A15: Usurper of Souls

Maps

A15-Holoth  A15-Temple-of-the-Spider-Goddess  A15 Level 1 A15-Dungeon A15-Level-3 A15-Level-4 A15-Level-5 FPO-A15-Level-2 A15-Level-2

Audio

War Cries

Monster Sounds

Major Combat

Death Screams

Quiet Building Interior

 

RISE OF THE DROW 3 of 3

by Stephen Yeardley and Jonathan Nelson
Guest authors Joshua Gullion & Will Myers

Table of Contents

Introduction

Welcome to the grand finale in the RISE OF THE DROW trilogy by Adventureaweek.  At this point the PCs have braved Krelgar Keep, traveled to the dwarven city of Embla, and discovered the drow house responsible for the shift in power and uncertain times in the Underworld.  Depending upon which path the PCs chose in A14: Scourge of Embla they will either find themselves in the drow city of Holoth standing at the entrance to Tolgorith Tower  or exiting the Back Road from the dwarven stronghold and sneaking into the City of Holoth, discretely making their way toward Tolgorith Tower. In both cases it could be with or without a force of dwarven warriors from Embla.

Which ever route they choose,whether one of the above or one of their own making, the ultimate goal of A15: Usurper of Souls is to pit the PCs against an entire tower full of horrors whilst giving them the chance to either confront or bypass the various forces working against the party, before finally ousting the powerful Matron Maelora and thereby restoring order to the Underworld.

If you are not running the RISE OF THE DROW trilogy, you may place the City of Holoth and Tolgorith Tower anywhere in a typical Underdark setting.

 

Adventure Background

The following is the grand summary adventure background.  This should assist those GMs that may need a recap of the events which led up to the PCs finding themselves standing before the mighty Tolgorith Tower of House Gullion.  Remember, the idea is that the PCs will have had a challenging journey thus far and in theory should find themselves low on food and supplies as well as having fought various diseases and ailments contracted during their journey in the Underworld. This may be difficult to put across if you are just playing this adventure as a stand-alone; you will have a greater impact with this adventure if it feels like the end of a genuine challenge.

 

The drow city of Holoth has long been a nexus of power in the Underworld, both naturally and when forged by those who desire it. Holoth is a wealthy city of power-hungry drow families, with each house constantly vying for position and prestige at the expense of each other.

For years, a house by the name of Gullion struggled for power, only to lose footing after each conflict. Recently, after slaying her own mother, the priestess Maelora came to lead the family. The new Matron Maelora struck a deal with a race of crystalline beings called Vidre. This magically-sealed pact between her house and the vidre would facilitate House Gullion’s eventual rise to pre-eminence in Holoth. To guarantee this progress, the vidre granted House Gullion an item called the Vidrefacte. A natural crystal shaped like an enormous carved gem, the Vidrefacte is a powerful artifact capable of draining souls from the dead or dying or recently deceased and transferring their life force into energy to be stored within itself and used at a later time. When granting the artifact to Matron Maelora, the vidre performed an incantation which permanently bonded the crystal to House Gullion and its insignia.

Armed with the artifact, Matron Maelora ordered the ritualistic sacrifice of many of House Gullion’s slaves and low ranking members, in order to fill the magical crystal with energy. After the foul deed was done, the Vidrefacte glowed with blinding light of hundreds of souls, as if it was white hot. The Matron Mother prayed to the Spider Goddess whilst holding the gem aloft and as she finished her spell, she set the crystal atop a large stalagmite within close proximity of the city’s central structures. The pillar magically grew until it almost touched the ceiling of the gigantic cave, whilst at the same time the pulsating light from the Vidrefacte diminished. Matron Maelora ordered the sacrifice of further members of House Gullion and again the light returned. The Matron Mother summoned the crystal’s power once more and circular windows appeared. She created a grand entrance dedicated to the Spider Goddess, but found that yet more sacrifices were required. After a dungeon to keep prisoners and train beasts was created, the light in the gem flickered out. Matron Maelora was furious that the crystal continued to require these sacrifices as the House was now in short supply of potential victims and if any more creatures were taken from its own stock, it would leave it unable to function efficiently and effectively. Matron Maelora ordered the members of her House to start trawling the Underworld for more slaves and living bounty to be used to power the Vidrefacte. Meanwhile, she sacrificed a few medium ranking members of the house, including some immediate relatives she had never much cared for because they had stood in her way as she rose through the House ranks, and soon the construction of her new home was complete.  She named it Tolgorith Tower and magically ensured the now-hovering Vidrefacte above the top of the structure remained in place, as so instructed by the crystalline beings.

Meanwhile, the vidre were rather pleased. They had tricked House Gullion and now had a free source of energy. The channeling of souls from their artifact gave them a steady supply of life force which the vidre need in order to survive and thrive. Little did Mother Matron Maelora know, but she was only obtaining half the energy from each soul whist the vidre fed on the other half. The more energy the vidre absorbed, the stronger they became.

This vicious circle continued for many years until House Gullion became a force to be reckoned with. The family had agents installed in all the other houses and every chain of command. It was poised to strike and strike it did; House Gullion took the throne of Holoth for its own, grasping the seat of power to control the entire city. But Matron Maelora was far too power-hungry to stop there. She wanted to dominate the entire region, both above and below ground.  She ordered a lock-down of the Underworld. She ceased outside relations with the mercane, the dwarves, and the other races which traded and dealt with the drow. She found new sources of goods through raids on outlying villages and towns and instead of asking for what they needed, the drow now took what they wanted. This change in lifestyle, while disdained by some, has been accepted by the general populace. Many see Matron Maelora as a gift from the Spider Goddess herself, someone who will “guide us to victory and dominance over the other races with their weak and mewling gods.”

 

Changes in the Underworld

The change in drow behavior adversely affected most of the Underworld, throwing the status quo into utter chaos. Trade routes were severed, drow raids increased, and the stability of the entire Underworld is teetering on the brink of destruction. Most affected by the new changes were the dwarves of Embla, a large town in close proximity to Holoth. Over the past few months it lost numerous warriors, merchants, and officials to drow raids on both trade shipments and finally on the city itself. Embla sent word to the nearby major dwarven city of Stoneholme, but was turned away.  Stoneholme had already closed its borders and barred its gates when the drow took to their raiding activity in the area. Embla is now virtually defenseless and after a drow assassin attack destroyed their precious "Merchant Circle" the PCs were begged for their assistance in saving the Underworld from this terrible threat.

 

Recent Events

After a consultation with her daughter, the Oracle of Tolgorith Tower, Matron Maelora began to suspect that her deal with the vidre was no longer working to her advantage. The thirst of the crystal artifact seemed to be increasing despite the fact that Matron Maelora had decreased her reliance of it and thus consumption of energy from the Vidrefacte had also dropped. Matron Maelora prayed to the Spider Goddess and performed many bloody and taboo rituals requesting guidance and clarity. The Spider Goddess finally granted her a vision in which Maelora saw threads of life force trailing off each member of House Gullion. These threads all coalesced at the Vidrefacte where, using Tolgorith Tower, the energy was being channeled down through the earth and directly into the bodies of the vidre. Hidden below the House, as the vidre grew in size and power, the more they required the energy from souls. Finally it was all clear to Matron Maelora; she knew what she must do. Gathering the children of the House from whom she saw with threads leading, she had them perform a ritual requesting the further assistance of the Spider Goddess. In another vision, they all saw that the Goddess agreed to help, but only with the promise of the expansion of her power. The Spider Goddess required that House Gullion dominate all of the region around the city, both below and above ground. They were bound to spread the word of the Spider Goddess and force the humans above to bow before the her or die, so that they would all know her strength and might.

All those involved agreed, and the drow Spider Goddess severed the link between House Gullion and the vidre. The back-ripple of energy from the Vidrefacte was felt by every drow of House Gullion, as the mystical threads seen in the first vision were torn asunder, whilst those who took part in the second ritual felt a personal blessing from the Goddess, something that came with a price to pay.

This enraged the vidre who prepare an all out assault on Tolgorith Tower. If House Gullion would not fulfill their agreement than the vidre would take their souls with force!

Depending upon the path which the PCs recent events may have played out differently.

Path A: The vidre have already assaulted Tolgorith Tower and were repelled by the drow forces which have been strengthened due to their recent sacking of Embla and subsequent mass sacrifice of newly acquired dwarven slaves.

Path B: The vidre will be arriving at Tolgorith Tower about the same time as the PCs exit the Back Road and can be seen climbing the tower and attempting to gain entry whilst fighting groups of drow out in the open streets of Holoth.  The PCs will also be targeted by the vidre.

Path C: The PCs bravely undertook a direct assault of the City of Holoth and Tolgorith Tower along with a small force of dwarven soldiers from Embla.  They now stand ready to attack the fortress known as Tolgorith Tower when suddenly, the vidre unexpectedly arrive.  At least the PCs have the dwarven warriors to hold them off while the PCs charge into the tower.

 

 

 

Adventure Synopsis

As listed above, the PCs path through this adventure varies slightly based on actions taken in the previous two adventures.

Path A: The Vidre have already assaulted Tolgorith Tower and were repelled by the drow forces which have been strengthened due to their recent sacking of Embla and subsequent mass sacrifice of newly acquired dwarven slaves.

Path B: The Vidre will be arriving at Tolgorith Tower about the same time as the PCs exit the Back Road and can be seen climbing the tower and attempting to gain entry whilst fighting groups of drow out in the open streets of Holoth.  The PCs will also be targeted by the Vidre.

Path C: The PCs bravely undertook a direct assault of the City of Holoth and Tolgorith Tower along with a small force of dwarven soldiers from Embla.  They now stand ready to attack the fortress known as Tolgorith Tower when suddenly, the Vidre unexpectedly arrive.  At least the PCs have the dwarven warriors to hold them off while the PCs charge into the tower.

After the PCs enter the tower they will make their way through a gauntlet of guards and traps, eventually facing the children of House Gullion.

If the PCs explore the crypt they will meet Makinnga, who suggests they forge an agreement with the PCs, guaranteeing assistance in the final battle against Matron Maelora.

After exploring much of the tower, encountering the sacrificial pool, the demi-plane of Venom, and a host of other oddities the PCs finally face the powerful Matron Maelora.

During the final battle the PCs stand against the Grandmother Spider of House Gullion, two of the House Gullion children, a shadow, the Matron herself, and depending on the path chosen, an angry vidre which may or may not be possessed by Makinnga to assist in the Matron's demise.

As Maelora meets her end, the Vidrefacte becomes unstable and shatters as the bond held by the matron to the house is disintegrated.  With the demise of the matron and the destruction of the Vidrefacte, Tolgorith Tower begins to return to its former size and starts to shrink, the tower itself begins to crumble from the inside out as the interior cracks, buckles, falls, and vanishes from existence as the PCs run for their lives.  Depending upon whether a deal was struck with Makinnga, they may or may not live as the tower collapses in on itself from the top downwards, creating a battle ground that disappears almost as you make a stand on it.

The adventure ends with the PCs successful and returning to Embla for a grand celebration in their honor whilst Makinnga, the new matron of House Gullion begins to rebuilt her house and hatch a new set of plans.

 

 

 

 

 

Adventure Paths

There are many different paths which the Rise of the Drow trilogy may take depending on the PCs actions.  The attached PDF files detail these paths.  Please note that it is entirely up to the party which path they choose, and they may choose something not listed.  In this case use your best discretion as a GM including various events from whichever paths make the most since or even introduce your own as needed.  The amount of information on each location, monster, and npc included within this adventure series should give you more than enough options to produce whatever path the PCs may choose to take.

Introduction Path

Download PDF Introduction Path

 

A, B, and C Paths

Download PDF Paths A, B, and C

 

 

 

 

 

 

City of Holoth

The city of Holoth is based around three things: power, wealth, and murder.  The third of these three is such a strong focus of the residents, due to the fact that everyone covets the first two, that an excessive amount of time, effort, and energy are spent by those with wealth and power protecting themselves from being murdered. If the city's population was to call a truce for even a year, turning its murderous urges outwards, Holoth could perhaps achieve 10 years worth of its aims and aspirations in that short time. But whilst constant in-fighting exists, the rest of the Underworld can at least attempt to live its life without the threat of being enslaved and worse.

Until now.

Recent events have caused a shift in power placing House Gullion in direct control of the city and forcing the other houses to serve them in their expansion into the Underworld.

CITY OF HOLOTH
Geographical information
Aliases

City of Naraneus, City of Spiders

Societal information
Races

Drow 85%
Other (slaves) 15%

Population15,000
AlignmentNeutral Evil
Political information
Government

Matriarchy

Ruler

Matron Maelora of House Gullion

If the PCs took path A or C and you already played through the assault and infiltration of the city please skip the following section.  If the PCs took path B (the Back Road) they will leave the road and enter the city quite close to Tolgorith Tower (shown on the map) and may not need the following information either.  It is simply reprinted here and carried over from adventure A14: Scourge of Embla for those GMs which do not own the aforementioned module yet wish to possess the stats needed for the rest of the city in the case they would like to place this within their own campaign setting.

 

Holoth: Main Gates

As you near the city of Holoth, you view a sea of lights floating within a vast cavern.  The rock walls have a bluish tint to them, which can be seen emanating from the cracks and crevasses all around, as well as the great stalagmites and stalactites within the enormous cave. Access to the cavern ahead is blocked by a wall 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 black, solid 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 rest 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 them.  If this doesn't deter the party, the guards will order all of the giant spiders over the wall to tackle the intruders before finally engaging the PCs with the ballistae should all else 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 there will be further questions and they will find themselves 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 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 confusing 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 greater resistance is ahead.  There are many civilians roaming the open roads, the narrower routes between unfamiliar buildings and gloomy corridors, as well as two formidable guard towers from which flows a steady stream of foot soldiers. These 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 known only to the drow).  Of course, another option is the spell comprehend languages, but even with this there is always the chance a drow will recognize the PCs as outsiders and summon a guard or four 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, but 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 tower)
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 1d6+4 minutes for the duration of the PCs stay within the city.  Of course if the PCs are able to take cover somewhere out of the way this may decrease or even cease for a time.  Note: This section only occurs if the PCs have taken the "Front Door" approach.  After 15 such conflicts the reinforcements will stop coming for a duration of 4d10+10 minutes as forces from other parts of the city are sent to investigate the disturbance.  The reinforcements will not appear so long as the PCs are within the Temple of the Spider Goddess or Tolgorith Tower.

Reinforcements

(4) Drow City Guardians (reinforcements)

3.5 | Pathfinder

Arrive every 1d6+4 minutes within the city of Holoth

 

 

 

 

B3

Drow City of Holoth: Back Road Entrance

If the PCs took "Path B", they begin the adventure entering the city through the "Back Road" which will lead them past a drow check point, a guard tower, the main mushroom farm, the Temple of the Spider Goddess, and finally Tolgorith Tower itself.

 

Click here to download all player maps for A15: Usurper of Souls

 

Back Road Checkpoint

This has 6 drow working at it, with the guard duty made up of a wizard/fighter and 5 warriors. They are all on edge, because an order has come from House Gullion that Overworlders are attempting to enter the city. As it happens, none of the drow here have seen an "Overworlder" up close and are rather naive about what humans can actually look like - "All the same," is a common response to cover up this ignorance - although they are familiar with dwarves and goblins, and have a passing knowledge of deep gnomes. Elves can be passed off as drow with the appropriate Disguise skill roll whilst orcs can be viewed as exotic mercenaries. Dwarves can be seen as dvergr and gnomes as deep gnomes. Humans will be the most tricky race to disguise, followed by half-orcs and half-elves; attempting to present these races as sacrifices for House Gullion may well be the best approach, but using the necessary chains and yokes to make this realistic will hamper the PCs concerned.

If the party decides to bluff their way past, they will have to beat a +20 Sense Motive check from the leader of the guards.  If the PCs can show a House Gullion insignia pin, this gives a +5 bonus to their bluff check.  Additional increases may be added for extraordinary role-playing at the GM's discretion.

If the party decides to intimidate the guard duty, they find that the current level of paranoia and fear bolster the defenses of the members. Although none of them is particularly wise in general, they know what is good for them when doing this job, meaning they all get a +2 bonus to their rolls to resist attempts to intimidate them. Therefore the guard leader gets +9 to his d20 roll and the warriors each get +7 to theirs. If the PCs can show a House Gullion insignia pin, this gives a +10 bonus to the roll; intimidatory tactics are common from most members of House Gullion.

At least 5 of the 6 guards, including the leader, need to be successfully intimidated for the party to be able to immediately move on.

If 2 of the warriors make their rolls, the PCs have to intimidate the group again, with all the guards getting an additional +2 bonus to their second roll as doubt sets in.

If the leader makes his roll, or 3 warriors make their roll, a fight starts.

If the leader or 2 warriors are killed, another Intimidate check can be made with a +2 bonus to the PC making the roll. If successful, the party can move on, but one of the warriors will attempt to follow the PCs and report what has happened to the first senior drow (10 HD or more) that he meets.

 

 

Back Road Guard Tower

This guard tower protects the city from monsters and creatures which wander in through the "Back Road".  They watch the road constantly and unless the PCs are able to sneak past or convince the guards at the check point to let them pass, the guard tower will sound the alarm.  Once the alarm has been sounded, guards will stream from the tower and head toward the check point whilst the balista fires at the PCs once a clean shot can be had.  The drow working the balista do not want to hit their own men but will not hesitate if it means the chance of a good shot at a PC or two.

Note: Once the alarm has been sounded, City of Holoth Drow Guards will arrive every 1d10+10 minutes unless the PCs are NOT on Path A and approach Tolgorith Tower, in which case these patrols will cease.  The guards will become more interested in what is occurring at the tower.

 

Ballista (1)
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

 

 

Mushroom Farm and Fields

House Gullion runs and maintains numerous mushroom farms and fields.  Most are fairly new as previous law only allowed farming to take place in the caves just to the south of the city.  House Gullion has altered the laws to allow only their house the right to grow within city limits.  The reasoning behind this is known only to Matron Maelora, High Priestess Maroena, and Maltorya the Oracle of Tolgorith Tower.  Most members of House Gullion suspect that the matron plans to control the food supply in Holoth, thereby controlling the people themselves on a more intimidating and intimate level.

Two mushroom golems, recently captured from the Fungi Forest on the Back Road, have been magically manipulated and brainwashed to serve as gardeners for the crops so House Gullion may save their living resources for other conquests.

Lucky for the PCs, most of the drow that normally work at this farm have been called away to provide additional help at the House Gullion Slave Camp. The mushroom golems have been left to tend to the fields and repel vermin.

Upon entering the Mushroom Farm, the first thing that is noticed is the smell, a strong earthy odor with a tinge of rotting flesh. The very floor of the cavern is soft and rather slippery from all the years of decay.

Mushrooms of various shapes and sizes are growing throughout these vast fields, and in the distance a number of rare glowing mushrooms can be seen. They cast an eerie light over the rest of the field, providing barely enough light to see by.

With a Search/Perception DC 25 various items may be found scattered throughout the mushroom fields. Items include: clothing in various states of decay, bones from several creatures, and a few rusty metal items.

A small tool shed that houses farming implements is located on one end of the field. The shed doesn’t hold much other than a few well-used farming items and some Underworld fertilizer.

With a Listen/Perception DC 30 the shuffling of feet may be heard off in the distance. This is one of the two mushroom golems. The golems mindlessly work the fields, mostly oblivious to the PCs and will only attack if threatened. Both have been severely brainwashed by the drow and can only be convinced to return to the Fungi Forest on the Back Road should the Fungiant himself pay them a visit. Should the PCs wish to speak with the Fungiant about this matter post-mission he would be interested in retrieving these two, and the PCs would be rewarded both materially and with XP equaling a CR7 encounter.

Movement must done so with caution, due to the fact that some of the mushrooms are poisonous and if disturbed will release a poisonous gas. any movement at greater than half speed has a 50% chance of disturbing a suitably poisonous mushroom. Poison gas requires Fortitude save DC 20, failure causes a noxious cloud of gas 10’ x 10’ to form similar to a stinking cloud spell. The mushroom’s poison gas can be disarmed by carefully “harvesting” the mushroom (Disable Device DC 30).

 

Brainwashed Mushroom Golem (2)

3.5 | Pathfinder

House Gullion Slave Camp

The House Gullion Slave Camp is on solid lock down, and as the PCs approach they spot a huge Underworld Tyrannosaur circling the camp, a creature trained to attack any groups not bearing a House Gullion pin.  If the PCs have a pin the beast will stop, get very close, smell them then return back to circling the exterior of the camp. Once it has memorized their aroma, it will be able to pick them out in a fight or similarly confused situation even if they are disguised or hidden.

There are 2 guard towers from which guards watch the roads nearby.  Should the PCs approach, the tower guards will sound the alarm, bringing all the perimeter guards to attention. They will immediately approach the PCs as guards spill from the towers and into the streets.

If the PCs are able to sneak closer without alarming the tower guards, they will still have to sneak past the four patrolling the perimeter.  This will be difficult given that their mounts have an impeccable sense of smell and will catch whiff of anything alien in the air.

The slave camp is currently less full than would be expected, due to the need to feed the Vidrefacte.  About 75 of the slaves kept here are the cream of the crop, individuals hand picked by the family members of House Gullion for their strength, adaptability, tenacity and, above all, demonstrated loyalty. Although clearly in servitude, with all the signs of this such as minimal clothing, House Gullion branding or tattooing, and in most cases neck collars with the House Gullion symbol magically etched into them to act as a restraining device, almost all of the humanoids here are on the side of their mistress or master. Years of obedience and recent signs of favoritism have changed attitudes rather dramatically. If the PCs set this group of slaves free, they will turn on the party as a mob. If the PCs attack them, the slaves will fight back ferociously! They know a number of well-trained drow watch over the compound from corner towers and around the perimeter, whilst the housing blocks are more like cells and don't have solid walls, so the occupants can be observed at all times. As long as these guardian drow live, the slaves fight.

The compound contains a number of pits, cells, and holding areas where slaves are processed, kept, and forced to work.  New slaves arrive on a daily basis from various points of the Underworld in which the drow have established themselves.  In some cases House Gullion has purchased the lowliest of drow from other houses and tossed them into the slave camp to supplement the great numbers of sacrifices required daily by the Matron for use in the Vidrefacte artifact.

The demographics of the slaves kept here varies greatly depending on which path the PCs have taken.

Path A: 80% dwarf, 10% human, 10% other

Path B: 50% dwarf, 10% human, 30% drow, 10% other

Path C: 40% dwarf, 10% human, 40% drow, 10% other

*Other includes various Underworld races such as sub-types of dwarf, deep gnome, mercane, troglodyte, visiting creatures from other planes, and  myriad others.

However, if all of the guards are killed, the PCs may free the slaves. (Note: some are still loyal to House Gullion and may attack the PCs as described above).  Once freed the slaves grab anything they can use as a weapon and begin to move through the city, attempting to find an exit.  Drow forces from all houses move to intercept them, which gives the PCs a useful break from city guard encounters for the next couple hours.  Alternatively the PCs may attempt to sway the slaves to their cause by succeeding on a  Diplomacy DC 30-40 with higher results garnering a greater following.  Once the PCs gather a group of followers they may use them as they see fit, including as a distraction or battering ram through sheer weight of numbers.  The slaves themselves have little combat experience, thus will be easily mown down by drow in combat, but if the PCs can convince them that the fight is for both their immediate freedom and the freedom of future generations from the possibility of slavery under the drow (through expertly performed role-playing by the players), they may just be willing to lay down their own lives in defense of the PCs and their mission.  The final number of slaves freed and granted to the PCs, as well as how they are used, is entirely up to the GM, although we suggest 5 if the Diplomacy DC 30 roll is made plus 5 more for each point above thirty, up to a maximum of 55 if a DC 40 or higher roll is made..

Advanced Tyrannosaur

3.5 | Pathfinder

Location: Circling the slave camp.

 

Drow Slave Camp - Tower Guards* (8)

*Each guard carries 2 potions of cure serious wounds and will drink if HP are reduced to 1/3.

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

Drow Slave Camp - Perimeter Guards* riding Deinonychus (4)

*Each guard carries 2 potions of cure serious wounds, one for them and one for their mount, which they will use if HP are reduced to 1/3 for either of them.

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

Deinonychus (4 mounts for above)

(8 more kept in stockades within camp)

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

B4

Approaching Tolgorith Tower

The approach to Tolgorith Tower is riddled with various drow traveling the roads to and from other houses.  If the PCs are spotted, most of the drow flee to alert the City of Holoth guard.  PCs may attempt to take out the drow travelers if they wish to stop them before they warn the guards.

These drow are regularly, if not frequently, accompanied by "something". For example, if anything needs to be carried, the drow may have a zombie, a slave, a quasit or imp, a fiendish pack animal, an elemental, a flesh golem or even a gray render if one has become attached to the drow. These creatures usually will leave the scene with the drow; just occasionally, they will fight on behalf of the drow, but only if the drow themselves joins combat in some way or other. The nature of the accompanying creature reflects the standing of the drow; other than the gray render, the HD of the servant will never equal or exceed that of the drow mistress or master, and usually has half or fewer hit dice if alive.

Despite the ferocity of the lock-down instigated by Matron Maelora, there are still a very few non-drow, non-slaves in the city, but only creatures of the greatest power and importance in their own worlds. Each will have a very limited time available to them in the city and will be subject to attack by members of House Gullion if they think they can either win a battle against the creature or, more usefully, drag it off to be slaughtered for the Vidrefacte. This situation explains why there are many fewer summoned and otherworldly creatures in a city that would normally be teeming with them. The flip side to this situation is that these creatures, made aware of their hazard-filled and precarious situation by the member of whichever house has summoned them, may lend a hand to the PCs' cause if they see the party fighting against House Gullion guards and the creatures themselves are Lawful.  Chaotic creatures will take advantage of the situation to rush by in order to complete their task. If the GM would like to add a creature or two to any short, sharp encounters as the PCs approach the city, consider using the following:

  • A Fallen Astral Deva (as a standard Astral Deva except the description is now Fallen Angel, Extraplanar, Evil and any description with the tag "Good" or "Evil" is reversed, for example the creature has "Damage reduction 10/good" and its alignment has to be "always evil (any)". LE variants may assist the PCs, NE and CE variants will sneak by)
  • A Fallen Trumpet Archon (as a standard Trumpet Archon except the description is now Fallen Archon, Extraplanar, Evil, Lawful and any description with the tag "Good" or "Evil" is reversed, for example the creature has "Damage reduction 10/good" and its alignment is "always lawful evil")
  • Either a single, a pair of or a team of 3 Barbed Devils
  • An Ice Devil
  • 2 Bebelith, guests of another House on a diplomatic mission
  • A Retriever, clearly marked with the insignia of another House, which may mistakenly take a PC for its target
  • Either a single, a pair or a full nest of Dark Naga, on the trail of an enemy mage
  • A pair of Trolls which are Hunters, with Lawful Evil alignment. These creatures are on the hunt for the member of another house, but are happy to kill any and all drow they come across. They are here at the request of a mysterious non-drow from their homeland, Obor, whom they have never openly met. Depending on the strength of the party, they will take any magic weapons they find and want immediately after the encounter and then leave, but promise to attack any party with elven or human members if their paths cross again. If the PCs choose to turn this into a full fight, the trolls will run as quickly as they can - they do have a mission to finish after all!

 

Drow Traveler(s)

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

 

 

 

Enter the Vidre

If the PCs took Path A, then the Vidre have already come and gone and House Gullion has turned them away, sacrificing hundreds of dwarves from Embla to do so.  House Gullion has already regrouped days ago, so GMs may simply skip this section as the PCs approach the Temple of the Spider Goddess.

If the PCs took Path B or C, the Vidre will have arrived just prior to them and are in the process of engaging the drow, with some members of their group climbing Tolgorith Tower to see through plans to break into the Tower and retrieve the Vidrefacte.

Although there are 5 Vidre in the vicinity of Tolgorith Tower, the PCs will only face one (aside from the Vidre at T33 on Path B or C).  Since this enemy will be fairly tough, at some point the drow may appear, causing the Vidre to lumber off in their direction.  At this point give the PCs the chance to either run for the Tower or risk engaging the Vidre and the drow, if they are so bold!  Luckily for the PCs, the drow are more interested in driving off the Vidre than the appearance of Overworlders here.  Only the matron and the oracle know the danger that the PCs' arrival signifies.  

A group of huge humanoids made entirely of multifaceted crystal attack Tolgorith Tower in force.  Many begin to climb the tower whilst a single being battles priests adjacent to a structure built to look like an all-too-realistic gargantuan spider.  As you watch, the crystal being grabs a leg of the spider and rips a section of it clean off.  It swings the leg like a club, and with a single swipe blasts a group of drow priests airborne, shattering the club upon impact.  It turns its sights on your group, drops what is left of the makeshift club, and begins to head in your direction.

