C05: The Foul Passage of Progress

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Adventure Background

The town of Jyrkannelaki has become prosperous over the years as a trading point between the waters of the seas below it and the forests of the lands around it. The town is situated at the top of a high, sheer cliff and is built around the entrance to a rare natural rock formation - a basalt stairway within a granite cliff-face - and is at the only point for roughly 80 miles in either direction along the lake edge where goods can be unloaded from ships and loaded onto wagons. But even here the transfer isn't easy and requires strength and skill to climb the ever-changing stairway.

The cliffs are roughly 400 feet high and smooth enough to deter all but the most determined sea birds from nesting on them. The outer face is granite, ranging from about 60 feet thick at the base to only a few inches thick in places further up; indeed, at some points the waves and elements have managed to breach the tough rock and thin slits have appeared along the stairway. There are even a handful of fist-sized holes in places on the climb, jagged around their edges, which give limited views across the seas.

Behind this granite curtain is the formation which has given Jyrkannelaki its chance of prosperity. Within the space between the outer granite wall and the main cliff is a gap about 20 feet wide and 120 feet long. Within this gap, basalt has been forced up from the sea-bed through the main rock, creating a series of hexagonal columns about 5 feet across and of sufficient height to reach from sea level to the top of the cliffs. There is a series of  linked caves at the bottom of the columns which have flat rock shelves in them with floating wooden jetties attached, whilst access to the stairway is now via a customs marketplace and former natural hole which has been worked to provide clearer space. There is also a wooden jetty at the bottom of the cliff that is in direct contact to the sea.

The stairway is particularly unusual because the individual basalt columns that make it up frequently move. It seems that there is still sufficient natural pressure deep below the surface to shift these massive structures and ensure that no two trips up and down are the same. Whilst the townsfolk have tried to shape the columns into a usable set of switchback stairs as much as they can, the basalt continues to be pushed upwards before either falling back or being broken away. This means that the gaps between stairs can be anything from a few inches to 10 feet and that attempts to secure ladders of any type are most often pointless after a few days. Therefore the teams of porters that move goods from the ships through the customs marketplace and beyond are made up of strong individuals, hearty by nature and trained in the skills of climbing, standing jumps and using ropes.

However, another feature of the stairway is that at high tide it floods to a depth of about 80 feet or so, and further up during storms or the equinox tides. For generations the locals of Jyrkannelaki have taken advantage of this fact by tipping all their rubbish down the stairway and having it wash out to sea, no longer their problem to deal with. Occasionally the porters reported that sections of the stairs were still covered in waste product, because a column had be forced upwards, and a team of specialist cleaners and shapers would descend the levels to sweep the rubbish further down to below the tide level and break up any columns they could damage. Again, problem solved.

This has made the town one of the cleanest anywhere in the region, almost entirely free of rubbish-spread disease or waste-obsessed creatures; even rats have a hard time unless they are able to break into food stores. This casual approach to the disposal of unwanted items into the environment was fine when it was mostly organic matter that was thrown away, but as time went by and the town prospered, more and more goods were dumped. The position of the town and its tradition of skilled and efficient porters meant it grew quite rapidly, and the variety of non-organic and even alchemical and magical detritus that was often unknowingly (although sometimes knowingly and deliberately) thrown out also swiftly expanded. Soon, no one really knew what was being washed out to sea or what might be interested in the occasionally arcane- or divine-energy-fuelled sludge which formed slicks on the surface of the sea. But what did it matter? It all disappeared on the next tide and Jyrkannelaki stayed clean and healthy.

Inevitably, creatures began to take notice of the rubbish and start to scavenge what appeared. At first, it was just a question of following whatever floated away on the currents, but now heavier items very occasionally get stuck in the caves at the bottom of the stairs and more inquisitive types are venturing into them to see what they can find. This, coupled with a now-fed-up aquatic elf druid named Valtamer Valtija, means the caves and stairway are being used by more creatures than the residents of Jyrkannelaki, as those townsfolk are beginning to find out. What may be worse is that these creatures are talking with each other...

 

 

Adventure Synopsis

Jyrkannelaki is a town known to be the only place with access to the sea for miles around for most people. It surrounds the entrance to a natural stairway that has access to a series of caves leading out to the ocean. This tide-affected stairway is also known to be used to dispose of the town's rubbish, with a team of specialist cleaners and rock-shapers employed to clear away any debris the sea doesn't take care of naturally. When the PCs come to use the stairway to gain access to a ship for the next step of their journey, they hear that the last two teams of specialists to be sent down haven't returned and that the porters, who usually carry goods from the ships at sea level to the customs market in the town for transport beyond, are now refusing to go down the pathway. It has been just over a week since this happened.

As sometimes happens in the world, blind luck places the PCs in a position where they are the only people who can help the town and themselves; whatever is at the bottom of the stairs, preventing the porters from doing their job, will be in the way of the PCs' progress. The leader of the Porters and Customs Guildhouse offers to pay the onward passage of the PCs if they can deal with "whatever is down there."

 

 

Adventure Hooks

  1. The PCs are partway through a journey, the next step of which requires them to get a ship from Jyrkannelaki, the only town for miles along the rocky coastline with access to the sea some 400 feet below. When the party arrives at the town, they find the local Porters Guild refusing to go down the stairs, with the Guildhouse Master looking for someone to deal with the problem.

  2. The PCs have been in Jyrkannelaki for a few days, waiting for the arrival of a ship which carries an item they are being paid to collect. After some rough weather, a team of stairway cleaners and shapers descends to make the way safe again, only for it not to return. A more heavily-protected second team goes in search, but this doesn't return either. The local Guildhouse Master is looking for someone even better equipped to investigate and is willing to pay transport costs onward from the town as a minimum reward.

  3. After a successful hunt in the lands around Jyrkannelaki, the only town for miles around with proper access to and from the sea for merchants and traders, the PCs are in town to sell on some of the items they found and trade up other equipment. When they get to the town, they find the stairway to the sea out of action due to the local porters refusing to use it after the disappearance of two specialist cleaning and shaping teams. The party's help is asked for by the local Guildhouse Master.

  4. The phrase "You're as wasteful as a Jyrkanne!" has come to signify the careless throwing away of any item that is no longer wanted, irrespective of value or worth. Visiting the town of Jykannelaki and descending its cliff stairway at low tide is known to occasionally turn up an interesting item or two. On a short detour to do just that, the PCs find that the stairs are off-limits due to the disappearance of some Guildhouse members. Perhaps there is a chance to make a name for themselves as well as a find or two at the bottom of the stairs.

  5. If the party has anything to dispose of, the Jyrkannelaki Stairway is the best place to do so for miles around. But on arriving with their unwanted item, the PCs find they can't use the stairs due to two lost teams of specialist cleaners and shapers. Perhaps volunteering to go to the bottom of the stairs to rescue the lost Guildhouse members will grant an even better chance to be rid of their unwanted item.

  6. A clan of sea-elves, via a land-based sympathiser, has asked the PCs to represent them in discussions with the leaders of Jyrkannelaki. This is a town which is increasingly dumping waste into the sea via a traditional stairway and the sea-elves are conscious of the effect this is beginning to have on the waters around their home. However, when the party arrives for the talks, it finds the town in no mood to discuss anything, due to the disappearance of teams of specialist workers. The talk is of the sea-elves seemingly taking matters into their own hands, something that would be unusual. The local Guildhouse Master, on good terms with the land-based sympathiser who approached the PCs, asks them to investigate before events turn ugly.

 

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GM Map

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Jyrkannelaki

Although the village of Jyrkannelaki has been in place for a very long time, its rapid growth into its current size has happened within a handful of years and, as a result, it has the strange air of an ordered frontier town. It is clean and healthy, ordered and commercial, yet suffering from "growing pains" as it expands almost too quickly. There are all kinds of businesses and people in town, but turn over, after making a swift profit, is noticeable.

As such, a GM can make it almost any size she likes. But remember, the bigger it is, the more likely it is that there ought to be NPCs or residents capable of dealing with the problem. However, there are a lot of low-level residents, merchants, specialist workers and entrepreneurs rather than adventurers. PC-types tend to use Jyrkannelaki as a staging post for other activities rather than a place to be in itself.

Therefore, other than perhaps asking a few questions about what has been disposed of  lately, this adventure is about dealing with the problem and going down those stairs! If your players are the type to enjoy making a gold or two extra on the deal, allow them to try and find someone - or something - that is looking for a lost item and is willing to sponsor their attempt with a potion or scroll, particularly if you play a magic-light game. At the bottom of the stairs are some tough creatures that can push a party to its limits, so give the players a fighting chance.

The Cleaners and Shapers Guild of Jyrkannelaki (SCGJ) is well known and respected. Its head is Siivooja Tyostaa, a man who has spent his whole life working on the stairway. He has seen the rapid growth of the town and is aware of the risks people take with their waste. The recent loss of two entire teams of cleaners and shapers - an experienced leader and 7 workers make up a team - has hurt him personally, as he  knows each worker personally and is close to their families.

Tyostaa will approach the PCs as soon as he is aware they are in town. He has approached other groups, but none have said "Yes" to his offer yet. He will guarantee to pay the cost of travel on from Jyrkannelaki if the PCs are passing through OR will promise to ensure they get the best deal possible on their next 10 trades if they are realising assets and re-equipping OR will arrange for 1,500 gp of potions or scrolls for the party to take with it down the stairway. A Diplomacy roll at various levels will amend this total as follows:

Diplomacy

DC 15 or below decrease the total by 10% to 1,350 gp

DC 25 increases this total by 5% to 1,575 gp

DC 28 increases this total by 10% to 1,650 gp

DC 30 increases this total by 15% to 1,725 gp

DC 32 grants the DC 30 roll and the gift of 1 simple, masterwork, light or one-handed weapon OR the DC 28 roll and the gift of 2 simple, masterwork, light or one-handed weapons OR the DC 25 role and the gift of 3 simple, masterwork, light or one-handed weapons

DC 35 grants the DC 30 roll and the loan of 1 simple, +1, light or one-handed melee weapon OR the DC 28 roll and the loan of 2 simple, +1, light or one-handed melee weapons OR the DC 25 role and the loan of 3 simple, +1, light or one-handed melee weapons.

 

The party will be allowed to keep anything it finds down the stairway; after all, it is just rubbish.

It will quickly become common knowledge if the PCs agree to the task. Townsfolk will wish the PCs well, press "lucky charms" onto them and talk of the cleaners and shapers that have gone missing. if you wish to, lets one of the "lucky charms" be real; it comes from a believer in a goddess of luck and allows one roll to be re-rolled at the discretion of the player that takes it.

 

 

Shops, Merchants and Tradespeople

If the PCs want to discover what has recently been dumped down the stairway, they can always ask around town. If it is known that they have agreed to take on the challenge of finding the missing cleaners and shapers, a +2 bonus can be added to any 2 rolls for the party as a whole when information is being collected. Table 1 below shows a list of possible tradespeople and the result of the Gather Information (3.5E) or Diplomacy (Pathfinder) rolls next to it. One roll is to find the actual business, the other is to show what the tradesperson admits to throwing down the stairway.

For example, if a player rolls a total of 32 for the first roll and 27 for the second, this means that they are able to find one business in each of the DC 20, 25 and 30 categories (GM's choice or decided randomly using 1d4) and each of these businesses will admit to throwing the item from the DC 20 list and the item from the DC 25 list.

