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The Burial Tomb of Hotnon Draden

Copyright D. Andrew Ferguson ©2002

Edited by Jamie 'Trotsky' Revell for The Guild Companion

INTRODUCTION

This adventure is developed for four to six characters of level eight to ten. The adventuring party should include a high level Rogue to find and disable many of the deadly traps that are present in the Tomb. It would be helpful if the party included a cleric, and also if the PCs are armed with magic weapons.

The Burial Tomb is that of a lich who has been defeated in combat but not destroyed. It was built as a series of death traps to contain the lich in a prison. The Tomb contains the Crown of Undead Command, a powerful artefact that allows its wearer to control undead.

BACK STORY

As legend remembers it, a few centuries ago there was an evil wizard who terrorised this area by demanding large tributes and killing all who did not pay, or sometimes even those who displeased him in some minor fashion. As the years past the wizard was able to utilise the tributes that the locals paid him to finance his arcane research. While the wizard was growing in knowledge and power, the local people's hate for him was also growing. Fearing the unknowable and unspeakable powers that the wizard controlled, and despising the large tributes they were made to pay, many of the locals began plotting to kill the wizard. After two decades of this the locals were too poor to continue to pay the wizard's ever-increasing tributes and the wizard was too powerful for the locals to stop by themselves.

While on one of his infrequent visits to the local village, the wizard, Hotnon Draden, met Ela Weirhoust, a beautiful maiden that captivated him and drew his attention away from the locals that were failing to pay the tributes. The Wizard quickly fell in love with Ela, and eventually asked for her hand in marriage. He told her that, if she married him, he would spare all of the villagers that did not pay the tribute, including her family, and that he would go easier on the townsfolk in the future. She accepted, much to the chagrin of her family and friends. Soon a rumour circulated through town that the wizard demanded her hand upon threats of death to the entire village. This rumour naturally increased the hatred that the locals had for the wizard.

That summer the Hotnon and Ela were married in a grand wedding. Soon after the wedding Ela became pregnant and bore a son for the wizard, who was born a year after the wedding. Shortly after this, the Wizard became ill.

Upon hearing that the wizard was seriously ill the local residents began to celebrate. Believing that one or more of the townsfolk had poisoned him, and that his wife and child were in danger, Hotnon completed a dark ritual that transformed him into a lich. After the transformation, he killed the townsfolk that he deemed to be responsible for his poisoning. Believing his revenge complete, the wizard went back to his tower to settle back down with his wife and child, only to find that the wife who had been able to love him in life was repulsed and horrified by his new undead form. She fled from the wizard and went back to her family for protection. This angered the lich who was torn between killing those who he believed had betrayed him and letting those whom he loved survive. These conflicting emotions eventually gave way to despair; the lich decided not to act rashly and to wait a few years before deciding.

A few months after the lich attacked the village a group of adventurers came to town. After hearing stories of a village being terrorised by a lich, the adventurers set off to battle the foul creature, without realising that the lich was not posing any immediate danger to the village. With aid from the adventurers the residents formed a mob and stormed the lich's tower. The lich put up a strong defence and killed many of his assailants until he noticed that his wife was among them. At that point he realised what he had become and gave up, thus allowing the mob to kill him. Of course the mob did not realise this, they just believed themselves lucky to have killed such a great evil.

The locals then razed the wizard's tower, destroying all of the magical tomes and devices within. It was soon realised that this had been a mistake, as there was now no way of telling how the wizard became the foul creature that he did. Not knowing if the lich was truly destroyed or just playing dead, the locals created an elaborate burial tomb full of death traps to keep intruders out and the lich trapped within. The tomb was built with very expensive and devious traps and two areas with antimagic fields. The effort and cost of building the tomb along with the stigma of such a horrible creature nearby caused the villagers to disband and move to different parts of the country.

The legend goes on saying that just before his transformation to a lich the wizard created a terrible artefact that allows it's wearer to create and control undead creatures at will. No other information is known about the artefact except that it was sealed within the tomb.

APPROACHING THE TOMB

The tomb has been lost in the wilderness for years, only being rediscovered occasionally by adventurers. The area surrounding the Tomb is devoid of the usual animals that inhabit the forest, however a lone Troll is wandering the forest near the entrance to the Tomb and may be encountered by the PCs.

