Greed – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Rael – Lvl 6 Thief/Werewolf
Vlad Draculastein – Lvl 4 Dampyr
Tarvinir – Lvl 5 Magic User
Arongoth of Hogendaus – Lvl 6 Cleric/Vegetable
Tysis – Lvl 5 Fighter (Welcome)
Ritzy – Lvl 5 Homanculus
118 EXP/5.5 players = 21 EXP apiece
This session saw the party trekking into the hills to an isolated, abandoned stone quarry, where a hidden cleft in the wall concealed the entry to the Lamented Redoubt of the Occluded College. They got in through the doorway and ran into some resistance from some wood golems when they entered the library. And that's where the session wrapped up.
For this adventure I used a Dyson Logo map titled "Duke Phillip's Hold" that I found in Dyson's Delves, Volume II.
I took this map and inverted it 180º. Here's the key, although I'm afraid you're gonna have to guess the rooms because I'm still not sure it's cool to post Dyson's maps when they aren't his free and clear Patreon supported ones. On the first level, rooms 5-8 are to the east from the big room with the pillars, 9 is across from the curved stairway that leads down to rooms 11-13 to the west. Room 10 is the northernmost room with the spiral staircase. On the second level, room 1 is the room with the staircase, room 2 is directly south, and then the numbers proceed clockwise around the center.
I think I can, however, get away with putting up the three segments I used for the treasure maps from the library. Here they are:
The Lamented Redoubt of the Occluded College:
1: Entry Hall: A Lectern with a sign in book occupies the E wall. A tilted shelf runs across the W wall, with several heavy tomes laying upon them. In the center, beneath one of the books, is a Symbol of Pain that will activate if the book is picked up. (Inflicts intense pain for 2d10 turns, -4 to hit, -2 to Dex)
2: A figure in a hooded robe sits at a dust choked desk, scribbling with a cobwebbed quill on a length of un-spotted parchment with a skeletal hand. It will whisper “Present your credentials.” Anything other than the sign of the Occluded College will cause it to attack, its etherial form boiling out of the body and leaving it limp in the chair. (HD: 4, HP: 22, AC: 3, Touch: 1d6 + Level Drain, Sv: F4, Undead immunes, etherial 1/2 dmg from silver, Mv: 120(40) Fly: 240(80), Morale 12). The desk contains a locks strongbox with 3 sacks full of 1000 gp apiece. The dead body wears a pair of Boots of Levitation. There is a Scroll of Warding Vs. Lycanthropes among the papers on the desk, and a pair of fine +1 Swords hang crossed on the wall behind a tin shield bearing the Occluded Eye.
3: A wall full of moldering bookshelves lines the E wall behind four columns. Standing in an alcove within each of the columns are the four wooden figures of scholarly mages, more ravaged by dry rot and worms the further N you go. (HD: 2+2, HP: 13, 12, 7, 5, AC: 7, 1d8 dmg, SV: F1, Move 120(40), Ml: 12, -1 to Init, -2 save vs. fire, add +1 to fire damage) These are wood golems, who will attack if you approach the books. The books themselves are all moldy and heavily damaged by time and the environment. There is a 5 in 20 chance per turn spent studying that an answer to a research question might be found. There’s a Scroll of Warding vs Undead and 3 treasure maps hidden among the books that will be turned up on a 1 in 20 per turn spent searching. (Treasures: Room 1:2, Room 1:11, and Room 2:2) There’s a skull on the shelf in the NE corner that if turned will activate a secret door leading to 5.
4: A large marble chess board occupies the center of the room, with chess pieces of ebony and ivory measuring up to a man’s knee. If any of the pieces are moved, the board will magically teleport its side’s pieces to play. Both sides get 16 hp, Roll under Int to hit, dmg 1d4, 20-Wis = AC. There’s a lever in the wall over a row of half rotted seats with a settings for Novice: AC: 8, 10- to hit, Intermediate: AC: 4, 12- to hit, Advanced: AC: 2, 14- to hit, Master: AC: 0, 18- to hit. The pieces are nicely carved but moldy, and will only fetch 20 for the ivory and 10 apiece for the ebony. If a game is abandoned the pieces will teleport back to their places and reset. (Note: I cribbed this bit from my Thousand Year Sandglass adventure "The Fallen Obelisk". Look for it in Book 2.)