Table 1 - Businesses and their waste

Result of Gather Information/Diplomacy roll to find a particular business Result of Gather Information/Diplomacy roll to reveal rubbish thrown away after conversation with tradesperson
BusinessDC 20DC 25DC 30DC 35
DC 20JewellerSmelted copper waste10 flawed 10 sp sapphiresHeat-ruined bronze ringGlowing slivers of ruby (source unknown)
Porter2 crates which were found emptyThe dung from an animal crate (unknown animal)A small, empty,  locked coffer which had a crack in the lidThe stained wrappings from a 4 feet by 1 foot box
ShoemakerBasic felt overcutsMis-shapen leather piecesAn old order for a shoe 19 inches long and 8 inches wideA pair of heels which had feathers attached to each one
Used garment dealerBasic items from the undertaker which hadn't sold2 under-armour cloth suits with too many tears in themAn grey-coloured aristocratic suit that no-one ever wantedGore-soaked undershirt, but the blood was greenish
DC 25CheesemakerBasic spoiled cows and goats milkA batch which suddenly went bad overnightA churn of unknown milk, dated 4 years ago but still freshSlabs of red-veined cheese; the veins had begun to throb
CooperBasic wood and 2 iron hoops4 brass hoops that were rejected for being out of shapeA tun which had a yellow glow on the insideA set of 20 nails which made any barrel bleed blood
FurrierOff-cuts and scrapsBy mistake, a rabbit fur cloak that was completeA hat that seemed to shrink every night, despite its size-blockFrom within a batch of wolf skins, one that was always cold
HealerUnwanted basic herbs and leavesSome old willow bark that now caused headachesA batch of poultice which turned a user's skin light purpleSome rowan twigs which moved when reached for for use
DC 30ApothecaryUnwanted basic earths and bonesA mild mouse poison which had lost any effectA batch of anti-gout tonic which caused slight swellingA rat poison that was numbing fingers through its vial
Meat butcherOld fat and bones from expensive jointsHalf a cow carcass, full of flies; the other half was fineSome marbled joints where the fat oozed a metallic  liquidA set of limbs that weren't from any identifiable creature
TannerWaste water from the processUnwanted fir and oak tree waste from the processHide edges that the tannin had not fully treatedA vat of tannin that had drawn a groan from hides
Wine sellerCracked jugs and urnsA wine vat that had developed a mysterious leak3 large storage jars which turned spirits sour4 bottles left from 12 that caused a violent reaction after 1 glass
DC 35Beer sellerBasic lees from a standard 440 pint barrelA batch of small beer that was much too alcoholic for useA small metal barrel that had mushrooms growing inside itA full barrel that might have had a creature living in it
BleacherBasic bleaching waste liquidsShredded paper pieces that had flaked off sheetsA bleach that had started to glow in the dark and crawl aboutA used scroll that complained about the pain of bleaching
Soap makerVarious basic animal fatsA small melting pot that had crackedA batch that smelt of the animal fat used in its manufactureA batch that caused a rash that rapidly spread all over
Spice merchantAged spices of all typesA strong spice that got stronger and burned as it aged6 leaves that reformed overnight whenever ground upAn unknown powder that formed a vortex when used to cook
DC 40AlchemistBasic inert sludge from a variety of experimentsA liquid that had given vegetables  organic scalesA dust that had made precious metals burn if they became wetA small amount of sludge that turned skin into rust
ArmourerBasic remnants from cloth, hide and leather armourBasic remnants from metal armour and shieldsA masterwork set of chain that reduced by one size overnightA wooden shield that seemed to always be whispering dares
ClairvoyantWaters from a scrying bowl that showed nothingWaters from a scrying bowl that showed an accidentA "Death" tarot card that split in two when drawn in a readingAshes that had formed an unknown name (pick a PC)
SacrificerBasic avian remains (Ash and bone or GM's choice)Basic mammal remains (Ash and bone; GM's choice)Exotic remains (Ash, bone and entrails; GM's choice)Remains of unknown creature supplied by the petitioner

As GM, feel free to use as many of these hints and suggestions as either additions to the adventure, as red herrings designed to distract the players or as foreshadowing of future events. Some of them do feature further down the stairway, as will be described in the appropriate entries.

When items of waste are combined, they form a toxic blend of solid and liquid, many of which give off a gas as well. To determine the effect of the foul brews which can occur on the stairway, use Table 2 below.

Table 2 - Toxicity and its effects

Waste itemValue towards Fort DC if touched (or splashed)
Value towards damage if save failedFort DC/Damage for 2 items of wasteFort DC/Damage for 3 items of waste
Grey/DC 207 (3)1d2DC 14/2d2DC 21/3d2
Blue/DC 258 (4)1d3DC 16/2d3DC 24/3d3
Orange/DC 309 (4)1d4DC 18/2d4DC 27/3d4
Purple/DC 3510 (5)1d6DC 20/2d6DC 30/3d6

Different types of waste can combine to make oddly toxic items. The Fort DC is the two values for the save combined whilst the damage is a combination of the two individual damage figures.

 

 

1. The Customs Market

When the PCs are finally ready to descend the stairway, Siivooja Tyostaa will lead them through the Customs Marketplace. At present, this open space is quiet, as nothing has been brought up the stairway for a few days and any goods waiting to be taken down it are stored with their owners. The space itself is a series of wide stone blocks, each with a set of scales, that goods are laid out on for inspection. There is a number of raised chairs on which spotters sit to make sure no-one is trying to avoid paying transit tolls or smuggle contraband, and any goods which don't pass through the Customs Market are considered contraband by the Jyrkannelaki authorities and subject to immediate seizure or a fine of 150% of their value.

As the party approaches the entrance room, they meet someone coming the other way who has just thrown some basic rubbish down the stairs. Although the cleaners and shapers are missing, life in Jyrkannelaki goes on. If the PCs question the person, use the table above to find out what business they work for and what they have just thrown down the stairs.

Additionally (or perhaps only if the PCs aren't well suited for climbing, jumping or using rope) there is a lone porter waiting for them. Johtaa-Pitaa, a half-orc, is currently the longest serving porter in Jyrkannelaki, having carried goods up and down the stairway for more than 35 years. He began life as a warrior defending the town, but soon grew bored as very little happened. After one tour of duty, he left the guards, became an expert porter and has been leading a team for the last decade or so. Whilst none of his immediate friends have disappeared, he is keen to have his gang earning money again. He is happy to volunteer to help the party and guide its time on the stairway.

Johtaa-Pitaa (3.5)

Johtaa-Pitaa - Warrior 1/Expert 5 (3.5E)

Size/Type: Medium Humanoid (Half-orc, male)

Hit Dice: 1d8+1 plus 5d6+5 (33 hp)

Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)

Initiative: +0

Armour Class: 13 (+1 slick leather armour), touch 10, flat-footed 13

Base Attack/Grapple: +4/+7

Attack: +1 heavy pick +9 melee (1d6+3, x4)

Full Attack: +1 heavy pick +9 melee (1d6+3, x4)

Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks: None

Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., orc blood

Saves: Fort +4, Ref +3, Will +3

Abilities: Str 16, Dex 10, Con 13, Int 14, Wis 8, Cha 10

Skills: Climb +18 (+20 to climb a rope), Escape Artist +6 (+8 if tied or tying), Gather Information +2, Handle Animal +4, Jump +16, Knowledge (geography) +9, Knowledge (local) +9, Profession (porter) +7, Survival +1 (avoid getting lost outside and avoid natural hazards), Swim +18, Use Rope +5

Feats: Athletic, Lightning Reflexes, Weapon Focus (heavy pick)

CR: 6

Treasure: +1 heavy pick, +1 slick leather armour, gloves of swimming and climbing, ring of jumping

Alignment: CG

Languages: Common, Draconic, Giant, Orc

Spells Known: N/A

Whilst naturally slow to reach the front of a fight, Johtaa-Pitaa is a heavyweight opponent that can deal significant damage when he gets there. He is equally adept at using his heavy pick to cut hand and footholds in the basalt columns that make up the stairway. He is extremely knowledgeable about the stairway and its movements. Johtaa-Pitaa is truly wonderful to watch when he climbs up, jumps across and uses ropes on the basalt columns.

Johtaa-Pitaa (Pathfinder)

Johtaa-Pitaa (PF)        CR6

XP 2,400

Warrior 1/Expert 5

CG Medium Humanoid (Half-orc, male)

Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception

 

DEFENSE

AC 13, touch 10, flat-footed 13 (+1 slick leather armor)

hp 33 (1d8+1 plus 5d6+5)

Fort +4, Ref +3, Will +3

Defensive Abilities Orc ferocity

 

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)

Melee +1 heavy pick +9 (1d6+3/x4)

Space5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.

 

STATISTICS

Str 16, Dex 10, Con 13, Int 14, Wis 8, Cha 10

Base Atk +4; CMB +7; CMD 17

Feats Athletic, Lightning Reflexes, Weapon Focus (heavy pick)

Skills Acrobatics +16, Climb +18, Diplomacy +2, Escape Artist +6, Handle Animal +4, Knowledge (geography) +9, Knowledge (local) +9, Profession (porter) +7, Survival +1 (avoid getting lost outside and avoid natural hazards), Swim +18

Special Qualities Darkvision 60 ft., Intimidating, Orc blood, weapon familiarity

Languages Common, Draconic, Giant, Orc

Treasure +1 heavy pick, +1 slick leather armor, gloves of swimming and climbing, ring of jumping

 

No matter how many are in the party, Johtaa-Pitaa will ask for a one-tenth share of anything that is found in order to sell it on and give some money to the families of the missing cleaners and shapers, if it turns out the workers have been killed. He also asks you to help him recover the service tokens each of the cleaners and shapers would've been wearing. These are often family heirlooms and are passed down from parent to child when a certain level of experience or responsibility are reached. Johtaa-Pitaa assures the party that the families will be grateful for the return of these items in their own individual way.

Cleaner/ Shaper numberWhere on the stairwayColumn # /CavernCondition of Cleaner/ShaperToken found by...?Token carried by...?Token returned or kept
1Stairway 1 (random) Double Grey Toxic Sludge creature   
2Stairway 1 (random) Double Grey Toxic Sludge creature   
3Stairway 2 (random) Double Blue Toxic Sludge creature   
4Stairway 2 (random) Double Blue Toxic Sludge creature   
5Stairway 3 (random) Double Orange Toxic Sludge creature   
6Stairway 3 (random) Double Orange Toxic Sludge creature   
7Platform at end of Stairway 3 Partially eaten body   
8Stairway 4 (random) Double Purple Toxic Sludge creature   
9Stairway 4 (random) Double Purple Toxic Sludge creature   
10Entrance to chuul poolCavern 3Lacedon   
11Entrance to chuul poolCavern 3Lacedon   
12Entrance to chuul poolCavern 3Lacedon   
13Back of chuul pool near wallCavern 3Lacedon   
14Back of chuul pool near wallCavern 3Lacedon   
15Back of chuul pool near wallCavern 3Lacedon   
16Back of chuul pool near wallCavern 3Lacedon   

They also have a rather mystical, magical quality. Each one gives a +1 insight bonus to climb, jump/acrobatics (to jump) and use rope/CMB (to use rope for climbing). Remember, there are sixteen of these heirlooms to find. When carried, PCs will find that a maximum of 4 will work together to give a bonus of up to +4 to each of those skills. A valuable piece of knowledge indeed, but one that will only come from Johtaa-Pitaa if the party takes him along. Otherwise he will follow behind the party and attempt to recover these items himself. Each token that is found will grant the finder 100 xp. Each token that is gifted back will grant the gifter 100 xp.

 

 

2. The Preparation Rooms

Three rooms (formerly caves which have been worked and expanded) allow porters and cleaners to prepare to go down the stairway or clean up once they return. The first contains clothing and items that the porters use - spike-soled boots, ropes and rope harnesses for climbing and carrying items, hardened leather caps for head protection and so on - whilst the second, larger room has items the cleaners and shapers would use - light picks and hammers, ropes, brooms, cloths and liquids. Everything is on display and there are no doors or cupboards to hide items in. At present, there are sixteen hooks in the cleaners and shapers room that are empty.

The final room of these three as a range of religious icons in niches around the walls and then a set of 8 stone steps leading down to the first basalt column. There is a stone rail set to prevent people falling off the platform at the top of the stairway. If the PCs look over the rail, they find themselves looking into darkness. They may just hear the waters below.

Listen/Perception DC35

The sound of water moving back and forth in the caves below can just be heard. (This is not the sea, which is blocked off from the caves at present.)

Listen/Perception DC 45

After listening for a minute, it seems that the sound is getting slightly louder, as it would when the tide comes in. (This is actually the chuul moving his lacedons out of the cave.)

 

3. The Basalt Column Stairway

The cut in the rock that holds the stairway is about 20 feet across, 130 feet wide and 400 feet deep. Each column is a rough hexagonal and about 5 feet across at its widest point. Generally, each step is about 4 feet above the next step down, meaning that the width of the cut in the cliff allows the steps to drop 100 feet to a platform that consists of two columns at the same height, so is about 5 feet by 10 feet.

The stairs turn 180 degrees and continue to descend. As each flight drops just about 100 feet, it takes four flights to reach the bottom of the stairs and the caverns which lead out to sea. All of the stairs have rough surfaces and reduce movement by 5 feet unless a Balance/Acrobatic DC 5 roll each round. The lower two sets of stairs are also slick, which raises the roll to DC 8. This is because he stairway is very much an aquatic-type environment rather than a land-based one, particularly the lower stairways, what with the tides, waves, sea-fog and mist that can get in. A few days without the cleaners make it more difficult to negotiate due to sludge and quickly-growing algae.

Occasionally, a column produces a step up and then a larger step down for the next two or three stairs. This is because of the geothermic pressure underneath them. As an added problem, Valtamer Valtija has tapped into this natural power and trapped a number of the columns. If the PCs aren't careful, they will find themselves being thrown into the air or dropped into the sea.

There are 96 columns in total, 24 in each of the 4 stairways. Each is listed on the tables below, giving a brief comment on what happens on each one. This includes a stair being completely safe.

PCs may ask why they can't simply crawl, fly or levitate up and down the stairway, either through use of a spell or shapechanging. They can certainly try, but will find that there are a number of traps positioned all the way down the walls of the stairway designed to tackle wall-crawling/climbing and airborne creatures that are moving in either direction. They are able to detect if someone or something is passing by them and activate. These become more complex the further down the stairway you go, although anyone actually on the stairway is protected from them. Remember, the traps are the town's. They are designed to stop creatures getting up from sea-level and catching the town out. Anyone on any of the steps or above them is safe from the traps. The town isn't wealthy enough to have everyone flying up and down to transfer the goods yet, so its leaders decided to stop anyone else from doing it in order to protect their business interest. Any goods which don't pass through the Customs Market are considered contraband, as mentioned above.

The PCs will also have to take care not to fall off the stairway - from column 1, it is just about a 400 feet drop, with a "bounce" halfway down (so you can class it as two drops of 200 feet each if you wish). A falling character will also trigger the traps. This may well kill a PC if precautions aren't taken...

