Friday, June 29, 2018

The Secret Garden of Lord Vyre

I made this for my first level players, who stumbled into it while poking around the start town and avoiding the other dungeon I made. It's hidden under a statue in city hall, so they have to do a little sneaking or run a scam every time they want to go in. It's not too lethal, there's a moderate amount of treasure, and it's not too big.

Players, please don't read this. Apologies to everyone I ripped off for this, mostly as usual Zak and Patrick. I think there are some new ideas.

I present to you,

THE SECRET GARDEN OF LORD VYRE



BASIC RUNDOWN

Lord Vyre, a ruler of Fishtown just over a hundred years ago, known for his multiple dalliances with lovers and his purported ability with black magic and conjuration. His reign of Fishtown was brief and strange, marked by the appearance of elves, an overgrowth of plants in the night-time, and a lot of romance. Fishtown’s population doubled during his reign and the town’s greatest artists appeared in this time. He spontaneously combusted in public one day (black magic was blamed), and the rulership passed to the next, and eventually was assigned to the city council.

The source of his power was a lover he summoned beneath the town, an elemental woman named Franndis. She is positive energy spirit given human form and her presence causes all manner of growth. She and Lord Vyre were lovers, and he constructed a garden for her beneath city hall. After a time though she became distant and unhappy and, jealous, Lord Vyre created a doppelganger of himself and entrusted the heart of Franndis to her, and locked them both in a secret chamber under the secret garden. After his death (which was simply an accidental byproduct of the power he was incapable of holding) the secret of the garden was lost.

MAJOR PLAYERS

         Lord Vyre’s Doppelganger — cunning, friendly, strange, good-humored, and evil, will under no circumstances allow the elemental’s heart to be released. While true Lord Vyre loved and adored Franndis, this one hates and despises her. He can’t kill her so will settle with imprisonment.

Wants to see Franndis imprisoned forever, interested in knowledge of the outside world
Served by: blue-skinned shadow men (deeper doppelgangers), 
Magic of: copying and changing, altering intentions, illusions

The King of Flowers — a constructed gardener entrusted with keeping the garden safe and outsiders from entering, has fallen asleep in his arbor, but has insanely good hearing and awakens if PCs enter into the flower garden. 
Wants everyone to stay out of the garden
Served by: the dream leopard, the dancing skeletons, the vine hulk
Magic of: artificial growth, pruning, 
Free agents: Franndis, the Prime Elemental (see room 4)
Served by: 3 faceless men with excellent hearing, who she plays chess with
Magic of: Rampant growth, over-healing, fire, inspiration
Aredhel the Elf
Wants: to complete the funerary rites for his dead sister Aredhen
Magic of: empathic connection, crying so much it floods

Black cat “Drawers”
Wants: to hunt the vermin of the garden
Only the first thing he says in any conversation will be true
Knows secret paths and doors, and the nature of all the NPCs in the dungeon

RANDOM ENCOUNTERS -- roll d10 every 10 minutes.

1. The black cat “Drawers” 
Black cat “Drawers”
Wants: to hunt the vermin of the garden
Only the first thing he says in any conversation will be true
Knows secret paths and doors, and the nature of all the NPCs in the dungeon
2. The dream tiger
HP 42 AC 14 3 attacks: 2 claws +5 d4+1 and 1 bite +5 d10, if both claws hit, he can attack twice again. He has Stealth +8 and Perception +8. He can jump into any sleeping person, travel through their dreams, and exit from another sleeping person within 1 mile.
3. If awake: The King of Flowers and the dream tiger
HP 30 AC 12 Within one round the dream tiger always appears, and he can summon the dancing skeletons by playing a flute. The vine hulk will not attack him.
Spells: With one round of concentration can cause something artificial to grow a new similar feature, for instance cause a dagger to grow a second blade, a door to seal over with hooks and barbs, or a false plant to double in size. Cause armor to tangle or break,  Will not work on anything living.
Sleep (at will in 10’ area, causes flowers to grow over you, flowers must be cleared off to wake the person)
4. Aredhen the Elf
5. The Dancing Skeletons (preceded for 1 minute by merry songs which gradually grow closer. They travel in a roughly counterclockwise motion through the garden, taking plenty of time to caper and jig, and turning backwards at any door they can't enter)
A group of 11 skeletons, each playing a different band instrument (trumpet, lute, clarinet, drums, trombone, violin, flute, tuba, and 3 dancers), are doing a jig through the garden. Their bones are painted with flowers, they are joyful and merry, they will kill anyone they come across but are easily distracted: as soon as someone is out of sight, they are forgotten and will go back to their music.
Each one: HP 8, AC 11, 1 attack (instrument) +4 d6 dmg
6. After 1 day: Beruc, Dabber, and Poal, a level 1 fighter, cleric, and thief from the surface, who have stumbled across the garden and are also searching for treasure..
7. d4 faceless men, who ask the players who they serve, and will lead the players to Frandiss if they answer well.
faceless men, HP 7 AC 12 1 attack blue swords +4 d6+1 dmg.
8. Overhead lights in this room malfunction and turn off
9. The vine hulk has wandered away from his hallway. He basically looks like a vine-covered swamp thing. 
HP 50 AC 16 1 attack +3 2d8 damage Speed 20, can charge 40 feet and attack on the first round of combat. Vulnerable to fire.
10. Nothing 

