Wednesday, July 28, 2010

On Venatia - Part Ten

3902 Rhodia: Rhodia is a citadel of 65 amazon warriors and 20 maidens. The citadel is constructed atop a rocky outcropping that has a commanding view of the woods in this hex. The citadel, which appears to predate the amazon habitation, is built of massive limestone blocks covered with shiny red tiles. The citadel sports six tall towers, several courtyards and a fortified palace wherein resides Vierna, a full-figured amazon with ash-blond hair and cool, deep-set gray eyes in a toga of charcoal. Vierna is protected by two bodyguards, Phyta and Minephe. She is never without her silver scepter (treat as a light mace) and steel shield. The palace contains a chapel dedicated to Minerva and tended by Xanaide and her three acolytes. The amazons work their own fields, which dot little clearings that surround the citadel. They mine iron, copper and tin from the surrounding hills with the help of three dozen kobold slaves, and trade finished weapons and armor for supplies with traders from Antigoon. Amazon patrols, consisting of a dozen warriors wearing chainmail and carrying shields, spears and long bows, are common in this hex and usually mounted on tough mountain ponies and accompanied by one of Xanaide’s acolytes bearing a brass owl standard that grants the amazons a +1 bonus to save vs. fear. Beneath the citadel there is a spider-infested dungeon in which the amazons have hidden the mythic Girdle of Hippolyta (treat as a belt of giant strength). Vierna owns a tame fire drake that she uses as a mount in times of dire emergency. It otherwise resides in the entrance to the aforementioned dungeon.

• Amazon: HD 2+1; AC 1 [18]; Atk 1 sword (1d8+1) or 1 bow (1d8+1); Move 15; Save 16; CL/XP 2/30; Special: +1 to hit and damage with sword and bow.

• Vierna, Amazon Fighting-Woman Lvl 10: HP 60; AC 1 [18]; Platemail, shield, long sword, 6 darts. Eccentric and aggressive.

• Xanaide, Amazon Cleric Lvl 7: HP 36; AC 1 [18]; Save 8; Special: Spells (3rd), turn undead; Platemail, shield, warhammer, holy symbol. Large blue eyes, golden hair in a long ponytail, high forehead, somber and severe.

• Phyta, Amazon Fighting-Woman Lvl 4: HP 25; AC 1 [18]; Save 13; Platemail, shield, long sword.

• Minephe, Amazon Fighting-Woman Lvl 3: HP 19; AC 1 [18]; Save 14; Platemail, shield, long sword.

3922 Goddess of the Tree: Lodged in the hollow of a dead tree is a 2-ft tall soapstone idol of a voluptuous women with the head of a gorilla sitting cross-legged with a illegible tablet in her lap. Anyone who argues with the holder of this idol is polymorphed into a toad.

4211 Dangerous Bridge: This hex is trisected by an extremely deep chasm, the lowest reaches of which are filled with a black, murky lake inhabited by sapphire-skinned mountain squid and a dizzying array of shellfish. At approximately the center of this hex, a bridge of three massive bronze spans and mica tiles crosses the chasm from west to southeast and northwest. Three massive gnasher lizards are sunning themselves on the bridge and, though reluctant to move as a rule, will happily charge any prey foolish enough to wander onto their bridge.

• Gnasher Lizard: HD 9 (53, 46, 41 hp); AC 4 [15]; Atk 1 bite (2d6); Move 12; Save 6; CL/XP 12/2000; Special: Behead on natural ‘20’, bite victims must save or br swallowed whole (2d6 acid damage each round).

4308 Stone Forest: A petrified forest fills a magically silent valley in this hex. Even the animals of the forest have been petrified, but their ghosts haunt the dead woods. A partially tumbled tower in the middle of the forest is home to a dragon and a magic sword.

4413 Abandoned Forge: Volcanus and his cyclopean assistants one forged powerful weapons and armor in this volcano, which has now cooled considerably and has thus been abandoned. The forge is located in a giant, vaulted cavern that has been scrupulously carved into palatial splendor. Connected to the forge room are dozens of storage chambers, now all empty save for a few bars of steel and other odds and ends. The center of the main cavern is dominated by a fire pit 30 ft in diameter. The forge’s bellows are still operated by a giant brass chimpanzee, an automaton created by Volcanus himself and abandoned when the forge was abandoned. The chimpanzee keeps the fire pit filled with coal and hot – hot enough that nine fire snakes have made it their lair. They ignore the chimpanzee, and the chimpanzee ignores them. The coal is dug and delivered by five small bronze moles with ruby eyes (worth 50 gp each).

• Brass Chimpanzee: HD 4+1 (18 hp); AC 2 [17]; Atk 1 weapon (1d8+1); Move 12; Save 13; CL/XP 5/240; Special: None.

• Bronze Mole: HD 1+1; AC 4 [15]; Atk 2 claws (1d6+1); Move 6; Save 17; CL/XP 2/30; Special: None.

• Fire Snake: HD 2 (12, 11, 10, 10, 9, 8, 5, 5, 4 hp); AC 5 [14]; Atk 1 bire (1d4); Move 6; Save 16; CL/XP 4/120; Special: Poison, immune to fire, surprise.

4508 Fountain of the Gods: Actually, a fountain of the storm giants, in a great vaulted cavern that connected (via a winding stair) to a palace long since razed to the ground. The cavern walls are mottled with shades of magenta, blue and greenish-yellow and measures 300 ft in diameter and 60 ft from floor to ceiling. The fountain is stark, white marble ornamented with gold filigree (long since stolen) and a center piece with four giant brass heads with spouts in their open mouths. The water flows from the fountain in a such a large quantity that it overflows and in fact form the head waters of two mighty rivers that emerge from caves (which form the principal entrances, north and south, to the cavern). The bottom of the fountain is covered in 2 inches of gold dust that is claimed by the storm giants and thus carries a terrible curse. Anyone attempting to steal the gold will discover their flesh slowly transform into the sparkling metal, starting with their fingers and toes and moving inward a couple inches each day. Just inside the northern cave entrance, in a small alcove of sorts, lies the skeleton of one unlucky robber; three quarters of the woman’s skin was turned to gold and now lies an empty shell but for her dry bones.

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