Loading...

Follow Elven Tower | Original RPG content and adventures on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

DON’T FORGET TO VISIT OUR MAP INDEX AND OUR PATREON FUNDING PAGE

About this Resource

This resource features the general description of an adventure location for RPG adventures or general inspiration. Not all releases are the same; some may include rules material for Dungeons and Dragons 5e but mechanics are left to a minimum.

These adventure ideas are appropriate for low to mid-level (Levels 1 to 10) adventur­ing parties. As the DM, you are free to change or modify any or all the information found here. NPC names and settlement names are the first you should consider changing to accommodate any homebrew-world lore.

When monsters are referenced, the creature’s name is noted in bold. Only creatures from the D&D5e Monster Manual are cited.

Background Lore

The connection which exists in between the material plane and the four elemental planes is the source of wonder and frustration to many scholars. For one thing, it is clear that none could exist without the connection and influence from the other planes. But, despite their best efforts, the secrets behind such closeness and how the planes interact still elude the most dedicated researchers. Perhaps it is a subject only beings with long lifespans such as elves and dragons can tinker with.

The delicate imbalances and contrasts between the planes create the most interesting phenomena. One such occurrence is the spontaneous appearance of a portal, a connection between the planes or the direct removal of a sentient being from one plane to another. The former is common, portals often appear unannounced and cause some beings to traverse the barrier of the planes unknowingly. The latter involves no portal; a creature simply vanishes from its place of residence and reappears in a different plane. This situation is exclusive to elemental creatures that somehow reappear in the material plane. Most of the time, the elemental creatures transported are not sentient and, thus, become part of whatever ecosystem they arrive to. In rarer instances, a sentient being finds itself in a foreign land with no way to return to their elemental homeland.

Such is the case of the pondering elemental. The pondering elemental is a stone/crystal elemental creature with a high level of intelligent thought. In its home plane, the pondering elemental fancied ancient books and even tried to learn magic with little success. It is curious by nature and finds that the richest treasure the world holds is the moment when a secret is revealed, or a book/story comes to an end.

It all came to an end when, one day, it woke up to a strange cave and a foreign taste in the air. It had been spontaneously transported to the material plane. This is something that was known to occur from time to time, but no one really plans for it since there is no way to predict it or prevent it.

It had to adapt and get close to the locals for help. Its name in the primordial tongue is so long that it is not worth trying to memorize and pronounce. Few creatures in the material plane would even be capable of making the right sounds, let alone remember the hundreds of syllables it has. So it renamed itself (the pondering elemental) to present a more practical term to people in the material plane.

The pondering elemental found a large vein of green and glowing crystal. It went from the bottom of the earth to the surface. It traveled through the crystal as if it were water and reached a cave very close to the surface. The pondering elemental held no prejudices or fears for the surface or the eternal sky above it, but it did not like them either. The crystal ended in a large chamber where people of humanoid origin used adamantine tools to cut pieces of green crystal from the fractal superstructure. The pondering elemental found their techniques and tools crude and savage but had no grudge against them. They were truly a primitive form of living. The pondering elemental thought about some stone tablets which described the lifestyle of the material plane humanoids. It recalled how some of them had lifespans under one-hundred years. Such time period was nothing but a breeze for an elemental being like it.

What happened next was unexpected. The pondering elemental emerged from the crystal wall to the surprise of a dozen miners. It asked for help to return to its home. The miners could not understand a thing because of the language barrier, but mostly out of fear. However, nothing but a moment later all miners calmed down in a moment and decided to help the just-arrived rock monster. The pondering elemental wondered what had made them change their minds but it was even more surprising when the humanoid miners appeared to understand its instruction.

The pondering elemental does not understand why this happens but this is caused by the green crystals in the cave. The crystals are attuned to the neural pathways and reacted to the elemental trying to convey an idea. This effect was not the elemental’s intention but it is also not clear to him that something special happened. The miners appear to understand primordial and have grown attached to it, even protective. The pondering elemental is not aggressive or evil in any way but it will protect itself with its formidable power. Its only intention is to find a way to open a portal back home. The humanoid miners do not appear to have any particular knowledge to achieve this goal but they are as helpful as they can.

The miners’ situation is the cause of local social unrest as a group of almost 20 workers go to work every day but have little to no productivity now. Even worse is the fact that they remain secretive about what is going on in the mine and refuse anyone else’s attempt to visit or audit their activities because the mine a dangerous location, they claim.

Area Descriptions
  1. Mine Entrance

The mine is located under an ancient construction. The stone construction is so old that barely a piece of the roof remains but it appears to have been a temple of sorts. Or a place of worship at least, since there is a nave and what appears to be a tabernacle. The basement of the structure features a hallway that continues west and connects to the mine. Stone tiles pave the way to the beginning of the cave but do not continue any further. Keen observers notice abandoned tools and equipment near all digging sites.

A pair of human miners (thug) guard this area. They first try to send any visitors back claiming that the mine is not safe for non-mining personnel. Any attempts to trespass cause them to attack with pickaxes. 

  1. Rails and Switching System

The rail system in the mine works but has yet to be extended to the basement of the surface temple. The two intersections in the rail system feature a single iron lever that switches the direction of the tracks. A few functioning mining carts still rest on the tracks unused. 

  1. Neural Link Fungi

The fungus that grows on the cave causes a state of mild euphoria when consumed. The miners often ate them for amusement. Unfortunately, the mushrooms psychoactive effects made them vulnerable to the neural link with the pondering elemental. If a person consumes a portion of this fungus, any saving throws made to avoid becoming charmed by the pondering elemental is made with disadvantage. 

  1. Animated Rocks

The pondering elemental practices magic with the rocks in this chamber. He is trying to create another one like itself with no success. The magic it uses is barely enough to animate the rocks in the chamber. The rocks move and can do things if ordered but have no sentience or thoughts on their own. The rocks attack any non-elemental creature that enters the room. 

  1. Pond of Sacrifice

The poor miners understand little of their own situation. It is not that they are robbed of the will but they cannot rationalize their own actions. In recent days, one of them came with the idea that they have become a new religion which worships the pondering elemental. Such is the attachment they feel for it that the idea made sense to all of them. Now they cut themselves once a day and drop a small quantity of blood into the natural pool in this chamber as a way to thank the elemental for its continued presence among them. 1d6 miners (thugs) are in this chamber at any given time. 

  1. Summoning Circle

This is the place where the pondering elemental tries to find a way to return to its home. It has instructed the miners that if they come in contact with a mage or priest, that they should steal their spellbook, which he has described. It the pondering elemental could come across an advanced spellbook with teleportation or summoning magic, it could potentially work its way into a working spell to return to the elemental plane of earth. 

  1. Grand Crystal Vein

Two sections of the mine railway end up here and it is obvious that this is the main digging site in the mine. There are plenty of idle tools and adamantine tipped machinery on the floor of this chamber. A party of adventurers mostly likely encounter the pondering elemental in this chamber along with 2d6 miners.

The pondering elemental will expect the gracious help of any visitors. Adventurers can only understand the elemental if they speak Primordial or if any of them failed the save and are charmed by it. The elemental is not evil but it will not negotiate with difficult visitors, it has much to do. Unfortunately, it cannot do much to release the mind-linked miners since it did not have control over that situation either.

Only the absence of the elemental from the material plane can release the miners. This can happen if the elemental dies in battle, or if the adventurers help it return to its plane somehow. 

  1. Elemental Lair

The pondering elemental can retreat to this lair inside the crystal vein and leave no way to follow it. It also comes here when it wants to think without the miners disturbing it. The adventurers can reach this chamber if they use the adamantine-tipped tools but they need to take care of the miners first.

General Features

Terrain. The rough packed-soil mine floor does not impede movement but some of the cave tunnels are too narrow for large-sized creatures.

Crystal Wall. The crystal vein in Area 7 is solid and very durable. Adamantine is the only material able to cut through the crystal walls. The pondering elemental can use its properties to cross this wall and leave no opening behind it.

Neural Link. The pondering elemental unknowingly channels the natural psychic properties of the green crystals to enslave humanoids. A person must make a successful DC 8 Intelligence saving throw upon entering Area 1 to avoid becoming charmed by the pondering elemental. A creature must roll again upon reaching Area 7, this save is made at DC 12. Anyone who makes a successful saving throw is immune to this effect for 24 hours.

Light. The green crystals produce a green-white light that illuminates Area 7 completely. The rest of the mines are in complete darkness.

Smells and Sounds. The air inside the mine carries a sterile smell to it. Walking around raises small quantities of fine dust. It is impossible to avoid breathing it. This fine dust does not pose an immediate health problem but it certainly reduces the lifespan of miners over the course of their lives.

 

279 The Pondering Elemental was first posted on July 14, 2019 at 4:26 pm.
©2017 "Elven Tower". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact me at admin@elventower.com
Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

DON’T FORGET TO VISIT OUR MAP INDEX AND OUR PATREON FUNDING PAGE

About this Resource

This resource features the general description of an adventure location for RPG adventures or general inspiration. Not all releases are the same; some may include rules material for Dungeons and Dragons 5e but mechanics are left to a minimum.

