From Fizzle’s Diary: Chapter 8

Grid map of dungeon

Fizzle’s Diary:  Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8

Chapter 0, Character Intros: Tholin | Kromnock Mor | Fizzle


From the ongoing saga of Fizzle’s and his hired companions.
written by Fiznarthian Ooglenook (played David Pettit)
Featured image (Photo by me)

Chapter 8

Game Day 7/5/2019

Waking Up Is Hard to Do … When Your Friend is a Mummy

Fizzle and Tholin have had a long rest in the closet they were trapped in by now-mummified Kromnak. Looking around the small 10×5 space, they realize that they are in some kind of control closet with lights, and buttons, and unidentifiable mechanics.

They discuss their options and decide to try pushing a button. There are 4 buttons: Red, Magenta, Fuchsia, and Puce. Tholin gives Fizzle a boost to reach them and Fizzle pushes a puce colored one. Nothing seems to happen. 

Fizzle and Tholin listen at the door. [Fizzle perception: 22] They hear the sound of rotting flesh and Dora the Door sobbing. Tholin suggests we put Kromnak out of our, I mean, his misery and Fizzle agrees. The door, it creaks as we slowly push it open. We see Kromnak is a desiccated mummy standing frozen by the door. His shriveled hands grasp his sword “Flame,Flame”. He is a gruesome site! Fizzle is feeling he won’t be getting his guild deposit for Kromnak back. 

As Tholin has the only sword between them, it is decided he will dispatch mummy-Kromnak to a better place. With a mighty swing he severs Kromnak’s head from his shriveled body. We remove Dora the Door from the headless body and leaned her up against the wall. We recover the items Kromnak was carrying: the flame sword, 2 javelins, bull-horned helmet, belt pouch, 13 crossbow bolts, potion of climbing, 2 hand axes, and the circlet of protection. We leave his great axe and heavy crossbow. I bless the body, “He lived, he drank, he fought, he died.” 

Breaking In and Making Friends

crop of just the prisoner section of the dungeon

Tholin uses the chime of unlocking on the cell door and we push it open and enter. There is a hallway to the right and in front of us.  Some shelves on the wall to the left have personal items (like weapons, armor, bags)  in neatly labeled stacks. A cell door is visible across the hall on the right and more cells further down. 

Examining the stuff on the shelves it looks like there are possibly 5 prisoners in here. There is also an unlabeled set of black plate armor. For now, we leave the items on the shelves.  

Looking in the first cell, we see a modest cell with a bed and desk. There is a waterfall and pool towards the back. We see a fox, but there appears to be no other occupant. “Hello? Anyone there?” No answer. We move to the next cell. It is much the same but there is a lizard in this cell. Fizzle tries to communicate with the lizard. “Hello can … you … understand … me …?” 

The lizard turns into a pretty female half elf (Moora) and says, “You’re an idiot, aren’t cha?” We learn she is one of the components in The Spell, so is one of the people we have come to rescue. From Chapter 1:

Also the captive below the ruins seems to be the key to the whole Orcus plan.  The cave below the cliffs is the Dungeon of the Mad Molvei.  Legend says that a sacrifice of three from a specific dragon family line will make a bridge between the material plan and the abyssal one.  

From the diary of Fizzle: Chapter 1

We attempt to unlock her cell with the chime but the door doesn’t open. Suddenly the “wall” behind us comes to life and tries to subdue us. Tholin attacks with his sword, but it’s a wall. Fizzle attempts Sacred Flame and it fizzles. Magic seems unable to work here. Moora says if we leave the area the Stone Defender will quit attacking. Disengaging with the “wall” Fizzle and Tholin move back towards the shelves. The wall desists. 

Fizzle grabs a mace from one of the piles (to replace the one the kitchen golem destroyed) and goes to try talking with the fox. He finds out the foxes name is Ember and it wants to be set free. 

Deciding to look around a little more before attempting to free any more prisoners, they find a store room. It contains lots of robot parts in different bins and in the corner is a drone of some sort. It looks spider-like with lots of different attachments. Maybe a repair drone? There are spaces for more but they are currently empty. Tholin pushes the drones ON button. We talk with the drone. We can’t convince it to help us turn off the magic dampening field, but we do tell it about Dora and it goes off to put her back. 

Turn Off the Anti-Magic Field

Maybe the buttons in the closet affect the field? We decide to try them. Earlier Moora had told us that when the dampening field is off the black armor becomes animated and tries to kill intruders. So before we try the buttons we empty a bin in the store room and lock the armor inside it. Fizzle then casts “Light” on a pebble in the hall with the mummies. It  lights up, and as soon as it’s tossed into the prison section, it goes dark. He leaves it in the prison where he can see it through the door while Tholin manipulates the buttons. He pushes the red one and nothing happens. 

Looking up Tholin sees the repair drone from earlier is back and looking at him from the ceiling. We offer to take the drone away with us if he helps us shut off the magic dampening field. It takes some persuasion but he gives us the code, 32133. [Fuschia – Magenta – Red – Fushia – Fushia] Using that we see the pebble in the prison light up. The repair drone follows us. 

We release the fox and the “wall” starts coming for us again. We duck around a looping hall and come to Moora’s cell and unlock it. The Stone Defender activates and we have to battle it again. As we damage it the robot sees damage and jumps on the “wall” shutting it down to fix it. With the ”wall” disabled, we push it into Moora’s cell and lock it in. We take the drone with us and open the rest of the cells, releasing the prisoners and meeting a female elf ranger named Dalal Northwind  who had been hiding  in the cell with the fox. (She is a bit surly.) 

Moora says she was brought here through a teleporter and it sounds as if she came in through the store room so we decided to check it for hidden doors. 

Opening the store room door we come face to helmet horror with the black armor! Battle ensues and we are on the losing side. Fizzle suggests turning on the damping field again so the armor will go inert. The elf Dalal volunteers so, after giving her the code, she runs off. Soon the armor collapses. For good measure we lock the armor in the elf’s old cell.

We do find a hidden door in the store room and passing through find a teleportation circle. There are also some tables with different non-related objects. They must be teleport keys! There are: A boot, bucket, pebble, round spectacles (rose tinted), a skull inlaid with precious stones, and a wide gold belt with 12 fire opals. Fizzle puts the belt on, Dalal wears the spectacles, and Tholin takes the pebble. There is a small leather flask that has fallen off the table. Dalal picks it up takes a swig and tosses it to Tholin. We all step into the circle. Moora tells us there is usually a keyword to activate the key. Delall tries “Orcus” and we all pop out.

Arc Complete!

This completes the the Dungeon of the Mad Molvei! We get to level up to 5. Next time we start a new adventure. 

This was a lot of fun.

Grid map of dungeon
Interior prison area

From Fizzle’s Diary: Chapter 7

Fizzle’s Diary:  Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8

Chapter 0, Character Intros: Tholin | Kromnock Mor | Fizzle


From the ongoing saga of Fizzle’s and his hired companions.
written by Fiznarthian Ooglenook (played David Pettit)
Featured image (Photo by me – Penny and Sparky supervise the game board. )

Chapter 7

Game Day 6/15/2019

Kramnock has Dora strapped to his back as we continue through the door and down the hall. Dora the Door and Tholin the rogue flirt (ugh weird).

Passing through a door we find, of all things, a kitchen with a small robot making mutton and lettuce sandwiches. In the center of the room are four tables with a variety of fruit piled on them. The sink is full of dirty dishes.

The Dungeon Prison Kitchen – Hey! Those prisoners gotta eat. Note each square is 10 feet, not 5.

Kromnak tries to split the robot in two with his axe but misses. He tries to pass it of to the robot as trying to help him “Cut the mutton”. The robot expresses doubt as to his veracity.

Meanwhile Fizzle grabs a juicy pear and gobbles it down. Fizzle forgot that pears don’t do well with gnomish digestion! Oh how melodious are his cheeky toots!

Optimum Health

Tholin rifles through the cabinets in the room, and finding nothing of immediate interest, sits at a table. The robot gives Tholin a drink for sitting politely at one of the tables. The drink heals him up. Kromnock and Fizzle quickly sit down at a table too. Kromnock gets a drink but Fizzle’s farting seems to have put the robot off and won’t give him one. Fizzle cajoles the robot into changing its mind and finally gets a rejuvenating beverage too. The robot says it wants us all at “optimum health” before it locks us up. It still seems upset with Kromnock trying to hit it. Sensitive little bugger.

Fizzle, feeling picked on because of the issue with farting, gets up and “helps” the robot make some of its sandwiches. The robot doesn’t like Fizzle’s sandwich making efforts and remakes them. So he take a bite out of each of them just to fluster the talking kitchen accessory. Then Fizzle asks the robot to “Pull my finger”. It won’t, but Fizzle cuts a ripper anyway. For some reason the robot seems even less inclined to tolerate us now.

Tholin asks it to show us to the cages and it finally deduced that we are trying to break in. Now it wanted to kill us, way to go Tholin! Tholin suggests it might be more because of Kromnock and Fizzles behavior. “We’ve just been ‘helping’ it” we say.

Full Metal Golem

All the metal in the room went flying towards the robot and merged into it, becoming an angry giant metal golem. Fizzle pulls out his mace, who he has named Nancy. The golem promptly sucked that in too! “Nancy noooo” he yells and sliding between its legs casts sacred flame … which of course misses because Fizzle can’t seem to hit the broadside of a barn from inside it. Tholin uses the enlargement scroll on Kromnock and giant Kromnock easily dispatches the golem but in doing so cut right through Nancy. Fizzle is crushed, and without a mace now.

We all search the room. Tholin finds the robots key finger. He also finds fresh food in a magic refrigerated cupboard. Fizzle finds a suspicious box with a red blinking light on it. He drops it down the sink drain. Kromnak tries the doors and finds them locked.

