Penultimate Revision: February 21, 2008 - added umber hulk picutre - I'm no artist, I know - working on jermlaine image and the final cavern map and climactic encounter with the Shadow Demon
February 22, 2008 - Final Revision - maps and sketches added
April 1 - revisions based on suggestions from Iain_IF at the Dragonsfoot site
I THINK I'm done with this one :) ]
ENCOUNTER AREA J31-K31
This map provides an overview of the locations in this two-hex encounter. Note that, although the corridor is a primary passage, it is a dead end.
1. Umber Hulks
There are two Umber Hulks (hp. 44, 61) in this cave who will attack as soon as they see the party.
Near the western wall there are three corpses that can be easily seen from the entrance. The corpses are 2 drow and 1 mezzodemon. They have been dead for several months. The Jermlaine have spilled 42gp on the floor around the corpses. There are also 2 swords, a crossbow, a buckler and several javelins evident.
The Jermlaine have guard post at point a on the map. 3 Jermlaine (hp 1,1,2) and two rats (hp. 1,2). If the party begins to engage the Umber Hulks, one of the guards will run back to the Jermlaine Warren and gather 10-40 of the others to come to ambush the party. If a lightly armored party member is rendered confused by the Umber Hulks, the Jermlaine will swarm the character en masse to subdue (see FF 53-54 for tactics) and drag their victim through the tunnel at a back to the warren (area 7). If a party member falls unconscious during the battle and the opportunity presents itself, they will attempt to drag the character into the tunnel at a which leads to the Warren (area 7). If the party seems to have little difficulty handling the Umber Hulks, the Jermlaine will silently retreat up the tunnel back to the Warren and wait for the party to pass by the pool (area 2). See “The Jermlaine Plot” below for more information.
In the southernmost part of the cave b there is a corpse of fire beetle that is infested with non-intelligent yellow mold. There is a perfectly spherical stone (bluish marble) about 8” in diameter on the floor in the northern part of the room, near a.
The main corridor continues north for 550’ to the Jermlaine Warren area.
The Jermlaine Warren (areas 2-8)
Use players map for this meeting. This area is dimly lit by phosphorescent moss and lichen, normal vision to 30’.
Notes on the map: most of the warrens are above the main tunnel. Dashed lines are used to represent warren tunnels that are over the main passage. In the area just left of the number 2 on the map, however, the dashed lines represent a warren tunnel that goes under a warren chamber.
The ceiling is about 30’ here. Ledges in area 2 are about 20’ from the floor and are used for the Jermlaine to observe the party and to defend their lair. There are 74 Jermlaine in this lair, an elder Jermlaine, 54 rats, 17 giant rats and a wererat, Note that the Jermlaine typically do not fight to the death, even to defend their warren. They are much more likely to run away.
While the Jermlaine warren isn’t intended to be visited by the party, players are unpredictable so some details follow. The corridors of the Jermlaine warren are about 15” in diameter (varying between 10”-22”) unless othewise noted and the chambers are generally about 24"-30" in height (unless otherwise noted). As a general rule “chambers” in the warren NW of the main passage will have 1-12 Jermlaine and 1-4 (75%) rats or 1 (25%) giant rat. In the rat warren (the tunnels around area 5) 1-8 Giant Rats. In the other “chambers” SW of the main passage 1-10 Jermlaine and 1-3 (60%) rats or 1-2 (40%) giant rats.
The Jermlaine Plot
The bane midges have a problem. Six months ago, the Demon Sh’Lantaardal (type V – see the Secret Garden below) visited the Secret Garden and battled the purple worm whose corpse is feeding the Mushroom Forest. During the battle, he dropped an Amulet (see New Magic Items for a full description). The Jermlaine discovered it and, at first, placed it in the shrine in the secret garden. When Sh’Lantaardal discovered the amulet was missing he dispatched a shadow demon and smoke mephits to retrieve it. They traced it to the Secret Garden, but when they tried to retrieve it, the caryatid columns attacked. In the confusion, the Wererat grabbed the amulet and took it to the Jermlaine Elder who drained it of its magical powers and gave it to the Wererat as a “badge of office” as his advisor. The Shadow Demon and Mephits have virtually destroyed much of the Secret Garden and the Jermlaine are powerless to stop the creatures.
