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The Legacy of Threehills
Author: Corey Reid
System: d20 Dungeons and Dragons
An Adventure in Unpleasantness. Eric Noah's Adventure Design Contest Runner-Up Prize Winner: Haunted House Category.
Graphic: Baron's House
Jardek Anton, Baron of Threehills, is dead. His will has not yet been opened, because the one person indicated
by the Baron as his executor has not been found. This person, unknown to any of those close to the late Baron,
must be found before the will can be opened and read, before any of his loyal retainers can discover how they have
been rewarded. This person, of course, is a party member, unaware that he or she has a wealthy uncle, Uncle Jardek,
and equally unaware that this unknown uncle has nefarious plans that will reach from beyond the grave!
If thunder shook your house as you read that last line, so much the better.
The Legacy of Threehills is an adventure for a party of 4-6 characters, of 3rd to 5th level each. There
ought to be at least one Rogue and one Cleric in the party. This adventure is designed to offer up a quick evening's
entertainment, though it does contain seeds of an ongoing quest, should the DM desire to expand things.
Before running this adventure, the DM should read the entire adventure over carefully, paying special attention
to the Timeline section. But here's the plot, in brief: The Baron is not in fact dead. He has discovered that one
of the player characters will make an admirable "replacement body" for his own aging one, and has set
in motion a plot designed to put his soul into the player's body, while trapping the player's soul in his own aging
and disease-ridden body. Whether or not he succeeds depends on how quickly the players can put together the clues
and solve the puzzle.
The Baron has selected one of the party to be his soul's vessel. That member must be human, and will be the
best-looking member of the party. The Baron is vain, it's true. It makes no difference to him if they are male
or female, nor does he care what class they are, but he will also prefer a younger character to an older one.
This character is likely to be subjected to possession, so it may be appropriate to select a player who will
be able to go along with such an event.
If there are no humans in the party, you'll have to generate an NPC human and insert them into the party prior
to this adventure. They can meet the party just before the Introduction begins.
The players ought to have recently arrived in a town that they're not familiar with, and should have a day or
two to kill. This introduction assumes they're enjoying themselves in the time-honoured manner of adventurers,
by raising a pint or two at a local tavern. Any public place ought to do, however. This encounter occurs mid-afternoon.
Whatever place the adventurers are currently enlivening with their presence, it goes suddenly quiet as a stooped
figure enters. Looking up, the players see a hunchbacked dwarf with a cane, dressed in fine robes and with a sneer
on his twisted face. This is Gaberk, the Baron's servant, and is well known here. He surveys the crowd and
calls out, "I am seeking one named <insert character's name>. Is he/she here?"
If the character identifies herself or himself, Gaberk will approach them, sneering all the way, and say, "My
late master, Jardek Anton, the Baron of Threehills, has named you, his nephew/niece, as the one who must read his
will. Come to Threehills Manor tonight at sundown to perform your duty and receive your award. No! I will answer
no questions. This is my master's last request. I go now to await you at Threehills Manor."
With that, Gaberk leaves and mounts the pony he left out front. He will ride straight to the Manor. If the party
follows him he will not object, and you can jump straight to the Knocking on Doors section.
If the character does not identify himself/herself, Gaberk will simply call out, "If any here know this
person, tell them to present themselves at the home of my late master, the Baron of Threehills, tonight at sundown."
He then leaves.
Simply asking around about Gaberk and what he said will uncover the following:
1. The Baron died three days ago.
2. Nobody knows how he died but he was quite old.
3. Threehills is three hours' ride to the east.
4. The Baron had no wife or children.
5. The Baron's ex-housekeeper, Irigga, lives in town. She is mad.
6. The Baron was fabulously wealthy.
7. The Baron was a wizard, secretive and powerful.
8. Many people, especially children, have disappeared around Threehills.
The townspeople do not go out to the Barony, and none can be persuaded to join the party. In fact, if the character
has identified themselves as the Baron's relative, all townspeople will become Unfriendly towards that character
and his or her companions.
Any questions about Irigga will direct the party to her home, a small house in a poor district. Knocking on
the door will bring her forth.
Irigga is a dwarf, and looks not unlike Gaberk. She is in fact his sister, once employed by the Baron as well.
She is elderly and frail, but still fiery in temperment. She will be Hostile initially, and will not open the door
or answer any questions. If the players manage to influence her attitude so that she is merely Unfriendly, she
will listen to them. Otherwise, she begins shrieking for the Guard, representatives of whom will begin arriving
within a minute.
