Cliffhangers!
Into the Forsaken Temple's Crypt
By Ramon Arjona
Complete Cliffhanger (648k ZIP/PDF)
Episode 5: Ellowyn Blacktree the Traitor
Episode 4: The Silent Guardians
Episode 3: Other Guests Arrive
Episode 2: A False Tomb
Episode 1: Gather, Gloom
Cliffhangers Archive
The Approaching Swarm
Kingdom of the Blind
Into the Forsaken Temple's Crypt
The Trouble in Town
Sharkbait!
The Light of Despair
Training Grounds
Lorin's Chasm
Bridge Work
Nest of Corruption
Hindsight
A Giant Ransom
Black Water
The Horror of Lannock Hill
Over the Edge
Equinox
The Proper Count
The Tower of Lore
The Candlemaker's Fire
The Hallowed Hills
The Village of Camiram
Unearthing the Past
Special: Cliffhangers Live!
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Cliffhangers Adventures
Into the Forsaken Temple's Crypt

By Ramon Arjona

Episode Three: Other Guests Arrive

Into 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.

Adventure Background

The PCs have entered the Forsaken Temple's crypt and started exploring a bit. They may have tangled with a pudding, and further warnings of danger greeted them. Do they dare continue on?

Other Guests Arrive

If the PCs continue deeper into the crypt, they find more rooms and some interesting visitors.

As the characters enter this area, read the following:

The walls of this room are smooth stone, with no carvings. A thin layer of dust covers the floor.

Allow characters to make a Search check (DC 15) to notice the footprints of four Medium-size humanoid creatures in the dust. If a character with the Track feat makes a successful Wilderness Lore check (DC 5) to track the footprints, he or she discovers that they lead to Area 5.

Area 5 (EL 14)

Four dark-skinned elves with white hair and reddish eyes sit around a wooden table. One of them, a woman, looks up at you and gestures for you to move forward.

The drow are sitting around the table, planning their next move after having been beaten back by the golems that guards Areas 8 and 9. There are currently three of them. The fourth member of their group, a young female cleric of Lolth, is currently a grease spot under the heels of the aforementioned golems. If the shriekers in Area 2 made any noise, the drow heard it and are aware that the characters may be coming.

These drow are not anxious to fight the PCs. Though they spent a lot of time studying the crypt, they have discovered that the magic of the crypt's former creators hid some details from them. In particular, none of their studies using clairvoyance revealed the presence of the clay golem guardians, of course, and they were unprepared for this threat. They see the PCs as potential allies, though temporary ones, in dealing with these constructs.

The drow leader, a female cleric called Tolth To'rellen, does everything in her power to convince the PCs that they share a common goal and should work together. If the PCs do not agree, the drow allow them to pass without hindering them, confident that the PCs cannot get past the clay golems alone. If the PCs attack, the drow throw down their weapons and surrender. If pressed, Tolth surrenders a nonmagical ring to the characters, which is worth 200 gp, and as a last resort gives up her cloak of arachnida. Under no circumstances does she allow Surya to let go of her scrolls of control undead, nor does she force her followers to give up their other magic items. If the PCs leave the drow no other choice, they flee back toward Area 4, using their spells and spell-like abilities to cover their escape.

Tolth is very forthcoming about the clay golems, but more reticent about other details of the crypt. She knows nearly everything outlined in the adventure background, but she gives the PCs whatever information she feels is useful for her agenda only. She does not under any circumstance willingly admit to being the great-great-great-granddaughter of Orith To'rellen, Ellowyn Blacktree's lover. The other drow let Tolth do most of the talking, and they respond only if the PCs address them directly. If the PCs ask a probing or difficult question, these other drow defer immediately to Tolth.

Should the PCs attempt to get past the clay golems and fail, the survivors find the drow still waiting in Area 4. Tolth is still very solicitous in this case, and she again offers to work with the PCs to get past the clay golems.

Tolth To'rellen: Female drow Clr10; CR 10; Medium-size humanoid (elf); HD 10d8+20; hp 65; Init +0; Spd 20 ft.; AC 17, touch 10, flat-footed 17; Atk +8/+3 melee (1d8+1/19-20, longsword); SA Rebuke undead 10/day; SQ Drow traits; SR 21; AL NE; SV Fort +9, Ref +3, Will +11; Str 12, Dex 11, Con 14, Int 11, Wis 18, Cha 16.

Skills and Feats: Bluff +5, Diplomacy +8, Heal +9, Hide +5, Listen +6, Search +3, Spot +6; Combat Casting, Extra Turning, Leadership, Martial Weapon Proficiency (longsword).

Drow Traits: Tolth is immune to magic sleep spells and effects and gains a +2 racial bonus on saves against enchantment spells or effects. She has darkvision 120 ft. and is entitled to a Search check when within 5 feet of a secret or concealed door as though actively looking for it. She also has a +2 racial bonus on Will saves against spells or spell-like abilities. Tolth can use the following spell-like abilities (1/day -- dancing lights, darkness, and faerie fire; caster level 10th). She has light blindness (blinded for 1 round by abrupt exposure to bright light, -1 circumstance penalty on all attack rolls, saves, and checks while operating in bright light) and a +2 racial bonus on Listen, Spot, and Search checks (already figured into the statistics given above).

