692 Corvinus Family Crypt – Lv3 Shadowdark Adventure

The tragedy that befell the Corvinus family is unlike anything else humankind has faced in eons. Cursed are their souls… Cursed are their descendants…

Almanac of the Great Families

The never-ending search for power and might is the demise of magic-users when they reach their mortal limits. Magic is a powerful tool but its usefulness and reach are limited by mankind’s short lifespan and fragile body. Alas, those that reach this limit often strive to find a way to circum­vent the laws of the world by binding and siphoning the life-force of extraplanar beings. There is a belief that it is possible to extract the power of an otherworldly entity to change the human body and achieve immortality. Alas, most wizards who attempt this bring unfiltered tragedy.

The Corvinus Massacre

For a hundred years, the patriarch of the once-pow­erful Corvinus family spent endless resources to fund a powerful wizard’s research. Their goal was to summon and bind a devil from hell. Its energy would be used to make Lord Corvinus the immortal patriarch of the fam­ily. Alas, he overestimated the expertise of this mage. When the time came, a mighty devil was brought forth into the Material Plane. But the wizard perished trying to bind the devil. The evil entity then cursed the Corvinus Lord for his naive attempts and laid waste to as many family members as he could before vanishing. Most died. The remains were interred in the family crypt which is a reminder of that baleful day. A week ago, the undead Corvinus poured out of the crypt gate and attacked near­by areas. The watch has failed to stop the undead.

Adventure Hook

Local Heroes. Sir Ardant Hoovin, the bailiff, offers a reward to mercenaries for getting rid of the danger­ous undead in the Corvinus Family crypt. He has lost too many men trying to solve this and cannot compro­mise the town’s watch anymore. Fortunately, the bailiff possesses a floor-plan of the Corvinus crypt and freely shares it with whoever takes the deal (40 gp, 4 XP).

Learning the Truth. A member of the party has ex­perienced vivid dreams in the past few weeks. In these dreams, they see an impossibly large, upside-down tree where hundreds of people hang like ripe fruit. At the very bottom, they see themselves. The character feels the urge to visit the crypt. The truth lies there (0 XP).

Level 3 Adventure

  • Danger. Risky. Check for a Random Event every 3 crawling rounds and after loud noises (3-in-6 chance).
  • Light. Some areas have braziers with ever-burning fires; the rest are dark. The undead are dark-adapted.
  • Necromancy Aura. All undead in the dungeon have a +2 bonus to checks against hostile magical effects.
  • Smells and Sounds. The stench of death and decay pervades the dungeon. The occasional sound of undead creatures growling and shrieking breaks the silence.
1 A wandering ghast approaches the party. It carries jew­elry and fine clothes (10 gp, 1 XP). The ferocious ghast prioritizes attacking wizards or priests in the group.
2 Four peasant farmers with torches and pitchforks arrive at the dungeon looking to help. They want to join their party and assist how they can to defeat the dead.
3 Johann, a scholar and apprentice, arrives at the dun­geon. He claims that the sudden awakening of the dead in the crypt must also mean that a descendant of the Corvinus family is nearby. At least, some astronomical predictions seem to point to this fact, he says.
4 A pressure-sensitive plate lies ahead (DC 11 WIS to spot). Stepping on it triggers a barrage of poisoned nee­dles to shoot from a nearby wall. Creatures in their way take 2d6 poison damage (DC 13 CON check).
5 A strong wind current blows through the chambers, snuffing out fires, uncovered light sources, and the dun­geon’s braziers. They reignite after 1 crawling round.
6 Four ghouls meander through the dungeon or the grounds outside the crypt. The ravenous undead attack on sight, fight to the death, and prioritize creatures wear­ing the least amount of armor due to their hunger.

1. Entrance Hall

The Corvinus mausoleum on the surface leads down a staircase to a dark landing with two gilded vases and a stone plinth littered with odd trinkets.

Tracks. The prints and wall scratches of undead crea­tures go up and down the staircase (DC 12 WIS check).

The Vases. The gilded containers once held holy wa­ter but have been tainted by the recent awakening of the undead. The fluid within is dark green and corrosive. It deals 1d6 damage when poured on any creature.

The Tome. Laid open on the plinth, there is a historical recount of the day when most members of the powerful Corvinus family died. The characters can spend 1 crawl­ing round to learn the outline of what happened then.

2. West Tomb

Eight stone sarcophagi line the walls of this funerary chamber lit by a single brazier by the far wall. The lavish and opulent enclosures are fit for nobility.

  • The Sarcophagi. Each sarcophagus contains the re­mains of an important member of the Corvinus family. Their names are imprinted on plaques by the enclosure’s base. Six of them contain skeletons that emerge to at­tack when any of the sarcophagi lids are removed.
  • Necromancy. A priest can inspect the undead re­mains and determine that their recent awakening was caused by a strong evil presence nearby (DC 14 WIS).
  • Treasure (2 XP). Spending 1 crawling round in­specting the sarcophagi yields 10 gp and 120 sp.

