Monday, 14 May 2018

Muddywater Lair

I created a model of one of my favorite D&D monsters, the lizardman. So to properly use the model I have created a small lizardman lair located in a swamp near the village of Yarrow on my Stillwater region map.

At the Crossroads

Muddywater Lair

A short encounter for levels 2-4 using any OSR Rules.

The Wasted Shallows to the west of the village of Yarrow is an area of miles of cold bogs around Ruest Lake. The area is home to poisonous snakes, giant beetles, spiders and several tribes of lizardmen. The lizardmen tribes of the swamps are very territorial but for the most part, do not hunt outside their claimed territory leaving the human farms around Yarrow in peace. However, should a human wander into the swamps they become fair game for the lizardmen who are rumored to hunt and eat lost travellers. For this reason, very few inhabitants of Yarrow have ever ventured into the swamps.

A few hardy explorers or hunters have entered the swamp and they tell of a lizardman lair located under a hill nestled against the Muddywater River. The location is well known to all inhabitants of Yarrow. It is just 2 miles away to the west.

Players stopping over in Yarrow who are looking for some adventure and ask around will be told about the Lizardman lair. It is nearby, easy to spot and surely the lizardmen are hoarding lots of treasure in the lair. The villagers would be happy to see the potential nearby threat removed. Although not enough to pay a commission to deal with it.

Entering the Swamp

As has been mentioned the lair is a short distance from Yarrow, only 2 miles away. The first mile is easy to travel even though there is no path or trail. After that, the adventurers will be forced to enter the swamp. The Wasted Shallows is a particularly boggy swamp with a lot of standing water. There is only one narrow river that rolls through the lowlands, the Muddywater and it lives up to its name. The lizardman lair is a low hill sitting up in the shallows and visible from almost a mile away (soon after players enter the swamp). Getting to the lair should take a full day.

Insect Swarm

A few hours after the characters enter the shallows they encounter an insect swarm. The swarm is a cloud (30 feet by 10 feet) of wasps that the characters have disturbed. The swarm will attack and continue attacking until driven off.

Insect Swarm of Wasps (1): HD 4, HP 24, Fly 20’, #At 1, DMG 2 points, SA NM, ML 11, AL Neutral.

Any character within a swarm is automatically hot each round for 2 points of damage. If the character has exposed skin, or no armor the damage is doubled. If a character runs out of the swarm or wards it off (with a torch or similar item) they take half damage. If a character gets away from the central swarm or dives under water that character only takes damage for one more round.

Lizardman Ambush

The lizardmen have patrols out protecting their territory at all times. They will become aware of the characters shortly after they enter the swamp unless they take precautions to stealth their movements.

If the party appears large (3 or more) or powerful the lizardmen will only attack by throwing rocks from cover. If they appear weak the lizardmen will hunt the characters.

Lizardman Hunting Party (6): AC 5, HD 2+1, HP 15 each, MV 20’ Swim 40’, #AT 1 club or 1 thrown rock, DMG 2-7 or 1-2, SA F2, ML 12, AL Neutral.

The lizardmen are wearing simple grass skirts and carry clubs. One has a leather bag with fish in it. They do not have any treasure.

The Lair

The lair is just across the Muddywater river. A hill 60 to 70 feet high and 400 feet in diameter. The entrance is on the south side of the hill a wide, muddy slope leading thirty feet down into a cave entrance. White, wood smoke can be seen drifting out of two spots on the crown of the hill.

The Muddywater at this point is a slow-moving, murky brown stream sixty feet across. At its deepest point, the river is only 12 feet deep. Characters will need to build a raft to get safely across if they have no other means.

The descriptions of the lair assume that the characters have managed to come upon the lizardmen with surprise. If a hunting party encounters the players and is chased back to the hill this surprise will not be achieved.

If the lizardmen are not surprised, they will move at least 4 guards to area 12 to protect the eggs and the warriors of the tribe will ambush the characters from all sides at area 2 (use the lizardmen from area 1, 2, 7 and 8 (including the chief). If things go badly in this ambush most of the lizardmen will try to escape with their eggs through area 5.

Even if the characters achieve surprise in entering the lair, rounds of combat will alert nearby lizardmen who will move to join the fight.

The lizardman lair is a series of natural caves that have been worked and widened out by the lizardmen using simple stone tools. The walls and ceilings are damp and coated with glowing green moss in most areas. The moss prevents the caves from being in complete darkness. Still, if characters do not use lighting they will be at -1 to hit in the low light. The floor of the caves is a layer of fine sand, 2-4 inches deep. The sand is evidence that the caves are frequently flooded by the nearby river.

