Hexcrawl Series No. 3 – Flooded Dewborn Temple

This adventure is part of the Brukesian Duchy Hexcrawl. Find more about it here!

A forgotten ruin hides in the depths of the satyrs’ glades. The satyrs know of it but never come near it. An old song can be heard from the entrance from time to time. A song of pain, death, and despair. The satyrs do not understand the lyrics but are empathetically receptive to its message.

The Dewborn built the bygone temple eons ago and abandoned it when it flooded. An evil harpy lives there now.

Original Purpose

The underground cavern complex is as old as the land itself. The Dewborn did not dig their temple out of the soil but instead took advantage of the already existing caverns.

The Dewborn came to the Material Plane thousands of years ago from the Fey Realm. Only the eldest remember why they left their place of birth. They escaped a terrible war that ravaged the Fey Realm for thousands of years.

The flooded ruin is the first temple they built when they settled down in the Misty Forests. It is a place of worship, meditation, and communion with the chaotic forces of nature.

The Dewborn worship entities from the Fey Realm in the same way that humans worship gods. The forces of nature in their plane adopt physical forms and manifest themselves with uncontrollable force. Things like the wind, verdant growth, fire, the tides, among others, become physical manifestations that ravage the land in neutral mayhem and destruction. These powerful beings are not evil, but indifferent to those around them.

To the Dewborn and other sentient denizens of the Fey Realm, they are the true gods.

The flooded temple was built as a place of worship and communion with four of those elemental forces: the tides, the fey, the wild, and the moon.

The Dewborn pioneers remained in the area for hundreds of years until the flow of a river changed after an unnaturally long rain season. The new path of the river caused the caverns to partially flood. The water swallowed half the temple and the erosion caused cave-ins in the underground complex.

The Dewborn priests decided, after months of interpretation, that this was a signal from the gods that their presence near the edge of the Misty Forests was not welcome. They moved to the northeast and started the construction of the Jade Palace.

Little remains of the once opulent temple. The ruin is a mockery of its original grandeur. Its riches were pillaged by adventurers and spelunkers long ago.

Ten years ago, an evil harpy named Tiaji moved into the temple. It ignores the satyrs because they are immune to its song. The harpy inhabits the north half of the ruined temple. It lures human travelers to her island, robs them, and eats them.

D8 Random Encounters

1

1d4 zombies

2

2d4 myconids (2-in-6 chance they are sentient)

3

1d2 rust monsters

4

2d6 skeletons, they wear ancient Dewborn garments and weaponry

5

1 Dewborn ghost, it is friendly as long as the heroes accept to bring its physical remains to the altar in area 15

6

1d3 sahuagin on a pilgrimage to worship the wilds idol in area 12

7

1 gelatinous cube (3-in-6 chance a living creature struggles inside it)

8

Tiaji, the harpy, drops from the dark ceiling and attacks a random adventurer before banishing again in the darkness

D8 Random Events

1

A gust of cold wind blows suddenly and extinguishes any torches, candles, or uncovered fires

2

Dense mist covers the ground for 10 minutes, the floor is not visible

3

Edible mushrooms have grown from a crack on the wall (Pick for one ration)

4

Unnatural darkness fills the area for  20 minutes and reduces all light ranges 10 feet

5

A current of corrosive water filters through the ceiling on a random adventurer

6

Howls and cries from a prisoner in the darkness

7

Tiaji, the harpy, sings in the distance

8

1d4 fish float dead in the water

Area Features

Terrain. There are three types of terrain in the flooded temple: cavern stone, temple floor, and the flooded areas.

Light. All areas are in complete darkness unless noted otherwise.

Harpy’s Song. The harpy’s singing voice has magical qualities. Any humanoid susceptible to charm spells and enchantments is affected by it. There is a 2-in-6 chance to become charmed when hearing the song. The victim follows the voice and allows the harpy to do as it wishes. If another creature tries to shake the victim out of the spell, it has a 2-in-6 chance to succeed each time they try.

Water. Schools of quippers live in the large bodies of water in the temple. There is a 2-in-6 chance they attack creatures that swim or walk across the water.

Smells and Sound. The stench of still dirty water combines with that of rot and decay from the harpy’s leftovers. The sound of slow-flowing water and the harpy’s song are discernible in the dark.

1. Entrance

Cracked stone floor (hoof-prints and bootprints). Earth walls (evidence of water erosion). Low tunnel (ceiling 6 feet high).

