Underground [U1 - U17]

Beneath the island is a network of caves. Some are natural, a result of the island's volcanic past, but many were constructed by the Fay when the island was a part of their techno-magical civilisation. Only a small part of the underground complex has been mapped for this adventure. Game Leaders are encouraged to add their own details or simply to decide that in the 10,000 years since the Fay society collapsed everything of interest has been looted by previous generations of adventurers.

U1. Landing Cove, Cave Entrance

Behind the waterfall in the Landing Cove [L1] is a cave mouth.

Automatic
The cave is about 7' high, 4' wide and made of rough stone.
Easy
Though the tunnel is smooth and regular, it is clearly a natural cave.
Moderate
A faint aroma of sulphur emanates from the cave mouth.

The cave goes into the cliff face, bending slightly so that after 20' the entrance is not visible. After 30' the tunnel forks, going left into The Pool [U2] and right into the Rat Cave [U3].

U2. The Pool

This is where characters who 'drowned' whilst attempting to land the boat will awake. No light from outside reaches this cave and unless the character has both the lantern and the flint & steel they will have difficulty assessing their surroundings.

Automatic
The cave is almost circular and 20' wide. It is mostly filled with a pool of water but there is 5' of dry ground between the pool and the cave wall. The cave has a single exit.
Easy
The water is salty and moves gently up and down, a sign that it is connected to the sea via underwater tunnels.
Moderate
The faint sounds of running water can be heard somewhere beyond this cave.

The single exit leads to the fork in the passageway near the Cave Entrance [U1].

U3. Rat Cave

20' beyond the fork in the passageway (about 50' from the cave entrance [U1]) the tunnel expands into a cavern.

Automatic
The tunnel widens into a cavern 15' wide and 30' long. At the end of the cavern the passage resumes its previous size and continues further into the island. The cavern floor is littered with rock and piles of dirt.
Easy
The smell of sulphur is stronger here.
Moderate
Scattered among the dirt are piles of animal droppings.
Hard
There are many small tunnels (1" or less in diameter) in the walls of the cavern.

Hiding in the small tunnels are thousands of rats who will swarm and attack anyone moving through the cavern. There is one full sized Rat Swarm plus two 1d6+3 mooks (Rat Swarm, Small). The rats may make life difficult for the characters they attack; however, the group as a whole should easily kill the rats. It is unlikely the party has eaten recently and the rats are edible if cooked.

U4. The Shaft

The long natural cave tunnel from the Rat Cave [U3] terminates abruptly when it meets the outer edge of the Great Cavern [U15].

Automatic
The tunnel terminates at this point in a vertical shaft, 10' across, rising upwards. The northern wall of this shaft is made of a smooth black rock noticeably different from the natural looking rock of the rest of the tunnel. Handholds are neatly cut into the black rock and run the full height of the wall.
Easy
The north wall is clearly artificial but has no joints or flaws in the surface to indicate how it was made.
Moderate
The handholds are cut neatly into the wall and appear to be an original part of the wall's construction.
Hard
The handholds are a comfortable size for someone 4' - 5' tall.

The handholds can be safely climbed with ease but the 300' ascent is tiring and nerve-racking.

U5. Utility Rooms

A series of four rooms, part of the underground Fay complex, which were once the scene of battle during the slave revolt and collapse of the Fay civilisation.

Automatic
Four small rooms made of the unnatural black rock, with one exit via a trapdoor and a ladder [U4] and a staircase heading upwards [U6]. In places the smooth black walls are cracked and broken. Debris and dirt is scattered on the floor. The smell of sulphur is stronger here.
Easy
Some parts of the walls appear as if they have been struck by a great force and other parts look distorted, as if partially melted.
Easy
The doorways between rooms are bereft of doors and are only 5' high. The rooms are only 6' tall.
Moderate
Among the dirt and debris on the floor are fragments of statues.
Hard
Only very small pieces of the statues remain but by assembling what there is, it is clear the statues were extremely lifelike representations of dwarves or possibly gnomes.

U6. Junction

Two sets of stairs meet at this point and this is where Fur-Like-Gold placed a warding to prevent Warrior-Born escaping.

