JAMM1 -- Jet Black (v2)

D&D Module for Characters Level 3-7
by Jenni A. M. Merrifield
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Level 4

Map

Level 4

28. Secret Escape Route

Read the following if the PC's travel down through the secret door from the Magical Workroom and Laboratory (area 27)

This passage is roughly hewn out of stone and has stairs that descend approximately 30'. It appears to end at a dead end.

The secret door into the Magical Workroom and Laboratory (area 27) isn't a "secret" on this side, as it has an obvious latch for opening it. However the door into the river cavern is secret on both sides. To open it, a particular spot on the door must be pressed inwards.

Read the following if the PC's find the Secret door at the bottom of the passageway and figure out how to open it:

The secret doorway exits onto an irregularly shaped shallow beach. To the N is an underground river that flows from the E to the W. To the SW there is a curved rock wall and an entrance into a deep cavern that has been blocked by bars. There is a locked gateway at the W-most end of the bars.

This is a special "back door" that Matrissa could use in an ultimate emergency. Carved into the curved wall to the SW are is a deep shelf with two vials on it. These vials contain a potion of water breathing (blue) and a potion of invisibility (clear). From here, Matrissa could escape by travelling Upstream (area 31). The potions are to ensure that she can escape even if it is Spring and the river waters are high due to rain.

The gate through the bars is locked and the key may be found on Matrissa's key ring. It provides access to this area via the Cockatrice Pit (area 29), although Matrissa is highly unlikely to try such a risky move unless she could be sure of neutralizing the Cockatrice first.

29. Cockatrice Pit

This pit is approximately 25' high and is oddly shaped, with two narrow necks to the N and the NE. Metal bars block both necks. The bars to the NE have a gate in them.

Unless the PC's have been in the Magical Workroom and Laboratory (area 27) and fiddled with the cage controls, tell the PCs the following:

A 10' cubed cage hangs 10' from the ground, suspended beneath a 10' square hole in the ceiling by four cables. The bottom of the cage is open.

If the cage is up in the Magical Workroom and Laboratory (area 27) tell them the following.

There is a 10' square hole in the ceiling of the cavern.

There is a 10' square marked on the map to show you where the cage is located in space.

This is where Matrissa's Cockatrice "lives". It is a shockingly black cockatrice which is like a regular Cockatrice in all respect except that its feathers and scales are a dull matte-black and it turns its victims into black jet instead of a more standard stone such as granite. It will attack any living being that enters the pit.

(Cockatrice AC 6. HD 5**, hp 28, MV 90'(30') {flying 180'(60')}, #AT 1 beak, D 1d6 + petrifaction, SV F5, ML 7, XP 425.)

The sides of the cavern are curved and smooth and were obviously created by water action - this was once part of the underground river, before the course changed due to erosion of the walls. The floor is sandy and slightly damp. The bars were put in by Matrissa to stop her Cockatrice and any of her potential "artwork" escaping this way.

30. Downstream

If the PC's choose to investigate in this direction, tell them that they eventually discover several pipes exiting from the cavern wall after a short distance. These are the various drainpipes from her indoor plumbing. There should be some refuse still dripping out of the pipes and the smell should be described as pungent.

If the PC's explore any farther in this direction tell them that the corridor starts to get steeper and steeper the further they go. If the water is at its normal levels, they may successfully explore for a short distance, however, if they insist on going further, mention that as the angle of descent is getting steeper the speed of the water is increasing. If they still persist after several warnings, have one or two of them loose their balance but recover. The river cavern falls away in an abrupt lip some distance beyond this area and the water falls down a wet, slippery chute to an unknown depth. Any character who is foolish enough to continue and looses his balance near this point should fail to regain his feet and be swept away, never to be heard from again.

31. Upstream

If the PC's choose to explore in this direction, they should be able to make it all the way to the ravine where the stream first dips underground which is some distance away from Matrissa's manor. Normally, the river is shallow enough between here and the ravine for the PC's to travel without difficulty (except for being in the dark). Even if spring rains have made the water higher, the DM should make it just possible for someone to escape this way without needing to be able to breath water.


continued

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