ROOM LIST

1. The statue of Lord Vyre has two heads, one serious, one with a cunning smile. There is a seam down the middle, the statue can be pulled apart. Stairs carved into the stone descend into the earth, then a long narrow hallway, then a stone door carved with flowers.


2. Here is a garden complete with grass, shrubs, trees. It is trim but very old. A hanging metal chandelier with glowing crystals (worth 100gp total) provides dim light. A metal bench has a plaque. “This garden is dedicated to my true heart, the beautiful Franndis. Please forgive my crimes against you. -Love, V.”

3. A trampled garden. The trees are snapped, the grass matted, dirt wet with blood. Another chandelier, this one has fallen but still glows. At center is a metal grate tightly fitted over a metal spiral staircase, dim silvery light shines from below. It is magically locked with a heart-shaped padlock, the key is kept in room 5.

During the early days of the garden, pagan women from the forest came to rescue Franndis, and nearly succeeded. Lord Vyre used this moment to decide to hide her heart, and cast a spell that dislodged this battle in time. The men are guards, the women are liberationists. The spell is broken if Lord Vyre's doppelganger dies, otherwise the minute loops eternally. Even if the battle is stopped, at the one-minute mark everything rewinds. During combat, all hits always hit (if someone is interposed it hits them instead), and the lantern always falls and breaks in round 5. Everything else is up for interpretation.

If questioned, they will state that it is the Year of the Crimson Jaguar, which occurred over 100 years ago. The women will be happy to discuss their mission, and entreat the players to help, while the guards will ask the players to defend “Lord Vyre’s garden against the invaders!”

Stats— women HP 10 AC 11 Battle-axe +6 1d10+1
Men HP 6 AC 13 Rapier +4 1d8, Net +6 to entangle.

 A group of 4 savage and nude women with battle-axes battle 7 men in medieval finery. The women wield axes and are covered in blood, the men wield rapiers and nets and lanterns. Within 1 minute the following happens:

1. 1 of the men is killed 2. Her murderer is trapped in a net and she is stabbed 3. She is finished off 2. 4. In retaliation, 2 men are quickly decapitated with a single blow 5. A man throws a lantern, lighting the garden on fire 6. A woman catches fire and runs into 1 of the men 7. They both die in the fire and collapse on the grate 8. 2 women remain, 3 men remain — a man and a woman stab each other to death, while the other woman battles the last 2 men 9. She kills one man while the fire closes around them 10. She grapples the man, he stabs her and she is about to gouge his eyes out

Then the fire evaporates, everyone reanimates backwards in the space of 1 round, and the battle starts over. 

4. On a throne of blue stone, carved with butterflies, all overgrown with plants, thick with bugs, the air is sweet and fresh — here is the elemental Franndis, a red-haired white-skinned woman with strange intense eyes. She can show the hole between her breasts where her heart was carved out. Immortal, intense, not unkind but not especially sweet, she has been here since Lord Vyre’s death, mostly unvisited. She would like to leave. If she does, the garden will die. 

