Oh, there’s treasure in the crypt. Enough to change the fate of anyone who gets it. Are you brave enough to seek glory and fame? Or are you weak?
Brett, the Collector
Few places are feared more than the crypt of King Agmenon, commonly known as the Crypt of Endless Agony. Legend has it that King Agmenon was a despicable warlord in life. His greed for conquest was such that he spread his army too thin across his territories. Ultimately, this spelled his demise as a coalition of kingdoms confronted his spread-out battalions and destroyed them one by one. Before the capital was stormed, King Agmenon turned to his must-trusted advisor, Brett, the mage.
The mage promised immortality to King Agmenon. Desperate, the king accepted. However, Brett betrayed him and bound his spirit to the crypt’s throne. Brett is a doomed necromancer that became immortal at a ruinous cost too; all so that he could inflict his vendetta on the king. When the capital was taken, King Agmenon was nowhere to be found. When they tried to plunder the king’s crypt, they were driven away by undead guardians and the ghost of the king himself. The place was abandoned and forgotten. What remains are cautionary tales and a promise of great treasure. The crypt has not yet been plundered. The crypt’s door is synced with the stars and opens twice a year. It opens during the equinoxes.
Reasons to Leave Home
Seeking Change. A group of peasants gathers by the hearth in the packed tavern. The legend of King Agmenon’s crypt is known, as well as the days when it opens. The crypt’s door is expected to open tomorrow night. It has been so long since anyone attempted to visit the place that some believe that whatever dangers lurked within have long vanished or become broken. The promise of life-changing wealth and fame causes people’s eyes to glimmer in the warm light of the tavern hearth.
The Collector. A mysterious figure has come to town. He calls himself Brett and speaks in a strange, old-fashioned dialect. Brett claims to carry a key to King Agmenon’s vault; one he tracked down for years. He offers a share of the treasure to brave peasants seeking to change their lives forever. Unbeknownst to all, this is the same person who once aided King Agmenon to become eternal. Brett, the Collector, brings hapless people to the crypt from time to time to siphon their souls to power the arcane wards that have protected the crypt for ages.
Level 0 Gauntlet
- Danger. Risky. Check for a Random Event every 2 crawling rounds and after loud noises (3-in-6 chance).
- Light. Some areas have braziers with permanent light spells; the rest are dark. All denizens are dark-adapted.
- Aura of Decay. Once per hour, a random item carried by the party becomes rotten, rusted, or crumbles to dust.
|RANDOM EVENTS d8||Details|
|1||One zombie approaches the party and attacks. The undead monster wears tattered pieces of armor.|
|2||Four peasants carrying torches and shovels approach. They were brought by Brett, who promptly disappeared.|
|3||King Agmenon’s voice says: “Ah! You’ve come, finally. It’s been so long since anyone came by. Hurry to my throne room. You must aid me and shall be rewarded.”|
|4||Three goblins aware of the legends came to seek treasure. They are unsure about the party (Reaction roll).|
|5||A strong wind current blows through the caverns, snuffing out fires and any uncovered light sources.|
|6||A character steps on a pressure plate and triggers a swinging axe trap. They are gruesomely beheaded unless they jump out of the way quickly (DC 14 DEX check).|
|7||King Agmenon (wraith) momentarily breaks free from the throne, emerges from a nearby wall, and attacks a random character. Unless they react quickly, the king drains their life force, leaving a husk (DC 12 DEX check).|
|8||All undead abominations in the crypt howl and laugh in a maddening symphony. The noise lasts 1 crawling round.|
1. Entrance Hall
The equinoctial door-gate descends to a lonely landing. A glowing circle on the floor ebbs with strange energies that flutter above it in the reactive ether.
The east door is marked with King Agmenon’s sigil and these words: “Stay away, thief of wealth and secrets.”
- The Shelves. Worthless trinkets are spread across three shelves, if searched for 1 crawling round, the characters find one oil flask, a bag of caltrops, and 7 sp.
- The Circle. The circle runes spell a prayer for Ord, the keeper of secrets (DC 11 INT check). If a character meditates on the circle for 1 crawling round, they earn a luck token and a one-time use of the cure wounds
2. Ghoulish Doom
Twelve ornate sarcophagi flank the way to a warmly-lit altar by the faraway, curved wall. A strange, deafening hum comes from the stone enclosures.
- The Enclosures. Each box produces the hum with a different volume. They are a diversion as the only silent sarcophagus contains a ghoul. When the party inspects the other boxes, the ghoul emerges (DC 10 WIS). On a fail, the ghoul surprises the intruding characters.
