G3 - Level Three

Level 3 is all natural, the tunnels and caverns showing no marks of being hollowed out except for the entranceway to the level from above and where the exit from the level is (beyond the River of Lava in the northwest corner). The areas of the level are dark and still. Only a few are lit, such as the lava cavern and where the fire giants have gathered at area 5. All passages are at least 15 feet high, small caves are 20 feet or so from the floor to ceiling vault, and large caverns are anywhere from 25 feet to 75 feet high (areas 7 and 19 – 20 should be treated as among the highest). A few patches of phosphorescent growth can be added, the light making it possible to see movement across it but not sufficient to illuminate an area. If the party were to remain still, they might hear water dripping and perhaps a far distant echoing of stone striking stone-but only a single occurrence. As is usual with natural areas, do not worry overmuch about describing direction of passages and walls of caves and caverns, let alone size and shape. Primitive mapping techniques under stress conditions would develop just about the same sort of chart as your players will when they explore this level…wretched, but sufficient to get from place to place. If they have made it this far, they do not need any help from the DM!

Level Three Wandering Monsters

Encounters occur 1 in 12; check each turn. 

  1. Wandering Trolls [3 – 12]
  2. Fire Giants [2] and Hell Hounds [2], patrolling
  3. Drow patrol: Drow Fighters [3] lead by Patrol Leader Calimar of House Eilserv — Fighter 7 / Magic-User 6

Level Three Rooms and Areas

1 · Cavern

Three ropers dwell here and conceal themselves amongst the natural stalagmite formations. They will be 75% likely to wait until prey is towards the center of the area before attacking. Each has a number of gems (worth 100 gp) equal to its Hit Dice in its internal digestive organ. Note that the cavern is fairly colorful, having many reddish, pale yellow, and shining blue-grey rock formations which glisten in the light of torches or lanterns.

Encounter: Ropers [3]

2 · Glowing Cave

This small offshoot of the cavern which runs north and south is filled with luminous plant growth and contains 12 hungry fire beetles. Between 1 – 4 of their number will be on the ceiling and drop upon any creatures entering their lair, always surprising them unless 1 or more of the party is looking upwards. These creatures served as a source of gifts for the frost giants in the past. They have no treasure.

Encounter: Fire Beetles [12]

3 · Cavern

As this long cavern hooks eastward and terminates, it provides a lair for 2 large fire lizards, a mated pair of false dragons” with a clutch of three eggs. Both are quite old and their skins are reddish gray with large mottlings of red orange, so at first glance they are 80% likely to be mistaken for red dragons. Their nest has several dozen shiny rocks, but none are gems.

Encounter: Fire Lizards [2]

4 · Cave

Four hell hounds are on guard here. They will give voice if they detect any intruder. They have no treasure.

Encounter: Hell Hounds [4]

5 · Cavern

Eight fire giants are stationed here as a guard and reserve by Snurre’s order (and he got his instructions from the drow, of course). At either end of the place one of their number watches; each such position is indicated by a G. Each giant is armed with a sword, spear, and has several boulders nearby for throwing. They have no treasure, although there will be piles of hides thrown for bedding, a hamper or two, some personal wear, and eight bags in the place. In crisis situations, this is where King Snurre, Queen Frupy, and/​or other important fire guards and guests will retreat to. In the event they do, there will be whatever goods they salvage in the cavern as treasure.

Encounter: Fire Giants [8]

6 · Great Vaulted Cavern

In the middle of this place is a permanent illusion of a huge sleeping red dragon atop a mound of treasure (see area 7 below). What is actually there is a gorgon who has been charmed and instructed to ignore such creatures as hell hounds and fire giants and trolls. It obeys the drow, of course. If any creature speaks to it in the common tongue or in the language of red dragons it has been instructed to stand quietly but to breathe upon the creature as soon as they are seen and within range. There is no treasure in the cavern.

