Tuesday, 28 March 2023

Hex Crawl 23 #87: A Sinister Cave

 Four hexes northwest, one north of Alakran.


This was the entry point for my implementation of Matt Finch's module "Pod Caverns of the Sinister Shroom." The river here was largely diverted with a dam to spill down into a cave and form the stream that winds through the levels of that dungeon. In the entry cave there is graffiti:

  • Mysterious scarab symbols
  • Barely visible geometric coincidence-patterns in the stone, Derro command-language. Anyone who reads them with understanding must save (WIS, DC13) or fall under a suggestion to go out in an insensate direction and collect who knows what "samples" before returning to the home hive deep below the earth.
  • A message from a centuries-dead Urig who had Seen Some Things, including the river of the dead and the demons who haunt it
  • A gloating message exalting unfamiliar names in a faded white luminescent ink, Drow script. 

The dungeon is pretty much as written, and the merchant Mery-Tina was rescued and proved to be a great friend of the party and of the false-bearded warrior woman Hak-Bina in particular. The main changes happened on the third level down, where artifacts and paintings of the Scarab Society could be found. This was originally a proto-monotheist soteriological cult who believed in the resurrection and transmutation of the flesh through the metaphor of the dung-scarab's ball becoming the Sun. At this site, several epochs ago, they believed they had found a tributary of the river of the dead in the Shadowvein River. The statue in the goblins' cave held, not a ghast, but a sand silhouette, imprisoned by the former denizens.  And, a jade scarab retrieved from the site was instrumental in securing the cooperation of the modern-day Scarab Society, reborn as a secretive force for opposing the machination of Apep the Serpent of Chaos and his shape shifting minions.

No comments:

Post a Comment