  • Discarded Trinkets: 1d8 random personal effects and trinkets from the harpy’s past victims.
  • South: Distant sound of splashing water from the quippers in area 2.

2. Ruined Hallway

Broken bridge (ancient granite flooring). Earth walls (pieces of old granite walls attached to them). Domed cave (ceiling 35 feet high). Dewborn priest statues (10 feet under the water and broken).

  • Quippers: The fish here are starved and agitated. 5-in-6 chance they attack a creature who enters the water.
  • Water: It is ankle-deep by the northwest and south walls. Quippers can still attack creatures who wade through it.

3. Harpy’s Island

Raised island (10 feet over the water). Earth walls and roof (riddled with roots and granite chunks). Tall weed (8 feet tall and thorny). Leftover body parts (flesh and bones of three people).

  • Water: The water is ankle-deep in between the island and the entrance tunnel, and by the edges of the room. Quippers are present too.
The Harpy

Large-sized (8-foot-tall and bulky). Razor-blade feathering (1 foot long, bright blue). Human-like features (beautiful middle-aged woman).

  • Tiaji: The harpy roams uncontested in the land. It sees approaching humanoids as nothing more than food.
  • Reaction: It is overconfident and insulting. It may converse with those who resist its charming song.
  • Sleeping Victim: A charmed man from Greenhill named Bill sleeps by the altar. Tiaji plans to eat him soon.
Altar of the Tides

Circular pedestal (2 feet tall). Moon calendar (engraved on the stone surface).

  • Commune with Tides: A creature of fey ancestry may meditate by the altar for 3 days and contact the tide fey lord.

4. Dead-End Cave

Sandy floor (snake-like prints). Earth walls and roof (riddled with small tunnelings). Powdery residue (left by burrowing centipedes).

  • Centipedes: There’s a 3-in-6 chance a swarm of centipedes emerges from the walls and attacks.

5. Ancient Paintings

Sandy Floor (no prints). Ancient Granite wall (with eroded paintings of the temple).

  • Paintings: A wall of the bygone temple is embedded on the cave wall. They depict Dewborn priests praying to their gods by four different altars.

6. Flooded Cavern

Stone floor (with shallow water streams and ponds). Earth walls (embedded with granite chunks). Arched roof (10 feet high).

  • East: Low-pitched humming sound from the altar in area 7.

7. Altar of the Fey

Ankle-deep water (clear and pure). Earth walls and roof (riddled with tree roots). Droning sound (causes lightheadedness).

Undead Guardians

Human-sized (6 feet tall). Incorporeal wraiths (with priestly garments). Twinkling eyes (crimson red).

  • Reaction: The four undead priest wraiths attack anyone who approaches the Altar of the Fey.
The Altar

Humanoid statue (a mix of a Dewborn and an elf). Ceremonial garments (appropriate for a priest). Flowery engraving (all over the statue).   

  • Commune with Fey: A creature of fey ancestry may meditate by the altar for 3 days and contact the Dewborn fey lord in the Jade Palace.

8. Trapped Chest

Sandy stone floor (reptilian prints). Cracked earth walls (evidence of a recent cave-in). Low tunnel (6 feet high). Stone chest (engraved with flowers). Dead sahuagin (20 feet from the chest).

  • Inspecting the Kuo-Toa: It shows no injuries. Closer inspection reveals its rotting throat and gills show burn marks.
  • Opening the Chest: Lifting the lid releases a cloud of poisonous gas that causes burns to the lungs and throat when inhaled. The poison extends rapidly up to 10 feet from the chest.
  • Treasure: The stone chest contains 250 gold pieces, an embroidered cape with the sigil of an ancient Dewborn house, and a ceremonial dagger for ritualistic sacrifices.

9. Narrow Cave

Sandy stone floor (reptilian prints). Earth walls (poor structural stability). Low tunnel (6 feet high).

10. Flooded Temple Hall

Granite floor (cracked and eroded). Earth walls (embedded with granite chunks). Tall domed chamber (40 feet high). Submerged Hall (first floor underwater).

