Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Under City of Kravekos

The Under City of Kravekos is an adventure I designed to be subsequent to the Maze of Nuromen dungeon I posted on this web log. It is assumed to be for characters around second or third level.

 A powerful magical sword (the Talking Sword of Lothia) which will aid the party in undertaking it's quest to thwart the Cult of Gamosh, the evil deity introduced in the Maze of Nuromen, can be the premise for the party having to go there after some role playing and adventures in the city of Kravekos proper.

This dungeon was also to be the manner in which a party is introduced to the ancient and vanished civilization of the Jennerak.

It was designed to introduce as well the Lizard Men tribes, the threat of whom are a sub-plot of the campaign against Gamosh and a larger feature of the DM's campaign setting.

I developed only the first level of the Under City--there are actually at least three more levels. However, the dungeon can stand alone as one level and apart from the Maze of Nuromen and Gamosh theme.

The side notes on the map are not necessarily in accord with the later written Dungeon Key. 

Anyonw who wishes to convert this dungeon to a PDF may do so provided it is free and they include my name with their's (J.E. Becker).

The Undercity of Kravekos
(1st Dungeon Level for 2nd-3rd level Characters)

The Undercity is an ancient Jennerak ruin buried beneath the teeming city of Kravekos. Kravekos is but the latest city to be built upon this ancient site--the site was a Jennerak stronghold in the campaign environs though they actually called another land their original home.

Upon entering Kravekos, characters will notice on one street a large pavement with steps leading up to a small stone building with an iron door. The door is surrounded by a carved arch  depicting various monsters and heroes. A guard of twelve soldiers stands at attention here. If characters should enquire of the guards or any city dwellers they will learn that this is the sealed entrance to the Undercity. None may enter without permission of the King.

While in Kravekos or at the King's court, they will learn that the Jennerak dungeons were discovered twenty years ago as workers were excavating a section of the city. The Lord of Kravekos ordered an expedition of warriors and magic users to enter the passages and seek out the ruins of the Jennerak and any treasures therein. The expedition was lead by a fighter named Hvarl who possessed a fabulous magical sword called the Talking Sword of Lothia. The Lord's son desired to go but being forbidden by his father he donned the garb of a city guardsman and went anyway. The Lord soon discovered he was gone but could do nothing. Four days passed with no sign of the party, On the fifth day, the son of the lord of Kravekos appeared from the depths of the earth, bloody and sick with poisons. He babbled about monsters in the dark and revealed that all in the party had been slain. Before the clerics could arrive to heal him, he died in agony and efforts to raise him from the dead failed. That very night, a great and hideous worm like creature crawled out of the earth and attacked the townspeople. It was slain, but this event, coupled with the grief of losing his son, caused the Lord to order the ruin sealed and a guard watched with spells of protection and warding placed on the gate.

Not since that fateful day have any ventured into the maze, though legend abounds that the fabled Sword of Lothia waits to be reclaimed by a brave warrior and any ancient treasures of the Jennerak. It is said the Lord of Kravekos will permit any band of heroes who wish entrance to the catacombs in exchange for knowledge of the place, but owing to a persistent belief in a curse upon any who disturb the ruin, none have chosen to do so. Perhaps the brave adventurers are the ones for the task! Seeing the courage and optimism of the party may entice a few hardy souls to hire out as a retainers if the players desire.

Dungeon Key

Note: While exploring an area beyond Chamber I there will be a 2 in 6 Chance every turn of encountering  Giant Ants. Roll a 2nd time for any encountered and if a 1 is rolled it will be a Warrior.

A. Entrance Chamber. An elevator cage is lowered by the city guard some three hundred feet into the earth to this chamber. It is raised after the character disembark and will be lowered the following morning and every morning thereafter for 7 days. If the party does not return by then they will be assumed dead unless they devise some means to alert the city of their presence in the chamber.

