Monday, March 23, 2015

6. The Brazen Pit (Encounter CR 9)

Illustration by Claudio Pozas

Areas 6-24

 The Dissentients control this area, they are all that remain of a group of family members of adherents and a number of ex-adherents of The Deathless Duke, who arrived on the day of the great flood to rescue members of their family. They have since been driven to the depths of despair by the spells of Rhys Larkchild and from watching The Deathless Duke rise up alive and unhurt out of the great flood. This despair has worsened in the isolation, so that they are now both incredibly paranoid and delusional. Their nominal leader Eira of Elditchton, mounts occasional raids to kidnap the duke’s adherents and undo the spells and brainwashing of The Deathless Duke’s loyal followers, with little success. They use hit and run tactics because while without hope they are not stupid, and understand they are far outnumbered. PCs may try to find allies here but the Dissentients are consumed by parinoia, seeing the PCs as either disguised adherents or another group attempting a power grab.
The Dissentients have trapped every corridor here with lethal traps so that they can find safety behind these bulwarks to perform their deprograming in relative safety.
Eirs of Eldritchton has grown so paranoid she even suspects that some of her fellows are spies sent by the duke. Before leaving she stole a number of guards and wards scrolls (see Area 18) she uses one each day, but only has 6 remaining.  Its effects cover D6 through Area 23 with particular effects listed individually in each room.

Due to the guards and wards
Detect magic: 1st rd: magic is always present here, 2nd rd: strongest magic radiates from everywhere, 3rd rd: everywhere radiates moderate abjuration.

Timeline: Sometime during Day 2 the GM should have the sappers in Area 25 break through the wall to Areas 21- 23 , The Stone Giant Karl leads is forces from Area 25 along with a jotun taskshaper, 2 destrachans, and 3 jotun sappers, killing anyone they find there, leaving four stone giant guards. Sometime during Day 6 the GM should have the Stone Gaint Karl’s forces invade Eira’s sanctuary killing everyone there.  If the PCs kill the giant Karl before this the Dissentients make the breach and use it to mount one last ditch raid sometime during Day 6.   

Illustration by Tadas Sidlauskas

Area 6. The Brazen Pit

This 10’ wide, mine corridor is filled with fog, you cannot see more than 5’ in front of your face.

Once you have advanced 25’ make a Perception check
·       DC 15: you feel a warm draft coming from up ahead, can hear the sound of stamping hooves, and the snort of some animal echoing in the corridor.  
·       DC 30: You notice hand and foot holds have been carved into the rock on the eastern wall and hole in the ceiling.

Detect magic: (If you have advanced 25’) 1st rd: magic is always present here, 2nd rd: strongest magic radiates from the floor (two auras) 3rd rd: the floor radiates strong transmutation, everywhere radiates moderate abjuration.

30’ feet down the corridor The Dissentients encountered a permanent distortion in gravity cause by the Empyrean Bastille, and have turned it into a pit trap to defend their layer, when the adherents of the Deathless Duke loosed a brazen bull into these tunnels it became trapped and the Eira of Eldritchton decided it could serve as part of their defenses.

Using its scent ability the brazen bull will uses its breath weapon on anyone who attempts to cross “over” the 40 wide “pit” as it is extremely frustrated at being trapped and also quite hungry for pain and death.

Anyone who does not bear Eira’s arcane mark passes the trap here triggering a magic mouth which shouts “Dissentients be warned, intruders at the brazen pit!” 3 times. This is part of the guards and wards spell, as such it cannot be detected or disarmed.   This will alert the Dissentients in Area 21.

Reverse Gravity Trap        CR 8

Type magical; Perception DC 32; Disable Device DC 32
Trigger constant; Reset none
Non-flying unattached objects and creatures in the area to fall upward suffering 4d6 points of damage from the 40’ “deep pit” and likely hitting the brazen bull (25% chance).  An Acrobatics check DC 15 reduces the fall by 10’ (making the damage 3d6), A successful Reflex save DC 27 results in you being able to grab hold of one of the hand holds on the eastern wall.  If you hit the brazen bull it suffers 1d6 points of damage and you take 1d6 less, but it does attempt to use its absorb special ability immediately.
Disabling this trap or dispelling it, causes the Brazen Bull to fall down from overhead, taking 4d6 falling damage.
It’s a DC 25 climb check to climb out of the pit.

This bull-like creature seems to be made of interlocking bronze plates, a glow bright red light escapes from between the gaps. Faint plumes of black smoke puff from its mouth and nostrils.

Brazen Bull  CR 8

XP 4,800
Variant Gorgon
LE Large magical beast
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +17


AC 20, touch 9, flat-footed 20 (+11 natural, –1 size)
hp 100 (8d10+56)
Fort +13, Ref +6, Will +7
Immune cold, fire


Speed 30 ft.
Melee gore +14 (2d8+7), 2 hooves +9 (1d6+3)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks breath weapon (60-foot cone, 8d6 fire, Ref DC 21 halves), trample (2d8+10, DC 21)


Str 24, Dex 10, Con 24, Int 2, Wis 16, Cha 9
Base Atk +8; CMB +16; CMD 26
Feats Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Perception)
Skills Perception +17

Special Abilities

Absorb Foe (Su) A brazen bull can try to absorb an opponent it successfully hits with a gore attack, up to one size smaller than itself, into its interior by making a successful grapple check (it gains a +4 bonus, this does not provoke an attack of opportunity). This creature is only partially absorbed and can still escape as a standard action with a successful combat maneuver (grapple) or Escape Artist check (DC equal to the brazen bull’s CMD). An opponent partially absorbed into the brazen bull’s interior suffers from the grappled condition (the brazen bull is not considered grappled) and suffers from its heat ability. If a brazen bull begins its turn with an opponent partially absorbed (or fully absorbed) in its body, the creature suffers from its heat ability and it can attempt a new combat maneuver check as a swift action (as though attempting to pin the opponent). If it succeeds, that opponent is paralyzed (or pinned if it is immune to paralyzation) and begins to suffocate. A Large brazen bull’s interior can hold 1 Medium, 2 Small, or 8 Tiny or smaller creatures.
Heat (Su): An enraged brazen bull generates heat so intense that anything touching its body takes 8d6 points of fire damage. Creatures striking a brazen bull with natural attacks or unarmed strikes are subject to this damage, but creatures striking with melee weapons are not. The heat can melt or burn weapons; any weapon that strikes a brazen bull is allowed a DC 21 Fortitude save to avoid taking damage. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Brazen bulls are sadistic creatures often mistaken for bronze constructs. They like to target smaller and weaker creatures, absorbing them, and fleeing until that creature suffers a horrible painful death. Brazen bulls derive sustenance from the pain and death of those they absorb.

You can find the start of these encounters here in Area 1.

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