The hallway of the Cursed Ones

The Cursed Ones

After Tholin picks the lock on the double doors, we enter a hallway with a white and black tile floor. There are dozens of desiccated bodies (Cursed Ones) standing guard holding their weapons at the ready all down the long hallway. Tholin checks one of the bodies and it comes to life when he touches it. Fizzle casts turn the undead but it has no effect. Tholin swings with is sword and Kromnock with his ax. The undead thing bites Tholin and looks a little better for it. Fizzle tries his crossbow and Kromnock swings Flame,Flame. Both are hits on the undead. It bites Kromnock. Fizzle flings Holy water on it but the vile doesn’t break. Tholin throws a Fire Bolt for a hit and Kromnock finishes it with another hit from Flame,Flame. Poof up in smoke.

We continue down the hall, carefully avoiding touching the desiccated bodies. At the end of the hall past two bodies is a regular door and a cell door. To get to the doors, Tholin squeezes between two bodies successfully. As Fizzle tries to do the same he brushes one. It comes to life and takes a bite at Kromnock as he passes it (miss). Kromnock swings Flame,Flame at it (critical failure), misses and Flame,Flame goes out! Uh-Oh. Fizzle and Tholin join Kromnock in fighting the cursed one. The undead gains the upper hand and Kromnock is knocked out. Then Tholin is knocked out. Its up to Fizzle who has received several bites to save them!

Before he can get to him, Kromnock expires! Dead! Dead dead! Now Kromnock raises up as a Cursed One and comes after them. Fizzle manages to stabilize Tholin and using the finger key Tholin had opens the regular door and drags Tholin into a closet at the end of the hall. Undead Kromnock starts banging on the door.

After lighting his flame Fizzle sees the closet is 5×10 and contains some buttons. Before doing anything else Fizzle gives Tholin a potion of healing he finds on him. Both Tholin and Fizzle take a long rest in the closet.

[We advance to level 4]

From Fizzle’s Diary: Chapter 6

https://www.worldanvil.com/i/30703

I had this post ready to go sometime last year, but had been waiting for my other group of players to finish the campaign before I posted the rest of Fizzle’s Diaries. And then I promptly forgot all about it, even after the other campaign was completed. So here it is … much delayed! … but here! (There will be a total of 8 chapters when it’s all said and done.)


Fizzle’s Diary:  Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8

Chapter 0, Character Intros: Tholin | Kromnock Mor | Fizzle


From the ongoing saga of Fizzle’s and his hired companions.
written by Fiznarthian Ooglenook (played David Pettit)
Featured image (Under A Violet Moon by MegziePegzie)

Chapter 6

Game Day 6/1/2019


Riddle Relief

We continue forward with our hooded lantern and flame, flame as light. We see cobblestone floors and natural cave walls. We come to a wall with relief carving on it, it is a 3×3 grid depicting different creatures.

 I pull out my copy of Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. (Oops wrong story). There is a riddle on the wall as well. 

Skip the maze
and the flames
Secret doors one two
will get you through
To open the way
and survive this day
the relief most unique
blood doth seek
Fear not my tread
to end thy dread
Wrong cave dweller choose
their wrath doth arouse
to strike down the weak
they only warning seek

-inscribed on the wall of the cave

Tholin investigates the reliefs and notices that all of the reliefs except the Harpy are covered in a thin layer of dust (rolled a nat 20). Kromnak cuts his hand and pushes the Harpy relief. His blood is drawn to the mouth and the wings flutter, a click is heard, and a door opens.

Crossing the Hallway is the Hardest Part!

Through the open door we hear the sound of stone grinding. It sounds a lot like the rolling boulders we heard earlier. That doesn’t bode well for us. As we look through the door, we see a large boulder roll by. This must be the other end of the corridor they were rolling down. One rolls by about every 6 seconds. Across the corridor, I spot a door ajar. We decide to cross to the door and go in. Kromnak runs across with ease. Tholin just barely makes it too. I’m laughing at Tholin’s clumsiness, and trip and fall on my face. Kromnak (ever heroic) runs back and grabs me but is laughing so hard at him he gets hit by a boulder. So I end up back on the original side of the passage. I, now, try to save Kromnak and fails miserably (Rolled a 1). Now Tholin saves my fallen gnome body and we are both back on the original side of the passageway. Boulders are still zipping by and rolling over Kromnak’s. He seems to have trouble getting his feet beneath him. Tholin and I try cross together and make it! Kromnak manages to crawl out of the way of the next boulder and joins us.

Ends the “rough” exterior of the dungeon.

The exterior section of the Dungeon of the Mad Molvei

Into The Interior Dungeon

Passing through the door we enter a tunnel and see on the left a smooth man-made wall. To the right is a natural cave wall. The tunnel leads east. We follow it along the smooth wall. The tunnel ends abruptly, but there is a narrow passage continuing around the corner. We squeeze through and continue on. Following along the continuing smooth wall we come to a door. Tholin checks it for traps and Fizzle runs into it when he tries to open it and its locked.

Tholin unlocks it and we all enter a man-made 10×15-foot room. We look around. To the left on the same wall as the door we came through is another door. The floor is cobblestone and very clean. Tholin checks the door for traps and gives the all clear. Kromnak opens it and looks in. He sees a hallway that ends at a corner. We continue. Around the corner the hallway continues, as do we. We come to another corner that turns right. I, Kromnak, and Tholin continue in that order. Around the corner we find a human body wearing adventurer’s gear. Looks like he died with a smile, weird. We relieve him of any useful objects that he was selfishly hoarding. We find:

  • Scroll of chill touch – Kromnak
  • 2 red potions of greater healing (4d4+4) – Fizzle
  • Scroll disguise self – Kromnak
  • Potion of climbing – Kromnak
  • Bag of holding – Fizzle (Fizzle also puts the healing potions in it)
  • Scroll of enlarge and reduce – Tholin
  • Mithral chain shirt (13dex 8lbs) – goes in the bag too
  • Long Sword – magik +1 – Tholin

Hall of Desires

Rounding the next corner…

I see a baby dragon, which I have always wanted.

Kromnak sees his beautiful moon bride.

Tholin sees a pile of gold and jewels.   

Unknown to us, we are seeing what we desire the most. We also see that the others are trying to take it from us! (GM note: The group unanimously failed their saves for the first 3 rounds. The Charisma save DC started at 15 and went up 1 each round.)

Tholin thinks Kromnak is stealing his treasure, so Tholin attacks him with his sword. Kromnak see Fizzle with his beautiful moon bride and tries to intimidate the gnome away from his lady. (Nat 20)

No one takes my baby dragon! Kromnak is hurting my dragon! I pull out my mace and whack him on the head really hard! Kromnak sees Flippy (The barbarian calls me Flippy, I don’t know why.) with his beautiful moon bride and goes after me with “Flame,Flame”. Fortunately for Fizzle he misses.

I swing and misses Kromnak with my mace. Tholin knocks out Kromnak and takes my dragon, gerrr. I get out the big guns know and summon my Pooh (spiritual weapon)! Tholin is in for it now… it’s a hit! Ha-Haa! Take that you dragon thief! Tholin hits me with his sword. Then he comes to his senses and realizes it is all an illusion.

(GM Note: This was at the top of 4th round and the save DC was up to 18. At this point, I was positive it was going to be a TPK. But we were all laughing so hard I think it wouldn’t have been so bad.)

I take another swing at Tholin with Pooh and miss. Tholin counters and knocks Fizzle out. He ties us up and gives us each a greater healing potion. We are still under the influence of this cursed space and struggle to get loose and attack. Tholin drags us down and around the next corner out of range of the illusion’s influence.

Tholin, being the only one to successfully resist the spell, goes back and collects our dropped sword and mace. We continue down the hall and up to the stairs. 

Dora the Door

I am suddenly frozen with an unnatural fear. Kromnak noticing Flippy has stopped comes back and snaps me back to my senses. 

(GM Note: This was the Hall of Fear that required a Wisdom saving throw. Failing this simply incapacitates a person. Only Fizzle failed the save but rolled a 19 on the follow-up.)

Meanwhile, Tholin finds the stairs ahead are trapped and will turn into a slide if sprung. He disarms the trap without breaking a sweat (Rolled 25 for disarm). At the top of the stairs is a 25×15 room. To the west and north are doors. Checking for traps reveal nothing. Opening the door on the west wall reveals stairs down. In the back of the room is a cupboard with linens, blankets, plates, cups, and other household items. We discover a blue bubbly Potion of Heroism (1hr 10hp). [Goes in the bag of holding.]

The door on the north wall leads to a softly lit room is softly with a cobblestone floor patterned with numbers in a grid. Across the room on the opposite corner is a door. Tholin deduces that there is a path across if you step only on the prime numbers. Kromnak just barrels straight across the room. We find stepping off the primes gets you zapped. Kromnack gets zapped a lot. We make it across to find a door. Tholin checks it and find the doorknob hot. We back up a little and Tholin opens it with Mage Hand. We hear a “Tee hee hee! That tickles!” as the door swings open. There is a face in the other (front) side of the door that greets us.

There is a 10×10 platform on the other side. Lower down is lava and flame. There are some ropes and cross beams to help, but it is very hard to cross. You’d have to be very agile or lucky to make it across! Kromnak is especially persuasive and gets the door to tell us about the room beyond. She is there to let the survivors out if any make it. She tells us the man with the pointy ears usually just floats across. Well we can’t do that! We give the door the name Dora and decide to take it with us. Kromnak removes the hinges and straps the door to his back.

Looking back the way we came, we see a door we missed hidden behind the open door that we came in through. We cross back to it (stepping on those prime number spots) and open it to find a 15-foot hall with a door on the right. Here we decide to take a short rest here. 

