!

2 thoughts on “The Trident of Mareen

  1. Excellent! A surprise or two for the players, great potential for expanding into further complications.

    Infiltration missions are tricky to run as a DM, in my experience, you can never account for all the crazy ideas the players will come by to accomplish their task. The more you prepare, the better of course, as you aptly demonstrate!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I appreciate your kind words. I struggled a bit getting this one out. Real life threw me a curveball and I was out of commission for a while. This wasn’t my favorite post but I felt like I needed to work though it in order to get myself back on track.

      I agree about a scenario like this being tricky. I found myself overthinking everything as I tried to cover every eventuality. Ultimately, I had to remind myself that I’m just trying to give folks little snippets to spark ideas before I could get back on track. Thanks for taking the time to write.

      Liked by 1 person

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