A14: Scourge of Embla

 

Maps

city-of-emblaNOtagsthe-back-road-mapthe-back-road-mapNotags

Audio

Coins Tossed on Counter

Laughing Tavern Patrons

Laughing Drunk Man

City Street

Major Combat

Cave w/ Dripping Water

Small Waterfall

Large Waterfall

 

RISE OF THE DROW 2 of 3

by Stephen Yeardley & Jonathan Nelson

Table of Contents

 

Embla, City of Fair Trade

Embla is a large dwarven (dweorg) trade city.  It is ruled by mayor Torin Stonetooth and a council of ten dwarves which make up what is called the "Merchant Circle"; this group is already calling Embla a city and hopes the tag will stick. However, at this time, the name isn't drawing anyone in. If anything, it is making the local population think that the city will be come a higher priority target.

In quieter, less troubled times, Embla had become a magnet for underground trading and also a safe haven for travelers of all species, due mostly to mayor Torin Stonetooth's continued lenient laws allowing outsiders entrance to the city and rigidly enforced "Pax" within. Myriad strange encounters could happen, but a steady agreement had come into place which protected every citizen and visitor; Embla was a place to vent frustrations but of strong policing

No physical combat is allowed within city limits unless performed within the Cage, a large fighting arena resembling a gigantic pen, located in the back corner of the massive cave which houses Embla.  All fights must be sanctioned by both parties involved and take place without the use of weapons.  Killing an opponent is not permitted under any circumstances; what makes the cage interesting is that betting on the victor (or the loser) is allowed, and on occasions a lot of time and effort goes into promoting the fight. It is rumored that some "disagreements" are manufactured and that all some people are actually interested in is pitting two evenly matched opponents against each other to get a result. These events are policed as strictly as the city itself, and if any creature makes a move to kill their opponent, they are swiftly dealt with, sometimes being thrown into jail but regularly (if not frequently) being killed themselves. This is almost always enough of a deterrent.

Embla is a proprietary community that has a legal limit on individual wealth, with the ability to sell property rather than just lease allowing residue to fund society/city growth; this funding results in clear recognition and an additional voting slot for each work of clear public benefit. All are governed by an open, active, rolling, profession-driven leadership rota, with the number of members of each profession counting as one vote, meaning the lower-rated professions (laborers, muck cleaners, tinkers) aren't swamped by one person (diamond merchant) simply because the merchant has more money.

EMBLA, CITY OF FAIR TRADE
Map of Embla
Geographical information
Aliases

City of Fair Trade

Societal information
Races

Dwarf (Dweorg) 80%
Other 20%

Population

5,000-12,000
(Increases during trade festivals)

Alignment

Lawful Neutral

Political information
Government

Mercantilist Democracy

Ruler

Mayor Torin Stonetooth

Inhabitants of Embla

Locations in Embla

Organizations in Embla

Map of Embla, City of Fair Trade

click to enlarge

History

Initially, Embla was a trading outpost, a place where all races could gather and trade without fear of reprisal.  As time went on, many fights broke out, most of which would be settled via physical combat. These trials of martial prowess were overseen by the dwarves, so that some kind of order could be established and maintained during and after the event, as they tried to maintain the integrity of the outpost.  Slowly but steadily, the dwarves stayed and became the caretakers of this place.

As the number of dwarven families increased and more folks moved to the small village, it continued to grow into the large bustling city that it is today.  About four decades ago, mayor Nalc'Uk came to power, elected after a campaign built around significant events of the time; a number of incidents involving drow and other evil creatures called for a permanent ban on the dark elves and other so-called "evil" outsiders from entering the city.  Once in power, the mayor abolished the "Merchant Circle" and, one-by-one, banned all of the other races until only dwarves were allowed in the city.  Passages were blocked off and the city was in danger of becoming a haven for radical isolationists.  Any non-dwarf that wandered into the areas surrounding Embla was captured, tortured, and forced to fight another non-dwarf in the arena.

After a decade of this totalitarian rule, after many dwarves rose up in protest, a bloody battle was fought between the city guard and the commoners.  When the battle was at its high point, many of the guards found themselves facing members of their own family.  With kin standing against kin, they realized the evil was not within all outsiders or each other, but at the heart of their dictatorial leader.  Mayor Nalc'Uk was ousted from power, stripped of all belongings and left on the doorstep of the drow bound and gagged, as an apology for the atrocities the dwarves had committed.  Mayor Torin Stonetooth was elected ruler after leading the protests and revolt against the former mayor.  At first Torin refused, stating that he was not a politician, but the crowds would not be denied and thus he was thrust into the seat of power. Mayor Stonetooth reinstated all of the cornerstones of the previous successful society; since then, life has been good for Embla. Until now that is...

 

Description of Embla

Golgoran Longbeard is one of the longest-term residents of Embla and is considered an expert on all aspects of the place. As with anyone who stays in one town for most of their lives, Longbeard's views and opinions have been influenced over time by the ups and downs his life and the lives of those he values. However, he is known to be even-handed and not prone to exaggeration or any kind of dismal outbursts, so the authorities decided to get his thoughts on the city of Embla and additional information for those wishing to visit and trade here. These thoughts have been recorded and are freely available in taverns and shops throughout Embla. If Longbeard himself can be talked with (something that is next to impossible to arrange), then further details can be added to this information.

"What is it like to live in Embla you ask?  I have lived here for so long, called Embla home for so many years, I accept it all as normal.  I find it strange when outsiders look at our homes with awe or confusion.  We have always built our homes into the sides of the cave walls.  The gonjolas always cause travelers to gasp and stare.  Three cone shaped buildings, suspending by chains connected to gigantic stalactites and lit with the flames of a many hundreds of torches.  Each building accessible by suspension footbridges connecting homes to services."

"Each of the gonjolas are used for a different purpose.  If you still don't get what they are picture a giant stalactite, point down.  Now imagine if the whole thing was slightly see-through, yes, like quartz crystal.  Now pop in about a few hundred or so fiery torches, and the shadows of dwarves roaming the halls and climbing the stairs, and you've got it!  A hovering structure made of crystal and metal."

 

Locations in Embla

As described by Golgoran Longbeard

Trade Gonjola (the Beard)

"The first of the gonjolas is the Trade Gonjola, built from a pinkish crystal soon after the dwarves took hold of this land.  This was the first of the gonjolas to be suspended and is probably the most visited.  This is where you'll find the mayor most times, along with the Merchant Circle, those ten dwarves that rule along side the mayor and advise him on everything to do with Embla, from archery defenses to zinc trade conditions.  All deals with neighboring cities are made here at the Trade Gonjola.  All records, debts, and maps and documents involving properties, crops, and other goods are kept here as well.  There are no places to eat or sleep here, this gonjola is strictly for trading and you'll be tossed out if you're caught doing anything else here, and it might not be by one of our guards!"

Justice Gonjola (the Hammer)

"This place was made out of a blue crystal covered with tiny natural veins which fragment the light in a thousand different directions."

"All disputes are negotiated here.  If it cannot be settled and agreed upon in court, many times the resolution will be moved to the Cage and be resolved through primal combat.  Oh yes, any law enforcement units not patrolling the city are also found housed here, as are the jails."

Celebration Gonjola (the Horn)

"This gonjola is made from a green crystal and is for the public to use, and use it we do!  Drinking and celebratin' births, deaths, new trading agreements, or anything we can find an excuse to imbibe some fine ale, or imported mushroom wine for!"

 

The Stone Cage

"If you find yourselves in the Cage, good luck to you.  The place is nasty and covered in bloodstains and spittle.  Dwarves gather round to watch fools duke it out, completely unarmed.  Some fights go on for hours and can get pretty gory.  There is a referee, but he generally only interferes if someone is going to be killed.  There's no killing allowed in the cage; those that attempt to do get tossed in jail or worse, whilst those that actually kill an opponent are definitely killed themselves before bein' washed away in acid."

"Well, that's about it.  If you have any other questions ask the mayor, his name's Torin Stonetooth and you'll find him either in the Beard or drinking and carrying on with the old retired warriors from Stoneholme in the Horn.  Enjoy your stay!"

Combat in the Cage

Combat in the Cage

If any of the PCs run into trouble with the law they have two options, either wait to have their case heard before a judge (which can take up to 2 weeks), or resolve the matter immediately through gladiatorial combat in the Cage.  The second option is only available if both parties agree to settle their dispute in this manner.  Parties involved in the dispute have the option of calling upon a third party to fight for them but they must do so of their own free will and cannot be bribed or paid off in any way, shape, or form.  Those caught disobeying this edict will face the stiff punishment of being "Chained for Eternity to the Cliffs of Langornith, those being many miles below Embla at the Heart of the World, where the flesh of the morally, spiritually and physically weak will be slowly torn from their bones by the unsurpassed might of the Eldest of the Elemental Beings of the Earth." So as you can see, the authorities take it seriously and don't mess around.

Rules for fighting in the Cage:

1.  No clothes or equipment of any kind is allowed within the cage (save for underclothing to cover ones nether-regions.)

2.  One must fight for oneself (or have a third party which offers to fight in their stead without being bribed or influenced to do so in any way, shape, or form).

3.  The battle will continue until one combatant either falls unconscious, an attempt is made to kill one of the fighters or one is actually killed.

4.  No outsiders are permitted to involve themselves in any way with combat or they will be arrested and imprisoned for a duration of 1 month.

 

Whistling Cave Bazaar

The PCs may catch wind of a secret trade bazaar taking place in Whistling Cave should they succeed on a Gather Information/Diplomacy DC 20 or simply by inquiring with the right people (Mercane) at the right time (late at night).

Whistling Cave is hidden down one of the side passages leading to the Emblanian Mushroom Caves.  The cave is named as such due to a warm wind which pushes up from the deeper Underworld and rushes through these caverns at high speeds, creating a high pitched whistling sound.  This high pitched sound allows those trading here to speak freely without fear of being overheard.  Listen/Perception checks in this area are nearly impossible unless standing directly next to a person and leaning in close.

Whistling Cave itself is quite narrow and large sized creatures will have a tough time squeezing through the tight corridors.

Aside from the Embla entrance, there are two other ways into the  Whistling Cave located over a mile below the city.  The Mercane and other races use these entrances to travel up and meet dwarves and other merchants wishing to trade outside the laws of Embla, thereby avoiding taxes and legal restrictions as well as allowing the trade of elicit substances.  Almost anything normally available on the black market may be found here but for prices between 4-10 times what one would pay on the surface (depending of course of what product is desired).  Almost all spell components are available, as well as body parts, slaves, and necromantic magical items banned by most cities in the Over and Underworld. The Whistling Cave is truly a marvel of commerce and immorality. The chances of finding a paladin here are close to zero.

The following races may be found trading within this cave.  The number appearing (listed to the right) will be determined randomly.  Classes and levels to be determined at GM's discretion, although it is worth remembering that it is a place populated by undesirables and ne'er-do-wells, so disreputable individuals and groups will be the order of the day.

Whistling Cave Bazaar: Races

Drow (2-16)

Dwarf (Dweorg) (4-16)

Dwarf (Dvergr) (1-6)

Dwarf (Zwerc) (0-1)

Half-Elf (1-2)

Half-Orc (1-2)

Human, Vikmordere (0-1)

Mercane 3.5 | PF (2-8)

Svirfneblin 3.5 | PF (1-8)

Other (GM choice)

 

 

 

 

 

Organizations of Embla

The Merchant Circle

The Merchant Circle is a group which handles all trading, mercantile, and commerce related issues with the City of Embla.

The Circle is currently comprised of a group of 10 dwarves, although it is not necessary to be of dwarven ancestry to be elected.  Members of the Merchant Circle are elected based on popular vote and serve a 1 year probationary term before being installed into a serving position on the council.  This is to test the waters and verify that a person has the necessary qualifications and tact for business that is required for the position.

Once installed the member serves another 4 years for a total term of 5 years on the Merchant Circle Council.  Re-election is common and the current members of the Merchant Circle have been serving upwards of 4 decades in total.  Obviously, once a great deal of knowledge and experience is gained, it is hard to replace an individual.  Since Embla is unique within the Underworld in that it accepts those from all walks of life and all races that wish to conduct commerce, it is generally looked down upon or treated with suspicion by the other dwarves of the Underworld.  The position of Merchant Councilman is not a coveted one by the majority of the populace, but there are those dwarves which excel at it and those groups within Embla which revere the council as they are directly responsible for all the years of peace of prosperity which Emblanians have been blessed with.

The information below is given in order to explain why a member of the council is likely to act and react the way he or she might do. Whilst there is little likelihood that a PC will want to work towards becoming a member of the council within the scope of this adventure, understanding a member's ability to treat the PCs with what seems like a "cool disdain" may well be important.

If one of your players has a history of wheeling-and-dealing with other species, you may want to review this and suggest they become involved with the council once the trilogy of adventures is over. If Embla is saved, it becomes an excellent site to base Underworld adventures from in the future.

New Feat: Colorless Mercantile

Prerequisite: At least 5 years mercantile or business experience dealing with at least 20 different cultures, 10 varying and opposing religions, and 6 different races.  You must have resolved all conflicts arising from wildly varying viewpoints.

You are skilled at conducting business with those all races, religions, and walks of life.  You do not differentiate between a member of your own race or another when conducting business negotiations, trade or otherwise.  You are truly unbiased and always provide an even approach to conducting business.  Many know you, trust you, and thus come to you to assist them in their business ventures.  This trust is not given, it is earned (just as this feat must be).

+6 bonus on negotiations (diplomacy) dealing with mercantile, trade, or commerce relations between two or more parties and when acting as an intermediary.

This bonus increases by 4 points when conducting business in a strange or unfamiliar location or between two rival parties.

This bonus decreases by 4 points when forced to conduct business through coercion or threat.

This bonus decreases by 4 points when an ulterior motive is present.

 

Inhabitants of Embla

 

Mayor Torin Stonetooth

Mayor Torin Stonetooth is tall for a dwarf and carries himself with a warrior's stature.  In fact, he was once a member of the Stoneholme Granite Brigade, an elite group of strong warriors which was devoted to the dwarf god as well as stalwart warriors who could make themselves as unmovable as granite itself.  Torin is a friendly fellow unless wronged, but believes trust must be earned and should not be freely given.  Due to these beliefs, Torin chose to re-establish trade relations with the other races a few individuals at a time.  This gave the Merchant Circle time to evaluate the actions of the other races and make decisions to allow mass entry of those races possible again.  The over-arching policy of allowing even the stereotypical "evil" races into Embla for trading purposes has brought about his re-election for the past three decades.

The mayor of Embla has sent a request for help to the nearby city of Stoneholme (mentioned briefly in adventure A5: Winterflower).  The courier returned very recently and brought dire news; it seems Stoneholme has closed its borders and left warning runes on cave walls all around, stating "Entrance denied" and "Do not enter, city closed".  There were also runes a little further in towards the city which read, "Deadly traps" and "Powerful magic" which is when the courier turned back and returned to Embla.

