Hexcrawl Series No. 8 – Tomb of Zealots

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

Careful exploration of the area known colloquially as the myconid rotting grounds may reveal the location of an ancient Dewborn tomb. It is two thousand years old and its location within the myconid-infected zone is ignored by all. Even the Dewborn have no recollection of this place, despite it being dedicated to recognizing the efforts of the seven zealots that fought to carve a place for the Dewborn in the Material Plane. Their efforts now forgotten, their anger palpable.

Lore

The Court of the Dewborn Princes settled at an undisclosed location in the northeast Misty Forests two thousand years ago. Back then, no human society that mattered roamed the lands of the north. Sparse hamlets and tribes have always lived in the area but none of them would ever threaten the power and hegemony of the Fey Court.

The Dewborn abandoned their home in the Fey Realm trying to escape a terrible war that ravaged their world. The Dewborn that live in the Misty Forests are descendants of the small group that managed to escape. They know that many of their kind remain stranded on the other side of the planar veil. They have little ways of communication and ignore most of what happens in the Fey Realm.

During the period of transition, seven valiant Dewborn warriors accomplished the impossible to bring their kin across the planar veil and settle the verdant forests of the material plane. They fought the worse of creatures trying to reach the portal and sacrificed their life force to keep the barrier open for their brethren to cross. They sacrificed themselves for the benefit of their race. The surviving Dewborn settled in the uncharted forests and bowed to never forget the sacrifice of the seven zealot warriors. They built an opulent grave for the seven zealots and showered them with riches and songs. They swore to remember their brave deeds so that their valor would define the future of the Dewborn race.

Two thousand years later, the Dewborn at large have forgotten all about them and their grave. Their burial place is a ruined mockery of its once grandiose splendor. The seven zealots’ spirits are enraged.

General Features

What remains of the seven zealots’ tomb is only accessible through a complex network of tunnels near the myconid rotting grounds. The myconids shun the area.

The caves, unless otherwise noted:

Earth walls and roof (riddled with roots and rocks). Eye-watering stench (smell of stagnant water and rot). Scattered Bones (varied sources, left by myconids).

The tomb, unless otherwise noted:

Yellow light (still functional magical sconces). Oppressive aura (inescapable feeling of abandonment and despair).

D8 Random Encounters

1

1d3 predator myconids roam the caves looking for easy food, they are sentient but starved

2

2d4 giant centipedes

3

1 swarm of black wasps returns to their hive inside the cave

4

2 spider swarms

5

2 wraiths, their ghostly figures wear Dewborn armor

6

1d6 mindless myconids consume an animal carcass in a cave, they attack others if they approach within 30 feet

7

1d6 Dewborn skeletons reanimated by the hate of the seven zealots, they wield serrated silver swords

8

1d6 giant bats

D8 Random Events

1

A gust of wind blows suddenly and extinguishes exposed light sources

2

Dense mist covers the temple for 1d4 hours, the floor is not visible

3

1d6 sentient myconids arrive at the cave to sell remedies

4

Unnatural cold fills the underground area for 1d6 hours. Breathing creates visible vapor

5

A forsaken spirit wails in the distance

6

The watery sound of myconid consumption is heard in the distance

7

The riddled roots on the walls wither and die after a minute

8

A piercing scream comes from the seven zealots’ tomb area

1. Cave Entrance

Semi-transparent gray goo (left by some forms of myconids). Shapeless prints (left by humanoid-shaped myconids). Distressed ecology (sick tree roots).

  • Myconid Territories: The forested area next to the entrance of the cavern is home to a network of interconnected fungal lifeforms. Some of them are mindless and immobile, others roam the land looking for rotting matter to consume. Dewborn and pigmen avoid the zone.

2. Feasting Myconids

Semi-transparent gray goo (left by predatory myconids). Rotting carcasses (half-consumed local fauna). Cave paintings (human depictions of hunters).

Myconid Ravagers

Mobile (four-legged). Scythe-shaped heads (hard as bark and sharp).

  • Reaction: The six myconid ravagers attack newcomers to increase the size of their mound of rotting carcasses.

3. Greenhillers’ Remains

Semi-transparent gray goo (left by predatory myconids). Footprints (they came to hide here). Cleaned bones (fungal acids do not dissolve bones).

  • The Remains: The bones and some metal trinkets of four Greenhill hunters lay scattered across the floor.
  • Concealed Cave: A secret low tunnel to area 5 is covered by a mound of collected stones and debris.

4. Natural skylights

Verdant grass patches (grown on leftover fungal waste). Natural skylights (consequence a cave-in). Fresh smell (greenery and fresh air).

Sentient Myconids

Humanoid (two-legged but headless). Telepaths (high-pitched mental voice).

  • Reaction: The myconids welcome visitors and are eager to talk. They disregard the savagery of their predatory kin.

5. A Failed Hiding Place

Semi-transparent gray goo (left by predatory myconids). Cleaned bones (fungal acids do not dissolve bones).

  • The Remains: The bones of two Greenhill hunters rest on the floor.
  • Evidence: The bootprints and the remains reveal that some of the Greenhillers hid in this cavern and closed the narrow tunnel with stones. A different pack of predatory myconids killed them.

6. Cave Network

Narrow tunnels (irregularly dug by burrowing creatures). Pungent smell (sulfur and coal from underground). Glowing fungi (barely visible orange light).

  • Dark Tunnels: The narrow tunnels split and merge in a complex network that descends into the depths of the earth. An indigenous type of non-sentient ant-like insects dug these tunnels but the hive is currently abandoned.

7. Caved-In Tomb

Broken floor (shattered by seismic movement). Collapsed chambers (areas east of the tomb are inaccessible). Darkness (faint feeling of isolation).

  • Caved-In Hallway: The original tomb complex included additional chambers for other lesser-known heroes, priests, a chapel, and a museum. Those sections collapsed and are inaccessible. Archaeologists would have to dig the whole place up from the fungal-infested forest soil above to reveal them.

8. Seven Zealots’ Tomb

Granite floor tiles (cracked and eroded). Clean of fungal goo (no myconids have visited the tomb). Tall ceiling (40’ tall).

  • The Sarcophagi: Seven granite sarcophagi line the walls of the tomb. The lids feature gold and platinum inlays.
The Seven Zealots

Dark spirits (red-eyed, faintly humanoid). Soul-eating blades (glow like fire). Incontrollable (anger-induced rage).

  • Reaction: The spirits of the seven zealots emerge from their boxes in a fit of uncontrollable rage. They attempt to steal the mortal souls of unwary visitors.

9. Seven Zealot’s Vault

Granite floor tiles (cracked and eroded). Clean of fungal goo (no myconids have visited the vault). Low ceiling (10’ tall).

  • Treasure: 3 stone chests contain 2,400 gp in ancient coinage. The coins show the face of a dead Dewborn prince.

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