Tuesday, March 24, 2015

7. The Boiling Witch (CR 15 Encounter)

Illustration by Mark Hyzer

7.  The Boiling Witch

The fog filled corridor ends at a shaft with a mechanical iron seal, there are hand holds carved out of the rock that lead down into a large room.

It would require and immovable rod or a well-placed wedge like crowbar to prevent the seal from closing, if it fails to so it could lead to a boiling flood back into the corridor (see below). The iron doors here and in the next room, when shot are shut are subject to an arcane lock. They are 2 inches thick with a break DC of 38 (locked DC 20), a hardness of 10, and 60 hp.
In the center of the room’s floor is a boiling well of water. On the opposite side of the room is another shaft leading up with hand holds carved out of the rock.

See invisibility or similar magic
The well is illuminated by sickly green flamses under the water within you find the source of those flames a insubstantial specter with empty eye sockets and jagged teeth punctuating the palpable hate that roils off this twisted, gray-skinned crone.

Eria of Eldritchton has commanded Mabyrn, the Burning Silence to remain invisible inside the water of the well or inside its walls, unless the leaver above is in the “open” position. She will defend herself from inside the well but remember line of effect ends at the water’s surface. If she is sorely pressed in the well she retreats into the walls of the well she can return again later. Eria has forbidden her from manipulating the weather or summoning will-o-wisps.

Mabryn was one of the first of the Deathless Duke’s first adherents, until she died during the great flood becoming this horrible dark undead monstrosity, Eria was nearly destroyed in their first encounter but was beyond fortunate when she gained control of the creature, and uses her to defend this area. 

At the top of the second shaft is a mechanical iron seal and this time a large lever embedded in the floor right in front of where the fog starts up again along another corridor.

There used to be a guard on duty here that would throw the switch as soon as he saw a threat, but with numbers dwindling, Eria uses a triggered suggestion when someone not bearing Eria’s arcane mark leaves the shaft, that opponent must make a successful Will save (DC 26) or the suggestion causes the subject to pull the leaver. 

This room sits just above the boiling lake that originally flooded the great cavern. One of the Dissentients who died recently was a gifted engineer want to create a “boiling moat” originally but had to setting for a deadly defense instead. 

Boiling Water Flood          CR 10

XP 9,600
Type mechanical; Perception DC 30; Disable Device DC 35
Trigger manual; Reset manual
Effect boiling water floods the room; never miss; multiple targets (everyone in room); 10d6 fire damage per round plus drowning.

Once the leaver is pulled, the doors activate, closing and locking, while the boiling water starts surging into the chamber spraying up into the ceiling and cascading back down at a horrific speed. The boiling water covers the room to a depth of one foot in the first round. Each round thereafter, the boiling water’s depth increases by one foot until the room is completely flooded (including the shafts) with water 10 rounds after the trap is triggered.

All creatures in the room suffer 1d6 points of scalding damage (fire), those that are immersed, take 10d6 points of fire damage per round.  

The water’s flow can be stopped and the water drained out if he leaver is moved back to its original position this takes a Strength Check DC 25.


Mabyn, The Burning Silence    CR 14

XP 38,400
Witchfire Mute Hag
CE Medium undead (augmented [monstrous humanoid], incorporeal, cold)
Init +9; Senses blindsight 60 ft., scent; Perception +21

AC 28, touch 28, flat-footed 28 (+9 Dex, +9 deflection)
hp 203 (14d8+126)
Fort +8, Ref +18, Will +13
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +4, incorporeal, witchflame (DC 26), undead traits Immune fire  DR 10/cold iron and magic; Immune  acid, charm, cold, fear, fire, gaze attacks, sleep; SR 22

Speed fly 60 ft. (perfect)
Melee incorporeal touch +23 (14d6 fire plus witchflame)
Ranged witchflame bolt* +23 (14d6 fire plus witchflame)
Special Attacks command will o’ wisp (DC 26), shaping touch, witchflame (DC 26)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 14th; concentration +18)
Constant—detect good, detect magic, detect thoughts (DC 19)
At will—contagion (DC 22), cure light wounds, dancing lights, diminish plants, ghost sound (DC 19) inflict light wounds (DC 20), invisibility, minor creation, poison (DC 22), pyrotechnics, ray of enfeeblement (DC 20) 
3/day—bestow curse (DC 22), blindness/deafness (DC 21), empowered cone of cold (DC 24), crushing despair (DC 22), silence (DC 21)
1/day—control weather, Summon (level 4, 2 will-o’-wisps 50% 1/day)

Before Combat Mabry is a patient opponent using guerrilla tactics and often prefers to attack from stealth and use ranged sniper tactics, in combination with her invisibility, silence, and her ability to travel through objects incorporeally.
During Combat Mabry attacks from a distance wearing her opponents down, if forced into combat she always combines her assault with a touch attack spell-like ability she prefers to leave opponents alive, disfigured, diseased, poisoned, sickened, and cursed rather than killing them herself she allows the water to kill them if she has too. .  
Morale When outmatched, Mabry flees via flight and invisibility often taking advantage of her ability to fly into objects.

Str -, Dex 29, Con -, Int 20, Wis 19, Cha 28
Base Atk +14; CMB +14; CMD 33
Feats Alertness, Blind-Fight, Combat Casting, Empower Spell-Like Ability (cone of cold), Great Fortitude, Persuasive, Toughness
Skills Bluff +19, Craft (leather) +16, Diplomacy +23, Heal+12, Intimidate +26, Knowledge (arcana) +11, Knowledge(history) +19, Knowledge (local) +11, Knowledge (nature) +11, Perception +21, Sense Motive +18, Sleight of Hand+16, Spellcraft +16, Stealth +23
Languages Aklo, Common, Draconic, Giant, Goblin, Sylvan (cannot speak)
SQ blind and mute, change shape (any humanoid, alter self )

Special Abilities
Blind and Mute (Ex): Mute hags tear out their eyes and tongues, leaving them blind to life's joys and incapable of sharing their sorrow. A mute hag is immune to gaze attacks, and cannot use spell completion or command word trigger magic items.

Command Will o’ Wisp (Su): A witchfire can automatically command all normal will o’ wisps within 30 feet as a free action. This functions as a dominate monster (DC 26) Normal will o’ wisps never attack a witchfire unless compelled.

Shaping Touch (Su): The touch of Mabyn twists flesh like clay. As a full-round action that draws an attack of opportunity, mabyn may change the appearance of a helpless victim. The effect acts as a permanent alter self spell. Unwilling victims may resist the transformation with a DC 26 Fortitude save. A mute hag allowed to work for 10 minutes may also increase a victim's age category by one step; doing so does not grant mental ability score boosts but does inflict physical ability score penalties as normal. Creatures that are affected by this power or successfully save against it cannot be affected by Mabyn's shaping touch for one month. The DC is Charisma-based.

Witchflame (Su): Any creature damaged by the incorporeal touch or ranged bolt attacks of a witchfire must succeed on a Will save (DC 26) or become engulfed in sickly green flames. While these eerie flames deal no additional damage, the affected creature glows as per faerie fire and gains the sickened condition. While under the effects of the witchflame, the victim also gains vulnerability to fire weakness (taking half again as much damage (+50%) from fire attacks of any sort). This effect persists for 14 minutes. The supernatural flames can only be extinguished before this duration expires by a break enchantment, miracle, remove curse, or wish spell—the effective caster level of the witchflame is 14. Any creature entering the same square as a witchfire or striking it with a melee attack must succeed on a Will save (Same DC) or begin burning with witchflame, even if it would not otherwise harm the witchfire because of its incorporeal nature. 

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

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