Into the Forsaken Temple's Crypt
By Ramon Arjona
Two: A False Tomb
the Forsaken Temple's Crypt is a short adventure for four 10th-level
characters. The adventure takes place in a buried temple crypt, which
has been sealed for centuries. Dungeon Masters can adjust it for higher-level
characters by widening the dead magic areas and increasing the number
and power of constructs and undead that inhabit the complex.
had just entered the Forsaken Temple's crypt in the last episode. Now
they can begin to penetrate deeper into the crypt, discovering more of
its hidden dangers.
characters move onward, the air becomes even staler and the temperature
drops steadily. This is not enough to injure them, but it could certainly
make those susceptible to cold feel uncomfortable. The elves built this
tomb to keep Ellowyn in and to keep grave robbers out. Therefore, they
built a false tomb in area 3D, hoping to draw would-be looters away from
Ellowyn's true resting place. They decorated the door with symbols and
writing that, they hoped, would draw the attention of anyone who invaded
did not anticipate the oozes and fungus that have taken up residence in
this area. These creatures now serve as accidental, but effective, guardians
of the Traitor's prison.
1A (EL 9)
PCs enter this area, read the following text:
large room has a flat ceiling about 20 feet above you. There are
carvings and letters on the walls here, as well, but it is difficult
to make them out because the walls seem to have eroded in many places.
A smaller set of double doors hangs open immediately to the north.
In northeast corner of the room, a large black mass jiggles and
mass is an extremely large black pudding. It seeped into the crypt years
ago, when it was much smaller, and it has been feeding on shriekers, and
sometimes on the floor and walls. The pudding is hungry for real food,
such as the flesh of the PCs.
who have spent years studying the crypt through magic, circumvented this
monster by teleporting directly into Area 4.
Black Pudding: CR 9; Gargantuan ooze; HD 20d10+150; hp 290;
Init -5; Spd 20 ft., climb 20 ft.; AC 5, touch 1, flat-footed 5;
Atk +18 melee (2d8+10 plus 2d8 acid, slam); Face/Reach 10 ft. x
20 ft./10 ft.; SA Acid, constrict 2d8+4 plus 2d8 acid, improved
grab; SQ Blindsight 60 ft., ooze traits, split; AL N; SV Fort +12,
Ref +1, Will +1; Str 25, Dex 1, Con 23, Int --, Wis 1, Cha 1.
and Feats: Climb +15, Hide -17.
(Ex): The advanced black pudding secretes a digestive acid that
dissolves organic material and metal quickly. Any melee hit deals
acid damage. The pudding's acidic touch deals 50 points of damage
per round to wood or metal objects. The opponent's armor and clothing
dissolve and become useless immediately unless they succeed at a
Reflex save (DC 26). The acid can dissolve stone, dealing 20 points
of damage per round of contact.
(Ex): The advanced black pudding can crush a grabbed opponent,
dealing slam and acid damage with each successful grapple check.
The opponent's clothing and armor suffer a -4 penalty on Reflex
saves against the acid.
Grab (Ex): If the advanced black pudding hits a creature that
is at least one size category smaller than itself with its slam
attack, it deals normal damage and attempts to start a grapple (grapple
bonus +34) as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity.
If it gets a hold, it can also constrict with the same attack. Thereafter,
the advanced black pudding has the option to conduct the grapple
normally, or simply use its pseudopod to hold the opponent. Each
successful grapple check it makes during successive rounds automatically
deals slam and acid damage in addition to constriction damage.
(Ex): An advanced black pudding is blind, but its entire body
is a primitive sensory organ that can ascertain prey by scent and
vibration within 60 feet. Invisibility and darkness are irrelevant,
though the pudding still can't discern ethereal beings. The black
pudding usually does not need to make Spot or Listen checks to notice
creatures within range of its blindsight ability.
Traits: The advanced black pudding is immune to poison, sleep,
paralysis, stunning, polymorphing, and mind-influencing effects
and is not subject to critical hits or flanking. The pudding is
(Ex): Weapons deal no damage to a black pudding. Instead, the
creature splits into two identical puddings, each with half the
original's hit points (round down). A pudding with only 1 hit point
cannot be further split.
characters attempt to read what's left of the text on the wall, they gather
only the following snippets:
power...blight...truth of the forest...save us.
sure the characters realize that it is very difficult to try to read ancient
writing while a black pudding is trying to devour you.
2 (EL 7)
PCs enter this area, read the following text:
stone door is to the north, and mushrooms crowd the floor. As soon
as you enter the room, however, the mushrooms begin to make a terrible
are shriekers. They feed on the insects and vermin that get into the crypt
over time, and the black pudding in turn feeds on them. The shriekers
have grown at a rate sufficient to sustain the black pudding so far, but
over time it is likely the pudding will outgrow its food source, devour
all of the remaining shriekers, and starve.
echoes throughout the crypt. If the drow in Area 5 didn't know they had
company before, they do now.
