White Valley of Slaughter - The Tomb

Having explored the chalk slopes of the valley and braved the Whispering Hollows caves of the White Valley of Slaughter, it's time to find out what lurks in the Hero's Tomb.

Onwards...

From our earlier map generation we know the layout of the tombs, and the "Crypt of the Bull" would fit with the other names of our dungeon.

We can summarise it in a brief description...

"The Crypt of the Bull was built by the survivors of the Slaughter of the White Valley, to honour the sacrifice of the hero who swung the battle for the defenders of the Chalk Shrine. Alongside it were built wards and traps to deter the curious"

"The tomb is an eerie and strange place, filled with the bones of those who have attempted to loot or explore the place, with many wards and traps twisted by the demonic power of the Chalk Shrine."

We want to include..

  • Old traps and wards, some changed by the energy of the demonic shrine
  • The Chalk Shrine, the demonic shrine the hero guards and the iron doors that protect it
  • The tomb of the hero
  • The skeleton of the minotaur hero still protecting the tomb
  • The treasure hidden in the "armoury"
  • Dead cult members and other explorers

Bridge of the Tomb

The bridge is the main way from the Whispering Hollows to the Crypt of the Bull, and is meant to be a major hazard in the adventure.

So a couple questions come to mind.

  • What is the bridge over?. Maybe a chasm, an underground river, or a larger part of a treacherous cave...
  • What is hazardous about the bridge? What makes it dangerous, maybe it's near to falling down, has some wards to it or forms the first part of the defence for the Chalk Shrine.

As I nothing impressive had presented itself for the tomb itself I decided to make the bridge a central part of it.

Hazard. Over a steep-sided chasm would be a ghostly bridge to an archway dug into the opposite side. Those wishing to cross could use the rickety remains of a wooden bridge or ropes, while attacked by spirits from the archway tomb.

Tomb Bridge. The bridge could be made solid by a ritual in the Whispering Hollows, remaining so as long as a candle was burning. The spirits would leave those crossing alone and in the bridge would be a secret staircase leading down to the actual tomb of the hero.

Room Descriptions

Over the bridge can be found rooms to fill this map

Tomb of the Hero

From our generated room details we have the remaining room ideas

  • "Bleeding walls: If healed/wrapped will help PCs"
  • "Wild Magic zone, currently home to a living spell"
  • "Gravity pulls toward west wall. displacer beast"
  • "Illusionary bottomless pit"
  • "Scriptorium"
  • "Rune that paralyses with a staggering, true revelation"
  • "Four-armed gorilla enters your dreams if slain"
  • "Mirror maze makes magic missile monstrous"

We can also modify the following room description for the caves

"This room is dimly lit by candles placed all around the room. It's a dusty, rectangular room about 20 feet by 10 feet. The hewn stone walls here surround a natural stone floor. You see a maple desk, and a maple desk."

Makes a fairly good first start for the scriptorium.

"This room is brightly lit by large skylights. It's a blood-spattered, narrow room about 80 feet by 10 feet. The hewn stone walls here surround a dirt floor. You see a tool bench, a water-filled trough, a weapon rack, and a workbench."

Would work as an entrance-way to the tombs from the bridge.

"This room is pitch black. For just a moment, you can see nothing, hear nothing, feel nothing, taste nothing, and you're not even entirely sure who you are. It's a quiet, narrow room about 20 feet by 5 feet. The brick and mortar walls here surround a stone tile floor. You see a hearth in the centre of the room, and a balcony."

Well the balcony can lead back to the chasm and maybe this could be the site of a false tomb.

And from the **dungeon dressing" we have can include objects and a description.

The Rooms

We need about ten descriptions for our map

General Features. Many of the rooms here are cumbling, and filled with mosaics of twisting mazes and intricate patterns. Anyone pressing deeper into the tomb feels a strange fear and sense of uncertainty.

  • Bridge Tomb. The steps lead down to a chamber covered with the images of battle, depicting scenes of a minotaur slaying many bulls and humans bearing horned standards. Names of dead line one wall and there is a plaque telling of the minotaur hero who lies here. The stone coffin is open and empty. A blanket lies in the tomb, marked with charcoal runes made by the hero.
  • Entrance Chamber This long ten-foot wide chamber brightly lit by magical torches, it is blood spattered with hewn stone and a dirt floor. Against the side of the chamber are a tool bench, a water-filled trough, a weapon rack, and a workbench."

