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Lake Chonia & Grekian Ruins
An adventure location based in the Aventyr campaign setting but usable in any game system or setting.
Lake Chonia is an endoheric salt lake in the Chonian desert. Where the lake now resides, in an ancient impact crater, once stood the mighty city-state that anchored an empire. Today, the ruins of Grekia rise from the lake’s receding waters like a beacon to adventurers.
The city-state of Grekia was populated by great artisans and architects, poets and linguists, mages and sages, mathematicians and theologians. One day, a great rain came to the desert, a rain which lasted for 92 suns and 92 dark moons. It flowed through the mountains, the canyons, and eventually, even the dry desert filled with the gathering rains.
At the lowest point of the Chonian Desert, in an ancient elongated-graze impact crater, the water pooled, first a puddle, then a pond, and eventually, after weeks of deluge where “air became rare and water fell like rivers from the sky”, Lake Chonia, was formed. And under the natural force of these otherworldly rains, the great knowledge, culture, and peoples of Grekia, were lost. Some say, it was the will of the gods, but for what purpose or punishment, it is unknown.
Over the centuries, with ever-increasing warmer regional temperatures, Lake Chonia began to shrink in size.
Present-day Lake Chonia has mostly dried up and is a but a remnant of her former self.
With the receding waters, the Ruins of Grekia have begun to reveal themselves and their grand treasures, granting adventurers and explorers the chance to glimpse and thieve away whatever is left of the once-great civilization. Would-be-treasure-hunters beware! There are more than just treasures and knowledge-laced tomes hidden in these ruins, for there are ancient evils, undead spirits, and Grekian experiments which broke free after the fall of Grekia and now roam the underground ruins and deep waters.
Rocky Badlands & Scrub Plains
Traveling through the dry, rocky badlands and scrub plains around Lake Chonia is a dangerous task in and of itself. There are deadly creatures, horrifying monsters, and brazen bandits, and if those don’t kill a traveler, the lack of food and water will. In the rocky badlands near the mountains are additional hazards, including small rocky cliffs, canyons, deadfalls, and more. The majority of the scrub plains are relatively flat, although some geographical and humanoid-made hazards do exist.
Rocky Badlands & Scrub Plains theme music
Rocky Badlands & Scrub Plains sound effects
Hunger & Thirst
Drought and famine have struck former Chonia hard this year, due in part to the proximity of the Shard of the Sun (a fragment of the sun), circling the planet on a much tighter orbit. In addition, the cost to proxies of the gods to channel energy to this desolate area is too much and thus, once per week, a suitable spellcaster may only request a small amount of food and water.
Create Food and Water (within former Chonia)
Note: A spellcaster may only attempt this spell once per week whilst in this region.
CASTING TIME 1 Action
RANGE/AREA 30 ft
COMPONENTS V, S
You create 9 pounds of food (rations) and 9 gallons of water on the ground or in containers within range, enough to sustain one humanoid for 1 week or seven humanoids for 1 day. The food is bland but nourishing and can be kept, without spoiling, for a period of 14 days. The water is clean and doesn’t go bad.
Finding Natural Sources of Water
Water is scarce and difficult to find in Former Chonia. By roaming a 2d4+2 mile radius, for 1d2+1 days, and with a successful DC 20 Wisdom (Survival) check, one can find a spring to rehydrate and replenish waterskins. There are only four such springs to find in the natural desert valley framing Lake Chonia.
Food & Water Requirements
PCs need one pound of food per day
PCs can make food last longer by eating half as much, which counts as half a day without eating
PCs can go 3 + Constitution modifier days without food, after which doing a day without eating causes an automatic level of exhaustion
A normal day of eating resets the count of days without food to zero
PCs need one gallon of water per day, two if the weather is hot
PCs that drink only half the required amount must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or suffer a level of exhaustion each day
PCs that drink less than half automatically suffer a level of exhaustion
If the character already has one or more levels of exhaustion, the character takes two levels in either case
Some Special Abilities and environmental Hazards, such as starvation and the long-term Effects of freezing or scorching temperatures, can lead to a Special condition called exhaustion. Exhaustion is measured in six levels. An effect can give a creature one or more levels of exhaustion, as specified in the effect’s description.
Level / Effect
1 / Disadvantage on Ability Checks
2 / Speed halved
3 / Disadvantage on Attack rolls and Saving Throws
4 / Hit point maximum halved
5 / Speed reduced to 0
6 / Death
If an already exhausted creature suffers another effect that causes exhaustion, its current level of exhaustion increases by the amount specified in the effect’s description.
