Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Windstone Tower

This adventure is Part II of Flight of the Bumblebee, originally run at the Lucca Games 2013 convention

Map Key: Windstone Tower sits on a small cloudstone island, at about 10,000 feet altitude above the town of Ailpon in Floating Ar. Clouds mask the island’s approach and give the site a forlorn appearance. A large boom and gangway extending from the island’s rocky base provide mooring to visiting skyships. Based on the position of windows, the blue-gray tower stands five levels high (including an open-air level on top), about 50’ in diameter. All windows are heavily barred.

Lucca Games 2013
The tower is made of levitating cloudstone. Unless indicated otherwise, incorporeal spheres provide lighting in all rooms. Secret doors reset themselves within a few rounds. All "pie-shaped" chambers larger than 10’x10’ (except for the Main Hall) have one window centered on their outside walls. Glass panes are colored and hard to see though from the outside. Windows can be opened from the inside. If the party circles around the tower, they will find a dead Heldannic Knight lying on the rock. His armor and helmet are slightly crumpled, and blood has poured from his nose and ears. Closer examination should reveal his cranium was badly fractured (he was a victim of the trap in Area 9).

Random Encounters: Although the Heldannic Knights ransacked the tower and destroyed all that got in their way, a number of undead spirits now linger by the tower. They’d been attracted by the Mortar of Souls. Now that it’s been taken away, the undead search for it in vain, occasionally running across the visiting party. As the adventure progresses, whispers and moaning can be heard throughout Windstone Tower. Some of what can he heard or seen is listed below (roll 1d20):
  1. Boo!
  2. It calls us.
  3. Where is it?
  4. It shall betray you.
  5. The living shall pay.
  6. They took it from us.
  7. She’s not who she says.
  8. Find it and we shall come.
  9. She betrayed the wise man.
  10. From it shall flow the blood soul.
  11. It leads to the world of the dead.
  12. He cannot speak without his head.
  13. Come and be one with the forever.
  14. The raven! The raven! It still lives.
  15. Curse upon your ship and all aboard!
  16. (An object in the room moves by itself)
  17. (Footsteps can be heard somewhere ahead)
  18. The key! The key! A holy soul lies within. . .
  19. (A door somewhere behind the party slams shut)
  20. (The entire tower shrieks and rattles; thunder rolls outside)
Each time a room is visited, a cumulative 10% chance exists of one or more undead appearing. Reset the random encounter checks after each appearance, upping the first check to 20%, 30%, and so on. Roll for each visited room only once unless the entire party left that level entirely but returned later for any reason. Undead should always be encountered on the way out if passing through the Main Hall (Area 1). When the party leaves the tower, a horde of undead pursues the Bumblebee for a few rounds as she sails away in search of the Heldannic Knights. Random encounter mechanics reset to the initial 10% after a day without further visits from the living

Greater Shadow: AC2, HD5**, hp 21-25, MV90’(30’), AT1, Dmg 1d8 + special, ML12, Save F5, Int7, AL C. Special Abilities: undead version of the official monster; +1 weapon to hit; 90% chance to hide in shadows; dimension door through nearby shadows; paralyzing touch as a ghoul; magical light sources within a 30’ radius are dimmed; non-magical light sources within a 60’ radius are fully extinguished; Turned as a Spectre. Appearance: when it appears looks like a shadow holding a scythe.

Spectral Avenger: AC4, HD6**, hp 24-30, MV90’(30’), AT1, Dmg 1d10 + special, ML12, Save F6, Int9, ALC. Special Abilities: +1 weapon to hit; mind control if foe is touched (until spectral avenger is destroyed; save vs. spell negates); can pass through walls; Turned as a Vampire. Appearance: looks like a skeletal ghost whose white hair blows slowly in some ethereal wind.

Crypt Soul: AC1, HD8**, hp 32-40, MV90’(30’), AT1, Dmg 1d12 + special, ML12, Save F8, Int11, ALC. Special Abilities: +1 weapon to hit; mummifying touch (see below); invisible initially until scoring a hit; immune to spells levels 1-3; Turned as a Phantom; their presence can be sensed within 60’ radius as the air becomes very cold. Appearance: looks like a ghostly mummy with pools of darkness in place of eyes.

