02 September 2007

Dungeons that Never Were: The Longbarrow

Like most DMs, I have a giant heap of miscellaneous dungeons, all developed and kicking around, that I'll never get to use. In some cases, you just don't feel like upgrading them from 3.0 to 3.5, particularly if your party is now several levels too tough to make it worthwhile. In other cases, maybe you think you've thrown one too many ghouls at them already.

(If, that is, you believe that there can be such a thing as "too many ghouls".)

Anyway, just to mix things up a bit, I thought I would throw a few of them up on the blog, if for no other reason than to give readers and idea of the sort of things they MIGHT have had to face. To get the series started off, here's the very first dungeon I threw together years and years ago using the (then) new 3.0 rules. Readers familiar with my usual brand of nonsense will probably recognize elements of the current campaign, albeit in embryonic form.

As you can probably tell, it had been quite some time since I'd drawn up a dungeon, so please excuse the (obvious) faults.

Here, for your reading pleasure, is "The Longbarrow".

* * * * *


Argument: The mining town of Ekhalifundo lies somewhat off the beaten track, in the alluvial plain below heavily wooded foothills. The miners are a hard-bitten lot who scrabble for iron ore and smelt it on-site; heavily-laden wagons traverse the rutted valley trails back to the High Road, mostly heading south to the great market at Baltrecheg, a three-day journey. In town, the men are hard, and care for little other than food, ale and rough company. Prices are high and the money flows freely. But the people are afraid.

It started a month ago. One of the town’s “Sallys” was found gutted in a ditch, savaged by some unknown but horrific creature; although her blood still ran warm when her body was found, her wounds were festering and rank with the stench of death. The Shovellers’ Council suspected a wild wolf, but a hunting party found nothing. Two weeks ago, it happened again, this time to a child sent to pick berries in the woods; and again, the corpse was torn and stank unnaturally. Finally, not three days ago, a third death – this time of one Ruttik, a miner of extraordinary strength and a mean temper, felled and butchered like an ox. The girl he was with was badly wounded, but before she died she spoke of pale, nightmarish eyes, and a horrifying stench of death.

Now the townsfolk bar their doors at night, the inns are losing commerce, and people fear to tread abroad after dark.

The party may have three allies in town:

1) Pellus of Gronby, sole proprietor of the Pickhandle Pub, is desperate; he has been losing money and will soon be forced to close his doors. Fortunately, he still has his courage, and his sword and armour from his Army days, and he has kept both bright. Moreover, he knows where to look for answers; his son recently married the grand-daughter of a local wise-woman who knows much about the surrounding area.

2) Sallen Brewer, an itinerant cleric and self-appointed Servant of the Light (which is to say, an Undead Hunter), arrived in town about a week ago, and has been poking around. He has a room at the Pickhandle Pub. If the party proposes to seek out the Mound and destroy the evil lurking around the town, he will volunteer to go with them.

3) Dagmar the Blind, an expert healer, is wise in the ways of the world, and may be able to explain what is going on in Ekhalifundo, and what to do about it. She will not accompany the party, but she will provide them with 6 Potions of Cure Moderate Wounds and a fully-stocked Healer’s kit. She will also help to heal any party members injured in fighting at the mound.

1. Shrine (disused, dusty, disrepair)
2. Jambyron (woodcutter)
3. Guard tower (6 x War 1)
4. Sheriff’s Manse (Garn Weaver, War 1)
5. Factor’s residence (Expert accountant 7)
6. Miner’s Mission (HQ for mining company)
7. Huts for miners (20 per hut)
8. Graves for dead miners (some disturbed)
9. Pickhandle Pub (Pellus of Gronby, Ftr 5)
10. Felargus family (mine owners)
11. Beal Tollwyn (merchant ship owner)
12. Goodly Yard (clothing shop, good quality)
13. Bent Brandby (smith, good toolmaker)
14. Farmer’s Market
15. Loris Trent (general goods, brewmaster)
16. Dagmar the Blind (expert healer/historian)
(1) On an isolated island just northeast of the mining town of Ekhalifundo, in middle of the Bard’s Bane River, lies a wooded hilltop that guards a mystery. Atop the hill is a long, broad drumlin-like formation. Although surrounded by trees, no trees grow atop it; only sickly scrub grass. The heavy forest crouches at the feet of the mound. Although there are signs of an old stone landing on the eastern side of the island, river boats and barges avoid it as an ill-favoured place.
(2) The mound is a barrow dating back more than a thousand years, to the earliest kingdoms of Ekhan, when the land was settled by Jarlin adventurers, prior to the worship of the Hand – a time when some men of the north praised totems and the gods of sky and earth, instead of the Aesir.
(3) The Long Barrow likely served this part of one of the early Ekhani kingdoms for centuries, until the arrival of the Clerics of the Hand and the Knights of the Orders arrived, replaced the local rulers, and stamped out shamanism and the Old Gods.
(4) (GATHER INFO ONLY) Some years ago, when the town first sprang up, a group of adventuresome lads crossed the river and climbed the hills, swearing that they would answer the mystery of the mound. None of them ever returned.
(5) (REL ONLY) The Earth Gods were not gentle gods; they demanded the sacrifice of enemies. As a result of the centuries of murder and death, the Barrow is an unhallowed place; fell spirits crowd the air, and the dead walk. It is a dreadful and horrifying pit, rife with peril for the unwary.
(6) (GATHER INFO / HIST ONLY) On the north shore of the south branch of the Whitewater lies a small shingle of shale. Hidden behind ancient oaks and clinging vines are two grim statues. Taller and broader than a man, carved from granite, they are hulking images of coarse, blocky creatures with low brows and mighty fists, now weathered and moss-encrusted.

Nearly a thousand years ago, the Long Barrow was sealed and forgotten, and in the course of time, covered by the jungle. And while it has always prodded and mystified adventurers and the foolhardy (not least because of persistent rumours that fabulous wealth lies hidden within), few have penetrated its secrets – and none have done so, and come away unscathed.


The Long Barrow is more elaborate than the Mounds of Earth that are normally found in modern times, but probably consists nonetheless of the five indispensable elements of a normal Barrow of the Earth Gods: the Shrine, the Halls of Heroes, the Bed of the King, The Crypt of the Commons, and the Pit of Enemies. . Finally, it is rumoured that a mighty and ancient weapon, a relic of the Jarlin royal family, is secreted somewhere in the burial mound.


The Shovellers’ Council: A group of the 12 oldest miners that serves as a town government. Led by Fergus Weaver, First Shovel

Garn Weaver: Sherrif, Ftr 1, a political appointee (brother of Fergus Weaver); a coward, will refuse to aid the party

Pellus of Gronby: Owner of the Pickhandle Pub, Ftr 5; Str 17, Dex 10, Con 14, Int 11, Wis 12, Cha 12. Feats: Weapon Focus (Greatclub), Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Weapon Specialization (Greatclub), Cleave. MW chainmail, greatclub, shortsword, dagger. Longbow, 20 arrows. 2 potions of Cure Moderate Wounds, 1 potion of Bull’s Strength. HP 52, AC 15, Init +5, Speed 30’, Greatclub (1d10) +10/+5 damage, longbow (1d8) +7/+0, F+7/R+3/W+3, Climb +3, Jump +3.

Dagmar the Blind: Expert Healer (12 skill points, 17 wisdom; concocts and sells elixirs of healing for 25 gp each, each heals 0-5 HP (d6-1)); also knowledge of local history (14) and ancient history (7).