Questioning a mad dwarf is usually a business left to those already insane. Irigga will answer questions with
other questions, refuse to finish sentences and generally behave erratically. With patience, however, the party
can learn the following: Irigga was once the Baron's housekeeper but left a month ago for reasons she will not
reveal under any conditions. She does not believe that the Baron is dead. She does not trust Gaberk. She believes
the Baron is searching for a suitable heir. All this should only come out through raving lunacy -- play her to
the hilt and force the players to really work at it!
Once she has revealed the above information, she will dismiss the party: "No more! No more! The dark is
coming, you must go. Go to Threehills as you were commanded. Do not tempt my master's wrath!" She says no
more until they start to leave, at which point she calls out to them: "Beware! The Baron may not have an heir,
but the children live! They live!" She slams her door and will not say anything more. If the players attempt
to force her she will call for the Guard.
Knocking on Doors
Gaberk enters through the front door after tying up his pony out front, and slams the doors behind him. He will
not open them until sundown. The door is very strong, as is the lock (DC 29 to break, 25 to pick).
As the characters ride up to the Manor, they pass through landscape that starts out idyllic and peaceful, gentle
hills with prosperous-looking farms and patches of trees, but that turns ever more desolate. Two hours from town
they pass a gibbet from which hangs a well-weathered corpse. From here on out, the fields are fallow and dusty,
the buildings abandoned and in disrepair, and the trees twisted and gnarled. Ravens perch on the leafless branches
and watch the party pass by.
The Manor house comes into view two and a half hours from town. It is a handsome three-story stone house with
a shingle roof and smoke coming from the sole chimney. More ravens surround the house, some perched on the peak
and others circling around. The house radiates an aura of ill-health and unwholesomeness, despite its well-kept
appearance. Gaberk's pony is tied up out front, as are two other mounts, one a light horse and the other a heavy
At sundown Gaberk comes to the door and opens up. He greets the characters with his customary surliness and
invites them in. He leads them through the Entry (area 1) and into the Grand Parlour (area 5). Here they meet Pilar
Lomonaco, Ivanior Liadon, and Sir Manuel di Garan. Garbek will perform introductions only for
the character he set out to find, referring to the others as his/her "attendants". Garbek will serve
drinks if asked for. He will otherwise simply announce that dinner is to be served in half an hour and will leave
for the kitchen.
Pilar will be curious about the Baron's nephew/niece and will ask about the relationship and how they were located
and how they happened to be in the area at the time. The character's answers ought to be less than illuminating.
Sir di Garan is suspicious and challenging. He will stop short of being outright rude, but if offended he will
lose his temper and will challenge the offending party member to a duel. Since he will insist on the duel taking
place at sunrise, it is unlikely to ever to take place.
Ivanior will sit quietly with his violin at first and will only exchange pleasantries. However, part-way through
the conversation, the sound of a woman crying can be heard coming from the floor above. As soon as this happens,
Ivanior jumps up and begins playing his violin and drowns out the sound. Pilar looks fearfully at the ceiling and
then at the party, but before they can ask what this is about, the door slams open and Gaberk announces that dinner
is ready. The woman can no longer be heard.
Dinner is Served
Gaberk leads the group across the hall to the dining room at area 3. The table has been set for however many
there are, and Gaberk will simply wave at the table and allow them to sit wherever they like. Pilar and Sir di
Garan will both try to sit next to the Baron's "nephew/niece".
Dinner will be served by Gina and Tomas, under Gaberk's scowling direction. It is delicious. During
the meal, the crying can be heard again. Everyone freezes when it happens, but no one says anything. If asked,
neither Pilar nor Ivanior will even admit to hearing it. Sir di Garan's hearing's not very good so he doesn't hear
Gaberk does not answer any questions about the noise, nor will he make any effort to stop characters from running
off and investigating. However, no matter when they head out, by the time they reach area 1, Gebark will announce
loudly that it is time to read the will and could everyone please assemble back in parlour.
The Moment We've All Been Waiting For...
The reading of the Baron's will. Gaberk waits until everyone has sat down and then leaves the room. He goes
to the small parlour (area 2), and returns with the wooden box containing the documents. He hands this box and
the key to the Baron's victim and asks him/her to open it.
Here's the big moment. When the box is opened, it casts two spells automatically. One is a fear spell
that affects everyone within twenty feet as though cast by a 11th level wizard. The other is a suggestion
spell cast on the person who opened the box, again as though from a 11th level wizard. The suggestion cast on the
person is that they should, after reading the will, go upstairs into the library (area 12) and pick up the Baron's
crystal ball. Allow the player to make both Saves, but don't comment at all on the second, no matter the result.
