The Ancient Ruins of the West Wood: Tunnels General Info and Dwarven Guard Room

The Verdinan Tunnels

Formed by a now rerouted underground river cutting into stone, the Verdinan Tunnels are also known as the Twisted Caverns. The people of Verdinan did some light mining here before the goblin raid that wiped out the village.

Level 1: The Twisted Tunnels

Wandering Monsters

If the players need to take a short or long rest within the Twisting Caverns, or take too long deciding what to do, roll 1d20. On a roll of 17-20, a random encounter occurs. If one does occur, roll 1d8 and consult the table below to see what creature stumbles upon them in the tunnels.

Random Encounters
Encounter Table 2

General Features
The tunnels are cold, but only slightly damp. The now rerouted river is responsible for the amount of stalactites and stalagmites that the characters will encounter.

Ceilings. Tunnels are 10 feet high unless otherwise noted. Chambers have ceilings reaching as far as 20 feet high.

Doors. What few doors are in this area are 6 feet high and 3 feet wide, and are made of old wood found within the tunnels and in the ruins of Verdinan. A DC 10 Strength check can break them down.

Walls. The walls are made of mostly smooth, naturally formed stone.

Floor. All the floors in the Twisted Caverns are smooth, natural stone.

Light. None, unless otherwise noted. The box text assumes that the characters either have a light source, or darkvision.

Stalagmites. Throughout the caverns, large stalagmites decorate the floor. They are each a minimum of 5 feet wide at their base, at least 7 feet tall, and can act as cover.

Keyed Encounters
Check the map for all the keyed locations in level 1 of the Verdinan Ruins, the Twisted Caverns.

1. Dwarven Guard Room

Twisted Tunnels: Room 1

If the characters have entered the tunnels unheard, then read the following:

Just before you reach a tunnel splitting east of the main tunnel, you hear the echoing of several gruff voices from around the bend. As you get closer, you recognize the voices are speaking in Dwarvish.

If a character can understand Dwarvish, read:

“How long does Kildrak plan for us to stay in this dreadful place?”
“I’m more concerned about the hostages. We can’t keep them here forever and we certainly don’t have the spare rations.”
“We can’t let them go before we’ve completed our search.”

The dialogue continues like this until the player characters interrupt them with no mention of what they may be searching for, or who the hostages may be. The dwarves might mention at least once that one or two of the hostages are gagged to prevent spellcasting.

When the characters draw near to the chamber, read:

You peak around the corner and see a smooth cavern the size of a large inn room. Two stalagmites reach for the ceiling in the middle of the chamber, each larger than the tallest elf.

Five dwarfs are acting as lookouts here, ready to ambush anyone, or anything, attempting to enter the room. Use the acolyte stats to represent them, each armed with a single wand of sleep. If the alarm trap at the entrance was activated, the dwarfs are hidden behind the stalagmites. They are all from Clan Arcanaxe.

Developments. The dwarfs start to surrender if they drop to half their hit points, the last one attempting escape to the Arcanaxe Camp (room 2) to warn of the danger.

If the PCs decide to talk instead of fight, they will be asked to relinquish all of their weapons while meeting with Kildrak Arcanaxe. They are promised to be returned to them once they return from the campsite.

Wand of Sleep
Wand, uncommon

While you hold this wand, you can use an action to expend 1 to 2 of its 5 charges to cast the sleep spell without using any components. For 1 charge, you cast the spell as if you used a 1st-level spell slot, and you can increase the spell slot to 2nd-level if you spend another charge.

The wand regains 1d6 + 1 expended charges each day at dawn. However, if you expend the wand’s last charge, roll a d20. On a 1, the wand crumbles into ashes and is destroyed.

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