Use a Trap Haunt ghost to lure the PCs into a trap. MM, p116
Terrain from DMG2, p58
Pain Vault trapped door, DMG2 p72
Accessing the ruins is not difficult, but they are infested by small spiders to such an extent it would be impossible to walk near or within the ruins without squishing spiders with each step. In fact, the carpet of spiders is so unnerving that everyone suffers a -1 penalty to their Will defense. Additionally, there will be times when an additional swarm will pour out of a crack and make an attack +10 vs Will resulting in a -1 penalty to attack rolls (save ends).
The accessible ruins consist of three primary chambers and a few small rooms at ground level, and an extensive catacombs below. Access to the catacombs is through a secret entrance in an alcove at the end of the stairs on the way to the third chamber. This door is trapped with a glyph of warding.
There is an additional secret room through the other alcove. And after Miranda Moongem unwittingly released some undead (via the Vecna symbol) to roam the ruins she subsequently locked herself safely within a the secret small chamber containing the treasure she discovered. She set a ward against undead in the room, and if the PCs enter, they find a catatonic elf who is near death due to a lack of hydration.
Always a chance of random encounter by a Bloodweb Spider Swarm (MM p246).
Miranda Moongem has made her way deep into the ruins, but she unwittingly left a few surprises behind when she triggered Vecna's symbol in the next room and released some undead. The monsters are all milling around in the darkness, except for the spider which is in the next room.
When the adventurers approach the tomb, read: A dark opening, partially hidden behind overgrowth, leads into the side of the hill. A shattered stone door sits in the opening.
History Check DC 12: The markings on the door indicate ties to Bahamut.
Perception Check DC 17: You hear barely perceptible moans emanating from the darkness ahead.
Ceiling: The ceiling in this area is 20 feet high.
Shattered Door: The spaces occupied by the shattered door are difficult terrain.
Floor Runes: The markings on the floor of the chamber are runes inscribed by a necromancer named Tal Lorvas, a dark wizard trapped (dead?) deep inside the catacombs. Whenever a living creature steps onto a marked square, gas begins to seep from the cracks in the center of the room.
Cracks: The cracks in the center of the room are difficult terrain. If gas begins to flow, it forms a cloud inside the marked squares. Any PC who enters or starts his turn in the gas takes 2 damage.
Level 5+ (1,175 XP)
- 3 boneshard skeletons
- 2 wights
- 1 Deathjump Spider
All monsters (except the spider) remain in the shadows at the edges of the room until the PCs enter. At that point, the boneshard skeletons make boneshard attacks, hoping to deal ongoing damage to the PCs, then switch to using their scimitars. The wights make claw attacks, shifting among the PCs and trying to deprive them of healing surges.
After two rounds, hundreds of tiny spiders begin to pour out of cracks and crevices in the walls and floors, apparently attracted by the vibrations of all the commotion. The sheer number of spiders is unnerving and all PCs take a -1 penalty to Will defense for as long as they remain amongst such a spider infestation (i.e. in the Abbey).
At the same time, a dark blur leaps across the room and you see a giant spider (Deathjump Spider) the size of a dog attach itself to Soandso.
Source: Dungeon Delve, page 36
Miranda and Kellin had rigged up a rope extending between statues, but the last time it was used, statue gave out and collapsed. The creatures thus far encountered by the PCs were summoned when Miranda hastily stepped on the symbol of Vecna before retreating to the treasure room.
When a PC leaves the first chamber and enters the diagonal corridor, read: The corridor ahead angles away from the room and rapidly slopes deep into the earth, disappearing into complete darkness. Faelithron estimates the far end is about twenty feet lower than the near end. Not a sound can be heard down the corridor.
When the PCs reach the bottom of the sloping corridor, read: The corridor levels out and widens into a small chamber. Immediately to your left and right you spot two full size, but crumbling statues of paladins. A length of rope is tied to the left statue and hangs limply on the ground. Your eye follows it along the ground as it runs over a large symbol of a broken skull painted on the floor. The rope continues past the skull and across the full distance of the chamber, where the second half of the room's floor barely glows a pale blue color. It is not enough light to illuminate anything, but just enough to see that it is there. It appears to be ice, except for the strange glow. Another hallway continues just beyond the ice. Darkvision: You can see the bottom of a retracted portcullis just beyond the next archway and the rope appears to terminate at a crumbled and fallen statue about 10 feet beyond that.
Ceiling: The ceiling in this area is 20 feet high.
Sloping Corridor: This diagonal passage slopes down so that the bottom is 20 feet lower than the top. Any creature that takes damage while in the sloping portion of the corridor (the diagonal section) must make a DC 15 Acrobatics check or fall prone and slide 2 squares toward the bottom of the slope.
- Religion: DC 12 Religion check can identify the symbol painted on the floor as the holy symbol of Vecna.
- Arcana: Separate arcana checks DC 15 reveal that the symbol is enchanted with the following keywords: damage, undead, poison, summoning. DC 20 reveals that it summons undead. DC 25 reveals that it augments poison damage for undead creatures.
- Effect: Any undead standing on the symbol deals +3 poison damage.
Ice Trap: Ice covers the floor ahead. A slight glow gives the ice an otherworldly appearance. Slightly glowing ice in the 2×4 space redirects living creatures that try to walk across it. It slides people into the wall for damage and the vibration sends spiders scurrying out of nearby cracks to investigate. See spider swarm Will attack, above.