Each basalt column has a number. To determine if anything happens or is triggered randomly on the stair, roll d100 and add the number of the column. If the total is more than 100, roll d100 again and refer to the appropriate table. The exception to this is where an entry against a particular column is already clearly stated, including if nothing happens.

If the PCs have discovered that the stairway floods to around 80 feet at high tide, they may ask why the columns on the final stairway aren't wet. This is because the exit has been blocked by Valtamer Valtija and there is no tidal flow in and out of the caves and stairway at present.

 

3A. The First Stairway

The platform at the top of this first stairway has a vast range of names carved into it, listing porters and cleaners from over the years. Some family names are repeated dozens of times. The names of the missing 16 cleaners are coloured red. If Johtaa-Pitaa is with the party, he will trace the carving of his own name, mutter a prayer, and start his descent.

Remember, there are traps set at various points down this stairway to deter wall-crawling (such as through spider climb), flying or levitating creatures. Also it may well be that the dice rolls don't indicate the main encounters on each of the stairways, so as GM feel free to include them at any point you wish rather than have the PCs simply bypass them.

Table 3 - Columns 1 to 24 - Stairway 1

Column NumberApproximate drop to stair below (#)
Is there an event? d100 + column numberWhat is the event? Either the d100 result from Table 4 below OR the listed entry here
1192 ft. (48)N/AThere is no event on this column
2184 ft. (47)N/AWaste from the town - roll d20 from the grey/DC 20 selection on Table 1 for a description of this waste
3176 ft. (46)N/AThere is no event on this column
4168 ft. (45)There is +20% chance of an event on this column. This addition effects the roll for the event happening and the roll for what the event is.
5160 ft. (44)
6152 ft. (43)N/AIf anyone flies past this column, they set off one of three Dispel Magic traps covering the whole of the 120' width of the stairway. CR 3; magic device; proximity trigger (alarm); automatic reset; spell effect (dispel magic, 5th level wizard, no save); Search/Perception DC 26; Disable Device DC 26
7144 ft. (42)
8136 ft. (41)There is +30% chance of an event on this column. This addition effects the roll for the event happening and the roll for what the event is.
9128 ft. (40)
10120 ft. (39)N/AWaste from the town - roll d20 from the blue/DC 25 selection on Table 1 for a description of this waste
11112 ft. (38)
12104 ft. (37) N/AThere is no event on this column
1396 ft. (36)There is +40% chance of an event on this column. This addition effects the roll for the event happening and the roll for what the event is.
1488 ft. (35)
1580 ft. (34)N/AIf anyone flies past this column, they set off one of three Hold Person traps covering the whole of the 120' width of the stairway. CR 3; magic device; proximity trigger (alarm); automatic reset; spell effect (hold person, 5th level wizard, DC 13 Will save negates); Search/Perception DC 27; Disable Device DC 27
1672 ft. (33)
1764 ft. (32)
1856 ft. (31)
1948 ft. (30)N/AWaste from the town - roll d20 from the grey/DC 20 selection on Table 1 TWICE for a description of the content of this toxic sludge. Combination does 2d2 toxicity damage, DC 14 Fortitude save half damage, if touched (see Table 2)
2040 ft. (29)There is +50% chance of an event on this column, both for the event happening and the roll for what the event is.
2132 ft. (28)N/AIf anyone flies past this column, they set off one of four Lightning Bolt traps covering the whole of the 120' width of the stairway. CR 4; magic device; proximity trigger (alarm); automatic reset; spell effect (lightning bolt, 5th level wizard, 5d6 electricity, DC 14 Reflex save half damage); Search/Perception DC 28; Disable Device DC 28
2224 ft. (27)
2316 ft. (26)There is +60% chance of an event on this column. This addition effects the roll for the event happening and the roll for what the event is.
248 ft. (25)N/AThere is no event on this column

Table 4 - Effects on Stairway 1

d100 rollEffect on an individual column
01 - 15No event on this column
16 - 35Column needs climbing to get up - Climb DC 8
36 - 55Column needs a jump to descend - Jump/Acrobatics DC 8
56 - 70Liquid dripping from columns above this one has gathered in a shallow depression. It has become a potion due to alchemical activity. There is an equal chance of it being a potion of cure light wounds, mage armour, pass without trace OR a poison  - DC 18 Fortitude resists, 1 Con (temporary)/1 Con (temporary), both return after 1 hour. This can happen a total of 4 times, with no potion repeated.
71 - 85A pair of phantom funguses are on the indicated stair and the one below it (see below). This can override the "No Event" comment in the table above. This event only occurs once on this stairway. If indicated twice, choose the previous event on this table.
86 - 95The column moves joltingly as a PC stands on it, either 4 feet upwards or 4 feet downwards (equal chance). A Balance/Acrobatics DC 8 roll is required not to fall prone. It may then require either a Climb DC 8 or Jump/Acrobatic DC 8 roll to reach the next, depending on which way the column moved and the new distance between them.
96 - 00Two of the former cleaners and shapers approach the party. They have become Toxic Sludge (Double Grey) creatures (see below). This event only occurs once on this stairway. If indicated twice, choose the previous event on this table.

 

Phantom Fungus (3.5)

Phantom Fungus (3.5E)

Size/Type: Medium Plant

Hit Dice: 2d8+6 (15 hp)

Initiative: +0

Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares)

Armour Class: 14 (+4 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 14

Base Attack/Grapple: +1/+3

Attack: Bite +3 melee (1d6+3)

Full Attack: Bite +3 melee (1d6+3)

Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks: -

Special Qualities: Low-light vision, plant traits, greater invisibility

Saves: Fort +6, Ref +0, Will +0

Abilities: Str 14, Dex 10, Con 16, Int 2, Wis 11, Cha 9

Skills: Listen +4, Move Silently +6, Spot +4

Feats: Alertness

CR: 3

Treasure: None

Alignment: N

Languages: -

Spells Known: N/A

Toxic Sludge Creature - Double Grey (3.5)

Toxic Sludge Creature - Double Grey (3.5E)

Size/Type: Medium Ooze

Hit Dice: 3d10+15 (31 hp)

Initiative: -4

Speed: 15 ft. (3 squares)

Armour Class: 6 (-4 Dex), touch 6, flat-footed 6

Base Attack/Grapple: +2/+3

Attack: Slam +3 melee (1d6+1 plus 2d2 toxic sludge)

Full Attack: Slam +3 melee (1d6+1 plus 2d2 toxic sludge)

Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks: Constrict (1d6+1 plus 2d2 toxic sludge), improved grab, toxic sludge

Special Qualities: Blindsight 60 ft., immunity to cold and fire, ooze traits

Saves: Fort +6, Ref -3, Will -4

Abilities: Str 12, Dex 2, Con 20, Int 0, Wis 1, Cha 1

Skills: -

Feats: -

CR: 3

Treasure: None

Alignment: NE

Languages: -

Spells Known: N/A

Toxic Sludge

When a toxic sludge creature hits an opponent, it is able to excrete a small about of its essence to inflict additional damage. This damage also occurs when a toxic sludge creature successfully grapples an opponent and begins to constrict it. See the entry for the exact amount of damage for each type of toxic sludge creature. Fortitude DC 14 save for half damage.

A toxic sludge creature has the rough appearance of the creature that was its last victim. It slowly approaches its target and attempts to grab it before constricting it and dealing its toxic damage. It then takes on the appearance of that victim.

Phantom Fungus (Pathfinder)

Phantom Fungus (PF)       CR 4

XP 800

N Medium plant

Init +4; Senses low-light vision; Perception +8

 

DEFENSE

AC 14, touch 10, flat-footed 14 (+4 natural)

hp 30 (4d8+12)

Fort +7, Ref +1, Will +1

Defensive Abilities greater invisibility; Immune plant immunities

 

OFFENSE

Speed 20 ft.

Melee bite +5 (1d6+3)

 

STATISTICS

Str 14, Dex 10, Con 16, Int 2, Wis 11, Cha 9

Base Atk +3; CMB +5; CMD 15 (19 vs. trip)

Feats Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Perception)

Skills Perception +8, Sense Motive +2, Stealth +9; Racial Modifier +4 to Stealth

Languages none

 

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Greater Invisibility (Su)

The phantom fungus is always invisible, even when attacking. This ability works like greater invisibility (CL 12th) and lasts as long as the phantom fungus is alive. Invisibility purge does not dispel this effect. A phantom fungus becomes visible one minute after death.

Toxic Sludge Creature - Double Grey (Pathfinder)

Toxic Sludge Creature - Double Grey (PF)             CR 3

XP 800

NE Medium Ooze

Init -4; Senses blindsight 60 ft.; Perception

 

DEFENSE

AC 6, touch 6, flat-footed 6 (-4 Dex)

hp 31 (3d10+15)

Fort +6, Ref -3, Will -4

Immune cold, fire, ooze traits

 

OFFENSE

Speed 15 ft. (3 squares)

Melee slam +3 (1d6+1 plus 2d2 toxic sludge)

Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.

Special Attacks Constrict (1d6+1 plus 2d2 toxic sludge), improved grab, toxic sludge

 

STATISTICS

Str 12, Dex 2, Con 20, Int 0, Wis 1, Cha 1

Base Atk +2; CMB +3; CMD 9

Feats

Skills

Special Qualities Blindsight 60 ft., immunity to cold and fire, ooze traits

Languages

 

Toxic Sludge

When a toxic sludge creature hits an opponent, it is able to excrete a small about of its essence to inflict additional damage. This damage also occurs when a toxic sludge creature successfully grapples an opponent and begins to constrict it. See the entry for the exact amount of damage for each type of toxic sludge creature. Fortitude DC 14 save for half damage.

A toxic sludge creature has the rough appearance of the creature that was its last victim. It slowly approaches its target and attempts to grab it before constricting it and dealing its toxic damage. It then takes on the appearance of that victim.

After column 24 there is a platform that is 5 feet by 10 feet. There is a +1 light pick and a scroll of darkvision with the stamp of the Cleaners and Shapers Guild on the vial on it. A Spot/Perception DC 10 roll notices them.

A 180 degree turn leaves the PCs facing the next set of columns.

 

3B. The Second Stairway

After the PCs have found the items on the platform, they have the next set of basalt columns to descend. These are a little slicker and less well-shaped, and saves are harder as a result. There are traps set at various points down this stairway to deter wall-crawling, flying or levitating creatures.

Table 5 - Columns 25 to 48 - Stairway 2

Column NumberApproximate drop to stair below (#)Is there an event? d100 + column numberWhat is the event? Either the d100 result from Table 6 below OR the listed entry here
25192 ft. (72)N/AThere is no event on this column
26184 ft. (71)N/AWaste from the town - roll d20 from the blue/DC 25 selection on Table 1 for a description of this waste
27176 ft. (70)
28168 ft. (69)There is +20% chance of an event on this column. This addition effects the roll for the event happening and the roll for what the event is.
29160 ft. (68) N/AWaste from the town - roll d20 from the blue/DC 25 selection on Table 1 TWICE for a description of the content of this toxic sludge. Combination does 2d3 toxicity damage, DC 16 Fortitude save half damage, if touched (see Table 2)
30152 ft. (67)
31144 ft. (66)N/AIf anyone flies past this column, they set off one of three Ray of Exhaustion traps covering the whole of the 120' width of the stairway. CR 4; magic device; proximity trigger (alarm); automatic reset; Atk +15 ranged (exhaustion, 7th level wizard, DC 15 Fortitude partial); Search/Perception DC 26; Disable Device DC 26
32136 ft. (65)There is +30% chance of an event on this column, both for the event happening and the roll for what the event is.
33128 ft. (64)
34120 ft. (63)N/AWaste from the town - roll d20 from the orange/DC 25 selection on Table 1 for a description of this waste
35112 ft. (62)
36104 ft. (61)N/AThere is no event on this column
3796 ft. (60)There is +40% chance of an event on this column. This addition effects the roll for the event happening and the roll for what the event is.
3888 ft. (59)
3980 ft.  (58)
4072 ft. (57)
4164 ft. (56) N/AIf anyone flies past this column, they set off one of three Scorching Ray traps covering the whole of the 120' width of the stairway. CR 4; magic device; proximity trigger (alarm); automatic reset; Atk +18 (scorching ray, 5th level wizard, 4d6 ); Search/Perception DC 27; Disable Device DC 27
4256 ft. (55)
4348 ft. (54) N/AWaste from the town - roll d20 from the blue/DC 25 and orange/DC 30 selections on Table 1 ONCE EACH for a description of the content of this toxic sludge. Combination does 1d3+1d4 toxicity damage, DC 17 Fortitude save half damage, if touched (see Table 2)
4440 ft. (53)
4532 ft. (52)If anyone flies past this column, they set off one of four Forceful Hand traps covering the whole of the 120' width of the stairway. CR 6; magic device; proximity trigger (alarm); automatic reset; spell effect (forceful hand, 11th level wizard, pushed towards the line level with column 56); Search/Perception DC 28; Disable Device DC 28
4624 ft. (51)
4716 ft. (50) N/AThere is +50% chance of an event on this column. This addition effects the roll for the event happening and the roll for what the event is.
488 ft. (49)N/AThere is no event on this column

Table 6 - Effects on Stairway 2

d100 rollEffect on an individual column
01 - 15No event on this column
16 - 30Column needs climbing to get up - Climb DC 13
31 - 45Column needs a jump to descend - Jump/Acrobatics DC 13
46 - 60Toxic sludge dripping from columns above this one has gathered in a wide pool covering all of the stair. It has affected a wooden weapon due to alchemical activity. There is an equal chance of the weapon now being a +1 quarterstaff, a +1 shortbow, a small quiver of 10 +1 arrows OR a cursed backbiter spear. This can happen a total of 4 times, with no weapon repeated.
61 - 75A pair of phase spiders are on the indicated stair and the one below it (see below). They position themselves partially up the walls as well and can fit in the available space. This can override the "No Event" comment in the table above. The spiders are experienced enough not to set the traps off. This event only occurs once on this stairway. If indicated twice, choose the previous event on this table. The stair the first spider appears on has a dessicated body on it wearing +1 studded leather and with a potion of stone shape (divine) in a vial on a chain around its neck.
76 - 85The column moves joltingly as a PC stands on it, either 8 feet upwards or 8 feet downwards (equal chance). A Balance/Acrobatics DC 10 is required not to fall off the step and a DC 15 roll is required not to fall prone. It may then require either a Climb DC 13 or Jump/Acrobatic DC 13 roll to reach the next column, depending on which way the column moved and the new distance between them.
86 - 95A huge earth elemental has taken up residence in the walls and columns (see below). If disturbed, it rises out of the indicated column, partially in the walls, and attempts to use its earth glide ability to bull rush opponents off the columns. If reduced to one quarter of its hit points, it will leave and not return. This is classed as a full victory for the party. If indicated twice, choose the previous event on this table.
96 - 00Two of the former cleaners and shapers approach the party. They have become Toxic Sludge (Double Blue) creatures (see below). This event only occurs ONCE on this stairway. If indicated twice, choose the event that is 2 previous on this table.