A crypt soul’s touch mummifies the living. The location of the touch is determined as follows (d%): 01-10 sword-bearing arm, 11-26 opposite arm, 27-58 torso/abdomen, 59-74 left leg, 75-90 right leg, 91-00 head. Adjust/reroll as common sense dictates or if the indicated part has already been affected. A mummified arm or leg is permanently withered (–1 penalty to Dexterity and Strength). A withered arm cannot be used in combat; if the sword-bearing arm is withered, the victim must gain the proficiency to fight with the opposite arm or suffer an additional –2 penalty to hit. A leg injury reduces speed and results in a pronounced limp. With an injury to the torso or abdomen, the victim incurs a –2 penalty to Constitution and a permanent loss of an additional 1d6 hit points. With a head injury or if four or more parts have been mummified, the victim becomes a mummy under the control of the crypt soul. A cureall or wish is needed to restore injured parts to their former glory.

Mapping Standards: all maps are rendered at a 10’ per square scale. For mapping simplicity/clarity whenever the DM describes a room, the first dimension given usually refers to an east-west wall, and the next to a north-south wall. The tower being of a cylindrical nature, many rooms are "pie-shaped," with a concave third wall. Ceilings are about 10’ high. Stairs are straight and angled steeply.

1. Main Hall: the front door was bashed in and debris from destroyed gargoyles lies on the floor. Stone columns form a cross-like pattern across this 50’ diameter circular chamber. Two small pools of water lie near its right and left sides. A staircase leads up to the next level, directly opposite from the entrance. Four ornate tapestries hang from the walls.

Heldannic Knights already broke in and destroyed all defending gargoyles. The pool are purely decorative. The S-E. tapestry shows Belsaphet in his workshop, working with beakers and tubes on a red liquid. The S-W. tapestry shows the red liquid being poured onto a wooden floor on which intricate grooves have been carved. The N-W. one displays the malachite mortar with ghosts rising from it. The N-E. tapestry illustrates a skyship flying against a starry night sky.

An archway extends from behind the stairs to the outside wall, on the far western end of the chamber. Beneath it (and not visible directly from the entrance), lies a magical circle. It is a teleporter connecting with Area 25 (underground). The command word "Belsaphet" activates its enchantment.

2. Stairs Upper Landing: stairs from Level 1 lead up to this 10’x10’ chamber. One door stands on the right, another on the left.

The door to the right is locked.

3. Guest Lounge: this 50’x20’ semicircular room is well furnished, with armchairs, a large rug, an iron ceiling chandelier, potted plants, and porcelain vases. Part of the furniture was overturned or destroyed. A door stands ajar in a recess at the center of the northern wall.

There is nothing a great value in this room. The Heldannic Knights ransacked the chamber.

4. Guard Room: debris from destroyed gargoyles and furniture lies scattered across this 30’x20’ pie-shaped room. A door on the west wall was bashed down. Another stands ajar at the eastern edge of the south wall.

5. Acolyte Quarters: this 20’x20’ pie-shaped room seems to have been simple quarters. An overturned cot lies against the north wall, along with a small writing table and a stool. The dead body of a young man lies in the middle of the room. A closed door stands in the south wall.

Heldannic Knights killed Belsaphet’s acolyte when they invaded his tower. Gregovan now lies dead in a pool of blood. A scroll hidden inside the lining of his robe shows a clerical prayer to create bird food, which will attract Nevermore, feed it, and heal it as well, earning the spellcaster its favor. A small pouch can be found under the overturned bed, containing 1gp, 2sp, and 4cp. A few candles, a small iron box with incense, and medallion bearing Noumena’s symbol (a chessboard) can be found in the table’s debris.

6. Stairs Lower Landing: stairs west of this 10’x10’ room lead up to the next floor.

7. Stairs Upper Landing: stairs from Level 2 lead up to this 10’x10’ room. A door stands ajar in the northern wall.

8. Library: bookshelves cover the walls of this 30’x20’ pie-shaped room. Most of them lie in a heap on the floor. Debris from overturned armchairs and a desk are strewn about the room. A door stands in the south wall, about 15’ from the west wall; another stands in the east wall, about 5’ from the north wall. A recess in the southeast corner opens onto a stairwell leading east to the next level up.

