Forbidden Monastery


Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4
Level 5
Level 6


10' Scale per square and shown on the level maps. Ceiling height variations are likewise shown thereon. maws and hatchways need special attention, for they require color emblems to function, so standard maw symbols can not be employed, and care must be taken to correctly recall which letter code represents which order of emblem. The letter symbols for maws (or color of emblem to activate are)

R (Red emblem) - Hive Templar Emblem. On it is a hieroglyph of a strange creature that looks a bit like a Chuul, or a perhaps a very large crayfish. The literal translation is 'Quandlo'. It appears to be brandishing a flaming staff whose hieroglyph stands for 'justice'.

G (Gray emblem) - Hive Overlord Emblem. On it is a gray hieroglyph of a Kanshai Overlord, a coalecanth-like fish with tentacles emerging from its face. Other smaller yellow hieroglyphs inside the larger one read 'high servant'.
Y (Yellow emblem) - High Servant Emblem. This emblem has a yellow hieroglyph for 'High Servant' and also 'Kanshai Enforcer', side by side. They look a bit like strange large humanoids. One is carrying some sort of wand and is wearing ornate ceremonial vestments. The other looks a bit more monstrous and has an ornate looking spear in its hand. Beneath them and between them cower many stylized orange heiroglyphs for 'Fleshwarper' and 'Hive Whisper'.
O (orange emblem) - Fleshwarper Lord Emblem. This emblem has a stylized orange heiroglyph for 'Fleshwarper Lord'. It shows a priest-like being holding up a head of a strange creature with a dagger in his other hand. Beneath him gather a pyramid of violet colored 'Hive Whisperer' heiroglyphs, each missing body parts.
V (Violet emblem) - Hive Whisperer Emblem. On it is a violet heiroglyph of a Hive Whisperer. Arranged around it in a circle are a number of brown heiroglyphs, translating to 'murkslave' and 'hive slave'.

B (brown emblem) - Murkslave Emblem. Simple brown heiroglyphs that translates to 'Murkslave' and 'Hive Slave' and 'Hive Slave' adorn this emblem.

J (jet-black emblem) - Toilers and Infester Emblem. This Emblem contains two simple jet-black hieroglyphs side by side. One translates to 'Toiler' and seems to be a large, bulky creature with large claws. The other translates to 'Infester' and shows a more delicate creature with claws and multiple legs.


Maws are doors in the Forbidden Monastery. They are color coded with a hieroglyph of bioluminescence of a specific color. There are some maws which will open merely by putting a limb into the socket beside them and twisting, and such portals are indicated by the standard maw symbol. These maws have a plain whitish bioluminescence.

Climbing Shaft

Climbing Shafts are described in the matrix to level I. The UP side is always towards the hive’s hull, the DOWN is always towards the interior; this is coded " U " and "D" respectively. Climbing Shaft with full anti-gravity are coded with the letter "A" in the center, and these tubes are brightly lit by bio-luminescent veins. Those in which the anti-gravity is NOT functioning, but in which the grasp handles still move are coded with the letter "G" in the center (to indicate that gravity is in effect); these tubes are only dimly lit. Non-functioning Climbing Shaft are coded with the letter “N”; they have no anti-gravity and are completely dark and have begun to decompose. Climbing Shaft are illustrated on the map.

Sometimes the chute is closed off at the top with a tight sphincter, indicating that the level above is sealed off. (In this case, of course, the level above is gone, when this module of the hive was blasted free in the cataclysm which destroyed the vessel.) Similar closing devices will be noted by users of a drop tube, but the sphincter will be open. Important note: Small, broad maws will be noticeable in the drop tube between levels I and III and IV and VI These are access maws to the between decks areas. They are keyed to BROWN emblems.
In those which anti-grav still functions, the individual need only step in, float weightlessly, and grasp the ribbed circumference of the passage to travel in whichever direction is desired. At the top and bottom of the tube the handles meld into the wall. In the non-operational tube, of course, the handles are less reliable and starting to break down, but they will support up 400 pounds of weight. The tubes which are still alive but which have no anti-gravity can be used if the characters firmly grasp a handle prior to stepping into the chute.


The player can roll perception DC10 to realize that the drop-hole seems to be broken.
If the player doesn't realize the drop-chute is broken, make them roll DC 20 Reflex save or take 1d6 damage per 10' fallen.
If the player realizes the drop-chute is broken, make them roll a DC15 climb to navigate the drop tube. If the drop tube is totally broken, DC18.


All radiation sickness areas are matrixed with the numerals 13 regardless of level, except on level IV where no hazard exists. Each matrix includes a key describing the effects of exposure to this radioactive hazard.


Cross hatched areas between decks are areas of possible danger from generators and other equipment. These dangers are described in the appropriate places.


The jagged area of level II (‘tween decks area) is a hole blasted in the deck, and there is a corresponding area marked on the map for level III which indicates where this opening occurs in the overhead. See the appropriate matrix for details.


Lighting on the hive functions on an 18 hour ‘day’. The entire hive will be light for 12 hours, and then go into a darker lighting mode for 6 hours. Normally this is a gradual process, but the hive’s light systems are failing, so the process is abrupt and frightening.
Survival 1-5 – You feel exhausted
Survival 5-10 – you feel fatigued
Survival 10-15 – you get an ok sleep, but you need to get a ‘well rested’ next time or you’ll start to feel the effects of exhaustion.
Survival 15-20 – you are well rested.
Survival 20+ - you deal well with the shift in time and feel refreshed. The rhythm of the hive agrees with you. +2 circumstance bonus on awareness rolls.


Emblems are rectangular bits of nearly indestructible Rimetallow about three inches long by two inches wide. Since characters should not be aware of the actual nature of the different technological items found on the hive, descriptions have been provided for most of the unusual items that they might find. The emblems will appear as a dragon-fly wing-like material with strange etchings in it, surrounded by a border of thicker, notched rimetallow. Excessive poking and prodding will result in a series of small tentacles unwrapping from the borders and feeling around the host. No clues to their function should be given, as the characters must figure out their proper use. While some colors are specific, most will serve to open maws to areas which are keyed to lesser rank color. The colors are given below, with descending order of rank and general description of the rank/occupation- profession of holder each was designed for. Note that Golems and Fleshpriests will note color by means of their visual sensors, provided the emblem is held forth in a manner which enables the scanning of its surface. Once the key is ‘used’ by the user placing their hand in the door, the Emblem will fuse with the palm of their hands, growing into their flesh. The experience is painful but otherwise harmless.
Use magic device/knowledge arcana/knowledge history
DC 1-5 – such emblems are commonly used to designate the rank of court Lesser Lords in many kingdoms around Athwei.
DC 10-15 – This emblem appears to be some sort of magical device that allows the user to pass through a barrier of some kind.
DC 15 – 20 – The emblem is a key that allows a person who holds it to pass between the mouth-like portals of the forbidden monastery.
DC 20 – 25 – These emblems are widely found in the possession of royals and rich collectors. They are believed to have once been issued as royal insignia to Kanshai soldiers and servants to allow them to pass between the magical portals common in Kanshai fortresses and seahives. These are rare items occaisionally found on dead Kanshai slaves.

Hiveship Monsters

Hiveship Weapons and Equipment

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