Last Updated: December 16, 2013
Encounter Area 1
"Receding into the base of the cliff wall at this point is a dark earthen tunnel with piles of rocks and dirt strewn about the opening. Along the cliff face to the east of this entrance and approximately ten feet up from the ground, a second opening is plainly visible atop a small ledge. The shore of a small lake lies roughly thirty-five feet from the cave entrance."
Unless otherwise noted, all passageways and chambers within the caves are 7 feet high and lined with packed earth.
Chrystal Chernov usually posts two of her zombie guards at the entrance. The zombies will not bother anyone prominently displaying unholy symbols of Cyric unless ordered to attack directly by Crystal Chernov. Any disturbance in this area is likely to be noticed by anyone in area 3. This is more to keep natural animals from investigating the cave, then it is to provide actual protection from a determined invader.
Encounter Area 2
"This large chamber is approximately twelve feet high. The floor here is matted with straw and dried grass. The passage narrows again and continues to the north. To the east, a rougly carved stairway ascends into darkness."
The larger cavern section to the west is used as a makeshift stable for those members who have mounts.
Encounter Area 3
"The ceiling in this area droops to a height of five feet before the cave opens onto a southwest-facing ledge in the cliff overlooking the main entrance. This shelf provides an excellent view of the nearby lake and the trail along its western side. An uneven stairway descends from the back of this chamber toward the lower passage to the west."
Two members of Cyric's Squad can be found here on look-out duty at all times (except for Crystal Chernov of course, such duties are beneath a high priestess of Cyric). If intruders are spotted, one will stay and see how the intruders fare against the zombie guards in area 1, while the other goes off to warn the rest of the members in the cave complex. Once the intruders enter the cave, the one who stayed behind will attempt to sneak down and follow the intruders in from behind, waiting for an opportunity to strike from their rear flank.
Encounter Area 4
"The tunnel winds gradually down a handful of roughly hewn stairs before widening into a level area and continuing on to the north. The floor here is matted with straw and dried grass, and the earthy ceiling rises to twelve feet"
Trap: The straw lining the floor of area is a crude attempt to conceal a 10-foot-deep pit.
Rock-Lined Camouflaged Pit Trap: CR 2; mechanical; location trigger; manual reset; DC 20 Reflex save avoids; 10 feet deep (1d6, fall); multiple targets (first target in a each of two adjacent 5-ft squares); sharp rocks (Atk +10 melee, 1d4 sharp rocks per target for 1d4 damage each); Search DC 18; Disable Device DC 15.
Two more of Crystal Chernov's zombie guards stand ready along the eastern wall. Noise of a fight may draw the attention of anyone in area 5 who might be there. The zombies will not bother anyone prominently displaying unholy symbols of Cyric unless ordered to attack directly by Crystal Chernov.
Encounter Area 5
A narrow fissure in this cavern's fifteen-foot-tall stone ceiling allows the smoke from a large fire pit in the center of this chamber to vent. A makeshift wooden table with four chairs are set up near the firepit, while a crude bench is used for food preparation. Niches carved into the rock walls are lined with a variety of storage containers and cooking supplies. Animal skins hang as curtains over passages to the south and southwest. To the east, another tunnel leads down a flight of stairs. A fourth passage heads off to the to the northwest.
This cavern area is used as a central place to prepare and eat meals. Food is stored in Area 7. Roll 1d6-2 to determine how many of the group might be eating a meal here at any given time.
Encounter Area 6
A set of widely spaced steps winds up into this room. A heap of fine furs lies in the northeast corner, while a crimson rug covering the much of the floor appears to have been cleaned recently and the furs are arranged in an orderly fashion, making a makeshift bedding area.
This cavern is used as Thosk and Zora Marag's quarters. It has the items listed as "in room" that appears on their character sheets. Although clean, the rug and furs are of little to no value, being fairly worn down.
