714 Great Hall of Containment – Lv5 Shadowdark Adventure

Deep beneath the earth, where the roots of moun­tains intertwine with the fabric of forgotten ages, lies the Great Hall of Containment. Shrouded in enigma and accessible only through the art of teleportation, the vault is a testament to ancient magics long gone.

The dungeon remains hidden from the mundane world. Its location is a closely guarded secret, known only to a select few who have mastered the intricate pat­terns of teleportation magic. This method of access en­sures that the vault remains untouched by trespassers.

The entrance to the Great Hall is sealed by a massive door, crafted from an alloy of mithral and obsidian. This door is locked by an elaborate mechanism that involves four arcane devices, each embodying a unique aspect of the elemental planes. These intricate clockwork con­structs require semi-simultaneous operation. Beyond this gate lies a remarkable feature – a serene pond filled with a shimmering, iridescent, alchemical oil. This mys­tical liquid, a rare concoction of alchemists and spell­weavers from a bygone era, possesses the extraordinary ability to contain sentient souls and living-spells within its depths. The oil’s surface mirrors the cosmos.

Many legends surround the Great Hall of Containment, tales of ambitious mages and daring adventurers who sought the hall’s secrets, only to be lost in its depths or overcome by the fearsome guardians that guard it.

Adventure Hook

Preventing Disaster. Magister Elarion, a respected figure in the arcane community, has been troubled by recurring prophetic dreams. These visions depict the Great Hall of Containment, a legendary and nearly for­gotten vault said to house a pond of alchemical oil. The oil has been used as a prison for souls and out-of-control living-spells. In his dreams, a build-up of arcane energy looms imminent, threatening to unleash the pond’s con­tained horrors upon the world. The magister hires the characters due to their reputation. They must teleport to the dungeon at once; the magister procures the rune sequence for this spell. The characters must investigate the source of this build-up, neutralize it, and re-seal the Great Hall of Containment so that it lies dormant again. If possible, it should be stable forever (3 XP, 1,400 gp).

Level 5 Adventure

  • Danger. Unsafe. Check for a Random Event every 3 crawling rounds and after loud noises (4-in-6 chance).
  • Light. Some areas have braziers with permanent light spells. The undead denizens are dark-adapted.
  • Architecture. The stone walls are decorated with swirling patterns that mimic flowing water. The ceilings are 40 feet tall, domed, and untouched by light.
1 Ethereal whispers distract and disorient up to two ran­dom characters as per the spell confusion.
2 A stone golem suddenly activates and detaches from a wall. It guards the area with unyielding force.
3 Glowing runes on the floor pulse ominously. Stepping on them triggers a jet of fire to erupt from the walls. The trap deals 3d6 damage (DC 14 DEX for half).
4 A magical current of wind traverses the entire dungeon. All light sources are immediately extinguished.
5 The confused spirit of a former guardian roams the place (shadow), offering cryptic warnings or unexpected aid. Its intentions are unclear and shifting (Reaction).
6 An oil overflow causes a lesser air elemental to appear nearby. The being is disoriented (Reaction).

Magic Circle

A chamber dimly lit by an intricate runic circle, pulsating softly. Across, a massive gate connected to four humming cables exudes an ominous energy.

  • Cables.Each is crafted with obsidian and mithral. They are fixed in place. Each cable leads away to its re­spective arcane device. If a cable is cut, the vault gates cannot be opened anymore until it is repaired.

Room of Grief

A complex clockwork device whirs ceaselessly, its gears turning as it works. Around it, three ancient stone plinths stand, inscribed with forgotten runes.

  • The Device. Whoever operates the device by pulling the lever causes the apparatus to distill the person’s grief into a quasi-physical form. The embodied sentiment is recognizable to them. It (wraith) attacks all living crea­tures without mercy. Operating the devices in both cham­bers labeled Room of Grief causes the first arcane gate to the Great Hall of Containment to open.

