Type magic; Perception DC 29; Disable Device DC 29
EFFECTS Trigger location; Reset none Effect spell effect (confusion for 12 rounds, DC 19 Will negates; as spell but modified effect at roll 51-75: full move towards random direction)
The dragon Kallothrax has smartly utilized every available natural resource in this region of the Vast Swamp to create the bewilderment trap, a truly deadly element of the Mangrove Maze. This magical trap is often found at crucial intersections of the labyrinthine paths within his domain. Creatures affected by the bewilderment trap can easily split up from their comrades and follow separate paths to their doom. Boggards and denizens of the maze usually lurk nearby bewilderment traps to pick off wanderers one by one. [Submitted by Stefanos “netlich” Patelis!]
Type magic; Perception DC 28; Disable Device DC 28
EFFECTS Trigger location; Reset none Effect spell effect (strangling hair for 10 rounds, Atk +10, 1d6 bludgeoning and grappled condition; DC 20 CMB or Escape Artist check to escape); spell effect (curse of disgust, sickened by clothing [permanent], DC 15 Will negates; a greater restoration or atonement is required to remove the curse)
The wicked mudcage trap has been the doom of many an unwary adventurer, a device crafted by the vile impish minds of the Mud King’s demons. When a living being steps within the mudcage trap’s boundaries (usually a 5 ft. square, but larger triggers have been known to exist in order to trap more than one targets), the filth around them snaps upwards and forms into oozing walls that drip down in impressively strong strands that hold creatures long enough to meet a grisly end by fiendish claws. Bloodclaw demon hunters are extremely wary of any mud pools that appear to be at all unnatural and when a mudcage trap is found, rather than disabling the threat they use it to lure out any creatures that lurk nearby in search of prey.
The Vast Swamp is made of forested wetlands in southern Aventyr dotted with bogs, murky waters, and spindly mangrove trees. Only dirt paths and patches of dried land offer some safe passage to those who would brave the dangerous terrain, and many travelers use shallow rafts to easily traverse the waters that make up the bulk of region. The tumultuous history of the harsh territory goes back for numerous generations of its human barbarian denizens—the land was ruled by Tranak Blackscale, a cruel and powerful black dragon, for almost five hundred years. A brief century of respite for the revolting enslaved races came about after Blackscale’s death, but its children reared their heads and have since continued their progenitor’s legacy. For 70 years the dragons fought each other and conquered the lands anew before agreeing to split the Vast Swamp between themselves (though room enough was made for another powerful force of evil).
It is in the area belonging to the youngest of the dragons, the Muddy Mangroves, that the adventurers find themselves after emerging from the Amber Roads. The territory has become even more inhospitable than the rest of the swamp thanks to Trymgarx’ dealings with a powerful hezrou; its murky waters have grown darker and fouler, mud seeming to envelop everything (even climbing up the vegetation of the swamp). One can easily sense the devilish evil presence of the Mud King and its host throughout this realm, however, even if the encroaching filth escapes their eye.
Toad-like boggards, lizardmen, and hardy fiendish creatures fight for survival with the rugged Bloodclaw barbarian tribes that call the Muddy Mangroves home. These descendants of the original human settlers of the swamp have evolved into demon-hunters and are in a never ending struggle against the thralls of the Mud King [a tough specimen of these demons was presented in the last Statblock Sunday! -SP]. Unlucky adventurers and explorers may even fall prey to the nastiest specimens of one of Aventyr’s most pervasive types of monsters: bog trolls! These fell giants are far and away the most common enemies to be found in the Vast Swamp aside from the aforementioned threats, encounters with other humanoid races being less frequent.
In the rare instances travelers do cross paths, it is often with expeditions by the Black Gold Consortium journeying in customized rafts lit by wondrous black gold lamps. This shady merchant organization, based in the city of Cherrian’s Rest, is looking for ways to expand and capitulate on the treasured but volatile resource they discovered in the swamp: black gold sludge (oil). Of course those who do not seek the safety of solid ground or some sort of vessel are likely to find that even the more natural encounters within such a harsh place can prove deadly—leeches drain unwary adventurers if they tarry too long within the murky waters, while sinkholes often host a predator or two that consider the party fair play.