The Jermlaine intend to kidnap one of the PCs and imprison him or her demanding that the PCs kill the shadow demon and the mephits in the Secret Garden in order to secure the release of the PC. If the a member of the party was captured in area 1, the Jermlaine will send an emissary who can communicate with the humans to tell them that in order to secure the release of their comrade, they must destroy the shadow demon and the mephits that are destroying their holy place in the Secret Garden. If they fail, their comrade will die. If they refuse, their comrade will die. The Jermlaine will not tell the party of the amulet. If questioned, they will only tell the party that the Shadow demon is tearing apart their holy place and they are unable to stop it. The elder will likely respond to threats or attacks by cutting body parts off the hostage – beginning with fingers on the left hand.
If the party agrees to help the Jermlaine, they will be permitted to use the Shrieker Cave as a “safe haven” (well, safe from the Jermlaine – wandering monsters are another story…). The Jermlaine could also be counted as an ally of sorts – not completely trustworthy, but good at gathering intelligence in the Underearth. They love cloth (and have very little of it right now) so they can be bribed with virtually any kind of cloth. They don’t value gold and silver, per se (they know that others value it, so it is used as a lure for their ambushes and they make offering of it in their shrine, below, but they find no intrinsic value in precious metals), so they would be willing to allow the party to gather the coins at the shrine (area 19, below, though note the reaction of other jermlaine to the looting of their shrine).
2. Jermlaine Vandalism
The pool here is sulfurous and very cloudy. The water is 60 feet deep, but normal vision in the water is only 5’.
The pool radiates strong evil and magic because at the bottom of this is a Cursed +2 Dagger/+3 vs. creatures larger than man-sized which has been cursed to be useable by only Neutral Evil creatures. Anyone who carries the dagger must save vs. death magic once per day or begin an alignment shift toward NE (one step closer per failed save). In addition, everyone who carries the dagger must also make an INT check daily. Failure causes vague feelings of anxiety toward the dagger. Five failed checks in a row and the character will suffer from Paranoia (DMG 84), feeling that the dagger is trying to kill him/her. The dagger is in the bones of a non-animate skeleton (the former possessor). The curse on the dagger , or on the affected character (should the dagger be destroyed) can be dispelled by a successful remove curse spell cast at 16th level, or by the use of a wish.
THE WERERAT advisor (see Area 4) casts Improved Phantasmal Force on the water to make it appear to stir while the party is paying attention to it, hoping to distract them from the jermlaine activity as they pass.
If the party has been ambushed in the cavern of the Umber Hulk (area 1), the Jermlaine will vandalize them as they pass this point. While the party skirts past the pool, the Jermlaine will dart out of the tiny tunnels (9-12” in height) and partially cut straps, sheaths, belts, packs, whatever they can. They are virtually undectable (5% chance/10% for dwarves and gnomes) but will not fully cut any strap. Their goal is to get the party to stop in the Shrieker Cave to reposition equipment, repair or replace straps, etc... The party will get 400’-500’ up the corridor before the straps begin to give way.
If detected the creatures will flee into the tunnels.
They can defend the lair – they have 6 crossbows that they use as ballistae and fire down from the ledges. They also have a large boulder trap above the southern edge of the pool that will crush for 4-32 damage – Dex check for ¼ damage.
3. Terraced Steps
These ledges rise 3’, another 8’ and then 7’ (thus, the highest ledge is 18’ above the floor). There is a small ledge and 8” diameter tunnel entrance 2’ higher yet, just to the right of the number 3 on the map. Tiny steps are carved into the rock here (50% chance of noticing on casual observation). Inside the cave are always 2 Jermlaine guards (hp 3 each) and 1-3 rats (hp1 each).