Encounter: Gorgon

7 · Treasure Trove Cave

Here sleeps a real red dragon, a very large ancient male. Brazzemal is his name, and he can both speak and use spells. If the boulder is moved, Brazzemal will certainly awake and use his ESP spell to find out who intrudes upon his privacy. If cornered and in desperate straits, the dragon will swear to anything in order to save his life. Brazzemal is persuasive and deceitful, of course, and his real desire will be to stay and devour the party.

Encounter: Brazzemal, Very Large Ancient Red Dragon

Treasure Detail

The place appears strewn with coins of all sorts (about 20,000 each of copper and silver, 9,000 each of electrum and gold, no platinum) and a few dozen gems. All the worthwhile treasures are covered by the coins. Brazzemal also has another 666 gems pressed into his stomach to protect it. Each is worth 1 gp. If struck by cold or electricity or similar magical attacks, from 60% to 90% of them will be destroyed. Searching the pile takes quite a while. Assume that one randomly determined item is found per turn per person searching.

Loose coin and gems:

Buried under the coins:

Large containers: 8 chests, 1 coffer, 8 jars (see below) and small containers: one coffer, one ivory case, one silver egg, one malachite box, and one crystal basket (see below). 

Contents of containers:

8 · Cave

This is a drow guardroom, with six guards and three leaders (all male). Two sentries are on duty at all times in the entry passage. The drow are clothed in black capes, soft boots of black hide, and wear hoods over their helmets. Each carries 1 – 10 pp per level of experience. The room has only their bedrolls and some miscellaneous gear.

Drow Leaders [3]
Drow Fighters [6]

9 · Wide Passage

Twelve piercers make this their home, and they await the unwary prey patiently. The floor of the place is strewn with shattered skulls and bones. Amidst these gleaming white remains glints a gold necklace set with 5 gems (1,100 gp intact; total gem value 800 gp).

Encounter: Piercers [12]

10 · Singing Chamber

This small place has excellent acoustics, and the drops of water falling into the pool along the southwestern portion of the wall make a pleasant musical sound which can be heard from 60 feet in the quiet and at 30 feet distance in normal conditions. The pool edge is lined by a huge gray ooze blob and another gray ooze lays along a ledge 11 feet high in the southeast of the place.

Encounter: Gray Ooze [2]

11 – 13 · Stinking Caverns

All of these places are inhabited by troll servants of King Snurre, and the stink which comes from these creatures, their nests, and what they leave about is noticeable in the corridor which leads southwest from area 9. Their chieftain is in area 13. The trolls will support each other in case of attack. 

Encounter: Trolls [12]

Encounter: Trolls [16]

Encounter: Trolls [27]

14 · Narrow Cavern

This place is striated with layers of blue and green and greenish blue deposits and streaks. There is green slime growing on the passage roof and the pool of water at its end. The slime on the ceiling covers about 40 feet of space just south of the pool, and it will drop 1 in 6 pct creature pct round (i.e. check for each member of the party under its growth area, a 1 on a six-sided die indicates that the slime has dropped upon them). There are 36 agates (10 gp each) in the pool of water, and any creature reaching in to get these stones is 50% likely to have the slime attack. The slime in the pool blends with the greenish rock of the pool.

15 · Gray Cavern

This dark-colored place is the drow strong-point, and two guards watch each of the six ways which meet at this cavern. There are six other guards. These 18 male drow guards are commanded by three higher level types, who are in the main part of the cavern to the east. These include the female guard commander, a female mercenary fighter (Greyanna), and a noble of House Tormtor by the name of Bruherd, who was sent to accompany the others on their mission to the giants. 

Each drow has 1 – 10 pp per level of experience. Each above 4th level has one gem per level (worth 100 gp each), or double the number if multi-classed.

