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🏔️ Dungeon23 - The Scarred Dwarfhold of Mel Garum

Level 15 - The Scarred Dwarfhold of Mel Garum

The dwarfhold of Mel Garum is an infected site, to see further details of what this means check out the overland map post.

Approx. 18 miles to the North-west of the [[Bandits Lair]] in a tall mountain range stands the once proud Dwarfhold of Mel Garum; in more peaceful times the Dwarves used to trade with the Elves and the Humans, being particularly known for their fine works mined from the precious Mithral of Dragontooth Mountains. In the last 50 or so years the flow of trade from the mines had dwindled, seemingly due to some sort of internal matter kept secret from those deemed outsiders.

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Why did the flow of trade stop? Fifty years ago the clan chieftain of Mel Garum Hedmuth fell ill, dying only recently; his son and successor Mandraen was not particularly well loved and was seen as being too enamoured of non-dwarven ways of life. Whilst many remained loyal to the line of succession, others banded together behind the leader of Mel Garum's armies, a well-loved warrior named Findorlum.

For the last few months a state of civil war has been occurring between the various levels of the fortress with the forces loyal to Mandraen and Findorlum fighting over them. This all came to a crashing end when the falling star passed overhead, a fragment of the star broke off and crashed into the fortress carving a huge wound in the side of the mountain. Both forces now find themselves assailed by infected animals and their brethren who have fallen to the disease.

Wandering Monsters

Roll 1D6 every other turn, there is a 1-in-6 chance of an encounter. Encounter distance, etc should be determined as normal using your system of preference.

1D6 Roll Encounter
1 1D3 Fungus Creatures
2 1 Fungus Phantom
3 1D6 Fungus Creatures
4 1D4 Dwarves loyal to Mandraen
5 1D6+1 Dwarves loyal to Findorlum
6 1D4 Small Herd Animals that have wandered in and got stuck in the fortress

Fungus Creature AC 8 [11], HD 2 (9 hp), Att 1d6, THAC0 18 [+1], MV 60' (20'), SV D12 W13 P14 B15 S16 (1), ML 12, AL C, XP 35

  • Guardians: Always attack on sight.
  • Initiative: Always lose (no roll).
  • Immunity: Unharmed by all attacks but fire (a burning torch does 1d4 damage).
  • Repelled by alcohol: Although not harmed by it, the creatures can be warded off by the smell or touch of strong spirits.
  • Spore cloud: 50% chance of releasing spores if touched (or damaged): releases a cloud of spores affecting all within a 10’ cube area.
  • Choking: Save versus death or die within 6 rounds.
  • Erosion: Wood or leather in contact with the mould will be eaten away.

Fungus Phantom These creatures are created from the memories of those infected by the star fragment and the spores of the mutated fungus, they are barely-sentient clouds of spores in the rough shape of a humanoid that are drawn to the heat of living creatures and sound.

Fungus phantoms are 10 x 10 ft clouds of spores, they do not have stats as such but anyone enveloped by the spore cloud must make a Save vs Death of die within 6 rounds.

Fungus phantoms can be warded off by fire, anyone covering their nose and mouth with alcohol-soaked cloth is immune to their effects.

Dwarves AC 4 [15], HD 1 (4 hp), Att 1 x weapon (1d8), THAC0 19 [0], MV 60' (20'), SV D8 W9 P10 B13 S12 (Dwarf 1), ML 8, AL N, XP 10

  • Hate goblins: Normally attack on sight.

Small Herd Animals (antelopes, deer, goats, etc) AC 7 [12], HD 1 to 2 (4 to 9 hp), Att 1 x butt (1d4), THAC0 19 [0]/18 [+1], MV 240' (80'), SV D12 W13 P14 B15 S16 (1), ML 5, AL N, XP 10/20

The Doors of Mel Garum

The doors in Mel Garum are made of stone an extremely difficult to force. Some doors will be locked and others barricaded (from both the opposing faction and the fungus creatures), you are free to decide or roll on the table below.

1D6 Door is...
1 Open
2-4 Locked
5-6 Barricaded

Locked doors require breaking down, doing takes 1D6+2 rounds per door and makes a lot of noise. Roll for a random encounter for each round that a PC is trying to break down a door.

Barricaded doors can be cleared but doing so takes 1D6 rounds per door.

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Location 1 - The Scar

Huge gouge (in the mountain made by the falling star). Impromptu entrance (open to the outside)

Yawning great hole

Where the falling star fragment ploughed into the mountain there is a great hole that drops down through several levels (to be revealed in future posts).

Location 2 - Collapsing Room

Unstable ceiling (dislodged by the impact of the star fragment). Dust and pebbles (constantly fall from the cracked ceiling).