Automatic
The stairs rising from the Utility Rooms [U5] leading to Warrior-Born's Tower [U7] meet an east / west passageway. On the stairs leading upwards to the tower there are dark stains and runes etched into the stone. The eastward corridor, after a few yards, turns in to stairs leading upwards [U14], while the passageway westward becomes stairs heading down. The smell of sulphur is very strong and irritates the throat.
Easy
The symbols are shamanistic magic runes.
Easy
There is a strong sense of magic about the runes.
Moderate
The dark stains on the stairs are dried blood and possibly a sacrifice related to the rune magic.
Moderate
There is strong warding magic acting as a barrier.
Hard
The rune symbols are in the distinct style used by quorakon mystics and include a name - Warrior-Born - making the ward specifically to prevent that individual crossing.
Hard
The blood stains and the runes are old but not ancient. Certainly less than 50 years old and much younger than the rest of the underground complex.

The ward and its magic will have no effect on the characters who may pass through it without harm. It only prevents Warrior-Born from leaving the tower above.

The stairs westward lead further into the Fay complex but the air is thick with sulphur fumes. As the characters descend the 200' featureless staircase they find it harder and harder to breathe, making progress impossible. Game Leaders are free to inflict whatever poison damage they like on any characters trying to continue until the players take the hint and abandon their attempts.

U7. Warrior-Born's Tower

The base of the tower juts out of the cavern walls about 200' above the floor of the cavern. As the cavern walls curve away the tower rises straight up, leaving it a free-standing structure. The tower is around 400' tall and there is a gap of several hundred feet above its top before the Great Cavern's walls turn inwards and become the roof. The tower is round, 60' in diameter and constructed of the seamless black rock used by the Fay.

The Walkway [U14] meets the tower near its base, meeting the stairs from the Utility Rooms [U5] at The Junction [U6]. Above this point the tower consists of a series of rooms occupying the full width of the tower, connected by short spiral staircases. The rooms are featureless but each has a large opening looking over the Great Cavern [U15]. If the characters have come via The Shaft [U4] this may be their first sight of the cavern.

Trapped in the tower is Warrior-Born. After picking up a magical Fay gem during his expedition with Fur-Like-Gold he underwent a transformation. His flesh turned to stone and he become violent, attacking anything nearby. Nothing has changed in the forty years since he was imprisoned in the tower by Fur-Like-Gold's warding. However, apart from the odd pterodactyl or giant bee, nothing living enters the tower and Warrior-Born sits in the top room of the tower waiting.

How the characters encounter Warrior-Born will depend on their actions. He will be attracted by noise, and careless adventurers may be attacked by him anywhere in the tower. Those forewarned of his presence by Fur-Like-Gold or who are simply more cautious will encounter him on the top floor. Warrior-Born is an extremely challenging foe for the characters. He was an expert warrior before his terrible conversion and now his stone-flesh and Fay magic make him very difficult to harm. However he cannot pass the warding on the stairs at The Junction [U6] and Game Leaders may wish to allow characters to easily retreat beyond this point.

Other than Warrior-Born, the only things of interest are the murals on the wall of the topmost room. Painted on to the black rock, the faded and cracked images show a fabulous city high in snow-capped mountains. Humanoids of an unknown species are shown moving through a city with beautiful slender buildings and well-kept parks.

U8. Caves of Dead Man's Cove

The caves which open on to Dead Man's Cove [L8] are numerous (about 50 in all), natural and unremarkable except for the occasional human bone. Most of the caves are too small for a human but two or three are large enough for a man, though it is a tight squeeze. Anyone over 5' high will be restricted and most activities (such as fighting or movement) will incur a 1d6+0 Situation Penalty. All the caves which open out on to the cove converge on the Haunted Cavern [U9].

U9. Haunted Cavern

All the caves leading from Dead Man's Cove converge here. The single tunnel north is large enough for a normal-sized person and leads to The Pit [10].

Automatic
The cavern is 30' long and 15' wide. To the south numerous small tunnels split off. A single large tunnel exits to the north. Branches and other material have built up in this cavern.
Easy
There are large amounts of bones in the cavern, intermixed with other debris.
Moderate
The area has an unsettled feel to it, as if occupied by restless spirits.

It is impossible to move through the cavern without stepping on or disturbing the bones which will awaken the malevolent spirit (Ghost, Vengeful) occupying the cave. This can be avoided if the characters spend a session carefully and respectfully gathering the bones and adding them to the piles in Dead Man's Cove [L8].

U10. The Pit

This chamber was once part of the Fay's subterranean industrial complex. The Pit was formed when the roof of a sub-surface chamber collapsed leaving a 10' wide hole in the ceiling, open to the sky, at The Devil Throne [L6]. Thanks to the actions of Badanistrax the Forest Walkers now throw their dead, and sometimes the dying, into the pit.