Sallen Brewer: Human Cleric, 6th level; Str 14, Dex 11, Con 15, Int 12, Wis 17, Cha 14. Skills: Concentration 9, Diplomacy 9, Heal 9, Knowledge: Religion 9. Feats: Combat Casting, Wpn Focus: Morningstar, Extra Turning, Extra Turning. Speaks Common, Elven. No devotion; Domains: Good, Sun. Spells: 5, 4+1, 4+1, 3+1. Chainmail +2, Circlet of Persuasin, MW Heavy Crossbow, MW Dagger, Morningstar +1, MW Large Steel Shield. Potions: Cure Light Wounds (3), Sneaking, Spider Climb, Lesser Restoration.

1. Great Room: 3d6+6 patrons, 1d4 Sallys, Sallen Brewer
2. Council Room: 25% Fergus Weaver
3. Single room: unoccupied
4. Single room: Sallen Brewer
5. Single room: Gale Fallows (ale merchant)
6. Double room: Wan and Lale Rider (horse traders)
7. Water closet
8. Double room: unoccupied
9. Single room: Betta Miller (top Sally)
10. Single room: unoccupied
11. Single room (small): Jade Miller (madam)
12. Larder: 12 kegs ale, dry goods, meat
13. Kitchen: 3 kegs ale, dry goods
14. Triple room: 3 Sallys - Frida, Helfrigg, Olga
15. Sextuple room: 4 miners on leave
16. Bunkroom (12 spaces): 8 miners on leave
17. Stable yard: 11 draft horses, 6 riding horses, 5 miners sleeping it off
18. Sheep pens: 212 sheep of all sizes
* * * * *

General note: The unwholesomeness of the barrow is due to the lingering sensation of evil it exudes and the foulness of the air. Good characters must make a fortitude save (DC 12) every 12 hours they are in the mound, or be -1 on all attack, skill check and saving throw rolls. These losses are cumulative until the character spends 12 hours or more in the outside air.

1. The Path

On the north shore of the south branch of the Whitewater lies a small shingle of shale. Hidden behind ancient oaks and clinging vines are two grim statues. Taller and broader than a man, carved from granite, they are hulking images of coarse, blocky creatures with low brows and mighty fists, now weathered and moss-encrusted. Between them, a narrow path winds up the hill, between the boles of gigantic trees. Under the carpet of dead branches and rotting leaves, glimpses of a roughly-cobbled pathway can be seen.
(GOOD CHARACTERS) The air is still and silent; although the day is warm, you feel cold and have difficulty catching your breath. You feel as though something is watching you – a brooding, nameless repugnant evil, perhaps long dead, but drenched in blood nonetheless.
(EVIL CHARACTERS) The darkness beneath the trees is welcoming and restful, and pleasantly cool after the heat of the sun. There is power here, but it is old and quiescent, and no threat to you. This is a pleasant and comforting place; you’re glad you came. All the same, there is power here, and all would do well to be wary.

2. The Porch

As the path climbs the hill, you begin to catch glimpses of the mound between the trees. Far-off glimpses are deceptive; up close, it is truly a gargantuan land feature, hundreds of feet long, and many times the height of a man. Although the trees cluster closely alongside the mound, no trees grow atop it; it is adorned only with sickly patches of scrub grass, and blocky chunks of stone can be seen protruding from the overgrowth.

Approaching the mound, you can see, between the trees, that the path is becoming less overgrown and more distinct. Where it meets the mound, there appears to be a porch of sorts; the path climbs a few low steps to a broad, paved balcony where a heavy stone roof is supported by seven massive carven pillars. The shadows beneath the roof are heavy, but you can still see a number of huddled shapes strewn aboard the fallen stones.

Any character making a spot check (DC 16) from more than 100 yards will notice that there appear to be odd statues standing in front of three of the pillars. They look like humanoid skeletons, armoured and wielding long rusted scimitars – but much bigger than humans. These are unmissable (spot DC 10) from 20 yards away.

At the inner end of the porch lies the door to the barrow; it is wood reinforced with iron bands, and although it looks rotten, it is deceptively strong (unlocked, stuck; DC 28 to force, Hardness 10, HP 20). It is heavily carved with interwoven runic inscriptions, and bears a number of axe strokes. If the door is touched, the skeletons animate and attack anyone on the porch. Once everyone is dead or has left the porch, they return to their starting positions and de-animate.
OGRE SKELETONS x 3 (Large Undead)
HD: 2d12 (13, 16, 21 HP)
Init: +5 (+1 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative)
Speed: 40’
AC: 17 (+1 Dex, -1 size, +3 Natural, +3 rusty chainmail, +1 large shield)
Attacks: rusty battleaxe
Damage: 1d8+2
Face/Reach: 5’x5’ / 10’
Special Qualities: Undead, Immunities
Saves: Fort 0, Ref +1, Will +3
Abilities: Str 14, Dex 12, Con -, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 11
Feats: Improved Initiative
Alignment: Neutral (although residual aura of evil from being created)
UNDEAD: immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning and disease. Not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, energy drain or death from massive damage.
IMMUNITIES: Cold immunity; half damage from slashing or piercing weapons.
The skeletons are wearing rusted oversized chainmail and light helms, and a carrying decaying large wooden shields and rusty battleaxes. All of these items are in poor condition (1/6th value, -2 on all checks) and are unwieldy for medium-sized creatures.
The huddled shapes on the porch are three decayed human skeletons. All are clad in the rotten rags of peasant clothing; none are armoured. There are two scythes (one broken) and one woodsman’s axe (broken) nearby. One of the skeletons has a 50’ coil of hemp rope (poor condition, -2 on all checks); another has a belt pouch containing 6 cp, 2 candles, and a flint and steel, chipped and rusted.

A shattered ogre skeleton, clad in disintegrating chainmail, lies among them.

3. The Dig

Anyone attempting to circumnavigate the mound will find it rough going; the trees grow closely together and gaps are filled by brush and vines. Anyone forcing their way through the woods on the north side of the mound has only a 1/20 chance of coming upon area 3; elves, rangers and druids who come within 50’ of the area may make a spot check (DC 15) at +2 to notice that the area has been disturbed. Going over top of the mound, however, is much easier, and anyone near the top centre will probably notice disturbed brush at area 3 (Spot DC 12).

Close up the truth is revealed. Some time ago (TRACK DC 14) more than 200, less than 300 years), a party of adventurers attempted to circumvent the skeletons at the front door (and to get around the stone block at Area 4) by digging into the mound.

Anyone with wilderness lore can make a SPOT CHECK (DC 15) to notice overly large wolf tracks leading to and from the tunnel mouth. DC 18 identifies as Dire Wolves; DC 24 identifies one male, one female, and 1-6 cubs. The male and female wolves will attack if anyone approaches the cave mouth; the cubs will fight only if cornered.

DIRE WOLVES x 2 + 3 (Large Animals – 8’ long, 500-700 pounds)
HD: 6d8+18 (46, 36, 18, 14, 9 HP)
Init: +2 Dex
Speed: 50’
AC: 14 (-1 size, +2 Dex, +3 Natural)
Attacks: Bite +10 melee
Damage: 1d8+10
Face/Reach: 5’x10’ / 5’
Special Attacks: Trip (if hits with a bite attack)
Special Qualities: Scent
Saves: Fort+8, Ref +7, Will +6
Abilities: Str 25, Dex 15, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 10
Skills: Hide+5, Listen+6, Move Silently+5, Spot+6, Wilderness Lore+1*
Alignment: Neutral
*+4 racial bonus to Wilderness Lore when tracking by scent.
The Dire Wolves have no treasure.
The remains of a small tunnel bear southwards into the hill, and the spoil of digging lies about, covered with leaves and long grass. There are also two picks and two spades tangled in the undergrowth, both with rusted blades and rotted handles.

