Monday, 14 October 2019

The Blade of Bizhan

The Blade of Bizhan - an adventure using the Advanced Fighting Fantasy Rules

On the continent of Allansia in the foothills of the Icefinger mountains north of the town of Fang resides a tomb carved from black stone. It is known as the Tomb of Bizhan and appears on many treasure maps traded for silver in the taverns and back alleys of nearby towns and villages. The warlord Bizhan is a local legend. If he existed it was many years in the past. By reputation, he was a fearsome warrior. But he also has a cursed reputation as a man who killed friend and enemy alike.

Adventurers have returned from the tomb in the past. They report that it is fairly easy to enter. However, they were confronted with a featureless stone pit with no openings. Finding nothing, they could not confirm any of the legends about the tomb or for whom it was actually built.

One of the legends about the tomb is that it holds the legendary sword carried by Bizhan. The sword, the name of which has been lost to history, was known as a magical slayer of men.

I wrote this short adventure for the Advanced Fighting Fantasy rules. I sketched out the concept as I was reading and posting about the rules. But it took me a few months to actually finish the writing of the adventure. It would be suitable for starting adventurers. I placed it on Allansia from the published Titan setting but it could be easily placed just about anywhere.

The Stone Shaft in the Black Stone

The Black Stone

The Tomb of Bizhan is located in the foothills of the Icefinger mountains. In the winter months, the area is generally buried under a few feet of snow. In the spring the area is muddy and boggy in the low lying areas. But in the summer it is dry and easy to reach. However, the summer months also bring swarms of biting insects which make camping out in the area uncomfortable.

The black stone tomb is 5 by 6 meters in size and 5 meters tall. A large door on one side of the tomb can be slid aside to reveal a single chamber. In the center of this chamber is a 3-meter square stone shaft descending deep into the earth. The only light in the tomb comes from any light sources the adventurers bring with them. The entry chamber will be lit by natural light coming through the door as long as the door remains open.

Aside from the pit in the center of the chamber, there are four statues, 2 meters tall, one in each corner of the chamber. The statues are carved from a light grey stone and are fairly simple in construction depicting a man holding a spear. Despite looking ominous the statues are inanimate.

The shaft descends a total of 20 meters into the earth. The sides of the shaft are made from stone blocks with nearly invisible gaps between them. There are four doors in the side of the shaft, all at different depths from the main chamber floor. There is one door on each shaft wall. The doors are so well constructed they are hard to see. Players need to make an Awareness Special skill check to spot a door. One door is easily visible because it is propped open by a small brick. The space the door is cracked open is too narrow for an adult human to squeeze through.

The doors can be slid to one side fairly easily once they are noticed (Skill check). Each door is 3 meters square. Adventurers trying to access the doors in the shaft will need to use a rope to climb down to the doors. The walls of the shaft do not have enough handholds to allow climbing without a rope. Even with a rope it is a difficult climb. Adventurers need to make a Skill check every 5 meters they descend the rope. If they fail a check they do not move that turn. A double 6 fumble means they slipped and lost hold of the rope falling to the bottom of the shaft. A falling adventurer must test for Luck, with the score reduced by 1 for every 5 meters he falls. Acrobatics Special skill can improve this. If unlucky the adventurer will lose 1 Stamina point plus a number of points covered in the Falling Damage table.

North Tomb

The door to the north tomb entrance is slightly open. The door was blocked open with a small stone brick. The door is located 4 meters below the main chamber.

The door leads to a long hall which is 9 meters long and trapped with swinging blade traps. An Awareness check (roll 2 six-sided dice if the result is less than or equal to Skill) allows an adventurer to spot the trap. The trap is activated by stepping on the floor. Each trap is a large, ax blade that swings out of the ceiling and continues to swing for 1 minute before resetting. There are three blade traps located under three pairs of pillars holding up the ceiling of the hall. The first trap is 1 meter into the hall, the second is 4 meters and the third is at 7 meters.

If a trap is activated an adventurer must make a Luck check to avoid a trap. Also possibly the Dodge Special skill. The blade damage is as follows:

Dice Roll 1 2 3 4 5 6
Damage 2 3 3 4 4 5

The tomb at the end of the hall is entered through a stone archway. The chamber is 4 meters square and has a simple stone crypt in the center of the room. Against the east wall is an ornate mahogany chest. The chest is held shut with a simple latch. Inside the chest is a layer of sand and three gold coins partially obscured by the sand. The adventurers were beaten to this chest by earlier treasure hunters.