From Fizzle’s Diary: Chapter 5

Indiana Jones running from boulder trap

Fizzle’s Diary:  Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8

Chapter 0, Character Intros: Tholin | Kromnock Mor | Fizzle


From the ongoing saga of Fizzle’s and his hired companions.
written by Fiznarthian Ooglenook (played David Pettit)
Featured image (screen capture from the film “Indian Jones and the Temple of Doom”)

Chapter 5

Game Day 3/23/2019

Pits of despair continue

We come across yet another trap door in the floor. As we are discussing what to do, Kromnak ties a rope to me, says, “let’s test it!” and pushes me onto the trapdoor. The trap springs and I dropped into the trap. I’m beginning to wonder whose side Kromnak is on. Tholin catches me on the rope and pulls me out. Checking the ceiling for anything useful and finding nothing, it’s decided that Fizzle should jump across. Jumping, I just barely make it, but twist an ankle on landing and fall back in (Rolled a 1). Once again Kromnak and Tholin grab the rope but not before I get stuck on a poison spike in the pit. Now instead of rescuing me they concentrate on how to cross the trap safely! I’m going to hire better help next time. (Will Fizzle survive? Tune in next paragraph on this same Bat channel.)

Kromnak tries sticking a javelin with a rope tied to it into the ceiling. It sticks but only a little, and when they test it, it dislodges, and they pull it back. Next they try throwing it all the way across. It sticks into the floor. They test pull it and it stays put.

Meanwhile back in the pit trap Fizzle is slowing sliding down onto the poison spike. “Help?”

Back up top Tholin makes it across on the rope to the other side of the trap. As Tholin starts looking for a way to disarm the trap, Kromnak remembers to pull me up with the rope tied to me. I’m saved!

Tholin finds a trick stone in the floor that disarms the trap. The trap closes with a click and we can cross (after Kromnak test with me again)!

Finding a crate, we break them open and find some vials with red potion in them. Looks like healing potions. Kromnak gives me one that he has tasted, but it does nothing of course since he tasted it. Barbarians ugh. I take one of the other vials and heal up some. We find 3 more vials in a second crate. Green underwater breathing potions (1hr). We continue.

Boulder bowling

Coming to a convex passage with a smooth groove in the center bearing left we see to the right a small ledge up a ways with a large boulder held back by a net. We can hear wind coming around the bolder and I see something blink up there behind it. We decide to investigate before going down the passage. Tholin attempts to climb up to the ledge; he gets to it but can’t find purchase to get up on it. He tries standing on Kromnak’s shoulders, as Tholin puts his head above the edge of the ledge something releases the net! The bolder plunges down and Tholin and Kromnak barely get out of the way in time. The boulder rolls off down the passageway in the groove and disappears. Another boulder rolls off the ledge 12 seconds later. I think we started something! 

In the gap between boulders Tholin boosts Kromnak up. He sees, over the edge of the ledge using his lit sword, a short passage with gears and a bolder lifting up at the end. Also a small alcove in the passage to the left with some sort of mechanical attendant. He jabs the attendant with his sword and jumps down out of the oncoming boulders way. After the boulder has passed Kromnak goes up and into the passage grabbing the mechanical attendant and throwing him in the way of the next bolder, which flattens it, while Kromnak is safe in the alcove. 

Back below Tholin hears something skittering behind him. He throws a firebolt at whatever it is, scoring a hit. 

Up top Kromnak smashes the control panel he has found in the alcove with his axe and the gears stop moving. Now a small squarish boxy thing crawls up out of the boulder delivery hole on spidery mechanical legs. It looks as if it is for repairing things. It doesn’t quite know what to do about Kromnak so it tries to poke him. It fails. Kromnak swings and slides the repair drone in half with his sword. Hearing the commotion below he jumps down.

Meanwhile Tholin and Fizzle have been fighting 3 more mechanical scouts. As Kromnak jumps down they are just finishing dispatching the last one. The floor starts to rumble, messing with the boulder machinery seems to have started a major breakdown. As we look for a way out, Fizzle spys a small gap. Running over to it is turns out to be a small passage. We take it the commotion.

The spider swarm

The passage zig-zags all over the place. Towards the end there is a lot of dust and cobwebs. I sign the wall with my chalk, ‘Fizzle was here’. We come out into a cavern with lots of cobwebs, many concentrated towards the back behind something large with glowing eyes. We think its a huge spider and attack! Tholin Firebolts the concentration of cobwebs we think is a nest, while I shoot it between the eyes and Kromnak slices it with his flaming sword. CLANG. Its metal, but Kromnak and I continue attaching. Tholin realizes it’s only a statue of a spider. He thinks it may be a distraction. We all consider this as I take the green eye jewels from the statue – after all – it doesn’t need them.

Spiders start dropping from the ceiling. Lots of spiders! Everyone is wounded, but I am overwhelmed and knocked out. Tholin gives me a healing potion and I regain my wits and cast sacred flames on myself in order to target the swarm of spiders crawling all over me. I succeed in killing some. They don’t like flames. Kromnak squishes many with the side of his axe blade. The swarm is down to half strength. I cast sacred flame on the spiders mobbing Tholin, but hurt him as well. Tholin is out. Kromnak continues squishing spiders on himself and knocks himself out. He’s down too! But, all the spiders are dead. I casts healing word on Tholin and cure wounds on Kromnak. Good thing I’m a cleric. With all of us conscious again, we take a rest.

From Fizzle’s Diary: Chapter 4

spiked pit trap

Fizzle’s Diary:  Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8

Chapter 0, Character Intros: Tholin | Kromnock Mor | Fizzle


From the ongoing saga of Fizzle’s and his hired companions.
written by Fiznarthian Ooglenook (played David Pettit)
Featured image (screen capture from Elder Scrolls)

Chapter 4

Game Day 2/23/2019

After our short rest, Tholin looks for any hidden ways to move forward. Finding none we decide to distract the fish and make a break for the far shore. Throwing some armor into the lake on the side we came from, we see the fish congregating around that area. We hastily head for the far shore as fast as we can. (Athletic Rolls: Fizzle – 15, Kromnak – 14, and Tholin – 2.) Kromnak and Fizzle make it, but Tholin gets only about half way when the fish catch up to him and attack! He gets chewed on, which spurs him on to an outstanding effort, and he makes it to the North shore to join us. He does have to use a potion to heal when he arrives.

Kromnak lights a torch while Tholin and Fizzle take a look around. Tholin finds something shiny and metallic in the sand. It looks a little like a cog from some machine. We find nothing else so we continue down the passage, keeping left; Tholin looking for traps, Fizzle, then Kromnak following. We soon come to another wall of darkness. We handle this one the same as the last patch of darkness with Fizzle exploring ahead on a rope. 

Moving forward by touch, Fizzle feels the floor transition from soft sand to flagstone. Someone has improved the floor in this section of cave. He briefly hears a click and whirring coming from the left ahead, but nothing further comes of it. Soon he comes out into another cavern that’s about 60’x40’. There is some light now from glowing moss on the walls. He ties the rope to a handy 40lb bolder and gives the rope the prearranged 2 (3 for help) tug signal for the others to join him. The rope and rock immediately disappear back into the darkness!?! Kromnak finding a rock on the rope instead of Fizzle and thinks he has disappeared. Tholin convinces him the tugs were the signal to follow. Fizzle can’t figure out what’s taking them so long. Tholin and Kromnak start after Fizzle, Tholin following the left wall as Fizzle did. Kromnak doesn’t know his left from his right and follows along the right hand wall. Tholin joins Fizzle, but Kromnak goes off in a long circle following the right hand wall and ends up back where he started. “It’s magic! They are gone.” He continues on around the loop again. Finally after another time around he hears Fizzle and Tholin yelling to follow the wall with his “wiper” (left) hand and he joins them.

Searching this cavern we find some large scratches in the wall about 10’ up. We continue on.

Tholin in the lead spots a trap in the floor of the passage we are following. It’s a trap door the full width of the passage and about 20’ across. On the far side about 3’ up the wall is a dry patch of brown moss or algae. Maybe its a switch. Before they can discuss it, Kromnak says “lets throw “Flippy” across!” and does. Fizzle yells “Nooo…” and flies gracefully end over end across the 20 feet and slams into the wall face first. Sliding down in a heap he takes 5 points of damage. Tholin and Kromnak jump across after. (With no damage.) It turns out the moss covers a button that disables the trap door. Fizzle recovers, muttering something about barbarians under his breath. The party continues on.

illustration of a spike pit trap in a dungeon
Spiked pit trap

Next we come into a cavern with small alcoves to the left and right. We each check one, finding nothing but algae on the walls, which reaches out and grabs Kromnak and Fizzle. “Not my wiping hand!” cries Kromnak. Tholin attempts to hack the stuff off Kromnak. but it is resistant to hacking. Kromnak tries his flame sword, which is very effective at burning the stuff up. Seeing this I use Sacred Flame and manage to make a dent in mine. Tholin and Kromnak both shoot it with bow and crossbow and it expires. All free again, we move on.

Tholin finds another trap in the passageway. This one is only 12 feet across. Tholin jumps it and Kromnak tosses me. Kromnak carefully trips the trap to see what happens. The trap door opens onto a 30 foot pit with spikes at the bottom. He jumped it easily and Tholin pushes the button to safe the trap and we continue on down a wider corridor into another chamber. Finding more algae creatures we kill them and settle in for a long rest.

During my watch I hear a noise which turns out to be a mechanical bronze scout on the ceiling. It drops down and attacks us. Tholin swings at it with his rapier and gives it a good hit. I cast spiritual weapon and manifest a large yellow bear in a red jumper (a Pooh Bear), but Pooh misses his swing. Pooh looks very cross. I cast enhance on Kromnak to give him more strength. He takes a mighty swing with his great axe. Whack! Tholin misses with a fire bolt and I manage to miss with both my crossbow and Pooh Bear. Then Kromnak hits it with his flaming sword and Tholin finishes it off with fire bolt. I cast cure wounds on Tholin and we finish our rest.

After resting we move on further. Tholin finds yet another trap! Tying a rope to himself as previously, Tholin jumps across only to land on a second trap door which springs open! He falls but we catch him with the rope, saving him from certain doom. Pulling him up with the rope Tholin manages to get up on the narrow section between the two traps. Fizzle spots the disarm switch on the far wall, but it’s too far to jump across both gaps and Tholin can’t get a running to jump from the narrow 1 foot section of floor he is on. We are discussing trying to shoot the button when Fizzle, having seen Tholin use magic before wonders if he can do “Mage hand”. He can, and uses it to push the disarm button and both traps lock shut. We all move across and are free to continue on.  

