747 The Sewage Sorceress

This adventuring supplement is designed for D&D5e. On out Patreon page you can get it in PDF format (see image). The downloads include hi-res images for the maps. And there is a variant PDF version designed for Shadowdark RPG.

“He murdered our parents in cold blood. It was so long ago but I could never forget. He must pay for the pain he has brought to so many innocents.”


A shadow follows Sharp-Teeth Bagark every­where. This elusive figure is an orc sorceress named Varenna, his sister. The sneaky sibling stalks the orc chieftain from afar, looking for an opportunity to strike him down. Varenna is consumed by a desire for vengeance after Bagark took their par­ents’ lives decades ago. She could never match him in combat so she turned to the dark arts.

Days after the orcs arrived in Red Leaf Vale, Varenna set herself in the sewage tunnels underneath Red Leaf. She infiltrated the city’s archives a week ago looking for maps of the abandoned mining site where her sibling built a fort. She has tried to pass unnoticed but some townsfolk have spotted her in dark alleys. Despite the bounty contract on her head, Varenna may yet prove to be a powerful, yet unlikely, ally to the locals.

Adventure Hook

Strange Sights. The orc sorceress has been spotted near some sewer manholes; the locals demand Consta­ble Danley to act. He hires the characters to track her. Constable Danley provides a rough map of the sewers; in its center, several chambers contain filtration devices and the flow wheel valves that control the entire system. He believes that if orc invaders hide under Red Leaf, they must be crawling in the sewers (400 gp).

Level 2 Adventure

  • Danger. Unsafe. Check for a Random Encounter ev­ery 30 minutes and when resting (4-in-6 chance).
  • Light. Some areas feature magical braziers with light spells. Underground denizens have darkvision.
  • Smells and Sounds. The sewage stench and the sound of running water give disadvantage in all percep­tive checks that rely on hearing and smelling.
  • Iron Grates. There are three closed grates in the area (see map). Each grate can be lifted when two peo­ple pull the two levers nearby simultaneously.
1 2d4 giant centipedes slither along the walls like snakes and approach the party guided by their smell.
2 Walls and floor crawl with countless arachnids. A swarm of spiders skitters out of the darkness and attacks.
3 The characters spot Varenna (mage) about to turn into a corner in the shadowed distance. The sorceress, trying to avoid an unfair confrontation, uses her ice storm spell to stall the party and makes for a swift escape toward area 9.
4 A sudden discharge of foul waters causes a flash flood that flows toward the whirlpool in area 8. DC 14 Athletics to hang on to the rail. Critical failure causes a character to be sucked by the whirlpool. They drown and are found by the sea a day later.
5 The heroes find Fargo, a dwarf (thug) whose child was killed by orcs recently. He may distrust the party (DC 11 Charisma).
6 A giant toad jumps from the foul water and attempts to pull a character into the water with its sticky tongue.

Sewage Canals

The canals are all 10 feet deep and flow toward area 8. They form a whirlpool before moving into the filtration system. Clean water is repurposed by the system. Waste is routed to the sea. The sewage system, powered by clockwork devices and magic, was commissioned 6 years ago by the Vassal Lord’s predecessor, Harland Reati. An imperial mage oversaw the project. If the characters increase the flow in area 3 and then restrict the flow into the filtration system in area 8 (see flow controls in map), the entire dungeon floods in 10 minutes.

1. Manhole Entrances

The two manholes closest to the control chambers can be used by the characters to enter this dungeon. The or­der of encounters of this adventure may vary depending on which entrance they choose and what route they take.

  • The Sorceress. Varenna’s location is left ambiguous in the adventure to account for the diversity of exploring routes. The sorceress makes her appearance when it is more dramatic for her to do so. Areas 5, 8, and 9 are rec­ommended for a confrontation with Varenna.

2. Armory

Close to the northeast manhole entrance is a small chamber that contains two wooden tables littered with weaponry. Unfortunately, the blades are dull and rust­ed (disadvantage to attacks). Sewage workers are aware that many dangerous creatures inhabit this area. These weapons are for their self-defense against the denizens.