Troll (1): CR 5; SZ L Giant; HD 6d8+36; hp 63; Init +2, Spd 30ft.; Atk +9 melee (1d6+6 [x2] claw), +4 melee (1d6+3 bite); Face/Reach 5ft. by 5ft./10ft.; SA Rend (2d6+9); SQ regeneration 5, scent, darkvision 90ft.; SV Fort +11, Ref +4, Will +3; Str 23, Dex 14, Con 23, Int 6, Wis 9, Cha 6.

Skills: Listen +5, Spot +5; Feats: Alertness, Iron Will.

MAP DETAILS

Over the years several groups of adventurers have tried to break into the tomb, about half of them have survived. One of the adventuring parties, led by a gnome mage and cartographer named Knud Glimlo, was able to map most of the tomb but failed to find some secret areas hidden behind illusionary walls. This is the map that eventually finds its way into the hands of the PCs.

Click here for The Treasure Map

Click here for GM Map of the Burial Tomb

The traps will reset and can be activated when the PCs re-enter an area, even if they had been previously set off, or disabled.

The burial chamber is protected from scrying

The hallway traps set off on a roll of 1-12 on a d20

Key to the Burial Tomb

1. Hidden Entrance (EL 6)

Knud Glimlo's map indicates the general location of the entrance to the burial tomb. However the entrance is well hidden and will require a Search check (DC 25) to find. Once the secret entrance is discovered the locked doors will have to be opened (open locks DC 25) or broken down (hardness 8, hp 60, break DC 28). There are seven pieces of statuary guarding the entrance, five of the statues are severely weather worn, but two of the statues are actually gargoyles (spot DC 25) that will attack the PCs as soon as they attempt to open the door.

Gargoyle (2): CR 4; SZ M Magical Beast; HD 4d10+16; hp 38; Init +2; Spd 45ft., fly 75 ft. (good); AC 16; Atk: +6 melee (1d4 [x3] claw), +4 melee (1d6 bite), +4 melee (1d6 gore); SQ damage reduction 15/+1; freeze; AL CE; SV Fort +8, Ref +6, Will +1; Str 11, Dex 14, Con 18, Int 6, Wis 11, Cha.

Skills: Hide +9*, Listen +4, Spot +4. Feats: Multiattack, Weapon Finesse (claw, bite, gore).

2. Trapped Corridor (EL 2)

As soon as the PCs enter, the doors will shut behind them. The adventurers will quickly notice the three skeletons lying on the floor impaled with arrows and spears. There are 4 arrow traps and two spear traps in this corridor.

Arrow Trap: CR 1; +10 ranged (1d6/x3 crit); Search (DC 20); Disable Device (DC 20). Note 200ft max range, target determined randomly from those in its path.

Spear Trap: CR 2; +12 ranged (1d8/x3 crit); Search (DC 20); Disable Device (DC 20). Note 200ft max range, target determined randomly from those in its path.

3. Guardroom (EL 8)

The guardroom is 20ft. by 20ft., is attached to three corridors, and there are three smashed skeletons lying on the floor. There is an illusionary wall that is hiding a golem, which will attack the PCs. The golem has already taken heavy damage from previous battles. The golem has completely lost its left arm (therefore this golem only has one slam attack, and fewer hp than normal).

Damaged Stone Golem: CR 8; SZ L Construct; HD 14d10; hp 47; Init 1; Spd 20ft. (can't run); AC 24; Atk: +18 melee (2d10+7 slam); Face/Reach 5ft by 5ft./10ft.; SA: Slow (once per day); SQ Construct, Magic Immunity, Damage Reduction 30/+2; AL N; SV Fort +4, Ref +3, Will +4; Str 29, Dex 9, Con --, Int --, Wis 11, Cha 1.

4. Corridor (EL 2)

This corridor leads north and appears empty. It contains a concealed spear trap and a 20ft. spiked pit trap.

Spear Trap: CR 2; +12 ranged (1d8/x3 crit); Search (DC 20); Disable Device (DC 20). Note 200ft max range, target determined randomly from those in its path.