The books are mostly of clerical nature or of interest to a sage. Among the latter, many works deal with travel across the skies, the planes, or the Great Vault (outer space). One book radiates magic: it is a tome of puzzle solving that confers a clerical reader with a permanent +1 bonus to Intelligence checks when trying to solve puzzles. It alludes to Belsaphet being a follower of the Immortal Noumena. The lock on the door in the south wall was crushed.

9. Fake Stairs Lower Landing: stairs lead west from the center of this 10’x10’ room to the next level up. A door can be seen in the wall at the top end of the stairs.

The author of this adventure goofed and, rather than removing the needless stairs, made them instead into an elaborate trap. The stairs are therefore a dastardly illusion. When it is touched, the phantasmal door at the upper end triggers a teleportation device sending everyone on the stairs to a spot just outside the tower’s west wall, from which they fall 30’ to the rocky island’s base below. All who fall suffer 3d6pts of damage. Those incurring 10pts of damage or more must also make a Dexterity Check to avoid falling off the edge of the rock. If magic is detected, the entire staircase will radiate.

10. Enchanted Kitchen: this 20’x20’ pie-shaped chamber contains a kitchen stove and oven, a sink, a cutting table with a range of knives, as well as shelves with pots, pans, plates, glasses, and other kitchenware. A scroll hangs from the wall next to the window.

The room is enchanted in that its dimension are slightly warped, so that it measures 20’ while there should only be room for 15’ to the tower’s northern outside wall. As such, the entire room radiates magic. The sink is magical as well, since it generates water when touching its outer rim (the water and other contents vanish when the rim is touched twice). The stove and oven are fitted with a heat-metal effect that can be controlled by the knobs in front. A small wooden chest in a cabinet underneath the sink contains silverware (worth 20gp). A secret panel opens to Area 11 when pressing against the S-E. wall. The scroll on the wall only bears two odd words: "Incipe" and "Subsiste" (see Laboratory, Area 13, for more details.)

11. Pantry: this recess, about 10’x5’ appears to be a food pantry, with bags of flour, vegetables, bread, dried meats, dried fruit, nuts, pots of honey, butter, oil, vinegar, bottles of fine wine, etc.

The recess also contains a potion of super healing, one of neutralize poison, and a bag of bird feed for Nevermore.

Note: The next three rooms on this level can only be reached from Level 4.

12. Upper Stairs Landing: stairs from Level 3 lead up to this 20’x20’ pie-shaped room. A door stands ajar in the western wall section.

13. Laboratory: a large workbench occupies the center of this 30’x20’ pie-shaped room. Shelves on the walls feature an array of oddities and do-dads worthy of a museum of the grotesque and bizarre, most of which now lies on the floor. Among the objects are exotic wooden sculptures, jars with monstrous fetuses, unusual rocks and crystals, pewter miniatures, bone and ceramic polyhedrons, a leather screen with a dragon printed on one side and mysterious charts within, miscellaneous skulls, scores of liquid-filled vials, and an empty bird cage. Paraphernalia worthy of an alchemist stands on the table, in various states of disorder or broken. Two other doors, bashed in, stand in the south wall, 10’ and 20’ respectively from the S-W. corner.

Belsaphet used the equipment on the workbench to make the Oil of Memories. Blood-like stains can be seen on the table. The bird cage belongs to Nevermore, the sage’s companion. It is hiding behind a large jar with a chimera’s embryo. If someone looks closely, one of the bird’s eyes, enlarged by the glass container and the liquid inside will blink. If disturbed, Nevermore will fly to a perch near the ceiling, about 15’ overhead. Using any of the bird feed (Area 11) or Gregovan’s spell (Area 5) will earn the raven’s relative trust.

Nevermore watched Heldannic Knights trashing the laboratory, penetrating its master’s bedchamber, and killing Belsaphet, after which it flew back to the laboratory and hid behind the jar. Nevermore knows the knights took the mortar and its master’s head, but doesn’t know where the silver flagon with the oil is hidden. The raven has seen its master release spirits from the mortar and make soul blood before, but will not willingly reveal this until the party secures the sage’s severed head and thinks of speaking with the dead.

