The Palace of Sketh – a solo Scarlet Heroes dungeon adventure

SAM_1218.JPG

In the previous adventure my player character Du Renshu discovered the ruined lizardfolk town of Sketh in the Altgrimmr Mountains. He was attacked by a jiangshi and nearly killed, but the jiangshi was destroyed by a lizardman ghost who told Renshu to rid Sketh of the necromancers who have made the ruins their lair. After returning to the city of Haicheng to recuperate, Renshu has travelled back to Sketh to explore the ruins and find the necromancers.

Locations: 13

Inhabitants: necromancers

Threat: 2

He reaches Sketh in the late afternoon. Exploring the ruins he comes to a palace built of the glowing red mud.

Courtyard

Going through an archway he enters an empty courtyard surrounded by mud walls. The architecture of the palace is irregular with walls twisting this way and that. Unlike the other buildings in Sketh the palace has windows at ground level, which are oval or circular like the windows high up in the walls of the other buildings. He heads to another archway in the northeast corner.

First turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

Storeroom

Encounter: five hit dice worth of Minions and Elites – three skeletons and one zombie.

The undead are armed as follows (1d2):

  1. Light spear for 1d6 damage
  2. Sword for 1d8 damage

All of the undead are armed with swords.

Treasure: M2 worth of room contents – carved ebony cabinet worth 700 gp.

He enters a largely disused storeroom where the remains of broken jugs are piled in one corner. In another corner stands a cabinet of carved ebony. Three skeletons and one zombie, all armed with swords, stand guard in the room. The zombie is drinking from a bottle of wine but he sets it down on the cabinet and joins the skeletons as they advance to attack Renshu.

Renshu destroys all of the undead. He tends his wound.

Hit points: 14

He examines the ebony cabinet which is carved with images of orchids and dragons. It is of course too large and cumbersome to take with him.

Are the drawers of the cabinet locked? Yes.

He leaves the room by an archway in the north wall.

Second turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

Scullery

Hidden treasure: trove M1 in room contents – chair of carved hardwood worth 30 gp.

He enters a scullery where there is a row of three ancient sinks set against the outside wall, and shelves cut into the mud walls. Some of the items stored on the shelves are plates, pots and pans of recent manufacture which are no doubt used by the necromancers. There are wooden laundry tubs stacked in one corner and wet grey robes hanging on a rope stretched across two windows.

The difficulty of the check to locate the hidden treasure is 11. Renshu fails the check.

He finds nothing of interest in the room so he leaves by an archway in the southeast corner.

Third turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

Garden

Feature: a piece of artwork – an ancient lizardfolk scroll.

He enters a courtyard garden. Evening is now falling over the valley. The garden has been maintained by the necromancers, herbs and vegetables having been planted here.

In one corner he finds a crumpled scroll on the ground. The scroll is inscribed with the sinuous lizardfolk script and includes a coloured illustration depicting lizardfolk defending Sketh from a horde of orc Shou. The Shou are attacking the stone defensive wall of the town, and a Shou witch-priestess is shooting bolts of witchfire at the gate. Apparently the Shou sacked the town and left it in ruins, which explains why many of the statues were cast down and broken. After the Shou left or were driven out by another Shou tribe the ruins were settled by the necromancers. He puts the scroll in his backpack. He heads to an archway in the south wall.

Fourth turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: four hit dice worth of Minions and Civilians – two skeletons and two servants.

The skeletons are armed as follows:

  1. Light spear for 1d6 damage
  2. Sword for 1d8 damage

Both skeletons are armed with swords.

The servants have Vermin statistics and are armed with daggers (1d4 damage).

Two skeletons armed with swords and two servants emerge from the archway. The skeletons attack followed by the servants.

Renshu destroys both skeletons. One of the servants stabs him with his dagger but Renshu then kills him. The other servant sheaths his dagger and pleads for mercy, saying that he can point out a trap in a room of the palace. The servant is an Eirengarder named Hrolf. Renshu agrees to Hrolf’s proposal. He tends the wound he received from the dead servant.

Hit points: 14

Fifth turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

It is now dark so Renshu lights a torch and follows Hrolf through the archway.

Pantry

They enter a room used as a pantry by the necromancers. There are sacks of rice and casks of preserved meat stacked against one wall, and strings of dried peppers and garlic hanging on the wall above. They head to an archway in the west wall.

Sixth turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: nine hit dice worth of Minions and Elites – five skeletons and two ghoul slaves.

Two undead humans with sharp teeth and talons emerge from the darkness – ghoul slaves of the necromancers. They are accompanied by five skeletons. Four of the skeletons are armed with swords and one is armed with a spear. As the undead advance to attack Renshu, Hrolf flees past them into the palace.

Renshu destroys the undead and tends his wounds.

Hit points: 13

Seventh turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: eight hit dice worth of Minions and Elites – six skeletons and a ghoul slave.

No sooner has he finished tending his wounds then another ghoul slave and six skeletons enter the pantry. Five of the skeletons are armed with spears and one is armed with a sword.

After destroying this second wave of undead he tends his wounds again.

Hit points: 12

Eighth turn elapsed

He enters the archway.

Stairwell

Hidden treasure: trove M1 in room contents – bronze mirror worth 40 gp.

Beyond the archway a ramp curves up into darkness. It was clearly built for lizardfolk with serpentine hindquarters for whom ordinary stairs would have been inconvenient. He ascends the ramp to the upper level of the palace.

The difficulty of the check to locate the hidden treasure is 13. Renshu fails the check.