Spiked Pit Trap (20 ft. Deep): CR 2; no attack roll necessary (2d6); +10 melee (1d4 spikes for 1d4+2 points of damage per successful hit); Reflex save (DC 20) avoids; Search (DC 20); Disable Device (DC 20).

5. Corridor (EL 2)

An Umber Hulk has recently burrowed into the tomb (the walls sealed behind it) and has not yet found it's way back out. Unfortunately the PCs have found the umber hulk in an enraged state due to the annoying traps that it has set off in the corridor.

Umber Hulk (1): CR 7, SZ L Aberration; HD 8d8+32; hp 68; Init +1; Spd 20ft.; AC 17; Atk: +11 melee (2d4+6 [x2] claw), +9 melee (2d8+3 bite); Face/Reach 5ft. by 5ft./10ft.; SA confusing gaze; SQ tremorsense; SV Fort +6, Ref +3, Will +6; Str 23, Dex 13, Con 19, Int 9, Wis 11, Cha 13.

Skills Climb +17, Jump +14, Listen +11; Feats Multiattack.

Hail of Needles: CR 1; +20 ranged (2d4); Search (DC 22); Disable Device (DC 22).

Shock Arrow Trap: CR 2; +10 ranged (1d6/x3 crit +1d6 electrical damage); Search (DC 20); Disable Device (DC 20). Note 200ft max range, target determined randomly from those in its path.

6. Treasure Room (EL 4)

This 15ft. by 15ft. room has a treasure chest and several items stacked in the corner of the room. The treasure chest is actually a mimic and the items are cursed. The items are a sword of berserking, a ring of clumsiness, and a tome with a fire trap spell placed on it (1d4+10 damage) CR 3.

Mimic; CR 4; SZ L Aberration; HD 7d8+21; hp 52; Init +1; Spd 10ft.; AC 13; Atk: +8 melee (1d8+6 slam); SA Adhesive; SQ mimic shape, acid immunity; AL N; SV Fort +5, Ref +3, Will +6; Str 19, Dex 12, Con 17, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 10.

Skills: Climb +9, Disguise +12, Listen +11, Spot +6. Feats: Skill focus (Disguise).

7. Alcove (EL 1)

The only thing out of place in the alcove is the decapitated body (the head can be found further down the corridor). The skeleton was decapitated by a scything blade trap.

Scything Blade Trap: CR 1; +8 melee (1d8/x3 crit); Search (DC 21); Disable Device (DC 20).

8. Book Room (EL 4)

There is a pedestal with a spell book on it, and a large stone table where a flesh golem lies, it's leather restraints having rotted away years ago. The book is inscribed with explosive runes (6d6) CR 4.

Flesh Golem (1): CR 7; SZ L Construct; HD 9d10; hp 49; Init 1; Spd 30 ft. (can't run); AC 18; Atk +10 melee (2d8+5 [x2] slam); Face/Reach 5ft. by 5ft./10ft.;SA Berserk; SQ construct, magic immunity, damage reduction 15/+1; AL N; SV Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +3; Str 21, Dex 9, Con --, Int --, Wis 11, Cha 1.

9. Hidden Corridor (EL 4)

This corridor is hidden behind an illusionary wall. As soon as the PCs pass through the illusion a magic missile trap attacks them, further down the corridor there is a flame arrow trap.

Magic Missile Trap: CR 1; 4 missiles (1d4+1 damage each), each missile strikes a random PC.

Flame Arrow Trap: CR 4; +10 ranged (4d6); Search (DC 20); Disable Device (DC 20). Note 200ft max range, target determined randomly from those in its path.

10. Hidden Room (EL 5)

An antimagic field protects this room. As soon as the players enter the room they trigger a spear trap. If the PCs search the room they see a pedestal with a rod. Upon inspection the rod is a rod of enemy detection. If the PCs remove the rod they are subject to a falling block trap. If the PCs continue to search the pedestal (DC 25) they will discover a secret compartment that contains a small metal box with a rune-covered sheet of parchment inside. This is the lich's phylactery.