B. The Underground River. A cold and mighty river flows into this giant cavern from the southwest, running out by means of some underwater exit. Here is an old stone dock, a black gondola, and a Charon--a strange being whose race is set as guardians by the gods and the ancient sorcerers near important waterways. Charon looks like a hooded skeleton but if anyone is foolish enough to attack him he fights as though he were a Lich (See Monster manual). He does not speak but communicates telepathically with the party.

Charon will guide the party by the way of the Gondola to the proper entrance to the Jennerak vaults but the price of passage is either to answer one of his Riddles or to surrender a magical item to him. The magical item must be of sufficient enchantment to have any merit as Charon will "drain it" of enchantment and transfer the magical energy to his boat to add to the magic which already sustains and protects his vessel.

The Riddle:

"Though it be cold I wear no clothes
The frost and snow I never fear
I value neither shoes nor hose
And yet I wander far and near.
My diet is forever good,
I drink no cider, port, nor sack-
What Providence doth send for food
I neither buy, nor sell, nor lack.
What am I?"

The answer is a fish. 

If given, the price of a magical item will not be required. Charon will thereafter be silent but he will stop and dock whenever asked to do so, waiting in grim silence to ferry the party back.

C. & D. Revised: Omit.

E. A large side cavern with a strange serpentine skeleton with giant skull (a rusty sword is stuck in it) and some old human and dwarf bones. A large garnet worth 30 gold will be found after careful search.

F. Lizard man Colony. It is slightly noisy for the sound of the waterfall in Chamber H and the whole place is filled with a cool mist. This cave is vast indeed, and it's sides are two sandy shores underneath a series of small cave openings. Wooden ladders crudely bound together lead to the caves. An underground water tunnel lets out of the dungeon into the nearby marshes outside Kravekos allowing the Lizard men to come and go from this place as desired. On the shores are several lizard people cooking some of their fellows in pots made from old shields and helmets of ill fated humans. The females will run and begin hissing and screeching upon seeing the Gondola. The number of Lizard people here should be commensurate to the size of the party, including any retainers. The warriors will rush to the edges of the shore and a huge Lizard man chieftain will appear. The chieftain wears an astounding array of gems and gold in the form of necklace, arm circlets, ankle circlets, and a ring--this will gleam in the party's torchlight and perhaps entice them to land. He can speak in the Neutral alignment tongue and will summon the party to come ashore, making a show of having his warriors lower their spears and thrust them in the ground. If no party members are neutral, Charon can be used to relay the monster's speech to the party telepathically. His name is Suul. He will threaten to attack the party unless they either give up a fellow adventurer retainer for food or choose one to meet him in single combat. If successful against him, they keep not only their life but 1000 pieces of silver and 200 electrum as well as his proud ornaments..what is coin to his folk after all? Charon's magic prevents them from attacking the Gondola except for hurling barbed darts from the shore. If the party disembarks and defeats the Lizard man chieftain, there is a 25% chance his allies will break the deal and attack anyway. Whether or not the party fights them now or on the return trip Suul will make his offer. If the Lizard men are defeated and their caves explored, the beginning of the submerged tunnel will be discovered and it will be noted that the reed mats the Lizard men sleep upon are from the marshes and fairly fresh--a clue to where the tunnel leads for the astute player. Hidden in the Chieftain's cave is a treasure of 1000 silver coins and 1000 electrum coins, The Lizard chief's jewels are worth as follows: 2 five ruby studded golden arm circlet-200 gold pieces each/an ankle circlet studded with five rubies worth 200 gold pieces/a finely wrought platinum ring worth 75 gold pieces/a gold necklace with a  huge red ruby in the center worth 500 gold pieces. The caves are filled with bones and some fresh fish from the marshes that is quite edible to the players. Lizard Men Armor Class; 5, Hit Dice 2+1,Attacks:1,Damage 1-8,Move:60 feet/120 feet in water. Chieftain has 20 Hit Points.