 

Earth Elemental - huge (3.5)

Earth Elemental, huge (3.5E)

Size/Type: Huge Elemental (Earth, Extraplanar)

Hit Dice: 16d8+80 (152 hp)

Initiative: -1

Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)

Armour Class: 18 (-2 size, -1 Dex, +11 natural), touch 7, flat-footed 18

Base Attack/Grapple: +12/+29

Attack: Slam +19 melee (2d10+9)

Full Attack: 2 slams +19 melee (2d10+9)

Space/Reach: 15 ft./15 ft.

Special Attacks: Earth mastery, push

Special Qualities: Damage reduction 5/-, earth glide, darkvision60 ft., elemental traits

Saves: Fort +15, Ref +4, Will +7

Abilities: Str 29, Dex 8, Con 21, Int 6, Wis 11, Cha 11

Skills: Listen +10, Spot +9

Feats: Awesome Blow, Cleave, Great Cleave, Improved Bullrush, Iron Will, Power Attack

CR: 7

Treasure: None

Alignment: N

Languages: Terran

Spells Known: N/A

Phase Spiders (3.5)

Phase Spiders (3.5E)

Size/Type: Large Magical Beast

Hit Dice: 5d10+15 (42 hp)

Initiative: +7

Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares), climb 20 ft.

Armour Class: 15 (-1 size, +3 Dex, +3 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 12

Base Attack/Grapple: +5/+12

Attack: Bite +7 melee (1d6+4 plus poison)

Full Attack: Bite +7 melee (1d6+4 plus poison)

Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks: Poison (Injury, Fortitude DC 17, initial and secondary damage 1d8 Con. The save DC is Constitution-based)

Special Qualities: Darkvision60 ft., ethereal jaunt, low-light vision

Saves: Fort +7, Ref +7, Will +2

Abilities: Str 17, Dex 17, Con 16, Int 7, Wis 13, Cha 10

Skills: Climb +11, Move Silently +11, Spot +4

Feats: Ability Focus (poison), Improved Initiative

CR: 5

Treasure: None

Alignment: N

Languages: -

Spells Known: N/A

Toxic Sludge Creature - Double Blue (3.5)

Toxic Sludge Creature - Double Blue (3.5E)

Size/Type: Medium Ooze

Hit Dice: 4d10+20 (42 hp)

Initiative: -3

Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares)

Armour Class: 8 (-3 Dex, +1 natural), touch 7, flat-footed 8

Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+5

Attack: Slam +5 melee (1d8+2 plus 2d3 toxic sludge)

Full Attack: Slam +5 melee (1d8+2 plus 2d3 toxic sludge)

Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks: Constrict (1d6+2 plus 2d3 toxic sludge), improved grab, toxic sludge

Special Qualities: Blindsight 60 ft., immunity to cold and fire, ooze traits

Saves: Fort +6, Ref -2, Will -3

Abilities: Str 14, Dex 4, Con 21, Int 0, Wis 2, Cha 1

Skills: -

Feats: -

CR: 4

Treasure: None

Alignment: NE

Languages: -

Spells Known: N/A

Toxic Sludge

When a toxic sludge creature hits an opponent, it is able to excrete a small about of its essence to inflict additional damage. This damage also occurs when a toxic sludge creature successfully grapples an opponent and begins to constrict it. See the entry for the exact amount of damage for each type of toxic sludge creature. Fortitude DC 16 save for half damage.

A toxic sludge creature has the rough appearance of the creature that was its last victim. It slowly approaches its target and attempts to grab it before constricting it and dealing its toxic damage. It then takes on the appearance of that victim.

Earth Elemental - huge (Pathfinder)

Huge Earth Elemental (PF)          CR 7

XP 3,200

N Huge outsider (earth, elemental, extraplanar)

Init –1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +13

 

DEFENSE

AC 19, touch 7, flat-footed 19 (–1 Dex, +12 natural, –2 size)

hp 95 (10d10+40)

Fort +11, Ref +2, Will +7

DR 5/—; Immune elemental traits

 

OFFENSE

Speed 20 ft., burrow 20 ft., earth glide

Melee 2 slams +17 (2d8+9)

Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.

Special Attacks earth mastery

 

STATISTICS

Str 28, Dex 8, Con 19, Int 6, Wis 11, Cha 11

Base Atk +10; CMB +21; CMD 30

Feats Awesome Blow, Cleave, Greater Bull Rush, Improved Bull RushB, Improved Overrun, Power Attack

Skills Appraise +6, Climb +18, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +4, Knowledge (planes) +7, Perception +13, Stealth +4

Languages Terran

 

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Earth Glide (Ex)

A burrowing earth elemental can pass through stone, dirt, or almost any other sort of earth except metal as easily as a fish swims through water. If protected against fire damage, it can even glide through lava. Its burrowing leaves behind no tunnel or hole, nor does it create any ripple or other sign of its presence. A move earth spell cast on an area containing a burrowing earth elemental flings the elemental back 30 feet, stunning the creature for 1 round unless it succeeds on a DC 15 Fortitude save.

 

Earth Mastery (Ex)

An earth elemental gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls if both it and its foe are touching the ground. If an opponent is airborne or waterborne, the elemental takes a –4 penalty on attack and damage rolls. These modifiers apply to bull rush and overrun maneuvers, whether the elemental is initiating or resisting these kinds of attacks. (These modifiers are not included in the statistics block.)

Phase Spiders (Pathfinder)

Phase Spider (PF)  CR 5

XP 1,600

N Large magical beast

Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +6

 

DEFENSE

AC 17, touch 12, flat-footed 14 (+3 Dex, +5 natural, –1 size)

hp 51 (6d10+18)

Fort +8, Ref +8, Will +3

Defensive Abilities ethereal jaunt

 

OFFENSE

Speed 40 ft., climb 20 ft.

Melee bite +10 (2d6+7 plus poison and grab)

Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.

Special Attacks ethereal ambush

 

STATISTICS

Str 20, Dex 17, Con 16, Int 7, Wis 13, Cha 10

Base Atk +6; CMB +12 (+16 grapple); CMD 25 (37 vs. trip)

Feats Ability Focus (poison), Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Stealth)

Skills Climb +18, Perception +6, Stealth +7

Languages Aklo

 

SPECIAL ABILITIES

 

Ethereal Ambush (Ex)

A phase spider that attacks foes on the Material Plane in a surprise round can take a full round of actions if it begins the combat by phasing into the Material Plane from the Ethereal Plane.

 

Ethereal Jaunt (Su)

A phase spider can shift from the Ethereal Plane to the Material Plane as a free action, and shift back again as a move action (or as part of a move action). The ability is otherwise identical to ethereal jaunt (CL 15th).

 

Poison (Ex)

Bite—injury; save Fort DC 18; frequency 1/round for 8 rounds; effect 1d2 Constitution damage; cure 2 consecutive saves. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Toxic Sludge Creature - Double Blue (Pathfinder)

Toxic Sludge Creature - Double Blue                CR 4

XP 1,200

NE Medium Ooze

Init -3; Senses blindsight 60 ft.; Perception

 

DEFENSE

AC 8, touch 7, flat-footed 8 (-3 Dex, +1 natural)

hp 42 (4d10+20

Fort +6, Ref -2, Will -3

Immune cold, fire, ooze traits

 

OFFENSE

Speed 20 ft. (4 squares)

Melee Slam +5 (1d8+2 plus 2d3 toxic sludge)

Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.

Special Attacks Constrict (1d6+2 plus 2d3 toxic sludge), improved grab, toxic sludge

STATISTICS

Str 14, Dex 4, Con 21, Int 0, Wis 2, Cha 1

Base Atk +3; CMB +5; CMD 12

Feats

Skills

Languages

 

Toxic Sludge

When a toxic sludge creature hits an opponent, it is able to excrete a small about of its essence to inflict additional damage. This damage also occurs when a toxic sludge creature successfully grapples an opponent and begins to constrict it. See the entry for the exact amount of damage for each type of toxic sludge creature. Fortitude DC 16 save for half damage.

A toxic sludge creature has the rough appearance of the creature that was its last victim. It slowly approaches its target and attempts to grab it before constricting it and dealing its toxic damage. It then takes on the appearance of that victim.

After column 48 there is a platform that is 5 feet by 10 feet. There is a +1 heavy hammer (as a warhammer), a potion of cure serious wounds and a scroll of mage armour, mage hand and mage's faithful hound (all 9th level), both with the stamp of the Cleaners and Shaper Guild on the vial on it and, finally, two sealed metal urns, one with 3 doses of sovereign glue and the other with 2 doses of slave of slipperiness.

A Spot/Perception DC 15 roll notices them lodged between column 49 and the platform.

A 180 degree turn leaves the PCs facing the third set of columns.

 

3C. The Third Stairway

After the PCs have found the items on the platform, they have the next set of basalt columns to descend. These are a yet again slicker and less well-shaped than the previous set of columns, and saves are harder as a result. Once more, there are traps set at various points down this stairway to deter flying or levitating creatures, or those climbing along the walls.

Table 7 - Columns 49 to 72 - Stairway 3

Column NumberApproximate drop to stair below (#)Is there an event? d100 + column numberWhat is the event? Either the d100 result from Table 8 below OR the listed entry here
49192 ft. (96)
50184 ft. (95)N/AWaste from the town - roll d20 from the orange/DC 30 selection on Table 1 for a description of this waste
51176 ft. (94)N/AThere is no event on this column
52168 ft. (93)
53160 ft. (92) N/AWaste from the town - roll d20 from the orange/DC 30 selection on Table 1 TWICE for a description of the content of this toxic sludge. Combination does 2d4 toxicity damage, DC 18 Fortitude save half damage, if touched (see Table 2)
54152 ft. (91)There is +25% chance of an event on this column. This addition effects the roll for the event happening and the roll for what the event is.
55144 ft. (90)
56136 ft. (89) N/AIf anyone flies past this column, they set off one of three Web and Burning Hands traps covering the whole of the 120' width of the stairway. CR 6; magic device; proximity trigger (alarm); automatic reset; spell effects (web, burning hands, 5d4 damage initial and 2d4 per round in the burning web, 10th level wizard, DC 13 Reflex for half initial damage); Search/Perception DC 28; Disable Device DC 28
57128 ft. (88)There is +30% chance of an event on this column, both for the event happening and the roll for what the event is.
58120 ft. (87)N/AWaste from the town - roll d20 from the purple/DC 35 on Table 1 for a description of this waste
59112 ft. (86)N/AThere is no event on this column
60104 ft. (85)N/AThere is no event on this column
6196 ft. (84)There is +35% chance of an event on this column. This addition effects the roll for the event happening and the roll for what the event is.
6288 ft. (83)
6380 ft. (82) N/AIf anyone flies past this column, they set off a Blade Barrier trap covering the whole of the 120' width of the stairway. CR 7; magic device; proximity trigger (alarm); automatic reset; spell effect (blade barrier, 11th level cleric, 11d6 slashing, DC 19 Reflex half damage ); Search/Perception DC 31; Disable Device DC 31
6472 ft. (81)
6564 ft. (80) N/AWaste from the town - roll d20 from the orange/DC 30 and purple/DC 35 selections on Table 1 ONCE EACH for a description of the content of this toxic sludge. Combination does 1d4+1d6 toxicity damage, DC 19 Fortitude save half damage, if touched (see Table 2)
6656 ft. (79)
6748 ft. (78)
6840 ft. (77)
6932 ft. (76)N/AIf anyone flies past this column, they set off one of four Flesh to Stone traps covering the whole of the 120' width of the stairway. CR 6; magic device; proximity trigger (alarm); automatic reset; spell effect (flesh to stone, 11th level wizard, DC 19 Fortitude negates); Search/Perception DC 28; Disable Device DC 28
7024 ft. (75)N/AThere is no event on this column
7116 ft. (74)N/AThere is +40% chance of an event on this column. This addition effects the roll for the event happening and the roll for what the event is.
728 ft. (73)

