|Status||Explored June 883 TA|
near the Land of Bogs |
and the Little People
Upon your return to Dragonsford, you head to the Wicked Lady pub for your usual pint and a shepherd's pie. As it is late in the afternoon, the pub is empty. Settling comfortably in the dark wooden booth that has become your second home. The barkeep (Dugald Whistlerock) brings you each a foaming mug of his finest ale. "Complements of Potkin." With a smile the barkeep, turns and trundles off to the kitchen to prepare your meal. "Potkin, the town potter?" "Certainly he can't afford this ale." "And where is he?" Your attention turns to the large wooden post near the small stage where travelling bards and singers ply their trade. There, a large notice has been posted seeking adventurers to rescue Potkin's daughter, Meri, from Havelock's Keep. There are no details on the notice. It simply states REWARD. The fatigue of the previous adventure is quickly forgotten as the talk turns to Meri, the youngest and most beautiful daughter of the town's potter. Many men have fought for her attention, in the hopes that Meri would choose them when she came of marrying age. But alas, no man had yet caught the attention of the youth. It was about this time that the barkeep returned, still smiling, and set several steaming shepherd's pies onto the scarred oaken table. "I can tell by the silly grins on your faces that you have been discussing Meri. Shall I summon Potkin for you?"
Potkin arrives, winded and flushed. In the years that you have known the stout potter, he has never seemed this agitated. Formalities forgotten, he begins.
As this point, Potkin trails off into a series of whining noises.
Several large pumas have made their home in this room. They will attack during the day (when they sleep). A stone puma can be found midway up the spiral staircase leading to the room above.
Upstairs, the floor is very rotted and there is a 5% chance each round that the floor will give way and collapse. During melee, this chance increases to 30%.
This room is the home of two cockatrices. These beasts have made their home in the spiral staircase. They will attack if agitated.
This room is home to a vampire priest who lives in a coffin in the western niche of this room. His coffin contains a silver statue of the sea god, 200 gold pieces and a large ruby gem. He will attack if his coffin is opened, but he cannot go into direct sunlight. He will pursue if the party leads him underground. The only room that he cannot enter is the Cave of Gemstone.
The chalice is the only magical item that can be taken without incurring the vampire's wrath. It is an artifact known as the Chalice of Janvel which works as a staff of healing. It was used by the pirate to cure wounds after raids at sea.
This room in what is called the Champion's Tower has been made into a training room by Ulric the Hunchback, Havelock's champion. Ulric is man of a quite nasty disposition who loves only to fight and his harem of young women which he keeps locked up in the upper chambers. Ulric will only be present in this room during the day. At night, he will be found upstairs. Ulric fights as a 12th level fighter. He wears a magical helmet, magical splinted mail, and wields a magical two-handed sword. At night, the helmet will be on a peg near the door, and it will be indistinguishable from its surroundings.
At night, Ulric will be found here with his splinted mail and sword propped up in the northeastern corner of the room. The small chest at the foot of the bed contains some worn, but clean, travelling clothes. The inner room is the home of Ulrics four nubiles: Meri, Devra, Ivy, and Runa.One of the four young women will always be in Ulric's bed. The women will not fight, and Runa will try to convince the party to help rescue her father Branwell the Merchant who is being held in the dungeons below the castle. During the day, there is a slight chance that one of the girls might be in the kitchens below the castle.
If the party enters the room, they will be attacked by the Zachris, a large metal beast which stands in the southwest corner. In the dark, they will see only the Zachris' glowing red eyes. The Zachris fights as a 9th level fighter with AC 2. There are platinum gears worth between 500 and 1000 gold pieces strewn among the junk in the workshop. It would take time to collect anything of value here.
The chest is untrapped and contains 200 silver ingots, 300 gold pieces, a roll of fine copper wire, a magical ivory wand, and two jars containing three small flies each.
Havelock is an 9th level chaotic evil magic user. He has the standard spellbook and is dressed in standard equipment.
Room 1: Entrance Hall
This room is generally empty. If the party has tipped off the inhabitants, there will be two guards (taken from Room 2) behind the last two pillars.
Room 2: Common Room
This room is the nerve center of the entire castle complex. It is almost always occupied by guards and kitchen helpers. It will always be lighted.
The guards each carry 7 gold pieces on them.
Room 3(a-c): Guard's Quarters
There will always be 1d4 guards sleeping in each of these rooms. If the party has alerted the castle, these rooms will be empty.
Room 4: Captain's Quarters
Hidden under the mattress of this room is a small pouch with 10 gold pieces and a small amethyst gem.
Room 5: Prison Cells
The prisoner is unable to fight and will do anything to be set free. He will indicate that Branwell is being held in the dungeon below, and he will answer rudimentary questions if the prospect of freedom is viable.
Room 6: Kitchen
The cooking is done by the nubiles in the East Tower, although a real cook will sometimes be captured and forced to cook before becoming part of the beholder's twisted experiments.
Room 7: Kitchen Storeroom
Room 8: Conference Room
This room is typically empty, but has been used for everything from strategy meetings to card games. The tapestries are worth about one gold piece each.
Room 9: Storeroom
Room 10: Storeroom
When touched, the chest disappears, and a 10 foot pit appears underfoot. The pit drops 30 feet into Room 11 (3d6 points of damage) with an angry beholder. If the chest is ignored, a secret door will be found behind it. This leads to a small room containing a large unlocked chest. The chest contains 500 gold pieces and a magical Dagger +1.
Room 11: Beholder's Workroom
The beholder will most often be in his treasure room (Room 12), but he will enter this room regularly (especially if noise is made). If alarmed, the beholder will enter from the secret door just south of the main stairway.
Room 12: Beholder's Treasure Room
The first chest appears to be locked and has the following verse carved on its lid:
The second chest is very similar in appearance. It has nothing carved on its lid and appears to be unlocked.
The first chest contains 20 pieces of Soulstone (see Room 13), 300 gold pieces, and a magical ring. It can be opened only by solving the puzzle above - by saying the command word DOG (last letter of each line). The second chest is actually a Mordenkainen's Faithful Hound spell. It will animate and attack if touched or the first chest is opened without the command word.
Room 13: Gemstone's Lair
If the party enters the room the apparition of a screaming elven woman will appear in the northeast corner. She will give a terrifying scream and head straight for the party, attempting to frighten them away. The apparition is actually Gemstone, a very rare female earth elemental, and she is guarding her "children", the Soulstones. Legend hold that every creature of the forest has a soul that is born from these gems.
If the party returns the Soulstones, the following riddle will be given:
The puzzle will lead the party to Dragonsford Castle, where King Ernie will be holding a celebration at the next solar eclipse. At the peak of the eclipse, the king will drop a game hen on the floor. If the party can get to the point where they can get the hen, they will find a ring inside which holds one each of the ten common gems of the world.
Chalice of Janvel (Staff of Healing)