Here There Be Science; Here There Be Dragons!
Inspired by The Wizard of Oz
An old, abandoned fortress that sits to the west of Wozington, about half a day’s journey. It became the home base of Elphabon soon after he was initiated into The Fury. The players find a map that leads them to this fortress, eventually confronting Elphabon for the first time on the second floor.
1. The only entrance into fortress, hidden from view by a group of bushes (15 Investigation or Perception finds the entrance)
Very plain, where visitors wait to be admitted, open portcullis door into a hallway 10 ft. wide.
2. Study, including a writing desk, destroyed furniture
Doppleganger (statue of grotesque-looking man…very similar to BetterBorn, with a Potion of Poison in its mouth and one in each hand, the potions look like healing potions, 700 XP), under the remains of the desk is found ten yellow (gold) bricks, worth 100 gp each.
3. Kitchen, designed to prepare food for a lot of people
Each B represents a patch of green slime, but the middle right B is a patch of brown mold (both described on DMG, 105)
4. Boxes with Xs indicate piles of goods and supplies
Tiktoks, minor engine golems (two, modified animated armor enhanced with a Str 21 potion, 300 XP each) hidden in pile attack when a box or part of the pile is moved, has treasure (roll once each from Magic Item Table C, DMG, 144).
5. Expensive works of art on display
Passive perception 15 leads to notice of concealed door, Investigation 20 finds and opens it. Contains eight paintings (four 250 gp, four 100 gp) that depict vivid scenes with dragons, beholders, and other creatures that are thought not to exist any longer, a common theme is a huge black dragon. Also includes a fancy certificate, recognizing the recipient as an admitted member of The Fury.
Each box with X is a tiktok that chants like the Winkie guards in Wizard of Oz (humming the melody of “Yoh Ee Yoh, Yoh-oh” with increasing intensity) while tiktoks at left side B presents a tray with four potions, one for each of the core elements (fire, earth, water, air). The tiktok with the tray says, “These elemental potions are meant to be thrown. One of them will melt the one that stands in your way. The others will do nothing. You have three chances to choose wisely.”
Players have three chances to throw the potion that will destroy the tiktok at right side B, who stands in their way out. At each failed attempt the tiktok throws a fireball at a random player for 1d10 fire damage. Water potion is the correct one. If they fail, they must fight the tiktok. Either way, in the end they gain a glass orb filled with water and a clockwork goldfish that clicks when near a secret door (Hot-cold style).
7. Bath, outfitted with marble floor and luxurious decorations (bracket marks show edges of bath), empty room
Each B on either side is a collapsing roof trap (DMG, 122), 15 Passive Perception to spot it
8. Dining room for informal meals
Great-looking meal, room locks when players enter, anyone who touches the food is shocked (1d10 lightning damage), but the drinks (eight of them) are Potions of Gaseous Form (DMG, 187, gaseous form spell that end when a player escapes the room under the door)
9. Source of drinking water, waterfall on right side (light grey = small step up, dark grey = 5-ft. deep water)
Four apes with flying ability (100 XP each), and one emerald-colored ape with flying and stone giant strength ability (300 XP, 23 Str); the emerald ape has a pouch around its neck that contains a set of keys to the rest of the dungeon (doors leading into 10, 12, and side room), and an elemental emerald (DMG, 167)
Side room: Pantry, including good quality wines, includes three of a potion that is rolled on Magic Item Table C (p.145)
10. Game room to entertain visitors
Upon entrance, the three cauldrons at the end are activated, the gaming supplies that were once strewn all over the floor (cards, dice, boards, tokens, coins, chess pieces, etc.) swirl throughout the room in an impressive display as an image of Elphabon’s head and shoulders come into view above the cauldrons. Every player that can see and hear this trick must make a DC 15 Wisdom save or be stunned (can’t move, can speak only falteringly). Every minute (in real time) the players remain in the room, each must take 1d4 damage from the flying game pieces. A player can try the Wisdom save again each time they take damage.
The door is always unlocked, but Elphabon’s image tries to provoke the players by taunting and intimidating them, trying to force them to stay in the room and/or to attack the image. Nothing happens when the image or the cauldrons are hit. All the magic tricks end when two of the cauldrons are knocked over (DC 20 Str check).
11. Crypt belonging to fortress’s previous master (basically, Elphaba from Wicked)
Written on a marble slab: “Here lies the remnants of a true lady of Fury; she who defied gravity.” Within less than a minute of entering the room, gravity is negated. Players begin to realize they are lifted off the ground and are stuck in mid-air. Trick vanishes when the players return to the hallway outside the chamber.
12. Sleeping quarters for guards and other inhabitants
Nothing special, about a dozen beds and matching chests filled with ragged clothing, furniture mostly wrecked except for one higher quality chest in very good condition at the B, unlocked, it contains 120 gp.