Table 8 - Effects on Stairway 3

d100 rollEffect on an individual column
01 - 15No event on this column
16 - 30Column needs climbing to get up - Climb DC 18
31 - 45Column needs a jump to descend - Jump/Acrobatics DC 18
46 - 60A pile of refuse fills this column, and it's clearly not one that the cleaners and shapers managed to get to before meeting their end. Underneath the refuse, preserved by exposure to the alchemical nature of the waste, is an item. There is an equal chance that the item is either a +1 bane (aquatic humanoids) dagger, a scroll case with a scroll containing air walk, sending, spell immunity and wall of stone (all 9th level caster), a bead of force or a set of pipes of haunting. This event can happen a total of 4 times, with no item repeated.
61 - 75A wing of 5 kapoacinths have found themselves stranded on the stairway after a fight with the chuul below. At present, the creatures aren't sure how they are going to return to the sea and know they can't go further up towards the surface. They are desperate to get equipment to take on the chuul, so fight to the death. They are usually found near the platform between stairway 3 and stairway 4, taking up the columns around it.
85The column moves joltingly as a PC stands on it, either 12 feet upwards or 12 feet downwards (equal chance). A Balance/Acrobatics DC 15 is required not to fall off the step and a DC 20 roll is required not to fall prone. It may then require either a Climb DC 18 or Jump/Acrobatic DC 18 roll to reach the next column, depending on which way the column moved and the new distance between them.
86 - 952 average xorn are positioned here, "snacking" on pieces of basalt and granite. They used to follow the cleaners and shapers in order to feed on the chips and flakes produced by them as they worked on the columns. Just recently they have been attacked by Valtamer Valtija and the chuul's merrow bodyguard, and have become aggressive towards fleshy creatures, which they normally ignore. They will fight until they fall below a quarter of their hit points and then leave the area. This counts as a full victory for the PCs.
96 - 00Two of the former cleaners and shapers approach the party. They have become Toxic Sludge (Double Orange) creatures (see below). This event only occurs ONCE on this stairway. If indicated twice, choose the event that is 2 previous on this table.

 

Kapoacinth (3.5)

Kapoacinth (3.5E)

Size/Type: Medium Monstrous Humanoid (Aquatic)

Hit Dice: 4d8+19 (37 hp)

Initiative: +2

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

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

Base Attack/Grapple: +4/+6

Attack: Claw +6 melee (1d4+2)

Full Attack: 2 claws +6 melee (1d4+2) and bite +4 melee (1d6+1) and gore +4 melee (1d6+1)

Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks: Constrict (1d8+3 plus 2d4 toxic sludge), improved grab, toxic sludge

Special Qualities: Amphibious, damage reduction 10/magic, darkvision 60 ft., freeze

Saves: Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +4

Abilities: Str 15, Dex 14, Con 18, Int 6, Wis 11, Cha 7

Skills: Hide +7, Listen +4, Spot +4

Feats: Multiattack, Toughness

CR: 4

Treasure: Standard

Alignment: Usually CE

Languages: Common, Aquan

Spells Known: N/A

Toxic Sludge Creature - Double Orange (3.5)

Toxic Sludge Creature - Double Orange (3.5E)

Size/Type: Medium Ooze

Hit Dice: 5d10+25 (52 hp)

Initiative: -2

Speed: 25 ft. (5 squares)

Armour Class: 9 (-2 Dex, +1 natural), touch 8, flat-footed 9

Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+6

Attack: Slam +6 melee (1d10+3 plus 2d4 toxic sludge)

Full Attack: Slam +6 melee (1d10+2 plus 2d4 toxic sludge)

Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks: Constrict (1d8+3 plus 2d4 toxic sludge), improved grab, toxic sludge

Special Qualities: Blindsight 60 ft., immunity to cold and fire, ooze traits

Saves: Fort +6, Ref -1, Will -2

Abilities: Str 16, Dex 6, Con 21, Int 0, Wis 4, Cha 1

Skills: -

Feats: -

CR: 5

Treasure: None

Alignment: NE

Languages: -

Spells Known: N/A

Toxic Sludge

When a toxic sludge creature hits an opponent, it is able to excrete a small about of its essence to inflict additional damage. This damage also occurs when a toxic sludge creature successfully grapples an opponent and begins to constrict it. See the entry for the exact amount of damage for each type of toxic sludge creature. Fortitude DC 18 save for half damage.

A toxic sludge creature has the rough appearance of the creature that was its last victim. It slowly approaches its target and attempts to grab it before constricting it and dealing its toxic damage. It then takes on the appearance of that victim.

Xorn (3.5)

Xorn (Average) (3.5E)

Size/Type: Medium Outsider (Extraplanar, Earth)

Hit Dice: 7d8+17 9 (48 hp)

Initiative: +0

Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares), burrow 20 ft.

Armour Class: 24 (+14 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 24

Base Attack/Grapple: +7/+10

Attack: Bite +10 melee (4d6+3)

Full Attack: Bite +10 melee (4d6+3) and 3 claws +8 melee (1d4+1)

Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks: -

Special Qualities: All-around vision, earth glide, damage reduction 5/bludgeoning, darkvision 60 ft., immunity to cold and fire, resistance to electricity 10, tremorsense 60 ft.

Saves: Fort +7, Ref +5, Will +5

Abilities: Str 17, Dex 10, Con 15, Int 10, Wis 11, Cha 10

Skills: Hide +10, Intimidate +10, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +10, Listen +10, Move Silently +10, Search +10, Spot +10, Survival +10 (+12 following tracks or underground)

Feats: CleaveB, Multiattack, Power Attack, Toughness

CR: 6

Treasure: None

Alignment: N

Languages: Common, Terran

Spells Known: N/A

Kapoacinth (Pathfinder)

Kapoacinth (PF)    CR 4

XP 1,200

CE Medium monstrous humanoid (earth, aquatic)

Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +5

 

DEFENSE

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

hp 42 (5d10+15)

Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +4

DR 10/magic

 

OFFENSE

Speed 40 ft., swim 60 ft.

Melee 2 claws +7 (1d6+2), bite +7 (1d4+2), gore +7 (1d4+2)

 

STATISTICS

Str 15, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 6, Wis 11, Cha 7

Base Atk +5; CMB +7; CMD 19

Feats Hover, Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Fly)

Skills Fly +12, Perception +5, Stealth +11 (+17 in stony areas); Racial Modifiers +2 Stealth (+6 in stony environs)

Languages Common, Terran

SQ freeze

 

SPECIAL ABILITIES

 

Freeze (Ex)

A gargoyle can hold itself so still it appears to be a statue. A gargoyle that uses freeze can take 20 on its Stealth check to hide in plain sight as a stone statue.

Toxic Sludge Creature - Double Orange (Pathfinder)

Toxic Sludge Creature - Double Orange (PF)                    CR 5

XP 1,600

NE Medium Ooze

Init -2; Senses blindsight 60 ft.; Perception –

 

DEFENSE

AC 9, touch 8, flat-footed 9 (-2 Dex, +1 natural)

hp 52 (5d10+52)

Fort +6, Ref -1, Will -2

Immune cold, fire, ooze traits

 

OFFENSE

Speed 25 ft. (5 squares)

Melee slam +6 (1d10+3 plus 2d4 toxic sludge)

Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.

Special Attacks Constrict (1d8+3 plus 2d4 toxic sludge), improved grab, toxic sludge

 

STATISTICS

Str 16, Dex 6, Con 21, Int 0, Wis 4, Cha 1

Base Atk +3; CMB +6; CMD 14

Feats

Skills

Special Qualities Blindsight 60 ft., immunity to cold and fire, ooze traits

Languages

 

Toxic Sludge

When a toxic sludge creature hits an opponent, it is able to excrete a small about of its essence to inflict additional damage. This damage also occurs when a toxic sludge creature successfully grapples an opponent and begins to constrict it. See the entry for the exact amount of damage for each type of toxic sludge creature. Fortitude DC 18 save for half damage.

A toxic sludge creature has the rough appearance of the creature that was its last victim. It slowly approaches its target and attempts to grab it before constricting it and dealing its toxic damage. It then takes on the appearance of that victim.

Xorn (Pathfinder)

Xorn (PF)   CR 6

XP 2,400

N Medium outsider (earth, extraplanar)

Init +0; Senses all-around vision, darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +14

 

DEFENSE

AC 21, touch 10, flat-footed 21 (+11 natural)

hp 66 (7d10+28)

Fort +8, Ref +2, Will +5

DR 5/bludgeoning; Immune cold, fire, flanking; Resist electricity 10

 

OFFENSE

Speed 20 ft., burrow 20 ft.; earth glide

Melee bite +10 (4d6+3), 3 claws +10 (1d4+3)

 

STATISTICS

Str 17, Dex 10, Con 17, Int 10, Wis 11, Cha 10

Base Atk +7; CMB +10; CMD 20 (22 vs. trip)

Feats Cleave, Improved Bull Rush, Power Attack, Toughness

Skills Appraise +10, Intimidate +10, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +10, Perception +14, Stealth +10, Survival +10; Racial Modifiers +4 Perception

Languages Common, Terran

 

SPECIAL ABILITIES

 

All-Around Vision (Ex)

A xorn sees in all directions at the same time, giving it a +4 racial bonus on Perception checks. A xorn cannot be flanked.

 

Earth Glide (Ex)

A xorn can glide through any sort of natural earth or stone as easily as a fish swims through water. Its burrowing leaves no sign of its passage nor hint at its presence to creatures that don't possess tremorsense. A move earth spell cast on an area containing a xorn moves the xorn back 30 feet, stunning the creature for 1 round unless it succeeds on a DC 15 Fortitude save.

The platform between stairway 3 and stairway 4 usually has the kapoacinths on it, plotting their next moves. If they haven't appeared randomly, then they do now. If they have appeared randomly, then the PCs find a partially-stripped skeleton, its flesh shredded and hideously torn, and its organs missing. It is one of the former cleaners and shapers that the kapoacinths got their claws into. It's only valuable items is its guild pin.

A 180 degree turn leaves the party facing the final set of columns before reaching the caverns at the bottom of the shaft.

 

3D. The Fourth Stairway

After the PCs have found the items on the platform, they have the final set of basalt columns to descend. These are the slickest and least well-shaped set of columns, as well as most of them showing signs of the effects of sea water as they are covered by the high tide; as such, saves are hardest here as a result. There are the final traps set at various points down this stairway to deter flying or levitating creatures or those using something like spider climb.

Table 9 - Columns 73 to 96 - Stairway 4

Column NumberApproximate drop to ground level
Is there an event? d100 + column numberWhat is the event? Either the d100 result from Table 10 below OR the listed entry here
7396 ft.N/AThere is no event on this column, unless the kapoacinth from stairway 3 are here
7492 ft.
7588 ft.N/AWaste from the town - roll d20 from the purple/DC 35 selection on Table 1 for a description of this waste
7684 ft.There is +20% chance of an event on this column. This addition effects the roll for the event happening and the roll for what the event is.
7780 ft. N/AWaste from the town - roll d20 from the purple/DC 35 selection on Table 1 TWICE for a description of the content of this toxic sludge. Combination does 2d6 toxicity damage, DC 20 Fortitude save half damage, if touched (see Table 2)
7876 ft.N/AIf anyone flies past this column, they set off one of three Dispel Magic (greater, area effect) traps covering the whole of the 120' width of the stairway. CR 7; magic device; proximity trigger (alarm); automatic reset; spell effect (dispel magic, greater, area effect, 13th level wizard); Search/Perception DC 31; Disable Device DC 31
7972 ft.
8068 ft.There is +30% chance of an event on this column, both for the event happening and the roll for what the event is.
8164 ft.
8260 ft.N/AWaste from the town - roll d20 from the blue/DC 25 on Table 1 for a description of this waste
8356 ft.
8452 ft.N/AThere is no event on this column
8548 ft.There is +40% chance of an event on this column. This addition effects the roll for the event happening and the roll for what the event is.
8644 ft.
8740 ft.
8836 ft.N/AIf anyone flies past this column, they set off one of six Antilife Shell traps covering the whole of the 120' width of the stairway. CR 7; magic device; proximity trigger (alarm); automatic reset; spell effect (antilife shell, 11th level druid); Search/Perception DC 31; Disable Device DC 31
8932 ft.
9028 ft. N/AIf anyone flies past this column, they set off one of two Prismatic Spray traps covering the whole of the 120' width of the stairway. CR 8; magic device; proximity trigger (alarm); automatic reset; spell effect (prismatic spray, 13th level wizard, DC 20 Reflex Fortitude or Will save, depending on the effect); Search/Perception DC 32; Disable Device DC 32
9124 ft. N/AWaste from the town - roll d20 from the purple/DC 35 selection on Table 1 THREE TIMES for a description of the content of this toxic sludge. Combination does 3d6 toxicity damage, DC 30 Fortitude save half damage, if touched (see Table 2)
9220 ft.
9316 ft.
9412 ft.
958 ft.There is +30% chance of an event on this column. This addition effects the roll for the event happening and the roll for what the event is.
964 ft.

