You enter from the northwest passage which leads to a slope lowering into the center of a “U” shaped chamber along the western wall. Another tunnel is at the top of a large cliff side in the northeast. The walls and floor of the chamber are unevenly formed, casting jagged, rocky shadows.
Trap. If a creature steps on the ten-foot by five-foot zone marked on the map, they activate a pressure plate, causing a log hidden behind a tarp along the ceiling to be released, swinging into any creature within the dotted lines. Affected creatures must make a DC 15 Dexterity save, or be forced into the sharpened sticks just below the cliff. Anyone with a Dexterity score of 13 or higher that failed the first check may spend a bonus action to make a DC 20 Dexterity check to avoid falling onto the sharpened sticks. Characters that are hit with the trap take 1d6 falling damage, and 1d6 piercing damage. A DC 20 Wisdom (Perception) check allows a character to notice both the tarp hiding the log, and the pressure plate.
Foes. Two gricks are hiding against opposite walls, camouflaged with the stone. When they have a character flanked, they strike. Three goblins man the top of the cliff in the northeast tunnel and get into position when they hear the trap activate, or the gricks in combat.
Developments. If the goblin on the northern-most end of the cliff is killed, he topples against a ladder that is propped up against the wall and both fall into the chamber below. If the ladder doesn’t fall, it is easily visible from below the tunnel. The last goblin standing retreats when he reaches half his hit points to warn his companions in Room 11.
Treasure. The remains of an adventurer, possibly a decade old, decorate the sharpened sticks below the western cliff. He did not survive the trap, a single stick penetrating his ribcage through leather armor. The dried corpse is wearing a silver ring worth 45 gp.
Hidden Secret. A DC 10 Intelligence (Investigation) check on the body reveals a hidden pouch in his cloak that holds an Amulet of Arthen, and a scroll requesting that Verdinan be searched for potential Ancient relics to assist in their cause. It is signed by Malich. A DC 10 Intelligence (History) check reveals that the character knows Malich as the leader of the United Peoples of Arthen, South of Areli.
Custom Alternative. The corpse that was once an adventurer dedicated to the neutral evil god Arthen contains another potential quest seed for the player characters to follow after this dungeon. Perhaps he follows a similar god of the dead in your campaign. Outside of it being an Ancient ruin, what other motivations would a cultist of death have in order to traverse these dangerous ruins?
Amulet of Arthen
Wondrous Item, uncommon
This clay amulet allows a cleric or paladin dedicated to Arthen to wield this amulet as a holy symbol. Evil druids that worship Arthen can also wield it as a druidic focus. They gain a +1 to their spellcasting DC and spell attacks.