18th Century, 19th century, Ancien Regime, Georgian, Ghastly Affair, gothic game, Gothic Gaming, Gothic Horror, Gothic Literature, Gothic location, Gothic Romance, Gothick, Napoleonic, Random Table, Regency, role-playing game, Romance, Romantic Horror, rpg, Victorian
In Gothic stories, the building that was meant to be a place of spiritual refuge can become a locus of terror. Here then are twenty disturbing houses of worship for the PCs to potentially encounter – whether as a unit of French soldiers lost in the desolate Spanish countryside during the Peninsula War, or as a group of English tourists wandering the lonely Italian hills. Each could simply be a bit of local color, or the seed of an entire Affair.
The most unsettling thing about this church is… (d20)
1 | The skeleton of the local Saint; dressed in bishop’s robes and suspended above the altar.
2 | The joins of the walls and floor, none of which seems to actually be at right angles to each other.
3 | The mummified bodies of a prominent local family, suspended in niches along the walls.
4 | The floor bulges from the numerous corpses buried underneath the stones, and every so often a grave beetle crawls out.
5 | The bizarre smell; a mixture of unwashed bodies, mold, incense, and a strange acrid odor otherwise impossible to identify.
6 | The way that the dust motes never settle, and actually seem to move horizontally without any discernible breeze.
7 | The grotesque frescoes depicting the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse with the faces of the Player Characters.
8 | The strangely wrought iron rood screen, whose design features several sharp points covered in some dried, brown substance.
9 | A stained glass window depicting Lucifer riding in glory across the local countryside.
10 | The disturbingly large and realistic gargoyles that leer from the facade.
11 | The curious mosaic floor, depicting anguished sinners looking up from Hell.
12 | The painted ceiling, which for some reason depicts not angels and saints, but pagan gods looking down from Heaven.
13 | Several iron rings set into the walls, of the kind used to chain prisoners.
14 | The strange inscriptions still faintly visible on the stones of the building, which were apparently looted from some ancient temple.
15 | The constant and inexplicable dripping of reddish water from the ceiling.
16 | A series of bas-reliefs depicting the Stations of the Cross, but all the figures have the heads of animals.
17 | All the windows are barred, and the interior bears the scorch marks of some previous conflagration.
18 | A series of seemingly random numbers and letters prominently carved into the pillars that hold up the ceiling.
19 | The door to a side chapel, carved with images of leering demons, and bound shut with chains and padlocks.
20 | The church is entirely decorated with human bones and skulls, which are set into the walls in decorative patterns, form the candle-holders, and embellish the altar.