The will informs all that the Baron has made the victim his heir in all respects. The reading of it isn't likely
to please anyone except Gaberk. Sir di Garan, in fact, will be sufficiently angry to attack the little dwarf if
he is not restrained. He'll stop after a few punches on his own anyway, but will not endear himself to the new
Baron of Threehills.
Once the will is read, if the victim did not make their Will Save against the suggestion, then they will
proceed out of the room and upstairs. If this does not happen (if the victim did make their Save), then Gaberk
will realise what has happened. He doesn't exactly know what the Baron had planned but he knows it had something
to do with the library, which is locked with the same key as that which opened the box. He will ask for the key
back and offer to show the assembled guests the marvels of the Baron's library. Once there he will encourage the
"nephew/niece" to experiment with the various objects therein.
Wait, There Must More To It
Not really. Once the victim has picked up the crystal ball (and failed the saving roll), the Baron pretty much
has what he wants. He's now in the victim's body, and the victim is in his body, paralysed downstairs. The party
now has thirty minutes to figure out what has happened and try to correct things.
What happens next depends on how much they notice about their friend. The Baron will not immediately start jumping
for joy and cackling in his new body, but a Sense Motive check (DC 15) will make the others suspicious. As the
description of the sphere of transference indicates, it will take half an hour for the soul transfer to
become permanent. As time passes, the Baron will become more and more formidable and able to interfere with any
further investigations by the party.
The best way to handle the soul transference is to secretly inform the stricken character's player of what has
happened and ask them to play the Baron, with the motive of simply driving off the players and getting them to
leave, or killing them if necessary. Remind them that they can order around both Gaberk and Ivanior if they desire,
and continue to inform them as higher-level spells become available. Suggest the tactic of guiding the party to
area 20 and taking advantage of the resultant confusion to overcome them.
Pilar will not understand any antagonism.
Ivanior will sulk.
Sir di Garan will jump on any suggestion that thing are not what they seem.
Wrapping Things Up
Things will likely climax in the attic -- with the Baron, Ivanior and Gebulon all pitching in to make things
as difficult as possible.
Assuming that our heroes ultimately triumph, you'll have to deal with the fact that the victim is now the Baron
of Threehills -- unless the Baron has been returned to his body rather than killed. It won't be easy for the victim
to make this stick -- without the Baron's political knowledge they'll have trouble convincing the King to verify
the inheritance. You could allow it to go through if you want to turn Threehills into a home base for the party
-- with the added excitement of Sir di Garan's suspicion.
If Gaberk realizes that all is lost he will attempt to destroy the will, which ought to make it impossible for
the player to claim his or her inheritance.
The large double doors (DC 29 to break, 25 to pick) open into this space, a dimly lit hall that stretches nearly
the length of the house. The walls are plaster and undecorated. The floor is flagstone, worn with many years of
use, and footsteps echo hollowly.
Anytime a player enters this area, there is a 10% chance that they will hear a woman crying upstairs. This sound
will stop once they start heading up the stairs.
2. Small Parlour
The door to this room is locked (DC 15 to pick). This comfortable room was used by the Baron to entertain one
or two guests, and for private conversations. The furnishings are comfortable but not ostentatious. There is a
painting on the wall of the view from the front door, but the landscape is green and fertile, not the barren wasteland
that exists today.
If the will has not yet been read, there is a mahogany box on the table, plain but well-made. A Detect Magic
spell will find that it radiates potent magic. It is locked (DC 22 to pick). Gaberk will take this to area 5 for
the reading of the will.
3. Dining Hall
This dark and dingy room is dominated by a huge oak table and the eight uncomfortable chairs around it. It is
cold and drafty, and there is a strange presence that makes all in it uneasy. The sideboard has drawer in it that
holds the silverware (total value 13 gp, weight 12 lbs).
Before dinner, Gina and Thomas will occasionally be in here, setting things up and coming and going from the
kitchen (area 7). After dinner they will spend ten minutes cleaning and from then on the room will be empty.
4. Servants' Dining Hall
This is where Gina, Thomas and Gaberk eat. There is in fact space for many more, but the manor does not employ
servants in the numbers it used to. There are many dirty dishes stacked precariously on the tables, and anyone
unused to this space needs to make a Dex check at DC 10 in order to negotiate the room without knocking something
5. Main Parlour
Grandly furnished and brightly lit, this is where the Baron would entertain special guests and where parties
were held once upon a time. The furniture is expensive and tasteful, though a little worn.
This is where the will will be read, and where the guests are gathered when the party arrives.
6. Rear Parlour
Much simpler than the Main Parlour, this room was used for casual relaxation, conversation and listening to
music. Now it is home to the Baron's coffin, where he currently lies. The coffin is on a table in the middle of
the room, with the lid open. The Baron lies within, looking very well-preserved indeed.