From Fizzle’s Diary: Chapter 3

Ghost Town by Iiandmrak

Fizzle’s Diary:  Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8

Chapter 0, Character Intros: Tholin | Kromnock Mor | Fizzle


From the ongoing saga of Fizzle’s and his hired companions.
written by Fiznarthian Ooglenook (played David Pettit)
Featured image Ghost town by IIDanmrack

Chapter 3

Game day 2/23/2019

The next morning we eat some more of Kromnak’s goat, and prepare for our day.  This morning Kromnak manages to actually get up and stay on one of the horses. He names his horse, Horse.  Fizzle and Tholin share the other horse, Matilda, with Fizzle driving.  

Close up of
Ruins of Amara location on the Briarstone Map

We approach the ruins of Amara midafternoon. Tholin’s keen eyes discern possible movement on some of the ruined towers of Amara, so we vear to the west (inland) to some light tree cover.  There we leave the horses in a small clearing with plenty of grass to eat and Kromnak picks some wild garlic (which turns out to be dandelions) to ward off vampires. We move closer to the tree line to observe the ruins and take cover behind the trees, except for Kromnak whos idea of hiding is to pose as a tree.  Fizzle convinces him to actually hide behind a tree, where he amuses himself playing with his flame sword <sigh>. 

Hand-drawn sketch of the Ruins of Amara
The Ruins of Amara
(I drew this map in August 2018 and have been wanting use it in game ever since.)

It is about 50 yards from the trees to the broken city wall.  Tree cover is sparse near the ruins and the trees appear more and more dead and petrified the closer to the walls you get.  We can’t see much from cover so we decide to send Tholin in closer for a look, as he is better at stealth than Kromnak or Fizzle. After Tholin leaves Fizzle tries to get the concept of patience and waiting quietly across to Kromnak with some limited success.  At least he puts out his sword.

Tholin gets right up to the wall without being seen.  He peaks around a gap in the wall and has a good view of the northern section of the ruins.  He sees several groups (2-5) of ghosts roaming about in no discernible pattern. They don’t ever pass outside the walls, leading to the conclusion that the walls might be a barrier to them.  Returning to us, he passes on what he has learned. We decide to wait until nightfall to make our entry to the ruins, hoping to avoid detection. We take a short rest.

When night arrives Tholin dons the Circlet of Protection. We stealthily make our way to the walls of Amara. Before entering we peak around the gap in the wall and make sure the coast is clear.  It is. Tholin uses the circlet to cast protection on each of us which will last 10 minutes. We hope this is enough time to make it to the path down the cliff that the old man told us about.  Based on the map we have and the old man’s story we think the path down the cliff should be somewhere near the top of the cliff overlooking the only cove depicted, which is near the northern part of the ruins.  This is why we chose to enter at this northern gape in the wall.

A section of the hand-drawn map from the Ruins of Amara
Red line shows the adventurers’ path taken through the Ruins of Amara

Avoiding that ghost we see another group approaching and move down the row and into the end house before they spot us.  Leaving Kromnak Mor to watch the door, Tholin and I look around for anything that might be of use to us. All I find is a rusty knife in the kitchen, but Tholin finds a book of some kind and, in the bedroom of the house, a ghost of a girl child.  We all join him and Kromnak is able to persuade her to help us in return for the book Tholin found. She guides us across through another broken down house to the cliff edge, avoiding more ghosts along the way. There we find the beginning of a steep narrow path down the cliff.  Kromnak sends our ghost guide home and I cast some healing on Kromnak whose interaction with the ghost cost some health.  

We tie ourselves together to minimize the danger of one of us falling and begin our descent.  Fizzle in the lead and Kromnak anchoring the end. We make it down uneventfully. We make our way through some boulders (it’s a tight squeeze for Kromnak).  Tholin leads us as we sneak across the cove to a large boulder near where we think the entrance to the caves is, Tholin having heard some voices. We decide to have Tholin use the Chime of Opening to open the entrance to the cavern as we don’t know exactly where it is.  (This uses up one of our five uses.) The guards mistake the opening for their leader coming back, so we take them by surprise! (Also this might confirm the leader is out.)   

We take out the guards.  Ha. Thought I was going to describe it, didn’t ya.  Well I will. Tholin and I keep to cover and take shots with my crossbow and his bow while Kromnak goes in with a frontal assault.  He manages to miss every blow while taking every shot the two guards can dish out. I plug one of the guards full of bolts and Tholin fills the other with arrows.  Then Tholin moves in and finishes both of them with his sword. Kromnak is a pin cushion and down, so we use one of Kromnak’s healing potions on him and he comes around.

We enter the cavern which funnels down to a 3 foot diameter hole in the rear wall about two feet off the floor.  It is completely black and we cannot see inside. When Kromnak sticks his lit sword into it the light disappears. The same thing happens when I try a torch.  There is some kind of dark enchantment on the hole. Tying a rope to myself, I crawl into the hole and head straight back. Coming to the end of my rope without coming out of the darkness, I go back and tie on another length.  Heading back in I stay to the right this time, and eventually emerge from the darkness into a cavern lit by glowing moss or something. The cavern contains a lake with a waterfall and an island. The only way forward seems to be through the lake.

Pencil sketch of cave
David Pettit’s sketch of the waterfall cavern

Kromnak, of course, immediately jumps into the lake and starts swimming for the island.  Tholin and I look around a little first before jumping in and spy a ledge we want to check on.  We swim to that, but have a little trouble climbing the wall up to the ledge. We are soon surrounded by quipper fish, which want to eat us.  We climb the wall! On the ledge we find bones all arranged neatly by type, creepy, but nothing else. Kromnak having reached the island and found neatly arranged weapons and armor, throws us a rope, attached to a javelin.  

Kromnak, of course, immediately jumps into the lake and starts swimming for the island.  Tholin and I look around a little first before jumping in and spy a ledge we want to check on.  We swim to that, but have a little trouble climbing the wall up to the ledge. We are soon surrounded by quipper fish, which want to eat us.  We climb the wall! On the ledge we find bones all arranged neatly by type, creepy, but nothing else. Kromnak having reached the island and found neatly arranged weapons and armor, throws us a rope, attached to a javelin.  

I try to cross hand over hand on the rope and slip.  The quippers close in, and Tholin throws me another rope. Climbing back out with the help of the rope h, I manage to make it across on the second try, taking the end of the second rope with me.  Tholin ties the second rope around himself and crosses over too. Now we are all on the island. Kromnak throws a spear at the waterfall to see if its open behind it. It is not. We take a short rest.

#18 – The Deadly Treasure Room of the Berlstrum Belly Dungeon

Battle map with numbered items and minis
THE FOLLOWING BLOG POST IS PART 18 OF THE DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS 5TH EDITION CAMPAIGN, DREADSTORMS LOST. THESE BLOGS ARE INTENDED FOR OTHER GAME MASTERS WHO MIGHT WANT TO USE THIS CAMPAIGN SETTING AND THE SCENARIOS TO INSPIRE THEIR OWN ROLE PLAYING GAMES. (FREE FOR NONCOMMERCIAL REUSE.)

Notes:

Ideally, Room #8 will be the final room the team enters in this dungeon crawl and they’ve had a chance to do some leveling. The treasure room is brutal and will easily kill the unprepared or unlucky.

This is the space that Kazel spent many hours over many years creating to protect the various magical items that the Deadly Omega 6 gathered during their adventuring day. Kazel also stored some of his experiments with potions, scrolls, and items down here that he didn’t want to leave were they might hurt Foreshot.

Room 8 DOES NOT contain Kazel, but does have the means for them to be able to find the hidden pocket lair. If they free Gruber the Mimic, he will tell the what they need and show them where the best spot to enter is.


Berlstrum Belly Dungeon
Map of the Berlstrum Belly Dungeon

Berlstrum Belly Review

Dungeon Walls: Sharp briarstone rock make up the walls and ceiling. The crystals are so sharp that one has to be cautious not to cut themselves on the walls. 1d6 piercing damage if pushed/knocked into the wall or ceiling.

Dungeon Floor: Consists of smooth, black shiny stone. When running on the surface, there’s a chance of falling prone (DEX DC 11) due to the slippery surface. Pushes and slides go twice normal distance.

Illumination: Dark. No natural light available.


Treasure Room #8 

The Treasure Room is divided into four parts:

  • Part 1: The Skeleton mob encounter
  • Part 2: Treasure room trap information (to aid in the Skill Challenge)
  • Part 3: The treasure room trap encounter/skill challenge telling what happens each round when the trap springs
  • Part 4: Information for Part 4 will be on the next post.
    – description of the treasure and their traps and content
    – mixed within these 20 boxes are 3 mimics, one of which is potential ally to the party.
    – Gruber the Mimic is a character unto himself; some backstory and some colorful dialogue

Part 1: Skeleton Mob

Bones! So many bones. A large cavernous space has piles of bones, abandoned shields, and weapons scattered throughout. (The skulls look humanoid.) Along the south wall is a large assortment of chests, barrels, and crates (20 total).

Scattered throughout the room are piles of bones. If any bones are touched, all of the skeletons assemble and attack. There are 10-25 skeletons (adjust for party size and strength) in this room.

  • If any of the treasure is disturbed/touched during the battle, the trap sequence will also be activated.
  • If any of the party get close enough to the 2 hostile mimics, they will attack, unless the flood trap is going

Skeletons from Jason and the Argonauts movieWarrior Skeletons

See 5th Edition Monster Manual page 273 for stats.


LOOT

  • Rusty weapons and pieces moldy armor

Part 2: Treasure Room Trap Information

Flood Flusher Trap

If any of the treasure is touched inside this room, even by magical means, it will start the flood trap sequence. If the players manage to discover the trap before setting it off, they will have a much better chance of surviving the trap.