 

Vidre

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

Tolgorith Tower Guards (6)

3.5 | Pathfinder 

 

As the party continues into Tolgorith Tower it will notice that the guard force is busy chasing vidre around the tower, firing arrows and casting spells at them.  Some of the guards have been slain and drow bodies litter the final approach towards the stairs to the Temple of the Spider Goddess and Tolgorith Tower.  Due to this, the PCs may have an easier time slipping in and may also face a smaller guard force (at the GM's discretion and based on level and size of party accordingly).

 

 

 

 

Temple of the Spider Goddess

The Temple of the Spider Goddess sits directly over the stairs which climb to the entrance of Tolgorith Tower.  The PCs may choose to clean out the temple prior to entering Tolgorith Tower, or sneak past and deal with the priests at a later time.

Naraneus the Spider Goddess

Up until now the PCs have only heard rumors of this "Spider Goddess" and not much else.  Once the PCs enter her temple, they will finally be face-to- face with her followers.  Jump to the end of the adventure for more information detailing Naraneus the Spider Goddess, her favored weapon, domains, and spells.

DEITY NAME Naraneus
Aliases Queen of Shadow, She Who Weaves Darkness, Spider Queen

Symbol: A spider with a stylized face on the back or an 8-fingered hand
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Portfolio: Darkness, Drow, Evil, Forbidden Knowledge, Spiders
Domains: Destruction, Evil, Knowledge, Penumbra*, Shadow*
Favored Weapon: Scorpion whip, preferably poisoned

From the beginning, during the Prime Event that created the cosmos, there has been light. However, where there is light, there is also shadow and darkness with a primeval being who dwell in that darkness. Known on numerous planes by a myriad of titles, she is known in this realm by a name barely whispered by the drow; Naraneus.

Naraneus only appears to her worshipers in her true form. The bottom half is a giant hunting spider while the top half is a drow female with her face painted white. Her hair is also white and tiny spiders crawl through it constantly. She wears an apron made of surface Elf skin.

 

*Penumbra and Shadow Domains detailed extensively at the end of this adventure.

It has been stated many times, since the Spider Queen has chosen the Drow as her children, that there are few places less safe than within the temples built to honor her.

And the Temple of Tolgorith Tower is no exception to this belief. Crafted from the hollowed out husk of a beyond-gargantuan arachnid, fortified with magics to withstand the passing of time, this once immense nightmarish creature now plays host to the worship of the drow's benefactor, Naraneus, the Spider Queen.

 

 

1. Base of the Stairs

A great flight of stone stairs formed seemingly from the very ground they stand upon and smooth as if no tool had ever touched them, extends up into the great stalagmite that houses Tolgorith Tower. Crouched over the stairs like a nightmare summoned from the darkest abyss stands a petrified gargantuan arachnid, as if waiting for prey.

Located roughly ten feet up the stairs from the base, at a roughly 15 degree angle from the polished black mandible fangs of the petrified arachnid husk, is a magical trap that will require any character with Trap Detection (or similarly appropriate skill/abilities) to make a check of 25 to detect the trap.

The trap is activated when anyone other than the below mentioned attempts to climb the stairs.

•     an individual bearing a house insignia from House Gullion

•     anyone carrying an official invitation from House Gullion

•     Anyone of the bloodline of House Gullion

•     those bearing the insignia of the priests dedicated in service to Naraneus

•     those accompanying someone who meets any of the prior requirements

The trap is entirely magical, and gives no warning other than the possible electrical buildup one might feel in the air before a lightning strike. Visually speaking a generous GM might point out potential burnt areas upon the stairs, or burnt tips upon the mandible fangs above.

Cascading Lightning Bolt Trap

CR 6

XP 2,400

Type magical; Perception DC 30; Disable Device DC 30

EFFECTS

Trigger proximity (passing below the spider's mandibles); Reset no

Effect Spell effect (three lightning bolts one after another in the same round,
5d6 damage each, Single Target, Reflex DC 16 for 1/2 damage).

 

Developer's Tip: Due to the nature of the distance of the trap itself from where the group is in physical relation to the source of the danger, I encourage a GM to allow for some room for improvisation upon the part of the group (as long as the trap check was within a stones throw of the target), as a rogue disabling this trap via mere dice roll defeats the very nature of roleplay.

 

 

2. The Landing

Standing just beyond the viewpoint of the party, and above the temple upon the stairs, are the first two of four Drow Guardians overlooking the entrance to Tolgorith Tower. It is practically impossible for the party to enter the temple without being seeing, but with a Spot/Perception check DC 25 the players should be able to notice the drow with enough time to avoid a surprise attack.

Exterior Temple Guards

3.5 | Pathfinder

Dominating a side landing upon the continuing staircase, allowing access to the Spider Queen's Temple, is a large ornately carved stone door, magically fused into the body of the arachnid. Carved in a raised intricate detail is an eight fingered hand, viewed from the top down, with a recessed area in the center of the hand. There are no visible knobs, handles, hinges or knockers upon the door.

The door is designed to only open when either an attending priest or member of House Gullion places their personal insignia medallion within the recess. Not even the guards have permission to open this door unattended. It can be overcome with a disable device check of 35, with no time permitted for a character to attempt to take 10 or 20 (there are guards just up the stairs after all).

A botched attempt to open the door summons 1 monstrous spider to the landing which attacks the character who failed.  The spider attacks with an automatic surprise upon the first round.

Monstrous Spider

3.5 (Medium) | Pathfinder

 

 

3. The Vestibule

The lowest point within the temple, this room is dominated by a spiral staircase, that upon any inspection, appears to go up more than one simple floor. The area here seems to a general meeting room, with seating and tables to greet and discuss matters with those the temple would have to deal with outside of the primary functions of worship.

As this is an active temple of worship, the only true random encounters one might come across within are the temple's guards, the cleric/priests who worship here, and the multitude of spiders which freely roam the confines of this temple. No free roaming spider is greater than large in size, and they rarely travel together but will quickly be drawn to a food source if detected.

 

 

Random Encounter Table:

Monstrous Spider

3.5 Large | Pathfinder 

 

Drow Temple Guard

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

This large greeting room is decorated with sparse furnishings of seating and tables, the purpose behind this room is obvious to any who have spent time within a temple. Here the priests may meet with those who are unworthy, and those who may defile their temple. The central spiral staircase has been formed from the bones of various species, both animal and sentients, and adds a grisly reminder that not all life is held in high regard within these walls. The walls have been carved by artisans of great skill to display a grand mural depicting several stages of drow history.  Naraneus appears to be a central theme as the mural focuses on the improvements made to drow life since her arrival.  Throughout all of the carvings there is one continuous connecting web, tying all the tales back to a central carving, similar in nature to the eight fingered hand upon the door.  The sound of voices echoing down an above stairwell suddenly demand your attention.

On this level the chances of randomly encountering either a priest or guard should be as low as 10%, with that number increasing to 20% if the party failed to get through the door quietly. The party should be able to hear from the floor directly above the sounds of guards discussing matters

Drow Temple Guard

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

Listen/Perception check assuming the group has a member who can understand the drow native tongue.

Note: If the Vidre currently attack Tolgorith Tower these men will be talking battle plans as opposed to playing games as noted below.

15) The guards appear to be playing a rudimentary game involving stones carved with numbers and a great deal of chance

20) Two of the guards are discussing the white abomination, much to the anger of three other guards

25)  Several of the Guards are complaining about a woman named Talanetha in the manner that all lower employees discuss their superiors when they believe no one can hear them.

It should be noted if the group were to attempt to sneak up the stairs to surprise the guards, the stairs are made of what appears to be recovered bone, woven together to form a spiraling staircase, and the bone, although solid, does tend to give off a distinct sound, similar to hollow wood. The players will need to succeed at Move Silently/Stealth checks of 15 to get up the stairs silently.

 

 

 

4. Guards Common Room

The central stationing point for the temple's guards, who may or may not be aware of the party by this point depending upon the actions of the party. There are (6 + 1d4) guards stationed here, and half of them are currently involved in a game of chance with their backs to the staircase. If the group has already encountered the guards with an initial combat from low ground fighting through the stairwell, adjust numbers accordingly.  If the guards are already aware of the party's presence and have been able to call for help feel free to bolster these numbers with priests (there are currently 10+1d12 priests within the temple).

With the spiral staircase taking up the center of room, there is practically no way to sneak entirely past the guards stationed here, but luck is with you, as half of them are engaged with their backs to the stairs, playing at a game of chance. Soft chanting can be heard from beyond the door to the north, as well as the unmistakable smell of food coming from beyond the door to the south. The guards not busy at games rest at one of the two long tables that line the walls of this room, eating what appears to be a stew.

Drow Temple Guard (6-10)

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

 

 

5. Kitchen & Larder

The kitchen and food larder for the temple can best be described as a small slaughter house. The cutting boards are large wooden slabs, stained deep with many years of blood and with jagged gouges, and collection pails designed to waste none of the precious fluids that can be used for so many purposes. A great many knives of immense size and weight adorn the walls. Cooking is handled over a stone fireplace with a central brass venting system with piping disappearing into the wall. Resting upon the fire's hook is a large covered pot of cast iron, within which bubbles a stew of Vvor meat and root vegetables, along with an assortment of mushrooms.

Feel free to allow or even encourage the party to taste the stew, it won't harm them, and is in fact fairly tasty. If they have empty flasks they can even take some with them to replenish lost rations. If they choose to take some with them, the stew will stay good for no longer than one day outside of any cooling.

Once the player's have had their fill of the stew, feel free to read this last little bit out loud and let it sink in what might ALL be in the stew.

Within the larder are several sides of Vvor meat, salted and kept cool and dry, along with what looks suspiciously similar to several humanoid torsos. The shelves are lined with various root vegetables and mushroom pieces, as well as several spice jars.

The spices here are of a type more common to an underground setting, with things such as various salts, a sulfur blend as well as many edible metallic minerals, dried and crushed insects and deep cavernous fungi dried and ground into a workable powder. Whereas nothing here would be directly poisonous to the PCs, the body's unfamiliarity with the foods may still cause intestinal discomfort and should be handled with a secret Fortitude check against a DC of 12 with effects manifesting within 15-20 minutes after consumption. If a player fails a Fortitude check, penalize that player with a -1 to their attack and save roles for (20 – Constitution bonus) rounds, or until a purify food is cast on them.

 

 

 

 

6. Dressing Room

A dressing and storage room for the priests to change into ceremonial robes of red and black silks, each bearing a stylized depiction of the Spider Queen's Holy Symbol crafted from various chips of precious stones upon the tops of the hoods.  In total there are twenty robes here, with six robes bearing items within their pockets if the player's choose to take the time to inspect them.

This room seems to serve as a dressing room for the priests, with several robes hanging along the lengths of the walls, crafted of the finest red silks, adorned with black trim fashioned of spider silk. Each robe's hood bears the same eight fingered hand insignia you have encountered before, this time crafted out of precious gemstone chips, making each of these robes quite a tempting treasure if one could get them out of here cleanly and intact.

Search/Perception DC 10

Success = Discover treasure as described below.

Robe 1: Potion of spiderwalk

Robe 2: Ring of spell storing (currently holding 1 x Contact Other Plane, 1 x Sanctuary, 1 x Dimensional Anchor)

Robe 3: A smooth green stone, perhaps a glass of some sort, roughly the size of an egg, gem-like with no faceted sides

Robe 4: A detached drow finger still wearing a rival house insignia ring

Robe 5: A smooth red stone, identical to the green stone in all but color

Robe 6: A violet stone, identical in nature to the red and green stones in all but color

The three stones are focus stones and components for a massive portal within the main prayer chamber, used by the Head priestess to contact other planes. They must be placed in the proper order within their respective recesses within the portal's frame or they can have negative results, opening portals to undesirable locations, allowing things through to this realm, or even transposing things from this realm through to the other side of the portal similar to a teleport effect, with no means of returning. Seven stones are required to activate the portal, or even have an effect upon it, so the player's are in no danger with only the three stones.

As the PCs search this room they may arouse the interest of a swarm of spiders which makes their home here.  Starting with the first robe there is a 5% chance of encountering the spiders, this number increases by a cumulative 10% with each robe searched (maximum of 75%).

 

 

 

7. Mosaic Madness

The doors opens easily, unlocked and silent, onto the main room of worship, within which kneel several priests at prayer (4+1d4 Temple Priests). The priests are all in a half circle before a great ebony frame located within the wall upon the East side of the room. As the group enters the room, an elder priestess, who had been located at the far end of the room behind a blood stained altar of precious metals and stone, cries out a command in Abyssal that snaps the clerics to attention before vanishing into thin air (actually she teleported without error back to her private chambers to better prepare to engage the party).

Developer's Tip: If the group fails to stop this priestess from leaving they could easily find themselves overwhelmed with the remaining temple defenses fighting them from both ends at this location, you may wish to give them a chance to get in a ranged attack, perhaps slow her exit by one round...but that depends upon your party, if you feel they are up for the challenge, by all means, unleash the full fury of the temple's defenses upon them... if however you feel they deserve better odds, well, we won't hold it against you.

The priests attack without fear, utilizing group tactics and their most powerful spells right up front, hoping to end this quickly. They seem far more afraid of failing their elder priestess than of dying at the hands of the Players, and will only retreat if so forced by sheer overwhelming might. This should be a difficult encounter for the party, as they could easily find themselves caught in a crossfire if they don't make headway into the main temple room soon enough, as the elder priestess will be rousing the remaining priests and guards, and will be sending them to attempt to aid her trapped priests. You should really play up the severe lack of cover, as the main prayer chamber is completely devoid of furnishing beyond the alter at the far end of the room (see location 8), and even then to attempt to use the altar as cover, the party would be further entrenching themselves as far from the only doorway out of this room available to them.

The door to this area opens silently and easily, revealing a chamber filled with wall hangings of blood red silk, each depicting various outer planes, all under the dominion of Naraneus. The first half of the room, closest to the door within which you stand, is covered in an intricate tile mosaic of a large sixteen legged arachnid, easily twice the size of a standard human. The detail and attention put into the eyes and mandibles are maddening.

At prayer within the room are several priests, positioned in a half circle before a large round frame of ebony that lies within the Eastern wall about halfway down the length of the wall, all seeming to be oblivious of your presence. Above the priests the ceiling bears a great chart that looks to be astrological in nature, although the patterns and constellations shown are of none you are familiar with.

 

With a cry of “Defend!” in an unholy tongue, the priests seem to awake from their trance, responding to the outcry from an elder priestess at the far end of the room, who had been busy at a stained altar when you entered.

Again, it is really your call as GM as to whether your group gets a chance to stop the priestess from escaping or not, so read the next line when ready.

With a grin born of evil intent the priestess touches her hand to a bracelet she wears, and vanishes into thin air, as her priests leap to the attack with a fury that far outweighs their numbers.

Drow Priests of the Spider Temple (4-8)

3.5 | Pathfinder

If the group is having to easy of a time with the priests, have the priests fall back into the room thereby luring the players in deeper.  As soon as more than half of the group steps foot upon the mosaic “spider” it animates and rises, joining the attack.

 

Mosaic Tile Golem

3.5 | Pathfinder

Bear in mind, the golem will not rise until at least half of the party has stepped upon it, so if your party fights a ranged combat with the priests, and never fully enters the room, they may not even encounter the golem.

If the elder priestess succeeded in escaping to summon aid, the remaining priests and guards will be entering area 6 and beginning their attack upon the party within five rounds.

The remaining priests and guards total 7 and 5 respectively

 

Drow Priests of the Spider Temple (7)

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

Drow Temple Guard (5)

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

If the elder priest escaped with serious wounds, she will be found dead within her sleeping chamber (13) alone, having failed to raise the alarm before succumbing to her wound.

Once the encounter winds down, and the players find themselves with a minute to inspect their surroundings further, they should notice that within the astrological charts adorning the ceiling are several small nooks, and upon two of these nooks sit colored stones of the same nature as the three they may have found in area 6. The two stones here are colored indigo and yellow. The “nests” within the ceiling are merely holders for the stones, the intended location for the stones to be placed are within the mandibles of the spiders carved into the ebony frame in the Eastern Wall. As with all things of this nature, there is a proper order to the placement of the stones, and the secret lies within the drow fascination with color, and the absence of it.

Further investigation of other areas of the temple will be required for the player's to solve this puzzle on their own, as pieces of said puzzle are located elsewhere, and would not be readily obvious as to their purpose until all parts have been located.

 

 

8. The Prayer Theater

Resting among several items of ritual sacrifice, an athame appearing to have been crafted from the mandible of a large arachnid, a golden bowl of great size filled with a mixture of blood and spirits, as well as a pair of golden chalices still showing the evidence of a recent beverage, lies a large and delicate looking tome. With pages that appear to be crafted of little more than pressed webbing, the teachings of Naraneus, the Spider Queen are now within your grasp. The Tome radiates an aura of cold evil that seems to hang within the very air, leaving a residue of distastefulness upon the tongue.

Upon the blood stained altar is the Tome of Gossamer Thread, detailing the faith and teachings of  Naraneus, the Spider Queen. Included within the pages are her domains, what prayers she grants her loyal, what demands she makes upon her loyal, and what terms of punishment she metes out for disobedience. Any character with at least 5 ranks in Knowledge (religion) can utilize this book to try and learn more about their adversary, such as the extent of their domain lists and abilities.

As well as the book, there are also a pair of golden chalices within which rest a dried red sediment (blood and wine, mixed with a fiery spice), a large golden bowl filled halfway with a liquid mixture of blood and spirits, as well as several small chunks of meat. Three candles crafted of tallow wax and an athame formed from the front mandible of a large arachnid make up the remainder of the items upon the altar.

Developer's Tip: Feel free to really play up the fact that the book creeps people out; it is in fact a simple prestidigitation effect cast at CL18, with the purposes of adding to the mystique that is population control through faith, as well as a minor theft deterrent.

Nothing else beyond three tallow candles rest upon this altar.  Looking through the items however, you clearly see an inscription carved into the face of the altar itself, one that will require the items to be moved if anyone hopes to read it.

 

After moving the items upon the altar to clearly see the inscription (that will require a character who reads Drow) read the following aloud:

All roads are known by the split light of the stone

This is again but one clue in the process of allowing your players to solve the puzzle of the gate and the colored stones. For your sake, it is a reference to a prism, and the split color effect that happens when light travels through a prism. By this point the party should have five of the seven stones, and just might be crafty enough to deduce what the clue means. Without the last two stones and the prism though, they will still be unable to unlock the gate.

If the group has the means to duplicate a prism upon them, the proper sequence of colors is:

 

violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, red

But, without the last two stones, or a prism, there is a good chance they have yet to put it together yet within their heads as to what the purpose of the colors means as of yet.

 

 

 

9. Communal Living Room

Reaching the next level of the temple the party will be entering the living quarters of the priests and guards, with area 9 being a large communal room for rest. What type of challenge this area will be for the party depends entirely upon how the circumstances of the main prayer chamber played out, for if the remaining defenders of the temple joined the battle only to be bested by the party, survivors (if there were any) may have retreated to here, or fled the temple entirely to alert Tolgorith Tower as to the presence of the heroes (which should be handled with a secret countdown of somewhere in the time-frame of five minutes before a sizable force of Tower Guards would enter the temple intent on finding and defeating the players.

 

Exterior Temple Guards

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

If survivors fled to this level to regroup, than the PCs may find themselves dealing with a last stand, and an enemy that has dug in with intent to do as much damage as possible before being killed or captured.

 

Furnished as a communal room of rest this area hosts six doors, two on both the West and East walls, and one each on the South and North walls. The door to the North is of far better quality than the other remaining five doors. The room itself offers very little of interest other than the doors leading off of it, the furniture is comfortable, but not of exceptional quality, nor are there truly any items of interest.

If no help came to join the battle downstairs, then there will be the sounds of people within the rooms, and possibly even a few people within the communal room itself (35% chance). It will be up to the party to determine if they have enough left in them to take on another large group at once, or if they want to try and work the rooms in a stealthy fashion, keeping their opponents to a minimum.

If however the priests and guards did join the battle but were defeated by the party, they will have free reign of rooms 10-12, and 14, with nothing inside any of them to slow down their searches.

 

10. Priest's Sleeping Chambers #1

Housing four beds and four trunks, there are three priests within this room to deal with. All are awake, and are working on various studies.

 

Drow Priests of the Spider Temple (3)

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

Searching through the trunks will reveal an assortment of simple clothes and priestly footwear, as well as 2 vials of a sweet liquid that radiates no magic, and does not detect as poison. The liquid is in fact a digestive aid that the priest who owned this trunk traded for, as occasionally, when meat was scarce, the chef would over compensate with healthier than usual doses of spice. Obviously, any group traveling with an alchemist is going to have a much easier time identifying these vials.

The sleeping chambers of the priests reveal a spartan life, with beds barely big enough to be comfortable in, and nothing of personal property beyond a single trunk apiece, and whatever might be within it.  Looking through the priest's belongings you find extra sets of clothing and footwear, all of a simple and basic quality.

 

Only one trunk holds anything of interest beyond the clothing, and that would be two vials of a milky liquid.

 

11. Priest's Sleeping Chambers #2

Identical in setup to area 10, only with 2 priests this time.

Drow Priests of the Spider Temple (2)

3.5 | Pathfinder

This sleeping chamber is equipped with four simple beds barely large enough to allow one to stretch out and relax, and a trunk for each bed. Searching these trunks will reveal clothing, footwear and the orange stone.

This is a basic unadorned room with four beds barely large enough to allow children to sleep, this room contains a trunk for each bed as well. None of the trunks have locks, nor even latches. Searching through them you find four sets of spare clothes and footwear, and the orange stone.

 

12. Priest's Sleeping Chambers #3

There is a vastly different feel to this room, as the beds have been shifted together, making two larger beds (as opposed to the four smaller of the other rooms). There is also evidence of the guards here within this room (clothing more appropriate to the guards, spare weaponry). Currently within the room are two priests and one guard (with a priest and guard seated together on one of the makeshift beds). As the other two rooms, this room also contains four trunks, but includes a standing weapon rack (albeit small) upon which hangs two rapiers.

This lone guard will do his best to defend the two priestesses.

 

Drow Priestesses of the Spider Temple (2)

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

Drow Temple Guard (1)

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

 Located within the trunks of this room are not only spare clothes for priests but guards as well, insinuating that the priests and guards were sharing this room, perhaps in a romantic fashion as the beds being put together would imply. Tucked into the bottom of one of the guards trunks, wrapped in a shirt, is a red gemstone of sizable weight. Hanging from a small weapons rack in the corner of the room are two drow crafted rapiers of exceptional quality and craftsmanship.

13. The Lone Priestess

Here the party will find the remains of the elder priestess whom attempted to retreat from the main prayer chamber. The state of the room, and the priestess, will be contingent upon how last the party saw her.

Regardless of whether you utilized the second wave of defenders in the large prayer chamber battle or not, if the party was unsuccessful in slowing down the elder priestess's escape, read the following:

The room shows evidence of a ransacking, the lone bed and trunk flung to the side, and the older drow priestess's face a frozen grimace of pain in death, her body crumpled to the floor of her room.

 

If she escaped, but only after being wounded, read the following, again regardless of whether or not she managed to summon help:

The lone bed and trunk adorning this room have been thrown about and covered in the blood of the elder priestess, whose body now lies here upon the floor, having lost apparently succumbed to the wounds delivered earlier.

 

If she did not escape, read the following:

Although as large a room as the other three sleeping chambers for the priests, this one contains only one bed and trunk. A quick search reveals the blue stone, nestled in the bottom of the trunk.

 

 

14. Guard's Bunk

Containing three bunked sets of beds, as well as a wall of closets, this room's main point of interest has to be the weapon rack adorning the Northern wall, upon which hang several trophy weapons, most likely taken from fallen foes driven down in combat with the temple's guards.  Two of the weapons are of dwarven origin, while others bear an obvious elven touch beyond that of drow, there is also an aquatic trident, crusted with the coral of its homeland.

Searching the closets will reveal an assortment of common items;

  • spare uniforms
  • sharpening stones
  • writing material (parchments, quill and inks)
  • jerked meats and dried vegetables

The weaponry hanging upon the weapon rack however, is of much more interest, and will need to be identified via magical means to determine what exactly the players have found;

 

New Weapons

Kardor's Wrath

+2 Shocking Burst, Thundering Ironwood Maulaxe, Dwarven – Shocking Burst, Thundering

Exotic Weapon Proficiency required

Class: Light

Category: Melee, Thrown

Damage: 1d6+5

Critical: 20/x3

Range: 10'

Damage Type: B/S

Slot: none

Cost: 50325 GP

Weight: 5 lbs

Shocking Burst

Moderate evocation; CL 10th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, call lightning or lightning bolt; Price +2 bonus.

 

Thundering

Faint necromancy; CL5th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, blindness/deafness; Price +1 bonus

  • Last belonged to a famed dwarven ranger by the name of Etelhurn, known for exploring ever deeper as an advance scout for his people, investigating the next mine, challenging the deepest cavern, always willing to go just a little farther to make sure he knew what was out there, before his people found out the hard way.  He has been missing for many months now, and several had feared he had finally befallen a terrible fate.

The Walking Stick

+1 Ghost Touch Cold Iron Urgosh, Dwarven – Ghost Touch

Exotic Weapon Proficiency required

Class: Double

Category: Double Melee

Damage: 1d8+4/1d6+4

Critical: 20/x3

Damage Type: SP

Specials: Brace

Slot: none

Cost: 18700 GP

Weight: 12 lbs

A dwarven urgrosh is a double weapon – an axe head and a spear point on opposite ends of a long haft.  The urgrosh's axe head is a slashing weapon that deals 1d8 points of damage.  Its spear head is a piercing weapon that deals 1d6 points of damage.  You can use wither head as the primary weapon.  The other becomes the off-hand weapon.  If you use an urgrosh against a charging character, the spear head is the part of the weapon that deals damage.  Dwarves treat dwarven urgroshes as martial weapons.

 

Ghost Touch

Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, plane shift; Price +1 bonus

Crafted many years ago by an apprentice blacksmith by the name of Timmoth, as a gift for his mentor, an aging smith by the name of Fernong, who had developed an unhealthy fear of spirits since his wife had passed.  Convinced she was going to claim him on one of his many walks amongst the caves and tunnels surrounding the city, Timmoth took it upon himself to give his old friend piece of mind.  He crafted the weapon as a substitution for his mentors typical walking staff.  So overjoyed was Fernong with the gift he monikered it Walking Stick, and took it ever he went, convinced it would keep the spirits at bay, allowing him to return to his evening walks with peace.

Old Father's Reach

+2 Sodden Coral Trident

Martial Weapon Proficiency required

Class: 1- Hand

Category: Melee, Thrown

Damage: 1d8+4

Critical: 20/x2

Range: 10'

Damage Type: P

Specials: Brace, Fragile

Slot: none

Cost: 18304 GP

Weight: 3 lbs

Coral: Fragile, half hardness, -75% cost, -25% weight

Upon command, a sodden weapon is sheathed in water.  The water will always be of the deepest ocean pits, and cold to the touch.  The water does no harm to the wielder.  The effect will remain until another command is given.  A sodden weapon deals an extra 1d6 points of water damage on a successful hit.

Moderate evocation; CL 10th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor and control water, summon elemental or create water; Price +1 bonus.

The rack also contains a matched pair of elven longblades, masterwork quality, with ivory and fine hardwood hafts, but nothing of a magical nature in regards to either weapon.

 

 

 

15. The Repository of Knowledge

With a door of hardened chitinous shell, crafted to roll back into the hollow of the wall, thereby granting no access to hinges, nor any accessible locking mechanism that is visible, this particular door should prove a challenge for the group's rogue.  Whereas it is not trapped, the method of unlocking the door requires the laying on of hands of one of the temple priests.  The only marking upon this door is again the eight fingered hand, although it is now carved palm up, where a doorknob would naturally be positioned.  It should be virtually impossible for a rogue to “pick” this lock, as any magical means of shutting down the effect to allow for the door to be opened without the hand of a priest would leave the door then to be moved manually (it weighs around 1,700 lbs.)  If your group insists on taking the hard road however, the skill checks would be as follows.

Disable Lock/ Device DC 45

If successful:

Use Magic Device DC 35

If successful perform Strength check of DC 65 (there is room for at least four characters to get their shoulders in for leverage to aid with this)

-OR-

Any member of the party can merely place the hand of a dead priest upon the carving and watch the door gracefully roll back out of the way.

