694 The Pool of Truth – Lv5 Shadowdark Adventure

Perhaps the answer is elsewhere… I must not worry. No one will ever replicate what I have created. I have seen it. The water of all truths showed me.

Lucien’s Notes

Life is full of secrets and mysteries. Most of the time, these enigmas of the world remain un­known forever. This is because the darker the question is, the more difficult it is to seek the answer. And the wisest men say that some things in the universe are better left untouched, hidden, or unknown.

Revealing Magic

Nature dictates that for every mystery, there shall be someone wishing to unearth its secrets. Long ago, there was a curious, determined mage who disliked peo­ple. Lucien distrusted everyone and was unable to be­lieve what others said, regardless of the veracity.

His paranoid attitude matched his magical skills, though. Thus, at the peak of his wizardry career, Luc­ien crafted a physics-defying fluid of incredible proper­ties. The translucent solution has the power to reveal all kinds of truths, whether verbal, physical, or magical.

Water of All Truths

The otherworldly fluid is heavier and more vis­cous than common water. It holds a light silver hue and shines like steel when sunlight hits it directly. The water removes any effects that alter reality in a magical way, such as invisibility, polymorphism, or illusions. A sprin­kle of it is enough to end such an effect on a single object, or target. The water cures lycanthropy as well.

If used on a person, it reveals when someone lies; lips shut as if sewn together whenever the target tries to say something false. The person may cleverly avoid saying the truth without lying, though. Finally, this magical liq­uid may be used for one’s benefit. Staring into a pool of this magical water grants visions of one’s future. Thus al­lowing the user to plan accordingly and take advantage.

Dungeon’s Past

Lucien spent years building this place two hundred years ago. By the end of his life, he had become so paranoid that he even distrusted himself. He placed traps and defense mechanisms to protect his creation. Never wanting to share his secrets with anyone, his pool of truth stayed forgotten for a long time. Until now…

The Myth, the Mystery

Lucien’s laboratory used to be magically hidden. But the illusion spells that concealed the entrance have faded out after so long. It did not take much time for ex­plorers and adventurers to perceive the magical aura emanating from here. And so, the rumors about a pond of marvelous properties started to pass around.

Adventure Hooks

Magic Water. The characters come to the dungeon mo­tivated by one of the following two reasons: they have a prisoner who refuses to talk and torture is off the table. They want to use the water as a means to make the per­son speak the truth. Alternatively, one of the heroes or a close friend to them needs the water to remove a magi­cal affliction or hideous transformation (0 XP).

Revelation. Richard Dumfries, a rich noble, hires the heroes. He wishes to know his future and prepare for it. They must escort him and keep him safe during the ex­ploration and usage of the magical water (50 gp, 5 XP).

Level 5 Adventure

  • Danger. Unsafe. Check for a Random Event every 3 crawling rounds and after loud noises (4-in-6 chance).
  • Light. Lucien’s old spells to magically illuminate all areas still work today. All denizens are dark-adapted.
1 While exploring an area, the characters stumble upon a swarm of spiders. The insects are territorial and aggres­sive but they flee when reduced to half their Hit Points.
2 The magical lights in the dungeon flicker. Then they dwindle. All areas are bathed in darkness for 1 minute.
3 A party of two thugs, one soldier, and an apprentice arrive and catch up with the heroes. The newcomers may not be in the mood to share treasure (Reaction check).
4 Six goblins heard about this place too. They came to in­vestigate and find treasures. The goblins are jumpy from past experiences with humans (Reaction check).
5 A random character finds a bag of caltrops nearby.
6 The characters find a tough guardian (gelatinous cube). However, the monster’s nature is artificial. The water of all truths turns the ooze into a cube of rotten meat.

1. Landing

The dungeon’s entrance is no longer concealed. An open­ing in the mountains leads to a set of stairs. After a 50- foot descent, the characters reach this level.

  • Battle. Four sets of animated armors attack intrud­ers on the spot. The mindless guardians know no fear.