A creature suffers the effect of its current level of exhaustion as well as all lower levels. For example, a creature suffering level 2 exhaustion has its speed halved and has disadvantage on Ability Checks.
An effect that removes exhaustion reduces its level as specified in the effect’s description, with all exhaustion Effects ending if a creature’s exhaustion level is reduced below 1.
Finishing a Long Rest reduces a creature’s exhaustion level by 1, provided that the creature has also ingested some food and drink.
Random Encounter Table: Rocky Badlands of Former Chonia
Random Encounter Table
Rocky Badlands & Scrub Plains of Former Chonia
D&D 5th Edition, levels 1-4*
|01-14||2d4 vultures||Circle during the day and investigate the party and their equipment at night (1d2 items lost or 1d2 damage suffered per day/night) before they flee but continue to follow at a distance, harassing the adventurers.|
|15-24||3d4 Black Tooth Raiders (Chonian bandits)||There is a 45% chance these Chonian bandits are on riding horses. 50% chance one of the bandits wields a Chonian Longsword +1 (worth 750 gp).|
|25-34||1 scout (Chonian)||Watches the party for 1d100 minutes in fairly close proximity then withdraws to a distance of ¼ mile to watch for another 2d100 minutes then withdraws into Ogre Canyon.|
|35-44||4d4 kobolds||This group of kobolds only attack the party if they can get a jump on them. If not, they follow from a distance, waiting for a good opportunity to steal from, kill, or capture party members.|
|45-54||1 lamia||This lamia, named Swewolt, will attempt to convince the party he is here to assist them as a guide (Persuasion +5). Once he guides them to a cave (preferably on the second night of travel), he will attempt to surprise the group by attacking them while they sleep (and he keeps watch). He uses Intoxicating Touch on each member of the party, one-by-one, in an attempt to throw off their balance in combat.|
|55-64||1d3 half-ogres||Rexal, Dexal, and Mexal are half-ogre triplets who roam the desert, abandoned by their ogre parents now living in Ogre Canyon. If a 1 is rolled on number appearing, Rexal spots the party from afar and runs off, seeking his two twin brothers 30% chance to find Dexal or Mexal, 20% chance to find both.|
|65-74||Black Tooth Raider bandit captain and 4d6 bandits (Chonians)||Chonians who have fallen on hard times sometimes become raiders, taking anything they can from others in order to survive or help their families survive. Not all who raid are evil, many do this simply out of necessity to survive and 60% of this group are just such a type with 30% of those “on the fence” about this lifestyle, who can be convinced with a DC 14 Charisma (Persuasion) check to cease attacking the party.
If this succeeds, and the party shares some food or water, there’s even the chance these individuals may invite the characters to the makeshift Chonian village of K’Tarik just above Ogre Canyon. If this occurs, the bandit captain and other raiders turn on their friend(s), attempting to kill them to prevent the location of their village being revealed (especially since there is a major water source located there).
|75-79||1 ogre||This ogre hails from Ogre Canyon and has traveled out into the lowlands in search of food, it has tired of the flavor of hiding Chonians and roaming orcs, it wants something juicier, perhaps near Lake Chonia there will be fat prey.|
|80-84||1d6+3 gnolls||A band of warriors from a tribe known as De’We Welgo’ao-on which translates, in Klavekian, to the Dogs of the Wild or “Wild Dogs”. They frequently dare one another to do brazen things such as sneaking into a camp of sleeping humanoids and stealing all their weapons or setting tents on fire before fleeing and attacking with ranged weapons, taunting their prey to come out and into the night.|
|1d2 swarm of insects||These swarms pepper the area directly around Lake Chonia but sometimes work their way out to more remote regions, following the migration of overland mammals.|
|1d6+1 giant lizards||These lizards appear without warning, running fast and haphazardly across the rough terrain. They leap through the air to attack as they run, continuing on past the group then returning randomly to do similar attacks over the next 1d4+1 hours or until slain.|
|2d6 commoners and 2d4 riding horses (Chonians)||A group of Chonians are on their way to K’Tarik, a secret makeshift Chonian village built after the Baevonians decimated their forces in open combat on these very plains. With a successful DC 18 Charisma (Persuasion) check, the party can convince the Chonians to take them along. K’Tarik is near Ogre Canyon, a dangerous place, but with the Chonians leading, the group makes good time and may even make it there safely. According to the Chonians, the village has a source of fresh water.|
|97-98||1 mummy||Slow-moving and wandering the wastes, this mummy originated in a tomb built into the side of the nearby mountain range. A group of Chonian raiders disturbed the tomb and the mummy emerged, to the horror of the fleeing raiders. The mummy wanders, searching those who disturbed its slumber and killing anyone in its path.|
|99||Druid of Chonian Badlands||The Druid of the Chonian Badlands approaches the adventurers in hopes they will assist her in healing the lake via a quest for a wondrous magic item, a decanter of endless water. One is rumored to be on a dead explorer who perished deep in an orc cave in the mountains where hundreds or possibly thousands of orcs live and roam. The quest is very dangerous and she will do whatever she can to help make it a success including guiding them to Lake Chonia and even possibly accompanying them for a time.|
|00||Undead spirit (wight) from the Ruins of Grekia||This spirit is LN and is confused, thinking Grekia still exists. She will try and communicate in her language, reaching out to touch a character then accidentally causing Life Drain (1d6+2 Necrotic damage) to occur. It will continue to follow the group and touch them until slain.|
*For higher levels, or as needed, use the Desert Encounters tables in XGtE.
