Episode Two: Shadow Boxing
Chasm is a short adventure for four 5th-level characters that takes
place in the caves beneath a remote monastery devoted to the sun god,
Pelor. The monastery sits atop a mountain range and has a large complex
of caves beneath, most of which are used as tombs for the priests who
have died there over the centuries. The monastery and the adventure can
be placed easily on almost any D&D world.
cave that the PCs travel through are mostly natural, though the
priests and monks did add their own touches, such as creating recesses
within the walls, even within any sarcophagi chambers. Once inside
the chasm, the air grows damper and mustier than before, though
it still retains enough freshness that the PCs need not worry for
their lives. All construction was created from stone, so the dampness
has not deteriorated anything but the corpses of the long-dead priests
When the monastery door closes behind the PCs, they are in pitch
darkness until they reach the first sarcophagi chamber. Once they
enter the chasm, there is enough light for low-light vision to work.
Height: Unless otherwise noted, the ceiling of the caves stands
at about 5 feet, which will make some of the taller PCs need to
hunch over to walk without bumping their heads.
There are no doors to speak of in the caves or the chasm.
Journals of Lorin
two huge, shadowy bats, the characters have noticed the entrance to
a chasm that descends even further down into the mountain beneath the
monastery. Just inside the entrance, they have a chance to discover,
with a Search check (DC 15) the next journal that Lorin kept. Though
it is moldering away into nothingness and several pages are stuck together,
the PCs can get the following details.
Lorin had followed
Manafae into this same chasm decades earlier. Worried that Manafae might
corrupt the entire monastery with his death worship, Lorin decided to
expel the cleric from the order. So, Lorin went down into the tombs
to confront Manafae and found him lowering himself into a crack in the
floor in a secluded corner of the caves. Lorin decided to follow Manafae
to determine what he'd been doing in the dark all these months. What
he found down below was a large chasm that sloped down into still, scummy
Lorin also found
a small, circular room at the end of a passage that sloped up from the
water at the far end of the chasm. There he found Manafae, a shrine
to Wee Jas, and something even more sinister -- a stone gateway. Manafae
was in the middle of performing some ritual when Lorin came upon them.
The two argued and fought, but Manafae opened the gateway and disappeared
before Lorin could defeat him.
The PCs can easily
notice that several pages are missing from the end of the journal.
Boxing (CR 5)
The bottom of the
chasm is 50 feet below the floor of the caves above. The rotting remains
of a ladder are leaning against the wall of the chasm. Any character
attempting to use the ladder falls 40 feet when the rungs give way,
taking 4d6 falling damage.
The first character
to reach the bottom of the chasm sees the light the group had noticed
earlier floating far in the distance. But before the rest of the characters
can make it to the bottom of the chasm so they can investigate further,
the shadows near the first character begin to move and the dusk beasts
attack from hiding. Read or paraphrase the following passage to your
|The shadows coalesce
into what appears to be two human-sized, two-headed lizards made entirely
of shadow. Their legs trail off into the blackness, but their heads
and barbed tails are sharply defined silhouettes.
To join the melee,
characters still descending the wall have to continue to the bottom
on their initiative or jump from where they are, taking the requisite
CR 3; Medium-size outsider; HD 8d8+8; hp 44; Init +6; Spd 30 ft.; AC
15 (touch 12, flat-footed 13); Atk +10 melee (1d8+2, 2 bites) and +8
melee (1d4+1, tail barb); Face/Reach 5 ft. x 5 ft./10 ft.; SQ Outsider
traits; AL N; SV Fort +7, Ref +8, Will +8; Str 14, Dex 15, Con 13, Int
8, Wis 15, Cha 13.
Skills and Feats:
Climb +11, Hide +17, Intuit Direction +9, Listen +9, Move Silently +13,
Spot +13; Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Multiattack.
Darkvision 60 ft.; cannot be raised or resurrected (though a wish or
miracle spell can restore life).
After their initial surprise attack, the dusk beasts separate and move
off to attack from 10 feet away, extending their shadowy necks and tails
to attack with reach and using their Combat Reflexes to get extra attacks
of opportunity if the characters try to flank them.
After the battle,
the characters might notice that the dancing light they had seen in
the distance has disappeared. A successful Listen check (DC 15) allows
a character to hear the lapping of water. If a character surpasses DC
20 on a listen check, he or she can determine that the noise is coming
from something moving slowly through the water toward the group.