Deepest Strata (4.1 - 4.14)

Only in this, the deepest level, will the characters find answers and solve the mystery of the Baron's disappearance.

Several of the locations of this level ([4.7] - [4.12]) take place in a large cavern known as the Bone Cavern or the Cursed Cavern by other dungeon denizens. It has been a focal point for the undead in the dungeon ever since the end of the Fay civilisation, and the ground became cursed after a terrible massacre. Over the millennia various underground races have tried to reclaim what is otherwise a wonderful location but each has failed. Sometimes the newcomers lasted years and other times only days, but each group destroyed itself from within through bloody, vicious mini civil wars. The death of each group reinforced the curse and added to the number of bones scattered in the cavern.

4.1 - Stairs of the Dead

Automatic
This long, elegant staircase appears to be used as a graveyard of sorts. There are pile of bones, some tidy and some chaotic, and the occasional desiccated corpse. There is no order to the arrangements and there is an impression that some of the bones and corpses have been simply thrown down the stairs.
Easy
The bones look humanoid but not human and there must be the remains of hundreds, if not thousands, of creatures. — There is no sense of magic or evil in this chamber.
Moderate
Most of the bones appear to be of goblins but there are also gnomes, dwarves, bugbears and a few humans.
Hard
There are insects scuttling among the bones, and cobwebs on the ceiling.

Exits:

  • Upwards to a junction [3.5].
  • Down to a junction [4.2].

4.2 - Junction

Automatic
A long, wide corridor is intersected by a short corridor and a narrow, rough tunnel sloping down. It is clear this area is not visited much, as dirt, dust and cobwebs have accumulated. A slight breeze from one end of the major corridor carries the stench of death.
Easy
The scuffed dirt and disturbed cobwebs indicate other people have been through this area recently.
Moderate
There has been movement along the short corridor, down the narrow tunnel and in the long corridor towards the smell of death.
Hard
The short corridor and the rough passage show the most signs of activity with occasional boot prints in both directions. The tracks leading in the direction of the smell of death are less distinct, as if people were shuffling or dragging their feet.

Exits:

  • Along the short corridor [4.1].
  • Towards the smell of death [4.13].
  • Down the rough passage [4.4].
  • Along the major corridor away from the smell [4.3].

4.3 - Machine Room

Automatic
A long, dusty corridor leads to a strange room and in the large doorway stands a man in armour. In one hand is a sword and in the other, held overhead, is an octagonal gem. The air around the man shimmers and sparkles, filling the doorway. Beyond the man it is possible to see pipes, cogs, wheels, levers and other incomprehensible metalwork. Towards the rear of the large room is a 30' column topped by a man-sized gem which glows blue then green then red and then back to blue. On the walls by the column there are engravings.
Easy
On the man's armour is a coat of arms featuring an oak tree, a dog and a nettle leaf. The man looks elderly but not frail, someone who lacks the strength and speed of his youth but can compensate for it with a lifetime of skill. — The entire area is heavily magical and there is a sense of magic being transmitted away from this place.
Moderate
The knight is alive, his eyes tracking movement and occasionally blinking. — The magic is ancient, powerful and complex making it impossible to get a sense of the types of magic involved.
Hard
The magic in the room is incomprehensible but the magic in the door relates to time.

In the doorway is the third knight who defeated Korvak, held in a magical stasis similar to that found in the cells [4.4]. After the three knights defeated Korvak and imprisoned her, they explored deep into the dungeon. There they found out much about Fay magic, including how this room controls the teleport doorways and the prison cells plus lots of other devices deeper underground. Realising someone could, accidentally or on purpose, release the prisoners or reroute the teleports to allow the terrible creatures from the deeper levels up to the surface the knights dedicated themselves to protecting the room. When first one and then another knight died, the third knight worried what would happen when he passed on. Having learned much over the years, he diverted some of the magic from the cells and set himself as guardian of the doorway.

The stasis field blocking the doorway cannot be penetrated by living flesh. Touching it feels no different from touching solid rock but sound, light and inanimate objects can pass through. The knight is invulnerable and immovable inside the field but must dismiss it in order to speak or act. The knight has been keeping his vigil for a thousand years and has only dropped the barrier on a few occasions when undead have entered the room. Mostly the remote location ensures no living, intelligent creatures come near. Those that do quickly realise they cannot pass through the doorway and leave.