- The Altar. The characters find this on the altar: a gem (5 gp), a lantern, two torches, and a potion of healing.
3. Chamber of Guardians
The sarcophagi are empty. They once held the king’s guard remains but an adventurer defeated them.
- The Bookcases. The characters can learn of King Agmenon’s demise by reading these books. It is also revealed that the mage Brett, made the king an undead spirit and bound him to a throne; a grim betrayal.
4. The Agonizing King
The ghostly apparition of a crowned king sits on the throne. It tries to step away but is unable to. The reddish eyes of King Agmenon shine fiercely.
- The King. The reasons for Brett’s betrayal are lost to history, but King Agmenon (wraith) still remains here. The desperate spirit is a dangerous foe but it is bound to the throne and can only attack adjacent characters. As long as they stay away, the characters are safe. The king begs the party to liberate him. He claims there are two valves nearby that can be turned to release him. In exchange for this, King Agmenon offers a map to the location of his legendary blade (see Development).
5. The Funerary Urns
Two alcove-filled hallways contain eighteen gilded urns with the ashen remains of King Agmenon’s royal family. Each of the urns can be sold for 4 sp. Alas, plundering any of the areas causes a single shadow to appear. The shadow does not pursue if the urns are left in the crypt.
6. The Gruesome Descent
The stairs next to King Agmenon’s throne descend into darkness. If the characters are smart enough to throw a torch down, they see the iron spikes at the bottom. Otherwise, they are clueless about them. When a character steps on the seventh step from the top, all the steps slant downward. It turns the staircase into a downward chute. All creatures currently on the stairs descend rapidly and become impaled unless they grab the walls for dear life (DC 12 DEX check). Those who fall take 1d8 damage.
7. The Wall of Idols
The north wall of this chamber is packed with strange clay idols of men and animals. All the clay figurines have large, gaping mouths and eye sockets.
- The Holes. Careful inspection of the holes for 1 crawling round reveals that some of the eye sockets and mouths feature a clockwork mechanism behind them. A character can disarm the device (DC 12 DEX, disadvantage without tools). Failure triggers the trap (see below).
- Poison Darts Trap. A pressure-sensitive tile halfway through triggers a barrage of darts to fly from the countless orifices when pressed. Creatures in the hallway are struck and take 1d4 damage (DC 12 CON check).
8. The Crushing Wall
The north wall of this chamber is made of metal. There is no apparent reason as to why it is different.
Careful inspection of the hallway for 1 crawling round reveals dragging marks on the granite floor and the orifices in the ceiling where the portcullises fall.
- The Wall Trap. Crossing the hallway without care causes two grated portcullises on either side to fall; thus blocking off both exits. The wall pushes southward and crushes whoever is here after 2 rounds. A character outside can obstruct the wall’s movement with a large object or disarm the mechanism (DC 12 DEX, disadvantage without tools). Whoever stands between the portcullises is crushed to death. The metal wall retracts after but the mechanism requires maintenance before working again.
9. The Arcane Valves
Each of the valves is etched with arcane markings. Closing both of them releases King Agmenon from the throne. Such an irresponsible action incurs terrible consequences for the world (see Development).
10. Fake Vault
Pushing a brick button in area 9 (DC 10 WIS) reveals the presence of this chamber. However, what appears to be a treasure-filled room is nothing but a magical illusion.
11. The Vault Door
Darkness coalesces as the mage Brett (shadow) appears by the vault’s door. His undead existence depends on slaying people here and siphoning their souls. Such is the price he pays for apparent immortality. Defeating him leaves nothing behind except for the main vault key.
12. King Agmenon’s Treasure Hoard
A hero’s feast and a great treasure await in King Agmenon’s vault. The survivors are sure to thrive now!
The magical feast changes each day and is safe to consume. The food is delicious. The vault contains 120 gp, 260 sp, 1,200 cp, a potion of healing, a wizard spellbook, a gilded holy symbol, and a hat of the hound.
The peasants emerge victorious from the crypt. A life of adventure awaits those who survived. The wealth they gained from the crypt shall help them fund their training and acquire the gear needed for a life of adventure. If the characters were fooled by King Agmenon into releasing him. The bygone king’s spirit flees the crypt. He is a foul entity that shall wreak havoc upon the world. The king does not forget the characters’ help and is true to his word. He leaves a treasure map that leads to his fabled blade. Finding it is an adventure for another day…