Return to Undermountain08/24/2005

Room 12: Top Three Rooms
Call to Adventurers Contest Winners

Undermountain, that seemingly endless dungeon beneath Waterdeep, remains one of the most recognizable locations in Faerûn. Check out the top three room descriptions from out call to adventurers contest. First place finisher "The Undead Wish" by Jason Milligan, second place "The Auditorium" by sus323, and third place "The Temple of Fortune's Rebirth" by Ohtar Turinson.

The Temple of Fortune's Rebirth (EL 11)
By Ohtar Turinson

Room Summary

Creatures: None or (1) gouger beholderkin.
Traps: None.
Terrain: Black marble tiled floor; no in-game effect.
Lighting Conditions: Darkness.
Magic: Strong enchantment and conjuration from the fateful coin.
Detectable Alignments: None.
Secrets: None. The secret door marked on the map is easily seen and opened from this side.
Treasure: Either none or a medium magic item. See The Fateful Coin, below.

Relevant Checks

Decipher Script DC 20: Various simple phrases in a late dialect of Netherese decorate the room. A PC taking a minute can puzzle out the meaning of any of the various phrases.

Intelligence DC 20: When the PCs locate the coin, the actual players might not make the connection between the mosaic text and the engravings around the coin; this check allows the PCs to figure out that a connection exists.

Knowledge (religion) DC 15: The walls of both halls hold images of the birth of the goddesses Tymora and Beshaba, good and ill luck, and the death of Tyche, the Netherese deity of luck.

Knowledge (religion) DC 30: The various phrases of Tyche's faith engraved around the room have seen little use since the death of the goddess. A successful check indicates knowledge of the significance of these specific words, which priests of the goddess used to identify one another.

Search DC 5: The most recent corpse has a small tattoo of two interlocking 3's facing downward (the symbol of the Twisted Rune, old enemies of Halaster) on his left wrist. Anyone searching the blue-robed body has a chance to notice this.

Search DC 15 or Survival DC 5: Several different groups over the last month have used this room as a camp. A successful check allows PCs to find traces of this in the dust.

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 piece 4 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.

Read the following text aloud, adjusting as necessary for conditions:

The broad, steep stairs lead up to a massive doorway that is 20-feet wide. The bronze doors, embossed with incomprehensible lettering and covered in verdigris, stand open. Beyond, a massive, majestic hall lined with white marble columns extends into darkness. Two symbols are set side by side in the floor immediately within the hall; one is a red triangle and the other is a red pentagram. Both are edged with silver.

This massive hall is a temple to Tyche, the goddess of luck who died just before the start of the Dawn Cataclysm and was reborn as Beshaba and Tymora. The original builders hoped to find a way to resurrect the goddess by combining her daughters, but the priests died elsewhere before they could attempt to find a means to do so. The lettering on the door reads "The Hall of Fortune Reborn" in a late variant of Netherese, the language of the ancient Netheril Empire's common folk. Anyone who can speak Netherese or Halruaan can read the script easily, and a comprehend languagesspell or a successful Decipher Script check similarly allows for reading.

Within the last set of small columns is a corpse of a human male in blue robes. He was an agent of the Twisted Rune, a cabal of undead, who had been sent to spy on Halaster and interfere in any way possible. Unfortunately for the agent, he fell prey to Undermountain's many traps (since disarmed), and passing adventurers looted his corpse only three days after his death.

Once the PCs are within sight of the second, larger set of columns, read the following, adjusting for conditions:

Ahead stands a huge arch that is supported by columns so massive that a full-grown man could not reach halfway around its circumference. The capitol of each column is one of the symbols that were at the entrance, and the keystone of the arch is a giant silver disk. Engraved on the arch are letters in an ancient script.

As on the front doors, the words over the arch are a late variant of Netherese. They read "Fortune Favors the Bold." On the floor between the second set of columns is a mosaic that depicts a beautiful (if slightly deranged) woman (a portrayal of the goddess). There is Netherese text above and below this picture as well. The text above reads "Life is short. Live it as Tyche meant it to be lived." Below says "Dare all, and see victory through the Lady!"

Once they have passed the second set of columns, read the following, adjusting for vision:

The vaulted ceilings of this room reach at least 90 feet overhead. The floor is largely bare, except for three skeletons in one corner and a single coin, balanced on its edge, resting in the center of the room. Elaborate frescos decorate every inch of the walls. On one wall the images show a beautiful woman being split in twain by a beam of light and two smaller figures, of similar beauty, coming forth and attacking each other. The center shows the smaller figures warring with one another and the final wall shows the conflict ending as the smaller figures are reunited into the larger figure again.

