Wednesday, June 2, 2010

On Nabu - Part Two

And now for the meat of the sandbox (meat of the sandbox?) - now for the sand of the sandbox.


4012 Sandman Beach: A gang of 12 sandmen dwells on this beach. When foolish mortals intrude, they use their sleep power to disable them, steal their possessions (throwing them into the sea to be carried away by the tide) and then carry them into the hills.

4503 Lone Samurai: A lone samurai, in poor health, rests against a rock writing something in a thick book. Although he will know the adventurers approach, he will make no move until they are within 60 feet, at which point he will ask their business. If the adventurers want to fight, he will prove a significant challenge.

If engaged in conversation, the samurai will reveal that his name is Mizaki, and he is a servant of the Empress of Mu-Pan. He and six comrades were charged with charting the coastline of the Sea of Stars , from start to finish. They embarked on this mission many years ago and through the years all of his comrades have perished. Only Mizaki remains, and he knows that his time is drawing close. Will the adventurers be willing to take up his mission and maintain his honor? If not, the samurai will never be seen again. If they do, he will accompany them for as long as possible. Those who make it back to Mu-Pan will discover that a new empress sits on the throne, and Mizaki’s mission has been forgotten. Mizaki’s main treasure is his book, which contains charts and commentary on the lands he has visited. The book is in a difficult code, but can be understood by most magic-users and bards with some effort.

Lord Mizaki, Fighting-Man Lvl 10: HP 45; AC 2 [17]; Save 9; Special: Str 14, Dex 14, Con 8, Wis 14; Long sword, splint armor, longbow, 8 arrows, throwing axe, silver dagger, maps & charts, 8 gp.

4723 Stone Prism: A stone prism rises seven feet above the desert sands. Egyptian-style bas-reliefs cover the sides; the northwest side shows a hippo with a crocodile in its mouth, the south shows three women hanging from an acacia tree with a lotus at their feet and the northeast side a stately pharaoh with dead eyes sitting on a throne, small humans under his feet. Sitting atop the monolith is a wailing desert hag in tattered black robes plucking flakes of manna from the air and groveling before unseen masters.

Desert Hag: HD 6 (36 hp); AC 3 [16]; Atk 2 claw (1d6), 1 bite (1d4); Move 12; Save 11; CL/XP 9/1100; Special: Confusion, magic resistance 25%, spells, vulnerable to lapis lazuli.

5020 Angel Statue: A stone statue of an angel juts up from the sands at a strange angle. Appeals to lawful powers have a +5% chance of being heard and acted upon when made below this statue. Blasphemies are met with a curse that doesn’t allow natural healing. Appeals to Astarte by name result in all non-chaotic creatures present being healed of 1d6 points damage. This healing will only occur once for a given creature.

5402 Igniguana Lair: A craggy depression serves as the lair for four young igniguanas. Several humanoid and animal skeletons litter their lair, including one still wearing a golden band inscribed with the name “Lorna” (50 gp).

Igniguana (4): HD 4 (20, 19, 17, 10 hp); AC 4 [15]; Atk 1 bite (1d6); Move 6; Save 14; CL/XP 6/400; Special: Breathes fire (20’ cone, 2d6).

5422 Stone Prism: A stone prism rises 7’ above the desert sands. Egyptian-style bas-reliefs cover the sides; the north side shows a vulture poised atop a lion’s corpse, the southwest a dog-headed man with a human hand grasped in its jaws and the southeast side a stately pharaoh with dead eyes sitting on a throne, small humans under his feet. Sitting atop the monolith is a wailing desert hag in tattered black robes plucking flakes of manna from the air and groveling before unseen masters.

Desert Hag: HD 6 (36 hp); AC 3 [16]; Atk 2 claw (1d6), 1 bite (1d4); Move 12; Save 11; CL/XP 9/1100; Special: Confusion, magic resistance 25%, spells, vulnerable to lapis lazuli.

5508 Fiendish Centaurs: In a high cave over-looking a sandy valley live three fiendish centaurs who call themselves the “Daughters of Demogorgon”. Their names are Mala, Dione and Hadai. When intruders enter their valley they descend from their cave at a gallop, intent on killing all but one, who they will tear limb from limb on their father’s altar. In a hidden compartment behind the altar there is 11,880 cp, 283 sp, 270 ep and 19 gp.

Fiendish Centaur: HD 4+4; AC 4 [15]; Atk 2 kicks (1d6), 1 flail (1d6+1); Move 18; Save 13; CL/XP 8/800; Special: Immune to fire, magic resistance 10%, heat metal.

5725 Stone Prism: A stone prism rises 7’ above the desert sands. Egyptian-style bas-reliefs cover the sides; the north side shows a mass of worms in a roughly humanoid shape, the southwest a swirling shape with a small, round depression in the middle and the southeast side a stately pharaoh with dead eyes sitting on a throne, small humans under his feet. Sitting atop the monolith is a wailing desert hag in tattered black robes plucking flakes of manna from the air and groveling before unseen masters.