 

Golaren Graybeard

Golaren is the last of the Graybeards.  Long ago he was captured, tortured, and subsequently enslaved by a drow overseer, where he remained for most of his life.  He has been warning the Merchant Circle and the mayor to abandon the city and move north, away from the growing threat of the drow.  He knows that should the drow armies arrive here, Embla will not stand a chance.  When the PCs arrive, Golaren speaks with them briefly and then declares that he is leaving the city for underlands far to the north.  He packs his things and flees the city through the Back Road, taking a small offshoot to head further north.  If the PCs are also taking the Back Road he warns them, "If the drow see you emerge near their city, they will surely trace your route back to the city.  That will be the end of Embla, although its days are already numbered as it is..."

 

Maylorin Obsidianaxe

Maylorin is both head of the Merchant Circle and responsible for maintaining stable communication between the Merchant Circle and the populace, including the mayor.  He is an older dwarf, and has been involved in trading and politics for nearly a century.  He sees the drow threat as very real, but is confident there are always ways and means to resolve such matters.  Since most of the dwarven warriors have been captured, along with their caravans, he has sought help elsewhere.  He has asked Miah to contact his cousin Quorron on the surface to ask for help.  Right now, with the Underworld upset by the drow play for power, no one in this realm is trustworthy and the dwarves must look to an otherwise-impartial outside source.  Many dwarves see this as dishonorable, so Maylorin has performed this action with neither the mayor's consent nor anyone elses for that matter.

When the PCs arrive, Maylorin plans, along with Miah, to plead their case before the mayor in the hope he will approve of Maylorin's plan.  The plan is simple; locate the drow house which is causing the change in behavior within the City of Holoth and eliminate the matron.  Well, it's not really "simple", but it does sound like a good idea and is straightforward; at least Maylorin thinks so.  Better than become slaves of the drow.

 

Chechno

Chechno is a retired hunter turned merchant.  He is rather obese, but still speaks of his hunting days as if they were yesterday.  "We once hunted for 50 days in the Hunting Caves of the Back Road!  We returned to the city of Stoneholme with over 100 vvor horns.  Dwarves sang songs about our triumphant hunt for years afterward!  Ah, to live those days again.  You seem like capable hunters.  If you can bring me 2000 gp worth of vvor pelts, spikes, or horns I will give ye one of my finest magical items collected during my travels.  For every 1000 gp past that, I'll give ye another!"

Vvor are similar to boars of the above world except for that they are typically more intelligent and very much more aggressive.  Also, physical characteristics of the vvor make them quite the intimidating creature, especially when encountered with a pack led by a "big brother", the most aggressive and dangerous of the males.

Vvor pelts are highly valued at 50-100 gp each, vvor spikes fetch 25 gp a piece, whilst the horn of  a "big brother" may fetch upwards of 300 gp and be used in spell components and magical item creation.  Chechno will trade rare magical items for vvor pelts, spikes, and horns.  If the PCs bring 2000 gp worth of vvor parts brought to him, he will grant the PCs a random magical item (roll to determine, although the results can be at the GM's discretion).  He will grant another such magical item for every additional 1000 gp worth of parts they bring, knowing the difficulty of hunting vvor once they have been spooked.

 

 

Visitors to Embla

 

K'Chouk

Little does Maylorin know it, but a drow spy and assassin named K'Chouk has been watching his every move.  K'Chouk was eavesdropping when Maylorin asked Miah to travel to the surface and she was there when Maylorin spoke with the mayor and planted the idea of attacking the responsible drow house directly.

K'Chouk appears as a typical Emblanian dwarven female so as not to arouse suspicion; seeing as not a single drow has visited the city of Embla in the past three months, she would have stuck out like a sore thumb if she wasn't disguised.  Her image is protected by a powerful polymorph spell as well as numerous magical items which prevent scrying and detection.  Since her discovery of a plot against House Gullion, she has traveled back to the city of Holoth to enlist the help of five skilled assassins.  Their targets: the Merchant Circle and the PCs.  They will return to the city of Embla and bide their time.  When the Merchant Circle next meets to discuss a proposition for a direct attack from the mayor and Maylorin (accompanied by the PCs), the assassins will attack.  They intend to use their deadliest poisons and expect the skirmish will last only a few seconds at most.  After they have completed their mission, they will quietly withdraw and return to the city of Holoth awaiting additional orders by Matron Maelora.

 

 

 

 

Entering Embla

Upon entering Embla the PCs will undergo a brief search.  The guards will ask them for any mercantile paperwork or documents from their government,  which should indicate the desire to either seek trade negotiations or an agreement with Embla.  As the PCs try and figure out what to do next, Miah moves to the front of the party and presents the symbol of the Merchant Circle (a pair of clasping hands above which hovers a coin and below which rests a nugget of ore) the guards will instantly grant the party entrance to Embla.

You may use the following read aloud to describe the city, or describe it yourself and then skip to the next read aloud.

The gates part, presenting a majestic yet active city.  Immediately demanding your attention are three gigantic, cone-shaped structures which hang from massive iron chains attached to the ceiling of this vast cavern.  Each structure appears to be formed out of solid crystal and each is a different color.  The first and foremost of the structures is colored pink.  "That's the Trade Gonjola," says Miah. "That's where the Merchant Circle meets and where all trade negotiations and major mercantile decisions are made."  The imposing structure is bound in three places with strips of solid mithril, which assists in holding the delicate structure together.  Torchlight flickers within, illuminating the crystal and casting the shadows of the occupants upon the exterior of structure.  The forms of many, many merchants can be seen ever so faintly wandering the halls within.

Just behind and to the left of the Trade Gonjola is the Celebration Gonjola (Miah explains); this structure is identical to the first except it is made from a deep green crystal.  There is barely one quarter the number of people wandering this gonjola, but that is because it is reserved for family celebrations and other gatherings.

The third and final of the mysterious structures is the Justice Gonjola, located to the right and just behind the Trade Gonjola.  This gonjola is colored with a blue crystal and seems much calmer than the other two.  The people inside seems to walk with utmost purpose and all seems orderly and planned.  "That is where court is held, disagreements between trading parties, mercantile groups, or other disputes are handled there."  After taking in the handy-work of the dwarves your eyes wander to another impressive feat.  The dwarves have taken to building all of their homes into the sides of the cave, elevated far above the ground.  "This prevents invaders or thieves from entering our homes.  Well, it is a deterrent at the very least and keeps the cave rats out."  Miah smiles.  "Visitors to our fair city stay in magically shaped stone-dome houses which are distributed on the east side of town."

"Within this very cave to the North is Granite Falls and the Granite River, which flows across the town and cuts the cave off about one quarter from the limit point.  There are two bridges that allow access to the other side of the cave, which holds two volcanically heated swimming holes, lakes actually.  Then there's the Cage; a fighting arena for those that choose not to settle their disputes in court or feel they are above the law.  Finally there's the guard tower and the mushroom farms off in the eastern caves."

 

Purchasing Goods in Embla

During the PCs' short stay in Embla, they may purchase supplies from any of the local merchants.  Prices are increased due to differences in economy and currency value between the Underworld and Overworld, as well as the recent disruption of standard Underworld trade routes.  Any goods easily obtained or crafted in the Underworld are sold at twice their standard rate.  Goods from the Overworld go for between 4-5 times the standard and many goods are simply unavailable.  The GM may decide what is available or in short supply accordingly.

 

Miah's Estate

Miah motions for you to follow him. "The Merchant Circle should be meeting first thing tomorrow.  Let us go to my home where my wife will make us some mushroom tea and Kvrockian stew with Balak's Blood rolls."

Miah's home is a fairly sizable estate which requires strong arms to reach as a long climb up a dangling rope ladder is required.  Such security seems overdone, but as you heft yourself up the rope ladder and into the cave-side home, you immediately have a sense of security that you have not felt since leaving the surface.

"Please make yourselves at home.  We shall eat, then drink ale, and retire before too late so that we may meet with the Merchant Circle first thing in the morn."

 

Kvrockian Stew with Balak's Blood Rolls

This stew has an amazing medicinal effect, although it may only be prepared by dwarves and does not keep.  PCs who consume the stew are able to replenish hp when they sleep at four times the normal rate.

 

Any PCs that choose to stay up late and keep watch out the large opening in the side of the cave may spot something quite strange.

Secretly roll a Spot/Perception DC 25

Success = "You catch the glimpse of an attractive female dwarf peering into this cave from above!"

This happens so fast the PC almost wonders if he or she was imagining things.  When another PC goes to look, no one is there.

This was in fact the assassin K'Chouk (in disguise thanks to the polymorph spell), who is keeping tabs on Miah and will now notify her team that Overworlders have arrived and tomorrow is the time to take action.  The small group of assassins will immediately position themselves within the meeting chamber of the Merchant Circle in the Trade Gonjola.  Each has a potion of invisibility and protection from detection.  They will drink these potions just as the first of the dwarves opens the doors to the chamber, they will then silently hide in the shadows of the room on the floors, walls and even the ceiling, taking full advantage of their magical spider climb slippers, knowing that those places are where fewest dwarves will be moving around or even perhaps looking. As it happens, inbred caution finds them doing this even with the invisibility in place. Also, although K'Chouk has never seen it happen, she is wary of the invisibility being suddenly dismissed and hopes the shadows will offer some concealment, even for a moment, if that were to happen.

 

Meeting with Maylorin

Miah will take the PCs to Maylorin first thing in the morning.  Maylorin informs the PCs that almost every single trading caravan of the dwarves has been destroyed or captured.  If the PCs managed to save the caravan they met as it was attacked, Maylorin will be very grateful, not least because this will add weight to his argument for an attack.

The drow are blaming the dwarves for "attempting to sneak spies into drow territory," despite the standard trading routes having remained unchanged for decades.  The drow have now engaged every caravan anywhere within twenty miles of the City of Holoth.  There are rumors from visiting races that the drow have in fact claimed anything within twenty miles of Holoth as drow property, and apparently that range is expanding at a rapid rate, so it's not just the dwarves that are suffering.  Soon Embla may become a target as well.  Maylorin gives the PCs a small pin recovered from a drow raid where both sides were decimated, bodies scattered about and left as carrion.  The pin is that of House Gullion.

House Gullion Glyph

Meeting with the Merchant Circle

Read the following when the Merchant Circle finally meets with the PCs:

You enter a large stone floored chamber with pink crystal walls.  The room is lit by the dim pink glow of the crystal illuminated by fiery torches.  Marble steps descend into the chamber proper, where a circular table sits in the dead center of the room.  Filling nine of the seats are members of the Merchant Circle; Maylorin moves to take the tenth seat, positioned of the head of the Merchant Circle.  The eleventh chair is reserved for mayor Torin Stonetooth, who takes his place looking grim-faced.  "Today we have guests," says the mayor, "please, take a seat." The mayor motions at the stairs.  Miah nods at you, saying, "Don't take it personally, normally the Merchant Circle and the mayor won't even allow guests into this chamber during meetings."

First the group discusses a few matters left over from their previous meeting.  Both the mayor and Maylorin seem irritated that the group appears to be stalling, to prevent the PCs from having the time to speak.  Finally after the Circle has finished discussing new trading laws regarding specific types of poisonous mushrooms, the floor is passed to Maylorin.

"Since you've left me with little time, I'll get right to the heart of the matter.  As you know, our trade caravans have been attacked time and time again by the drow from the City of Holoth and our people taken as slaves.  Diplomats attempting to contact the drow have also disappeared, never to be seen again.  Our once great force of Skildpadders and merchants has been reduced  to only a smattering of minor traders and their few mounts."

"From reports obtained after encounters with the drow, it appears that one house is responsible for this shift in behavior."

As he speaks, Maylorin pulls out a drow house insignia pin and sets it upon the table. There is a murmur around the room.

"Indeed, this is the symbol that was found at each and every engagement we've been able to get evidence from."

Maylorin has reached into his pocket again; drawing out his clenched fist, he scatters a dozen or so further pins across the table, all exactly the same as the first. With his re-clenched fist crashing down on the table and his voice raised, Maylorin states,

"This accursed insignia, this bane of the lives of all who live in Embla, is the symbol of House..."

But before Maylorin can finish his sentence, a drow arrow pierces the spot between his neck and shoulder, black liquid dripping off the arrow as it flies towards him, and Maylorin immediately begins to convulse in agony before sliding out of his seat and under the table.  The entire Circle erupts in chaotic uproar, whilst arrows and throwing daggers also coated in drow poison seem to appear out of nowhere, slamming into the dwarves seated before Maylorin.  Blood spills across the table, dripping onto the floor as the shadowy forms of lithe drow assassins rush across the walls and ceiling.

The drow assassins all wear slippers of spider climb and use poisoned magical daggers.  These weapons and magical items are specifically enchanted to self-destruct if any non-drow attempts to use them.  If any of the drow assassins' equipment is recovered and touched by a PC, that person will suffer 1 point of damage as the item explodes into powdery dust.

 

Vidrefacte: scrying attempt

Matron Maelora of House Gullion uses the Vidrefacte to scry upon her assassins and watches this battle unfold.  If the PCs defeat her assassins, she will begin to keep a very close eye on them.

She will check in on the PCs once per day to take note of their whereabouts and status.

If the PCs begin to move in the direction of the City of Holoth she will begin to check in 2 times per day.

Once they are within 2-3 miles of the city she will check in between 3-5 times per day and once crossing into the city she will keep a watchful eye on them for the duration of their stay.

 

Drow Assassins (6)

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

K'Chouk

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

Post Combat

After the combat has concluded, only Miah and Maylorin are left alive. Whilst Maylorin managed to shake off the effects of the poison and is severely damaged,  the rest of the Merchant Circle has been killed and the mayor appears mortally wounded.  Maylorin and Miah will ask for the PCs help, before rushing the mayor to the local temple located in the Horn Gonjola, with or without them.  The mayor is indeed mortally wounded and will die before they make it there.  If there is a healer in the party and they step forward to use their skills or magic on the mayor, they can save his life.  He will reward them with an ancient dagger called "Stonetooth" (a dagger +4) that has been passed down through his family for many generations.

Before the mayor is taken away to the temple (or just after the PCs save his life), he begs them to move ahead with their plans.  "Strike hard and fast.  You must stop this drow house or they will be the death of us all!  Take Miah as your guide and be off to the city of Holoth, the nest of these venomous vipers!"

 

Pending Attack

The PCs would take heed to leave immediately, as an additional contingent of House Gullion assassins are already in route to Embla to search for them and finish the job.  When the assassins arrive they will find the mayor (if still alive), as well as Maylorin, and torture them for information.  When they find that the PCs have taken the back road they will rapidly pursue the party, just less than one day behind the PCs.  Following the assassins is a large contingent of soldiers from the City of Holoth which will use the chaos and drop in morale to its advantage, sacking the city and slaying all who get in their way.  Times are about to grow very dark for the fair city of Embla.

 

Adventure Plot Direction

From this point forward the adventure can go in three main directions, detailed as Path A, Path B, and Path C.

Path A: Return to the surface and warn the village of Rybalka of the potential threat from below.  Restock on supplies/hire additional muscle.  (Shown as "Alternative Path of PCs" on Underworld Map.)

Path B: Find a back door to the drow City of Holoth by following Miah's lead down the "Back Road".  (Shown as "Path of PCs" on Underworld Map.)