If the characters can get the knight's interest and convince him that their purpose is good and honourable, he will drop the field and talk to them. Their best approach is to describe Korvak's release, how they slew her animated remains and their quest to kill the Baron or save the Baroness. This will appeal to his knightly sensibilities. The knight is a clever and experienced adventurer and will question the characters closely to verify their story.

If the Baroness or a character is stuck in the cells the knight can release them. It involves opening all the doors and they will stay open for an hour before resetting. The characters must commit themselves to ensuring anyone who deserves to be in the cells remains there until the doors reactivate. Other than this he can offer no direct help. He can give some general guidance about the layout of the dungeon and the dreadful nature of the Bone Cavern plus some of the history of Korvak and the temple. When the characters are satisfied, he will reactivate the stasis field and resume his post.

4.4 - Cells

Automatic
Four doorways line the wall of this passage, each one filled with a spectral semi-transparent prison door. From one of the doors a man is shouting and waving. Visible through another door a dirty, bedraggled and almost naked woman is slumped on the floor. In the third cell a goblin sits dejectedly and the fourth cell is empty.

The Doors:

Automatic
The doors are powerfully magic.
Easy
The magic extends to the whole cell, not just the door.
Moderate
It is ancient magic but something external to the cells is constantly renewing it.
Hard
Exactly what the magic is doing cannot be discovered but it is related to time.
The Cells

These are ancient artifacts from the time of the Fay. As immortal spirit creatures with a physical form, their civilisation operated on a very different basis from the mortal races. However, they still occasionally were required to punish rogue Fay or one of their slaves. The way they chose to do this says something about Fay culture. The cells are little bubbles of time in which nothing changes. The occupants do not age, feel hungry or have any sense of time passing. Only events, such as visitors to the cells, provide reference points in time and those become easily muddled in the occupants' minds.

Unless the magic powering the cells is shut off (see [4.3]), there is only one way to release a prisoner. When all four cells are occupied and their doors shut, any of the doors can be opened and the prisoner freed. The doors cannot be opened from the inside, nor will a door shut if there is more than one person in the cell. To free the Baron's second wife (or one of the other prisoners) from the cells the characters need to add a prisoner to the empty room and open the door to Pollyanna's cell. The Baron freed Korvak this way, using his wife to occupy the spare cell.

Who the characters choose to place in the cell is left to the players. Undead and animals cannot be used; the cells simply do not register their presence. The Baron, if the characters have not killed him, does qualify as he is living death rather than undead. A goblin, including a child goblin (see [2.7]) or an entropian would work but they would not go in voluntarily. A character can place themselves in the cell but the best approach is to talk to the knight in [4.3].

Baron Joseph Augar
Automatic
A man his mid thirties, well dressed.
Easy
The man speaks with an educated, noble accent.
Moderate
His clothes are very fine but notably out of fashion.
Hard
A family crest on the man's jacket reveal him to be from the House of Augar who used to rule the nearby barony of Easterling.

The nobleman is Baron Joseph Augar, better known as the Tyrant of Augar, and was notorious even among the warlike barons for his terrible treatment of his people. Augar was seized and placed in this cell on the orders of the King after committing a particularly terrible crime which could not be ignored. The King had discovered the magical properties of the cells in his youth and it was the King who personally locked the Baron in them. An eternity in a prison seemed a far more suitable punishment than the quick death of a public execution.

Stuck in the cell for fifty years the Baron Augar has little knowledge of the dungeon or what happened to Baron De'Souf other than that De'Souf came here with eight retainers, carrying a coffin and a woman. The woman was placed in the empty cell and De'Souf freed Korvak before taking her away in chains and a hood. Baron Augar does know one useful thing, which is how to open the cells. He will try to use this information, and the characters' lack of knowledge of his past, to buy his freedom.

