Sunday, October 28, 2012

Bettellyn: The Grand Reliquary -- Part V

Continued from the previous section.  Click HERE to go back.

Area 16.  Pool Lower Landing

This area appears identical to the Upper Pool Landing.  A trail of wet (human) footprints leads toward Area 17.  The trail runs dry halfway through Area 17a.  Although the two silveons guarding the stairs to Area 17 shoot small flames through their eyes like the one last encountered, they are otherwise inert.  There isn’t a wall of force blocking the way.  The statues and the wall of force activate if the alarm is sounded (see Area 17b).

Area 17.  The Grand Reliquary’s Sanctum

This grand, cathedral-like chamber stretches 220’ by 150’, its Gothic arches reaching more than 180’ up.  Cruciform pillars support the vault which remains mostly in the dark.  The entry area (Narthex, 17a) in the shape of an inverted T lies 15’ lower than the main floor (Nave, 17b).  Five raised platforms (17c-f, and 17h) stand another 15’ higher, and radiate faint halos.  The grinning faces of gargoyles, eagles, and other fantastic creatures cover the walls and seem to watch visitors as they come up the stairs.  Shadows dance among the sculptures from a main source of light on Area 17b.  Most of the chambers from Area 17 on feature air vents in their ceilings (too small to crawl through, but useful if able to adopt a gaseous form).

Area 17a.  Reliquary’s Narthex

Smooth red and gold tiles cover the floor.  They display hundreds of inlaid symbols that glow when stepped on.  (They do not bear any effect on anything, although their significance will be explained later—see Area 28).  Walls at the foot of the nave (area 17b) display stone friezes depicting archons fighting dragons.  If a dwarf carefully and specifically examines the stairs from Area 16 or to Area 17b, it should be mentioned that they seem like they might shift downward (the same can be said of all stairs in Area 17).  There are no visible mechanics that to trigger a shift.

Area 17b.  Reliquary’s Nave & Apse

Stairs from the narthex’s center aisle lead to a massive bronze brazier, 10’ across and nearly as high.  Flames shoot sixty feet up from the heavy vessel, providing much of the sanctum’s lighting.  Five more stairways climb to elevated platforms radiating a faint golden aura.  Supporting the vault, six central pillars are regularly spaced in addition to another dozen near the walls and corners.  Eight of the latter stand within niches carved into the rock.

The bronze vessel is too heavy to displace (and is solidly fastened to the stone floor, connecting with Area 29 below).  The column of fire doesn’t appear to produce any heat.  Radiating magic, it is equivalent to a disintegrate spell.  Anyone may presumably climb over the brazier’s edge and enter the flames (save vs. death ray or crumble into ashes).  Survivors then can drop through the column of fire into Area 29.  Secret doors located behind pillars also lead to Area 18, and possibly Area 26.  A hollow pillar (17g) leads to Area 28.

Players' Map

Areas 17c-f & h.  Raised Platforms

Stairs lead up to five 30’x30’ stone platforms.  Each features what appears to be an ancient object on top a glowing pedestal or a plinth, as follows:

  • c.  a levitating sphere engraved with archons and demonic creatures (one might assume it to be the Orb of Eternity)
  • d.  a large, tattered, red pennant with a gold edge (lore might identify the object as the Oriflame of Ardoryl)
  • e.  a cup that seems to be made of mother of pearl (identified as a the Chalice of Astafiel)
  • f.  a golden plume (identified as the Holy Feather of Sabbaiah)
  • h.  a black robe heavy with silver brocade, folded (identified as the Robe of Eyoth)

If detected, strong magic will radiate from these objects.  They are illusions.  Their nature as immaterial image projections becomes obvious if touched.  If any are disturbed in any way, all stairs in Area 17 drop and become flush with the floor below (stairs reset to their initial positions 5 Turns later).  A silent alarm also sounds in the Reliquary’s Chapel (Area 19), alerting guardian mystics (monks) inhabiting the Reliquary.  Within five rounds from the time the alarm is sounded, a mystic with a crossbow will quietly take place at each of the five embrasures hidden in the walls (Area 27) along with a magic user (Companion of Eyoth).  If cornered, the latter will resort to her Potion of Gaseous Form to escape.  The role of mystics with crossbows is to target spellcasters or act as bodyguards for the Companion of Eyoth.  The remainder of the mystics and their two masters gather behind secret doors at the best locations to ambush intruders.  Mystics know their dwelling’s layout well enough to be able to move in the dark without penalty.

Mystics (18): My6, AC4, hp 30, MV 170’, AT#2 (two open hand, or one bolas, or one crossbow), Dmg 1d8+1/1d8+1 or by weapon, ML11; AL L.  Disciples of Sabbaiah.  St15, In11, Wi14, Dx14, Co13, Ch10.