Spear Trap: CR 2; +12 ranged (1d8/x3 crit); Search (DC 20); Disable Device (DC 20). Note 200ft max range, target determined randomly from those in its path.

Falling Block Trap: CR 5; +15 melee (6d6); Search (DC 20); Disable Device (DC 25).

11. Trapped Corridor (EL 3)

This corridor is heavily trapped, roll a d20 for each PC to see which (if any) trap they trigger. Roll each time a PC passes through this corridor. There is one decapitated and two impaled skeletons heaped on the floor.

D20

1-2

None

The PC does not trigger a trap.

3-7

Arrow trap

CR 1; +10 ranged (1d6/x3 crit); Search (DC 20); Disable Device (DC 20). Note 200ft max range, target determined randomly from those in its path.

8-11

Spear trap

CR 2; +12 ranged (1d8/x3 crit); Search (DC 20); Disable Device

(DC20). Note 200ft max range, target determined randomly from those in its path.

12-15

Hail of needles

CR 1; +20 ranged (2d4); Search (DC 22); Disable Device

(DC 22).

16-19

Scything blade trap

CR 1; +8 melee (1d8/x3 crit); Search (DC 21); Disable

Device (DC 20).

20

Keen scything blade trap

CR 2; +8 melee (1d8 19-20b/ x3 crit); Search (DC

21); Disable Device (DC 20).

 

12. Cold Room (EL 4)

This apparently empty room is in fact empty but as soon as the PCs enter a globe of cold will hit them.

Globe of Cold: CR 4; 20 ft.-radius sphere or hemisphere (5d6); Reflex save (DC 15 avoids); Search (DC 27), Disable Device (DC 25).

13. Hidden Corridor (EL 10)

This corridor is hidden behind an illusionary wall. It has a crushing wall trap and a Melf's acid arrow trap.

Crushing Wall Trap: CR 10; no attack roll required (20d6); Search (DC 20); Disable Device (DC 25).

Melf's Acid Arrow Trap: CR 4; +10 ranged (2d4 damage for two rounds); Search (DC 20); Disable Device (DC 20). Note 200ft max range, target determined randomly from those in its path.

14. Hidden Room (EL 10)

This room has a staff standing straight up in the centre of its floor. Upon entering the room, the PCs set off a trap that uses a large net and poison gas. The trap also releases a silence spell.

Large Net Trap: CR 1; +5 melee (see note); Search (DC 20); Disable Device (DC 25). Note: Characters in a 10ft square are grappled by net (Str 18) if they fail a Reflex save (DC 14).

Poison Gas Trap: CR 10; no attack roll necessary (see note below); Search (DC 21); Disable Device (DC 25). Note: Trap releases burnt other fumes (see Poison, DMG pages 79-80).

15. Hidden Room (EL 4)

There are two potions in this room, a potion of tongues and a potion of inflicting critical wounds. (4d8+8). Both potions are labelled, but the labels have been reversed. When the PCs enter the room they will be hit by an ice storm

Ice Storm: (5d6) CR 4.

16. Fountain (EL 4)

Upon approaching the fountain it will release a lightning blast (5d6). If the PCs examine the fountain the water will seem have magical curative properties, however drinking from the fountain will trigger a magical inflict critical wounds trap.

Inflict Critical Wounds trap: CR 4; (4d8+8).

Lightning Blast: CR 3; 5 ft-wide, 50 ft-long blast (3d6); Reflex save (DC 13) avoids; Search (DC 26); Disable Device (DC 25).

17. Heavily Trapped Corridor (EL 4)

This corridor is trapped even more than the others are. All of the traps in this section will be triggered unless disabled.

Magic Missile Trap: CR 1, 4 missiles (1d4+1 damage each), each one strikes a random target.

Spell Storing Needle Trap: CR 2; +8 ranged (1, plus spell); Search (DC 22); Disable Device (DC 20). Note: embedded spell is Chill Touch (1d6 damage and 1 point of temporary strength, Fortitude save negates strength damage).

Flame Arrow Trap: CR 4; +10 ranged (4d6); Search (DC 20); Disable Device (DC 20). Note 200ft max range, target determined randomly from those in its path.