Automatic
A clearly artificial chamber half-filled by water. A large pile of debris is situated under an opening in the roof. The chamber is 100' square, 60' tall and the pile of rubble is some 30' high. There is a partial collapse in the southern wall opening in to a natural tunnel. There is a strong smell of sulphur.
Easy
The walls of this chamber appear to be cut from the natural rock and are perfectly smooth.
Moderate
Scattered on the pile of dirt and rubble are bones. A slight chittering sound can be heard.
Hard
There is another exit, almost totally blocked by debris in the north-western corner.

Exploring the chamber is a muddy and wet job made dangerous by the colony of giant beetles living here. They lay their eggs in the corpses dropped through the hole in the ceiling and make the occasional excursions out to prey on seals and other large sea life. Most of the time they bury themselves in the soft dirt of the debris pile and wait. There is enough space for them to comfortably fly around the chamber but characters in combat must deal with the waist-deep water and mud, which has a Movement Resistance of 3. There is a full-sized creature (Beetle, Giant) for every three characters plus one 1d6+4 mook (Beetle, Young Giant) for every character.

The southern exit leads to the Haunted Cave [U9] about two miles away.

Hidden Exit

The exit in the northwest corner is obscured by mud, branches and several feet of water.

Automatic
The tunnel leading off is cut from the bedrock like the rest of the chamber and is only 4' high.
Easy
The blockage is caused by a large tree stump which is jammed into the tunnel mouth.
Moderate
The tunnel has a 20° downward slope.
Hard
The water in the chamber has accumulated because of the blockage in this tunnel. Clearing it will drain this chamber.

To clear the blockage the characters must dislodge the tree stump which is wedged in place, a challenge which has a resistance of 20. The moment the stump moves, the weight of the water in the chamber will send the stump and the other debris rushing down the tunnel. Characters near the tunnel mouth must resist an attack of 3d6+3 or be swept 100' down the tunnel, taking the degree of success as damage. Anyone failing must also resist a second attack of 2d6+2 or take more damage, be carried a further 100' down the tunnel and be targeted by a third attack of 1d6+1. Anyone who fails this third attack takes damage and is carried all the way to the Machine Room [U11].

U11. Machine Room

10,000 years ago, machinery in this cavernous room helped to keep the air in the Great Cavern [U15] clean.

Automatic
A 200' square, 20' high chamber carved out of the bedrock, with a floor covered in dirt. An upward-sloping 4' high shaft exits the room in the south east corner of the ceiling. A 10' high and wide corridor exits northeast but is positioned 5' above the floor level of the chamber. A separate 5' high tunnel also exits west but this one is at ground level.
Easy
The air is warm, humid and smells strongly of sulphur. The dirt underfoot crunches when stepped on.
Moderate
The dirt appears to be made mostly of rust particles and covers a stone floor.
Hard
There is a slight arcane aura to the dirt, suggesting it was the remains of something magical.

U12. Vent

The large tunnel leading north from the Machine Room [U11] to the Fan Room [U13] was part of a ventilation system for the Great Cavern [U15].

Automatic
The tunnel is perfectly straight and cuts through the island's bedrock for a distance of about three miles. The tunnel is largely featureless and free of dirt but every few hundred yards there are notches cut into the rock and piles of debris.
Easy
The notches are part of the original construction and are mirrored on either side of the corridor.
Moderate
The debris piles are made largely of rust.
Hard
The notches and debris suggest gates or machinery where once positioned in the corridor

As the characters approach the Fan Room [U13] at the northern end of the corridor they will see light ahead.

U13. Fan Room

In the time of the Fay, this room in the roof of the Great Chamber [U15] housed a giant fan, part of the ventilation system which kept the air in the underground city clean and fresh.

Automatic
The tunnel ends in a circular chamber 100' across but most of the floor is missing, revealing below a well-lit cavern of immense proportions. This chamber is in the cavern's ceiling and there is 10' of floor around the opening. A strong smell of sulphur rises from the cavern on hot, humid air. See the Great Cavern [U15] for more details on what the characters can see through the hole.
Easy
The hole in the floor is clearly intentional, cut from the bedrock with the same precision as the tunnels, but the cavern below looks natural.
Moderate
Around the edge of the hole and the nearby floor there are notches and grooves cut into the rock at regular intervals.
Hard
Hanging from the roof of the cavern, a short way from the hole, are numerous irregular shapes about 2' in size, apparently made from a organic, paper-like substance.