(5): hp 11, see Monster Manual, page 93.
the PCs make it through the shriekers to the northern wall, read the following
carvings that once decorated the face of the door have been eroded
over time, so it is almost impossible to make out what they once
represented. They could be branches. They could be roads. They could
be veins. It's impossible to tell.
characters attempt to flee from the black pudding into this area, it follows
them. If they attempt to close the stone double doors behind them, the
pudding burns through it in 3 rounds. Since the pudding is so large, it
makes this room very crowded if it gets in.
has tried to burn through the door at the north end of Area 2, but it
couldn't due to the magic the elves used to reinforce the door, which
makes it immune to acid and other corrosive damage. If the characters
can get through this door and shut it behind them, they need not fear
the pudding. The doors are locked (Open Lock DC 30).
Reinforced Stone Doors: 1 ft. thick; hardness 10; hp 60; AC 5; Break
to pick the lock triggers a trap that floods the floor of this room with
a powerful corrosive, creating a puddle 10 feet wide at the base of the
door. It seems the elves had a reason for making the door impervious to
Trap: CR 9; mechanical; touch; automatic reset; multiple targets
(all targets in a 10-ft. by 10-ft. area); acid (Reflex save avoids
[DC 16], 10d6); Search (DC 28); Disable Device (DC 30).
the characters read the barely legible script on the door, they get the
PCs enter area 3A, read the following:
is a narrow corridor, with doors to the north, east, west, and south.
The doors to the east and west are made of wood and hang on rusted
old hinges. The door to the north, however, is made of stone and
is covered with more of the same ornate carvings that appeared on
door has the same statistics as the door at the entrance to the crypt.
The doors are locked (Open Lock DC 30), reinforced with both iron (just
under the silver) and stone (as another set of doors directly behind the
Doors: 1 ft. thick; hardness 10; hp 60; AC 5; Break DC 45.
doors are strong wooden doors, but they are not locked. The elves hoped
that by making it more difficult to enter Area 3D, persistent looters
would be drawn to the false tomb they constructed. If they read the carvings
on the door, this is what they learn:
prison for the Traitor, and vengeance for the blood she shed.
3B and 3C
PCs wish to advance beyond these empty rooms, they need to succeed at
Search checks (DC 30) to find the secret doors in each room.
3D (EL 9)
characters enter this area, read the following text:
golden sarcophagus sits at the north end of this room. Delicate
frescoes decorate the walls, showing woodland scenes from the depth
of winter. The face on the sarcophagus seems to be that of a young
elven woman. Her arms are folded across her chest and her eyes are
closed. Five other sarcophagi stand against the walls. These show
the faces of grim elven warriors clasping longswords in their hands.
the characters attempt to open any of the sarcophagi, the remaining five
immediately open and the the mummies the elves left here as guardians
assault the characters. The elves created these mummies from elven warriors
who willingly gave their lives to guard the Traitor's resting place. As
such, they are of lawful good alignment. Otherwise they conform to the
statistics listed in the Monster Manual.
in the sarcophagi against the walls are discernibly elven males, though
they wear archaic and molded armor. The mummy in the sarcophagus at the
north end of the room is discernibly an elven female.
(10): hp 42; AL LG*; see Monster Manual, page 138.
lawful good mummies can be rebuked or commanded by a good cleric
and turned or destroyed by an evil cleric. Neutral clerics who normally
rebuke or command evil mummies turn or destroy these mummies, and
those who turn or destroy evil mummies command or rebuke these mummies.
left no treasure behind in the false tomb. They hoped that any looters
who came this far would be discouraged by having worked so hard for nothing
and would leave the crypt without trying to proceed further. If the PCs
wish to advance beyond these empty rooms, they need to succeed at Search
checks (DC 30) to find the secret door.
on these walls say the following:
forever, living and dead, dwell here in torment for the blood of
At this point, the characters may believe that they've found and destroyed
some ultimate evil that inhabited the crypt. They may be put off or they
may be misled by the carvings left behind by the elves. If they turn around
and leave now, the drow proceed with their plan as noted in the last episode.
If they want to keep exploring the crypt, the PCs may notice the secret
doors that hide narrow passages that lead north from Areas 3B and 3C.
These passages are so narrow that Medium-size characters must walk single
file to get through them. At some points in these passages, Medium-size
characters must turn to their side and squeeze through. Those with plate
armor should consider taking it off, in fact. What lies beyond these narrow
corridors is the subject of our next episode.
the characters found and destroyed Ellowyn Blacktree? Do they dare press
further into the crypt? Or will they leave, confident of their victory
and unaware of the horror that is about to be loosed on the world?