These adventure ideas are appropriate for low to mid-level (Levels 1 to 10) adventuring parties. As the DM, you are free to change or modify any or all the information found here. NPC names and settlement names are the first you should consider changing to accommodate any homebrew-world lore.

When monsters are referenced, the creature’s name is noted in bold. Only creatures from the D&D5e Monster Manual are cited.

Background Lore

Redbrick City makes honor to its name. It is located five-hundred feet from the ground, at the side of the Amber Mountain, named such due to its red-like dirt which covers it. Inhabitants of Redbrick City are so proud of their city that they also tend to wear clothes that match it. One of the main sources of business for Redbrick City is the exportation of building material and bricks. Pottery, masonry, and brickwork are the most common professions of the Redbrick City population. Ceramics and earthenware are very popular too, although these require, in some cases, more ability and creative touch.

The red roads, called this for evident reasons, are always filled with carts and wagons exporting goods and valuable items to other neighbor cities, villages, and even small settlements. They all make good use of Redbrick City products.

Like many big cities, Redbrick City has taken advantage of its strong exports. Previous rulers, ministers, and the like, have invested in the infrastructure of the place. Over the past two-hundred years, thoughtful and efficient leaders have built roads, raised imponent statues, set up plazas and squares, or erected important buildings. One of those improvements marked a real difference in the city; the sewer system.

Nowadays, big cities compare themselves via their wealth, size, military power, etc. But one main difference regarding their infrastructure lies in the fact of possessing a decent sewer system. Some efficient sewer systems consist of a way of recycling used water in the city by purifying or cleaning it, in order to make use of it again. An array of pipes and ducts are essential. All these connected to cisterns and devices that purify water for further use. Such a project took many years to be completed, but once the sewers infrastructure was ready, Redbrick City status grew a considerable way.

Being able to reuse water infused great speed in the city’s development. People were able to build fountains around statues. Bars and inns improved their service and allowed for more visitors to take baths on a daily basis. Washing clothes became an easy routine for almost everyone.

However, the enterprise of having a sewer system was not easy. Several years of mining and labor lay behind the underground lines and aqueducts. The first, and main level of the sewer holds several channels of water covering most of the city. They are parallel and perpendicular to each other, forming a woven net of filthy used water underground. But engineers, architects, and builders considered the area to be unsuitable for the cisterns, which handled the filtration of such water and made it usable again. Either due to space or the rooms’ temperatures, they opted to dig deeper and place the cistern filtration system below.

But surprise stroke all the people involved, for they had to excavate way more than expected. Right below the first layer of the sewers, they found an ancient abandoned two-level library. Laborers had neither the means nor the skill to know or investigate who could have built it. Rows and rows of shelves filled the place. It was centuries old. A civilization of humans living at the edge of the mountain hundreds of years ago erected their knowledge temple here. It was a hidden sect, for the place remained unknown for such a long time its books crumbled to pieces. Thousands of pages withered and broke down, taking their wisdom into decay with them.

Although the presence of this athenaeum was not expected, it actually made the digging easier. The place had already been built, therefore when the first set of stairs was made, it was not difficult to find the already-built second one, leading to the second story of the library, deeper underground. They dug deeper still, creating a fourth level to the sewers. They placed two huge cisterns and the filtration system on the center of the chamber and took care of the pipe connections and aqueducts in a small hallway to the south of them.

The person responsible for the sewers’ construction passed away about two-hundred years ago. Dan Bennet, a well-known minister, became a local hero when the project was at last done. His family kept ruling over the city afterward, and it is ten generations after when Borin Bennet, now the minister in place, found himself being the focus of citizens’ complaints. One day, people in the city began complaining about the water condition. It looked dirty, and it held a foul smell to it.

Cornered by the sewer problem, he felt very frustrated. He never had to worry about the sewers before. His father never did, neither his grandfather as far as he could recall. He felt scammed as if someone was trying to usurp his position and make him look bad. Borin was always proud of his history. He belonged to a wealthy family and felt content to take advantage of his status. When he came to power, he changed many things he considered wrong. He lowered the wages paid to most of the city workers. He raised taxes, he created new tax fees to pay, and he nullified benefits lower-class people had. The first thing that came to his mind regarding the new sewer problem, was the city engineers.

There are only a few engineers in Redbrick City, and the city has a series of maintenance workers who take care of the sewer system. Cleaning and maintenance are key for its right functioning. Borin Bennet has tried many times to fix this issue by telling the city’s employees to find the problem and solve it. Naturally, he does not move a finger himself.

Borin’s grievances became greater when the people he had sent told him they could not do anything about it. A guild of thieves had taken over the sewers’ facilities and would not let them do their job. Every time workers tried to enter the cistern system; they were confronted by thugs who threatened them. Borin did not know what to do. He did not have the build of a fighter, nor could he properly hold a dagger. But something he did have, was money. He has been trying to hire mercenaries who could take care of those filthy thieves since. He offers a decent pay of one-thousand gold pieces to anyone who can clean the sewers of this nuisance.

The hideout is operational 24/7. There are always members of the crew working on their next target, scheming and plotting, or simply waiting out for a while until things become less heated on the surface in the case they just did a heist. The thieves’ guild has actually been there for a while now. They take advantage of the many levels of the sewers for their own purposes. They plot and plan their scams underground in peace, well away from the law. Only a few members of the guild live here. Members who formerly lived in the streets, or those who were beggars, take advantage of the small rooms in the sewers that builders used when they worked there. So far, Rowan Sulek, the leader of the guild, has managed to deliver coups along with his men to steal jewelry from noble families, luxurious food from the Crimson Castle, the city’s most important structure, and even some magic items. Even though they are thieves, their philosophy is more like that of a justice fighter. They do pamper themselves with the stuff they would have never been able to acquire otherwise, but they also help the poor and the less blessed folk. They try to give to the poor, feed the hungry, shelter and recruit the homeless. The guild is composed of farmers, potters, and the like. Some others are city guards that were sick and tired of their lowly lives and let the guild buy their allegiance. Another important section of the crew is the whole bunch of sewer workers, including the engineers. All decided to work for the guild as well, looking to improve their quality of life. The whole guild consists of about fifty people. Less than half of them can wield weapons properly. Most of them are stewards, young teenagers used for errands, or women who trust the guild to improve their family’s position.

This explains why every time Borin sent “his people” to fix the sewers’ problem, they contented themselves by saying they were stopped, threatened, and could just not enter; the maintenance team and the thieves were working together. The thieves, in fact, caused the cistern problem. They messed with the cisterns and filtration system mechanism to stop the water from flowing. They knew Borin was going to freak out about this, and they also were aware of his incapability to do this himself.

The guild is not expecting to get money from this, nor to stop the city’s development. They had a problem of their own. For about two or three weeks, thieves have been fighting with unwanted visitors in their hideout. The first level of the library, which has to be crossed to get to Rowan’s quarters, now has a fissure on the western wall. Unconscious creatures with no real shape are going through it. These sticky, smelly puddings are very dangerous. They corrode everything they touch, attacking and trying to engulf anything that moves.

The guild’s men have tried several times to close the hole where they come from, distracting these amorphous beings, drawing their attention far from the fissure. However, every time they do so, more jelly monsters come out to defend their origin point. They have to be extra careful if they want to cross the first level of the library unnoticed. Clutched to the eastern wall, Rowan’s men are forced now to stay on the edge of the place, hiding behind shelves and then running to the next set of stairs. It has become a real trouble for Rowan has lost a couple of men to these monsters.

Rowan thought that he needed a different approach to solving his dilemma; he did not want to deal with it himself, but seeking the help of the law to aid him in the slaying of the jelly invaders would end his cover, and the city guards would find and arrest most of the guild members. So, his plan is to diminish Borin’s patience, knowing he’ll grow tired of the situation and fix it via his wealth. He knows sooner or later Borin is going to be forced into hiring some mercenaries or thugs in order to send them to the sewers. Rowan’s plans are to rehire these people himself. He wants to convince anyone whom Borin sends that it is more important to deal with the monsters than fixing the filtration system. He wants to keep his operations secret as well, but he explains so in a way that emphasizes the work he does for the community, which is, as per his words, steal the rich to give to the poor. In the case his plans go sour, his backup plan consists of blackmail. He hid the stairs that lead to the cistern level in the sewers. He does not have any intention to disclose this information unless he gets the help he is looking for.

Gloriana, her second in command, is not very comfortable with this whole plan. She considers Rowan went too far with his plan. Affecting every single citizen in Redbrick City is not something she feels proud of. She has spoken her mind several times but Rowan’s authority has prevailed so far, and the guild does as Rowan says.