Ninth turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

SAM_1217

Salon

Treasure: trove M1 in room contents – copper lamp worth 40 gp.

Hazard: lethal trap. Save or perish.

He emerges from the stairwell into a salon. There are chairs arranged around a table and unlit braziers standing in the corners of the room. On the table stands a copper lamp.

When he walks over to the table he feels part of the floor give way beneath his foot and hears the crunch of breaking glass. Poisonous gas billows up from the floor around him.

The difficulty of the saving throw is 14.

Renshu manages to avoid breathing in the gas. He grabs the lamp from off the table and heads to an archway in the north wall.

Tenth turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

Library

He enters a library with shelves cut out of the mud walls. On the shelves there are clay tablets inscribed with the lizardfolk script, along with the necromancers’ books which are tomes bound in heavy leather or old-fashioned Imperial-style books made of thin bamboo slats tied with silk.

Eleventh turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: four hit dice worth of Minions or Civilians – two skeletons and two servants.

He lights a new torch and then heads to an archway in the northwest corner. Hrolf enters the room from the archway accompanied by another servant and two skeletons armed with swords.

Renshu destroys both skeletons and kills Hrolf and the other servant. He tends his wounds.

Hit points: 11

Twelfth turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

Study

Going through the archway he enters a study where a necromancer has set up a desk and a chair. Tomes and scrolls with illustrations of gruesome necromantic research are scattered over the desk. He heads to an archway in the east wall.

Thirteenth turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

Master bedroom

Treasure: trove M1 in room contents – carved hardwood table worth 40 gp.

He enters a bedroom obviously used by a necromancer; a large bed is against one wall and a fine table of carved hardwood stands next to the bed. The table is obviously valuable but would be too awkward to take with him. An archway in the south wall leads back to the library, so he heads to another archway in the southeast corner.

Fourteenth turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

Shrine

Hidden treasure: trove M1 in room contents – bronze lamp worth 50 gp.

He enters an ancient shrine where a stone statue of a lizardfolk deity, 10 feet tall and with a human torso and serpentine hindquarters, stands behind a stone altar.

The difficulty of the check to locate the hidden treasure is 13. Renshu fails the check.

An archway in the west wall leads back to the library, so he heads to another archway in the south wall.

Fifteenth turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

Bathing room

He enters a narrow room dominated by a large wooden bathing tub. A circular window in the west wall overlooks the courtyard garden, illuminated in the moonlight below. He heads to an archway in the south wall.

Sixteenth turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: six hit dice worth of Minions and Elites and two hit dice worth of allies – four skeletons, one ghoul slave and a zombie.

A ghoul slave enters the bathing room, accompanied by four skeletons and a zombie wielding a spear. Three of the skeletons wield swords and the other wields a spear.

Renshu destroys the undead and tends his wounds.

Hit points: 7

Seventeenth turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: six hit dice worth of Minions or Civilians

He lights a new torch. Six more skeletons enter the room. Three are armed with swords and three are armed with spears.

Renshu destroys the skeletons and tends his wounds.

Hit points: 7

Eighteenth turn elapsed

Solar

Encounter: four hit dice worth of Minions and Elites and two hit dice worth of allies – two skeletons, one ghoul slave and a zombie.

Going through the archway he enters the last room of the palace. There are rows of three large round windows along the south and east walls; the room was used as a solar by the lizardfolk. Beyond the windows he can see the moonlit ruins of Sketh and the valley beyond.

There are four undead in the room; a skeleton armed with a spear, another skeleton armed with a sword, a zombie armed with a sword and a ghoul slave. They advance to attack.

Renshu destroys the undead. He searches the room but finds nothing except a half-eaten rice cake and a bottle of cheap wine that was the zombie’s last meal.

Nineteenth turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

He leaves the palace. He returns to the courtyard and the ruins of Sketh beyond without encountering any more inhabitants of the palace. No doubt the necromancers themselves are elsewhere in the ruins.

Return to Haicheng

He camps near Sketh and then returns to Haicheng via Hasan al-Sakhawi’s trade post, the fort of Shanbao, and the village of Huaiji, where he stays in the tavern.

Money: 46 gp, 3 sp and 1 cp

Rations: 2

In Haicheng he recuperates for two days at The Bronze Horse inn.

Money: 31 gp, 1 sp and 5 cp

Renshu receives one experience point for his adventure. He is now a 3rd level fighter. He has 19 maximum hit points and an attack bonus of +3. His “Strong Constitution” trait has increased by 1 point to 3 points.

On the morning following his second day of recuperation he pays five copper pieces for breakfast and then leaves The Bronze Horse.

Money: 31 gp and 1 sp

At the shop of the fence Jen Mhairi he sells the copper lamp that he took from the palace for five gold pieces. The sage Chen Hakim buys the scroll that he found in the garden of the palace for 50 gold pieces.

Money: 86 gp and 1 sp

At Takahashi Takaharu’s armoury he sells his chain hauberk for 35 gold pieces and buys banded armour for 90 gold pieces.

Money: 31 gp and 1 sp

At Maysun al-Qattan’s chandlery he buys eight lots of rations.

Money: 28 gp and 7 sp

He goes to The Red Griffon tavern where he buys a cheap meal. Then he refills his waterskin at a well and, taking his horse, leaves Haicheng by the gate leading to the road that leads north along the west bank of the Lanbaoshi River to Huaiji.

Money: 28 gp, 6 sp and 5 cp

Haicheng region PNG image

 

 

 

 

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