The corpses in the corner are at least fifteen years old, and they have nothing of value except a small book hidden under one body. All died violently -- each looks as if a lance crushed both ribcage and spine. The book is bloodstained and fragile, but it makes it clear that these people, whoever they were, were extremely interested in dead gods. While much of it is illegible from time and bloodstains, symbols and notes about various ancient deities fill the pages; these deities include (but are not limited to) Amaunator, Tyche, Targus, Mystryl, Moander, the Lost Gods, Bane, Bhaal, and Myrkul.

This cult cell devoted itself to dead deities -- not any in particular, but to lost divinity in general. They located this temple and even flipped the coin, but they were not prepared for their ill fate and were slain by the gouger.

The Fateful Coin

The silver coin balanced in the center of the floor was a minor artifact of Tyche's faith, a coin that when flipped would bring either fantastic luck or terrible ruin to the one who tossed it. With the death of the goddess, it lost much of its old power, but it still has the power to bestow some measure of luck.

Description: The thick silver coin has a red triangle on one side and a red pentagram on the other. Engraved on the coin are letters in an ancient script.

When activated (but only after it's flipped), the coin emanates a silver glow briefly, and scarlet-hued script flickers in and out of existence in the air surrounding the coin as it falls to the ground. It sounds as a normal coin would when it hits a hard surface.

Prerequisite: Those who cannot identify themselves as members of the Tyche faith cannot lift it (see Activation).

Activation: Around the coin is engraved the same phrase as the one above the mosaic: "Life is short. Live it as Tyche meant it to be lived." Only by reciting the proper response ("Dare all, and see victory through the Lady!") can the coin be lifted at all. Otherwise it weighs 2,000 lbs, and it has no effect even if flipped.

Effect: Anyone picking up the artifact must make a DC 20 Will save or be compelled to flip it and let it land on the ground. If the coin is flipped, roll d%:

On a roll of 01, the coin vanishes at the apex of its flight and reappears in another temple of Tyche (probably a ruin under Anauroch).

On a roll from 02 to 50, the coin lands triangle side up. At that point, an echoing roar sounds out and a gouger beholderkin (appearing as an insane beholder with an extra long, very sharp tongue) appears over the mosaic to the south and attacks the party, focusing its attacks on the one who flipped the coin.

Gouger Beholderkin (1): hp 110; Monsters of Faerûn page 24.

On a roll from 51 to 99, the coin lands pentagram up, and a random medium magic item (roll on Table 7-1 on page 216 of the Dungeon Master's Guide) appears in the hand of the tosser.

On a 00, the coin lands on its edge, granting the tosser a permanent +1 luck bonus on all saves.

The coin can be destroyed as a normal silver coin would be, but the destroyer takes a permanent -1 penalty on all saves for the rest of their days. This penalty cannot be removed by any means other than receiving an atonement spell from both a cleric of Tymora and a cleric of Beshaba. Finally, the coin does not allow itself to be removed from a temple of Tyche. It vanishes and reappears in the place where it was found if someone attempts to remove it from the temple precincts.

Aura/Caster Level: Strong enchantment and conjuration. CL 20th.

Weight: 2,000 lb. or --.

Treasure: Either none or a medium magic item from the fateful coin (see above).

Adventure Hooks and Tie-Ins

  • The diary of the annihilated cult could serve as an adventure hook; perhaps it holds the location of Borem's Quagheart (Faiths and Pantheons, page 169) or other lost temples and artifacts.

  • If the PCs entered Undermountain in pursuit of an enemy, this foe could replace the dead agent of the Twisted Rune. If he has something the PCs need and take with them from the corpse, a foe's ally could then track the adventurers through Undermountain and try to retrieve the item.

  • You can replace the gouger with pretty much anything, from a standard beholder to another permutation of beholderkin from Lords of Madness to something completely different.

  • Other minor artifacts could replace the fateful coin: A deck of many things (Dungeon Master's Guide, page 278) or Olidammara's dice (Epic Level Handbook, page 152) would be especially appropriate.

Check out the Return to Undermountain: An Introduction for more details.

Article Reference Map

About the Author

Wizards.COMmunity member Ohtar Turinson answered the Call to Adventurers Contest, and "The Temple of Fortune's Rebirth" came in third in the contest. For more information about this contest, please visit the Call to Adventurers contest main page.

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