Many people are grateful to Rowan. They see him as an example in life. Rowan has taught his people they have to fight for their rights, and for what is just. They are all conscious of the fact that they do steal from others, but the grudge they hold against the government, along with their negative sentiment towards its unfair rulers is stronger. Borin is their main antagonist. He is the one responsible for the poor living conditions they have had since the day he came to power.

Sewers Level

1-1. Sewers Tunnels

These halls cover most of the city. They represent a net of passageways that hold water that later travels to the cistern systems to be filtered. This hallway does not have a water channel in the middle and gives way to a series of small rooms which were left behind after the sewers were built.

The rest of the sewers complex is outside the scope of this module and left to the DM’s discretion.

1-2. Small Rooms

There are six small rooms in different sizes and shapes. At the beginning of the construction project, they were meant to function as the builders’ resting places. Three of these rooms have a small compartment at the end, which can be accessed through a wooden door.

1-3. Secret Room

One of the small rooms has a secret compartment hidden beneath the stone wall. Pressing one of the bricks causes a section of the wall to slide to the left and reveal a small cubicle. A passive Perception score of 16 or higher or a successful DC 16 Wisdom (Perception) check reveals the brick that has to be pushed. The value of the treasure is two-hundred gold pieces, divided in silverware, and silver and copper coins.

1-4. Stairs

This hallway has a locked door that leads to the first set of stairs. A successful DC 15 Strength (Athletics) check allows a character to open such door. All thieves have the key to this door. The middle-sized stairs go down fifty feet, leading to the northeast section of the floor below.

1-5. Shrine

Dugmaren Brightmantle is the dwarf deity of scholarship, discovery, and invention. This old shrine holds the statue of this dwarven god. It was built about two-hundred years ago. The majority of miners, workers, and crafters responsible for the creation of the sewer system were dwarves and thought the god suited their needs at the time. A successful DC 15 Strength (Athletics) check allows a character to open the double doors to the shrine. There is a hidden hole below the statue. A passive Perception score of 16 or higher or a successful DC 16 Wisdom (Perception) check reveals the hidden compartment at the feet of the statue. Inside it, there is a small pouch holding three small rubies worth fifty pieces of gold each.

First Library Level

2-1. Main Hall  

This grand chamber contains three center pillars which are the main frame of the structure. Rows of shelves with moldered books cover the place. There is a crack on the wall opposite the stairs leading here, to the west. It is too small for any character to go through. Tiny creatures could fit, although the small tunnel is pitch dark. Besides the wall breach, another fracture on the wall with no definite shape is littered with stones from the masonry. Two ochre jellies roam around the fissure. Messing with one of the ochre jellies draws the attention of the other. They are never more than fifty-feet apart from each other. Anyone who tries to cover or repair the fissure on the wall encounters two more gray oozes.

2-2. Library Rooms

The doors are locked. A successful DC 15 Strength (Athletics) check allows a character to open any of the two doors. The room to the south is empty. The one on the north side contains a very old, battered armor. A passive Perception score of 12 or higher or a successful DC 12 Wisdom (Perception) check reveals that the armor moves slightly. It is an animated armor. Thieves are aware of the presence of this moving armor. However, the day they found it, they thought it best to lock the door again and leave it unbothered.

2-3. Library Depository

A fissure in the wall has filled this place with rocks from the masonry. The room is otherwise empty. A successful DC 15 Strength (Athletics) check allows a character to open any of the doors of the depository. If adventurers take more than three days in the city without taking any action against the monsters, two ochre jellies appear in this room as well.

2-4. Rockslide

A fissure on the wall reveals that the structure of the complex is compromised. It is too small for anything to go through. However, if adventurers take more than three days in the city without taking any action against the monsters, two gray oozes appear in this room as well.

2-5. Stairs

The medium-sized spiral stairs plunge fifty feet deeper and lead to the second level of the library. The first half of the stairs shows clear signs of corrosive damage on the steps and walls. The acidic oozes have not managed to go down any further.

Second Library Level

3-1. Main Hall

The three pillars near the center of the chamber are the base for the ones on the upper level. There appears to be minor signs of wear and erosion in the bases of the pillars. However, A successful DC 18 Intelligence check reveals that the structure will not need any serious maintenance by at least a decade. This level of the library has not been touched by the acid creatures yet. If adventurers take too long to get into action, oozes from the upper level squish through the floor or cracks on the walls and land here.

3-2. Rowan’s Quarters

This is Rowan’s room. He does not actually sleep here but likes to spend time thinking and analyzing his next heist possibilities. The room has a couple of torches on sconces. It contains some of Rowan’s personal belongings such as books, clothes, some fancy perfumes, silk robes, and good quality..

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
About this Resource

This resource features the general description of an adventure location for RPG adventures or general inspiration. Not all releases are the same; some may include rules material for Dungeons and Dragons 5e but mechanics are left to a minimum.

These adventure ideas are appropriate for low to mid-level (Levels 1 to 10) adventuring parties. As the DM, you are free to change or modify any or all the information found here. NPC names and settlement names are the first you should consider changing to accommodate any homebrew-world lore.

When monsters are referenced, the creature’s name is noted in bold. Only creatures from the D&D5e Monster Manual are cited.

Background Lore

Sweetwater River is in the eastern side of the region. It goes all the way down to the Blue Sea and it is born in the north, deep in the mountains. The snow from the Mountains melts and gives life to a healthy stream that divides the earth. Sweetwater River runs swift as the wind, bringing nature to life in various cities, towns, and villages. Flora and fauna around Riverside are as vast as they could be; orchids, jasmines, angel’s trumpets, and amaranth fill the town streets and roads, while the river stream is full of algae, mosses, coontail, and waterweed. Fish are plentiful, making fishing one of the main occupations here. A considerable amount of the food that is consumed here comes from the river, leaving farms as a secondary, yet effective, method for gathering resources.

Riverside is encircled by a 15-feet-tall stone wall. It has four entrances, including a barbican in each of them. There are ten towers guarding the walls scattered around the perimeter. Accessing the towers is possible through the ramparts. One of the two bridges in the town is inside the walls. The second bridge is one of the entrances to the city, it leads to the northeast outskirts of town, where most farmers and laborers live.

People in Riverside and peaceful folk. They mind their own business and expect others to do so as well. Problems are not common here; the town is well guarded; its location is advantageous. There are villages and towns in every direction, making it really hard to raid the place without neighbor settlements noticing hostile forces approaching, and the people are kind and peaceful.

Although one day, disaster fell upon Riverside. It has been three weeks since the attack; Riverside had the moon festival celebration, as usual. Food, drink, music, and dancing filled the atmosphere while singing and laughing broke the night’s silence. But then, a mighty sound engulfed all the others, the horrendous screaming of someone being torn apart froze everyone’s hearts. A huge 9-feet-tall hairy beast, claws twice the size of a full-grown tiger, blood dripping fangs, and red demonic eyes had dismembered a farmer who tried to relieve himself some dozen meters away from the Temple of the Moon. The few able fighters present grabbed whatever weapon they could find and tried to kill the monster. No one expected this, so there was nobody well-prepared for a fight. Half a dozen men died before the beast fled. No one dared pursue it as it would have meant suicide. Sir Walton, wiping the blood from his robes, finished the day’s celebrations immediately. They took the injured to the town’s nursery, others removed the bodies and piled them for decent burials the day after. The next morning, he met with the town’s guards and assembled a search party They had little success. Even though they tracked it, they could not find the beast on the fortnight that followed.

Riverside became wary of the next full moon, as the townsfolk thought this would happen again on that day. Just a few days after the attack, farmers started complaining about dead livestock. Some cows, farm mules, and sheep died at night. Other animals disappeared. Rumors of demons, monsters, and werewolves filled the mouths of the everyday gossips. One thing was certain, the next full moon was not something Riverside looked forward to.

Sir Walton is waiting to get help from the region’s administration, but he knows bureaucracy can take weeks, sometimes months. He is hoping for the arrival of mercenaries, or brave adventurers who could help get rid of this monster. He is offering a considerable amount of gold, and to pay for the heroes’ time in town.

Area descriptions 
  1. Town Hall.

This is where Sir Walton Bolster spends his time. The trees in front of the building bring shadow to readers who like to spend part of their days there. The hall is always well lit and warm. There is no lobby inside, but there is a vast conference room with a pseudo-throne. Sir Bolster receives visitors and handles the town affairs in here.    

  1. Bull’s Pub.

Frank Sneijder is the owner of this place. He is a Gnome. He used to be a merchant who traveled around the region selling stuff. One day he had to stay in Riverside for about a week because he was stricken by strong flu. Riverside villagers treated him so well and he felt so welcome that he decided to use all the money he had to buy the town’s pub. He lives here with his dozen cats.

The pub’s name is in honor of the previous owner, Big Bob. A 7-feet-tall human, big as a bear and strong as a horse. Big Bob still has not decided what to do with his life now. He has been living off the pub’s sale for about two months, he is always drinking and having fun at the pub.    

