II: To Hell and Back
By Jason Carl, David Eckelberry, Jeff Quick, and Rich Redman
Cartography by Todd Gamble
This excerpt comes early in the adventure, while player characters are still at low levels. As the PCs enter the Black Marsh, it seems much like the other dreary, terror-ridden regions they have visited before. Over the trees, they see the crumbled stone remains of a tower. This tower is a crumbling stone shell, 30 feet tall at its highest. Nothing remains of the interior except the floor, and a ladder leading down into a cellar. Someone, or something, knocked a hole in one wall the cellar, and its through this hole that the Quest for the Countess begins. . . .
The Forgotten Tower
The home of the wicked countess is five levels deep, and she is at the bottom. All levels have pillars, stone walls and floors, and the occasional scurrying rat. Large racks of candles light some rooms, but otherwise the rooms and passages are dark. Arched doorways link individual rooms and halls.
DM Note: Make the first four levels of the Cellar any size and shape you like. Treat them as dungeon regions. If you want to stay true to the computer game, limit yourself to about half the area of a sheet of graph paper. Vary the shape by halving the paper the short way on some levels and the long way on others.
When the PCs enter a room in the Tower Cellars, roll 1d10. On a 6 or higher, they have an encounter.
The Quest is the destruction of the wicked countess. Completing this Quest gives a story award of 1,000 XP to each character, in addition to XP earned defeating the monsters there.
The only Fixed Encounters in the tower are the exits to lower levels and the countess on Level 5.
Fighting the Countess
See the map below.
1. Blood Clan: Here are CR 2 Blood Clan, plus one random unique (see the Unique Monsters section in Appendix B for generating such a creature). When they hear or see the PCs, they charge them and fight to defend their unholy master.
2. Ghosts: Here are CR 1 Ghosts, plus one random unique. When they hear or see the PCs, they try to sneak up on the party and attack. Once detected, they all attack the party.
3. Trove 1: Here the PCs find (1d20 x lvl)+500 gold pieces, three chests, and an armor rack. Roll on the Treasure Source table in Appendix B to get the contents of the chests, but add 10 to your roll. If you get a trap, roll again ignoring any trap result. For the armor rack, roll 1d4 on the following table:
If youre using the Dungeon Masters Guide roll for a minor magic weapon on table 8-10.
4. Trove #2: Here the PCs find (1d20 x lvl)+500 gold pieces, three chests, and a weapons rack. Roll on the Treasure Source table in Appendix B to get the contents of the chests, but add 10 to your roll. If you get a trap, roll again ignoring any trap result. For the weapons rack, roll 1d10 on the following table:
If you are using the Dungeon Masters Guide, then roll for a minor magic armor on table 8-3.
5. Countesss Chamber (CR 3): Dark Stalkers armed with battleaxes guard the Countess and a locked chest in her chamber. In addition to the normal lock, a magical lock secures the chest. That vanishes when the Countess dies. Once the PCs open the chest, roll 4 times on the Base Treasure Table, adding +4 to the average party level.
The Countess (Corrupt Rogue): Medium-size undead; HD 10d12; hp 65; Init +7 (+3 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative); Spd 30 ft.; AC 13 (touch 13, flat-footed 10); Atk +9 melee (1d6+4/1720/x2 crit +1d8 fire, short sword); SA Fire; SQ Fire resistance 8, undead; SV Fort--, Ref +8, Will +11; SZ M; AL CE; CR 6; Str 17, Dex 17, Con--, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 12.
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.
Skills: Hide +16, Move Silently +16, Spot +15.
Feats: Improved Critical, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Weapon Focus (short sword).
Quote: "Your blood will boil."
Cartography by Todd Gamble