Trouble in Town
Two: The Old Tower
Trouble in Town is a short adventure for four 10th-level characters.
The adventure takes place near a walled town by a shallow river with a
nonfunctioning, long abandoned aqueduct. Dungeon Masters can modify the
adventure to accommodate higher-level characters by giving humanoid foes
more class levels and increasing the HD and/or age category of other opponents.
came to town and discovered that people are missing. In this episode,
the PCs investigate the old tower that housed the monster that attacked
them in Episode One.
episode uses the Githyanki Citadel Main Watch Tower from the Map-a-Week
feature as the map for the old tower.
Old Tower, Ground Floor
to the ground floor is wooden, sturdy, and not trapped or locked. It's
kept this way intentionally so that if any townspeople are curious and
decide to investigate the tower, they can have limited access to it and
report that the tower is still empty.
door opens to reveal a small chamber that's dominated by an old
wooden staircase that leads up. There are no furnishings here. In
fact, only the debris that has accumulated over the ages covers
note, however, is that the top of the stairs have been boarded over,
preventing access to the upper floors.
PCs walk into the room, they can see twigs, dead leaves, and broken Auldlar
ale bottles covering the floor. The door to the north is not locked either
and nothing of note is in that room. To get to the first floor, the PCs
either have to break the wooden planks covering the top of the stairs
or enter through the windows on the fourth floor and come down. A successful
Craft (carpentry) (DC 15) or similar check reveals that the planks were
laid around three months ago. Once the PCs have begun breaking the planks,
read or paraphrase the following:
soon as you begin work on the planks, you hear heavy padding around
on the floor above you, as though a small group of people without
shoes was walking quickly around the upper floor. They're also muttering
something, but you can't quite make out the words.
Listen check (DC 15) allows the PC to understand the language is Common,
but only a few words are clear: "coming" and "warn."
The voices are cracked and yet somehow gurgly, like an old man talking
with a mouth half-full of water.
uttering the words are three red slaad who believe they are charged with
protecting the upper levels of the tower. Golgon, the master of the tower
(see upcoming episodes), has other plans for them, however, and has convinced
them to stand guard over an empty floor until he is ready for them.
Floor (EL 10)
Slaad (3): hp 50, 55, 60; see Monster Manual page 166.
The slaadi position themselves at each compass point (except south)
in preparation for the attack. If they see a hole being slowly made in
the floor, the one from the west attacks through the hole and uses its
stunning croak ability to subdue as many as possible on the lower floor.
The slaadi have but one purpose on the day the PCs visit: prevent anyone
from going up the tower. To this end, they fight anyone or anything that
enters their floor that they haven't been told to allow to pass. (On the
day the PCs arrive, no one can pass.) If the slaadi subdue everyone on
the ground floor, their orders are to send word to the master of the tower
via the mirror of sending (see below) and to continue to watch
contains a mirror of sending (see below) and a teleportation
area on the floor. Anyone who steps on the area, which is the most southern
square on the map of the floor, is teleported to the tower's second floor.
The area is not marked, though it can be detected as per the teleportation
circle spell description (Search DC 34; Disable Device DC 34).
is a large silver mirror against the north wall. It is a magic item, and
the tower's owner uses it to communicate to the slaadi. Golgon taught
the slaadi the command words
of Sending: This 5-foot by 3-foot mirror allows a specific person
to communicate with any being that says the words "in your service"
in Infernal while near it. Once said, the mirror clouds over until the
reflective surface becomes bone white, whereupon the user may communicate
with the mirror's owner -- in this case, Golgon. The duration of the effect
is 10 rounds. The mirror has only one owner (appointed at the time of
creation), so its use is limited.
Level: 10th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, sending;
Market Price: 90,000 gp; Weight: 25 lbs.
the PCs try to scry Golgon using this mirror, they see a darkened area.
(This is Golgon's chamber; he is currently moving about arranging some
alchemical equipment.) Episode 4 will have more information on this area.
If the PCs ascend to the first floor or otherwise kill the slaadi, read
or paraphrase the following:
floor closely matches the one below it, save that it has a stone
ceiling instead of a wooden one and is devoid of debris that you
would expect a human to leave behind. Instead, there are bones of
small animals and children here, as well as a loose pile of clothes
in the northwest area of the room.
are also three torches in the room -- one on each compass point
save the south.
are of Auldlar children buried in the local cemetery, and the pile of
clothes consists of the garments they were buried in. The slaadi have
nothing to do with the bones of the children, only of the small animals.
They have been commanded to leave small children alone by Golgon. A successful
Search check (DC 15) shows that there are gnaw marks on the bones that
are from mouths smaller than the red slaadi. The slaadi do not know where
the bones or clothes came from.
slaadi are interrogated, they don't have a great deal to tell. They seek
passage to a plane where it is said there is a rare ore. The ore is for
their master, a gray slaad, who wishes to use it for his own purposes.
To gain access to the plane, they have allied with a human wizard named
Golgon, who promises to take them there once their term of service is
over, which is for one year. The slaadi don't know, or care, what Golgon's
activities are, but they do obey his orders readily enough.
in the room are everburning torches.
Old Tower, Fourth Floor
PCs climb or fly to the fourth floor, read or paraphrase the following:
window that the winged monster flew out of stands out in contrast
to the others. It's framed with a thin metallic border.
Search check of the metal (DC 10) shows fine rune-like inscriptions on
the metal. Also, the metal is magical (see below for description).
inside the room, read or paraphrase the following:
see nesting material for a large winged creature. The outside of
the nest consists of small tree trunks that have been stripped of
their twigs and leaves, which then form the majority of the bedding.
The rest of the bedding is composed of strips of clothing.
among the clothing is Walford's white apron, which can be found with a
successful Search check (DC 10).
door, which is conventional, unlocked, and underneath the nest, leads
to the third floor crawlspace (see episode three).
is magic and has a basic function. It allows those that touch its gem
to become ethereal for as long as they want to or to the limit of the
duration, whichever comes first.
Frame of Ethereal Jaunt: This 6-foot by 4-foot steel window frame
has runes twining their way up from the base of the frame to a large,
fist-sized blue topaz in the center of the upper frame bar. When the topaz
is touched, the being touching the topaz becomes ethereal as per the ethereal
jaunt spell. The duration of the effect is 14 rounds, though beings
can choose to lessen the duration voluntarily. The window frame has 42
Level: 14th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, ethereal
jaunt; Market Price: 98,000 gp; Weight: 50 lbs.
Anyone who steps on the teleportation area is sent to the floor
above. Details of this area are in the next episode of the Cliffhanger.
the PCs gain access to the second floor, the mystery deepens. Who is responsible
for the deaths of the children, and why? The answer is surely on another
floor in the tower. . . .