Velarya Woods have been our home for centuries, and our people rest in here. I shall do what I must to defend their honor and their living family members.
Samiria, Velaryen Leader
Wealthy or poor, it is a universal custom to respect the dead and pray for a safe journey to the afterlife. The elves of Velaryen are no strangers to this. The people of this powerful, thriving elvish community have followed the same traditions for millennia. One of them is to bury their dead in a mosque. A beautiful kind of church. The resting place is surrounded by jade and gold decorations, incredible stained glass imagery, and sculptures.
The Elven Heirlooms
As part of Velaryen tradition when burying the dead, elves are interred with their most valuable possessions and belongings. In turn, this makes Velaryen mosques a target for robbers or gruesome, heartless pillagers. The elves live deep within Velarya Woods. Making it almost impossible to sneak upon them; their rangers and scouts know the area well and patrol it for incoming foreigners.
An Unsafe Location
In the past few decades, however, human intervention and their violent wars with the orcs from nearby areas have forced the elves to move. They remain well within the Velarya Woods but their new location leaves some of their funerary mosques a little farther than they wished.
One of the mosques is almost out of their reach, undefended. Eventually, humans were the victors of all conflicts and took over most of the land. They became aware of the elves’ existence in the forest but chose to parley; diplomacy and the exchange of goods were the elves’ weapons against the new rulers of the region.
The Present Day
The elves and the territorial humans are on good terms and live in peace. However, it is now common for bands of brigands to attempt an unsanctioned delving of the elvish resting places. The elves protect their traditions as best they can, but some of them have perished in the process. With deep grief, they are beginning to think they may have to turn their back on their loved ones or defile their dead by moving their remains somewhere else. The elves still look for a more appropriate solution.
The characters may get involved in this adventure in two ways. They can be here to steal from the elves and defile their mosque. Or they could be hired by them to do the opposite, protect the place from foul tomb robbers.
- Duke Bellingham hires the characters to raid the elven mosque. He provides a map of its location. He offers 2,500 sp for this job: clean the mosque from any danger and threat so he can enter afterward with his explorer team to pillage it all.
- The characters are friends with the elves. They are contacted by Samiria Velaryen. She asks them to meet in their village within Velarya Woods. There, she explains that her scouts spotted a group of armed thieves near the mosque. The elves offer 2,000 sp if the characters can protect their tomb.
Features of the Mosque
Tier 2 Adventure
Light. The mosque features sconces with continual flame spells. The magic fades out in 1 minute if removed.
Sounds. Sepulchral silence engulfs the place. Grunts and growls of the nefarious undead guardians echo through the areas of the mosque from time to time.
Magical Aura. The treasure in area 10 can be perceived with a successful Detect Magic check.
Reaching the Mosque
The characters’ journey should not take longer than two days. Regardless of the adventure hook, they must travel deep within Velarya Woods and avoid getting lost (Nature check). If they fail, their journey takes a day longer than expected, and they encounter some enemies.
Encounter. If they were hired by the duke, two elvish veterans, six scouts, and four thugs attempt to stop them. However, if they came to help the elves, two dryads, followed by a dire boar and a pack of six wolves defend their forest from the intruders. Fortunately, the Velaryen elves come to the heroes’ aid on the second round of combat and appease the woodland creatures.
After meeting with the elves (or getting rid of them, see Adventure Hooks), the heroes are close to their destination, the mosque. The elves explain that they must continue their patrolling duties and take their leave. Samiria, however, shares her suspicions of an upcoming attack. She offers the characters her sword so they can protect the mosque together from the human pillagers. Otherwise, the characters are free to enter unbothered.
2. Large Antechamber
The mosque’s entrance hall shows signs of battle. This is not the first time intruders invade this place. The bones on the floor belong mostly to human robbers, but some Velaryen elves perished here too (Healing check).
Encounter. If Samiria is not here, the characters must defeat two elvish wraiths that traverse the walls and four skeletons that reform from the bones. Otherwise, the elf leader’s presence stops these guardians from appearing. She says, however, that the intruders could already be inside. She holds her sword firmly, on guard.
Three sets of armor become animated and attack intruders (helmed horrors). Their purpose is to drive off intruders. Even if Samiria is present, the constructs attack all creatures. The constructs fight ruthlessly.
Secret Area. This area is hidden behind some rubble and rocks (Search check). The barrels and crates contain old fabrics, clothes, and mundane tools.
4. Booby-Trapped Corridor
This corridor features three spiked pits and one giant boulder trap. Failing to discover the pressure-sensitive plates (Search check) triggers these deadly devices. Targets lose 1/2 of their Hit Points as they are either crushed or impaled (Reflexes roll for half damage).
Samiria. If the characters came to help, Samiria warns them of this deadly corridor beforehand. The heroes may traverse this area safely with her guidance. If this happens, human invaders wait in the sarcophagi chamber. Otherwise, treat the corridor traps as normal. The robbers in area 6 managed to bypass these traps.
5. Resting Niches
The spirits of the elves resting here have lost their composure. They want nothing but to be left alone and attack all living creatures, even fellow elves. Trespassers are attacked by four shadows and four specters.
Secret Area. A passageway reveals this room (Search check). There is 5,000 sp worth of silverware and small jewels that belonged to the dead. Samiria does not let the characters take any of it and fights them if needed.
6. Sarcophagi Chamber
A bandit leader, four thugs, and one berserker pillage this area when the characters arrive. If Samiria is present, she charges into battle expecting the heroes to aid her. Otherwise, the mercenaries attack the characters as they shall not share any of the ill-gotten treasures.
The characters may spend 1 Dungeon Turn (10 minutes) reading the documents here. If they do, they learn how to reach area 10 without the need for a Search check.
8. Ersatz Treasure Room
The chests in this room are not what they seem. The glyphs of protection trigger and everyone in the room gets burned whenever they are tampered with. Creatures in the room lose 1/2 of their Hit Points (Reflexes roll for half damage). The traps reset at dawn.
9. The Last Deception
A strong elvish spell lives in the stones of this altar. Living creatures that come 10 feet from it are compelled to leave the place and never come back (Will roll). This effect lasts 24 hours. Creatures affected by this effect do everything they can, even fighting, to leave the mosque.
The passageway to area 10 is hidden (Search check). However, the characters may already know how to get there if they read the old documents in area 7.
10. Treasure Chamber
The characters find the treasure chamber of this elven mosque. Piles of coins, magical potions, and two powerful magical scrolls. Samiria does not let the characters keep any of it and fights them if needed (see Conclusion).
The characters defeat the competition and overcome the elvish defenses. They deliver to the Duke or keep everything to themselves… It does not matter, the elves of Velaryen will not forget. Samiria shall hunt them forever.
In Behalf of the Dead
The characters fight alongside Samiria and defend the elvish mosque. The elves keep their word and pay 2,000 sp. But the real treasure is their eternal friendship.