  1. Guild Market.

The market is open every day. Merchants and ambulant food sellers are friendly and always happy to serve visitors or locals. The guild comprehends leatherworkers, craftsmen, fishermen, weavers, boat crafters, and bakers.

  1. The Wild Horse Inn.

Barbara runs the only inn in town. She opted to name it as such because she once had a horse who was as wild as the jungle. It was stronger than other horses, bigger, and had a pitch-black color. No one in town could ever tame the horse, not even Vance, from Vance Horses. Some people even started spreading the rumor that a demon lived inside the horse. One day Barbara decided to set the horse free, accepting the fact that she was never going to be able to control or ride it. Nobody knows of the horse since. Although there have been rumors of sightings of an enormous beast running amok at night, the majority of farmers do not think it is a horse.

  1. Temple of the Sun.

This religious building serves as a church for the people of Riverside. There are several shrines inside the temple to satisfy the different beliefs and deities that are worshiped. People are silent and respectful in here. There are no general gatherings or masses as to not disrespect anybody. People come and go, making their daily prayers and offerings. The town’s treasurer handles the funds and works on improvements and maintenance for the temple’s facilities.

  1. Temple of the Moon.

This temple serves as a community center. Every full moon, the villagers love to gather and meet here. They do not light any torches or lamps, letting the moonlight be the only source of illumination. They bask in the moonlight all night, singing, dancing, and thanking the Gods for another white moon and a month of life.

  1. Sir Walton Bolster Manor.

The major of Riverside decided to build his own house out of the city. He is a fan of horse-riding and a fisherman. When he is not busy working and handling the common folks’ issues, he spends his afternoons fishing and taking care of his horse, Apollon. Apollon is a splendid white beast, with gray spots decorating its skin and mane.

  1. Vance Horses.

The proud owner of the stables and horse master is Vance. The place is very popular throughout the region. Many people from all around the province and beyond have come here to meet Vance and see his high-quality horses.

  1. Riverside boats and fish shop.

Boat crafting is not only well paid in Riverside, but it is also an easy-to-manage business. It is sustainable enough considering the fact that boat crafters also rent their boats. They also have some boats of their own to practice fishing.

Important NPC’s

Sir Walton Bolster.

Town’s mayor and leader. Sir Walton is not originally from here. He comes from the capital and was knighted due to his noble ascendance. He has a stocky, stout body, somewhat obese. He has a baby-face and light, yellowish hair. Around his mid-fifties, Sir Walton prefers fishing and horseback-riding over fighting. Never a great fighter, he is on the lookout for a group of adventurers who can help him bring peace to Riverside again.

Frank Sneijder.

The Gnome who bought the pub from Big Bob. He is a thin-faced little fellow. He wears spectacles although he does not need them. He is a plain, pale Gnome with a thing for cats. His dozen cats live with him in the pub. Stray cats come and go as they please. Frank does not mind and actually foments the arrival of other felines to his pub.

Barbara. She is an old woman. She is scruffy and thin. But she has the grace and kindness of a grandmother. She pays a lot of attention to details and how she serves people. She sometimes exaggerates her manners and politeness, making visitors somewhat uncomfortable.

Vance.

He is usually busy, as his horses are popular regionwide. He is well-built, untidy-looking, and he has black long hair, worn in a ponytail. He has about ten employees in his charge. He does not own a horse himself, stating all the horses he has bred are his mounts. He loves animals.

Big Bob (Robert).

He is the previous owner of Bull’s Pub. Big Bob’s nickname is no irony. He is the tallest and biggest person in Riverside. After selling his pub to Frank, he went on vacations for about a month. He crossed the country and traveled to different towns and cities. On his way back to Riverside, his transport was ambushed by wild wolves. Half a dozen black and gray beasts attacked them. The wolf pack’s leader was fierce and considerably bigger than the rest of the wolves. At the time, he remembered stories of wargs his parents used to tell him as a child. He was never a fighter himself, but his size and strength allowed him to best even the strongest of soldiers. The guards’ armor protected them from the fangs and bites, but Big Bob got bitten on one arm. The Gods smiled on him that day because the few guards and himself were able to get rid of most of the wolves and save everyone.

He came back to Riverside, proud of his deeds and feeling like a hero. Little did Robert know he had just been bitten by a werewolf. Riverside held his usual Moon Festival on the next full moon after Big Bob’s return. And Big Bob, well, there was nothing he could do.

The last thing he remembers is waking up a few miles away from Riverside. Taste of blood in his mouth, and a sore body as if he had worked three full days with no rest. He washed and managed to get back to town unnoticed. Since then, he has been wandering at the pub, drinking and trying to forget what happened. He hopes this is just a bad dream, but deep inside he knows it was him. He is afraid of what might happen to him if the people knew, but he does not have anywhere else to go. Riverside is his home, and it is home to his friends.

If adventurers talk to him, he hides the truth unless he considers the newcomers have a way of helping him. Overall, he wants to avoid killing more people, but he also would not like to be murdered as a monster himself.

General features

Terrain.None of the town roads are paved. Although the main roads are well delimited and the ground is straight and firm.

Light. The wall is always well-lit at night. The outskirts of the city are darker as torches and braziers are present only inside the walls. Farmers usually wake up early, before sunrise, so the use of lamps is reduced to a minimum. By sunset, most of the agriculture life stops, and farmers go home and rest.

272 Riverside was first posted on June 18, 2019 at 5:43 pm.
©2017 "Elven Tower". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact me at admin@elventower.com
Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

DON’T FORGET TO VISIT OUR MAP INDEX AND OUR PATREON FUNDING PAGE!

This illustration and adventure were released exclusively for my paying subscribers at Patreon. Feel free to check out my Patreon site here. This happens a few times a month but I will keep on updating this website with awesome new content.

271 Jysdar’s Downfall (Patreon Exclusive) was first posted on June 18, 2019 at 5:40 pm.
©2017 "Elven Tower". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact me at admin@elventower.com
Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

DON’T FORGET TO VISIT OUR MAP INDEX AND OUR PATREON FUNDING PAGE

This illustration made a special appearance in the Return of the Lazy DM. Check it out here.

About this Resource

This resource features the general description of an adventure location for RPG adventures or general inspiration. Not all releases are the same; some may include rules material for Dungeons and Dragons 5e but mechanics are left to a minimum.

These adventure ideas are appropriate for low to mid-level (Levels 1 to 10) adventuring parties. As the DM, you are free to change or modify any or all the information found here. NPC names and settlement names are the first you should consider changing to accommodate any homebrew-world lore.

When monsters are referenced, the creature’s name is noted in bold. Only creatures from the D&D5e Monster Manual are cited.

Background Lore

Many great mages have the ability to travel through the planes. Traveling through different dimensions is no easy task. A failed attempt to do so might be the last thing a curious and ambitious mind remembers. Having enough skill and the right implements can make it possible. However, as the inhabitants of the material plane wish to travel out of it, the dwellers in other planes also look for ways to access the material plane.

Fiends and demons are always looking for ways to invade humans and the lesser races. When they do so, only a part of them gets through, leaving their demonic or fiendish essence in their home plane. The physical version of the creature can move like a normal occupant of the plane, with the exception of being reborn home if ever it gets killed. That is why demonic invasions are so dangerous, for no matter how many battles are won, the enemies’ forces do not diminish. To erase an evil extraplanar creature’s existence one must end its life in its plane of origin.

Fiend Lords, in their obsession with the material plane, tried different methods to exit their home plane. Some worked, but some others did not, and they brought some consequences. These somewhat failed rituals in the Nine Hells gave birth to a new kind of fiend: the rakshasa.

Bertrand Hillsummit lives deep in the marshes, in a tower. He’s known to be a magician, and near towns and villages know him well. He has helped with his magic and abilities to make land fertile and make crops grow twice as big as usual, causing the people around the marsh to be very fond of him.

Bertrand is, in reality, a rakshasa named Mandodari. A powerful an archmage. He is using his magic to disguise himself as a human mage, helping people and making friends as a cover. He is a fiend overall and his nature is to spread evil. His tower is his lair, and he has used it to perform evil rituals with the objective of bringing more devils to this plane.

He has managed to use his magic circle as a portal. He has been summoning devils to the material plane and then teleporting them around the world. He does not even care if those fiends kill many people or not, he just wants to unleash chaos and evil. Sometimes he binds a devil to his will, asking him to bring innocent children or women. These are the subjects he prefers for his torture chamber and his alchemy lab.

Area descriptions  First Floor
  1. Tower Lobby

Two big statues flank the small lobby. The statues are rakshasas. The statue on the left depicts an Ak’chazar, the one on the right is a Naztharune. Both are subraces of rakshasas. They are magic statues answering to Mandodari’s command. Whenever he says the word, both statues change their shape, becoming human. They do not fight or move away from their place. He does this to deceive visitors of his real identity.