Desert Hag: HD 6 (36 hp); AC 3 [16]; Atk 2 claw (1d6), 1 bite (1d4); Move 12; Save 11; CL/XP 9/1100; Special: Confusion, magic resistance 25%, spells, vulnerable to lapis lazuli.

6022 Mysterious Platform: A square stone platform with sides 60’ long. The platform is 10’ tall, but half of it is buried in the sand. The platform is built with massive, greenish-grey stone blocks. Four ramps, at each of the cardinal directions, leads up to the top of the platform. On the top, lights that glow at night are set into the platform’s surface. A mage might recognize the constellation Hydra.

A secret door on the northern side of the platform, to the right of the stairs, leads into a dark tunnel approximately 15’ long ending in a locked steel door. Beyond the door the corridors are metallic tubes that show no signs of joins or seams. The tube corridor snakes around a bit, ending in another locked, sealed steel door. A dwarf or gnome might be able to tell that the corridor slopes down-ward.

Beyond the second door there is a 15’ x 15’ room constructed with the same metal. The ceiling in this chamber is 20’ high. The walls of the chamber are studded with glass bulbs, levers and wheels. There is a pile of rubble (metal chairs, wires, and other scraps the adventurers will be unable to identify) in the middle of the room. Amidst the rubble are three humanoid skeletons. Their skulls suggest that they are reptilian. Each wears a tunic of a silver cloth that almost seems metallic (20 gp value) and metallic bands around their forearms with slim, titanium daggers attached by some kind of static attraction. One of the skeletons has a spherical, crystalline stone of scarlet and blue (an ioun stone) under its skull.

Bunches of wires hang from the ceiling, along with three bulging, reddish cysts of some organic material. The cysts are fairly thick, with an AC 18. Each cyst can withstand 20 points of damage before splitting. The cysts are home to Venusian brain bats in hibernation. They were sealed into this chamber by the previous users, having already taken over three of their ancient astronauts. They have been in hibernation for millenia, and will be ravenous when released from their cysts. Once adventurers enter the room, they will detect their body heat and begin regenerating; this process takes 10 rounds. Once fully regenerated, they will burst from their cysts and attack with a normal chance for surprise. If released from their cysts before fully regenerated, they will have half their normal hit points and suffer a -1 penalty to attack and save. When fully regenerated, the three will have 21, 17 and 16 hp.

6208 Nest of Stones: The adventurers might come across a nest built of stones in this hex. The nest contains five petrified eggs that look like geodes. They are worth 100 gp each. After being split, or a few weeks after being found, the crystals will hatch small (2 HD) caterprisms. If not fed stone, they will grow violent. The caterprisms will add 1 hit dice of growth per week until they reach 6 hit dice after a month, at which point they will burrow away.

Caterprism: HD 6; AC 1 [18]; Atk 1 bite (1d8) or 4 legs (1d10); Move 12; Save 12; CL/XP 10/1400; Special: Crystal silk, crystalline mandibles, magic resistance 35%.

6602 Demon of the Storm: Each night, when the moon rises in the sky, a sandstorm of terrible intensity sweeps over this hex centered on a shimmering globe of force. Inside the globe is the form of a sleeping demoness.

The hex is patrolled by a man with no name who appears to be a Roman centurion. The man cannot die, at least not permanently. At each sunrise, he is affected by a heal spell or a true resurrection, as is appopriate to his condition. Only complete disintegration will end his life. The man’s purpose is to prevent anyone from releasing the Lilith, the demoness. Besides his magic spear, the centurion wears an amulet engraved with the names “Senoy, Sansenoy and Semangelof” that protects him from demons and devils.

Lilith’s globe can only be breached by being simultaneous struck by a holy sword and subjected to dispel magic cast by a chaotic magic-user. Lilith’s spells are: Animate dead, charm person, darkness, dispel magic, finger of death (2/day), fireball (2d6), ESP, invisibility, know alignment, lightning bolt (4d6 damage. 1/day), limited wish (other), major image, polymorph self, produce flame, pyrotechnics, read magic, see invisibility, suggestion, teleport without error, tongues.

The Centurion, Fighting-Man Lvl 10: HP 61; AC 2 [17]; Save 9; Special: Str 16, Con 13, Wis 8; Banded armor, shield, +3 spear (lawful, save vs. paralysis), magic amulet (see above).

Lilith: HD 15 (71 hp); AC -2 [21]; Atk 2 tail (2d6) or 1 scimitar (1d8+5) or 2 whip (1d8+5); Move 16 (Fly 30); Save 3; CL/XP 25/5900; Special: Immune to fire, ½ damage from cold and poison, silver or magic weapons to hit, 75% magic resistance, spells, radiates fear in 10’ radius, summon 1d2 marilith demons (60% chance of success), regenerate 2.

