Level Two: The Murder Holes
Level two is contested territory. Once long ago the Lizardmen fought a terrible battle against Trox the Robolich and his minions; evidence suggests the lizardmen lost, but for whatever reasons, Trox currently the ruler of the lower levels, did not see fit to invest any of his energy in holding this level. For the last century the Insectress (see below) has ruled here; however, not long ago, a small and well-armed scientific expedition led by Dr Maxis, a yeti scientist, and backed up by a band of mercenary Sharkmen, has begun to create instability in the area. So far the Robolich has remained aloof.
This level is considerably more lethal than the first. Player characters who do not exercise caution here will surely die. Hard.
She is an elemental creature/insect demon queen, drawn to The Metal Earth by the unholy energies released by the Robolich during the course of his necromantic investigations.
Sounds, random and otherwise:
The noise of running water can be heard throughout this level.. The volume of this noise varies with proximity/acess to the river. Furthermore, there is a good deal of ghostly activity on this level as well as some other freaky shit. Sometimes, it’s noisy.
Random noise table:
Roll every now and again, at the referee’s discretion
- Loud heavy noise like the slamming of a door
- A woman’s maniacal laughter
- Screaming, goes on for 1d4 minutes
- Rattling chains
- Many drunken voices singing a tavern song. This noise waivers in and out
- The clang of steal against steal
- Monkeys or apes screeching
- Many voices, chanting. This noise seems to come from everywhere at once and will last for 1d4 rounds
Any attempt to follow any of these noises to their source should lead to frustration at the very least, but very possibly calamity. Furthermore, the more attention that is paid to the ghost of this level, the more likely they are to manifest in a visual or physical way. The exact ramifications of this are left up to the referee and should probably be improvised to fit the situation at hand. Anyway, if the PCs go looking for ghosts, they should find them and it should probably suck.
1. The Stairs and the Main Lobby.
Illumination: None. It is very dark and very quiet here. Due to some unknown force, perhaps an unholy residue of the horrible things that went on in the chamber during the great battle, no light source will create more than a 10’ sphere of illumination. A draft blows through this chamber from west to east, torches have a 1 in 4 chance of sputtering out each turn (minute). The intense darkness should make exploring the room slow going.
The lower reaches of the stairwell are covered in dust; ropey cobwebs hang down from above; the shattered remains of a makeshift barricade partially block the bottom of the stair. A careful search through this wreckage will yield a sack containing four bullets that will fit the revolver located on level 1 in room 18. Three of these bullets are normal, but one has a bright red casing and will function as a fireball spell as executed by an 8th level caster.
Secret doors: As stated above it is unnaturally dark in this area, so finding secret doors is going to be difficult. Secret door will be located on a roll of 1-2 on a d12. However, if the characters specifically search the floor for signs of traffic double the chance to 1-4 on a d12.
As the characters penetrate further into this chamber, it will become increasingly apparent that a great battle was once fought here. Strewn about the floor in various states, are the bodies of six lizardmen (some prone, others kneeling, one impaled on a sword blade, which can actually be drawn out as combat action on a successful to hit roll [+1/+2 vs. undead* renders user immune to petrify effect, see below] another with a caved in skull and another with a missing arm) all of who appear to have been turned to stone. These are in fact undead creatures. They will attack 1d4+1 rounds after the party passes the barricade.
Extra creepy option: Combine their initial rising up off the floor with option 8 from the random noise table above. In this fashion you can guarantee a general freak out every time this noise comes up later.
AC: 4 , HD 2+2, Attacks: Strike, Move: 10, XP 100, Special: Petrify:
These undead creatures are usually dormant; they become active only when the area in which they reside is disturbed. They will generally awaken with a terrible scream 1d4+1 rounds after such a disturbance occurs. Each and every body movement of a stone dead generates a noise not unlike the snapping of bones. Their eyes glow with a baleful blue light and they never stop screaming. Stone dead are notoriously relentless and they will never cease in their efforts to slay or infect an enemy.
Petrify: if hit character must make a saving throw or become infected with the stone sickness. Once the sickness sets in it will spread from the point of contact across the victim’s body in 2d4 days. The victim’s skin will turn to slowly transform into stone, and if the infection is allowed to run its course the character will at the end of the gestation period become one of the stone dead. The effect can be counteracted by a cure disease or remove curse spell or something determined by the referee to be equivalent of either. Characters can only be infected once, and if they survive the ordeal they are forever immune. *Characters utilizing magical weapons or armor specifically designed to combat the undead are also immune. Characters who die after being infected will transform at the same rate as the living.
Smell: Dead rat
This rough hewn passage leads several hundred feet to the north arriving at last at the dumbwaiter cabinet for this level. See Level One Area 8 for more details.
2. The Hall of Laughing Minotaurs
Illumination: Bright and cheery light emanating from glowing crystals on the ceiling 5 meters above.
Smell: Clean and fresh.
The wooden door is locked and decorated with a knocker carved in the shape of a smiling minotaur head.
The smooth walls of this passage are covered with perfectly rendered, larger than life pictures of minotaurs pointing outward (at the viewer it seems) and laughing. After the party turns the first corner a huge stone slab weighing some twenty tons will slam down, blocking the doorway. There is no way out. The noise of rushing water is especially loud at the end of the corridor and industrious characters may dig their way out and into Area 24 in 6 days (-1 day for each additional laborer with a minimum of 3 days).The door will automatically reset itself after 30 days.