- Effect: When a living creature enters a square covered with ice, it slides 3 into a wall, takes 1d6+2 damage, and falls prone.
- 1. A living creature can jump over the ice trap into an unoccupied square. This requires a DC 11 Athletics check with a running jump, or a DC 21 Athletics check with a standing jump.
- 2. A PC can attempt to disrupt the magic maintaining this trap with a DC 19 Arcana check. Three successes before 3 failures are needed to destroy the trap and turn the squares into clear terrain. Each failed check increases the damage dealt by the trap by 2 points (The ice suddenly expands and thickens). If the PCs get 3 failures before achieving 3 successes, the trap becomes more dangerous (1d6 + 8 damage) and cannot be destroyed. The trap fades after 24 hours.
- 3. A makeshift bridge, flight, teleportation, or other method of not stepping on the ice.
Portcullis This portcullis of heavy wooden bars provides cover to anyone on the far side (leading to area 3). It can easily be opened from the other side, but to open it from this side, the portcullis must be unlocked (DC 17 Thievery check) and lifted back into the ceiling. If the portcullis is unlocked, a character must make a DC 17 Strength check to lift the gate (one other PC can assist with this check). If it is still locked, the DC increases to 21.
- Effect: It is presently up, but it functions just fine and is lockable from the inside.
There are no creatures here unless the PCs trigger the Vecna symbol in the previous chamber.
When the adventurers move past the portcullis, read: Stairs lead down to a four-way intersection which is littered with bones. Splug's flickering torch light reveals two shadowy alcoves and an open archway.
- The bodies are a mix of genuine corpses and four (4) decaying skeletons, ordered by Lorvas to "play dead" to surprise intruders.
When the PCs enter the northern chamber, read: Standing atop another set of stairs, you see that this large room spreads out into an even deeper darkness, although you can perceive flickering light in the back left corner of the room, casting shadows around some pillars. At each side of the stairs stands a large brazier with visible liquid in their bowls. You see more skeletal remains scattered all around the floor. Darkvision: Two columns of pillars march the length of the room, leading to a large throne sitting atop a three-tiered dais at the far end of the room. You also see that one far corner of the room is collapsed in a heap of rubble.
- Once inside the room, A large, hulking zombie strides out of the darkness toward you! Also, 1 blazing skeleton hides behind the pillars until their initiative.
Illumination: Darkness, unless the braziers are lit. The braziers provide dim light in the near portion of the chamber; the opposite portion is in shadows.
Ceiling: The ceiling in this area is 20 feet high.
Braziers: The orb attacks from the blazing skeleton may ignite the braziers if the PCs do not do so. When a brazier is lit, it makes a close burst 1 attack, +10 vs reflex, 2d8+4 fire damage, and ongoing 5 fire damage (save ends).
Pillars: The pillars along the northern section of the chamber provide cover to anyone adjacent to them.
Alcoves: The two alcoves each have a secret door:
- One door is locked by Arcane Lock with DC26. Inside Miranda Moongem lies within, catatonic and near death. A magic circle encompasses the room, warding against undead.
- One door is not locked but trapped with a glyph of warding DC28 to perceive (see DMGp90) and leads to the catacombs where Tal Lorvas may be.
Miranda lies on the ground in a catatonic stupor. It may only be reversed by a Cure Disease ritual, although her health may be restored by any healing power. She is also in dire need of hydration.
As you open the door, the you immediately notice a female elf lying motionless on the floor. She remains entirely within a circle of runes, inscribed on the floor. She does not bear any obvious signs of distress and she would otherwise appear to be asleep if not for the fact that her eyes are open. Lying on the ground near the elf is a open book.
As you look around the room further, it appears to be a private study, with collapsed shelves of books, tables strewn with arcane and alchemical items, a wooden chest with steel bands.
If examine the elf, As you place your ear to her mouth, you can feel a faint breath.. it is very very weak. And she is cold to the touch.
Chest: Unlocked. Inside is a surprising (or perhaps not) number of gold pieces, many hundreds easily (765 gp). Chest itself weighs about 40 lbs and with the gold inside the whole thing weighs a good 200 lbs or so.
Tables: Most everything on the tables is either torn, broken, or shattered. But you do find a couple of intact pouches (1 pinch of Rust Bark and 1 pinch of Woundstitch Powder) and a peculiar whistle (Whistle of Warning, lvl 8, AV2 p78).
Shelves: After a cursory look through the books, they appear to be historical in nature, although there are three separate ritual books.
- Arcane RItuals
- Make Whole, L1, Arcana, PHB p309
- Purify Water, L1, Arcana, AP p158
- Unseen Servant, L1, Arcana, AP p158
- Detect Secret Doors, L3, Arcana, PHB p303
- Object Reading, L5, Arcana, AP p157
- Magic Circle, L5, Arcana, PHB p301
- Nature RItuals
- Traveler's Camouflage, L1, Nature, PP p157
- Bloom, L2, Nature, PHB2 p213
- Snare, L4, Nature, PHB2 p216
- Speak with Nature, L5, Nature, PHB2 p216
- Healing RItuals
- Gentle Repose, L1, Heal, PHB
- Delay Affliction, L4, Heal, Dragon #366
- Cure Disease, L6, Heal, PHB p301