The door to this chamber is made from a huge chitinous shell.  It is incredibly strong and far too thick to gauge.  It seems to be mounted within a track, as there are no visible hinges and you can clearly see an opening within the wall all the way around the door.  Carved into the shell is the familiar eight fingered hand, although it is now represented palm up, and is located where one would expect to see a door knob.

If the PCs look closely they will realize that the carving is the only visible thing etched upon the door.

Once the party progresses past the door and into the room, read the following aloud:

The air here smells of dust and paper, a comforting and familiar scent to any and all who have spent time lost within stacks of knowledge.  The room is dominated by two large bookcases, one on either side of the room, and a scroll case running the center of the room.  Each of the book/scroll cases run from floor to ceiling.  There are two desks here with a chair at each as well, with the evidence of many years worth of burnt candles decorating the stone tops of the desks.  Filling every shelf are books of various topics, ranging from the histories of the drow people and their relations with their underground neighbors and enemies, to farming experiments tried throughout the generations.  In short, the combined history of this temple, and anything of interest to those who have called it home, are contained upon these shelves.  Most of the books here contain spines that show years of age, with crusted and cracked leather, with one rather large stack of books appearing older then the rest, oddly this stack is not on a shelf, but rather piled on the floor, in the corner of the room.

As you enter the library fully, the “pile” stands up unfolding into a rough humanoid shape, and advances upon you!

Book Golem

3.5 | Pathfinder

If the PCs choose to search this library, each successful roll will gain them one book from the appropriate list.  Given the matter at hand, you might wish to limit them to no more than a round or two total searching the library.

DC Search/

Perception

10

The Detailed History of the Rise of Holoth; Ruling Houses vol.11; An Overview of Trade

15

Overland Crops v.1-4; Collected Recipes of Masterchef Tolenth; Libram Arachnis

20

Tome of Venomous Arts; Records of Live Births; Register of Political Positionings

25

Noctrolious Divinium; The Private Journal of Kritenth

30

Libram Animatanious

35

Libram Necrolis
  • A Detailed History of the Rise of Holoth – the equivalency of a school age child's textbook
  • Ruling Houses vol.11 – an ongoing book series that details each successive House as they take control and reign of the city.
  • An Overview of Trade – A manual outlining the laws of Holoth in regard to trade both within the society, and with outsiders.
  • Overland Crops v.1-4 – A series of books detailing a failed attempt several years ago to cultivate various Overland crops to a subterranean growth cycle.
  • Collected Recipes of Masterchef Tolenth – Revered as a master chef able to craft a feast from anything he is given to work with, Tolenth had many recipes stolen from his kitchens years ago,  only to then see these hand written tomes pop up everywhere.  After many years however, there are very few of these books left, nor their "authors"...one should not anger the chef.
  • Libram Arachnis – A collected tome of breeding and rearing information in regards to various arachnids, detailing their mating, hibernating, feeding, hunting and fighting techniques.
  • Tome of Venomous Arts – A detailed collection of several plants, and how to harness and properly handle their toxins, as well as a full bestiary of creatures with venomous fluids that can be harvested.
  • Records of Live Births – As one would expect in a society as concerned with bloodlines as the drow are, very strict records are kept regarding births.  If a PC spends an hour studying this book, and succeeds at a Skill Check Search/Perception 25, they will notice that an alteration has been made to the current ruling family, excluding Talanetha from the proper associations with House Gullion.
  • Register of Political Positionings – A detailed accounting of the political struggles that define the daily lives of the drow politicians.
  • Noctrolious Divinium – An accounting of the religions that have corrupted the other races of the world, and the best means to overcome their defenders of faith.  Book is written from a very biased point of view from an extremely devout follower of the Spider Queen.
  • The Private Journal of Kritenth – Kritenth, a planeswalking Outsider, found himself trapped here many generations ago, proving that just because one has the ability to travel the planes, does not guarantee that you are a force to be reckoned with.  Slain by the drow who discovered him, his belongings were searched and studied, including a collection of writings that many a wizard spent years studying via magical scrying, finally putting together this collected journal detailing the realms visited by this traveler, as well detailing several pieces of advice for travellers.  It is within this book, in a section of pages cut away to make a hidden void, that the PC's will find the prism they need to unlock the color code for the gate.
  • Libram Animatanious – An entire tome dedicated to the spells of animation, both of inanimate and organic materials.  Study of this book for one hour uninterrupted will grant a +5 circumstance bonus on the next attempt by a PC to animate any object.
  • Libram Necrolis – a slim tome bound in a leather crafted of dwarf hide, this tome is dedicated to the creation and control of undead servants.  Not just a collection of spells so much as a How To on creating lower forms of undead.  Study of this book for one hour uninterrupted will grant a +5 circumstance bonus on the next attempt by a PC to create a lesser undead.

Developer's Tip: You should make a point of reminding your PCs that the library is primarily written in drow, with a few manuals written in either draconic or abyssal.  If a PC is able to overcome the language issue, and spends no less then one hour of uninterrupted time reading any single book of strictly knowledge (leaving out the spell casting manuals at this point), they may use such gained knowledge as a +5 circumstance Knowledge bonus at a point wherein the information would possibly do them any good to know; i.e. The records of Live Birth – facing Talanetha a PC may make a Knowledge check to connect the dots and realize she could be a potential ally against House Gullion, as they disowned her.

 

 

 

16. Talanetha's Private Quarters

Talanetha's chambers lie on the other side of an easily opened door, her faith in the book golem being absolute.  Containing the eye sockets of the arachnid from whom this building was fashioned, the crafters replaced the eyes with large half globes of glass, giving her a rather impressive view from the front of her chambers.  A large seating area of overstuffed couches lies to the West wall of the room, with a full wet bar of various liquors and edible treats.  To the East wall lies Talanetha's bed, an exercise in excess, with a mattress far outweighing her needs, covered in fine furs and silks. Above the center of the room, suspended within a web that spans the entire chamber just above head height, waits a monstrous spider, watching its mistress, as if waiting for a command.

Talanetha herself rests upon one of the couches, facing the door the PCs must enter through, and presents herself in a non threatening manner in fact.  She seems neither surprised not worried to to see the PCs.

Knowing the PCs have been present for some time now, Talanetha has set about steps to insure her survival, as she is in no way a fighter, but rather a survivor.  The woman seated upon the couch smiling at the PCs is in fact an illusion, cast mere moments before the PCs entered the room.  Talanetha is in fact not even in the room, as she exited through the lowest of the glass “windows”, and is perched to the outer husk of the temple.  She has however set about actions that will not be good for the party, having opened and spilled a vial upon the couch under the illusion of a very strong arachnid stimulant, hoping to attract several of the larger spiders from the nests occupying the top of the temple.

Monstrous Spider

3.5 Medium | Pathfinder Black Widow

If the PCs manage to find Talanetha, use the stats for a Drow Spider Temple Priest for her, adding a wand of illusion (14 charges).

Although she has luxurious taste in her furnishing, very little else is kept here within this room.  After a thorough search of the room Search/Perception DC 25 the PCs will find only

  • 2 daggers of ebony
  • an odd brass device that appears to be a support frame for two separate items, both rather small Knowledge(astrology) DC 25, the frame is in fact to hold the prism and a light source so that it can be placed to allow the prism to cast its light upon the gate, showing the proper configuration for the placement of the colored stones.
  • 240 GP, 35 SP, and 1,200 GP worth of small rubies.

 

 

 

17. The Nursery

The top floor of the temple is completely filled with spider webs, movement can be heard deep within.  Visibility is drastically lessened as wall after wall of thick white gossamer web is encountered in every direction.  Hanging amongst the webs, literally quaking with internal movement, are various egg sacs, woven directly into the massive web that dominates this entire chamber.  Just from where you stand scanning the room trying to gauge the safest path you count no less than twenty egg sacs, and several darker, more meaty, objects suspended within the webs.  Several smaller spiders crawl throughout, tending to the web.  Despite the spiders, there is the sound of something larger moving amongst the web that causes you to pause.

Here within the nursery amongst the spiders and their young resides Talanetha's personal project, an albino drider by the name of Rankeoul.  Formed when the child was young, and hidden away within the temple walls, Rankeoul knows no other life than caring for this nursery, and takes her duties of protector and caretaker very seriously, and will not stop short of death in her efforts to repel invaders. But she is no mindless beast, and uses the web to her advantage, staying under cover while firing bolts dipped in drow poison from the crossbow she has been trained to use by the Temple Guards.  Having spent her entire life within this web, she has become attuned to it in much the same way as any spider does with their web, and is fully aware of the PC's locations within this room at all times, which should become apparent to the group if ever they manage to lay eyes on her, despite the fact she is blind.

The web is soak in an alchemical substance that grants Fire Resistance 20.

Short of attempting to ignite the web, this encounter should test the PCs, as they have no cover from their assailant other then shields they may be carrying, as the webbing will not stop her bolts from flying through, and she can remain totally hidden for several rounds whist firing and moving.  Assume she can move freely throughout this entire chamber as per the passweb effect.

Drider

3.5 | Pathfinder 

Replace darkvision with tremorsense (tremorsense only within web).

 

Monstrous Spider  (2d8)

3.5 Medium

Pathfinder Black Widow

 

 

 

18. A Monster's Closet

At the Southern end of the nursery chamber, behind a rotted cloth door, lies the sleeping nest of Rankeoul, and the result of a life spent analyzing the outside world through the remains of those who were deposited here as meat for the nursery.  Various broken weapon pieces, as well as battle damaged armor and ruined equipment, with no rhyme or reason as to why she kept the pieces she did over others.

Scattered amongst the refuse are

  • 305 CP, 43 SP, and 190 GP
  • two blue sapphires (45 GP)
  • a black diamond (450 GP)
  • a small bag filled with emerald chips (350 GP)
  • a polished cats eye gem that may have at one time been set in a pommel by the shape of it (70 GP)
  • a platinum scroll case (filled with what appears to be bile) (35 GP)
  • a large pickling glass jar that appears to contain an imp
  • a jar filled with a black substance that seems to move of its own decision, testing the seal upon the top of the jar.  (a tiny black pudding)
  • a battered pair of boots that have seen far better days (Boots of Striding)

 

 

 

 

 

B5

Tolgorith Tower

 

Tolgorith Tower started out as a large stalagmite within the vast cavern housing the drow city of Holoth.  Using the magic of the Vidrefacte, Matron Maelora of House Gullion enlarged the stalagmite, hollowed it out, and added levels, stairs, rooms, and even doors to complete House Gullion's home. The drain on the Vidrefacte was one of the initial factors which drove Matron Maelora to taking over the city and eventually instigate plans for domination of the surrounding area. Even now, with the links to the vidre severed, many souls are still required to maintain the energy of the Vidrefacte.

Communication within the Tower

Matron Maelora used the Vidrefacte to install a system of small magical crystal filaments which run the entirety of the structure.  This system allows the matron, any of her children or high-ranking House members given permission to quickly relay messages back and forth throughout the tower.  Only the immediate House Gullion family members are permitted to use the system unless there is an emergency and none are present. In those cases, any of the guard leaders with permission are allowed to utilize the magical communication system.

 

 

Vidrefacte: Spells in Constant Effect

In addition to other preparations, the matron has placed several spells into effect to protect the tower from potential invaders.  These spells use a specific quantity of souls per day, requiring sacrifices to be performed twice per day.  Listed below are the spells in effect when the PCs arrive at Tolgorith Tower followed by the number of sacrifices needed per day and how the spell effects those within the tower.

Forbiddance/80 HD of souls per day (3.5 / PF): This spell prevents any good-aligned creature from using any form of teleportation, plane shifting, astral or ethereal travel, or conjuration (summoning) spells within the tower. The spell also causes 6d6 damage to any good-aligned creature that physically enters Tolgorith Tower without permission (Will save DC 19 for half).  The sacrificial shrine pool on level four was not included in this spell since access to the demi-plane "Venom" would be impeded.  The daily human and dwarf sacrifices taken to the pool are given permission to enter the tower so that they may live long enough to make it to the ceremonial sacrifice.

(Note for GMs; although Forbiddance is a permanent spell and recharging may seem inappropriate, the deal with the Vidrefacte creating the effect is that Matron Maelora didn't have to expend the initial gold piece cost. The Vidrefacte takes one hit dice of soul per gp required - life is cheap in the Underworld at the moment - so that the cost is gradually paid off. Of course, there will be interest to add onto that...)

Guards and Wards/60 HD of souls per day (3.5 / PF): Although this spell is listed under constant effects, it does in fact still require 30 minutes of casting time (performed by the Vidrefacte itself) in order to begin functioning.  Matron Maelora can choose which floor of the tower will be affected but must do so prior to activating it.

The Guards and Wards effects currently affect Level 2, providing additional protection for Matron Maelora's children

Unhallow/40 HD of souls per day (3.5 / PF): This spell is in effect only within the confines of the House Gullion Crypt which is adjacent to the Tolgorith Tower dungeon.  The spell itself makes the entire crypt an "unholy site" providing bonuses and protection to undead whilst allowing Makinnga to tie a spell of her choice to the site for a duration of one year.  Spell effects that Makinnga may tie to the unhallowed site include aidbaneblesscause feardarknessdaylightdeath warddeeper darknessdetect magicdetect gooddimensional anchordiscern liesdispel magicendure elementsfreedom of movementinvisibility purgeprotection from energyremove fearresist energysilencetongues, and zone of truth.

Makinnga currently has  discern lies in effect.

False Vision/20 HD of souls per day (3.5 / PF): This spell is in effect only on level five of Tolgorith Tower.  Matron Maelora spends all of her time here with the Vidrefacte and hatches her plans from this location.  Attempts to scry upon this location garner false information, which at present states "Matron Mother Maelora is celebrating an arrangement with the pit fiend Glishmalokof for him to protect the Tower with her."

 

 

Vidrefacte: Daily Sacrifices

Daily sacrificial offerings are taken from the nearby House Gullion slave camp and marched up to Tolgorith Tower by the slave master and a contingent of 20-40 guards.  Offerings generally number between 200-500 HD per day, depending upon how heavily the matron is using the Vidrefacte.  The races being sacrificed vary depending upon which path the PCs took getting here, detailed as follows:

Path A: 80% dwarf, 10% human, 10% other

Path B: 50% dwarf, 10% human, 30% drow, 10% other

Path C: 40% dwarf, 10% human, 40% drow, 10% other

*"other" includes various Underworld races such as sub-types of dwarf, deep gnome, mercane, troglodyte, visiting creatures from other planes, and  myriad others.

Note: The percentages listed above similarly reflect the ratio of prisoners and slaves kept by House Gullion at this time.  Freeing the slaves will provide the PCs with additional assistance as detailed under House Gullion Slave Camp.

 

 

Morale within the Tower

Morale itself is at an all-time low due to the large number of drow sacrifices Matron Maelora has ordered.  Many of these drow are related to the guards and servants of House Gullion.  At the same time, drow have a strong sense of survival and dedication to the house which they serve.  The weak die off and the strong survive.  As such, the guards which remain are fairly fearless as losing a battle and being killed would be much better than being tossed into the slave camp and used as soul fodder for the Vidrefacte. However, non-guards will do anything they can to not be present as the PCs move through the Tower

While the PCs will find no allies amongst the guards, if they seek out and find servants, a Diplomacy DC 25 roll and the guarantee of their personal safety will convince them to help the party (the remaining servants have all become somewhat self-serving).  The servants know that the matron sees all and thus will only communicate if the PCs have a way to block the scrying.  Assistance may come in the form of potions, scrolls, or simply directions and information about other levels and rooms of the tower as the PCs request. However, failing the Diplomacy check by 5 or more renders false information or fake supplies, such as poison offered instead of a healing potion or a scroll that has sepia snake sigil cast on it.

 

 

Tower Aesthetics

Tall black organic columns shaped like torn muscles with dark sinew support the ceiling and are so closely integrated into the walls they appear seamless.  The columns are decorated with black skulls and spiders embedded into the stone itself.  These are actual skulls from some of the earliest sacrifices made to the Vidrefacte.  A spell cast by the Oracle of Tolgorith Tower has kept the spirits of these sacrificed drow entombed within their skulls and still able to speak.  They whisper meaningless phrases most of the time, but these change to grim predictions, dark curses and foul insults in drow at the PCs as they pass, sometimes chattering their jaw bones and gnashing their teeth together.

The spiders are made from the hearts of the first drow sacrificed in this tower.  The spiders do not move, but if the matron is ever killed every single spider detaches from every single column in the tower and heads for her body.  Once there they clamor all over and around her, protecting the body from harm.  They then lift her upon their backs and carry her out of the tower and down the Back Road searching for a safe place to store her body.

Each floor of the tower is decorated in a slightly different manner as described in each section accordingly.

 

 

Tolgorith Tower - Level One

 

 

T1. Stairs into the Stalagmite

These strange stone stairs appear to be formed out of the cave floor itself as the edges are smooth and the stairs flow organically up to the base of a massive stalagmite.  Two guards stand at the base of the stairs which lead up a small tunnel beneath the Spider Temple and on to the main entrance of Tolgorith Tower.  Large black double doors bar the way into to Tolgorith Tower, the glyph of House Gullion etched in pure silver upon each.  Before each door stands another proud drow guard.  The guards of House Gullion wear black and silver clothing and cape, and tightly grip intimidating polearms.

These polearms are magical (detailed below) and when thrown transform into snakes which attack their target until killed.  Once killed the snakes turn back into a plain polearm.

 

Serpent Polearm

These long staves are topped with steel blades fashioned to look like biting snakes. When used as a weapon in combat, a serpent polearm functions as a normal +1 polearm. However, once per day when thrown to the ground as a standard action, the weapon transforms into one or more vipers (as summon nature's ally III) to fight for the bearer until killed or 10 rounds have passed, at which point the snake or snakes return to an inert weapon state. If any of the snakes are slain, the serpent polearm cannot transform again until recharged by expending summon nature's ally III or better.

Faint evocation; CL 5th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Imbue with spell ability; Price 18,000 gp.

 

Guardians of Tolgorith Tower (2 at the base of the stairs, two at the top for 4 in total)

Polearm Masters

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

 

 

Entry Doors to Tolgorith Tower

The entry doors to Tolgorith Tower are solid mithral (obtained from the dwarves of Embla) and wrapped with black spider silk.  Tthe house symbol of Gullion is emblazoned upon the doors using a magical process which embedded liquid silver deep inside the doors, which stays heated in liquid form within.  Should anyone attempt to open the doors to the tower without permission or keys from the guards, they will be sprayed in the face with molten silver.  See details in the trap below.

 

Entry Doors              CR 13

Huge mithral doors bar the entrance to the tower. Fine black spider silk is set into each door. A large silver object, cast in the shape of House Gullion's symbol, has been set in the middle of the doors, sealing them.

Type magical; Perception 38; Disable Device 38
Effect
When the door was sealed with the House Symbol, it was also given the property of keeping the molten silver inset into the doors in liquid form. Opening the door without the proper keys (which the guards have) causes the some of the liquid silver to spray outwards from the door. Molten Silver Attack (2d6+6 damage plus secondary attack on failed save, DC 24 Reflex Save for half damage); multiple targets (all targets in 15' cone in front of door); Secondary Attack (Silver Mask forms on target's face, DC 24 Fortitude Save or target is blinded and drained 2 points of Constitution. In addition, removal of the mask causes 1d8 Charisma damage unless restored with a heal spell. There is also 10% chance that the silver solidifies and blocks the target's air passages; treat this as suffocation or drowning until the mask is removed); multiple targets (all targets failing save from initial attack)

 

Once the trap has been disabled or activated, or the guards inside have been tricked into opening the doors the PCs may proceed inside.

 

 

 

T2. Entry

The entryway to Tolgorith Tower is a square room with a door on each wall.

There are six Tolgorith Tower guards within this entry room.  If the guards heard the PCs fighting outside they will still remain stationed here, allowing the PCs to spring the trap on the main doors before beginning their attack as soon as the doors are opened.  If the PCs were able to silently dispatch the guards outside and disable the trap they will be able to surprise the guards here, gaining a surprise round.

Vidrefacte: Forbiddance Spell

As described above the Vidrefacte powers a Forbiddance spell as a constant effect.  As the PCs set foot into Tolgorith Tower each good-aligned PC will take 6d6 damage, Will save at DC 19 for half damage and spell resistance applies.

 

Tolgorith Tower Guards (6)

3.5 | Pathfinder 

Trapdoor: A trapdoor from Gyloof's quarters in area T20 exits into the ceiling of this room from above.  A ceiling tile slides out of place allowing one to drop down from the vertical passage.  Once the passageway is clear the ceiling tile magically moves back into position to once again hide the secret passage. The seal between the tile and the rest of the ceiling is extremely well made and it takes a Spot DC 32 or a Search/Perception DC 27 roll to find it.

 

 

T3. Guard Barracks

If the PCs were able to sneak into the tower and continue to move silently into this room, read this:

These guard barracks are very sparse.  Simple cots are stacked one atop another eight high.  A few tables and chairs are pressed tightly against the wall and drow guards sit speaking quietly and eating steaming plates of Vvor meat and mushrooms.  The men glance about nervously as you sneak into the room.

Each barracks contains 2d4 guards; sitting, eating and speaking among one another in hushed tones.  A few of the guards are planning on leaving House Gullion soon via the Back Road and are in the process of planning their escape.  They are very on-edge and will surely hear the PCs attempting to sneak into the room.  (Give the drow a Listen/Perception +10 to see if they hear a PC sneaking about.)

If the PCs forced their way into the tower read this once combat has concluded:

These guard barracks are very sparse.  Simple cots are stacked one atop another eight high.  A few tables and chairs are pressed tightly against the wall and steaming plates of Vvor meat and mushrooms are left scattered about, abandoned with the anticipation of combat.

If the PCs stormed into the tower swords drawn, (or if the Vidre currently attack the tower) the 2d4 soldiers in each of these rooms are prepared for combat.  They have arranged the cots carefully so that the first PC through the door will have 1d4+2 of the cots collapse on him/her causing 1d6+2 damage (Reflex to evade) and the rest of the drow guards will begin to fire crossbows from behind metal tables turned on their side (treat as 3/4 cover) from across the room.  The PCs will have to move through a barrage of crossbow bolts in order to reach the drow.  When they do they will be in for a surprise as the first "group" is simply one drow using an illusion that he created using the last charge of a wand of mirror image.  There are 3 false images in this first group along with the real drow.  The rest of the drow behind him are the real thing.

Tolgorith Tower Guards (2d4 per room)

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

Treasure

There are many footlockers within the barracks.  Within each room marked T3, the PCs will find the following:

1,000-2,000 sp

1,000-10,000 cp

1-4 Drow Crossbow(s) +2*

1 Drow Crossbow +3*

40 Drow bolts +2*

8 Swords+1 (Varying types, all one-handed)

2 Drow Long swords +2*

Either a potion of spider climb, extra healing, or gaseous form (GM's choice)

Needle of the Gods: A small needle which pulsates with blue magical energy.  The powers of these needles are mysterious, and beyond the scope of this adventure. Should a GM wish, he can grant any or all of the needles powers befitting the party. Suggestions include dispel magic, heal, and shape stone.

* = Turns to dust when exposed to sunlight

 

 

T4. Hallway

This hallway is lined with a finely rug wove from the silk of giant spiders and colored using dyes only available in the Underworld.  A series of spiders are depicted on the rug as the PCs progress down the long hallway.

Once the PCs travel 1/3 of the way into the room the crossbowman in area T5 begin to fire upon the PCs.  They have practiced this many times before and learned that placing the fastest re-loaders in the first few positions is important to obtain extra shots on those that turn to flee.  Timing is also important and the group fires in succession so that there are no moments when a bolt is not being fired from a crossbow.

Have the players roll initiative for each character.  Assign two archers to each melee PC and the rest to attack the party's spell-casters.  The archers have been taught to hit whoever they can, but especially spell casters that can compromise their superior position.

Each archer will use readied actions to make their attack just before the PC they are targeting.

Note: Crossbowman stats listed below in area T5

Example:

For example the fighter gets a 19 on initiative, cleric 15, rogue 21, wizard 6.

Crossbowmen (2) attack Rogue
21 Rogue
Crossbowmen (2) attack Fighter
19 Fighter
Crossbowmen (2) attack Cleric
15 Cleric
Crossbowmen (2) attack Wizard
6 Wizard 

Crossbowmen (# left) attack spell-casters

 

The door at the end of the hall is locked and trapped to further impede the progress of the PCs.

Locked door: Open Locks/Disable Device DC 20

The trap is activated as anyone attempts to open the door.  The trap is located just above the door and targets all PCs in a 20' row.

 

Hail of Arrows Trap                 CR 9

XP 6,400

Type mechanical; Perception DC 25; Disable Device DC 25

Trigger touch (door); Reset repair

Effect Atk +20 ranged (6d6); multiple targets (all targets in a 20-ft. line)

 

 

T5. Crossbowman Rooms

Just inside the room is a pit trap which drops them over 80' into the dungeon's monster stockade directly below.  If the PCs are hasty getting into this room to attack the archers than more than one PC may fall into the pit or at least be given a save to leap clear.

 

Camouflaged Pit Traps (x2)               CR 8

XP 800

Type mechanical; Perception DC 25; Disable Device DC 20

Trigger location; Reset manual

Effect 80-ft. deep pit (8d6 falling damage); DC 20 Reflex avoids; multiple targets (all targets in a 10-ft.-square area)

Secondary Effect PCs which fall into the pit find themselves deposited into an animal holding cell within the monster stockade in the dungeon.  Sor Gullion and his companion spider Elon await them below.

 

The drow in this room wait for the PCs to enter via the doors to the north before fleeing through the secret doors.  The drow have drilled this retreat many times before; half the force fires crossbows at the PCs whilst the other half of the force withdraws, then the drow withdraw, until all have exited.  The secret doors are then closed and the drow crossbowmen make a stand in the next room if necessary.

 

Tolgorith Tower Guards - Crossbowmen (6 per room = 12 total)

 3.5 | Pathfinder

 

 

T6. Grand Entry

Read the following aloud as the group enters:

The statue of a huge black spider rests comfortably in the alcove of the tower's curved back wall, watching you intently.  Suddenly you find yourself staring out at a group of adventurers from the spider's viewpoint.  You rush through the air, carried on some kind of searing demonic wind and twist around each of your bodies.  An insatiable thirst suddenly flows through you; it is then that you penetrate your own flesh, digging down through muscle and sinew to a plump, pulsating red heart.  You can see the blood being carried through veins, the blood pumping into the charging hearts, racing forward in a battle for survival.  You sense your own fear, and so does she, the watcher from the darkness beyond this plane.  The darkness envelopes you and you find yourselves back in your bodies, eye to eye with the black statue, the mother of the spiders, the Spider Goddess Naraneus can see you, feel you, feel your fear, and she's feeding upon it whilst you fight for survival.  You can hear the drow moving throughout the temple, orders ring out, the sound of spell-casters chanting, and the gears keep turning, the future is coming and it is uncertain.

The spider statue itself does not move and was simply a gateway through which the Spider Goddess Naraneus took a glimpse into the souls of the PCs.  Soon the Oracle of Tolgorith Tower will also sense their fear.  The fear the PCs may not even themselves be aware of, the fear which may be their undoing should they not get it in check.

Magical Secret Door

The spider statue does hold one more secret.  If the symbol of House Gullion is pressed against any part of the spider, a secret door slides open within her chest.  One may then walk directly through (the door closes immediately behind each individual) and they are taken into the secret area on the other side of this wall (T11).  This allows the children of House Gullion or those in their personal and direct servitude to pass quickly into the chambers of Makinnga above and either speak with and report to her, or ask that the message be relayed by one of Makinnga’s servants up to the priestess above.

 

 

T7. Sacrifice Holding Area

This is where the groups of slaves being led to sacrifice are held until Matron Maelora is prepared with the Vidrefacte.  The slaves are then led up the stairs to the fourth floor where they are ritualistically sacrificed into the sacrificial pool.

There is only a 5% chance that anyone will be within this room as it is usually left empty so that slaves do not have access to anything which could give them an advantage against the guards or means for escape.  The floors themselves are scattered with bits of dirt and rocks and the entire room smells of sweat and unwashed bodies despite the fact that no one is here.

If a Search/Perception DC 40 is made the PCs will find a single silver needle identical to the one found in the guard barracks.  It is unknown what magical powers this needle has and its powers are up to the GM to decide.

 

Treasure:

Needle of the Gods: A small needle which pulsates with blue magical energy.

The powers of these needles are mysterious, and beyond the scope of this adventure. Should a GM wish, he can grant any or all of the needles powers befitting the party. Suggestions include dispel magic, heal, and shape stone.

 

 

T8. Audience Chambers

These audience chambers are reserved for meetings between members of House Gullion and other drow houses.  When an audience is not in session the room is used to review new slaves and beasts being admitted to the tower proper.

