Thursday, February 12, 2009
Minidungeon: The Barrow of Therex
The Barrow of Therex
The barrow is a great circular tumulus, some 150' feet in diameter, and well overgrown by grasses and even small shrubs. Its internal chambers are all 15'x15', with rounded corners. On its southern side the crumbling remnants of a siltstone lintel can be spotted, the stone slab “door” having been unearthed -- and broken through -- by enterprising goblins seeking access to the barrow's interior.
Immediately beyond the stone cap is a flight of fragile siltstone steps that descend for ten feet before opening into another stone lintel and the entrance to the antechamber.
1. Antechamber: Paved with roughly-dressed siltstone slabs, this chamber features two withered wooden statues depicting warriors in scale mail and bearing short swords and spears, their faces obscured by masks depicting some unknown predatory beast. The statues bear patches of gilding (worth 12gp total), currently being scraped away by two goblins [AC6; HD 1-1; hp 4, 3, 6, 2; Mv 90' (30'); Att by weapon; Dam 1-6; Sv Normal Man; Ml 7; XP 5]. Two more goblins are trying to pry up flagstones along the eastern wall in search of treasure cists. To the north lies an open lintel and archway.
The goblins will drop their crude tools and attack with short spears when the chamber is entered. Each carries a handful of crudely-hammered electrum coins: 2, 6, 7, 5.
After two rounds of combat, they will be joined by the goblins in (2).
2. Central Chamber: Like the antechamber, this chamber is paved with rough flagstones. Against the northwestern and northeastern walls rest rotted food offerings and pottery amphorae, remnants of a funereal meal. All three doors of this chamber are of age-weakened wood and not secured in any way. However, opening the northern door will trigger the 10' pit trap (1-6 hit points damage) that rests directly in front of it.
Three goblins [AC6; HD 1-1; hp 4, 3, 6, 2; Mv 90' (30'); Att by weapon; Dam 1-6; Sv Normal Man; Treas 12, 10, 6 ep ea.; Ml 7; XP 5], including their leader (armed with a dagger +1 that sheds pale reddish light, one candlepower), are in this chamber planning their raid on the treasure in (4). They will attack the party in (1) after two rounds, though if the PCs seem too strong the goblin leader will attempt to parley and bribe the party with promises of treasure – and will hope that they get themselves killed by the earth spirit in the process.
3. The Sacrificial Dead: This chamber is roughly shaped, its floor packed earth stained a bright red by a layer of ochre. The red of the stained soil contrasts with the shreds of bright clothing and the pale bones of over a dozen skeletons that lay scattered and piled on one another in the chamber. Other than the remnants of their clothing, the skeletons wear copper burial jewelery – bracelets and torcs – worth a total of 200gp, 400gp to a collector.
Three of the skeletons will animate upon being disturbed [AC7; HD 1; hp 8, 5, 6; Mv 60' (20'); Att 1; Dam 1-4; Sv F1; Ml 12; XP 10] and attack the party, pursuing them unless destroyed or turned.
4. Grave Goods: The door to this chamber has been half hacked away by the goblins. The chamber beyond is floored with earth, the burial hoard of Therex piled along the walls; much is decayed, such as bolts of once-fine figured wool cloth and stylized animal figures in bloodwood, and the remains of a two-wheeled chariot.
Recoverable from the grave gifts are a set of six cups carved from red-gold amber (60gp each), three short swords, pommel-nuts and scabbards decorated with knotwork carved from tiger's-eye (42gp each), and a horde of hacksilver worth 352gp in total. Perched on one of the amber cups is the Gentle Sting of Juren.
Once any of the treasure is disturbed, a least earth spirit [AC5; HD 1+1**; hp 9; Mv 60' (20'); Att 1; Dam 1-6 +stun; Sv C2; Ml 10; XP 23] in a roughly wolven shape will rise from the floor and attack the guilty party.
5. Burial Chamber: This chamber is lined with carved bronzewood pillars and tiled with well-fitted flagstones. Dead centre in the floor is a burial trench in which Therex lies, dressed in rusting scale mail and with copper beast-mask still in place. He clutches Gryphbane in his withered hands, and around his neck is a golden twisted-rope torc capped with amber-eyed wolfheads (430gp).
Therex is a draugr [AC6; HD 3*; hp 21; Mv 90' (30'); Att by weapon; Dam 1-8; Sv F3; Ml 10; XP 50]; he will immediately animate and attack any who disturb him. If he is left alone, he will animate and begin to hunt those who have violated his barrow beginning on the next night.