Male Drow Guards [18]
Female Guard Commander
Greyanna, Female Mercenary — Fighter 9
Bruherd, Male Noble of House Tormtor — Fighter 4 / Magic-User 6

16 · Small Cavern

A metal spear trap is located north of the entry passage. Furthermore, a fine trip wire is set so that as an intruder enters the cavern it triggers a torrent of small iron spheres which pour into the last 20 feet of the passageway and first 10 feet of the cavern. These ‘/4 inch balls make a loud noise, and any creature in the area has a 5 in 6 chance of falling down for the fast 3 rounds after they are released, and a 2 in 6 chance for the next 3 rounds thereafter (unless the victim instantly stands still and does not move about). Naturally all targets are easier to hit, and dexterity bonuses are negated. Creatures which fall are not able to attack, and lose both shield and dexterity benefits. 

There are nine female drow in the cavern. Eight are 4th level fighters, special guards from the female fighter’s society. These guards protect Nedylene of House Despana, a noble generally opposed to anything Eclavdra attempts. She is here to check up on her rival, and she will be suspicious of ANY creature entering her current abode. On the other hand, she will not be adverse to seeing her rival’s plans go wrong. If things are apparently going badly inner the upper levels of the Hall and Eclavdra is apparently slain, Nedylene will rally the remaining drow in areas 8, 15, 16, and 20 to make an organized tactical retreat. Nedylene wields a demon staff (see Appendix B), a black leather-like staff, very strong, and carved with disgusting scenes and vile runes.

Female Drow Guards [8]
Nedylene, Female Noble of House Despana — Cleric 8 / Fighter 7

17 · Jeweled Cavern

If light strikes these formations, the mineral deposits here make the place glitter and sparkle as if it were sown with jewels. It is breathtakingly beautiful, and is the current lair of three illithids (mind flayers) who have decided to see what is going on with their friendly enemies, the drow. They plan to observe events, and the dark elves ignore them. Each illithid carries 2 – 12 gems worth 100 gp each (bribe money) and they have an amulet of the planes and a tome of clear thought in a small black metal box which can only be opened by persons of 18 or greater intelligence.

Encounter: Illithids [3]

18 · Small Cavern

This is a guardroom which is same as area 8 above. Refer there for full details.

Drow Leaders [3]
Drow Fighters [6]

19 – 20 · Red Cavern Inferno

This huge space is lit up in reddish light by the bubbling, steaming river of molten lava which flows through the place. The cavern stinks of sulphur and heated rock, and the temperature there is very hot, although a strong draft cools it somewhat. The roof is no less than 60 feet high.

Encounter: Salamanders [2]

Eclavdra will be here with as many of her followers as survive if things go badly on level #2. Otherwise Nedylene will be rallying the troops here.

Male Drow Troops [6]
Female Drow Troops [3]
Viconia, Female of House Eilserv — Fighter 8

In addition to bedding and a small amount of personal gear, there is a chest holding 2,000 pp and 200 gems (100 gp each) hidden under an illusion to look like a rock formation in the far northeastern corner of the place. The commander has a small coffer which contains two potions of speed and two of extra-healing. These will be used by the drow if necessary. A constant watch is kept on the east entry to the cavern, and if intruders come, the Dark Elvenfolk will know of it. If threatened by powerful characters, the drow will flee to safety back down the passage from whence they carne here, i.e. the one to the north-northwest; this way is protected by a monstrous guard at location A. 

Encounter: Lurker Above

Special Note: The characters will discover in searching area 20 an adamantite tube worth 200 gp, containing a scroll of one spell (wish) and the players’ map of the Depths of the Drow. This tube has been left behind by Viconia so that, in the event Eclavdra’s scheme is foiled and the ruler of house Eilserv slain, the attackers will be aware of the existence of the drow homeland and, it is hoped, launch an attack against Eilserv’s rival factions.

Equipment for a pair of hoists (derrick-like machines with straps for cargo of any sort, even large animals) will be found in nooks on either side of the river of lava. It will take several hours to set these hoists into working position, but once done they will not be disturbed. The characters will be able to move supplies and pack animals across the river of lava when they are ready for the next part of the adventure!


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