Monday, September 24, 2012

Clark Ashton Smith - Some Ideas and Descriptions - 5c

2nd Floor

1). The smell of burnt flesh is pervasive through this area. The ceiling is nearly fifteen feet high.

1a). Stairs going up to the Top Floor. Only a dull greenish light illuminates the top of the stairs.

1b&c). Stairs going down to the First Floor. This stairwells are unlit and are dark as a tomb.

1d). This area is lit by a burning flame held in the palm of a huge statue of a demonic bat-like creature which stands at the center 10 foot section of the south wall. Around the floor are scattered remnants of a hasty camp. A roll of bedding with blood stains, some scattered food (enough for 1 days rations if gathered up and the consumer is none to particular in what they eat) and a broken bone amulet of Pictish design (once this allowed control of the flesh automaton's on this level of the dungeon and the one outside the temple at the top of the stairs. It has been destroyed by acid and physical damage).

The statue stands 10 feet tall with sweeping wings sculpted up to the 15 foot ceiling. The face of the statue displays an evil grin and one large red gem (1,500gp value) the size of a fist. The left eye-socket of the statue is empty and weeps a dark viscous  (and flammable) goo that has run down the face and body of the statue (and hardened to the body like a stream of wax down a candle but of a consistency more like clay). The right eye holds the gem. 

At the clawed feet of statue us a charred corpse, its arm outstretched ending in a fingerless palm.

If the body is searched, a fairly disgusting process, a set of thieves lock-picks will be discovered hidden cunningly inside the belt. 

If the gem is pried from the statues eye-socket a loud click will be heard and a stream of burning goo will be projected in a stream 10ft long from both eyes, while at the same time, a cloud of flammable gas will exhale from the statue's mouth and fill a 10ft diameter sphere directly in front of the statue. The cloud of burning gas will inflict 2d12 damage (1/2 dmg if saved against) to anyone within the area, while the burning goo will inflict three rounds of burning damage (again, 1/2 damage if saved against) to anyone caught buy the discharge. 1d12 the first combat round, 1d8 the second and 1d4 the 3rd. Only the first rounds damage can be saved against and items may, at the DMs discretion, on the burning victim, may also need to a saving throw or be destroyed or damaged.

The goo dripping from the eye or eyes can be collected. About enough to coat 3 arrowheads can be collected in an hour or 6 in an hour if both eyes are now leaking the goo. If exposed to air for more than an hour the goo dries, though this clay-like substance will also burn and about a 1lb of it can be scraped from the body of the statue.

2). This hall is composed of 10ft alcoves sealed off with a greenish crystal. Each crystal wall is strong enough to withstand 10,000hp damage before shattering. within each alcove can be seen the unmoving body of an Elder Thing.

Upon opening the door from area 1 the players are presented with a scene of horrific carnage. The bodies of two Elder Things have been torn limb from limb (though some body parts are missing). A thick, dark red blood is spattered across walls and floor. From area 2b comes a steady pounding noise.

2a). This shattered alcove is empty except for a covering of crystal shards. These shards are a natural bane to all shoggoth and shoggoth-like creatures. They can be used as sling stones and will act as magic +2 to hit/damage sling stones if used against such creatures, though they will do no or little damage to normal creatures. In addition, the possession of 5 or more of these fragments will act as a +1 item of protection against shoggoths and related creatures.

2b). From this location comes the steady pounding of 2 flesh automatons as they relentlessly assault the wall of greenish crystal. They have already caused over 9,000hp damage against this wall and it will shatter in 1d10+10 minutes. Upon shattering it will release an Elder Thing and both flesh automatons will immediately attack the creature. 

If interrupted in either attacking the wall or the Elder Thing, both flesh automatons will turn and attack whoever interrupted their actions (ignoring the useless attacks of the Elder Thing), and continue attacking anyone on this level, before turning back to their assault on the wall or the Elder Thing.

The Elder Thing will attack anyone within reach and will attack and pursue them till it is destroyed or prevented by some other means.

2c). As per 2a except that among the crystal shards within the alcove may be found a hand-sized five-pointed object of dark green soapstone. This object acts as a +3 item of protection against shoggoths and shoggoth-like creatures.

2d). This alcove appears empty but behind the crystal wall is a portal that leads to a hidden vault deep within the Spiral Mountain Array. (The vault is merely a 100ft by 100ft space until the key to its exit can be found, which is not yet available in this adventure). If the wall is shattered a stream of Elder Things will pour out, one every combat round, if they can force themselves out of the alcove. 20 of these monsters will come pouring forth, the last will bear a malfunction crystal-tipped iridium rod of the Great Race. After 1d6 uses the rod will emit a crackle of blue electric light for 3 combat rounds then explode, disintegrating everything in a 20ft diameter sphere.

2e). This is a massive gelatinous cube that fills the hall and stretches some 70ft end to end. It still attacks as a 4hd monster but has 10 times the hit points of a normal cube (not really a cube then is it?). It usually circles the corridor endlessly and is fed by sacrifices by the ape-men. It has 3 times the normal treasure (the ape-men are not very thorough when looting their sacrifices). Currently the monster is cowering in this corner of the hall after having about 30% of its mass destroyed by magical attacks and suffering a violent bout of indigestion (see 2f).

2f). At the center of this gelatinous cube is suspended the body of a flesh automaton. It was swallowed before orders could be given and it is a sort-of standby mode. If freed from the cube it will attack anyone within sight, nearest first, and pursue them anywhere within or without the temple until destroyed.

(To be continued)

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