Cleric Spells Prepared (6/6/6/5/5/3; base DC = 14 + spell level): 0 -- detect magic (2), detect poison (2), resistance (2); 1st -- cause fear, inflict light wounds*, invisibility to undead (2), summon monster I (2)**; 2nd -- aid, calm emotions (2), enthrall, invisibility*, lesser restoration; 3rd -- animate dead, negative energy protection (2), nondetection*, prayer**; 4th -- death ward, inflict critical wounds*, restoration (2), summon monster IV; 5th -- circle of doom*, healing circle, slay living.

*Domain spell. Deity: Lolth. Domains: Destruction (smite 1/day), Trickery (Bluff, Disguise, and Hide are class skills).

**Tolth has so far used both of her summon monster I spells to cover her party's flight from the clay golems. She used one of her prayer spells during the combat.

Possessions: Chainmail, large steel shield, longsword, backpack, cloak of arachnida, potion of heal (x3), potion of cure serious wounds (x2).

As the great-great-great-granddaughter of Orith, Tolth is very familiar with the story of the Traitor. She does not know, however, that it was the drow betrayal that allowed Ellowyn to be captured by the elves. Having finally found the Traitor's prison after decades of searching, she is convinced that she can free Ellowyn and recruit her into Lolth's service once more. Just in case persuasion fails, however, Tolth gave Surya several scrolls of control undead, which she commands Surya to use if Ellowyn won't "see reason."

Tolth is normally very composed. However, she has been put off balance by the unexpected appearance of the clay golems. The golems killed her cohort, a young cleric of Lolth named Leirth N'erreden, and forced Tolth to retreat with the rest of her party. Tolth is currently racking her brain, trying to think of a way to get past the golems. Perhaps Lolth has delivered her the tool that she needs in the PCs.

Turizz Loren: Male drow Rgr10; CR 10; Medium-size humanoid (elf); HD 10d10+10; hp 65; Init +9; Spd 30 ft.; AC 17, touch 15, flat-footed 12; Atk +10/+5 melee (1d8+2/19-20, longsword) and +11 melee (1d4+2/19-20 plus poison, dagger of venom); or +16/+11 ranged (1d8+1/x3, longbow with +1 undead bane arrow); SQ Drow traits, favored enemies elves (+3), humans (+2), undead (+1), SR 21; AL LE; SV Fort +8, Ref +8, Will +5; Str 15, Dex 20, Con 12, Int 11, Wis 15, Cha 10.

Skills and Feats: Animal Empathy +13, Hide +13, Intuit Direction +9, Knowledge (nature) +13, Listen +15, Search +2, Spot +4; Blind-Fight, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Mobility, Track.

Drow Traits: Turizz is immune to magic sleep spells and effects and has a +2 racial bonus on saves against enchantment spells or effects. He has darkvision 120 ft. and is entitled to a Search check when within 5 feet of a secret or concealed door as though actively looking for it. He has a +2 racial bonus on Will saves against spells or spell-like abilities. Turizz can use the following spell-like abilities (1/day -- dancing lights, darkness, and faerie fire; caster level 10th). He has light blindness (blinded for 1 round by abrupt exposure to bright light, -1 circumstance penalty on all attack rolls, saves, and checks while operating in bright light) and a +2 racial bonus on Listen, Spot, and Search checks (already figured into the statistics given above).

Favored Enemy: Turizz has selected elves, humans, and undead as favored enemies. He gains a bonus (+3 against elves, +2 against humans, and +1 against undead) on his Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Wilderness Lore checks when using these skills against these types of creatures. He gets the same bonus to weapon damage rolls against these creatures. He also gets the damage bonus with ranged weapons if the target is within 30 feet. The bonus doesn't apply to damage against creatures that are immune to critical hits.

Ranger Spells Prepared (2/2; base DC = 12 + spell level): 1st -- magic fang (2); 2nd -- cure light wounds (2).

Possessions: Leather armor, longsword, dagger of venom, longbow, 20 poison arrows (Primary poison damage: unconsciousness for 1 minute; Fortitude save (DC 17) negates; Secondary poison damage: unconsciousness for an additional 2d4 hours; Fortitude save (DC 17) negates, 50 +1 undead bane arrows, potion of haste (x1), potion of heal (x4).

Turizz is a grim and taciturn ranger of the Underdark. Tolth chose him for this excursion because of his experience hunting the undead. Turizz is not enthusiastic about this, but he is not willing to face the consequences of disobedience to a cleric of Lolth. In melee, he always fights with his longsword in his right hand, and his dagger of venom in his left. At range, he fires poisoned arrows at living foes, and +1 undead bane arrows at unliving ones. He is unrelenting in combat, but he is not above flight if the odds turn against him. If Tolth's cause seems lost, Turizz abandons her to her fate.