Vials in the laboratory are generally toxic if consumed. The random effects are listed below (roll 1d12; no save). A neutralize poison potion will eliminate any single effect.

  1. Blue: mild poison; 3d6pts of damage + swelling of the lips
  2. Green: polymorph into (roll 1d10): 1. chicken, 2. snake, 3. raven, 4. frog, 5. rabbit, 6. marmoset, 7. dog, 8. cat, 9. bat, 10. rat. Lasts 3d6 hours or until dispelled.
  3. Purple: skin rash; -2 Charisma for 3d6 hours
  4. Brown: uncontrolled drooling; 1d6 hours
  5. Multicolored: hair growth; 6 feet + random color
  6. White: gaseous form; 3d6 rounds
  7. Gold: violent sneezing; -2 penalty to AC; 1 hour
  8. Transparent: loud hiccup; 1 hour
  9. Black: subject becomes lighter than air; 3d6 hours
  10. Orange: narcolepsy; 1d4 days; 50% chance occurring when the player speaks; each episode lasts 1d4 rounds
  11. Red: cannot tell a lie; 3d6 days
  12. Silver: violent poison; 3d6pts of damage + save or die

    14. Garderobe: judging from its general smell, this 10’x10’ area is a private stall used to relieve oneself of natural biological functions. A wooden lid covers the seat, and a wooden peg conveniently sticks out of the wall.

    15. Broom Closet: this 10’x10’ space is filled with a bric-a-brac of discarded furniture, laboratory tools, a broom, a mop, a bucket, a dust pan, a scrubbing brush, and a small refuse bin, a feather duster.

    The cleaning tools are magical components part of Hardy Hoover’s Happy Housekeeper Suite. When looking at them closely, all these tools have eyes that stare back at whomever holds them. When commanded (with the word "Incipe!") the tools will animate and move about the laboratory and any other area open to them, picking up dust and refuse, and cleaning the floors. They stop and return to their closet with the command word "Subsiste!"

    16. Secret Passage Vestibule: this 10’x10’ chamber is empty save for a broken door in the southern wall.

    The secret panel into this room opens when someone knocks three times on the northern wall, which the knights accidentally did. The secret passage closes itself after 1d4+2 rounds.

    17. Belsaphet’s Bedchamber: this 30’x20’ pie-shaped chamber, once furnished as a bedchamber, now remains in a shambles—bed overturned, mattress torn, chest of drawers pulled apart and contents dumped on the floor, desk and leather chair shattered. A decapitated body lies on the floor in a pool of blood. Three other doors, all damaged, are in this room—two in the north wall, 10’ and 20’ from the N-E. corner, and the third in the west wall.

    The headless corpse is what remains of Belsaphet (speak with dead will only work on his head). The initials HK have been carved into the skin of his chest. The sage wears a ring (protection from evil). The contents of his purse, about 15gp, lie next to him, scattered on the floor.

    Knocking three times against the wall on the N-W. corner will open the secret stairwell (labeled 17a on the map) to Area 21 on Level 3. The knights failed to find this passage (fooled by Area 20 next door), but managed to take the magical mortar from Belsaphet after they killed him. They gave up searching for the Oil of Memories at the sight of an approaching vessel (the Bumblebee) and left in a hurry.

    18. Walk-in Closet: this 10’x10’ recess contains racks of robes, shirts, breeches, and coats, as well as shelves for shoes and hats. It’s been ransacked as well, all contents now lying on the floor.

    One of the robes radiates magic. When wearing it in an area of shadows, the owner actually becomes a two-dimensional shadow of him/herself and can move on any surface (vertical or upside down). While in this form, spells cannot be cast and attacks cannot be performed. The effect stops when the owner brushes off the sides of the robe.

    19. Teleporter Chamber: a runic circle is engraved in the floor at the center of the 10’x10’ room. There are no other exits.

    The magical circle at the center of the floor is a teleporter connecting with Area 24 on Level 5. It requires a password to activate ("Belsaphet").

    20. Enchanted Bathroom: a soapy pool lies at the center of this 20’x20’ pie-shaped chamber. Towels lie strewn about the floor, along with shaving materials and small lotion bottles. A stone sink stands beneath a mirror on the north wall.