SPOT DC 13 - And a corpse, found pushed aside and trampled under the litter of the tunnel (human warrior, clad in badly-rusted and rotted scale armour and a helmet, and bearing the broken hilt of a longsword). If closely inspected, the helmet can be seen to be crushed inwards (as is the skull underneath), and the corpse’s shield arm is completely shattered. The corpse has a belt pouch containing 12 cp, 25 sp, 2 gp, two pieces of chalk, a small roll of twine and the stump of a wax candle. The sword hilt is grimy, but a spot check (DC 18) reveals that the hilt contains a cairngorm-cut topaz worth about 75 gp.

The tunnel is partially collapsed, but appears to be about four to six feet wide and the same high, roomy for a halfling, but a tight fit for an armoured human. One hours’ work with a shovel, or six hours without, will suffice to clear the tunnel and allow entry to Area 6.

4. The Entrance

Once the door from the Porch (Area 2) has been forced or destroyed, the true barrier is revealed: a massive stone block has been rolled and mortared into place blocking the descending staircase. 12 hours work with a hammer and chisel (Knowledge [Masonry] check to halve the time) or equivalent tool will remove the mortar, but then the stone remains. (Careful inspection shows that some of the mortar has been chipped away, possibly by a pick). A Strength check (DC 35) is required to budge the stone. It has not been moved since it was emplaced nearly 1000 years ago.

Behind the stone lies a tunnel, 10’ wide and 15’ high, built of heavy cut stones. Remnants of paint fleck the walls, although no images can be made out. The tunnel descends at a sharp angle (c. 45 degrees); the air is heavy, dank and smells of mold and decay. Here and there small roots have forced their way through the stones, and water drips from the ceiling, pooling and running down the stairs.

A dim light can be seen emanating from a chamber at the bottom of the stairs

5. The Shrine

Area 5 is the Shrine to the Earth Gods that was de rigeur for the religious practices of the day. It contains all of the mandatory elements of an Earth Shrine: The Pillars, The Lights, The Altars and The Guardians.

The pillars are massive, heavily carved, one-piece granite that support the arching stones of the roof approximately 25’ overhead.

The Lights are actually ensorcelled “Continual Flame” torches made of wrought iron; each is 4’ long and weighs 12 pounds, and may be removed from the sconces at the northeast and southwest ends of the chamber. They may be used as Heavy Maces +1. If they are removed from the barrow, their enchantment and bonuses will fail, and the flame will go out.

The Altars stand along the northwest wall. They are massive, waist-high tables cast in a single piece of bronze. Each weighs about 900 pounds. Both have grooves around the edges to catch blood, and a collection of corroded bronze blood-buckets stacked beneath them (11 in all, capacity about 1 gallon each). Both altars are heavily corroded and exude a brooding sense of old evil (and stink of old blood). The walls behind them are heavily carved with depictions of the Earth Gods and their servants, and are crusted with old blood.

The guardians are enormous, squat stone statues that appear almost dwarvish, except for being 10’ tall.

This room is full of heaps of foul trash, and is the home of 3 Ogre Ghouls.
OGRE GHOUL x 3 (Large Giant, Undead)
Hit Dice: 4d12+8 (51, 40, 29)
Initiative: +1 (Dex)
Speed: 30’
AC: 18 (-1sz, +1Dex, +5Nat, +3hide)
Attacks: 2 claws, +8; bite +4 melee
Damage: 2 claws 2d4+8, paralysis; bite 1d6+4, paralysis
Face/Reach: 5’x5’/10’
Special Attacks: paralysis, create spawn, stench of death, rend
Special Qualities: Undead, +2 turn resistance
Saves: Fort+6, Ref+1, Will+5
Abilities: Str 21, Dex 15, Con -, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 10
Skills: Climb +6, Escape Artist +7, Hide+7, Intuit Direction +3, Jump +6, Listen +7, Move Silently +7, Search +6, Spot +7Feats: Multiattack, Weapon Finesse (claws), Rend
The Ogre Ghouls at areas 5 and 6 will assist each other if they detect a battle; the Ogre Ghouls with Ogi obey him and remain with him.

6. The North Ossuary

This low (8’ ceiling) chamber is an ossuary – a place where the bones of common people were interred in honour. The walls contain numerous well-made stone cavities, each of which is full of whitened bones, stacked deep. The skulls are stacked along the edges of the floor (more than 600 in here, if anyone bothers to count). The tunnel dug from Area 3 enters this room at the northwest corner, near the ceiling, about 6’ off the floor; three of the stone blocks comprising the wall of the chamber have been forced out of place, and lie on the floor.

This room contains an Ogre Ghoul, who has made this chamber his home, as he does not get along with his fellows who live at Area 5, or those who serve Ogi. He will attack anyone who enters this room.
OGRE GHOUL (Large Giant, Undead)
Hit Dice: 4d12+8 (37)
Initiative: +1 (Dex)
Speed: 30’
AC: 18 (-1sz, +1Dex, +5Nat, +3hide)
Attacks: 2 claws, +8; bite +4 melee
Damage: 2 claws 2d4+8, paralysis; bite 1d6+4, paralysis
Face/Reach: 5’x5’/10’
Special Attacks: paralysis, create spawn, stench of death, rend
Special Qualities: Undead, +2 turn resistance
Saves: Fort+6, Ref+1, Will+5
Abilities: Str 21, Dex 15, Con -, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 10
Skills: Climb +6, Escape Artist +7, Hide+7, Intuit Direction +3, Jump +6, Listen +7, Move Silently +7, Search +6, Spot +7Feats: Multiattack, Weapon Finesse (claws), Rend
SPOT CHECK 16: Smashed into the rubbish behind one of the sarcophagi is a badly-gnawed skeleton; it appears to have been a female elf clad in once-elaborate robes SEARCH DC 12: The corpse has a well-made dagger in a jewelled scabbard (scabbard worth 75 gp) and is wearing a silver plated belt studded with green gems (sea opals, total value 250 gp). A belt pouch contains some elementary spell components, and a nearby backpack contains two pints of oil in stoppered clay jars; soap and a towel; ten sheets of parchment, two quill pens and a dried bottle of black ink; a honing stone; a small razor knife; a packet of dried apples and dried figs (inedible); and a small, bloodstained leatherbound spellbook.

SPELLCRAFT DC 19: The spellbook is trapped with MINOR WARD – ELECTRICITY and will do d4+3 electrical damage to anyone who opens it without speaking the password (reflex save for ½ damage; “Mialee”, the name of the dead wizard, is the password). The spellbook contains the following spells: CHANGE SELF(1), CHARM PERSON(1), FEATHER FALL(1), SUNLIGHT(1), MAGIC MISSILE(1), MINOR WARD – ELECTRICITY(1), TENSOR’S FLOATING DISK(1), FLAMING SPHERE(2), MAGIC MOUTH(2), SLEEP(2), WEB(2). Inside the cover is inscribed, in Elvish, the name of the mage: “Mialee”.

