Illustration by Adam Schmidt
4. The Ruined CommuneThis is the site of a massive excavation that appears to house the ruins of a communal village, it appears to have been shattered by a massive flood, of water, mud, and debris. Pools of muddy water glisten from light spilling down out of small holes in the ceiling that is further defused by strategically placed mirrors. 4 passageways lead off into fog-filled mines, and grinding sounds resonate from one of the two caverns ahead.
This area is a nexus of the various factions, and the area is hotly contested. Whenever the PCs enter this area roll a d6 on a roll of three or lower results in a random encounter. For every 15 minutes the PCs remain here roll the d6 again. If there is a loud battle also roll the d6 as some creature may come to investigate 1 minute later.
Perception or Survival (5): You discover a significant number of human-sized booted tracks from the northern entrance to this cavern to the southern passageway.
Perception (DC 15): You find the partial remains of many human females along with the rare human male.
Survival ( DC 20): You discover a small number of tracks from the northern entrance to this cavern leading to the southwestern passageway.
Perceptions (DC 25): You locate the intact remains of a human female. And a secret iron door with a stone veneer against just to the right of the entrance way (This leads to Area 5), the door is locked with average lock supported by an arcane lock (Disable Device DC 35, The medusa Charissa holds the key)
A successful Knowledge (dungeoneering) check (DC 15) allows you to easily determine that this room was destroyed when some underground basin of boiling water broke through one of the cavern walls and flooded large parts of the complex especially this cavern.
If the PCs have learned of the Empyrean Bastille’s distortions a Knowledge (dungeoneering) check (DC 25) reveals these distortions as the cause of the flood.
A use of speak with dead upon the intact remains can reveal what happened here as well as some of the history of the area up to DC 25 (See Adventure Background), though she will know nothing of recent events.
This area has been thoroughly looted, and staying her long eventually results in a random encounter but if you are persistent you will encounter the Black Mist that hides in the mud during the day.
Black Mist CR 13
mist elder black pudding
N Gargantuan Outsider (air, elemental, augmented [ooze], water)
Init –3; Senses blindsight 60 ft. Perception –5
AC 3, touch 3, flat-footed 3 (–4 size, –3 Dex)
hp 290 (20d10+180)
Fort +15, Ref +0, Will –2
Defensive Abilities air mastery, split, ooze traits, Immune gas, fog, and cloud-based attacks and spells. Resist cold 10, fire 10
Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee slam +19 (2d6+8 plus 2d6 acid plus grab)
Space 20 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks constrict (2d6+4 plus 2d6 acid), corrosion
Str 26, Dex 5, Con 28, Int —, Wis 1, Cha 3
Base Atk +15; CMB +27 (+31 grapple); CMD 22 (32 vs. bull rush, can't be tripped)
Skills Climb +11 Stealth +0, Racial +15 stealth
SQ ooze traits, suction
Acid (Ex) A black pudding secretes a digestive acid that dissolves organic material and metal quickly, but does not affect stone. Each time a creature suffers damage from a black pudding's acid, its clothing and armor take the same amount of damage from the acid. A DC 29 Reflex save prevents damage to clothing and armor. A metal or wooden weapon that strikes a black pudding takes 2d6 acid damage unless the weapon's wielder succeeds on a DC 29 Reflex save. If a black pudding remains in contact with a wooden or metal object for 1 full round, it inflicts 21 points of acid damage (no save) to the object. The save DCs are Constitution-based.
Air Mastery (Ex) Any airborne creature takes a -1 penalty on attack and damage rolls against black mist
Corrosion (Ex) An opponent that is being constricted by a black pudding suffers a –4 penalty on Reflex saves made to resist acid damage applying to clothing and armor.
Gaseous Form (Su): Black Mist can assume gaseous form at will. This ability works like the gaseous form spell, except a mist creature can remain in gaseous form as long as it wishes. Becoming gaseous or resuming its normal form is a move action
Split (Ex) Slashing and piercing weapons deal no damage to a black pudding. Instead, the creature splits into two identical puddings, each with half of the original's current hit points (round down). A pudding with 10 hit points or less cannot be further split and dies if reduced to 0 hit points.
Suction (Ex) The black pudding can create powerful suction against any surface as it climbs, allowing it to cling to inverted surfaces with ease. A black pudding can establish or release suction as a swift action, and as long as it is using suction, it moves at half speed. Because of the suction, a black pudding's CMD score gets a +10 circumstance bonus to resist bull rush, awesome blows, and other attacks and effects that attempt to physically move it from its location.
You can find the start of these encounters here in Area 1.