Two: To the Crumbling Tower
By Andy Collins
of Corruption" is a short D&D adventure for four 7th-level
characters. The party may consist of any mix of classes. The adventure
is a reasonable challenge for 6th- to 8th-level characters and may be
set in any campaign world.
uses the "Old Tower"
map found in the October section of the Map-A-Week archive.
People have been
disappearing from the town of Brindinford. At first, no one noticed
or gave it any thought. But lately, the disappearances have grown more
noticeable. Indeed, only a few days ago the eldest son of a wealthy
merchant family went missing.
are the work of a small band of yuan-ti led by a most unusual creature:
a vampiric medusa named Kalivilya. This baneful monster "adopted"
the yuan-ti that now serve her, treating them as wayward children despite
their differing origins. For their part, the yuan-ti see Kalivilya as
a kindred serpent soul and powerful ally.
In the first episode,
the PCs tracked down a yuan-ti responsible for many disappearances and
found out that she was bringing her kidnapped victims to a location
called the Crumbling Tower, a few miles southwest of the town.
There is no known
road or path through the forest to the tower, though the trail made
by the yuan-ti can be found and followed with a Wilderness Lore check
(DC 18 plus 1 per day the PCs spent in Brindinford) by a PC with the
Even without this
trail, the tower isn't hard to find.
Approaching the Tower
As the PCs come
out of the woods, they get a good view of the old stone building. As
described, they see a two-story round stone tower, its battlements deteriorating
with age. No activity is visible anywhere in the vicinity, and the tower's
second-floor windows are boarded up. A Spot check (DC 10) notices the
small, attached structure behind the main tower.
A character with
the Track feat might find two different trails in this area. The first
(Wilderness Lore DC 18 plus 1 per day the PCs spent in Brindinford)
was left by yuan-ti moving back and forth to Brindinford. It leads to
area 2. The second (DC 14) was made by the guardians of the tower (currently
at area 3), and makes a wide ring around the tower.
If the PCs remain
in this area for more than 10 minutes, the vampire spawn and shadow
mastiff at area 3 will emerge from the woods and cross the clearing
toward the PCs' position.
If the characters
approach this area, a Spot check (DC 20) notices a bunch of rocks partially
concealed in the underbrush.
This is where the
yuan-ti dump the remains of those potential meals that fail to resist
Kalivilya's petrification gaze. At first glance, it appears to be nothing
more than a pile of rubble, but a Search check (DC 10) reveals that
the "rubble" is actually composed of broken "statues"
(three humans, an elf, and a halfling, all in common garb). If the PCs
are searching for a missing friend, they might find their comrade's
remains here (particularly if that character's Fortitude save is worse
than his or her Will save).
If the PCs remain
in this area for more than 30 minutes, the vampire spawn and shadow
mastiff at area 3 will emerge from the woods at 5 (having circled from
3 to 5) and cross the clearing toward the PCs' position.
Guardians (EL 7)
A trio of guardians -- two vampire spawn and a shadow mastiff -- walk
a circular path counter-clockwise around the Crumbling Tower during
all non-daylight hours, with the aim of scaring off potential intruders.
They keep to the shadows when possible (Hide +10 for the vampire spawn,
90% concealment for the shadow mastiff). Should they come across any
recent trail (Wilderness Lore +11 for the shadow mastiff when tracking
by scent), they immediately attempt to hunt down whatever made the trail
(though they won't venture more than a half-mile from the tower).
(2): hp 28, 25; see Monster Manual.
hp 30; see Monster Manual.
they spot intruders, the shadow mastiff immediately bays, alerting the
yuan-ti at area 6. The vampire spawn, who are immune to this mind-affecting
effect, attempt to slay anyone not panicked by this effect. During daylight
hours, the vampire spawn stay in their coffins (in area 7) and the shadow
mastiff keeps guard alone.
If the yuan-ti at area 6 hear the mastiff's baying, they essentially
can't be surprised by the PCs for at least the next hour (since they
prepare themselves for potential intruders).
The yuan-ti keep
this door barred (DC 25 Strength check to break down) whenever any of
them are inside the building. The window around the corner is boarded
up (though someone inside could peer out between the boards).
The yuan-ti keep
this door unlocked and unbarred, though they block it with a heavy table
if they fear intruders. The windows next to the door are boarded up
(though someone inside could peer out between the boards).
The PCs stand at
the base of the tower, in front of one of the two doors into area 6.
If they encountered the guards from area 3, they have reason to believe
that anyone inside the tower knows they're coming.
Things might be
about to get a little rough.