The Baron looks dead to all intents and purposes, though an Int check at DC 17 will note that he has not decayed
as a three-day old corpse should have. The changes are subtle, which is why the DC is so high.
On the ring finger on the left hand there is a simple gold band, worth perhaps 300 gp. It is radiates magic
and if it is removed from the Baron, nothing will happen unless the "victim" has already been
zapped by the crystal ball in area 12. In that case, they will be able to move around as the Baron.
The ring is a ring of paralysis (see Magic Items).
Gaberk will not allow anyone to enter this room unattended.
This is where Gina and Thomas prepare meals, do the cleaning, and sleep. They sleep on straw pallets at the
base of the stairs where they can hear the Baron calling for them at night. There is a great deal of material stored
right here in the kitchen that one would ordinarily expect to find in a pantry; the walls are lined with sacks
of flour, jars of preserved fruit and vegetables, dried goods and potatoes. It's a little crowded in here.
The door to area 8 has been heavily boarded up and will take three minutes to open up.
At night, Thomas has taken to sleeping with a knife in his hand and will attack anyone who comes in here without
announcing themselves first.
It smells in here. Something has gone rank in the cooking supplies.
The passages between the tall shelves here are narrow and precarious. All Attack Rolls and Dex-based Skill checks
are at -2 for creatures Medium-sized and higher.
What a shame then, that they're about to get attacked. Wait, you saw that coming? Clever you.
Hiding in here are 4 small monstrous spiders (HD 1d8; hp 7, 5, 5, 3; Init +3; Spd 40; AC 14; Att Bite +4;
Dam 1d4-2, poison (DC11, 1d3 Str); Sav: F +2, R +3, W +0; Climb +10, Hide +14, Jump +6, Spot +8), which will
attack anyone who comes in here. Thomas and Gina, if the party have been nice to them, may warn people who try
to come in here.
9. Upper Landing
The floor is polished hardwood, and the walls are lined with portraits and battle scenes, all in impressive
frames. The large window at the top of the stairs looks back down the road the party arrived via, which at night
looks even gloomier than it did by day.
Every time the party enters this area, there is a 20% chance that the ghost of Audrey, the Baron's wife, will
appear (HD 2d12; hp 11; Init 0; Spd 30; AC 10 (ethereal); Att Dagger +1; Dam 1d4; SpAtt Manifestation, Corrupting
Touch (1d4); Frightful Moan (Will Save DC 13, panic 2d4 rounds); Sav F 0, R 0, W +3; Abilities Str 8, Dex 11, Con
--, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 15; Hide +8, Listen +8, Search +8, Spot +8, Sense Motive +5). She appears as a crying
woman, pacing back and forth along the length of this hall. Anyone who tries to attract her attention will be ignored,
except Gebark or Ivanior. If either of them is present, Audrey will cut lose with her frightful moan and
disappear. If they are not present she will disappear after 1d6 rounds.
If, however, the victim has been possessed by the Baron and enters this area when Audrey is present, she will
use her frightful moan and attack with her corrupting touch.
Note: Every five rounds spent in the next two rooms (areas 10 and 11), there is a 15% chance that the "children"
upstairs will make a noise that can be heard on a Listen check at DC 12.
10. Ivanior's Room
The door is locked (DC 15).
The bodyguard has been living here for four years, and yet the room holds almost no trace of who resides here.
The bed is neatly made and the walls are bare. The small chest next to the door is locked (DC 18) and contains
Ivanior's weapons. There are three finely made throwing knives, a light crossbow and a quiver with 20 bolts, two
plain daggers and a wire garrote, coiled and tied off. There is also a sack with 65 gp.
The larger chest is not locked. It holds Ivanior's clothes, most of which are of black leather and nondescript.
In a vest pocket is a note which says, "Deal with the attic. No more excuses! -- Threehils" It is in
the Baron's handwriting and is perhaps a week old.
11. Baroness Audrey's Room
The doomed Baroness lived here until her death a month ago. The room has been locked (DC 15) and is untouched
The bed is made with the lady's finest linens, though it is now covered with a film of dust. The chest is unlocked
There is one item of interest in this room, though it is difficult to find. Lying in the canopy above the bed
is a note written by the Baroness, which she hid here when her husband arrived to take her to the fatal experiment.
It will be found if anyone deliberately searches the canopy, or at a DC 9 Search of the room in general.