 

The southern end of this room contains numerous tables and chairs so that the nobles of the house can watch as droves of slaves and fighting beasts are driven through this room and into the dungeon.  The walls nears these tables bear hooks that hold whips so that the nobles may entertain themselves by whipping these inferiors as they are pushed off to slavery.  The stone tile floor also has several pairs of manacles bolted to the floor to allow a slave or beast to be chained down while the drow amuse themselves.

These tables and chairs are heavy and made of iron.  They can be pushed on the side and used as cover but are too heavy to be picked up and used as a shield.  The chairs are solid enough to be used as improvised clubs (1d6 bludgeoning damage).  Numerous chairs have dents and slightly bent legs where some child of the house has dispensed with the whip and used the chair to beat some poor slave.

Gal and Mal Yrr Niss rendezvous here when the room is empty to discuss the political situation within the family.  Both Gal and Mal are aware of the rumor that they are having an affair in addition to these meetings.  They encourage this rumor because, even though they are not having an affair, Mal taking Gal to her chambers allows them to make fail-safe plans in case Maelora goes over the edge and becomes a danger to the family.

 

Gal Gullion

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

Mal Yrr Niss

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

 

 

 

T9. Outer Corridor

Two Tolgorith Tower guards are positioned before the entry to the stairs.  One holds a warning trumpet in hand, the other a crossbow prepared to fire a poisoned bolt.  As soon as the PCs are spotted the trumpet is sounded and guards from D1 in the dungeon and T12 on level two arrive within 1d4+1 rounds.  The guards fire crossbows attempting to take out the PCs with drow poison until the gap is closed at which point they switch to melee weapons, and attempt to alert the rest of the tower guards as quickly as they can.

Tolgorith Tower Guards (2)

3.5 | Pathfinder

This simple corridor contains a secret door (Spot/Perception DC 20) to the north which leads to the back passages which allow the drow children to move freely throughout the tower should they have the need to travel discretely.  Although the guards are aware of these secret doors they are not permitted to use them under penalty of public humiliation, torture, and death.

Another secret door to the south (Spot/Perception DC 20) opens into a hidden storage area which holds various magical items for the drow to access should the tower come under attack.  Note: If the PCs encountered the Vidre outside these items will be in the hands of the guards stationed on each landing instead of within this storage area.

 

T10. Hidden Storage

Spot/Perception DC 20 to notice

This cloak room opens into a hidden storage area which holds various magical items for the drow to access should the tower come under attack.

A line of travel cloaks hang within this small room.  You notice a light layer of dust on the cloaks, it looks like no one has been into this room in quite some time.

If the PCs attempt to push past the cloaks they will find the room expands beyond holding the following magical weapons:

Magical Items

Drow Crossbow +3**

Drow Crossbow +2

Drow Shortsword +2

Drow Longsword +2 (10)

Drow Buckler +3

Drow Buckler +2

Drow Buckler +1 (10)

Wand of Magic Missile (30)*

Wand of Charm (10)

Wand of Hold Person (10)

Wand of Fireball (20)

*All drow armor and weapons specifically designed to turn to dust if taken outdoors into sunlight.

**All wands are caster level 6.

 

Note: If the PCs encountered the Vidre outside these items will be in the hands of the guards stationed on each landing instead of within this storage area.

If the PCs did not encounter the Vidre outside, for every round that they spend in this room there is a cumulative 15% chance that all the guards still alive on this level, up to a total of 14, appear at the doorway into this room to collect these items.

Tolgorith Tower Guards (# varies)

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

 

T11. Secret Corridor

This secret corridor and the stairs hidden within are used to travel between the first two floors of the tower.   The hidden stairs lead up to the storage area in T22.

The secret passage also allows the children of House Gullion or those in their personal and direct servitude to pass quickly into the chambers of Makinnga above.

 

 

T12. Stairs Up

These stairs are the main thoroughfare which tower occupants use to move between levels.  At any time there are at least two guards stationed per level with another 4 guards patrolling up and down the stairs (20% chance to encounter).  If any guards are encountered one immediately sounds a warning trumpet to summon the guards from the other levels while the other guards fire poisoned bolts at the PCs.  If a trumpet is sounded there is a 75% chance that 2 guards will arrive every 1d4 rounds until a total of 15 guards have arrived at which point the guards will cease arriving.  In 1d4 hours additional guards will report for duty in the tower.

Tolgorith Tower Guards

3.5 | Pathfinder

Captured by the guards?

Should the guards capture the PCs they will be stripped of all clothing and belongings and taken before Matron Maelora (70% chance), taken before Maroena and Maltorya (20% chance), or dragged off to the slave camp (10% chance) and forced to work for House Gullion.

If they are taken before Matron Maelora she will order their immediate execution and perhaps even perform it herself by slitting their throats, letting them bleed out upon her floor whilst the Grandmother Spider feasts upon them.

If taken to Maroena and Maltorya they will be ritualistically sacrificed and their souls fed to the Vidrefacte.

If taken to the slave camp they will be bound with magical slave collars (reserved for the most dangerous slaves) and forced to work in the Mushroom fields, fending off attacks on the crops from vermin and other Underworld pests.

 

 

 

 

Tolgorith Tower - Dungeon Level

 

The Dungeon of House Gullion

The dungeon of Tolgorith Tower is clearly recognizable for what it is, with the exception of it being the domain of Sor Gullion. As the Matron Mother's behavior has become increasingly insular at the same time as decreasingly predictable, Sor has been spending more and more time in this area with the animals he guards and keeping them and himself out of the way. Far from developing a sentimental streak about his charges, he's been ensuring that the strongest a fittest for task have been growing in ability and power and now has a real force to be reckoned with.

Sor will use some fairly traditional tactics if these quarters are attacked. Trusting the stockade walls to hold for a reasonable number of rounds, he will begin by using the wand of eagle's splendor before releasing the creatures he has caged, and then using the wand of summon monster III. Elon will move forward to protect Sor, herding the animals forward at the same time. Depending on the position of the PCs, Sor and Elon will encourage the trained animals to move through the doors or, if more beneficial, Sor will switch off one of the stockade wall and have the creatures within flood into the entrance area of D2.

Sor will carry on summoning monsters until he has to fight. Elon will allow him to climb onto its back, giving Sor an advantage when finally physically attacking. The released creatures will engage enemies until killed, as they have been trained to do. The summoned monsters attack as directed by either Sor or Elon; Sor tends to call as many spiders as possible in order to take advantage of their web ability. This level could easily become one huge blood bath, but as said, Sor will try to keep out of the way as much as possible until his wand of summon monster III is used up.

A number of guards are also in the area, as loyal supporters of Sor as drow can be. Most are low level, dedicated to the House and Matron Mother as well as Sor, and so far considered to be worth more than food for the Vidrefacte.This means they fight with ferocity and intensity; to do otherwise would lead to being used for other purposes.

D1. Dungeon Entry

2 warrior guards are positioned at the bottom of the stairs, a warning trumpet to hand. As the PCs appear at the top of the stairs, unless they are heavily disguised, one drow will sound the trumpet whilst the other uses her hand crossbow to fire as many poisoned bolts as possible at the first person through the door. They will then both use melee weapons, alerting the rest of the dungeon level inhabitants by shouting as loudly as they can. They are expecting their 3 fellow warrior guards from Area D2 to join them; they won't be disappointed! These 3 will fire their hand crossbows for 1 round, then charge into combat. If the PCs stay on the stairs, all 5 guards will use their hand crossbows until melee can begin.

 

Tolgorith Tower Guards (2)

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

The last 2 stairs are both trapped, which is one reason the drow warrior guards don't use them. Anyone who fails their Will save will take a -4 penalty on attack rolls, saves, ability checks and skill checks.

 

Bestow Curse Trap    CR 4

Magic device; proximity trigger (alarm, covering the stair), automatic reset

Spell effect (bestow curse, 5th level cleric, DC 14 Will save negates)

Search/Perception DC 28; Disable Device DC 28

D2. Exterior Stockade

This skillfully-formed stone floor is an example of the exceptional quality of work the Vidrefacte produced for House Gullion and the Matron Mother. The blocks seem almost seamless, but close inspection would reveal the magical nature of the results. Each of the single doors leading off of the corridor is trapped; the double gates to the stockade aren't. The handles and hinges of each of these doors seem to be well looked after and covered in damp-resistance grease, as there are no signs of rust on any of the metalwork. This grease is in fact contact poison.

Door Handle Smeared with Contact Poison CR 5

Mechanical; touch trigger (attached); manual reset

Poison (nitharit, DC13 Fortitude save resists, 0/3d6Con)

Search/Perception DC 25; Disable Device DC 19

The double gates are kept closed with two bars on the inside, each requiring a Strength check DC 25 to break through.

If the warrior guards in Area D1 weren't able to alert the 3 guards in this corridor, each of them will be standing in front of 1 of the 3 doors furthest from Area D1. There statistics are the same as those for the previous warrior guards.

 

Tolgorith Tower Guards (3)

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

In the space under the stairs, near the door into the stockade, a gray ooze lurks. It is particularly difficult to spot against the well-made walls and floor, requiring a DC 20 Spot/Perception check to see it instead of the usual roll.

 

Gray Ooze (1)

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

D3. Supply and Feed Storage

This room has a variety of food items for the various creatures caged in Area D5. Some items are recognizable - grains, fruits, fish - whilst others, particularly the cuts of meat, are much less so. A Knowledge (nature) DC 20 roll will highlight that some of the hanging joints come from humanoids, as well as the bodies of vermin and aberrations if the same skill check at DC 25 is made.

These are actually examples of the trained creatures that failed to meet the grade. This is the reward for that failure; being fed to your kin.

Each of the corners of the room has a large carcass hanging in it and 3 of them (GM's choice) are infested with 1d6+1 rot grubs. A Spot/Perception DC 15 roll sees the squirming of the bloated creatures under the surface of the carcass. If they aren't seen, they burst out to attack the "fresh meat".

 

Rot Grub                       CR4

Type Infestation; Save Fortitude DC 17

Onset Immediate; Frequency 1/round

Effect 1d2 Con damage per grub

The Rot Grub first appeared in the AD&D 1st edition MM (Gary Gygax, 1977) and has been an infamous adversary of all treasure seekers and looters ever since.

The hanging carcass in the north-eastern corner turns out to be a strange, greenish-purple-skinned creature. Its hands have been removed, as has the top of its over-sized skull, but it is even more disturbing because its face has been heavily disfigured; both its lips have been split in the middle and each of the four sections stretched to about 4 inches long. Its teeth have been removed and the remaining jaw filed into a beak-like shape. Its limbs have been broken (Heal check DC10) and the body pierced about 20 times by bolts (Heal check DC 15).

If any of the PCs decide to reach into the shriveled brain of the creature, she or he will find a small stone embedded deep within it, an iridescent spindle ioun stone.

Ioun Stone

Iridescent spindle; sustains a creature without air

Moderate transmutation; CL 12th; Craft Wondrous item, water breathing; caster must be 12th level

 

D4. Servant Residences

2 of these 3 rooms are where the warrior guards stay when they are stationed here. The last room (the 1 furthest from the feed store) is Sor's room.

The rooms used by the guards each contain 4 beds and 6 foot-lockers. 3 guards are awake at all times, with the others sleeping 4 to a room. The foot-lockers have enough space for bedrolls and small weapons; 2 of them in each room contain a case of hand crossbow bolts. The warrior guards are instructed not to bring any personal belongings down to the dungeon when they are on this detail.

Sor's room is different in that there is a desk, a chair and a bookcase.

The desk is simple and plain, with a diary of notes placed on it. The diary's notes detail the training each animal has received and its responses. It describes the animals which have failed to reach the required standard and what he, Sor, will do differently to make sure the issue doesn't occur again.

The bookcase has several volumes of these notes, covering the last thirty years or so, and anyone making a Knowledge (nature OR dungeoneering OR the planes) DC 15 will realize that reading through a number of these tomes for a period of 48 hours over 6 days (8 uninterrupted hours per day) will grant one of the following:

+2 to rolls for Knowledge (nature) when about animals, monstrous humanoids and vermin OR

+2 to rolls for Knowledge (dungeoneering) when about aberrations and oozes OR

+2 to rolls for Knowledge (the planes) when about outsiders and elementals OR

+2 to rolls for Handle Animal.

The PC has to decide which skill she intends to develop and then read through a variety of tomes to pick out the relevant information. This takes great concentration and at the end of the exercise, the books will not make sense to the same person for a second time.

There is a stout bed in the south-western corner, extending from the curved wall, and there is a small cabinet on each side of the bed, both with 2 drawers. Both the bed and the bookcase are mimics. Sor has trained them particularly well, rewarding them every day with choice morsels for the Matron Mother's victims. The creatures are healthy and contented; both have 66 hp instead of the usual 52 hp.

 

Bed and Bookcase Mimics (2)

(66 hp)

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

The first cabinet contains a loaded-and-cocked hand crossbow in the top drawer and a set of simple clothes in the other, whilst the second cabinet contains a stone of alarm in the top drawer and stone lizard in the other. If the stone of alarm goes off it can be heard throughout the tower due to the intricate system of thin, interconnecting pipes and tubes that run all over the structure. The stone of alarm is stuck to the cabinet with sovereign glue.

The stone lizard is very similar to to a stone horse (destrier) but manifests as a stone monitor lizard instead.

 

Stone of Alarm

Sounds an alarm for 1 hour that can be heard a quarter of a mile away if there are no intervening barriers

Faint abjuration; CL 3rd; Craft Wondrous Item, alarm

Stone Lizard (Monitor Lizard)

(as Stone Horse, destrier)

Strong transmutation; CL 14; Craft Wondrous Item, flesh to stone, animate objects

 

 

D5. Training Pen - Sor Gullion and Elon

This is where Sor's most successfully-trained creatures are kept. they are all amazing examples of their type; strong, swift, brave, and ferociously determined to win at all costs. The more intelligent creatures recognize that failure means death; the more animalistic have learned that they are rewarded well if they succeed.

Before the PCs can confront these creatures, they have a number of other challenges to face. The first is the magically electrified fence that protects 2 sides of the stockade. This wall is barely visible, requiring a Spot/Perception DC 20 check to see it. It can also be found with a Listen/Perception DC 25 check if that sense is used, as the air it occupies is being electrically "boiled" by the arcane energy being expended. Anyone with the Scent extraordinary ability can smell ozone.

If the wall is touched, it flares in the same way a trap would, and each long wall is effectively a Chain Lightning Trap. The way to disable these walls is difficult to find or actually achieve.

Chain Lightning Traps (2) CR 7 each

Magical device; touch trigger; automatic reset

Spell effect (chain lightning, 11th-level wizard, 11d6 electricity to target nearest to center of trigger area plus 5d6 electricity to each of up to 11 secondary targets, DC19 Reflex save for half damage)

Search/Perception DC 31; Disable Device DC 31

Sor's tactics were broadly described at the start of the level. At the first sign of the PCs fighting the guards in Areas D1 and D2, he will begin to release the creatures from their cages. They instinctively keep away from each other, recognizing even with their low intelligence scores that each is a prime physical example of their type. As the creatures are set free, Elon will begin to herd them towards the double gates. If the PCs appear to be disabling the electrical barrier, two of the guards will remove the bars on the inside of the gates and open them. Elon, trying to keep itself between the party and Sor whenever possible, will push the creatures through, before placing a web across the gap, using the gate posts and top bar as the anchor points, to hinder the PCs' entrance if they fail to disable the "fence", which goes over the gate frame and door frame.

Once all the creatures are out of their cages (with the exception of the human in cage K and the dwarf in cage L) Sor will begin to use his wand to summon monsters III. If the PCs are concentrating on the creatures close to the double gates, one of the guards will open the door so the summoned monsters can move through it and possibly attack from behind. 4 of the guards will react to whichever entrance the PCs seem to be coming through; 3 will move to fight the PCs face-to-face whilst the fourth will go out through the other door and fire his hand crossbow at the PCs' backs.  If the party splits itself pretty much evenly, the guards will do the same.

The moment a PC sets foot inside the compound, Sor will mount up on Elon and use cages K and L as cover. The two remaining guards will stick close to the doors to cages K and L unless they are the only drow left, in which case they will retreat upstairs, attempting to drag Sor away with them if he is injured and Elon is dead. Elon will stay and fight until Sor says differently, so it is possible the two can make their escape even when severely injured and close to death.

Sor has almost all his valuable possessions here, as he hasn't been back to his room on level 2 of the Tower for almost a month after his mother suggested killing all of his valuable creatures in one of her less lucid moments. Since then, Sor has been concerned for their welfare. The only thing he left behind is a box with three blocks of black widow venom poison in it.

Sor

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

Elon

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

Tolgorith Tower Guards (6)

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

 

A. Choker (27 hp)

3.5 | Pathfinder

This creature is distantly related to the Ottaakiinni, which explains its robust nature. Prolonged exposure to intense chaos and evil may well trigger a fiendish reaction over time, but for the moment it is just a tough-but-ordinary specimen.

 

 

B. Cave Fisher (33 hp)

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

 

C. Monstrous Centipede (medium)/Giant Centipede (8 hp)

3.5 | Pathfinder

This creature is currently being trained to deal with rebellious slaves. Sor also hope to have it become fiendish if possible, if a suitable deal can be struck.

 

 

D. Morlocks (2) (36 hp)

Grimlock: 3.5 | Morlock: Pathfinder

These two are making a name for themselves as creatures of unsurpassed savagery. Sor has been attempting to get them to use a spiked club as their weapons, but so far they have resorted to their bite attack on every occasion they have been pitted against an opponent, with one attacking the neck whilst the other rips any discernible face off the enemy. They are also a mated pair; this is known because just once, after Sor was late feeding them, they were found eating their own off-spring, which had appeared during the intervening period between meals.

 

 

E. Troglodytes (3) (20 hp)

3.5 | Pathfinder

These 3 creatures used to be regularly beaten for releasing their stench at inappropriate moments. They have become very good at storing it up, and it has become particularly strong. There is an additional +4 to the roll to overcome this smell, and it is now Fortitude DC 17 to resist it.

 

F. Otyugh (57 hp)

3.5 | Pathfinder

This creature actually has a refuse and offal pit to live in. It is also the sewage deposit spot for this level and it is very efficient and reducing all types of  waste; the smell in nowhere near as bad as it could be.

Entering the otyugh's pit exposes those concerned to filth fever.

Filth Fever

Infection Injury; Save Fort DC 12; Incubation 1d3 days; Damage 1d3 Dex, 1d3 Con

 

G. Brown Bear (72 hp)

3.5 | Pathfinder

This poor creature is insane, suffering from a continuous confusion effect as per the spell. Greater restoration, heal, limited wish, miracle and wish can restore the creature, which will fight with the party if a ranger, druid or cleric with the Animal Domain is present or speak with animals is cast. Otherwise, if cured, it will attempt to flee the dungeon

 

 

H. Winter Wolf (78 hp)

3.5 | Pathfinder

This creature is used to being ridden by small or smaller creatures. It was part of a goblin troop captured by a drow raiding party on the surface and brought to House Gullion to power the Vidrefacte. The wolf was the only creature left alive from that troop.

 

 

I. Troll (84 hp)

3.5 | Pathfinder

The troll is insane but not confused; it has been in Sor's menagerie for so long it has forgotten virtually everything but fighting and can not be reasoned with. As well as being a prime specimen, it has also developed a tendency to rage, in the same way a barbarian does. It can do this twice a day, but only once per encounter. It will fly into this rage as soon as it engages with a PC. The rage lasts for 11 rounds.

 

 

J. White Tiger (66 hp)

3.5 | Pathfinder

This is a northern sub-type, used to living in the colder climes. She is an elder female, just past her prime and will join the party under the same conditions as the bear.

 

 

Remaining Pens

The humanoids in the two remaining pens are rather more of a challenge for Sor and won't be released with the rest of the creatures. In fact, if the party doesn't look carefully when it is in the relevant cell, they may not even find these prisoners in the first place.

 

K. Human

Human

Human warrior (3.5)

Foot Soldier – Human Warrior 1

Size/Type: Medium humanoid (human)

Hit Dice: 1d8+3 (7 hp)

Initiative: +1

Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)

Armour Class: 11 (+1 Dex), touch 11, flat-footed 10

Base Attack/ Grapple: +1/+4

Attack: Unarmed strike +4 melee (1d3+3)

Full Attack: Unarmed strike +4 melee (1d3+3)

Space/Reach: 5 ft,/5 ft.

Special Attacks: -

Special Qualities: -

Saves: Fort +2, Ref +1, Will +0

Abilities: Str 15, Dex 12, Con 11, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 9

Skills: Ride +5

Feats: Power Attack, Toughness

Environment: Any

Organisation: Any

Challenge Rating: 1/2

Treasure: None

Alignment: N

Languages: Common

Possessions: None

Human warrior (Pathfinder)

Foot Soldier (Human Warrior 1) CR 1/3

XP 135
Human warrior 1
N Medium humanoid
Init +1; Senses Perception +0

 

DEFENSE

AC 11, touch 11, flat-footed 10 (+1 Dex)
hp 8 (1d10+3)
Fort +2, Ref +1, Will +0

 

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft.
Melee unarmed strike +3 (1d3+3)

Ranged -
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.

 

STATISTICS

Str 15, Dex 12, Con 11, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 9
Base Atk +1; CMB +3; CMD 14
Feats Step Up, Toughness
Skills Craft (weapons) +3, Profession (soldier) +4, Survival+1
Languages Common
Combat Gear None
Boon Foot soldiers can help PCs buy normal (non-masterwork) simple or martial weapons at a 10% discount, or may agree to accompany the PCs as men-at-arms for a 10% share of the treasure.

Polymorphs into:

Hill Giant
3.5 | Pathfinder

 

This wretched unnamed human was found by the drow on a rare trip to the Overworld of the Klavek/Obor borders. At the site of an intense battle, where magical forces had clearly been used, he was the only creature left alive, and barely so. As the drow watched, his form returned from a strapping specimen, well over 6 feet tall with skin the color of a two-week old bruise, to an average human warrior, if one with good muscle definition. But what intrigued the drow was that he radiated strong magic himself (and somehow seemed to have evidence of 2 souls within his frame on further investigation). The raiding party, rather than just kill him outright, brought him back to House Gullion and gave him to Sor.

Sor quickly found out what made this human different, special even. The first time the man was put into a fight situation with a zombie, his muscles bulged, skin went the bruise color, and the undead was dispatched. The man then collapsed, returning to his usual size and shape. Sor continued to put the human into increasingly difficult combats, to see the reaction; he was amazed with what he found.

When the man becomes either completely afraid or totally angry, he polymorphs into a hill giant, with greenish-brown skin and all the normal attributes of such a creature. If frightened, the human-hill giant flees as fast as it can for 12 rounds, before hiding, collapsing, and returning to human form. If angry, he fights with all his might until his foe is unconscious or dead, then immediately falls unconscious himself and reverts to human form.

The human's prison is at the bottom of a 40 feet deep shaft that barely 5 feet in diameter. The shaft drops into a cell that is a 10 feet-per-side cube with nothing more than a 4 inch diameter waste pipe leading from it otherwise, and a rough-and-ready set of items that make a cell a home; a bed, a cabinet, a few books and a light source. Sor is in awe of this human's ability to change into such a powerful alternative form, but is entirely wary of the unpredictability of some of the changes and does not trust the human to come out of his cell without a significant number of guards available.

The top of the shaft is sealed with a cover that requires a Spot/Perception DC 32 roll or a Search/Perception DC 28 roll to find it.

In the ceiling there is a camouflaged trap door that leads upwards to area T5. It can be found on a Spot/Perception DC 22 roll or a Search/Perception DC 18 roll.

 

 

L. Dwarf

Deep Dwarf/Tiefling Rogue

3.5 | Pathfinder

Another oddity, again at the bottom of a 40 feet deep shaft in a 10 feet-per-side cell, this prisoner is actually a female deep dwarf tiefling rogue. Sor can detect that he and his captive, named Kasittaa Kaapio, have a lot in common, but can't fully fathom the tiefling dwarf out and certainly doesn't trust her. He has had a number of conversations with her, even gaining assurances of co-operation, but still doesn't allow himself to turn his back on her. Despite her low overall charisma, her otherworldly nature is alluring.

Kasiitta Kaapio has performed well so far for Sor for one main reason; she sees him as the most efficient and possibly only real way out of her current predicament. A secondary reason is that he appears to have her best interests at heart, and it is those matters of the heart that may just gain Sor's trust and allow her to rise in the family's esteem. Slaughtering PCs would be a fine place to start that meteoric rise, and it beats having to battle on a regular basis just to stay alive, even if Sor does seem to be giving her opponents that are no real match for her.

Although she can fight, Kasittaa was a spy in her former life, but this is something she has been able to keep from Sor. She is certain he would have her killed on the spot if he found out, a belief which is entirely correct. If the PCs manage to convince her to help them out, she has some knowledge of the levels of the tower as follows:

Level 1 - 65% accurate

Level 2 - 50% accurate

Level 3 - 35 % accurate

Level 4 - 20 % accurate

Level 5 - 5% accurate

She will try to keep out of the party's way if it takes her with them, as she looks to she which side she ought to turn to. She will help the PCs if it looks like they will win, but will also turn on them the moment it seems like they are going to lose.

Kasiitta usually uses a rapier if one can be found for her.

 

The top of the shaft is sealed with a cover that requires a Spot/Perception DC 32 roll or a Search/Perception DC 28 roll to find it.

In the ceiling there is a camouflaged trap door that leads upwards to area T5. It can be found on a Spot/Perception DC 22 roll or a Search/Perception DC 18 roll.

D6. Entrance to the Crypt

When the PCs finally make it to these doors, and possibly beforehand depending how much attention they give to them, they will find that their efforts so far have been observed, although no action has been taken that they can be certain of.

From each of the doors, a wraith appears. these grim looking undead have an air of importance about them; both are clad in fine robes, with a house Gullion insignia clearly visible. However, there is something about these insignia that doesn't look quite right, and a Knowledge (history) or Knowledge (nobility and royalty) DC 30 role will allow the successful PC to recognize these are each an older version of the badge, one with subtle differences to the version instigated by the Matron Mother. Indeed, if the insignia is copied and used as a symbol within Drow sign language, it is much more conciliatory than the current Gullion symbol. If anyone in the party realizes this and makes the sign, the wraiths will open the doors without further sound or delay.

If the PCs speak with the wraiths, they say in unison (although in a slightly unsynchronized way):

"Hail and well met. Our ward has been watching you and has noted your ability. Would you speak with her, at your pleasure? It is worth recalling that all you claim to see is sometimes not as clear as you believe it to be."

If the PCs agree within two rounds, the wraiths take hold of the door handles without further sound or delay, and motion to the party with a slight bow and hand gesture that indicates to move forward. The PCs find that the doors have become incorporeal and they can walk straight through them, even though they are still opaque enough to prevent anyone seeing through them. The PCs gain the same xp as if they had fought the undead.

 

Wraiths (2)

3.5 | Pathfinder

Under the influence of the Unhallow spell from the Blood Throne of Souls.

 

If the PCs attack the wraiths, they immediately sink back into the doors and the sound of a lock shifting can be heard. This requires an Open Locks DC 25 to get past. The lock will also be trapped.

Energy Drain Trap     CR 10

Magic device; visual trigger (true seeing); automatic reset

Atk +8 ranged touch; spell effect (energy drain, 17th-level wizard, 2d4 negative levels for 24 hours, DC 23 Fortitude save negates)

Search/Perception DC 34; Disable Device DC 34

 

 

 

Tolgorith Tower - Crypt

Makinnga currently has  discern lies in effect as part of the unhallowed effect of the Vidrefacte.

C1. Giant Ribcage Entry

In the depths of the tower, the theurgist Makinnga sits with her cavalcade of undead admirers and companions. These undead are no slaves; Makinnga is their friend and ally, and they hers. The party could easily be overwhelmed by the residents of this area and quickly find themselves part of the undead horde. But Makinnga isn't after the party's death, unless it insists on it; she has a deal to strike with the PCs. The current Matron Mother is riding rough-shod over almost uncountable decades of tradition and respect and Makinnga and her cohorts and consorts are not happy.

That same tradition does not allow the undead ancestors of House Gullion to take up arms against the current Matron Mother, and Makinnga herself is not yet powerful enough, even with the support she has through the gifts she has been given. But if the PCs were able to distract Maelora long enough for Makinnga to do something about the Vidrefacte, a satisfactory conclusion for everyone could be reached. At least this is what COULD come about if certain future paths are followed...