“Lord Vyre used me for cruel purposes, though he was kind to me. Truly a two-faced man. Somehow he created, or found, his twin, and gave him my heart, and locked them beneath this garden. I cannot leave without my heart.”

She can tell them that the key is in his private baths. 

HP 40 AC 16 Spells: 1. Flowering plants grow out of your skin and bind you, 2d6 damage and restrained until Str check DC 14. 2. She flashes light, everyone within 15’ is blinded. 3. Regain a spell slot. 

Attack, +6 touch — blistering hot touch deals 1d10 damage.

6 faceless men, HP 7 AC 12 1 attack blue swords +4 d6+1 dmg. A game of chess.

5. Lord Vyre’s private bath. Red tiled jacuzzi, jets are going and spraying water, it’s boiling hot, 2d6 damage if submerged, 1d4 if splashed which will happen even if you just open the door (Dex DC 12 to dodge). On a hook by the far door is the heart-shaped key.

6. The King of Flowers’ Arbor. Under a flower entwined arbor is a fantastic white bed strewn with flowers, upon which sleeps THE KING OF FLOWERS. He worked for 99 years creating the perfect flower garden (ge gave up on the east side), and after no interference outside of the elf, decided to take a long nap. If he wakes, he’ll be pissed to hell, and his hearing is incredible. 

He is a blue robed man, his hands are bright red, he wears a crown of roses. He can hear through any flower in the garden. In his footsteps bloom flowers. If the elemental dies, he dies.

HP 30 AC 12 Within one round the dream tiger always appears, and he can summon the dancing skeletons by playing a flute. The vine hulk will not attack him.

Spells: With one round of concentration can cause something artificial to grow a new similar feature, for instance cause a dagger to grow a second blade, a door to seal over with hooks and barbs, or a false plant to double in size. Cause armor to tangle or break,  Will not work on anything living.
Sleep (at will in 10’ area, causes flowers to grow over you)
7. In a dim blue room crouches the doppelganger of Lord Vyre. He plays solitaire and knocks tunes on a painted and hinged turtle shell, which thumps in heartbeat. His 4 blue shadow-men stand facing the corners of the room, their red eyes sometimes traveling to the back of their head to peek at Lord Vyre, who snaps at them to look away.

The painted turtle shell contains the heart of Fanndis. If brought out, it sheds a scintillating light in a 30’ radius, Knowledge, Art, and History checks made while in the light are always at Advantage. If it takes even 1 hp of damage, Franndis dies.

HP 45 AC 16 Broadsword +6 1d8+1.

With a round of concentration, he can create a copy of any item that differs from the original in only 1 subtle way. The item lasts until the subtle difference is noticed.
At will, he can create illusions of people that his targets have met. These have all the stats of the original and deal damage. If the illusion is dispelled or successfully disbelieved which takes 1 round of interacting/denouncing (Wisdom save DC 14), the spell will not work on that person and all damage they took is healed.
Once per round, he can transfer the damage of 1 attack to any target in sight.

4 Shadowmen: HP 7 AC 12 1 attack +3: an inescapable grip (Strength +10 if tested), they can then crush for d6 dmg per round. Bright light causes their skin to dissolve, but it reforms as soon as the light leaves.

FLOWER GARDEN. Brightly lit by intermittent ceiling tiles.

8. Another garden, this one completely overgrown. Small cat-sized tunnel leads through undergrowth. Only 10’ sq area at center is clear, at edges bloom strange flowers of bone, ceramic, paper, and porcelain, carefully painted but appear to be growing. The King of Flowers can hear through these, loud noise will awake him.

9. Opposite the last room: 10’ sq area at center is overgrown, and four shining flowers of gemstone bloom. They glisten with poison, each is worth 75 gold pieces and has the following contact poison CON DC 14 (enough for 3 doses), which loses effect if separated from the flower: 
Ruby - Hate first person you see (10 rounds)
Sapphire - Numbs the hand that holds it (10 rounds)
Emerald - 1d4 dmg every hour (10 hours)
Diamond - Forget last 10 minutes (Permanent)

North wall is overgrown with veins, door is hidden in center and must be cleared off to be opened.