Bastion of Filth The most eye-striking feature of the Muddy Mangroves—for those unlucky enough to venture near it—is the lair of the Mud King. This complex of spires may indeed architecturally mimic similar Klavekian structures, but it is formed entirely by wet mud. Obviously powerful magic is at work in its maintenance, and the entirety of it is surrounded by mud monsters, mudlords, mud elementals, and common demons that patrol and protect the Mud King’s palace. Rumors claim that Trymgarx broods and plans his return as he is forced to serve as a plaything of the powerful hezrou, commonly found at the foot of the demon’s throne, but none can claim to have seen such a sight with their own eyes.
The Legend of Dragonbreath Mists As the story goes, a dragon seeking power beyond its grasp struck a bargain with beings beyond Aventyr; nefarious entities from a distant world that even dragons should fear. So hideous were the creatures, however, that even looking upon them could change and mutate those that caught sight of them. The great serpent seeking nefarious power used its breath to cover its domain in mists, magical vapors that altered and hid the appearance of beings within them. But the mists’ magic was further corrupted by the evil beings, transforming them so well that not even the dragon could tell friend from foe. By the time its sorcerous powers managed to diminish the magical effect of the corrupted breath it was too late, and the otherworldly entities had usurped its land and enslaved all within it. Whether the tale of the dragonbreath mist has any bearing on the truth of what’s happened between Trymgarx and the demonic Mud King who rules over the inhospitable land of murky waters and mud encrusted trees remains unknown, but something rings true in the qualities of the magical vapors. Many an adventuring party has run afoul of the mists that rise from the bogs and misjudged the nature of their adversaries because of it. The gases themselves have a supernatural quality akin to common illusions used by arcanists, a power that alters and hides the appearance of creatures seen within them.
Dragonbreath mists do not permeate the whole of the Muddy Mangroves, and there’s only a 30% percent chance when any encounter is rolled that it comes with a patch of the supernatural fog, though when a party camps in this region the chance rises to 50%. Rumor has it that a constant, perpetual shroud of dragonbreath mists in the southern part of the Muddy Mangroves hides an entrance to the feared Underworld swamp, the Dar’Spelun Slugmarsh, but few can corroborate it.
Dragonbreath Mist These magical vapors radiate faint illusion magic if perceived with detect magic. Discerning the type of a creature hidden within a patch of dragonbreath mist requires the observer to first succeed on a DC 15 Will save before attempting any Perception or Knowledge checks to identify it.
DESCRIPTION This eerie mask is carved from the dried and nearly mummified hollowed out head of a maculosfunglet.
A maculos mask’s leathery texture stretches to fit its wearer’s head, obscuring their features and covering everything but their main sensory organs (ears, nose, mouth and eyes for a humanoid being). After being worn for 1d4 hours, the wearer of a maculos mask starts to feel minute tendrils borrowing inside their skin as rhizomorphs slowly extend towards the creature’s glands.
The wearer of a maculos mask gains low-light vision, darkvision 90 ft., a +2 resistance bonus to saving throws against mind-affecting, paralysis, poison, polymorph, sleep and stunning effects. However, the wearer is automatically dazzled when exposed to bright light and takes a -2 penalty on saving throws against effects with the light descriptor.
Additionally, after wearing a maculos mask for 24 hours the wearer gains the toxic quality as long as it remains on their head. Poisonous rhizomorphs slowly grow throughout the wearer’s body and allow the creature to envenom a weapon they wield with toxic saliva or blood. Using blood requires the wearer to be injured for this ability to be used. The wearer can produce poison for a number of times per day equal to its Constitution modifier (minimum 1). Applying the venom in this way is a swift action.
Weakening Venom—Injury; save—Fort DC 10 + wearer’s hit dice + wearer’s Constitution modifier; frequency—1/round for 6 rounds; effect—1d2 Str; cure—1 save.
CONSTRUCTION Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, head of a maculosfunglet, gentle repose; Cost 11,500 gp
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