Friday, 28 December 2018

The Giant's Tomb

The Giant’s Tomb is a short adventure written for the Bare Bones Fantasy rules. The adventure is suitable for 3-5 players of rank 1. The adventure was designed with beginning players in mind.

Adventure Background

Cornear valley is located in the north of the Keranak Kingdom. The valley is a rocky one with pockets of grassland. Small farm villages dot the valley. The hamlet of Hartlepool is known for its grain farms and for the nearby barrows of long forgotten kings. The locals have dug into most of the barrows over the years finding human bones and little more.

Recently, a pair of adventurers came to Hartlepool asking about the location of a “long barrow” they were seeking. The village reeve, Esdras Reel, directed the pair of adventurers to an open tomb located in the hills to the north. The pair were not heard from again. Ever since that day livestock has gone missing from farms north of the hamlet. Farmer Owen Giles, whose farm was the furthest north came into the hamlet with stories of seeing two new blue stones shaped liked humans in the field before the Long Barrow. It was not long before stories of a demon that turns mean to stone were being told to traders passing through Hartlepool.

The players have heard these stories of a demon guarding a King’s tomb near Hartlepool and have come to seek their fortune.

The reeve of Hartlepool, Esdras Reel, can direct the players to Owen Giles farm and the Long Barrow that is thought to be the lair of the demon.

Approaching the Long Barrow

Approaching the Barrow

A short distance into the meadows beyond the Giles farm there is a weathered bluestone sitting upright. Owen Giles insists the stone just showed up a week ago. The stone looks like it was worked by human hands centuries ago into a vaguely human shape and size. But it clearly looks like it has been sitting in the field for hundreds of years.

As players approach the barrow, they will see it is a large, artificial mound (at least 100 feet long and 30 feet high). One end has a cut out where it appears the ground was dug out recently revealing large stones and an open doorway. In the dugout area is another human-shaped blue stone.

Inside the barrow dungeon, the floor is rough dirt. The walls throughout the dungeon are stone blocks stacked without mortar. Large stones are placed atop the walls holding out the dirt above. The dungeon corridors are only 5 to 6 feet wide but the walls are 10’ tall which seems very strange if it was built as a tomb by humans. There is no lighting in the dungeon. The entrance provides some light, but once players make there way 20 feet inside they will need to provide their own light.

Entrance (Map location A)

Large stones once blocked the entrance to the tomb. They have been dragged aside revealing the entrance. Inside the corridor descends about  10 feet over a 30-foot distance. Players will easily notice the change in grade.

First Tomb (Map location B)

Near the entrance, a small side alcove heads south. The chamber is only 15 feet long by 5-7 feet wide. A large, rectangular stone rests on the ground (only 3 inches are above ground). On the stone is a bare skeleton that looks unnaturally clean.

The skeleton will animate and attack if disturbed (if a player comes within 5 feet of it). Once the skeleton animates and attacks the skeletons in locations C and D will also animate and join the fight. Check if they surprise the players from behind. The Players should make a normal LOG Resistance check if they are checking their surroundings or a Challenging check at  -5 if players are completely unaware. If they fail, they are surprised (-10 to actions).

STR 40, DEX 50, LOG 0, WIL 0, BP 10, INIT 1, DR 0, MOV 6, Rank 1, Nature Evil, Claws 45%, Damage 1D. Immune to Charms and Cold based attacks.

The stone slab the skeleton rest on is too heavy to shift. It is 5.5 feet by 2.5 feet and 1 foot thick.

The Skeletons do not wish to be disturbed

Remaining Tombs (Map locations C and D)

There are two more tombs holding skeletons which can animate and attack. The chamber is the same as location A. There is nothing else of interest in the tombs.

Empty Tomb (Map location E)

Near a bend in the dungeon corridor is a small alcove, only 5 feet square. The alcove might have been built to be a tomb but there is no evidence of that now. There are a few stacks of extra stone bricks for the construction of the tomb.

Lair of the Beast (Map location F)

This is a very, large chamber, the roof is held up by stones supported by old tree trunks resting on the walls. In the center of the chamber is a seven-foot-long rock that has been carved and worked to look like a crude lizard creature with a tail and eight legs. The stone does not appear to match the local stone.

The stone is actually the guardian of the tomb and can animate and attack. The creature will wait until all of the players enter the chamber before attacking.

Stone Basilisk
STR 75, DEX 50, LOG 35, WIL 40, BP 40, INIT 1, DR 5, MOV 7, Rank 2, Nature Evil, Bite 75%, Damage 3D. Tail Slap 75%, effect 2D and knocked prone. The Basilisk also has a Stone Gaze, range sight, resist STR or be paralyzed. If paralyzed twice they are petrified.

Players petrified by the beast will turn to stone. However, they will appear to be an old weathered, blue stone in a roughly human shape. All of their equipment is also turned to stone. This is the fate that befell the recent tomb robbers.

In the corridor leading to this chamber, there is a crumpled silver disc 6 inches in diameter lying in the dirt on the floor. The disc is inscribed with runes on both sides. This disc created a barrier keeping the basilisk in the tomb but it was damaged when the tomb was recently entered by the treasure hunters and now the basilisk can roam free. It does not leave the tomb unless chasing tomb raiders. When the recent tomb raiders fled the tomb it chased them until each was petrified. On its return, it did kill and eat a few cows and sheep. The silver disc is worth 40 gold coins.

Fire Trap (Map location G)

There is a narrow hall that might have been meant to be a tomb leading off the main hall for 15 feet. Visible at the back of the tomb is a stack of three rocks arranged like a marker. Players entering into this tomb will most likely be struck by a burst of flame that fills the chamber and billows out into the corridor extending 5 feet down the main corridor in both directions. The trap is magical in nature triggered by a rune inscribed silver plate set in a small open space in the wall on the left as you enter. The plate is only 2 inches in diameter and is worth 30 gold coins for the value of silver alone.

Fire Trap: Avoid DEX Resistance check at -20, Notice Thief -5, Disarm None, Usage Once per day, Effect 1D, bypasses DR, Slowed and Stunned for 1D turns.

The trap can be found and removed but the problem is that it still goes off once per day when within 5 feet of a person. So if a player puts it in their pack they are in for a surprise the next morning.

The Giant’s Tomb (Map location H)

The corridor curves around to the left and enters a large tomb that is 20 x 15 feet with a 10-foot high ceiling. There is a 7 foot by 3 foot (by 2 foot high) smooth, black stone block lying in the chamber. Atop the block is the skeleton of a giant holding a sword and wearing a gold crown. The giant skeleton will animate and attack driving players out of its tomb if possible. It will not pursue players out of the tomb.

Giant Skeleton
STR 55, DEX 35, LOG 0, WIL 0, BP 30, INIT 1, DR 1, MOV 5, Rank 2, Nature Evil, Sword 45%, Damage 2D+4. Immune to Charms and Cold based attacks.

The giant skeleton is actually not one of the giants of legend. He is only 7 feet tall. He was just an exceptionally tall human. His sword is a serviceable two-handed sword in need of some cleaning and sharpening. His crown is worth 800 gold coins if taken to a merchant in large town. If the players want gold now they could melt it down and sell the gold for 500 gold coins.

Tomb Map

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