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
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Cliffhangers Adventures
Into the Forsaken Temple's Crypt

By Ramon Arjona

Episode Five: Ellowyn Blacktree the Traitor

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 had the opportunity to work with some drow to get past clay golems. Now they face a greater danger, but maybe they'll turn back before it's too late.

Ellowyn Blacktree the Traitor (EL 13)

As the characters enter Area 10, read the following.

The wooden door creaks open slowly and a rush of cold air escapes from the chamber beyond. Gold coins and gems lay scattered on the floor of the room beyond. An elven woman rests on a platform in the center of the room as if asleep, with a golden rope tied around her shoulders. She holds a longsword in her left hand. A longbow and a quiver of arrows rest next to her.

The woman on the platform is Ellowyn Blacktree -- the Traitor. She is conscious, but immobile.

Golden Rope of Temporal Stasis: This golden rope acts as a temporal stasis spell when knotted around any part of a being's body. The rope itself has only 3 hit points and can be burst with a successful Strength check (DC 24). It is a single-use only item with a duration that ends when the rope is unknotted, cut, or otherwise altered.

Caster Level: 17th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, temporal stasis; Market Price: 15,300 gp; Weight: 5 lb.

If the PCs are accompanied by the drow, Surya -- if she's still alive -- sets Ignar down so the rat can begin to surreptitiously chew through the rope. If Ignar or Surya is dead, Tolth takes a more direct approach. She charges the platform and cuts the rope with her longsword. She fully expects the Traitor to rise and help her destroy the PCs.

If the PCs were not accompanied by the drow, but got past the clay golems anyway, Tolth and her companions are close behind them. The drow know of the PCs' success because Surya set Ignar on their trail. They arrive in 1d3 rounds and attempt to set the Traitor free.

If the Traitor is set free, she shows no gratitude to the drow. Instead, she gives a piercing scream and flies into a rage. She focuses her attacks on the male drow, mistaking him for Orith. Once the male drow is dead, she shifts her priorities toward escape. If possible, she attempts to reach the teleport square. She remembers the command word to activate it well, since it was the last word she heard one elf speak before he left the room.

If it is night outside the crypt, Ellowyn runs out the main entrance and disappears into the darkness. If it is daylight, she attempts to elude the characters until nightfall, when it is safe for her to travel outdoors.

Ellowyn Blacktree: Female gray elf vampire Wiz10; CR 12; Medium-size undead; HD 10d12; hp 65; Init +9; Spd 30 ft.; AC 21, touch 15, flat-footed 16; Atk +8 melee (1d6+4, slam); or +9 melee (1d8+5/19-20, +1 longsword or 1d4+4/19-20, dagger of venom); or +11 ranged (1d8+1/x3, oathbow); SA Blood drain, children of the night, create spawn, domination, energy drain; SQ Alternate form, cold resistance 20, DR 15/+1, electricity resistance 20, elf traits, fast healing 5, gaseous form, spider climb, turn resistance +4, undead traits; AL CE; SV Fort +3, Ref +10, Will +11; Str 16, Dex 20, Con -, Int 16, Wis 14, Cha 20.

Skills and Feats: Bluff +13, Concentration +18, Hide +13, Knowledge (arcana) +13, Listen +14, Move Silently +13, Profession (any) +9, Search +13, Sense Motive +10, Spellcraft +16, Spot +14; Alertness, Brew Potion, Combat Casting, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Empower Spell , Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Scribe Scroll, Silent Spell, Still Spell.

Blood Drain (Ex): Ellowyn can suck blood from a living victim with her fangs by making a successful grapple check (grapple bonus +8). If she pins the foe, she drains blood, inflicting 1d4 points of Constitution drain per round that the pin is maintained.

Children of the Night (Su): Once per day, Ellowyn can call forth a pack of 4d8 dire rats, a swarm of 10d10 bats, or a pack of 3d6 wolves as a standard action. These creatures arrive in 2d6 rounds and serve her for up to 1 hour.

Create Spawn (Su): A humanoid or monstrous humanoid slain by Ellowyn's energy drain attack rises as a vampire spawn 1d4 days after burial. If she instead drains that victim's Constitution to 0 or below, the victim returns as a spawn if it had 4 or fewer HD and as a vampire if it had 5 or more HD. In either case, the new vampire or spawn is under Ellowyns' command and remains enslaved until her death.

Domination (Su): Ellowyn can crush the will of an opponent within 30 feet just by gazing into his or her eyes. This is similar to a gaze attack, except that she must take a standard action, and those merely looking at her are not affected. Anyone she targets must succeed at a Will save (DC 20) or fall instantly under her influence as though by a dominate person spell (caster level 12th).