Table 10 - Effects on Stairway 4

d100 rollEffect on an individual column
01 - 15No event on this column
16 - 30Column needs climbing to get up - Climb DC 23
31 - 45Column needs a jump to descend - Jump/Acrobatics DC 23
46 - 60Valtamer Valtija, the sea-elf druid, has rigged this column so that it rapidly drops 100 feet (columns 73-82) or shoots upwards to a height of 100 feet (columns 83-96). In either case, a DC 20 reflex save avoids the violently-moving column and the 10d6 damage from falling that follows the move. 2 rounds after the movement, the column slowly returns to its original position. Treat this as a CR 6 trap
61 - 75From further up the stairway, a tightly-formed ball of waste material falls onto the PCs. It is made up of 2 grey/DC20, 2 blue/DC 25, 2 orange/DC 30 and 2 purple/DC 35 waste items. It explodes on impact with the column and does 2d2+2d3+2d4+2d6 toxicity damage in a 20 feet radius, DC 32 Reflex save for half. Inside the ball is either a crystal ball OR a crystal hypnosis ball, equal chance. The crystal ball sticks to the column in the bottom half of the ball of waste and can be picked up quite easily, although it is coated in powerful toxic waste which does 2d4+2d6 toxicity damage, DC 36 Fortitude save for half. This event can only occur once. If it is rolled a second time, roll again on this table or use the result above.
76 - 85The column moves joltingly as a PC stands on it, either 16 feet upwards or 16 feet downwards (equal chance). A Balance/Acrobatics DC 18 is required not to fall off the step and a DC 23 roll is required not to fall prone. It may then require either a Climb DC 23 or Jump/Acrobatic DC 23 roll to reach the next column, depending on which way the column moved and the new distance between them.
86 - 95A merrow barbarian, the bodyguard of the Valtamer Valtija in the caverns, is on the hunt for the wing of kapoacinths further up the stairway. However, it is intelligent enough to recognise that the party may have useful items on it. At first try to intimidate the PCs into handing and magic weapons over. If they refuse to do so, it will fight.
96 - 00Two of the former cleaners and shapers approach the party. They have become Toxic Sludge (Double Purple) creatures (see below). This event only occurs ONCE on this stairway. If indicated twice, choose the event that is 2 previous on this table.

Merrow (3.5)

Merrow, 5th-level Barbarian  (3.5E)

Size/Type: Large Giant (Aquatic)

Hit Dice: 4d8+19 plus 5d12+20 (89 hp)

Initiative: +0

Speed: 30 ft. in sharkskin armour (6 squares), base speed 40 ft., swim 40 ft.

Armour Class: 20 (-1 size, +5 natural, +5 +2 sharkskin armor, ring of protection +1), touch 10, flat-footed 20

Base Attack/Grapple: +8/+20

Attack: +1 longspear +17 melee (1d8+14) or javelin +7 ranged (1d8+8)

Full Attack: +1 longspear +17/+12 melee (1d8+14) or javelin +7 ranged (1d8+8)

Space/Reach: 10 ft./10 ft.

Special Attacks: Rage 2/day

Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., improved uncanny dodge, low-light vision, trap-sense +1, uncanny dodge

Saves: Fort +12, Ref +2, Will +3

Abilities: Str 26, Dex 11, Con 18, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 4

Skills: Climb +16, Hide -4, Jump +20, Listen +7, Spot +2

Feats: Improved Critical (longspear), Power Attack, Toughness, Weapon Focus (longspear)

CR: 8

Treasure: Standard

Alignment: NE

Languages: Giant

Spells Known: N/A

Sharkskin Armour

Sharkskin armour is the aquatic version of Rhino Hide armour. In addition to granting a +2 enhancement bonus to AC, it has a -1 armor check penalty and deals an additional 2d6 points of damage on any successful charge attack made by the wearer, including a mounted charge, although this mounted charge only works when riding an aquatic creature.

Moderate transmutation; CL 9th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, bull's strength; Price 5,165 gp; Cost 2,665 gp + 200 XP.

Toxic Sludge Creature - Double Purple (3.5)

Toxic Sludge Creature - Double Purple (3.5E)

Size/Type: Medium Ooze

Hit Dice: 6d10+30 (63 hp)

Initiative: -1

Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)

Armour Class: 10 (-1 Dex, +1 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 10

Base Attack/Grapple: +4/+8

Attack: Slam +8 melee (1d12+4 plus 2d6 toxic sludge)

Full Attack: Slam +8 melee (1d12+4 plus 2d6 toxic sludge)

Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks: Constrict (1d10+4 plus 2d6 toxic sludge), improved grab, toxic sludge

Special Qualities: Blindsight 60 ft., immunity to cold and fire, ooze traits

Saves: Fort +7, Ref +1, Will -1

Abilities: Str 18, Dex 8, Con 21, Int 0, Wis 4, Cha 1

Skills: -

Feats: -

CR: 6

Treasure: None

Alignment: NE

Languages: -

Spells Known: N/A

Toxic Sludge

When a toxic sludge creature hits an opponent, it is able to excrete a small about of its essence to inflict additional damage. This damage also occurs when a toxic sludge creature successfully grapples an opponent and begins to constrict it. See the entry for the exact amount of damage for each type of toxic sludge creature. Fortitude DC 20 save for half damage.

A toxic sludge creature has the rough appearance of the creature that was its last victim. It slowly approaches its target and attempts to grab it before constricting it and dealing its toxic damage. It then takes on the appearance of that victim.

Merrow (Pathfinder)

Merrow (PF)           CR 8

XP 4,800

NE Large humanoid (aquatic, giant) Barbarian 3

Init +4; Senses low-light vision; Perception +9

 

DEFENSE

AC 23, touch 13, flat-footed 19 (+6 +2 sharkskin armor, +4 Dex, +4 natural, –1 size)

hp 62 (4d8+12 plus 3d12+12)

Fort +10, Ref +6, Will +4

 

OFFENSE

Speed 50 ft., swim 40 ft.

Melee trident +10 (1d8+4)

Melee 2 claws +6 (1d6+4 plus grab)

Ranged javelin +6 (1d8+4)

Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.

Special Attacks rage

 

STATISTICS

Str 19, Dex 18, Con 17, Int 6, Wis 10, Cha 7

Base Atk +6; CMB +10 (+14 grapple); CMD 25

Feats Cleave, Iron Will, Power Attack

Skills Intimidate +2, Perception +9, Stealth +2 (+6 in water), Swim +16

Racial Modifiers +4 Stealth in water, +8 Swim

Languages Giant

SQ amphibious, fast movement, trap sense +1 uncanny dodge

Sharkskin Armour

Sharkskin armour is the aquatic version of Rhino Hide armour. In addition to granting a +2 enhancement bonus to AC, it has a -1 armor check penalty and deals an additional 2d6 points of damage on any successful charge attack made by the wearer, including a mounted charge, although this mounted charge only works when riding an aquatic creature.

Moderate transmutation; CL 9th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, bull's strength; Price 5,165 gp; Cost 2,665 gp + 200 XP.

Toxic Sludge Creature - Double Purple (Pathfinder)

Toxic Sludge Creature - Double Purple (PF)                     CR 6

XP 2,400

NE Medium Ooze

Init -1; Senses blindsight 60 ft.; Perception

 

DEFENSE

AC 10 (-1 Dex, +1 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 10

hp 63 (6d10+30)

Fort +7, Ref +1, Will -1

Immune cold, fire, ooze traits

 

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)

Melee slam +8 (1d12+4 plus 2d6 toxic sludge)

Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.

Special Attacks Constrict (1d10+4 plus 2d6 toxic sludge), improved grab, toxic sludge

 

STATISTICS

Str 18, Dex 8, Con 21, Int 0, Wis 4, Cha 1

Base Atk +4;  CMB +8; CMD 17

Feats

Skills

Special Qualities Blindsight 60 ft., immunity to cold and fire, ooze traits

Languages

 

Toxic Sludge

When a toxic sludge creature hits an opponent, it is able to excrete a small about of its essence to inflict additional damage. This damage also occurs when a toxic sludge creature successfully grapples an opponent and begins to constrict it. See the entry for the exact amount of damage for each type of toxic sludge creature. Fortitude DC 20 save for half damage.

A toxic sludge creature has the rough appearance of the creature that was its last victim. It slowly approaches its target and attempts to grab it before constricting it and dealing its toxic damage. It then takes on the appearance of that victim.

The party now finds itself on a basalt platform at the bottom of the shaft. In front on them are the caverns that give access to the sea. The PCs will find themselves under attack from Valtamer Valtija almost immediately; the sound of traps going off and battles with the various creatures found on the stairway will have alerted him of the PCs presence and progress.

 

4. The Caverns at the Bottom of the Stairway

A set of 8 standard steps leads down from the basalt platform to the first cavern. They drop about 5 feet in total. They have signs of multiple feet using them in both directions.

A Search/Spot/Perception DC 25 roll finds flakes of rotten, green flesh on them in a couple of places.

The second and third caverns are both mostly covered by an unhallow spell cast by Valtamer Valtija.

 

 

4A. The First Cavern

The cavern is about 30 feet wide by 50 feet long. There are two pathways, both clearly marked with arrows indicating the direction of travel, leading to the basalt columns and the set of steps out of the cavern. There is damp kelp throughout, reducing movement by 5 feet unless a Balance/Acrobatics DC 10 roll is made each round. This kelp can also be used for Valtija's entangle spell

Valtija has placed a fireseeds (berries) spell here, which he will explode as the PCs enter the cavern. He has also cast spike stones on entrance to the cavern; these cover the pretty much the full 25 feet opening width for a distance of about 10 feet.

A second set of 8 standard steps leads down from the first cavern to the second cavern. Again, the drop is about 5 feet in total.

 

 

4B. The Second Cavern

This cavern is about 25 feet wide by 40 feet long. There are two pathways, both clearly marked with arrows indicating the direction of travel, leading between each set of 8 steps. The walls are slick, the floor less so, and the air of the whole place feels heavy with moisture. There is a distinct impression of this being an underwater cavern rather than one that is land-based. A number of rocks are strewn around, covered in seaweed which is also generously strewn about the floor. These components give this cavern even more of an underwater feel.

Movement is reduced unless a Balance/Acrobatics roll is made as follows:

If the total roll is greater than DC 20, there is no restriction

If the total roll is between 20 and 10, the restriction is 5 feet per round

If the total roll is between 10 and 1, the restriction is 10 feet per round

if the total roll is less than 1, the restriction is 15 feet per round

If a creature has the aquatic subtype, there is no movement restriction.

Valtamer Valtija uses this cavern as his current home whilst he wages a personal war on the population of Jyrkannelaki. He currently in is league with Vesihirmu the chuul cleric and tolerates the lacedons (although will destroy them if the PCs are beaten and Vesihirmu killed).

Valtija has cast unhallow on the steps at the back of the cavern, which amongst other effects has magic circle against good and aid  in place. This means that Valtija, the kelp guardian, Vesihirmu and the lacedons are at +1 to attack, +1 to save versus fear and have +14 hit points. This information isn't included in the stat blocks as some spell bonuses are.

Remember, he may well have been attacking the PCs since they first entered the caverns with long-range spells. As they enter this cavern, he will position himself on the steps at the back of it, behind a large boulder. If he loses half his hit points, Valtamer Valtija will dive into the water of the final cavern and call for Vesihirmu and its lacedons. He will then heal himself and return to the fight. He does not have his animal companion with him.

Valtija will have cast a number of spells before the PCs arrive in his cavern. One of these is fireseeds (berries) which he will have exploded as they entered the first cavern, another is spike stones on entrance to the first cavern. Others are protective spells, and last for up to 11 minutes. Valtija will have cast them in the minutes before the party appears in the cavern, so it is reasonable to assume they will all have at least 6 minutes left on their duration, which is why the additional information is included in the stat block.

Valtija has created a variation of the 6th level spell liveoak called livekelp (located at the conclusion of the adventure). This spell produces an aquatic variation of a treant, called a kelp guardian (see below for details). He has one of these creatures with him.