Vorpal Scything Blade Trap: CR 4; +10 melee (1d8+2 19-20/x3 crit and vorpal effect); Search (DC 21); Disable Device (DC 20).

 

18. Empty Room (EL 5)

This room is actually a huge animated object that is disguised as a room. The animated object will use its constriction ability on PCs who enter the room.

Huge Animated Object (1): CR 5; SZ H Construct; HD 8d10; hp 44; Init 1; Spd 0; AC 13; Atk: +9 melee (2d6+7 slam); Face/Reach 10ft. by 20ft./10ft.; SA constrict; SQ construct, hardness (8); AL N;

SV Fort +2, Ref +1, Will 3; Str 20, Dex8, Con--, Int--, Wis 1, Cha 1.

19 Corridor (EL 4)

The traps in this corridor will be triggered unless disabled.

Flame Arrow Trap: CR 4; +10 ranged (4d6); Search (DC 20); Disable Device (DC 20). Note 200ft max range, target determined randomly from those in its path.

Vorpal Scything Blade Trap: CR 4; +10 melee (1d8+2 19-20/x3 crit and vorpal effect); Search (DC 21); Disable Device (DC 20).

20. Hidden Corridor (EL 3)

This corridor is hidden behind an illusionary wall. Each person who falls into the pit trap is attacked by a spell storing needle trap (b) and may be attacked by the gelatinous cube that is hidden within the pit. Once a PC has fallen into the pit two brilliant energy arrows will be shot from the southern end of the corridor at any PCs who have not fallen into the pit.

Spell Storing Needle Trap: CR 2; +8 ranged (1, plus spell); Search (DC 22); Disable Device (DC 20). Note: The embedded spell is Blindness.

Ooze Pit Trap (20 ft. Deep): CR 3; no attack roll necessary (2d6); Reflex save (DC 20) avoids; Reflex save (DC 20) avoids; Search (DC 20); Disable Device (DC 20).

Notes: A pit (20' deep 10'wide and 10' long) is disguised with an illusion (Silent Image). Hidden in the pit is a Gelatinous Cube, which is waiting for someone to fall into the pit.

Brilliant Energy Arrow Trap: CR 2; +10 ranged, ignores armour (1d6/x3 crit); Search (DC 20); Disable Device (DC 20). Note 200ft max range, target determined randomly from those in its path.

21. Room (EL)

This room contains a large chest containing 9,000 g.p., and a wizard's magic book, with appropriate spells for a seventh level wizard. Open Lock (DC 15). The chest is trapped with a spell storing needle trap.

Spell Storing Needle Trap: CR 2; +8 ranged (1, plus spell); Search (DC 22); Disable Device (DC 20). The embedded spell is Chill Touch (1d6 damage, and 1 point of temporary strength, Fortitude save negates strength damage).

22. Horn Room (EL 2)

This room has 8 horns, one of which is a Horn of Valhalla. The other horns all have poisoned mouthpieces.

23. Burial Chamber (EL 8 or 16)

The burial chamber contains a large stone sarcophagus, which is protected by an antimagic field, which extends 5 feet from the sarcophagus, and a silence spell that prevents speaking within the room. If the seal on the sarcophagus is broken, the antimagic field is dispelled. Within the sarcophagus is the body of the deceased lich. As soon as the PCs enter the room they are attacked by Evard's black tentacles, magic missiles, and a shield guardian guarding the sarcophagus. If the PCs break the seal on the sarcophagus and have not yet destroyed the lich's phylactery, the lich will be released. If the lich's phylactery has been destroyed the sarcophagus will contain dust, shreds of rotting cloth, and the Crown of Undead Command. If the seal is broken and the phylactery has not been destroyed the lich will begin by animating several of the skeletons that are in the hallway and then attacking the PCs as his undead servants approach.

Evard's Black Tentacles: CR 5; 1d4+7 tentacles, 7hp each, +7 melee (1d6+4 damage) saves Fort+2, Ref+3, Will +7. Immune to spells which do not cause damage (except disintegrate).

Magic Missile: (1d4 missiles x 1d4+1 damage each). Each round 1d4 missiles are released and each missile attacks a random PC.