The Baron is a spiteful and unpleasant man. He will lie, cheat and generally do whatever he can to get out of his cell. However, when appropriate he will also cleverly use the truth to sound more convincing. He won't admit who he is unless it becomes clear the characters have guessed, in which case he will downplay his crimes and claim the stories were exaggerated by a King who hated him. If it becomes obvious the characters are not going to free him he will attempt to disrupt whatever they are doing, especially if they are attempting to coax the Baroness out of her stupor.

In the cell, the Baron is immune to any threats the characters make. He has, after all, got nothing to lose and death may be preferable to spending eternity here. Should he get free, he will run at the first opportunity. In the right circumstances he may even kidnap the Baroness for use as a bargaining chip or in an attempt to seize the De'Souf barony. Treat Baron Augar as 1d6+3 mook with the Double Movement, Melee Attack and Resilient (10) traits.

Baroness Pollyanna De'Souf
Automatic
The woman is in some sort of trance or fugue state, leaning against a wall, staring at nothing. The remains of her clothes lie scattered about.
Easy
The ways the clothes are scattered and the dirt suggest that the woman did this to herself in a fit of madness.
Moderate
The woman looks young, only a teenager.
Hard
There are signs the woman was pregnant recently.

The Baroness is just sixteen years old. She married the Baron Hanson De'Souf twelve months ago and gave birth less than a week ago. Her child was kidnapped and the Baron and his men forced her into this cell, allowing the Baron to free Korvak. Bewildered by the Baron's actions, with no idea where she is, weak from childbirth and devastated by losing her baby, the Baroness has had a complete breakdown. She is almost entirely oblivious to what is going on around her.

Getting the Baroness to talk requires patience, tact, empathy and care. If the players are outside the door it requires hours of gently talking to the girl until she finally reacts. After this she will slowly become more trusting of the characters and will eventually tell them everything she knows. In her current state she is very easily frightened so loud noises, brash or uncouth behaviour by characters, combat or even raised voices will make it harder.

Rousing the Baroness from her stupor is an Extended Action with each action taking an scene. The resistance is 20 and the target number is also 20. If the characters can physically access the Baroness and help her to get clean, give her clean clothes or otherwise provide physical comfort, they may gain up to a 2d6+0 situation bonus.

When roused out of her catatonic state the Baroness turns out to be a strong-willed intelligent young woman. If the characters have not yet dealt with the Baron De'Souf she will insist he is hunted down and punished for his crimes.

Fak-Kon
Automatic
A youngish goblin who ignores everything going on outside the cell.

The goblin, Fak-Kon, has been in these cells for around three hundred years, ever since his tribe arrived in the area. He is an unusually bright and curious goblin and was searching the dungeon with some fellow goblins when they discovered the cells. At that time there was only one prisoner, Korvak, and he entered an empty cell to examine it. Korvak persuaded one of the other goblins to shut the door as a joke and Fak-Kon was trapped. Unable to free him, the other goblins fled.

Having seen a few other prisoners come and go, he is under no illusions about the situation and is convinced he will never be freed. Who would free a goblin? He does know how the doors work and did see the Baron's party free Korvak but, unless the characters can make him believe they will free him, he has no motivation to cooperate. All his friends and family are dead, excluding his cousins, ten generations removed, who are living in a corridor [3.10]. Should the characters free Fak-Kon, he will follow them around trying to find some purpose to his life.

Game Leader Notes

This scene should focus on morality and emotional factors. Will one of the party place themselves in the cells so one of the prisoners can be released? Or will they grab some dungeon dweller and doom them to eternal punishment so the party can save the Baroness? Or do they appeal to the knight in [4.3]?

When describing the scene use emotional words, especially to describe the Baroness: heartbroken, despondent, forlorn. She is little more than a girl and despite her strength and potential, she has been through a terrible ordeal. Emphasise to the players the moral dilemmas they face with words like honour, good, evil and fidelity. Baron Augar's crimes are left unspecified and should be ad-libbed using as much horror, gore and imagery as appropriate.

Exits:

  • Back up the rough, sloping passageway towards the junction [4.2].
  • Into a series of caves from where running water can be heard [4.5].