The note says: "I fear Jardek is out of his mind. The look in his eyes, the tremor in his voice as he tells
me of his progress -- I cannot, I cannot. Who will read this? Know, you unknowns, that the Baroness of Threehills
died at the hands of her husband. Gods preserve the children! The attic is no home for them -- and how will Jardek
treat them when I am"
12. The Library
The door is locked (DC 21). Gaberk has the only key. This room is always dark and suffocatingly stale. The walls
are lined with books and the only light comes from guttering candles on the desk in the middle of the room.
The desk has two drawers. One holds the Baron's various financial records, which are unremarkable. The other
holds a finely carved edony pipe (15 gp), a bottle of ink and several quills, and about fifteen blank parchment
sheets. It also has a false bottom (DC 15), which opens up to reveal the Baron's study notes.
On the desk sits a small crystal ball, resting in a silver tripod. This is the Baron's sphere of transference,
and the first time the party comes in here, it will be holding the Baron's soul within it, waiting to be transferred
to the first person to touch it (see Appendix for details). The tripod on its own is worth 150gp.
13. Hall Closet
This little room holds a broom and a dustpan and extra linens.
14. Baron's Closet
The door to this little room is locked (DC 17), and a successful Listen check (DC 12) will hear some light rustling
inside, as of a large rat.
Boxes line the walls inside, mostly full of old clothes and shoes. There are two sacks on the floor, one of
which holds assorted metal stands and sockets, for holding up glass tubing and braziers and so on.
The instant the door opens, whoever is standing in front of the door will be attacked by the creature that made
the rustling noise: the Baron's Homunculus (HD 2d10; hp 13; Int +2; Spd 20/fly 50; AC 14; Att Bite +2; Dam 1d4-1
and poison (Save Fort DC 11, sleep 1 min, sec sleep 5-6 min); Special Construct; Save F +0 R+2 W +1). The little
thingie will strike at whoever stands in the door and head for the Baron. If the Baron is currently inhabiting
the body of the party member, it will perch on that person's shoulder, happy and content. If the Baron remains
in the sphere, it will attempt to escape the bedroom and make its way to the Library (area 12).
15. Baron's Bedroom
The door to this room is locked (DC 17). Once opened, it reveals a comfortable, although spartan, room. The
bed is neatly made and shows no sign of having been used in the past few days.
The chest of drawers is unlocked and holds nothing but clothes. There is a large portrait of the Baron on the
wall above it, while behind it is a three-foot-long pole with a small hook at one end.
There is a hidden trap door (DC 17) in the ceiling that is opened by placing the hook on the end of the pole
behind the dresser into a small depression in the ceiling. The trapdoor can then be pulled down, dropping a light
wooden ladder as it opens.
The portrait of the Baron has a magic mouth spell on it that activates if anyone opens the trapdoor without
first bowing to the portrait. It screeches, "Don't go up there!" loudly enough to warn Gebulon (area
18) that someone unauthorized is coming.
16. Dressing Room
This room was used mostly by the Baroness and as such seems abandoned now. There is a 15% chance that the ghost
of the Baroness will appear whenever the party enters this room (see area 9 for details). She will disappear after
There is a fine vanity table with a chair and a large mirror, and another mirror on one wall. Gowns and cloaks
hang from pegs on the walls, most of them quite fine. Any one of them is worth 50 gp, and there are 25 of them
If a good-aligned person sits in the chair facing the vanity table, the Baroness will appear in the mirror there.
Only the person sitting in the chair will be able to see or hear her, and she will not appear at all if the ghost
is currently in the room. If she does appear, however, she will speak to the person in the chair.
She says, "My children, please, you must save the children. I will give you all that I have if you will
free them from my husband. Please!" She then disappears.
The mirror on the wall hides a secret opening (DC 25) that is triggered by manipulating the top of the frame.
Behind is a small cubby-hole a foot across, which holds a small sack. Inside the sack there are 200 gp, a diamond
necklace worth 2500 gp and a matching brooch worth 1000 gp.
If the players enter this room after destroying the zombie children in area 20, the Baroness' ghost appears
and glides to the mirror on the wall. She indicates the opening mechanism and once the party has opened it, she
will disappear forever.
The only feature of note in this room is the large bathtub at the back. There is otherwise nothing of interest
18. Attic Entrance
This room can only be reached via the trap door in room 15.
The ceiling here slopes sharply and there is no light coming in from outside, so it'll be very dark unless the
party have a lantern or a torch.