Path C: The PCs decide to gather what warriors are left in Embla and guide an assault on the main gates of the City of Holoth.   Note: Path C starts at the mid-point of Path A.  (Shown as second half of "Alternative Path of PCs" on Underworld Map.)

 

Random Encounters in the Underworld

Random Encounters:

Once the PCs leave the safety of the City of Embla you may use this random encounter table as you see fit.  Alternatively you may simply introduce encounters of your choice from the Underworld monsters available in the appendix.

Download Random Encounter Generator

 

Important Notes for the GM

IMPORTANT NOTES: Regardless of which path the PCs choose two things are certain.  First, Matron Maelora of House Gullion is now aware of their presence and second, a group of assassins (almost twice the size as the first) now tracks them.  The assassins are using magical potions to keep themselves awake and thus require no sleep.  Upon the second night camping in the Underworld the group of drow assassins will attack whilst the PCs sleep.

 

Drow Assassins (10)
Sneak attack! 

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

 

Map of the Underworld - Path A & C

click to enlarge

 

 

Path A: Return to the Surface

 

A1 - Return to the Surface

Noted as "Alternative Path of PCs" on the Underworld Map.

If the PCs return to the surface, it will take them between 3-5 days in total depending on their path and any snags along the way.  The only route which they know for certain is the way they came, back up through Krelgar Keep.  They finally reach Rybalka and warn mayor Igor Leonid who is busy with his own problems above ground including a strange tribe of blue-skinned orcs which has been raiding travelers in the area.  Nevertheless, the mayor will send 15 warriors along with the PCs, people identical to the  "Nine Guards from Rybalka" (noted on the statistics page) to help in the effort.  It will take the PCs a little longer than they thought to return to the Underworld as the blue-skinned orcs have recently been near Krelgar Keep and are temporarily storing two huge beasts within the first couple floors of the keep for a future planned raid on the village of Rybalka.  The PCs will have to deal with these beasts before proceeding.

(2) Large or Huge Monsters - GM's choice

PCs that choose to return to the surface this late in the game are making a dire mistake.  The extra days it takes the PCs to return to the surface and warn Igor Leonid of the impending attack on Rybalka gives the drow of House Gullion enough time to launch their assault on Embla.   By the time the PCs return to Embla they will realize their mistake.  The Long Road is littered with drow patrols and the PCs are attacked at regular intervals on their journey to the city.  There is a 50% chance a drow patrol will be encountered at the base of Krelgar Keep, and for every quarter mile closer to Embla the PCs get, the drow encounters increase by 10% cumulatively until there is a patrol every time.  Use 1d4+4 "Drow Raiders" from the statistics page for the drow patrols encountered.  If the PCs are not killed, but simply poisoned or knocked unconscious, they will be bound and taken to slave camps either in Embla (20% chance) or in the City of Holoth (80% chance).

 

A2 - Fall of Embla

A lot has happened since the PCs left Embla.  The drow built up a sizable force and launched a full scale assault on the city using other Holoth Houses as fodder for the front lines.  The Matron made sure to order all of these drow to wear a small House Gullion pin during the conflict so that their life force would be channeled directly to her.  Thus, with the sacking of Embla and the subsequent enslavement of her citizens, House Gullion has grown in power in more ways than one.

The city is now mostly empty save for a large contingent of drow soldiers stationed here and there to catch stragglers and hold the city until House Gullion can install a new mayor who will oversee all trade relations and garner a huge percentile of all transactions for the house.

If the PCs attempt to enter Embla they will be overwhelmed by drow warriors and either captured and enslaved or slain outright if they resist.

(120) Drow Fighters (Gullion)

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

(50) Drow Fighter/Wizards (Zephroth)

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

 

A3 - Finding Direction

If the PCs are able to somehow bypass the drow in the Embla area, they may possibly continue toward the City of Holoth, but without guidance may find that they quickly become lost in the winding, climbing-then-descending caves and corridors of the Underworld.

Underground Exploration

For Underground exploration I highly recommend the Dungeoneer's Survival Guide from AD&D 1st edition.  It will give you lots of ideas for interesting side quests, encounters, and obstacles for the PCs to overcome as they attempt to find the way to Holoth amongst numerous Drow patrols and the numerous other dangers of the Underworld.

If you can't locate a PDF of the Dungeoneer's Survival Guide, another newer book I would recommend is the Forgotten Realms UNDERDARK book released by WotC for D&D 3.5.

After much wandering the PCs either find the Back Road, or end up having to take the Main Road directly into Holoth.  Proceed to B2 if the party is able to somehow sneak through Embla and locate this route, otherwise jump to A4 for the Main Road.

Drow Patrols
(GM's discretion)

(2-8) Drow Fighters (Gullion)

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

(1-4) Drow Fighter/Wizards (Zephroth)

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

 

Path C: Storming the Gates

Path C begins with A4 and continues to A7.

 

Help from Embla

The PCs may gather the following resources from the City of Embla:

Diplomacy Skill Check

DC* / Resources

10 / 30 1st level Dwarf Fighters

15 / 20 5th level Dwarf Fighters

20 / 10 3rd level Dwarf Clerics

25 / 50 Healing Potions

30 / 10 Extra Healing Potions

32 / 500 gp in additional resources

33 / +500 gp "

35 / +1000 gp "

40 / +2000 gp "
(total of 4000 gp)

 

*If a PC makes a Diplomacy DC they obtain the resources described on that line and everything listed prior.

 

 

 

A4 / C1 - The Main Road

The main road is surprisingly absent of the large groups of drow patrols that were here just a week ago.  This is due to the attack on Embla now requiring additional forces to hold the city while the rest lead the newly captured slaves back to House Holoth, where they must stay until all the slaves are processed and broken lest there be an uncontrollable slave revolt.

However, despite the reduced patrols, taking the main road into the City of Holoth is a brave ,if not foolhardy tactic, and the PCs will pay dearly for their indiscretion.

 

 

 

A5 / C2 - Confronting the Drow

The PCs will have to deal with numerous confrontations with drow patrols and troops

As the PCs near Holoth, there is a cumulative 10% chance every fifteen minutes of travel, beginning 2 miles away from the city, that they will encounter a drow patrol containing 6 drow fighters (Gullion) and 6 drow fighter/wizards.  As they approach the city itself, they must contend with a sizable force of drow as listed below.

(6) Drow Fighters (Gullion)

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

(6) Drow Fighter/Wizards (Zephroth)

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

A6 / C3 - Drow City of Holoth: Front Door

Holoth: Main Gates

As you near the City of Holoth you view a sea of lights floating within a vast cavern.  The cavern has a bluish tint to it, which can be seen emanating from the rocks all around, and the great stalagmites and stalactites within the great cave. Access to the cavern ahead is blocked by walls over 50 feet tall and reinforced with thick black stones.  Atop the ramparts of this wall can be seen a large force of drow warriors and archers.  A spider seemingly the size of a small village rests just outside the gates, waiting for something to happen.  The gates themselves are 30 feet tall and made from solid black metal.  Sharp barbs stick out in a very orderly and purposeful manner, placed there to gore any would-be intruders and never let them go.  A mechanism for a portcullis is also visible, although the gate itself appears to be open at this time.

Unbeknownst to the PCs, a number of giant spiders rests just inside the city walls.

If the PCs are not careful to take cover they will be spotted by the drow (Spot/Perception +8), who will order the archers and wizards to fire at will at the PCs.  If this fails, the guards will order all of the giant spiders over the wall and finally engage the PCs with the ballistae should that fail.

If the PCs are able to keep hidden, it will become increasingly difficult to enter the city without being noticed because of the scrying that is taking place, unless they are able to use a powerful illusion or polymorph themselves into drow or giant spiders.  Even if they are able to change form into drow, they will be asked for their house insignia.  If they cannot present it they will be further questions and investigated with magic, where their identities will be uncovered.  Once found out they will be scheduled for execution (as enemies powerful enough to sneak into the city should not be held as slaves; best to be rid of them).

If the PCs are able to either fight or sneak past all the City of Holoth's defenses you may continue with the next read-aloud.

 


City Walls
Hewn stone (3 ft. thick)
Hardness: 8
HP: 540
Break DC: 50

 

Ballista (6)
Ballista: a ballista is essentially a Huge heavy crossbow fixed in place. Its size makes it hard for most creatures to aim it. Thus, a Medium creature takes a –4 penalty on attack rolls when using a ballista, and a Small creature takes a –6 penalty. It takes a creature smaller than Large two full-round actions to reload the ballista after firing.

Damage: 3d8
Critical: 19–20
Range: 120 ft.
Typical Crew: 1

Monstrous Spiders, Large (8)

3.5 | Pathfinder(Black Widow)

 

Monstrous Spiders, Huge (2)

3.5 | Pathfinder(Tarantula)

 

Drow City Guardians (50)

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

Progressing into the city proper, you are finally able to take in the beauty that is the City of Holoth, home of the Drow.  Thin towers apparently made from the rock itself, climb straight up toward the ceiling of this great cavern.  Symbols of black spiders and buildings constructed to resemble the venerated creatures are everywhere. You are not certain as to your destination within the city, but as you progress further you see that more resistance is ahead.  There are many civilians roaming the roads and unfamiliar buildings and corridors, as well as two formidable guard towers from which flows a steady stream of foot soldiers which take to the streets, seemingly in search of someone or something.  It's not going to be easy to continue, even if you can figure out which way to go.

Tolgorith Tower will not be a familiar place to the PCs, so they have the option of using their own divining magic to discern its location, or disguising themselves as Drow and attempting to converse with the citizens of the city.  The latter will be difficult unless the PCs are well versed either the Drow tongue or their sign language (which is generally a secret which only the Drow know).  Another option is of course the Comprehend Languages spell, but even with this there is always the chance a Drow will recognize the PCs as outsiders and summon a guard just to be certain the PCs are who they say they are.  In times of war, everyone is suspect.

Feel free to introduce numerous obstacles here or if you want to get right to the action bypass this section completely and drop the PCs at the entrance to Tolgorith Tower in A14.

 

Holoth: Guard Towers (2)

As the PCs progress into the city additional guards will stream from the guard towers to control them whilst ballistae from above will fire upon them.

Ballista (1 per)
Ballista: A ballista is essentially a Huge heavy crossbow fixed in place. Its size makes it hard for most creatures to aim it. Thus, a Medium creature takes a –4 penalty on attack rolls when using a ballista, and a Small creature takes a –6 penalty. It takes a creature smaller than Large two full-round actions to reload the ballista after firing.

Damage: 3d8
Critical: 19–20
Range: 120 ft.
Typical Crew: 1

Drow City Guardians (20) 

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

Holoth: Reinforcements

After the alarm has been sounded additional reinforcements will appear within 1d10+5 minutes for the duration of the PCs stay within the city.  Note: this only occurs if the PCs have taken the "Front Door" approach.  After 15 such conflicts the reinforcements will stop coming.  The reinforcements will not appear so long as the PCs are within Tolgorith Tower.

Reinforcements

(4) Drow City Guardians (reinforcements)

3.5 | Pathfinder

Arrive every 1d10+5 minutes within City of Holoth

 

 

A7 / C4 - Arrival at Tolgorith Tower

Continue with A15: Usurper of Souls but omit the Vidre as they have already attacked and dealt with by a strengthened force of House Gullion drow.  The extra life force from the drow that died at Embla along with the ceremoniously sacrificed  Emblanian dwarves has replenished Matron Maelora's Vidrefacte (which she now claims as her own.)

 

 

 

 

Map of the Underworld - Path B

click to enlarge

 

Path B: No Time to Waste

 

B1 - Finding the Back Door

Noted as "Path of PCs" on the Underworld Map.

If the PCs accept Miah's offer for assistance, he will begin to lead them down the "Back Road", essentially the rear entry into the City of Holoth, which just happens to empty out quite close to Tolgorith Tower, home of House Gullion.

The "Back Road" is not much of a road at all.  Instead one finds themselves wandering down a long cavern with large boulders sited here, a small pond over there, and so many caves and passages crawling all over it in all directions one could easily become quite lost.  Luckily the dwarf guide Miah is there to lead the PCs along the way, keeping them on the main path and avoiding unseen obstacles with his keen dwarven instincts.  He warns the PCs that this road is not always safe and there are many dangerous locations and creatures on the way.  Despite this fact, the route is surely much safer than attempting to enter a drow city through the front door!

 

Along the way there are many dangers which are detailed as follows.

Topography

Abysses

Vast open voids which, whilst rare, provide for a nearly impassible expanse of empty space.  Most times one must find alternative routes around or scale precarious paths which lead around such voids.

 

Caves

The most common topographical feature found in the Underworld is that of the cave.  While the word summons visions of a specific setting, caves are as varied as topography on the surface world.  Sometimes a cave can be just that; a single cave perhaps formed with limestone and inhabited by bats and other small vermin. But at other times it can be a complex series of caverns delving hundreds of miles deep into the planet and filled with all manner of foul beasts.  A single wrong turn could result in the PCs being thrown into a three dimensional maze which could result in fatigue, starvation and even death.  Death does not always come at the end of a blade, but sometimes through sheer stupidity or ignorance.  Luckily for the PCs, they have Miah as a guide; can you imagine what would happen if he met his end during this journey?

Types of Caves

Types of Caves

Boulder Cave: A cave that is essentially the spaces between fallen rock, also known as a talus cave.

Cavern: A large chamber within a cave.

Dead Cave: A cave with no water of any kind.

Epigenic Cave: A cave formed by the action of surface waters descending into the ground and dissolving rock.

Gallery: A large horizontal chamber.

Hypogenic Cave: A cave formed by water rising up from below and dissolving the rock, usually a result of two chemically different types of water mixing together.

Lake: A standing body of water.

Lava Tube: A cave formed from cooling lava as it flows away from a volcanic vent.

Live or "Wet" Cave: A cave with flowing water or perhaps a lake.

Maze Cave: Several cave systems interconnected making up a three-dimensional maze.

Ossuary: A fossil chamber (cave filled with bones).

Spring:A natural source of water rising up through the cracks of the rock floor or the moist soil of the cave floor.  Sometimes these grow to floor small puddles or lakes.  Most are tainted with toxins from the adjacent rocks, but sometimes the water is fresh or laden only with drinkable and even healthy mineral deposits.

Tectonic Cave: A cave formed when large slabs of solid rock move apart.

 

B2 - The Back Road

While the Back Road will grant the PCs a safer way to enter the City of Holoth, the path itself is by no means safe.  If the PCs choose to enter every single cave and side passage along the way they will stall their arrival at the City of Holoth, which could grant House Gullion and the Matron extra time to gather additional life force and energy for the Vidrefacte.  Resourceful and wise PCs will safeguard their precious resources such as food, water, and magic; saving up for the final confrontation against the drow must surely be a priority.  Those that wish to delve into side caves and investigate unrelated leads may do so, but at the expense of their own resources, which could ultimately lead to the party's demise.  Remind the PCs that they are a long way from home and new supplies such as fresh water, food, and rope are very hard if not impossible to come by in the deep caves of the Underworld.

After traveling a couple miles through the meandering main cave system known as the "Back Road", the PCs reach the caverns shown below entering into area 1a. and exiting after passing through area 7.

