Desert Hold of the Dawn Fish
By Lloyd Metcalf
A BX / Labyrinth Lord adventure for 4-6 players level 2-3
This is the initial unedited release of a series of installments as time permits that expands and creates this mysterious dungeon that revealed itself in the desert. It’s written VERY loosely with few descriptions or hand-holding. Consider this the "rough sketch" of an adventure. I hope to maximize GM imagination and offer a canvas with a few “blotches” to get adventure ideas started for myself and others.
This is being written with ZERO plans or outlines, it’s strictly an exercise in creativity. I started by pulling in some random elements and maps. The set up is just that the sands of the desert revealed the Desert Hold of the Dawn Fish. This hasn’t gone through Scott or anyone else as the editor, and is not play tested. Thank you for your support and feedback going forward. Upper tier patrons receive a more organized PDF, Basic Patrons only have this content in blog format. All rights reserved by Lloyd Metcalf Inc. Not for commercial use or republication without permission.
The giant shark-like entrance to this mysterious hold exposed itself in the desert after a series of strong sand storms, or perhaps, since the truth is unknown to anyone, less natural means. Only the eldest of the local nomads recall scant rumors about what the hold's purpose was or who the mysterious cult members were who built it.
Encounters in the Hold of the Dawn Fish levels 1-2
Once every three turns there is a 1 in 6 chance of a wandering encounter in the hold. Aquatic beings here swim through the air as if in water and appear semi-translucent. They may appear to swim out of walls, ceilings, or floors. Their attacks are very real, even if their appearance is a bit ethereal.
ENC 1 Bull Shark
#Enc 1d4, Align N, Move 180’(60’), AC 4, HD 2, Attack 1 bite, Damage 2d4, Save F1, Morale 7, XP 29
ENC 2 Mako Shark
#Enc 1d2, Align N, Move 180’(60’), AC 4, HD 4, Attack 1 bite, Damage 2d6, Save F2, Morale 7, XP 135
Enc 3 Giant Scorpion
#Enc 1d2, Align C, Move 150’(50’), AC 2, HD 4, Attack 3 Claws, sting, Damage 1d10 x 2 / 1d4 poison (save or die), Save F2, Morale 11, XP 190
Anytime a claw successfully hits, the sting attack gains a +2 bonus to hit.
Enc 4 Giant Eel
#Enc 1d2, Align N, Move 180’(60’), AC 6, HD 3, Attack 1 bite / rend, Damage 2d4, Save F2, Morale 8, XP 135
Once a giant eel hits on a bite, its inner jaws grip the prey solidly. On the following round the eel twists and thrashes prey in an attempt to rend edible pieces from the victim. This causes an automatic 2d4 damage and a save vs. death to escape the hold and avoid having whatever the eel bit, being ripped off or a large piece removed.
1. The Gaming Elf
This chamber contains the statue of young elven man holding aloft a white stone chess piece, a queen, and it glistens slightly against any light that enters the room. Turning the piece counterclockwise a half turn, liberates it from the statue. The chess piece is forever sticky, as if it had a residue of honey on it that never wipes off. Wiping or washing the piece, even magically, only temporarily relieves the sensation.
The chess piece acts as a wand that casts slow (Reverse of Haste) with three charges remaining. With each charge used, the piece becomes slightly less sticky to the touch.
2. The gate
To the south stands a scorched double iron gate. Each with a keyhole surrounded by an octopus shape. Opening one of the gates without the other opens a rift, through which 1d4 ten-foot tentacles thrust and attack attempting to drag mortals to a watery plane of existence. If nothing is within their reach, they retract until a living creature is again detected.
#Enc 1d4, Align N, Move 0, AC 6, HD 2, Attack 1 grasp / crush, Damage 1d6+1 /round, Save F2, Morale 12, XP 29
Once grappled, a tentacle will continue to crush the victim (automatic hit once grappled) for 1d4 rounds. At the end of that time, or the victim is dead, the tentacle pulls the victim to an other-worldly plane of water.
3. The Last Song
A minstrel or bard met their end in this room long ago. The dried husk of a corpse is torn in two, its hand clutches a fish-shaped key (Gate in area 2).
4. Pillared Hall
This hall with eight pillars lining the east and west walls was once a grand entertainment hall.
The room contains a broken fishing basket holding a fish-shaped key (Gate in area 2). Scattered about the room are: 870 sp, 178 gp, 10 pp, cleric scroll Find traps, Dagger +2
5. The Opponent
This room contains the statue of a dwarf holding aloft a chess piece, this chess piece is a black queen that, like its counterpart, glistens and is sticky as in area 1.
Turning this piece, a half turn does not, however, liberate the piece. It instead looses a web spell filling the room with webs as the web spell.
Roll immediately for random encounter when the trap is sprung.
Down to Level 2
I may revisit this one later with a level 2, 3 or beyond, but don’t wait for me.
Add your own level here revealing a little more about the mysterious aquatic creators. What do the “gamers” have to do with this place? Why are these creatures appearing from the watery planes? What treasures lie below?