The Crypt of the Eye Curse is a non-linear dungeon crawl adventure with many dangers, traps, and odd NPCs. It is the remnant of an old civilization; the adventurers may discover some insights about its origin. There are several entrances and caves that lead to the crypt. The adventurers may stumble upon this location by accident or in the search of a powerful artifact or a valuable heirloom.
The Crypt of the Eye Curse is a forgotten burial place from a bygone civilization. In their time, there was a group of feared witch monks that provided forbidden knowledge and predictions of the future. The witch monks took on the role of oracles and seers. They were also peacekeepers thanks to their powerful witch magic. Their signature enchantment was what they called the Eye Bite. This mysterious curse worked in unpredictable ways that often led to the demise of the target. Some of the locals understood it as a curse of bad luck since it would unleash unlucky events or unpredictable accidents that often seemed to end with the targets’ lives.
The Eye Bite is a documented feat of wizardry that has been lost to time. Some swamp tribes claim to pass it down the generations through oral tradition but there is no evidence that their curses are more than superstitions. However, the tribesmen will challenge any unbeliever. For them, claiming that the witch monks of old are not real or that the Eye Bite curse is just an indigenous belief is extremely insulting.
They are real and the Crypt of the Eye Curse is a long-standing proof of it. If only someone had managed to chart the underground location and come back to tell the tale…
The following descriptions of areas 1 through 14 correspond to the dungeon map.
Terrain. The crypt features heavy stone floor tiles in varied states of conservation and erosion. It appears that some areas have seen recent water damage. The stone ceilings have cracks that let water through. The beginnings of stalactites start to show in many chambers of this crypt.
Secret Doors. All secret passages can be accessed through secret doors. These are covered by large sections of the wall that open inward to reveal the secret passage. A passive Perception score of 15 or higher reveals the movable wall sections, they are made from lighter materials. A successful DC 14 Intelligence (Investigation) check reveals that a pushable brick causes the wall section to open. There are levers that open the secret doors but those are only accessible from inside the secret location.
Light. There are iron torches in wall sconces in some areas of the crypt. They are powered by continual flame spells. The torches remain lit for 1d4 hours after they are removed from the wall sconce.
Smells and Sounds. The crypt has a prevalent smell of ashes and burnt wood that has no apparent source. The goblins in area 12 try to remain quiet but they can still be heard from as far as area 2. They chatter and drink.
1. Main Entrance
A 150-foot-long flight of stone stairs descends into darkness. Eroded bas-reliefs on the walls depict scenes of crowds that worship a small group of priest-like figures. It appears that the worshippers do so out of respect and fear.
These stairs were designed to be the main entrance to the crypt. A good tracker can detect the footprints of goblins from time to time with a successful DC 13 Wisdom (Survival) check. The goblins come and go in small groups.
2. Grand Eye Gallery
The stairs lead to a grand chamber with two rows of five stone pillars that flank the center of the room and give way to a strange sculpture by the far end of the room. The stone monument has the shape of a pond with oversized eyeballs. One of the stone eyeballs is seven feet in diameter. It is sculpted in a way that its gaze appears to follow anyone as they move across the room. A feeling of unease and lightheadedness soon comes.
The floor in this chamber is decorated with marble inlays in geometrical shapes. The pillars are spartan in their design, a purely utilitarian feature. The walls sustain eroded fresco paintings but most of them are not legible anymore.
The chamber is home to four specters that hide behind some of the pillars when visitors come exploring. They are indifferent to visitors unless they approach the eyeballs statue. They attack however approaches the statue and prioritize any who fall under the effect of the Eye Bite curse.
Eye Bite Curse. Any humanoid that comes within 5 feet of the eyeballs statue or that sustains the gaze of the large eyeball longer than 30 seconds must make a successful DC 16 Wisdom saving throw. On a fail, the humanoid is affected by the Eye Bite curse for 1d6 hours. Roll on the Eye Bite table to determine the outcome of the curse. On a pass, the humanoid is immune to this effect for 6 hours.
Treasure. The marble inlays in the chamber are worth 160 gp. It requires 8 hours of work to pry them from the floor with the appropriate tools. The small stone eyeballs have rubies for pupils. There are 2d8 rubies in the pool (worth 30 gp each). However, the person collecting them is subject to the Eye Bite curse described above.
