Thursday, June 3, 2010

On Nabu - Part Three

6722 Golems: On a broad, sandy plain, six clay golems shuffle slowly about, their heads bent to the ground as though searching from something. They will not attack people moving through unless they are first attacked or the travelers appear to be searching as well. The creator of the golems is long since gone, so the specifics of their mission will remain unknown.
  • Clay Golem (6): HD 12 (50 hp); AC 7 [12]; Atk 1 fist (3d10); Move 8; Save 5; CL/XP 14/2700; Special: Immune to slashing and piercing weapons, immune to most spells.

6801 Shadow Wolves:
The toppled remains of an ancient building serve as the lair of a pack of 6 shadow wolves. At night, they prowl the desert looking for prey. They have long plagued the nomads of [6703].

  • Shadow Wolves (6): HD 4 (24 hp); AC 6 [13]; Atk 1 bite (1d4 Str); Move 21; Save 13; CL/XP 7/600; Special: Incorporeal, blend with shadows, strength damage.

6814 Quicksand: Hundreds of patches of quicksand dot this hex. Travelers have a 4 in 6 chance of wandering into a patch and sinking quick.

6910 Meteorite Strike: Three days ago a meteorite hit the ground here, creating a crater of glass and spewing glass globes all over the immediate area. The meteor has cooled down now, but it is buried in the center of the crater. Two groups are on their way to claim the meteor and will arrive at just about the time the adventurers plan to leave (or just after they settle down).

The first adventure group is working for an astronomer of Ophir, the second for a wizard of Ibis. Each group consists of three adventurers and 2d6 men-at-arms.

The meteorite is a source of meteoric iron and many substances useful in the arts of alchemy and sorcery. It is a rich reward, and one both groups are willing to fight for.

7015 Dragon Shrine: There is a dock on the river here obscured by tall reeds. The dock is attached to a small mud-brick shrine that is often (10%) visited by groups of 1d6+3 cultists of Gorvax the blue dragon (see Hex 7121).

The floor of the shrine is decorated with a sun-wheel depicting the different hours of the day. Each phase is associated with a different animal; there is a hawk for the dawn, an aardvark for noon and a cow for the twelfth hour of daytime. A blue serpent coils in the center of the sun-wheel, its head facing the noon hour, its body making three revolutions and its tail pointing to the eighth hour.

The purpose of the snake is to lead to the lair of Gorvax; one must set out at noon, following the sun south, for three days. At that point, they must follow the sun at its point two hours before noon, turning southeast for one day. Those who continue south may come across the false lair of Gorvax.

7018 Dragon Man Village: A village of 110 dragon men is located here between the riverside dragon shrine in [7015] and the lair of Gorvax the dragon in [7121]. The village consists of several adobe buildings, including a large meeting hall interspersed by a few gravel and dirt streets. The village is surrounded by a 40-foot tall, 10-foot thick wall of sun-dried brick studded with blue glass.

The village has 6 warriors and a captain named Osho. The warriors carry shields, axes and javelins. Guards atop the walls are armed with glass globes of poison gas (2d6).

The dragon men support themselves by raising scarabs in subterranean dung caverns and by hunting and gardening along the river. The village has an armorer named Khashai.

The village is matriarchical, and has been ruled by a long line of witches, the latest being Ibony. Ibony has two daughters, Shamisi and Barere. They dwell in a large asobe hall, beneath which is a cellar containing 1,700 ingots of silver (1 lb, 10 gp) stamped with the seal of Ammenu, fifth pharaoh of Nabu.

  • Shamisi, Dragon Woman Magic-User Lvl 1: HP 4; AC 6 [13]; Save 15; Special: Spells (1st); Light mace, spellbook.
  • Barere, Dragon Woman Magic-User Lvl 2: HP 8; AC 6 [13]; Save 14; Special: Spells (1st); Staff, spellbook.
  • Ibony, Dragon Woman Magic-User Lvl 4: HP 16; AC 6 [13]; Save 12; Special: Spells (2nd); Silver dagger, spellbook, gold amulet designating leadership (200 gp), potion of human control.
  • Osho, Dragon Fighting-Woman Lvl 6: HP 56; AC 3 [16]; Save 11; Falchion, light crossbow, chainmail, shield, bejeweled anklet (2000 gp).