    The entire room radiates magic if detected. A permanent enchantment warps the actual size of the room (approx. 15’x15’ in reality), so that the presence of the secret stairwell just north cannot be guessed. The soapy water will soothe any skin irritation due to the toxic substances in the laboratory (Area 13).

    21. Stairs Lower Landing: stairs from the previous area upstairs lead to this 20’x20’ pie-shaped room. A closed door stands in the eastern wall.

    The stairs connect with Area 17a on the floor above.

    22. Fake Treasure Room: this 30’x20’ pie-shaped area is filled with chests, large vases flowing with gold coins, golden pitchers and chandeliers, works of art—paintings, tapestries, statues and carvings of all sorts. There are no other exits from this room.

    If anyone cares to look up, they should notice a few gold coins stuck to the ceiling. A Lurker Above hides there, awaiting for anyone to come within arm’s-reach of the N-E. corner, at which point it drops and smothers anyone within 20’ of that corner. Belsaphet had the creature permanently charmed to defend his fake treasure room from anyone but himself and his apprentice.

    Lurker Above: AC5, HD10*, hp 45, MV30’(10’), AT1, Dmg 1d6/round, ML12, Save F6, Int3, ALN. Special Abilities: 90% undetectable; clings to walls and ceilings; covers an area roughly 20’x20’; drops on unsuspecting visitors and smothers them, automatically inflicting damage until killed; those trapped within can only fight with short weapons if held in hand when the attack began. Appearance: looks like stone; when moving, it looks more like a manta ray.

    All of the items in this chamber are illusory. The entire treasure radiates magic since it is affected by an illusion hiding its true appearance: moth-eaten old blankets, bits of wood, and pebbles of various sizes and shapes made to appear as valuables. The illusion affecting these items lasts a day after they are removed from the chamber. Although several paths exists between the fabulous piles of junk, one actually leads to the location of the secret panel to Area 23, near the chamber’s N-E. corner.

    23. Hidden Treasure Room: this 10’x10’ chamber contains a chest and a large silver flagon, about a foot tall. There are no other exits from this room.

    The flagon contains the Oil of Memories, about 6 measures of it. The chest holds 500 coins of various sorts, a potion of super-healing, an amulet of protection from crystal balls and ESP, a clerical scroll of protection from undead, a quill of copying, a locket with an animated image of Moriluna, a box of stale chocolates, and a ratty-old teddy bear with a big red heart pinned on its chest. An flying carpet stands rolled up against the N-W. corner. It has an Intelligence of 9, speaks like a gung-ho WWII pilot, but can’t ever land properly (usually crashes and flips over). It remains quiet when rolled up but will protest vehemently while one does so.

    24. Observation Area: a runic circle lies at the center of this 25’ radius open area on top of Windstone Tower. Near the south side, a telescope stands on a tripod, next to a chair and a small table.

    A hemispherical wall of force protects the terrace from intruders and the weather. The runic circle is a teleporter connecting with Area 19 on Level 4. It requires a password to activate ("Belsaphet"). The wall of force was cast at experience level 20.

    25. Private Mooring: you stand in a runic circle on a platform at the edge of a spherical chamber carved out of cloudstone, about 40’ in diameter. A stone bridge extends from the ledge to the center of the chamber. At the other end, a small skyship floats between two glowing spheres, a 20’-long vessel with three masts, one upright and two others on her lower starboard and port sides. On the opposite side of the shadowy chamber, a large opening leads outside, past a slight shimmer.

    This facility is located some distance beneath Windstone Tower, within its cloudstone base. The magical circle connects with the teleporter in the Main Hall (Area 1). A one-way illusion conceals the outside entrance to Belsaphet’s private mooring. This exit faces west. The skyship, named Windsoul, is Belsaphet’s private vessel. A number of gargoyles guarding the area will attack anyone entering without the old sage.

    Gargoyles: AC5, HD4**, hp 16-20, MV90’(30’)/150’(50’), AT 2 claws/1bite/1 horn, Dmg 1d3/1d3/1d6/1d4, Save F8, ML11, Int5, ALC. Special Abilities: immune to charm and sleep spells.

    This concludes Part Two. The next installment will detail Shadowfall Manor.

    Reminder: for those of you who plan on backing the World of Calidar project there is only a day left to fill out the survey.

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