Location: Lake Chonia
With the lack of water, Lake Chonia has become the obvious destination for the majority of animals, monsters, and humanoids dwelling in this region. That also makes the lake a choice place for bandits and raiders to ambush travelers or would-be-treasure-hunters looking to delve into the Ruins of Grekia.
Lake Chonia theme music
Lake Chonia sound effects
Random Encounter Table: Lake Chonia (Shore & Underwater)
Random Encounter Table
Lake Chonia (Shore & Underwater)
D&D 5th Edition, levels 1-4*
|01-10||1d6 crocodiles||Hungry crocs surface, one at a time, to observe potential meals, waiting until someone wanders close to or into the water before they strike from the murky depths below.|
|11-20||1d4 giant toads||Preferring to emerge at night, these fat fellows leap from water to shore to snatch a meal and then back again to drag mammals (sometimes humanoids) underwater and drown them before they are consumed. If at night, a strange chorus of deep croaks sing some weaker-willed humanoids to sleep.|
|21-30||1 merfolk||A merfolk, who arrived here using a gate to the ocean, asks for the party’s help: Mini-Dungeon issue #5, use adventure Chaos & Corruption in the Briny Depths. The merfolk carries a small crystal as the gatekey to trigger the same portal the dragon eel Devnarinath seeks to use to return to the oceans of Aventyr (see last entry).|
|31-40||1d2 plesiosaurus||These mated large beasts roam the waters of Lake Chonia, brought here via the same gate as the great dragon eel, Devnarinath (see last entry). They hunt for prey below the waters and only surface to observe potential prey on the shore then submerge in wait.|
|41-50||1d6+1 sahaughin||A tribe of sahaughin live in the ruins beneath the waters of the lake. Those foolhardy enough to venture into the ruins will certainly encounter more of the tribe, now numbering well over 200. These scouts observe the party then report back to their base, bringing 1d4+1 additional sahaughin upon their return (if not spotted/stopped).|
|51-60||1 sea hags and 2 giant toads||A sea hag riding upon a giant toad with his sister not far behind, this wretched old woman, named Mayanonthorn Twellbanath, seeks to make a party member swoon and drag them under the water with her. She will approach the party, preferably at night, using Illusory Appearance to appear as a young woman, a spirit of Grekia who is lost and looking to return home. She says she is “the keeper of a great treasure, lost beneath the water” in an attempt to lure greedy fools into the lake. If that fails, she uses Horrific Appearance followed by Death Glare on a character before dragging them under the water and deep into the Ruins of Grekia where their heart, eyes, and pituitary gland are consumed by the witch, the remains given to her two giant toad allies.|
|61-70||1d4 swarms of quippers||These voracious fish swarm prey so rapidly, within a few minutes only gnawed bones are left floating in the water. A ring of protection is found in the belly of one of the fishes (3% chance to locate if fish are butchered, 55% chance if all are eaten).|
|71-80||1d6 bone crabs||The skulls of ancient Grekians are used as shells by these strange crabs who carry a disease known as the White Ghost Shivers. There is a 10% chance per round the crabs will use Hive Mind to call another 1d2 bone crabs which arrive in 1d4 rounds.|
|81-90||2d8+2 garroter crabs||These crabs like to rush attack a group using Whip-Claw to grapple their opponents. Sometimes other, larger enemies follow a cast of garroter crabs, waiting from afar for potential prey to be grappled before moving in to steal the kill.|
|91-95||1d4 glass gators||Glass gators like to hide, nearly invisible, just beneath the surface of the water, remaining motionless until unsuspecting prey either dips into the water or dives in which is when the gator strikes using Lunge or Standing Leap. If either fail, the glass gator uses Silt Cloud to hide, change location, and try again.|
|96-99||1 drowned maiden||Note: Deadly encounter for characters levels 1-4.
