Mine (3.1 - 3.11)

In this area of the dungeon the characters may finally track down the goblins and have at least some questions answered.

3.1 - Wind Tunnel

Automatic
This short but steep tunnel has been crudely carved out of the rock. There is a strong breeze flowing up it which decreases towards the bottom end.
Easy
There is a faint aura of magic about the breeze. — Listening carefully, the sound of a faint female voice on the breeze saying "help me" is just audible.
Moderate
Halfway along the tunnel, engraved on the roof, is a circle of binding and compulsion. The runes look dwarven.
Hard
There is someone or something bound in the circle which is being forced to produce the breeze by some magical means.

Trapped by the circle is a sylph, a harmless air spirit (see the 100 Monster Bestiary). She is unable to reveal herself to the characters and has no way of sensing their presences thanks to the circle of binding. The dwarves from [3.7] bound her into the arcane circle 200 years ago and crying out for help is her only hope of escape. Breaking the circle requires an appropriate act of magic (physical damage will not help) which beats a resistance of 3d6+3.

The characters have no way of knowing what is trapped and freeing the sylph is a real act of faith. She has no way to truly repay the characters but will give each of them a strand of her hair (mundane equipment, 1d6+0).

Exits:

  • Down the tunnel [3.2]
  • Up the tunnel [2.1]

3.2 - Blood Junction

Automatic
This area of dungeon is well-made, but a rough tunnel has been cut into the corridor's side and leads upwards. On the wall opposite the entrance to the rough tunnel is some hard to decipher writing.
Easy
It appears to be written in blood which dried a long time ago.
Moderate
The message says, in Goblin, "Don't touch the chest!"
Hard
The message is a very fine illusion.

This is another illusion from the Chest [4.6].

Exits:

  • A finely-made corridor leads straight on into the darkness [3.3].
  • In the other direction the corridor bends out of sight [3.4].
  • The upward slopping rough tunnel [3.1].

3.3 - Sarcophagus

Automatic
A long chamber with the far end just visible in the gloom. At the near end of the chamber two parts of the well-made floor are sunken. Each area is about 5' x 5', dropping down about 1', and the two areas are 10' apart. At the far end of the chamber stands a large sarcophagus made of fine white stone, resting on a plinth.

Sunken Floors:

Automatic
The sunken areas appear to be part of the original construction.
Easy
There is a strong sense of magic in each area.
Moderate
The magic is of an unknown type (but very similar to the teleport portals in [1.7] and other places).
Hard
The magic is unfocused; something is needed to give it form.

The missing element is the stone doorway at the entrance to the dungeon [1.2]. It is left to the Game Leader to decide what the doorway does if the characters undertake the difficult job of moving it back.

Sarcophagus:

Automatic
A white stone 8' long sarcophagus, resting on a plinth. There are engravings on its top.
Easy
There is no sense of magic or undead spirits around the sarcophagus. — The engraving on the top shows a coat of arms though not one which is known to the characters.
Moderate
The engraving uses heraldic devices common on coats of arms about 1000 years ago, including an oak tree, a dog and a nettle leaf. — Part of the sarcophagus shows minor damage which would take significant effort on this hard white stone.
Hard
It is not a sarcophagus. The plinth, tomb and its lid are one solid block of stone expertly carved to appear as if they were separate parts.

Exits:

  • Back to the corridor [3.2].

3.4 - Ladder

Automatic
A crude 20' ladder links the upper and lower corridor. Two statues, one at the top, one at the bottom, stand poised to strike anyone on the ladder. The upper stone statue has a spear, the lower gold statue has a two-handed sword. Dismembered body parts are scattered around the ladder.
Easy
The statues are extremely well-made, one of marble and the other of an unknown black metal, while the ladder is crudely made, possibly goblin. — The body parts look human and there is enough for two or three people.
Moderate
The posing of the statues is remarkable. They both are perfectly positioned to strike at anyone coming up or down the ladder. — There is no blood associated with the body parts but whoever they were has been savagely hacked apart.
Hard
The statues are not on plinths or any form of stand. Instead, their feet have been carved to perfectly fit the rough corridor floor. — The bodies have been dead for about a week.