4. Throne Room
Here the Jermlaine Elder, Direarn (hp4), rules his clan on a tiny carved bone throne. Beside the Elder is the Wererat Advisor, Gramil Filian, 5th level Illusionist who was infected with lycanthropy 7 years ago(Wererat Illusionist: AC 6; MV 120’; I5; hp 13; THAC0 16; #AT 1; D 1-8 or by wpn; SA Surprise on 1-4; SD +1 or silver wpn to-hit; SZ S~M; Int Very; AL LE; XP 195?? [NOTE: I figured 90 base (lvl 5) +5/hp + 40 for special ability - being a wererat/hit by silver or +1].) The Wererat wears an amulet (demonic visage in wrought gold, the very amulet the shadow demon is seeking), has a tiny dagger +2 and wears a ring of shrinking (see New Magic Items) which allows him, and items “on his person,” to shrink down to ¼ size – in his case 16” tall. His spells are:
First Level: Color Spray, Detect Invisibility, Hypnotism, Phantasmal Force
Second Level: Detect Magic, Improved Phantasmal Force
Third Level: Continual Darkness
There are always 3-12 Jermlaine, 1-6 rats and 1-3 giant rats in the throne room with the Elder and the Wererat. Gramil's spellbooks are hidden at area 20 (in the Secret Garden) with his personal treasure.
5. Rat Warren
This filthy, disgusting place is cluttered with garbage and offal. If the PCs enter this area, a general alarm will be raised by the first rat they encounter (3-6 chance every round in these warrens) which will bring the entire population of rats to the warren (normal and giant) to attack the intruders. The tunnels here are slightly larger than in most of the jermlaine warren, being a full 30" in height and about 24" in width. In this warren, the rats will fight to the death. This area has become the dump for the Jermlaines’ waste. In the central chamber there is a pit, 3’ across and falls 32’ into a small tributary of the Svartjet. The rats push anything they don’t want into this pit where it washes downstream. A search of the central chamber could reveal chain+1, longsword +1, shortsword +1, 351 sp, 14 gp, arrowheads, spear heads, daggers, swords, bits of chainmail, helmets, etc.
6. Blackmail/Torture Cave
This cavern (8' ceiling) is bloody and fetid. When they manage to capture prey, the Jermlaine drag the victims from the Shrieker Cave to torment them before they drag them off for sport (typically, they leave their victims naked and tied up in a main passage and wait to see what shows up). If the Jermlaine plan works, they will hold the captured PC in this cave (or 7, below) until the party dispatches the Shadow Demon and his minions. 6a is a 2’-3’ wide (2’ high) tunnel that leads to The Shrieker Cave (area 9).
7. Blackmail/Torture Cave
This cave (5' ceiling) is less gruesome than area 6 as it is less well used by the Jermlaine. Still, evidence of their treatment of their victims is easily found here. If one of the PCs is captured in area 1, he/she will be held in this chamber until the PCs come to the rescue of the hostage or the Jermlaine. 7a is a tunnel that varies from 1 ½’- 3’ in width and is just under 2’ high and leads to Area 1 – the Umber Hulks.
8. Trophy Room
This chamber soars at 6' in height. 6 Jermlaine (2 hp each) and 1-6 rats are always present. Lining the walls and filling the room are the trophies of the Jermlaines’ conquests. There are skulls from drow, dueregar, kuo-toa, an ogre and a troll. There are a couple of weapons here (a normal war hammer, a normal sword, a shortsword +1 and a helm of telepathy) and 13 ornamental gemstones (DM choice – base 10gp value each) and 2 small purple amethysts (base 100gp value each).
9. Ambush Chamber
The main corridor (height 14') runs about 650’ N/NW from the Jermlaine Warren to this cave.Just above the entrance, hanging from the ceiling (height 22’) is a shrieker (16 hp). Whenever anyone enters the cave, it will begin screaming. It is surrounded by other large fungi (non-animate) and is difficult to see.
There is a pool in the southern part of the cave that glows brightly (a continual light spell has been cast on a 35gp value gem and tossed inside the pool). The room is infested with a grey mold that is virtually invisible (5% chance/10% for dwarves and gnomes) even in the brightest of light. After three rounds of exposure anyone who breathes the air in the room must save vs. poison or fall to sleep (unable to be awakened for 3-12 hours). After four rounds of exposure, the save is at –1, after five rounds the save is –2, etc. The shrieker will alert the Jermlaine to the presence of people in this room. They are immune to the effects of the mold. When the Jermlaine get to the room they will trigger a globe of continual darkness to disorient anyone who is still awake, then drag off the weakest looking sleeping party member down the tunnel (height varies from 2-3', width is 3') to Blackmail/Torture Cave 6.
If the party falls victim to the sleeping mold, they will awake to see a Jermlaine "Ambassador" who has come to bargain with them for their comrade's life. They will trade his/her life for the destruction of the Shadow Demon and the Smoke Mephits in the Secret Garden. If they party agrees, they will be led by a squad of 10 Jermlaine to the Tube (see below).
