Map 35 – Underground Lakehold


Dwarves often build their holds near underground streams for convenience. Continuous supply of water and fish are difficult to come by in the inhospitable underground ecosystem. Although this particular dwarven community looks normal, there is a deep secret . Yanoggethu, an aboleth, a deep lord, regularly surfaces from the central whirlpool. The first times he appeared, the dwarves tried to fight him, but eventually, all of them succumbed to Yanoggethu’s mind control. All of them are thralls of this aboleth; although it’s difficult to tell the difference.

The PCs might find this hold when traveling underground in a big cave complex, or if they are traversing the underdark. Whatever the reason, when they find the settlement, dwarf scouts invite them to meet Jarl Dormunf, who was the clan leader, now he’s just a puppet. The dwarves aren’t the only ones living here. When visitors come by (it doesn’t happen often), they are invited to meet the Jarl, after that they are offered poisoned food to make them sleep. They are held prisoners until Yanoggethu surfaces again to decide, sometimes the deep lord eats them, other times they are enslaved and become new members of this community. Yanoggethu lives in an underground cave less than a mile under the whirlpool, thus his mental control is always present.

Whenever the PCs eat or drink something offered by the dwarves, it is poisoned. They must roll a Con save (DC 15) or fall unconscious. If all of them suffer this fate, they wake up hours later, bound and gagged in one of the hold’s storerooms (DMs choice). They will have to escape by themselves before Yanoggethu arrives.  If not everyones gets poisoned and a fight starts, Yanoggethu will try to get there as soon as possible, but it will take time. The dwarves and other community members all attack at once ! The place has lots of small rooms and halls that can be used to the PCs advantage so as to avoid fighting too many foes at the same time. Also, every time a slave is dealt damage, he gets a new saving throw against the aboleth’s mind control. So the fight can turn around quickly if enough clan members are brought back to consciousness.

When the DM deems proper for a full dramatic moment, Yanoggethu surfaces. Depending on the desired challenge, he could be alone, if many clan members are still enslaved. Or he can arrive with more enslaved creatures that come swimming with him. If the part is low-level, then they must consider running away. A party level 5-8 will find this battle challenging, depending on the number of minions the aboleth still has. However the odds, an aboleth is very intelligent and self-preserving, if reduced to 50 HP, Yanoggethu will give up his slave community and sink back to the deep waters. If a party member is a mind slave at that moment, then the PC will swim underground with his new master, never to be seen again.


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