XDMC #5 : Populate This Map!

The Seal of Kingu

This adventure is intended for 5 level 10 PCs. It takes place in areas 9, 10, and 14 on the map.


The party has traveled to Gartheren's Stone Cauldron. The mage school was founded by Gartheren, a powerful earth wizard, over a century ago. The school has suffered with the lost of it's founder and is a shadow of it's former glory. It does still maintain a significant collection of ancient tomes. The player characters may have come in search of information, hired by the school for some reason, looking to hone their skills, etc. The adventure starts in room 9 without any chasms including 14. Most rooms have doors separating it from the other areas. In addition to the party, Firnian, a male eladrin professor, and Bessyn, a female human student, are in the room. Best to have them discussing something when it begins. Read aloud:

The ground begins to shake every. A huge section of the floor opens up and drops away. The new chasm cuts through the next room. The northern wall also partially collapses allowing sunlight to enter the room. In the south-east corner a third chasm opens up. Firnian screams as a bookshelf falls a top the wizard. The shaking stops with what sounds like a roar from below. Bessyn moves to free Firnian. What do you do?

The players shouldn't do too much before more trouble starts. Read aloud:

Screaming starts coming from the southern doors. Perception DC 20 also overhears: "Where is the Seal of Kingu?"

Find the Book (Level 10, 2950xp)

Setup: The PCs open the doors to room 10. There are four tables in the room. Books have fallen onto the floor in various areas making it difficult terrain. The party must defeat the opponents, find the Seal of Kingu, and save the students.

This encounter includes the following creatures.
7 greenspawn toxicsprayers (level 8 skirmishers)

Assuming they investigate, read aloud:

The room is also in disarray. Bookshelves lay on the ground. Four of tables are spaced about the room. The one closest to the chasm has lost two lags and lays on the ground. Two students huddle behind a table in the south-west corner. A third students lies motionless in the center of room. Five kobold like creatures are looking through the books on the ground. A green mist wafts from the creature. Two more of the creatures had been threatening the living students. The closest points to two of the others. "Keep looking for the book. We will handle them."

In no one heard the greenspawn toxicsprayers before entering the room, in the first round have one of the student yell out that the creatures are looking for the Seal of Kingu. Hopefully this will encourage the party to look for the book. If not it might be best to inform the party that this is a skill challenge. If no one attempts the skill challenge in a round, they get one failure to the challenge as the greenspawn get closer to finding the book.

Complexity: 1 (4 successes needed)

Primary Skills: Athletics, Diplomacy, Perception, Insight
Arcana (hard DCs): You remember hearing of Kingu and know where information about him might be stored.
Athletics (hard DCs): You start move the fallen bookshelves and books aside.
Diplomacy (moderate DCs): You convince the other two students to look for the book.
Perception (moderate DCs): You look for the book.
Insight (hard DCs): You think you know where the book would have been placed.

Success: The party finds the book. The two greenspawn toxicsprayers searching for the book join the fight.

Failure: The greenspawn toxicsprayers have found the book and move towards the chasm to escape with it. The party will now have to retrieve the book before they can strengthen the spell binding Kingu. If they decide to follow after the creatures right away proceed to the Descent.

Greenspawn Toxicsprayer

The toxicsprayers resemble greenish-yellow kobolds. Poisonous gas seeps out of their pores.

Greenspawn Toxicsprayer Level 8 Skirmisher
Small natural humanoid (reptile) XP 350
Initiative +11 Senses Perception +3
Toxic Cloud (Poison) Any enemy adjacent to two or more greenspawn toxicsprayers at the start of its turn takes 3 poison damage.
HP 87; Bloodied 43
AC 22; Fortitude 20, Reflex 21, Will 19
Resist 10 poison
Speed 6 (fly 4 (clumsy); phasing in mist form)
Basic Melee; Claw (standard; at-will) ♦ Poison
+13 vs AC; 2d6 + 5 poison damage.
Mist form (minor; at-will) ♦ Polymorph
A greenspawn toxicsprayer can alter its physical form to a cloud of poison mist. It cannot use its claw attack in this form.
Melee; Toxic Shift (standard; at-will) ♦ Poison
The greenspawn toxicsprayer transforms into poison mist and shifts 2 squares through an opponent. +9 vs Fortitude; 2d8 + 5 poison damage.
Close; Toxic Spray (standard; recharge 6) ♦ Poison
Close blast 2; +11 vs. Fortitude; 3d8 + 5 poison damage.
Alignment Any Languages Common, Draconic
Str 17 (+7) Dex 20 (+9) Wis 8 (+3)
Con 15 (+6) Int 12 (+5) Cha 14 (+6)

Greenspawn Toxicsprayer Tactics
Toxicsprayers constantly move about the battlefield. They attempt to catch as many people as possible with their toxic cloud.

Greenspawn Toxicsprayer Lore
A character knows the following information with a successful Nature check.
DC 20: Toxicsprayers serve the chromatic dragons as scouts and quick strike teams.

