Throne of the Despot (EL 5)

Throne of the Despot (EL 5)

The stairs descend into a large octagonal room more than fifty feet across. The ceiling is vaulted stone rising to a height of twenty feet without a single column. The room is dark and your light picks out a fine white dust in the air. What at first looks like rubble and debris strewn across the floor soon reveals itself to be the bones of hundreds of humanoids! The macabre collection carpets the floor and no single skeleton appears to be intact. On the far side of the room upon an ancient stone throne sits a human skeleton wearing rusted chainmail. It leans heavily on the head of a great-maul, one arm jealously clutching a coffer on its lap.

The layer of bone on the floor makes the entire room difficult terrain. In places it can be up to 1 foot deep. Many of the bones are broken and jagged. Optionally a character may attempt to treat the surface as normal terrain. This requires a DC Hard Acrobatics check. Failure results in 1d8 points of damage and the character falling prone. Neither Torrigan nor the Bone Storms are affected by the unstable surface.

If the hammer, coffer or throne is touched the undead remains of the despot warlord Torrigan animate. Equally if ranged attacks are made against his skeleton:

The skeleton lifts up its head, its eye-sockets blazing red with a malevolent glow. As it stands it motions toward the floor and three swirling whirlwinds of razor-sharp bone rise up.

Creatures: Torrigan’s Skeleton is able to animate 3 bone swarms as a free action. The bone storms persist until destroyed or until the PCs retreat from the room at which point they fall back to the floor. Torrigan is unable to leave the chamber and will return to the throne.

Tactics: The Bone Storms will move around the room seeking living PCs and engulf them in their aura of swirling bone fragments. Torrigan will try to use his Maul shockwave as often as possible to throw PCs away from him and into the Bone Storms. At all other times Torrigan will stalk the strongest warrior as if in gladiatorial combat.

Morale: The creatures will fight until destroyed or the PCs leave the chamber.

Treasure: The coffer contains a golden gauntlet bearing the unholy symbol of Bane. The gauntlet is harmless, non-magical and worth 200 gp to a collector of such artefacts. Torrigan wields an ancient black iron Maul +1 named by historians ‘Banes Anvil’. The maul’s recovery is likely to be noticed by any of Bane’s clergy who would consider its acquisition a benefit to promotion.