726 Pond of Spirits – Level-6 Adventure

In the depths of the Pond of Spirits, lies the echo of betrayals and whispers of the departed; a mirror to the soul’s deepest desires and darkest fears.

Dungeon’s Inscription

Within the depths of an ancient dungeon lies the fabled Pond of Spirits. This is the macabre masterpiece of a prodigal necromancer from a lineage of formidable sorcerers. The incep­tion of this pond is steeped in tragedy and dark thoughts; it was birthed in an act of unspeakable betrayal when Er­imon, the young necromancer, driven by insidious ambi­tion, slew his kin in a single, moonless night. The spirits of his family, bound by potent necromantic rituals, were consigned to the depths of the pond’s dungeon, their es­sence forever mingling with its spectral waters.

The Magical Pond

Explorers, heroes, and treasure hunters seek the magical Pond of Spirits because it offers visitors two harrowing boons, though each at a ruinous cost.

Connection. The pond has the power to find any soul that has departed from this world. Petitioners may con­verse with long-departed loved ones, their spectral voic­es rising from the pond’s depths like whispers on the wind. However, such communion is not without its per­ils, as the spirits’ words often carry the weight of unre­solved pasts, forbidden secrets, or hidden truths.

Wish. Even more ominous still is the power to petition the Oracles of Death, ethereal entities that dwell with­in the pond’s fathomless waters. These immortal souls grant wishes, empowered with the wisdom of ages and the foresight of the damned, but their gifts come at a dire price. Those who dare ask must forfeit something of im­mense spiritual value, a sacrifice that may leave an in­delible scar upon the petitioner’s soul, a reminder of the eternal balance between desire and consequence.

Adventure Hooks

  • Guards. The heroes are hired by Lord Lillen. The man’s wife was murdered a decade ago. He never had the chance to say goodbye. He believes the pond is the key to overcoming his grief. The heroes must escort Lord Lillen to the magical waters (1,500 gp, 7 XP).
  • Ambition. The heroes learn about the Pond of Spir­its and want a taste of its power. They choose to step into the dungeon and seek to make a wish come true (0 XP).
  • Cleansing. This dungeon is not only a prison for Er­imon’s family, it is filled with ancient necromancy, dark magic, and foul spells. To top it all, countless adventur­ers and treasure hunters have lost their lives trying to un­ravel the secrets of this cursed place. The heroes’ objec­tive is to destroy the Pond of Spirits forever (0 XP).

Erimon’s Legacy

Erimon’s dungeon is filled with gems, magical components, and treasure. But surrounding this eerie pond, the dungeon sprawls like a labyrinthine crypt, riddled with devious traps and patrolled by undying guardians – spectral remnants of the necromancer’s slain family, eternally bound to protect their prison.

Level 6 Adventure

  • Danger. Risky. Check for a Random Event every 2 crawling rounds and after loud noises (4-in-6 chance).
  • Light. Some areas feature magical braziers that stay ever-burning. Fairy-like fireflies illuminate The Pond of Spirits. The undead and guardians are dark-adapted.
1 A spectral hand emerges from a wall, offering a scroll bound in shadows (Cursed, Random Tier 1 spell scroll cast with disadv.).
2 The echoing clatter of bones leads to a skeleton in royal attire, pacing restlessly before a sealed tomb. The undead mage is deranged and consumed by rage. It believes one of the heroes is Erimon, who returned to mock his dead family.
3 Whispers fill the air, each telling a different tale of betrayal. The whispers finally lead the heroes to a hidden chamber (area 7).
4 An ancient trap springs, releasing a swarm of bats that screech and attack mercilessly. They flee when reduced to half HP.
5 A sudden chill pervades as ghostly lights dance across the dungeon, and a strong wind current consumes all light sources.
6 A mirror, framed in twisted metal, shows not the viewer’s reflection, but a scene of the dungeon as it was centuries ago. Charac­ters can only witness as Erimon, in the scene from the past, takes the life of the last living relative with a dark blade.

1. Entrance and Teleportation Circle

At the dungeon’s entrance lies a teleportation circle, its runes glowing faintly on the stone floor, hinting at a dormant portal’s power. Surrounding it are four dark stone pillars, etched with scenes of ancient sor­cery, pulsating with subtle magical waves of energy.

The characters may have learned the rune pattern to teleport themselves here in a previous adventure. Other­wise, to find the entrance to Erimon’s dungeon, the he­roes must traverse dense woods, and journey through muddy hills and rocky mountains for two days. Surviving these perils and dangers on their way here shall depend solely upon their survival skills, bravery, and wit.

2. Poison Vents

Dimly lit, the chamber’s stone walls glisten with dampness. From the east wall, a malevolent green mist seeps from gas vents. An eerie silence hangs, punctuated by occasional hisses of toxic fumes.