7106 Nomad Camp: A tribe of 90 nomads has pitched a camp within an oasis surrounding a deep water hole. The nomads live in white tents and wrap thick, blue scarves around their heads and faces. They wear leather armor and carry shields, lances, short bows and broad swords. The tribe includes 45 warriors and 4 sergeants. They are led by a level 4 paladin named Kafik, who wields a masterwork bearded axe and carries a sandalwood box containing paper, ink and a quill. On this paper he writes songs of love dedicated to the memory of a Ophirian noblewoman he once glimpsed from afar. The tribe’s treasure amounts to 700 sp, 15 gp and 7 pp.

  • Kafik, Paladin Lvl 4: HP 17; AC 5 [14]; Save 12; Special: Cure disease 1/wk, divine aura, immune to disease, heal 8 hp/day, turn undead, divine mount; Leather armor, shield, lance, broad sword, short bow.

7114 Road: A road constructed of thick (2’x2’), limestone blocks runs from the River of Death south to [7115]. The road is in good condition and is patrolled by warriors (3 in 6 chance of encounter) from [7217]. The warriors wear ring armor and carry shields, spears and crossbows. Pipes buried beneath the road carry water.

  • Men-At-Arms (10): HD 1 (6 hp); AC 5 [14]; Atk 1 spear (1d6) or 1 crossbow (1d6); Move 12; Save 17; CL/XP 1/15; Special: None.
  • Sergeant: HD 3 (20 hp); AC 5 [14]; Atk 1 spear (1d8) or 1 crossbow (1d8); Move 12; Save 14; CL/XP 3/60; Special: None.

7121 Dragon Lair: The lair of the ancient dragon Gorvax is in this hex. There is a 40% chance he is patrolling his territory when adventurers enter the hex. Otherwise, he will be sleeping in his subterranean vault.

Gorvax has the build of a traditional dragon. His scales are bright blue and he is perpetually engulfed in blue fire. Although not terribly intelligent, and without spell-casting ability, he has an animal’s cunning and complete faith in the value of brute force. Gorvax is an arcanovore, meaning that he sustains himself by draining magic items of their enchantments.

Gorvax’s vault can be entered by burrowing through 100 feet of shifting sand. His vault is all that remains of a pre-human city. It is a dome-like structure approximately 200 feet in diameter and 100 feet from floor to ceiling. The interior of the dome is decorated with bits of colored glass in dizzying geometric shapes. The floor is composed of yellow tiles, most of them cracked and chipped.

Gorvax’s treasure occupies a 3 foot deep depression at the center of the dome. It is surrounded by a magic circle traced on the floor in gold filigree. Any attempt to cross the circle without first dispelling its magic results in the treasure being teleported to Gorvax’ false lair in [7015]. Aside from 1,300 gp kept loose, the treasure is contained in five large titanium cylinders. Each cylinder is formed of three twist-able rings. The rings are covered with geometric patterns that must be put in the correct order to unlock the cylinder. Five explosive runes are worked into each cylinder, exploding for 6d6 points of damage. Each cylinder has a different combination which can be rolled randomly using 1d6 for each ring. To solve each combination, the players will have to arrange the dice in the correct order. For each point of intelligence bonus in the group, allow one do-over. The treasures are as follows:

Cylinder 1: 302 gp, a blue sapphire and jasper.

Cylinder 2: 780 gp, onyx (50 gp), porcelain bracelet decorated with red flowers (1,000 gp), potion of poison.

Cylinder 3: 92 gp, smooth wood paperweight shaped like a hippo (90 gp), cursed steel buckler -1.

