Chamber #13

THE ENTRANCE

The entrance to the Chamber has been peeled away like a fruit with deep, deep claw marks that tear through the soil around it like a farmer's plow.  Dust particles still float in the air listlessly from the disturbance, but no noise comes from inside.  A colossal pile of dirt has been excavated from the hillside.  A large number of corpses (some perhaps no more than a few weeks old) lay scattered near the entrance.

An old man in tattered old brown robes with an impossibly tall, pointed hat and equally long beard stands outside the hole, scratching his beard, puzzled.  Perched on at the peak of his hat is a small barn owl.  He was looking for the knocker despite his owl friend, Nicodemus, continuously pointing out the residents probably have moved out from the looks of things.  The old man wishes to see if they still have that pretty tree ornament he gave to them years ago; he wishes to put it on his tree for the holidays (tree ornament is they key in Sir Hodak's estate that leads to the Loc Nar in the vault).

A giant platform with Dwarven runes is the first encounter they reach.  Similar to their own chamber, the script reads "Forever Safe, Forever Inside, Forgive Us."  It was a cargo platform that can be raised and lowered with pulleys when initial cargo was loaded inside.  It leads to the vast opening cavern.

THE CITY

Filled with buildings, bridges, and even small streams, Chamber 13 is more robust than 3.  Instead of the typical rocky terrain and walls that make up Chamber 3, number 13 has a more advanced look as it was built several hundred years later, and the developers learned from the previous builds.  However, little illumination is found when they arrive as whatever magical phenomenon that was created to replicate the sun has been removed.  There are sprinkles of lantern light throughout the city.  Vegetation still is plentiful and thriving (the light source has not been gone for long).  Occasionally a burst of light erupts with a narrow shot of magma shoots into the cavern, falling with a soft splat on the surrounding areas.

The other obvious sight is the ringing in the duo's ears from a vibration coming from the cavern somewhere (there is a large crystal shard suspended in midair and is vibrating; it must be silenced before the volcano below erupts and collapses the ceiling).  The crystal once had illumination that provided the main light source to the Chamber, but the members of Nub Sumat damaged it, sending a shard off its side and into their possession.  The duo must replace the piece soon.

ENCOUNTER 1 – NUB SUMAT AND TOBIN THE OLD ONE

A massacre has occurred throughout the streets as bodies lie everywhere, almost all of them mutilated savagely while some piles have been formed with bodies.  As the duo searches down one lane, they hear the sound of someone banging on a wooden door, and three people in yellow robes with a strange symbol on their back are slamming a crude battering ram against a house's door.  (Increase Enc. difficulty by adding 1 Touched Beast [Snake Person] in 1d4 turns)

Inside is Tobin, an old man who is some kind of linguistic scholar.  He seeks the "Awful Language of the Elder Beast."  He warns the duo not to say the words aloud and try not to read them to themselves for it causes horrific trauma to the mind.  The creature will have it tattooed, branded, or cut into their flesh.  (In exchange, the party will be granted Horseshoes of Zephyr, which causes a horse to run above the ground, allowing it to cross unstable or nonsolid surfaces).

ENCOUNTER 2 – INNOCENTS IN TROUBLE

When they go deeper into the city, they are drawn to a fire that is off to one side.  Screams and yelling of help come from the area.  If investigated, they see a sinkhole forming in the center of an intersection.  A child is desperately gripping onto the cobblestones of the street as it angles dangerously steep.  Meanwhile, a nearby house has been set ablaze by two more yellow-robed figures as they try to run off, and it is clear victims are trapped inside.  The mother of the child is trapped in a nearby dead end alley with another Touch Beast (Wolverine).  They must make a decision as all three seem to be occuring at the same time.  Party can have Quintin assist one of the three tasks if they ask.

They notice every door has a scorched mark, and the Touch pours out of it as if summoned.  They will be surrounded quickly.  Can take sinkhole, climb on the roof tops, or attempt to run past them (at the risk of being infected).  If rooftops are chosen, they are attacked by two Dark Mantles (p. 46, CR1/2, XP100, AC11, HP22[5d6+5], +5, 6dmg, Adv, DC13 STR, SA darkness).

THE CRYSTAL

They pass by the giant crystal that hovers in the air.  It is noticeable the vibration is coming from it and there is a piece missing from the otherwise perfect rock.  They can tell the vibration surges occasionally, which is followed by one of the many magma holes erupting.

ENCOUNTER 3 – THE KNIGHT COMMANDER

Near the crystal is the knight commander's estate.  Searching through it, it is ransacked along with the staff being mutilated.  A lone dog scavenges through the house searching for something to eat.  They'll find a young man who has a dagger through his gut and gripping a note.  "Forgive me, Father, for I knew of Sir Hodak's dark secret.  His madness betrayed our safety, yet my oath to my liege forbid coming forth.  This grief is too much, far too much."

Continuing their search of the estate, they reach the top floor where a large dining hall once had an elaborately long wooden table some 40 feet long with dozens of chairs on either side.  Now this table has been nailed to the wall and members of Hodak's family have been skewered onto it with Hodak centered.  His flesh has been peeled from his body and his armor, soaked in blood, has been fitted back onto his body.  Carved into the deep mahogany table reads "Here hangs a traitor.  May he find himself in the Ninth Level."