A successful DC 20 Wisdom (Perception) check allows a character to notice the statues are not what they seem. The lobby is completed by a small hallway that leads to Area 2, divided by doors on each side of it.

  1. Main Hall

This is the hall where Bertrand receives visitors. Rakshasas enjoy wealth, and they usually opt for luxurious living. There is a throne, as in a royal castle, with two blue carpets flanking a royal carpet in the center. Two braziers stand on each side of the throne, bringing a warm atmosphere in the room. The hallway behind the throne room features a secret door to the east. This door leads to the secret part of the tower (Area 5), which has its own set of stairs.

  1. Kitchen

Although fiends do not need food to survive, Mandodari has a kitchen. It helps whenever he has guests. And a fiend won’t say no to human flesh, as they eat for a hobby.

  1. Music Room

Mandodari plays the piano. He often spends hours practicing. Fiends are charismatic and intelligent. It is no surprise that rakshasas, being among the most respected, powerful, and better-ranked fiends, have a weakness for music, art, and sophisticated hobbies. There is a secret door at the end of the room hidden behind a table, it gives way to the black pit that is used as a landfill.

  1. Torture Cells

Accessed by the secret door on the hallway behind Area 2, the two cells in this room are completed by a large wooden torture table. Four leather straps stained with blood give the table a dark appearance. There is a second smaller table on the side of the room with torture implements. The stairs go down to a small storage area with crates and covered furniture (not pictured).

Second Floor
  1. Armory

Two similar statues to the ones in Area 1 are here, they guard the entrance to Area 8. There is one larger humanoid statue in the middle of the room. This is a stone golem, created by Mandodari himself. He holds the control stone for the golem with him at all times. The golem attacks anyone not accompanied by Mandodari himself.           

  1. Living Room

This room is barely used by Mandodari. There are only a pair of round tables with a set of three chairs each. The real use for this room is the secret entrance which leads to Area 8. It can be used in case of emergencies, or to ambush unwanted visitors.

  1. Mandodari’s Room

A large bed fills the center of the room. A desk and a wooden table are across from one another, to the left and right of the bed. There are two secret doors to each side, one going to Area 7, and the other is the secret access to the third level.

Any creature other than Mandodari who steps on the brown carpet in the middle of the room activates a trap. Hidden crossbows attached to the walls and ceiling shoot bolts and the target must make a successful DC 18 Dexterity saving throw, taking 20 (4d10) piercing damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. Any creature hit by the bolts must make a successful DC 14 Constitution saving throw to avoid becoming poisoned. Activating this trap also causes the stone golem to wake up and attack all intruders (if it has not been alerted yet).   

Third Floor
  1. Torture Chamber

This torture chamber is complemented by an alchemy lab. Mandodari performs foul experiments with animals and prisoners. He ties his victims to the table and applies different doses of venoms and poisonous substances to analyze results. He sometimes does this just for fun. This floor has access to the black pit, which goes all the way down to the first floor. He disposes of all his garbage here. He throws bodies and tortured carcasses in here to rot.

  1. Magical Spa

As all rakshasas, Mandodari likes to pamper himself. He infused the foundations of the pool with heating magic and created a spa. He spends a couple of hours here each day to replenish his energies and relax. Two floor-to-ceiling mirrors decorate the spa. The one by the east wall is an illusion. A successful DC 20 Wisdom (Perception) check reveals the illusion and the hallway behind the mirror. This hallway leads to Area 11.

  1. Mandodari’s Vault

The archmage keeps magic items, gold, valuable art, and gems. He has stored around 20,000 gp in gold and precious items. All this can be found in the chests and the money bag on the floor. He also keeps here a couple of magic swords. (DM’s choice) 

Fourth Floor (Top of the Tower)
  1. Ritual Circle

The center of the room has a pentagram with arcane runes on it. Dark blood decorates the circle in the form of fiendish evil runes. Four braziers, one to each side of the pentagram, fill the circle’s edge. A dais is placed in front of the star’s south end, it holds a necromantic book which holds Mandodari’s evil rituals. Mandodari has been improving his rituals, and the sacrifices he does please the Fiend Lords. He is trying to find a way to open an everlasting portal to allow powerful fiends to trespass and Fiend Lords to plant their seed among mortals.

General features

Terrain. Although the tower is old and the stone shows cracks in its walls, the structure is strong and very clean. The first floor of the tower is warm, thanks to the burning braziers. The second floor is colder; the third floor even more. Entering the third floor causes an uneasy feeling due to all the cruel and inhumane experiments that have been held here. The top of the tower is the coldest place of all. The atmosphere is heavy, and evil is palpable.

Light. Magic torches on sconces light the whole tower. They all feature continual flame spells.

Secret Doors. A successful DC 20 Wisdom (Perception) check reveals any secret doors. Checks must be rolled individually every time a player desires to look for secret entrances or traps. the check result is limited to the room or area the player is in.

270 Mandodaris Tower was first posted on June 12, 2019 at 5:21 pm.
©2017 "Elven Tower". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact me at admin@elventower.com
Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
I’ve published a bundle of my Sharn Trilogy with a 33% discount if you haven’t had the chance to try it out. Find it Here.

The sharn Trilogy Bundle was first posted on June 12, 2019 at 4:42 pm.
©2017 "Elven Tower". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact me at admin@elventower.com
Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

DON’T FORGET TO VISIT OUR MAP INDEX AND OUR PATREON FUNDING PAGE

This illustration made a special appearance in the Return of the Lazy DM. Check it out here.

About this Resource

This resource features the general description of an adventure location for RPG adventures or general inspiration. Not all releases are the same; some may include rules material for Dungeons and Dragons 5e but mechanics are left to a minimum.

These adventure ideas are appropriate for low to mid-level (Levels 1 to 10) adventuring parties. As the DM, you are free to change or modify any or all the information found here. NPC names and settlement names are the first you should consider changing to accommodate any homebrew-world lore.

When monsters are referenced, the creature’s name is noted in bold. Only creatures from the D&D5e Monster Manual are cited.

Background Lore   

The Wilhelm family was one of the most popular families in Bolstoy, a city known for its wealthy entrepreneurs. The Wilhelm’s specialized in the manufacturing of precious stones. They worked with different providers and their business consist- ed in cutting, adapting, and creating jewelry. Wil- helm mansion is not the greatest mansions in the city, but it is as ostentous as any other. The family built a temple underneath it, its main purpose be- ing to keep the remains of loved ones who passed away. Wilhelm industries is still a very prosperous company, although the people responsible for this prosperity are not the Wilhelm’s anymore.

Bolstoy is larger than most cities, and it has a numerous population. Hence, when the Wilhelm family announced they would be selling their business and moving north, there were not many questions asked. But everything was just a façade, for Wilhelm’s removal was nothing but a manipulation ploy.

Like all big cities, Bolstoy has its criminal life as well. It had gangs, clans, cults, and crews. One of those cults is led by Genorq, a beholder. Genorq has many cultists at its command. He has acquired quite a mass of followers, they either fear or venerate him, but they all answer to his word. Some of these cultists are very apt fighters, and others are magic users.

A suggestion spell was all they needed to persuade the family into selling their mansion and business to German Norkish and leaving the city. Taking care of them afterward was easy. No ques tions would ever be asked.

German Norkish is the new owner and president of Wilhelm industries. He is, in reality, Genorq, the beholder. Genorq had been scheming his master plan for a long time, and as all beholders, he is never ill-prepared. He practiced for months until he managed to perform a new spell with his eye-stalks, polymorph. To the eyes of the cult, German is one of Genorq’s most valuable members. He has been running the jewelry business since the Wilhelm’s left. This works as the perfect cover for criminal operations, and a safe way to move money around and finance the cult.

Genorq has been using his new facilities and quarters to plan and scheme new ways to spread evil and chaos. So far, he is close to taking over the horse master’s business too. He is planning to use magic again and convince the breeder to quit the city and sell what he owns. This would represent a great advantage for Genorq and his crew. Having horses available at all times and being able to move greater distances in shorter periods of time would make the cult too powerful.

Area Descriptions     

Genorq and his crew do not inhabit the mansion as that would not help for their cover. They have a doz- en members playing the roles of Norkish employees and partners. Others dress as cleaning ladies or maintenance boys, all while spying their surroundings, in case they need to report anything. The temple underground the mansion function as Genorq’s headquarters. There is a cellar in the cor- ner of one of the mansion’s gardens. A secret door under the cellar leads to the main entrance of the temple.

1.- Main Lobby. – This area has a fountain in the center of the room. Four stone benches are placed around it. To each side of the room, the remains of broken statues of previous mansion owners remain on the floors.

2.- Underground Garden. – This garden is infused with magical sunlight. This allows plants and trees to grow as if they were in the surface. A couple of small ponds are scattered around the place. Genorq did not bother himself with adapting this room for something else as he actually likes the garden and some of his people share the task of taking care of it.

