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Once again we delve into the grand ruins, this time with a trio of maps of the ruins attached to the old cathedral on the eastern side of the ruins overview.

The Grand Ruins Overview

The Grand Ruins Overview

Known simply as the Fortress East, this portion of the dungeon is accessed (at least initially) by going through the door at the back of the cathedral ruins into a small area guarded by a group of night folk (think dark stalkers from the Fiend Folio). But they are perfectly willing to work with the adventurers to allow passage into the depths beyond for only a small fee (or no fee at all if the adventurers look particularly frightening). They are also a source of good rumours about what lives within the fortress, including of course the notorious spider dragon.

Other entrances include a few holes and cracks and chimneys in the natural caverns beyond the entrance, which later are used by marauding halflings searching for the spider dragon’s treasure. And of course other creatures dark and unpleasant can make their appearances by crossing the black lake on the north side of this level.

The main cavern here is infested with carnivorous cave beetles, and the northern extension leads to a massive fungal cave occupied by shriekers and cave locusts. The small tunnels to the east of the fungal cavern is home to some wererats who jump into the fight when the shriekers freak out. Kobolds infest the area over the bridge (with the access to the lower level) and a small tribe of lizard folk are in the complex on the lower right side of the map.

The Fortress East - Level 1

The Fortress East - Level 1

Lower levels are smaller than the the main level, but contain their own hidden dangers. The eastern side of level 2 is home to a pack of harpies and their hobgoblin slaves, while the western side is home to a pair of cockatrices (and the main hall on the west side is a mess of statues…) The two rooms just north of the entrance are home to a trio of ogres and the passage linking their two rooms contains a nook with a very mouthy gargoyle fountain that will dispense potions to those who pay it well and flatter it. Coins thrown into the fountain disappear, and then the gargoyle sprays an immediate-use-only version of a potion out of it’s mouth. He is a mouthy jerk, and of course he over charges (roughly 750 gp per spell level of a potion) but he’s the only game in town when your team leader has been turned to stone by the cockatrices.

The Fortress East - Level 2

The Fortress East - Level 2

Level 3 is two separate sections that are only linked via level 2 of the structure. The southern end is home to all sorts of nasty cavern dwellers (molds and slimes and such) while the north side is home to the spider dragon in the northernmost room (statted out as a black dragon who’s breath weapon also reduces the movement rate of those struck by half for 1 turn unless the save against dragon breath was made) as well as a Willow the Wisp who likes to lure adventurers into the dragon’s lair and a pair of giant mutant spider creatures (just ogre stats with scary eyes) in the southernmost rooms.

The Fortress East - Level 3

The Fortress East - Level 3

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