Under the City presents opportunities to add new layers to your urban adventuring…

Lada’s Temple stands prominent among the city’s buildings, made all the more visible by a gilded marble statue perched atop its vaulted roof. The statue is of Lada, the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility. A sheaf of wheat is braided into her long hair, twisting as it flows down her body, modestly concealing her form, though parting to reveal her pregnant belly. The goddess holds a sun disc and smiles, welcoming petitioners gathered outside the temple’s grand oaken doors. The rising sun illuminates the temple’s pink granite walls, and the doors swing open. One of Lada’s priests emerges, opens his arms in blessing, and beckons the petitioners to enter. Inside, among golden pillars, Lada’s high priestess waits in full robes, splashed by color from the temple’s stained-glass windows.  

Under Lada’s Temple

It is known that Lada resides in Irij, the world of the dead, during winter. The goddess then returns to bless the world on the vernal equinox. The design of the temple is representative of this cycle. Its street-level main chamber—the cella—is offered to Lada as summer residence, and the sublevel is where she winters. The temple also provides spaces for public rituals, the internment of the high priestess, housing for Lada’s guards, their sergeants, and priests, and vaults that house varying scrolls and tomes. The temple’s non-public underground level is accessible via a series of secret doors in the hall as well as through chambers just off the cella.

Representing Irij, the lower level is centered on a large torch-lit room. At the center of the perfectly square room are statues of Lada and Veles, god of the Underworld. These substantial statues are surrounded by pedestal-mounted statues of an eagle, a deer, and a rooster. Cut sprigs of live cherry, dandelion, linden, and peony are scattered about them, accompanying grain-filled offertory jars and plates of fruits, vegetables, and a piece of beef. Large cones of cherrywood incense surround the statues and send wisps of smoke up to the temple through star-patterned holes bored in the room’s ceiling. A small grate in one corner of the room allows petitioners to drop offerings of coin and food from the temple above. At sunrise on the vernal equinox, a beam of light travels down a small shaft and shines on the statue of Lada, symbolically signaling Gerovit, the warrior sun god, to open the doors of Irij and let Lada free to bless the land.

Only two doors lead out of the central room (Irij). To the north lies a hallway with multiple doors. The first door opens to the spartan barracks of Lada’s guards. The barracks contain cots with wooden chests at their feet, bunkbeds, wash basins with running water, a wall rack holding heavy maces, and a large linen closet. Lada’s priests are afforded more comfortable, though equally spartan, dormitories. Humans are predominant among the guards and priests, so beds are sized accordingly. The next room along the hall is a guard room manned by two guards at one sergeant at all times to monitor traffic in the main hall. This room has a locked door that leads into a small passage lined with several locked vaults holding books, scrolls, and containers of all sorts. The main hall’s next door leads to the priestess’s quarters. A guard stands at attention here when the priestess is in residence. Just down the hallway is an arched opening that leads to a small mess hall with its adjacent kitchen, and the last door on the hallway opens to a narrow descending staircase that ends with a double privy stall. The high priestess has private access to such facility as part of her suite.

The southern door from the main room leads to a different hallway, less welcoming than the north passage. The hall’s first door appears as a simple wall to those who do not know how to open it, but offers secret passage to the temple’s ritual room to those who do. This public room is where petitioners are Cleansed in a ritual jump over a fire pit, ensuring fertility and protection from evil spirits. The ritual room is also connected to the temple upstairs by a long, ornate staircase and vents through a chimney. The ritual room can also be entered from the temple’s non-public lower level by secret door.

Though Lada’s temple was purposefully located at the intersection of three ley lines, her priests and high priestess are unaware of the crystal cave that exists directly beneath them. The cave is spherical and covered in iridescent-white crystal lattices. At its center, jutting straight up from the floor, is a single large green crystal. The cave collects the magnetic energy of the planet and generates current as the crystals crackle with energy, and blue bolts zap between crystals until the entire cave hums and discharges into the green one, making it glow. The inevitable rats gnawed their way in, though a scorched rat carcass lies mere feet from the foot of the green crystal, an effective warning to the rest of its kin. The small rat tunnels connect this cave with other under city works, and the temple’s occupants are unaware that the rats are close to digging into the temple’s lower level. Otherwise, the temple’s sewer connections have lethal clockwork rat traps labeled as such.

High Priestess

Medium humanoid (human), neutral good
Armor Class 13 (chain shirt)
Hit Points 49 (9d8+9)
Speed 30 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
10 (+0) 10 (+0) 12 (+1) 14 (+2) 18 (+4) 14 (+2)

Saving Throws Wis +7, Cha +5
Skills History +5, Insight +7, Medicine +7, Religion +5
Senses passive Perception 14
Languages Common
Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)

Spellcasting. Lada’s High Priestess is a 9th-level spellcaster. Her spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 15, +7 to hit with spell attacks). She has the following cleric spells prepared:

  • Cantrips (at will): guidance, light, sacred flame, thaumaturgy
  • 1st level (4 slots): bless, calm emotions, cure wounds, protection from evil and good, sanctuary
  • 2nd level (3 slots): gentle repose, lesser restoration, prayer of healing, spiritual weapon
  • 3rd level (3 slots): beacon of hope, create food and water, daylight, dispel magic, remove curse, revivify
  • 4th level (3 slots): banishment, death ward, divination, guardian of faith
  • 5th level (1 slot): commune, greater restoration, hallow, mass cure wounds, raise dead
Actions

Mace. Melee weapon attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d6) bludgeoning damage.

Priest

Medium humanoid (human), neutral good
Armor Class 10
Hit Points 9 (2d8)
Speed 30 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
10 (+0) 10 (+0) 10 (+0) 10 (+0) 14 (+2) 10 (+0)

Skills Medicine +4, Religion +2
Languages Common
Challenge 1/4 (50 XP)

Spellcasting. Lada’s priest is a 1st-level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 11, +4 to hit with spell attacks). It has the following cleric spells prepared:

  • Cantrips (at will): guidance, sacred flame, thaumaturgy
  • 1st level (3 slots): bless, cure wounds, sanctuary
Actions

Mace. Melee weapon attack: +2 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d6) bludgeoning damage.

Guard

Medium humanoid (human), lawful good
Armor Class 17 (breastplate, shield)
Hit Points 22 (4d8 + 4)
Speed 30 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
14 (+2) 10 (+0) 12 (+1) 10 (+0) 12 (+1) 10 (+0)

Skills Perception +3
Senses passive Perception 13
Languages Common
Challenge 1 (200 XP)

Sacred Duty. The Temple Guard has advantage on saving throws against being charmed or frightened.

Actions

Warhammer. Melee weapon attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d8 + 2) bludgeoning damage.

Sergeant

Medium humanoid, lawful good
Armor Class 17 (splint)
Hit Points 52 (8d8 + 16)
Speed 30 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
16 (+3) 12 (+1) 14 (+2) 10 (+0) 12 (+1) 12 (+1)

Skills Perception +3
Senses passive Perception 13
Languages Common
Challenge 3 (700 XP)

Sacred Duty. The Temple Sergeant has advantage on saving throws against being charmed or frightened.

Actions

Multiattack. The Temple Sergeant makes two attacks with its maul.

Maul. Melee weapon attack: +5 to hit, range 5ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d6 + 3) bludgeoning damage.

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