Ancient Ruins of the West Wood: Reaper

Ancient Ruins: Rooms 19 and 2019. Special Project Entry

When the PCs enter this chamber, read:

Ancient skeletons litter the floor of this chamber, centered around a large metal door decorated with four colorful stones set in a two by two grid.

Clue. A skeletal hand is clasping a torn piece of parchment from under the collapsed door. The clue is written in Ancient and reads “A compassionate king rules with justice and mercy.”

Skeletons. There are a total of thirteen Ancient skeletons in tattered rags scattered on the floor. As they are found, they are merely bones, not imbued with necrotic magic. If the players correctly guess that the skeletons will come to life, they may try to do something to stop them from doing so. Only entirely destroying the skull will the remove a skeleton from the combat activated by access to Room 20.

Door Puzzle. The four icons can be translated via the Comprehend Languages spell, and are representations of the four pillars of Ancient morality: Truth, Justice, Mercy, and Compassion. Each icon is currently labeled on a stone of a certain color; mercy is blue, compassion is indigo, and both justice and truth are yellow. The text clues found throughout this section of the complex reveal the answer. By touching the stone, the color can be changed in the following order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and Violet. Once Truth is orange, Justice is red, Mercy is blue, and Compassion is violet, then the door opens, retracting into the floor.

20. Special Project Chamber

When the metal door to this chamber is opened, read:

As the door grinds into the floor, you see a large, long chamber, dominated by a massive tube of glass filled with dark, rolling fog and sparks of black and purple lightning. Two orbs sparking with the same energy rest on five foot high pillars on opposite sides of the room. Seven fleshless skulls turn to watch your entry into their long forgotten tomb. Dark energy from the cylinder is suddenly sucked into the orbs and is redirected to the piles of bones behind you. A cry of anguish echoes from the fog within the cylinder as the remains rise from their rest.

Skeletons. The combat begins with 7 ancient skeletons in the chamber, and 1d4 skeletons rising to attack in Room 19. At the beginning of each round, the orbs draw power from the cylinder again and raise a number of skeletons equal to 1d4 plus the number of characters in the party. There can only be a maximum of 20 skeletons raised at any given time. A skeleton can be permanently defeated by either destroying the dark orbs, shattering the glass tube, or dropping it to zero hit points with bludgeoning damage.

Dark Orbs. These devices were once meant to redirect the negative energy elsewhere, but have recently lost the ability to do so. Each time they draw energy from the glass tube, they cause pain to the creature inside who then screams in agony. The orbs have an AC of 13, Hit Points 7, resistance to piercing, slashing, lightning, and radiant damage, and is immune to psychic, poison, and necrotic damage.

Glass Tube. The thick glass is only warded against damage from the inside. It has AC 13, Hit Points 15, resistance to piercing, slashing, lightning, and radiant damage, and is immune to psychic, poison, and necrotic damage.

When both orbs are destroyed or the glass tube is shattered, read:

The swirling fog and dark energy coalesces into a humanoid form in front of you. He stands seven feet tall, deathly thin and pale as a corpse, dressed in black robes. He summons a long, wicked scythe and leans on it, weak from his imprisonment.

Reaper. The creature is a reaper, an agent of fate. He does not remember much from his captivity due to his lack of corporeal form, but thanks the characters for his rescue and promises a favor to them in the “near future”. He is willing to talk for a brief moment, before he must return to the work to which he has so longed to return. When he leaves, all undead fueled by his presence within the Verdinan region that have not been destroyed collapse into their natural, lifeless state.

Key. One of the skeletons originating from this chamber holds the strangely shaped key that opens the door leading to Room 8.

Conclusion

The characters have discovered the secret energy source powering the Ancient Complex, but what do they do from there?

Missing Adventurers Quest

If presented with the angel, Kildrak Arcanaxe takes a moment to consider the offer, but in the end decides it would be smarter to not find disfavor with the god of storms, risking the possibility that his own people suffer the same mysterious fate as the Ancients. He asks that the characters release the angel outside and sets his hostages free.

If the characters return empty handed, Kildrak is hesitant to listen to them, but is a logical dwarf and is willing to believe them if they have no cause to lie about what they have seen. He will release the hostages after a brief, tense moment.

If the characters do not return to Kildrak, he may be forced to kill the hostages to conserve on rations as he leads his people into the caverns, following the characters’ trail. This could end potentially poorly for him and his clan, especially if they run across the Menagerie filled with escaped and bloodthirsty monsters. Perhaps the Arcaneaxe Clan will return in the future to exact revenge on the characters for failing them.

Ancient Relic Hunting

Drist is pleased with the characters’ acquisitions, but will, of course, try to cheat them out of their proper due. Lord Scrywyld, however, is good to his word. If the characters choose Lord Scrywyld over Drist, he will not rest until he has wronged them in turn.

Death’s Influence

Veris rewards the characters as promised, and gives them a token to mark them as friends of the church. The characters can use the token at any church for any assistance that can be provided.

Svirfneblin Slaves

If the characters have done nothing to save the svirfneblin from captivity, nothing has changed and they can return to finish the job.

Versimidor

If the ancient black dragon, Versimidor, has been released into the world, he will fly toward the coast in the east to try to locate a swamp to settle, leaving a trail of death in his wake. The characters will have to deal with him in the future.

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