599 The Bands of Power

Bands or Power? Nah… They’re just bedtime stories to scare off children. We need that mine. Clear the place for us, brave heroes. For Terranton!

Terranton Authorities

Delve Level 7 (11,600 XP)

8 wights

2 ghasts

2 flesh golems

4 shadows

1 gibbering mouther


Some artifacts of great power should have never been crafted. They often fall into the wrong hands and end up guarded, hidden, lost, or destroyed. This is a fact that saddens many a good-willed researcher or histori­an. If things were different, the world could benefit from their magic. The danger they bring is enough deterrent for many adventurers, though. They fear not the artifacts’ power, but the great threats they come with.

Such is the case of the Bands of Power, crafted eons ago by the Master Forger Ragar. The story claims that he was a resident of the Silver-Rock Mountains. However, a demonic entity from the Underworld commanded him to create the Bands of Power. The artifacts were a means to communicate and grant him dark powers. But he did not have time to unleash chaos for long. The oldest of Terranton dwarves say that Ragar was consumed by his creation. His soul was absorbed into the bracelets’ ru­bies. The dwarves’ attempts to destroy the cursed bands failed. Thus, the dwarves hid them in an ancient dwar­ven temple. Hoping they would never resurface.

Adventure Hook

A group of prospectors went missing two weeks ago. Only one of them came back alive. They looked for rich iron and mithral veins. The survivor claims they stum­bled upon an opening in the Silver-Rock Mountains. It took them to an underground hall where, he claims, hordes of undead dwarven warriors attacked them. The city leaders offer a hefty bounty. They want to know what happened in that hall and who is the culprit.

The characters travel to Terranton, the dwarven city within the Silver-Rock Mountains after they hear about the group of missing dwarves. If they accept to take the job, a payment of 3,500 gp awaits upon their return.

History Check

DC 14: The Silver-Rock Mountain region is known for its many, rich silver mines. Many other ores are extracted from these territories too. Terranton is hundreds of years old. The city’s economy thrives thanks to the mines. This region is also the birthplace of the world’s best forgers.

DC 18: It is only a myth. But the story talks about Ragar, a Master Forger. He created the Bands of Power and brought death and sorrow to the dwarves of the Silver­Rock Mountains. Fortunately, the threat ended as quick­ly as it started. The dwarves blamed everything on the cursed bracelets and decided to hide them forever.

1. Main Hall

The great hall features four tall columns. A massive, steel dwarven rune dominates the entire chamber.

The characters descend 60 feet after they cross the open­ing in the mountains. The bones scattered all around the area crack under their footsteps. Pieces of armor and rusty weapons litter the floor as well. Before any of the characters can interact with the altar or any of the doors, the bones trembles and coalesce into six wights that at­tack the intruders. The guardians wear dwarven armors.

Trapdoor. Interacting with the altar triggers the trap. Creatures standing on the square fall to area 5 and take 3d6 bludgeoning damage (DC 14 Dexterity / half).

2. Archives

The shelf, the equipment on the table, the containers, and the rest of the things here are in great condition.

The steel door to this area is locked (DC 17 Thieves’ Tools). If the heroes spend 10 minutes reading the doc­uments here, they learn the truth about Ragar and the Bands of Power. The books clearly state that these arti­facts must not be tampered with, or retrieved.

3. Dwarven Shrine

Two fonts flank a massive, rune-inscribed steel anvil. This anvil represents one of the most important dwar­ven deities, the God of the Forge. The anvil is a source of divine power. Clerics or dwarves that spend 10 minutes in communion with it regain a spell slot. This blessing works once every 24 hours. The water in the ponds was once holy. It has lost all its magical properties.

4. Secret Corridor

The walls of this corridor feature images of a strong, dwarf forger hitting crimson red steel on an anvil.

If the characters fail to see the pressure-sensitive plates in the corridor (DC17 Perception), they trigger the trap when they walk on them. Creatures that fall get impaled 15 feet below and take 6d6 piercing damage.

5. Deadly Landing

A great dwarvish door stands to the south. Four mounted crossbows point to the chamber’s center. The bones of several people litter the floor.

The characters find the stairs that lead here if they find the trapdoor in area 3. Otherwise, falling through the trap in area 1triggers the crossbow trap.

Trap. The crossbows shoot three bolts each to crea­tures that walk on the marked tiles (see map) or those who fall from area 1. They take 3d8 piercing damage (DC 16 Dex / half) and become poisoned for 1 hour. The crossbows reset magically every two hours.

Encounter. Once the bolts are shot, the bones coalesce into two wights and two ghasts that attack.

6. Fake Vault

Promising and inviting, two ornate, stone chests rest beyond the reinforced dwarvish doors.

The dwarvish doors are locked (DC 19 Thieves’ Tools). However, they remain unlocked while the crossbow trap reloads (see above). The two ornate stone chests within are a powerful illusion (DC 20 Wisdom).

Trapdoor Pitfall. Interacting with the chests triggers the trap. Creatures fall 35 feet, land in area 9, and take 3d6 bludgeoning damage (DC 14 Dexterity / half).

7. Real Vault Guardians

Pieces of animal and human skin glued together cover the massive, tall bodies of two hulking figures. Their horrible faces show grimaces of pain and fear.

The strongest guardians of the Bands of Power stand here. Their immortal task is to defend this place from in­truders. The two flesh golems fight until slain.

8. Cavern Access

The documents on the shelf contain lore, information, and warnings about the Bands of Power and how they were created. The cavern floor shows clear marks where the shelf was slid inward (DC 16 Perception).

9. Bands of Power

The sounds of an oozy, gelatinous monstrosity creep­ing forward cause heavy feelings of uneasiness. For those in the dark pit, there is nowhere to go…

The characters reach this area from above (area 6) or through the secret passage in area 8. The last guardian of Ragar’s bracelets is a gibbering mouther. The shad­ows of four dwarves emerge from the walls too. The characters find the Bands of Power within the monster’s oozy substance but only after it is defeated.

Encounter. Modify the gibbering mouther’s statblock as follows to meet the difficulty rating:

  • AC 12 (natural armor) and135 hit points
  • Aberrant Ground and Gibbering DC of 13
  • +4 to attacks. DC of 13 to be knocked prone


The wights are skilled warriors. They split and use ranged weapons if necessary. Ghasts attempt to paralyze weak-looking targets but attack recklessly. Flesh golems are tanks that fight with no mercy until slain. The gib­bering mouther attacks any creature that falls through the trap (area 6) as soon as possible. It fights until slain while the shadows drain the strongest foes first.

Features of the Dungeon

Lights. Sconces with continual flame spells illuminate the place. The magic fades after one minute if removed.

Secret Passages. Marked with an “S” (see map). If the characters search the right places, they find bricks that need to be pushed, cleverly hidden compartments, or concealed trapdoors (DC 17 Perception).

Treasure. If the characters find the secret passages that lead to the secret vaults (see above), the treasure they retrieve includes the following: two potions of great­er healing, and 1,500 gp worth of coins and silverware in area 2. Leather bags with 2,000 gp in assorted coin­age and three random arcane spell scrolls in area 3. And 2,800 gp worth of expensive fabrics, a ruby (300 gp), and a nine-lives stealer blade (longsword).

Bands of Power. All the warnings were true. The bracelets are cursed. Whoever wears them obtains the power of a 7th-level necromancer. But it becomes the puppet of a demon from the Underworld…

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