G. An empty river cave.

H. Waterfall Cave. From the South wall falls a mighty stream from a cleft in the rocks, undoubtedly fed by the great river which flows down from the hills towards the sea and the city of Kravekos. It is deafening here with the roar of the falls. There is a small cliff and a flight of steps rises up out of the water along the north wall and goes up to the cliff. Here Charon will bid the party farewell. Any attempt to ask him if he will be waiting when they come back will be met only with eerie silence. In fact, he will not be back as he guides men to the threshold of the dungeon but that is all. However, when the party mounts the cliff they will discover an old boat that can hold up to 8 full size men. With some repairs and reinforcements, the boat could be made water-worthy again as it is of superior craftsmanship.

I. Jennerak Hall. This gigantic chamber is lined with crumbling statues of strangely appareled but handsome and beautiful people. There is a single inscription in the Jennerak script which states that there shall be no end to their kingdom--if a magic user is present a Read Language spell can reveal this or if there is a character who knows this script. The statues are much larger than the characters but most have fallen to the paved floor after an earthquake centuries ago. This earthquake rent the floor of the hall and a fissure has opened up--nearly 20' wide. The players must devise a method of crossing the chasm and the DM should work with them if they concoct a decent plan. The chasm goes into darkness and there is a sound of running water very far below--if anyone falls into it with no safety device such as being roped, they will die. A seemingly sturdy ledge runs along the west and north walls of the Hall--the ledge is 3 feet wide. the ledge can be used to cross by hugging these walls but the DM should check twice for each player who crosses as there is a 20% chance that a section of ledge will give. If this happens, a saving throw must be made against Dexterity (Roll Dex score or under on a 20-sided die) or the character falls into the pit--if they make their save, they leap forward and land on sure footing. It is imperative that the party use their head and hopefully iron spikes (driven into the wall wedges) and ropes after the fashion of mountain climbers as this will save any character who falls. Otherwise, if the saving throw is failed, the character is lost!

J. Jennerak Throne Room. This haunting place is a pillared  hall with a dais and two decaying thrones of stone. In the east wall is an archway filled with the crystalline secretions. In fact, the throne room is filled with strange, spider web like material and some sort of slimy algae like substance on the floor. There is really nothing of value in this place but there are several giant ants of the worker variety that will emerge from a crevice in the dais when the characters approach the thrones. These are part of all that remain of an old giant ant colony that was wiped out by the Carrion Crawler and the Gray Ooze that inhabit the dungeon. As workers, their sting is not poisonous. Choose an adequate number for the party size. Worker Ants: Armor Class 3, Hit Dice 2, 1 Attack, Damage 1-6, Move 180' per turn.

K. Council Chamber. Here are the remains of the Queen Ant and her eggs. The party will be revolted by the size of the Queen and the fact that she has been split open and partially devoured. The remains are very old and somewhat desiccated. Husks of eggs fill this place top to bottom as there was nowhere her secretions did not touch. The eggs have all been crushed and their contents devoured. Withered Giant Ant corpses litter the chamber floor. The destruction is at least several months old. The colony has moved to the fourth level of this dungeon where new Queen lives but a few of the monsters still haunt these upper halls. There are several human skeletons encased here in the dried secretion…victims of the Giant Ants. If they are cut out and searched, there is also a satchel containing four bundled phials which are magical potions. They are Gaseous Form,Haste,Delusion, Flying. Their exact uses cannot be known as they are not labeled.

L. Domed Ceiling Chamber. Carvings of celestial bodies adorn it. It appears there was a window in the roof but this is clogged with rubble now. A stone bench built into the walls runs throughout the entirety of the chamber. There is a pool of dank water from a steady leak in a crack of the dungeon wall. The water must escape at some place since it does not overflow the chamber. Lime encrusted sediment lies at the bottom of the 15x15' pool which is five feet deep. There is a glitter at the bottom of the pool that will only be seen if players shine their torches very close to the water surface-it is a key clutched in the hand of a limed over skeleton. The key will open the trap door to level 2 of the dungeon.
M. Old Smithy. here is a room where many fine weapons were crafted. There is an anvil, smelting pot, iron pieces, hammers, a bench, and a huge hearth (choked with rubble). The tools are of such a make that they could probably be utilized to this day though the party will have no time for it. It should interest any dwarf who will recognize that the Jennerak were skilled smiths. This room is mainly for interest only. There is a 20% chance that Giant Ants will emerge from the rubble in the collapsed passage in the East wall for every turn the characters are here.
N. This is an empty passage