Investigating his quarters finds a hidden box in the wall that contains an intriguing ornament: a small shiny green spindle-like device with the head of a horned face at one end.  The face is concave, giving the illusion of it following movement. (It is inserted at the base of the Vault Statue that holds the piece of the Loc Nar and a star map).  A scroll of mass levitate rests in the box.  Along with these is half of a diary written by Sir Hodak, Commander of Chamber 13.  Much of it consists of entries of boredom and building regret that leads to despair and finally temptation.  Midway through, he speaks of a river somewhere in the Chamber being infested with worms and that he has not inspected the vault in ages because of it.  He goes on to say Killian needs to fix the drain as it's become clogged.  The last several entries are about his submission to the "voices that whisper out his name and speak of freedom."  His final entry appears to have ended abruptly with the sentence,"At last they arrive, the people be damned, my freedom is now.  I can hear the beating of the drums."

ENCOUNTER 4 – KILLIAN AND HIS HOGS

The crop and livestock fields are beyond the city and fenced off by a high metal fence.  A farmer is trying to corral his hogs which have been Touched and are much larger, with razer spikes out of their spines and three tusks protruding from their mouth.  The hogs easily push him into the pin and are threatening to charge.  The farmer named Killian is grateful for the help and offers aid if they need it.  (They can ask for his assistance on crossing the river if needed by unclogging the drain and allowing for the worms to pass through).

ENCOUNTER 5 – THE CHAMBER RIVER

It is too far to leap or vault over.  The water seems to be filled with large worms perhaps 12 to 18 inches in length that are sucking on the river's edge where large deposits of salt can be seen.  If Killian has not helped yet, three ways to cross: make a raft, fight through the worms, or use the mass levitate scroll.

ENCOUNTER 6 – CAVERNS

Random Encounters: Cave moths (leave phosphorescent residue on victims, easier to see in dark), worms, rust monsters, and a cave bear.

Main cavern chamber with 4 tunnels (two to the right, and two ahead).  It has 8 statues that are armed with spears and armor. (They will come to live for every gold ball removed in Room 1). (Animated Armor p19, CR1 XP200, AC18, HP33 ][6d8+6], 25spd, +4 attk, 5 dmg, SD Poison, Psychic, Blind, Charm, Deaf, Exhaust, Frighten, Paralyze, Petrify; Weakness Blindsight 60 ft)

1. Chimes of Gold: Gold balls move slowly up and down over a fountain of silvery liquid.  If reached in, 1d6 damage from the mercury but find Stone to Flesh and 2 Cure Wound scrolls.  The balls can be removed and are worth 20 gp each (8 total), but they make the main chamber statues animate.

2. Awful Alphabet: The Thri-Kreen are typically found in deserts and savannahs of Zatra, most commonly dwelling in the kingdom of Remes.  However, some find themselves in non-typical areas usually caused by careless summons.  It has tribal markings that are created by self-mutilation or ritual carvings by another.  The runes are an ancient alphabet by the Thri-Kreens that are infamous to cause horrible psychic damage to those who speak or read them.

3. Gelatinous Slugs: [Gray Ooze] (AC8, HP22, Weak salt +1d8, SD acid, cold, fire, CR 1/2 (100xp), corrode nonmetal -1 when hit, +3 attk, 4 dmg, -1 armor to AC 10).  Retreats back into walls to rejuvenate.  Use salt on walls and creatures

ENCOUNTER 7 – VAULT

A vast bridge spans some 200 feet over an endless void of the cavern.  On the other side, a huge statue of a face embedded in the cavern wall with torches on either side.  Its mouth is gaping open with a door inside.  A group of 4 robed figures in yellow are inspecting the door occasionally shouting curses of frustration.  They are currently beginning a sacrificial ritual on an innocent citizen in an effort to open the door.  On the bridge, 4 yellow robed figures have focus on a giant ogre who has a chain around its neck and held by 1 of the robed figures.  They are clearly trying to kill the ogre by pulling it off the bridge.  When they notice the duo, they change their tactics, ordering the beast to attack them while the figures cast spells to slow or stop the duo, making a time limit on crossing the bridge.

Opening the door requires the key found in Sir Hodak's estate.  The door has a smaller version of the statue as a relief.  If they do not have a key, the door speaks if the robed figures are killed.  Requires the death of a murderer who avoided the Nine Hells through trickery; a geas is placed on them to bring the person to the first level where she will be taken.  Her name is Jyllan Ophen, and she has found refuge in the a few days journey from Unhallowed Necropolis in the Kingdom of Remes far to the east across the Byzan Sea.  Agreeing to this opens the door.

Inside is a small chamber with a pedestal containing a spherical green object that has several protrusions from it that seem to be broken or damaged.  Hanging on the wall is a map with numerous dots marked on it.

Etched into the pedestal reads "What was sundered and undone; shall be whole, the seven made one."

Chamber #13

Dungeons & Dragons Zatra