Where to place your encounters

Note that both the "Back Road" locations and the "Hunting Caves" may be used by GMs anywhere they wish along the journey.  GMs that want to prolong the excitement may even wish to place some of the caves further apart so the PCs must travel greater distances before reaching each encounter.  It is important to get the point across to your players that they are deep underground and far from civilization.  There's no simple and straight cave with a flat floor wandering through the Underworld.  Within every cave and passageway waits a different challenge be it a crevasse, dangerous cliff, or waterfall cascading down the edge of a massive cliff face.

Whilst placing the following locations wherever you wish will not adversely affect the outcome of the adventure, it is suggested that you place the Fungi Forest just before exiting the "Back Road" cave system into the City of Holoth as allies for the attack can be gained here.

 

The Hunting Caves

These caves go on for many miles and are littered with small crevasses filled with cave rats and other vermin.  The noble vvor beasts roam these caverns on the hunt which never ends.  Vvor are similar to boars of the above world except for that vvor are typically a bit more intelligent and very aggressive.  Also, physical characteristics of the vvor make them quite the intimidating creature, especially when encountered with a pack led by a "big brother", the most aggressive and dangerous of the males.

Vvor pelts are highly valued at 50-100 gp each, Vvor spikes fetch 25 gp a piece, whilst the horn of a "big brother" may fetch upwards of 300 gp and be used in spell components and magical item creation.  Chechno in Embla will trade rare magical items for Vvor pelts, spikes, and horns.  If the PCs bring 2000 gp worth of Vvor parts brought to him, he will grant the PCs a random magical item (roll to determine, although of course they can be at the GM's discretion).  He will grant another such magical item for every additional 1000 gp worth of parts they bring past that.

PCs that wish to hunt vvor may do so, but time wasted here may prevent them from arriving at Tolgorith Tower before Matron Maelora's power increases.  Keep track of how much time is wasted in these caves hunting.

Vvor

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

click to enlarge

1a. Lake Vaihtualohikaarme

Vaihtualohikaarme, an albino bronze dragon, lives in this cave, having been driven out of his previous home by older white dragons when they found that he wasn't one of their kind. His condition had always left him an outsider from his own kind, but this situation was made much worse when he donned a cursed item, the Cervelliere of Opposite Alignment that he constantly wears. This round, close-fitting steel skull cap looks unremarkable but changed Vaihtualohikaarme to a thoroughly evil and despicable character; his transformation to Chaotic Evil was particularly pronounced as he had tried hard to be strongly lawful and good in order to show his albino coloring wasn't anything to do with some distant white dragon heritage.

His home is a large lake that has a central underwater grotto containing treasure and a sleeping den. Vaihtualohikaarme has added a narrow  chimney from the surface of the lake into the grotto so that it is a dry space with a constant temperature. This chimney is slightly less than 2 feet wide, but the dragon makes use of his shape change ability to enter this. A boat is moored to the chimney, but it is often sunk beneath the surface to keep it hidden. 

Vaihtualohikaarme's preferred form is that of a hard-bitten deep gnome fighter-sorcerer, with the boat as part of this cover story. He will spend days in this form, roaming around the area he lives in and disposing of any and all interlopers. Individuals or pairs are killed immediately, whilst groups are followed and picked off one by one until they leave the area or are all dead; in fact once he has killed a group member, Vaitualohikaarme enjoys leaving notes stating that the person has decided to strike out on their own, if he can, as this often causes the rest of the group to split up to undertake a search and become easier targets.

 

Vaihtualohikaarme has spent a lot of time turning the water of his lake acidic, using repulsion gas to taint the contents and turn it into one huge trap. He has found that the combination of mineral-rich water and his lightning breath weapon activates the acid into a weakened version of his repulsion gas, giving him two "attacks" at once, and he will use his lightning breath attack on any boats crossing the lake so the occupants are hit by both it and the repulsion gas trap the following round. The weakened gas effect is countered by covering the mouth and nose with a wet cloth, although not using water from the lake. If water from the lake is used, the Will DC is the same as a direct breath attack from Vaihtualohikaarme.

Repulsion Gas Trap

CR 5

Type: Mechanical

Search/Perception: DC 25

Disable Device: DC 18 (cover mouth and nose)

Trigger: Spell/spell effect trigger (lightning bolt); automatic reset

Attack: Gas; never miss; onset delay (1 round); spell effect (mass suggestion, DC 20 Will save resists, move away from the dragon for 1d6+6 rounds); multiple targets (all targets in an 80-ft.-by-5-ft. line)

 

A number of smaller creatures live in the cave and lake. Vaihtualohikaarme tolerates these as they act as a buffer between him and anything that enters his cavern. Generally he keeps his urge to kill and eat these creatures in check, not least because his 3 create food and water spells are still currently sufficient to feed him each day, but getting on the wrong side of him isn't the way to guarantee a long and prosperous life.

Notable creatures in the cavern include:

Ceiling/flying

3 darkmantle swarms (8 creatures per swarm)  3.5 | PF

2 cloaker mobs (4 creatures per mob) that will flock together if the danger to them is particularly high.  3.5 | PF

Lake

10 troglodyte zombies 3.5 / brine zombies PF swim in this lake.  Vaihtualohikaarme sent 20 living trogs off to find it some prey and treasure; 16 of them came back as zombies and 10 of these remain, moving about in the lake in a random way. They group together and make their towards anything that is under the water or on the surface of it, whether swimming or in a boat. If Vaihtualohikaarme is with whoever or whatever is disturbing the surface, they simply pass close by. Otherwise they attack.

1 stone golem 3.5 | PF that walks in an endless counter-clockwise circle at the bottom of the lake, around the grotto and about 30 feet from it. Vaihtualohikaarme doesn't really know what to do with it; it "objects" every time he's tried to stop it. But does attack anything that comes his new home, so Vaihtualohikaarme isn't all that bothered.

Cavern surround

12 phantom fungi, 3.5 | PF dotted around the cavern at points very close to the numbers on a clock face

2 gargantuan monstrous centipedes 3.5 | PF that have the run of the place.

 

A mated pair of ropers has recently moved into the cavern, attracted by the vermin Vaihtualohikaarme allows to live there. Vaihtualohikaarme is unsure what to do about the two of them as he and they are pretty evenly matched. There have been a few run-ins and he knows that they are able to resist his spells and aren't affected by his lightning breath. He can move them about with his repulsion gas and cause damage as normal, but has also experienced their strength-draining ability, so is wary of them. He periodically casts fog cloud and tries to observe them from as close as he can, taking advantage of the total concealment it provides.

If the PCs talk with Vaihtualohikaarme (most likely because he is in deep gnome form), he will offer them the pick of two of his magic items, one medium and one minor, OR money and items worth 5,000 gp PLUS anything the ropers have, if they dispose of them. He'll also offer to cast fog cloud prior to the attack if the PCs think it would be useful.

The chance of him keeping to this bargain depends on how quickly the party does the job; for each round longer than 3 that it takes the party, there is a cumulative 15% chance Vaihtualohikaarme will attack once they finish.

Rounds taken to dispose of the ropersChance of Vaihtualohikaarme attacking at the end of the encounter
1-30%
415%
530%
645%
760%
875%
990%
10100%

 

Ropers

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

The grotto in the middle of the lake  is linked to the surface by a roughly 2 feet wide, 25 feet deep chimney. This has hand and footholds carved into the side of it. Halfway down the chimney is a trap.

Shatter trap

CR 3

Type: Magic device

Search/Perception: DC 27

Disable Device: DC 27

Trigger: Touch trigger; automatic reset

Attack: Spell effect (shatter, 7th level sorcerer, DC 17 Will save negates); all items weighing less than 7 lbs. in a 5 ft. spread

 

At the bottom of the chimney is another trap that Vaihtualohikaarme avoids by dropping into the chamber below.

Touch of Idiocy trap

CR 3

Type: Magic device

Search/Perception: DC 27

Disable Device: DC 27

Trigger: Touch trigger; automatic reset

Attack: Spell effect (touch of idiocy, 7th level sorcerer, no save); 1d6 penalty to Int, Wis and Cha

 

The bottom of the grotto contains all of Vaihtualohikaarme's treasure. He has a real passion for gems hanging from chains and keeps these displayed on one wall. Many of the other gems in his hoard also show signs of having previously been jewellery and are laid out on a shelf underneath the main display. This area is also protected by a shatter trap which will cut the value of the gems by 75% if they fail their save and become flawed with cracks.

Shatter trap

CR 3

Type: Magic device

Search/Perception: DC 27

Disable Device: DC 27

Trigger: Touch trigger; automatic reset

Attack: Spell effect (shatter, 7th level sorcerer, DC 17 Will save negates); all items weighing less than 7 lbs. in a 5 ft. spread

 

Vaihtualohikaarme - Albino Adult Bronze Dragon

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

 

1b.  Wrong Turn

Miah takes a wrong turn here (it's been awhile since he traversed these caves) and begins to climb a massive stalagmite in an attempt to progress into a series of cave above.  He uses a grappling hook with rope and pitons (treat as climber's kit).  See "Climbing" below.

Characters may choose to use Miah's rope or scale the cave wall itself, or alternatively use a spell to achieve the same results.  Those who choose to climb the slick cave wall may do so at DC 20 (15 for rocky handholds, modified +5 for slickness and unfamiliarity with terrain).

If the PCs are on their own and miraculously made it past the ,row forces occupying Embla, leading to them fining the Back Road, you may give them an honest choice at this point.  They may use any abilities or spells that they wish and you may decide at your discretion if these methods shed any light on the correct path or not.

Remember that not all paths are shown on these maps, there are always small offshoot caverns and side corridors.  So, if you wish to use the encounters located in the upper caverns elsewhere in the PCs journey, feel free to do so!

Climbing

Climb Check

With a successful Climb check, you can advance up, down, or across a slope, a wall, or some other steep incline (or even a ceiling with handholds) at one-quarter your normal speed. A slope is considered to be any incline at an angle measuring less than 60 degrees; a wall is any incline at an angle measuring 60 degrees or more.

A Climb check that fails by 4 or less means that you make no progress, and one that fails by 5 or more means that you fall from whatever height you have already attained.

A climber’s kit gives you a +2 circumstance bonus on Climb checks.

The DC of the check depends on the conditions of the climb. Compare the task with those on the following table to determine an appropriate DC.

ClimbExample Surface or Activity
DC
0A slope too steep to walk up, or a knotted rope with a wall to brace against.
5A rope with a wall to brace against, or a knotted rope,or a rope affected by the rope trick spell.
10A surface with ledges to hold on to and stand on, such as a very rough wall or a ship’s rigging.
15Any surface with adequate handholds and footholds (natural or artificial), such as a very rough natural rock surface or a tree, or an unknotted rope, or pulling yourself up when dangling by your hands.
20An uneven surface with some narrow handholds and footholds, such as a typical wall in a dungeon or ruins.
25A rough surface, such as a natural rock wall or a brick wall.
25An overhang or ceiling with handholds but no footholds.
A perfectly smooth, flat, vertical surface cannot be climbed.
Climb DCExample Surface or Activity
Modifier1
1. These modifiers are cumulative; use any that apply.
-10Climbing a chimney (artificial or natural) or other location where you can brace against two opposite walls (reduces DC by 10).
-5Climbing a corner where you can brace against perpendicular walls (reduces DC by 5).
5Surface is slippery (increases DC by 5).

You need both hands free to climb, but you may cling to a wall with one hand while you cast a spell or take some other action that requires only one hand. While climbing, you can’t move to avoid a blow, so you lose your Dexterity bonus to AC (if any). You also can’t use a shield while climbing.

Any time you take damage while climbing, make a Climb check against the DC of the slope or wall. Failure means you fall from your current height and sustain the appropriate falling damage.

 

Accelerated Climbing

You try to climb more quickly than normal. By accepting a -5 penalty, you can move half your speed (instead of one-quarter your speed).

 

Making Your Own Handholds and Footholds

You can make your own handholds and footholds by pounding pitons into a wall. Doing so takes 1 minute per piton, and one piton is needed per 3 feet of distance. As with any surface that offers handholds and footholds, a wall with pitons in it has a DC of 15. In the same way, a climber with a handaxe or similar implement can cut handholds in an ice wall.

 

Catching Yourself When Falling

It’s practically impossible to catch yourself on a wall while falling. Make a Climb check (DC = wall’s DC + 20) to do so. It’s much easier to catch yourself on a slope (DC = slope’s DC + 10).

 

Catching a Falling Character While Climbing

If someone climbing above you or adjacent to you falls, you can attempt to catch the falling character if he or she is within your reach. Doing so requires a successful melee touch attack against the falling character (though he or she can voluntarily fore-go any Dexterity bonus to AC if desired). If you hit, you must immediately attempt a Climb check (DC = wall’s DC + 10). Success indicates that you catch the falling character, but his or her total weight, including equipment, cannot exceed your heavy load limit or you automatically fall. If you fail your Climb check by 4 or less, you fail to stop the character’s fall but don’t lose your grip on the wall. If you fail by 5 or more, you fail to stop the character’s fall and begin falling as well.

See also: epic usages of Climb.

 

Action

Climbing is part of movement, so it’s generally part of a move action (and may be combined with other types of movement in a move action). Each move action that includes any climbing requires a separate Climb check. Catching yourself or another falling character doesn’t take an action.

 

Special

You can use a rope to haul a character upward (or lower a character) through sheer strength. You can lift double your maximum load in this manner.

A halfling has a +2 racial bonus on Climb checks because halflings are agile and surefooted.

The master of a lizard familiar gains a +3 bonus on Climb checks.

If you have the Athletic feat, you get a +2 bonus on Climb checks.

A creature with a climb speed has a +8 racial bonus on all Climb checks. The creature must make a Climb check to climb any wall or slope with a DC higher than 0, but it always can choose to take 10, even if rushed or threatened while climbing. If a creature with a climb speed chooses an accelerated climb (see above), it moves at double its climb speed (or at its land speed, whichever is slower) and makes a single Climb check at a -5 penalty. Such a creature retains its Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if any) while climbing, and opponents get no special bonus to their attacks against it. It cannot, however, use the run action while climbing.

 

Synergy

If you have 5 or more ranks in Use Rope, you get a +2 bonus on Climb checks made to climb a rope, a knotted rope, or a rope-and-wall combination.

Climbing Rules licensed for public use under the terms of the Open Game License v1.0a.

 

 

2.  Petrous Lair

A particularly nasty petrous calls this cavern home.  Although he has recently fed he won't deny a free meal that comes wandering into his cave.  The petrous is nearly invisible hidden among the stalagmites and rock formations.  He uses his freeze ability to remain completely motionless while the PCs progress into his cave.  Since the petrous obtains a +26 to stealth and may take 20 on his stealth check that totals 46.  It is highly unlikely that any PC will notice the petrous is within the cave unless using a form of magical detection.

Combat: Petrous

Petrous

3.5 | Pathfinder

As soon as the PCs pass by he launches his surprise attack attempting to grab (ex) a PC to consume.