Ability/Combat Challenge

Objective: Either survive the trap, if triggered, or figure out how to defeat the trap and access the treasure

Each successful ability check or hit is 100 XP into a group pool. Fails are -100 from the group pool. Natural 20s count as 200 XP. Natural 1s count as -200 XP. The group pool experience is divided equally among the surviving party members

A player can also choose to pass on their turn or assist another. Either counts as a 0 XP gain/loss. An assist gives the other player a +3 bonus on their next action.

You can NOT use the same ability or attack twice in a row and you can not use the same skill as the person before you.

Note: Clues to give the players are included below. The player does need to say that they are looking at the specific area/thing to receive that relevant clue. If there are no additional details to gather within that DC range or lower, it is a failed check. If they haven’t gained the necessary knowledge yet (ie you can’t dismantle a trap if you haven’t found it yet), use information from a lower DC or give them a useful related hint.

Room details and possible abilities suggestions for the skill challenge by difficulty level

FLOOD: refers to actions/abilities to do while the flood part of the trap is occuring
TREASURE: is information regarding the heavily trapped pile of boxes, chests, and crates full of loot against the far wall
SUMMON MONSTER: Refers to the sequence in the trap that summons a Water Weird
BARRICADE TRAP: Information on the part of the trap that blocks the two exits and traps the water inside the room

DC 10-14

Acrobatics (DEX)
___FLOOD: Move at full speed without falling down when water starts pouring down (only applies when water is ~2 feet or less)
___FLOOD: Balance on top of a treasure chest (dry, above the waterline)

Athletics (STR)
___FLOOD: Toss the end of a rope or chain to a party member through the water

Arcana (INT)
___TREASURE: You find a small glyph of warding on one of the treasure chests
___TREASURE: Casting Detect Magic on the pile of treasure, there is a LOT of magic blips over all of the boxes
___SUMMON MONSTER: The rune on the wall is a magic trigger
___The rune on the ceiling is a magic trigger (Blinding Light spell will activate this spell, triggering the barricade doors)

Dexterity
___FLOOD: Catch the end of a rope or chain tossed to you by a party member

Dungineering (INT)
___BARRICADE TRAP: A small vertical line on the wall in the passageway into the room is smoother than the surrounding wall

History (INT)
___Kazel was famous for studying and defeating famous dungeon traps during his adventuring days

Investigate (INT)
___
The various chests, barrels, and crates are secured using rusty chains and worn ropes looped onto u-bars in the sharp Briarstone walls
___There are 1d4 ropes and 1d4 chains attached to the wall behind the pile of treasure that do not currently have anything attached to them. Length varies from 5-20 feet.

Perception (WIS):
___FLOOD: The ceiling of the cavern has an unusual undulating pattern, varying from 10 to 11 ft in height.
___SUMMON MONSTER: You spot a symbol carved into the on the Briarstone wall. An impressive feat considering the how easily the briarstone crystals shatter
___FLOOD: You spot a symbol on the ceiling

DC 15-20

Acrobatics
___FLOOD: Move at full speed without falling down when water starts pouring down (only applies when water is around 2 feet or less)
___FLOOD: Balance on top of one of a box of treasure (with water present)

Arcana (INT)
___Casting Detect Magic and studying the walls will reveal several small magical symbols worked into briarstone crystals on the wall. They are not all the same.
___Casting Detect Magic and studying the ceiling 
___TREASURE: Symbol on the treasure chest is a Glyph of Warding that will set off the Blinding Light spell
___TREASURE: Casting Detect Magic on the pile of treasure, the Glyph of Warding (Blinding Light spell) seems to be on all of the boxes

Athletics (STR)
___BARRICADE TRAP: Jam something into the wall to stop the door from sealing from completing its
___FLOOD: When the water is pouring in or out, be an anchor to keep one of your party in place or out of the water

Dungineering (INT)
___BARRICADE TRAP: You spot scratches on the floor that run from wall to wall in a straight line that suggest stones rubbing together
___TRAP DOOR TO CHUTE: There is a hair-line seam in the floor in the southeast corner

History (INT)
___
Kazel and Foreshot have lived in Berlstrum for over 10 years. Rumor has it that their old adventuring buddies would visit and they would all disappear for days and weeks at time

Perception (WIS)
___TREASURE/MIMICS: Looking at all of the treasures tied to the wall, three of them are secured differently, with large spikes drilled into the backside. They do not look the same.
___SUMMON MONSTER: The same symbol is carved into the Briarstone wall at a 4 foot height in four spots
___FLOOD: The upper wave in the undulating ceiling has 6 inch holes every foot.

History (INT)
___
Kazel once bragged to a bard that with enough time and resources, he could create the most diabolical of traps. He knew how the greedy minds of adventurers works, since he was one himself!

DC 21-25

Arcana (Int)
___FLOOD: The four glyphs carved into the Briarstone wall at a 4 foot height around the entire room will activate when it is immersed in water and summon a monster (Water Weird)
Dispel Magic DC 17
___All of the treasure chests seem to have a Glyph of Warding (Blinding Light)
Glyphs won’t activate until one of the secured treasures is disturbed. Each of the chests/boxes/ crates/barrels has a matching glyph hidden somewhere on its surface. Each glyph will set off the same trap sequence. The trap resets after running full cycle.
Dispel Magic DC 17
___TREASURE/MIMICS: One of the three treasure chests with large spikes drilled into the backside has elaborate, stylish markings. They are a like a child’s copy of the Glyph of Warding and other runes spotted around the room. (Gruber, the Mimic likes to embellish and be creative with his self-decoration.)
___The rune on the ceiling is a magic trigger; a Blinding Light spell will activate this spell, which in turn triggers the barricade doors – Dispel Magic DC 17

Dungineering  (INT)
___BARRICADE TRAP: There are Barrier Trap in both passageways. There’s no obvious mechanical trigger. It’s most likely activated by magic.
___TRAP DOOR TO CHUTE: The hair-line seam in the floor in the southeast corner is a trap door that will open downward, into a large chute. It would take a very strong force to push the door open.

Disarm Trap / Thieves Tools
___BARRICADE TRAP: Dismantle one of the barricades before it triggers

Perception (WIS)
___TREASURE/MIMICS: Looking at all of the treasures tied to the wall, the two of the three with large spikes drilled into the backside do not have any magical symbols. The third one has markings, but they are more elaborate and stylish looking.

Strength
___SLIDE TRAP: Force open the trap door to the chute

Dungineering  (INT)
___SLIDE TRAP: The trap door will open downwards into a large slide. It would take a lot of pressure to open. Like a room full of
___SLIDE TRAP: Based on our current location, the slide probably spits out into the middle of the Thornbreaker waterfall and into the Forlorn Bay.
___BARRICADE TRAP: The Barricade Trap contacting the floor triggers the mechanical gears to open the flood gates. The widgets and gadgets that work the trap are up in the ceiling above the cavern.

DC 26-30

Arcana (INT)
___The glyphs on the treasure set off chain reactions, started by touching the treasure. Touching treasure sets off Blinding Light, which triggers the Barriers, which starts the water coming in. When the water reaches the glyphs at 4 feet high, a creature is summoned. When the water reaches the ceiling, the trap door in the SE corner opens. Targeting dispel magic on each glyph will keep the sequence from starting.

Strength
___SLIDE TRAP: Keep the trap door to the chute open after forcing it open
___BARRICADE TRAP: Break/move barricades after they are locked in place

DC 31-40

Investigate (INT)
___You know the password sequence to stop the entire trap from going off. You are Kazel. Shouldn’t you be casting a ritual right now?


Part 3: The Encounter

If the trap is set off, the trap sequence is initiated, beginning with the blinding light

GLYPH OF WARDING (BLINDING LIGHT) goes off; A pulse of brilliant light blinds all those within 30 feet; DC 16 CON, save ends.

Immediately following the flash of light, you hear a voice say, “Fuck! Not again!” [Gruber, the Mimic]

ROLL INITIATIVE

Trap goes at the top of each round; note the Mimics mixed in with the treasure won’t attack during the flood trap, but will as soon as it’s over. 

Round 1 – BARRICADE TRAP activates; Smooth obsidian stone slabs shoot upwards from their well camouflaged nooks in the floor, blocking the passageway at either entrance

  • DC 14 Reflex save to avoid being crushed: ATK +10 melee (3d6); if standing on one
  • Jamming the door opposed DC 25 STR check
  • DC 30 STR to break/move barrier once up

Round 2 – FLOODING ROOM TRAP activates; from numerous 6 inch holes hidden in the upper waves of the ceiling, water gushes out, quickly filling the room. The columns of water make visibility and movement difficult. As the water pours down, the already slippery floor becomes almost impossible to navigate;

  • DC 15 Ability Check (DEX/ Acrobatics/ Athletics) to move or fall prone;
  • DC 10 Ability Check (DEX/ Acrobatics/ Athletics) to stand still or fall prone

Round 3 – Water continues pouring in and is 1-1/2 feet deep at the beginning of round.

Round 4 – Water continues pouring in and is 3 feet deep at the beginning of round.

Round 5 – Water continues pouring in and is 4-1/2 feet deep at the beginning of round.

  • Water Weird is summoned; a spout of water erupts in the center of the room. [Attacks this round.] NOTE: Water Weird is INVISIBLE when fully immersed
  • Holding breath if under 5 feet tall; disadvantaged with attacks

Water Weird

See 5th Edition Monster Manual page 299 for stats.


LOOT

  • none

Round 6 – Water continues pouring in and is 6 feet deep at the beginning of round.

  • if under 6-1/2 ft tall; disadvantaged on attacks

Round 7 – Water continues pouring in and is 8 feet deep at the beginning of round.

  • Most will have disadvantaged on attacks at this point

Round 8 – Water continues pouring in and is at 9-1/2 feet deep at the beginning of round.

Round 9 – Water reaches the top of the undulating ceiling. It continues pouring in.