4.5 - Waterfall

Automatic
In this high-ceilinged cave, a fast flowing river tumbles out of a tunnel about 10' above the ground, the mouth of which is a beautifully carved arch. The water flows across the cave floor and then drops down a large sinkhole.
Easy
Handholds have been carved into the tunnel's mouth making easy to climb up into the tunnel. The water is clean and fresh.
Moderate
There is no sound from the sinkhole of the water hitting bottom, suggesting it is many hundreds of feet deep.
Hard
Echoing down the tunnel is the sound of frogs croaking.

Exits:

  • Deeper into the caves [4.6].
  • Back to the cells [4.4].
  • Along the river tunnel [2.4].

4.6 - Chest

Automatic
Sitting incongruously in the middle of a damp dark cave full of stalactites and stalagmites there is a chest. Its wood and metalwork gleams in the lamplight and it has been sealed with a polished steel padlock.
Easy
The chest looks in perfect condition but around its base a stalagmite is forming. — The chest has an arcane aura which contains elements of warding and illusion magic.
Moderate
The chest is real and exactly as it appears, but creates illusions to protect itself. The physical and magical craftsmanship of this chest is excellent.
Hard
This chest has all the signs of being made by Helio Goonstat, better known as the Mad Mage of Makleton.

Around two thousand years, the mage Helio Goonstat became known as a maker of magical devices of exquisite quality. However, Helio was not the most practical-minded person and rarely left his tower in Makleton. Consequently some of his magical creations were misguided or even idiotic, though others were simply perfect and all were technically fantastic pieces of craftsmanship. Since Helio's death he has become legendary among some scholars. Collectors will pay large sums of money for his work.

The chest is just a chest, except that magic maintains its perfect appearance and the chest even reforms itself if smashed. Additional magic is meant to protect the chest by scaring potential thieves away or simply persuading them it was not worth stealing. It does this by projecting illusory messages to key junctions or crossroads nearby so everyone will see the warning. The complete misunderstanding of psychology inherent in this approach to security is what makes Helio Goonstat legendary. However, the magical skill is immense as the illusions adapt to the chest's contents, the location and whoever is seeing the illusions.

The lock is [Hard] to pick but it and the chest are much easier to break open. Inside is a single gold piece which some long-forgotten adventurer left inside, once they had worked out that the chest only projects illusions when it contains something of value. Breaking the chest free of the stalagmite is hard work but not difficult and to the right collector the chest is worth a lot money.

4.7 - Steps

Automatic
A series of short steps marks the boundary between a passage and a large cavern almost a mile long. This entrance / exit overlooks the cavern which slopes gently down. The passageway continues straight into the darkness but in the cavern nebulous lights of various colours bob and flicker. The dim light is bright enough to reveal that the cavern contains buildings, some free-standing and others carved into the rock, but much of the cavern is deep in shadow. Ahead is a bridge and running water can be heard.
Easy
The strange lights drift around randomly all over the cavern, like seeds blowing in the wind. Each light is a globe around 1' in diameter.
Moderate
The flickering light makes the shadows dance and move but after watching for some time it is clear there is movement around the buildings.
Hard
Over the sound of running water an occasional cry or moan can be heard coming from a large building on the left of the cavern.

Exits:

  • Up the steps and along the passage [3.11].
  • Into the cavern towards the bridge [4.8].

4.8 - Bridge

Automatic
A roadway has been cut into the side of the cavern wall, linking the cavern's entrance with the buildings. The roadway is defined by the vertical wall of the cavern on one side and a rocky 20' slope on the other side which drops down to the boulder-strewn floor. A river cuts across the cavern and a 40' long humpbacked bridge carries the roadway over it.
Easy
The river is wide, slow-moving and looks only a few feet deep but the rocks and debris on the cavern floor suggest it can turn into a violent flood. The air is fresher here and a breeze can be felt from upstream, implying the river connects to the surface.
Moderate
At either end of the bridge a clear track runs down from the roadway to the river.
Hard
There is movement from under the bridge.

Living under the bridge is a troll clan. Normally they go to the surface via the river to hunt but they are also happy to prey on anything living that is stupid enough to stray into the cavern. The trolls will wait until the characters are on the bridge before coming up the paths at either end. If they are spotted or the characters do anything other than walk across the bridge they will simply climb up and charge the characters. There is one full Troll plus two 1d6+4 mooks (Troll, Lesser) per character.

