- Fleeing from a powerful dwarven sorceress, the adventurers cross the breezeway joining the two halves of the sorceress’ stronghold over a deep chasm. They do not count upon her skills with elemental creatures, however.
- The adventurers unwisely chose to try to infiltrate the stronghold of a powerful dwarven sorceress, Ovdis Anfik. They have faced her wrath and, beaten down, have fled deeper into her stronghold seeking some slim chance of safety. What they did not expect, however, is her skills with elemental creatures and the undead.
The subterranean Hold of Anfik straddles the massive underground Calobe River; the main portion of the stronghold, in which Ovdis resides, is on the north side of the river. The southern, less frequented side of the stronghold is joined to the other portion by a narrow arm of stone nearly 100 yards long. The river flows quite rapidly despite its great width and any creature that falls in the water should expect to be swept away to their almost certain doom.
The adventurers have reason to believe that the southern side of the Hold of Anfik promises a refuge, or at least a chance for escape from Ovdis’ wrath. Perhaps it is a gateway into a larger maze of underground caverns, or perhaps it promises an exit to the surface world. At any rate, the southern side of the river is their goal and the bridge is their means of attaining that goal. (This assumes, of course, that no character in the party has access to a fly or teleport spell or similar magic.)
- Once the adventurers have reached the bridge, Ovdis calls upon her undead and elemental allies. She keeps a ready army of thirty skeletons; half of this army are kept on either side of the bridge for the stronghold’s defense. These skeletons are human warriors that she has culled from nearby surface villages. She sends her undead army at the adventurers first, one-half of the army from either side of the bridge.
If it appears that the skeletons will be overcome, she uses her spells and scrolls to summon four elemental grues, one of each element: water, air, earth, and fire, in that order. The water and air grues attack from the river beneath and air above the bridge, respectively, while the earth and fire grues attack from either side of the bridge. Ovdis will only engage in combat with the adventurers if (1) she is cornered or (2) she can single out and separate one adventurer from the rest of the party. Otherwise she will flee if it appears she is in danger; she will retreat to the northern side of the stronghold and engage the Hold’s physical and magical defenses.
If and/or when the adventurers gain the southern side of the bridge and enter the portion of the stronghold thereon, they should be rewarded with the discovery of a secret door leading to a secure chamber in which they can safely rest and which provides them a reasonably discreet exit from the Hold of Anfik’s demesnes. After all, it has been centuries since Ovdis has taken much interest in the southern side of the stronghold and may overlook some of the passages.
- Ovdis Anfik: Dwarf (Fiendish) Sorcerer 9; Female; Chaotic Evil; Init +2; AC 14 (Leather); 40 hp; Saves: Fort +7; Ref +5, Will +6; Speed 20 Fly 60 (pre-cast fly spell); Attack: Sickle +3 (1d6-1) or Dart +6 (1d4-1) range 20; Base Attack/Grapple: 4/3; Abilities: Str 9, Dex 14; Con 15, Int 12, Wis 11, Chr 17; CR 11
- Skeletons, Human (20): See 3.5 Monster Manual, p. 226.
- Elemental Grues:: See Complete Arcane, p.153-56.
This is the nineteenth of 26 adventures that I will be sharing over the month of September. They are designed for use with edition 3.5 of the world’s most popular fantasy RPG, although they can be easily dropped into any fantasy setting (or modern/sci-fi setting with a little work). These posts are a part of Asshat Paladin’s OSR Short Adventure Challenge , and utilize his Get Ready, Get Set, Go! Format.