13. Dueling/training ground, elaborate, includes observation deck (up by 13, where stairs going up appear also)
There is a stone triceratops in the center of the room, each B holds a glass orb that when shattered spills a purple liquid to the triceratops, when all four potions are spilled, the modified (fire-breathing) triceratops attacks. Once it is defeated, the clockwork goldfish starts to click loudly, leading to the secret door at 13. It is still possible to open the door to go upstairs without fighting the triceratops, but it requires 25 Perception and 20 Investigation to find and open it. Plus, the clockwork goldfish won’t click while the triceratops is still around.
Before players proceed to the next floor, play Heroes of Awesome: A War in Scarlet Chapter 6, beginning at 45:20. In this clip, the DM says, “They can now proceed to the next floor, the terrible floor, the awful floor of death.”
1. Rather plain, except for a few oil-drum-sized containers (8 along the wall facing the stairway) connected to pipes that weave their way up to the ceiling and down the hallway (to room 2), the containers hold common but particularly volatile alchemy ingredients that need to be personally monitored, it is clear that this alchemist is rather skilled with many different types of ingredients and liquids.
2. The pipes in room 1 lead to three larger, hot-tub-sized containers that mix different ingredients. Bigger pipes from these containers lead to room 6.
3. Library, once someone steps on the large rug in the center of the floor, an acid substance begins to bubble up and pop, causing a chain reaction that spreads from the carpet to the bookshelves all around the room. All players in the room must make a DC 15 Dex save or take 2d10 acid damage (half damage on success). All books and other documents in the room are destroyed.
4. Storage room with bottles, extra containers, and other alchemy tools. There is an hourglass full of ruby dust (worth 1,000 gp total) that, five minutes (real time) after it is turned, the player who turned the hourglass makes a DC 15 Wisdom save. If they fail, the hourglass deals 1d10 psychic damage to the one who turned it and blinds them for 1 hour (half damage and half-hour blindness on a success). The magic is in the whole item, not in the dust, so the effect ends when it is broken. Players can pocket the ruby dust for the gold.
5. A shrine (to The Fury). All features and furnishings are on the left wall by #5. There is a plain, black and red rug, and an ancient-looking tome (a poetic book of history, telling the story of a female druid oppressed by a civilized man but is silently planning his murder. History 10 reveals that this story is a parable, describing how the wild, natural world was subdued and tamed by science, technology, and civilization but will one day be destroyed by the fury of giants, beholders, dragons, and other monsters now thought to no longer exist) on a podium in front of it. There is a clockwork black dragon mounted on the wall (above the rug and tome), which comes alive as the players enter the room. The eyes glow red and the dragon speaks these words,
“The ancient earth, they now subdue
With order and appliance.
All they (refuse!) declare on cue:
‘Here, there be Science!’
Yet soon the vernal sun will fail,
We’ll fill the bitter flagons,
When all the world will wee & wail:
‘Here, there be Dragons!’”
It then watches the players expectantly, as if waiting for a verbal response. The proper response is, “Hail the Fury! May it reign forever upon the world!” If anything else is said, the dragon glares at the players and asks slowly, suspiciously, “Who run the world?” The answer is “The Fury.” If anyone answers, “girls,” the dragon asks which girl (again, the answer is “The Fury”). At any wrong answer, the clockwork dragon roars and sprays acid on the rug, the tome, and itself, destroying everything in the room. All players in the room must make a 15 Dex save or take 2d10 acid damage (half damage on success). At any right answer, the dragon becomes inactive. The tome can be taken as proof of the existence of The Fury (though it is not a religious cult, it is a secret society and this tome is a copy of what is essentially their bible).
6. Main brewing room, contains two alchemy jugs (p.150, smaller circles), the one closer to #6 is a poison needle trap (p.123) that also breaks the jug, the other jug is no trap and can be taken, four oval shapes are statues of plain human figures (left to right: stone, bronze, marble, and a tiktok) that have received various potion effects, as if potions have been splashed on them (partially disintegrated, charred/burn marks, different colored stains)
7. Main study, with elaborate desk and bookshelves, shelves of empty bottles (all useful potions have been pocketed into Elphabon’s Bag of Holding). Two brass statues are placed in the center of the room. Upon hearing the sounds of commotion downstairs, Elphabon prepares to face the intruders by arming himself with his own potions and continuing his writing and studying at his desk. He has a few recipe books, books of dragon lore, letters, and maps. He begins to destroy them as the intruders come nearer. He never gets around to destroying the letters inside the locked drawer of his desk, which contain ambiguous accounts of exchanges and correspondence, but are addressed to a sorcerer named Aryan.
When the players arrive, Elphabon begins the showdown by throwing a potion to the ground, setting the walls on fire. The walls don’t burn, just fall back to expand the room to 40×40ft. The brass statues become tiktoks come to life to attack the players as Elphabon increases his power with potions (see table of potions on his stat card).