The statues are living statues (the upper one is stone and the lower one is gold). Unlike golems and other animated objects, these creatures are not made. They are alive, they breed and have a culture but their life cycle is strange and lasts hundreds of years. These two guard the ladder from undead, golems and other non-living creatures. Normally they prevent the undead coming up from the lower levels but will also stop them descending. The body parts come from three of the Baron's retainers who were reanimated by Strata. When the Baron, his wife and party tried to pass the statues on their way to [4.10] these three did not make it.

If a character damages or mistreats the statues they will attack, but will flee should the battle go against them. However, if the statues are directly addressed they will talk, though conversations can take some time. As long as the adventurers are polite and sensible the statues will generally be friendly but will only offer information if asked directly. Stone-based lifeforms tend to miss the body language and hints which fleshy creatures rely on. However, their sense of time is excellent and they will give surprisingly precise details when relevant.

Automatic
They are living statues and they guard the ladder from undead and other non-living creatures.
Easy
The statues of this dungeon swore an oath to three great knights to guard this place. These two statues have been taking their turn guarding this spot for the last ten years, four months, three days and 22 minutes.
Moderate
A group of 10 undead tried to pass down the ladder (approximately four days ago, depending on how long the characters took to reach this point). They were strong and most got through. — Goblins come through occasionally but a few days ago over forty males, females and children went downwards.
Hard
The group of undead had been alive when they came past before. They went down and returned a few hours later but there was a prisoner in chains when they came back. They group also carried a long box (a coffin is an alien concept to living statues).
Game Leader's Notes

The statues will inevitably catch the adventurers' eyes. Take every opportunity to highlight how exquisitely carved they are, making the party wonder why are two such fine statues standing here.

Exits:

  • Along the lower level corridor [3.5].
  • Around the corner of the upper level passageway [3.2].

3.5 - Crossroads

Automatic
A crossroads of four major passageways. On each corridor wall, right by the junction, there is a single line of bad verse written in fine calligraphic handwriting. "The chest is nothing / Forget about the gold / Remember to sing / Become dead and cold / Your name will be mud / Try your best / Spill the blood / Abandon the chest".
Easy
With one line on each of the eight walls of the junction, it is impossible to tell which is the first or last lines of the rhyme.
Moderate
The paint used for the writing looks fresh and the quality of the calligraphy is superb.
Hard
All the writing is a hard-to-detect illusion.

This is another emanation from the Chest [4.6]. The rhyme is complete nonsense but players may become fixated on finding a meaning and give significance to the specific corridor wall where a line is written. Game Leaders should randomly pick one corridor and place the lines on each wall in a clockwise direction.

Exits:

  • Follow a dirty corridor [3.6].
  • Along a corridor with an unpleasant smell [3.10].
  • A straight, featureless corridor [3.4].
  • A short corridor leading to stairs going down [4.1].

3.6 - Mine Entrance

Automatic
Heavy metal gates which fill the passageway stand ajar. Lying a few feet outside the gates is the corpse of a dwarf. Beyond them appears to be more passageway.
Easy
The dead dwarf is unarmed, dressed in heavy work clothes and covered in rock dust. There is no obvious cause of death and it appears to have been dead several weeks.
Moderate
Many of the dwarf's bones are broken, as if killed by a massive blow from a blunt weapon.
Hard
The solid stone floor near the gates is cracked and disturbed.

Exit:

  • Through the gateway [3.7].
  • Away from the gateway [3.5]

3.7 Mine Head

Automatic
This cavern is the base of a sizeable mining operation and several mineshafts lead off it. Wagons, rails, piles of ore, tools, lanterns and the paraphernalia of mining fill the cavern. Scattered around are the bodies of at least twenty dwarves.
Easy
Two smaller mineshafts head downwards and the third, larger, tunnel heads upwards but is blocked by a major collapse. Everywhere and everything is covered in rock dust, probably spread by the collapse. — All the dwarves appear to have died around the same time, a few weeks ago.
Moderate
All the corpses show similar injuries though a few appear to have been squashed almost flat. — Most of the bodies are wearing mining clothes but four appear to be wearing outdoor-travel clothes and carrying backpacks. — The dust is noticeably thinner around the entrance to the left-hand, descending, tunnel.
Hard
About 20' down the left-hand tunnel there are some hastily-carved dwarvish runes of protection.