Cylinder 4: 1,233 gp, three gemstones worth 75 gp (pearl, spinel, topaz), slippers of spider climb (cursed to act as slippers of grease).

Cylinder 5: 326 gp, black pearl and a spell scroll containing animal trance (see below).

  • Gorvax: HD 14 (112 hp); AC -2 [21]; Atk 2 claws (1d6), 1 bite (3d8); Move 12 (Fly 30); Save 3; CL/XP 17/3500; Special: Spit lightning, flaming aura (1d4 damage).

Animal Trance (Druid 2) Range: 30 feet Duration: Concentration You compel animals and magical beasts to do nothing but watch you. Trained animals receive a saving throw, and intelligent creatures are unaffected. Roll 2d6 to determine the total number of HD worth of creatures that you fascinate.

7210 Castle of Lord Skath: Lord Skath is a wereweasel. He rules over a household of ten such creatures, all of them appearing to be gaunt, dirty children in human form. They dwell in a weathered old castle of sandstone, with round towers and marble battlements and stout gates of iron and brass decorated with hunting lions. Their great hall is like a carnal-house, bloody and wrecked. Their rooms are in a similar state, their armory filled with bones, the idols in their chapel battered and smeared with feces. Their treasury is barred by an iron door and contains 4,000 cp, 100 gp and 20 pp. Lord Skath wears an ivory pendant (70 gp) and always keeps a bottle of spirits (140 gp) close to him. His hall is “decorated” with a copper gong (200 gp).

  • Wereweasel (11): HD 3+2; AC 4 [15]; Atk 1 bite (1d6) and 1 weapon (1d8); Move 15; Save 14; CL/XP 5/240; Special: Drain blood, lycanthropy, +1 initiative, only hit by magic or silver weapons.

7217 Castle of Lord Yaphet: Lord Yaphet has a large, walled castle with a keep. The castle is surrounded by a village of low, brick huts with flat roofs. The huts are dug into the soil. The villagers keep camels and raise crops, their land irrigated by pipes beneath the road in [7114-7116]. The castle is constructed of limestone and has 20’ high walls and a 30’ tall keep.

Lord Yaphet is a warrior from Pwenet with dark skin, hazel eyes and a shaved head. He wears garments of silk and velvet. His guard consists of 16 men-at-arms and a sergeant named Kobi, all wearing scale armor and carrying shields, spears and crossbows. He is also attended by a magic-user called Remtep, an astronomer of the old school, and his chapel is tended by Ulanna, a cleric of Onuris. Yaphet also employs an armorer and bowyer.

Yaphet is a haughty ruler, but a fair man and one always on the lookout for a bargain. He has designs on Ulanna, but has made little progress. He would like to extend his dominion over the village in [7313] and has a fascination with elves.

His treasure consists of 26,000 cp, 2,800 sp, 9,600 ep, 53 gp, 9 pp, jasper (20 gp), beryl (300 gp), gold aspergill (45 gp), 10 masterwork arrows (10 gp, +1 to hit), terracotta statuette (3 gp), silver snuff box (30 gp), map of Pwenet (26 gp), platinum goblet (800 gp), banner (250 gp), sardonyx locket (190 gp) and silk robes (100 gp).

  • Yaphet, Fighting-Man Lvl 12: HP 81; AC 1 [18]; Save 5; Special: Dex 18, Con 13; Platemail, shield, masterwork longbow, efficient quiver, spear, robe of blending.

7306 Ute: This village of 300 sandstone quarrymen living in timber longhouses is surrounded by a wooden palisade with a crocodile-infested moat. The village is ruled by a council of elders and has the services of a healer. They gather their water in sandstone cisterns and are known for their woodworking. Ute is defended by 3 men-at-arms with ring armor, shields, pole arms and longbows and 15 militia with wicker shields and spears.

7307 Pleasure Barge: At sunset, the adventurers will spot an ancient-looking pleasure barge rowing up or down the river. The barge is approximately 20’ wide and forty feet long, with a row of 30 oars on each side. The decks are of polished oak and the hull is composed of ebony. The barge’s figurehead is a wooden carving of Bast, painted to look alive. Colorful shields bearing explosive runes line the decks.

