Ruin Delve
By: Matt Rosengren
Difficulty: Level 2+
Game: Dungeons & Dragons (D&D)

A ruin near a river in the heart of the local wood shows that it is the center of a growing corruption. Crops fail, health regeneration rates (natural healing through resting, fast healing, regeneration, etc.) are reduced by 25%, and spellcasters need to overcome SR 5 in order to cast a spell (if unsuccessful, the spell fails and can't be memorized again for 48 hours). The leader of Rockbottom, Thane Falhard asks the players to go and find what is causing the corruption, and offers a bonus if they can get rid of it.

This is a stand-alone adventure which you can drop into any campaign.

Depending on the players' level, the following allies could accompany the party:
4 Dwarf Fighters (level 3).
1 Gnome Cleric (level 3). Make sure to protect him.
Rendolia, Human Cleric 6, Fighter 2, Necrowarrior of Nature 1 (only if the players have large problems completing the adventure).
These could be the Thane's men or local residents. The players will need to do some bargaining with the Thane, and/or recruiting in the local tavern to gain these allies.

With the Thane's directions, the players should be able to reach the ruin in one or two days travel. Some random encounters could be placed on the way there, and when searching the above ground portions of the ruin.

The ruin is inhabited by a variety of monsters, led by four creatures:
Frelgs (level 4 Goblin Rogue): a down on his luck Goblin (level 4 Rogue) who should have know better than to trust his best friend Drod.
Drod (level 4 Goblin Druid): Frelg's best friend. He made a deal with a strange druid for great power, only to tell Frelgs.
Nelgoreas (Young Black Dragon, level 2 Sorcerer): Hating his job after he sold his soul, this 20 year old black dragon made a deal with a strange druid to kill his rivals. Now he's stuck making sure two goblins don't screw up. [Editor's note: be aware that this is a CR 7 creature. May be advisable not to set it against level 2 characters.]
Taloive (Demon of Decay): A decay demon who was all to happy to pay off his debt to his boss, known to mortals as the strange druid (a Drem Touched), decaying the area around Rockbottom.

The Ruin:

You're in a 15 by 15 ft. room with a door to the west.
DM: the doors are locked (DC12), and a listen check reveals nothing on the other side. There's no treasure in the room.

Room 1:
There are 2 chests in the room, which extends 30 ft. north, 25 ft. west, and 30 ft. to the south. As you approach the chests, 3 Shadows attack.
Treasure: In chest one: 2d6 gp, and 1d4 gems worth 3-60 gp each (3d20). In chest two: 2d6 potions of Cure Light Wounds, and 1d3 flasks of Bottled Sunlight (as a Sunbeam spell).
The west door leads to the Tunnel.
The east door leads to the Entrance.
The north door leads to The Pit.
The south door leads to The Foul Pool (locked with an amazing lock (DC 40); needs two half keys (owned by Frelgs and Drod) to open).

You are in a tunnel 10 ft. wide, 120 ft. long, and 20 ft. high. It leads east to west, and has a downward slope of 5 degrees.
DM: Every 30 ft., roll once on the table (1d20):
1-9: 1d6 Dire Rats.
10: 2d4 Shadows.
11-12: 1d10 Zombies.
13-19: 3d12 Goblins.
20: 1 Troll.
The east door leads to Room 1.
The south-west door leads to the Store Room.
The north-west door leads to the Antechamber.

The Pit:
The pit has 20 ft. before the pit itself, which is 30ft. across and 60 ft. deep.

The Antechamber:
This room is 50 ft. long by 25 ft. wide and has a height of 90 feet. 40 ft into the room is a raised platform, 10 ft. by 25 ft. On it is an arch.
DM: In the mornings Nelgoreas can be found here telling Goblins, or other creatures, what to do for the day. After this task, he steps through the arch (a portal) to his swampy cave lair.
At any given time, there are 2d10 Goblins in this room. There is a 10% chance of finding Nelgoreas here. When Nelgoreas is here double the number of Goblins, and add 1d3 Ogres, and a Troll.

Store Room:
A 20 ft. by 20 ft. room. It contains boxes, crates, sacks, and 4 Shadows.
DM: The containers have random treasure (roll 1d20):
1-3: 1d10 gp plus 2d4 potions of Cure Light Wounds.
4-9: 3d10 gp plus random treasure roll (based on player characters' average level; see Dungeon Master's Guide).
10-13: a Shadow plus 1d4 semi-precious gems (as if rolled 1-25 on the gems table; see DMG).
14-19: a random minor magic item (see DMG).
20: a 5 HD Vampire.
A south-west door leads to the Barracks.
the south-east door leads to the Tunnel.

In this room, you find 2d10 Goblins, Frelgs, a few beds and Frelgs' chest.
Frelgs uses the Goblins to set up flanks. If a fight goes bad, he uses a potion of Invisibility (duration: 1.5 minutes) to escape.
His chest has 200 gp, 3 sets of Thief Tools, 3 potions of Cure Light Wounds, a book on "THE STRANGE DRUID" (see sidebar; the book is worth 250 gp), and a half key (Drod has the other half).
A door to the south leads to the Bestiary.
A door to the north-east leads to the Store Room.

The Bestiary:
This place resembles a conservatory 200 ft. by 200 ft. There are 6d6 Wolves,1 Dire Wolf, 3d6 Worgs, 1d2 Winter Wolves, 1d2 Hell Hounds, and Drod.
Drod and the Wolves and Worgs can be found in the "mock temperate" zone, the left side of the Bestiary. The Winter Wolves live in the upper right quarter, the Hell Hounds in the lower right. The Dire Wolf has a 50% chance of being in the left zone, and a 25% chance of being anywhere else. The different zones in the room (left, upper right, lower right) are all magically enhanced to represent their inhabitants' native climates.
Drod calls the Wolves at first chance (full round action, attack of opportunity, takes 2d6 rounds to get to Drod). Drod has a wolf-calling whistle, an entangling staff (treat as a wand of Entangle, but with the physical description of a staff), half a key (Frelgs has the other half), and a keg of holy water.
A door north leads to the Barracks.

The Foul Pool:
A 60 ft. by 60 ft. room with a water depth of 30 ft., and a height of 80ft. In the middle (20 ft. from shore) is a 20 ft. by 20 ft. island. On it is Taloive.
As soon as he spots the characters, he flies to a height of 30 ft. and uses his corruption attacks.
When the characters kill him, the stone on the island starts to pulse with dark evil energy (it is his blight spot). If they read the book from the Barracks, they know how to destroy it completely.
The door that leads into this room needs 2 half keys (Frelgs' and Drod's) to open.

This book has information on Demons of Decay and a piece of lore on the strange druid,
"An ancient and powerful being, some believe it to be a dark nature spirit. This being made the Demons of Decay and works to kill all living, nature respecting beings. He apparently hates Elven Druids beyond reason. We have found the only way to kill a Demon of Decay would be to pour a keg of holy water on its blight spot when its corporeal body is destroyed. Holy water also prevents and helps destroy the rotting corruption."
This book comes from an old race, the Valcoth (distant relatives of the Tundris).

All rights reserved.

Related Material:
Monsters: Demon of Decay
Monsters: Drem Warped
Necrowarrior of Nature

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