3.- Catacombs. – As many important families, even if they are not royalty, they care much for their family crest and reputation. Therefore, if money allows, they build catacombs, to keep the remains of previous family members untouched and sacred. There are many Wilhelm predecessors here, some are more important than others.

4.- Main Hall. – Ten long wooden benches fill most of the room. They are placed in two rows in front of the presbytery.

5.- Cultists Rooms. – This room contains mostly beds. Some small boxes and chests are around the room, containing clothes or the cultists’ personal belongings. The room has poor light and heavy humid sweat smell. The bed sheets are weary and scratched, resembling old rags.

6.- Cultist Bathroom. – Contrasting the poor conditions of the bedroom, the cultist restroom is somewhat better, considering there is a great number of people who pay a visit every day.

7.- Shrine. – Cultists have desecrated the once hallowed shrine. It is now a place for worshiping evil. Hundreds of eyes decorate the walls, painted with blood. Being in the room makes any visitor feel observed, as if stared at. It is an uneasy feeling which cultists enjoy, though. They come here for meditation and to perform dark prayers.

8.- Main Hall’s Warehouse. – Implements and tools for evil rituals are here. A table next to the right wall shares the room with two shelves. From chalices and knives to feathers and lizard claws, ritual ingredients fill the place with a heavy aura.

9.- Main Chamber. – This is German Norkish’s room. A grandiose bed with a large chest in front of it sit in the center. This room has its own bathroom. A successful DC 15 Wisdom (perception) check allows a character to notice a secret door behind the shelf facing the bed. This passage leads to Area 10.

10.- Secret Room. – This room can be accessed from either Area 9 or Area 12. This room contains the cult’s most valuable treasures. A successful DC 20 Wisdom (perception) check allows a character to notice a secret door, behind a wooden shelf. This passage leads to Area 11.

11.- Genorq Treasure Room. – This is the secret room of the secret room. Genorq’s intention is to keep his personal belongings far from enemy hands. He keeps gold rings and bracelets socketed with precious stones such as emeralds and amethysts. Silver crowns and tiaras, on top of piles of gold. Everything in a wooden chest, which is the only thing filling the room.

The chest has a secret compartment itself, hidden on the lid. A successful DC 20 Wisdom (percep- tion) check allows a character to notice the secret compartment. It contains Genorq’s diary, a small leather-covered book with a big eye drawn on it. There is a set of stairs in this room. They lead to an underground tunnel, it is Gernoq’s last resort to escape.

12.- Conference Room. – Cultists use this room to gather and talk among themselves, reserving the Main Hall (Area 4) for Genorq’s meetings and assemblies. A small improvised kitchen was adapted to one of the tables. A successful DC 15 Wisdom (perception) check allows a character to notice a secret passage under the kitchen’s table. This pas- sage leads to Area 10.

Important NPC’s    

Genorq. – A beholder who took over Wilhelm’s jewelry company by manipulating the family. He now controls the business with his crew. He poly- morphed himself into German Norkish, in honor to his own beholder name. He always assumes this form when dealing with the people in the city, and to deliver important messages to his crew. But he assumes his real form when he wants to have an important meeting at the Main Hall (Area 4), or intimidate his subjects. He has a diary hidden in Area 11, where he describes his life and exploits. Vanity got the best of him and he could not resist. He had to create evidence of his work. He sometimes asks one of his goons to read the diary for him when he wants to be proud of himself and feel praised. The diary is written in a third-person point of view, and having been redacted by Genorq himself, the small book describes everything he does in a godly manner, exaggerating detail over detail.

German Norkish. – Genorq’s false identity. German is very charismatic and clever. He knows how to do business well and runs operations smoothly. He is persuasive and assertive. The cultists do not suspect about German’s real identity. When Genorq presents himself in his real form, no one even notices German is not there, due to all the attention being drawn by the Beholder. And when German is speaking in Genorq’s behalf, cultists have no reason to distrust what he is saying as they know Genorq is too busy and important to waste time in stupid announcements. But Genorq does not care about having to work and dedicate time to his façade. He enjoys deceiving even his own goons and overall, he distrusts them. He wants to know everything, he looks to be aware of everything, he desires to see everything.

Encounter                                       

In the case Genorq is confronted by a group of adventurers, he will fight along his cultists, taking advantage of everything he can. Genorq prefers to draw his enemies to his lair, to have the battle in the Main Hall (Area 4).

  • One 7th level spell caster cultist.
  • 2-3 5th level spell caster cultists.
  • 3-4 cultist thugs.
  • Genorq, the beholder. (Replace its petrification ray with a polymorph ray)

269 Wilhelm’s Dungeon was first posted on June 11, 2019 at 6:54 pm.
©2017 "Elven Tower". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact me at admin@elventower.com
Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

DON’T FORGET TO VISIT OUR MAP INDEX AND OUR PATREON FUNDING PAGE

About this Resource

This resource features the general description of an adventure location for RPG adventures or general inspiration. Not all releases are the same; some may include rules material for Dungeons and Dragons 5e but mechanics are left to a minimum.

These adventure ideas are appropriate for low to mid-level (Levels 1 to 10) adventur­ing parties. As the DM, you are free to change or modify any or all the information found here. NPC names and settlement names are the first you should consider changing to accommodate any homebrew-world lore.

When monsters are referenced, the creature’s name is noted in bold. Only creatures from the D&D5e Monster Manual are cited.

Adventure Idea

A small orc band of thieves and brigands attacks and takes over an iron mind a few miles from the nearest town. The leader of this orc band is Tar’Duk. He is different from the rest of his brothers and sisters. His great grandfather was human but the rest of his ascendency are orcs. After three generations, he looks just like any other orc but he is one order of magnitude smarter than them.

Tar’Duk’s higher intelligence allowed him to rise ranks and become the leader of a band. His followers know he is very intelligent but it goes to a point where they think Tar’Duk is a prophet who can see the future. There is nothing further from the truth, Tar’Duk is only intelligent; his actions and commands often bring them to victory because he is not as impulsive or reckless as other orc war leaders.

When Tar’Duk first took over the iron mine. He knew they had to keep their position hidden, at least until they had the chance to build a wall. He then commanded the gnome in chief to explain to him the comings and goings of shipments from the mine. The gnome accepted under duress. Tar’Duk then kept the outgoing shipments going and no one seemed to bat an eye for almost a month. Now they have control of the area, a palisade wall, and gnome slaves. Tar’Duk is confident that with good luck, they may be accepted as the new owners of the mine.

Area Descriptions
  1. Wooden Gatehouse

The gatehouse is considerably taller than the rest of the wall. It is 15-feet-tall. An orc or two always man the gatehouse towers as they are the tallest structures in the camp. There is a war horn on each of the towers. When blown, the full camp rises to a rehearsed battle formation in a few minutes. The gatehouse doors can be closed off with two large wooden planks. In this configuration, only the use of fire or a siege weapon can bypass the doors. 

  1. Palisade Wall

The 10-feet-tall palisade and gatehouse are new features. The gnomes who originally owned the mine were overconfident and never placed any kind of protection. The orcs took over the mine, enslaved the gnomes and then built the wall to protect their position. It took them almost a month to finish. Other settlements had no way to know this had happened because the orcs kept outgoing shipments going for at least that long to avoid suspicion. A successful DC 14 Strength (Athletics) check allows a character to climb over the wall and land safely on the other side. 

  1. Fireplace Area

The orcs made a large bonfire in the center of the outer camp. They take turns and gather here to eat, share stories, and show off their accomplishments to the others. They keep the bonfire going most of the day and through the night. The impact of this and the construction of the palisade wall is apparent if any visitor approaches the mining camp from the west because a sizable section of the forest is dead. 

  1. Sparing Area

This particular orc clan takes great pride in their military and combat prowess. They enjoy training and sparing with each other. The sparing area is a medium-sized circular fenced area in front of Tar’Duk’s tent. The clan believes Tar’Duk to be the greatest fighter in the clan but there is one orc who can best him in single combat. Torgho is Tar’Duk’s second in command. Both of them train the rest of the clan but no one has ever seen them spar, even for fun. Both of them know that Torgho is far more proficient with the spear and the sword than Tar’Duk. But Torgho is content with his underling position. He does not wish to lead or be responsible for others. 

  1. Tar’Duk’s Tent

Tar’Duk has the largest tent. Inside, the floor is covered with a motley crew of carpets and rugs of different origins. Tar’Duk’s bed is where three bear rugs are together. There is a rectangular table with a large map on it. It depicts the general area around the mine. There are many pins on the map which signal the location of many resources or interesting targets for future raids.

There is a short table with two chairs where Tar’Duk plays a game similar to chess, next to the entrance. Tar’Duk often plays by himself because the only other two orcs he thought how to play are no match for him. 

  1. Soldier Tents

The orc tents are arranged in three lines but follow little to no order otherwise. As many as 3-4 orcs sleep in each tent every night. There Tare all kind of belongings around the tents and inside them. Most of them are souvenirs from past raids or gifts from loved ones back at the main orc colony. 