The slope down to the cavern floor is MR 4 except on the paths by the bridge which are MR 1. The cavern floor and the river bed are MR 2. In the trolls' lair under the bridge there are lots of bones and rusted equipment and a gold ring.

Exits:

  • Along the roadway, towards the end of the cavern [4.7].
  • Into the area of the cavern containing buildings [4.9].
  • Upstream towards the surface and the Harrain Hills.
  • Downstream, into the deep darkness and new adventures.

4.9 - Buildings

Automatic
A cluster of buildings, some free-standing and others carved into the rock of the cavern, are visible in the nebulous glow of the floating lights. A single large building stands to one side of the cavern. The buildings look well-made but very old and showing the effects of age even in this dry, unchanging cavern. Some buildings have repairs or modifications at various levels of skill and effectiveness, but even the repairs look old. Scattered everywhere are bones. Some are clearly humanoid, most are from animals but a few are large, monstrous creatures. All the bones are disarticulated and mixed.
Easy
Faint noises can be heard from the large building. — The original craftsmanship of the buildings was excellent and, judging by the doorways, they appear to made for creatures under 5' tall. — The bones give no clues as to cause of death or how they got here but many do show signs of being gnawed or broken open by large teeth. — There is a sense of malevolence and chaos about the area.
Moderate
There are more of the glowing lights floating around this area making it easier to see. A troll skull with several other bones from a troll lies near the road to the bridge. This is the nearest thing to a complete skeleton the characters have seen. — The buildings feel cursed, as if death and betrayal were soaked into their stonework.
Hard
Scurrying in the darkness, always keeping to the darkest shadows, strange albino lizards dart among the bones. Most are only 3" long but a few are almost 1' long.

The danger in this area comes from the Chinese Lantern Moulds which float around the chamber giving off bioluminescence. Each mould is about the size of a football and consists of fine filaments which glisten and glow. They are almost weightless and so fragile they break apart at the slightest touch, which is how they propagate. The fragments of filament act as spores and can easily be inhaled, get into wounds or get into other orifices where they rapidly grow causing agony as tendrils push into the every area of soft tissue. Finally they erupt, killing the victim and releasing a cloud of new moulds.

The moulds drift towards sources of heat but are easily deflected by breezes such as the one coming from the river. Around the buildings the air is still and if the characters spend any time here a cloud of lanterns will gather around them, forcing the characters to brush them away releasing clouds of deadly filaments. Game Leaders should not alert the characters to the danger and play down the lanterns as a mere nuisance, while dropping hints about how they break into tiny fragments when touched. As the characters leave the location, they must each resist a 3d6+3 attack or be invaded by the mould. Award situation bonus dice to characters who took precautions or avoided the mould and bonuses to the attack against those whose actions exposed them to more filaments. Anyone failing gains the Chinese Lantern Mould status effect with a CP equal to the attack's degree of success.

Exits:

  • Towards the bridge and far end of the cavern [4.8].
  • Approach the large building at the side of the cavern [4.10].
  • Though the buildings to a plaza [4.11].

4.10 - Great Hall

Automatic
The original function or purpose of this large single-storeyed building is impossible to guess, but something is clearly in it. Noise and light spills from the larger of its two rooms, as if a party was taking place. As in the other buildings, bones lie scattered all around.
Easy
The light from the doorways is the yellow / orange glow of numerous candles. — No voices can be heard but instead there are clicking noises and low moans. — There is a strong sense of spite and tragedy all around.
Moderate
A human figure is visible in the doorway for a brief moment. Clearly a zombie, it is wearing the livery used by the Baron's retainers.
Hard
A woman's voice is heard saying "Stop crying, we have an eternity to enjoy," in a cruel and insulting tone.

The Baron and his party are paying no attention to beyond the room and it is easy for the characters to approach and observe inside without alerting them.