A pavilion of silk as blue as lapis lazuli on the aft deck provides shade and shelter for the sorceress Labyris. A red pavilion on the foredeck is furnished with silk pillows and wool rugs for Labyris’ guests. Servants unseen but for their ivory hands attend the every need of the hostess and her guests; serving delightful and exotic viands (oysters on the half-shell, dates soaked in wine, spiced crocodile, etc), pouring sparkling wines and liquors of sapphire, ruby, amethyst and amber from crystal decanters into chilled chalcedony goblets and playing delightful music on golden dulcimers and harps.

Should the barge be hailed, Labyris will use her magics to scry the identities and demeanor of the intruders and then either ignore them or invite the aboard, halting the barge and casting a prismatic bridge from barge to shore.

Boarders will be greeted by Geb, Labyris’ bodyguard and loyal companion of many years. Geb was a gladiator in the arenas of Zinj before buying his freedom and taking up the life of an adventurer. Labyris is also accompanied by her pet jaguar, Felix, which she acquired in the jungles of Hybresail several years ago.

As mentioned above, Labyris is a powerful sorceress. The barge is her “tower”, a peaceful place for study, reflection, experiment and decadence. She maintains a laboratory and library below-deck, and is not averse to selling her services for the right price (usually an exotic, esoteric ingredient not to be found on Nod or a lost scroll or book that she requires to advance her studies. To date, she has never accepted an apprentice.

Labyris keeps her treasure in an invisible iron chest behind her throne. It is locked and protected by a fire trap. It contains 5,200 gp (mostly scruples from Ibis), an etched glass paperweight (1,100 gp), a delicate ebony figurine of Bast (60 gp) and an ornate bone music box (600 gp).

  • Geb, Fighter-Monk Lvl 4/9: HP 72; AC 4 [15]; Save 8; Special: +2 short sword (glows in presence of chaos), short bow, 20 arrows.
  • Labyris, Magic-User Lvl 11: HP 27; AC 9 [10]; Save 5; Special: Spells (6th), Empower Spell, Extend Spell; Amulet of health, scroll of fly, spellbook.
  • Felix, Jaguar: HD 3 (22 hp); AC 6 [13]; Atk 2 claws (1d3), 1 bite (1d6); Move 16; Save 14; CL/XP 4/120; Special: None.

Animate Objects (Magic-User 6)
Range: 100 feet
Duration: 1 round/level

You imbue non-magical inanimate objects with mobility and a semblance of life. You may animate one small object per caster level. A medium object counts as two small objects, a large object as four. This spell cannot animate objects carried or worn by a creature. Animate objects can be made permanent with permanency.

7313 Edurumuyi: This is a village of 600 hunters living in longhouses thatched from reeds. The village is surrounded by a wooden palisade. Wamew is ruled by Ifipiyu, a noble. The village has the services of a neutral temple dedicated to Neith, goddess of the hunt. Wamew is known for its medicinal herbs. The village is defended by 6 men-at-arms with scale armor, shield, spear and longbow and 30 militia with padded armor, longbow, hand ax.

7404 Thin Lake: There is a thin lake here fed by natural springs. On the shore is an abandoned complex of baths with quays attached to it. A pleasure barge is anchored in the middle of the lake. The complex looks to be over three hundred years old and in a state of advanced disrepair. The medicinal springs still flow, but the steamy interior of the complex now supports a menagerie of fungal life forms.

The pleasure barge is a typical representative of its type, with a wide hull, flat deck and an ornate aft-castle filled with couches and incense burners, all in the Greco-Egyptian style one associates with Cleopatra. Whatever happened to the original paty-goers on the barge must have happened quickly, as a considerable amount of treasure has been left on the barge, including a delicate latice-work bracelet carved from marble (800 gp), a brass plate (120 gp), a carved harp of exotic wood with ivory inlay and zircon gems on a marble stand (700 gp) and a silver flask holding a dose of oil of invisibility. Thrown over a couch there is a scarlet robe. The robe has three interior pockets, one containing an ivory scroll case (50 gp). Another pocket holds a long black feather encased in a tube of amber glass. The device works as a wand of shocking grasp with 3 charges.

