This is the blog. Click here to go to the Zenopus Archives website.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

The Forgotten Smugglers' Cave #3: Grotto

This is an installment of the Forgotten Smugglers' Cave, which starts here.

Area 5

Area 2 Area 4

Area 8

3. GROTTO WITH ROCKY BEACH: The east end of the sea cave tunnel (Area 2) opens into a large natural cave, roughly circular with a 50 ft. diameter. The sea water extends into the grotto in a semi-circular pool, ending at a rocky beach, varying in radius from 10-20 feet, dependent on the tide. A carrion crawler currently lairs here.

Pool. At the entrance to the cave, the depth of the water in the pool ranges from 3 feet at low tide to 13 feet at high tide. At any time, there is a 3 in 6 chance the carrion crawler is hanging on the wall over the pool, fishing in the water. If so, there is a 2 in 6 chance it will attack a character as they enter (check for each as they enter), surprising on 1-4 in 6.  

Carrion Crawler: DX 12, AC 7, HD 3+1, hp 14, AT 8, D 0 + paralysis.

If the carrion crawler is not fishing, it will either (4 on the initial die roll) be on a wall of the cave, or (5-6) under the old rowboat described below.

The Crawler in the Grotto by Lore Suto
(click on image to enlarge, particularly if a moire pattern is visible)

Rocky Beach. The remainder of the grotto is a pebble and stone-covered beach that was once the unloading area for the smugglers. From the beach, there are three other exits visible, all natural passages, heading to the north (sloping up to Area 5), east (Area 4, see Rails below), south (sloping down to Area 8). During the day, the area is dimly lit by natural light filtering down the sea cave tunnel (except at high tide), and from the north.

An inspection of the rocks of the beach will turn up numerous bones, mostly of fish, but several that are human, evidently those of previous explorers who became victims of the carrion crawler.

Agates. For each turn spent searching the rocks, there is a 1 in 6 chance of finding a beach agate, up to a maximum of 1d10 agates. The base value of each is 10 g.p., with a chance of being worth more per the rules of the Gems table (i.e., a 1 in 6 chance of being worth 50 g.p., and if so there is a 1 in 6 chance of being worth 100 g.p., etc.). As agates are reputed to improve sleep (AD&D DMG, pg 26), optionally allow a character who keeps one of 100 g.p. or greater on their person at all times to gain 1 extra hit point per night of rest.

Rails. A rusted pair of rails for a small cart start about 10' ft. from the east wall and extend off down the eastern passage (Area 4). There is no cart is present.

"The Old Rowboat" by Lore Suto, click on the image for a larger view

Old Rowboat. In the northeast portion of the cave, above the high tide line, is an old turned-over rowboat, under which the carrion crawler rests. The wood of the boat is remarkably well-preserved for its age due to waterproofing with pine pitch. It can hold 4 people, and will float but unless re-waterproofed will slowly fill with water from leaks between boards. It is too large to fit through the entrance to the sea cave (Area 1). A pitted iron anchor rests against the grotto wall near the rowboat, but there are no oars present.

The adventure continues in several directions from here. Follow the links on the above map; if there is no link to an area, it has not been posted yet. Chronologically on this blog, the next posted installment was Area 4.

A hearty thanks to Lore Suto for kindly contributing the original art featured above!

1 comment:

  1. Nicely described room. Nice drawing of one of my favorite monsters.