Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Moleskine Maps stocking #2 - Drokki's Tomb

I previously reviewed and stocked a random dungeon from +matt jackson's Moleskine Maps IV, so time to desecrate, er, stock a random map from Moleskine Maps V.

Like MM IV, the maps are compact one-pagers, suitable for quick populating for one-offs and the like.  I rolled the die, and set to making a story for the second map in the booklet.
P. 5-6 of Moleskine Maps V, numbering mine.
It's not often that you're asked to put something back into a tomb.  After all, you're tomb robbers...

But here you are, with the skull of Drokki Flintbraid, tasked by his older brother Flokki to inter it into Drokki's tomb.  Drokki tried to follow his brother's footsteps as a warrior against the under-fiends, but was slain, his head becoming just another trophy on some ogre chief's war-staff.  Fortunately, the skull was recovered in a subsequent battle, and through some clever auguries, its original owner was identified.

Everyone knows that dwarves begin digging their own tombs at the age of majority, expanding and making them more elaborate as time goes on.

Flokki had left home to campaign against the orcs well before his younger brother, so didn't have much information on the tomb, other than its location ("One hundred paces up-canyon from mine. Can't miss it") and that it was likely small.  Drokki had not had the time to put a credible effort into its construction in his 'few' years.  Flokki expected the tomb to be expanded off an existing cavern. He shrugged, doubting that his younger brother had had time to carve or drag in a suitable sarcophagus, but "He might'n still left some surprises in there, ya never know..."

And so Flokki needs some couriers to take his brother back. "Just put 'im down in the name-room so his ghost'll feel at home, may take a try or two to find it. I'd a-hidden it if I were him."

Why his own brother can't inter Drokki himself is some superstitious dwarven oddity.  And, well, after Flokki extricated you from that whole awkward affair involving the cask of gnomish whisky, the half-orc war-maiden, the mule, and the basilisk egg, you figure you own him one...

So once again, tomb, skull.

1. Carved steps lead up to a rough cavern.  Drokki picked a location suitable for a dwarf, with a vein of red, pink and green garnet exposed in one wall.  He left them in place, but a greedy soul could pick out 10 gp worth of uncut, raw gems for every 2 turns of labor (up to 120 gp). But best not to meet a bunch of local dwarves with the stones in your pockets and be branded a sacrilegious lout, or worse...

2. More carved steps lead down into the dark to a second cavern.  A few objects glitter on the floor among some tatters of clothing and harness that have a dissolved appearance to them.  Lurking on the roof is a dark red 'Bloody' slime (2+5 HD/12 HP, AC 9/10, Mv 0, 1/2 damage from normal weapons; immune to acid and cold attacks; magic, electrical and heat/flame attacks cause normal damage). The shiny bits are gems worth 9, 12, 30, 2x50, and 60 gp, the sole remains of a luckless halfling burglar.

3. The floor of this small side cavern has a number of levers arrayed across the floor before several pipes of differing lengths and thicknesses.  Anyone with sufficient dwarven lore will recognize it as a dwarven musical instrument/art installation, the Hammer Calliope.  A dwarf dancing one of their lumbering jigs across it will make a jolly, if cacophonous, tune. Anyone taller than a dwarf stepping on one of the levers will get thwacked in the head by one of the hidden ceiling-mounted hammers (1d4+1 damage).

4.  The rock column between Rooms 3 and 4 is carved with narrative pictographs and figures of dwarven legend.  There are no items of value incorporated into the carvings; however, close examination will reveal that a cobra-shaped carving is of a differing stone than the surrounding column.  With a bit of prying, it will come loose.  Other than being of moderately good workmanship, it doesn't appear to be significantly valuable.

5. A curving set of steps leads downward off the cavern.  1d4+1 Giant Vampire Bats are dozing along the roof of the cave. They will wake to any significant intrusion and commotion in their cave, attacking once, then flying out of the cave network.

6. An iron-bound door of dwarven manufacture seals the passageway.  A complex and finely-crafted lock (-5% penalty to pick) secures the door.  If the lock cannot be picked, the door can sustain 30 HP of bludgeoning damage before being sundered open. Anyone entering the room will activate its guardians, two Iron Cobras (6,8 HP, attack 1d4 + poison (save +2 or die)). If the party has the stone cobra (Room 4) in its possession, the Cobras will deactivate as long as the figurine is within their line of sight.

Drokki had stored a number of war-trophies and ceremonial items here in preparation for his final rest.  Battered orc and hobgoblin shields and war helmets (15, negligible value), pipestone effigies and smoking pipes (6 x 25 gp), ogre skull chased with silver wire (75 gp), small silver box filled with incense (100 gp), ornate ironwood chieftain's club with griffin feathers (150 gp), dwarven ceremonial plate armor (300 gp).  Looting these items would be in particularly bad taste and would be considered desecration if found in one's possession by Drokki's kin.

In the northwest corner, a passageway is roughly hidden under several paver-stones.

7. The hidden tunnel leads to Drokkis's intended final resting place.  The tunnel necks down, requiring halflings and dwarves to crouch, and taller character to crawl.  The sarcophagus-room is likewise compact, with a 5' tall roof.  A pair of ever-burning torches light the small room.  As Flokki predicted, there is no sarcophagus here yet.

Carved on the wall in dwarven runes is Drokki's full name, a convoluted compound of ancestral and descriptive names, meant to be recited in full upon one's birth, coming of age, marriage or other important social contracts, and death.  If anyone in the group reads the runes out loud, at the end of the recitation, a sigh will emanate from Flokki's skull, as his spirit finds its place at home.  Any non-dwarves in the group will receive a +1 reaction bonus when encountering unfamiliar dwarves for a period of one year and a day, as they are marked with the aura of "those who bring our brothers home."

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