Pond of Desires

This serene chamber holds a circular pond, its crystal-clear waters reflecting the darkness above. An embroidered red rug extends from it, flanked by two plinths littered with an array of varied trinkets.

  • Ambiance. The chamber is calm and carries a feel­ing of safety and warmth, unlike the rest of the dungeon. This is the only chamber where the party can rest safely.
  • The Pond. Eight silver coins lie at the bottom. Steal­ing them incurs a curse (Disadvantage on all checks for 1d4 days, no save). Throwing a coin into the pond and meditating for 1 crawling round awards luck token.
  • The Journal. A tome lies open on one of the plinths, its author unknown. Its entries describe the oil pond in the vault and how it contains countless souls and spells. It can be used to acquire arcane knowledge, a dangerous affair. It also explains its imperfection, arcane forces ac­cumulate over time, rendering it a dangerous place.

Embalming Chamber

The walls of this room are lined with shelves bearing rusted tools, skulls, and bottled substances. The air is heavy with the scent of inorganic preservers.

  • The Table. The bloodstained metal surface is lined with metal straps, cogs, and levers that reveal a second­ary purpose of arduous torture. It can be inferred that some subjects were embalmed alive (DC 12 INT).
  • The Skulls. There are ten skulls across two shelves. They turn around and gaze at newcomers. Each answers a question posed to it. The information revealed by them is false, treacherous, and ill-intended (DC 13 WIS).
  • Treasure (3 XP). The two gilded vases by the walls contain 18 pounds of finely powdered silver (3 gear slots each). Each of the lots can be sold for 300 gp.

Chamber of Protection

A complex clockwork device whirs ceaselessly, its gears turning as it works. Sarcophagi with heavy, lavishly-decorated lids flank line the tall stone walls.

  • The Device. Pulling a lever causes the machine to in­crease its speed and erupt thick smoke. Then, the guard­ians appear (see below). Operating the devices in both chambers labeled Chamber of Protection causes the second gate to the Great Hall of Containment to open.
  • The Guardians. Six ravenous ghasts emerge stum­bling from the enclosures when the arcane machine is activated. They are merciless and fight until slain. From the scarring, cuts, and stitches on their bodies, a healer discovers that they were the hapless victims of ritualistic embalming ceremonies (DC 16 WIS check).
  • Treasure (3 XP). Inside the sarcophagi, there are 250 gp, 1,780 sp, two potions of healing, two flasks of oil, and four random tier-2 wizard spell scrolls.

Cursed Library

The collection of tomes, parchments, and books contains an accurate record of all the people whose souls are im­prisoned in the Great Hall of Containment. Many can be recognized as terrible wizards, warlords, and immor­tal beings from several centuries ago (DC 14 INT). Two books go into in-depth descriptions of the living-spells captured therein but the arcane ramblings were written by an apprentice and make little sense to a wizard.

Arcane Door

Each of the two gates is made from an alloy of mithral and obsidian and cannot be breached by means available to mortal beings. Operating the devices in the Chambers of Grief and the Chambers of Protection is required to access to Great Hall of Containment beyond.

Great Hall of Containment

Beneath tall stone arches, the chamber lies shrouded in mystery, its walls etched with arcane symbols. At its heart, a serene pond of shimmering alchemical oil bubbles; its essence swirling in the iridescent depths.

The oil pond is unstable; souls threaten to leave at any moment and strange spells lurk beneath. The four obsid­ian idols that keep the pond in check do not work.

  • Maelstrom. When the characters enter this gran­diose chamber, the oil pond becomes unstable; eight shadows emerge from it to attack. In addition, twice per round, a random wizard spell of up to tier 3 is cast from the pond. The target of this spell is chosen by the GM but it should disadvantage the characters, if possible. After the fight, the pond settles down for 24 hours.
  • Repair. After the fight, a spellcaster can inspect the obsidian idols and imbue them with new arcane ener­gy. This process takes 1d6 hours and restores the Great Hall of Containment so that it functions properly again.

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