Shield Guardian: CR 8; SZ L Construct; HD 15d10; hp 82; Init +0; Spd 30ft.; AC 24; Atk: +16/+11/+6 melee (1d8+9 slam); SA: spell storing; SQ: construct, fast healing 5, shield other, guard, find master; AL N; SV: Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +5; Str 22, Dex +10, Con--, Int--, Wis 10, Cha 1. (The Shield Guardian does not have a stored spell).

Hotnon Draden the lich: CR 16; SZ M Undead; HD 14d12; hp 90; Init +6; Spd 30ft.; AC 17; Atk: +0 melee (1d8+5, touch attack. Will save DC 21 for half damage); SA: Fear Aura, Paralysing Touch, Spells; SQ: Undead type, Turn Resistance (+4), Damage Reduction 15/+1, Immune to cold, electricity, polymorph, and mind-affecting attacks; AL LE; SV Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +12; Str 10, Dex 14, Con --, Int 22, Wis 17, Cha 18.

Skills: Alchemy +23, Concentration +10, Craft (bookbinding) +15, Hide +10, Intimidate +9, Knowledge (Arcana) +23, Knowledge (Religion) +16, Knowledge (Nature) +16, Listen +11, Move Silently +10, Profession +15, Scry +16, Search +11, Sense Motive +11, Spellcraft +23, Spot +11. Feats: Brew Potion, Combat Casting, Craft Staff, Craft Wondrous Item, Forge Ring, Quicken Spell, Scribe Scroll, Silent Spell, Summon Familiar.

Spells

  1. Daze, Light, Detect Magic, Read Magic.
  2. Shield, Magic Missile (x2), Sleep, Chill Touch, Burning Hands.
  3. Web, Magic Missile (Silent x2), Ghoul Touch, Levitate, Invisibility.
  4. Stinking Cloud, Nondetection, Dispel Magic, Hold Person, Fireball.
  5. Charm Monster, Fire Shield, Ice Storm, Lightning Bolt (Silent), Lesser Geas.
  6. Cone of Cold, Magic Missile (Quickened), Animate Dead, Teleport.
  7. True seeing, Greater Dispelling, Chain Lightning, Permanent Image.
  8. Spell Turning, Control Undead.

The Crown of Undead Command

Hotnon Draden contrived this magical device just before his transformation. The item is constructed of several bones that have been magically warped into the shape of a crown. The wearer of the crown has an increased ability to create and control undead creatures, and has the following powers:

It continually casts Control Undead

It can cast Animate Dead twice per day at fifteenth level.

It can cast Create undead once per week at its owners level.

It can cast Create Greater Undead once per month at its owners level.

Once a person wears the Crown their eyes turn black and they are surrounded by a fear aura (similar to that of a lich). The Crown can be removed but the eyes and fear aura can only be removed with a remove curse spell cast by a good cleric of level 15 or higher. The curse of the Crown can not be transferred by someone else wearing the crown.

Undead are able to sense the Crown (active or not) if it is within 1 mile. Undead under 3 HD will flock to the owner of the crown while those above 5 HD will often scheme of ways to take the crown.

After the Tomb

The PCs will have trouble as long as the Crown is in their possession, with townsfolk (and PCs) fearing the wearer of the crown, and hordes of undead flocking to the unlucky PC.

Unless the PCs handle the situation quickly they will probably be seen as evil by the authorities and other adventurers. It is likely that the PCs would end up fighting powerful undead, NPC adventurers, and Paladins questing for the crown, along with being run out of every town they go to.

Appendix A

This article: "The Burial Tomb of Hotnon Draden", Copyright ©: 2002 by D. Andrew Ferguson, is a OGL 3.x Product.

The title "The Burial Tomb of Hotnon Draden" is Product Identity, all other material in this article is Open Game Content. Portions of this work are derived from the System Reference Document, Copyright © 2000 by Wizards of the Coast, and are used with permission.

OPEN GAME LICENSE Version 1.0a

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15 COPYRIGHT NOTICE
Open Game License v 1.0 Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc. System Reference Document Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. "The Burial Tomb of Hotnon Draden", Copyright © 2002 by D. Andrew Ferguson, first published by The Guild Companion (http://www.guildcompanion.com)

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