Random Encounters10/06/2003

Ill Met on the River of Dreams

Flooded Ruins

The river eventually disappears into a vast fen that was once a fertile valley. A group that makes it this far down the river finds the remains of an old dam built from massive blocks of stone. Beyond the dam, a traveler can see the shattered hulks of several hundred stone buildings rising from the muck and creeping vegetation.

These wrecks are all that remains of a once-teeming city that stood on the backs of the river. Today, the whole place is flooded to a depth of at least 4 feet, and the water is much deeper in places. These stony shallows provide an ideal spawning ground for fish, while the ruined buildings offer thousands of nesting places for birds. A misstep within the ruins sends up a raucous cloud of indignant birds.

More lies within the ruins than just a few fish and birds, however. Perhaps the party can locate an old treasury, or two, long forgotten beneath the murky waters of the marsh. Any prolonged search through the city, however, eventually draws out the city's chief residents: a pair of elasmosaurs that came here due to the abundance of prey. These creatures happily switch from their usual diet of fish and birds to something a little meatier, such as fresh PC.

The elasmosaurs usually hunt at night by using their low-light vision to locate the PCs' camp. Then they submerge themselves to avoid being seen so that they can get within melee reach while providing little warning to the PCs.

Elasmosaurs (2): hp 111 each, see Monster Manual, page 60.

The ruins might contain three to five caches of treasure, and each is of level 6 to 11. Any item that is susceptible to water damage (such as scrolls and most cloth and leather items) is rotted and worthless. Most of these treasures are hidden in secret compartments inside the walls of ruined buildings or sealed in basement chambers that are now flooded. In some cases, the PCs might find a few telltale coins scattered about when a building collapsed and left the valuables buried in rubble.

Searching out all their treasure might take weeks or even months. A group that spends that much time in the ruins might encounter parties of yuan-ti, additional elasmosaurs, other carnivorous dinosaurs, or even some freshwater sharks.

Bringing the Parts Together

The PCs might get some information about the flooded city from the yuan-ti in part 4. For the most part, the yuan-ti's information is accurate, though it is missing key details, such as the presence of the elasmosaurs and the presence of drop-offs and sinkholes within the ruins.

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