5: This room is pitch black, with only a ruddy flicker of light visible under the sealed iron door to 6. Tomes of forbidden and obscure lore lie shredded and destroyed on the floor among broken and empty shelves. This room is occupied by 8 hungry shadows, black outlines with sharp, gleaming teeth in their empty faces. (HD: 2+2, HP: 16, 14, 15, 11, 6, 7, 8,10, AC: 7, Magic Weapons only, cannot be turned, immune to charm and sleep, surprise on 1-5 on d6, atk does 1d4 dmg plus drains 1 pt Str for 8 turns, if all Str drained, turns into a new shadow. Save F2, Move 90(30), ML: 12
6: The door to this room is made of iron and barred from the outside with an inscription that reads “Beware”. It is hot to the touch and there’s a flickering orange light coming from the crack underneath. Inside is a charred, smashed, ash covered chamber that is the prison of a Flame Salamander. It is ravenous from its long captivity, and will attack on sight. (HD: 8, HP: 35, AC: 2, Atk: Claw/Claw/Bite 1d4/1d4/1d8, 1d8 heat damage to all within 20’ every round, Sv: F8, Mv: 120(40), Ml: 8) If loosed the beast will make a beeline for the nearest flammable materials (anywhere there are books) and set them alight to consume their heat.
7: This hallway is full of webs, but they are hard like stone. It will take committed effort to break through, allowing 10’ movement per turn spent, which also makes a lot of racket, attracting the wraith from 2 if he hasn’t been defeated. The party will find moldering robes bearing the Occluded College sigil as well as other vacated clothing among the webs, held inside areas that would hold the volume of a human being. There’s another iron door, this one unlocked and unbarred but rusted shut (2 on a d6 to open). There are sconces for lamps on the walls, and a crystal ball that has been shattered and burned out inside occupies the center of the cieling.
8: Specimen room. This room is occupied mostly by rusty cages with dry bones of assorted exotic creatures inside. There is one smoked glass tube that seems to have been shattered from the inside. A strange statue of rusted metal that looks like a hybrid of a dwarf and a beetle sits in one corner with a bit of cage bar in its grasp. It will start moving if approached, and is greedy for fresh metal. (HD: 5, HP: 20, AC: 2, Atk 1, All contact with metal instantly rusts it. Magic items get a 10% chance per + of surviving contact, otherwise will lose pluses with each contact before rusting. Sv: F3, Mv: 60(20), Morale: 7) The creature is docile and fairly friendly, and will follow those who give it metal to rust and eat.
9: This locked wooden door leads to a storeroom full of crates, the contents of which are rotted and spoiled. The brick ceiling has suffered from decay of the mortar, and will cave in on the first ones who enter. Save vs. Paralysis in 10’ area or take 2d6 damage.
10: Lecture Hall: A stage and 3 rows of sagging, half rotted woodwork bleachers occupy the E end of this large chamber, while a grand spiral staircase leading upward occupies the W end. Frescoes of learned discussions decorate the crumbling plaster of the walls, with the image of a group of scholars pulling collectively at a giant hand covering an eye gracing the E wall. 2 Grey Worms have burrowed beneath the bleachers and will burst forth if it is stepped on. (HD: 6, HP: 30, 22, AC: 6, Dmg: Bite 1d8, Swallow on a 19 or 20, suffer 1d8/round until worm or victim dies. May cut out with dagger at -4 penalty. Mv: 60(20), Save: F3, Morale 9
11: Museum: Glass cases full of assorted junk line the walls. There are three larger cases in the center of the room. One contains a collection of gemstones displayed on shelves based on value. A massive silvery blue opal as big as a man’s hand and a ruby embedded inside a topaz are the prize gems (Labeled “The Limpid Pool” and “The Heart of Flame”) at 1000 gp value apiece. Followed by 2 500 gp, 2 250 gp, 3 100 gp, 3 75 gp, 5 50 gp, and 3 10 gp). Another holds an ash wood staff wound in an intricate filigree of gold and silver that terminates in a stylized dragon head (Staff of Wizardry, 16 Charges) labeled. “Koendar’s Staff of Great Wonders”. The third holds a finely made sword in a red velvet scabbard labeled. “Lord Bragg’s sword, by which the Great Mage Emmerling was slain” (-1, Cursed) All of these items are guarded by an Invisible Stalker, who will attack if the cases are touched or messed with: (HD: 8, HP: 45, AC: 3, Atk: 4d4 strike, Mv: 120(40), Sv: F8, Morale: 12, surprise on 1-5 on d6, -4 to hit due to invisibility) A taxidermy case full of squirrels conceals a secret door thru the S wall to 12. One of the squirrels holds a brass key in its paws, which fits a keyhole in its belly and opens the door.