Master Mystics (2): My12, AC-2, hp 60, MV 240’, AT#3 (open hand), Dmg 3d8+1/3d8+1/3d8+1 with Fighter Combat Options, ML12; AL L.  Messengers of Sabbaiah.  St16, In13, Wi17, Dx15, Co14, Ch12.  Special Defense: resistance (1/2 Dmg from spells and breath attacks).

Aelith, Companion of Eyoth (1): MU14, AC7, hp 40, MV 120’, AT#1 staff or spells, Dmg 2d6, ML8; AL L.  Herald of Eyoth.  St11, In17, Wi15, Dx13, Co10, Ch13.  Spells Available: Level I—5** spells (charm person, magic missile x3, shield), II—5 (detect invisible, ESP*, invisibility, web, wizard lock), III—5 (clairvoyance, dispel magic, fireball, fly, lightning bolt), IV—5 (confusion, dimension door, ice storm, wall of fire, wizard eye), V—4 (cloudkill x2, passwall, teleport), VI—3 (anti-magic shell, death spell, invisible stalker).  Special Abilities: galvanize, as a Herald of Eyoth; (**) Minor Faith Deed: Eyoth’s Gift.  Equipment: Potion of Gaseous Form (3 doses), Potion of Clairaudience, Ring of Protection +3, Staff of Power, Displacer Cloak, white robe from Area 13 (fire resistance).

Corybemus will be hiding behind the pillar southeast from 17d.  He’s aware of an invisible presence somewhere on the opposite side of the Reliquary’s nave.  Jezabioth will be near 17g when visitors climb up from the narthex.  She’s unaware of the dragon’s presence.  Both are still wearing their white robes.

Area 17g.  Hollow Pillar

About 60’ above the floor, an opening leads into a shaft inside the stone pillar.  It connects with Area 28.  It can only be noticed if standing inside the northwest corner of the stone recess and looking up from there.  Elves, dwarves, or thieves are able to spot the opening.  Anyone else otherwise needs a stronger source of light since the opening is on the pillar’s dark side.  The surface or the pillar and the inner shaft is relatively smooth.  If the battle goes poorly, the Companion of Eyoth might attempt to hide in Area 28.

Area 18.  Service Hallway

This area lies at the intersection of the passages surrounding the Reliquary, the door to Area 19, and stairs leading up to Area 27.  Muffled sounds of praying filter in from Area 19.  The area is unlit save for a sliver of light under the door to Area 19.  A smell of incense and cold stone lingers in the air.

Area 19.  Chapel of Sabbaiah

A square chamber, 70’x70', with an altar opposite the entrance and four pillars supporting a domed vault.  A silveon stands on the east and west sides of the room, between enchanted cressets providing soft lighting.  Two more cressets on the wall behind the altar provide additional lighting.  A glittering symbol of Sabbaiah hangs between them.  Stone friezes on the walls depict the immortal fighting on various battlefields.  Four more doors, two each on the east and west walls, lead out of the chapel.

If the alarm has not been raised yet, two mystics will stand near the altar, lighting incense sticks (20% chance one of the two is a master mystic if unaccounted for so far).  If intruders manifest themselves, a mystic will immediately attempt to escape toward Areas 23 and 24 to raise the alarm.  The other will remain and do what can be done to delay pursuers (such as luring intruders closer to the altar).

The two silveons activate if anyone comes within 20’ of the altar without first bowing.  They are identical to the ones in Area 5, although with only 5HD (to avoid hitting each other).  Silveons do not target mystics directly, but their bolts may arc and hit them nonetheless.

Silveons* (2): AC0, HD 5****, hp 25, MV 0’ (0’), AT# 1 energy bolt, Dmg 12-36, Save F3-9, ML12; AL N. Special Attacks: bolt of energy. Special Defenses: reflect spells and attacks, regeneration.

If the alarm was raised (from the Reliquary), then a red glow pulsates within the chapel’s dome.  A recess underneath the altar hides a chalice, two candle-holders, and a symbol of Sabbaiah worth 100 sp each.

Area 20.  Kitchen

This roughly 50’x70’ chamber features a large wooden, table in the middle, a bronze fire range opposite from the entrance, a free-standing closet on the far left, a stone oven on the left by the entrance, a large stone sink, a well on the far right, and all manners of pots, pans, and kitchen utensils hanging from the walls.  Light emanates from a magical globe hanging from the ceiling, and to some degree from fire in the oven and on the range.

Two mystics are preparing meals if the alarm wasn’t sounded.  If intruder’s manifest themselves, the mystics will throw pans and knives before heading into a melee.  A few pans of oily, greasy soup boil on the fire range, which can be used as weapons of fortune.  Parlay is not an option.

A large round cheese pie with pepperoni is cooking in the oven.  The closet contains wooden tableware, a few spices, and other common cooking ingredients (nothing of value).  Peeled vegetables lie in the sink under a layer of water.

Area 21.  Food Pantry

This 60’x40’ chamber and four wooden closets serve as a reserve of food and cooking ingredients.  The room and adjoining hallways are unlit.