10. A dark shed: shovel, clippers, hoe, rake, 2 sacks of fertilizer (highly flammable), and 3 small bag of seeds that instantly sprout on whatever they’re cast upon (at minimum, will make an area of difficult terrain in a 5’ square). A lantern with 1 hour of oil.

11. 11 and 12 have a mirrored arrangement of topiary hedges. The topiary are in heavy moveable containers (Str check 10 to move 5’), and moving one will cause its partner to shift at the same time.

CENTER: DOG
NORTHEAST(11)/WEST(12): LION
NORTHWEST(11)/EAST(12): BOY
SOUTHEAST(11)/WEST(12): CUBE
SOUTHWEST(11)/EAST(12): ORB

Under dog is 20’ pit filled with spikes, fall take 4d6 damage. 

Inside sphere is a half of a silvery figurine of a woman, other half is in room 23. When combined, worth 200gold or can be crushed to heal d6 hp to everyone within 30’.

Lion: Will attack anyone who strays within 5’, Bite +4 1d6 damage.

2 corpses of adventurers slain by the narcissus peacock: d100x2 gold, 2 shortswords, 2 lamps and 3 hours oil, and thin binding rope 10’ (rolls to tie up people at +4).

Monster: A narcissus peacock wanders here. HP 14 AC 11 Atk +4 d4 dmg, Tail feathers Dex save DC 15 or be transfixed until gaze is broken. Will eat victims.

12. Under dog is 20’ pit filled with spikes, fall take 4d6 damage.

Inside sphere is an envelope, inside envelope is a love letter by the true Lord Vyre to Fanndis. “F— Why have you not responded to my recent letter? Every inch of my body is burning with desire for you. Let me know you’re thinking of me too! —V”

Lion: Will bite anyone who strays within 5’, +4 1d6 damage.

Monster: A nightingale sings a charming song, any who hears its song must save Wisdom DC 12 or compulsively whistle the song for 1 hour — hiding becomes impossible. If the nightingale dies the spell ends.

BATHS

Dimly lit by flickering ceiling tiles.

13. Steamy, ankle deep in hot water. Everywhere are lotus flowers and lilypads. Impossible to see more than 10’ due to steam. After ten minutes in water, Con save DC 12 or d4 damage from heat. Water is filled with blind hot-water eels, if they smell blood they will attack the source, but otherwise will ignore.

North wall is covered over with vines, door to 15 is hidden. If found, the black mold can be seen in the cracks of the door.

Eels: 10’ swarm, HP 20, AC 14 (fast!), d4 biting damage to all in swarm. Blind, but can sense anything in the water, and can smell blood.

14. Here are 3 big raised baths filled with rainbow colored and piping hot-springs water. The water is spilling out and filling room 13. Each bath has a crank on the inside to turn off the water. If all the baths are turned off, room 13 will drain out over the course of 3 days.

South door is rusted shut and can’t be easily opened. A STR DC 15 suffices, but it takes a minute and can’t be closed again.

15. A dry sauna covered over with black mold. Even opening the door causes a Con save DC 13, or take d4 damage to max HP every morning until 2 saves are made in a row. Inside the room is incredibly hot, there is a hot furnace that’s heated with the elemental’s power. There is a small vial containing 1 dose of scented oil, if the oil is heated and inhaled, it will cause mental concentration — all mental saves will be at advantage for 10 minutes.

16. A very dry hot room. Floor tiles are intense and unpleasant, after 10 minutes make a Con save DC 10 or become thirsty, drink water within 1 minute or gain 1 level of exhaustion. Room is filled with like 20-odd giant humming cacti, this makes hiding much easier (advantage), if you touch you take 1 damage and skin is irritated, if fall into then take 1d4 damage and all ability checks at disadvantage until pricks are taken out. The cacti are making a low, quiet hum, emanating from faces that are at the very top of the cacti. They reach out little tongues for water, if properly hydrated, will stop humming and talk about the king of flowers.

South door is locked from the other side. Elven chanting can be heard through it.

17. Under huge jungle fronds rests the dream tiger. When not watched, he smokes cigarettes of scented herbs. He can enter one sleeping person and leave from another. He is a lazy assassin who serves the King of Flowers, and is magically kept alive by the power of Franndis. Anyone who sees him will be stunned for 1 round due to a sense of intense deja vu (Charisma DC 12 to resist, only functions the first time he is seen).