This woman was murdered long after the fall of Grekia, she was betrayed by her lover, and during a quarrel, attempted suicide, but her lover dragged her back to shore only to shove a dagger into her throat and toss her corpse to the crocodiles in Lake Chonia. The corpse was gnawed on a bit, but got caught in some debris and sunk under the Ruins of Grekia until it sprung to undeath and has been haunting these shores and waters ever since. The drowned maiden uses Reel to draw characters to her then uses Kiss, then attempts to pull them underwater.
|00||1 dragon eel||Note: Deadly encounter, certain death for characters levels 1-4.
The powerful dragon eel Devnarinath dwells in the deepest, darkest part of Lake Chonia. As the water of the lake continues to evaporate, the dragon eel has attempted the triggering of an ancient gateway, hidden deep underwater in the Ruins of Grekia, which leads to a location in the sea on Aventyr. Devnarinath got here via this gateway around 150 years ago and hasn’t cared to return until the lake started to shrink. If he can’t get the gateway to work, he waits for a storm where he can use Storm Glide to leave the area and head to the nearest source of stable water. Devnarinath kills anyone interfering with his quest to reactivate the gate. He may form a temporary alliance with someone offering to help (so long as they are truly sincere).
*For higher levels, or as needed, use the Desert and/or Underwater Encounters tables in XGtE.
Location: Ruins of Grekia
The Ruins of Grekia are 90% underwater, the small amount above water are mostly looted. Those who dive underwater or can subsist without oxygen for long periods of time may explore the full extent of the ruins, which are rumored to contain vast treasures including many priceless works of art, books and tablets with great amounts of lore, and the fabled Grekian Runestones which contain magic and were worn by nearly all who once lived here. Of course, there are also tales of powerful and dangerous beasts beneath these waters, some which have only been seen here, in Lake Chonia.
Grekian Ruins theme music
Grekian Ruins – swimming sound effect
Grekian Ruins – swimming underwater sound effect
Grekian Ruins – air bubbles underwater sound effect
Grekia Ruins Table
Event Table for Exploring Grekian Ruins in Lake Chonia.
D&D 5th Edition, levels 1-4*
Searching the Ruins: Characters must roll a successful DC 16 Wisdom (Perception) check followed by a successful DC 18 Intelligence (Investigation) check in order to discover something unique in the ruins. If these checks are both successful, roll on this table. Reroll duplicate results, create your own treasures if most of these have been used and the party still wants to explore. For every 1d4x10 minutes exploring the ruins there is a cumulative 10% chance of an encounter.
|1||An old book||Sopping wet but with some legible pages. This book helps linguists understand the connection between the Chonian and Baevonian tongues to ancient Grekian. Worth between 1,000-3,000 gp.|
|2||Piece of twisted metal||Designed by a great metal-smith and artisan, this supposed “piece of junk” is worth over 2,000 gp.|
|3||An exquisite painting||This magically preserved painting was created by K’Eixex, the famous Grekian impressionist who was an outcast of his time. The painting is of some of the buildings which are now ruins, with people outside, dining, dancing, laughing, and enjoying a vibrant, civilized, and artistic community. The painting is worth 1 gp in many parts of Aventyr but if sold to a select group of collectors in the Klavek Kingdom’s capital of Mohkba, one could make between 10,000-25,000 gp.|
|4||A magic orb||Swirling bits of debris wildly scrape at the inside of this glass orb. This is a storm, magically captured and sealed within the orb. If one breaks this, a massive windstorm will emerge and cover a 1d2+1 mile radius with winds increasing up to a sustained 50 MPH with 80-100 MPH gusts. Debris will become airborne, including sand and dust, making visibility minimal (eventually nil) and suffocating anyone caught out in the open for more than 1 hour. Worth between 10,000-20,000 gp to the right buyer.|
|5||A painters’ set complete with small containers of paint and brushes||Worth between 10-50 gp locally and 1,000-2,500 to collectors in Mohkba, Klavek Kingdom (see entry 3, above).|
|6||Circular stone with an engraved rune||A fabled Grekian Runestone has been found! Roll on the Rune Table.