O. Candle Room. This room was used in the crafting of candles and incense. There is a bench and a hearth. Many old candles are to be found in alcoves built into the walls. These candles were actually enchanted by the Jennerak. If a Detect Magic Spell is used here, there are 3 Candles of Invocation that were blessed by Jennerak priests that will begin to glow as a result of the spell. The Jennerak had originally worshipped a Chaotic Good deity whose name is yet unknown, his religion perished with the Jennerak. If burned by anyone of good alignment, the candles radiate a pleasant and favorable aura. If burned by a cleric of the same alignment, they can be used in one of two ways: They will burn for four hours and as long as they are lit the cleric who uses them will gain 2 extra experience levels (Hit Points will increase)--they will be able to cast additional spells and also normally unavailable spells as long as the taper is aflame. Or they can be used as a Gate spell that will summon a creature of Chaotic Good alignment from another dimension to fight on behalf of or perform a service for the cleric. There is only a 5% chance per level that a cleric character will have heard of these items--have the player roll and tell them what they must roll but do not tell them why. if they succeed they have heard of Candles of Invocation and the effects may be described. If not, they know they are of spiritual significance but must present them to a high priest to learn their effects. They will be valuable even if the characters cannot use them as they will be very much coveted by religious orders who can use them who will pay with gold or healing services for them--but let the players figure this out. 20% chance of encountering giant worker ants here.

P. Chamber of the Talking Sword of Lothia. Here is magical secret door which in all likelihood will only be found if players eat of the enchanted leaves of the Tree from the Isle of Shendorra. Other way to find it is to cast a detect magic spell in this exact location, to use a Locate Object spell, a commune spell for clerics, or some similar method which is unlikely since they do not even know of its existence. The magic hides the secret door from normal observation but once it's location is known it can be opened normally by activating a latch and pushing the wall--it is actually a revolving door.

Inside, the players will see an ornate alabaster fountain that depicts a lammasu (see monster manual) and a nubile maiden clutching a real sword in her hands. The fountain still runs with clean, drinkable water. The lifelikeness of the statuary will be striking. Attempts to pull the sword from its place are futile. Any attacks upon the fountain will result in 1-4 points of damage to whoever strikes it or casts a spell upon it. Clerics will recognize that a religious power is at work and in fact the Sword was placed here by Chaotic Good spiritual forces after the loss of its owner, Hvarl. If anyone speaks to the statuary, lammasu mouth will magically move and he will speak thus:

"Hail in the name of the Ancient Lord--art thou worthy to take this sword?"

If they respond in the affirmative, the lammasu will respond:

"A test for thy mind shall cause thee no grief
If thou art no unworthy thief--
If the Sword thou would take from the maiden's grasp
The lock of my Riddle thou must unclasp."
If players ask what the riddle is, the lammasu will ask the following puzzle:

"I fly to any foreign parts
Assisted by my spreading wings;
My body holds a hundred hearts,
Nay, I will tell you stranger things.
When I am not in haste I ride
And then I mend my pace anon;
I issue fire from my side,
You witty ones this riddle con."

The correct answer is a ship. 

If this is given, the maiden's eyes will open and she will smile as she says "Well met, mighty heroes. Here be the Talking Sword of Lothia." It may then be pulled from her grasp. If the riddle is answered incorrectly, the lammasu will say 

"Unworthy thieves who rob the dead, may thy poor feet instruct thy head."

 An electrical shock will then bolt from the floor, causing 1-4 points of damage to all within the room.

It is a fact that the Fountain will never release the Sword until the correct answer is given.

