Last month I posted the map for the Ruins of the Gorgon as part of my experiment to see how long it takes me to draw a typical map (for the record – two hours for this one with all the crosshatching).
Today, I’m going to stock it.
First off, with a name like “Ruins of the Gorgon”, it definitely needs something other than a Gorgon as the main bad guy. Because that’s just how I roll. So off to my Uniquely Undead article I go to create an undead bull to replace the gorgon. While I’m at it, I’ll probably add at least one other unique undead.
Ruins of the Gorgon is an adventure for level 4 characters, who will probably be expecting to find a gorgon somewhere in the depths of the ruins. And who may already be complaining that they are only level 4, and a gorgon has 8 Hit Dice. Smack them down already, and explore the ruins!
Both entrances into the ruins are accessible by secret doors. Thus it is best if the party has a hook bringing them here that includes either someone who knows the entrance or a map indicating where the trap door to area B is. The expected routing through the dungeon is to enter through the trap door to area B, and then explore to C then D, however a party can shortcut this by using the other secret door and then going straight down to D (although few adventurers in my experience have the balls to just skip deep into the heart of a dungeon without exploring the upper sections). This adventure uses several new ‘surprise’ undead – don’t point out that they are undead to the players.
Wandering Monsters (1 in 6, check each turn)
- 1d8 Hobgoblins
- 1d4 Mountain Lions
- 1d4 Black Bears
- 1d8 Oil Beetles
- 1d8 Gnomes
- 1d3 Carrion Crawlers
- 1 Gelatinous Cube
- 1d8 Shadows
Area A – The Surface Ruins
The ruins can be found by looking for Prince Erin’s Folly, a small fortress on a hilltop. Just below the fortress are the ruins of a few buildings and part of a structure built into the hillside. There are two entrances into the ruins from here – one is a very well concealed secret door in the ruins built into the hillside,the other being a trap door concealed beneath leaves and litter in the southern portion of the ruined buildings (the one without the tree).
1. The Guarded Entrance – A pair of Iron Living Statues (AC: 2, HD: 4, hp: 24, 21, Mv: 30’ (10’), Att: 2, Dmg: 1d8/1d8, Sv: F4, M: 11, special: absorbs non-magic metal weapons) guard this entrance and will not leave the room. Anyone passing through the archway to the stairs without saying “gorgon”in orcish must save versus spells or be rendered unconscious for d6+1 turns. These stairs lead to areas 8 and 15.
2. Prince Erin’s Folly – 12 Hobgoblins (AC: 6, HD: 1+1, hp: 9, 8, 8, 8, 7, 6, 6, 6, 5, 5, 4, 3, Mv: 90’ (30’), Att: 1, Dmg: 1d8, Sv: F1, M: 8 ) have set up here while tryingto figure out where their prey went. They are split between the rooms, with a few on guard on the roof. In a locked and poison needle-trapped cofferthey have 3,000 gp. The 8 hp hobgoblins each have a 100 gp emerald.
Area B – Entrance Chambers
3. The Escaped Prey – 5 Troglodytes (AC: 5, HD: 2*, Mv: 120’ (40’), Att: 3, Dmg: 1d4 (x3), Sv: F2, M: 9) are resting and preparing to return to the surface.
4. Orcish Temple – remains of mosaics on the wall hint that this was once a temple to one or more orc gods. It is being used as a latrine by the trogs.
5. Barricaded Stairs – the door to this room is barricaded with remnants of furniture from room 4. A pair of Troglodyte Ghouls (AC: 6, HD: 3**, hp: 15, 16, Mv: 90’ (30’), Att: 3, Dmg: 1d3 (x3) + paralysis, Sv: F3, M: 9, Special: paralysis, camouflage (surprise on 1-4) and troglodyte stink) wait for their companions to free them again. The stairs lead to room 6.
Area C – The Main Ruins
6. Torchlight – This chamber has spiral stairs leading up to room 5. Sconces in the north and south walls contain torches that light magically when someone enters the room. Any torch will work in the sconces, and the torch burns down as normal.
7. An Infestation of Gnomes – The orcs once kept a slave population of gnomes that still thrive in the darkness, eating mushrooms, slimes and each other. Each of the three rooms along this hall is home to d8+1 Feral Gnomes (AC: 5, HD: 1+1, Mv: 60’ (20’), Att: 1, Dmg: 1d6, Sv: D1, M: 9). Between the three rooms there is a potion of healing, a potion of growth, and 4 gems (50, 100, 100 and 500 gp values).