Hidden in a back corner of this cavern is a large pile of petrous dung.  If one was so inclined, they could search through the rotting refuse and retrieve the items that survived the petrous's intense digestive process.  The petrous has consumed dvergr, drow, and many other humanoids which wander these caves from time to time, along with various cave beasts.

The dung pile is alive with common cave rats and swarms of disgusting insects.  Any attempt to search through the pile causes a PC 1d4 damage from insect or rodent bites per round.  Any fire related spell should suffice to drive away the vermin, although they will return in 3 rounds multiplied by the level of spell cast.

Petrous Treasure (located in dung pile)

The following may be found within the petrous dung pile (based on Search/Perception result):

10 - Ring of Clumsiness

15 - Medallion of Thought Projection

20 - Ring of Sustenance

25 - Bracers of Archery, Greater

30 - Lens of Detection

35 - Rod of Flame Extinguishing

40 - Mace of Smiting

45 - Ring of Freedom of Movement

*Example: If a player obtains a 25 they obtain the items from 25, 20, 15, and 10.  If a player rolls a 15 they obtain the items from 15 and 10.

 

 

3.  Bloody Climb

A series of slippery handholds leads to the upper caverns and the PCs may climb them with a Climb DC 20.  Fall = 1d6 damage per 10 feet vertical, for every additional 10 feet climbed add 1d4 damage per 10 feet to the roll for tumbling down a slope.  At the end of the slope is the fall back down to the lower caverns which may cause between 4d6-10d6 damage depending on if the PCs stop their descent prior to the fall or not Acrobatics DC 20 to roll and grab a handhold or any rope if left behind.  Alternatively the PC may roll a Climb DC 25 to cease their descent with sheer strength by digging their arms and legs into the sharp rock, slowing their descent down the slope and causing 3d6 damage (which is considerably better than falling the rest of the way).

A swarm of vampire bats make their homes in the slanted cavern ceiling above this area.  As the PCs start to climb the bats grow restless and assume the Petrous or purple worm (which live in the caves above) must be on the move again.  This causes them to leave their roost and attack the PCs once they realize fresh blood is below.

In order for the PCs to properly fight or drive them off the PCs may have to remove at least one hand.  This increases the Climb DC to 30 if they are holding on during combat.  A fall could prove quite painful or fatal as described in the section above.

Swarm of Vampire Bats (3)

Treat this swarm as the equivalent of three regular bat swarms due to the number and strength of the bats within!

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

 

4.  Dead Cave

This cave was once teeming with life and home to a wide array of subterranean flora and fauna.  About 50 years ago, the water source which fed this cave from above dried up.  Ever since then, cracks have formed in the walls and ceiling, stalactites and stalagmites have cracked off at their bases, and piles of falling debris have formed in the corners of the cave.  Myriad tiny skeletons litter the floor, the results of a dwindling food supply which previously fed a veritable army of cave mice and miniature ice lizards.

The complete skeleton of a Giant Cave Bear stands in the middle of this cave, illuminated by a thin beam of light which works its way down from the surface through a couple cracks in the ceiling of this cave.  The cave itself is very dry with piles of debris in the corners and broken off stalagmites as far as you can see.  Hundreds of tiny mouse and lizard skeletons litter this cave and appear to have died many years ago.

The bear skeleton may or may not be undead with the final decision being left up to the GM.

The entire cave contains broken-off dead stalagmites and stalactites; in fact if the PCs move into this cavern, the noise caused by their footfalls and blathering mouths may cause the remaining stalactites above to crack loose and come crashing down on unsuspecting party members!

Roll d% if any of the PCs raise their voice or tromp about carrying heavy equipment, weapons, or armor.  Obviously a spell cast or magical item used may also trigger the falling stalactites.

Falling Stalactites

01-50: A couple stalactites fall from the ceiling.  Roll randomly to see which PC gets hit.  Have that PC roll Reflex DC 15 for half damage or 20 to evade completely.  Damage 1d6

51-70: A few stalactites fall from above.  All PCs take 2d6 damage, roll Reflex DC 20 to evade, DC 15 takes half.

71-90: Many stalactites fall from the ceiling.  All PCs take 3d6 damage, Reflex DC 15 for half, Reflex 20 evades completely.

91-99: A large amount of stalactites begin to fall from the ceiling.  All PCs take 6d6 damage, Reflex DC 15 for half, Reflex 30 evades completely.

00: The entire cave full of stalactites come crashing down.  All PCs take 10d6 damage.  No reflex allowed unless standing just within the threshold of the cave. Evasion and Improved Evasion can save a PC from damage as appropriate, but they escape that damage by managing to hide beneath a rocky lip or ledge and are buried by the falling stalactites, requiring 1d4+3 person-hours to dig them out, the noise of which may attract a wandering creature.

Download Random Encounter Generator

Klavekian Explorer Andam Feifle

A Klavekian explorer named Andam Marcus Feifle died in this cave about 40 years ago.  (Body located with a successful Spot/Perception DC 20).  His body can be found tucked in the northeast corner of the cave and is surprisingly well preserved after all these years; a result of the cave's dry conditions.  His skin is stretched like leather over his long bones and he tightly grips a journal in one hand.  This explorer carried very little, only a small metal canteen attached to a leather strap and slung over his neck, a small satchel with rations (long since gnawed away by hungry cave critters), and a tiny silver bat whistle.

The canteen itself is magical and hosts an endless supply of fresh water.

The bat whistle is not magical, yet it has the perfect pitch for attracting hundreds of bats which sense the resonating frequency as a swarm of small cave moths which are easy prey.  After blowing the whistle it takes 1d10 rounds for a bat swarm to arrive.  The bats stay in this location for 1d6+2 rounds attempting to locate the food source before moving off in a random direction.  This swarm of bats is very distracting to large and huge predators and provides perfect cover for PCs choosing to retreat for a period of 1d6+2 rounds.  PCs which choose to use the bat swarm as a combat advantage may attack with a +2 on all physical attacks while their opponent (if large or huge) receives a -2 penalty on physical attacks.

Andam Feifle's journal is actually the greatest treasure the PCs will find on their journey in the Underworld.  Any PC reading this journal will obtain details on the general location of a sacred artifact known as "Durqua's Gem" buried somewhere underground in the mountains of the Vikmordere Valley.  According to Andam's journal entries this artifact is rumored to grant the wielder the power to open magical portals to distant hard to reach locations.

Andam Feifle's Journal & Durqua's Gem

Long ago the avatar of a greedy and most foul demi-god sneaked into the realm of a greater power whilst he slept (weakened after an epic battle with his arch-enemy).  The demi-god delved into the greater god's vast library and stole a rare scroll from a forbidden box.  The greater god's proxies spotted the demi-god who killed one of the proxies with his foul breath then fled through beautiful gardens filled with roses and thorn-bush.  Spotting a portal hidden within a fountain the demi-god dove in and was instantly transported to the material plane.  Once on the prime material the demi-god sought to hide the powerful scroll, but he knew the greater god would awaken soon and track the missing item.  It just so happened that the cave in which the demi-god materialized was home to a rare and powerful sliver of the shard (a small fragment of the Shard of the Sun) which had plummeted to the planet's surface many years prior, stored here by a primitive tribe which worshiped it, and later forgotten when the cave entrance collapsed in on itself.

The demi-god realized his luck instantly and unfurled the scroll.  Reading the words of the magical spell combined with a bit of his own godly essence he imbued the powerful magic into the sliver of the shard.  The sliver glowed brightly and it was obvious that great power was now hidden within.  The demi-god knew he had to disguise the sliver, so using the majority of his remaining power he shaped the sliver into a large carved gem and spread out the energy to all corners so as to appear very rare and expensive, but non-magical in and of itself.

Suddenly the demi-god felt the rage of a god.  He had been found out and the powerful greater god had awoken.  The demi-god hid the gem in a corner of the cave and used the last bit of power he had to blast his way out.  He fled into the grassy plains beyond.  Just a few moments after this a wandering adventurer named Alin Durqua happened upon the cave entrance and decided to explore.  To his absolute astonishment he stumbled upon a massive gem which would later come to change his entire life and the very world itself.

Andam's journal details the possible resting place of this powerful gem.

A future adventure will elaborate on the quest to locate Durqua's Gem using information contained within Andam's Journal.

Decanter of Endless Water

Aura moderate transmutation; CL 9th

Slot none; Price 9,000 gp; Weight 2 lbs.

DESCRIPTION

If the stopper is removed from this ordinary-looking flask and a command word spoken, an amount of fresh or salt water pours out. Separate command words determine the type of water as well as the volume and velocity.

  • “Stream” pours out 1 gallon per round.
  • “Fountain” produces a 5-foot-long stream at 5 gallons per round.
  • “Geyser” produces a 20-foot-long, 1-foot-wide stream at 30 gallons per round.

The geyser effect exerts considerable pressure, requiring the holder to make a DC 12 Strength check to avoid being knocked down each round the effect is maintained. In addition, the powerful force of the geyser deals 1d4 points of damage per round to a creature that is subjected to it. The geyser can only affect one target per round, but the user can direct the beam of water without needing to make an attack role to strike the target since the geyser's constant flow allows for ample opportunity to aim. Creatures with the fire subtype take 2d4 points of damage per round from the geyser rather than 1d4. The command word must be spoken to stop it.

CONSTRUCTION

Requirements Craft Wondrous Itemcontrol water; Cost 4,500 gp


 

 

5.  Egg Cave

This room is dry, warm, and filled with large boulders.  The boulders disappear down into a large rift in the floor in the center of this room.  It appears that there might be a tunnel leading down through the boulders.  It is hard to tell from here.
The "tunnel" is simply an optical illusion created by some of the eggs sticking to one another and creating an opening which goes down into the Purple Worm eggs about 150 feet.

Knowledge (Arcana) DC 26: A PC that succeeds to this degree can identify the "boulders" as purple worm eggs.

A purple worm in the process of laying its eggs has picked this room as a nursery. Currently resting after a spate of egg laying, the purple worm lies deep within the "boulder cave" below. If the PCs approach within 40 feet of the cave bottom, the purple worm detects them with its tremorsense and gently moves up to protect her eggs arriving in 1d4+2 rounds to attack the PCs.

Purple Worm Eggs

Purple Worm Eggs (32): Each egg is about 5 feet around and has a hardness of 8 and 50 hp. If the PCs don't destroy them, the eggs hatch in 1-3 days. Once hatched, the young purple worms immediately start burrowing in search of food.

If the PCs begin to climb down into the eggs they will not immediately realize what it truly is that they climb upon as many months of cave dust have fallen on the most exposed of the eggs.  As they get down about 20-30 feet they realize that it grows warmer down here and the ground below their feet shudders.

Suddenly the boulder you are standing on shudders and the exterior bulges out slightly.  You scan the boulder field and come to the realization that you are climbing through a nest of huge eggs.  Another egg nearby shudders and below you the sound of something splitting open and the gush of thick, slurping liquid can be heard along with a thudding noise.  Peering down over the edge of the egg upon which you stand, you see a huge purple worm covered in clear slimy goo.  It turns to face you, its maw dripping with saliva and clicking with anticipation.  The boulders around you begin to shudder and you realize that they are all starting to hatch!

In fact only a handful of the eggs are hatching and they are in varying locations, but the other purple worms still within the eggs are stimulated by the sound and entire "boulder field" comes alive with alien clacking and clicking sounds, further terrifying the PCs and their guide.

 

Purple Worm Young (1d4)

3.5 | Pathfinder
Purple Worm (mother)

3.5 | Pathfinder

This Purple Worm obtains a -6 penalty to AC but a +4 to hit with all attacks due to its instinct to put herself in harms way and ferociously attack the PCs to protect her young.

 

 

 

6. Descending Slope

This slopes descends at a 55 degrees decline for a little over a quarter mile (412 meters total).  The ground is slippery and unstable from years of dripping and running water which initially formed this cave.  PCs attempting to climb down have a 10% cumulative chance per 5 minutes of travel of slipping, in which case they must succeed on a Reflex DC 15 save or fall onto their chest or back continuing to slide down the slope and pick up speed.  This isn't helped by the sudden appearance of  4 fiendish advanced chokers after about 100 meters, which try to either grab the PCs to throttle them or, if it looks like the PCs are tough types, grapple them and throw them down the slope.

 

The Ottaakiinni

Fiendish Advanced Chokers

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

A PC can attempt to slow and stop themselves any number of ways, from stabbing a dagger into the rocks to dragging their arms behind them and frantically searching for hand holds.  If a Reflex DC 20 save can be made, the PC has a 50% chance to slow themselves down enough to get a hand hold. This chance increases by 5% for every 2 points the save is exceeded.

Continuous tumbling down this slope causes bruising and minor abrasions which translates to 1d4 damage per round the PC tumbles down.  A PC is allowed to make a save to slow themselves once per round although after 10 rounds of continuous tumbling this check increases by 5 and then by 5 more after the next set of 10 rounds.

The PCs problems don't end there unfortunately. As they reach the end of the slope, they will find that the walls and floor are coated with both yellow mold and brown mold. The yellow mold is first, about 10 feet from the brown. If they are tumbling, the first PC will set the spores flying and any following PC will have to make the appropriate save. If they are climbing down and decide to use fire to dispose of the yellow mold, this will trigger the growth of the brown mold. However, if they are still tumbling as they pass the yellow mold, they will feel the temperature drop as they pass by the brown mold and then take the damage. There are two patches of brown mold, one each side of the slope.

At the end of the slope is a small pool, which used to hold water but has been taken over by  large patch of green slime. The pool is 8 feet in diameter and about 2 feet deep.

Yellow Mold (CR 6)

If disturbed, a 5-foot square of this mold bursts forth with a cloud of poisonous spores. All within 10 feet of the mold must make a DC 15 Fortitude save or take 1d6 points of Constitution damage. Another DC 15 Fortitude save is required 1 minute later—even by those who succeeded on the first save—to avoid taking 2d6 points of Constitution damage. Fire destroys yellow mold, and sunlight renders it dormant.

Brown Mold (CR 2)

Brown mold feeds on warmth, drawing heat from anything around it. It normally comes in patches 5 feet in diameter, and the temperature is always cold in a 30-foot radius around it. Living creatures within 5 feet of it take 3d6 points of nonlethal cold damage. Fire brought within 5 feet of brown mold causes it to instantly double in size. Cold damage, such as from a cone of cold, instantly destroys it.

Green Slime (CR 4)

This dungeon peril is a dangerous variety of normal slime. Green slime devours flesh and organic materials on contact and is even capable of dissolving metal. Bright green, wet, and sticky, it clings to walls, floors, and ceilings in patches, reproducing as it consumes organic matter. It drops from walls and ceilings when it detects movement (and possible food) below.

A single 5-foot square of green slime deals 1d6 points of Constitution damage per round while it devours flesh. On the first round of contact, the slime can be scraped off a creature (most likely destroying the scraping device), but after that it must be frozen, burned, or cut away (dealing damage to the victim as well). Anything that deals cold or fire damage, sunlight, or a remove disease spell destroys a patch of green slime. Against wood or metal, green slime deals 2d6 points of damage per round, ignoring metal’s hardness but not that of wood. It does not harm stone.