12: Curator’s Room: Dusty tables with equally dusty bric a brac fills this room. An old sea chest sits in one corner, which contains 700 silver pieces of various origins and has a false bottom which conceals a treasure map detailing an island off the coast where 18000 gold pieces is allegedly buried. A stylized hook is carved into the underside of the lid. If the chest is moved, a concealed Symbol of Stunning will be revealed and activated, causing 160 hp worth of creatures to be stunned for 3d4 rounds. There’s a closet door in the W wall with a widening V of black ash extending across the floor and signs of charring on the lintels.
13: Utility Closet: This small chamber is empty, and is blackened with ash. Whatever might have been in here is long since incinerated. A charred skeleton lies in a pile in the NW corner, with the hardware of a small coffer of some kind lying among the bones, also blackened and half melted.
1: The spiral staircase from Lvl 1 exits here. There are three doors to the E, W, and S. To the north is a half rotted tapestry depicting a pastoral scene that can be rolled by means of a crank to show the same scene in each of the four seasons. It’s currently halfway between autumn and winter, and any attempt to crank it will cause the tapestry to tear apart and crumble.
2: A sandstone sculpture of a page boy is propped against the S wall, his ankles broken off from the feet standing on the pedestal about 7 feet in front of it. He holds a chest that is part of the sculpture, hinged in steel and locked. Any attempt to mess with the sculpture will cause it to topple, revealing a Symbol of Madness causing 120 hp worth of victims to be afflicted as by a permanent Confusion spell. This can be cured with a Heal or Wish spell. The chest contains 4 gems worth 10, 25, 75,100 gp, A small collection of 3 gold and gem encrusted eggs worth 700 apiece, a silver teaspoon with a lions head crest worth 20 gp, a silver snuff box decorated with a large blue gem worth 200, a gold and pearl necklace worth 800, a matching bracelet worth 400, a gold mail falconers glove worth 600, A pair of silver and ebony rimmed spectacles with lenses ground from two large rubies worth 1100, and a music box with a winged mermaid in mother of pearl with gold and silver workings worth 1200. The room has some broken up furniture but is otherwise unremarkable.
3: The walls of this curving hallway are completely covered with scrawled messages in scratches. Each turn spent studying this crabbed text will reveal a secret about one of the rooms in this complex. (Roll 1d20. 1-13 First Floor 14-20 Second Floor)
4: Behind the locked door of this room is a cumbersome wooden apparatus rigged to fire arrows at anyone in the doorway who opens the door without the proper key. It fires as a Lvl 2 fighter, doing d6 damage on a hit and firing twice a round for 10 rounds. The machine can be destroyed by doing 30 pts of damage to it or cutting the cords on the firing apparatus. It’s large and heavy, and needs to be disassembled to be removed from the room, and will require an Int check to reassemble or modify elsewhere. There’s another locked door in the W wall, which will trigger a portcullis trap if opened without the proper key (now long lost) (Make Dex check or take 3d6 dmg)
5: This room has a low ledge around the N, S, and W wall, which holds a stout, iron banded, locked chest containing 900 gp, A wax sealed clay jar holding 5 large agates worth 25 gp apiece, A rotted pair of fine shoes with silver toe caps worth 10 apeice, and a wooden tea chest holding a platinum tea set worth 1500. In an alcove in the wall in the palm of a carved stone hand is a white gold ring with two ivory flower buds and one coral rose. (Ring of Wishes) (Once wishes are used its still worth 300 gp)
6: The door is flaking, but the dim shapes of a painting of two robed figures washing their beards can be made out. The door will crumble into splinters and mold dust as soon as its touched. At one time this was a reasonably well appointed bath chamber, fed from a cistern. The cistern has leaked, leaving a couple inches of water on the floor, and all the tiles and walls are florid with mold and mildew.
7: This area contained a dormitory for the teachers here, with beds and tables and cabinets for personal items. It’s all gone to musty decay, with nothing in value to be found among the tottering furniture and mildew ravaged tapestries adorning the walls.
Vaults of Vaarn
1 hour ago