This is it, the last part of the last section of this article. Time to make a dungeon!
So, we know a dungeon has four parts:
1. Interesting Encounters:
For this, we have:
A) Mirror World
B) More Skeletons
D) Boss Fight
For this, we have gold, and more importantly, bad-ass sentient armor.
This we already covered in the previous article, but to summarize, this dungeon will serve as the sewer system where the skeletons hide out and further the interplanar aspect of the storyline.
We should a number of random, unimportant pieces to the dungeon, which will serve to enrich the experience.
So, the encounters:
A) Mirror World: In the dungeon, there will be a mirror, and as soon as the player gazes at it, they will be transported to another world. When they are there, the mirror shatters behind them. I’m going to include a puzzle here for interest—the player will have to put back together a tangram-esque puzzle I cut apart.
*This is strictly a roleplaying encounter. The player will be in a small room, the only light coming from a dim twilight glow that seems to permeate the walls. Across from the mirror they came through is a suit of Armor. Now, it would seem too obvious to have just the armor be the relevant piece—so I’ll also add a painting on the wall, and a desk with three drawers.
The painting is reminiscent of St. George and the Dragon, except it is very clearly a female knight and she is pricking the dragon with the thorns of a rose. The desk’s drawers contain a journal, emptiness, and a dead rat from top to bottom.
The journal is moldy and partially gnawed through. It contains three barely legible entries, and many illegible ones. The first details how the author believes the gnome housekeeper wishes to wed him, though he has no feelings for gnomes. The second details how the Halfling butler the author hired to replace the housekeeper is worse than the gnome, because he hits on the author even more. The third one just says: “It is finished. We have hope.”
Once the player tries on the armor, it adjusts to fit the player. It explains that it is incomplete, but it has synchronized with its chosen bearer. It will talk to the player, but doesn’t know much. It can, however, mend the mirror if the player reassembles the pieces, allowing the player to escape. It is otherwise just a +2 suit of full-plate armor, though it explains that if it can access the rest of its memories by visiting “archives” it will be able to unlock additional functionality. Unbeknownst to the player, the armor is a weapon designed by an old, legendary artificer as his final work. It was designed to allow the wearer to combat the Lillithians and pose as the final blow to the monsters. If this adventure becomes a campaign, this armor will become very important.
B) Night of a Thousand Skeletons: In reality, there will really be only 40, but they will come in waves—first four, then six, then 8, then 12. The next wave will arrive after the player defeats all or most of the first. This will be a protracted encounter, but most of them will do minimal damage and will go down in one hit. It should have a very exciting, atmospheric impact on the player, however. After defeating all the skeletons, the player can find that they had 400 gold worth of medallions, trinkets, and gems amongst them.
C) Watcher: This will be an encounter against two to three of the Watchers. They aren’t excruciatingly strong, but should prove dangerous with their ability to paralyze an enemy. This encounter could go easily or go very badly. The Watchers have a total of 30 platinum pieces on them.
D) Boss Fight: This was already detailed. This will be the finale of this dungeon. The reward will be a gem that Necrothis has buried in his chest. This gem will be absorbed by the armor the player found in the mirror world, unlocking the armor’s first ability—the ability to use False Life on the wearer once per day.
You can draw a map for the dungeon, but since I want the sewer system to be vast for such a large city, I’m going to run this similar to how I would a forest-based dungeon. I’ll just describe the encounters as the player reaches them, with some general semblance of directional search to make progress—I may involve some checks for the player to not get lost, unless they employ some measure to find their way back, a la Hansel and Gretel.
When the dungeon is complete, the skeletons stop coming. What happens then? Well, that will depend much on how they arrived at the dungeon and what they seek to do afterward. If the player seems interested in continuing, then they may be encouraged to seek out the archives, with Leonarraza’s guidance. Or they may just turn the armor over to her, go home, and call it a win, if they don’t feel like continuing. Or they may find themselves suddenly hunted by Watchers, because Yixixzizrick wants them dead and is manipulating Cashton, convincing the leader that the player is the reason for the undead attacks.
However it plays out, it should be interesting. Feel free to run the adventure yourself—let me know how it turns out if you do, or let me know what you thought of this article! It’s been a long ride—hope you enjoyed it.
The latest version of Legend of Luth is available for download here.
All images, writing, characters, artwork and related indicia are (c) Earl Isbell
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