8. Warlord’s Respite – The stairs to the north of this room go up to area 1 and down to area 15. The pillars are carved with representations of orcish warlords and the tapestry on the south wall shows an orc in black armour standing over a mass of gnome slaves. Anyone touching this tapestry must save versus spells or be struck by a feeble curse (from the random curse table).
9. Slime – A mass of mushrooms fill this moist room, and the floor is covered in slime mold. A Gray Ooze (AC: 8, HD: 3*, hp: 15, Mv: 10’ (3’), Att: 1, Dmg: 2d8, Sv: F2, M: 12) is lurking on the floor waiting for tasty gnomes.
10. Slime Redux – The floor of this room is covered in an immense Gray Ooze (AC: 8, HD: 5*, hp: 26, Mv: 10’ (3’), Att: 1, Dmg: 2d8+2, Sv: F3, M: 12) that has eaten the other mushrooms and is encroaching on the dais in the corner. The only other living thing is the mass of Green Slime on the ceiling (AC: n/a, HD: 2, hp: 7, Mv: 3’ (1’), Att: 1, Dmg: special, Sv: F1, M: 12). On the dais is an iron throne. Anyone sitting on the throne must save versus magic. If the save succeeds, they gain +1 Strength for 12 hours. If they fail, they suffer a curse (roll on the random curse table).
11. Displayed Stone – The room at the top of these stairs contains a raised platform with two statues of orcs in combat poses. They could definitely be mistaken for orcs turned to stone by a gorgon or something similar.
12. Premonitions – This room is full of statuary of various things, including many small animals, a few gnomes, and a few that were evidently adventurers. One is an actual statue of an orc warrior which contains a secret compartment containing a wand of cold with 5 charges. Opening the compartment releases a poisonous dust (save versus poison or suffer 3d12 damage).
13. The Cockatrice – this was once home to a cockatrice which was slain by the gnomes when it got out of hand. Now 4 Gnomes (AC: 5, HD: 1+1, hp: 9, 8, 7, 5, Mv: 60’ (20’), Att: 1, Dmg: 1d6, Sv: D1, M: 9) and a Gnomish Sorcerer (AC: 5, HD: 4, hp: 12, Mv: 60’ (20’), Att: 1, Dmg: 1d6, Sv: D1, M: 9, Special: sleep, charm person, mirror image, web) live here with the dead cockatrice set up on wires to distract attackers. The sorcerer has the key to the well room south of room 14.
14. Well Chamber – The room to the south of this chamber contains a fresh water well. The door to that room is locked. This room contains several barrels of water drawn from the well, a few buckets and old water-logged rope. A pair of Giant Weasels guard the room for the gnomes (AC: 7, HD: 4+4, hp: 30, 16, Mv: 150’ (50’), Att: 1, Dmg: 2d4, Sv: F3, M: 8 )
Area D – The Depths
15. Antechamber – A pair of Iron Living Statues (AC: 2, HD: 4, hp: 24, 21, Mv: 30’ (10’), Att: 2, Dmg: 1d8/1d8, Sv: F4, M: 11, special: absorbs non-magic metal weapons) guard this antechamber and will not leave the room, nor will they attack the iron bull from area 16 if it comes through here.
16. The Iron Bull – This room is decorated with tattered tapestries and is home to the Iron Bull (AC: 3, HD: 4*, Move: 90’ (30’), Att: 1, Dmg: 1d12, Sv: F4, M: 10) The iron bull is a massive undead bull covered in metal plates. Upon first coming into contact with the iron bull, all characters must save versus paralysis or be paralyzed in fear for 1d6+1 rounds. The iron bull regenerates 3 hp per round. On the west wall is a ruined bookshelf and scattered among the wrecked books are two scrolls – a scroll of protection from lycanthropes and a cursed scroll (roll on the random curse table).
17. The Lost Pit – This secret chamber contains a deep (20’) central pit with stairs leading down around the periphery. 5 Shadows of long-dead elves attack any who enter the room (AC: 7, HD: 2+2*, hp: 15, 10, 9, 9, 8, Mv: 90’ (30’), Att: 1, Dmg: 1d4 + strength drain, Sv: F2, M: 12). At the bottom of the pit is the dried remains of a once-massive ooze of some kind. Anyone touching the dried remains must save versus poison or become very ill and die within 1d3 turns. Mixed in with the remains of the ooze are 3,000 gp, a gold crown worth 1,200 gp, and a Sword +1, +3 versus lycanthropes.