The large crypt appears undisturbed. A pry bar is needed to lift the lid off of the crypt. A skill check is needed possibly aided by the Strength special skill. Inside the crypt is a skeleton in tattered leather armour holding a sword. If the crypt is opened the skeleton will animate and attack.

Skill 6, Stamina 5, Attacks 1
Weapon Sword
Dice Roll 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Damage 2 3 3 3 3 4 5
Skeletons have resistance to edged weapons they take only a single point of damage from edged or pointed weapons.

Opening a Crypt
East Tomb

The east tomb is 8 meters below the main chamber above. The door to the hall to the tomb is closed and hard to detect. But once it is detected it can be slid to one side. A short, 3 meters long, hall leads to an open archway. There are runs carved above the archway that state that the tomb belongs to Bizhan but the language is long forgotten.

Past the archway is a 4-meter square chamber. Along the north and south walls of this chamber are three standing sarcophagi. A total of six sarcophagi. Jutting out from the east wall is a closed stone crypt. The symbol of a crown is carved into the end of the crypt.

 In each sarcophagus, there is a skeleton armed with a sword. If a sarcophagus or the crypt are distrubed the skeletons will push the lids to their resting place aside and attack.

Skill 6, Stamina 5, Attacks 1
Weapon Sword
Dice Roll 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Damage 2 3 3 3 3 4 5
Skeletons have resistance to edged weapons they take only a single point of damage from edged or pointed weapons.

In the Crypt is the desiccated corpse of a tall man. The bones can be seen in some places but the corpse has most of its skin and hair. The Corpse wears a simple band of gold on its head. The corpse holds an ornate sword in its right hand. A blade of dark metal and a gold hilt. The creature is a zombie of the corpse of Bizhan.

Skill 6, Stamina 6, Attacks 1
Weapon Sword
Dice Roll 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Damage 2 3 3 3 3 4 5
Zombies are particularly susceptible to damage from Holy water.

The sword that the zombie holds is not Bizhan’s blade. It is an ornate fake. The weapon is poorly balanced and gives a -1 to attack rolls. It is worth 200 gold coins.

West Tomb

Eleven meters below on the west wall is the closed door to the west tomb. Beyond the door is another short hallway (3 meters) leading a single tomb chamber (4 meters square). This chamber is different. There is no crypt. Instead, there is an enormous stone statue of a demon covering the west wall of the chamber. The statue’s head nearly touches the ceiling. The statue has the appearance of a seated, enormously fat humanoid with outstretched arms. The demon has large horns on its head and its hands are open and the palms are facing upward.

On the north wall is a carved frieze showing a human warrior losing a battle to his enemies. The human retreats to a cave and bows before a huge demon that looks like the statue in this chamber. In return for offerings the demon hands the human a sword.

The eyes of the statue are stone but seem to follow adventurers as they walk about the chamber. If the statue is touched, deep, rumbling laughter will be heard that appears to come from the statue. Everyone who hears the laughter must make a Luck save. Those failing the save must roll a 1d6. On a 1-2 they attack their fellow adventurers, on a 3-5 they stand still and are unresponsive, and on a 6 they have free action. The effect lasts 3 rounds.

If an offering is placed in either of the demon’s hands it will disappear and any adventurers currently suffering from the effects noted above will have it dispelled. If an offering of at least 100 gold is made to the statue, the Blade of Bizhan will appear in the demon’s hands.

The Blade of Bizhan, a sword of human-slaying doing double damage against humans.

South Tomb

The door to the south tomb hallway is 15 meters below the floor of the entrance chamber. Again there is a short hallway leading to an archway and a 4-meter square tomb chamber. In this chamber are two stone crypts. On the west wall is a mahogany chest and six, sealed clay jars. The chest is latched closed and can be easily opened. Inside is a pile of small gems. A total of 200 gems worth a total of 4,000 gold coins. The clay jars are sealed with wax. Inside are dried out human organs.

Like the other stone crypts, it will take a pry bar to open them. Inside the crypts are a pair of small corpses. The corpses appear to be those of children. Possibly a boy and a girl. The two corpses are actually ghouls.

Ghouls (2)
Skill 5, Stamina 5, Attacks 2
Weapon Claws
Dice Roll 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Damage 2 2 2 3 3 3 4
If a ghoul makes a successful attack the victim must make a Luck save or be paralyzed and unable to take actions for 2 rounds.

The ghouls are the children of Bizhan who Bizhan killed with his Blade while in a fit of madness. Afterword he entombed himself alive in this place.

Map of the Tomb

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