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    Bad Times in the Good Hills
    Posted on Mon, February 16, 2004 by Legate
    cwslyclgh writes "I have seen a lot of requests for adventures and modules recently, so i thought I would make a short one and place it on canonfire for the communities use. I based the format for the adventure on the 1st edition Book of Lairs (also used for the adventure cards in FtA and CoG), although the adventure itself is a 3.5 edition adventure. I am interested in hearing what you think of my adventure, so please comment and critique it.

    Bad Times in the Good Hills
    By: cwslyclgh
    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

    Bad Times in the Good Hills

    By. C. Wesley Clough


    Terrain: Hills (the Good Hills, between Cryllor and Flen)
    Average Party Level: 8th

    Set Up

    · A band of malicious trolls has been terrorizing the small gnome communities that sprinkle this part of the Good Hills. The party has gotten wind of the problem and has come to put an end to it.
    · For the last several months merchants and travelers between Cryllor and Flen have been coming up missing more and more often. A merchant consortium in one of the two cities is willing to pay up to 1,000 gold lions to those responsible for putting an end to the danger.
    · While traveling in the Good Hills the party comes across the fresh remains of a destroyed merchant wagon.

    The Lair

    Namnug was born a normal Ogre Mage in the lands of Iuz, far to the north of the Good Hills. A normal life was to elude Namnug however. While still young, an evil wizard in the employ of the Old One named Enal Relyt, captured him and subjected the Ogre Mage to brutal and horrific magical experimentation designed to make a better class of troops for Iuz?s armies. Enal Relyt found a way to merge the essence of a troll with Namnug?s body and spirit, thus creating a horrible monstrosity. Before the foul mage could judge the success of his experimentation however, a group of goodly adventurers attacked his hidden lair and Namnug managed to escape in the confusion. Fleeing as far as he could from the lands of Iuz, the now half-troll Ogre Mage finally stopped running when he encountered a group of trolls in the Good Hills. Using his magical abilities and intelligence Namnug managed to win himself a place in the troll pack, and through cunning and guile eliminated all of the female trolls that were already established as the packs leaders. After the females were gone Namnug managed to convince the male trolls that he was the best leader they could hope for, and he has been leading them ever since. Recently Namnug and his band discovered a cavern overlooking the main road between Flen and Cryllor. More importantly in the central cave they found a small muddy fountain that gushed forth magical waters? any creature drinking from the fountain gains a powerful resistance to the affects of fire (fire resistance 15) for the next four hours after the drought is taken. Realizing how much less vulnerable this made his troll followers Namnug immediately set out to plunder the surrounding area.

    Death on the Road

    No matter the hook that brought the characters here the first sign that the party will see of the trolls is when they come upon the remains of a merchants wagon on the road between Cryllor and Flen. A cloud of crows will rise, cawing raucously as the party approaches the site. There are two bodies here, less then two hours dead, torn and battered by the troll attack. The wagon has been smashed and thoroughly looted. There are no horses in evidence (the trolls took the horse bodies as well as a living prisoner back to their lair as future meals) nor any indication of what, if any, cargo the wagon was carrying. A very careful search (DC 20) will find a small amethyst (worth 60gp) hidden in the hollow heel of one of the dead merchants boots.

    The trolls, dragging two dead horses, made no attempts to hide their trail and can be easily tracked (DC 10). The trolls made their way into the hills to the east of the road, and follow a winding path that leads back to their cavernous lair. It takes about half an hour to track the trolls to the cave.

    The Entrance

    In the side of a rocky cliff at the base of a hill the party will see a large cave opening. Namnug has been spectacularly unsuccessful at convincing his followers of the need to post a guard out by the cave mouth, so there will not be one present when the party shows up. If characters approach the cave entrance they will smell a foul odor wafting out of the cave (trolls are not sanitary creatures), and characters who stop to listen might be able to hear the trolls in the chamber beyond conversing amongst themselves in their bastardized dialect of giant (Listen DC 20).

    Beyond the cave entrance is a short, wide tunnel that leads to an outer chamber, past this outer chamber is another short tunnel that links to a larger central chamber with two more small sub chambers branching off of it.

    The Outer Chamber

    There are always 2 trolls in this room, and they will viciously attack anybody that they detect coming down the entrance tunnel. Any combat here that lasts over 3 rounds will alert the rest of the complex unless it is conducted in complete silence (such as under the influence of the spell of the same name). If the complex is alerted one of the trolls from the central chamber will arrive to investigate on the fifth round of combat. Characters using fire against the trolls will be in for a big surprise, as all of the trolls in the caverns, as well as Namnug have taken drinks from the fountain recently (and thus have resistance to fire 15, in addition to their normal special qualities).

    The chamber is messy, with gnawed bones and rent pieces of clothing and armor scattered in the corners. There is nothing of value to be found in the room, however.