Pit Traps

There are two pit traps located in the caves at the indicated spots on the map (X). These are 10-foot square pits covered over with reeds and hidden by sand. If a character steps on the spot he will fall 10 feet into a pit. The bottom of the bit is filled with 2 feet of murky water. The character takes 1-4 points of damage from the fall and is immediately attacked by a hungry giant leech.

Giant Leech (1): AC 7, HD 6, HP 33, #AT blood suck, DMG 1-6, SA F3, ML 10, AL Neutral. On a successful hit, it attaches its mouth to a body part and begins to suck blood. It does 1d6 points of damage per round. It can only be removed from its victim when killed.

1. Entrance Cave
A slippery slope leads down to a shallow cave with a ten-foot-high ceiling. There is one exit from the east side of the cave leading further under the hill. Hidden in the shadows on the west side of the cave are two lizardmen tasked with guarding the entrance.

Lizardmen (2): AC 5, HD 2+1, HP 16 each, MV 20’, #AT 1 spear, DMG 1-6+1, SA F2, ML 12, AL Neutral. The lizardmen are armed with simple spears topped with stone blades. They wear leather hides.

2. Crossroads
Five passages intersect at this point. The roof of the area between the passages is particularly high (20 feet). At the point indicated on the map, there is a life-sized simple statue of a lizardman god. The statue has 2 rubies for eyes (400 gold each) and 6 yellow gems for teeth (100 gold each). As the characters enter the intersection, a lizardman warrior enters from the northeast passage and attacks.

Lizardman (1): AC 4, HD 2+1, HP 16, MV 20’, #AT 1 spear, DMG 1-6+1, SA F2, ML 12, AL Neutral. The lizardman holds a simple spear and wears a grass skirt. Around his neck is a necklace of large reptilian teeth. The necklace is actually an enchanted Necklace of Protection (-1 to Armor Class bonus).

3. Cooks
This cave is a sleeping area for lizardmen females that do the cooking for the tribe. The females are the same build and height as lizardmen males. They do have more color (reds, yellows) on their scales. They fight at the same ability as the males of the tribe. There are four sleeping pallets in this area, consisting of sandy pits filled with dry reeds.

Lizardmen Females (4): AC 5, HD 2+1, HP 16, MV 20’, #AT 1 club, DMG 1-6+1, SA F2, ML 12, AL Neutral. The females are not wearing any clothes. They will quickly arm themselves with wooden clubs.

4. Cookhouse
Two fires burn in central cooking areas in this cave. The cooking areas are stone pits full of hot embers and some drier wood burning brightly on top of the coals. Woodsmoke escapes through a 1 foot wide shaft in the ceiling of the cave. On the south wall is a rack where various food is hung to dry - giant catfish, 4 foot long leeches and a deer carcass. In the northwest corner of the cave is a narrow opening leading to steps descending steeply down. The steps descend 25 feet until they vanish into the muddy water from area 5. The steps are slick with water and characters must make a dexterity save to avoid falling and sliding down into the pool.

5. Underwater Exit
The back door to the lair is a stair leading down into a cave filled with water. Thirty feet from the entrance to the cave the ceiling meets the water level. But the submerged cave continues for another 30 feet before emerging into the Muddywater river.

6. Shaman’s Cave
A narrow tunnel leads to a small cave lit by flickering candlelight. The lizardman shaman can be found here feeding his pet giant rat and making potions in an iron pot sitting over a small fire. Smoke from the fire disappears through a vent in the ceiling. To the south, a dozen stout saplings form bars across the entrance to an alcover. The wooden bars are held tightly by three crossbars. There is a simple door of bars that can be moved to one side. Inside the alcove is a disheveled man clad in dirty rags. His hair is grey, long and matted with mud. Fish bones and gnawed fish heads are scattered on the floor of the alcove.

Lizardman Shaman (1): AC 5, HD 2, HP 12, MV 20’, #AT 1 staff, DMG 1-6, SA F2, ML 9, AL Chaotic. The shaman is dressed in cast off human clothes, pants, shirt and cloak. His feet are bare. He is able to cast the following spells: cause light wounds x2, light. The shaman will attack intruders with spells and we direct his pet giant rat to attack as well. If he is injured and outnumbered he will surrender. He has learned to speak simple common.