6621 Ancient Saucer: Adventurers moving through this hex have a 1% chance of falling through the upper hatch of a flying saucer buried in the sand. The saucer was used by a band of zetans who were caught in the conflagration that destroyed the Nabu empire. While there is no hope of reactivating the saucer or any of its major systems, some power can be restored by collecting power crystals (they can be found throughout the ship) and placing the proper colors into small, hexagonal holes located next to the ship’s instrument panels.

The saucer is fifty feet in diameter and two stories tall. The hatch the adventurers fall into opens onto the outer corridor that circles the ship. The superstructure and interior walls of the saucer are made of titanium alloys in a variety of colors. There are no apparent seams between wall and ceiling or floor. Doors are of the sliding variety, and, since there is no power, must be forced open. From the outer corridor on the top level, one can enter the medical bay, elevator shaft, meditation chamber, science chamber, time chamber and command chamber at the center of the saucer. The bottom level is made up of five sleep chambers and a beam chamber. The ship is inhabited by various oozes, vapor rats and phase spiders.

[NOD #3 will have more details on the saucer and its contents]

6703 Nomad Camp: Atop a rocky rise there is an ancient fort of weathered sandstone. The fort’s walls are cracked and unsteady, the steps leading up to the entrance almost weathered into a ramp and crumbling in places, and the entrance itself now lacking a portcullis. Inside this structure a band of nomads descended from the survivors of Nabu’s cataclysm often make camp. When they are in residence (4 in 6 chance), the courtyard of the fortress is entirely filled with their brilliant white pavilions. The nomads number 200. They herd camels and work metal into ornaments and broad swords. The warriors wear mail shirts beneath their robes and carry javelins and broad swords. They are led in battle by 20 sergeants. Their chief is Omblud, a tall man with piercing green eyes. Omblud’s wife is the witch-woman Shamavar. The nomads are often preyed upon by the shadow wolves [Hex 6802] and know about the demon of the storm to the northwest [6602].

Nomad: HD 1; AC 5 [14]; Atk 1 weapon (1d8); Move 12; Save 16; CL/XP 1/15; Special: Avoid blows.

Shamavar, Druid Lvl 3: HP 12; AC 6 [13]; Save 14; Special: Spells (1st); Leather armor, shield, curved long sword, curved silver dagger, potion of healing.

Omblud, Fighting-Man Lvl 5: HP 25; AC 3 [16]; Save 14; Chainmail, shield, long sword, curved dagger, longbow, 20 arrows.

6716 Deserted Friary: Two limestone walls are all that remains of an ancient friary dedicated to Thoth. It was here that the scientist-priests experimented with the technology of their forebears, and ultimately destroyed themselves. The land around the friary is home to all manner of strange plants (assassin vines, shambling mounds) and the area is thick with radiation (saving throw each day or suffer 1d4 points of constitution damage). A sealed and locked iron trapdoor under the sand opens to reveal a 40’ deep winding staircase. The staircase leads down to a small laboratory complex.

SHRINE – At the center of the complex is a small shrine to Thoth. The small idol here is cast from mithral (500 gp). It sits in a small niche framed with ebony. A number of tiny prayer scrolls have been nailed to the wooden frame, most of them pleas (in the strange pictograms of ancient Nabu) for success in one scientific endeavor or another.

ENERGY – This room contains a reactor core glowing so brightly that one must shield their eyes to approach it. The reactor is connected to the walls by lines of gold inlaid into the floors and running along the walls, which are also decorated with images of Ra and his solar barque. Staying in the room for more than a minute results in 1d6 points of constitution damage and the equivalent of sunburns. Attempts to manipulate the levers and buttons on the reactor proper result as follows:

1. The reactor explodes, causing 6d6 points of fire damage and 1d6 points of constitution damage

2. The reactor dims, sputters and dies

3. Nothing occurs

4. A low hum fills the room and all present suffer 1d10 points of fire damage as the reactor flares briefly

5. An arc of lightning leaps from the controls into the would-be controller, inflicting 3d6 points of damage

6. The reactor flares (as 4 above) and then collapses inward, creating a sphere of annihilation

PSYCHOLOGY – Numerous experiments with zetan mind-helmets were performed in this room on test subjects. All of them either died or went insane, with the exception of the subject now trapped in the biology laboratory. At the end of the room is a curious throne of flint connected to the walls by lines of gold (see Energy above). A strange silvery headband rests on the throne, connected to it by gold wire. This headband should activate psychic powers in its wearer, but is faulty and instead forces the wearer to make a saving throw. If successful, they gain the ability to use ESP for 1 week at will and then lose the power forever. If the save is failed, they are struck with insanity (see spell).