    The Central Cavern

    This cavern houses the fountain of fire resistance, and is where the bulk of the troll band spends most of its time. When the characters initially enter the caves, Namnug is in this chamber with 4 trolls. If the complex is alerted he will send one of the trolls to investigate and then use his invisibility spell-like ability and fly up to near the ceiling over the entrance. He will try to use his cone of cold as soon as the party exits the tunnel from the entrance chamber, trying to catch as many party members as he can with it before the trolls charge into combat. Then he will remain aloft flying back toward the center of the room and fire his bow at enemies that seem to be hanging back from melee (such as spellcasters). Namgun will only enter into melee if forced to do so, if he does he will attack with his claws and fangs much more like a troll then an ogre mage. If sorely wounded Namnug will not hesitate to use his gaseous form ability and escape through several small cracks in the ceiling, abandoning his treasure and followers in order to save his own life, in a case such as this he will almost certainly try to find some way to get revenge on the characters in the future. Aside from his bow and arrows, the only thing Namnug has on him is a key (to the chest in his room) which he wears on a leather strap around his neck.

    This room is just as filthy as the outer chamber, with bones and refuse littering the corners. Again there is no treasure of any value to be found here, as Namnug keeps the treasure he collects in his own sleeping area.

    The Fountain of Fire Resistance

    This natural spring is in the center of the central chamber; it spews a fountain of muddy water into the air that falls into a shallow pool that then drains away through cracks in the floor. Only taking a drink from the jet of water itself has the magical effect, the water loses its potency once it hits the pool or is taken away from the jet for more then a single round in any container. The water is muddy and has a strong chemical taste, anybody drinking directly from the jet of the fountain must make a fortitude save (DC 11) or be nauseated for 1d6 rounds (a nauseated character is unable to attack, cast spells, concentrate on spells, or do anything else requiring attention. The only action such a character can take is a single move action per turn). Whether or not the saving throw is successful the drinker will gain fire resistance 15 for the next 4 hours.

    Trolls Larder

    The first sub chamber of the central room is a fairly long and narrow room that the trolls use as a larder. If searched the character will find several gnome bodies in various states of decay, the two dead horses, and an unconscious but still living human man. The man is a merchant from Cryllor, one Dlanor Orwyt (Male Human Expert 2) by name, and he will be very grateful for being rescued. If escorted back to Cryllor he will gladly reward his rescuers with 500 gp worth of gems. Also in the larder are more of the ever-present piles of bones and refuse as well as a forgotten treasure that Namnug somehow overlooked. Buried under some bones in the back corner of the room (Search DC 15) is a leather belt pouch that contains 12 gp, 4 pp, and a potion of blur in a small, stopped steel vial.

    Namnug?s sanctum

    The second sub chamber is closed off from the central chamber by a large curtain of smelly, untanned bear hide. Beyond is a smaller circular chamber that Namnug has claimed as his own. The half-troll Ogre Mage?s room is much cleaner and more sanitary then the rest of the lair, lacking the piles of refuse and bones that are littered through out the rest of the caverns. A bed of sorts has even been constructed of scavenged boards and bits of silk and cloth taken in raids. Several still sealed crates are near the curtain, obviously having recently been put inn here. The crates are the cargo that Dlanor and his companions were taking to Flen, and contain a total of 200 pewter mugs that can each be sold for 6 sp. Dlanor would very much like to get his cargo back if at all possible. Nearer to the ?bed? can be found Namnug?s great iron chest, the chest itself weighs in excess of 800 pounds, not counting the weight of anything stored inside, Namnug generally has two trolls carry it when the band is on the move. The chest is locked (Namnug has the key) and trapped. If the lock is picked or forced with out first disarming the trap several poisoned darts will fly out in all directions when the lid is lifted. This does not happen if the key is used to unlock the chest. Inside of the chest is the treasure that Namnug has collected in the raids: 170 cp, 2,113 sp, 1,560 gp, 81 pp, 18 gems (1x8gp, 4x10gp, 6x50gp, 4x100gp, 2x500gp, and 1x620gp), a potion of Foxes Cunning, and 2 divine scrolls (one has 2 cure light wounds spells on it, and the other has an align weapon spell on it).