Round 10 – Water pressure builds and forces the Trap Door to swing down into the chute below

  • A perception 15 might hear the mechanical gears clicking near the southeast corner.
  • TRAP SLIDE DOOR opens.
    The trap door is located in the southeast corner of the room. The “hinge” side is along the wall and the door goes down into the chute. The door is 20 feet wide at the base and tapers to a rounded triangle pointed towards the room.
  • All the water in the room, along with the anything not tied down gets flushed down the long chute.

Round 11 – Water continues pouring in from the ceiling and rushing out the trap door.

At the end of each party member’s turn, they need to make an Saving Throw to see if they are pushed by the water current down the chute:

  • Standing or Prone, without anchor – DC 20 STRENGTH SAVE On a failed save creature is pulled 20 feet towards the trap door.
  • Holding onto something – DC 15 STRENGTH SAVE A player can grab hold of rope or chain that’s already attached to the wall behind the treasure or create their own anchor. On a failed save creature is pulled 20 feet towards the trap door.
    If they are holding on with one hand, they can only attack with the free hand.
  • Use Rope or Chain – DC 20 DEXTERITY
    Securing yourself or helping someone else is an action.
    If securing oneself with a rope or chain, make a DEX ability check to determine if it will hold. Once successfully secured, you no longer need to save and can aid other party members.
  • Mimics (3): If one of the players manages by random chance to stand on or grab hold of one of the mimics in its object form, they will become adhered to the mimic through it’s natural Adhesive trait. (See MM220) The escape DC for the mimic adhesive is 13, which is NOT as strong as the current, but they do gain Advantage on the Holding onto Something save.
    If arms are stuck to the mimic, it will make using the hands to secure a rope or chain difficulty, giving them a Disadvantage on Use Rope. 
  • On a Failed Save, a person is pushed towards/down the chute.
    • The slide shoots out near the bottom of the Berlstrum waterfall (about 50 feet from waterline). It’s a DC 25 STR check to stop sliding mid-chute with the water and random debris rushing past you.
    • Hitting the waterfall and slamming into the turbulent water causes 5d10 bludgeoning damage; Athletics DC 15 for half
    • Once flushed out of the chute and into the bay, swim check
    • [insert your own on-the-fly water adventure here]

Round 12 – Water continues to rush out the trap door, the pull towards the drain increasing each round. Incoming water stops.

  • Standing or Prone, without anchor – DC 22 STR/Athletics
  • Holding onto Rope or Chain anchor – DC 17 STR/Athletics
  • Use Rope or Chain – DC 22 DEX;

Round 13 – Water swirls faster and stronger as it drains.

  • Water drops to 8 feet deep.
  • Standing or Prone, without anchor – DC 22 STR/Athletics
  • Holding onto Rope or Chain anchor – DC 17 STR/Athletics
  • Use Rope or Chain – DC 22 DEX; If securing oneself with a rope or chain, make a DEX check to determine if the knot will hold. Once successfully secured, a save is longer need to save and they can aid other party members.

Round 14 – Water swirls and drains.

  • Water drops to 6 feet deep.
  • Standing or Prone, without anchor – DC 24 STR/Athletics
  • Holding onto Rope or Chain anchor – DC 19 STR/Athletics
  • Use Rope or Chain – DC 24 DEX

Round 15 – Water swirls and drains.

  • Water drops to 4 feet deep.
  • Standing or Prone, without anchor – DC 26 STR save
  • Holding onto Rope or Chain anchor – DC 21 STR save
  • Use Rope or Chain – DC 26 DEX

Round 16 –– Water swirls and drains.

  • Water drops to 2 feet deep.
  • Standing or Prone, without anchor – DC 28 STR save
  • Holding onto Rope or Chain anchor – DC 15 STR save
  • Mimics (2): At this point, if any of the party members are on or near one of the 2 hostile mimics, it will attack.
  • (The 3rd Mimic) Gruber the Mimic is not very brave and will try to negotiate his freedom. He is starving, so the temptation to eat a rude adventurer is strong. He is also starving for conversation, as the other 2 mimics don’t really talk. At all. Ever.

Round 17 – Water is completely drained from the room. A Gust of Wind (spell PHB 249) blows through the room, chasing the last of the water out and quick-drying the whole room

  • DC 17 Strength saving throw or be knocked back 15 feet towards the open trap door

Round 18 – Once water completely drains, the trap door/ramp slams shut, the barriers open, and the entire trap resets … unless someone blocks the trap from resetting.


Part 4: All the Loot

There is a LOT of treasure to be had in this room, some cursed and some not. Up in the next installment are the traps and treasure my players found.

#17 – More Encounters in Berlstrum Belly Dungeon

Players Encounter the Troglodytes on Battle Grid
THE FOLLOWING BLOG POST IS PART 17 OF THE DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS 5TH EDITION CAMPAIGN, DREADSTORMS LOST. THESE BLOGS ARE INTENDED FOR OTHER GAME MASTERS WHO MIGHT WANT TO USE THIS CAMPAIGN SETTING AND THE SCENARIOS TO INSPIRE THEIR OWN ROLE PLAYING GAMES. (FREE FOR NONCOMMERCIAL REUSE.)

Notes:

I’m repeating the same info at the top off all the Berlstrum Belly Dungeon posts for ease of finding the information. 


Berlstrum Belly Dungeon
Map of the Berlstrum Belly Dungeon

Berlstrum Belly Review

Dungeon Walls: Sharp briarstone rock make up the walls and ceiling. The crystals are so sharp that one has to be cautious not to cut themselves on the walls. 1d6 piercing damage if pushed/knocked into the wall or ceiling.

Dungeon Floor: Consists of smooth, black shiny stone. When running on the surface, there’s a chance of falling prone (DEX DC 11) due to the slippery surface. Pushes and slides go twice normal distance.

Illumination: Dark. No natural light available.


Room #4 

(T) Proximity Trap: Magic Missile, TRAP is at entrance from Amagoste’s Farm

Perception DC 22 to detect the runes etched into the briarstone at the mouth of the cave, advantage on perception if the person spotted a previous Magic Missile trap.
Disarm DC 20

Triggers when a creature enters its 20ft radius; 3 magic missiles (1d4+4 damage) will go to the 3 closest targets within 20 ft.

3 Earth Elementals

3 Small Earth Briarstone Elementals

A toppled, broken statue lies in the center. Someone has scrawled “The walls listen” on the statue. 3 Small Earth Briarstone Elementals pop out of the walls & floors behind the intruders

Depending on where the players move around in this space, it is possible that they’ll confront all 6 small earth elementals in the same fight.

Room #4b

3 Small Earth Briarstone Elementals

Unlit candles are scattered across the floor, near the north entrance. A rusted chain lies in the southwest corner. 3 Small Earth Briarstone Elementals pop out of the walls & floors behind the intruders

Small Briarstone Earth Elemental

Small elemental, neutral

These are “baby” earth elementals made up of Briarstone. They are small size creatures, move slower than the adults, only have one attack per round, and less hits points.

The sharp briarstone rock adds 1d4 piercing damage in addition to the bludgeoning from their slam attacks


Armor Class 17 
Hit Points 3d10+4
Speed 20 ft, burrow 25 ft.


STR 20 (+5), DEX 8 (-1), CON 18 (+4), INT 5 (-3), WIS 10 (0), CHA 5 (-3)


Saving Throws WIS +1

Damage Vulnerabilities thunder
Damage Resistance
bludgeoning, piercing, slashing from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities
 exhaustion, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, unconcious
Senses darkvision 60ft, tremor sense 30 ft, passive perception 10
Challenge 2


ACTIONS

Slam Attack Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 10ft, one creature
Hit: 1d6+5  bludgeoning + 1d4 slashing


SPECIAL

Earth Glide. See 5th Edition Monster Manual page 124

Siege Monster. See 5th Edition Monster Manual page 124
Room #4
(T) Proximity Trap: Magic Missile, TRAP is at entrance from Amagoste’s Farm


LOOT

None unless you count the stray candles, rusty chain, or broken statue

Room #5 

2 Undead Chimeras

On either side of the cavern, two skeletal figures stand, each a confusing mish-mash of bones. 3 animal skulls [lion, dragon, ram] seem to be attached to a large frame of bones.  And what were once possibly wings stick out from the back. A bony tail raps around it’s legs, a serpent skull at the tip.

As you step within sight of the 2 creatures, 6 skulls simultaneously rotate in your direction. You image that the skeletal faces smile at you in menacing anticipation.

Chimera Undead

Large undead, neutral evil


Armor Class 19 
Hit Points 95 / 80
Speed 30 ft


STR 19 (+4), DEX 11 (0), CON 18 (+4), INT 3 (-4), WIS 6 (-2), CHA 5 (-3)


Saving Throws CON +4
Damage Immunities
poison
Condition Immunities poisoned
Senses Darkvision 60ft, Passive Perception 16
Challenge 4


ACTIONS

Multiattack (3)

Dragon Head Bite Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5ft, one creature (The undead Chimera does not have fire breath.)
Hit: 2d6 + 4 piercing

Ram Head Horns Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5ft, one creature
Hit: 1d6 +4  bludgeoning

Lion’s Claws Melee Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, reach 5ft, one creature
Hit: 1d6 + 2 slashing


SPECIAL

No Life Drain. Though this creature is undead, it was undead before the Eye of Orcus ritual began, so it does not have the Life Drain ability.

Undead Fortitude. If damage reduces the undead to 0 hit points, it must make a CON saving throw with a DC of 5 + damage taken, unless the damage is radiant or from a critical hit. On a success, the undead drops to 1 hit point instead.


LOOT

Within a a disintegrating leather pouch is 120 gold. 

In the area to the upper right of #5 is the remains of Chimera nest, full of non-magical armor, rusty weapons, random clothing and the like. Amidst this mess is the leather pouch with the gold. For those who search diligently, they might also find the petrified remains of large egg shell of some sort.