The poison is released in random intervals. The char­acters take 1d10 damage unless they are fast enough to avoid the gas (DC 16 DEX). A skilled crawler may try to disarm the vents’ mechanism as well (DC 18 DEX).

3. Antechamber

An unadorned door creaks to reveal this room. Stone walls enclose a dim antechamber. Faint echoes hint at distant corridors. A wight emerges from the sarcopha­gus if the characters interact with it in any way.

4. Secret Vault

To find this area, the characters must press the hidden button inside the sarcophagus in area 3 (DC 15 WIS). A section of the wall slides upward after it is pressed.

  • Treasure (5 XP). The characters find the following items within the coffers, containers, and the shelf: a ser­rated greatsword (12 gp), a white pearl (40 gp), a mino­taur hoof with a gold horseshoe (50 gp), a green scarab encased in amber (75 gp), and a ring of feather falling.

5. Family Sarcophagi

Dimly lit, the chamber houses three identical sar­cophagi against moss-covered walls. Two golden urns reside in shadowed alcoves. A central, ornate sar­cophagus stands distinct, exuding an aura of mystery.

Erimon’s family members wake up from their slumber to guard this place against their souls’ will. The three wights and one zombie mage fight until slain.

  • Treasure (5 XP). The characters may retrieve the fol­lowing items from the enclosures. A rare incense that is repulsive to undead (50 gp), a half-complete suit of plate mail (65 gp), a crystal statuette of Memnon (50 gp), and a beautiful wooden case with three potions of healing.

6. Hidden Sarcophagi

The characters must press a brick to reveal this area (DC 15 WIS). Upon entrance, two wraiths coalesce from the urn’s ashes and four zombies come out of the enclosures. Erimon’s dead relatives fight until slain.

  • Treasure (5 XP). After the fight, the characters may search the area and obtain the following: a dragonbone crossbow carved as a roaring dragon (60 gp), a random tier-2 spell scroll (140 gp), a +2 magic armor (300 gp) (GM’s choice), and a beautiful limestone container with intricate Elvish runes (100 gp), it contains a pair of intri­cately crafted immovable rods (300 gp each).

7. Secret Resting Chamber

This area is concealed behind an illusory wall. A detect magic spell reveals the trick instantly. Two wights and three shadows protect this secret chamber.

  • Treasure (3 XP). The characters find a couple of leather bags with 1,386 sp and 27 gp. There is also a sil­ver key. It opens the locked gate that takes to area 9.

8. Lesser Guards

Two skeletons and three shadows come out of this chamber and fight intruders crossing the corridor after the second crushing wall trap in the corridor triggers. Otherwise, they stay in their enclosures and fight only if the intruders interact with their resting places.

  • Treasure (4 XP). An eye patch made of batwing leath­er (30 gp), a suit of dwarf-made chainmail (60 gp), an ironwood longbow engraved with silver leaves (35 gp), and a lantern made of intricate stained glass (80 gp).

9. Pond of Spirits

Towering above, the chamber’s ceiling is lost in shad­ow, giving the space an air of infinite height. A series of magnificent sarcophagi rest on each side, their surfaces encrusted with large gems that glint like stars against the dark stone. These sarcophagi, each a masterpiece of craftsmanship, are the final resting places of Erimon’s closest kin; their opulence is a dire, stark contrast to the despair of their inhabitants.

Three pedestals emerge from the Pond of Spirits, each holding a mass of liquid metal that shimmers like mol­ten silver. This enigmatic substance is in constant flux, changing shape and form in an endless, metallic dance.

  • Lord Lillen. The characters witness the liquid met­al change shape and assume the shape of their employ­er’s long-gone wife. They have a touching reunion where Lord Lillen finally says what he never could. The heroes may also have a word with a deceased loved one. Howev­er, if they wish to abuse the pond’s magic, or ask to speak with someone who is not close to them, they anger the spirits, and the guardians appear (see below).
  • A Wish Come True. The pond’s magic can work like a wish The cost is a living soul. The heroes may state what they want as long as they are willing to pay.
  • Agents of Good. The characters cannot allow such a place to exist anymore. They have come to destroy the pond. The guardians, two dead reavers, and four wights emerge from the sarcophagi to protect their master’s creation. After combat, a holy cleansing ritual, holy wa­ter, and burning the dungeon entirely is required.

Central Corridor

A corridor stretches 120 feet. If the characters fail to spot the steel plates on each side of the corridor (DC 14 WIS), they must jump away when they cross either crushing wall trap (see map) to avoid getting crushed (DC 16 DEX). On a fail, victims take 2d8 damage. The key to the locked gate at the end of the corridor is located in area 7. If the heroes do not have it, they must either destroy the door or bypass its lock (DC 17 DEX). The former option alerts everyone in area 9 of the characters’ presence, the latter requires thieves’ tools.

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