Friday, June 14, 2024

A Lone Dungeon Room

Back in the spring of 2020, I was involved in an abortive project to present an Exquisite Corpse dungeon. As often happens in the world of table-top role-playing games, the organizer disappeared from the internet, a bunch of people left Facebook, and that appears to be the end of that.

Since I assume that project will never see the light of day, here's the room I contributed. (I present it as originally written, resisting the urge to edit the thing for length and clarity.) Stats are vaguely B/X-ish — if you're converting to another system, the most important thing to know is that a turn is ten minutes long. You can probably figure out the rest.

You could theoretically drop this room into any dungeon in a dead-end room containing a pool.

Chamber #8

Hallway: From Chamber 3, this is a stone archway wrapped with vines that leads into a relatively low-ceilinged arched hall with a bone motif cut into the stonework. The stones closer to Chamber 3 are mossy, with the occasional vine entwined among the carved bones. The stone door leading into Chamber 8 appears to be more recent than the surrounding stone. The door bears a flaking fresco of an androgynous blue-skinned being, clad in river grasses and pulling a dark-skinned man from a river. The man's right side is submerged while the being's left hand grips his left arm. The door (which opens into Chamber 8 so the hinges are not accessible from the hallway) bears two doorknobs. The doorknob on the right is false and trapped with magic; manipulating it requires a save vs. Spells, or else the victim begins drowning as brackish water generates in the lungs. The victim makes a save vs. Paralysis each round or dies from drowning. The doorknob on the left is locked, the key long since missing.

Room: This chamber bears frescoes depicting scenes of daily life in a village by a life-giving river. The two alcoves to the left and right of the stairs are stuffed with offerings of cordgrass and mangrove fruits, long since desiccated and rotted. The stairs lead down into a pool in which reclines an ethereal, androgynous humanoid with greenish-blue skin, clad in river grasses and muddy silt. This being is Streenadi, once a minor deity worshiped by the now-extinct River-People. Clerics conveyed the deity here for safe-keeping after the river was dammed and the riverbed dried, but the loyal priests died before their god could be safely retrieved. Streenadi will implore travelers to find a way to transport them from their prison. They must be at least half-submerged in brackish water (roughly 10 - 20 ppt salinity) at all times. If separated from brackish water for more than a turn, Streenadi will sicken and die. If the travelers can safely transport the deity to a suitable habitat (preferably an estuary, although any appropriately saline body of water will do), Streenadi will grant them a wish.
If the characters deliberately kill Streenadi for some reason, the murderers find water and fish salty and inconsumable thereafter, even if treated with purify food and water. (Alcohol is safer than water anyway.) A suitably sketchy magic-user might pay 3d6 × 100 gp for the river-god's corpse.

Streenadi: AC 5, HD 2 (7 hp), Move 120' (40'), Swimming 240' (80'), 1 claw attack: 1d8 damage (2d8 if the victim is in water), Save As: Fighter 4, Morale: 10, Alignment: Neutral.
Streenadi cannot be damaged so long as they are standing in water. They take double damage from fire. They can perform many minor magical workings related to their sphere of influence, such as rendering water potable or brackish and summoning nearby fish from connected waterways to themself. Once per year, Streenadi can grant a single wish.

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