Return to Undermountain06/15/2005

Room 8: The Grim Statue (EL 12)

Room Summary

Creatures: (2) One succubus and one hezrou.
Traps: (1) Statue fires lightning twice a round.
Terrain: Normal.
Lighting Conditions: Bright (due to continual flamespells on the ceiling).
Magic: Continual flames (faint evocation) and treasure (moderate conjuration).
Detectable Alignments: Strong evil (both the succubus and hezrou).
Secrets: (2)Two well-hidden secret doors are in the chamber: one in the west wall and the other in the base of the statue. The one in the base of the statue opens to a spiraling stair that leads 20 feet down to a 10-foot-by-10-foot room littered with the remnants of smashed chairs and some wooden shelves. The succubus found the treasure here. The stairs continue to spiral down another 80 feet to a room on level 2 of Undermountain.
Treasure: (9,000 gp) Bracers of armor +3.

Relevant Skill Checks

Climb DC 15: Climbing the statue requires a DC 15 Climb check. Note that a PC damaged while climbing must make another Climb check or fall.

Search DC 25: This result allows a PC to discover the secret door in the west wall or in the base of the statue. See the Room Summary sidebar for details about the secret door in the base of the statue.

Sense Motive DC Varies: The PCs might make Sense Motive checks to oppose Bluff checks by the succubus. Note that the first thing the succubus says when the PCs enter the room is entirely truthful.

The Map

The map for this room is available in two different sizes: One serves as a reference for the DM, and the other is a map with a grid that works nicely with your miniatures.

Each map is presented as a compressed (zipped) Adobe Portable Document Format file (pdf). You need to have Adobe Reader installed to use it. Adobe Reader can be downloaded for free from the Adobe website.

Room Location on the Poster Map: This room is on pieces 7 and 8 of the poster map. You can see the pieces in thumbnail size in the introduction to this series. For a better idea of where this room is, please view the Article Reference Map.

As the PCs approach a door to the room, read this text:

A strange smell wafts through the chilly air of the empty hall. It carries with it the scent of humid summer evenings when the wind picks up and brings the early darkness of high storm clouds. Suddenly, a tremendous boom comes from somewhere ahead of you, and for an instant you see a door outlined in brilliant white. The explosive crackle of lightning echoes through the hall in a lingering peal. In the room ahead, a thunderbolt just struck earth.

If the PCs listen at the door, they hear nothing but the thunder that rolls twice every round as the trap inside the room activates.

In the room, a succubus confronts a hezrou. The two demons came to Undermountain by separate means and agreed to work together when they first met. They recently came to conflict after discovering a magic item hidden in the chamber beneath the statue. The succubus went below and found it, and now she claims it as her own -- a claim with which the hezrou disagrees. The two argue telepathically while circling one another. Both are wary of a conflict.

When the PCs enter, they see an elf woman (the succubus polymorphed so that she does not have wings) confronting the hezrou. Seeing the PCs as her means to winning the conflict, the succubus cries out to them in Common for help. The hezrou doesn't understand Common (it knows Abyssal, Celestial, and Draconic), but it rightly assumes the succubus has betrayed it, so it starts summoning another hezrou (35% chance of success) to help it attack both the succubus and the PCs.

Read the following to the players when the PCs enter:

You open the door to reveal a well-lit, high-ceilinged room dominated by a large, dark stone statue. The headless and legless statue stands 10 feet tall atop a 10-foot-tall base of black marble. Its arms point out to either side, one at the door you entered by and the other at a door across the room. Blue flames course in channels across the ceiling 30 feet up from the floor.

You take all this in with a glance because the room holds more pressing matters of interest. A female elf in torn blue robes and golden bracers faces off against a thickly muscled and spiny, toadlike humanoid the size of an ogre. When she hears the door open, the elf risks a glance in your direction, and, seeing you, she cries out, "Help me! This demon desires my blood!" With that, the toad-thing rears back and clenches its fists, straining every muscle and uttering a low growl as it seems to concentrate on something.