HP 42 AC 14 3 attacks: 2 claws +5 d4+1 and 1 bite +5 d10, if both claws hit, he can attack twice again. He has Stealth +8 and Perception +8. He can jump into any sleeping person, travel through their dreams, and exit from another sleeping person within 1 mile.

Wears gold trinkets worth 300gp. Also keeps a pack of fine herbal cigarettes.

18. Treasure chamber of the KING OF FLOWERS. Chest of 200 gold, 3 random level 1 wizard spell-scrolls, pots of living sweet herbs used to make the tiger’s cigarettes, and a poor map of the dungeon (show players map for 30 seconds).

SOUTH GARDEN

19. Moss grows on the walls and floor. In a patch of daylight is the tomb of Aredhel’s sister, the elf Aredhen, who committed suicide by staring at a poisoned star for a year and a day. She rests on a stone slab, beautiful as if she had just died. He is heart-broken and has been performing funeral rites for 99 years. Every once in a while the funeral rites require him to walk the dungeon and singing, this is what happens if he’s encountered.

The elf Aredhel is ancient, uncaring, distant, not unkind, and very tall. His skin is the color of fresh snow. He wields the sword Bronwe. He can pause the rites for 5 minutes to greet people but has to get back to it, if further interrupted will fly into a cold rage. He is from the forest, he also personally knew Lord Vyre and can discuss him at some length.

Aredhel HP 40 AC 20 2 attacks with his sword +6 d8+2 He is immune to sleep. He wears silver rings worth a total of 400 gold. He can cast the Command spell at will.

The tomb of Aredhen is covered in candles which don’t burn down as long as they aren’t moved. If the candles are put out, or if Aredhen is moved, her corpse decays within a minute.

The south end of this room is a cliff edge, the door is 60’ down.

20 describes the base of the tree. In this huge room grows a giant tree, its crown brushes the ceiling, its roots cover the floor. The base of the tree is filled with coiling roots and is difficult terrain, if moving at normal speed then Dex save DC 12 or fall and foot is caught. There are 3 mold-covered corpses that crawl among the roots, they are only movement 15 but lie still until someone gets near (Stealth +10, otherwise seem to be a pile of molded leaves). HP 2 AC 9 1 attack: Grab and bite +5 d4.

 Dim light down here. At the base of the tree is a door, inside the tree on a desk is a book of magical botany. This can be used to identify the magical plants in the garden.

The tree can be easily climbed at half speed. If hit, make an Athletics check DC 10 or half the damage took, whichever is higher.

21. Describes the top of the tree. Great branches spread across the top of this 60’ high room. It is thick with flies and moss. Apples grow, and one apple is shining and golden — eating it will heal any poison or disease afflicting the target.

22. This narrow hallway is only 5 feet wide and 7 feet high and choked with vines. A path is trod deep into the floor. The VINE HULK passes back and forth, endlessly, from top, to left, back to right, then left, then top again. 

HP 50 but only heals 1d4 per day. AC 16 1 attack +3 2d8 damage Speed 20. First round he sees someone, he can charge 40’. Vulnerable to fire.

23. Shards of broken pottery. The other half of the silver figurine found in room 11.

24. The bath in here is lined with gold. If you bathe here for 10 minutes, you regain 2d10 hit-points, and advantage to the first saving throw you make. 

FRANDISS’ GARDENS

Brightly lit, very trim, easy to maneuver.

25. Room is crossed north-south with green hedges. West door is under archway of hedge, east door is also an archway of hedgework but without a door — if pressed on, it clicks open. It cannot be seen or opened from the other side.

26. This is a low hedgemaze. At center is a stone bench. In a secret compartment in a leg of the stone bench is a letter. “Dearest F — I know you won’t forgive my inability to stop the recent intrusion. Those women were trying to separate us. I have found a solution that will keep you safe forever. Yours always — V” 

South-east door has a VERY LIFELIKE snake carved into it. If the door is opened, the snake strikes — +8, 2d6 dmg.

