The Splendid Spa of Two Angels

Today’s inspiration is a setting and plot idea for a one-shot adventure, an abandoned spa reachable only by a portal in an alley. Terrible monsters who feed on thoughts inhabit the spa and caused its ruin.


Long ago, the City of Two Angels was the most fashionable place to be seen. The streets lined with shining cobblestone, the shops windows filled with expensive clothing and exquisite jewelry. Artists, politicians, entrepreneurs all called Two Angels home. Tourists came from far and wide to spend a few days being part of the hustle and bustle of the influential city. But mostly they came for The Splendid Spa, a luxury resort existing inside a pocket universe in Two Angels. The Spa claimed its hot springs cured all ailments. The salts, it said, made a person more beautiful, wiser, and even younger. But then one day, shadow creatures began to secretly visit the Spa. Strange creatures that at first appeared as only a haze, but grew more solid and stronger from feeding off a person’s thoughts, especially those of imagination. And few thoughts are more imaginative than that of fear. Guests began to die, found withered up like raisins. The resort was at a loss to explain this, but as the deaths grew more frequent, the creatures grew more plentiful. The Spa was forced to shut down, and the portal to it blocked and buried, least the creatures break through. After the news of the deaths spread through the population, Two Angels began to decline as people moved avoided it out of fear. Today, no one remembers exactly why Two Angels became the cesspool of poverty and crime it is today.


The Portal’s Opening

Elderly mansions line this street, their once proud awnings now torn and faded. Trash clutters the yards and banks of mailboxes crowd the space next to the doors. In the alley between two of the houses, cats fight in the piled-up rubbish. But from a crack in a bricked-up door, a blue light glows. A closer inspection reveals that it appears as some kind of window looking out onto a grassy meadow.

Inside the portal:

A deep blue sky peppered with wispy clouds hangs over a grassy meadow, blue mountains obstruct the horizon in the distance. The remnants of stone walls peek through the tall grass and overgrown flowers. Cottages with sagging roofs stand in a semi-circle.

Inside a cottage:

Dead ferns in cracked pots flank a reception desk. An iron sculpture of fish swimming hangs on the wall. Whenever one looks away, the fish appear to move, but when the viewer looks back, they hang still again. In the next room, rows of tubs sink into the floor. Mud fills them, and a few plants have taken root, fed by the sunlight streaming through the cracked roof. A rotten smell wafts in from another room, making one instinctively cover their nose. On the wall, someone has craved the words “Don’t Think” in jagged letters.


Three Inns/Taverns and One Coffee house

Coffeehouse – Small – Urban

Stacks of tobacco and coffee crates line the perimeter of a small corner store. A few patrons stand around outside, chomping on their pipes and staring at the passing pedestrians. Inside, the smell of coffee permeates everything. Rows of long tables and benches sit under white-washed walls.

Luxury Inn or Tavern – Large – Urban

Elaborate scenes from local lore fill the walls and ceilings of this grand tavern. Balconies line the open atrium, which is topped with a colorful stained glass skylight. Most impressive is the gigantic keg dominating the center of the tavern. From its spout, beer pours into a huge pool. An immense rack houses mugs for any patrons who wish to partake.

Road Stop Inn or Tavern – Small – Rural

From afar, the place looks abandoned with its rotting fence and crumbling walls. A closer inspection reveals the inn is open. A former room with two of its walls missing is now an outdoor patio. Food smells waft from inside and a small, but freshly painted, sign reads “Open.”

Seedy Inn or Tavern – Small – Urban
One could easily miss this small tavern tucked away in a side alley. Boards cover half the windows and graffiti coats every surface. Luckily, someone had the foresight to put the tavern’s name on a carved wooden board, so it could be read even through multiple layers of graffiti.