Weekly Grind - Room 2 Description
The First Shrine
The northern door in Room 1 leads into the first of a series of chambers that makes up an evil shrine in this level of the dungeon. When the PCs enter this room, read or paraphrase the following to them.
The ancient hinges protest loudly as the door opens, revealing a chamber lit by flickering torches mounted on columns in the center of the room. A pair of curtains hang from the ceiling of this room, one covering a wall, the other an alcove on the far side of the chamber. In the center of the room is a stone font that appears to be filled with blood. It is matched by a font filled with water set into the far wall. There are ominous stains on the floor, leading from behind the curtain to a door opposite where you entered.
This chamber is the first shrine in a series of shrines dedicated to the demonic lords of the lower planes. Although constructed centuries ago during the reign of the Wailing Prince, these shrines are currently being used by the masters of this dungeon for their own foul ends.
This chamber has a number of features, each of which is described below. There is the curtain on the western wall that covers a magic mural on the wall. There are the two fonts, one filled with magic water, the other with blood that rewards sacrifice. Finally, there is the altar in the north alcove, overseen by a rather cruel and sadistic pair of quasits. There are three ways out of this room. The way the PCs entered, the door opposite, which leads deeper into the shrine, and a door at the bottom of a short run of stairs that leads to the holding cells of this dungeon (there is also a set of unlocked masterwork manacles down by this door, left here by the last prisoner, Jonar).
The Fonts: In the center of the room is a stone font filled with blood. Set into the far wall is another stone font, filled with water. Each of these fonts is magical, and is part of a complex ritual to offer up sacrifice to the demonic lords. First is the water filled font. Anyone who washes their hands and face in this font is the subject of a targeted greater dispel magic with a caster level of 16th (stripping them of up to 4 enchantments, but not the suggestion effect). In addition, the subject takes a –4 penalty on all Will saving throws for the next 10 minutes. This font radiates strong abjuration and enchantment.
The second font is filled with blood and radiates strong necromancy and transmutation magic, but also an odd enchantment aura from the center of the pool. Anyone who uses the dagger from the altar (see below) to offer up a sacrifice to this pool, receives a boon. Each offering attempt causes the subject to gain 1 point of taint. As the blood from the sacrifice drips into the font, it transforms into a blood ruby worth 50 gp for each point of damage dealt. Finally, anyone placing their hand into the pool receives 1 point of taint, but can attempt a DC 10 Perception skill check to uncover a corrupted silver holy symbol that is terribly marred with demonic curses (see the magic item description at the end of this room description). Retrieving this amulet is worth 400 xp.
The Altar: Behind the curtain on the north side of the room is an altar dedicated to the demonic lords. It is attended by a pair of invisible quasits, as noted in the monster section below. The altar itself is made of black stone, inscribed with the names of dozens of powerful fiends in abyssal. In the center of these names, slightly larger than the rest is “Targen Amaloss”. Atop the altar is a pair of iron braziers, lit with a fire that produces an oily, black smoke. Between them is a blood soaked dagger. The dagger on this altar is a fiend-cursed dagger, which is used in many of the rituals in this dungeon. See the end of this room description for more information.
Finally, there are six blocks of incense atop the altar, of different colors: red, green, black, yellow, brown, and violet. If burned, the incense has the following effects.
Red: Burning this block causes a burst of flame to emanate from the altar, dealing 2d6 points of fire damage to all with 10 feet. A DC 14 Reflex save halves the damage.
Green: Causes a noxious green smoke to pour from the brazier, but otherwise has no effect.
Black: The smoke pours from the braziers, hanging in the air, forming a demonic eye. Bloody tears fall from the eye, coalescing into a single flawless diamond, worth 500 gp that radiates a faint aura of evil.
Yellow: A think white smoke pours from the brazier, and one of the quasits (if they are still alive) casts commune allowing the PCs to ask one question of his abyssal master.
Brown: A poisonous gas pours from the brazier, causing all living creatures within 20 feet to take 1d4 points of Constitution damage unless they make a DC 15 Fortitude save. The gas remains for 1 minute, forcing anyone inside to make the save each round.
Violet: Every PC that willingly inhales this sparkling smoke gains 1 point of taint and permanently adds one to an ability score of their choice.
The Mural (CR 3): Behind the curtain on the western wall of the room is a mural that radiates moderate enchantment. The mural depicts a host of demons performing foul acts on the people of the nearby city (this is clear from the livery worn by the guards that are being torn apart by a vrock). The closest creature to view this mural is the target of a powerful form of suggestion that compels them to undertake a specific course of action (this occurs each time the curtain is pulled back, possibly by the quasits if the PCs refuse to investigate). A DC 20 Will save negates this effect. If the save fails, the target spends the next hour attempting to complete these actions, and will lie and fight others to accomplish these goals. They are in order, as follows.
1. Wash hands and face in the water filled font.
2. Walk to the altar and offer a prayer in abyssal to the demonic lords, and in specific, thanks to Targen Amaloss, burning a random piece of incense.
3. Take the dagger, and drive it through one hand, dealing 1d4 points of damage.
4. Walk over the blood font and pull the dagger out, dealing 1d3 points of damage and letting those fall into the font, forming blood rubies.
5. A PC that completes all of these steps is the subject of a bestow curse, causing them to gain one point of taint each day unless they succeed at a DC 15 Will save upon waking.
Monsters (CR 4): A pair of quasits live in this chamber, intent upon causing pain and mischief. The moment the PCs enter this room, the two use their spell-like ability to become invisible. From this point onward, the two take on the role of spirits that watch over the chamber. One, who calls himself “Elon”, gives nothing but bad advice. The other, who calls himself “Nole” gives nothing but good advice. Once this pattern has been established though, the two swap, with Elon giving good advice, and Nole giving bad. A DC 15 Sense motive skill check reveals which is being honest in its advice. They do this as long as it amuses them. In particular, use the following lists of both “good” and “bad” advice.
Good Advice: Burn the black, yellow or violet incense. Worship at the altar. Drink from the water font. Give offerings at the blood font.
Bad Advice: Drink from the blood font. Burn the Red, Brown, of Violet incense. Examine the mural. Touch the brazier flame.
The quasits only attack if they are discovered, if they tire of their ruse, or it becomes obvious that the PCs are ignoring them. They team up attacking obvious spellcasters and lightly armored foes first, flanking them for their first attacks.
Quasits (2): hp 16 each
New Magic Items
The following two new magic items can be found in this room of the dungeon.
Corrupted Silver Holy Symbol
Aura faint enchantment; CL 5th
Slot neck; Price 3,000 gp; Weight 1/2 lb.
This silver holy symbol has been marred by a number of abyssal symbols forming unspeakable curses. While it can still serve as a holy symbol, it has other powers as well. Whenever a caster attempts to channel positive energy to harm undead using this holy symbol, the save DC to halve the damage is decreased by 1. Whenever a caster attempts to channel negative energy to harm living creatures using this holy symbol, the save DC to halve the damage is increased by 1. In addition, the wearer of this amulet can call upon its power to cast bless once per day, but this benefit works in reverse for the wearer, acting instead as bane without a saving throw. Finally, the wearer can call out to the abyssal powers inscribed on the amulet to gain the benefit of an aid spell, but doing so gives the wearer 1 point of taint (see the Taint rules in Room 1 for more information).
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, aid, bestow curse, bless; Cost 1,500 gp
Aura moderate enchantment; CL 5th
Slot —; Price 5,312 gp; Weight 2 lbs.
This +1 dagger has a pommel carved from jet in the image of a leering demon. Its serpentine blade is made of the same material, but casts no reflections, despite its smooth surface. Once per day, whenever this dagger is used to perform a coup de grace, the wielder receives the benefits of a death knell if the creature dies. In addition, whenever this dagger scores a critical hit, the target gains 1 taint. Finally, these daggers are cursed. Anyone carrying one of these daggers takes a –2 penalty on any Will save from a spell or effect created by a demon. Demons can sense these blades at a range of 30 feet and intrinsically know of this property.
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, bestow curse, death knell; Cost 2,812 gp
PCs exploring this room can earn VP in the following ways.
Primary Objective (5 VP): Defeating the pair of quasits that dwell in this chamber.
Secondary Objective (3 VP): Retrieving the corrupted silver holy symbol from the blood font.
Minor Objectives (1 VP each): The PCs can score 1 VP for accomplishing each of the following objectives.
- Acquire at least 200 gp worth of blood rubies from the blood font.
- Uncover Targen’s name inscribed with the abyssal lords on the altar.
- Avoid carrying out the entire ritual and cursing one of the PCs.
- Burn the yellow incense and receive a useful commune from the quasits
- Avoid burning the red or brown incense.
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