Falling Roof

When a character enters this room there is a 2-in-6 chance that part of the ceiling will give way, dumping rock and stone on all present, causing each 1d10 damage (save vs petrification to avoid). This trap will only trigger once.

Location 3 - Reclaimed by Nature

Small stone chamber (now exposed to air). Occupied (by a small group of mountain lions who have made this chamber their home).

Mountain Lions

Mountain Lions AC 6 [13], HD 3+2 (15 hp), Att 2 x claw (1d3), 1 x bite (1d6), THAC0 16 [+3], MV 150' (50'), SV D12 W13 P14 B15 S16 (2), ML 8, AL N, XP 50

Number appearing: 1d4

  • Pursuit: Always pursues prey that flees.

Location 4 - News Station

Large stone dwarven face (with an open mouth carved into the western wall).

Status Update

Each turn that the players are in this room there is a 1-in-6 chance that a panicked dwarven voice issued from the stone face carved into the western wall.

The voice always says the same thing:

"The upper level is severely damaged following the impact and we are beset by devlish creatures that I fear are not of the weak pretenders design. If an of our kinsmen hear this, we are going to withdraw to the lower levels."

The voice is the last report of a the dwarven commander of the upper levels using a device made to store situation reports; if someone puts there mouth to one of the ears of the carved stone face and whispers a short message into it, their message will replace the current one.

Anyone placing an ear to the mouth of the face will automatically trigger the message.

Location 5 - Unstable Chamber

Cracked floor (damaged by the impact shock-wave).

Crumbling floor

The floor of this chamber is damaged and each time the players enter their is a 2-in-6 chance it will fall away dumping them down onto the next level (to be detailed in a future post).

Location 6 - Misty Room

Mist shrouded (damp entering the cave through numerous narrow cracks opened in the ceiling).

Location 7 - Watery Chamber

Dripping water (run-off from snow higher up in mountain). Cracked roof (allowing water through).

Location 8 - Empty

Large stone chamber (expertly carved). Open to the outside world (following the impact of the star fragment).

Location 9 - Fungal Battlefield

Large stone chamber (scenes of diplomacy and trade carved onto the walls). Littered with bodies (of rotting fungal creatures and fallen Dwarves).

Fungal Gas

Unless PCs are extremely careful as they traverse this chamber or when searching the bodies they have a 2-in-6 chance of disturbing one of the rotting fungal creatures and releasing infected, putrid gas from them; any PC exposed to the gas must male a Save versus Death or die within 6 rounds.

Searching the Dwarven bodies reveals 2 hand-axes, 2 suits of Dwarf sized chain, 1D6 rations (spoiled) and 2D20 GPs.

Location 10 - Occupied Pantry

Rancid smell (of rotting food and vegetation that litters the floor). Smashed remnants (of wooden shelves once mounted on the southern walls).

Fungus Creature

This was once a pantry where supplies were stored, it is now occupied by a fungus creature, an infected Dwarf who squats here amidst the filth.

Fungus Creature AC 8 [11], HD 2 (9 hp), Att 1d6, THAC0 18 [+1], MV 60' (20'), SV D12 W13 P14 B15 S16 (1), ML 12, AL C, XP 35

  • Guardians: Always attack on sight.
  • Initiative: Always lose (no roll).
  • Immunity: Unharmed by all attacks but fire (a burning torch does 1d4 damage).
  • Repelled by alcohol: Although not harmed by it, the creatures can be warded off by the smell or touch of strong spirits.
  • Spore cloud: 50% chance of releasing spores if touched (or damaged): releases a cloud of spores affecting all within a 10’ cube area.
  • Choking: Save versus death or die within 6 rounds.
  • Erosion: Wood or leather in contact with the mould will be eaten away.

PCs who defeat the fungus creature and search through the filth find the following (once possessions belonging to the infected Dwarf):

Location 11 - Shell-shocked Survivor

Dead fungus creatures (piled up in on the northern edge of the chamber). Make-shift barricade (of wooden furniture and other odds and ends in the southern part of the chamber).

Panicked Dwarven Warrior

Behind the barricade is Thrimbul, the last surviving member of a Dwarven patrol that was ambushed by fungus creatures. Although the creatures were killed only Thrimbul survived, he believes that he is going to die here and lurks behind the barricade with his crossbow determined to sell his life dearly, he is liable to shoot first and ask questions later when the PCs first enter this chamber.

Thrimbul (Dwarf) AC 4 [15], HD 1 (4 hp), Att 1 x weapon (1d8), THAC0 19 [0], MV 60' (20'), SV D8 W9 P10 B13 S12 (Dwarf 1), ML 8, AL N, XP 10

  • Hate goblins: Normally attack on sight.

Thrimbul has the following items with him (not reflected on his profile above):

Location 12 - Alarmed Room

Large angularly carved stone statue (of a fierce Dwarven warrior on a plinth in the centre of the room).