|Eye Bite Curse|
|1||The creature feels searing pain in a random arm. The pain eases after a few minutes but the arm remains numb and unusable for the duration of the curse.|
|2||The curse affects the creature’s perception of the world. All living creatures are now invisible to the cursed individual.|
|3||For the duration of the spell, the creature’s eyes are buried under a layer of flesh. New eyes grow from the creature’s palms. It can only see from the new eyes.|
|4||A layer of flesh grows and covers the creature’s mouth and nose. The creature suffocates unless a blade is used to cut out new nostrils and/or mouth. The scars resulting from this procedure are permanent.|
|5||The creature’s vision clouds and goes black at the most inopportune times. Each time the creature acts, there is a 60% chance that it will become blind for that action.|
|6||The creature feels searing pain in a random leg. The pain eases after a few minutes but the leg remains numb and unusable for the duration of the curse.|
|7||The creature falls to a comatose state for the duration of the curse.|
|8||2d6 swarms of insects crawl out of cracks on the walls and attack the cursed creature.|
|9||The creature’s memories are erased for the duration of the curse. In this state of amnesia, there is a 30% chance that the affected creature turns on its allies out of fear.|
|10||The Eye Bite curse causes 3d10 eyes to grow out of random locations in the target’s body. These are functional eyes that send visual information all at once to the creature’s brain. The creature has disadvantage to any activity that requires hand-eye coordination. It has advantage on purely perceptive activities. The eyes disappear when the curse ends.|
3. Crypt Library
The remains of an ancient library in this room have sustained tremendous damage from water, moisture, mineral accumulation, and theft. The documents on the table are fused to the decrepit wood under a layer of mineral dust. The books and scrolls on the bookcase are beyond salvation. No document in this room is legible or useful in any way.
4. Secret Repository
This ancient library is under a protective spell that guards its contents against the passage of time. The ancient witch monks stored important documents, tomes, and scrolls here. The contents of this room are an invaluable source of information about the time period when the witch monks ruled the land. Any item in this room collapses into dust if removed from the repository, except for the spell scrolls (see below).
Treasure. A large portion of the library consists of unique books that are valuable to collectors and universities (6d10 books). It takes an average of six months of work to copy each of the books. The transcript has a market value of 100 gp each. The library contains two spell scrolls of illusory script, two spell scrolls of tongues, and one spell scroll of mind blank.
5. Ruined Archive
This location’s ceiling has sustained severe damage from water erosion. The furniture and features of this room are in ruins. It is possible that the ceiling of this room collapses soon but it is hard to tell when. A cool wind blows from the east, from the caverns.
6. Northwest Caves
A cave-in years ago connected the crypt to a sprawling network of underground caverns and tunnels that leads down into the veins of the earth. The small goblin party in area 12 came from the Underdark using this tunnel. They have visited this place before and know well not to touch anything. The tunnel network, its contents, and its inhabitants are beyond the scope of this module and left to the DM’s discretion.
If the adventurers find the crypt by accident, this can be an alternate entry point for their exploration.
7. Tomb of Prayer
This chamber is dominated by a large stone dais that holds a marble sarcophagus. Three granite benches rest before the dais and reveal the probable purpose of this room as a place of worship and prayer. The marble lid is engraved in the likeness of a man with priestly clothes. He holds a scepter that glows faintly.
This room features a deathly trap and encounter. The marble inlays on the floor, the dais, and the glow on the sarcophagus lid are designed to draw attention to it. If a visitor attempts to pry the marble inlays, triggers the lid trap, or manages to retrieve the treasure without activating the trap, two wraiths and two shadows descend from the chamber’s ceiling and attack. This is a lethal encounter but the undead creatures do not pursue the adventurers beyond the confines of this room.
Eye Bite Curse. Any humanoid that steps on the dais must make a successful DC 16 Wisdom saving throw. On a fail, the humanoid is affected by the Eye Bite curse as described in area 2.
Explosive Runes Trap. The sarcophagus lid is enchanted with a glyph of warding spell. A creature that opens the lid without dispelling the ward triggers the trap. Any creature within 15 feet of the lid must make a successful DC 15 Dexterity saving throw, taking 14 (4d6) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
Treasure. The marble inlays in the chamber are worth 160 gp. It requires 8 hours of work to pry them from the floor with the appropriate tools. There are 200 gp, a +1 shield with a sun engraving, an amulet of protection +1, and a golden tiara (40gp) inside the sarcophagus.
8. Room of Eye Phylacteries
A long chamber with five small alcoves on each side marks the end of the crypts on this end of the complex. Decorative marble inlays on the floor meander through the room in thin lines and lead to each of the alcoves. A fist-sized emerald rests alluringly on a pedestal in each of the nooks. The bones of several creatures lie scattered in front of many of the gems.
The souls of ten important witch monks are placed in this room. Each of the gems was supposed to hold a soul and be a lethal trap to would-be grave-robbers but some of them have lost their magic over time. The soul gem in the ruined alcove that leads to area 9 was crushed during the cave-in that opened the way to the caves and the spirit escaped.
The escaped soul manifests in the form of a ghost. It is High Witch Monk Rosseru. It appears before visitors with indifferent behavior. It is talkative and may answer some questions if asked. Ultimately, Rosseru is evil and wishes for the visitors to touch the trapped gems so that their souls feed the phylacteries of his dead comrades. If attacked, Rosseru’s ghost flees.