  • Hallways in the Surface: The hallways over the surface are the second floor or a grand hall. They are in poor condition. Two or more medium creatures on a single section has a 1-in-6 chance of collapsing a 10 ft. by 10 ft. area.
  • Underwater Hall: The hall has been submerged for hundreds of years. Barnacles cover most stone surfaces. The eroded remains of four statues stand in the center of the first floor. They used to depict the four fey lords the temple is dedicated to but little remains of them.
  • Underwater Tunnel: A hole on the submerged hall’s floor leads to an underwater tunnel to area 11.
Kuo-Toa Pilgrims

Medium-sized (5 feet tall). Scaly skin (bright iridescent green). Bone talismans (on necks and wrists). Hidden (praying underwater).

  • Priest Gah’dul’guh: The priest wears a crown of shark teeth and a golden necklace. It worships the fey lord known as “the wilds” in area 12. For the sahuagin, the fey deity represents them.
  • Pilgrim Zealots: Six fish-men have joined Gah’dul’guh in its quest to reach the Altar of the Wilds. Their twisted minds believe the Dewborn idol can answer their prayers and grant wishes.
  • Reaction: The sahuagin pray underwater. 3-in-6 chance they become curious about unexpected visitors. They are neutral but wield their tridents in the open.
  • Treasure: The shark teeth crown (200 gp) and the golden necklace (70 gp).

11. Submerged Cavern

Submerged (1 foot of air by the roof). Earth walls (20 feet high).

  • Bone Bed: The bones of hundreds of creatures of all kinds litter the bottom of the chamber.
Starving Quippers

Large school (swarm of 400). Individually small (half a foot long). Sharp fangs (yellow and white). White-eyes (half-blind).

  • Mad Hunger: This is the lair of a large school of carnivorous quippers. They attack any creature that swims here. Electricity disperses the swarm.

12. Altar of the Wilds

Granite floor (cracked and eroded). Earth walls (embedded with granite chunks). Tall chamber (30 feet high). Four lit braziers (bright light 30 feet).

  • Alcoves: The six alcoves by the north and south walls are closed and empty. They were meditation booths.
The Altar

Serpent statue (one-inch scales). Glowing eyes (pale green). Fluttering tongue (moves once a minute like a real snake).   

  • Commune with Wilds: Any creature may meditate by the altar for 3 days to summon a guardian for 1d6 days.

13. Collapsed Chamber

Domed chamber (20 feet high). Tall pillars (20 feet high, engraved).

  • Engravings: The pillars feature fine carvings that have survived the passage of time and water erosion over the centuries. They feature runes of the old Dewborn language. Magic may help decipher the meaning of these runes and reveal the ancient history of this temple and the fey deities depicted in the four altars.
  • Hidden Spell: The runes on the southeast pillar describe a powerful Dewborn spell that can dispel any kind of Dewborn glamour/illusion magic. An incantation such as this one may reveal the presence of the Jade Palace in the depths of the Misty Forests. A spellcaster may copy this information into their spellbook for later study. 3d6 weeks of research are necessary to learn the spell.

14. Ambush from Above

Stone cave floor (cracked and sandy). Earth walls (embedded with granite chunks). Tall chamber (50 feet high).

  • Soiled Floor: The area is soiled with a yellow guano-like substance. It is evidence of the 5 cloakers by the ceiling.
Cloaker Ambush

Medium-sized (15 feet long). Velvet skin (soft to the touch). Glowing eyes (bright red). Bony tail (10 feet long and clawed).

  • Pack Leader: The alpha cloaker believes that protecting the Altar of the Moon is their duty.
  • Beta Cloakers: Due to complex social patterns, incomprehensible to humankind, the cloakers follow the pack leader’s commands to the letter. They lack any kind of agency.
  • Reaction: There is a 5-in-6 chance the alpha cloaker commands the pack to attack. It orders the pack to retreat if two or more of them fall in combat. There is a 2-in-6 chance the alpha may attempt to parley. This is a lethal encounter.

15. Altar of the Moon

Sandy floor (cracked and eroded). Earth walls (riddled with tree roots). Tall chamber (30 feet high). Ankle-deep water (one foot deep). Humanoid bone mounds (ancient and in disarray).

Undead Guardians

Human-sized (6 feet tall). Incorporeal wraiths (with knightly garments). Twinkling eyes (pearly white).

  • Reaction: The four undead Dewborn knight wraiths attack anyone who approaches the Altar of the Moon.
The Altar

Rectangular granite pedestal (three feet tall). Pearl inlay borders (milky white). Glowing Dewborn runes (glow white in complete darkness).   

  • Commune with Moon: Any creature may meditate by the altar for 3 days to contact the moon fey deity directly.

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