The mine is connected to the dwarven settlement in the Harrain Hills and had been operating peacefully for many years. Recently they extended one of the mineshafts [3.9] and disturbed a Rock Spirit. The creature collapsed the tunnel leading to the surface and massacred all the dwarves it could find. When a rescue party from the surface came in via one of the dungeons's other entrances, it killed those dwarves as well.

The rock spirit is still in the area and will attack the characters as they finish their examination of the mine head. The rock spirit cannot enter the left-hand mineshaft thanks to various runes of protection.

Exits:

  • Left-hand mineshaft [3.8].
  • Right-hand mineshaft [3.9].
  • Back to the mine entrance [3.6].

3.8 Mineshaft, Left

Automatic
About 100' along the mineshaft, more dwarf corpses are scattered. Some are lying flat on on the ground, others slumped in against pit props and in alcoves. All around them are runes crudely carved into the rock.
Easy
Not all the dwarves are dead, some are unconscious but still breathing. The corpses and the living appear to be emaciated.
Moderate
The runes are dwarvish protective runes for keeping a mine free of spirits.
Hard
One dwarf is dressed in smarter clothes than the others and has a tiny silver pickaxe in his hand which is the sign of a mine-priest.

These are the surviving miners plus Denite Thunderstone - a mine-priest who happened to be visiting on the day of the attack. Amidst the carnage of the rock spirit's assault, Thunderstone carved warding runes across the mouth of the tunnel and protected a handful of survivors. For the last four weeks they have been trapped in this tunnel by the rock spirit. It could not enter the tunnel and they would be killed if they tried to leave. They waited until a rescue party from the surface arrived, only to watch them be killed as well.

With little water and food to survive on, six of the eleven dwarves have already died. The five others are within 24 hours of death and need immediate medical help. Death can be prevent by caring for them. This takes a suitable action which can involve any form of magical and non-magical care (encourage characters to think laterally, e.g. food & water can be used as mundane equipment for 1d6+0). Caring will take an entire day and must beat a resistance of 1d6+3 per dwarf to succeed. A character can attempt to treat all the dwarves together in a single action, i.e. beat a resistance of 5d6+15, and other characters may help as part of an assisted action with the normal situation bonuses applying. Alternatively, individual characters may each take on the care of one or more dwarves but any one character cannot be part of more than one action. Characters can attempt to take less time over the action but incur the standard situation bonuses for decreasing the time scale. Caring actions which fail result in the dwarf dying.

Once the immediate crisis is past, the dwarves will be all right if the rock spirit is dead. They can gather food and water from the rest of the mine and after a few days make their way out of the King's Vale entrance [1.2]. The characters can assist by sending word to the dwarves' home in the Harrain Hills who will send a rescue party. After the adventure is finished, the dwarves will send a reward to the characters. They may receive any piece of equipment normally made from metal (e.g. sword, armour) made by expert craftsman. This adds the Dice keyword, allowing sixes to explode.

The dwarves will also be able to answer any questions about the layout of the dungeon. They know about the machine room and its guardian [4.3], the cells [4.3] and the cursed buildings in the Bone Cavern [4.9 - 4.12]. They do not know about anything which has happened in the last few weeks.

If a dwarf is left untreated or a character only halfheartedly treats someone who subsequently dies, the responsible character(s) may become haunted. As the character leaves the mine or at a similar suitable point, a vision of the dwarf appears in the character's mind. This is an attack of 4d6+4 which the character may attempt to resist with any suitable advantages. Failure adds the Haunted status effect to the character.

Game Leader Notes

This scene forces characters to make choices about the urgency of their mission and how many of the dwarves they can save. Encourage role playing between the characters as they discuss the moral and practical issues raised by the situation. Characters who let dwarves die are at risk of the Haunted status effect. It is a persistent hazard (see 6d6 Core) which can seriously handicap a character's abilities and the Game Leader should discuss it with the player, especially regarding how it may be removed. The haunting can be played as either a supernatural or psychological effect depending on the group's style of play. This may change what a character needs to do to remove it. The dwarf mine-priest Denite Thunderstone could be a useful resource for characters and the Game Leader in this regard.

Exits:

  • Return to the mine head [3.7].