Valtamer Valtija (3.5)

Valtamer Valtija - Aquatic Elf, 11th-level Druid (3.5E)

Size/Type: Medium humanoid (elf , aquatic)

Hit Dice: 11d8+11 (60 hp) (+1 hp with virtue)

Initiative: +1

Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares), swim 40 ft. (+10 ft. with longstrider)

Armour Class: 18 (+2 more with cat's grace), (ring of protection +3, +1 Dex (+2 more with cat's grace), +4 natural), touch 14 (+2 more with cat's grace), flat-footed 17

Base Attack/Grapple: +8/+7

Attack: "Johtaja", +1 thundering, bane (aquatic subtypes) ironwood trident +8 melee (1d8) (+10 versus aquatic types, 1d8 plus 2d6) OR +2 net +13 ranged (touch) (entangled)

Full Attack: "Johtaja", +1 thundering, bane (aquatic subtypes) ironwood trident +8/+3 melee (1d8) (+10/+5 versus aquatic types, 1d8 plus 2d6) OR +2 net +13/+7 ranged (touch) (entangled)

Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks: Spells

Special Qualities: Animal companion, immunity to sleep, low-light vision, nature sense, resist nature's lure, trackless step, wild empathy (+2), wild shape (4/day, tiny, large), woodland stride, +2 bonus to saves against enchantment and effects

Saves: Fort +8, Ref +4 (+2 with cat's grace), Will +11 (+2 with owl's wisdom) (all +1 with resistance)

Abilities: Str 8, Dex 12 (16 with cat's grace) , Con 12, Int 12, Wis 18 (22 with owl's wisdom), Cha 13

Skills: Concentration +11, Handle Animal +9, Heal +9 (+2 with owl's wisdom), Knowledge (nature) +13, Listen +16 (+2 with owl's wisdom), Ride +5 (+2 with cat's grace), Search +3, Spot +16 (+2 with owl's wisdom), Survival +9 (+11 above ground) (+2 with owl's wisdom), Swim +9

Jump  (+30 with jump)

Feats: Alertness, Blindfight, Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes

CR: 11

Treasure: "Johtaja", +1 thundering, bane (aquatic subtypes) ironwood trident, +2 net, ring of protection +3

Alignment: NE

Languages: Common, Elven, Sylvan

Spells Known: 0th level (6, save DC 14) flare, guidance*, guidance, guidance, resistance*, virtue*; 1st level (6, save DC 15) entangle, jump*, longstrider*, magic fang* (used on Vesihirmu), produce flame, produce flame; 2nd level (5, save DC 16) barkskin*, cat's grace*, chill metal, owl's wisdom*, summon swarm (a swarm of small toxic crabs which act in the same way as a spider swarm); 3rd level (5, save DC 17) dominate animal, meld into stone, protection from energy (electricity)*, protection from energy (fire)*, sleet storm, ; 4th level (4, save DC 18) cure serious wounds, ice storm, rusting grasp, spike stones*; 5th level (2, save DC 19) transmute mud to rock, transmute rock to mud ; 6th level (1, save DC 20) fire seeds*

All save DCs +2 with owl's wisdom in place

* = cast by the time the PCs enter the cavern

Valtamer Valtija (Pathfinder)

Valtamer Valtija (PF)  CR 11

Aquatic Elf, 11th-level Druid

XP 12,800

NE Medium humanoid (elf, aquatic)

Init +1; Senses low-light vision; Perception +16

 

DEFENSE

AC 18 (+2 more with cat's grace), touch 14 (+2 more with cat's grace), flat-footed 17 (ring of protection +3, +1 Dex (+2 more with cat's grace), +4 natural)

hp 60 (11d8+11)

Fort +8, Ref +4 (+2 with cat's grace), Will +11 (+2 with owl's wisdom) (all +1 with resistance) (+4 vs. fey spells and spell-like abilities)

Immune sleep; Resist cold 10

 

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares), swim 40 ft. (+10 ft. with longstrider)

Melee "Johtaja", +1 thundering bane (aquatic subtypes) ironwood trident +8/+3 (1d8)

Ranged +2 net +13/+8 (touch; entangled)

Space 5 ft; Reach 5 ft.

Special Attacks icicle, spells

 

STATISTICS

Str 8, Dex 12 (16 with cat's grace), Con 12, Int 12, Wis 18 (22 with owl's wisdom), Cha 13

Base Atk +8; CMB +7; CMD 18

Feats Alertness, Blindfight, Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes

Skills Concentration +11, Handle Animal +9, Heal +9 (+2 with owl's wisdom), Knowledge (nature) +13, , Perception +12 (+14 with owl’s wisdom), Ride +5 (+2 with cat's grace), Survival +9 (+11 above ground) (+2 with owl's wisdom), Swim +9

Special Qualities Animal companion, immunity to sleep, low-light vision, nature bond (Water domain), nature sense, resist nature's lure, trackless step, wild empathy (+2), wild shape (4/day, tiny, large), woodland stride, +2 bonus to saves against enchantment and effects

Treasure "Johtaja", +1 thundering, bane (aquatic subtypes) ironwood trident, +2 net, ring of protection +3

Languages Common, Elven, Sylvan

Spells Known: 0th level (6, save DC 14) flare, guidance*, guidance, guidance, resistance*, virtue*; 1st level (6, save DC 15) entangle, jump*, longstrider*, magic fang* (used on Vesihirmu), produce flame, produce flame; 2nd level (5, save DC 16) barkskin*, cat's grace*, chill metal, owl's wisdom*, summon swarm (a swarm of small toxic crabs which act in the same way as a spider swarm); 3rd level (5, save DC 17) dominate animal, meld into stone, protection from energy (electricity)*, protection from energy (fire)*, sleet storm, ; 4th level (4, save DC 18) cure serious wounds, ice storm, rusting grasp, spike stones*; 5th level (2, save DC 19) transmute mud to rock, transmute rock to mud ; 6th level (1, save DC 20) fire seeds*

All save DCs +2 with owl's wisdom in place

* = cast by the time the PCs enter the cavern

 

Icicle (Sp): As a standard action, you can fire an icicle from your finger, targeting any foe within 30 feet as a ranged touch attack. The icicle deals 1d6 points of cold damage + 1 point for every two cleric levels you possess. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Wisdom modifier.

Cold Resistance (Ex): At 6th level, you gain resist cold 10. This resistance increases to 20 at 12th level. At 20th level, you gain immunity to cold.

Kelp Guardian (3.5)

Kelp Guardian

Size/Type: Huge Plant (aquatic)

Hit Dice: 7d8+35 (66 hp)

Initiative: -1

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

Armour Class: 20 (-2 size, -1 Dex, +13 natural), touch 7, flat-footed 20

Base Attack/Grapple: +5/+22

Attack: Slam +12 melee (2d6+9)

Full Attack: 2 slams +12 melee (2d6+9)

Space/Reach: 15 ft./15 ft.

Special Attacks: Animate kelp, constrict 2d8+9, improved grab

Special Qualities: Damage reduction 10/slashing, low-light vision, immunity to fire, plant traits, vulnerability to cold

Saves: Fort +10, Ref +3, Will +5

Abilities: Str 29, Dex 8, Con 21, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 12

Skills: Diplomacy +3, Hide -9*, Intimidate +6, Knowledge (nature) +6, Listen +8, Sense Motive +8, Spot +8, Swim +14

Feats: Improved Sunder, Power Attack, Lightning Reflexes

Environment: Any aquatic

Organization: Solitary or blanket (4-7)

CR: 8

Treasure: None

Alignment: N

Languages: Aquan, Common

Advancement: 8-16 HD (Huge); 17-21 HD (Gargantuan)

Level Adjustment: +5

Spells Known: N/A

A kelp guardian's fronds are deep green or deep brown depending on how close to the surface of water it lives. A kelp guardian’s legs fit together when closed to look like the thick base of a seaweed mass, and a motionless kelp guardian is nearly indistinguishable from a seaweed column.

A kelp guardian is about 30-40 feet tall, with a "trunk" about 2 feet in diameter. It weighs about 4,500 pounds. These dimensions can alter in nutrient-rich waters, with kelp guardians growing to gargantuan size.

Kelp guardians can survive indefinitely so long as they are in contact with water, however small the amount. If they loose contact, they can survive for one hour per point of constitution, then die.

Kelp guardians speak their own language, plus Common and Aquan. Most also can manage a smattering of just about all other humanoid tongues—at least enough to warn creatures away from their kelp forests.

Combat

Kelp guardians prefer to watch potential foes carefully before attacking. They often lunge suddenly from cover to grab and constrict the ravagers of the seaweed forests. If sorely pressed, they animate kelp as reinforcement.

Animate Kelp (Sp)

A kelp guardian can animate kelp within 180 feet at will, controlling up to two huge patches at a time. It takes 1 full round for a normal kelp patch to uproot itself. Thereafter it moves at a speed of 10 feet and fights as a kelp guardian in all respects. Animated kelp loses its ability to move if the kelp guardian that animated it is incapacitated or moves out of range. The ability is otherwise similar to livekelp (caster level 12th). Animated kelp have the same immunity to fire and vulnerability to cold that a kelp guardian has.

*Kelp Guardians have a +16 racial bonus on Hide checks made in underwater areas containing kelp forests.

Kelp Guardian (Pathfinder)

Kelp Guardian (PF)     CR 8

XP 4,800

N Huge Plant (aquatic)

Init -1; Senses low-light vision; Perception +8

 

DEFENSE

AC 20, touch 7, flat-footed 20 (-2 size, -1 Dex, +13 natural)

hp 66 (7d8+35)

Fort +10, Ref +3, Will +5

DR 10/slashing; Immune fire, plant traits

Weaknesses cold

 

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares), swim 20 ft.

Melee 2 slams +12 (2d6+9)

Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.

Special Attacks Animate kelp, constrict 2d8+9, improved grab

 

STATISTICS

Str 29, Dex 8, Con 21, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 12

Base Atk 5; CMB +16; CMD 30

Feats Improved Sunder, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack

Skills Diplomacy +3, Hide -9*, Intimidate +6, Knowledge (nature) +6, Perception +8, Sense Motive +8, Swim +14

Special Qualities Damage reduction 10/slashing, low-light vision, immunity to fire, plant traits, vulnerability to cold

Languages Aquan, Common

A kelp guardian's fronds are deep green or deep brown depending on how close to the surface of water it lives. A kelp guardian’s legs fit together when closed to look like the thick base of a seaweed mass, and a motionless kelp guardian is nearly indistinguishable from a seaweed column.

A kelp guardian is about 30-40 feet tall, with a "trunk" about 2 feet in diameter. It weighs about 4,500 pounds. These dimensions can alter in nutrient-rich waters, with kelp guardians growing to gargantuan size.

Kelp guardians can survive indefinitely so long as they are in contact with water, however small the amount. If they loose contact, they can survive for one hour per point of constitution, then die.

Kelp guardians speak their own language, plus Common and Aquan. Most also can manage a smattering of just about all other humanoid tongues—at least enough to warn creatures away from their kelp forests.

Combat

Kelp guardians prefer to watch potential foes carefully before attacking. They often lunge suddenly from cover to grab and constrict the ravagers of the seaweed forests. If sorely pressed, they animate kelp as reinforcement.

Animate Kelp (Sp)

A kelp guardian can animate kelp within 180 feet at will, controlling up to two huge patches at a time. It takes 1 full round for a normal kelp patch to uproot itself. Thereafter it moves at a speed of 10 feet and fights as a kelp guardian in all respects. Animated kelp loses its ability to move if the kelp guardian that animated it is incapacitated or moves out of range. The ability is otherwise similar to livekelp (caster level 12th). Animated kelp have the same immunity to fire and vulnerability to cold that a kelp guardian has.

*Kelp Guardians have a +16 racial bonus on Hide checks made in underwater areas containing kelp forests.

A final set of 24 standard steps leads down from the second cavern to the third cavern. Here, the drop is about 15 feet in total, but that can't clearly be seen as murky water laps at the edge of the top step from this second cavern.

 

 

4C. The Third Cavern

This cavern is flooded, with the water covering all the steps into it. It is about 45 feet by 30 feet by 15 feet high.

Because of the unhallow spell cast at the top of the steps, which covers most of  this cavern and the previous one in its area of effect, Vesihirmu and the lacedons are at +1 to attack, +1 to save versus fear and have +14 hit points.

There used to be a wooden internal dock in this cavern, but it has been destroyed and turned into a crude alter by the cavern's new resident. Vesihirmu is a chuul that has grown to understand the ways of humanoids, mostly thanks to Valtamer Valtija, and has found itself able to take levels of cleric rather than just grow in the usual way. Vesihirmu has control of seven of the former cleaners and shapers, who have become lacedon - aquatic ghouls! The combination of death, eating parts of their former companions who became the toxic sludge creatures and the waste itself changed them.

Vesihirmu won't immediately go to help Valtamer Valtija but will respond to calls for assistance, after which it will expect an expensive reward. It is wary of Valtija's trident, "Johtaja", but covets it at the same time, and would willingly give up everything else in this area to escape with this trophy. If the worst happens and it has to bargain for its life, it will offer to batter the walls of stone down and ask to leave with just that one item.

The lacedons each still have their Guild heirloom token on them. However, they have been convinced to follow Vesihirmu (hence now NE) and fight to protect the chuul rather than have allegiance to Jyrkannelaki.

The exit archway to the sea at the far end of the cavern is blocked off by multiple wall of stone spells. The walls have been roughly shaped to look like a natural rock is blocking the pathway.