  1. Mine Storage

Seventeen gnomes still live, out of the twenty-eight they were when the orcs took over the mine. They are now slaves and must work the mines for long hours each day. A few of them are in a bad state, some are sick too. The orcs let them sleep in the chamber on the floor. The room features large quantities of iron ore. There are a few iron bars. However, since the orcs took over the mine, the smelter is not used as much as it should and most of the iron ore is in storage. 

  1. Forge and Smelter

Two large metallic and stone structures dominate the room, fiery flames come from openings in their fronts. The forge and the smelter the gnomes used to process iron ore and turn it into iron bars. Both machines are in dire need of cleaning and maintenance but the orcs ignore such things. The orcs in charge of the room are content with feeding the machines with coal or wood to keep them burning. There is only one orc who knows how to use the smelter and has produced a few iron bars of inferior quality than the ones in the storage room. The orcs, in their pride, refuse to let the gnome operate this room. They consider them inferior and leave them to work the mines. 

  1. Dining Area

A large wooden bench-table, six sleeping pads, and a roasting pig on the fire fill the room. This was a dining and gathering are for the gnomes when the owned the mine. The passage to the north-east leads to the mine proper. The orcs seldom go that way. Instead, they demand the gnomes to go. The gnomes have quotas for the quantity of iron ore and coal they are supposed to return with. When they do not, an orc is sure to lash them with a whip.

General Features

These are the general features of the orc camp by the mine. The mine belonged to a group of gnomes who are now prisoners.

Terrain. Rolling hills surround the camp, the withering color of the grass evidence of the approaching autumn. Squares which contain an object or a part of one are considered to be difficult terrain for the purposes of tactical movement.

Palisade. A wooden 10-feet-tall palisade wall surrounds the camp. There are seven wooden platforms as tall as the wall from where archers may defend the encampment. The only gate is a wooden frame structure that supports two large wooden doors.

Light. The outside of the camp is open to the elements, lighting conditions are dependent on the weather and the time of day. Inside the mine, the only light sources are the forge and smelter (Area 8), and the fireplace in Area 9.

Smells and Sounds. The banter and smell of tens of orcs is a dominant aspect of the area immediately outside the mine. The sound of clashing metal weapons from the sparing area is common throughout the day. Inside the mine, the steady clacking of hammers echoing from the forge dominates any other sounds.

268 Mine Camp Map was first posted on May 31, 2019 at 4:13 pm.
©2017 "Elven Tower". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact me at admin@elventower.com
Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

DON’T FORGET TO VISIT OUR MAP INDEX AND OUR PATREON FUNDING PAGE

About this Resource

This resource features the general description of an adventure location for RPG adventures or general inspiration. Not all releases are the same; some may include rules material for Dungeons and Dragons 5e but mechanics are left to a minimum.

These adventure ideas are appropriate for low to mid-level (Levels 1 to 10) adventur­ing parties. As the DM, you are free to change or modify any or all the information found here. NPC names and settlement names are the first you should consider changing to accommodate any homebrew-world lore.

When monsters are referenced, the creature’s name is noted in bold. Only creatures from the D&D5e Monster Manual are cited.

Background Lore

Every good fiend story starts the same way. Some fool who thinks too much of himself has the guts to perform a summoning spell, hoping to bind the creature to his will. More often than not, the fiend summoned is way stronger and cleverer than its summoner, taking advantage of this chance to stay in the material plane and spread evil.

Tylus´s fate is another example of this. Living in the city of Rockslanding, polymorphing and transforming magic have been very appreciated through time, for the area was first settled by humans, who did not have the cunning and skills of dwarves. Therefore, people built the city in the mountain’s edge and not under it. The city is known for its stone towers, churches, and castles.

Tylus always hated transformation magic. He considered it to be dull and stupid. He thought magic was meant to be powerful and stunning. He did not find passion in turning stone to dirt or vice versa. He preferred conjuration spells for he wanted to have power, to be respected and feared. One day, he felt ready to mingle with dark arts. He managed to get his hands on a summoning spell scroll, without even knowing what he would summon.

Not knowing much of the subject, and not reading carefully the magic runes of the scroll, he thought he was going to conjure a fire elemental. Tylus misinterpreted the spell’s words, not noticing the word fire referred to the fiery searing flames of the Nine Hells.

Locked in a cellar, he took the time to draw the magic circle and runes on the floor. He pronounced the words, convincing himself he was doing it right. Runes and magic circle started to glow as Tylus kept going with the spell. He knew he was going to succeed. He knew he was going to be famous and no magic user would dare defy him. He did not let his excitement disturb his concentration and finished the ritual. A portal opened and an overwhelming heat invaded the room. The terrible heat impeded Tylus from watching as dust and smoke arose as if stricken by a whirlwind.

Tylus’s confidence and ego grew, even more, when the portal closed and he could distinguish the result. A mesmerizing figure, with snow-white skin. Subtle and delicate details marked her tempting legs and shapely arms. Her enticing body filled with inviting symmetrical curves complemented the beauteous pair of breasts. An angelic face with fascinating eyes. All topped by fire-red beautiful hair. She looked at Tylus, serene and calm.

Tylus stood there, admiring and contemplating this woman. He had forgotten what he was doing and could not think anymore. One tiny part of his subconscious screamed at him to flee, to get as far away as he could from this woman. But the rest of him wanted to be with her, to know more about her. He desired her.

He could not move as he felt hypnotized, paralyzed. The woman took a step closer to him, and then another. He could not help but feel excited and afraid at the same time. He knew he wanted her, but somehow, he knew she meant danger. Their bodies were almost touching now. Tylus’s heart was pounding so hard he could hear it; he felt as if his chest was about to burst. He could not take his eyes away from hers, and he felt as if her stare burned him. And just when he felt he was about to fade out, she kissed him. All negative feelings vanished. He felt safe; nothing could harm him.

This is the last thing Tylus remembers. It was the last day people in Rockslanding heard about him too. He has been missing since. No one was very fond of him, though. The search parties did not last long and stopped looking for him.

Fiends are intelligent creatures, more than demons. Thus, contrary to their Abyss counterparts, fiends enjoy playing with their preys’ minds. They bask in their victim’s sorrow and despair and succubi are not any different.

She wanted more servants and followers so she thought of a way of having access to a constant flow of people. She first opted for a family. Taking the role of the wife and dominating the minds of the husband and their two young adult sons, she got to know the city more and learned about her surroundings. When she had enough information about the city, she took care of the family by deceiving everyone. She made all people who knew the family believe they were moving out of town for good. The family packed all their belongings and parted. Once they were far enough, away from unwanted eyes, she dispatched the family and consumed their souls.

She came back to the city to visit “Mountain View”, a famous inn in the city. Popular due to its great sunrises. The owner there is Wesbley Sneijderlin, a gnome. He manages the 4-story building. The gnome not resist the succubus charm either and fell under her spell.

It’s been about six moons since Wesbley ceased to exist. The succubus has taken his place polymorphing herself. She charms all travelers who sleep there. She makes them think they had the best time of their lives. This has caused the place to earn more popularity and prestige. What she wants are more potential victims. Any traveler who is just passing by works as prey.

Her modus operandi is as follows:

She identifies victims as any traveler or group of travelers that are not staying in the city for more than a week or two. This is so the citizens of Rockslanding, nor the victims, get to know each other.

She applies the same method as with the family half a year ago. Only this time she does not have to bluff about a change of residence. Once travelers end their stay the Mountain View, all she has to do is wait for them to be at the right spot for action. She flies through the night unseen, switching through the Ethereal and Material planes as she wishes. She ambushes travelers, enticing and alluring all who try to defy her.

If travelers discover Wesbley’s real identity before she ambushes them out of the city, she flees to the roof (Area 5) of the tower to confront her enemies. She does not assume her true form yet, taking advantage of the other travelers who defend the poor old Gnome from harm; the adventurers’ accusations are not enough to break the fiend’s charm over the others.

Area descriptions

1.- Main Lobby. – The front desk of the inn is nice and cozy. There is an ongoing heating spell on the building so it always is at the right temperature. It has a small storage room with boxes of sheets, ale barrels, and the like. The room also has a magical lift. It is programmed to work by the commands of numbers. The number said corresponds to the first (Area 1), second (Area 2), third (Area 3) and fourth floor (Area 4). The roof (Area 5) is accessed by the stairs on the fourth floor. 

2.- Second Floor. – This part of the tower has three rooms. Each identical to the others. A big bed, an armoire, one or two containers such as boxes or chests, and a small desk. The lift on this floor has a small hallway and the stairs go on to the next level.           

3.- Third Floor. – (Not shown in the picture) This level of the tower is similar to the last. There are three rooms as well on this level, but they are smaller than the others. There are meant for individual travelers who do not wish to share their bedroom with anyone. This level also has a kitchen. The lift on this level has a smaller hallway than the last level due to the organization of the rooms, and the set of stairs continue to the fourth floor. (Area 4) 

4.- Fourth Floor. – (Not shown in the picture) This level is reserved for the Wesbley’s room (which is now occupied by the succubus), and a pair of storage rooms. The lift on this room has more space between it and the doors of the storage rooms and the Master Bedroom. 