7. The South Ossuary

This room is identical to Area 6, save that it has never been disturbed. It contains more than 700 skulls, but has neither monster nor treasure. It is deeply shrouded in spider webs; and numerous small arachnids inhabit it. Anyone disturbing the skulls must make a reflex save (DC 12) every round to avoid taking .5 HP damage from spider bites.

8. The Crypts of the Commons

This very long corridor is 10’ wide and 10’ high; the walls and floor are smooth, made of well-cut and well-fitted stone blocks; the ceiling is ogive-arched and peaks to 17’ in the centre. Each of the crypt entrances is surrounded by stone engraving noting the names of the families entombed within (using old Jarlin runes). In front of each crypt entrance is a statue (KNOWLEDGE HISTORY DC 18) depicting the patron deity of each major family grouping, and the seven major Jarlin deities are all so depicted. (KNOWL HIST DC 22) From north to south, they are the gods of fertility; thunder; warriors; stealth; the underworld; trickery; and the hunt.

SPOT DC 16: The floor of the corridor slopes gently towards the south, and little rivulets of water can be seen trickling down it; all of the drip-water that enters the mound eventually flows this way.

Anyone succeeding at a LISTEN (DC 18) will hear a stealthy rustling and scraping a short way down the hall; if they succeed by 5 or more points, they will believe it comes from one of the crypts.

Each of the crypts is a 15’ x 20’ room with a ceiling that vaults from 10’-15’ in the center. The walls are solid. Each room contains five large, carved stone open sarcophagi; the bones of the various families are piled willy-nilly into these, along with a collection of copper and silver coins. The rooms are dank, damp, and clammy, and the stench of decay overlays everything; all of the bones are interwoven with cobwebs, crud, crap and decayed bits of word and small animal bones; and small spiders and scorpions abound. Anyone rummaging through the bones must make a Reflex Save (DC 15) every round ot take .5 HP from biting and stinging insects. None of the sarcophagi contains anything of value except where noted; there is a total of 10-40 SP and 20-160 CP per room.

8A. The Crypt of the Thunder God

The sarcophagus at the end of this room, if searched, will yield bones, decayed clothing, SPOT DC 18/SEARCH DC 13 and a well-made dwarven war hammer, steelheaded, steelhafted, and in excellent condition, although dusty (value 100%).

8B. The Crypt of the Stealth God

This room contains no treasure, but is inhabited by an OGRE ZOMBIE, which waits near one of the crypts.
OGRE ZOMBIE (Large Undead)
HD: 4d12+3 (27 HP)
Init: -1 (Dex)
Speed: 40’
AC: 11 (-1 size, -1 Dex, +3 natural)
Attacks: Slam +4 melee
Damage: Slam 1d8+4
Face/Reach: 5’x5’ / 10’
Special Qualities: Undead, Partial Actions Only
Saves: Fort +1, Ref 0, Will +4
Abilities: Str 17, Dex 8, Con -, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 1
Feats: Toughness
Alignment: Neutral (although residual aura of evil from being created)
UNDEAD: immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning and disease. Not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, energy drain or death from massive damage.
PARTIAL ACTIONS ONLY: zombies can move OR attack, but not both unless they charge
The zombie fights barehanded and has no treasure.
8C. The Crypt of the God of Trickery

This room contains no treasure, but is inhabited by one of the gangs of the mound: an OGRE WIGHT accompanied by three OGRE ZOMBIES. Anyone entering this room will immediately notice four enormous creatures and an overpowering stench of death.

This gang lives in competition with the Ogre Ghouls at 5 and 6; they avoid each other and will not offer assistance if attacked. The wight often leaves the mound alone to seek prey. The Ogre Wight will send his zombies into battle first, and is intelligent enough to attempt to lure powerful characters downstairs to the PIT HORROR at 9.

The Ogre Zombies have 41, 30 and 22 HP respectively. There is barely enough room for all of them in this chamber.
OGRE WIGHT (Large Undead)
HD: 6d12 (51 HP)
Init: +1 (Dex)
Speed: 40’
AC: 14 (+1 Dex, -1 size, +4 natural)
Attacks: Slam +5 melee or MW Greatsword (singlehanded)
Damage: Slam 1d8+6, energy drain, MW Greatsword (1d12+7)
Face/Reach: 5’x5’ / 10’
Special Qualities: Undead
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +6
Abilities: Str 20, Dex 16, Con -, Int 11, Wis 13, Cha 15
Skills: Climb+5, Hide+8, Listen+8, Move Silently+16, Search+7, Spot+8
Feats: Blindfight
Alignment: Neutral (although residual aura of evil from being created)
UNDEAD: immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning and disease. Not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, energy drain or death from massive damage.
The Ogre Wight carries, and may fight with, a shining, heavy greatsword. If badly wounded, he will attempt to lure the party downstairs towards the Pit Horror at 9.
The greatsword is a special masterwork weapon (no attack bonus, but +1 damage bonus), with a heavy, 4’ blade carved (SPOT DC 16: there are tiny Jarlin runes on the blade that read “Ogi, Slayer of Frost Giants”), and a black iron two-handed hilt. Despite long years in the barrow, it is rust free. (CRAFT WEAPONSMITH DC 14: This is a MW). There is no scabbard for this weapon. An experienced fighter will recognize that this weapon is balanced to strike more effectively than a normal weapon. It is worth about 475 gp. Anyone carrying it will be immediately attacked by Ogi, who will attempt to recover his weapon.
9. The Pit of Enemies

The Pit of Enemies was an integral part of the worship of the Earth Gods; dead enemies (or bound enemies captured alive) were tossed into a pit to starve and rot to propitiate the Earth Gods and the Guardians of the Underworld. This was one of the largest and best-stocked pits in the history of early Ekhan.

At the west end of corridor 8, the trickling water pools against the iron-bound wooden door; at the door itself, the brackish, foul water is more than 2’ deep. The wooden door is jammed (FORCE DC 20, Break DC 28, HP 8, Hardness 8). The bottom 1’ of the door is badly rotten and has a break DC of only 16. If it is broken, the backed-up water will rush down the stairs.

The stairs beyond are steep; 45 degrees, and very slick, slimy and slippery. There are no handholds and a balance check (DC 14) is required for players to keep their footing. Anyone falling must make a reflex save or tumble down the stairs (1-3 damage). This corridor is 10’ wide and 10’ high. (Spot Check DC 14 it is no longer masonry; instead, it is carved out of the gutrock of the hill (granite). There are no decorations on these walls).

At the base of the stairs the water pools again, this time 6’ deep against the iron-bound wooden door. The water is black, filthy and brackish, and the bottom cannot be seen; anyone ingesting any must make a fortitude save (DC 15) or lose 1-4 constitution points for 2-20 hours (nausea, vomiting and diarrhea). The door is unlocked but jammed (FORCE DC 20, Break DC 28, HP 8, Hardness 8). The key to this door lies in one of the chests at Area 11.