There is something waiting up here for them in the darkness. It is Gebulon, the Baron's quasit assisstant. (HD
3d8; hp 16; Init +3; Spd 20, fly 50; AC 18; Att 2 claws +8, bite +3; Dam claws 1d3-1 and poison (F 13 1d4 Dex,
2d4 Dex), bite1d4-1; DR 5/silver, SR 5, Fire Resist 20, Regen 2; at will: detect good, detect magic, invisibility,
alternate form; 1/day: cause fear; 1/week: commune; Save F +3 R +6 W +4; Hide +14, Listen +6, Move Silent +6, Search
+4, Spellcraft +4, Spot +6) The Baron's whole plan was concocted with the aid of this tiny demon, which has
provided Anton with power beyond his experience, and in return took his children and warped them beyond recognition
(area 20 -- we'll get there). He has been waiting up here for the Baron's plan to take affect.
If the magic mouth in area 15 has gone off, then Gebulon will be prepared and will immediately attack
anyone who comes up here. He will first assume his alternate form of a medium-size monstrous centipede (HD 1d8;
hp 4; Init +2; Spd 40; AC 14; Att bite +2; Dam 1d6-1 and poison (F13 1d3 Dex, 1d3 Dex); Save F +2 R +2 W +0; Climb
+8, Hide +8, Spot +8; Weapon Finesse (bite)) and chomp on the head of the first person up the ladder. He will
squawk at them and dash off into the darkness to reassume his normal form and promptly turn invisible. His
plan at this point is to see if the intruders have been driven off, and if not, to ascertain how powerful and determined
they are. If he learns that the Baron has been killed he will simply leave, but if the party are too strong for
him to deal with he will allow them up, follow them to area 20 and then use cause fear and darkness
to maximum effect.
If the trapdoor opens and the magic mouth has not activated, then Gebulon will greet the first person
through the door by saying, "Welcome, my lord. Congratulations." He expects the Baron to look different
than he once did and will not become alarmed until or unless the person greeted gives the game away.
19. The Attic
The door to this area hangs open in a sinister way. Cobwebs start in the corners of the doorframe and stretch
out all over this broad space. Broken tables, boxes and shrouded furniture choke the room, though a narrow path
threads its way to the door at the far end. Players can move through the room (apart from the path) only at half
their normal speed, and can only take partial actions. Any attempt to move at full speed or take any full action,
requires a Reflex Save at DC 14 to succeed. Failing this Reflex Save means not only does the attempt fail, but
the character may suffer a mishap. Roll 1d6 and check the following: 1-3 no mishap (but the attempted action fails),
4-5 the character stumbles and must spend a full action to recover, and on a 6 the character falls prone and is
stunned for 1d3 rounds.
That door at the far end, it can be seen once half-way across the room, is barred with not one, but two, heavy
wooden beams nailed across it. A Listen check at DC 10 can hear movement beyond the door, and any loud noises made
by the party will result in a sudden burst of pounding on the door. There is no sound of speech, however.
20. The Nursery
Removing the bars to the door requires a DC 10 Strength check. The room beyond overflows with the foulest stench
imaginable. Anyone standing within 10 ft of the door when it is first opened must make a Fortitude Save at DC 10
or spend one round gasping and choking on the fetid air.
The room is a shambles. There are tables, some bookshelves, but everything has been shattered and stomped into
wreckage. The cause of all this damage is the group of zombies in here that have been waiting for someone to open
this door so that they can fulfill their command: "Kill everyone."
These zombies are of alarming appearance. Many of them are smaller than your everyday zombie, and they are oddly...
cute. They are in fact children, children from taken from their familie, sacrificed and animated according
to Gebulon's demands. There are eleven of them, all told.
Five Medium Zombies (HD 2d12+3; hp 23, 21, 15, 15, 12; Init -1; Speed 30; AC 11; Att Slam +2; Dam 1d6+1;
Undead, Partial Actions Only; Save F +0 R -1 W +3).
Six Small Zombies (HD 1d12+3; hp 11, 10, 8, 8, 6, 4; Init -1; Speed 30; AC 11; Att Slam +1; Dam 1d4; Undead,
Partial Actions Only; Save F +0 R -1 W +2).
There is nothing else in the room.
Jardek Anton, Baron of Threehills
The Baron, all rumours to the contrary, is not dead yet. However, he's not at all well. He's paralysed,
in a coffin and his soul currently resides in a crystal ball in his library, but he's not in fact dead.
He is fervently hoping that this all works out, however.
A handsome man in life, the Baron is in his sixties and has a distinguished air about him, offset somewhat by
an edge of bitterness revealed in his expression.
The Baron is a man fanatically dedicated to extending his own lifespan, even if that means shortening others'.
This has been his life's work, and the results of his investigations are secreted throughout his mansion. They
are not pleasant. The process he's in the midst of attempting he's only tried once before, with his wife assuming
his role in the proceedings. It didn't work terribly well, and his wife died, and the victim, Irigga, went insane.