3. Main Flow Valves

The two 10-foot-deep alcoves flanking the main water­way house two flow control wheel valves. They can be operated to change the strength of the sewage flow.

  • The Valves. There are three flow speeds (slow, medi­um, and strong). It is currently in the medium position. Operating the valves can change it (DC 12 Athletics). With slow flow, the canals’ depth is reduced and char­acters can walk along the canals. The strong flow pulls all creatures toward area 8 (DC 14 Athletics). Also, if the flow is closed in area 8, the dungeon may flood.

4. Outflow Pipes

Three pipes dump their contents on the stone floor. Va­renna has identified that these pipes are an isolated sys­tem for the Red Fort. While narrow, the pipes can be used to infiltrate the fort. The maps in area 9 reveal this. Such information is of great value for the splinter groups that want to overthrow the current Vassal Lord.

5. Filtration Apparatus

A device that combines engineering, clockwork won­ders, and arcane spells embedded in runes, treats Red Leaf’s water waste and produces clean water.

This plant treats not only the town’s waste but also all the residual water from the surrounding farmlands.

  • The Device. There is no reason for the characters to meddle with this machine as it functions well. Tamper­ing with or damaging the machine causes the filters to malfunction. The town suffers from contaminated water for 1 week until a scholar comes to fix the device.

6. Storage Rooms

The two chambers adjacent to area 7 contain wooden crates and barrels, clay vases, and stone coffers. They contain an operation manual, spare parts for the devic­es in areas 5 and 8, lubricating oil, and cleaning salves.

  • Aura. A detect magic spell reveals a strong aura of necromancy coming from area 7. The spell reveals that a necromancy spell is the source of this befoul energy.

7. Cursed Gem

Varenna, the sorceress, placed this deadly artifact here as a red herring should anyone come looking for her.

  • The Remains. The spell detect magic reveals that the bones are fake; crafted with a polymorphism spell.
  • The Gem. When a living being touches the stone, its soul is stripped from its body, killing it immediately (DC 17 INT save). The gem can be safely handled with metal.

8. The Whirlpool

A whirlpool of sewage waste surrounded by ten wheel-valves dominates the room. The loud sound of the water draining into it drowns everything else.

  • Closing the ten valves in the room reduces flow to a trickle; it never fully closes to avoid a flood. How­ever, it may still occur if the valves in area 3 are opened.
  • Among the footprints of a maintenance team, the characters also find leather boot tracks that lead to the secret passage to area 9 (DC 13 Survival).

9. Varenna’s Lair

Three narrow passages lead to Varenna’s improvised lair. The room contains two working tables, a bookcase, a bed, two stone coffers, and a magical circle.

  • Documents. Reviewing the documents for 1 hour re­veals where the pipes in area 4 lead to and the map of the mining site where the Crooked Teeth fort now stands. Its tunnels can be used to infiltrate the orc’s lair.
  • Treasure. The stone coffers contain 450 gp, 740 sp, two potions of healing, and a +1 javelin.


The characters catch up with Varenna and confront her in one of the compound’s chambers (see area 1). Va­renna (mage) is a powerful spellcaster whose powers may decimate the party faster than they expect. Fortu­nately for them, the sorceress has reasons to avoid this:

  • She wants to remain incognito in Red Leaf.
  • Varenna has no quarrel with the locals and despises her sibling’s disregard for others’ lives.
  • She still has not finished reviewing the maps and documents she stole from the city’s archives.

During combat, Varenna favors her controlling spells, re­serving her deadly abilities only to save her life. Howev­er, if the sorceress suspects that the characters may be useful allies in her path to revenge, she offers a truce.

  • Unexpected Ally. If the characters agree to hear her tale, Varenna explains that she is not part of Sharp-Teeth Bagark’s host. She wants to slay her sibling to complete her vengeance but approaching him is not easy. She claims that her brother possesses an artifact capable of disabling her magic powers; hence the need to approach him undetected. If the characters sympathize with Va­renna’s goal, she shares all she learned about the mining maps and the pipes that connect with the Red Fort. She promises to join them when they storm Crooked Teeth.

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