Cemeteries, crypts, mausoleums, or any burial place are the perfect targets for necromancers and users of the dark arcane arts. Seven Heavens, the cemetery located a couple of miles from Daliton, is not the exception.
Lyseris Vin, a drow elf, just left his necromancy masters to travel the world, make a name for himself, and build a reputation. He must prove his abilities away from his tutor to earn the respect of his peers. His must animate the dead in Seven Heavens, Daliton’s cemetery. With his undead diversion, Lyseris’s allies, the drow necromancers, plan a swift raid to take over the town.
Dead came back to the world of the living and no one knows why. No one dares approach the cemetery anymore. Daliton implemented a curfew, and the capital sent guards to defend the villagers from the undead. Bailiff Lindblum hires the characters for one of two jobs:
Protectors. The characters are hired to protect Daliton. Their two tasks are to eliminate the dead in the cemetery and investigate where they are coming from. Eliminating the source, if possible (30 gp, 1 XP).
Bounty-Hunters. The capital is aware of the drow necromancy agents. The name Lyseris Vin came up during their investigations. The characters are told that their target was last seen near the Seven Heavens. He is believed to be responsible for the reanimation of the dead. He is to be arrested rather than killed. (40 gp, 2 XP).
|1||The drow live in the Shadowdark, the underground endless caverns below the human world. Some say they have become immune to sunlight, which normally hurts them.|
|2||A few people in town believe the dead in the cemetery are angry and that they should be visited more often.|
|3||A survivor claims a giant zombie roams the cemetery.|
|4||Drow are some of the strongest sorcerers. Therefore, they are considered to be experts in necromancy.|
|5||Some people in town claim a group of ten guards went to the cemetery but the poor men never came back.|
|6||A guard made it back from the cemetery alive. He claims he saw a cloaked figure walking among the dead.|
Level 3 Adventure
- Danger. Risky. Check for a random event every 2 crawling rounds and after loud noises (3-in-6 chance).
- Light. The characters are free to come by daylight. But if they choose to come at night for any reason, the cemetery is pitch dark. All denizens are dark-adapted.
- aura. A detect magic spell perceives a strong magical aura of necromancy coming from the small chapel.
- Dark Aura. Lyseris’s successful reanimation bathed the cemetery in corruption and obscure energies. Reduce all magic healing by 1 point. And divine spells have a 2-in-6 chance of fizzling out at the moment of casting. Plus, gray mist reduces everyone’s visibility by half.
- Tick-Tock. Lyseris performed a powerful ritual to bind a demon to his will. This is the icing on the cake for this necromancer’s exploits. Lyseris believes that taking over Daliton will be a simple affair with the demon’s help. If the characters take longer than six crawling rounds to reach the chapel in the cemetery, it will be too late to stop the summoning ritual (see area 9).
|RANDOM EVENTS d8||Details|
|1||A ghost flies by the characters. His cackling, maniacal laughter echoes through the cemetery, scaring the living.|
|2||A zombie approaches and says: “Why, why can’t we be buried under a nice tomb, with a nice inscription… WHY!?” The zombie loses it and attacks until slain.|
|3||Two skeletons have a romantic slow dance. They attack whoever interrupts their private moment.|
|4||A horrible scream comes from inside the chapel.|
|5||The cemetery becomes as cold as a winter night in the north. The characters shiver and their teeth chatter.|
|6||A group of six peasants get to the cemetery. They followed the characters. They are just curious and stupid.|
|7||A swarm of spiders attacks the characters when they remove a rock or similar object to search for a place.|
|8||The corpses of five city guards lie on the ground. These men were tasked with the same job as the characters.|
1. Cemetery Courtyard
Two skeletons and two zombies attack the characters when they arrive. From here, start counting the crawling rounds they take to get to area 9 (See Tick-Tock above).
2. Seven Heavens
Only the wealthy can afford to bury their dead within Seven Heavens, the name given to the walled area of the cemetery. The gate remains closed. Many dead roam the area, not being able to cross the gate or jump the wall.
3. VIP Area
- Encounter. Three skeletons and one wight attack trespassers. The enemies drop a silver-and-gold circlet (40 gp), a jade scarab pin (20 gp), and a silver fork (2 gp).