The Talking Sword of Lothia is a Chaotic Good sword that will automatically change the alignment of the person who wields it to Chaotic Good. It can speak telepathically to its owner and respond to questions. It will reveal its powers in cryptic fashion and it does not follow commands but only requests. It is a +2 Sword. Once per day itmay perform one of the following abilities: Detect Evil, Detect Lie, Locate Object, Reveal Invisibility, Once per year it will grant one wish. If it is ever separated from its owner, unless the owner is slain, the owner will be drawn to its location no matter how far distant.

Also in this chamber is the trap door to level 2. It can only be opened if the lock is picked by a thief or if the key in the pool in Chamber L was discovered. A square pit with a winding stone stair hugging the walls as it descends into darkness at great depth should indicate it is entrance to level 2.

Q. Baths and the Magic Garden. The characters will immediately see the magic of this place in effect. The baths are dry and empty in their porticos--the walls are lined with nude figure carvings shown bathing. In the center of the chamber, though, enclosed by a low stone wall is a small garden whose grasses and flowers still grow! There is a small tree with white, green veined leaves here. A plaque on the wall in Jennerak script says "Here stands the sapling from the Isle of Shendorra, taken from the Dragon Gornax by heroes born of the People. A gift to the High Lady." The room is filled with fragrance.

The southwest corner of the room has crumbled away and there is a large, circular black passage of natural stone. If anyone should press inside, as soon as they get beyond the fragrance of the garden, they will begin to smell a hideous, charnel odor that gets stronger and stronger as they pass on. This is the path to the Carrion Crawler's lair (Chamber S).

There is little to be found here. However, if anyone consumes a leaf of the trees, they will gain +1 to their wisdom permanently  and see visions. one time effect and any leaves taken from the magic garden will crumble to dust outside the dungeon. The entire dungeon will suddenly come alive and they will see it as it once existed. The black passage will no longer be visible. Sunlight will stream from window in the ceilings. They will see Jennerak people going to and fro and may even greet and speak to them. There will be gaiety and children running to and fro. The Jennerak will appear as olive skinned people in eastern style dress, of dark eyes and dark hair. In the baths they will be unashamedly enjoying the water and talking away as though completely unconscious of their state of undress. The rooms of the dungeons will be as though they were when first used for their various purposes. This will all seem real to the character who has ingested the leaves. If they have not already opened the Shrine (Chamber Z) it will still be locked. The Jennerak people will answer only cryptically about their past, rather, they will refer the characters to the throne room. If any monsters in the dungeon are encountered, they must be fought normally but the Jennerak will only watch in grave silence.

If characters return to the Throne room a fair and proud Lord and Lady are at court. They will graciously receive the characters if manners are properly shown, regarding them as foreigners from a strange land. The Jennerak will behave as though they believe they are still alive. They will laugh good naturedly at any assertion to the contrary. They may answer some questions about the history and construction of the place and will hint that their ancestral homeland is far away in the East on an island. They will reveal that there is a magic fountain in the palace, and the location of the magical secret door "…where life and death exist side by side". The Lord will express concerns over a dark shadow falling across the Kingdom of the Jennerak, a spreading evil that will one day consume them if they do not awaken. Horror will take hold of their eyes as they mention this at the end of the conversation. At this point, after some entertaining role playing and conveying necessary information, they will fade from view and the dungeon will once again appear forlorn and bleak as a wave of sadness is felt by the party.
R. Carrion Crawler's corpse pits. A hideous and terrible place of death and disease. There is a 20% chance a disease will be contracted for there are Lizard man and Ant corpses here and the bones of ancient dead. The character still gets a saving throw. Yet herein lies also the Carrion Crawler's treasure, though it cares nothing for such things and they are the remains of the treasure of past victims. There are 4000 Copper pieces in an old chest and a pouch in that containing four large gems worth 200 gold pieces each.

S. The Crawler's lair. An older specimen who has seen many battles, it has only four tentacles. It will not rouse from its lair for awhile. But as soon as anyone enters the chamber it will awaken and attack. It is resting in offal and carrion so unless a character has infravision there is but a 25% chance they will even see it. Torch light will awaken it instantly even if the holder of the torch is not yet in the chamber. It will paralyze anyone it can and lay eggs in them--while they are still alive--or eat them alive. Carrion Crawler- Armor Class:7, Hit Dice 3+1, Move 120 feet per turn, Attacks: 4 Damage: 0 (Paralysis if saving throw is failed.

