Nest of Corruption
By Andy Collins
Complete Cliffhanger (204k PDF)
Episode 4: Descent
Episode 3: Into the Nest
Episode 2: To the Crumbling Tower
Episode 1: Introduction to Intrigue
Cliffhangers Archive
The Approaching Swarm
Kingdom of the Blind
Into the Forsaken Temple's Crypt
The Trouble in Town
The Light of Despair
Training Grounds
Lorin's Chasm
Bridge Work
Nest of Corruption
A Giant Ransom
Black Water
The Horror of Lannock Hill
Over the Edge
The Proper Count
The Tower of Lore
The Candlemaker's Fire
The Hallowed Hills
The Village of Camiram
Unearthing the Past
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Cliffhangers Adventures

Nest of Corruption
Episode Three: Into the Nest
By Andy Collins

"Nest 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.

The adventure uses the "Old Tower" map found in the October section of the Map-A-Week archive.

Adventure Background

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.

The disappearances 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. In the second episode, they made their way to the tower and encountered the medusa's guardians and outer defenses. Now they stand at the door to the Tower itself.

1. South Door

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).

2. North Door

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).

6. Front Room (EL 7)

Creatures: Two pureblood yuan-ti named Vethek and Tyrra, keep guard in this room. In addition to normal gear, Vethek wears a ring of protection +1 (granting AC 17) and Tyrra wears a pair of slippers of spider climbing. Each carries a potion of cure moderate wounds.

Pureblood Yuan-ti (2): hp 29, 24; see Monster Manual.

Tactics: If they see any unfamiliar individuals approaching (through the windows), or if the shadow mastiff's baying alerts them, the two yuan-ti block the door with a table (DC 18 Strength check to open) and move to area 7. Vethek takes up a defensive position in the doorway, while Tyrra uses her slippers to perch above the doorway and attacks anyone coming through.

If surprised, the yuan-ti fight defensively, falling back to area 7 if possible.

Development: If a fight occurs in area 6, the residents of the lower level may hear it (DC 15 from area 9, DC 20 from area 10). Reduce these DCs by 5 if the fight occurs in area 7. Though the residents won't come to the aid of their guards, they will be ready for the PCs when they approach.

If the vampire spawn are currently residing in area 7, they will assist the yuan-ti as needed.

7. Tower

The two-story tower is largely unused. Chunks of rubble and piles of rotting planks and timbers lie about the chamber. A stone staircase leads up along the south wall to a landing, though the upper floor has completely collapsed (the rubble has been cleared and removed). The roof above is in disrepair but relatively intact.

Creatures: During daylight hours, the vampire spawn detailed at area 3 reside here in their coffins, which are concealed under a pile of rotting timbers along the north wall. They can operate normally anywhere within the Crumbling Tower during daylight, since all windows are boarded up.

Vampire Spawn (2): hp 28, 25; see Monster Manual.

8. Trap Door to Cellar (EL 4)

The trap door leading to the cellar area -- a simple stone plug with an iron pull ring -- is hidden beneath a pile of rocks, but a Search check (DC 15) reveals it.

Trap: The stone plug allowing access to the cellar is trapped with a contact poison on the iron pull ring. Bypassing the trap is simple -- simply lift the plug using one of the fragments of metal lying about. This requires a DC 12 Strength check to open (two characters can work together if needed).

Poison (malyss root paste): Type contact DC 16; initial damage 1 Dex, secondary damage 2d4 Dex; Search (DC 20); Disable Device (DC 20).


As they open the trap door, the characters get a whiff of brimstone, mixed with the unmistakable smell of snakes. Many, many snakes.

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