    Poison Dart Chest Trap: CR 4; mechanical; location trigger; manual reset; Atk +10 ranged (1d4 plus poison, dart); multiple targets (fires 1d4 darts at each target with in 10 feet of the chest); Search DC 20; Disable Device DC 20. Poison (Giant Wasp Poison, DC 18 fortitude save resists, Initial and secondary damage 1d6 dex)

    Monster Stats

    Troll:
    CR 5; Large Giant; HD 6d8+36; hp 63; Init +2; Spd 30 ft.; AC 16 (-1 size, +2 Dex, +5 natural) Touch 11 Flat-Footed 14; Atk 2 claws +9 melee (1d6+6), bite +4 melee (1d6+3); Space/Reach: 10 ft./10 ft.; SA Rend 2d6+9; SQ Regeneration 5, scent, darkvision 90 ft.; AL CE; SV Fort +11, Ref +4, Will +3; Str 23, Dex 14, Con 23, Int 6, Wis 9, Cha 6.
    Skills and Feats: Listen +5, Spot +6; Alertness, Iron Will, Track.
    Rend (Ex): If a troll hits with both claw attacks, it latches onto the opponent?s body and tears the flesh. This attack automatically deals an additional 2d6+9 points of damage.
    Regeneration (Ex): Fire and acid deal normal damage to a troll. If a troll loses a limb or body part, the lost portion regrows in 3d6 minutes. The creature can reattach the severed member instantly by holding it to the stump.

    Namnug (half-troll/ogre mage): CR 10; Large Giant; HD 5d8+30; hp 52; Init +4; Spd 40 ft., fly 40 ft. (good); AC 19 (-1 size, +1 Dex, +9 natural) Touch 10 Flat-Footed 18; Atk 2 claws +10 melee (1d6+8) Bite +5 melee (1d8+4); or Masterwork Composite Longbow (+5 strength bonus) +4 ranged (arrow 2d6+5/ x3); Space/Reach: 10 ft./10 ft.; SA Rend (2d6+11), Spell-like abilities; SQ Scent, Darkvision 90 ft., lowlight vision, Fast Healing 5, Regeneration 5, SR 19; AL NE; SV Fort +10, Ref +2, Will +5; Str 27, Dex 12, Con 23, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 15.
    Skills and Feats: Concentration +12, Listen +8, Spellcraft +7, Spot +8; Improved Initiative, Iron Will
    Rend (Ex): If Namnug hits with both claw attacks, he latches onto the opponent?s body and tears the flesh. This attack automatically deals an additional 2d6+11 points of damage.
    Spell-Like Abilities: At will?darkness, invisibility; 1/day? charm person (DC 13), cone of cold (DC 17), gaseous form, polymorph, sleep (DC 13). Caster level 9th. The save DCs are Charisma-based.
    Flight (Su): Namnug can cease or resume flight as a free action. While using gaseous form he can fly at his normal speed and has perfect maneuverability.
    Regeneration (Ex): Fire and acid deal normal damage to Namnug (although note that his fast healing ability will heal fire and acid damage at a rate of 5 points per round as long as he is alive). If Namnug loses a limb or body part he can reattach it by holding the severed member to the stump. Reattachment takes 1 minute. If the head or some other vital organ is severed, it must be reattached within 10 minutes or he dies. Namnug cannot regrow lost body parts.

    Equipment: Namnug has a (ogremage sized) Masterwork Composite Longbow (+5 strength bonus), a quiver of 20 arrows and the key to his chest.

    "
     
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    Re: Bad Times in the Good Hills (Score: 1)
    by Abysslin (abyss@canonfire.com) on Tue, February 17, 2004
    (User Info | Send a Message | Journal) http://www.canonfire.com
    Nice Wes, At first I was worried I'd have PCs loading up their wineskins with fire resistance liquid, but you took care of that leak.

    This lil adventure has everything, a trick, a trap, some hack & slash, a villian, and a reward. Seems perfect for a side adventure when a group only has a few hours to convene.

    I may adapt it to my Northern campaign once my PCs reach sufficient level for a time constrained instance, myself.

    As you know, I'm a little apprehensive of 3rd Ed. (and its half-breeds) but converting backwards is relatively simple with a little intuition.



    Very Nice (Score: 1)
    by Greyson on Wed, February 18, 2004
    (User Info | Send a Message) http://www.donkbrown.com
    I like this short adventure a lot, for the same reasons Abysslin indicated above. I like the premise, background, location and the configuration of the bad guys - especially Namnug. I think that Bad Times in the Good Hills is a lot better than the Cliffhangers at WotC.

    This is a great example of a 3.5 Ed. Adventure Card, Wes. Very nice.



    Re: Bad Times in the Good Hills (Score: 1)
    by Rostoff on Sat, May 15, 2004
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    Overall a very strong piece. A challenging and fun Adventure. I only have one ticky-tacky complaint about it. Namnug killed off ALL the females of the tribe??? Even trolls have to reproduce, and this group would be extremely tense in these conditions. Like I said, one very minor complaint about a very well done article.



    Re: Bad Times in the Good Hills (Score: 1)
    by DMShrauger on Tue, November 16, 2004
    (User Info | Send a Message | Journal)
    This is a good solid Adventure. The Villain is challenging and the PCs definatly have to work hard to get any reward out of this quest. The concept of enhancing well known monsters by minimizing their weaknesses is very underused yet makes perfect sense. Like Achilles having the sense to put on an armored boot or something. My only complaint is that the dungeon is too simple. I like a good dungeon crawl even though it is not everybody's cup of tea.



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