Area 22.  Garbage Pit

This small chamber features a round, 15’ diameter opening in the stone floor.  The stonework seems smudged and greasy.  A vague smell of rot exudes from the opening.  Sad moans and a bit of steam rise from the bottom.

The room is unlit.  The pit is 30’ deep. A black pudding resides at the bottom to eat whatever is dumped in.  It has been trying to find a way out for very long time, hence the moaning.  A hot metal band rings the shaft’s midpoint, preventing the creature from slithering up the walls.

Black Pudding* (1): AC6, HD10*, hp 50, MV 60’ (20’), AT 1, Dmg 3d8 corrosion, Save F5, ML 12, AL N.  Special Defenses: can nly be killed by fire; can split into smaller puddings (HD2 + 1d8 Dmg per attack).

Area 23.  Meditation Room

This 110’x60’ chamber serves as a contemplation hall.  A ball of soft light hovers in the middle of the room.  Concentric patterns carved in the walls give an impression of movement when shifting one’s gaze.  A large carpet covers the floor, between four pillars. 
Cushion-like leather padding covers the door to the west.  A dozen small censors hang from chains hooked on the ceiling, filling the air with a pleasant, soothing fragrance and a thin haze.

Four mystics are meditating here if the alarm wasn’t raised (30% chance one of them is a master if not already accounted for).  If Aelith, the Companion of Eyoth, has not yet been encountered, she will be in this room.  Mystics are used to this chamber and the effects of its incense.  Intruders all have to roll vs. paralysis or fall in a trance-like stupor, gazing at the odd geometric patterns on the walls.  If intruders’ manifest themselves, two mystics will attack the intruders, while the fourth (the magic-user) will attempt to escape and raise the alarm.  The door on the west side is padded to suppress noise from Area 25.

The only objects of value in this room include the censors and their contents.  A small chest with unused incense lies in a hidden cavity in the northern wall.  The incense itself has a resale value outside Bettellyn of 5,000 gp.

Area 24.  Training Room

This 110’x60’ chamber features two rows of three round pillars, a pair of free-standing closets along the north and south walls, racks of combat weapons (bo sticks, nunchaks, wooden flails, throwing stars, bolas, crossbows and quarrels).  A practice mat covers the center of the room.  A large brass gong stands against the west wall.  Glowing brass lamps hang from chains in the ceiling, casting many shadows around the pillars.

If the alarm wasn’t raised, four mystics train in this room (60% chance a master is one of them, if not already accounted for).  If intruders manifest themselves, all but one of them will attack.  The remaining one will attempt to sound the gong.  If successful, the sound echoes throughout the entire complex, through walls and door, across the ethereal, and down to the pool in Area 15.  This will awaken all remaining mystics and the obsidian beholder.  The latter will come and position itself well above the Reliquary’s narthex, high enough to hide among shadows.  The sound also rouses any undead that may have been tracking PCs.  They arrive in 1d4+1 rounds later.  These undead will not attack the mystics but concentrate on recovering objects stolen from their towers.  Unless trained to focus like a mystic, the gong’s sound affects the inner ear, inflicting upon intruders in this room a -5 point Dexterity penalty for 1d4+1 rounds (same roll as above) and nauseating dizziness (-5 penalty to attack rolls).  Saving vs. paralysis reduces the penalties to –2.  Affected spellcasters cannot cast spells while the gong still resonates, regardless of saving throws.

Area 25.  Sleeping Quarters

This oddly shaped chamber contains six bunk beds, three levels high, and two normal beds in the far south.  A long table surrounded with wooden stools occupy a recess in the far west side.  The chamber is dark, save for a lone oil lamp on the table.

Six mystics are resting here (30% chance one master will be among them if unaccounted for so far) while two others sit at the table, quietly finishing their dinners.  If wakened, six confront the intruders while the remainder attempt to escape to Area 24 (where the gong will be struck).

A total of twenty small chests contain the mystics’ personal possessions.  Two, under the masters’ beds, contain more than a few coins, clothing, prayer books, praying necklaces, etc—such as: a Potion of Dreamspeech, a Potion of Undead Control, a Scroll of Questioning, a Jar of Soothing Ointment, and an Egg of Wonder, aside from two pouches with 500 gp in gems.  Every chest also contains a white robe (from Area 13).

Area 26.  Latrines

This 30’x60’ area can be identified by its prevailing smell.  It is unlit.  On the left, a long wooden storage bin features a series of enamel basins, cakes of soap, and several water jugs.  The bins underneath contain dry towels.  On the opposite side, bead curtains separate the chamber from individual stalls.  Pipes connect the stalls of an underground river far below.

If the alarm wasn’t sounded, one mystic occupies the far stall.  If not discovered, he will wait until intruders go by to come out and try to sound the alarm.  Mystics know of the nearby secret passage.  If not disabled before opening the secret door to Area 26, the red light in Area 19 switches on.  The Companion of Eyoth is the only resident aware of the existence of Area 29.

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