Endless waves comprised of two zombies and one skeleton attack every 2 crawling rounds if the party stays.
4. Poor, Even After Death
This is the common grave, reserved for the people with no money. The poor are free to come to dig a hole in a free spot and bury their dead. Their only solace is knowing that their family members rest next to the chapel. A fence made of rotten pieces of wood surrounds the area. Two zombies attack the characters when they approach. They do their best to protect the shrine (area 5).
5. Shrine of the Dispossessed
The table is made up of several moth-eaten, splintered wood. A stained blue cloth over it hides most of the rotting wood. The surface holds small plates with coins, trinkets, and an array of mundane objects.
- Offering. Sometimes it is the poor who are willing to give more. Everything on the table meant something to the people buried here. They are tokens of love and friendship. If the characters interact with this place of worship in any way, they meet the anger of four zombies.
6. The Dead of the Wicked
This area is unfenced and the ground is irregular, dirty, and crammed with stones. Still, some people chose this place to bury their loved ones. There are some improvised tombstones made of wood. But others are much simpler, and cheap, like a pile of rocks of a similar size.
- Envy. The dead know how to hold grudges. It is sometimes the main reason why they cannot find peace in the afterlife. Hence, the characters must be careful with what they say. Any comment regarding the differences between the tombs in area 3 and here is met with displeasure. Four zombies attack them if that is the case.
7. The Woods
The characters can hear the voice of a woman when they approach the dark trees: “Help! Someone, please help me!”. This is a trap. A ghost does this to draw the characters into the woods (DC 16 WIS). If the characters enter the forested area, they stumble upon four wolves devouring a corpse. The territorial canines defend their food.
This building is reserved for small ceremonies whenever someone is brought to Seven Heavens for burial. The characters are free to come directly to the gates of the chapel when they arrive at the cemetery. However, doing this causes the undead to attack in a group (see below).
- Gates. They are barred from the inside. They can be destroyed (25 hit points), or forced open (DC 15 STR).
- Mob. If the characters run directly to this place after area 1, they draw the attention of many undead. A group of one wight, two skeletons, and three zombies catches up with them if they fail to open the gate in 2 rounds. If they succeed, the characters manage to face Lyseris in time, before he can summon the demon (see below).
9. Facing the Necromancer
Lyseris (cultist), two drow soldiers, and two skeletons are here. The necromancer does not stop his ritual even if the characters arrive, hoping to finish with the time his allies can buy. If six crawling rounds have elapsed since the heroes arrived, and they failed to interrupt Lyseris now, the demon-summoning ritual works (see below).
- The Demon. The fabric of reality rips open. Fine strands of dancing light form a door, a gate between worlds. A huge, horned creature covered in fur steps forth from the magical portal in the middle of the chapel. Claws at the end of its massive arms, but hooves holding its immense weight. Bat wings the size of a horse. And both tipped by a hooked, bony claw. Its eyes produce a crimson shine that inspires fear and madness. With a swift move of his arm, he dispatches Lyseris, cutting him in half. The demon then turns its gaze to the characters.
The characters reach the end of this adventure and face the consequences of their deeds.
The characters reach Lyseris on time and stop him before he unleashes true chaos upon Daliton and the rest of the countryside. The necromancer may still be alive if he was arrested and jailed (see Adventure Hooks).
The drow are masters of disguise and deceit. If Lyseris is arrested, he is freed by his peers before his execution date. The characters learn about this sad fact weeks after they finish the job. They may return to find leads on the necromancer’s whereabouts if they wish.
On the other hand, Lyseris may be killed. Either way, the drow shall not forget the main authors of Daliton’s defense. And this won’t be the first time the characters face the cabal of drow necromancers. They shall seek revenge upon the characters sooner rather than later.
What Have We Done?
The characters take too long to reach the necromancer and a portal between two worlds appears (see area 9). The characters should run. The best they can hope for is to evacuate Daliton on time and live to fight another day.
An angry person brought back from the dead to the world of the living. They only know hatred and pain.
AC 12, HP 8, ATK 2 claws +1 (1d4), MV near, S +1, D -1, C +1, I -1, W +0, Ch -1, AL C, LV 1
Undead. Immune to morale checks.
Fortitude. When killed, zombies come back to life with 1 HP after one round (use only once per day).