Kingdom of the Blind
By Jeff Quick
Episode Three: Don't Look Now ...
Kingdom of the Blind is a short adventure for four 8th-level characters. The adventure is set in a minor duchy that is fairly removed from the ruler of the land. As a result, trouble can brew in the land and the king would not know immediately.
The PCs have just learned that Dephyl is alive and well and ordering blocks of granite. Meanwhile, Zhanna and Dephyl are on the third floor. If the PCs encountered the animated staircases on the first floor, the shriekers on the second floor, or triggered the trap outside Dephyl's study, the couple knows someone unwelcome is downstairs and moving up. They begin to prepare for their arrival.
Encounter 5 (EL 6)
In addition to grimlocks and shriekers, Zhanna has brought some of her other Underdark favorites to live in Fedorel Citadel. The commotion from the second floor (especially if either the shriekers or the fire trap triggered) has alerted Zhanna and Dephyl to the intrusion. In response, they open the trap door at the top of the stairs in the fungus room and release their pet phantom fungi down into the fungus room.
Phantom Fungi (3): hp 13, 15, 18; see Monster Manual page 149.
Tactics: The phantom fungi lope down the fungus-covered stairs. The motion of the phantom fungi sets off the shriekers, so the PCs have some warning, though they might not understand what's coming. The phantom fungi immediately begin searching for food when they leave the fungus room. They do not attempt to use their Move Silently skills until one or more of them have located the party members. Then they slow down and begin to stalk their prey.
If the PCs have already started upstairs on the southern staircase, the fungi wait until they have reached the top before coming up after them. Their instincts tell them to wait until prey is in the open so that they can use their invisibility to hunt better.
This tactic might mean that the phantom fungi do not attack the PCs until they are upstairs in the next episode. If this happens, Zhanna and Dephyl do not reveal themselves until the phantom fungi have worn the PCs down or have been defeated. If the phantom fungi can do the work for them, they won't have to get their hands dirty.
At the top of the stairs, the PCs see the shadow of a woman's body with snakes for hair. After looking for a few seconds though, they probably notice that the snakes aren't moving. Once they reach the top of the stairs, they see the body of a medusa -- turned to stone! Or is it?