Surya T'leen: Female drow Wiz6/Ftr4; CR 10; Medium-size humanoid (drow); HD 6d4+6 plus 4d10+4; hp 47; Init +4; Spd 20 ft.; AC 17, touch 12, flat-footed 15; Atk +10/+5 melee (1d8+4/19-20, +1 longsword); or +11/+6 ranged (1d8/x3, longbow with poisoned arrow); SQ Drow traits, empathic link with familiar, rat familiar, share spells with familiar, SR 21, touch (via familiar); AL LE; SV Fort +9, Ref +7, Will +8; Str 13, Dex 19, Con 13, Int 19, Wis 15, Cha 9.

Skills and Feats: Alchemy +10, Climb +4, Concentration +10, Handle Animal +6, Jump +5, Knowledge (history) +13, Knowledge (religion) +9, Listen +9, Ride (horse) +6, Search +8, Spellcraft +13, Spot +9; Alertness, Brew Potion, Combat Casting, Extend Spell, Maximize Spell, Power Attack , Scribe Scroll, Silent Spell, Weapon Focus (longsword), Weapon Specialization (longsword).

Drow Traits: Surya is immune to magic sleep spells and effects and has a +2 racial bonus on saves against enchantment spells or effects. She has darkvision 120 ft. and is entitled to a Search check when within 5 feet of a secret or concealed door as though actively looking for it. Surya has a +2 racial bonus on Will saves against spells or spell-like abilities, and she can use the following spell-like abilities (1/day -- dancing lights, darkness, and faerie fire; caster level 10th). She has light blindness (blinded for 1 round by abrupt exposure to bright light, -1 circumstance penalty on all attack rolls, saves, and checks while operating in bright light) and a +2 racial bonus on Listen, Spot, and Search checks (already figured into the statistics given above).

Empathic Link (Su): Surya can communicate telepathically with her familiar at a distance of up to one mile. She has the same connection to an item or a place that the familiar does.

Share Spells: Surya may have any spell she casts on herself also affect her familiar if the latter is within 5 ft. at the time. Surya may also cast a spell with a target of "You" on her familiar.

Touch: The familiar can deliver touch spells for Surya.

Wizard Spells Prepared (4/4/4/3; base DC = 14 + spell level; 30% chance of arcane spell failure): 0 -- detect magic, disrupt undead (3); 1st -- charm person, detect undead, identify, true strike; 2nd -- knock (3), spectral hand; 3rd -- dispel magic, halt undead, lightning bolt.

Spellbook: 0 -- arcane mark, dancing lights, daze, detect magic, detect poison, disrupt undead, flare, ghost sound, light, mage hand, mending, open/close, prestidigitation, ray of frost, read magic, resistance; 1st -- burning hands, cause fear, charm person, chill touch, comprehend languages, detect undead, identify, ray of enfeeblement, true strike; 2nd -- knock, scare, spectral hand, whispering wind; 3rd -- clairvoyance, dispel magic, halt undead, lightning bolt.

Possessions: Chainmail, +1 longsword, longbow, scrolls of control undead (5)*, 20 poison arrows (Primary poison damage: unconsciousness for 1 minute; Fortitude save negates (DC 17); secondary poison damage: unconsciousness for an additional 2d4 hours; Fortitude save negates (DC 17)), ring of feather falling, potion of heal (x4).

*Surya may botch the spell (caster level check is DC 14) as per the guidelines on page 203 of the Dungeon Master's Guide.

Ignar: Male rat familiar; CR -- ; Tiny magical beast; HD 1/4d8 (effective 10d8); hp 23; Init +2; Spd 15 ft., climb 15 ft.; AC 17, touch 14, flat-footed 15; Atk +11 melee (1d3-4, bite); Face/Reach 2.5 ft. x 2.5 ft./0 ft.; SQ Empathic link with Surya, improved evasion, low-light vision, scent, speak with Surya; AL LE; SV Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +7; Str 2, Dex 15, Con 10, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 2.

Skills and Feats: Balance +10, Climb +18, Hide +18, Move Silently +10; Weapon Finesse (bite).

Empathic Link (Su): Ignar has an empathic link with Surya out to a distance of up to one mile. Surya cannot see through Ignar's eyes, but the two of them can communicate telepathically. Because of the empathic link between Ignar and Surya, Surya has the same connection to an item or place that Ignar does.

Improved Evasion (Ex): If Ignar is subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex save for half damage, he takes no damage on a successful save and half damage even if the saving throw fails.

Low-Light Vision: Ignar can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar low-light conditions.

Scent (Ex): Ignar can detect approaching enemies, sniff out hidden foes, and track by sense of smell.

Speak with Master: Ignar and Surya can communicate verbally as if they were using a common language. Other creatures do not understand the communication without magical help.

Tolth chose Surya for her combination of necromantic knowledge and fighting skills. She was initially enthusiastic about the opportunity to study ancient elven magic up close, but she has since become more skeptical since their encounter with the clay golems.

Cliffhanger

Will the PCs ally themselves with the drow, or will they choose to go it alone? Is the ominous drow priestess telling them the truth or lying to them? What will the characters discover as they probe further into the crypt?

 





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