3.9 Mineshaft, Right

Automatic
The mineshaft descends several hundred feet, ending in a natural cave of glittering crystal. The miners must have broken through into a natural void in the rock (a massive geode) because there are no exits.
Easy
The rock formation is entirely natural and the crystals are of low value. — There is no magic in the chamber but there is a sense that the chamber is somehow special.
Moderate
Tiny crystals crunch and shatter underfoot. — The chamber has immense potential for elemental earth magic. — The crystals can be collected and used as spell-casting components.
Hard
The crystals may be connected to the rock spirits and this whole chamber could be a geological nursery for a new generation of spirits.

If Denite Thunderstone is alive and able to talk, he can warn the characters about this location. He was called to the mine to investigate this cave, as the miners suspected they may have inadvertently disturbed something magical. Once Denite saw the cave he realised it was connected to rock spirits and was just advising the mine chief to shut down the shaft when they were attacked.

The characters may take Earth Crystals for their own use. This has no direct dangers but rock spirits, earth elementals and similar creatures will sense the presence of Earth Crystals and most likely attack the carrier.

Exits:

  • Return to the mine head [3.7].

3.10 - Goblin Corner

Automatic
From further along this straight passageway the rank smell of defecation wafts towards the characters.
Easy
Faint sounds of movement can be heard.
Moderate
There is a smell of goblins.
Hard
A large group of goblins has made camp at a corner in the corridor.

The surviving goblins from the temple fled down here, seeking somewhere as far from the temple as possible. They are still disorganised and demoralised after the chaos wrought by the demon Strata and are not looking for a fight. As the characters draw near, the goblins will shout warnings and threats in the hope of avoiding trouble. Hostile characters will face Bak-Bak-Rak, plus ten 1d6+4 mooks (Goblin), who will use the narrowness of the corridor (10') to hinder the characters while the rest of the goblins flee in the other direction.

If the characters make peaceful overtones, especially if they have the small child from the plaza [2.7], they will be allowed to approach. Bak-Bak-Rak is very wary of the characters and while she has no reason to lie to them she will not give out information without good reason. The return of the child and news that the temple complex is safe are two ways the characters can build trust. Gold is also useful in this regard.

Automatic
A week ago, word reached the goblins that a changeling would be left by a barn near the castle. Two goblins went to collect it. When they got back they discovered it was a normal human baby, but kept it anyway. A couple of days later the Baron turned up with some men who were carrying a long box and a prisoner. They demanded the baby and, after a little haggling for gold, the goblins gave the girl back. The Baron and his men went into the temple. A little later there was some screaming and then, shortly after that, the demon came out of the temple and started killing everyone. Those goblins who could fled the scene and eventually came here.
Easy
The Baron had visited several times before and paid the goblins to learn how to summon the demon, but had not been seen for some time.
Moderate
Later the Baron, his men and a woman left the temple. The last any of the goblins saw was the group heading down the sloping tunnel [3.1].
Hard
Something bad must have happened in the temple because the woman had glowing red eyes and the statues on the ladder killed some of them [3.4].

Exits:

  • Down the long corridor towards the mine [3.9].
  • Follow the corridor away from the mine [3.11].

3.11 - Gardens

Automatic
Light spills from the entrances to three chambers up ahead. Also emerging from the doorways are leafy tendrils and soil.
Easy
The light has the steady colour of daylight and not the flickering of torches or lanterns.
Moderate
The plants which are visible are common varieties found in many surface gardens.
Hard
The air smells fresher and cleaner in this area. There is a weak aura of magic from the direction of the doorways.

The chambers were constructed the by the Fay as places which they could go to enjoy sunlight and nature without having to return to the surface. Magic keeps the lights on and the plants healthy. Over the aeons, various underground denizens have planted different species and used the rooms as sources of food.

Automatic
These 50' x 50' chambers contain an overgrown mass of plants which all look healthy, and all have roofs which emit daylight.
Easy
There is a weak aura of unknown magic. Many of the plants are recognisable and edible varieties. A few insects buzz around or crawl on the plants.
Moderate
The magic is old and may be as old as the magic on the teleport doorways. Some of the plants are herbs useful for healing (Potent Healing Herbs, enough for two doses per character).
Hard
Hidden by overflowing plants and a buildup of soil over many years, there are benches in the centre of the room.

Exits:

  • Follow a corridor towards where the air smells bad [3.10].
  • A long a little-used corridor [4.7].
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open/oneshots/demon_strata/level2.txt · Last modified: 2014/03/15 17:03 by darth_tigger
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