 

 

7.  Fungi Forest

A thick forest of mushrooms spreads out before you as far as you can see.  Some mushrooms and spores are as small as your fist while others tower well above your heads.  There are a few paths through the cave.  You may continue on an elevated rise through the cavern staying close to this wall, there is also an animal path through the mushrooms that meanders down a somewhat steep slope and disappears into the thick mushroom forest below, finally there are some extremely large mushrooms a little ways down that seem big enough to jump down upon and jump from mushroom to mushroom.

If the PCs stay close to the cave wall they will find the quickest path through the cavern but cross paths with a Violet Fungus the size of a treant that acts as a gardener in this realm.

If the PCs take the path down into the Fungi Forest they must slide or carefully climb down a slippery slope coated with crushed mushrooms and spray from nearby waterfalls (climb DC 25).  Shrieking fungi await within the forest.  After this the PCs must contend with spore clouds and other wonderful delights.

If the PCs continue on for awhile then jump down upon the large mushrooms (jump down and across five mushrooms = 5 Jump checks DC 15) they will bypass the first section of the Fungi Forest and the shrieking fungus which dwell there.

 

Fungi Forest Kombucha

A pool of strange sponge-like material of a white color is found nearby.  This is actually a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) which floats on top of a bubbly reddish-brown liquid.  This is similar to the kombucha beverage.

This drink provides beneficial properties to the drinker.  Bottling and drinking 1 pint of this liquid per day will cure any long term ailment or disease (remove disease after 10 days) and increase metabolism (restore any lost CON after 2 days).  If one continues to drink this beverage on a regular basis they will become immune to all minor poisons (anything which causes less than 10 points max damage or the loss of -2 or less to an ability score).  Other types of poison will still affect the PC.  However, your skin will take on the texture and feel of a mushroom and, at the new moon, will give off a light blue bio-luminescence for 4 hours. After 2 days of stopping regular consumption all benefits are lost.

 

The Fungi Forest is home to some very interesting characters which are listed in detail within the "Mushroom Mini-Game" which follows.  Click the following link to download the game.  Make sure you read it in its entirety prior to running the game for your PCs.

Mushroom Mini-Game

 

 

 

Conclusion

This adventure concludes as the party exits the Fungi Forest and enters the City of Holoth through the Back Road.  Continue the adventure with A15: Usurper of Souls

 

 

Player Maps

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

 

 

 

 

A14 Experience Awards

  • 500 XP per Dwarf saved from the assassins
  • 1000 XP for killing K'Chouk
  • 2000 XP for eliminating each and every assassin
  • 1000 XP for saving the Mayor of Embla (Note: the party may only receive this reward or the one listed below.)
  • 2000 XP for saving the Mayor of Embla by a member of the party (cleric, healer, or otherwise)
  • 1000 XP for taking the Back Road and traveling with a sense of urgency
  • 500 XP for warning Mayor Igor Leonid of Rybalka of the coming Drow threat
  • 500 XP for a frontal assault on the City of Holoth
  • 1000 XP to the party member discovering the body of Andam Feifle and his heavily sought after journal (also keep tabs on this for an upcoming Adventure!)

 

 

 

 

New Monsters

 

Mushroom Golem

 

Mushroom Golem (3.5)

Size/Type: Large Construct

Hit Dice: 12d10+30 (96 hp)

Initiative: -1

Speed: 30 ft., (6 squares)

Armour Class: 22 (-1 size, -1 Dex, +14 natural), touch 8, flat-footed 22

Base Attack/ Grapple: +9/+19

Attack: Slam +14 (2d8+6 plus poison)

Full Attack: 2 slams +14 (2d8+6 plus poison)

Space/Reach: 10 ft./10 ft.

Special Attacks: Breath weapon spores, flora wound

Special Qualities: Construct traits, damage reduction 5/slashing, darkvision 60 ft., immunity to magic, low-light vision

Saves: Fort +4, Ref +3, Will +4

Abilities: Str 23, Dex 9, Con 0, Int 0, Wis 11, Cha 1 (16 to plants)

Skills: -

Feats: -

Environment: Temperate forests, Underground

Organization: Solitary or gang (2-4)

Challenge Rating: 10

Treasure: None

Alignment: Always neutral

Advancement: 13-20 HD (Large); 21-36 HD (Huge)

Level Adjustment: -

Languages: Swaying movement which can convey level of danger to plants

Possessions: None

This golem has a vaguely humanoid body made from a single enormous Green-spored Parasol mushroom. A mushroom golem wears no clothing of any kind. It has no possessions and no weapons, relying on its own abilities. It stands about 15 feet tall and is about 12 feet wide at the shoulders, with the rest of the body between 4 and 5 feet wide for most of the trunk, widening to 10 feet at the base. It has two arms about 10 feet long and 2 legs between 7 and 8 feet long. It weighs around 2,000 pounds.

A mushroom golem cannot speak or make any vocal noise, but can convey levels of danger to plants through a series of swaying gestures. It walks and moves with a flowing, steady gait, as if a breeze constantly blows about it, rarely utilizing its maximum speed unless threatened.

 

Combat

Breath weapon spores (Su)

10-foot cube, concentrated cloud of spores lasting 1 round, free action once every 1d4+1 rounds; initial damage 1d4 Con, secondary damage 2d4 Cha, Fortitude DC 19 negates. The save DC is Constitution-based. Anyone who fails the roll at either stage is covered with small mushrooms.

Flora Wound (Ex)

The damage a mushroom golem deals takes 4 times longer to heal naturally and resists healing spells. A character attempting to cast a conjuration (healing) spell on a creature damaged by a mushroom golem must succeed on a DC 26 caster level check, or the spell has no effect on the injured character. Any natural healing looks and feels like mushroom fiber. For every 10 hit points which heal this way, a PC’s Charisma reduces by 2 and natural armor increases by 1. Successful magical healing restores the PC to a normal state, including returning Charisma to normal and removing the natural armor.

Immunity to Magic (Ex)

A mushroom golem is immune to any spell or spell-like ability that allows spell resistance. In addition, certain spells and effects function differently against the creature, as noted below.

A transport via plants spell drives the golem back 120 feet and deals 3d8 points of damage to it.

A control plants spell slows the golem (as the slow spell) for 1d6 rounds and deals 1d12 points of damage.

A finger of death spell cast directly at a mushroom golem stops it from moving on its next turn and deals 5d8 points of damage. The golem gets no saving throw against any of these effects.

Any magical attack against a mushroom golem that deals electrical damage heals 1 point of damage for every 3 points of damage it would otherwise deal. If the amount of healing would cause the golem to exceed its full normal hit points, it gains any excess as temporary hit points. For example, a mushroom golem hit by the breath weapon of a behir heals 7 points of damage if the attack would have dealt 22 points of damage. A mushroom golem gets no saving throw against magical attacks that deal electrical damage.

Construction

A mushroom golem’s body is carved from a single Green-spored Parasol mushroom, one treated with rare plant food and nutrients of blood and bones from aquatic types costing 2,000 gp, weighing at least 1,000 pounds. The mushroom must be of exceptional quality. Carving the body requires a DC 15 Craft (sculpting) check or a DC 15 Profession (fungiculturalist) check.

CL 14th; Craft Construct, animate plants, geas/quest, limited wish, ironfiber, caster must be at least 14th level; Price 20,000 gp; Cost 12,000gp + 720 XP.

 

New item

Giant Green-spored Parasol mushroom poison

Inhaled, DC 19; initial 1d4 Con, secondary 2d4 Cha; price, 1,200 gp

 

Ironfiber

Transmutation

Lvl: Drd 7

Components: V, S, M

Casting Time: 1 minute/2 lb. created

Range: O ft.

Effect: Fungus, such as molds, mushrooms or toadstool (or similar) object, weighing up to 10 lb./level

Duration: One day/level

Saving Throw: None

Resistance: No

Ironfiber is a magical substance created by druids from normal molds, mushrooms or toadstools. While remaining naturally fibrous in almost every way, ironfibre is as strong, heavy, and resistant to fire as steel. Spells that affect metal or iron do not function on ironfibre. Spells that affect plants do affect ironfibre, although ironfibre does not burn. Using this spell with fiber shape or a plant-related Craft check, you can fashion fibrous items that function as steel items. Thus, fibrous plate armor and fibrous swords can be created that are as durable as their normal steel counterparts. These items are freely usable by druids. Fey creatures frequently use them as well.

Further, if you make only half as much ironfibre as the spell would normally allow, any weapon, shield, or suit of armor so created is treated as a magic item with a +1 enchantment bonus.

Material Component

Molds, mushrooms or toadstools shaped into the form of the intended ironfibre object.

 

Fiber Shape

Transmutation

Lvl: Drd 2

Components: V, S, DF

Casting Time: 1 standard action

Range: Touch

Effect: One touched piece of wood no larger than 20 cu. ft. + 2 cu. ft./level

Duration: Instantaneous

Saving Throw: Will negates (object)

Resistance: Yes (Object)

Fiber shape enables you to form a mound of molds, mushrooms or toadstools into any shape that suits your purpose. While it is possible to make crude coffers, doors, and so forth, fine detail isn’t possible. There is a 30% chance that any shape that includes moving parts simply doesn’t work.

 

 

 

Mushroom Golem (Pathfinder)

Mushroom Golem        CR 10

XP 9,600

N Large Construct

Init -1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision

 

DEFENSE

AC 22 (-1 size, -1 Dex, +14 natural), touch 8, flat-footed 22

hp 96 (12d10+30)

Fort +4, Ref +3, Will +4

Special Defenses construct traits; DR 5/slashing

 

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft., (6 squares)

Melee 2 Slams +14 (2d8+6 plus poison)

Space 10 ft./Reach 10 ft.

Special Attacks Breath weapon spores, flora wound

 

STATISTICS

Str 23, Dex 9, Con –, Int –, Wis 11, Cha 1 (16 to plants)

Base Atk +9; CMB 16; CMD 25

Feats: -

Skills: -

Languages: Swaying movement which can convey level of danger to plants

Special Qualities: Construct traits, damage reduction 5/slashing, darkvision 60 ft., immunity to magic, low-light vision

Environment: Temperate forests, Underground

Organization: Solitary or gang (2-4)

Treasure: None

Advancement: 13-20 HD (Large); 21-36 HD (Huge)

Level Adjustment: -

Possessions: None

This golem has a vaguely humanoid body made from a single enormous Green-spored Parasol mushroom. A mushroom golem wears no clothing of any kind. It has no possessions and no weapons, relying on its own abilities. It stands about 15 feet tall and is about 12 feet wide at the shoulders, with the rest of the body between 4 and 5 feet wide for most of the trunk, widening to 10 feet at the base. It has two arms about 10 feet long and 2 legs between 7 and 8 feet long. It weighs around 2,000 pounds.

A mushroom golem cannot speak or make any vocal noise, but can convey levels of danger to plants through a series of swaying gestures. It walks and moves with a flowing, steady gait, as if a breeze constantly blows about it, rarely utilizing its maximum speed unless threatened.

 

Combat

Breath weapon spores (Su)

10-foot cube, concentrated cloud of spores lasting 1 round, free action once every 1d4+1 rounds; initial damage 1d4 Con, secondary damage 2d4 Cha, Fortitude DC 19 negates. The save DC is Constitution-based. Anyone who fails the roll at either stage is covered with small mushrooms.

Flora Wound (Ex)

The damage a mushroom golem deals takes 4 times longer to heal naturally and resists healing spells. A character attempting to cast a conjuration (healing) spell on a creature damaged by a mushroom golem must succeed on a DC 26 caster level check, or the spell has no effect on the injured character. Any natural healing looks and feels like mushroom fiber. For every 10 hit points which heal this way, a PC’s Charisma reduces by 2 and Natural Armour increases by 1. Successful magical healing restores the PC to a normal state, including returning Charisma to normal and removing the natural armor.

Immunity to Magic (Ex)

A mushroom golem is immune to any spell or spell-like ability that allows spell resistance. In addition, certain spells and effects function differently against the creature, as noted below.

A transport via plants spell drives the golem back 120 feet and deals 3d8 points of damage to it.

A control plants spell slows the golem (as the slow spell) for 1d6 rounds and deals 1d12 points of damage.

A finger of death spell cast directly at a mushroom golem stops it from moving on its next turn and deals 5d8 points of damage. The golem gets no saving throw against any of these effects.

Any magical attack against a mushroom golem that deals electrical damage heals 1 point of damage for every 3 points of damage it would otherwise deal. If the amount of healing would cause the golem to exceed its full normal hit points, it gains any excess as temporary hit points. For example, a mushroom golem hit by the breath weapon of a behir heals 7 points of damage if the attack would have dealt 22 points of damage. A mushroom golem gets no saving throw against magical attacks that deal electrical damage.

 

Construction

A mushroom golem’s body is carved from a single Green-spored Parasol mushroom, one treated with rare plant food and nutrients of blood and bones from aquatic types and costing 2,000 gp, weighing at least 1,000 pounds. The mushroom must be of exceptional quality. Carving the body requires a DC 15 Craft (sculpting) check or a DC 15 Profession (fungiculturalist) check.

CL 14th; Craft Construct, animate plants, geas/quest, limited wish, ironfibre, caster must be at least 14th level; Price 20,000 gp; Cost 12,000gp.

 

New item

Giant Green-spored Parasol mushroom poison

Inhaled, DC 19; initial 1d4 Con, secondary 2d4 Cha; price, 1,200 gp

 

 

The OttaakiinniFiendish Advanced Chokers

 

The Ottaakiinni – Fiendish Advanced Chokers (3.5)

Size/Type: Medium Aberration (Extraplanar)

Hit Dice: 12d8+36 (90 hp)

Initiative: +6

Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares), climb 20 ft.

Armour Class: 16 (+2 Dex, +4 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 14

Base Attack/ Grapple: +9/+18

Attack: Tentacle +14 (1d4+5)

Full Attack: 2 tentacles +14 (1d4+5)

Space/Reach: 5 ft./10 ft.

Special Attacks: Improved grab, Constrict (1d4+5), Smite Good (+12 damage, 1/day)

Special Qualities: Damage Reduction 10/magic, Darkvision 60 ft., Quickness, Resistance to Cold 10, Resistance to Fire 10, Spell Resistance 17

Saves: Fort +7, Ref +8, Will +9

Abilities: Str 20, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 4, Wis 13, Cha 7

Skills: Climb +16, Hide +10, Move Silently +10

Feats: Dodge, Improved InitiativeB, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Spring Attack, Stealthy

Environment: Underground

Organization: usually solitary, pairs, gangs (2-5), mobs(6-10)

Challenge Rating: 7

Treasure: 1/10 coins; 50% goods; 50% items

Alignment: Usually Chaotic Evil

Languages: Undercommon

Possessions:

These vicious little predators lurk underground, grabbing whatever prey happens by. Its hands and feet have spiny pads that help the choker grip almost any surface. A standard creature weighs about 35 pounds, whilst a fully advanced choker weighs about 90 pounds and is slightly smaller than the smallest of humans.