BIOLOGY – Test subjects were kept behind mithral bars (100 gp each) in this room. The cages are now empty. In the middle of the room there is a flat table of bronze. The surface of the table is glassy, and appears to have the image of a gorilla with a white face. The table is connected to the walls via gold lines. The table is actually a form of stasis chamber. If the dials on the side of the table are meddled with or the gold lines severed, the creature in stasis, a reigon, will be released to wreak its terrible vengeance on the world.

Reigon: HD 5 (30 hp); AC 4 [15]; Atk 2 claws (1d6), bite (1d8); Move 12 (Climb 12); Save 12; CL/XP 8/800; Special: Psychic resistance 15%, mind blast, psychic defense, telekinetic force.

6719 Citadel of the Black Panther: A basalt citadel rises here from the desert sands, its black color striking against the sand. The citadel is topped by a brass dome. Its gateway is carved from obsidian and features bars of blackened meteoric iron. Above the gateway is a granite carving of the symbol of Seth, the god of darkness.

The citadel is a bulky tower roughly three stories tall. From above, it looks like a circle (the dome) within a diamond (the upper stories) within a square (the ground floor). Each of the upper stories have exits leading to ledges protected by battlements. These ledges are patrolled by scalefolk.

The interior of the citadel is maze-like, with myriad twisting passages ending either in dead ends or oddly shaped chambers. These chambers include sitting rooms, a kitchen dominated by a brass cauldron and a wizened old cook (a desert hag made obedient by powerful magic), an armory containing polished bronze maces (lead filled), shields and scale armor, shrines to Apophis and Typhon, barracks for the scalefolk warriors and human acolytes, a large temple dedicated to Seth and plush living quarters for Kemnabi, the Black Panther, and his scaly allies.

The temple is a hexagonal chamber dominated by a central idol of Seth in a pose of victory, his brother’s body below his feet and the goddess Isis on her kneels, a golden chain around her neck. The idol rests on an obsidian platform and is surrounded by a dozen hepatizon (black bronze) braziers burning cones of stinging incense. Torches line the walls at various levels and above one can see the great bronze dome. The temple is always guarded by 2d6 chaotic acolytes armed with heavy maces and wearing scale armor beneath their black robes.

Kemnabi’s private chambers are accessed via a secret door in the temple. The private apartments include rooms for his serpent man allies, a laboratory for same and a sprawling apartment for Kemnabi himself. Kemnabi’s apartment features a down-filled mattress, velvet pillows, a mahogany wardrobe (robes, courtier’s outfit), a private altar to Seth (an obsidian idol in an ebony cabinet), a porphyry brazier (50 gp) and a terracotta bust of his mother (3 gp). The apartment also includes a private bath. Kemnabi shares his apartment with the wereserpent Ekibe, who wears a turquoise pendant (30 gp) and a gold toe ring (80 gp). Locked iron chests contain 14,000 sp, 9,600 ep, 60 gp, 28 pp, and three gemstones worth 100 gp each - chalcedony, jacinth and alexandrite.

Yellow Scalefolk (24): HD 1; AC 4 [15]; Atk 2 bite (1d3), 1 weapon (1d8) or 2 claw (1d2); Move 12; Save 17; CL/XP 3/60; Special: Acid spit (60’, 1d4 damage for 2 rd), level 1 thieves.

Acolytes (12): HD 1; AC 3 [16]; Atk Weapon (1d8); Move 12; Save 16; CL/XP 2/30; Special: Command undead.

Serpent Folk (6): HD 6; AC 3 [16]; Atk 2 claws (1d4), bite (1d3) or weapon (1d8); Move 12; Save 11; CL/XP 8/800; Special: Spells (cause fear, darkness, neutralize poison, snake charm, sticks to snakes, suggestion, polymorph other), magic resistance 20%.

Kemnabi, Cleric Lvl 12: HP 54; AC -5 [24]; Save 5; Special: Dex 16, Wis 16, Cha 13; Spells 6th; Special: Spells (5th); Platemail, shield, heavy mace, potion of diminution.


The Stone Prisms, if you were wondering, lead to another encounter (which will appear in NOD #3 - hey, I have to hold something back).


  1. Nice eclectic bunch of encounters! Igniguana makes me chuckle. One question: was your inspiration for the name the Babylonian diety (also called Nebo), the Egyptian name from which we get Nubia (Nobu), or the Lord of Order that DC's Dr. Fate serves (Nabu)? ;)

    Also, I perused Land of Nod #1 finally. Most of it I recalled from your website, but it was very well put together and professional.

  2. Being an intense student of ancient mythology, my source was, of course, the Lord of Order from Dr. Fate.

    Thanks for the kind words on Nod #1. Hopefully #2 will appear in a couple weeks.


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