Energy Drain (Su): A living creature hit by Ellowyn's slam attack gains 2 negative levels.

Alternate Form (Su): Ellowyn can assume the shape of a bat, dire bat, wolf, or dire wolf as a standard action. This ability is similar to a polymorph self spell (caster level 12th), except that she can assume only one of the listed forms. She can remain in that form until she assumes another or until the next sunrise.

Elf Traits: Ellowyn is immune to magic sleep spells and effects, and she has a +2 racial bonus on saves against enchantment spells or effects. She has low-light vision (can see twice as far as a human in low-light conditions) and is entitled to a Search check when within 5 feet of a secret or concealed door as though actively looking for it. Ellowyn also has Martial Weapon Proficiency (composite longbow, composite shortbow, longbow, longsword, and rapier) as bonus feats and a +2 racial bonus on Listen, Spot, and Search checks (already figured into the statistics given above).

Fast Healing (Ex): Ellowyn regains hit points at a rate of 5 per round so long as she has at least 1 hit point. If reduced to 0 hit points or below, she automatically assumes gaseous form and attempts to escape. She must reach her coffin home within 2 hours or be utterly destroyed. Once at rest in her coffin, she regains 1 hit point after 1 hour, then resumes healing at the rate of 5 hit points per round. Fast healing does not restore hit points lost from starvation, thirst, or suffocation, and it does not allow a creature to regrow or reattach lost body parts.

Gaseous Form (Su): As a standard action, Ellowyn can assume gaseous form at will, as the spell (caster level 5th), except that she can remain gaseous indefinitely and has a fly speed of 20 feet with perfect maneuverability.

Spider Climb (Ex): Ellowyn can climb sheer surfaces as though with a spider climb spell.

Turn Resistance (Ex): When resolving a turn, rebuke, command, or bolster attempt, Ellowyn is treated as a 14-HD undead.

Undead Traits: Ellowyn is immune to poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, necromantic effects, mind-influencing effects, and any effect requiring a Fortitude save unless it also works on objects. She is not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, ability drain, or energy drain. Negative energy heals her, and she is not at risk of death from massive damage but is destroyed at 0 hit points or less. She has darkvision 60 feet. She cannot be raised, and resurrection works only if she is willing.

Wizard Spells Prepared* (4/5/5/4/3/2; base DC = 13 + spell level): 0 -- detect magic (2);

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 -- alarm, burning hands, cause fear, color spray, expeditious retreat; 2nd -- alter self, blur, cat's grace, knock; 3rd -- clairaudience/clairvoyance, hold person; 4th -- confusion, summon monster IV; 5th -- teleport.

Possessions: Oathbow, +1 longsword, dagger of venom.

*Ellowyn expended several of her spells before she fell under the effect of the rope. Many elves died at her hands before they could knot the rope.

Tactics: This encounter can probably turn into a free-for-all quickly. The drow want to keep the PCs from destroying the Traitor. The PCs probably want to destroy the Traitor by this point and so are fighting her and the drow. The Traitor, meanwhile, concentrates her attacks against the male drow but fights back against anyone who tries to harm her. She avoids melee if she can, but fights with her longsword if she must. She is not yet used to being undead, and so she will not try to use her slam attack unless she is otherwise unarmed. The Traitor uses her dominate ability to try to turn the characters against each other.

Tolth realizes that it is useless to talk with Ellowyn and commands Surya to use a scroll of control undead on her. If Tolth dies, the other drow attempt to flee.

Ad Hoc XP Adjustment

Since the vampire doesn't have full use of her capabilities, decrease the experience award by 20%. Additionally, if the drow help the PCs more than they hinder the PCs, you should award the resulting XP from the encounter to the group plus the drow.

Continuing the Adventure

There are coins worth 1,200 gp, and 10 aquamarine gems worth 300 gp each in Ellowyn's crypt.

If Tolth is still alive, she and the other drow try to flee. Tolth realizes that her efforts have been wasted, and she was woefully unprepared for this undertaking. She is not likely to resurface from the Underdark for at least a century or so while she licks her wounds.

The Traitor is another story, however. Ellowyn may escape and find a new lair if the PCs don't attempt to stop her. Once Ellowyn finds a new lair, her first priority is to wreak vengeance on all elves and drow for her suffering. Ellowyn can afford to be patient about this, but her vengeance may not be subtle. She could become a recurring nemesis for the PCs if they don't take care of her, or the PCs may feel that it is their responsibility to destroy her immediately.

 





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