The choker’s natural weapons are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

 

Combat

A choker likes to perch near the ceiling, often at intersections, archways, wells, or staircases, and reach down to attack its prey. A choker attacks creatures of almost any size, but prefers lone prey of its size or larger. If one is very hungry, it may attack a group, but it waits to grab the last creature in line.

Constrict (Ex)

A choker deals 1d3+3 (1d4+5 for an advanced creature) points of damage with a successful grapple check against a Large or smaller creature. Because it seizes its victim by the neck, a creature in the choker’s grasp cannot speak or cast spells with verbal components.

Improved Grab (Ex)

To use this ability, a choker must hit a Large or smaller opponent with a tentacle attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can constrict. Chokers receive a +4 racial bonus on grapple checks, which is already included in the statistics block.

Quickness (Su)

Although not particularly dexterous, a choker is supernaturally quick. It can take an extra standard action or move action during its turn each round.

Smite Good (Su)

Once per day the creature can make a normal melee attack to deal extra damage equal to its HD total (maximum of +20) against a good foe.

Skills

A choker has a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks and can always choose to take 10 on Climb checks, even if rushed or threatened.

 

 

 

The Ottaakiinni – Fiendish Advanced Chokers (Pathfinder)       

CR 7

XP 3,200

CE Medium Aberration (Extraplanar)

Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft.

 

DEFENSE

AC 16, touch 12, flat-footed 14 (+2 Dex, +4 natural)

hp 90 (12d8+36)

Fort +7, Ref +8, Will +9

DR 10/magic; Resist cold 10, fire 10; SR 17

 

OFFENSE

Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares), climb 20 ft.

Melee 2 tentacles +14 (1d4+5)

Space 5 ft./Reach 10 ft.

Special Attacks Constrict (1d4+5), Improved grab, Smite Good (+12 damage, 1/day)

 

STATISTICS

Str 20, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 4, Wis 13, Cha 7

Base Atk +9; CMB 13; CMD 25

Feats Dodge, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Spring Attack, Stealthy

Skills: Climb +16, Stealth +10

Languages: Undercommon

Special Qualities: Damage Reduction 10/magic, Darkvision 60 ft., Quickness, Resistance to Cold 10, Resistance to Fire 10, Spell Resistance 17

Environment: Underground

Organization: usually solitary, pairs, gangs (2-5), mobs(6-10)

Treasure: 1/10 coins; 50% goods; 50% items

Possessions:

These vicious little predators lurk underground, grabbing whatever prey happens by. Its hands and feet have spiny pads that help the choker grip almost any surface. A standard creature weighs about 35 pounds, whilst a fully advanced choker weighs about 90 pounds and is slightly smaller than the smallest of humans.

The choker’s natural weapons are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

 

Combat

A choker likes to perch near the ceiling, often at intersections, archways, wells, or staircases, and reach down to attack its prey. A choker attacks creatures of almost any size, but prefers lone prey of its size or larger. If one is very hungry, it may attack a group, but it waits to grab the last creature in line.

Constrict (Ex)

A choker deals 1d3+3 (1d4+5 for an advanced creature) points of damage with a successful grapple check against a Large or smaller creature. Because it seizes its victim by the neck, a creature in the choker’s grasp cannot speak or cast spells with verbal components.

Improved Grab (Ex)

To use this ability, a choker must hit a Large or smaller opponent with a tentacle attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can constrict. Chokers receive a +4 racial bonus on grapple checks, which is already included in the statistics block.

Quickness (Su)

Although not particularly dexterous, a choker is supernaturally quick. It can take an extra standard action or move action during its turn each round.

Smite Good (Su)

Once per day the creature can make a normal melee attack to deal extra damage equal to its HD total (maximum of +20) against a good foe.

Skills

A choker has a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks and can always choose to take 10 on Climb checks, even if rushed or threatened.

 

 


Huolehtia Sieni - Fungiant (fungi-ant) - Advanced

 

Huolehtia Sieni - Fungiant (fungi-ant) - Advanced (3.5)

Size/Type: Gargantuan plant

Hit Dice: 21d8+147 (241 hp)

Initiative: +0

Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)

Armour Class: 20 (-4 size, +17 natural), touch 6, flat-footed 23

Base Attack/Grapple: +15/+40

Attack: Slam +24 melee (3d6+13 plus poison/19-20)

Full Attack: 2 slams +24 melee (3d6+13 plus poison/19-20)

Space/Reach: 20 ft./20 ft.

Special Attacks: Animate trees, double damage against objects, poison, trample 3d6+19

Special Qualities: Damage reduction10/slashing, low-light vision, plant traits, vulnerability to fire

Saves: Fort +19, Ref +8, Will +11

Abilities: Str 37, Dex 10, Con 25, Int 14,Wis 16, Cha 12

Skills: Diplomacy +3, Hide -12 (+4 in fungus forests*), Intimidate +17, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +18, Listen +19, Sense Motive +19, Spot +19, Survival (+19) (+21 underground)

Feats: Cleave, Combat Expertise, Great Cleave, Improved Critical, Improved Sunder, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack

Environment: Underground

Organization: Solitary or grove (4-7)

Challenge Rating: 13

Treasure: Standard

Alignment: Usually neutral

Languages: Common, Sylvan, Fungiant

Significant Possessions: -

A fungiant’s stem and cap are yellow in the spring and summer. In the fall and winter the stem change to gray whilst the cap turns a deep brown with purple spots, revealing its violet fungus heritage.

A fungiant’s legs fit together when closed to look like the stem of a mushroom, and a motionless fungiant is nearly indistinguishable from a mushroom.

A fungiant is about 40 feet tall, with a "trunk" about 5 feet in diameter. It weighs about 2,500 pounds.

Fungiants speak their own language, plus Common and Sylvan. Most also can manage a smattering of just about all other humanoid tongues—at least enough to say "Get away from my fungi!"

Fungiants slam with their branches at living creatures that come within its reach, although they prefer to watch potential foes carefully before attacking. They often charge suddenly from cover to trample the despoilers of mushroom forests. If sorely pressed, they animate mushrooms, fungi and moulds as reinforcements.

Poison (Ex)

Injury, Fortitude DC 27, initial and secondary damage 1d4 Str and 1d4 Con. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Animate Trees (Sp)

A fungiant can animate mushrooms (including toadstools and molds) within 180 feet at will, controlling up to two such mushrooms at a time. It takes 1 full round for a normal mushroom to uproot itself. Thereafter it moves at a speed of 10 feet and fights as a fungiant in all respects. Animated mushrooms lose their ability to move if the fungiant that animated them is incapacitated or moves out of range. The ability is otherwise similar to liveoak (caster level 12th). Animated mushrooms have the same vulnerability to fire that a fungiant has.

Double Damage against Objects (Ex)

A fungiant or animated mushroom that makes a full attack against an object or structure deals double damage.

Trample (Ex)

Reflex DC 33 half. The save DC is Strength-based.

Skills: *Fungiants have a +16 racial bonus on Hide checks made in fungus forest areas.

Treasure

Scattered about the usual resting place of Huolehtia Sieni are its main treasure items. The silver pieces are dotted all over the mushroom forest. The fungiant itself isn’t particularly interested in the items, but it fully appreciates they are useful in encouraging others to help it OR in attracting creatures intent on theft which then usually end up as nutrient-rich compost. Sieni will also swap items, always aiming to be slightly up on the deal so it has more to offer later.

 

Items include:

28,000 sp

Emerald, 1,200 gp

Violet garnet, 500 gp

Black pearl, 300 gp

Deep green spinel, 120 gp

Brown-green garnet, 100 gp

Onyx, 50 gp

Citrine, 40 gp

Jasper, 20 gp

Lapis lazuli, 11 gp

Moss agate, 9 gp

 

Ring of Spell Storing

 

 

Huolehtia Sieni - Fungiant (fungi-ant) - Advanced (Pathfinder)

Huolehtia Sieni - Fungiant (fungi-ant) – Advanced               CR 13

XP 25,600

N Gargantuan plant

Init +0; Senses low-light vision, Perception +19

 

DEFENSE

AC 20, touch 6, flat-footed 23 (-4 size, +17 natural)

hp 241 (21d8+147)

Fort +19, Ref +8, Will +11

Special Defenses plant traits; DR 10/slashing

Weaknesses vulnerability to fire

 

OFFENSE

Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)

Melee Slam +24 (3d6+13 plus poison/19-20)

Space 20 ft.; Reach 20 ft.

Special Attacks Animate trees, double damage against objects, poison, trample (3d6+19)

 

STATISTICS

Str 37, Dex 10, Con 25, Int 14, Wis 16, Cha 12

Base Atk +15; CMB 32; CMD 42

Feats Cleave, Combat Expertise, Great Cleave, Improved Critical, Improved Sunder, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack

Skills Diplomacy +3, Intimidate +17, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +18, Perception +19, Sense Motive +19, Stealth -12 (+4 in fungus forests*), Survival (+19) (+21 underground)

Languages: Common, Sylvan, Fungiant

Special Qualities: Damage reduction10/slashing, low-light vision, plant traits, vulnerability to fire

Environment: Underground

Organization: Solitary or grove (4-7)

Challenge Rating: 13

Treasure: Standard

Significant Possessions: -

A fungiant’s stem and cap are yellow in the spring and summer. In the fall and winter the stem change to gray whilst the cap turns a deep brown with purple spots, revealing its violet fungus heritage.

A fungiant’s legs fit together when closed to look like the stem of a mushroom, and a motionless fungiant is nearly indistinguishable from a mushroom.

A fungiant is about 40 feet tall, with a "trunk" about 5 feet in diameter. It weighs about 2,500 pounds.

Fungiants speak their own language, plus Common and Sylvan. Most also can manage a smattering of just about all other humanoid tongues—at least enough to say "Get away from my fungi!"

Fungiants slam with their branches at living creatures that come within its reach, although they prefer to watch potential foes carefully before attacking. They often charge suddenly from cover to trample the despoilers of mushroom forests. If sorely pressed, they animate mushrooms, fungi and molds as reinforcements.

Poison (Ex)

Injury, Fortitude DC 27, initial and secondary damage 1d4 Str and 1d4 Con. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Animate Trees (Sp)

A fungiant can animate mushrooms (including toadstools and molds) within 180 feet at will, controlling up to two such mushrooms at a time. It takes 1 full round for a normal mushroom to uproot itself. Thereafter it moves at a speed of 10 feet and fights as a fungiant in all respects. Animated mushrooms lose their ability to move if the fungiant that animated them is incapacitated or moves out of range. The ability is otherwise similar to liveoak (caster level 12th). Animated mushrooms have the same vulnerability to fire that a fungiant has.

Double Damage against Objects (Ex)

A fungiant or animated mushroom that makes a full attack against an object or structure deals double damage.

Trample (Ex)

Reflex DC 33 half. The save DC is Strength-based.

Skills: *Fungiants have a +16 racial bonus on Hide checks made in fungus forest areas.

 

Treasure

Scattered about the usual resting place of Huolehtia Sieni are its main treasure items. The silver pieces are dotted all over the mushroom forest. The fungiant itself isn’t particularly interested in the items, but it fully appreciates they are useful in encouraging others to help it OR in attracting creatures intent on theft which then usually end up as nutrient-rich compost. Sieni will also swap items, always aiming to be slightly up on the deal so it has more to offer later.

Items include:

28,000 sp

Emerald, 1,200 gp

Violet garnet, 500 gp

Black pearl, 300 gp

Deep green spinel, 120 gp

Brown-green garnet, 100 gp

Onyx, 50 gp

Citrine, 40 gp

Jasper, 20 gp

Lapis lazuli, 11 gp

Moss agate, 9 gp

Ring of Spell Storing

 

 

 

Vaihtualohikaarme - Albino Adult Bronze Dragon

 

Vaihtualohikaarme - Albino Adult Bronze Dragon (3.5)

Size/Type: Large Dragon (water)

Hit Dice: 21d12+105 (241)

Initiative: +0

Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares, fly 150 ft. (poor), swim 60 ft.

Armour Class: 28 (-2 size, +20 natural), touch 8, flat-footed 28

Base Attack/ Grapple: +21/+37

Attack: +27 (any one of full attack options)

Full Attack: Bite +28 melee (2d6+9) and 2 claws +26 melee (1d8+5) and 2 wings +26 melee (1d6+5) and tail slap +26 melee (1d8+13) and crush +26 melee (2d8+13)

Space/Reach: 15 ft./10 ft. (15 ft. with bite)

Special Attacks: Breath weapon (12d6, DC 25), frightful presence (180 ft., DC 25), crush

Special Qualities: Damage reduction 5/magic, SR 22, immunity to sleep and paralysis, immunity to electricity, blindsense (60 ft.), keen senses (darkvision 120 ft.), water breathing, spell-like abilities

Saves: Fort +17, Ref +12, Will +17

Abilities: Str 27, Dex 10, Con 21, Int 20,Wis 21, Cha 20

Skills: Concentration +29, Diplomacy +19, Disguise +23, Escape Artist +12, Intimidate +29, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +29, Listen +29, Search +29, Sense Motive +29, Spot +29, Survival +23 (+25 when underground OR following tracks), Swim +20, Use Magic Device +29, Use Rope +2 (bindings)

Feats: Blind-Fight, Cleave, Flyby Attack, Hover, Improved Sunder, Multiattack, Power Attack, Wingover

Environment: Originally temperate hills

Organization: Solitary

Challenge Rating: 15

Treasure: Triple standard

Alignment: Chaotic Evil

Languages: Draconic, Aquan, Common, Dwarven, Drow Sign Language, Undercommon

Significant Possessions: Cervelliere of Opposite Alignment, Amulet of Mighty Fists +1, Wand of bear’s endurance (+42 hp, Fort +19, Concentration +31)

 

Breath Weapon (Su)

Bronze dragons have two types of breath weapon, a line of lightning and a cone of repulsion gas. Creatures within the cone must succeed on a Will save or be compelled to do nothing but move away from the dragon for 1d6 rounds plus 1 round per age category of the dragon. This is a mind-affecting, compulsion enchantment effect.

Water Breathing (Ex)

A bronze dragon can breathe underwater indefinitely and can freely use its breath weapon, spells, and other abilities while submerged.

 

Alternate Form (Su)

A young or older bronze dragon can assume any animal or humanoid form of Medium size or smaller as a standard action three times per day. The dragon can remain in its animal or humanoid form until it chooses to assume a new one or return to its natural form.

Spell-like Abilities

At will—speak with animals; 3/day—create food and water, fog cloud

Spells Known (save DC 15 plus spell level)

0th level (6) – daze, dancing lights, flare, light, mage hand, open/close, ray of frost

1st level (8) – burning hands, charm person, floating disc, hypnotism, magic missile

2nd level (7) – darkness, shatter, touch of idiocy

3rd level (5) – hold person, wind wall

 

Cervelliere of Opposite Alignment

This round, close-fitting steel skull cap looks unremarkable and typical for its type. When placed upon the head, however, its curse immediately takes effect (Will DC 15 negates). On a failed save, the alignment of the wearer is radically altered to an alignment as different as possible from the former alignment—good to evil, chaotic to lawful, neutral to some extreme commitment (LE, LG, CE, or CG). Alteration in alignment is mental as well as moral, and the individual changed by the magic thoroughly enjoys his new outlook. A character who succeeds on his save can continue to wear the helmet without suffering the effect of the curse, but if he takes it off and later puts it on again, another save is required. The curse only works once; that is, a character whose alignment has been changed cannot change it again by donning the helmet a second time.