2. Archive

Magic protects this place from the passage of time. Ev­erything is pristine. Lucien used to spend a lot of time here. Paranoid as he was, his archive is also protected.

  • Trap. Whoever comes here must say the magic word ‘urumpi’ (the characters may learn this word in area 3), otherwise, they trigger the trap. An acid arrow hits the first creature that entered (DC 15 DEX check).
  • Treasure (3 XP). 15 gp, 20 magic rations that never spoil, a potion of healing, and a small vial with a note at­tached. It contains one dose of water of all truths.

3. Experiments

The door is magically locked. The characters neutralize it with dispel magic; the magical water in area 2 does the job too. A fire explosion is triggered if they attempt to open the door in any other way. All creatures within 15 feet of the door take 3d6 damage (DC 14 DEX check).

The characters find vats with strange liquids, barrels, and containers. Lucien stored mostly failed experiments here. The characters disturb an ochre jelly when they come here. They find some of Lucien’s notes that explain what this place is. They also learn the word ‘urumpi’. It is a safe word that deactivates some dungeon traps.

4. Main Chamber

The origins of this place are unknown. But no one can deny the beautiful architecture. The pool of magical wa­ter lies 60 feet below this irregularly-shaped chamber. Each alcove fosters a magical device that helps maintain the uncanny properties of the water of all truths.

  • Corridors. It is hard to walk the narrow paths be­tween the wide openings (DC 11 DEX). Failing means the person falls and hangs from an edge. Failure by 5 or more means they take 1d6 damage and fall to area 9.
  • Guardians. Lucien’s guardians are summoned when someone starts crossing the narrow passageways. Six clockwork stingbats burst from holes on the ground. The monsters attempt to make intruders lose their bal­ance and fall. The word ‘urumpi’ shuts them down.

5. Antechamber

The stone table on the wall has incredible magical prop­erties. Delicious food appears on top of it once per day. There is a 2-in-6 chance that the characters see the food appear before them when they pass through here.

6. Caverns

An old cave-in revealed this cavern tunnel. Lucien placed a magical trap to keep monsters at bay. Dirt covers most of a barely visible rune on the ground (DC 13 WIS). Fire jets trigger if anybody touches the rune. Creatures in area 6 take 1d10 damage (DC 14 DEX for half). The word “urumpi” deactivates this magical trap.

  • Critters. There is viscous residue on the floor. A character might recognize what the substance is (DC 13 INT). Two cave creepers smell the characters’ flesh and attack. They flee if reduced to half their Hit Points.

7. Lower Landing

The characters may descend the stairs in area 5 to get here. If they explore the caves, they disturb a cloaker. The monster flees if reduced to half its Hit Points.

8. Shrine

A shrine to Ord, the Unbending. Characters that vener­ate this deity may spend 1 crawling round praying to earn Ord’s favor: they each earn a luck token.

9. The Water of all Truths

The silvery liquid has fewer wrinkles than water. It is cold to the touch, and the pool has a depth of 5 feet.

  • Effects. The characters can make use of the pool to complete their mission (see Adventure Hooks).
  • Falling. There is a 3-in-6 chance that magic items submerged in the water lose all their properties.

10. Laboratory

Lucien used to experiment with various substances here. This is where he succeeded and created the dungeon’s watery technology. He never managed to make the water work outside the dungeon, though (see Development).

  • Treasure (40 gp, 3 XP). If the characters spend 1 crawling round searching the area, they amass several ingredients and chemical components that are valuable.
  • Vault (6 XP). A lever behind a shelf reveals the small treasure room (DC 13 WIS). There are 65 gp, 135 sp, a +1 dagger, and two random tier-1 wizard spell scrolls.

11. Dilapidated Room

The magical protection in some areas of the dungeon has faded out, or they were maybe never protected in the first place. Either way, nothing remains of this chamber.


The characters can only make use of the water of all truths while in the dungeon; the liquid must be in prox­imity to the devices in area 4 to retain its magical proper­ties. Still, this place may be of use to the heroes in the fu­ture. Or perhaps, it shall earn them powerful enemies…

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