5.- Roof. – This part of the tower is only accessed by the stairs. The magical lift does not answer to commands above number four. If the adventurers meet the succubus here for confrontation, she fights as Wesbley, and she is defended by his friends and other clients who are there to witness what is going on.

Encounter 
  • Wesbley (succubus). She does not participate in the battle unless she has no more thralls to defend her. As Wesbley, she tries to cast Charm Spells to cause chaos on the battlefield. Once in her true form, she aims to kiss their victims. If this goes aloof, she casts planeshift to the Ethereal plane and flee.
  • Four to six human mercenary thugs who defend the poor owner of the place.
General features

 Terrain. The tower is built with huge blocks of stone finely shaped by transformation magic.

Doors. The wooden doors look new and clean; a fine varnish gives them a warm glow.

Light. The first three levels of the tower have chandeliers in the center. Torches on the walls light all of the rooms as well as the fourth floor. All of these are infused with a continual flame spell. The roof has no light sources and is subject to the time of day and weather conditions.

was first posted on May 27, 2019 at 3:24 pm.
©2017 "Elven Tower". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact me at admin@elventower.com
Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

DON’T FORGET TO VISIT OUR MAP INDEX AND OUR PATREON FUNDING PAGE

About this Resource

This resource features the general description of an adventure location for RPG adventures or general inspiration. Not all releases are the same; some may include rules material for Dungeons and Dragons 5e but mechanics are left to a minimum.

These adventure ideas are appropriate for low to mid-level (Levels 1 to 10) adventur­ing parties. As the DM, you are free to change or modify any or all the information found here. NPC names and settlement names are the first you should consider changing to accommodate any homebrew-world lore.

When monsters are referenced, the creature’s name is noted in bold. Only creatures from the D&D5e Monster Manual are cited.

Background Lore

 The existence of other planes is not what someone would call popular knowledge. One must have a certain level of education to understand their mere existence, and a savvy intellect if one is to comprehend how they work. Traveling through planes is even more complex and dangerous. It should not be a task taken lightly as not only the means of the travel are key to a safe trip; every minute spent on a plane that’s not your own is a big risk for the ill-prepared.

Many dangers and horrors await in the depths of other planes. From getting ambushed in the Shadowfell to facing evil beings in the Feywild. From fighting against the elements in the inner planes to bumping nose first into another traveler. This is where adventures might get perilous, for one thing is to face dwellers of a certain plane and another, to find a foreign creature with the power of traveling through planes.

Mind flayers are a great example of this. With their incredible mind powers, they are the last foe you would want to fight if it came to it. Illithids do not exit their lairs often, as their main goal is usually to protect the Elder Brain. However, it is a fact that mind flayers are often on the lookout for prey and potential slaves. They travel through the astral sea and when they do so, they ride a Nautiloid.

An enormous flying monstrous ship, shaped like a nautilus shell. Giant tentacles protruding from its front, and fins on its rear to help it steer. These silent predators roam through the worlds surfing the astral sea. A dozen mind flayers plus twice that much in slaves conform the usual crew of a Nautiloid. That is why stepping into one of these deadly vessels is pretty much the last event anyone will witness.

Thabrax, a powerful mind flayer leading his crew on the Nautiloid Xarrlar was sailing the astral sea when a group of Githyanki pirates intercepted the ship. Gith people are the only race illithids do fear; having enslaved the gith for many generations, they are familiar and aware of the mind powers illithids possess. Gith trained for generations, strengthening their minds to match those of the mind flayers. They succeeded and broke free from their enslavement. However, the hatred towards their former enslavers never stopped.

Githyanki did not think twice and aimed to destroy the Nautiloid. A brutal and merciless battle took place. Githyanki silverswords were too quick and their minds too sharp. In a quick and desperate escape maneuver, Thabrax locked himself in the hibernation chamber on the main deck while he programmed the Nautiloid to launch itself into the material plane. His plan succeeded, but there was no one alive to drive or control the ship’s course. Nautiloid Xarrlar drifted through the skies while descending erratically, making its collision imminent. The Nautiloid crashed in the mountains, causing a rockslide to block the access to the other levels of the ship.

The hibernation chamber where Thabrax was at the moment of the crash protected him from harm. However, the blow messed with the main controls and the chamber cannot be opened now. Thabrax, being a powerful mind flayer, managed his way out to consciousness, realizing the situation he was in. He tried communicating telepathically to any living being around. He tried to open the chamber using his thoughts. He tried teleporting himself but could not meet the somatic components of the spell. He tried everything he could but it was no use.

Thabrax lost the track of time. Roaming his own thoughts over and over, he started to taste the bitterness of his own frustration. Impatience grew to an unbearable point where his hunger for brains hurt. Thabrax was out of ideas. He was desperate, and the more he thought about it, the more it hurt. What a conundrum for a creature that lives to think. Thabrax’s thoughts became more and more violent and uncontrollable. Voices filled his mind, whispering, insulting, mocking… He unleashed the darkest side of his brain for this task and surrendered himself to the wickedest demonic anger and resentment.

One day a pair of human treasure hunters were exploring the mountains. After some hours they found the ship. They were filled with joy for having discovered something so strange. They were talking about how they would become rich when they noticed the hibernation chamber. They got closer to see what it was and gasped in fear when they saw the creature inside.

Thabrax could have tried to communicate with these humans. This could have been his opportunity to escape his terrible prison. But the illithid’s mind was sane no more. After so much time trapped, the only thing he could think of was the hate he felt for gith and the urge to destroy and kill them. He blasted one of the humans’ minds, killing him instantly. The other explorer ran for his life out of the tunnel they had come from.

 Thabrax did get out, but not the way he wished to. His body is still trapped in the hibernation chamber, as a simple cocoon. His thoughts, on the other hand, found a way of materializing themselves in the material plane. A big pile of flesh, guts, and bones engulfing one another over and over. A hundred sharped-teethed mouths and eyes, hungry for everything, snapping at their very own existence. Thabrax chased the explorer with his new physical form and ended his life.

Githyanki signed an act of small revenge in attacking Thabrax’s Nautiloid for this is what the great Thabrax was reduced to, a mockery of the great illithids minds. A bizarre, repugnant, abhorrent version of his brain is what dwells now in the caves around the Nautiloid.

Area descriptions

1.- Dwarven Shrine. This is what the explorers found first. They searched every corner of the place and found a tunnel that led to the Nautiloid. Blocks of stone mark the floor of this chamber. Eight pillars hold the ceiling 60 ft. above. The remains of a Moradin statue lie on the ground, covering part of the tunnel behind it.

2.- Narrow Tunnel. This tunnel is only 5-feet-wide and 75-feet-long. The tunnel is considered difficult terrain due to the stone pebbles, rocks and the irregularity of the floor. 

3.- Main Deck. This is the main bridge of the Nautiloid. A big pile of rocks covers access to the other levels of the ship. In the center, a strange device of clockwork and arcane purpose hints at the origin of the vessel. There are a couple of slave cells on the top right corner. 

4.- Hibernation Chamber. Used as a safe spot to protect from the arcane ravage of extraplanar traveling, it is usually reserved for the leader of the crew. 

5.- Main Controls. These are the controls of the ship. They control the frontal tentacles, steer the ship, or activate available weaponry. These also monitor for the Nautiloid’s conditions and trace its course. The ship is not operational and the controls glow and beep in alien patterns. Only an illithid can recognize that the logistic system is broken and the vessel needs years of repair to be operational once more.  

 6.- Caves Entrance. The caves are 10-feet-wide on average. A thick, gruesome slime is all over the floor. Adventurers who step in the cave start hearing the whispering of the gibbering mouther on Area 8. 

7.- Cave Tunnel. This tunnel may serve as a trap. If the adventurers head into this tunnel before going to Area 8, the gibbering mouther will try to trap them. The tunnel is dark and has some of the sticky slime. 

8.- Cave. This is the lair of the gibbering mouther. The room is dark and it feels humid. The chamber is empty except for some rocks. The slime on the tunnel is more present here. It smells foul and rotten as if piles of corpses had been there for days.

 General features

 Terrain. The Nautiloid is dirty and full of dust. Although the ship is not in great shape because of the crash, it is possible to notice how great the vessel was and admire it. The caves are dark and humid, filled with heavy air.

Doors. The entrances to the Nautiloid are not doors. They’re holes on the ship’s structure due to the blow.

Light. Some of the main controls of the Nautiloid still emit soft weak blue and red lights. However, there is no way to know what they might mean.

266 Crashed Nautiloid was first posted on May 23, 2019 at 9:51 pm.
©2017 "Elven Tower". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact me at admin@elventower.com
Read Full Article

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview