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Necromancer's House

Page history last edited by Gillian 13 years, 8 months ago

This adventure uses a pair of map images I "stole" from a couple of downloadable free adventures off the WOTC website. Since I don't remember which adventures, I'm not going to repost them here. Regardless, it shouldn't be too hard to come up with a generic small house and a small dungeon beneath it.


House Exterior; a normal appearing 2 story house in a common or slightly better-than-common neighborhood, just off the main streets on a quiet sidestreet or cul-de-sac. It is built of local stone, and has a shingle roof. A large tree grows outside, to the right of the front steps. This tree is the most peculiar thing about the house; some people say it moves its limbs when there is no breeze. The leaves are a peculiar bronzey-green. A druid or ranger will realize it is not a native plant (DC 10), but unless he or she studies it extensively, will find nothing else odd about it (DC 30 to identify it as a blood-tree, often found in graveyards or on the edges of old battle-fields).


This is an ordinary house except for a few things:

1. Foyer is decorated with a woven rug showing many rare florals and plants, and with the mounted heads of a cougar, a wolf, and a tiger. The tiger head is actually an undead spying device for Rolth. He can see through it's eyes by using a viewing mirror downstairs, or in his bedchamber. This allows him to know who comes to his home and decide if he wishes to see them or not.


2. The Library/Study is heavily decorated with taxidermied animals. There are wolf and bear and deer heads, smaller animal full-body displays, and even a few exotic monsters (an owl-bear, a giant centipede, and a trio of dire rats). A cabinet holds a full set of taxidermy tools, and two tables hold supplies and several ongoing projects (including a half-completed raven, a nearly complete winter fox, and two dire squirrels stored in a locked (DC 15) chest with preservation magic that have not yet been prepared for mounting. The materials and supplies are worth about 500 gp, and the displayed creatures are worth 50-500 gp each. The preservative chest acts as a “gentle repose” spell on anything placed within it.


3. Dining Room;  contains a concealed door into the area beneath the stairs in the kitchen. This is the secret stair that is marked 1 on the Lair map. The door is found on a DC 30 spot check, or DC 20 search. A peephole in the door allows Rolth or anyone else on the inner side of the door see if anyone is in the room before they emerge. Otherwise a normal table and chairs, sideboard and china hutch fill this room.


4 Kitchen - a very ordinary household room. Mara and Vestro can be found here sunup to sundown, after which they generally retreat to their own chamber to retire for the night.


4a on the back of the house is a mostly glassed in addition to the home that serves as a greenhouse/arboretum and stillroom. Many potted irises, lillies and miniature rose bushes are kept here, and are well-cared for. The air is rich with their fragrance. Mara cares for the plants here, and also grows a few cooking herbs.


5. is the servant’s quarters, and the access to the cellar. The cellar is an ordinary room with a rack for wine bottles, a set of bins for vegetables and other food storage.


There are only 2 servants in the house, and they know that the master’s wife died 5 years ago, giving birth to their second child, who also died. Both servants dislike the little boy, calling him “cold” and “cruel”. They are Mara, the cook, and Vestro, the footman. A third servant, Stannel, comes in twice a week to do the heavy scrubbing. Stannel is the only servant who ever goes into Rook's bedchamber, to change bedlinens and such. He has heard the baby crying, but has convinced himself it is just the wind in the chimney, and will not talk about it unless urged specifically.


6. Rolth's Bedchamber. This room is still set up for use by two adults. There are two nightstands, two wardrobes (one filled with women's clothing) and on the dresser top is a perfectly neat and fresh-looking set of brushes and cosmetics. However, examination will reveal that the clothes are all 5 years or more out of style, and many are maternity clothes.The only unique thing here is a small handheld mirror. It is magical, and whoever knows the command word can use it to gaze through the eyes of the tiger's head in the foyer. Rolth's household keys (front and back door, secret door and dungeon keys) can be found here if he is at home. Women's jewelry and a few other bits and bobs worth about 150 gp can be found here. The most significant piece is a small tarnished silver skull brooch, worth about 30 gp by itself, a symbol of the god of undeath.


7 is a children's room. One end is set up for a little boy – perhaps 8-9 years old; the other appears to have been furnished, but never used, for a baby. Anyone who enters this end of the room and remains for more than 3 rounds may (Will save DC 15 to avoid hearing) notice the sound of an infant crying here. This sound is deeply upsetting to Rolth, although Rook denies entirely that it occurs.


During the mornings, Rolth sleeps in his room, and the boy, Rook, plays in his bedchamber. In the afternoons, they either go for a walk or sit in the study together. Rook does schoolwork and his father keeps a journal. In the evenings, after Rook goes to bed, Rolth slips down below the house and spends his time in his laboratory late into the night.


The Lair under the house is large and ancient. It is lit with Everburning torches in brackets on the walls or mounted above worktables, as needed. All the brackets and fixtures are made in the shapes of boney hands, skulls, etc... as opportunity allows.


Floors are smooth stone slabs, 5’ across, with mortar. Walls are smaller stone blocks, also mortared. Doors are standard dungeon-type metal-bound wood. All have key locks, but are typically unlocked. Keys are found in Rolth’s bedchamber upstairs.


Ceilings are at about 15’ high in the center of each room, with a slight vaulting, so walls are only about 10’.


  1. Stairs. The stair door is not locked. The stairs are old and cracked, and must be negotiated slowly. Any attempt to move above ½ speed requires a Dex check (DC 10) to avoid falling (1d4 nonlethal dmg).
  2. This is the master workroom. It is furnished with a half-dozen stone-topped lab-height tables, each 6’ long and 2’ wide. Each contains at least one ongoing experiment, mostly in growing flesh, sculpting bone, and similar. In the center of the room is a massive, slightly lower table 7’ long and 4’ wide. On it rests a human body, obviously female, draped modestly in a white sheet. Around the body are a number of poles holding jars of fluid, tubing, and other devices. The body’s head is shaved, and the top of the skull has been removed.


Note: this experiment was a failure, and Rolth will be disposing of the body in another day or so.


At the east end of the room stands a huge minotaur trophy/exhibit posed in a lifelike stance. This is actually a zombie minotaur. It will activate and attack anyone who touches it, or who disturbs the corpse on the workroom table.


There are 5 store-rooms off this main room; they have no doors. One further opening leads to a hall that extends through room 3, then past the (doorless) room 4, and ends at room 5, also doorless; a T in the passage here leads to area 6, where 5 cells all have doors, and are locked. The passage also T's off to area 7, which has no door.


2A – a half-dozen worker/guard zombies are here. These are normal zombies, but once each round, each zombie can spit a glob of fiery saliva up to 10’. This is a ranged touch attack for 1d8 damage. No zombie may spit more than 3 times. These zombies will emerge if the corpse on the workroom table is disturbed, or if the minotaur zombie enters a fight.


2B – 12 skeletons stored here; they can animate and attack if disturbed. They will not emerge during any disturbance elsewhere.


C-E are storerooms, with no real interest to PCs.


3. Biaj’s home – the BIAJ was Rolth’s wife. When she died in childbirth a few years ago, he rescued her and put her here, until he can find a way to create a new body for her. She was also a wizard, and her brain retains much of its previous capability. In this room, acting as her hands and mouth, are five child-zombies, and 4 wolf-zombies. There are also dozens of plants down here; all come from the greenhouse upstairs, and are kept under artificial light here. 


The wolf-zombies attack at once, while the child zombies throw things at first (flasks of acid, thunderstones, etc...and eventually the potted plants) before attacking wildly (and ineffectually) themselves. They can, however, give the wolves a +2 aid another bonus.


One child-zombie is bound to the BIAJ and will stay by her side, providing her with hands to cast the somatic components of her spells. A length of some sort of material (intestine?) runs from the child into the jar where the brain resides. Severing it could end her spellcasting ability. BIAJ is named Imalda.


The brain is kept in a large green-glass jar on a table at the back of the room. Between Imalda and any intruders is one final defense; the floor is a pit trap. Anyone who does not walk around the 5' square in front of the jar (to the back of the table, for example) will risk triggering the trap.


Spiked Pit Trap (80 Ft. Deep) CR 5; mechanical; location trigger, manual reset; DC 20 Reflex save avoids; 80 ft. deep (8d6, fall), pit spikes (Atk +10 melee, 1d4 spikes for 1d4+5 each); Search DC 20; Disable Device DC 20. Market Price: 5,000 gp.


Combat Stats: use kobold zombie stats for child-zombies (slam attacks only, after thrown objects) each has two flasks of acid and one thunderstone; potted plants have a range of 10', and do 1d4 nonlethal damage. They can use their attack to give the aforesaid +2 bonus to the wolves.

Wolf Zombie: 36 HP, Init +2, AC 14 (touch, ff 12), bite +4 (1d6+1) or Slam +3 (1d6+1), full attack is bite +slam; 5/5 space/reach; DR 5/slashing; Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +1, no special attacks or qualities; retains wpn focus, bite. CR 1.


BIAJ stats: Since the Jar is large, heavy, and not made to be moved, it has no AC. Instead, it has hardness of 2 and HP of 10. It is about 1' in diameter and 3' high, made of smoky green glass, and shaped like a carboy. She casts spells as a L7 wizard.

Init +7, BAB +2  (ranged melee +4); spells memorized: L4: fear, lesser globe of invulnerability; L3: chain missile, nauseating breath, fireball; L2: bonefiddle, ray of ice, ray of sickness, cold snap; L1: magic missile, sleep, ray of flame, protection from good, scatterspray (DC15 at L1).


4. this chamber is a final homage to Imalda. In the center lies her body, perfectly preserved by constant applications of the spell gentle repose. Her skull has been opened, and the brain removed. Heaped around the body are dozens more plants, but these are all withered and dead, the pots cracked and broken. Piled in a heap at her feet are dozens of letters, all written by Rolth, all pleading with Imalda to return to him, not to leave him and their child. It is impossible to know if they were written before or after her death... also beside the bier on which the body is laid out, is a blanket scattered with toys. Sitting on the blanket is what appears at first to be a child of about 5 years. However, when examined, it is plain the body is made of wood, metal and leather, sewn and riveted together. It is dressed in normal clothes, and has a face made from a china mask. When anyone enters the room, it looks up and, in a mechanical, sing-song voice, begins to speak; "Daddy! You've come to visit me! See what I have..." but then it realizes the PCs are strangers. The creature will hide if it feels threatened, but if treated kindly it will run up and hug anyone who lets it. Unfortunately, it does not know its own strength, and such a hug automatically does 1d4 nonlethal damage.  It calls itself Raven.


5. plant roots. Attack any who enter, clean bones of flesh. Zombies can fetch bones out for use.


6. Prison cells. More zombies (ice or lightning?)


7. Partly blocked off area – natural caves - can be clambered over but takes some effort. Black pudding lairs here, in front half just behind the rockfall. Back area cave is raised. Inside, near the back, a hidden stone compartment can be found on a DC 25 search. Untrapped, locked (key on Rolth's ring) DC 30 to pick.  Within the chest are three things: a sack containing 500 gp, a soft velvet pouch containing 10 gems worth 100 gp each, and a scroll of dimension door.

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