Scattered about the deck, as though dropped by someone in a hurry, are 500 gp of the ancient Nabu Empire, a 700 gp alexandrite and a fist-sized blue sapphire worth 6,000 gp. Unfortunately, the blue sapphire is cursed, doubling one’s chances of random encounters.

Below the main deck is the oar deck. Where there were once twenty pairs of oars, now there are only five. Most of the oars are either missing or splintered and snapped. A weird glow emanates from below one bench. The glow comes from a +1 beheading sword* with a jade pommel and a jade-inlaid hilt (4,800 gp). The blade is covered with a purplish ichor that is sticky to touch, despite being covered by a thin layer of dust.

The oar deck is also inhabited by a star-mouthed worm. It lies motionless, curled up in the forward end of the vessel, attacking only when victims are close enough to be charged. Every round of fighting with the worm carries with it a cumulative 3% chance that the ship’s hull will be damaged and the vessel will begin to sink. It will take 10 rounds before water begins filling the oar deck, 5 rounds more before the oar deck is submerged and another 5 rounds before the ship has completely sunk into the lake.

Behind the worm, excreted from its last meal, are 800 gp.

* A beheading sword is a weapon from Mu-Pan, mostly used in executions. It can be treated as a battle axe.

  • Star-Mouthed Worm: HD 10 (80 hp); AC 4 [15]; Atk 3 mouths (1d10); Move 9; Save 5; CL/XP 12/2000; Special: Swallow whole on 19 or 20.

7607 Zimphael: Zimphael is a camp of 60 sahitim. The camp contains two dozen crimson pavilions held up by brass spears. Zimphael is without women and children, the men forming a brotherhood of unholy warriors. They raid nearby villages [7306, 7409, 7313 and 7815] and carrying off captives for sacrifice to the nether powers. There are usually 1d6 captives in the camp awaiting a bloody, terrifying death. The raiders are led by a wild-eyed level 7 cleric called Baphot. Baphot’s left hand has been replaced by a hook, and one of his eyes has been replaced with a large agate. The tribe also contains three level 3 fighting-men, seven level 1 clerics, one level 3 magic-user, two level 3 clerics, two dretches and 20 skeletal archers. The warriors of the tribe are mounted on warhorses in chainmail barding, with Baphot riding a skeletal fury called Plaguewind. The tribe’s treasure consists of 850 cp, 81 sp, 690 ep and 20 gp kept in leather sacks with scorpions.

  • Sahitim: HD 1; AC 3 [16]; Atk 2 weapon (1d8); Move 12; Save 17; CL/XP 3/60; Special: ½ damage from acid, cold, fire, prot. from good.
  • Warhorse: HD 3 (15 hp); AC 4 [15]; Atk 1 bite (1d2), 2 hooves (1d3); Move 18; Save 15; CL/XP 3/60; Special: None.
  • Dretch Demon (2): HD 4 (25 hp); AC 2 [17]; Atk 2 claws (1d4), bite (1d6); Move 9; Save 13; CL/XP 6/400; Special: Stinking cloud 1/day, teleport 1/day, cause darkness (10’) 1/day, summon 1d4 giant rats 1/day.
  • Skeleton Archer (20): HD 1 (5 hp); AC 8 [11]; Atk 1 weapon (1d6); Move 12; Save 17; CL/XP 1/15; Special: None.
  • Sahitim Lvl 3 Fighting-Men (3): HP 24; AC 2 [17]; Save 14; Special: Protection from good, half damage from acid, cold and fire; Curved two-handed sword, platemail.
  • Sahitim Lvl 1 Anti-Clerics (7): HP 6; AC 2 [17]; Save 14; Special: Command undead; Platemail, shield, mace, unholy symbol.
  • Trago & Gespik, Sahitim Lvl 3 Clerics: HP 18; AC 2 [17]; Save 12; Special: Spells (1st), command undead; Mace, platemail, shield, unholy symbol.
  • Skafar, Sahitim Lvl 3 Magic-User: HP 9; AC 9 [10]; Save 13; Special: Spells (2nd), empower spell; Silver dagger, staff, brass skull cap, brass tips on horns.
  • Baphot, Sahitim Anti-Cleric Lvl 7: HP 34; AC 1 [18]; Save 8; Special: Spells (3rd), command undead; Wavy-bladed dagger, mace, platemail, shield, unholy symbol.
  • Plaguewind: HD 3 (24 hp); AC 4 [15]; Atk 2 claws (1d6), gore (1d6); Move 12 (Fly 12); Save 14; CL/XP 3/60; Special: Immune to sleep, charm and mind-erasing.

