Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Minidungeon: Naskha's Lair
Another day, another adventure, another swarm of orcs breaking off to start a rival tribe. Naskha's swarm, though admittedly small, has found an abandoned dwarven redoubt to hole up in while they prepare to recruit -- and a useful source of slave labour. Now he's been raiding other dungeons and preparing to make inroads against the local thorps ...
Scale of map: 1 square = 10'. All walls, ceiling, etc. are of rough-polished but painstakingly fitted masonry, now well overgrown with mosses and small dry fungi.
1. Entrance Hall: After navigating the brief corridor leading to this room and passing the door (locked with a still-functioning dwarven mechanism), the chamber widens out into a 30'x30' chamber littered with crumbled pillars and loose stone. To the north lies an open archway, and the southwest corner is marked with a door.
In this chamber are two orc guards [AC5; HD 1; hp 6, 8; Mv 120' (40'); Att 1 (spear); Dam 1-6; Sv F1; Ml 8; XP 10; 12cp, 14cp and a copper-mounted whetstone] and four cepes [AC6; HD 1-1; hp 4, 5, 3, 7; Mv 90' (30'); Att 2 claws; Dam 1-3/1-3; Sv F1; Ml 6; XP 5], currently clearing the stone for their masters. The cepes are ordered to attack, joined by one orc while the second heads for the main hall to stir the swarm.
2. Main Hall and Living Area: Pungent with unwashed orc and fouler things, this chamber has been roughly converted over into a barracks. Twelve orcs (including the two guards) live in this chamber, four of whom [AC5; HD 1; hp 7, 5, 6, 8; Mv 120' (40'); Att 1 (spear); Dam 1-6; Sv F1; Ml 8; XP 10; 12cp, 8cp and a jelly rat, 16cp, 11 cp and a thin silver ring (1gp)] are present -- and the remaining six could return at any time. The orcs will immediately attack, assuming they are surprised; if warned by the guard they will prepare an onslaught of four burning oil flasks and then order eight cepes slaves [AC6; HD 1-1; hp 4, 4, 6, 5, 3, 4, 7; Mv 90' (30'); Att 2 claws; Dam 1-3/1-3; Sv F1; Ml 6; XP 5] into combat before joining two rounds later.
In the northern wall lies a secret door, and a bronze-bound door leading to Nashka's own chamber. To the east, a locked door enters into a corridor to the slave chamber; immediately after the bend in the corridor lies a hidden bolt trap (1-8 hp damage) in the eastern wall, triggered by a pressure plate in the floor. If the room's contents are searched a total of 234sp, 62gp, and a cache of six bottles of elven wine (20gp ea.) will be unearthed.
3. Slave Chamber: Six cepes [AC6; HD 1-1; hp 4, 4, 5, 3, 3; Mv 90' (30'); Att 2 claws; Dam 1-3/1-3; Sv F1; Ml 6; XP 5] are found within this dry, brush-filled chamber. They will initially attack to defend themselves -- expecting they have been bartered away -- but may be persuaded otherwise. The western end of the chamber is filled with a brackish pool of some unidentified fluid, viscous and dark, but the southwestern wall may still be seen to bear suspicious scratchings (near the secret door).
4. Binding Chamber: This 20'x20' chamber cannot be accessed until both doors have been triggered; each door will click and shift slightly but will not release until both have been discovered and released.
The floor is almost entirely encircled with an elaborate binding diagram in silvery-white runes. At the centre of the circle is an iron statue; in actuality a khanabit [AC0; HD 5***; hp 37; Mv 120' (40'); Att 2; Dam 1-8/1-8; Sv C6; Ml 12; Specials: binding, fate's terror, black iron pledge; immune to normal weapons; XP 550], the Iron Judge will reanimate as soon as the circle is breached. Chaotic individuals are attacked immediately if possible, those of neutral alignment are pledged, and those of lawful alignment (or neutrals, if they happen to be good bargainers) are offered a pledge of reward if the warding circle is destroyed. Should the circle actually be destroyed, the khanabit draws heavy bangle-like black iron bracers (+1 AC, -1 damage per die of fire damage) out of the sleeves of its robes -- one pair for each party member that agreed to free it -- and then fades from sight.
5. Nashka's Chamber: Piled with stolen goods -- including a decidedly eccentric "bed" crafted out of the main hall's carved High Table and bundles of plundered grave velvets -- this is the actual lair of Nashka and his two she-orc bodyguards [AC4; HD 1+2; hp 10, 8; Mv 120' (40'); Att 1 (sword); Dam 1-8; Sv F1; Ml 8; XP 15; 8gp, 6gp and a golden nose-ring (4gp)].
Nashka himself [AC4; HD 2; hp 16; Mv 120' (40'); Att 1 (sword +1); Dam 1-8 +3; Sv F3; Ml 10; Special: MU spells: magic missile, protection from evil; XP 30; 32gp, gold and ruby ring with glyphs (500gp)] is a hulking orc of demonic countenance, right down to the forked double tusks, blood-red eyes and patches of black scales on his bestial features, and he attempt to flee through the secrets doors leading through areas 6 and 7 if his cause looks lost. He will not, however, forget the party.
In three heavy, steel-bound oaken chests Nashka has squirreled away the swarm's major treasures. The first chest contains 1734sp, 160 2gp-value silver trade bars, and four wolf pelts (15gp ea.); the second chest contains 1275gp; the third holds a smaller rosewood coffer bound in ivory -- containing three matched massive golden torcs, cast as twisted cables and their looped terminals mounting red coral claws (1400gp ea.) -- as well as a crumpled grey velvet cloak (40gp) and two blood-red potions of healing. The third chest is trapped; lifting the lid instead of sliding it off causes a spring-loaded dagger coated with paralytic poison to launch at the disturbance.
6. The Mother Growth: Nearly this entire tiny, hidden chamber is taken up with a hollow-riddled, woody mass of overgrowing white-and-rust fungus, still showing signs of chunks broken off when it was squeezed inside and pressed against the eastern wall. This is the mother growth that spawns the orc swarms' cepes slaves -- and within five minutes of discovery by the party, the mother growth disgorges a new cepes ...
7. Stores and "Pantry": Rustled oxen and the odd elf hang here from rusty meat-hooks driven roughly into the wall. Scattered about are coarse sacks filled with meal, tuns of water and harsh ale and bales of hay for bedding as well as scraps of fine wood, somewhat mangy deerhides and other miscellaneous objects. Five cepes [AC6; HD 1-1; hp 5, 5, 6, 3, 7; Mv 90' (30'); Att 2 claws; Dam 1-3/1-3; Sv F1; Ml 6; XP 5] are here, maintaining the stock.