Those who sleep in this cave for at least 6 hours will have the equivalent of 24 hours of good solid rest (hit points restored, rested for spells, etc.) They will be immune to the effect of the mold for 1 day (this is cumulative – that is, if they succumb to the effects of the mold 3 times, they will be immune for 3 days – until they have succumbed to the effects 10 times – thereafter, they are completely immune to the sleeping effects). Also, the water in the fountain acts as a weak potion of healing (curing 1d4-1 hp per dose). Up to 10 doses can be drawn from the pool, after which the pool will take 20 days to replenish. The potions lose their effectiveness after two days.
10. The Tube
Traveling N/NW for 1300’, the party will come to The Tube. The 40’ wide corridor here is transected by a very smooth, 12’ diameter tunnel that cuts through the corridor at a 90 degree angle (see map area). Some creature ages ago bored through the stone here. The lower tube winds for several thousand feet through solid rock ending at a cave in (unless the DM chooses to develop this area further). The upper bore leads to the Secret Garden and beyond. The party will have to contrive a way to climb this tube. If the Jermlaine have led them here, they will signal some others at the top who will lower a rope from the top of the shaft down to the party. Anything that makes too much noise will attract the attention of the Shadow Demon who will come to investigate (see area 19) who will attack.
The ceiling of the corridor here is 20’ here and the Tube is 80’ beyond, straight up (that is, the Secret Garden area 11 is 100' above the corridor floor here).
60’ up the tube (20' from the top) there is a Tentamort (hp. 10/10/24) that the Jermlaine do not know about. The tentamort will attack any creature larger than a Jermlaine who climbs the Tube. Any Jermlaine climbing with the party will attack the Tentamort.
The Tube leads to area 11 in the Secret Garden.
The Secret Garden (area 11-20)
This cavern can only be accessed via the Tube, thus very few creatures in the Underearth know of its existence. The Jermlaine clans in the area have claimed the shrine in the center as a holy place, so there are always Jermlaine in the area. The mushroom garden and the Lichen beds are major food sources for the Jermlaine clans in the area.
The cavern is dimly lit by phosphorescent moss that clings to nearly every exposed surface. Normal vision is 40’. The ceiling of the cavern is 200’ at the apex (above the shrine) tapering down like a dome.
Note: the sounds of combat in any area will draw the attention of nearly every denizen of the Secret Garden – especially the Shadow Demon and the Mephits who begin in area 19 below, the Shrine of the Jermlaine.
Random encounters in the Secret Garden (check once per turn a 6 on d6):
1-3 1-4 shadows
4 1 Smoke Mephit (from area 19)
5 1-2 Giant Spiders (from area 17)
6-7 3-12 Jermlaine (50% from the clan the PCs might be helping, 50% from a hostile clan)
8 1-3 Myconids (from area 15)
9 1-4 Cave Crickets
10 The Shadow Demon (from area 19)
CAVE CRICKET: AC 4; MV 60’/30’; HD 1+3; hp 4-11; THAC0 -; #AT -; D -; SA Jump kick; SZ S-M; Int Anim; AL N; XP 20+2/hp. (MM2)
JERMLAINE: AC 7; MV 150’; HD ½ ; hp 1-4; THAC0 20; #AT 1; D 1-2 or 1-4; SA Traps; SD Save as F4; SZ S; Int Avg; AL NE; XP 7+1/hp. (FF)
SHADOW: AC 7; MV 120’; HD 3+3; hp 6-27; THAC0 16; #AT 1; D 2-5; SA Drain STR; SD +1 wpn to-hit, 90% Hide in Shadows; SZ M; Int Low; AL CE; XP 225+4/hp (MM)
11. The Tube
The Tube drops 80’ from here to the ceiling of area 10 below. The Tube continues up another 220’ before abruptly changing direction at an unstable point in the rock (which caused a cave in at that point, again, unless the DM wants to develop this further). The opening here in "the Tube" is a 12' diameter hole that opens into the Secret Garden cavern.
