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Stealing Stones: Granite Grotto

granite grotto mapAfter finding the granite dust in lysyy the hat merchant’s storage cave, the PCs are led to the only area of Shlyappa where that type of stone can be found with any reliability: Granite Grotto. Fortunately there’s no traversing of the Amber Roads required, but it still takes the adventurers 1d4+4 hours of trekking through caves and tunnels to reach this area of the zwerc enclave.

Using the geomancy abilities of lysyy’s former paramour [A stonespeaker! Tomorrow’s Statblock Sunday! -MM], the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. have been transporting Shlyappa ore from a vein elsewhere in the demiplane and now the PCs have compromised the drop site! Unbeknownst to the other zwerc, the earth mage has hollowed out the three stone pillars here, spiriting away the magical rocks for clandestine transit back to Aventyr. Fortunately for the criminals, they’re prepared to leave and are only waiting on their leader to return—Doc is due to arrive any day now but with the party approaching, everyone has quickly prepared for a hasty exit through a secret tunnel in the southeast corner of the map. The nefarious smugglers don’t leave until they have to, however, and remain hidden inside the granite columns until the adventurers find them.

When the PCs reach Granite Grotto, read the following:

The trail leads to a cavern of a hue that gradually fades away from the ever present amber of Shlyappa, turning gray and gritty. Curiously the tracks go dead—what looks like the work of someone hastily spreading dirt about—but something about the three pillars of granite ahead seems off, though what exactly, you can’t be certain.

As soon as it became clear that they would need to hide both themselves and their contraband, ignis created numerous air holes in the granite columns to prevent her cohorts from suffocating (found with a DC 18 Perception check). PCs that make a DC 16 Survival check find the tracks of several people here, all of them fresh, and gain a +2 circumstance bonus to notice the air holes.

granite grottoignis had to work fast and the walls of the granite columns are less than an inch thick (supported by struts thicker stone) and can be broken through quickly (hardness 4, 8 hp); however, there’s a 20% chance any of the melee attacks against a granite column strikes a supporting strut instead of the wall (hardness 12, 30 hp). When the first wall is broken through, all of the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R. Hirelings bust out of their hiding spots and make for the secret door.

Each column has four P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R. Hirelings inside with two 20 lbs. chests filled with Shlyappa ore, though only the revealed criminals engage (and the last two in the secret tunnel stay back to hold the retreat). ignis stays long enough to be reduced to half hit points or until all three groups of her allies have escaped.

Finding the secret door requires a DC 35 Perception check and should the party travel down it, after 1 mile it loops back to a side corridor of a main thoroughfare in the network of tunnels that is Shlyappa (and meanwhile, the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. make their escape 1d4+1 minutes after the PCs are out of sight).

 

5E Rules

Finding the air holes in the granite columns requires a DC 13 Intelligence (Investigation) check.

Locating the recent tracks around the granite columns requires a DC 14 Wisdom (Survival) check and grants the PC a DC 14 Wisdom (Perception) check to notice the air holes; the PC makes this check with advantage.

A DC 24 Intelligence (Investigation) check detects the secret door on the southeast corner of the map.

 

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