The whole of this area is protected by an Unhallow spell, powered by the Blood Throne of Souls

Through the doorway

Stepping through the doors from the dungeon takes the party into the crypt's  hallway which is about 40 feet wide. This appears to be a giant rib cage, with 6 enormous closely-spaced bones each side arching up and over a pathway made of many thousands of hands. If the PCs are stepping forward peacefully or with the "blessings" of the wraiths at the doorway, the hands shift slightly each time someone places a foot on them and carefully support whoever is walking along. This is designed to be slightly unnerving, not least because every step is accompanied by the cracking sound of fragile carpal, metacarpal and phalanx bones (although none actually break; imagine the noise of 100 people cracking their knuckles at the same time). The PCs get the same xp for the trap as if they had either set it off or disabled it.

If the PCs are fighting their way in, the hands act a Forceful Hand trap, rising up in a wave to push the PCs towards the rib cage and away from each other. The number of hands which attack each PC means they are treated as a Large creature.

 

Forceful Hand Trap CR 7

Magic device; touch trigger; automatic reset

Spell effect (Forceful Hand, 11th-level wizard, treat attack as a bull rush with a +14 bonus on the strength check)

Search/Perception DC 31; Disable Device DC 31

The ribs are so large, it is difficult to imagine what creature they came from. Closer inspection allows a PC to see that they are in fact individual skeletons shaped to look like a single rib. If the PCs get within 5 feet of any rib, a pair of eyes can be seen watching them from the top of it. If the Forceful Hand trap is activated, or if the wraiths from D6 enter the crypt, warn of attack, and are followed by airborne PCs, each of these ribs turns out to be a troll skeleton, which unwraps itself from its current appearance and attacks.

Troll skeletons (12)

3.5 | Pathfinder

Around the outside of the ribcage walkway are 6 shadows. If the PCs have come peacefully, one will act as an escort, initially approaching the PC and offering a hand to shake. If the PC shakes hands, there are no ill effects and the shadow will walk with the PC towards the Throne. This is a sign of the goodwill offered by Makingga and her undead. The PCs gain the same XP as if they had fought the undead.

If a fight is taking place, the shadows will rise up through the hands and attack from below.

Shadows (6)

3.5 | Pathfinder

C2. Makinnga Gullion's Seat of Meditation and Conversation

In front of the PCs is a set of stairs leading to the Blood Throne. Sitting on the Blood Throne is a slightly built female drow. Her eyes are intense, sparkling with the deepest violet tones yet displaying depths greater than one of her apparent years should possess. She watches they approach, undisturbed by their progress whether peacefully or aggressively. She whispers a word to one of the ghostly figures close to her, and the sound of stone rating on stone can be heard.

As the party approaches the Throne, they are faced by two ghostly-looking drow. They are Venthori the cleric and Ucecarne the wizard, a ghost and an advanced dread wraith respectively. They will NOT fight the party under any circumstances; they are either there to act as guidance for Makinnga as she makes her deal OR there to get Makinnga away from any trouble. They will also direct the other undead if anything happens to Makinnga and she is unable to do so herself.

Behind the Throne are 6 Greater Shadows, all seemingly wearing military finery and carrying polearms. If a fight starts, these polearms melt away as the shadows leap forwards.

 

Shadow, Greater (6)

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

If the PCs entered the crypt aggressively, the 2 wraiths from D6 are also here, and they will fight, putting themselves between Makinnga and any aggressors.

 

Wraiths (2)

3.5 | Pathfinder

Under the influence of the Unhallow spell from the Blood Throne of Souls

 

All undead within 40 feet of the Throne have enhanced protection as a result of the Unhallow effect created by it. There is a -6 penalty to turn them (although a +6 bonus to rebuke them).

If the PCs are approaching with aggressively or with aggression in their hearts - the Blood Throne will know and will have informed Makinnga - the stairway as a whole becomes an active trap.

 

Wail of the Banshee trap CR 10

Magic device; proximity trigger (alarm); automatic reset

Spell effect (Wail of the Banshee, 17th-level wizard, DC23 Fortitude save negates); multiple targets (up to 17 creatures)

Search/Perception DC 34; Disable Device DC 34


Makinnga Gullion 

Theurgist Gatekeeper of the Crypt of Gullion

3.5 | Pathfinder

Additional character background information on Makinnga is available via the links above.  A short section of this information is repeated below, in the tactics section, as it gives some over-arching reasons for her actions. Her closeness to the undead ancestors of House Gullion, plus her general allure to any undead linked to the drow, is well-known across the city.

Tactics: If confronted by an aggressive,attacking party, Makinnga knows the undead around her will fight for her. She genuinely desires to speak with the PCs about stopping this course of action and will have her undead attempt to overwhelm the PCs with subdual damage, although draining them of levels and abilities will still happen. She will call to the PCs to stop, whether they are winning or losing, shouting, "I wish to make a deal with you!"

If the party is winning the fight and drives on to attack Makinnga, Ucecarne and Venthori will swiftly act. Ucecarne will cast Reverse Gravity on the area the PCs are in whilst Venthori casts Wind Walk. The 3 incorporeal characters will retreat as swiftly as they can, using the magical wind to drive them away. The PCs will be left with a horde of undead to fight, but no House Gullion member and her protectors to deal with.

If the party is losing the fight, Makingga will call a halt to her undead's attacks. The sounds of battle will immediately cease and an unnerving silence descend upon the crypt, broken only by the rasping breathing of the party. The undead won't let go of the PCs, but will stop damaging them in any way. Makingga will rise from the Throne (putting her at no small disadvantage, although the party won't necessarily realize this) and begin to speak. For one so patently young, her voice carries great authority; every undead turns towards her, the creaking sound of age-old bone and ligament sending a shiver through the party.

 

Makinnga's Offer

Through divination and the concerns of most of Hose Gullion's ancestors,  Udecarne, Venthori and Makinnga (amongst others) know that the direction Matron Maelora is taking is the wrong one in the long term. Even if it seems right  at this time, ultimately the House will over-extend itself and will be defeated; maybe not tomorrow, or next year or in the next decade.  But eventually it will fall, with the hatred and distrust of every other House weighing intolerably on its shoulders.

"The Matron Mother trusts me as much as she does anyone in this wretched tower of hers, but even I am frequently under her gaze. Of which, I have had you watched for a while, your progress to Embla and then here. My spectres and shadows make effective eyes and ears, flitting in and out of your vision as they do, barely noticed and rarely thought of for more than a moment. I can see you intend to bring down my mother and her works, to return the balance to the world of the living. And you seem more than capable of doing this."

" Despite my way of life, here amongst the ancients and unloved of House Gullion, I can see what is of benefit to those around me and my charges when the living are involved. Before the coming of the vidre and their accursed lust for souls, there was harmony between the current members of every House and those that had come before them. Now, we all exist in fear. My undead are perhaps the last few in the city; those that know what is good for them have long gone. And with my Matron Mother intending to drain every living creature within, it seems, a thousand miles, I am unable to protect those that have gone over to the other side, for their agony at being ripped apart by the Vidrefacte denies them the chance to become what they might have been in my charges' realm."

" In order to preserve those I have around me, I would like to help you. If you are able to collect at 3 magic items from each of the House members - weapons, wands, anything that will damage my supporters and me - and place them in this bag..."

Venthori produces a rucksack, which is a variation on a Type I Bag of Holding (Weight when full 15 lbs; Contents weight limit 250 lbs; Contents volume limit 30 cu. ft.). It will teleport any items put in it to Makinnga to use as part of the final act.

"...I will receive them back here in the crypt and be able to use them as the focus for what I will do for you. When you get to the Matron Mother's rooms, you will find the source of all of our problems and you must be part of the process to destroy it. I alone can't do this and my ancestors are duty-bound not to do so without the help that has been predicted. I think...know...you are that help. If you will accept my assistance as well as offering your help to me, I will tell you what must happen."

 

If the PCs don't want to deal with Makinnga, this is the time to say so and they will have 2 choices.

They can either walk away, in which case Venthori will restore and heal them as much as is possible and Makinnga will say, "Thank you for at least listening. Please, take this with you, for your time," and give the party her Robe of Bones. This is also designed to make it look like the PCs have defeated Makinnga and therefore divert suspicion from her when she leaves immediately after the PCs have gone from the crypt. Makinnga, Ucecarne and Venthori will travel far away from Holoth, her undead making their own way to join her again some time in the future, where she will plan to overcome Matron Maelora at a later time.

If the PCs decide to carry on the fight, Makinnga, Ucecarne and Venthori will retreat in the same way as described above. Makinnga isn't surprised, just disappointed. She will return with her followers to deal with the PCs at a later date.

If the PCs do decide to hear Makinnga out, she carries on.

"The power behind the Matron Mother is a large, magical crystal, the Vidrefacte. If destroyed, the tower and the plans of Maelora will both crumble to dust, but that destruction is no easy matter. Whilst the Crystal has an unlimited capacity to drink souls from the living and recently dead, it has to be treated more carefully when the essence something that is long-term deceased is fed into it. Too much undead essence fed too quickly into it will crack it and render it useless."

"If you send me the items via this bag, I will know that it is safe to send my most valuable allies to help you AND will be able to draw upon the aura of the House Members to offer you some protection as you leave the Tower. Until it finally falls, transfer in and out the Tower is extremely difficult, so you will need to make your way back to the entrance even as the Tower collapses towards you from the top downwards. But I can give you a head-start on this process, depending on what you are able to send me. For every item that has a faint aura of magic about it, I will be able to gain you 1 second of time before the Tower begins to collapse; if the item has a moderate aura, it's 2 seconds; if a strong aura, it's 3 seconds. Deceptively simple, but enormously life-saving, I promise you. I don't even need the items after I have worked my magic; if you are able to get back here before you leave the Tower, they will all be here on my seat. But don't risk your own life for mere baubles and trinkets; you may end up on the edges of my world!"

"As a token of my sincerity and that of my ancestors, if you agree to this bargain I will give you my House insignia. This will mean I am unable to move around the Tower myself without falling foul of the traps and protections. Ucecarne and Venthori will do the same, and I will ask others to give their pin away if you would all like to carry one. We intend to rescue not only this House, but the city and our previous way of life, even if it costs me, Ucecarne, Venthori and others their very existence."

If the PCs agree, Makinnga will tell them what needs to be done.

"When you get to the Vidrefacte and engage with its defenders, my companions will need 30 seconds (five rounds) to do what they have to do. Ucecarne, Venthori and 3 others will appear by the crystal and will enter it. When all 5 have done so, giving up their unlives entirely in the process, the crystal will crack and begin to shut down, causing the Tower to start to collapse. Remember,  this should happen instantly, but send me those items and I will gain you the time; my power over death and decay will extend to the living tower for a short while. You need to keep everyone and everything else away from the crystal. If a single other creature touches it during the process of my unliving entering it, the effect is ruined and I'd have to start again. And I don't have so many  powerful allies that I can keep sending more to you!"

"Do you still agree?"

If the party still agrees, Makinnga speaks again.

"It is as it is meant to be. I could not see that our research was wrong. I'd like you to at least see who will be giving their existence up for this cause. Ucecarne and Venthori you know; each was a force to be reckoned with during life and they continue to be my strongest guides in their death. Venthori will heal you of any and all wounds and misfortunes you have suffered. Then these are the others who will give themselves over to destruction."

2 pale, wiry undead appear out of the air, plainly powerful in their own right, and bow  to Makinnga, who dips her head back to them both. The gassy clouds they materialized from, and the feral look in their faces, plus the way the spawn in the crypt take a step backwards, confirm them as fully-formed vampires, one a formidable-looking fighter, the other showing signs of deft hands and silent attack. They each hand their House insignia to Makinnga, who looks to see if a PC needs one.

Then, with a cracking sound that rents the very air of the crypt, a huge nightmare appears carrying an emaciated, robed creature, one shrouded in dark powers. The cauchemar stamps a hoof, flames playing up its legs, and the lich looks down at the scene. In a voice little more than a whisper, yet resonating deeply within each PC, it says;

"My mistress, I know of this plan and trust you without question, but what assurances do we have? I have not survived these 5,000 years only to lose out on a moment's duplicity."

Makingga turns to the PCs and asks, "Well, what can I say to Tarankeerath here? He'd have nothing but my interests at heart, if he had one. And I would give my life for him if I failed him."

Allow the PCs to say whatever they will and make any assurances or promises they wish. If they break their word after this point, Makinnga, Ucecarne, Venthori and Tarankeerath will track them down eventually.

If the PCs flat-out refuse to help, Makinnga will thank them for listening as above and give them her robe as before, wishing them well. If they attack at this point, Makinnga, Ucecarne, Venthori, Tarankeerath and the vampires simply disappear, and the party is left to face the rest of the undead.

After the PCs speak, Makinnga finishes.

"Then we are agreed. 3 items from each family member will allow me to distract them whilst my friends die again for us all. You will have time to escape the collapsing floors of the Tower and, if you are truly fast enough, collect the items you sent me from this seat. My allies and I will be gone if you return here, whether the Tower is destroyed or not. If you have succeeded, Holoth will not tolerate any reminders of House Gullion for a while; if you are unsuccessful, the Matron Mother will find a thousand uses for the parts of me she does not evaporate into nothingness."

The PCs can ask any questions they like and Makinnga will answer them as best she can. She will point out that the Matron Mother may well be watching them as they speak, as time is pressing on and the vidre won't take up all her energies. The undead melt out of sight, reappearing only if the PCs now decide to attack. Venthori will restore every bit of damage or loss to ability or level s the PCs have suffered.

If the PCs make the deal and see it through, they gain the same xp as if they had slain Makinnga,

Print the table below out as a way to record what the PCs send back to Makinnga.

NameItemItem DescriptionAura StrengthSeconds
Maelora (any time during the first 7 rounds of the fight)1
2
3
Maelef1
2
3
Maroena1
2
3
Maltorya1
2
3
Gyloof1
2
3
Coranzan1
2
3
Sor1
2
3
Mathorn1
2
3
Gal1
2
3
Makinnga1Robe of Bones (if returned)Moderate2
Total number of seconds

 

 

Makinnga's Reasoning

Remember, Makinnga has pledged her life to the unliving and strives to better understand how to make, deal with, care for and live among their kind. She has no wish to “control” them in the conventional sense and much of her necromantic striving is to show the undead that she has their best interests at heart. She is happy to place undead above the living and to give them what they need ahead of the "wants" of House members, something that used to cause great consternation but is now of little consequence as virtually no living drow will approach her. The Matron Mother does trust Makinnga explicitly, even if she doesn’t quite understand the child; if nothing else she uses Makinnga and her birth-gifts to occasionally discipline other House members, slaves and, naturally enemies.

For herself, Makinnga is happy and comfortable with the life she leads, tending to her adoring army, meeting with the incorporeal agents that turn up in her rooms and fending off the advancements of vampire, lich, death-knight and nightwalker alike. Right now, she only has 2 concerns in her comfortable life. The first is that she will eventually attract the attention of the Prince of the Undead States; she is not worried about him in himself, only the test of loyalty that the meeting will surely bring. But that is for another time.

The second is what Matron Maelora is likely to do if she runs short of the living to use to power the Vidrefacte and turns to Makinnga's adored undead. This is something that cannot happen and is why she wishes to deal with the party. She will be able to retreat below the ruins of the Tower and will wait and grow in strength to return one day as Matron Mother herself. Her gifts are too useful to the city not for its residents not to take her back eventually.

 

The Blood Throne of Souls

Major Artifact

This large cube of a seat is entirely made of bones, interlocked so closely and smoothed over the years so that it looks like one solid piece of humanoid ivory.

Aura Overwhelming necromancy, divination; CL 25th

Slot none; Weight 500 lbs.

DESCRIPTION

This throne looks like an enormous, carved single block of ivory; on close inspection it is pitted with thousands of tiny holes in every surface and is actually made from hundreds of individual bones that are fused together. It was originally made by drow and is only ever possessed by a drow.

When sat in by its current drow owner, it glows and softly pulses with a misty grey-blue light that undead find calming, alluring and hypnotic. If anyone other than the current owner sits in it, they are subject to a symbol of death (CL 25). If the person affected by this fails the save, their essence is drawn into the throne and they are unreachable without a wish or miracle being used to retrieve their soul from within it.

The Blood Throne of Souls is a final resting place for hundreds of drow souls from across the millennia, many of whom have given themselves freely to become part of the item. There is always one drow who is destined to be the possessor of the throne, although there are long periods when it belongs to no one as the next possessor is yet to be born. The test to find out if a new-born drow is the Chosen One is the placing of a Periapt of Foul Rotting in one hand at the same time as a Scarab of Death in the other. This is a test that the petitioners have to be very certain that the recipient is right drow. The baby will grasp both items and keep hold of them for 24 hours. If neither item affects the baby at the end of this period, it is the only evidence needed that the Chosen One is once more amongst the drow

The Throne does a number of things that take advantage of the strong and close link with undead.

Firstly, whilst the current possessor is sitting in it, she is able to cast one of Discern Location, Foresight, Moment of Prescience and Prying Eyes, Greater at CL 25, every round. The Moment of Prescience is always either a +25 bonus to a saving throw or to AC. These effects are as a result of the undead within the Throne working for and with the possessor. They watch out for, search for, give insight into and accurately predict what is going to happen now and in the future for the possessor with 100% accuracy. The possessor has to constantly sit on the Throne to gain the benefits of these spells; if they get off of it, the link with the active undead is broken and the process has to restart.

Secondly, whilst they are sitting in it, the Throne allows the possessor to cast one of Clone, Create Greater Undead, Energy Drain, Horrid Wilting and Soul Bind at CL 25, every round. These effects are as a result of the undead within the Throne, which use their store of negative energy to inflict as much control over the living as they can. The possessor has to be sitting on the Throne to gain the benefits of these spells; if they get off it, neither they nor the Throne can cast them (unless they are part of the possessors daily allocation of spells as normal).

Thirdly, the Throne is able to fully re-charge overnight any magic item which is necromantic in nature. When encountered, Makinnga’s mask, robe and staff are fully primed and ready for use.

Fourthly, whilst sitting on the Throne, the possessor is able to have Unhallow permanently in effect, to triple the range. Also, within 40 feet of the Throne, the turn penalty is -6 and rebuke bonus +6 instead of -4 and +4 respectively.

DESTRUCTION

The Blood Throne of Souls can only be destroyed in three ways.

The first way is for it to be touched by the Prince of Undead, who will draw all the souls contained within it into him and the Throne will crumble to dust.

The second way is for at least a 26 HD solar angel, a 34 HD trumpet archon, a gold dragon wyrm and a 12th level paladin storm giant to each pass away on the Throne and allow their essence to enter it, over the course of 4 rounds.

The third way is only a temporary method, and has only ever been used once to save a drow metropolis. The method is for all the previous possessors of the Throne to be found and all enter it as the current possessor successfully destroys the maximum HD of undead possible for her level with 3 successive turn undead rolls. This would then unleash all of the contained undead souls to do as they wished (to defend the metropolis when this was undertaken on the one occasion), but would allow the throne to crumble to microscopic dust. This dust then takes 100 drow generations to reform into the Throne and another 10 generations for the drifting incorporeal undead to gather again within the Throne. A new possessor then has to be found.

 

 

C3. Crypt

All of the sarcophagi to the north/top of the crypt contain vampire spawn - it has become a bit of a tradition for any vampire which tries to court Makinnga to give her  a spawn which looks exactly like the original undead when she politely declines its advances. There are 24 in total.

Vampire Spawn

3.5 | Pathfinder

All of the sarcophagi to the south/bottom of the crypt contain ghasts. Ghouls are a never-ending problem for drow and deaths do occur from their attacks. The ghasts are previous elite members of the city's population which feel compelled to be with Makinnga. There are 28 in total.

Ghast

3.5 | Pathfinder

If Makinnga is attacked, these creatures will rise from their resting places and swarm towards the party, dragging them down to a painful and hideous death if they are able to. They give no quarter and expect none in return, howling in outrage and anger at the PCs' actions. If the players stop attacking Makinnga, these creatures immediately stop attacking the party.

Monstrous Spiders, Huge

3.5 | Pathfinder

Over all of the sarcophagi are thick strands of web, both sets of which are guarded by a huge monstrous  spider. These spiders have the ability to move strands sufficiently for the undead to move through the whole web without hindrance, whilst the PCs still suffer limits to movement. Anyone who tries to set fire to the web is swarmed by either 8 vampire spawn or 8 ghasts, depending on where they are in the crypt.

 

 

Tolgorith Tower - Level Two

 

This level is currently affected by the Vidrefacte's guards and wards effect as follows:Fog fill all corridorsAll doors are arcane lockedWebs fill the stairs from 10 feet below the level of the floor to 10 feet above, meaning the entrance to this level is thick with themConfusion takes hold in every area where there is more than one way into and out of itEvery door on the level is covered by a silent image to appear as if it were a plain wallA suggestion is in place in the doorway between T13 and T15 to, "Put down whatever you are holding so you can feel the quality of the rug."

T13. Entry Room

This guard room has two occupants, individuals more alert than others that may have been encountered so far. The last duty to let an unauthorized creature through into the level was hanged, drawn and quartered whilst still being kept fully alive, before having each morsel fed to one of Maelora's favorite spiders.

 

Tolgorith Tower Guards

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

There is a desk and two chairs. the desk has a ledger on it, detailing who is on duty and when, as well as who has entered this level. It dates back over a year, and an inspection show the names of the various high-ranking family members as well as  K'Chouk, an assassin the PCs may well have encountered. At the top of every page if the message, "When taking the waters, remember to greet when greeted. It is only polite to do so."

There are also a couple of names from Embla almost a year ago - no one present in the party recognizes them unless you want them to - as well as examples of representatives from other Underworld species (Knowledge (dungeoneering) DC 25 reveals this, otherwise they are just words that must be names because of where they are positioned in the ledger. Feel free you use any species you like, even, for example, something like aboleth, which is intriguing to imagine how one entered the Tower.)

As a piece of  "useful information", the ledger is worth 250 gp to any city's spymaster.

 

 

 

T14. Magical Well

Not everything the Matron Mother introduced to the Vidrefacte-produced tower was vainglorious; this is one of the rare examples of straightforward practicality. A well, 25 feet across and magically connected to the Elemental Plane of Water, produces an everlasting supply that is fresh, cool and delicious. It is also an ideal material for any spell that has water as a component or in its description, allowing you to either eschew (all other) materials, cast the spell as if using one of the metamagic feats enlarge spell or extend spell or brew potions at +2 to your actual caster level.

Not unsurprisingly, there are guards in this room. 2 chuuls lurk in the well; they know not to attack anyone from House Gullion or any one with them unless instructed to. They will also check if someone wearing a House Gullion insignia is meant to be there by offering a left claw, which needs to be tapped by the back of the right hand by those with permission to be on the level.

All other individuals will be attacked, with the chuuls attempting to paralyze creatures and dump them into the well for later, once they have drowned. There is nothing of any value in the well as it has no bottom, but it is an entrance to the Elemental Plane of Water if you wish to allow the PCs to travel there. Otherwise, have an invisible barrier 100 feet along the watery route to the plane that only creatures with the aquatic sub-type can penetrate without permission OR let the PCs realize that if they swim further than 100 feet, they find themselves deep underwater with the entrance back to the Tower now invisible from the Plane and only found with a Search/Perception DC 40 roll.

Chuul (2)

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

 

T15. Hallway with Spider Rug

 

Crawling Floor (trap) CR 3

A plush, black carpet with a giant red spider woven in covers the floor from wall to wall.
XP 800
CE Haunt (hallway)
CL 3
Notice Perception DC 20 (to see thousands of spiders crawling in the thick carpet)
hp 6; Trigger proximity requirement: Non-drow or member of enemy house; Reset 1 hour
Weakness fire damage is treated as positive energy damage
Effect When the haunt is triggered (via crossing the carpet) thousands of spiders swarm the inhabitants of the room, biting and spinning webs. Treat the entire room as if a web spell of CL 5 has been cast. Additionally, each character in the room is attacked each round by the swarm of spiders. (+8 melee touch; 1 point Constitution Damage, DC 17 Fortitude Save negates).
Destruction Blood from a rival drow house must be spilled on the carpet to satiate the dead priestess's vengeful blood lust.
History A junior priestess was murdered on this carpet by a rival drow. As she died, her death curse created this haunt.

 

There are also guards in this corridor; on a platform above each of the doorways sits a drider entirely loyal to House Gullion. The platforms are permanently invisible, whilst the drider cast invisibility on themselves as the doors open before using detect good to sweep the corridor . If someone unauthorized comes in, they are likely to set off the trap. Once this happens, the driders attack anything that is showing as good.

 

Drider (2)

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

 

T16. Sor Gullion's Residence

This is Sor's usual room, but since he has become more closely involved with his creatures in the dungeon - and a run-in with his increasingly insane mother over whether he'd be prepared to sacrifice yet more of his creatures to the Vidrefacte - he hasn't been back here for almost a month. A thin film of dust covers everything, with only the footprints of the spiders that are allowed to roam free around the Tower in evidence.

There a bed, desk, chair, wardrobe and chest of drawers in the room. The bed is perfectly made, but clearly not used, the chair is tucked under the desk, the wardrobe contains three sets of utilitarian clothes and one ceremonial outfit, suitable for actions involving contact with the Spider Goddess and the chest of drawers has a variety of odds-and-ends in it that reflect everyday life and nothing more.

The desk is the only thing of real interest as its drawer is locked and trapped.

 

Open Locks/Disable Device DC 22

 

Prismatic Spray trap CR 8

Magic device; touch trigger; automatic reset

Spell effect (prismatic spray, 13th level wizard, DC 20 Reflex, Fortitude or Will save depending on effect)

Search/perception DC 32; Disable Device DC 32

The only item of value that Sor left here is a small metal box with three blocks of black widow venom in a concentrated form. Sor added a number of herbs and spices to it so that they smell just like a tablet of pain relief (the solid form of a cure light wounds potion). However, if anyone should taste one of these blocks, they're in for a nasty surprise; the concentrated venom is more difficult to overcome and has a stronger effect. the only saving grace is that its effects act for fewer rounds.

Black Widow Venom - injury; save Fort DC 21; frequency 1/round for 4 rounds; effect 1d4 Con damage and staggered; cure 2 saves; save DC is Con based with a +2 racial bonus and a +4 concentration bonus.

 

T17. Mal Yar Niss Gullion's Personal Residence

Mal Yrr Niss’s personal quarters are heavily decorated with imagery befitting a Priestess of Naraneus.  The entire eastern wall of the room is a mosaic depicting Naraneus blessing Micar Barri Ar. Mal prayers to this mosaic every morning.

The west wall of the room is dominated by Mal’s opulent bed, large enough to hold several people and if examined, it will look well used.  This is a ruse, however.  She never takes anyone to her bed, despite the rumors to the contrary.  When she brings Gal to her chambers, it is to use his secret exit so that they have a place to make plans in secrecy.

A large wardrobe covers the north wall of the room, holding the various robes Mal needs as a Priestess of Naraneus, as well as her armor and weapons.  On a lower shelf of the wardrobe, Mal has her book of parables from the Spider Goddess.

Mal keeps nothing of value in her room other than her spare armor and 2 spare weapons. They rest on a cunning, trapped rack, one that draws together armor and weapons to fight on their own. Whilst Mal Yar Niss is using her full plate and carrying her +1 aberration bane heavy flail, the spare items here will rise up and fight on their own accord.  If Niss isn't using her main items for some reason, the figure to hit and damage for for one attack  and trap CR go up by 1.

Moving Armaments trap CR 5

Mechanical; location trigger; automatic reset

Hidden switch bypass (Search/Perception DC 25); Atk +16 melee (1d10+8/19-20); multiple targets (2 weapons attack)

Search/Perception DC 25; Disable Device DC 25

OR

Moving Armaments trap CR 6

Mechanical; location trigger; automatic reset

Hidden switch bypass (Search/Perception DC 25); Atk +17 melee (1d10+8+aberration bane/19-20) and atk +16 melee (1d10+8/19-20); multiple targets (2 weapons attack)

Search/Perception DC 25; Disable Device DC 25

 

 

 

T18. Gal's Personal Residence

Gal’s personal quarters are austere.  Everything has a place and everything is in its place.  The furniture is comprised of a bed attached to the west wall to allow storage space for Gal’s clothing underneath, a small functional desk, and one chair on the north wall, and a small bookcase on the south wall next to the cloak hooks.  A reddish purple rug covers the middle of the stone floor, Gal’s only extravagance.

On the south wall is a set of hooks for Gal’s cloaks.  When a hook is pulled on, this wall swings open silently to allow Gal access to the food supply and storage area, but more importantly, access to the stairs.  Next to these hooks is a small bookcase that contains journals, histories, and memoirs of military commanders from various races.  Gal has read all of these books several times, dog-earing numerous pages.