12. Crystal Garden
This area of the cavern is filled with beautiful crystalline stalactites – Crystal Spires. The dim light in the cave is reflected and refracted here and strangely amplified, so in some areas it is almost as bright as sunlight. The stalactites are fairly fragile, and some have been damaged by the shadow demon in its search for the amulet. The mephits will not willingly enter the area of the Crystal Garden (though they may be forced by the Shadow Demon - they will attack at -3 if they must melee in the Crystal Garden due to the brightness of the light).
There are 2 Crystal Oozes in the Crystal Garden (hp. 8, 18, 19). The Jermlaine know about them and know how to look for them. Untrained eyes will find them very difficult to spot among the rubble of the shattered crystals (20% chance, 30% for dwarves and gnomes).
Clinging to the ceiling near one of the largest Crystal Spires is a Large Crysmal (hp 32) that will drop on a party member if it can. The Crysmal has 8 rough beryl (50 gp base value) gemstones in its craw. The Jermlaine do not know about the Crysmal and the Crysmal ignores the Jermlaine unless attacked.
13. Ancient Ruins
Several walls stand here, though what the structures were originally used for is impossible to discern. In one ruin, three of four walls and part of a roof remain, making a defensible position, should the need arise. Among the rubble is a deep gnome skull with a silver tooth (value 1 gp)
14. The Tower
The Jermlaine have carved a fortress in a giant column here. There are 20-80 (2d4x10) Jermlaine (hp 2 each) in the Tower at any given time from all of the clans in the area (2-12 will be from the Jermlaine clan included in this encounter). Tiny windows and balconies riddle the column from floor to ceiling of this cavern. There are tunnels radiating out from above and beneath The Tower to every major Jermlaine clan in the Underearth. The Jermlaine here will not aid or hinder the party in any way (but will watch from the balconies and windows). If the fight goes badly for the party, the Jermlaine will attempt to loot the bodies of the fallen.
15. Mushroom Garden
This area is a giant mushroom field. In the middle of a depression in the rock here is the corpse of a huge purple worm that wandered up the Tube into the Secret Garden 6 months ago. The Demon Sh'Lantaaral happened to be in the cavern at the time and battled the purple worm, killing it here.
This area is tended by a circle of Myconid :(4) 1HD (hp 5 each), (4) 2HD (hp 10 each) (4) 3HD (hp 15 each) (4) 4HD (hp 20 each) and (2) 5HD (hp 25 each). Two of the eldest/largest Myconids have been killed by the Shadow Demon.
The Mushroom men will not be attracted by the sounds of combat in the cavern and will only attack if the mushroom garden is threatened in any way.
16. Lichen Beds
This terraced area is covered with lichen. 50% likely there will be 3 Giant Spiders (19,20, 24) here hunting the giant insects that lurk in the lichen.
17. Spider Lair
There are 7 Giant Spiders here (unless three of them have been encountered in the Lichen Bed) (hp 17, 19, 19, 20, 24, 25, 33). The lair contains a rotting backpack with 123 gp, 27 (base 100gpv) gems, bracers of defense AC5, drow buckler +1, drow sword +2.
18. Water Pool
A stream falls from a crevice high on the cave wall (about 30’) and crashes down here into a pool. The water is tastes sweet but is mildly poisonous (save at +4 or suffer dysentery for 1d4 days).
19. The Shrine of the Jermlaine
The Jermlaine discovered a small shrine here to an unknown and forgotten god on this little island in the pond. They bring various treasures here as an offering.
Outside the shrine (unless something has drawn its attention, like combat), attempting to contact Sh’Lantraardal is a Shadow Demon. The Shadow Demon is in a trance-like state, while the five Mephits are moving nervously around it.
When they notice the party, one of the mephits will arouse their master. The party will have one free round to attack the shadow demon while it comes out of its trance, though the remaining four mephits will attack immediately.
The Shadow Demon's first attack will be to cast 10' Radius Darkness over an obvious spellcaster, then 30; radius fear. It will attempt to magic jar the closest character into the 1,000 gp ruby in the island treasure pile. It will then attack with its claws. Bear in mind that the Shadow Demon can move very fast, so it is likely to sprint around the area, clawing at the party as it charges past - leaping up to 30' to crash into characters before leaping away.