Room #6

2 Minotaurs

Blocking the passage stand two large, man-like creatures with heads like bulls. If the party decides to go around the minotaurs, they will let them. Their job is to stop anyone from entering area #8. They’re the strong, silent (trapped there with a geas) type. They will not answer questions.

If they seeing the party advancing towards them, the 2 creatures roar a savage battle cry and charge!

Minotaur

See 5th Edition Monster Manual page 223 for stats.


CURSE OF THE MINOTAUR

Whoever slays the minotaur (KILLING BLOW) must succeed on a DC 10 Charisma saving throw or become transformed (as the polymorph spell–PHB 266) into a minotaur (MM 223). Creature retains its intelligence and ability to speak. At the end of each long rest, the polymorphed creature can repeat the saving throw. On a successful saving throw, the creature returns to its true form. After three failed saving throws. the transformation can be undone only by a remove curse spell or similar magic.


LOOT

  • 2 Greataxes
  • Large, battered leather armor
  • Coin: 67 gold
  • 1 Potion of Frost Giant Strength (1 hour-Str 23)
  • 1 Potion of Superior Healing (8d4+8) – If a Minotaur has a chance to take use this potion, they will

Room #7 & 7b

Troglodyte Clan

A clan of Troglodytes makes their home here. The Troglodytes will remain hidden until the party passes, then try to surround and ambush them.

Water seeps between briarstone shards, creating in an opaque, narrow stream between the wall and the path (5-10 feet wide). If one were to enter the stream, they would find it surprisingly deep (10-20 feet), and the bottom lined with skulls and shards of bones and unidentifiable garbage. Occasionally the stream widens into small pools that smell strongly of mold and stagnation. Overpowering the mold is the reek of oily, rotten meat and offal.

The ground has a gradual slope down and the ceiling gets higher. By the time the party gets to the spot between area 7 and 7b, the ceiling is 40 feet from the floor.

A croak of a toad is heard up ahead.

The troglodytes will stay hidden until the party passes through the choke point into the 7b area.

Between a column of rock and the stream is a a large pile of junk (10 feet high and 10 feet diameter), with many sharp, rusty metal bits pointing upwards. Immediately above the pile is a hole in the ceiling. This is the entrance from the Library.

*Library Entrance

The secret access to the tunnel leading into Berlstrum’s Belly is through the library’s restricted section. The restricted section has an area effect on it that bars anyone not of a good alignment from entering. If on friendly terms with Norttle, he’ll open the way for them. (Norttle can also be helpful in aiding party members with research in his library.)

If Norttle is not available to help, the party will need to unlock the door to the restricted area (DC 20) and find the hidden entrance. Spotting the hidden mechanism to slide the bookshelf open is a DC 25 Investigation. Locking or trapping the mechanism is at the GM’s discretion.

Through the sliding door is a spiral staircase that leads down into the tunnel. It takes about 1-1/2 hours to walk (normal speed) from the library entrance to the opening above the Troglodyte area (7B). There is a 5 foot shelf that encircles half the hole. It’s a 30 foot drop from the edge of the hole to the top of the large pile of pointy bits.

If a character falls onto the pile, they’d take 3d6 bludgeoning and 2d6 piercing damage. Climbing down a rope (DC 10) is a possible option, but they’d need to make an Acrobatics check (DC 15) to swing clear of the junk pile .

Whether they come from inside the Belly or from the Library entrance, the troglodytes will remain hidden until they can ambush the group.

Troglodytes

See 5th Edition Monster Manual page 290 for stats.


LOOT

Submersed in the water is a moldy crate that falls apart when moved. Inside are:

  • 1d6 Greater Healing Potions (4d4+4)
  • 1d10 Healing Potions (2d4+2);
  • and broken shards of destroyed vials

In the pile of jagged “treasures” beneath the chimney

  • Weapons; note these weapons have a 60% chance of shattering under any sort of usage:
    • 1d10 rusty, broken greatswords
    • 1d12 rusty, chipped short swords
    • 1d20 spears with broken shafts
    • 1d10 rusty hand axes with slimy handles
    • 1d10 rusty, chipped scimitars
  • A moldy wizard’s diary of failed magical experiments
  • Blessed holy salt in a small, gray leather bag
  • A small jade frog with silver eyes; once per week, the owner can stroke its back and cause a light rain shower
  • A 2 in. x 2 in. metal box that, when opened, plays an acoustic version of the popular bard song, “Heroes of the Morn”
  • A spear made of a fusion of Briarstone and Terrunium metal that flies back to the owner’s hands once thrown: Weapon (spear), Rare (requires attunement) 1d6+2 piercing, versatile, weight 1 lb, range (30/120)

 


Up Next: The deadly, heavily trapped Treasure Room!

#16 – Encounters in Berlstrum Belly Dungeon

Zombie Wyvern

 

THE FOLLOWING BLOG POST IS PART 16 OF THE DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS 5TH EDITION CAMPAIGN, DREADSTORMS LOST. THESE BLOGS ARE INTENDED FOR OTHER GAME MASTERS WHO MIGHT WANT TO USE THIS CAMPAIGN SETTING AND THE SCENARIOS TO INSPIRE THEIR OWN ROLE PLAYING GAMES. (FREE FOR NONCOMMERCIAL REUSE.)

Notes:

It is recommended that the party be 4th level before starting this dungeon and have at least 4 party members, especially a rogue to help with traps. I’ve included monster stat blocks for the ones that are non-standard and not in the Monster Manual. 

Sometimes characters die or players want to run something different. In the middle of a dungeon crawl that can be a bit of a challenge. At the bottom of this page is some flavor text I wrote up for bringing in the new character while the party was in Berlstrum’s Belly. 


Berlstrum Belly Dungeon
Map of the Berlstrum Belly Dungeon

Berlstrum Belly Review

Dungeon Walls: Sharp briarstone rock make up the walls and ceiling. The crystals are so sharp that one has to be cautious not to cut themselves on the walls. 1d6 piercing damage if pushed/knocked into the wall or ceiling.

Dungeon Floor: Consists of smooth, black shiny stone. When running on the surface, there’s a chance of falling prone (DEX DC 11) due to the slippery surface. Pushes and slides go twice normal distance.

Illumination: Dark. No natural light available.


TRAP: Entrance from Champions’ Manor 

(T) Proximity Trap: Magic Missile

Perception DC 22 to detect the runes etched into the briarstone at the mouth of the cave, advantage on perception if the person spotted a previous Magic Missile trap.
Disarm DC 20

Triggers when a creature enters its 20ft radius; 3 magic missiles (1d4+4 damage) will go to the 3 closest targets within 20 ft.

Room #1 

Wyvern Zombie

A large creature on its 2 scaley legs approaches, dragging one of its twisted broken leathery wings behind it. The stub of a tail angrily whips back and forth. From its lizard-like head, scaly flesh hangs, baring the bone beneath. Ribs and other bones peak through obvious mortal injuries along its side. Mindlessly, the creature charges towards your group, emitting a low throaty hiss.

Zombie WyvernWyvern Zombie

Large undead, neutral evil


Armor Class 20 
Hit Points 105
Speed 30 ft


STR 20 (+5), DEX 6 (-2), CON 16 (+3), INT 5 (-3), WIS 12 (+1), CHA 4 (-3)


Saving Throws WIS +1
Damage Immunities
poison
Condition Immunities poisoned
Senses Darkvision 60ft, Passive Perception 11
Challenge 4


ACTIONS

Multiattack 2 attacks per round (Any combo of two of the below)

Bite Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 10ft, one creature
Hit: 2d6 + 4 piercing

Claws Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5ft, one creature
Hit: 2d8 slashing

Stinger Stub (the tail no longer has the poisonous stinger, but still does bludgeoning damage as the zombie wyvern instinctively tries to poison its prey) Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 10ft, one creature
Hit: 1d6+4 bludgeoning


SPECIAL

No Life Drain. Though this creature is undead, it was undead before the Eye of Orcus ritual began, so it does not have the Life Drain ability.

Undead Fortitude. If damage reduces the undead to 0 hit points, it must make a CON saving throw with a DC of 5 + damage taken, unless the damage is radiant or from a critical hit. On a success, the undead drops to 1 hit point instead.


LOOT

Amid a nest of bones and other bits of unidentifiable junk you find, wrapped in burlap bundles:

  • (3d10+5) +2 arrows
  • (3d10+5) +2 bolts

Room #2 

TRAP: Proximity Trap: Symbol of Fear

Perception 20 to detect;
Disarm DC 18

Triggers when a creature enters the traps 20ft radius; On a failed WIS DC 15, targets see a vision of their greatest fears and drops whatever they are holding (weapons) and become frightened. Must use dash action (double movement) to move away by safest route possible, unless there’s nowhere to run.

Once out of site of the trap, effect ends or if in combat, at the end of each turn, target can make another WIS save throw to end effect.

The trap is intended to cause at least one person to run into the next area (to the South) in fear, driving them into the Gibbering Mouthers territory. Once the gibbering mouthers see someone, they will start chattering.

2 Gibbering Mouthers

The Gibbering Mouthers will only start their horrible wailing after they’ve spotted a potential addition to their collection.

The two amorphous masses of mouths and eyes ooze slowly forward towards their victims. The cacophonous gibbering from the many mouths murmuring and chattering, wailing and crying – in shrill voices and deep voices – is maddening (DC 10 Wisdom saving throw). The monsters are only silenced when they flows over their victim and absorbs the living flesh.

Gibbering Mouther

Gibbering Mouthers

See 5th Edition Monster Manual page 157 for Gibbering Mouther stats.


LOOT

A pair of undigested legs list against the nearby wall (farthest South). The feet are still wearing some surprising nice looking boot.

  • Winged Boots (description on 5th Edition Dungeon Master’s Guide, page 214)

Room #3

Ghouls, lots of Ghouls (10-20)

Note: The number of ghouls is totally up to how many you think the party can handle, be challenged by, but not out-right slaughtered. 