In the north wall, just above the desk, is a false wall (Search/Perception DC 15 to find) that gives access to a safe (Disable Device DC 18 to open).  There is a small number of gems (50 gp worth) and seemingly important papers in this safe, the bottom of the safe is false (Search/Perception DC 30 to find; Disable Device DC 30  to open) and contains a small piece of the Vidrefacte crystal.  It is unknown what abilities the crystal has, but Gal does not want Maelora knowing it exists.  However, he does not want to destroy in case there are powerful abilities still left in the crystal that he can use in case his mother goes completely insane.

 

 

 

T19. Residence Entry

This small room provides an extra layer of protection for Gyloof (room to south) and Makinnga (room to north).  

The north door (Makinnga's room) is locked and trapped (detailed on room entry below) and protected against entry by two of Makinnga's undead guardians (spectres).

Spectre (2)

3.5 | Pathfinder

Combat Tactics: The spectre relentlessly attack anyone entering this area unless they are drow, undead, or escorted by a member of House Gullion.

 

The south door is locked and trapped as shown in the room entry below.

 

 

 

T20. Gyloof Gullion's Personal Residence

The door to this room is locked (DC 20) and trapped as shown below.

An ornate, bas-relief spider has been carved onto this wooden door.

Blade Barrier Door CR 10

Type magical; Perception 38; Disable Device 34

Effect

If the door is opened by anyone other than Gyloof, the spider's legs grab the character, and squeezes him into the door. At the same time, a solid blade barrier forms at the door and out to 5' from the door. Spider Attack (+15 CMB Grapple attack, 24 CMD, when grappled, character is pinned and is automatically hit by the blade barrier until freed); Blade Barrier Attack (10d6 bleed damage; DC 22 Reflex for half damage); multiple targets (all targets within 5' of door)

The room is clearly regularly used, as it is clean and tidy but obviously "lived in", with standard furniture about the place and a rug on the floor. Gyloof is still firmly on the side of the Matron Mother and has great faith in her alliance with the Spider Goddess. However, he is less sure of his siblings and is keeping a journal of what he thinks they are up to.

As the PCs come into the room, there is a 70% chance he sitting at a desk with the book in front of him, considering an entry about Gal, who has been acting particularly furtively lately, at least according to Gyloof. he will fly into a frenzy and attack if disturbed, something he isn't used to.

 

Gyloof

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

A Search/Perception DC 15 roll finds the trapdoor in the floor under the rug. PCs need to be careful with it, however

Trapdoor

This trapdoor is locked and trapped as follows:

Lock Covered in Spider Bile     CR 7

mechanical; touch trigger (attached); no reset; poison (spider bile, DC 30 Fortitude save resists, 3d6+1 Con/0); Search DC 30; Disable Device DC 20.


Once the trapdoor is open, the party finds a set of rungs on the side of the wall which descend to a tile floor. 5 rounds after the trapdoor is opened and the rungs stepped on, it closes itself. A Search/Perception DC 20 roll finds a catch at the bottom of the rungs which opens the tile floor into a small cave-like structure within the stalagmite of the Tower. As the tile floor slowly opens, the rungs extend into a ladder which drops to the floor of the cave and the trapdoor at the top closes, if it hasn't already done so.

The place is in darkness, but there is noise; a Listen/Perception DC 20 roll allows the PCs to make out a soft, slow, skittering sound, that of many legs moving about. If PCs have the ability to see in the darkness, they will make out a number of insect-like shapes at points around the cave, as well as a large column in the middle of it

If light is brought into the cave, the skittering momentarily stops, replaced by the sound of turning. The PCs will see a number of things in there light, the first being a large column in the middle of the room. The column is embedded with about 20 skulls and covered otherwise with carved images of the Spider Goddess.

They will also be able to see a number of large beetle-like creatures turning towards them. The PCs may feel comforted by the thought that there are just some insects down here, albeit large ones, after all they have faced, but they are in for a shock. Whilst Gyloof never hesitated to provide slaves for his mother to sacrifice to the Vidrefacte, he did have a grudging admiration for some of them, those that demonstrated passion or strength or a never-say-die attitude, and knew he would miss them when they were gone. So he gained permission from Maelora to keep the skulls of his favorite 30, to do as he wished. Asking for a place to keep them from his mother, the Matron made this cave for him and instructed Gyloof to ensure his pets never left, hence the intricate entry system.

The least favored 20 out of this 30 he had embedded in the column. They each have a permanent magic mouth spell on them which allows them to say phrases like "Good morning Master Gyloof, I live to serve the will of House Gullion. What tasks do you have for me today, please?" in the voice of its former owner.

The skull of each of Gyloof's 10 most favored slaves had a different end; with the help of Makinnga (who only did this at the request of Matron Maelora, and doesn't like the results at all), the skulls were attached to giant beetles (actually stag beetles) which are now loyal to Gyloof. These skulls also have similar permanent magic mouth spells on them, and it is rather disconcerting to have 10 large stag beetles come towards you exclaming "Good morning Master Gyloof,..." and launching into the rest of their messages.

However, the beetles are still living, and when they realise the PCs aren't Gyloof, will attack.

If Gyloof isn't in his room, he will be down here feeding his beetles. He may know someone is coming because the trapdoor out of this room will have closed when the one into his chamber is opened. There is a 40% chance this is the case. if he does know, he will have readied himself for the fight. The beetles will defend him to the death.

Gyloof

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

Skull Beetles

3.5 | Pathfinder

Treat as "Stag Beetles

 

 

 

T21. Makinnga Gullion's Residence

The door to this room is locked (DC 20) and trapped as shown below.

Blade Barrier Door CR 10

An ornate, bas-relief spider has been carved onto this wooden door.
Type magical; Perception 38; Disable Device 34
Effect
If the door is opened by anyone other than Makinnga or her minions, the spider's legs grab the character, and squeezes him into the door. At the same time, a solid blade barrier forms at the door and out to 5' from the door. Spider Attack (+15 CMB Grapple attack, 24 CMD, when grappled, character is pinned and is automatically hit by the blade barrier until freed); Blade Barrier Attack (10d6 bleed damage; DC 22 Reflex for half damage); multiple targets (all targets within 5' of door)

Within the room, which is empty except for a number of skeletons, a bone armchair and a small coffer, sits a skull, placed on one of the arms of the chair. It is humanoid and covered in hundreds of small diamond - 769 to be exact - each worth 25 gp, making the whole item worth 19,225 gp. The skull is on the left arm and the positioning of the diamonds suggests that a left hand would rest perfectly in the indentation.

There is a catch - the skull is a demi-lich. This chair is linked to Makinnga's Throne in the crypt. If anything happens to Makinnga, the demi-lich knows of it and flies to her defense. If the skull is removed from the chair, the demi-lich loses contact with Makinnga's Throne and politely asks to be put back on the left arm. If this isn't done, it attacks; if it is done, it thanks the PCs politely and says, "We may possibly meet again soon."

If a fight starts between the demi-lich and the party, it can be ended at any time with a promise to replace it on the left arm of the chair. The demi-lich could do this itself, but it prefers to have anything that moves it realize that they are weaker than it in every way.

The demi-lich is named Puolihaamu and is the only non-drow undead in Makinnga's admirers and forces. She is a former gnome illusionist who sought to mask herself from Death (as well as the act of dying) and has been in this state for more than 3,000 years. Her phylacteries are scattered all over the planet, although all are in places heavily populated with undead and theurgists concerned with them. Death may well one day come for Puolihaamu, but for the moment, she is safe from his clutches.

Demi-Lich

3.5 | Pathfinder

The skeletons are inanimate and are attached to the wall. There are six of them; a drow, a dvergr, a dwarf, a deep gnome, an underworld giant and an unknown creature with 4 digits on each hand and foot, an over-sized skull, and a beak-like jaw with evidence of four small boney lumps around it.

The trapdoor in the ceiling is one-way only, and cannot be opened from here, although the trapdoor itself can be found on a Search/Perception DC 27 roll

T22. Food Supply and Storage

These rooms are full of crates, barrels, boxes sacks and amphorae which contain all manner of food and drink. Much of it is alien to the PCs, and any given item, if tried, could have an effect. This includes the familiar items.

d% rollEffect of food or drink itemCure
01-40No effectN/A
41-55Sickened for 1d4+1 rounds, Fort DC 20 for half duration1 pint of salt water
56-70Confused for 1d4+1 rounds, Will DC 20 for half duration1/8th oz arsenic
71-80Fall into a deep sleep for 20 rounds, Fort DC 25 for slowed instead1/4 lbs sugar
81-85+2 to Str, -1 to Dex for 30 rounds1/2 dose drow poison
86-90+2 to Dex, -1 to Str for 30 rounds1/2 dose spider venom
91-93-2 to Str for 30 roundsCure moderate wounds (no hp gain)
94-96-2 to Dex for 30 roundsCure moderate wounds (no hp gain)
97-99-2 to Con for 30 roundsCure moderate wounds (no hp gain)
00Death, Fort DC35 for stable unconsciousness at -10 hpNormal curing OR 1 spectre's essence

If a thorough search is made of the crates, taking 60 minutes for one person per room, some special items can be found in each of them.

In the northern room, found on a Search/Perception DC 25 roll and appearing to be a slightly overbearing book on diet without a Knowledge (arcana) DC28 roll, is a Manual of Bodily Health +2.

One of the still-sealed crates contains 40 individual boxes, neatly stacked inside 2 x 4 x 5 deep. Each of these boxes contains a purple tentacle that is about 10 inches long, which despite not being connected to anything living, still wriggles slightly. If a tentacle is swallowed whole, it gives a +1 insight bonus to attack roles for 20 minutes. If chewed and swallowed, it gives a +1 insight bonus to armor class for 20 minutes.

A final sack that might be of interest is folded in half and tucked away on a shelf. When opened, some fine,mint-green leaves blow into the air. A Heal DC 20 or Knowledge (religion) DC 25 check reveals that these leaves can be used to make cure potions. There is enough here in total for 1 cure serious wounds, 1 cure moderate and 1 cure light wounds or 3 cure light wounds potions, all with just the appropriate dice and nothing extra. Alternatively, there are enough leaves for 15 pinches of cure minor wounds, if they are taken like snuff.

 

In the southern room, tucked away in a dusty spot, is a Handy Haversack holding the basic equipment of an adventurer, but also including +3 lock-picks and a pair of gloves of dexterity +2.

One of the amphorae has 20 measures of universal solvent in it, although it looks and tastes like strong red wine. If any one drinks any, they need to make a Fort DC 25 roll or their teeth will fall out. This can be remedied by a cure serious wounds or better healing.

A small box, with the phrase "For the attention of Mayor Igor Leonid" stamped on it, contains a dozen portions of warm bread pudding, seemingly kept in magical suspended animation as they don't cool. 10 of them as truly excellent; 2 are filled with deadly poison. They all look identical, so if anyone eats any, decide which 2 are poisoned and roll a d12 to see if the PC picks a safe one.

Poisoned Bread Pudding

Dark reaver powder; ingested DC 18; 2d6 Con, 1d6 Con and 1d6 Str

Both rooms have undead guardians slowly patrolling them. They consists of 6 bugbear zombies coated in unguent of timelessness, so there is none of the usual stench of rotting. (Stats for Pathfinder apocalypse zombies are used)

 

Zombie, Bugbear (6)

3.5 | Pathfinder

Each room contains a group of zombies.

 

 

 

T23. Weapon and Magical Item Storage

This storage area consists of 5 chests and one weapons rack. As the tower is on a war footing, there is virtually nothing left in this room. Chests 1,2 and 4 are empty. Fallen behind the weapons rack is a +1 dart of seeking, chest 3 has a left-foot boot of elvenkind (along with a near-identical looking right-foot ordinary boot) and chest 5 has a dagger of blood (this works in the same way as a mace of blood)

Each of the chests and both end-posts of the weapons rack have skulls resting on them. These creatures are vargouilles and will attack any non-drow at the same time as letting out a warning shriek.

Vargouille (7)

3.5 | Pathfinder


 

 

 

 

Tolgorith Tower - Level Three

 

T24. Spider Mosaic

This beautiful room is stunning even by the standards of the Tower. It is quite large, with double doors in each wall. The doors the PCs can see from the one they came in through are all guarded by drow, who ready themselves as the PCs enter by don't immediately attack. Normally, if anyone gets this far, they are a guest. The guards hesitation allows the spider trap to act. The guards will then draw weapons and fight the PCs.

 

Polearm Masters (6)

 

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

Crushing Spider (trap) CR 10 3.5E/ CR 13 PF

A huge spider mosaic has been set into the floor.
Type magical; Perception 34; Disable Device 34
Trigger location; Reset none
Effect When an attempt to open the door leading to the dining chamber is made, several things happen. First, a Reduce Person, Mass is cast upon everyone in the room (DC 20 Fortitude Save or become reduced for 18 minutes). Once that is cast, the spider curls up off the floor into a giant, crushing hand. It will act like a crushing hand spell, with a CMD of 31 and a CMB of 41. It will attempt to crush all reduced characters at once, or a single character if no one is reduced. If attacking reduced characters, it will get as many grapple checks as there are reduced characters. Otherwise, it just has a single grapple attack.

 

 

T25. Maltorya Gullion's Residence

Maltorya is rarely found within her residence. Instead she spends her time dedicated to her pursuits as Oracle of Tolgorith Tower.

This room has sparse furnishing, a table and two chairs, a bed stained with blood, and a small side table with two poison bottles (both empty).

Spot/Perception DC 40 = Hidden behind the bed and scrawled upon the wall is something written in blood.

 

Remember the past, foresee the future.
GGDCSIII

 

Spot/Perception DC 30 = Just beneath the writing is a chunk of rough worthless quartz attached to a fine platinum necklace embedded with tiny diamonds.  The necklace is worth between 1,000-5,000 gp depending on the buyer.  Also under the bed is wooden staff carved in the shape of a serpent.  It has been in the family for over 500 years and was given to Maltorya by her great grandfather shortly before her death.  The serpent staff is one of Maltorya's favorite possessions.  When she was a little girl it made her feel safe to have the staff under her bed, thus she keeps it there to this day.

The staff is a quarterstaff of the viper. If used by a drow, it acts like a rod of the viper; if handled by a non-drow, it acts like a cursed backbiter spear, sinking its fangs into the wielder if it can.

 

 

 

T26. Maroena Gullion's Residence

This is a lavish room decorated in spider silk tapestries and comfortable furniture.  A large master canopy bed with spider webs draped all around dominates the room.  Plush black pillows stitched with the pattern of a silver spider web pattern line the bed.  Chains attached to the bedposts hold manacles which are left open and unlocked upon the bed itself.  A splatter of blood can be seen on a portion of the wall and a black leather cat'o'nine tails rests on a small side table next to a tiny vial of liquid.  A footlocker is pushed up against one wall whilst a small desk holds many papers, a ink well and quill.  The symbol of Naraneus (a hand with eight fingers and the symbol of a spider) is everywhere, on the blankets of the bed, the tapestries, and even drawn the wall behind the bed in blood.

Upon closer inspection the tapestries are revealed to depict scenes of drow slaying Overworlders in a battle of epic proportions.  Most of the Overworlders appear to be light skinned elves in a forest of trees the size of Tolgorith Tower itself.  

The small vial next to the bed is a strong drug called "Lucid Mother", a drop of which causes one to collapse and go into a strong psychedelic trance for 10d10 minutes.  There is no save for this strong drug which is made from the reduced and concentrated poison of the Grandmother Spider of House Gullion and aged for 10 years.  The aging process removes the lethal effects of the venom but ferments the remaining venom in such a way as to cause strange drug like effects when ingested by humanoids of all races.

The cat'o'nine tails and manacles are evidence of Maroena's late night intimate sessions with drow male prisoners.  She keeps these sessions private, not because she fears her strange habits will be found out, but because she has had a vision from Naraneus that she must bare children soon or will never have the chance again. If she carries this act through, she will have triplets, virtually unheard of in the history of the drow. The three will lead the drow on a journey to the deepest parts of the known Underworld and establish a successful but truly dangerous city of thieves, assassins and monks.  Maroena detests men and sees them as inferior, thus the acts of abuse during this enforced intimacy. What she doesn't realize is that the Spider Goddess has already decided who the father will be and just hasn't got round to indicating her choice to Maroena. This whole sordid business is a test of Maroena's faith.

The footlocker is locked (Open Locks/Disable Device DC 35) and contains 3 potions of cure serious wounds, 2 vials of drow poison, a drow mace +3*, and a drow belt buckle of protection* +1 (acts as a ring of protection).

*When exposed to sunlight these items turn to dust.

 

 

 

T27. House Gullion Dining Chamber

As you enter the room you notice the large ornate black table dominating the center of the large dining hall. The table appears to be made of a black marble inlaid with a white cobweb pattern that originates from the center of the table. Flanking both sides of the table are decorated chairs made of the same marble, the legs of the chairs are carved bones and humanoid skulls crest the ends of the arm rests. The main course of a dinner is left still steaming on the table. A giant fly the size of a halfling’s head lays cooked on a platter with a circular pattern of maggots surrounding the bloated insect. Resting next to the fly platter, the head of a deceased surface elf with a mushroom in its mouth lays perfectly still. The milky grey eyes look forward as the fearful expression of the unfortunate being seems to be etched forever on the face of the creature. The rest of the large marble slab is covered with various mushroom dishes.

This food is beneficial to drow, but if the PCs attempt to eat any of this food they will becoming violently ill with food poisoning within 1d20+10 rounds. The food poisoning will cause a -1 penalty on all checks of any kind for a duration of 1d4+4 hours and a -2 penalty on all attack and damage rolls, also for this same duration.

The whole room is illuminated in a soft purple glow resonating downward from a fancifully decorated chandelier made of a clear crystal that seems to cast the light evenly around the room. However, the light is reflected off a large golden embroidered tapestry depicting the symbol of House Gullion. In each corner of the room are staging areas for additional food. Other cooked creatures are placed strategically in a buffet fashion. There are soups in clear crystal bowls with eyeballs bobbing up and down inside them, and a thick blood pudding on the other side of the room. The room has three doors in total. All the doors portray the same spider motif and the door knobs are carved flies caught in webs.

 

T28. Kitchen

As you enter the room the smell of burning hair leaves you with an uneasy feeling. The odor appears to be coming from a lidded pot that is boiling over and dumping its vile contents onto the stone floor. The over cooked stew looks to be made up of various body parts… Suddenly a large clang rings in your ears as the lid slides off the top of the pot and slams into the floor! Upon further inspection you notice that the contents of the pot have come from the two flayed and bled-out humanoid creatures hanging in the corner of the room.

A successful Knowledge(dungeoneering) DC 20 check reveals that the creatures are a Duergar and a Svirfneblin.

The shelves in the room are filled with many common Underworld ingredients such as mushrooms and Vvor hair, while a few Overworld ingredients like raisins and nuts can also be found here and there. Hanging on the far side of the wall are cleavers and pots, organized and ready for preparation of the next meal.

A Search/Perception DC 30 reveals that there that one of the pots is actually a pull handle for a secret door which reveals a tight vertical passageway going straight down and emptying out of the ceiling in Makinnga’s personal residence (area T21).

 

 

 

 

T29. Maelef Gullion's Residence

Two sets of shelves are positioned one in each corner of the wall opposite the doors. Each book case it roughly 6 feet square and 1 foot deep - if moved, you can see through them.  These represent Maelef's personal library and the contents consists entirely of Overworld books. Although mundane on the surface, they are worth 10 times their original surface value here in Holoth, would be worth 20 times their original value 1 mile below the surface, 100 times their original value 2 miles down into the Underworld and 500 times their original value if someone were to take them 3 miles down towards the center of the planet.

The exceptions are the following magical books, which are just worth their actual value up to 1 mile down, 2 times their original value 2 miles down and 4 times their original value 3 miles down.

 

Pamphlet of Persuasion - this slim volume has a number of short phrases which, when learned and recited, persuade people to come around to your point of view as per a circlet of persuasion.

+3 to Charisma-based checks; faint transmutation; CL5, Craft Wondrous Item, eagle's splendor

 

Tome of Tokens - this is a collection of 25 sheets of stiff card, each with the details of how to fold it into a particular origami item with a Dex DC 5 check. These can then be thrown into the air, onto the ground or into water (depending on what they are), where they transform into a particular token as follows:

Anchor - useful to moor a craft in water so as to render it immobile for 1 day (3 sheets)

Tent - useful to protect up to 8 Medium characters from wind and rain for up to 1 day (2 sheets)

Bird (pigeon) - can be used to deliver a small written message unerringly. The message is written on the sheet of card. The pigeon lasts until it reaches the intended recipient, where  upon it transforms back into a non-magical sheet of card (2 sheets)

Bird (hawk) - can be used to catch a rabbit or similar creature. It lasts until prey has been caught, where upon it turns into non-magical kindling for the fire to cook the creature on (2 sheets)

Fan - as per the equivalent feather token (5 sheets)

Swan boat - as per the equivalent feather token (1 sheet)

Snow sled - this forms a sled that is able to move over snow at a speed of 6o feet. It can carry 8 horses and gear or 32 Medium characters or any equivalent combination. The sled lasts for 1 day (1 sheet)

Sand sled - this is similar to the snow sled, except is is designed to travel over sand (1 sheet)

Tree - as per the equivalent feather token (2 sheets)

Whip - as per the equivalent feather token (1 sheet)

Moderate conjuration; CL 11; Craft Wondrous Item, major creation; Total price 5100 gp; 50 gp (anchor, tent), 200 gp (fan), 300gp (pigeon, hawk), 400 gp (tree), 450 gp (swan boat, sand sled, snow sled), 500 gp (whip)

 

These two publications can be found with a Search/Perception DC 25 roll in amongst all the other books, or with a detect magic spell. There is nothing else of value in the room.

 

 

Tolgorith Tower - Level Four

 

T30. Tolgorith Tower Shrine to the Spider Goddess

As the PCs climb the stairs to the fourth level they begin to hear a low drone which can only be described as dozens of people chanting in the wispy tongue of spiders.

Thick mist bellows out and spills down the stairs, illuminated by a flickering purple light. The sound of chanting coming from the next level grows louder as you reach the landing.

It is difficult to see into this vast chamber due to the thick mist.

With a successful Spot/Perception DC 20 one can discern two figures standing toward the middle and back of the room.

With a successful Spot/Perception DC 30 the PCs can see two drow females, one of which is standing in a pool of blood surrounded by skulls filled with flickering candles.  She holds the hair of a beaten and defeated dwarf prisoner lifting him off the ground despite her slender frame.

The sound of chanting comes from the hundreds of sacrificed drow souls which are now bound for eternity to chant the words of spiders, blessed to remain here by the magic of the Vidrefacte and the divine magic of the priests of Naraneus.  Although their voices can be heard, their bodies have long since been bled and devoured.

 

Symbol of Pain

Location: Just inside the room, PCs must pass over this into order to enter.

Trigger: Good-aligned humanoids

CL 6

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

After the PCs progress into the room (triggers Symbol of Pain described above) read the following:

The drow woman standing in the middle of the pool of blood lets loose a shrill cackle, and the thick mist turns blood red parting long enough for you to lock eyes with her, surrounded by hundreds of skulls each lit by a purple candle and spilling wax onto the floor and into cracks in the stone tiles.  Her hair seems to float around her naked body and two massive serpents twist their way around her, barely concealing her form beneath them. She again cackles and slits the throat of a dwarf which her serpents grip tightly before her and his blood spills into the pool at her feet. She releases the corpse, and you watch as it vanishes entirely beneath the placid surface, as if it were much deeper than it appears.  "You are the ones. The group that has come to destroy us. You will succeed, I have foreseen it... you will destroy our matron, our mother, but not before I take some of you with me to Venom!"

She turns to the back of the room, calling, ”Join me!  Join me in utter ecstasy in the realm beyond.  Your flesh will be feasted upon by our dark mother Naraneus!” From the darkness scurries a line of night black spiders with venom dripping from their fangs. Shuffling forward behind them are a force of skeletons bound together by convulsing serpents and dripping with the black blood of demons.

There is a symbol of pain painted in dwarf and human blood upon the entrance to this room. There is no way to avoid passing over it unless one has the ability to fly or jump 30 feet into the room. It is nearly undetectable due to the thick mist filling the room Spot/Perception DC 40. The PCs will obviously be further distracted by the room's inhabitants which may increase the DC further (at GM's discretion).

 

Giant Spiders (8)

3.5 Monstrous Spider| Pathfinder Giant Black Widow

 

Maltorya's Skeletons (7)

drow skeletons, but use human skeleton listed under 3.5.

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

Maltorya Gullion, Oracle of Tolgorith Tower

3.5 | Pathfinder

Additional character background information on Maltorya available via the links above.

Maltorya's is currently naked and her equipment is stored in the demi-plane Venom. She has hidden it among the strange flesh like growths in a large satchel.

Combat tactics: If confronted, Maltorya will send her created skeletons in to battle to fight for her, then use her limited offensive spells before retreating into the trans-dimensional conduit, dragging up to two PCs she can reach with her to the demi-plane Venom.  Once in the demi-plane Maltorya will retrieve her magical items and use them against the PCs, finally retreating to the Sea of Venom using the "Bottle of Air" to breathe whilst submerged.

 

Maroena Gullion, Priestess of the Spider Goddess Naraneus

3.5 | Pathfinder

Additional character background information on Maroena available via the links above.

Combat tactics: Maroena remains mostly silent for the duration of the battle (asides from her spell-casting) preferring to focus her spells on the PCs in an attempt to slay them. She does not share her sister's flair for dramatic effect and knows that their survival this far makes them a force to be reckoned with rather than toyed with.

 

Oracle Pool

The Oracle Pool is 2' deep and filled with blood from numerous sacrifices.

A trans-dimensional conduit to "Venom" a demi-plane exists hidden by the stagnant blood of the Oracle Pool. The conduit is two-way, and can be activated at will by Maeorana or Maltorya.

The pool is emptied every so often into the transdimensional conduit which assists in quenching the thirst of the spider goddess.

Two aquatic snakes live in this pool, waiting either to pleasure Maltorya or assist in sacrificial offerings. Although some are confused with Maltorya's use of snakes and the pool instead of spiders, those familiar with religion (DC 20) will know that the spider and serpent goddess are fast allies especially when plans most foul are afoot.

If either Maltorya or Maerona are attacked the two serpents wrap themselves around the legs of the attacker and attempt to pull them down into the water whilst the drow finish them off or activate the trans-dimensional conduit to pull the whole lot of them into Venom.

 

Aquatic Serpents

Treat as constrictors with the aquatic template.

3.5 | Pathfinder

Combat Tactics: The serpents attempt to wrap around the legs of the PCs and grapple/pull them into the demi-plane Venom once activated by either Maltorya or Maroena.

 

 

The Skulls

Hundreds of dwarf and human skulls surround the Oracle Pool, some stacked upon one another and sealed together with wax. Candles burn within and on top of each skull creating a haunting welcoming for those entering this room. Any humans or dwarves which approach within 10 feet of the circle of skulls (which symbolizes an unholy place) will be subject to effects identical to the Symbol of Fear spell.

Symbol of Fear

CL 8

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

 

Venom - The Demi-Plane

Any drow in the pool can activate it by willing to travel to Venom. Doing so takes them, and all creatures touching them and the pool, into the demi-plane.

Either Maltorya or Maroena are able to reactivate the conduit at will and travel back to the shrine within the tower.  If no drow are alive within the demi-plane, the PCs may simply state that they wish to leave, which will summon the conduit (appearing as a swirling mass of pure energy) and the PCs may return to the tower.

The Spider Goddess's Sanctuary

This 500'x800' demi-plane is a gift from the Spider Goddess to House Gullion (in all actuality to Maltorya the Oracle, who the goddess sees as the future ruler of the house sooner or later). The demi-plane is a foul place filled with strange growths of soft fleshy material which can be ripped apart and eaten for sustenance at first glance these lumps appear to be chunks of human flesh.  Slender bone poles used as torches are driven into the flesh, the ends of these poles contain bright flames of liquid blood which boil and evaporate into swarms of black venomous spiders which float through the air on wispy webs and attempt to land upon any PCs within 100' radius.

One such swarm emerges every 1d4+4 rounds that the PCs remain here to a maximum of 10 swarms after which point they lie dormant for 1d8+8 hours.