Automatic
A terrible and surreal scene fills the room, a mockery of a baronial banquet enacted by skeletons and zombies. At the head of the long table on two imposing chairs are a man and woman in fine clothes. Arranged down the table's length numerous skeletons, and human zombies in livery stand around like servants. The table, chairs and benches are all made of bones.
Easy
The man at the head of the table is in fine dress but is curled up in his chair as if horrified at the scene before him. — The woman is deathly pale and looks around with red, glowing eyes. — This place is evil and cursed. — There are twelve skeletons at the table.
Moderate
The flesh of the man is bloated and starting to decay. — There is demonic magic here.
Hard
The zombies and the woman have strong demonic and arcane auras about them.

Allow the characters to initiate combat in a suitably dramatic fashion. The Baroness counts as busy when the fight starts, losing potential, but in the first turn she will do nothing and recover it while the mooks form a front line. There is one 1d6+3 zombie mook (Zombie, Demonic) per character, and two 1d6+1 skeleton mooks (Skeleton, Cursed) per character in the room, plus the Baroness. The Baron will not take part in the fight and will stay curled up in his chair. If attacked he is a 1d6+0 mook.

A second wave of skeleton mooks (Skeleton, Chaos) appears as the table and benches made from bones reform as skeletal creatures made of a completely random set of bones. There are two 1d6+5 mooks (Skeleton, Chaos) per character. When this second wave arrives is left to the Game Leader to decide but after half the existing mooks have been killed is appropriate. If the characters are doing particularly well, a third wave should arrive. This is the final 'boss monster' fight at the end of the dungeon and the characters should be in real danger.

The Baron

Either during the fight or afterwards the characters will come face-to-face with the Baron who is easily recognisable from his fine clothes and signet ring with the De'Souf family crest. He is not a zombie, created from a corpse, but instead has been turned into a living death. They retain all their memories, skills and abilities; they also retain all their emotions and physical feeling plus they are immortal (unless destroyed). The downside is that their bodies start decomposing. At first they appear as zombies, before the flesh decays leaving just a skeleton. Slowly that breaks down and just the spirit remains.

The Baron is a terrified and broken man who will answer any questions truthfully but with plenty of excuses and pleas for forgiveness. What happens next is up to the characters. Returning him to the barony to face justice is one option though the statues at [3.4] will prevent him passing. Simply slaying the Baron and taking the head and signet ring as proof is another option (and a popular one in play-testing).

Exits:

  • Into the streets and buildings [4.9].
  • Down steps into a large plaza [4.11].

4.11 - Teleport Plaza

Automatic
A tunnel leads out of the rock, into one end of a giant cavern. Nebulous lights float around the cavern revealing clusters of buildings, some free-standing and others carved into the cavern's sides. At this end of the cavern there is a paved plaza adjoined by a few buildings. Everywhere there are scattered bones. A strange shimmering doorway with writing above it occupies one part of the plaza.
Easy
The buildings look well-made but very old and showing the effects of age even in this dry, unchanging cavern. Some buildings show signs of repairs or modification at various levels of skill and effectiveness but even the repairs look old. Scattered everywhere are bones. Some are clearly humanoid, most are from animals but a few are from large, monstrous creatures. All the bones are disarticulated and mixed.
Moderate
Faint noises can be heard and light spills out of a large building standing separate from the others.
Hard
The bones give no clues as to cause of death or how they got here but many do show signs of being gnawed or broken open by large teeth. There is a sense of evil and chaos about the area.

The doorway is a Fay teleport device.

Exits:

  • Follow the roadways towards the largest concentration of buildings [4.9].
  • Up some stairs in the direction of the large building [4.10].
  • Into the nearby buildings [4.12].
  • Out of the cavern and along the tunnel [4.13].

4.12 - Bone Lizards

Automatic
From the doorway of a small building near the plaza a bone comes clattering out. A low hissing noise comes from the dark interior.
Easy
In the building is a large white lizard, about the size of a dog.
Moderate
The lizard is rummaging through bones scattered around the floor, occasionally picking one up and then throwing it aside.
Hard
It is a bone lizard.

Bone lizards are harmless creatures which live on insects and smaller lizards. There name comes from their albino colouring and their strange mating behaviour. The male of the species rummages in graveyards for bones and carefully selects one which it carries in its mouth and then presents to a potential mate. The female will pick the bone up in her mouth and throw it away, rejecting the male who will then seek out another bone to present. If the female is satisfied with the bone, she cracks it open and eats the marrow before heading to her nest with the male following. The behaviour is clearly a mating ritual but scholars have never been able to decide if there is some property of the bone which the female judges the male on or if it is entirely random.

