Out of the Abyss

(Jeff_L) #1

When intruders appear. the cultists cease their
chanting and take up positions along the edge of the
platform as Grula-Munga rises to her feet and picks up
her weaponl>. At the same time. the cultist standing next
to the cage releases the death dog. arrak continues hls
part in the ritual until the characters kill the death dog
or one of the cultists. at which point he joins the banJe.
The door to the death dog's cage is held shut with a
~•mple clasp and requires an action to open.
If any of the quasits escaped from area 11. they warn
the cultists that intruders are near. Otherwise. the
C'haracters might catch the cultists by surprise. The
quasits remain invisible and stay close to arrak.

Fungi is rampant throughout this area. growing in large
patches on the floors and walls.
Two thick fungi patches grow by each wall in the
western tunnel. Clinging to the north wall is a sbrieker
rhat party members can recognize with a successful
DC 12 l ntelligence (Nature) check. The shrickcr starts
,creaming as soon as anyone comes within 30 feet of it.
The crack in the floor by the cast wall is surrounded
) a thick fungus patch that is difficult terrain for Small
~nd Medium characters, and provides half cover for Tiny
reaturcs. Growing among tht> l'ommon fungi are 2d6
igwigs and 2d6 pygmyworts.

.,.he cavern floor rises to form a natural 5-foot-high
•latform. A glowing ritual circle dominates the top of
ne platform. Any non-derro that enters or touches the
ircle must succeed on a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw
•r gain one level of madness (see ''Madness .. in chapter

  1. Whether the save succt>eds or fails, the creature can't
    .e affected by the circle in this way again. In addition.
    110n-evil creatures within the circle have disadvantage
    •n attack rolls and saving throws.
    The statu<' within the ritual circle is 2 feet tall. weighs
    !00 pounds. and looks vaguely like a crouching stone
    ~iant with a lump on its neck where a second head is
    beginning to form. The statue is engraved with profane
    ... ,mbols, with the name "Dorhun" scribed in Dwarvish
    ~to its back. A successful DC 16 intelligence (Arcana
    r Religion) check allows a character to recognize the
    nrofane symbols as being related to Dcmogorgon.
    A search of the platform uncovers a similar but broken
    ,tatue near a locked iron chest and a pile of books
    ... ee ~Treasure .. for more information on the chest and
    b .aks). The broken statue is similar to the statue in
    rl e circle. except it has the name "Rihuud .. carved into
    x-. back and its second head is fully formed. If Rihuud
    .... dead. the broken statue turns 10 dust when the
    aracters touch it. 1 f the characters spared Rihuud's
    life. a successful DC I 2 I ntclligence (Arcana or Religion)
    check reveals that the second head is a conduit for the
    urse·s magic. and that removing it and returning it to
    ">tOnespeaker Hgraam in Cairngorm Cavern will allow
    tte elder giant to end Rihuud's curse.

The tunnel west of this cavern contains a hidden pit (see
.. Sample Traps" in chapter 5 of the Dungeon Mascer's
Guide). Debris conceals the lid. which is made of thin
zurkhwood that breaks when a creature weighing 50
pound~ or more steps on it. (A character of reduced
size might not weigh enough to break the lid.) The pit
is 10 feet deep. and its floor is CO\'Crcd by a patch of
green slime (see ''Dungeon Hazards .. in chapter 5 of the
Dungeon Master's Guide). Any creature that falls into
the pit takes ld6 bludgeoning damage and automatically
fails its Dexterity saving throw to avoid the slime.

If the characters return the broken statue (or. at the
very least. its second head) to Stonespeaker Hgraam,
he gives them an emerald worth 500 gp as a reward, as
wel-l as his promise to vouch for them in anything they
seek to accomplish in Gracklstugh.
Narrak has a key around his neck that opens the lock
on the iron chest. which can also be picked with thieves'
tools and a successful DC 17 Dexterity check. The
chest contains a jar of Keoghtom's ointment and a small
leather bag containing 45 gp and IS sp.
The books have pages made from trillimac caps (sec
"Fungi of the Underdark" in chapter 2). They contain
the mad scribblings of Narrak and his fellow dcrro
savants. A character proficient in Arcana, Investigation.
or Religion can spend 8 hours poring through them:
subtract ld4 hours if the character reads Dwarvish.
At the end of this time. the character knows that the
books outline two rituals: one that causes a one-headed
creature to sprout a second head, and another that
allows the grafting of a severed head onto a living
creature. The notes fail to mention that the ritual's
caster must be suffering from some form of madness to
perform either ritual successfully.
Tucked in one book arc two scrolls: one that bears
a list of six stone giant names (including Rihuud's and
Dorhun's) and another that is actually a letter written in
broken Dwarvish:

Need more scrolls! Stonespeaker Hgraam has traps traps
traps. But Droki IS wily too and very small! I can hear talk,
and in talk they say names, and I hear names and write
names and g1ve you names so you give me time. But you
have to g1ve me more scrolls. Magicky spelly scrolls!

Award 100 XP to each character for discovering
Demogorgon's influence on the cultists.
The characters can complete a quest by turning over
the books. scrolls. and letter to Errde Blackskull. Award
150 XP to each character when they deliver the items.
If the characters ask Errde about Narrak. she tells them
that he was a junior member of the Council of Savants.

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