However, he's sure it'll work this time.
He's nothing if not self-confident.
And not without cause. The Baron is an 11th level wizard, with an oddball collection of little-known spells
and magic items he's picked up on his quest for immortality. He could be quite formidable an opponent if he weren't
sealed up and unable to move.
Anton Jardek, male human Wiz9: CR 3; Medium Humanoid (5ft. 9 in. tall); HD 9d4; hp 21; Init +1 (Dex); Spd 30
ft.; AC 11 (+1 Dex); Atks +5 melee (1d4 crit 19-20); AL CE; SV Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +8; Str 8, Dex 12, Con 10,
Int 17, Wis 9, Cha 14.
Skills: Alchemy +6, Bluff +6, Concentration +12, Knowledge (Demonology) +10, Scry +12, Spellcraft +12,
Speak Languages (Infernal, Abyssal). Feats: Spell Penetration, Iron Will, Craft Wondrous Item, Combat Casting.
Spells: 5th: Wall of Force, 4th: Minor Globe of Invulnerability, Dimension Door, 3rd: Dispel Magic, Summon
Monster III, Fireball, 2nd: Web, Detect Thoughts, Blindness, Levitate, 1st: Hold Portal, Sleep, Magic Missile,
Change Self, Message, 0: Daze, Flare, Resistance, Ghost Sound.
Gaberk is a stunted, hunchbacked dwarf with his features twisted in a permanent sneer. He has no manners and
no patience with anyone except "The Master", as he always refers to the Baron. His loyalty for The Master
knows no bounds.
With no conscience beyond his sense of duty to his Master, Gaberk can be truly unpleasant if given the chance.
He has served the Baron through many horrid tasks and disgusting errands, and he has a fiendish imagination for
inflicting pain. All the other servants are terrified of him, even more than they are of the Baron himself.
Gaberk is a 6th-level Rogue with a real taste for "attacks of opportunity", even if he has to manufacture
the opportunity himself. He will defend the Baron to the death, and will seek out those who destroy him for vengeance.
Gaberk, male dwarf Rog6: CR 2; Medium Humanoid (4ft. 2in tall); HD 6d6+9; hp 25; Init +2 (Dex); Spd 30 ft.;
AC 12 (+2 Dex); Atks +6 melee (1d6+1 crit 19-20); AL CE; SV Fort +2 Ref +7 Will +2; Str 13, Dex 14, Con 10, Int
12, Wis 8, Cha 11.
Skills: Appraise +9, Bluff +5, Forgery +9, Gather Information +9, Intimidate +9, Listen +7, Move Silently
+4, Open Lock +7, Search +3, Sense Motive +9, Spot +9. Feats: Toughness, Endurance.
Until one month ago, Irigga was a complacent and dutiful housekeeper at Threehills. She is Gaberk's sister,
a tough dwarven woman with a sensible mind and a no-nonsense attitude. While she didn't share Gaberk's worship
of the Baron, she found her position easy enough and was not bothered by the gruesome cleaning jobs sometimes required
All that changed one night last month. Irigga and all the staff knew that the Baron's wife was dying, and understood
that the Baron had undertaken a strange and dangerous experiment to save her. What she didn't expect, when her
master asked her to pick up a jeweled box, was to suddenly be imprisoned inside the wife's body, feeling her die
and looking up at herself, with someone else behind her eyes. The terrible sensation of the body she was in dying
drove her mad, even as her soul fled the new body and returned to the old.
Now she cackles and mumbles to herself and lives in a ramshackle home in town, unable to go near Threehills
or even bear the sight of her brother any longer.
Irigga, female dwarf Com1: Cr 1/4; Medium Humanoid (3 ft. 10 in. tall); HD 1d4; hp 2; Init +0; Spd 30 ft.; AC
10; Atks +0 melee (unarmed 1d3 sub.); AL CN; SV Fort +0 Ref +0 Will +0; Str 10, Dex 9, Con 11, Int 7, Wis 9, Cha
Skills: Listen +2, Spot +2, Use Rope +2, Jump +2
Ivanior has been the Baron's bodyguard for seven years. He is a lethal killer with a taste for blood and certain
musical talent. Officially, he is the Baron's personal musician.