Encounter Area 7
This forked cavern area appears to be used for the storage of goods and supplies. An assortment of crates and barrels hug the wall; some of them standing open and empty, while others are stacked neatly. There is a main passage that seems to continue at a level grade to the northeast, while another branch snakes downward along a set of roughly carved stairs to the west.
There is enough food stock stored here to feed a dozen people for a tenday.
A successful Listen check (DC 10) allows someone to detect the faint rumble of water from the depths of the western passage.
Encounter Area 8
"As this tunnel proceeds deeper into the ground, the packed soil floor gradually gives way to shale rock steps and the air and walls become noticably moist. The faint but ummistakable sound of falling water echoes up from the darkness below"
The damp rocks near the lower end of the passage are slippery enough that a careless step could send a character plummeting down into the watery cave. Characters descending the stairway must make a successful Balance check (DC 13). Failure by 5 or more results in a fall and a slide the rest of the way down to Area 9. This tumble inflicts 1d6 points of nonlethal damage. A subsequent Reflex saving throw (DC 15) allows a falling character to recover at the base of the stairs; otherwise the trip ends with a 10-foot fall into the water below for an additional 1d6 points of non-lethal damage.
Encounter Area 9
"The constant thunder of a ten-foot waterfall at teh northwestern end of this humid cavern fills this chamber with sound. A ledge of weathered shale along the eastern side overlooks a deep-looking subterraneon pool. A steady inflow of water from a narrow fissure feeds the cascade and the pool, but no exit channel for the pool is visible. The only other entrance appears to be a natural staircase of rock the climbs away to the north."
The water filling this cave flows out through a channel at the bottom of the pool (marked with an "X" on the map). Although the pool is only 20 feet deep, the current near the underwater outflow is fairly strong. Anyone who approaches the deepest part of the pool (a depth of 20 feet) risks being pulled into the channel. A successful Swim check (DC 15) avoids this fate. Medium or smaller sized creatures caught in the current are carried 120 feet downstream at a speed of 60 feet per round before emerging at the bottom of the lake outside of Cyric's Cave. A larger creature or object that gets trapped by the current won't fit through the channel, and instead plugs the only outlet for the pool. (STR check, DC 28, to become free). If the outlet remains obstructed (either by a creature or a large piece of debris, such as a boulder) the cave begins filling with water. Within a few hours, the water level climbs as high as area 7; within a day, the entire complex could be flooded and uninhabitable.
Pinned under a collapsed piece of the rock ledge in the shallow southeast end of the pool are the skeletal remains of a goblin who fell to his death fetching water. A tattered leather neck-purse still contains 6 gp and a watertight Vial of Silversheen.
Encounter Area 10
"A mix of wretched and nauseating odors rises from a gaping ten-foot-deep pit dug into the floor of this area. At the bottom, a greenish muck of decomposing waste contains what appears to be a mix of bones, entrails, and other unidentifiable debris. Two earthen stairways wind up toward the west from the north and south ends of the chamber"
This is a refuse pit. Any injured character coming in contact with the pit's content risks a serious case of filth fever (fortitude DC 12; incubation 1d3 days, damage: 1d3 DEX, 1d3 CON). Because of the disgusting stench, the members of the Cyric's Squad have not searched the pit. If they had, they wood have discovered that the goblins who used to live in these caves left the gnawed remains of two travellers, one with a broken copper brooch with the inscription "Goodspeed, fair Aylssyn" (1 gp value). A dead goblins corpse conceals a small silver dagger (22 gp value) tucked inside its garments. If desperate, Crystal Chernov could always try to animate these corpses, if she were to find them (but hasn't yet).
Encounter Area 11
"Piles of rubble and chunks of masonry choke this low passage, which appears to have been recently excavated. A very dim flickering light filters into this area from a gap in the north wall. The area beyond appears to be fashioned of carved stone. From this point, the debris-filled passage follows a crude earthen stairway down to the southwest and along a level grade back to the southwest."
The tunnel at this point is only 5 feet high.