3. East Tomb

The contents of this chamber are similar to the ones in area 2 with the difference that there are only four skele­tons in the sarcophagi. Treasure found is halved (1 XP).

  • The Calling. A calling can be felt when the party ar­rives at this chamber. If a descendant of the Corvinus family is present (see Adventure Hooks), they feel an un­stoppable urge to rush to area 9 (DC 11 WIS to resist).

4. The Secret Vault

Two hallways connect area 3 with the two areas labeled area 5. Each hallway features a clover-shaped, pres­sure-sensitive plate in the middle. The plates are trig­gered with a weight of 50 pounds. Complex clockwork machinery triggered by the two plates controls access to the secret vault and activates a dangerous fire jet trap.

  • The Door. The outline of the vault’s door can be dis­cerned in the south hallway by observant crawlers (DC 13 WIS). But the way to open the secret door is elusive.
  • The North Plate. Stepping on this plate causes the secret door in the south hallway to open. The wall mov­ing produces little sound (DC 14 WIS to notice).
  • The South Plate. Stepping on this plate causes fire jets to shoot from the north hallway wall. Whoever stands on the north plate takes 3d6 damage (DC 14 DEX for half). Crouching on the plate grants advantage.
  • Treasure (7 XP). The vault contains two coffers with 40 gp, 300 sp, a set of chainmail armor, two oil flasks, magic ink, and a potion of healing. The bookcase con­tains two scrolls: create undead and animate dead.

5. Tombs of Lesser Nobility

Standing sarcophagi brandishing the bygone Cor­vinus’ sigil in silver inlays line the walls of this dark chamber. An embroidered rug covers part of the floor.

  • The Enclosures. Close relatives and merchant spon­sors of the Corvinus family are interred here, their names etched on the sarcophagus lids. A shadow emerges from the easternmost enclosure when living creatures arrive.
  • The Rug (2 XP). The embroidered rug, while dirty and old, is of exceptional craftsmanship, made from owl­bear fur (DC 11 INT check). The antique is worth 20 gp.

6. Embalming Room

Two metal tables with complex machinery and dosage apparatuses dominate the room. Grim, rusty, embalming utensils lie on two metal side tables.

The preparation of corpses for this tomb was performed here. While normally outsourced, the richest families had their own embalming chambers and morticians. The instruments are old and useless. Flasks with em­balming fluids are corroded and empty.

  • Treasure (2 XP). Inspecting the room for 1 crawling round yields 2 gp, 16 sp, and a potion of vitality.

7. Crypt of the Commons

Twenty-one jade-colored urns line the walls of this chamber. Their lids are fixed with an oily substance.

Lesser members of the Corvinus family, servants, and some friends are here in the form of ashes. It is a sort of unmarked, common tomb because the ashes of dozens of people are combined in a single urn. The remains of almost a hundred people are interred here.

  • Treasure (1 XP). If the characters spend 1 crawling round to go through the urns’ contents, they find a scroll case with a single scroll. A spellcaster can translate the incantation as a spell to summon and bind a devil. The incantation is flawed and doomed to fail (DC 18 INT).

8. The Crypt Guardian

The 10-foot-tall statue of an armor-clad knight over­sees the hallway. Its eyes shine with the might of the sun but they only open in the presence of movement.

When perceiving movement, the eyes open. If continu­ous movement occurs within 20 feet of the statue, the eyes shoot a beam of scorching light (DC 12 DEX or 1d8 damage). A character can move in 5-feet increments and stop short to avoid being targeted by the shooting ray.

  • The Locked Door. The entrance to area 9 opens only as long as the two clover-shaped switches south of area 8 are pressed. They trigger with a weight of 50 pounds.

9. Tomb of Lord Corvinus

The lord’s sarcophagus opens as an ethereal appa­rition rises from within. Lord Corvinus is returned from beyond the veil filled with anguish and regret.

  • Lord Corvinus. The late patriarch is marked with the devil’s rune. It spells his doom to return to the realm of the living since the devil took his life and that of his fami­ly (DC 15 INT check). Lord Corvinus is a vengeful spirit that knows no mercy and fights until slain.
  • Treasure (3 XP). The sarcophagus contains a spell­book with speak with dead, a gold ingot (10 gp), 20 gp, a +1 longsword, and a potion of healing.

Lord Corvinus

The ephemeral apparition of a once-powerful man now marked with the wretched rune of an devil.

AC: 12 HP: 30 LV6

ATK: 2 Death Touch +5 (1d8 + Siphon Energy) MV: Near (Fly)

S:-4 D:+3 C:+0 I:+0 W:-1 Ch:+2

Ghostly Appearance. In place of attacks, be­come corporeal or incorporeal.

Siphon Energy. 1d4 CON damage. Death if reduced to 0 CON.

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