If the door is opened or broken, the pent-up water will burst through and spill into the pit. Characters must make a spot-check (DC 20) to notice a shiny object spilling towards the pit; an astute character may make a Reflex save (DC 18) to grab it before it goes in. The object is a bright silver ring. This is a new magic item.
Ring of the Yeoman. This is a simple silver wring engraved with patterns of leaves. It gives the wearer +2 on all attack rolls with all bows and crossbows and confers the “Point Blank Shot” feat. If the wearer is 5th level or higher, it confers the “Far Shot” feat, and if 9th level or higher, it confers the “Rapid Shot” feat (if the wearer has these feats, this has no effect). If worn by someone who is not already proficient with at least one bow or crossbow, it simply confers proficiency with bows and crossbows, but no other powers. Value: 4500 gp
The chamber is roughly circular and 60-70’ in diameter, with a low-arched ceiling some 40’ overhead. It is dimly lit by two continual flame torches of the type found at area 5: wrought-iron, 12 pounds, may be used as maces. The pit is about 50’ in diameter and is full of water to about 1’ from the floor level. Against the walls are four bronze statues: The Guardians of the Underworld (from old Jarlin mythos), beasts with the bodies of bears and the heads of a lion, an owl, a stag and a fox. Each statue is about 5’ wide and 8’ high, and weighs about 900 pounds.

Upon closer inspection (Spot check DC 14) human bones can be seen sticking above the surface of the water in the pit (water continues to trickle into it down the stairs but the level remains constant; there must be an outlet). The water is black and foul; nothing can be seen below the surface.

If anything living enters the pit, it will awaken the guardian: a PIT HORROR created by one of the High Priests of the Earth Gods. It has dwelt here for more than 10 centuries, lurking among the bones of those cast into the pit, surviving off vermin, and waiting for plunderers or more victims. The PIT HORROR is an undead cross between a gargantuan monster skeleton and an octopus, combining features of both. It will attack anything that even touches the water, and it can reach anything in the room with at least one of its articulated skeletal arms (if three or more players spread out around the room, only one arm will be able to reach each player each round). In order to hit the body with a meelee weapon, someone will have to enter the pit and balance on the bones (balance check, DC 12, each combat round), and be within striking distance of all 4 arms.

The Horror will attack anyone who remains in the room, but cannot leave the pit. It takes no damage from piercing weapons, and only half-damage from slashing weapons.
PIT HORROR (1 – Gargantuan Undead)
HD: 16d12 (104 HP) - Arms have 8 HP Each and are AC 15 (no size penalty); body 40 HP
Init: +5 (+1 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative)
Speed: n/a
AC: 13 (-4 size, +1 Dex, +6 Natural)
Attacks: 4 x Whipping with skeletal tentacles; bite
Damage: 2d6+6 bite arm, 2d8+6 bite (only if struck by two arms in same round and grappled for another, to be drawn into the pool)
Face/Reach: 20’x20’ / 40’
Special Qualities: Undead, Immunities
Saves: Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +10
Abilities: Str 22, Dex 12, Con -, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 11
Feats: Improved Initiative
Alignment: Neutral (although strong residual aura of evil from purpose of chamber)
UNDEAD: immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning and disease. Not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, energy drain or death from massive damage.IMMUNITIES: Cold immunity; half damage from slashing or piercing weapons.
If the pit is searched after the Skeletal Horror is slain, the following items will be found: 21 hardsilver pieces, 107 gp, 338 sp, 912 cp, pearl and diamond necklace (value 350 gp), three intact porcelain eagle figurines (2 pounds each, value 150 gp each), a bronze Wand of Magic Missiles (level 5, 5 charges left), a wax-stoppered bone scroll case containing 6 pieces of decaying parchment, including a Scroll of 2 spells: SUGGESTION, WALL OF FOG; and a small steel masterwork shield, in good condition, only slightly rusted.

10. Mortuary

The door to this chamber is unlocked; but if opened, it will exude a horrifying stench of blood, decay and death, and a hint of spice. At the bottom of the staircase is a 25’x30’ room with a slightly-vaulted ceiling, 8’-10’ high. The room is surprisingly dry. The walls of the room are covered with runic inscriptions; if read, these are passages from the holy writings of the Priests of the Earth Gods, and contain prayers, chants and procedures of preparing bodies of interment. Different instructions are given for the Crypts of the Commons, the Halls of Heroes, the Pit of Enemies and the Bed of the King.

The major feature of the room is a large stone table at the east end; it is waist-high and is obviously used for dismembering bodies and cleansing flesh from their bones. There is a cadaver upon the table in surprisingly good shape.

This corpse is an incomplete mummy, which will animate and attack anyone who comes within 5’ of the table. It was once one of the priests of the Earth Gods.
Incomplete Mummy (1 – Medium-Sized Undead)
HD: 4d12+3 (29 HP)
Init: -1 (Dex)
Speed: 20’
AC: 17 (-1 Dex, +8 natural)
Attacks: Slam +6 melee
Damage: 1d6+4 and mummy rot
Face/Reach: 5’x5’ / 5’
Special Attacks: Despair, mummy rot
Special Qualities: Undead, resistant to blows, damage reduction 5/+1, fire vulnerability
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +1, Will +7
Abilities: Str 17, Dex 8, Con -, Int 6, Wis 14, Cha 15
Skills: Hide+8, Listen+9, Move Silently+8, Spot+9
Feats: Alertness, Toughness
Alignment: Lawful Evil
UNDEAD: immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning and disease. Not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, energy drain or death from massive damage.
DESPAIR (SU): On sight, Will Save DC 15 or be paralyzed with fear for 1d4 rounds.
MUMMY ROT(SU): On slam, Fort Save DC 20; incubation 1 day or 1d6 CON damage +1 per day until death or a REMOVE DISEASE spell is cast.
RESISTANT TO BLOWS(EX): Physical attacks deal only half damage; apply before damage reduction.FIRE VULNERABILITY(EX): Double damage from fire attacks; save halves damage, failure doubles damage.
The room also contains two large, carved stone urns with stone lids closed by wax seals; if checked, these can be seen to contain strong lye solutions, and there are numerous bones in each urn. The solution remains caustic, and will do 1d4+1 damage to anyone splashed with it (2d8 damage if ingested). There is enough liquid in each jar to make 10 caustic vial grenades. The room also contains four large cabinets; one contains bags and containers of various chemicals and compounds used in preparation of corpses (all common and in poor shape); another other contains a collection of rags, knives, saws and axes, sharp and in good condition, but clotted with old, dried blood. A third contains a series of small clay pots and jars holding a variety of dried out spices and unguents.

SPOT DC 20: Behind the head of the table is a secret door; this is a wooden panel painted to resemble stone and can be slid aside to reveal a small chest (1’x2’x1’) weighing 30 pounds, and containing 5 pounds each of valuable anointing spices and compounds in clay jars sealed with beeswax: myrrh, aromatic spices, and ambergris. These are worth, respectively, 75, 125 and 300 gp.

11. Curate’s Chamber

This room is surprisingly dry as well; obviously drainage has been planned. It contains a small bed with a straw palliasse, unmade without sheets or blankets, as well as a wardrobe, a desk, a chair and two chests. The wardrobe contains robes, undergarments, an oilcloth cloak and some sort of ceremonial vestment that is made of heavy, dark wool, embroidered with gold thread, and bloodstained. It also contains two pair of used sandals.

The wardrobe has a false bottom that is easy to find (Search DC 18). It contains a pouch containing 50 gp and two 100 gp sapphires, a gold ring worth 50 gp, and a scroll case containing a diagram of the mound. The diagram shows all of the features of the mound, except for the actual Bed of the King (i.e. it does NOT show the secret door in Area 17, or either of Areas 18 or 19) – See Appendix A. It also does not show monsters or recent changes to the mound (e.g. area 3).

The desk contains several sheets of parchment and two books of the holy writings of the Priests of the Earth Gods (these weigh 10 pounds and are worth 10 gp each, but a sage specializing in such things would pay upwards of 250 gp each). It also contains more than 30 iron keys, badly rusted, which include the keys to the crypts in the Halls of Heroes. Each of these has a 50/50 chance of working or snapping off in the lock; a snapped-off key increases a lock-pick DC from 22 to 28.

One of the chests contains badly molded sheets and blankets; the other, a collection of rotten books, documents and parchment, none of which is legible. If this chest is lifted up, underneath will be found the key to the door at Area 9 (Search DC: 18).
12. The Halls of Heroes

Another feature of the worship of the Earth Gods were the Halls of Heroes – the individual burial chambers of the great men (and women) of the age. As with all religions, this started out being a noble exclusion, but ended up by being subject to purchase and bribery. Those, few of the crypts that lie herein are those of actual heroes; many are simply those of noblemen, wealthy merchants, or even famous courtesans.

In the north hall, farsighted characters can see some huddled forms on the floor. Far off down either hall, characters see a gleam of yellow light.

Each crypt is faced by a carved stone likeness of the hero in life; these are usually very well done. Each is gated by a rusty iron grillwork, all of which are locked, have a pick DC of 22, and a force DC of 30, and a break damage of 12 HP and hardness of 12. Each crypt is 20’ wide, 25’ long, and has a low barrel-vaulted ceiling arching from 10’-15’. These crypts are relatively dry, but cold. The wooden doors of the three southernmost crypts in the north hall have been bashed open.

13. The Crypt of Ogi

Ogi was one of the genuine heroes entombed here. Unfortunately, he was also an enemy of the Curate of the day, who cursed him after death. Ogi, therefore, has risen again as a MUMMY, who haunts this, his tomb, and who sorties from the mound by night to search for victims. It is his hunting, approaching the town, that has caused the townsfolk to worry about the mound again.

Ogi’s statue clearly depicts him wielding a large greatsword. SPOT DC 18: Close inspection of both the sword and the statue will immediate reveal that they are one in the same.

Outside of Ogi’s tomb lie two corpses. One is the body of a dwarven warrior, clad in dwarven chainmail (blued and rustproof, dwarf-sized masterwork chainmail), and bearing a large shield and a dwarven waraxe. The body is decayed but it is easy to see that the throat has been torn out. The dwarf’s pouch contains only the remnants of some dried bread and jerked meat; his backpack contains a small hammer, ten pitons, 50’ of rope, a set of locksmith’s tools (rusty), a honing stone (broken), a tinderbox (empty) and 10 extra crossbow bolts (with dry rot).

Near the dwarf is the body of a human male cleric, clad in rusted scale armour, and with a sundered large wooden shield nearby. A heavy mace has cracked in half, and a Sun Symbol of Pelor, shattered, lies near his outflung arm. His other arm has been ripped off, armour and all. The cleric’s pouch contains a small, elaborate scroll: a written commission from the Grand Temple of Pelor to one “Jozan, Cleric of the Almighty Golden Lord”, as well as three small vials: potions of cure light wounds (1d6+5 points each). He has no backpack; a heavy crossbow with a broken cable lies a little further down the hall.

Inside the crypt is the mummy that once was Ogi, and the three Ogre Ghouls that serve him (HP 38, 36 and 30). Ogi is a mighty and terrifying creature, man-sized, and clad in a gleaming silver breastplate and winged helmet engraved with Jarlin runes and the two-headed sea serpent of the Karnil clan (Masterwork Breastplate and Helm). The helm has a huge gash across the left temple, and the Ogi mummy has a heavy crossbow bolt protruding from its forehead. Ogi will attack anyone who enters the crypt, and will pursue any violators until all have fled or are dead.

If anyone is carrying Ogi’s Greatsword (from area 8C), Ogi will attack that individual preferentially, ignoring all others, in order to recover his sword.
Ogi the Mummy (Medium-Sized Undead, 5th level fighter)
HD: 6d12+3 (59 HP)
Init: -1 (Dex)
Speed: 30’
AC: 22 (-1 Dex, +8 natural, +5 MW Breastplate)
Attacks: Slam +10 melee
Damage: 1d6+5 and mummy rot
Face/Reach: 5’x5’ / 5’
Special Attacks: Despair, mummy rot
Special Qualities: Undead, resistant to blows, damage reduction 5/+1, fire vulnerability
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +1, Will +7
Abilities: Str 20, Dex 8, Con -, Int 6, Wis 14, Cha 15
Skills: Hide+8, Listen+9, Move Silently+8, Spot+9
Feats: Alertness, Toughness
Alignment: Lawful Evil
UNDEAD: immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning and disease. Not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, energy drain or death from massive damage.
DESPAIR (SU): On sight, Will Save DC 15 or be paralyzed with fear for 1d4 rounds.
MUMMY ROT(SU): On slam, Fort Save DC 20; incubation 1 day or 1d6 CON damage +1 per day until death or a REMOVE DISEASE spell is cast.
RESISTANT TO BLOWS(EX): Physical attacks deal only half damage; apply before damage reduction.FIRE VULNERABILITY(EX): Double damage from fire attacks; save halves damage, failure doubles damage.
The back wall of the crypt is covered with runic inscriptions detailing the life and feats of Ogi; apparently he was originally a Jarlin warrior who became one of the great heroes of the early days of Ekhan after he broke up a Frost Giant gang that had been raiding a fortress in the mountains north of Ekhan. (Decipher Script DC 17)

14. The Crypt of Mimias

This crypt contains neither treasure nor monster. However, if anyone is reading the inscriptions on the walls in the crypts (Decipher Script DC 17), this one will reveal that the occupant, Mimias of Fargaunt, was the architect of the Great Funerary Mound of Urgu (which is, in fact, the name of the Long Barrow), and gives some of the history of the mound (when it was built, under whose reign, who paid for it, number of works employed, number of years it took, etc.).

If the sarcophagus is searched (DC: 18), a small bone scroll tube will be found, disguised to look like Mimias’ right femur. It contains a parchment scroll giving a diagram and operating details for the stone block mechanism separating areas 16 and 17. It also contains a hand-written note, with no diagrams, giving instructions “for disarming the Spear Trap in the Hidden Bed of the King” (“Two right, three left, and in”). The instructions are a lie; they will disarm the spear trap at Area 18, but will activate the water trap.

Anyone reading the parchment closely will smell an old, dusty odor of lemons (the smell of a message written in lemon juice and allowed to dry) – Smell spot DC 15. If the parchment is gently heated, a scrawled message will appear in brown Jarlin runes: “I lie! Reverse my guidance, or die!”. Checking for hidden writing requires player initiative.

15. The Great Guardians

At the north end of the Halls of Heroes stand a pair of statues flanking an ornate wooden door. The ceiling arches to 20’ above floor level, and the two statues, Jarlin warriors bearing axe, helm and shield, are carved from black stone decorated with bronze, and stand fully 10’ high. The door, by contrast, is 8’high by 5’ wide, made of black wood bound with iron bands. An inscription in the stone arch above the door reads, in Jarlin runes, “Here sleeps Ulfgar, King of Ruq-Ekhan.” Opposite the door is another of the wrought-iron “continual flame” torches. An eldritch feeling of magic pervades the air at this point; “detect magic” will reveal hints of power from the door, the torch, and the two statues.

Touching the door activates an illusion that operates as follows: the statues, slowly and menacingly, appear to come to life (red eyes, howling, all that) and look for all the world like stone golems about to attack the party. This illusion requires a Will Check (DC 20) to disbelieve. Those who disbelieve ignore the illusion; those who don’t are automatically subject to a FEAR spell and will flee the area for 1d4+2 rounds.

Anyone searching the statues must make a Spot check (DC 25) to notice the concealed mechanism behind the southern statue (+10 if the characters have found the scroll of Mimias). Turning the statue’s sword from up to down and then rotating the statue’s roundshield will operate a pulley mechanism that will withdraw the stone block at the bottom of the stairs at Area 16, leaving a gap of about 18”; too small for an armoured human or dwarf to slip through, although equipped members of other races should be able to (the ancient operating cable will snap after the door moves this far).
16. The Stair of the Underworld

Another steep (45 degree) staircase; however, this passage is 7’ wide with a 10’ barrel-vaulted roof. The floors and walls are polished granite, slippery under a thick layer of dust and debris (Balance check at DC 18 to keep footing; if lost, reflex save at DC 20 to avoid falling down the stairs for 1d4 damage). The stairs are flanked by eight statues of stylized beast-warriors; the Jarlin Guardians of the Underworld. These statues are carved from wood and are gilded; a grand total of 1 lb (or 50 gp) worth of leaf can be obtained from each statue, although each will take 2-3 hours to strip.

At the bottom of the staircase a vast stone plug lies across the corridor; the stone is also polished granite, the front face of which is cut with intricate runic designs. It obviously moves in grooves cut into the floor, and fills the hallway up to the ceiling. It is impossible to tell in which direction it is intended to travel; and it seems immensely thick (Strength check of 38 to budge it; 45 to actually move it sideways). No creature larger than a mouse could slip past the stone in its grooves.

If the mechanism has been operated and the gap is 18”, then a STRENGTH check of 25 is required to move it another 6”, enough for an armoured human to slip past.

17. The Barrow of the King

If the stone at Area 16 is moved, a two-foot gap will appear, behind which will be found an iron door. Gold lettering on the door reads, in Jarlin, “The Barrow of the King.” This door is also unlocked, but (SPELLCRAFT DC 22/FIND TRAPS DC 28) is trapped with a FIRE TRAP spell that will detonate if the door is touched (3d4+4 fire damage to all within 10’, reflex save (DC 22) for half damage, ignites paper, cloth and other flammables).

Behind the door is a magnificent chamber, 20’ wide by 30’ long, with an intricately arched and vaulted ceiling. The walls are polished granite, with gold leafing and silver inlaid runes, most of which praise the Earth Gods and recount the birth, youth, battles and rulership of King Ulfgar. The very air in this room, however, seems frigid and lifeless, and everyone’s breath smokes in the air.

The room contains two plain stone sarcophagi, one on each side wall, and a large, black stone block at the far end, upon which is a magnificent golden sarcophagus, surmounted with a lifelike carved image of King Ulfgar, armed and armoured, and in his prime. The side sarcophagi are adorned only with runic inscriptions (indicating that these were Ulfgar’s wife and sister); the black block is unadorned.

Standing on either side of the door is a Skeletal Warrior, an especially potent skeleton armed and armoured like an ancient Jarlin warrior. Each wears chainmail and helmet, and carriers a large roundshield and a double-bitted battleaxe. The skeletons radiate potent and evil magic, and will activate if any of the sarcophagi are disturbed.
HD: 3d12 (30, 32 HP)
Init: +5 (+1 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative)
Speed: 30’
AC: 19 (+1 Dex, +2 Natural, +5 MW chainmail, +1 large shield)
Attacks: double battleaxe, shield bash
Special Attacks: Chilling Presence (Fort Save DC 16 or -2 on saves, attacks, etc. within 20’)
Damage: battleaxe 1d8+3, shield bash 1d2+3
Face/Reach: 5’x5’ / 5’
Special Qualities: Undead, Immunities
Saves: Fort 0, Ref +1, Will +2
Abilities: Str 17, Dex 12, Con -, Int 0, Wis 10, Cha 11
Feats: Improved Initiative
Alignment: Neutral (although residual aura of evil from being created)
UNDEAD: immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning and disease. Not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, energy drain or death from massive damage.IMMUNITIES: Cold immunity; half damage from slashing or piercing weapons.
If the two Skeletal Warriors are destroyed, there is another surprise in store: the carven likeness of Ulfgar atop his sarcophagus will animate and attack as an Invulnerable Skeletal Warrior (same armour, no shield, 39 HP, Masterwork Greataxe, D/AT 1-12(+3)). However, this skeleton is gilded and ensorcelled, which gives it Damage Reduction 20/Silver or +1 (unless the gold coating is somehow removed).

The plain sarcophagi contain desiccate corpses of women dressed after an ancient fashion; their fine clothing is mostly rotted, but both wear elaborate jewellery of silver, gold and some precious stones; altogether 4 necklaces (80, 100, 125 and 150 gp), 8 wristlets (4 x 50 gp, 4 x 100 gp) and 8 rings (2 each of 50, 100, 200 and 300 gp). One of the rings is a Ring of Water Safety (+10 on Swim checks).

Ulfgar’s sarcophagus contains a desiccated mummy dressed in ceremonial armour: chainmail made entirely of silver, worth about 400 gp as an objet d’art, but if worn in battle, heavier than normal (-5 check penalty) and not effective as armour (+2 only on AC). With the body is a trapped magical objects: a heavily rune-carved, sharkskin hilted Jarlin Longsword of Clumsiness (-2 on attacks, -2 on damage). The item radiates strong magic, and the blade glows white and sheds tendrils of frost in the presence of enemies.

If magical detection is used, the body will be discovered to be that of Ulfgar, the king’s manservant.

Behind the head of Ulfgar’s sarcophagus is a cleverly-hidden secret door. It is only 2’ high and 2’ wide and because of its location, must be searched for; it cannot be spotted (SEARCH DC 24). A 6’ crawlspace leads into the head of the forbidden stair.

18. The Forbidden Stair

This corridor is 5’ wide and 7’ high; a rather snug fit. The walls and floor are rough, dug out of the gutrock of the mound, and unfinished; there are no decorations, carvings or other adornments.

The stair is extremely steep; close to 50 degrees; a balance check of DC 14 is required to avoid a fall (which will do 1-6 subdual damage unless a reflex check DC 14 is made).

At the first landing, a spot check (DC 18) will reveal a small stone plug, about 18” in diameter, set into the wall; this can be pried out with a Strength check of 22 and an appropriate too, but will reveal only a small trickle of water coming from a 1’ diameter pipe.

At the bottom of the last stair, the corridor is suddenly intricately carved with deep, sweeping Jarlin runes (a spot check DC 14 will reveal numerous, very deep 1” diameter holes all over the right-hand wall). At the end of the corridor is a low, dark wood door, banded with iron and entirely covered with gilt; the door is 4’ wide and 5’ high, and is emblazoned with the words “The Bed of the King” in Jarlin.

Immediately before the door is a pressure plate built into the floor, stretching back to the last stair riser. It is well hidden and covered in dust (Spot check: DC 18). If it is spotted, a Search check (DC 20) will reveal that it is designed to activate a spring-loaded spear trap set into the right-hand wall. It will also reveal a stone knob concealed among the runic carvings; this is the disarming mechanism.

If the plate is stepped on, the spear trap arms; thereafter, turning the doorknob activates the trap. The trap contains 24 spears, each of which does 1-8 points of damage and is coated with a poison that reduces intelligence by 1-8 points for 2-12 hours (fortitude save DC 16 negates). Medium or Large creatures will be struck by 1-4 spears (50% chance); small creatures by 1-2 spears (25% chance); a successful reflex (DC 15) save allows the character to avoid half the spears he/she would have been hit by.

Turning the knob at least one click in either direction will disarm the spear trap. This knob is also the disarming mechanism for the flooding trap. The disarming procedure for the flooding trap is to turn the knob to the left until it clicks twice, to the right until it clicks thrice, and then to pull it out. Doing anything else, including following the advice in the Scroll taken from the Crypt of Mimias, will arm the flooding trap, which will then activate if Ulfgar’s sarcophagus at Area 19 is opened.

19. The Bed of the King

This small room is richly decorated, and contains a large stone slab topped by a gilded bronze sarcophagus, and six richly-decorated oak chests.

The six chests contain the following items:

Chest #1: (LOCKED) A collection of silver (4), golden (2), porcelain (6) and 1 jade urns, each of about ½ gallon capacity, and each containing a human heart preserved in strong spirits. The jars are all sealed with beeswax and labelled with engraved golden tags; each bears the name of an enemy slain by Ulfgar. The urns are worth 50 gp (silver), 200 gp (gold), 100 gp (porcelain) and 2000 gp (jade). If the jade urn is opened, anyone making a knowledge check – alchemy or arcana (DC 26) – will identify the contents as the brain of a mind flayer, which a sage alchemist will gladly pay upwards of another 2000 gp for.

Chest #2: (UNLOCKED) A heavy, ornate fur robe, trimmed and lined with silk; once worth 1000 gp, now moth-eaten and mildewed.

Chest #3: (LOCKED) A collection of rich vestments, furs, robes and princely garments. These are dried, old and cracking, but still valuable; about 50 pounds worth of clothing, worth about 20 gp per pound that anyone sees fit to pack out. The chest stinks of camphor wood.

Chest #4: (LOCKED) A mixed pile of copper (750 cp) and silver coins (450 sp) scattered loosely about. (FALSE BOTTOM) A series of mildewed parchment scrolls which, if carefully handled and deciphered, constitute an historical record of King Ulfgar’s reign, including candid admissions about his many infidelities and the piles of bastards he sired.

Chest #5: (UNLOCKED, MAGICAL TRAP) This chest is trapped with a MINOR WARD – FIRE, and will do 1-4(+4) explosive damage to anyone within within 5’ in a 180 degree arc in front of the chest when it is opened. It contains paydirt: Ulfgar’s regalia and treasure. The regalia consists of a golden crown of ancient pattern surmounted with pearls and sapphires (value 800 gp), a gilded heavy mace set with diamonds (masterwork weapon, value 1450 gp), and a porcelain eagle, with sapphire eyes and gilded wings (value 1900 gp, but about 2’ wide and 2’ high, and very fragile, worth only about 100 gp if broken). Also in this chest is a small leather pouch containing 12 uncut rubies (50 gp each uncut, worth up to 200 gp each if properly cut).

Chest #6: (UNLOCKED) A heavy, mouldered pile of folded clothing, very rich but much mildewed. Under three tunics is a gilded leather belt containing a carved Jarlin long dagger with a runic pattern hilt and a pattern-welded blade (Dagger +1, worth about 2000 gp for gem and workmanship value alone; total value 3500 gp).

The sarcophagus of Ulfgar contains his desiccated corpse, but even this is a rich find; he is dressed in gilded masterwork chainmail and an elaborate winged helmet (masterwork, total value 1600 gp, both of ancient Jarlin pattern). He is clutching his sword, a Jarlin Long Sword that has a dark wooden hilt and matching scabbard, both carved with a pattern of vines. The hilt and blade are forged of pattern-welded steel, and appear to be etched with some kind of black dye. The blade is inscribed in Draconic runes on one side and Jarlin on the other: “Ciallas Wyrms-Bane”, and in tiny Jarlin runes near the hilt, “Bjergsen made me.” (A Knowledge-History check, DC 26, reveals Ingemann Bjergsen to be one of the great Jarlin smiths who lived more than 1200 years ago, in the early years of the founding of Ekhan; DC 20 will reveal that Ciallas was a Jarlin hero of the time, a descendant of the royal house of Jarla, renowned for slaying the black dragon Cynosuriak). The weapon is +1/+3 vs. Black Dragons.

If the sarcophagus of Ulfgar is opened without the flooding trap having been disarmed, two things will happen:

First, if the spear trap has not been fired and has been disarmed, opening the sarcophagus will automatically rearm the spear trap, so that if the plate is stepped on, it will function normally. This happens instantaneously.

Second, if the sarcophagus is opened there will be 10 seconds of clanking, whirring and thumping (make the noises and count down). At the end of the 10-second period, the plug on the stair landing (Area 18) will shoot out of the wall, propelled by water pressure from the cistern (2-12 subdual damage to anyone standing in front of it, reflex save DC 13 to avoid). This will increase the water level in Ulfgar’s tomb by 1 foot every 20 seconds; this means that in 2 minutes the entire tomb will be under water; in 4 minutes the second landing will be under water; in 6 minutes area 17 will begin to flood; in 8 minutes the stairs at area 16 will being to fill; by the end of 8 minutes, the water will reach the Halls of Heroes, and then stop, as overflow will simply drain back through the Shrine and down into the Pit of Enemies.

There is no way to reset the trap or empty the tomb; rainfall will replenish the cistern and the water level will remain stable forever after.

If the party makes it out of the tomb, the townsfolk will be grateful that the lurking menace has been lifted, but none too keen that the adventurers are “stealing” wealth that they consider rightfully to be theirs. The party will have to avoid the town, fight their way through it, or judiciously bribe numerous individuals to keep what they have won. Also, Ekhalifundo is a small place, and they won’t be able to do better than 25% on the price of any expensive item (e.g. anything over 100 gp) unless they can talk one of the wealthier individuals into purchasing it. Lord Kulkran, for example, will be interested in any objets d’art, but won’t pay more than 20-40% of their value; and while Tchufiss the Healer would love to purchase the Mindflayer Brain, he only has 300 gp to his name.

Note also that all of the coins recovered in the tomb are ancient Ekhani coinage. This makes them pure, but unfamiliar. If the players take them to a professional precious metals smith, they will realize 75-80% of their value; but if they spend or exchange them weight-for-weight, they will get ripped off, and at most get 50-60% of their value. However, if hardsilver coins are sold by weight to a reputable armourer or weaponsmith, the characters will receive twice the value (e.g. 20 gp per hardsilver piece).

If the party hangs around to try to recover treasure from the flooded Long Barrow, within 1-6 days there will be hordes of thieves, treasure-hunters, warriors, adventurers and even assassins pouring into the area. Unless they camp out on the Mound they won’t be able to prevent pilfering; and if they do, there’s gonna be fighting. If they stay at this 7 days or longer, the last group to show up will be an orc tribe drawn by the lure of treasure; this will be at least a dozen strong orc warriors accompanied by 20-80 subordinate warriors and at least one shaman. This will lead to war with the citizens of Ekhalifundo – and they will blame the party for attracting the orcs.


Unless the party makes friends or enemies in Ekhalifundo, there will be no campaign implications from this adventure.

However, if they obtain the magical sword Ciallas and wish to explore its history and any other powers it may have, they certainly may do so. It may have powers beyond those apparent to the naked eye.

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