He will bargain for his life with the strongbox of coins hidden in the woodpile. He also knows of the location of a black dragon nearby in the swamp. The dragon has sent emissaries from other lizardmen tribes asking this tribe to come under his power but so far the chief has resisted.

Giant Rat (1): AC 7, HD 1, HP 6, MV 40’, #AT 1 bite, DMG 1-6, SA F1, ML 9, AL Neutral. The shaman’s pet rat is well-cared for and does not carry disease like many giant rats. But it is also larger and more dangerous than most giant rats.

Crazy Man (1): AC 9, HD 1, HP 2, MV 40’, #AT 1 fist, DMG 1-2, SA NM, ML 12, AL Neutral. This man has been a prisoner of the lizardmen for 3 years. He has gone mad during this imprisonment and will fight anyone who approaches him. The shaman tortures him regularly. He is responsible for teaching the shaman common.

There is a metal strongbox hidden under some firewood along the north wall of the cave. The strongbox is not locked and contains 400 silver coins, 200 gold coins and a potion of healing.

7. Tribal Meeting area
This is the largest cave in the lair. Located beneath the central crown of the hill the ceiling is 20 feet high. Wooden logs are arranged in the chamber facing another statue of the lizardman god. This one has 2 blue gems for eyes (300 gold each) and 6 metal teeth (they are shaved down silver coins). A 3 foot high raised area of the cave leads to a small cave to the south. This is the cave of the lizardman chief. If the characters gain surprise in entering the lair up to this point, the chieftain will be in his lair with his favourite wife and four bodyguards are resting at the base of the raised area.

Lizardman Elite (4): AC 5, HD 3, HP 18 each, MV 20’, #AT 1 spear, DMG 1-6+1, SA F3, ML 11, AL Neutral.

Lizardman Chief (1): AC 4, HD 4, HP 26, MV 20’, #AT 1 sword+1, DMG 1-8+2, SA F4, ML 11, AL Neutral. The chief wields a finely crafted sword+1 (taken off an unlucky adventurer). He wears two gold armbands worth 400 gold each and a silver necklace worth 600 gold.

Lizardman Female (1): AC 5, HD 2+1, HP 11, MV 20’, #AT 1 dagger+1, DMG 1-4+1, SA F2, ML 11, AL Neutral. She is a particularly quick lizardman and gains a +1 to hit. She wears a fine leather shawl and a gold necklace worth 400 gold.

8. Warriors chamber
The cave is a sleeping area for eight of the warriors of the lizardman tribe. The sleeping area has pallets of grass and reeds. Fish bones are scattered about the area. If surprised there are eight lizardmen sleeping here.

Lizardmen (8): AC 5, HD 2+1, HP 14 each, MV 20’, #AT 1 spear, DMG 1-6+1, SA F2, ML 11, AL Neutral. Most of the warriors have crocodile teeth necklaces around their necks (worth 4 silver in a nearby market).

9. Training Area
The cave has a sandy floor deeper than in other areas of the lair (6 inches). Against the walls are a dozen wooden spears and clubs. A few broken spear shafts lie in the sand. It is apparent this area is used for training.

10. Sleeping Area
Another sleeping area for lizardmen. This area is for the trackers and hunters. Eight more lizardmen can be found here. They are awake, sitting about conversing (hissing). There are eight sleeping pallets on the floor of the cave.

Lizardmen (8): AC 5, HD 2+1, HP 9 each, MV 20’, #AT 1 spear, DMG 1-6+1, SA F2, ML 11, AL Neutral. They are armed with spears.

11. Female Sleeping area
A smaller cave which is a sleeping area for most of the females of the tribe. Eight lizardman females can be found sleeping here if the alarm has not been raised.

Lizardmen Females (8): AC 5, HD 2+1, HP 9 each, MV 20’, #AT 1 club, DMG 1-6+1, SA F2, ML 11, AL Neutral. They can arm themselves with clubs.

12. Egg Chamber
The true treasure chamber of the lizardmen is this hatchery. A stone boulder blocks each entrance to this chamber. Each boulder is eight feet in diameter. It takes a combined strength of 40 to move them. Looking at the sandy floor near the boulders it is easy to tell that they are frequently moved aside.

Inside the cave has a sandy floor and there are four nests of reeds and grasses. Resting on the reeds are twenty-four large eggs (6 inches long, 4 inches in diameter). The eggs will hatch into lizardmen in 2-6 days. Mortality rate of lizardmen young is high, there is only a 2 in 6 chance each hatchling will survive the first few weeks after hatching.

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