As you round the corner, a cloying scent coats the back of your throat, burns, and immediately prompts your gag reflex. Rotten meat. Feces. Death. You desperately fight the urge to vomit. A mound of dead bodies takes up a large amount of space in this cavern. Looking up you can see an opening to a shaft above the pile. Crawling over the pile of corpses are emaciated humanoid creatures with putrid grey skin. Their razor-sharp fangs tear into the flesh of the corpses, their long lashing tongues seeking the most succulent morsels. Their fingers and toes end in sharp, black claws. They seem focused on their feast, occasionally breaking into squabbles between themselves over a choice bite.

Note: The dead bodies are pretty fresh. Most look like the sort of scum that had been attacking Berlstrum the last couple of days. This hole is a handy place for the people of Berlstrum to toss dead bodies. Tossing them into the sea would draw in all sort of horrible monsters!

Ghouls

Ghouls

See 5th Edition Monster Manual page 148 for Ghoul stats.


LOOT

Searching through the pile of corpses nets you, well not much really. The bodies were pretty well looted before being tossed down the chute:

  • 2 Onxy Gems (50g each)
  • Chalcedony Gem (50g)


Bringing in a character mid dungeon crawl

One of my players needed to bring in a new character while the group was in the middle of this dungeon crawl. This is description I used to bring him in. It was a bit of a gamble. If the party had decided they didn’t want to mess with the ghouls, this new character probably wouldn’t have gotten very far.

Ghoul Chow

You slowly become aware of your surroundings. It’s impossibly dark. You blink several times. Nothing. You try to move your head to look around. It won’t budge.

You feel weight pressing down on you from every direction, making it impossible to move and difficult to breath. You’re not sure you want to breath anyway. What little air you can get has a dense, cloying scent that coats the back of your throat, burns, and immediately prompts your gag reflex. Rotten meat. Feces. You desperately fight the urge to vomit. The weight pushing on your chest gets worse.

You think you might have passed out for a bit. It’s hard to tell. You manage to breathe through the stench, barely. Your noise feels tickled by hairs.

You wiggle your fingers and toes just to make sure you still have them. Check. You try to move, to shift, to lessen the weight pressing down on you. To scratch your nose. Anything! Something sharp pokes painfully into your back.  A burning sting across your shoulder is followed by the metallic smell of your fresh blood added to the nauseating brew.

A horrific noise, a monstrous howl of hunger muffled by soft tissue. You listen intently. If you could get enough air, dare you cry for help? You hear scrabbling, tearing, more guttural bellows. The weight shifts, presses down on you harder. The hot searing pain of something sharp pushes farther into the flesh of your shoulder.

Wait! Is that the sound of battle?

Before this, the last thing you remember:

Heading back from Castleview, you were almost home when you came upon a rough group of travelers. They asked you if you knew where the champions’ home was. Tired and really just wanting to go to sleep, you nevertheless offered to take them there. And then it all gets kind of hazy.


Up Next: More beastie encounters in the next Dreadstorm installment.

#15 – Berlstrum’s Belly Dungeon Overview

THE FOLLOWING BLOG POST IS PART 15 OF THE DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS 5TH EDITION CAMPAIGN, DREADSTORMS LOST. THESE BLOGS ARE INTENDED FOR OTHER GAME MASTERS WHO MIGHT WANT TO USE THIS CAMPAIGN SETTING AND THE SCENARIOS TO INSPIRE THEIR OWN ROLE PLAYING GAMES. (FREE FOR NONCOMMERCIAL REUSE.)

Notes:

It’s time for a dungeon crawl! A classic in any Dungeons and Dragons adventure … searching for traps … getting lost in the labyrinth of tunnels … slogging through monsters to find a treasure or save the kingdom. Ah, good times! 

The original dungeon was generated by donjon Random Dungeon Generator, but modified for my own nefarious purposes. I confess to having a great time just making the random dungeons with this generator. I find it inspires me with ideas, a lot like my hand-drawn ones without the doodling.  


Searching for the Champions

Some of the following depends on what the players have discovered and discussed with Mayor Cobblekeep. If the group has been playing it close to the chest and not told him anything, he will have no reason to trust them nor give them aid. If they’ve been open with their information and shown him that they are actively trying to save the city and find the champions, then he will tell them …

Berlstrum has a hidden labyrinth of tunnels below the town, called Berlstrum’s Belly. It is a deadly place, full of monsters and traps. Only a few know where all of the secret doors are to the belly (including the mayor, council members, and the champions). The mayor suspects something may have happened to the champions down there and asks the adventurers if they would be willing search the Belly for them?

If they are agreeable, the mayor will provide them with:

  • a map of Berlstrum’s Belly (see below)
  • 4 bullseye lanterns
  • A teleport stone (small, red pebble), which will bring the person holding the stone and anyone touching the user back to Berlstrum’s Town Hall. It’s a single use item. He only has one.
  • 2d4+1 Potions of Healing (common)

Map for the Players

Game master map is at the bottom of the page.

Players' Map of Berlstrum's Belly
Map of Berlstrum’s Belly provided to players by Mayor Cobblekeep; Cartography accuracy is not accuracy.

Getting there – hidden doors

The Mayor will direct the adventurers to go enter via the hidden door in the cellar of the Champion’s Manor (Room I on the Champions’ Manor map)

Kitchen

ChampionsManor-Kitchen
(I) Champions’ Manor Kitchen

The kitchen has cupboards and prep surfaces along most of the walls. Under the window to the east is a heavy slab cutting table. Much of the kitchen was trashed by the looters; doors hanging of the cupboards, foodstuffs tossed onto the floor, shelves emptied, broken jars, cookware, and plates mixed in with the rotting food.

To find the trap door from the kitchen down into the cellar without aid from the Mayor is an Investigation DC 12 if actively looking for it. With the Mayors guidance, the group is directed to move the cutting table to the middle of the room, find the rope inside the cupboard next to the other window, and pull on the rope.

Like the rest of the ground floor of the manor, the floor of the kitchen is made up of large, smooth gray stone. The trap door proves to be a false cover matching the gray stone, but made of lighter material. Pulling the rope inside one of the cupboards causes the trap door to open upward (unless someone happens to be standing it). The hinge is well oiled and opens soundlessly. A ladder leads down into the cellar.

Cellar

Dreadstorms Mansion-cellar-cropped
The Cellar underneath the Kitchen in the Champions’ Manor

The cellar is 15 ft x 15 ft with a 10 ft high ceiling. It seems mostly undisturbed and not used in a while. It’s dusty and smells of damp mildew. Old boxes and barrels take up much of the space.

A compulsive search of the boxes and barrels (Because what adventurer can resist searching boxes and barrels?) will find:

  • 1d4 glass jars of pickled mixed vegetables
  • 1d4 glass jars containing weird clumps of hair floating in pickling fluid
  • 1d4 glass vials filled with nail clippings floating in liquid (Not potions of Giant Strength)
  • A small bag full of animal teeth of varying sizes
  • A silver spoon with an “S” engraved on the handle
  • A bottle of cheap red wine
  • A petrified rat
  • A glass jar containing lard with a label that read, “Goblin Go-Go Grease”

See Dungeon Master’s Guide pgs 160-161 for other random trinkets ideas.

Trap Door to the Belly

Spotting the trap door in the floor of the cellar  is a DC 20 Perception. If a successful Perception spots the outline of the trap door, it still won’t budge without hitting the trigger mechanism.

It is an Investigation DC 20 to find the hidden mechanism to opens the trap door in the cellar without directions from the mayor. If the mayor told you where to look, but is not present, it’s an Investigation DC 10.  If the mayor is there, he’ll point directly to the spot.

The trigger looks like a smudge of dirt amidst other smudges of dirt in the ceiling o (which is 10 ft high), but the smudge is shaped like a skull.  Pushing on the spot reveals a well-hidden trap door on the floor that lifts up and out, revealing stairs down into the dark, dark tunnels.

The stairs descend about 15 feet before leveling out to the floor of the tunnel. At the bottom of the stairs in a lever that closes/opens the door to the cellar.

Do the players leave the door from the kitchen to the pantry open?

Do they leave the door down from the cellar open.

Down into the belly

After 20 feet, there is no light source. It’s very dark.

The narrow tunnel of rough conglomerate stone twists and turns, doubling back upon itself many times, always at a slight downward slop. The width of the tunnel varies from 6 feet to 2 feet. The height is usually around 8 feet, but occasionally goes down to under 5, slowing down the larger party members. There are no side passages or hidden doors are found. The air grows moist the longer they hike down.

The rough stone becomes interlaced with ribbons of the sharp briarstone rock the farther down you go. After 30 minutes of walking, the walls and ceilings are completely composed of briarstone. The floor becomes smooth like black glass.

Briarstone, the Rock

Briarstone is an opaque black rock formation with small, jagged crystal protrusions resembling thorns. When the brittle rock shatters, it creates more jagged protrusions.

At one point it becomes necessary to squeeze through a narrow section of the tunnel. It’s a DEX DC 11 to avoid getting cut by the briarstone. On a failed roll, take 1d6 piercing damage.

It takes an hour of walking before you come to a “entrance” shown on the map. The entrance from the Champions’ Manor is the higher one on the left side of the map.

Berlstrum Belly Overview

Dungeon Walls: Sharp briarstone rock make up the walls and ceiling. The crystals are so sharp that one has to be cautious not to cut themselves on the walls. 1d6 piercing damage if pushed/knocked into the wall or ceiling.

Dungeon Floor: Consists of smooth, black shiny stone. When running on the surface, there’s a chance of falling prone (DEX DC 11) due to the slippery surface. Pushes and slides go twice normal distance.

Illumination: Dark. No natural light available.

 Map for the Game Master

BerlstrumBelly_GM
Map for the Game Master with encounter numbers and trap locations.

 

There’s a lot of information to parse out for this dungeon (cavern/labyrinth/whatever you want to call it). So like any proper evil overlord, I’ll provide that information on the next installment.


Up next: What sort of monsters and traps are in this dungeon? And treasure?!