Firnian's Battle (level 10, 3100xp)

Setup: The PCs will presumably want to know more about the Seal of Kingu and will return to talk to Firnian as the students don't know anything. If not they will hear or potentially see through the open doors the creatures coming up from chasm 14 and attacking. How much information (see Seal of Kingu section below) they get before the battle is up to the DM.

This encounter includes the following creatures.
3 Dragonborn Gladiator (level 10 soldier) [MM1 pg 86]
2 Black-striped Snaildragon (level 13 artillery)

Firnian is shocked at the arrival of the monsters. He will do nothing for the first couple of rounds unless someones tells/asks him to help. Use the Eladrin Twilight Incanter (MM1 pg 102) for his stats. He is not incompetent just more of an academic and hasn't seen much combat. Feel free to misjudge the size of Dazzling Blast and hit some PCs.

Seal of Kingu

Before Gartheren founded the school, he fought a great battle against Kingu, son of Tiamat. The multi-headed dragon was too powerful to kill but Gartheren managed to seal him underneath the earth. Over time the binding ritual has grown weak allowing Kingu to send forth some servants. The Seal of Kingu book has details for an enhancement ritual to the binding spell. Normally it could be performed on the surface but the spell has weakened enough the ritual will need to be performed closer to Kingu. Unless the spell is performed in the next three days the seal will be broken. If the players retain the book, Firnian can find the components necessary. Otherwise they will need to retrieve the book first.

Black-striped Snaildragon

A snaildragon appears to be a giant snail with a dragon head and tail. The black-striped snaildragon earns it name from the dark red shell striped with black. A sticky slime allows the creature to easily climb walls.

Black-striped Snaildragon Level 13 Artillery
Large natural magical beast (reptile) XP 800
Initiative +12 Senses Perception +10
HP 103; Bloodied 51
AC 27; Fortitude 25, Reflex 26, Will 25; see also shell defense
Resist 15 acid
Speed 4 (sticky slime walk), climb 4
Basic Melee; Bite (standard; at-will)
Reach 2; +20 vs. AC; 2d6 + 6 damage.
Basic Ranged; Spit Acid (standard; at-will) ♦ Acid
Ranged 10/20; +18 vs Reflex; 2d8 + 6 acid damage.
Close; Spew Acid (standard; recharge 6) ♦ Acid
Close blast 4; +18 vs Reflex; 2d10 + 6 acid damage and the target takes ongoing 5 acid damage (save ends).
Shell Defense
A snaildragon puts its shell in the way of opportunity attacks granting it a +5 to all defenses.
Slime Trail
Snaildragons leave a sticky trail of slime behind them. The sticky slime is difficult terrain but grants a +2 bonus to balance checks or +2 to climb checks if on a wall. Getting up from prone in the sticky slime requires a Strength check vs DC 11. The slime trail lasts the encounter.
Alignment Evil Languages Common, Draconic
Str 20 (+11) Dex 22 (+12) Wis 19 (+10)
Con 19 (+10) Int 9 (+5) Cha 15 (+8)

Black-striped Snaildragon Tactics
Black-striped snaildragon prefer to stay at a distance. They will spit acid until some enemies close. They will then position themselves for a spew acid attack to hit as many as possible. They have no fear of opportunity attacks.

Black-striped Snaildragon Lore
A character knows the following information with a successful Nature check.
DC 20: While not as powerful or dangerous as a true dragon, snaildragons are intelligent and cunning. The black-striped snaildragon has an acid breath weapon if opponents get too close.

Descent (level 10, 1500xp)

Setup: The chasm is very deep. The players cannot reach the bottom with the rope on hand. Instead they will need to climb down together. The Stone Cauldron school has a rope of climbing that can be use to skip this challenge. It doesn't occur to Firnian unless asked. He doesn't want to give away magic items but will relent due to the obvious danger.

Complexity: 3 (8 successes needed)

Primary Skills: Acrobatics, Athletics, Endurance, Nature
Acrobatics (hard DCs): You manage to slide down to a safe ledge.
Athletics (moderate DCs): You slowly climb down and help others.
Endurance (moderate DCs): At least one character must make an Endurance check each turn to keep every from slipping and falling. A failed check indicates all members lose one healing surge in addition to counting as a failure for the challenge.
Nature (moderate DCs): You determine what passage looks the safest.

Success: The party reaches the bottom of the chasm.

Failure: The party crashes down to bottom. Everyone loses one healing surge. At the DM's options a group of Kingu's allies could attack the prone party.

Continuing the Adventure

Bessyn follows the adventurers into the chasm. She claims to want to help. She will express interest in being an apprentice to any wizard in the party. In truth, she worships Zehir. Bessyn intends to steal a diamond critical to the completion of the ritual when the party sleeps. She will then try to go ahead and meet with Kingu. Kingu will obviously betray her.

Optional Elements
1. Negative consequences befall parties that do not complete the encounters or dungeon within an established deadline.
4. One or more encounters contain a NPC that can be convinced to aid the party.
5. One or more encounters contain a unique form of terrain that affects movement.
8. One or more skill challenges must be accomplished during combat.