May 21, 2015

Inkwell Ideas' Geomorph Contest #4 - Dwarven Tomb

So, the next bout of Inkwell Ideas' Geomorph Contest is "tombs/a tomb." I think I can do this.

So, I changed my Visio template slightly, so that I have gridlines in gray on the open space. I think this makes a more usable, cleaner-looking geomorph. It also makes it easier to measure large open spaces, espcially those with irregular sides. I changed my fill pattern to something less jarring, as well -- I noticed it was very busy.

Anyway, I went back to the "dwarven architecture" idea for my first tomb. Legendarily, dwarves are covetous and hoard their riches, which would probably inform their burial practices. I postulated a tomb defended by multiple safeguards. Dwarves are generally also depicted as extremely proud of their skill. Thus was born Lord Stonedragon's tomb.

In a natural passageway, carved into a smooth curve by water, the characters can come across a memorial statue honoring an ancient dwarven king in heavy armor, with a crown attached to his full helmet. Twin stone lamps (perpetually burning petroleum) sit at the statue's feet, in the shape of dragons; their heads are raised up, and stone leashes connect to Lord Stonedragon's left fist, his right cradling his legendary warhammer, Dragonwrack.  Prayers inscribed on the walls call upon the gods to recognize Lord Stonedragon's heroism and honor, and call down dire imprecations on any who would seek to despoil his tomb. Note that only seven of the eight passages connect to the natural passageway with the memorial.

The eight entrance to the geomorph is a worked passage that descends to a lower level and ends in a small shrine in memory of Lord Stonedragon. A statue of Lord Stonedragon stands behind the altar, resplendent in royal garb and bearing a crown on his brow and a scepter in his right hand, the head carved and painted to look like it is wreathed in flames. Two carved stone candles on the altar perpetually burn petroleum. The altar and walls are carved with scenes from Lord Stonedragon's life. The altar depicts his men chasing screaming orcs and goblins, while the back wall behind the statue depicts two particularly vivid scenes -- a battle against a red dragon in a cavern on the left, and combat against a fire giant at the gates to some city on the right. Extremely careful investigation detects that the left panel is actually made of slightly different stone than the rest of the passageway; it is a stone plug, five feet wide, eight feet high, and eight feet deep which weighs in excess of 50,000 pounds.

If the altar is moved or shifted from its position, a trap (DC 18 to detect) is activated -- the open screaming mouths of the orcs and goblins carved upon the front of the altar breathe a fine mist of petroleum distillate, which is mechanically ignited to create a roaring sheet of fire in a ten-foot cone in front of the altar (DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or take 22 (4d10) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful save; the saving throw must be made at the beginning of every turn so long as the mouths continue to breathe fire). This trap has an inexhaustible supply of fuel (piped in elsewhere through channels cunningly bored through the rock), but it is possible to disable the trap by jamming the mechanical igniters in the carven mouths (DC 18 Dexterity check; each successful check reduces the damage by 1d10). Once all igniters have been jammed, the altar can be moved enough to disconnect the pipes that supply the distillate (DC 20 Strength check). It is still necessary to move the block to access the tomb proper.

If the plug is pushed into the tomb it eventually hits a second trap, a shallow concealed panel on the floor behind the block. This causes the ceiling in the last ten feet of the passageway to shift downwards, crushing anyone underneath and trapping people inside the tomb (DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or take 44 (8d10) bludgeoning damage and you are restrained by the block until you can make a DC 18 Strength saving throw to pull yourself into the tomb; those who succeed on the Dexterity save take half damage and are not restrained).

The tomb itself has vaulted ceilings which rise thirty feet over the floor, elaborate masterpieces of dwarven masonry. The walls bear painted relief carvings of scenes from the life of Lord Stonedragon. A raised stone dais dominates the center of the chamber, bearing a sarcophagus and two stone oil lamps, once more in the shape of dragons. There are three statues in the recesses of the room, two of which are carved to resemble Lord Stonedragon himself, albeit about eight feet tall. The statue in the far recess, however, towers twenty feet tall and depicts a dragon bearing Lord Stonedragon as if it was a mount. If the trap is triggered upon entry, the statues of Lord Stonedragon attack the characters as Medium-sized animated objects, while the Large statue is actually a stone golem with a reservoir of petroleum distillate which allows it to breath fire.
Fire Breath (Recharge 5-6). The golem  exhales fire in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 11 Dexterity saving throw, taking 28 (8d6) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
 Lord Stonedragon rests in the sarcophagus, still wearing a silk wreath on his head (an anadem of authority) and bearing Dragonwrack across his chest. He has been expertly preserved by the embalmer's art, and lies on a bed of silk cushions in the family colors (gray and red); beneath the cushions are mementos and keepsakes placed with the body by grieving family members -- roll for a CR 11-16 treasure hoard).

As a last defense measure, opening the sarcophagus slowly floods the chamber with essence of ether. Those who fail the saving throw eventually (within 1 day) succumb to lack of oxygen and perish in their sleep unless removed from the chamber.
Anadem of Authority
Wondrous item, very rare (requires attunement)
Your Charisma score is 19 while you wear this anadem. It has no effect on you if your Charisma is already 19 or higher.
Weapon (warhammer), legendary (requires attunement)
A bronze warhammer with a head fashioned to look like a roaring bronze dragon, with agates for eyes. You gain the following benefits while holding this magic weapon:
  • You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with it.
  • When carried into battle, the hammer emits a low noise, reminiscent of a dragon's roar far away. As you approach a dragon within 120' of a you, the roar gets progressively louder, until, when you first attack any particular dragon, it rises suddenly to a deafening shriek. The dragon must make a DC 16 Wisdom saving throw or be incapacitated until the beginning of your next turn; whether the save is successful or not, the dragon is deafened for 1d6 rounds.
  • You gain advantage on any saves against being frightened by dragons.

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