Last week, we presented the first part of our Thanksgiving/Black Friday special adventure. You can find that version here. Without further ado, here’s the second, and final, chapter of the free adventure!
Recall that a bold DM/GM denotes that the DM or GM should speak that paragraph aloud.
DM/GM: You stumble into the abandoned estate, the front door collapsing behind you amidst the carnage occurring outside. You find yourselves in a dimly lit entrance hall. The only light comes from a few second-story windows that are made of stained glass. The rest of the hall is relatively clean, thanks to the estate brokers who have been collecting Lord Abernath’s belongings for the sale. Fine carpet winds up a double staircase. For a brief moment, you can catch your breath. Yet, the sound of metal sliding against leather soon makes you realize that you’re not alone.
Room A, The Entrance Hall: In this room, you should station a few of Lord Bebberidge’s mercenaries. Make sure to utilize the stairs to give those mercenaries an aerial advantage! This room opens up into two chambers on the bottom and a hall at the top of the stairs.
Room B, The Dining Hall: This room rests on the left side of the front door. It features a long table with several seats. There’s also a large fireplace that rests behind the Lord’s chair. In this room, your players may discover a cabinet full of fine china just ready for the taking. It’s locked, however. The DC is 13 to unlock the cabinet.
Room C, Common Room: Your players locate The Raven in this room that rests on the right-hand side of the front door. He’s frantically searching for something. The room, itself, is covered in cloth to protect the expensive velvet of the furniture within. When Lord Abernath was alive, this was a lively place to socialize and relax. On the walls are the trophies of various hunts or purchases that Lord Abernath made. Those of note include: Cockatrice, Ankheg, Bugbear, and Chimera.
DM/GM: As you enter the common room, you find Raven. His bird is calmly perched on his shoulder, but he is quick to trash the place as he searches desperately for something. You can hear him muttering, “where is it? Where did he hide the damned thing?”
Raven in searching for the key to enter Lord Abernath’s secret treasury. The item he requires for the Thieves’ Guild is most likely in there. There is nothing of importance in this room at the moment. However, those with extremely high perception or those who score high on a Perception check may notice a glinting key inside of the Lion’s Mouth on the Chimera trophy. This key will open the door to the secret treasury.
It should also be noted that Raven can join the party to help with the fight ahead if players are interested. DMs/GMs should build the character with a Rogue or Ranger class.
Room D, The Hall: At the top of the stairs, your players will come to a long hall. There are two main doors on the opposite side. At the end one hall is a window. On the other end rest two armor stands seemingly guarding the empty space between them. Above the empty space is a stone tablet that hangs on the wall. It’s written in a language that isn’t common (DM/GMs pick!). Yet the riddle reads, “Where three become one, I am hidden. Present me where two empty metal stands to pass in peace.”
Room E, The Master Bedroom: This room is located to the left of the stairs on the side with the window at the end of the hall. It’s locked. DC for completing this lock is 16. The door can be broken down. Within this room, your players will find Lord Abernath’s chambers. This room has not been covered by cloths like in the common room. This is likely because no one could find the key to unlock it.
Some of Lord Abernath’s clothing remains in his wardrobe. There’s another locked compartment within the wall. DC for lockpicking is 15. Within, they’ll find 250 gold and a Cloak of Invisibility. The cloak can only be worn by small or medium-sized characters. It also only functions at night, requiring the sun to charge its enchantment by day. (DMs and GMs can play with this treasure as they see fit).
Also in the room, the players will discover this unsent letter from Lord Abernath:
DM/GM: “I have finally discovered it, Bearnard. The crown of all my achievements. As well you know, I have hunted for this particular piece of treasure my entire life. To call it a treasure is an understatement. It is the very gem of life itself. The standard of all wealth. Yet it is not for wealth that I am now its keeper. Oh no. Already, I can feel it start to corrupt my heart. My thoughts are always drawn to it. I tell you now in the event of my death. Never touch it. Your greed will know no bounds if you do. Throw it with my body, I say, or toss it into the deepest ocean. Such a relic will destroy the world.”
Also in the room, they’ll find various books on legendary treasure hunts and lost relics of the Ancient World.
Room F, The Study: The last room is on the right of the stairs. Within it, your party will discover they’re in a small study. There are even more books about treasure hunts and legendary items here. Feel free to place in a few plot hooks for future treasure hunts if you so wish! Raven will discover a note here that confirms the item he is searching for remains in the secret treasury. Players may also discover a small note written by Lord Abernath as a reminder to grease the armor. “They get so grumpy otherwise.”
The Riddle: Players must locate the key in the Chimera’s mouth to unlock the door. Once they present it to one of the suits of armor, a hidden door will appear between them. Any attempt to break into the hidden door without the key will result in a fight with Animated Armor. When the fight is over, two new sets of armor will take the place of those that were destroyed. They will not initiate combat until the door is attempted again without the key. To make this puzzle extra hard, feel free to have red herring keys glittering throughout the estate.
Room G, The Secret Treasury: Once the door is successfully unlocked, your players will enter a large dome-like room. A single beam of light trickles down from the ceiling at the middle of the room. There are chests everywhere. Some of them are opened and empty. Others contain gold. (Players can receive up to 20,000 gold if they attempt to claim it all).
Yet in the middle of the room is a single, small, black box with a white ribbon around it. Any attempt to take the box from its pedestal results in a fight with a Greed Lich. This is the corrupted spirit of Lord Abernath. Depending on the challenge you seek, feel free to add additional enemies.
DM/GM: Out of the piles of gold around the room, a black mist starts to form above the black box. “You dare?” comes the willowy and creaky voice, “to steal from the legendary Lord Abernath? It is MINE. I will sup on your souls before I let you lay a finger on it!”
Roll for initiative.
Once the fight ends, the Lich is destroyed. Players are able to access the black box.
DM/GM: Within the black box is a seemingly innocent amulet. It’s made of gold and contains a single purple gem within. The purple gem, especially, is beautiful. It’s difficult to look away from it. In fact, you’re not sure you ever want to stop looking at it.
This is an Amulet of Corruption. It does nothing except it makes the wearer very possessive over it. The longer that the person wears the amulet, the deeper their greed becomes. You’ll want to regularly give the wearer willpower checks to determine their level of corruption. How far they end up going in their corruption, is entirely up to you. Those who want to perform a Detect Magic or similar spell will need to beat a DC of 12. It’s clearly, very, evil. Its sole purpose is to drain the purity out of someone.
If Raven survives the fight, then he is also an optional final battle boss.
Optional DM/GM: A sudden shout of victory echoes through the room. The Raven holds a beautiful ruby in his hand. “At last,” he cries, “my search is at an end. I can finally gain the respect in the Guild that I deserve. Thank you, my friends, for helping me reach this far. I won’t forget you.”
If anyone is under the influence of the Amulet of Corruption, then they should receive a Whisper to fight for the ruby. They want the ruby. More than anything. The other party members may be able to talk that person down, but they will likely need to carry them out.
Otherwise, your party engages Raven in a fight. How difficult the fight is I leave to you. However, it may be an interesting moral dilemma for the character who is under the influence of the Amulet to deal with the fact that they murdered an innocent man in cold blood after they are free of the influence.
With the party members taking whatever gold they can carry, and any other treasures you wish to include, they set off on their next adventure. Perhaps with one of their own members slowly becoming their own enemy.
And that’s it! The end! Be sure to check out the maps for the adventure here! Otherwise, let us know how your adventure went!