On the roof of the cavern, not far from the Fan Room are the nests of numerous Killer Bees. These will be awakened by the characters' noise and movement. There are a lot of bees and each round, for four rounds, two 1d6+1 mooks (Bee, Killer) per character will appear. Bees swarm and they will cluster around one or two targets attempting to poison their prey. The bees also fly while the characters are stuck on the walkway around the edge of the hole, though the bees will not follow the characters more than 50' down the Air Vent tunnel.

U14. Walkway

A 5' high tunnel runs westward from the Machine Room [U11] for several hundred feet before emerging into the Great Cavern [U15].

The walkway extends a mile along the wall of the cavern. At its eastern end it is 800' above the floor of the cavern and a tunnel leads into the cavern wall (heading towards the Machine Room). At the walkway's western end it leads into a square tower structure [U6] jutting from the wall of the cavern only 200' above the cavern's floor. Between these two points the walkway follows the contours of the cavern walls and zig-zags downwards in a series of stairs. The walkway is 3' wide and expertly carved out of the natural wall of the cavern.

Game Leaders who want to make their characters' lives difficult may wish to attack them with Killer Bees from U13 or the Pterodactyls from U16 as they traverse the long, narrow and exposed walkway.

U15. Great Cavern

The High Plateau with its 2000' cliffs looming over the island is mostly hollow. Inside it is a giant cavern formed partly by volcanic activity and partly excavated by the Fay.

Automatic
This massive cavern extends for around six miles east / west and is about three miles across at its widest point. It is about 1000' high. The entire cavern is lit as if by daylight but the source of the light is not apparent. Most of the cavern is occupied by a lake in which can be seen islands of various sizes. Around the edge of the lake are quays and buildings. There appear to be windows and balconies carved into the cavern walls at various heights suggesting a vast network of rooms and tunnels beyond. The air is still, hot, humid and filled with a strong stench of sulphur.
Easy
The surface of the water and much of the ground level of the cavern is covered by a yellow mist.
Moderate
In the middle of the cavern roof there is a large opening.
Moderate
A long walkway connects a tunnel near the cavern roof with a tower which juts out of the cavern wall, about 200' above the cavern floor.
Moderate
At the far western end a waterfall plummets from a cave high up on the cavern's wall.
Hard
Near one of the islands there are half-wrecked and half-submerged ships of a strange design.
Hard
Large winged creatures (pterodactyls) can be occasionally seen around the western end but the distance makes it hard to work out what they are.

The cavern is a large area with many tunnels and rooms extending beyond it and deep into the ground. Somewhere, far below the cavern, are the devils' workshops where creatures such as Badanistrax still roam. All these areas are inaccessible to the characters as thick, poisonous sulphur fumes make it impossible to breathe in much of the cavern. Game Leaders wishing to expand and embellish this subterranean world may ignore the fumes or provide their characters with a way around them.

U16. Pterodactyl Nests

About 500' up the south-western cliffs of the Upper Plateau are the caves of the pterodactyls which are only reachable via the treacherous cliff path from the Quarry [L5]. There is not enough space for the pterodactyls to fly within the caves and the creatures will abandon their nests and flee from any intruders.

Automatic
A network of small and smelly caves contain numerous large nests. The caves converge at a large (20') tunnel which extends north-eastward into the mountainside.
Easy
The nests contain eggs.
Moderate
Among the nests are scattered bones of humans and other species. Bits and pieces of cloth and equipment are intermixed with bones and pterodactyl droppings. Game Leaders may allow characters to find some useful mundane equipment if they are feeling generous.

U17. Waterfall

A long, wide tunnel links the Pterodactyl Nests [U16] to this water-filled cave.

Automatic
A 100' wide cavern mostly filled with a deep, clear pool of water. Small streams emerge from cracks in the walls to fill the pool and a single large stream exits via a 10' tunnel heading east before turning sharply. There is clearly a light source beyond the bend in the tunnel and a rumbling sound can be heard.
Easy
The water is pure and ice-cold, probably meltwater from the snow-capped peaks of the mountains.

The eastern tunnel is filled with the stream but it is only a few inches deep. The shallow running water is not a problem but the floor of the tunnel is polished smooth and very slippery with a Movement Resistance of 3. Immediately after the bend the tunnel emerges high up on the western wall of the Great Cavern [U15] and the stream plummets down several hundred feet to the lake below. There is no way down from here to the cavern or any of the other locations.

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open/oneshots/savage_island/underground.txt · Last modified: 2014/02/17 15:46 by darth_tigger
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