A couple of false tombs to distract from the main tomb are next.

  • False Tomb Antechamber. This room has a altar to the local sun god with old offerings of a a hogshead, a barrel of wine and some rotten scraps of food. Inscriptions mark this as the tomb of the hero.
  • False Tomb. This room is pitch black. Those entering for a moment can see nothing, hear nothing, feel nothing, taste nothing, and are not entirely sure who they are. It's a quiet narrow room with tiled floor. In the centre of the room is a brick fire pit with bones that are said to belong to a hero but actually belong to a bull. A balcony leads to a small chasm or to a chute leading to the main one.
  • Cultist Tomb Antechamber The walls here have human bodies chained, tied or spiked to them, in varying states of decay, and the walls are covered in dried blood. Some of the bodies are moving. These are the spirits of cultists who investigated the tomb, bound by the power of the tomb or the Chalk. Those cut down will thank PCs and tell them what they know of traps and the tomb before their spirit goes to rest.
  • Cultist Tomb. A bottomless pit blocks the path, but it is merely an illusory trap for a false tomb. Beyond a giant skeleton sits surrounded by the skeletons of long dead cultists. The spirit of the hero animates it and it will defend it's tomb against those seeking treasure or the Chalk Shrine. Those bearing the runes of it's blanket may convince it to let them go further. A stone tablet indicates this is the resting place of the hero.

A few wards and traps warped by the demonic power of the Chalk Shrine are next

  • Chaos Magic. Arcane runes twist and writhe on copper bands running around the room. Any magic used here may be twisted by wild magic and the pool of water lining the bottom is in fact a living spell of an elemental twisted with a cone of cold and fog cloud that does it's best to defend these chambers.
  • Gorilla Statue. A four armed gorilla statue originally marked another defence of the tomb, but this has been possessed by a demon from the Chaos Shrine that attacks any entering the chamber and beyond. If slain the spirit will haunt the one who kills it, as a demonic four-armed gorilla appearing in their dreams. An opened jar of ash lies on the floor, human bones beside it.
  • Warped World. The very world is warped by the iron-sheeted wall that borders the Chalk Shrine here. Gravity pulls toward the west wall where a workbench sits on it and a spirit of one of the chalk figures manifests as a displacer beast. There is a prism here that if placed in the Bridge Tomb will slowly restore the wards and reduce the power of the Chalk Shrine.
  • Scriptorium An old sofa sits here among candles placed all around the room. On the far side are two maple desks filled with scrolls and inks. It is here that the deeds of the hero, the Slaughter of the White Valley and the tomb are recorded. A great magic no longer required by the hero is kept here such as an amulet granting the protection of the chalk giants and bronze bracelets that grant the strength of a bull.

And last we come to the rooms of the Chalk Shrine

  • Mirror Maze This room is sheeted in reflective metals and surfaces and a few sticks lie on the floor and no obvious exits. Those looking into the mirrors eventually get drawn into a strange maze embedded in the walls and followed by the sound of a jingling bell. Those closing their eyes are struck by a barrage magic missiles. Those who find their way through the maze find themselves in the Chalk Shrine antechamber, those lost too long find themselves by the Tomb Bridge. Anyone focusing on the stick or the sound of the bell find it easier to navigate.
  • Shrine Antechamber There are few sticks and a bottle here, anyone who has got this far without meeting the hero at least once will alert him of their presence and he will make his way towards the maze. A vast metal door blocks the path, covered in ash and soot, somehow untouched. There is a rune covering the door, which causes the door to flicker occasionally. Anyone trying to open the handle is pulled into the mirror maze. Anyone touching the door or the rune senses a great evil beyond and a fiery ward. If they accept danger of the flame and chaos beyond then the doors open in a burst of fire and the shrine lies open to them.
  • Chalk Shrine This is a simple cave covered in demonic chalk figures, it's power strong enough that others could only contain it. From here it's up to your players if they try to harness it's corrective demonic powers, seal it up once more or try to destroy it forever...

Loose Ends

Well that's the tomb dealt with, finally we'll need to wrap up some loose ends next time....