Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Alternate Opening to Module A1 Slave Pits of the Undercity - pt. 2

Old Plaza: The Old Plaza is an entire acre of ground paved in broken stone. The plaza is crowded with people. Hawkers are selling foodstuffs besides weapons. Lecherous sailors chase bawdy women out in the open. A business transaction is literally ended with a knife between the ribs within sight of you. Orc soldiers ignore it all as they cling to the shadows of awnings and overhangs. The plaza is ringed on all sides by shops, taverns, and bawdy houses. Two noteworthy exceptions are the large, raised platform where slave actions are held and the temple itself.

If the PCs loiter conspicuously in the plaza, then they will encounter an ogre. He is walking by, chewing on a whole goat, when he starts harassing the PCs. Hostilities can escalate as follows:
1) 1 ogre: AC 5; HD 4+1; hp 20; Dmg 2-7+2 (goat-club).
2) 10 pirates: AC 10; F 0; hp 4 each; Dmg 1-8 (scimitars).
3) 20 half-orc guards: AC 5 (scale & shield); F 1; hp 6 each; Dmg 2-8 (broadswords); led by 2 warriors: AC 4; F 2; hp 12 each; Dmg 1-8 (longswords); and a swordsman: AC 3; F 3; hp 18; Dmg 2-8 (bastard sword).
4) 2 thaumaturgists: AC 6; M-U 5; hp 11 each; Dmg 1-4 (dagger). Spells – Magic Missile, Shield, Sleep; Levitation, Stinking Cloud; Fireball.

Surveillance on the Temple: The 40’ high walls of the temple are as ravaged by time as the plaza floor. The stone is pitted and cracked, but has no holes big enough to climb through less than 20’ high – and those only a halfling could negotiate easily. On the west side of the temple are some shops – a stonecutter’s shed and a stable. On the east side of the temple is a shorter, newer building that seems to be an extension of the temple. If the temple ever had a grand entrance, it is not concealed by this east wing. The wing is fortified like a small keep. Steps lead up to a gatehouse on the north side. Orcs watch from the arrow slits and crenellations above, while a massive portcullis blocks the 20’ wide entrance below.

By day, a dozen half-orc veterans patrol the 20’ walls of the east wing. Patrols switch off in 0-7 hours. After one hour, Davilar the Slave Lord appears in the sky on a hippogriff and lands in area 14. By night, check each turn for wandering encounters. Stirges or ghouls may come down from the walls and attack.

Key to the Temple Level
1. Secret Door
Remove bar-spike trap.
2. Bricked Up Room
Hissing and skittering, like from a large lizard, can be heard from behind the east wall. There is a 1' hole in the wall, and a 1 in 6 chance to see the basilisk on the other side.
3. Collapsed Guard Tower
Pieces of a wooden staircase still hang from the walls of this tall shaft that ascends to the roof of the temple. There are 8 ghouls and 2 ghasts on a half-ruined upper level. There is a "nest" of 20 partial corpses up there with colorful but tattered clothes, banners, and painted baubles, plus the 6 gems. There is no potion. The 27 hp ghast says, "Lord Davilar will be pleased to know we have company," and then scampers over the roof to the east wing, alerting the orcs there.
4. Treacherous Floor
The fall is 20' (for 2d6 dmg) into a lower section of area 9. The wight from there will show up in 2 rounds.

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