Out of the Abyss

(Jeff_L) #1

experience a vision of a journey to the Labyrinth in the
library, or read an account of the device in its archh·es.


Located forty-eight miles southeast of the Gallery of
Angels, the Maze Engine is wedged halfway down a
20-foot-wide. 100 -foot-deep crevasse located in the
middle of a large cavern. The bottom of the crevasse is
filled with magma. A shimmering curtain of heat rises
from the crevasse and makes the cavern hot and dry.
The roughly spherical engine is 40 feet below the top
of the crevasse and 40 feet above the magma. It can
be reached by magic or by climbing down to it. The
sheer sides of the crevasse require a successful DC 12
Strength (Athletics) check to climb. On a failed check.
a character makes no progress and dislodges loose
stones that clatter down the crevasse into the magma.
If the check fails by 5 or more, the climber falls into the
magma. Any creature that enters the magma or starts its
turn there takes 42 (12d6) fire damage. Every foot moved
in the magma costs 5 feet of movement.

Having just recently found the Maze Engine, Baphomet
has set a nalfeshnee named Slaughrerrusk to watch
over the crevasse and prevent any creature from
approaching the device. Slaughtertusk would rather be
helping the Horned King track down and kill Yeenoghu.
The n~lfeshnee is bored with its assigned task, although
it knows better than to disobey the Horned King. Still,
rather than immediately destroying any intruders, it toys
with them for as long as possible.
Slaughtertusk is happy to let a fight drag on, feasting
on its enemies' pain before finally slaying them. If
reduced to fewer than 100 hit points. it uses its Summon
Demon feature (see the "Variant: Demon Summoning"
sidebar in the ''Demons" entry of the Monster Manual)
and tries to summon ld6 vrocks. It has a 50 percent
chance of succeeding.
Slaughtertusk is a bully at heart and begs for its life
if the adventurers have it at their mercy, promising to
tell them the secrets of the Maze Engine or anything
else they want. At the first opportunity, it tclcports away,
summoning demonic aid to cover its retreat if possible.


A successful DC 15 Intelligence {Arcana) check is
needed to activate the device by puzzling out irs array of
gears and levers. It then takes 12 rounds for the engine
to "align itself" and activate its magical effect. If an
initiative order hasn't already been established by the
time the engine activates, have everyone in the party roll
lf the tridrone from "March to Nowhere" accompanies
the characters. it can instruct them how to activate the
Maze Engine without a check and inform them of how
long it takes for the magical effect to occur.

The engine, which weighs two tons, is ordinarily set on
a solid stone surface. Being wedged partway down a
crevasse makes its operation more problematic. When
the engine is activated, the vibration of its clacking gears
sends showers of loose stones down the crevasse walls.
Once the engine has been activated, it ··acts" on
initiative count 15.

On the round after the Maze Engine activates. two
magma mephits fly out of the magma on initiative count

  1. Two more magma m ephits emerge from the magma
    each round thereafter on the same initiative count, until
    a dozen mephits have appeared. The mephits attack
    anyone on or near the Maze Engine.

At the end of its turn during round 3, the engine shifts.
Any creature standing on it must make a DC 10
Dexterity saving throw. lf the save fails by 5 or more,
the creature is knocked off the engine into the magma.
Otherwise, a creature failing its save slides down the
spherical side of the engine but automatically grabs
one of its bands before falling. The creature can use an
action to try to climb back onto the engine, doing so with
a successful DC 10 Strength (Athletics) check.
At the end of its tum during round 6, the engine shifts
again. The effect is the same as described above, except
that a creature hanging onto one of the engine's bands
has disadvantage on the saving throw.
If a creature falls from the Maze Engine, another
creature adjacent to the falling creature and hanging
onto one of the engine's bands can attempt to use a
free hand to grab the falling creature, doing so with a
successful DC 10 Dexterity saving throw. A creature
saved in this manner can use its action to try to climb
back onto the engine, doing so with a successful DC
13 Strength (Athletics) check. If the check fails and the
creature's weight exceeds the carrying capacity of the
creature that grabbed it (see "Lifting and Carrying"
in chapter 7 of the Player's Handbook), the creature
grabbing it must succeed on a DC 15 Strength check
at the start of its next turn or lose its grip on the fallen
creature, which then plunges into the magma.
At the end of each of its turns starting on round 9, the
Maze Engine slides down the crevasse. dropping 10
feet toward the magma each round. Any creature on the
engine must make a successful DC 15 Dexterity saving
throw each time it drops down to avoid being thrown
off. Resolve the effects as described above. On its turn
during round 13, the Maze Engine sinks into the magma
and is destroyed.

The engine shuts down if any pan of it comes into contact
with an ancimagic field or if it is targeted by a successful
dispel magic (DC 19). Other wise. it can only be shut down
by a wish spell or divine intervention.

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