Vesihirmu (3.5)

Vesihirmu - Chuul, 2nd-level Cleric (3.5E)

Size/Type: Large Aberration (aquatic)

Hit Dice: 11d8+44 plus 2d8+8 (80 hp)

Initiative: +7

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

Armour Class: 22 (-1 size, +3 Dex, +10 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 19

Base Attack/Grapple: +9/+18

Attack: Claw +13 melee (2d6+5)  (to hit and damage both +1 with Valtija's magic fang)

Full Attack: 2 claws +13 melee (2d6+5) (to hit and damage both +1 with Valtija's magic fang)

Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks: Constrict 3d6+5, improved grab, paralytic tentacles, spells (Destruction and Water domains)

Special Qualities: Amphibious, darkvision 60 ft., immunity to poison, rebuke undead

Saves: Fort +10, Ref +8, Will +12

Abilities: Str 20, Dex 16, Con 18, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 5

Skills: Concentration +8, Hide +13, Listen +11, Spot +11, Swim +13

Feats: Alertness, Blindfight, Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes

CR: 9

Treasure: None

Alignment: NE

Languages: Common

Spells Known: 0th level (4, save DC 12) cure minor wounds, guidance, guidance, resistance; 1st level (3+1, save DC 13) bane, command, entropic shield, obscuring mist (D)

Destruction domain power: you gain the smite power, the supernatural ability to make a single melee attack with a +4 bonus on attack rolls and a bonus on damage rolls equal to your cleric level (if you hit). You must declare the smite before making the attack. This ability is usable once per day.

Water domain power: rebuke, command, or bolster water creatures as an evil cleric rebukes undead. Use these abilities a total number of times per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier. This granted power is a supernatural ability.

Vesihirmu will try to paralyse a PC and drag him or her underwater to drown them.

Lacedon (3.5)

Lacedon (7) (3.5E)

Size/Type: Medium undead (aquatic)

Hit Dice: 2d12 (13 hp)

Initiative: +2

Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares), swim 30 ft.

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

Base Attack/Grapple: +1/+2

Attack: Bite +2 melee (1d6+1 plus paralysis)

Full Attack: Bite +2 melee (1d6+1 plus paralysis) and 2 claws +0 melee (1d3 plus paralysis)

Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks: Ghoul fever, paralysis (DC 12 Fortitude or paralysed for 1d4+1 rounds)

Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., undead traits, +2 turn resistance

Saves: Fort +0, Ref +2, Will +5

Abilities: Str 13, Dex 15, Con 0, Int 13, Wis 14, Cha 12

Skills: Balance +6, Climb +6, Hide +6, Jump, +6, Move Silently +6, Spot +7, Use Rope +3

Feats: Multiattack

CR: 1

Treasure: Cleaners and Shapers Guild token, +1 to Climb, Jump and Use Rope

Alignment: NE

Languages: Common

Spells known: N/A

The lacedons will try to paralyse the PCs and then inflict them with ghoul fever or simply drown them for food.

Vesihirmu (Pathfinder)

Vesihirmu (PF)   CR 9

Chuul, 2nd-level Cleric

XP 6,400

NE Large Aberration (aquatic)

Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +11

 

DEFENSE

AC 22, touch 12, flat-footed 19 (-1 size, +3 Dex, +10 natural)

hp 80 (11d8+44 plus 2d8+8)

Fort +10, Ref +8, Will +12

Immune poison

 

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares), swim 20 ft.

Melee claw +13 melee (2d6+5; +1 to both attack roll and damage due to Valtija’s use of magic fang)

Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.

Special Attacks channel negative energy (1d6/1 per day/DC 8), constrict 3d6+5, destructive smite, icicle, improved grab, paralytic tentacles, spells (Destruction and Water domains)

 

STATISTICS

Str 20, Dex 16, Con 18, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 5

Base Atk +9; CMB 15; CMD 28

Feats Alertness, Blindfight, Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes

Skills Hide +13, Perception +11, Swim +13

Special Qualities Amphibious, darkvision 60 ft., immunity to poison,

Languages Common

Spells Known 0th level (4, save DC 12) cure minor wounds, guidance, guidance, resistance; 1st level (3+1, save DC 13) bane, command, entropic shield, obscuring mist (D)

Destruction domain power:

Destructive Smite (Su): You gain the destructive smite power: the supernatural ability to make a single melee attack with a morale bonus on damage rolls equal to 1/2 your cleric level (minimum 1). You must declare the destructive smite before making the attack. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Wisdom modifier.

Water domain power:

Icicle (Sp) As a standard action, you can fire an icicle from your finger, targeting any foe within 30 feet as a ranged touch attack. The icicle deals 1d6 points of cold damage + 1 point for every two cleric levels you possess. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Wisdom modifier.

Vesihirmu will try to paralyse a PC and drag him or her underwater to drown them.

Lacedon (Pathfinder)

Lacedon (Aquatic Ghoul) (7) (PF)       CR 1

XP 400

CE Medium undead (aquatic)

Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +7

 

DEFENSE

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

hp 13 (2d8+4)

Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +5

Defensive Abilities channel resistance +2

 

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft., swim 30 ft.

Melee bite +3 (1d6+1 plus disease and paralysis) and 2 claws +3 (1d6+1 plus paralysis)

Special Attacks paralysis (1d4+1 rounds, DC 13, elves are immune to this effect)

 

STATISTICS

Str 13, Dex 15, Con —, Int 13, Wis 14, Cha 14

Base Atk +1; CMB +2; CMD 14

Feats Weapon Finesse

Skills Acrobatics +4, Climb +6, Perception +7, Stealth +7, Swim +6

Languages Common

 

SPECIAL ABILITIES

 

Disease (Su)

Ghoul Fever: Bite—injury; save Fort DC 13; onset 1 day; frequency 1 day; effect 1d3 Con and 1d3 Dex damage; cure 2 consecutive saves. The save DC is Charisma-based.

A humanoid that dies of ghoul fever rises as a ghoul at the next midnight. A humanoid who becomes a ghoul in this way retains none of the abilities it possessed in life. It is not under the control of any other ghouls, but it hungers for the flesh of the living and behaves like a normal ghoul in all respects. A humanoid of 4 Hit Dice or more rises as a ghast.

The lacedons will try to paralyse the PCs and then inflict them with ghoul fever or simply drown them for food.

 

 

5. The Archway to the Sea

If the party approaches the archway from the outside, they find it has been blocked by multiple wall of stone spells to a thickness of about 12 inches - Valtamer Valtija has been busy. The walls have been roughly shaped to look like a natural rock is blocking the pathway. Depending on the tide, the waves beat against the wall and have destroyed the large wooden dock that was here, due to the change in direction of their energy that the wall has produced. If they break through the walls at low tide, the PCs will be deluged by the water on the other side of it and run the risk of being swept out to sea. Of course, careful PCs may well realise there is water on the other side when jets of it appear through the small holes and cracks they make initially in the wall.

If the PCs approach the archway from down the stairway, the archway is hidden because of the flooding of the third cavern area. If they are part of the team that is involved in the rebuilding of the stairway and internal dock once the creature that had taken over the caverns have been defeated, they will require specialist skills to ensure that people aren't swept out to sea when the walls are removed and the water flows back out to the sea. This is best done at high tide when the approach also is full of water.

More importantly, the PCs will have a mixed response from the families of the cleaners and shapers who were killed. Most will be grateful for the return of a loved one, whilst others will resent being shown what they had become and their condition once the PCs had dealt with them; it will be a difficult time for all concerned.

 

 

 

New Spell

 

Livekelp

Transmutaion

Level: Drd 6

Components: V, S

Casting Time: 10 minutes

Range: Touch

Target: Huge pile of kelp touched

Duration: 1 day/level (D)

Saving Throw: None

Spell Resistance: No

This spell turns large pile of kelp into a protector or guardian. The spell can be cast on only a single pile at a time; while livekelp is in effect, you can’t cast it again on another pile. The pile on which the spell is cast must be within 10 feet of your dwelling place, within a place sacred to you, or within 300 feet of something that you wish to guard or protect. It must always be within 300 feet of suitable water (fresh or salt).

Livekelp must be cast on a healthy, huge pile of kelp. A triggering phrase of up to one word per caster level is placed on the targeted kelp. The livekelp spell triggers the tree into animating as a kelp guardian.

If livekelp is dispelled, the kelp guardian reverts back to a pile of seaweed immediately, wherever it happens to be. If released by you, the kelp guardian tries to return to its original location before loosing its guardian form.

 

 

New Creature

 

Kelp Guardian

 

3.5E

Kelp Guardian

Size/Type: Huge Plant (aquatic)

Hit Dice: 7d8+35 (66 hp)

Initiative: -1

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

Armour Class: 20 (-2 size, -1 Dex, +13 natural), touch 7, flat-footed 20

Base Attack/Grapple: +5/+22

Attack: Slam +12 melee (2d6+9)

Full Attack: 2 slams +12 melee (2d6+9)

Space/Reach: 15 ft./15 ft.

Special Attacks: Animate kelp, constrict 2d8+9, improved grab

Special Qualities: Damage reduction 10/slashing, low-light vision, immunity to fire, plant traits, vulnerability to cold

Saves: Fort +10, Ref +3, Will +5

Abilities: Str 29, Dex 8, Con 21, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 12

Skills: Diplomacy +3, Hide -9*, Intimidate +6, Knowledge (nature) +6, Listen +8, Sense Motive +8, Spot +8, Swim +14

Feats: Improved Sunder, Power Attack, Lightning Reflexes

Environment: Any aquatic

Organization: Solitary or blanket (4-7)

CR: 8

Treasure: None

Alignment: N

Languages: Aquan, Common

Advancement: 8-16 HD (Huge); 17-21 HD (Gargantuan)

Level Adjustment: +5

Spells Known: N/A

A kelp guardian's fronds are deep green or deep brown depending on how close to the surface of water it lives. A kelp guardian’s legs fit together when closed to look like the thick base of a seaweed mass, and a motionless kelp guardian is nearly indistinguishable from a seaweed column.

A kelp guardian is about 30-40 feet tall, with a "trunk" about 2 feet in diameter. It weighs about 4,500 pounds. These dimensions can alter in nutrient-rich waters, with kelp guardians growing to gargantuan size.

Kelp guardians can survive indefinitely so long as they are in contact with water, however small the amount. If they loose contact, they can survive for one hour per point of constitution, then die.

Kelp guardians speak their own language, plus Common and Aquan. Most also can manage a smattering of just about all other humanoid tongues—at least enough to warn creatures away from their kelp forests.

Combat

Kelp guardians prefer to watch potential foes carefully before attacking. They often lunge suddenly from cover to grab and constrict the ravagers of the seaweed forests. If sorely pressed, they animate kelp as reinforcement.

Animate Kelp (Sp)

A kelp guardian can animate kelp within 180 feet at will, controlling up to two huge patches at a time. It takes 1 full round for a normal kelp patch to uproot itself. Thereafter it moves at a speed of 10 feet and fights as a kelp guardian in all respects. Animated kelp loses its ability to move if the kelp guardian that animated it is incapacitated or moves out of range. The ability is otherwise similar to livekelp (caster level 12th). Animated kelp have the same immunity to fire and vulnerability to cold that a kelp guardian has.

*Kelp Guardians have a +16 racial bonus on Hide checks made in underwater areas containing kelp forests.

 

Pathfinder

Kelp Guardian (PF)    CR 8

XP 4,800

N Huge Plant (aquatic)

Init -1; Senses low-light vision; Perception +8

 

DEFENSE

AC 20, touch 7, flat-footed 20 (-2 size, -1 Dex, +13 natural)

hp 66 (7d8+35)

Fort +10, Ref +3, Will +5

DR 10/slashing; Immune fire, plant traits

Weaknesses cold

 

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares), swim 20 ft.

Melee 2 slams +12 (2d6+9)

Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.

Special Attacks Animate kelp, constrict 2d8+9, improved grab

 

STATISTICS

Str 29, Dex 8, Con 21, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 12

Base Atk 5; CMB +16; CMD 30

Feats Improved Sunder, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack

Skills Diplomacy +3, Hide -9*, Intimidate +6, Knowledge (nature) +6, Perception +8, Sense Motive +8, Swim +14

Special Qualities Damage reduction 10/slashing, low-light vision, immunity to fire, plant traits, vulnerability to cold

Languages Aquan, Common

A kelp guardian's fronds are deep green or deep brown depending on how close to the surface of water it lives. A kelp guardian’s legs fit together when closed to look like the thick base of a seaweed mass, and a motionless kelp guardian is nearly indistinguishable from a seaweed column.

A kelp guardian is about 30-40 feet tall, with a "trunk" about 2 feet in diameter. It weighs about 4,500 pounds. These dimensions can alter in nutrient-rich waters, with kelp guardians growing to gargantuan size.

Kelp guardians can survive indefinitely so long as they are in contact with water, however small the amount. If they loose contact, they can survive for one hour per point of constitution, then die.

Kelp guardians speak their own language, plus Common and Aquan. Most also can manage a smattering of just about all other humanoid tongues—at least enough to warn creatures away from their kelp forests.

Combat

Kelp guardians prefer to watch potential foes carefully before attacking. They often lunge suddenly from cover to grab and constrict the ravagers of the seaweed forests. If sorely pressed, they animate kelp as reinforcement.

Animate Kelp (Sp)

A kelp guardian can animate kelp within 180 feet at will, controlling up to two huge patches at a time. It takes 1 full round for a normal kelp patch to uproot itself. Thereafter it moves at a speed of 10 feet and fights as a kelp guardian in all respects. Animated kelp loses its ability to move if the kelp guardian that animated it is incapacitated or moves out of range. The ability is otherwise similar to livekelp (caster level 12th). Animated kelp have the same immunity to fire and vulnerability to cold that a kelp guardian has.

*Kelp Guardians have a +16 racial bonus on Hide checks made in underwater areas containing kelp forests.