The Edge of the Knife

Duking It Out, Part 2: Horrors Below

The party descended into the cellar below Duke Alberion’s kitchens. They found signs of a struggle in the wine cellar and uncovered a secret door. Through this door lay the ruins of an old city. The party made their way down an ancient staircase into a partially collapsed building. On the uppermost accessible floor they were surprised by a large cube of ooze. The party handily defeated this monstrosity and made their way farther into the depths. After navigating a maze of passages they stumbled out into a large amphitheater. Strapped to a table on the stage was Katja, unconscious. After the party approached her, grotesque little humanoids started streaming into the room and attacked the party. Just as everything seemed to be hopeless and they were on the verge of being overwhelmed a somewhat larger specimen entered the room and began casting spells and directing the others. The party managed to take down this leader and the rest of the creatures scampered back to their holes.

You managed to get Katja back to the Duke’s manor where she was treated for her wounds. Duke Alberion immediately started to drum up support in Denbigh for an expedition to explore this old town that you found underground and try to remove any of the remaining creatures. He also took a rather personal interest in Lady Sarnin’s recovery. As things settled down, he pulled the party aside and handed Nestor a sealed envelope. He also handed a purse to each party member as compensation for your services during the crisis. He then explained that he would be your stalwart ally as you look into the mystery uncovered under Casimir. The envelope contains a writ granting you the use of one of his ships, based out of Laugharne. With that he thanks you again and wishes you well on your quest.

The party takes the time to retrieve their weapons and armor from the inn.

The Duke leads you to the trapdoor in the corner of the manor kitchens. The door’s hinges creak as you lift it with great effort. A rickety-looking ladder leads into darkness below.

At the bottom of the ladder you can see a passage in the flickering torchlight. At the very edge of your vision you can see a wooden door with a slowly spreading pool of liquid seeping from under it.

Let the party decide what to do. The liquid turns out to be wine.

Inside the wine cellar you can see that several of the bottles have been broken. The floor is coated in a slick mixture of wine and broken glass. You can see blood on some of the glass.

The party must find a hidden door in the wine cellar, Perception DC20.

A door cleverly hidden in the wall slides open. It apparently leads to a small tunnel, just big enough for you to squeeze through.

Inside the tunnel is a poison blade trap, Perception DC20 to notice, Disable Device DC20 to disarm, never miss, auto reset. If they don’t notice it, it triggers for 1d4 damage plus the Greenblood Oil poison effect. This poison can be found on page 559. CR4

Upon exiting the tunnel you look out over a descending staircase, apparently made some time ago, now covered with mosses and lichens. The air smells stale and you feel a blast of cold hit you, out of place considering the warm dampness of the cellar and tunnel.

The cold air comes from a patch of brown mold on the wall on the right side of the staircase. Brown mold is on page 416. CR2

Moving down the staircase as it curves to the left, the façade of an ancient building comes into view. You can see three stories rise above you before it disappears into an apparent cave in.

DC15 Perception:

As you approach the eerie underground structure you hear a skittering noise, apparently from inside the edifice. This is followed by a spine-chilling sound somewhere between a giggle and a cackle [insert sound effect], suddenly cut short.

Continuing:

Inside you see that fallen rubble has obstructed the way forward. A quick search of the area reveals a set of stairs leading up. The second floor also reveals no means forward, and the stairs end in a collapsed pile of detritus at the third floor. As you step out of the stairwell, a rumbling pervades your senses.

Let the players react to this for a few moments.

A gigantic mass of slime oozes from around the corner and heads toward the party.

During combat with the gelatinous cube, have a derro fire poison bolts with a -4 to attack at the party.

As the cube melts into nothingness, the remains of its most recent victims clatter to the ground. You can see portions of at least three different small humanoids, grotesque in the extreme. Looking to where the bolts were coming from you see nothing, but you hear a clattering as of claws on stone and more of that disconcerting laughter, punctuated by mad chattering, growing fainter until it is impossible to discern any longer.

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