Venomous Spider Swarm

3.5 | Pathfinder

 

Venom Sea

The demi-plane is surrounded by a vast sea of Spider Goddess Venom. The venom is extremely dangerous (to non-drow) and causes a swift death (unless a save is made). The venom is also extremely sticky and viscous causing those that enter it to slowly sink, requiring someone outside the venom sea to make a DC 15 Strength check to pull them free.  Failing the check by 5 or more means the would-be rescuer falls in as well.  If a worshiper of Naraneus falls into the venom they will sink quickly despite the viscosity of the liquid, and be held in place by the Spider Goddess Naraneus.  Obviously if the believer does not have a way to magically breathe whilst submerged she will soon die of asphyxiation and be considered a sacrifice to the Spider Goddess.  If otherwise able to breathe, she will be able to remain within the venom for a period of 1d4+1 hours at which point she is expelled back to shore by the goddess. If this drow is then able to make a Will DC 30 roll, they will hence forth be considered blessed by the Spider Goddess and gain+2 to every action made with, to, for or against any other drow. If they fail the roll, they go insane and will run screaming into the Underworld at the earliest opportunity. This process can be repeated, although the Will DC goes up by 5 every time. Maltorya has undergone the process 3 times, which is why she is currently considered the next-in-line to Matron Mother Maelora.

The venom is absorbed through one's skin and will kill any non-drow touching it within 1d4 rounds, unless a DC 35 Fortitude save is made. Anyone who makes a successful saving throw takes 10d6+20 points of damage while in contact with the concentrated venom.

Spider Goddess VenomContact DC 350Death in 1d4 rounds/10d6+20 dmg0 gp

*Note: any attempt to bottle and remove the Spider Goddess Venom from the "Venom" demi-plane will render the poison useless.

 

 

Maltorya's Equipment

Maltorya has hidden her equipment among the strange flesh like growths in a large satchel (Search/Perception DC 35 to locate). If the PCs were pulled into Venom along with Maltorya she will retrieve these items (within 1d2 rounds) and use them against the PCs.  If the PC(s) she brought into the demi-plane are too much for her, she will retreat to the Sea of Venom using the "Bottle of Air" to breathe whilst submerged.

 

Animated Heavy Snake Scale Shield +1

Upon command, an animated shield floats within 2 feet of the wielder, protecting her as if she were using it herself but freeing up both her hands. Only one shield can protect a character at a time. A character with an animated shield still takes any penalties associated with shield use, such as armour check penalty, arcane spell failure chance, and non-proficiency.

Strong transmutation; CL 12th; Craft Magic Arms and Armour, animate objects; Price +2 bonus. Price 9,005 gp; Cost 4,502 Gp and 5 sp + 361 XP

This is an item attuned specifically to Maltorya. Any other character carrying and using becomes Neutral Evil over the course of three months.

 

Bottle of Air

This item appears to be a normal glass bottle with a cork. When taken to any airless environment it retains air within it at all times, continually renewing its contents. This means that a character can draw air out of the bottle to breathe. The bottle can even be shared by multiple characters that pass it around. Breathing out of the bottle is a standard action, but a character so doing can then act for as long as she can hold her breath.

Moderate transmutation; CL 7th; Craft Wondrous Item, water breathing; Price 7,250 gp; Weight 2 lb.

 

Crystal Ball

This is the most common form of scrying device, a crystal sphere about 6 inches in diameter. A character can use the device to see over virtually any distance or into other planes of existence, as with the spell scrying (Will DC 16 negates).

Certain crystal balls have additional powers that can be used through the crystal ball on the target viewed.

Moderate divination; CL 10th; Craft Wondrous Item, scrying; Price 42,000 gp; Weight 7 lb.

 

Light Mace of the Planes

This light mace has an enhancement bonus of +1 on the Material Plane, but on any Elemental Plane its enhancement bonus increases to +2. (The +2 enhancement bonus also applies on the Material Plane when the weapon is used against elementals.) It operates as a +3 light mace on the Astral Plane or the Ethereal Plane or when used against opponents native to either of those planes. On any other plane, such as Venom, or against any outsider, it functions as a +4 light mace.

Strong evocation; CL 15th; Craft Magic Arms and Armour, plane shift; Price 22,305 gp; Cost 11,152 gp and 5 sp + 893 XP.

 

Slippers of Spider Climbing

When worn, a pair of these slippers enables movement on vertical surfaces or even upside down along ceilings, leaving the wearer’s hands free. Her speed is 20 feet. Severely slippery surfaces—icy, oiled, or greased surfaces— make these slippers useless. The slippers can be used for 10 minutes per day, split up as the wearer chooses.

Faint transmutation; CL 4th; Craft Wondrous Item, spider climb; Price 4,800 gp; Weight ½ lb.

 

Strand of Prayer Beads – (Standard)

This item appears to be a normal string of prayer beads until the owner casts a divine spell. Once that occurs, the owner instantly knows the powers of the prayer beads and how to activate them. This strand includes three special beads, each with a different magic power.

A standard strand of prayer beads has a bead of healing, a bead of karma, and a bead of smiting. Each special bead can be used once per day, the beads of blessing and smiting function as spell trigger items; the bead of karma can be activated by any character capable of casting divine spells. The owner need not hold or wear the strand of prayer beads in any specific location, as long as he carries it somewhere on his person.

The power of a special bead is lost if it is removed from the strand. Reduce the price of a strand of prayer beads that is missing one or more beads by the following amounts: bead of healing -9,000 gp, bead of karma -20,000 gp, bead of smiting -16,800 gp.

Moderate (many schools); 5th (healing), 7th (smiting), 9th (karma); Craft Wondrous Item and one of the following spells per bead, as appropriate: cure serious wounds, remove blindness/deafness, or remove disease (healing); righteous might (karma); chaos hammer, holy smite, order’s wrath, or unholy blight (smiting); Price 45,800 gp (standard).

This string was created using unholy blight and will not work in the hands of a non-evil character.

 

 

 

 

 

 

T31. Stairs up

The final climb to the top level of the tower hosts a series of traps to prevent non-drow from proceeding.  The traps magically detect if one is drow or not and activate accordingly.

Mandible Stairs     CR 10 3.5E/CR 11 PF

Each step is curved, shaped and carved to resemble the mandibles of a spider

Type mechanical; Perception DC 36; Disable Device DC 36
Trigger location; Reset Auto
Effect
Each stair, when stepped on, causes the "mandibles" of the step above to open and then automatically snap shut, before reopen.ing Mandible Attack (6d6 damage plus 1d6 bleed damage, plus 1d6 permanent Dex damage).

 

 

 

 

Tolgorith Tower - Level Five

 

B7

The Usurper of Souls

The PCs have fought their way to the top of Tolgorith Tower and now face the powerful Matron Maelora of House Gullion.  Protecting her is the House Gullion Grandmother Spider and the power of the Vidrefacte artifact.  From the shadows her children aim to protect their matron mother so that she may continue her conquests.  Little do the PCs know that an unexpected visitor is about to pay them all a visit and attempt to retrieve the powerful Vidrefacte.

 

Pinnacle of Tolgorith Tower

The pinnacle of Tolgorith Tower was originally built as the last stand to protect the Vidrefacte which originally magically hovered atop the massive stalagmite that is now the tower.  When the tie between the Vidrefacte and the Vidre was severed the matron had the Vidrefacte relocated here so it would be harder for the Vidre to reclaim.  As time has progressed the matron has become quite attached to the Vidrefacte, one would say "addicted" to the power she wields through it.  She refers to it as a living thing, belonging to her as an equal to one of her children. If she doesn't like the way it pulses, or the effect it produces, she scolds and threatens it as if it can hear and respond to her every word. The souls it requires to continue operating have been sustained thus far through House Gullion's conquests, and at this very moment the matron is hatching plans to begin the infiltration of the Overworld, beginning with the small village of Rybalka close to Krelgar's Keep.  The PCs finally have the chance to tip the balance of power back in check so that dwarf and human alike may continue their lives unhindered.

Vidrefacte spell in contact effect on this level: False Vision.

 

T32. Upper Landing

Two of the House Gullion children hide in the shadows, one with his House servant, in preparation for the PCs arrival.  Their mother has kept them apprised of the PCs progress through the Underworld and subsequent entry of Tolgorith Tower.  They have watched them and learned their strength and weaknesses.  These drow know how the PCs fight, and will anticipate their moves and actions, taking every advantage of their long surveillance by preparing their abilities and spells to match the PCs weaknesses.  On top of all of this, these drow lurk far above in the shadows where the PCs cannot see them.  They stay hidden until the battle begins at which point they work together target the most vulnerable party member then begin to work their way through the party picking them off one by one.

 

Important Information about this battle:

Although the following combat statistics are listed in two sections (T32 and T33), all combatants will participate in the initial combat.  The matron will stay to the back of the room with the Vidrefacte whilst the Grandmother Spider and the children fend off the PCs.  If their efforts fail, then Matron Maelora will take more of a leading role in the fight as detailed in her combat tactics in the entry for area T33 (Usurper of Souls) below.

GMs take note; if you are running Paths B or C that the vidre will begin to attempt entry through the tower wall at the 4 round mark and will make its grand entrance exactly 10 rounds after combat begins.

 

Coranzan Gullion (hidden)

3.5 | Pathfinder

Additional character background information available via the links above.

Combat Tactics: Coranzan will stay hidden for as long as possible and fire into combat, trusting his own  instincts and ability to not hit an ally.  His attachment to his mother is legendary throughout Holoth, although no-one actually believes him to still be alive.

If a member of the party has died and not been resurrected at any point in the adventure, Coranzan will instead be in disguise and look like that person when he finally appears in front of the PCs, even wearing the person’s exact clothing, claiming that he was rescued by the drow, treated well, and that it is in the party’s best interest to lay down its arms and listen to Matron Maelora. He will do this diplomatically, and a Sense Motive roll which beats Coranzan’s Diplomacy roll will be required to not be taken in.

 

 

Mathorn Gullion (hidden)

3.5 | Pathfinder

Additional character background information available via the links above.

Combat Tactics: Mathorn will fire her seeking shock magical longbow from the shadows until physically confronted by a PC, at which point she brandishes her keen frost falchion.  She will fight ferociously to defend the Matron Mother, as Maelora has fed Mathorn a steady stream of lies to suggest she will be the next Matron Mother.

 

 

Mol (hidden)

3.5 | Pathfinder

Additional character background information available via the links above.

Combat Tactics: Mol is a house servant, and will attempt to keep PCs from physically engaging Mathorn.  She waits in the shadows as PCs approach and attempts to surprise them, draining their strength.

If Coranzan is in disguise, Mol will stay in the shadows.

 

 

Ancestral Giant Grandmother Spider of House Gullion

3.5 - Treat as Monstrous Spider, Gargantuan

Change Space to 15 ft. / Reach to 15 ft./10 ft.

Change Speed to 15 (due to age)

 

Pathfinder - Treat as Spider, Giant Tarantula

Change Space to 15 ft. / Reach to 15 ft./10 ft.

Change Speed to 15 (due to age)

Combat Tactics: The Grandmother Spider of House Gullion is quite old and has poor eyesight.  She moves slowly and always acts last in initiative order.

 

T33. Usurper of Souls

 

Matron Maelora of House Gullion

Matron Maelora is the matriarch of her house, dominating all who stand with her as well as commanding respect from those who stand against her.  She is a skillful negotiator, religious visionary, and mother of nine obedient children.  Those children, whilst adults, have been deliberately undermined to prevent them growing near in power to the matron herself. The only genuinely rebellious child is Makinnga, so it should come as no surprise that she has placed herself as far away as she can from the Matron Mother.

3.5 | Pathfinder

Additional character background information available via the links above.

Combat Tactics:  The matron's primary objective is protecting the Vidrefacte from theft or vandalism; killing the PCs is secondary, thus any attacks focused at the Vidrefacte will draw the wrath of the matron.  She will always move to block the path of anyone approaching the artifact and guard it like a mother bear protects her cub.  

Since the matron has been scrying on the PCs for some time now she knows many of their tricks, spells, and movements in combat, and has prepared her spells and abilities with the weaknesses of the PCs in mind – her entire spell selection is at the GM’s digression.  She will open with spells that first disable or debilitate spell casters amongst the PCs.  After their arcane and divine magic has been nullified she will focus on slaying the rest of the party starting with any apparent party leaders so as to demoralize the party as a whole.

The actual spells which the matron chooses to cast vary on the strengths and weaknesses of the party and are to be entirely up to the GM.  The GM also knows and predicts the movements of the party (learned on their journey through the Underworld), thus he can probably accurately predict (to a point) what they will do and plan Matron Maelora’s moves accordingly.

When the vidre shows up, the matron becomes increasingly preoccupied with stopping the creature and may even turn her back on the PCs to do so.  This might be the chance the PCs were looking for.

 

The Vidrefacte

If the PCs have done the deal with Makinnga and have sent 3 items from each House family member they have encountered and disposed of, the order of support is as follows:

1/ Once the PCs start fighting Maelora and any supporters, it will take 2 rounds for the 2 vampires to appear. They will act as it they are about to attack the party, but first one and then the other will enter the crystal over 2 rounds, the 3rd and 4th of the fight. Maelora will think they have sacrificed themselves to help her cause.

2/ Ucecarne and Venthori will appear at the beginning of the 5th round. If Maelora sees them, she will be surprised, recognizing them from Makinnga's birth, and suddenly understand what is going on. Shrieking in rage, she will move towards the Vidrefacte - it is up to the PCs to stop her!

3/ Ucecarne will enter the crystal on the 5th round whilst Venthori does what he can to keep Maelora at bay. Then Tarankeerath will appear at the very beginning of the 6th round, as Venthori moves towards the crystal.

4/ In the 6th round, Venthori will enter the crystal and an audible groan (Listen/Perception DC 10) can be heard from the crystal at first, then the Tower. Tarankeerath will try to stop Maelora, shouting;

"For one such as I, love ought to be unknown. But Makingga has restored that to me, even without knowing. I asked for more from her than she gave the others and I deserved; a kiss, to remember her by as I head to the Void. This she agreed to, freely, along with something I could never have hoped for!"

Tarankeerath sweeps his robe aside to show you the finest of plain glass vials on the slimmest platinum chain you have ever seen - how it has survived this fight is unclear, but it has. Inside is a mote of light, barely perceptable; a sliver of Makingga's living essence.

With a roar, Trankeerath exclaims,"Wherever I end end up, I will have her with me!" and plunges into the crystal. This is on the 7th round.

5/ The Tower begins to buckle and crack and over the next 3 rounds becomes unstable

6/ Finally accepting what is happening, Maelora screams in rage and heads for the door on the 10th round. The Tower creaks and groans again, and cracks begin to appear in the ceiling...

RoundPCs's expected actionsMakinnga's allies's actionsEnemies's actionsVidre's actions
1The fight with the drow and creatures in this room beginsAll 5 undead are making their way towards this areaMaelora's supporters all attack the PCs, as described in the entries for areas T32 and T33; Maelora concentrates on killing arcane magic usersThe vidre is climbing up the outside of the Tower
2The fight continues and it may be now that Maelora becomes involved, as the PCs should recognize she is the one to distractAll 5 undead are lurking outside this area in non-corporeal formThe fight is taken to the PCs by each supporter; Maelora will move from arcane to divine magic users if all the former are deadThe vidre continues its climb
3The fight continuesThe vampires appear; the first enters the VidrefacteThe fight continues; Maelora thinks the vampires are helping her.The vidre continues its climb
4The fight continuesThe second vampire enters the VidrefacteThe fight continues; Maelora displays supreme confidenceThe vidre starts to pound against the side of the Tower
5The fight continuesUcecarne and Venthori appear; Ucecarne enters the Vidrefacte; Venthori prevents Maelora from touching the VidrefacteThe fight continues; Maelora recognizes Ucecarne and Venthori; Maelora turns towards the Vidrefacte and faces VenthoriThe vidre continues to break into the Tower
6The PCs should help stop Maelora reaching the Vidrefacte as well as fighting other supporters and creaturesTarankeerath appears; Venthori enters the Vidrefacte; Tarankeerath prevents Maelora from touching the VidrefacteThe fight continues; Maelori now faces TarankeerathThe vidre continues to break into the Tower
7The PCs should continue to fight Maelora as well as other supportersTarankeerath enters the VidrefacteThe fight continues; Maelora flies into a total rage and gives the PCs all her attentionThe vidre continues to break into the possibly-groaning Tower
8The PCs should continue to fight Maelora as well as other supportersNo further actionsThe fight continues; Maelora flies into a total rage and gives the PCs all her attentionThe vidre continues to break into the possibly-groaning Tower
9The PCs should continue to fight Maelora as well as other supporters but should be aware of the sounds coming from the TowerNo further actionsThe fight continues; Maelora flies into a total rage and gives the PCs all her attention, but is aware of the sounds coming from the TowerThe vidre is almost through into the possibly-groaning Tower
10The PCs should now leave the area and begin their race to the door to escape the crumbling TowerNo further actionsMaelora screams and heads for the door, leaving any remaining House Gullion supporters to their fate, unless the PCs prevent her; other supporters fight or flee as the GM decidesThe vidre bursts into the Tower to either fight to grab the Vidrefacte OR just grab the now-abandoned crystal
11The PCs race back down through the TowerNo further actionsAll House Gullion representatives that are still alive leave this areaThe vidre continues to fight or leaves as appropriate

 

Grand Entrance of a Vidre

(Paths B and C)

About 4 rounds into combat the PCs begin to hear a thunderous pounding noise on the exterior of the tower.  The ground begins to shake, small chunks of debris fall from the ceiling, and cracks begin to form on the wall.  This sound continues throughout the ensuing combat with Matron Maelora becoming increasingly concerned (and distracted) by the sound, provoking at least one attack of opportunity in her distraction. Six full rounds later the entire wall buckles and collapses.  This is after exactly 10 rounds of combat.

The cracks in the wall suddenly spread like a massive spider web and the entire wall shatters into a million pieces.  As the dust clears a huge humanoid made entirely from crystal bows down and steps through the opening.  "Yes, vidre" says Matron Maelora, "Bow before me.  Bow to your master!  ON YOUR KNEES!"  The matron summons a force of shimmering bright energy from the Vidrefacte and fires it directly at the vidre who just barely dodges aside as the blast tears another hole in the wall of the tower.  Bits of debris tumble down and crash to the floor all around you as the vidre charges into battle against the matron!

 

Vidre

3.5 | Pathfinder

Combat Tactics: The Vidre has only a single purpose here: RETRIEVE THE VIDREFACTE.

He will not attempt to enter combat anyone unless they get in his way (of which Matron Maelora will make it a point).  He will fight to the death to retrieve the Vidrefacte and return to his people, never again will they make a deal with the drow of House Gullion.

 

 

 

Collapse of the Tower

If the vidre is successful in retrieving the Vidrefacte, or Matron Maelora is slain the magical bond between the artifact and House Gullion will be severed.  When this happens, all of the magical constructs which the matron created during her reign will begin to crumble and convert back to their original state.  In the case of Tolgorith Tower this means the massive structure shrinking and returning to the original size of a large cave stalagmite.  Almost immediately after the Vidrefacte is removed from the tower or the matron slain, the place will begin to shake and shudder.  Huge cracks will form in the walls and the floors will begin to buckle under the enormous pressure as the structure begins to collapse.

The PCs may have bought themselves enough time to escape if they made a deal with Makinnga - the maximum time they can gain is 83 seconds, or about 14 rounds, although this is very unlikely - and if they did not they may have to find a faster means of exit (such as leaping through the hold made by the Vidre and using magic to slow their descent).  As the party progresses down the stairs of the tower they may run into any manner of obstacles which will slow their descent and may just be the death of them should they run out of time.

As the PCs travel down the stairs from one floor to the next roll randomly to see what kind of dangers await them.  If the party is having an especially difficult trip back down and begin to run out of time, make sure to let them know so they can make the next few choices accordingly.

Danger Chart

Category on chart | Dangers (Exterior) with Save/Damage | Dangers (Interior) with Save/Damage

A| Cracks appear in the walls down the whole height of the exterior of the Tower and the roof opens up | Interior blocks begin to fall from the ceiling; all attacked by falling slabs, +12 melee, 2d6 damage

B | Cracks begin to link from level to level of the exterior and the Tower begins to lean, movement reduced to three-quarters | Interior floor breaks apart and parts fall 40' to next floor; Reflex save DC 30 to evade and be upright, DC 25 to evade but be prone, or fall 4d6 damage, movement reduced to three-quarters

C | Exterior walls twist violently tossing PCs against them; Reflex save DC 40 to catch oneself otherwise 2d6 damage and 30% chance of being stunned or dazed for 1d4 rounds if save failed | Interior walls explode as pressure becomes too great; Reflex save DC 40 to shield oneself otherwise 2d6 damage and 30% chance of being stunned or dazed for 1d4 rounds if save failed

D | Large chunk of exterior wall falls into the group hitting 1d4+1 PCs;  Reflex save DC 30 for 1/2 damage,  3d6 damage and 40% chance of being stunned or dazed for 1d6 rounds if save failed | An entire interior wall collapses on 1d4+1 PCs; Reflex save DC 30 for half damage, 3d6 damage and 30% chance of being stunned or dazed for 1d6 rounds if save failed

E| Another 2 vidre climb into the Tower from the exterior and challenge the PCs | Group of House Gullion guards attempting to escape down the same stairwell grapple with the PCs, further delaying progress | 3.5 | Pathfinder

F | A blast of magical sonic energy from somewhere outside tears through the wall; Will save DC 40 for 1/2 damage, 2d6 damage | A blast of magical sonic energy from somewhere above or below tears through the floor or ceiling; Will save DC 40 for 1/2 damage, 2d6 damage |

G | Exterior wall breaks open spilling guards, others and parts of tower out into city; Reflex save DC 20 to avoid fall for 4d6 damage x current level of tower | Damage by release of energy of magical traps; Fortitude, Reflex and Will saves, each DC 22 for 1/2 damage, 2d6+3 damage from each | Movement reduced to 1/2

H | Most exterior walls fall into the Tower onto ceiling of Level 2; Reflex save DC 30 for 1/2 damage, 3d6 damage plus 60% chance of being pinned for 1d3+2 rounds if save failed | Debris from above floors now falling onto the ceiling of Level 2 with only Level 2 and below possible to be in; Reflex save DC 30 for 1/2 damage, 3d6 damage plus 60% chance of being pinned for 1d3+2 rounds if save failed

I | All interior walls have now collapsed onto the ceiling of Level 1 | All interior floors now collapse onto the ceiling of Level 1 | Reflex save DC 30 for 1/2 damage, 6d6 damage; Fortitude save DC 35 or movement reduced to 1/4 due to lack of breath from dust inhalation

J | Ceiling of Level 1 collapses, walls of level 1 collapse inwards; Reflex save DC 25 for 1/2 damage, 8d6 damage | The crypt and dungeon are completely buried but accessible

K| The rubble falls into the dungeon and folds in on itself; Reflex save DC 40 for 1/2 damage, 12d6 damage | Only a stalagmite remains at ground level

Time in seconds (rounds)Tower
Level 5Level 4Level 3Level 2Level 1Dungeon
01-12 (0-2) AAAA,FAAA
13-24 (3,4) A,BA,BAAA,FA,FA
25-36 (5,6) B,CB,A,CA,BA,BA,BA,FA,F
37-48 (7,8) C,DB,C,AB,A,CA,C,GB,AA,B,DA,F
19-60 (9,10) C,D,EC,D,A,FD,C,F,AF,C,GAC,D,AC,F,D,AA,C,F
61-72 (11,12)D,F,CF,D,G,A A,F,E,GG,D,F,AC,G,D,AD,C,G,AF,C,A
73-84 (13,14)G,F,DG,F,D,AF,G,D,AF,G,AG,F,EF,G,D,AF,G,C,A
85-96 (15,16)H,GH,DH,GH,CC,D,GG,C,FF,G,C,A
97-108 (17,18)I,FI,FI,FI,FI,FA,B,D,GF,G,C,A
109-120 (19,20)J----JG,F,D
121 onwards (21+)K-----K

If there is only 1 letter in the box, the percentage chance of it happening is 100

If there are 2 letters in the box, the percentage chance of each happening is 65/35 in the order they are written

If there are 3 letters in the box, the percentage chance of each happening is 45/35/20 in the order they are written

If there are 4 letters in the box, the percentage chance of each happening is 40/30/20/10 in the order they are written

If H is in the box, this will always happen, with a 20% chance for any other letter as well

If I is in the box, this will always happen, with a 15% chance for any other letter as well

 

FALL OF THE DROW

Once the PCs finally exit Tolgorith Tower they will witness "the fall of House Gullion".

Read this aloud once the party has safely escaped the collapsing tower:

You rush out the double doors of Tolgorith Tower, caked in dust mixed with blood from the effects of the experience,  as the rest of the levels above buckle and fall, collapsing in on one another and gaining speed as they hurtle towards the ground.  The floors and everything on them within the tower hits ground level,  sending a blast of air upon which is carried slabs of rocks, chunks of debris, and a massive cloud of dust which rapidly billows out away from the Tower.  As it slams into your group you are thrown clear of the Tower proper just in time to see the Spider Temple itself come to life and begin to move away from the Tower. Finally, the gargantuan mound of rubble collapses yet further, down into the dungeon and crypt. But more happens; the mound is clearly shrinking before your very eyes.  You hear the screams echo from the last few occupants of the tower as those left barely alive are finished off as the chunks and slabs come folding in on them; the Tower has truly gone. All that is left is a single stalagmite, about 8 feet tall. Somehow this natural occurrence has come through the destruction unscathed

The gargantuan Spider Temple walks calmly through the cloud of dust, away from the Tower's remains.  It begins to turn, but before you can see which way it is headed you are further enveloped by the dust cloud and everything goes white and silence reigns.  It is done.  House Gullion has been vanquished.  Silence was never so welcome.

 

The spiders are made from the hearts of the first drow sacrificed in this tower.  The spiders do not move, but if the matron is ever killed every single spider detaches from every single column in the tower and heads for her body.  Once there they clamor all over and around her, protecting the body from harm.  They then lift her upon their backs and carry her out of the tower and down the Back Road searching for a safe place to store her body.

Treasure

All treasure is listed in the appropriate area. The only possible additional items are what can be retrieved from the crypt from whatever was sent to Makinnga if the PCs agreed to her deal. However, if the PCs decide to search this area once the Tower has completely collapsed into rubble, they find that every item has gone. Whether this is due to the vast magical energies that have been expended as the Tower fell or whether they have been taken by Makinnga is unclear. A locate object spell indicates the item can't be found on this plane.

The exception to this is that if the stalagmite is investigated, a Search/Perception DC 35 roll reveals a flawless 5,000 gp diamond with a flickering mote of brilliant energy inside. This is a gift from Makinnga. The GM can use this in anyway she or he sees fit.

 

 

Conclusion:

Return to Embla

 

Path A

If the PCs took Path A this means that they returned to Rybalka in adventure A14: Scourge of Embla at which point the drow of Holoth moved in and took the city.  After this they transported a good portion of the Embla's residents to Holoth to use as slaves and sacrifices to the Vidrefacte.

As such, when the PCs return to Embla instead of meeting a heroic welcome they are greeted by solemn faces and silent nods of appreciation.  Many dwarves are just returning from Holoth or are not returning at all.  Families search the streets for loved one, some dwarves kneel and cry, screaming at the gods in dwarvish.  Many parts of the city are heavily damaged, purposely vandalized by the drow before they retreated into the caves of the Underworld.

The city of Embla has been mostly destroyed and the dwarves must now rebuild.  There is no time for celebration at this time, but the dwarves will invite the PCs back for a true heroes welcome within a few months.

 

Path B

If the PCs chose Path B they were guided by Miah down the Back Road, made fast progress to Holoth and were able to quickly deal with the threat of the drow.  Since things were dealt with quickly, the citizens of the city of Embla did not get the chance to see the PCs victory against the drow firsthand.  They can only trust the tales of Emblanian slaves which lived through the ordeal and now return to Embla (if the slaves at the House Gullion Slave Camp were freed).

It takes the dwarves of Embla a few days to receive all of the news and realize that things are starting to return to normal.  At this point word of the PCs' victory over House Gullion spreads far enough that an annual holiday in Embla is dedicated to the party and a great feast with celebrations planned in their honor.  Many dwarves bring gifts before the PCs; family heirlooms, gold, silver, and even their own daughters for the PCs to marry (in extreme cases).  The PCs are lauded as heroes and will always be welcome within the boundaries of Embla and this section of the Underworld.

If Miah made it through the entire ordeal alive he thanks the PCs and promises them help from the Merchant's Circle and the dwarves of Embla whenever they need it most.  He offers to escort them back to Rybalka and will not take no for an answer.  He wishes to thank his cousin Quorron the Blacksmith of Rybalka as well before returning to his home.