SHADOW DEMON: AC 5; MV 120’; HD 7+3; hp 44; THAC0 13; #AT 3; D 1-8/1-6/1-6; SA Melee Bonus +1; SD Immune to Fire/Cold/Lightning; SZ M; Int Very High; AL CE; XP 825+10+2/hp (FF)
5 SMOKE MEPHITS: AC 4; MV 120’/240’; MC: B; HD 3+1; hp 15, 16, 19, 21, 22; THAC0 16; #AT 2; D 1-2/1-2 ; SA Ball of Smoke Breath Wpn (1-4,3/day), Invisibility/Dancing Lights (1/day), Gate 1-2 Mephits (25%, 1/hr); SD Immune to fire; SZ M; Int Avg; AL *E; XP 105+3/hp. (FF)
On the island are the remains of the caryatid columns that once guarded the shrine of the Jermlaine. The shrine itself resembles a marble gazebo, 20' in diameter, 10' high, with a statue in the center. It is difficult to tell exactly what the statue once looked like as the Jermlaine have worked it "into their own image." Scattered around the base of the statue are 2,214 gp, 5,198 ep, 11,345 sp, 6,003 cp, 3 bloodstones (50 gpv), 2 Garnets (100 gpv), 1 opal (1000 gpv), 1 ruby (1,000 gpv), a potion of plant control, a potion of polymorph (self), five potions of extra healing, a scroll of protection (demons), four arrows +1, a javelin of piercing, and a necklace of missles. These treasures are offerings made by many different jermlaine clans in the area. If the party loots the shrine, they will incur the wrath of all the jermlaine clans who will stalk them and seek to ambush them, trap them or get them killed in dangerous areas. They will stir up monsters in the party's path, make noise when they are trying to be silent, etc. It is up to the DM to determine how long this torment lasts.
NOTE If the encounter is too easy for the party, Sh’Lantaardal could gate in. He will not immediately attack the party, however, even if they are decimating his servants. He might call for a truce to demand his amulet be returned. If the party knows nothing about it, chooses to attack or refuses to help Sh'Lantaardal, he will attack as potently as he is able. Should they agree to return the amulet, he will promise rewards to them, though if they succeed in returning his amulet he will immediately attack them (thinking that the amulet will return him to his home plane should they get the best of him. He does not know the magic has been drained from the amulet).
Sh'Lantaardal - Type V Demon: AC -7/-5; MV 120’; HD 7+7; hp 40; THAC0 12; #AT 7; D by wpn; SA Spells; SD +1 wpn to-hit, Darkvision 60’; MR 80%; SZ L; Int High; AL CE; XP 3,480. (MM)
20. Gramil Filian's Sanctuary
Gramil, the Wererat Advisor to the jermlaine, discovered this small cave tucked away behind the waterfall. Here he keeps his spellbooks and his personal treasure contained in a small locked chest. The lock is trapped with a poison needle (save vs. poison or suffer 1 hp/round loss for 4-40 rounds) The treasure consists of a staff of command with 2 charges left, a potion of flying, 214 gp, and, of course, his spellbooks which contain the following spells:
First Level: Color Spray, Change Self, Dancing Lights, Detect Invisibility, Hypnotism, Light, Phantasmal Force
Second Level: Blindness, Deafness, Detect Magic, Improved Phantasmal Force, Magic Mouth
Third Level: Continual Darkness , Suggestion
21. The Corridor Ends
The main corridor dead ends here. While a good bit of this passage has been worked stone, the work ends abruptly. If the party searches, they will find some very old, rusted pickaxes and shovels. They can also trace several runes that were once, long ago, chiseled into the stone where the workers stopped. The stone that the rune is chiseled onto is a very different stone in color and texture to what is around in the corridor (it is a greenish marble with black veins running through it).
Amulet of Sh’Lantaardal
Before the Jermlaine Elder drained the magic power from this amulet, its function was to return Sh’Lantaardal to his palace before a death blow could be delivered. A simple enchant item spell will restore the function.
Ring of Shrinking
This ring causes the wearer and all items “on his/her person” to shrink to ¼ size. The effect lasts until the ring is removed. The transformation takes one round.
Cursed Dagger+2/+3 vs. creatures larger than man-sized This weapon has been cursed to be useable by only Neutral Evil creatures. Anyone who carries the dagger must perform an INT check once per day or begin an alignment shift toward NE. Even LE characters must perform this INT check daily. Success causes vague feelings of anxiety toward the dagger. Five successful checks in a row and the character will suffer from Paranoia (DMG 84), feeling that the dagger is trying to kill him/her.