27. This hedgemaze forms a spiral inwards and then outwards. The hedges here reach the ceiling. They can be cut through, but it takes at least 1 minute. At center is a standing mirror, except it always shows your opposite facial expression. Hidden in a secret compartment of the mirror is a note in Vyre’s handwriting. “My mirror's reflection is harmless, the other will not be as kind.”

28. A simple, grassy T-room. Butterflies. No secrets.

29. A tea-parlor. Here the elemental Frandiss takes tea with her faceless men. They make pastries. 

30. Treasure. 1000 gold worth of trinkets and jewelry given to Frandiss by Lord Vyre.

31. Beauty parlor. A lit mirror. Nail polish, lotions, make-up, and other cosmetics. 1 vial of enchanted nail polish allows your hands to grasp and interact with gaseous, incorporeal, or ethereal creatures and objects. Enough to affect 15 nails (must be applied to each nail on a hand to work).

SECOND FLOOR

The Shadow-men of Lord Vyre stalk this place, they will try to drown you or bring the giant lizards to you. 

32. The metal stairs descend down about 20’ and then stop. In this tall (80’), very dim room circle 7 large luminous spheres that resemble moons, almost 10’ across. Gravity points towards them, if you get within 10’ you are pulled towards. One can jump from moon to moon this way.

33. Floor is a thick black liquid, 20' feet deep. Swimming is extremely difficult, it is like tar, make a difficult swim check or begin to drown, even then you may only move at 1/3 speed. Projected on the walls from an unseen projector are flickering plants. Only wood and plant-life float on the liquid, but can form a reliable floor.

34. Large luminous flowers the size of men. Neon pink, green, orange, ultraviolet. Liquid inside flowers functions as paint, except the ultraviolet liquid is acidic (1d8 dmg per round until scraped off). Smells amazing, incredibly alluring. Plant-life is twisted black vines. 

Inside the ultraviolet flower can be found partially dissolved skeletons and d100x4 gold.

5 huge black-skinned lizards with glowing eyes crawl among the flowers. HP 12 AC 14 and effectively invisible in darkness when eyes are closed, 1 bite +6 d6 and Con DC 12 to resist poison (compelled to crawl into nearest flower and drown self).

35. A small study belonging to Lord Vyre. On a desk are 3 books— one is a book on local birds (can be used to identify any bird in the forest, gives a +2 outside the forest), a text concerning accessing the plane of positive energy (contains spell Cure Wounds as a 3rd level wizard spell), and a book on exotic botany (+5 to checks to identify plants outside the forest or not native to it). There is also a note in Lord Vyre’s handwriting.  

“It has been seen at night sometimes, over the trees, in the shape of a luminous eyed beast as long as a building, sleek of fur and long of tail. They say that the spirits of the forest are transported within its belly, as well as mortals beloved of Torun. Where does it rest? How might I capture it?”

36. Negative energy chamber. Jewel on spindle, when spun swallows light — all light based spells and effects are sucked into it, creates a growing area of darkness. Southern wall depicts ancient mural of ocean. Guarded by a giant black scorpion with a skull for a head.

HP 60 AC 16 2 attacks +5 d8/d8 and grab, pincer +2 / +6 to grabbed opponent, Con save DC 13 or 4d6 poison damage.

37. Big eyed idol of black stone sits in the darkness, sparks of fire burn in the eye sockets. There is a socket in its belly big enough to fit a limb. If you press a severed limb to the stone, the socket clamps shut and the idol lights up and you are in excruciating pain for 10 minutes and at the end you are able to extract a new arm made of pearly stone. 

3 comments:

  1. This is really quite excellent! Imaginative, full of wondrous things, and rather well written. Do you have plans to publish it in some form? I think it'd make for a neat module with some light editing, and a more legible map.

    ReplyDelete
  2. thank you i dont! it’s too similar to the immortal zoo of ping feng and the maze of the blue medusa for me to want to polish it up. i just wanted to show how a dungeon looks exactly as i run it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I read The Immortal Zoo again, but do not see a strong resemblance (granted, I have only read parts of Blue Medusa so far, so can't comment on that).

    In any case, thanks for posting this, and hope to see more from you in the future!

    ReplyDelete