 

Path C

If Path C was the choice of the PCs then they return with a smattering of the original dwarven warriors who survived the ordeal (if all dead, the PCs later find out that a few were left for dead yet later recovered consciousness and found their way out of the city with a group of escaping slaves).  The dwarves which return revere the PCs and word quickly spreads of their valiant assault on the front gates of Holoth itself.  Stories of their battles become embellished until the PCs themselves sound as if they are gods.  Soon the entire city of Embla is abuzz with dwarves wishing to receive the PCs' blessing in all manner of affairs.  The mayor and the Merchant's Circle launch a 30 day celebration in honor of the PCs and name this annual celebration in honor of the leader of the PC's party, or the name of their adventuring group.  Not all is well though, there are many dwarves which lost their lives and each family asks the PCs to personally assist in laying them to rest, expecting the PCs to stay in Embla and participate in the funereal services.  The PCs will be in Embla for a long time, perhaps 2-3 months.  By the time they leave they will be a staple of the community and will be visited in Rybalka at least a couple times a week by dwarves from the Underworld coming to pay their respects to the "gods" or "heroes from above".  Miah ends up being called away during the time the PCs spent in Embla and will not be able to escort them back to Rybalka.  They will have to return on their own... or so they think... until a group of warriors that accompanied the PCs on the assault on Holoth show up to see them off.  These dwarves are not here just to escort the PCs on the road home, they each pledge a life of servitude to the PCs in honor of the PC's service to their fair city of Embla.  These warriors will act as protectors, bodyguards, and squires for the PCs as long as both shall live.

 

Makinnga's Assistance Path

Embla will find that there are no issues with undead of any kind for 12 months.  Any creature that dies and needs to be prepare for burial will be found to be under the influence of a gentle repose spell just moments after death; this effect will also last for 12 months.

If out and about around Embla, the PCs will find themselves with a spectral guardian anytime they travel in darkness for the next 12 months. The guardian will melt away when politely asked to. The diamond with Makinnga's essence it it will act as the material component for all necromancy spells, allowing you to either eschew (all other) materials, or cast the spell as if using one of the metamagic feats enlarge spell or extend spell for the next 12 months.

 

Conclusion:

Return to Rybalka

 

Path A

If any of the soldiers Mayor Igor Leonid originally sent along with the PCs return alive they will quickly spread word of the PCs amazing victory in the Underworld.  Although skeptical, when a group of dwarves shows up in Rybalka to pay tribute to the PCs, the doubting members of the township change their tune.

Since a portion of the village guard were sent along with the PCs the existing force was weakened thus causing the death of 10 soldiers.  Rybalka now suffers the threat of the occasional monster which wanders into the village at night.  Until reinforcements arrive from the capitol, the PCs may have to fend off monsters for the townsfolk and perhaps even face the Vikmordere tribe known as the Wo'Cla.

 

Path B

The PCs return to Rybalka is greeted with silence.  Things are quiet, an old lady pushes through the group carrying her basket of laundry whilst a cat hisses at them from the alley.

Quorron welcomes the PCs into his smith and pours each a stiff Rybalkan vodka and gives a touching yet brief salute.

 

Path C

The PCs return to Rybalka with a small group of dwarves which have bound themselves to a life of servitude in payment for the PCs honorable actions of dedication to the dwarves of Embla.  Quorron invites the PCs and the dwarves into his smithy for a round of strong dwarvish ale.  He provides a short and to the point speech before saluting the PCs.  In the days to come Quorron will provide free armor and weapons for the group of dwarves so long as they continue to serve the PCs.  He does so as payment for assisting his cousin and his people in a realm so far from the Overworld.

The dwarves attract a lot of attention in the small human village and stories of the PCs victory in the realm below soon spread.  Before long, Fin Starling of the Thirsty Serpent Tavern invites the PCs in for a free night of drinking and gambling.  He wants the PCs to bless the townsfolk with the tale of their journey and recount it for a bard Fin has hired for just the occassion.  Before long all of the Klavek Kingdom will have heard the story of the PCs and their victory in the Underworld... even the King Tokolvor Klavek XIII himself!

 

Makinnga's Assistance Path

Rybalka will find that there are no issues with undead of any kind for 3 months within 1/2 a mile of the village.  Any creature that dies and needs to be prepare for burial will be found to be under the influence of a gentle repose spell just moments after death; this effect will also last for 3 months. If out and about around Rybalka, the PCs will find themselves with a spectral guardian anytime they travel at night for the next 6 months. The guardian will melt away when politely asked to. The diamond with Makinnga's essence it it will act as the material component for all necromancy spells, allowing you to either eschew (all other) materials, or cast the spell as if using one of the metamagic feats enlarge spell or extend spell for the next 12 months.

 

 

 

A15 Experience Awards

These awards are in addition to any awards obtained in A13 and A14.  Some XP awards are given twice as a final reward for completion of the entire RISE OF THE DROW trilogy.

 

Path A

500 - Vanquishing Yul the Mohrg in Krelgar Keep. (A13)

500 - Slaying the drow assassins and K'Chouk in Embla. (A14)

1000 - Warning the village of Rybalka and Mayor Igor Leonid of the drow threat below.

200 - For each drow slain in an attempt to take back or assist Embla (upon discovery of drow possession of the dwarvish city.)

3000 - Taking on the city of Holoth in a direct assault.

1000 per PC - Per Gullion family member slain (not counting the matron).

1500 per PC - Slaying Matron Maelora of House Gullion.

2000 per PC - Capturing Matron Maelora of House Gullion to take to Embla or Rybalka to be tried and convicted.

50 - Each House Gullion slave set free.*

200 - Each House Gullion slave which survived and escaped the city.*

300 - Each House Gullion slave set free, survived, and escaped the city WITH the help of the PCs.*

500 - Each Rybalkan soldier which survived.

*PCs obtain only one of these three XP rewards and must split the XP equally among party members.

 

Path B

500 - Vanquishing Yul the Mohrg in Krelgar Keep. (A13)

500 - Slaying the drow assassins and K'Chouk in Embla. (A14)

500 each - Completing the Mushroom Mini-Game to gain the assistance of the mushroom men. (A14)

1000 each - Sneaking in to the city of Holoth using the Back Road.

1000 each - Exiting the Back Road and approaching Tolgorith Tower without the city of Holoth guards spotting the PCs or sounding the alarm.

1000 each PC - Per Gullion family member slain (not counting the matron).

1500 per PC - Slaying Matron Maelora of House Gullion.

2000 per PC - Capturing Matron Maelora of House Gullion to take to Embla or Rybalka to be tried and convicted.

50 - Each House Gullion slave set free.*

200 - Each House Gullion slave which survived and escaped the city.*

300 - Each House Gullion slave set free, survived, and escaped the city WITH the help of the PCs.*

*PCs obtain only one of these three XP rewards and must split the XP equally among party members.

 

Path C

500 - Vanquishing Yul the Mohrg in Krelgar Keep. (A13)

500 - Slaying the drow assassins and K'Chouk in Embla. (A14)

250 - Per dwarf recruited from Embla to assist in the assault on Holoth.

3000 - Taking on the city of Holoth in a direct assault.

1000 per PC - Per Gullion family member slain (not counting the matron).

1500 per PC - Slaying Matron Maelora of House Gullion.

2000 per PC - Capturing Matron Maelora of House Gullion to take to Embla or Rybalka to be tried and convicted.

50 - Each House Gullion slave set free.*

200 - Each House Gullion slave which survived and escaped the city.*

300 - Each House Gullion slave set free, survived, and escaped the city WITH the help of the PCs.*

300 - Each Emblanian dwarf which survived.

*PCs obtain only one of these three XP rewards and must split the XP equally among party members.

 

Makinnga's Assistance Path

500 - Vanquishing Yul the Mohrg in Krelgar Keep. (A13)

500 - Slaying the drow assassins and K'Chouk in Embla. (A14)

250 - Per dwarf recruited from Embla to assist in the assault on Holoth.

3000 - Taking on the city of Holoth in a direct assault.

1000 per PC - Per Gullion family member slain (not counting the matron or Makinnga).

1000 per PC - Not killing Makinnga

250 per PC - Making a deal with Makinnga

250 per PC - Completing the deal with Makinnga

-1000 per PC - Killing Makinnga after making the deal

1500 per PC - Slaying Matron Maelora of House Gullion.

2000 per PC - Capturing Matron Maelora of House Gullion to take to Embla or Rybalka to be tried and convicted.

50 - Each House Gullion slave set free.*

200 - Each House Gullion slave which survived and escaped the city.*

300 - Each House Gullion slave set free, survived, and escaped the city WITH the help of the PCs.*

300 - Each Emblanian dwarf which survived.

*PCs obtain only one of these three XP rewards and must split the XP equally among party members.

 

 

Naraneus the Spider Goddess

Up until now the PCs have only heard rumors of this "Spider Goddess" and not much else. Throughout the course of this adventure they will come face to face with some of her most ardent followers. Here is additional information detailing Naraneus the Spider Goddess, her favored weapon, domains, and spells.

DEITY NAME Naraneus
Aliases Queen of Shadow, She Who Weaves Darkness, Spider Queen

Symbol: A spider with a stylized face on the back or an 8-fingered hand
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Portfolio: Darkness, Drow, Evil, Forbidden Knowledge, Spiders
Domains: Destruction, Evil, Knowledge, Penumbra*, Shadow*
Favored Weapon: Scorpion whip, preferably poisoned

From the beginning, during the Prime Event that created the cosmos, there has been light. However, where there is light, there is also shadow and darkness with primeval being who dwell in that darkness. Known on numerous planes by a myriad of names, she is known in this realm by a name whispered by the drow, Naraneus.

Naraneus only appears to her worshippers in her true form. The bottom half is a giant hunting spider while the top half is a drow female with her face painted white. Her hair is also white and tiny spiders crawl through it constantly. She wears an apron made of surface Elf skin.

 

Favored Weapon

Scorpion Whip

This whip has a series of razorsharp blades and fangs inset along its tip.

Benefit: It deals lethal damage, even to creatures with armor bonuses. If you are proficient with whips, you can use a scorpion whip as a whip.

Weapon Feature(s): performance (plus disarm, reach, and trip if you are proficient with whip.)

 

Penumbra Domain

Granted Powers:

For a total time per day of 10 rounds per cleric level you possess, you can cast Shadow Walk as if you were a mage with half the number of cleric levels you possess, rounded up. If the spell is cast so that you move within a temple of your deity, you cast the spell as if you were a mage with the same number of cleric levels you possess.

This granted power is a supernatural ability.

Add Hide to your list of cleric class skills.

Domain Spells:

  1. Obscuring Mist: Fog surrounds you.
  2. Obscure Object: Masks object against scrying.
  3. Eclipse, Lesser (AaW spell) OR Phantom Steed: Magic horse appears for 1 hour/level.
  4. Shadow Conjuration: Mimics conjuration below 4th level, but only 20% real.
  5. Eclipse (AaW spell) OR Shadow Evocation: Mimics evocation below 5th level, but only 20% real.
  6. Project Image: Illusory double can talk and cast spells.
  7. Shadow Conjuration, Greater: As shadow conjuration, but up to 6th level and 60% real.
  8. Eclipse, Greater (AaW spell) OR Shadow Evocation, Greater: As shadow evocation, but up to 7th level and 60% real.
  9. Shades: As shadow conjuration, but up to 8th level and 80% real.

 

 

Shadow Domain

Granted Powers Through the gifts of the Spider Goddess, you have learned to use the shadows, both external and internal, to prevail over your foes.

Shadowy Weapon – At 1st level, you gain minor access to the Plane of Shadow, wrapping your weapon with strands of shadow. This ability causes your weapon to cause 1 point of negative energy damage per 2 caster levels. You may use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Wisdom modifier.

Shadowy Sight – At 6th level, you may give into the shadows inside you in order to view the world more clearly. By taking 1d4 points of negative energy damage, you gain your choice of darkvision, low-light vision, see invisibility, or true seeing. If you already have darkvision, the range extends by ½. This effect lasts a number of rounds equal to the amount of energy damage taken.

Domain Spells:

  1. Shadow Mote: This spell creates a small sphere of shadow-essence that you can direct toward one target. The sphere causes the target to see things out of the corner of their eye, causing the target to be distracted and become flat-footed for one round. The material component for this spell is a sphere of black glass, which is crushed in the caster’s hand.
  2. Shadowcast: This spell calls forth an amorphous blob of shadow-stuff from the Plane of Shadow that you can direct toward the nearest light source. You can cause the mote to change shape, creating moving shadows on nearby surfaces. These shadows can cause distraction and confusion, causing the viewers to take a -2 penalty to initiative and Perception checks while in the area of the light source unless a Will save is made. The material component for this spell is a piece of charcoal, which is broken and tossed into the air.
  3. Shadow Blast: Shadow blast creates a small portal to the Plane of Shadow, letting in semi-solid shadow-stuff. Everyone within the area must make a Reflex save or take 1d6 points of damage per caster level (max 10d6 at 10th level). The material component for this spell is a black glass disk, which the caster traces around on the ground.
  4. Form of Shadow: You cloak yourself in shadow-essence, giving yourself total concealment (50% miss chance). You also gain a +1 circumstance bonus to attack rolls against all targets for the duration of the spell. The material component for this spell is a black cloth that the caster pierces with a blade.
  5. Shadow Walk: When this spell is cast, the creature touched can pass through a shadow, including the casters, and appear from another shadow within range of the spell. The target can make one move or attack action upon their arrival. The material components for this spell are a black ring made of glass or stone and a black stone sphere, which is passed through the ring.
  6. Reflection of Shadow: You summon one shadowy disk per target. If the target is of Good alignment, he sees any and all misdeeds from his life, no matter how small. He is left shaken, taking a -2 penalty to attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks. Good characters that succeed on their saving throw are considered flat-footed for 1 round, but are not otherwise affected. Neutral targets see their misdeeds and are considered stunned for one round but are not shaken by the spell. Evil targets are considered inspired and gain a +2 morale bonus to attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks for 1 round per 2 caster levels you possess. The material component for this spell is a mirror that has been painted black.
  7. Shadow Binding: You cast the target of this spell into a set of shadowy shackles, one per arm and one per leg. These shackles pull the target partially onto the Plane of Shadow, dealing 3d6 points of negative energy damage per round. These shackles have an AC of 18, a hardness of 5, and 20 hit points per shackle. As long as one shackle remains on the target, the target continues to take damage. A Will save negates being shackled and a successful Fortitude halves the damage while shackled. This spell continues until it dispelled, all shackles are broken, or the creature held either falls unconscious or dies. The material component for this spell is a length of black chain, which the caster wraps around his wrist.
  8. Shadow Raising: This spell taps into the negative energy of the Plane of Shadows and animates one deceased creature within range and gives that creature a number of hit points equal to the caster’s spellcasting modifier per hit die of the deceased creature. This creature is under the control of the caster and retains all attack bonuses, armor class, and special abilities, but can only make one attack per round regardless of how many attack could be made in life. If the target of the spell was a spellcaster and had spells remaining, it retains those spells, but cannot learn new spells. This creature acts on the caster’s turn. The material component for this spell is a lump of black clay to be molded into a rough likeness of the target during casting.
  9. Shadow Drain: You can make a melee touch attack against one opponent. This touch deals 1d4 Strength or Constitution damage (caster’s choice) and bestows 1d6 negative levels to the target. A Fortitude save halves both the ability damage and the number of negative levels (minimum 1). A Will save removes the negative levels after 24 hours. The material component for this spell is a piece of peat.

 

 

 

Shadow Domain Spells

 

Shadow Mote

Illusion (shadow)

Level Cleric 1, Druid 1, Sorcerer/Wizard 1
Casting Time 1 standard action
Component V, S, M/DF
Range Ranged touch
Duration 1 round
Saving Throw None

This spell creates a small sphere of shadow-essence that you can direct toward one target. The sphere causes the target to see things out of the corner of their eye, causing the target to be distracted and become flat-footed for one round.

Arcane Material Component

The material component for this spell is a sphere of black glass, which is crushed in the caster’s hand.

 

 

Shadowcast

Illusion (shadow)

Level Cleric 2, Druid 2, Sorcerer/Wizard 2
Casting Time 1 standard action
Component V, S, M/DF
Range 100 ft. + 10 ft./level
Duration Concentration + 3 rounds
Saving Throw Will negates
Spell Resistance No

This spell calls forth an amorphous blob of shadow-stuff from the Plane of Shadow that you can direct toward the nearest light source. You can cause the mote to change shape, creating moving shadows on nearby surfaces. These shadows can cause distraction and confusion, causing the viewers to take a -2 penalty to initiative and Perception checks while in the area of the light source unless a Will save is made.

Arcane Material Component

The material component for this spell is a piece of charcoal, which is broken and tossed into the air.

 

 

Shadow Blast

Illusion (shadow)

Level Cleric 3, Druid 3, Sorcerer/Wizard 3
Casting Time 1 standard action
Component V, S, M/DF
Range Medium (100 feet + 10 feet/level)
Area 20-foot radius spread
Duration Instantaneous
Saving Throw Reflex half
Spell Resistance Yes

Shadow blast creates a small portal to the Plane of Shadow, letting in semi-solid shadow-stuff. Everyone within the area must make a Reflex save or take 1d6 points of damage per caster level (max 10d6 at 10th level).

Arcane Material Component

The material component for this spell is a black glass disk, which the caster traces around on the ground.

 

 

Form of Shadow

Illusion (shadow)

Level Cleric 4, Druid 4, Sorcerer/Wizard 4
Casting Time 1 standard action
Component V, S, M/DF
Range Self
Duration 1 round/level
Saving Throw None

You cloak yourself in shadow-essence, giving yourself total concealment (50% miss chance). You also gain a +1 circumstance bonus to attack rolls against all targets for the duration of the spell.

Arcane Material Component

The material component for this spell is a black cloth that the caster pierces with a blade.

 

 

Shadow Walk

Illusion (shadow)

Level Cleric 5, Druid 5, Sorcerer/Wizard 5
Casting Time 1 standard action
Component V, S, M/DF
Range Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target 1 creature touched
Duration 1 round/2 levels
Saving Throw None

When this spell is cast, the creature touched can pass through a shadow, including the casters, and appear from another shadow within range of the spell. The target can make one move or attack action upon their arrival.

Arcane Material Component

The material components for this spell are a black ring made of glass or stone and a black stone sphere, which is passed through the ring.

 

 

Reflection of Shadow

Illusion (shadow, evil)

Level Cleric 6, Druid 6, Sorcerer/Wizard 6
Casting Time 1 round
Component V, S, M/DF
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target One creature per four levels
Duration 1 round/level
Saving Throw Will negates
Spell Resistance Yes

You summon one shadowy disk per target. If the target is of Good alignment, he sees any and all misdeeds from his life, no matter how small. He is left shaken, taking a -2 penalty to attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks. Good characters that succeed on their saving throw are considered flat-footed for 1 round, but are not otherwise affected. Neutral targets see their misdeeds and are considered stunned for one round but are not shaken by the spell. Evil targets are considered inspired and gain a +2 morale bonus to attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks for 1 round per 2 caster levels you possess.

Arcane Material Component

The material component for this spell is a mirror that has been painted black.

 

 

Shadow Binding

Illusion (shadow)

Level Cleric 7, Druid 7, Sorcerer/Wizard 7
Casting Time 1 standard action
Component V, S, M/DF
Range Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level
Target One creature
Duration See text
Saving Throw Will negates, Fort half
Spell Resistance Yes

You cast the target of this spell into a set of shadowy shackles, one per arm and one per leg. These shackles pull the target partially onto the Plane of Shadow, dealing 3d6 points of negative energy damage per round. These shackles have an AC of 18, a hardness of 5, and 20 hit points per shackle. As long as one shackle remains on the target, the target continues to take damage. A Will save negates being shackled and a successful Fortitude halves the damage while shackled. This spell continues until it dispelled, all shackles are broken, or the creature held either falls unconscious or dies.

Arcane Material Component

The material component for this spell is a length of black chain, which the caster wraps around his wrist.

 

 

Shadow Raising

Illusion (shadow, evil)

Level Cleric 8, Druid 8, Sorcerer/Wizard 8
Casting Time 1 round
Component V, S, M/DF
Range Close (30 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target One dead creature
Duration Permanent
Saving Throw None
Spell Resistance No

This spell taps into the negative energy of the Plane of Shadows and animates one deceased creature within range and gives that creature a number of hit points equal to the caster’s spellcasting modifier per hit die of the deceased creature. This creature is under the control of the caster and retains all attack bonuses, armor class, and special abilities, but can only make one attack per round regardless of how many attack could be made in life. If the target of the spell was a spellcaster and had spells remaining, it retains those spells, but cannot learn new spells. This creature acts on the caster’s turn.

Arcane Material Component

The material component for this spell is a lump of black clay to be molded into a rough likeness of the target during casting.

 

 

Shadow Drain

School Illusion (shadow)

Level Cleric 9, Druid 9, Sorcerer/Wizard 9
Casting Time 1 standard action
Component V, S, M/DF
Range Creature touched
Target One creature
Duration Instantaneous
Saving Throw Fort half, Will negates
Spell Resistance Yes

You can make a melee touch attack against one opponent. This touch deals 1d4 Strength or Constitution damage (caster’s choice) and bestows 1d6 negative levels to the target. A Fortitude save halves both the ability damage and the number of negative levels (minimum 1). A Will save removes the negative levels after 24 hours.

Arcane Material Component

The material component for this spell is a piece of peat.

 

Credits: Penumbra Domain by Stephen Yeardley, Shadow Domain and Spells by Will Myers

 

 

New Magical Item

 

The Vidrefacte

Minor Artifact

This enormous carved gem is about 3 feet high by 2 feet wide and flawless.

Aura strong transmutation, moderate all other schools; CL 20th

Slot none; Weight 5 lbs.

DESCRIPTION

This item looks like an enormous carved gem, flawless in nature and about 3 feet high by 2 feet wide. Its color can be whatever is most appealing to the creature it is being given to, although it will gradually become the shades which best reflect the owner and the way they use it to cast spells, switching between the colors of the user’s alignment and the most-frequent school of magic as follows:

LG – Abjuration – Red

NG – Conjuration – Orange

CG – Divination – Yellow

CN – Enchantment – Green

CE – Evocation – Blue

NE – Illusion – Indigo

LE – Necromancy – Violet

LN – Transmutation – White

N – Universal – Clear

The Vidrefacte is capable of draining souls from the dead or dying and transferring their life force into energy. This energy can be stored in the artifact and used at a later time to cast the most powerful transmutation spells and all other moderate magics.

The Vidre (a race of crystalline humanoids) which craft the artifacts offer them freely to the power hungry and weak of conscience as part of an agreement. This agreement is a magical bond between the vidre and the ignorant benefactor. The artifact has a nasty secret: The souls fed to the Vidrefacte are deviously split asunder with half being stored as energy and the other half being channeled to the vidre. The vidre feed upon the life force of other humanoids. In distant lands mages call the vidre “Soul Devourers” for that is precisely what they are.

When granting the artifact to Matron Maelora (in AaW A12/13/14) the vidre performed a magical incantation which permanently bonded the crystal to House Gullion and its insignia.

Once the crystal has been significantly filled, powerful spells may be wielded by the person bound to the crystal by the Vidrefacte.

The spells available and souls consumed per casting are as follows:

The Vidrefacte is designed to cast a range of Transmutation spells with virtually no expenditure of souls. The following effects burn a number of souls equal to the spell’s level. These effects may only be employed so that a total of no more than 50 HD of souls is spent on them each day.

  1. Magic Stone: Three stones become +1 projectiles, 1d6 +1 damage.
  2. Soften Earth and Stone: Turns stone to clay or dirt to sand or mud.
  3. Stone Shape: Sculpts stone into any shape.
  4. Spike Stones: Creatures in area take 1d8 damage, may be lowed.
  5. Transmute Mud to Rock: Transforms two 10-ft. cubes per level.
  6. Move Earth: Digs trenches and builds hills.
  7. Statue: Subject can become a statue at will.
  8. Iron Body: Your body becomes living iron.
  9. Shapechange: Transforms you into any creature, and change forms once per round (Limits: Only creatures with the Earth subtype, but even if you aren’t familiar with them. The Vidrefacte is familiar with all of them. Also, the form can be your caster level plus 4 HD)

The Vidrefacte is able to cast any other Transmutation spell as well as any spell of 6th level or lower from any other school for a total number of HD of souls equal to the spell’s level multiplied by 10, with the spell then lasting a whole day (e.g. a 2nd level spell takes 20 HD of souls to cast and then lasts all day). No more than 500 HD of souls per day can be used in this way. This is in addition to the 50 HD of souls to use the main Transmutation spells.

DESTRUCTION

A Vidrefacte can only be destroyed in two ways.

The first is by a Supreme Entity Vidre (5,000+ souls consumed) placing both hands on the Vidrefacte and allowing itself to be absorbed into the crystal. This takes 5 rounds, during which the vidre can not take any other action. If the vidre and the crystal are separated during those five rounds, the Vidrefacte drains 1,000 souls from the vidre for each round they were in contact. The vidre then has to go and reabsorb as many souls as needed to re-attempt the absorption. If successful, this is the final step before a vidre transforms from a physical being into a living form of energy, and the Vidrefacte is drawn into the vidre at the end of the 5 rounds, never to be seen again.

The second way is for undead creatures with a total of more than 75 HD to be willingly drawn into the crystal in 5 rounds or fewer. The negative energy released by the undead is sufficient to crack the Vidrefacte and render it useless, although it does still exist as a gem worth 5,000 gp. The undead are completely destroyed by the process, never again able to exist in any form.

House Gullion and the Vidrefacte

Tolgorith Tower started out as a large stalagmite within the vast cavern housing the drow city of Holoth. Using the magic of the Vidrefacte, Matron Maelora of House Gullion enlarged the stalagmite, hollowed it out, and added levels, stairs, rooms, and even doors to complete House Gullion’s home. The drain on the Vidrefacte was one of the initial factors which drove Matron Maelora to taking over the city and then instigate plans for domination of the surrounding area – it was taking twice as many souls as normally required to power the Vidrefacte. Even now, with the links to the vidre severed, many souls are still required to maintain the energy of the Vidrefacte, but from Matron Maelora’s point of view, at least she is now getting full value from each of the sacrifices…

Communication within the Tower

Matron Maelora used the Vidrefacte to install a system of small magical communication tubes which run the entirety of the structure. This allows the matron or any of the House Gullion children to quickly relay messages back and forth throughout the tower. Only the immediate House Gullion family members are permitted to speak into the communication tubes unless no family member is present; in which case any of the guards are permitted to utilize the magical communication system.

Vidrefacte: Spells in Constant Effect

In addition to other preparations, the matron has placed several spells into effect to protect the tower from potential invaders. These spells use a specific amount of souls per day, thus sacrifices must be performed twice per day. Listed below are the spells in effect when the PCs arrive at Tolgorith Tower followed by the number of sacrifices needed per day and how the spell affects those within the tower.

Forbiddance/60 HD of souls per day (3.5 / PF): This spell prevents any good-aligned creature from using any form of teleportation, plane shifting, astral or ethereal travel, and all summoning spells within the tower as well as causing 6d6 damage to any good-aligned creature which physically enter Tolgorith Tower without permission. The sacrificial shrine pool on level four was not included in this spell since access to the demi-plane “Venom” would be impeded. The daily human and dwarf sacrifices taken to the pool are of course given permission to enter the tower so that they may live long enough to make it to the ceremonial sacrifice.

Guards and Wards/60 HD of souls per day (3.5 / PF): Although this spell is listed under constant effects, it does in fact still require 30 minutes of casting time (performed by the Vidrefacte itself) in order to begin functioning. Matron Maelora can choose which floor of the tower will be affected but must do so prior to activating it.

Unhallow/40 HD of souls per day (3.5 / PF): This spell is in effect only within the confines of the House Gullion Crypt which is adjacent to the Tolgorith Tower dungeon. The spell itself makes the entire crypt an “unholy site” providing bonuses and protection to undead whilst allowing Makinnga to tie a spell of her choice to the site for a duration of one year. Spell effects that Makinnga may tie to the unhallowed site include aid, bane, bless, cause fear, darkness, daylight, death ward, deeper darkness, detect magic, detect good, dimensional anchor, discern lies, dispel magic, endure elements, freedom of movement, invisibility purge, protection from energy, remove fear, resist energy, silence, tongues, and zone of truth.

False Vision/50 HD of souls per day (3.5 / PF): This spell is in effect only on level five of Tolgorith Tower. Matron Maelora spends all of her time here with the Vidrefacte and hatches her plans from this location. Attempts to scry upon this location garner false information.

Vidrefacte: Daily Sacrifices

Daily sacrificial offerings are taken from the nearby House Gullion slave camp and marched up to Tolgorith Tower by the slave master and a contingent of 20-40 guards. Offerings generally total between 200-500 HD of souls per day, depending upon how heavily the matron is using the Vidrefacte.