Only a wish or a miracle can restore former alignment, and the affected individual does not make any attempt to return to the former alignment. (In fact, he views the prospect with horror and avoids it in any way possible.) If a character of a class with an alignment requirement is affected, an atonement spell is needed as well if the curse is to be obliterated. When a helm of opposite alignment has functioned once, it loses its magical properties.

Strong transmutation; CL 12th; Craft Wondrous Item, bestow curse, creator must be 12th level; Price 4,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.

 

Other treasure

15,000 gp

Five pearls on an electrum necklace – 5,000 gp

Sapphire pendant on a gold chain – 2,000 gp

Fire opal pendant on a fine gold chain – 1,200 gp

Two rubies on a gold anklet – 1,000 gp

Small gold bracelet – 10 gp

 

Matching pair of ceremonial electrum daggers with star ruby pommels – 1,200 gp each

Two silver-plated steel rapiers with jet in the hilt, one left-handed, one right-handed – 650 gp each

Three solid gold humanoid heads, one with the eyes stitched up, one with the mouth stitched up, one with the ears stitched up – 550 gp each

Matching set of six brass and jade mugs – 250 gp each

Matching pair of silver chalices – 90 gp each

 

One fiery yellow corundum – 800 gp

Three golden yellow topazes – 600 gp, 600 gp, 300 gp

Four pieces of amber – 110 gp, 100 gp, 80 gp, 80 gp

Four bloodstones – 70 gp, 60 gp, 50 gp, 20 gp

Three freshwater pearls – 11 gp, 10 gp, 8 gp

 

Ring of Energy Resistance (Minor) – Acid

+1 light steel shield

Potion of cure moderate wounds

+1 longsword

Amulet of Mighty Fists +1, currently worn by

Scroll of gentle repose CL 3 on a thin sheet of beaten copper

Wand of daze monster (CL 3, 16 charges) made of blue quartz

Wand of bear’s endurance (CL 3, 33 charges) made of silver

Manual of Gainful Exercise +3 (written in Orcish) wrapped in waterproofed leather and in a wax-sealed brass casket

 

 

Vaihtualohikaarme - Albino Adult Bronze Dragon (Pathfinder)

Albino Adult Bronze Dragon             CR 15

XP 51,200

CE Large Dragon (water)

Init +0; Senses blindsense, darkvision 120 ft., Perception +29

 

DEFENSE

AC 28, touch 8, flat-footed 28 (-2 size, +20 natural)

hp 241 (21d12+105)

Fort +17, Ref +12, Will +17

DR 5/magic; Immune electricity, paralysis, sleep; SR 22

 

OFFENSE

Speed 40 ft. (8 squares, fly 150 ft. (poor), swim 60 ft.

Melee bite +28 (2d6+9), 2 claws +26 (1d8+5), 2 wings +26 (1d6+5), tail slap +26 (1d8+13), crush +26 (2d8+13)

Space 15 ft.; Reach10 ft. (15 ft. with bite)

Special Attacks: Breath weapon (12d6, DC 25), frightful presence (180 ft., DC 25), crush

 

STATISTICS

Str 27, Dex 10, Con 21, Int 20, Wis 21, Cha 20

Base Atk +21; CMB 30; CMD 31

Feats Blind-Fight, Cleave, Flyby Attack, Hover, Improved Sunder, Multiattack, Power Attack, Wingover

Skills Diplomacy +19, Disguise +23, Escape Artist +12, Intimidate +29, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +29, Perception +29, Sense Motive +29, Survival +23 (+25 when underground OR following tracks), Swim +20, Use Magic Device +29

Languages Draconic, Aquan, Common, Dwarven, Drow Sign Language, Undercommon

Special Qualities Damage reduction 5/magic, SR 22, immunity to sleep and paralysis, immunity to electricity, blindsense (60 ft.), keen senses (darkvision 120 ft.), water breathing, spell-like abilities

Environment: Originally temperate hills

Organization: Solitary

Treasure: Triple standard

Significant Possessions: Cervelliere of Opposite Alignment, Amulet of Mighty Fists +1, Wand of bear’s endurance (+42 hp, Fort +19, Concentration +31)

Breath Weapon (Su)

Bronze dragons have two types of breath weapon, a line of lightning and a cone of repulsion gas. Creatures within the cone must succeed on a Will save or be compelled to do nothing but move away from the dragon for 1d6 rounds plus 1 round per age category of the dragon. This is a mind-affecting compulsion enchantment effect.

Water Breathing (Ex)

A bronze dragon can breathe underwater indefinitely and can freely use its breath weapon, spells, and other abilities while submerged.

 

Alternate Form (Su)

A young or older bronze dragon can assume any animal or humanoid form of Medium size or smaller as astandard action three times per day. The dragon can remain in its animal or humanoid form until it chooses to assume a new one or return to its natural form.

Spell-like Abilities

At will—speak with animals; 3/day—create food and water, fog cloud

Spells Known (save DC 15 plus spell level)

0th level (6) – daze, dancing lights, flare, light, mage hand, open/close, ray of frost

1st level (8) – burning hands, charm person, floating disc, hypnotism, magic missile

2nd level (7) – darkness, shatter, touch of idiocy

3rd level (5) – hold person, wind wall

 

Cervelliere of Opposite Alignment

This round, close-fitting steel skull cap looks unremarkable and typical for its type. When placed upon the head, however, its curse immediately takes effect (Will DC 15 negates). On a failed save, the alignment of the wearer is radically altered to an alignment as different as possible from the former alignment—good to evil, chaotic to lawful, neutral to some extreme commitment (LE, LG, CE, or CG). Alteration in alignment is mental as well as moral, and the individual changed by the magic thoroughly enjoys his new outlook. A character who succeeds on his save can continue to wear the helmet without suffering the effect of the curse, but if he takes it off and later puts it on again, another save is required. The curse only works once; that is, a character whose alignment has been changed cannot change it again by donning the helmet a second time.

Only a wish or a miracle can restore former alignment, and the affected individual does not make any attempt to return to the former alignment. (In fact, he views the prospect with horror and avoids it in any way possible.) If a character of a class with an alignment requirement is affected, an atonement spell is needed as well if the curse is to be obliterated. When a helm of opposite alignment has functioned once, it loses its magical properties.

Strong transmutation; CL 12th; Craft Wondrous Item, bestow curse, creator must be 12th level; Price 4,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.

 

Other treasure

15,000 gp

 

Five pearls on an electrum necklace – 5,000 gp

Sapphire pendant on a gold chain – 2,000 gp

Fire opal pendant on a fine gold chain – 1,200 gp

Two rubies on a gold anklet – 1,000 gp

Small gold bracelet – 10 gp

 

Matching pair of ceremonial electrum daggers with star ruby pommels – 1,200 gp each

Two silver-plated steel rapiers with jet in the hilt, one left-handed, one right-handed – 650 gp each

Three solid gold humanoid heads, one with the eyes stitched up, one with the mouth stitched up, one with the ears stitched up – 550 gp each

Matching set of six brass and jade mugs – 250 gp each

Matching pair of silver chalices – 90 gp each

 

One fiery yellow corundum – 800 gp

Three golden yellow topazes – 600 gp, 600 gp, 300 gp

Four pieces of amber – 110 gp, 100 gp, 80 gp, 80 gp

Four bloodstones – 70 gp, 60 gp, 50 gp, 20 gp

Three freshwater pearls – 11 gp, 10 gp, 8 gp

 

Ring of Energy Resistance (Minor) – Acid

+1 light steel shield

Potion of cure moderate wounds

+1 longsword

Amulet of Mighty Fists +1, currently worn by

Scroll of gentle repose CL 3 on a thin sheet of beaten copper

Wand of daze monster (CL 3, 16 charges) made of blue quartz

Wand of bear’s endurance (CL 3, 33 charges) made of silver

Manual of Gainful Exercise +3 (written in Orcish) wrapped in waterproofed leather and in a wax-sealed brass casket

 

 

 

Vvor

 

Vvor (3.5)

CR 3

Size/Type Medium animal

Hit Dice 3d8+12 (26 hp)

Initiative +2

Speed 40 ft.

AC 16 (+2 Dex, +4 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 14

Base Attack/Grapple +4/+7

Attack gore +6 melee (1d8+5)

Full Attack gore +6 melee (1d8+5)

Space/Reach 5ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks spirited charge +8(2d8+10)

Special Qualities ferocity, light sensitivity, low-light vision, scent

Saves Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +1

Abilities Str 16, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 4

Skills Hide +5, Listen +6, Move Silently +5, Spot +6

Feats Toughness

Environment underground

Organization pair or group (2–30)

Challenge Rating 3

Treasure none

Alignment Neutral

Ill-tempered, dangerous, hard to kill, and always hungry, vvor refuse to back down from a fight.

The largest, most violent male rules Vvor groups, known as families.  When male vvors reach maturity, they either challenge the bull male or they leave the family.  If a vvor is found on its own, it is usually a male that is looking for somewhere to start his own family.

The immature males hunt in packs of 10 to 15 led by the largest immature male (called “big brother”), and are capable of bringing down adult bears.  The pack quietly surrounds their target and big brother leads the charge by lowering his head and rushing the target, ripping upward with the horns on his head.  Big brother will retreat from the prey and then the other males will begin attacking from different sides, moving in, slashing with their horns, and then retreating.  This continues until the prey has fallen, or (rarely) fought its way free.

An immature male vvor is three feet long and weighs 150 pounds, with immature females being slightly smaller.  The statistics given above are for a standard immature male vvor.  The “big brother” vvor is generally a little larger than the typical vvor, weighing in at 200 pounds and with an increased Strength of 18 (+4) and Constitution of 19 (+5).  He has a long sharp horn between 6-10 inches protruding from the top of his head, which causes 1d10 damage and has a critical threat range of 18-20.

Bull vvors have been measured as much as seven feel long and weighing close to half a ton.  The average bull is closer to five feet long and weighs between 600 and 700 pounds.  The average cow vvor is three to four feet long and weight 300 to 400 pounds.

Special Abilities

Spirited charge (Ex) If a vvor can charge its full movement speed, it gains a +2 to attack and deals double damage with its gore.

Ferocity (Ex) A creature with ferocity remains conscious and can continue fighting even if its hit point total is below 0. The creature is still staggered and loses 1 hit point each round. A creature with ferocity still dies when its hit point total reaches a negative amount equal to its Constitution score.

Light Sensitivity (Ex) Creatures with light sensitivity are dazzled in areas of bright sunlight or within the radius of a daylight spell.

 

 

Vvor (Pathfinder)

CR 3

XP800

N Medium animal

Init +2; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +6

 

DEFENSE

AC 16, touch 12, flat-footed 14 (+2 Dex, +4 natural)

hp 26 (3d8+12)

Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +1

Defensive Abilities ferocity

Weakness light sensitivity

 

OFFENSE

Speed 40 ft.

Melee gore +6 (1d8+5)

Special Attacks spirited charge +8(2d8+10)

 

STATISTICS

Str 16, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 4

Base Atk +4; CMB +7; CMD 19

Feats Toughness

Skills Perception +6, Stealth +5

 

ECOLOGY

Environment underground

Organization pair or group (2–30)

Treasure none

Ill-tempered, dangerous, hard to kill, and always hungry, vvor refuse to back down from a fight.

The largest, most violent male rules Vvor groups, known as families.  When male vvors reach maturity, they either challenge the bull male or they leave the family.  If a vvor is found on its own, it is usually a male that is looking for somewhere to start his own family.

The immature males hunt in packs of 10 to 15 led by the largest immature male (called “big brother”), and are capable of bringing down adult bears.  The pack quietly surrounds their target and big brother leads the charge by lowering his head and rushing the target, ripping upward with the horns on his head.  Big brother will retreat from the prey and then the other males will begin attacking from different sides, moving in, slashing with their horns, and then retreating.  This continues until the prey has fallen, or (rarely) fought its way free.

An immature male vvor is three feet long and weighs 150 pounds, with immature females being slightly smaller.  The statistics given above are for a standard immature male vvor.  The “big brother” vvor is generally a little larger than the typical vvor, weighing in at 200 pounds and with an increased Strength of 18 (+4) and Constitution of 19 (+5).  He has a long sharp horn between 6-10 inches protruding from the top of his head, which causes 1d10 damage and has a critical threat range of 18-20.

Bull vvors have been measured as much as seven feel long and weighing close to half a ton.  The average bull is closer to five feet long and weighs between 600 and 700 pounds.  The average cow vvor is three to four feet long and weight 300 to 400 pounds.

Special Abilities

Spirited charge (Ex) If a vvor can charge its full movement speed, it gains a +2 to attack and deals double damage with its gore.

Ferocity (Ex) A creature with ferocity remains conscious and can continue fighting even if its hit point total is below 0. The creature is still staggered and loses 1 hit point each round. A creature with ferocity still dies when its hit point total reaches a negative amount equal to its Constitution score.

Light Sensitivity (Ex) Creatures with light sensitivity are dazzled in areas of bright sunlight or within the radius of a daylight spell.

 

 

 

 

 

New Item

Giant Green-spored Parasol mushroom poison

Inhaled, DC 19; initial 1d4 Con, secondary 2d4 Cha; price, 1,200 gp

 

 

 

New Spells

 

Ironfibre

Transmutation

Lvl: Drd 7

Components: V, S, M

Casting Time: 1 minute/2 lb. created

Range: O ft.

Effect: Fungus, such as molds, mushrooms or toadstool (or similar) object, weighing up to 10 lb./level

Duration: One day/level

Saving Throw: None

Resistance: No

Ironfiber is a magical substance created by druids from normal molds, mushrooms or toadstools. While remaining naturally fibrous in almost every way, ironfibre is as strong, heavy, and resistant to fire as steel. Spells that affect metal or iron do not function on ironfibre. Spells that affect plants do affect ironfibre, although ironfibre does not burn. Using this spell with fiber shape or a plant-related Craft check, you can fashion fibrous items that function as steel items. Thus, fibrous plate armor and fibrous swords can be created that are as durable as their normal steel counterparts. These items are freely usable by druids. Fey creatures frequently use them as well.

Further, if you make only half as much ironfibre as the spell would normally allow, any weapon, shield, or suit of armor so created is treated as a magic item with a +1 enchantment bonus.

Material Component

Molds, mushrooms or toadstools shaped into the form of the intended ironfibre object.

 

Fiber Shape

Transmutation

Lvl: Drd 2

Components: V, S, DF

Casting Time: 1 standard action

Range: Touch

Effect: One touched piece of wood no larger than 20 cu. ft. + 2 cu. ft./level

Duration: Instantaneous

Saving Throw: Will negates (object)

Resistance: Yes (Object)

Fiber shape enables you to form a mound of molds, mushrooms or toadstools into any shape that suits your purpose. While it is possible to make crude coffers, doors, and so forth, fine detail isn't possible. There is a 30% chance that any shape that includes moving parts simply doesn't work.