They tried to keep me away from the world of the living. Their desperate methods confirm that only I can keep the fiefdom clean of such low scum.
Lady Maria Ornatt
There was once a ruler so feared that the lands in her stead suffered under her iron fist. Lady Maria Ornatt inherited her father’s fiefdom and immediately changed her family’s legacy. To her family’s dismay, it became apparent that Lady Maria despised her father’s methods; she judged them lightly-handed and ineffectual. Lady Maria wholeheartedly believed that the only way to truly control a region was through coercion and deeply-ingrained fear.
For twenty-two years, until Lady Maria was assassinated in her bed, she commanded the fear and respect of all lords and townsfolk in her realm. Historians now believe she overstepped with her harsh methods and earned the enmity of too many in court. When she was found dead, the powers-that-be arranged for her remains to be placed in a magically-protected ossuary. Her bones were spread across four chambers: an incantation impedes any manner of revivification or magic to contact the dead.
The Blade. The characters seek Lady Maria’s fabled sword, Misty Dawn. It is said to have formidable powers and may aid them in their future missions (0 XP).
Release. A scholar named Talla hires the party to escort her to Lady Maria’s Ossuary. She is a distant relative and wants to release Lady Maria’s spirit (100 gp, 10 XP).
Wreaking Havoc. An obscure faction covertly hires the characters to dispel the arcane locks that contain Lady Maria’s remains in the ossuary (80 gp, 8 XP).
|1||Maria Ornatt was once a hated ruler who would vindicate her peers and apply gruesome punishments.|
|2||The ossuary’s main hall is often visited by pilgrims and tourists. Other chambers are strictly off-bounds.|
|3||Rumor has it that Lady Maria’s fortune is hidden in her sarcophagus but no one dares plunder it.|
|4||A few foolhardy teenagers went into the forbidden chambers in the ossuary and never came back.|
|5||Some people claim to have heard the ancient ruler’s voice in the main hall during the full moon.|
|6||History books claim Maria Ornatt was a good administrator but her severity earned her the populace’s hate.|
Level 5 Adventure
- Danger. Risky. Check for a random event every 2 crawling rounds and after loud noises (3-in-6 chance).
- Light. Some chambers have braziers with permanent light; the rest are dark. All denizens are dark-adapted.
- Magic Interference. All healing spells have a 4-in-6 chance of failing within Lady Maria’s Ossuary.
- Undead Bolstering. The timeless guardians within the ossuary are immune to the turn undead
|RANDOM EVENTS d6||Details|
|1||Acidic brine pours from a crack in the ceiling on someone’s backpack. It dissolves a random item inside it.|
|2||A group of tourists arrive in area 6 and read historical recounts about Lady Maria, they stay for 8 hours.|
|3||A sudden gush of howling wind puts out all light-sources. The dungeon’s lights turn back on after 1d4 hours.|
|4||1d3 shadows rise from the vases in area 1 and seek the nearest living creature to drive them off the sepulcher.|
|5||A ghost appears and claims to have arranged Lady Maria’s murder centuries ago. He begs the characters to leave her putrid spirit be. Otherwise, the ghost attacks!|
|6||A thief, Lara, claims to seek Lady Maria’s vault and offers to join the party in exchange for a share of the hoard.|
1. Entrance Hall
A dark tunnel leads to a grim hall. A pair of standing sarcophagi and clay vases surround a stone circle.
- Getting Here. The townsfolk lead the characters to the Ornatt family’s mausoleum. In there, a marked passageway leads into the ruler’s private ossuary.
- The Sarcophagi. Tall, engraved, stone enclosures that contain the remains of trusted bodyguards of the Ornatt family. If Lady Maria’s remains are liberated, two ghasts emerge from the caskets and attack the living.
- The Vases (4 XP). Each vase is marked with the Ornatt family sigil. They contain unmarked ashes. A gold ring (40 gp) is hidden among them (DC 14 WIS check).
- The Circle. The intricate runes etched onto the circle are a teleportation sigil (DC 16 INT check). It can be recorded for future use of the teleportation
2. Northwest Niche
A stone enclosure is flanked by two plinths that contain a golden vase and several small jade trinkets.
Each of the niche chambers (areas 2-5) is roughly the same in contents. Each features a portcullis trap that activates and causes the undead guardians to appear.
- Portcullis Trap. Coming within 10 feet of the stone enclosure causes the portcullis to fall. The gate can be lifted (DC 17 STR). Otherwise, it resets after 1 hour. Three shadows materialize and attack the trespassers.
- The Trinkets. The jade pieces are stuck to the surface. They contain the anti-healing enchantment that pervades the dungeon. Unless a dispel magic spell is cast on the trinkets, the enclosure cannot be opened.
3. Northeast Niche
Gnawed bones lie scattered by the dark corners of this chamber; the grim remains of unfortunate visitors.
- Portcullis Trap. When the portcullis falls, six skeletons eerily coalesce and attack the trespassers.
4. Southeast Niche
This room is a mirrored version of area 3. However, there is evidence of past meddling by trespassers. Studying the chamber for 2 crawling rounds reveals that a person tinkered with the portcullis and tried to disable it.
- Portcullis Trap. The protective ward here has malfunctioned. The portcullis falls but no guardians appear.
5. Southwest Niche
The jade trinkets in this chamber feature an additional ward. If dispelled, they glow crimson red and ignite in a ball of fire before becoming inert. Creatures slow to react and step away take 4d6 damage (DC 17 DEX).
- Portcullis Trap. When the portcullis falls, five wights are summoned forth from the void to defeat the party.
6. The Soul Container
A lavishly decorated sarcophagus on a raised dais radiates a green-tinted glow in the ominous chamber.
Visiting this chamber before dispensing the magic in the jade trinkets in areas 2-5 is a dull affair. The enclosure is closed and no mortal means can pry it open.
- Liberation. Regardless of the characters’ motives, dispelling the wards in areas 2-5 frees Lady Maria from her centuries-long imprisonment. True to the rumors, the vicious woman has only grown more severe and terrible in death. Lady Maria’s spirit (wraith) and two ghasts emerge in a fit of rage. They attack mercilessly.
7. Lady Maria’s Vault
Exploring the enclosure in area 6 for 1 crawling round reveals a hidden button within. Pushing it causes a wall section to move aside and reveal a passage to this area.
- Treasure (10 XP). The chests contain 70 gp, 200sp, 1,200 cp, two potions of healing, an amulet of vitality, and Lady Maria’s legendary blade, Misty Dawn.