He knows the Baron's plan and is prepared to fight in order to see it through, though if things get out of his
control he will flee rather than die. He's not the most loyal sort. If the Baron should die, Ivanior will not seek
Ivanior is a tall, grim-looking elf dressed in dark leather with a rapier and a dagger always at his side. He
doesn't laugh much, though smug smiles cross his face with some regularity. He is a fourth-level Fighter and a
Ivanior Liadon, male elf Rog3/Fig4: CR 3; Medium Humanoid (5 ft. 11 in. tall); HD 3d6+3 plus 4d10+4; hp 52;
Init +6 (+2 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative); Spd 30 ft.; AC 14 (+2 Dex, +2 armour); Atks +8 melee (rapier 1d6+2 crit
18-20); AL CE, SV Fort +5 Ref +6 Will +2; Str 14, Dex 14, Con 11, Int 9, Wis 10, Cha 13.
Skills: Appraise +6, Climb +6, Listen +6, Move Silently +6, Open Lock +6, Ride +7, Search +6, Swim +6.
Feats: Improved Initiative, Blindfight, Combat Reflexes, Endurance.
Sir Manuel di Garan
Sir di Garan is the son of the Baron's sister -- that is, his nephew. As the Baron's only living relative, he
expects to inherit the entire estate. His arrival here was something of a surprise to Gaberk, and the little dwarf
will resist the knight's efforts to investigate the eligibility of the party member chosen to "replace"
Handsome, vain and a little cruel, Sir di Garan is not a pleasant young man. He is easily insulted and easily
insults others in turn. Social class is very important to him and he will be rude to those he considers his inferiors
(that is, everyone else at the manor).
The knight has no idea that the Baron is not dead, and is proving to be something of an inconvenience to Gaberk.
The dwarf will try to put him and the party at odds. Sir di Garan is a fifth-level Fighter.
Sir di Garan, male human Fig5: Medium Humanoid (6ft. tall); HD 5d10+10; hp 61; Init +5 (+1 Dex, +4 Improved
Initiative); Spd 30ft.; AC 14 (+1 Dex, +3 armour); Atks +6 (longsword 1d8+2 crit ); AL LG; SV Fort +6 Ref +4 Will
+1; Str 13, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 12.
Skills: Ride +8, Listen +3, Spot +3, Climb +2 Feats: Power Attack, Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Lightning
Reflexes, Quick Draw.
Pilar was the Baroness' maidservant, and was devoted to her mistress. The poor woman's untimely demise has left
her distraught and confused. She realizes that she is not very welcome at the manor house but she can't leave just
yet. Her mistress still needs her.
She is just what she seems -- a gentle, kindhearted young woman with nothing to hide. Pilar is terrified of
both Gaberk and Ivanior and will do whatever they say -- unless she sees that her mistress' remaining essence (the
ghost in area 9) is being threatened. Then she will act without thinking to do what she can to help.
Pilar is a first-level Commoner.
Pilar Lomonaco, female human Com1: Medium Humanoid (5ft. 4 in. tall); HD 1d4; hp 2; Init +0; Spd 30 ft.; AC
10; Atks +0 melee (fist 1d3-1 sub); AL NG; SV Fort +0, Reflex +0 Will +0; Str 8, Dex 10, Con 9, Int 13, Wis 10,
Skills: Jump +3, Spot +1; Feats: none.
Sphere of Transference
This crystal ball is about three inches in diameter and is usually found mounted on a silver framework of some
sort. The globe acts in much the same way as a magic jar spell, in that it can hold the soul of a person and swap
that soul for another's. If a sphere is found, there is a 30% chance that it currently holds a soul.
Touching the sphere has the immediate effect of sucking the soul of the person who touches it into the sphere.
A Will Save (DC 17) negates this effect. If there is not currently a soul in the sphere then the toucher's body
falls limp, apparently dead. If there is currently a soul in the sphere, then it moves into the toucher's body
and takes over, while the toucher's soul moves into the body of the captive soul if it still lives, or into the
sphere if it does not.
This take-over takes thirty minutes. During this time, a dispel magic will return the two souls to where they
were originally. The death of either of the souls' original bodies during this time will cause both souls to return
to their respective bodies (the one only to die). Spell-casting characters will not be able to cast all spells
until this thirty-minute span is complete. Spells become available according to the following timetable:
0 - 1st level - Immediately
2 - 3rd level - After ten minutes
4 - 6th level - After twenty minutes
7th level and up - After thirty minutes
Once thirty minutes have passed, the transference becomes permanent. The death of either body has no effect
and a dispel magic no longer reverses the switch. The only way to reverse the effect now is via a limited wish
or through the mechanism of the sphere of transference again.
Caster Level: 16th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, magic jar; Market Price: 40,000gp;
Weight: 4 lb.
Ring of Paralysis
This simple silver band has the unfortunate effect of placing the wearer under an immediate hold person spell.
The only way to end the effect is by removing the ring from the finger.
Caster Level: 10th; Prerequisites: Forge Ring, hold person; Market Price: 4,000gp;