7609 Wrecked Trebuchet: The remains of a trebuchet lie in this hex, half-covered in sand and pitted with hundreds of holes. A nest of scarabs that produce acidic excretions lives beneath the trebuchet and will quickly swarm (as insect swarm + 1d4 acid damage each round) anything that gets near their home. Digging in the sand around the trebuchet will reveal the skeletal remains of four adventurers who got to close. The remains have been stripped of treasure.

7721 Kheph Fortress: The kheph have a mighty fortress here that looks like a 200’ tall tower of solidifed sand. The fortress was erected by genies under the command of the kheph, and thus bears no crack or masonry join.

The tower is surrounded by a complex of twenty domed sandstone buildings connected by covered passages. Each building can be entered via a secret door that only opens with a magical command word. In this complex live a band of 200 brigands who work for the kheph, gathering items and people they require. The brigands wear large, bronze helms made to resemble animals of the desert, scale tunics, bronze bracers and sandals. They are armed with long, charged rods of a silvery metal. These rods hold 20 charges and can inflict electricity damage upon touch (as shocking hand, costing 1 charge) or fire bolts of lightning (3d6 damage, 3 charges). The brigands also carry bronze truncheons and silver daggers. The brigands are led by 20 sergeants and 10 human warlocks (level 1d6 fighter-magic-users).

In their tower, the kheph are working on a means to absorb the chaotic energies that keep the former savanna of Nabu barren, so that they may re-invigorate the land and establish a new empire, a base from which they may conquer Nod. The tower contains numerous laboratories, a library containing a dozen or more tomes on history, alchemy, biology, geology, cosmology and other sciences, hydroponic gardens, summoning chambers and rooms filled with bizarre machines, the purpose of which is only known to the kheph and which even the highest level scientists of Nod might only guess. The tower holds 15 kheph warriors, 9 magi and a council of 3 elders.

  • Kheph Warrior (15): HD 8 (48 hp); AC 3 [16]; Atk 2 scimitars (1d8); Move 12; Save 8; CL/XP 8/800; Special: +2 to hit.
  • Kheph Magi (9): HD 10 (60 hp); AC 6 [13]; Atk 1 scimitar (1d8); Move 12; Save 5; CL/XP 13/2300; Special: Magic-user spells (5th), symbol of fear, plane shift.
  • Kheph Elder (3): HD 11 (66 hp); AC 4 [15]; Atk 1 scimitar (1d8); Move 12; Save 4; CL/XP 15/2900; Special: Magic-user spells (6th), cleric spells (6th), symbol of death, plane shift.


  1. Very atmospheric encounters, a great sword & sorcery vibe.

    How do you come up with so many good ideas?


  2. Thanks. I have no idea where the ideas come from - sometimes I find a seed in a random generator, sometimes in a piece of art, sometimes I just let my mind wander while I'm exercising (45 lb down, 45 to go!). Usually, I come up with something simple, and then try to make some aspect of it unique and fun to discover. I just hope I can keep it up ...


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