T. Empty Hall.

U.Empty Chamber.

V. The Library. Here will be found many ancient books and scrolls of the Jennerak. These will be indecipherable for the most part and many will be covered with refuse and offal or stuck together. Some can be salvaged though and this may be of great worth to scholars and sages of Kravekos or other parts of Avamere. However, if diligently searched, there is also a scroll which contains 2 magic spells, Hold Person, Locate Object. They require a Read magic spell to decipher, of course. As soon as the scroll is found, the Imp in the next room will suggest that it be burned as a cursed scroll.

W. Empty Chamber.

 X. Revised, Omit.

Y. Study Area. There is an Imp in this room. He will appear as a raven at first, sitting on an open scroll. He will fly up and away if chased--but if attacked he will turn invisible and become his normal form--he will then use his power of suggestion (See Player handbook suggestion spell). He will suggest that the magic spell scroll in the library is cursed and should be burned instantly. He will attack after a period of harassment and opening and closing books, knocking things over, etc. He was the Imp familiar of an evil magic User who sought out these dungeons even before the City of Kravekos learned of them but perished. Imp-Armor Class 2, Hit Dice 2+2, Move 60 feet per round/120 feet per turn, Attacks 1 Damage: 1-4 (Save vs, Poison stinger or die), 25% resistant to magic, regenerates at 1 hit point per round.

Z. Shrine of the Ancient Jennerak Lord. The door to this room is locked. Inside is an obvious ritual room and there is a statue of a bearded god holding a brass bowl out in his hands on the North wall. Above him on the wall is a large bronze Sun. Two maidens are beside him, adorned only with flowers and gazing up at him beatifically  This statue is on a raised platform. There is a circular pit full of ashes beneath the bowl. There are a series of stone benches in the room. Tiny earthen bowls are set neatly on each end of every bench. They are empty.  Hiding in the shadows of the room under the benches near the western wall is a Black Ooze that will attack when anyone get's near. There is only a 25% chance anyone will notice it at all in dim light, and if they do notice it the DM should describe it only as what seems to be a pool of oil seeping from under the wall. As for the statues, they are magical and will radiate this if a detect magic Spell is cast. Hopefully the flowers on the necks of the maidens and the tiny bowls will be an indication to make an offering of flowers to the Jennerak Lord. If a fire is lit in the pit and the bronze bowl heated to a degree that flowers from the magic garden are placed here and burned, a section of wall in the Eastern side will vanish, revealing a  stair. Incense and torches are arranged on the walls to be lit. The stair leads to a crypt.(Z1)

Z.1. Down in the crypt are five stone coffins which when opened reveal well dressed chamberlains. They are not royalty so this appears to be a burial place for high servants only--a clue that there are lower levels of the dungeon. However, on the neck of the chief servant is a dusty golden amulet with a  bright ruby in its center and covered with Jennerak cursive. It will radiate magic if detection spells are used. This is a powerful relic of the Jennerak. If allowed to charge in sunlight for a full day, the amulet will store the light of the sun. This light can released in several ways--as a light in darkness, in which case it will give light as a torch for up to 10 hours, as a blinding flash f light which will blind an opponent for 1-4 rounds, or as a ray of sunlight useful against vampires who are harmed by sunlight--it will inflict 2-12 points damage upon such creatures. The Amulet contains "charges"--it can hold up to 3 charges. Using it as a light uses a charge for every 5 hours of sunlight used. The blinding flash uses a charge as does the sun ray. There is nothing else of value in this crypt.

End of Level 1 Key to Undercity of Kravekos

Actually, this is not a Lizard Man but D. Sutherland's version of a Shen.
Rest in peace David.


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    1. Oops, I just found out that the link doesn't work. Here's a new one: