Random Encounters
Part of the Pack - The Den
By Robert Wies

The Den

Clevadoran's Lair

All good opponents need good lairs, and Clevadoran is no exception. His base and home is a den that follows the wolf theme that dominates his life.

Wolves like to den in shallow caves, in hollows under overhangs, and in areas of deep brush sheltered by trees. Clevadoran created such a space for his home. The den is a large underground area just beneath the surface inside a small hillock. He hollowed it out with Miskeine's help, using a magic item that they burned out in the process, and he is very protective of the den itself and the secrecy of its location. Thus, he uses his trackless domain (see next installment) spell to eradicate the tracks outside the lair. He cannot be tracked himself, so he personally leads determined adventurers away from the lair area when necessary.

The den has two entrances: a main entrance on the north side and a secret one on the southwest side. The main entrance is a small cave entrance that is 3 feet high. It opens onto a narrow passage that is 3 feet high and 2 feet wide -- just big enough for a wolf to pass through without trouble. Small humanoids could pass through as well, but they might have to do so sideways because of the width, which will slow them down. The passage is not lit since there is a light source inside the den itself and everyone living there has low-light vision. The passage is mostly straight so that wolves can travel it quickly. It turns at the end just before entering the den proper.

Those observing tracks in the entry passage see that one section of the passage has no tracks. Clevadoran has set a trap here, with a trigger in the ground, and Miskeine and all the wolves know not to step here. (Miskeine's familiar sets the trap off periodically to be annoying.) When someone steps in that section of the passage, sets of wooden spears set into both sides of the passage spring forward to skewer anyone there.

Spear Trap: CR 4; mechanical; location trigger; manual reset; Atk +10 melee (1d8/x3, 6 shortspears) multiple targets (3 shortspears on each side); Search (DC 20); Disable (DC 30).

The second trap is located at the end of the entry passage. It is a spiked pit. The floor is weakened there so that any weight in excess of 30 pounds causes the floor to collapse into the pit. Miskeine's familiar continues to destroy this trap, and Clevadoran has to rebuild it.

Spiked Pit Trap: CR 1; mechanical; location trigger; manual reset; Reflex save (DC 14) avoids; 7 ft. deep (1d6 fall); pit spikes (Atk +10 melee, 3d6 damage); Search (DC 15); Disable (DC 30).

The purpose of the traps is really to cause a pile-up in the passage so that the wolves can dispense with any intruders one at a time.

The main den is divided into roughly three areas, though they are all really part of the same area. The den area has everburning torches set against the back wall so that enough light is cast into the entry tunnel for the animals to see. This amount of light provides dim illumination in the den (equivalent of night with half-moon). The floor is covered in leaves, which makes it more comfortable than hardened dirt would be, but it is otherwise unadorned with furniture. Clevadoran sleeps with the wolves in the main area, as does Miskeine on occasion (though she sleeps on a mat).

A small area to the west serves as a place for Clevadoran to store his belongings and any loot that he happens to come across. This includes the former possessions of those transformed into wolves. A larger area to the southwest, though only about a third of the size of the main den, serves as Miskeine's personal space and her "laboratory" of sorts. There she studies, experiments, and gets away from the animals for some peace and quiet. The area is frequently in disarray since her quasit likes to move things around just to annoy her.

The secret passage exit is covered by a clump of bush that appears natural from the outside. (Call for a Search check (DC 30) to discover the entrance; five or more ranks of Knowledge (nature) grant a +2 circumstance bonus to the check.) This secret exit is used only in emergencies, and the wolves all charge the barrier to get out if needed. It is delicate enough that charging wolves can burst through it, but durable enough not to be destroyed by the weather.

Bringing the Parts Together

If the PCs have encountered Clevadoran and his crew often enough, it may be time to introduce them to the den. As mentioned above, the den is highly secret, so it may be that the PCs find it and instantly regret doing so!

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