Have the players roll initiative while you roll initiative for the hezrou and succubus separately. If you write initiative where the players can see, remember to write "elf woman" for the succubus. In addition to the creatures, roll initiative twice for the trap (+0 initiative modifier). If you write initiative where the players can see, don't write down the traps' activations until they take effect.

The fire on the ceiling is simply many continual flame spells.

Grim Statue Lightning Trap: CR 6; magical; location trigger; automatic reset (2 activations per round); spell effect (lightning bolt, 5th-level wizard, 5d6 electricity 2/round, Reflex DC 14 half); Search DC 0 (obvious); Disable Device DC impossible.

Twice per round on separate places in the initiative order, a bolt of lightning crackles from one of the statue's hands. The bolt works like a 100-foot line, but it affects any creature in the line, regardless of altitude, because the lightning bolt streaks up and down to strike creatures in its path. The trap uses the closest creature to determine the path of a bolt. Draw a line from the center of the statue through the center of the nearest creature and straight on after that. The lightning affects any creature in the line.

Both the succubus and hezrou are immune to electricity and understand this quality of the statue. The hezrou immediately uses the trap to its advantage against the PCs, while the succubus does so only if the PCs turn against her.

Hezrou: Use the statistics from the Monster Manual and Hezrou (55/60) from the Angelfire miniatures set.

Assuming nothing disrupted its summoning attempt, another hezrou might appear on the hezrou's first turn. If you don't have another Hezrou miniature, you could instead use 4d10 Dretches (48/60) from the Dragoneye miniatures set.

The hezrou makes use of the trap as described above and employs chaos hammer and unholy blight against the PCs while it tries to engage the succubus in melee. Knowing the effects of the teleport cage (see Return to Undermountain: An Introduction) it does not use its teleport ability.

Succubus: Use the statistics from the Monster Manual (with an additional +3 armor bonus to the succubus's AC since she wears the treasure) and any female elf miniature you have (the Evermeet Wizard (15/60) from Archfiends is a good choice. If the succubus reveals her true form, replace the miniature with an Erinyes (33/60) from Archfiends and explain that she has bat wings rather than feathered wings.

The succubus hopes to have the PCs kill the hezrou. She has little chance of harming it herself (especially without claws in elf form), so she retreats from it and begs the PCs for a cold iron weapon. If they ask her how she came to be facing the creature, she bluffs that she is a wizard who ran out of spells elsewhere in the dungeon and attempted to teleport out, landing her in this room. If they ask why she isn't affected by the lightning, she bluffs that her bracers protect her.

If things go poorly for the succubus, she abandons pretenses and takes her true form. After flying to the top of the statue, she attempts to summon a vrock.

If things go well for the succubus, she continues her ruse, hoping to travel with the PCs and gain their trust. She takes whatever equipment they might give her (her tattered robes and the treasure are her only possessions) and strikes against the PCs when they least expect it.

Treasure: The succubus wears bracers of armor +3, which she found in the chamber beneath the statue. (See Secrets in the Room Summary sidebar and the Relevant Skill Checks sidebar for details.)

Adventure Hooks and Tie-Ins

  • The demons might be in Undermountain as part of some villainous plot in Waterdeep. Perhaps a spellcasting member of a noble house called them with planar ally spells, and now they do his bidding. Their current orders could be either to wait in Undermountain to strike or to search through Undermountain for something.

  • You can increase the difficulty of the encounter by increasing the frequency of the trap activations or increasing the damage the lightning deals.

  • This encounter can work with a weaker demon than a hezrou or with another electricity-immune creature, such as a behir.

  • The succubus or hezrou might carry an item that leads the PCs on another adventure. Perhaps the succubus has a paper with Abyssal writing on it that contains a name in Common. The name could be someone famous or just someone the PCs know in Waterdeep. The paper could be a contract of some kind or plans the demons have against the person.

Need more information? Check the Return to Undermountain: An Introduction for more details.

Article Reference Map

About the Author

Once editor-in-chief of Dragon Magazine and now a game designer at Wizards of the Coast, Matthew Sernett wrote in a Dragon editorial that there's nothing in D&D he likes better than when the adventurers flee through the dungeon, running pell-mell through traps and past monsters because what chases them is worse. When he wrote that, Matthew was thinking about Undermountain.

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