|7||A set of four unique platinum horseshoes||This set of platinum, rune-covered horseshoes are indestructible, never need to be changed, and don’t bother the horse at all when applied/removed by a professional farrier. These magical horseshoes increase a horse’s movement by 20 ft. per round and also amplify endurance and speed allowing a horse to travel at .5x the standard rate in overland movement. Worth 5,000-10,000 gp.|
|8||A mathematical device||A series of strange instruments that rely on water to operate and measure numbers in drops of water, this device can help anyone attempting complex equations figure them out in half the time. This device is worth 1d4x1000 gp.|
|9||A strange gemstone with little lights inside||This gemstone contains motes of three Grekian’s souls. The souls were captured prior to them returning to the realm of the gods. This power was once utilized to grant inspiration to artists or creators and can be burned off one at a time by applying the gem to one’s forehead after which one may attempt to create something gaining advantage and also making the creation x5 times as fast or x5 the amount (with GM’s discretion). Worth 500 gp or 15,000 to someone who knows what this truly is.|
|10||A book of scientific theories||Whenever someone reads this book there is a 5% cumulative chance one will learn something unique about the world and its properties that very few people actually know. Worth 1,000 gp.|
|11||A pair of metal ears||These ears slip over human-sized ears and allow an individual to comprehend any language for 1d4x10 minutes per day with absolute clarity and understanding. They do not allow one to speak the language. Worth 1,000-2,000 gp.|
|12||Circular stone with an engraved rune||A fabled Grekian Runestone has been found! Roll on the Rune Table.
Grekian Runestone Table
Whenever one of the Grekian’s fabled Runestones are found, roll on this table.
All Grekian Runestones attune to their users immediately and cannot be removed by any known means (sans death).
Limited Lifespan: Have a player roll d% dice upon picking up a Runestone (reroll anything 90+). The percentage rolled becomes the percentage chance it will work once per day although the user may not control how or when the stone is activated. The magic in these ancient stones is slowly fading and every year which passes reduces the chance it will work per day by another 10% until it won’t work at all and the glow, and magic, fades.
|1d10||Rune Name||Color of Glow||Effects|
|1||Kek’yar||Yellow||As if the heat of the afternoon sun itself was captured, this increases one’s overall body temperature by 1d4 degrees F for 1d4 hours. In current conditions, this will overheat the individual but in a colder clime, will prove very useful.|
|2||Eiu||Green||Each step causes plants to grow or existing vegetation to grow even larger x2 per minute. This works on animated plants as well. Works for 2d4x2 minutes.|
|3||Tol’lano||Blue||Heals 1d8+4 hp when wounded, activates only when injured.|
|4||Cho’qu||Voilet||Enhances spellcasting ability granting one additional 1st level spell at levels 1-5 and a 3rd level spell as well between levels 6-10.|
|5||Pa’tanis||Red||Works as if using a Potion of Heroism for 1d4x10 minutes.|
|6||Mek’Won||Orange||The user becomes glib of tongue and makes all Charisma (Persuasion), (Deception), and (Intimidation) checks with advantage for 3d20+10 minutes.|
|7||Iu’Vardis||Blue-Green||Transforms the user into a twig blight for 3d10 minutes. The character can still walk about and speak and converse with others but makes all attacks and checks as if a twig blight.|
|8||Noh’Tal||Red-Violet||Transforms the user into an ahooling for 1d4x10 minutes. Ability scores, class, alignment, equipment, etc are all identical to their character.|
|9||Re’Ma’So||Yellow-Orange||Casts Lesser Restoration on the user.|
|10||Pet’Wayden||Yellow-Green||Calls down a ray from the sun for 1d4 rounds, the user must concentrate to focus the ray, causing 1d6+2 radiant damage to a single enemy per round, no save.|
We were able to coax enough rations from the owner of the Inn to last us several days, but even without Rizri’s ability to forage, we should be able to hunt down that bone merchant before we choke down the last dry biscuit.
This land is worse than the reports said. Something tells me Captain Bohacz knew the reports were outdated. Why else would he send such a pack of misfits to hunt down someone like this. Likely he didn’t think any of us would survive. The land is so dry and hot, he might end up right. Even the scrub is thin and cracking. The only animal tracks Rizri can find are taking us to the large lake we spotted when we crested the rise yesterday. It looks like it’s been drying up for a few years. There are some ruins set around it and poking up out of the water. If that’s the only water source, that’s where the game’ll be, where the people around here will likely congregate, and then you’ll get the bandits. And worse. I hope Stok sobers up soon.
Author Jonathan G. Nelson
Cartographer Jared Blando
Digital Cartographer TPK3D
Markum’s Journal Tim Hibbits
Music Kevin MacLeod
Music from https://filmmusic.io
by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)