Death Gem Trap. When a creature touches any of the gems, there is a 30% chance that it is still an active trap. Once the chance is calculated, the gem remains in that state. An active gem, when touched, attempts to absorb the soul of its victim. The target must roll a DC 16 Charisma saving throw. On a fail, the creature dies and its soul is trapped in the gem. On a pass, the creature suffers 20 (6d6) necrotic damage.
Treasure. Any non-active gem collected is worth 1d6 hundred gold pieces.
9. Southwest Caves
A cave-in years ago connected the crypt to a sprawling network of underground caverns and tunnels that leads down into the veins of the earth. The tunnel network, its contents, and its inhabitants are beyond the scope of this module and left to the DM’s discretion.
If the adventurers find the crypt by accident, this can be an alternate entry point for their exploration.
10. Ruined Chamber
This location’s ceiling has sustained severe damage from water erosion. The furniture and features of this room are in ruins.
The bodies of two dead goblins lie dead on the cold floor. They appear to have killed each other with their daggers. One of them fell victim to the Eye Bite curse and turned on his ally. There is a trap in the short hallway that connects this location to area 11.
Swinging Scythe Trap. A creature that pulls the tripwire while walking to area 11 triggers this trap. A scythe comes down from the ceiling and swings across the hallway. It can target one or two creatures. They must make a successful DC 16 Dexterity saving throw or take 14 (4d6) slashing damage. A character can spot the tripwire with a passive Perception score of 15 or higher.
11. Tomb of the Guardians
A large chamber with a domed ceiling sustained by six sturdy stone pillars. The dome and the walls of this room feature bas-reliefs that depict scenes of priests and monks performing strange rituals that affect their enemies and subjects in unpredictable ways. Some appear to transform their bodies into obscene mockeries while others appear to make them insane or catatonic. The graphic depictions leave nothing to the imagination.
The eight stone coffins in this room contain the bodily remains of some witch monks. Four of them lay dormant in their enclosures in the form of ghasts. The undead creatures exit their coffins and attack whenever any of the lids are opened or when a creature falls victim to the Eye Bite curse in this room (see below).
Eye Bite Curse. Any humanoid that comes within 5 feet of any coffin must make a successful DC 16 Wisdom saving throw. On a fail, the humanoid is affected by the Eye Bite curse as described in area 2.
Explosive Coffin Trap. The southwest coffin is empty and contains an explosive salt acid trap that has never been triggered. When a creature opens the lid, the trap triggers, and an explosion of salt acid burns the area. Any creature within 10 feet of the coffin must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw, taking 14 (4d6) acid damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
12. Goblin Impromptu Shelter
A goblin exploring party is currently camping in this chamber. They know that the chamber is safe as long as they do not approach the dais and the stone coffin. There are 10 goblins, their leader is Gormik, a stout goblin with a scar on his neck. If the goblins detect the adventurers beforehand, they attempt to ambush them when they come from area 10. Otherwise, if the goblins are surprised, they remain calm and Gormik attempts to avoid any physical conflict. If possible, Gormik negotiates for his party to leave the crypt before crossing swords with the adventurers.
If a battle starts, Gormik and his second in command, Tarhun, fight the adventurers as close as possible to the dais. They try to taunt them into stepping on the dais and trigger the explosive trap (see below). Gormik has visited this crypt before and knows that the explosion from the dais only shoots upward.
Explosive Runes Trap. The stone dais is enchanted with a glyph of warding spell. A creature that steps on it without dispelling the ward triggers the trap. Any creature standing on the dais must make a successful DC 15 Dexterity saving throw, taking 14 (4d6) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. The trap resets after 30 minutes.
Treasure. The mummified body inside the sarcophagus holds a strange adamantine scepter engraved with runes. This scepter is a magical artifact tied to the Eye Bite curse magic that the witch monks used in their time. The arcane secret to making it work is lost to time so it is useless to the adventurers at the time of finding. If defeated, the goblins carry 35 gp in assorted coinage, a bear pelt cloak sized for a small character, and food rations for 4 days.
13. Secret Vault
The vault behind the marble sarcophagus contains two decrepit wooden chests with iron bindings. They are locked and one of the chests features a deadly poison trap (see below).
Poison Needle Trap. The west chest features a poison needle trap in the lock. A passive Perception score of 17 or higher reveals the presence of a small needle hole in the lock mechanism. A creature using Thieves’ Tools can disable the trap with a successful DC 15 Dexterity check. Otherwise, attempting to pick the lock triggers the trap. The creature attempting to pick the lock must make a successful DC 17 Dexterity saving throw or take 35 (10d6) poison damage.
Treasure. The two chests contain the following: 2100 gp, 1500 sp, three golden disks engraved with runes (100 gp each), a periapt of health, and a cloak of elvenkind.
14. Fake Vault Entrance
This fake vault chamber is empty. It is designed to dissuade any visitors from exploring any further. A group of six shadows emerge from the floor and attempt to kill any intruders.