This adventure takes the map I drew ages ago and scanned as “The Reeking Hole” in March of 2012 and turns it into a nasty little adventure. This adventure also uses the Gibbering Mouther character class that I posted a while back.
This adventure also marks the first time I’ve statted a Labyrinth Lord adventure with ascending AC notation (since some old school RPGs use such instead of the traditional descending AC system). This is indicated in [square brackets] after the AC notation of the creature in question. Obviously, ignore this if you like your AC old school.
This mini-dungeon was originally written to be dropped into an overland adventure or sandbox. It is best for a party of characters in the range of levels 5-7. You will want to increase or decrease the servants of the devourer based on how well the party can handle the challenge. Never be afraid to throw another half-dozen servants of the devourer even in the middle of the final encounter as they rupture their way in from the walls, ceiling and floor.
The whole “random hole in the sandbox” thing not working for you? I understand. There are times when it feels way cooler to have a reason to explore the Reeking Hole than just curiosity. Some parties skip 99% of the cool encounters you have set up for them in a sandbox environment anyways.
So here are a few ways to get the party interested in the hole:
• Myths & stories about a local “fountain of youth” or other magical pool found in the area.
• Searching for an adventurer that was looking for said magical waters and has since gone missing.
• Seeking the dark blessings of a forgotten god whose shrine is in this hole.
And for lower-level parties, give them a treasure map to something hidden in the hot spring itself that they need… and then they need to get in, get the object, and leave before the devourer gets hold of them.
The Reeking Hole
The reeking hole is one of several caves in the forested hills along the valley edge. Most are shallow caves and small limestone gullies, but the hole is obviously the source of the stench. Anyone with a modicum of experience with battlefields or butchers will recognize the mix of excrement and rotting flesh blasting forth from the hole.
The reason the smell seems to be venting from the hole so aggressively is the hot spring in area 4 producing a constant current of hot air and accelerating the decay of the corpses in that area.
1. The Reeking Hole – One of a half-dozen small caves in the hillsides, this particular cave has a hot humid stench emanating from it.
2. Marked Fork – a red handprint has been painted on the natural stone pillar here, with an arrow drawn beneath it pointing towards area 8. The painted marking is quite old, at least a century (and was drawn to mark the way to the shrine in area 10)
3. Thieves in the Dark – A pair of red ape ghasts (AC: 4 , HD: 5+1, hp: 24, 30, Atk: 2 claws (1d3+1), 1 bite (1d6+1), Mv: 150 (50), Sv: F5, M:9, Special: those within 10’ must save versus poison or the stench causes a -2 penalty on attack rolls; hits require a save vs paralysis to avoid being paralyzed for 3d6 turns) lurk here with two corpses they stole from area 4.
4. Place of Dead Souls – The cave floor is 15 feet below the two entrances and is covered with the rotting corpses of red apes, baboons, and other wildlife. All the corpses are covered in human-sized bites, and their skulls have been violated, typically via the eye sockets or nose, and the brains removed. Millions of beetles and flies crawl over the field of bodies. At the back of the cave is a bubbling sulfurus hot spring keeping the temperature hot and pushing the stink out into the world. The skeletal remains of several corpses lie in the spring, a few covered in yellow crystals. One of the oldest skeletons, submerged 20 feet below the bubbling scum of fat and decomposing fluids atop the spring water, is that of an elven adventurer, still wearing a silver helm that grants the wearer the ability to cast light 3/day and feather fall 1/day. The incredibly hot water deals 1d8 damage per round spent within it. Each turn spent within this cave there is a 50% chance of an encounter. Roll 1d3 –
(1) d2 scavenging red ape ghasts from the left tunnel (use stats from area 3)
(2) d4+1 scavenging ghouls from the left tunnel (AC: 6 , HD: 2, Mv: 90 (30), Att: 2 claws (1d3), 1 bite (1d3), Sv: F2, M:9)
(3) d6+1 servant troglodytes from the right tunnel (use stats from area 9)
5. Chamber of 3 Fears – the stone doors leading to this chamber are both sealed with old crumbly clay and wax. The three walls that don’t have a door are decorated with mosaics of foul mutants of chaos. The left wall depicts a mutant warrior in heavy armour burning a city. The far wall is of a mutant sorcerer standing on a pile of dead humans and elves. The right wall depicts a priest of chaos summoning forth a miasma of darkness (the arrow slit / window to area 4 is in the middle of this miasma). Attempting to touch any of these mosaics requires a save vs spells for each mosaic, if one is failed, no further mosaics can be touched. Upon touching a mosaic, a second save vs spells is required, failure or success determines whether the effect is beneficial or harmful. The warrior grants +/- 3 to melee damage rolls. The sorcerer grants +/- 3 to all saving throws. The priest grants +/- 1 on all reaction rolls. The effects remain for 3d30 days.
6. Body Drop – Too lazy to dump all the bodies into area 4, many are piled up here by the servants of the devourer.
7. Infested Hole – A morass of sticky slime molds and insects infest this room. Any attempts to dig through this mess requires a save vs poison to avoid a horrible and terminal disease that deals 2d12 damage per day.
8. Eyes in the Wall – Three starving watchers (level 4 Gibbering Mouthers – AC:2 , HD: 4, hp: 15, 19, 24, Att: 5 bites (1), Mv: 30 (10), Sv: GM4, M:8, Special: Drooling, Ground Control, Screaming) hide in the walls of this room that have been converted into a rubbery morass by their ground control powers. They are hungry because the alien hunger will not allow them to eat the corpses it has stolen the brains from.
9. Troglodytes – Six humanoid servants of the devourer wait on it’s call in this cavern. Each has had it’s brain removed and replaced with an infant gibbering mouther (1 hp). They are treated as tough troglodytes (AC: 5 , HD: 3, hp: 21, 14, 10, 15, 18, 14, Att: 2 claws (1d4+1), 1 bite (1d4+1), Mv: 120 (40), Sv: F3, M:10, Special: Stench) in all ways. Two of the troglodytes wear heavy golden necklaces set with large pieces of jade worth 1,500 gp each.
10. Shrine of the Forgotten – A statue and altar to a forgotten extradimensional evil are both set at weird angles into the floor of this cave.
11. Hole of Eyes – An alien hunger (level 8 Gibbering Mouther – AC:0 , HD: 8, hp: 49, Att: 9 bites (1d2), Mv: 30 (10), Sv: GM8, M: 10, Special: Drooling, Ground Control, Screaming, Gibbering, Maddening) fills much of this room in a mass of eyes and mouths. It is consuming the brains from all who are brought to it, seeking a way to escape this world. It will be especially happy to see sentient creatures in it’s domain… Ensconced in the walls of this room are strange lumps containing 4 troglodytes (see area 9) and 2 watchers (see area 8) waiting to erupt at the call of their alien master.