Cliffhangers Adventures

The Horror of Lannock Hill
Episode 2: Blood and Guts
by Tom Kristensen

The Horror of Lannock Hill is a short adventure for four 10th-level characters. The party may consist of any mix of classes, although at least one member of the party should be capable of handling a difficult melee combat. The adventure is pretty straightforward, and it should provide a good challenge for characters from 8th to 10th level. It can be set in any campaign world.

Adventure Background

In the previous installment, the characters encountered a wounded monk from a nearby monastery and went to see if they could determine what might have happened there.

Arriving at the Monastery

The characters can tell right off the bat that something is amiss in the compound. The main doors lie in ruin, smashed into so much kindling. Beyond the doorway, several bodies can be seen lying about.

Moving into the main hall, they can see torn and mangled bodies lying everywhere. It is a gruesome scene, one which offends the senses of even the most jaded adventurers. Blood is spattered on all surfaces (including the ceiling), and pieces of monks are scattered about or missing entirely. If the characters take the time to check, they can determine that most of the monks died in one of three ways: from massive bite wounds, torn apart by great claws, or cut to pieces by some manner of blade (the swordlike protrusions on the hands of the blue slaadi). The smell is just awful. The din of thousands of flies is audible, and they swarm up in angry, black clouds if disturbed.

As the party members enter the far half of the first floor (a kitchen/storage/bathing area), they are set upon by some bigger scavengers who have found their way in, drawn by the scent of food. The carrion crawlers swarm the party from all sides, with at least one dropping from the ceiling above. The odor that usually betrays a crawler's presence is masked by the nearly overwhelming stench of blood and death.

Creatures (EL 8): The carnage has lured a group of carrion crawlers from their nearby subterranean lairs. The monsters attack the characters with mindless intensity, protecting their newly found food supply. The carrion crawlers are moving around in the kitchen area and are relatively easy to see. Anyone with a clear line of sight through the door can make a DC 10 Spot check to see the creatures moving among the wreckage, provided that they have adequate light or vision abilities such as darkvision.

Carrion Crawlers [5]: 22 hp each; see Monster Manual, page 29.

Unless the area is covered by a silence spell or similar effect, the battle with the crawlers is likely to alerts the trio of slaadi to the presence of the party, and they take appropriate measures such as hiding and casting defensive spells to get an advantage on the characters. The slaadi have Listen scores of +8, +8, and +12; to hear the battle they must make a DC 10 Listen check with a –3 penalty to the roll for distance from the battle.

The Cliffhanger

Having dispatched the carrion crawlers, you look up the dark stairs that lead to the second floor. Some bloody heaps, more bodies you're sure, litter the staircase. Rivulets of blood and gore ooze down the steps in a macabre waterfall of death. Faint scratching sounds can be heard -- could it be rats? More crawlers? Or the killers, still lurking about, waiting for a rescue party to walk into their trap?

About the Author

Tom Kristensen is an editor on the D&D Worlds team at Wizards of the Coast. He lives on the east side of Lake Washington with his wife, daughter, and three cats. He has played D&D for more than 20 years with the same group of guys, and he has an embarrassingly large collection of unpainted miniatures that he keeps promising his fellow gamers he'll paint -- one of these days.


© 1995-2004 Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Wizards is headquartered in Renton, Washington, PO Box 707, Renton, WA 98057.