Exits:

  • Back to the bone-strewn plaza [4.11]

4.13 - The Pool

Automatic
There is a smell of death here but it seems to originate from elsewhere. A small pool has been carved out of the bedrock and is filled with clear, cold water. There are the remains of three decorative pillars - one damaged but still standing, one smashed on the ground and one just a stump.

The Pool:

Automatic
The pool is ancient and well-constructed. Faint traces of worn engravings can be seen around it.
Easy
The pool is magical and the water is clean and safe.
Moderate
The almost invisible engravings are ancient archaic symbols of cleansing and renewal.
Hard
The pool will enhance any ritualistic magic cast using it.

Pillars:

Easy
The pillars are old and appear to have been smashed many years ago. They have crude markings which all but obliterate older markings on the pillar. All the pieces of the broken pillar are still in the room but will require a fair amount of work to reassemble.
Moderate
The newer markings are primitive runes like those used by goblinoid shamen and seem to be praising an unknown god. — The pillars are part of the magic of the pool and the more pillars there are, the more powerful the pool.
Hard
The ancient writing is in an unknown alphabet, the same one found above the shimmering doorways.

The pool is a powerful magical tool and when used in ritual magic it adds a 1d6+0 bonus to the spell and ones are rerolled (as per the Dice keyword). This only works as part of a ritual of at least a scene in length. The pillars are an essential part of the pool's enhancements. Should the last pillar be smashed it will destroy the pool's magic. However, rebuilding or recovering the other pillars will add 1d6+1 per pillar to the pool's effect.

All the parts of the broken pillar are in the room but scattered and jumbled up with other dungeon detritus. Sorting out the correct parts is a [Moderate] challenge. Rebuilding the pillar requires using stone masonry or similar skills as the broken stones will not simply balance on each other. This is a [Hard] challenge.

Exits:

  • A natural cave which stinks of death and decay [4.14].
  • A long corridor from which a slight breeze can be felt [4.11].
  • Away from the breeze, along the corridor [4.2].

4.14 - Rank Cave

Automatic
There is an almost overpowering smell of rotting flesh filling this area of connected natural caves. Scattered around the caves are remnants of clothing, furniture and similar detritus. It appears someone once lived here.
Easy
In the debris is the skull of an elf plus other bones. Near a smashed desk, there are broken glass jars, a mortar and pestle plus other signs of an alchemist at work.
Moderate
The titles on the tattered remains of a few books mention golems.
Hard
Lying hidden in the dirt is a gold pendant in the shape of a snake and in the snake's mouth is a skull. It is the symbol of Futumsch, a god of vile deeds, the worship of which is banned in most civilised areas.

As the characters inspect the debris, two Carrion Golems shuffle out of the darkness in to the light of the characters torches. They start combat 30' away from the adventurers but if the characters beat the golems' resistance on a prompted awareness action, the characters have the initiative. The golems have no stealth abilities but allow them 1d6+0 as a potential action plus 1d6+0 situation bonus for cover from the bends and corners in the cave system.

The caves were once used as the laboratory of an elven alchemist who was commissioned to make carrion golems to protect a temple to Futumsch. The alchemist chose this location because of its remoteness and the nearby pool which would make their work easier. However, while the elf successfully created the golems they did not master how to control the creatures - an oversight with fatal consequences.

Discussion

DT, 2014/03/18 10:49

Chris - check I've put the right link in for Carrion Golems please

You could leave a comment if you were logged in.
open/oneshots/demon_strata/level3.txt · Last modified: 2014/03/18 10:49 by darth_tigger
Recent changes RSS feed

The 6d6 RPG tabletop store is owned and operated by Chris Tregenza. Who also owns and runs Myomancy, a site about ADD / ADHD medication, Autism and Dyslexia Treatments and also site called Poosk. Chris also provides copy-writing, web design SEO advice to sites like Dingles' Games pathfinder rpg resources.