Encounter Area 12
Part of this chamber is partitioned off by some drapes and used as Kolmarr's quarters. It has the items listed as "in room" that appears on his character sheet.
Encounter Area 13
"This large chamber is softly illuminated by four flickering torches mounted in sconces in the four corners of the room. The chamber is a symmetrical octogon-shaped space. Along each of the main walls to the north, south, east and west, short flights of stairs ascend to a set of double doors carved out of the same bluish stone that makes up the rest of the chamber. All the door surfaces are pitted and scarred with cracks and chips. Dominating the center of the room is a serene twenty-foot-diameter pool of clear liquid. The water seems to reflect and amplify the flickering torch light, casting an ever-shifting pattern of luminescence on the vaulted ceiling thirty feet above."
The four sconce-mounted torches are everburning torches worth 110 gp each.
The pool in the center of the room is 10 feet deep. It is a magical scrying pool, which is built into the floor of this chamber and can't be removed from this location. Anyone peering into the water is able to spy upon the surrounding countrside to a range of 5 miles as if affected by a greater scrying spell cast be a 15th level wizard. The exception is that the viewer need not target and follow an individual; any location within range may be viewed instead, and the magical sensor created by this viewing can be maneuvered at a fly speed of 50 ft (perfect) or relocated at will. Additionally, water from this pool acts as a potion of clairaudience/clairvoyance (caster level 15) if consumed, though this magical quality fades an hour after the water is removed from the pool.
Cyric's squad uses the pool to scout out targets within the area that would present a good opportunity to loot and kill. They will also use it to scout around their base, looking for any potential threats in the area, so they can react accordingly.
Crystal Chernov posts four of her skeletons, which are controlled by the Necromancer's signet ring, in each corner of this chamber by each torch. The skeletons will not bother anyone prominently displaying unholy symbols of Cyric unless ordered to attack directly by Crystal Chernov.
Crystal Chernov also posts any remaining zombies (usually "Tank") to guard the door to Area 15. The zombies will prevent anyone other then Crystal and Grigor from entering Area 15. Note that the door to area 15 is locked and trapped, see below for details.
Loreal's undead minions stand guard outside the door to Area 14. They will prevent anyone other then Loreal or Randal from entering Area 14.
Encounter Area 14
This chamber is used as Loreal and Randal's quarters. It has the items listed as "in room" that appears on each of their character sheets.
Encounter Area 15
This chamber is used as Crystal and Grigor's quarters. It has the items listed as "in room" that appears on each of their character sheets. It also has the items listed as "disguise tools" from Crystal's character sheet.
Trap: Anyone who tries to open the locked door to area 15 (Open Lock DC 25), without using the brass key carried by Crystal, triggers an ancient trap.
Burning Hands Trap: CR 2; magic device; touch trigger; automatic reset; spell effect (burning hands, 12th level wizard, 5d4 fire, DC 11 Reflex save for half damage); Search DC 26; Disable Device DC 26.
Encounter Area 16
The members of Cyric's Squad have concealed each of their "emergency packs" inside the marble sarcophagi in case they are hard pressed and need to make a quick get-away (Spot DC 15 to notice the packs if just passing through, taking time to search will automatically find them). The set of stairs lead up to a secret trapdoor (Search DC 25 to find from the outside; locate automatically from inside) that is on the hill above where the old wizard tower used to be.
Crystal Chernov posts two of her skeletons in this chamber, which are controlled by the Necromancer's signet ring, so as to guard their "backdoor" and escape route. The skeletons will not bother anyone prominently displaying unholy symbols of Cyric unless ordered to attack directly by Crystal Chernov, but will clang their weapons on any nearby hard surface if anyone goes up or down the stairs, regardless of any unholy symbols worn, so as to alert anyone in area 13 that someone is there.
Cave complex evolved from "Unfamiliar Ground" in Dungeon Magazine 119.
Return to Cyric's Squad page.