Alarm Statue

1D4 rounds after the PCs have entered the room, a loud voice from the statue will boom out in Dwarfish asking for the days pass-phrase.

If the PCs are not able to provide it then the statue begins to shout the following in a loud voice:

"INTRUDERS! THE UPPER LEVEL IS UNDER ATTACK!"

And will continue to do so every round until the PCs leave the room or speak the pass-phrase. Each round that the statue is shouting roll for wandering monsters.

Location 13 - Intersection

Battleground (a group of Dwarves and fungus creatures are fighting here).

Combatants

A squad of 1D6+1 Dwarves are fighting against 1D4 fungus creatures here.

Dwarves AC 4 [15], HD 1 (4 hp), Att 1 x weapon (1d8), THAC0 19 [0], MV 60' (20'), SV D8 W9 P10 B13 S12 (Dwarf 1), ML 8, AL N, XP 10

  • Hate goblins: Normally attack on sight.

Between them the Dwarves have the following:

Fungus Creatures AC 8 [11], HD 2 (9 hp), Att 1d6, THAC0 18 [+1], MV 60' (20'), SV D12 W13 P14 B15 S16 (1), ML 12, AL C, XP 35

  • Guardians: Always attack on sight.
  • Initiative: Always lose (no roll).
  • Immunity: Unharmed by all attacks but fire (a burning torch does 1d4 damage).
  • Repelled by alcohol: Although not harmed by it, the creatures can be warded off by the smell or touch of strong spirits.
  • Spore cloud: 50% chance of releasing spores if touched (or damaged): releases a cloud of spores affecting all within a 10’ cube area.
  • Choking: Save versus death or die within 6 rounds.
  • Erosion: Wood or leather in contact with the mould will be eaten away.

Location 14 - Empty Chamber

Location 15 - Empty Chamber

Location 16 - Bear Trap

Angry cave bear (wandered in through the opening in area 8 and got itself trapped in here).

Cave Bear

If the PCs open the door to the this chamber the bear will attack, however--if the way is clear--the GM should make a morale check for the bear each round, if it fails then it makes a break for freedom, ignoring the PCs

Cave Bear AC 5 [14], HD 7 (31 hp), Att 2 x claw (1d8), 1 x bite (2d6), THAC0 13 [+6], MV 120' (40'), SV D12 W13 P14 B15 S16 (3), ML 9, AL N, XP 450

  • Bear hug: If a victim is hit by both paws in the same round, the bear hugs for an extra 2d8 automatic damage.
  • Sense of smell: Poor eyesight, but keen sense of smell. When hungry, will follow a track of blood by scent.

Location 17 - Damaged Reporting Station

A huge stone Dwarven face (carved into the northern wall, it has been severely damaged during recent fighting, it is chipped and crumbling).

Damaged Carving

The damaged Dwarven face was originally designed to function in the same way as the carving in Area 4 but it is now damaged beyond repair.

Each turn the PCs are in the room there is a 2-in-6 chance that the statue broadcasts the land stand of a group of Dwarves who were slaughtered by fungus creatures in varying unsettling tones.

Location 18 - Spectral Chamber

Large blood-splattered chamber (littered with the bodies of armed Dwarves and fungal creatures).

Spectral Last Stand

Two groups of rival Dwarves were fighting in here where they were set upon and killed by rampaging fungal creatures, the event was so horrific that there is a 2-in-6 chance when the PCs enter they witness a spectral re-enactment (showing only the Dwarves, not their fungal attackers).

The spectres are unaware of the PCs and are insubstantial, they replay their deaths for 1D6 rounds before fading. If the PCs leave and re-enter the chamber there is a 2-in-6 chance the same events will play out again.

Location 19 - Raided Weapons Rooms

Small stone room (with shelves on the southern wall). Dwarf sized armour stands (that once held armour ready for battle).

Dwarven Warriors

A group of 1D4 warriors are in here equipping to join their fellows in area 13.

Most of the weapons have been removed but the GM is free to place what weapons and armour they see fit here for the players to find and use.

Location 20 - Dead drop

Cracked floor (unsteady and ready to give way).

Pit Trap

Each turn the PCs move in here there is a 2-in-6 chance that a part of the floor collapses opening a 20' deep pit beneath them.

Dwarven Corpse

Lying in the centre of the room is a dead Dwarf riddled with crossbow bolts (of Dwarfish manufacture).

On the Dwarf is a necklace of joined Mithril links worth 500GP.

Location 21 - Abandoned Chamber

Abandoned (when most Dwarves withdrew from this level, dropping some of their treasure in their rush to escape the fungal menace).

Discarded treasure

Location 22 - Empty Chamber

Location 23 - Dwarven Stairs

Hexagonal chamber (carved from dark grey stone). Large descending staircase (moving down to the next level - to be described in a future post).

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