Monday, February 26, 2007

Lighthouse Ruins

After launching their vessel with Old Man Thorenson, the players have crossed Onuago Bay and approach Harpy Point. According to the locals, the only accessible landing on all of Harpy Point is at the base of the cliffs below the abandoned lighthouse. This location details that area and the lighthouse above.

The ruins of an old lighthouse adorn the promontory at the top of Harpy Point. Gargoyles have occupied the stony structure, where they rest upon the domed lamp at the top of the structure.

1 Rocky Shore

Waves beat upon the rocks, the sound conjuring up the blacksmith's hammer against an anvil. The wide island has nary a entry point, even from the air. Sharp rocks line the shore like pikes set against an invading army.

After some time floating in the water and making successful search checks vs. DC 25 (35 or more if night) the party spies a narrow slit in the rocks, just large enough for a skiff to skirt the spikes. A DC 25 profession (sailing) check is required to successfully navigate the passage without damage to the vessel. Should their ship flounder, DC 15 swim checks are required to traverse the channel leading to the tiny shore and steps.

2 Stony Steps

On the other side of the narrow passage, a 10' shore provides a landing at the bottom of a set of stones set into the cliff.

If the players land and climb the steps, they find that they are slick. Every 60' along this 240' natural staircase, players must make a DC 10 climb check or slip.

3 Ledge

Most of the way (180') up the stone steps there is a ledge that overlooks the sea. Screeches echo across the sky, but no visible creatures descend. An old lighthouse looms above, the solemn destination of this rocky climb.

4 Promontory

The steps end here at the tip of a promontory which juts out over the sea. A lighthouse looms at hand here, the far end of this level of the island. A passable trail appears to descend down into the lower interior of the island beyond the lighthouse.

5 Lighthouse Entry

The lighthouse has fallen into disrepair. The door hangs on to its last rotting fibers, revealing a small room behind.

As the players approach, read:

The door falls off its hinges, splintering into multiple half-boards. The cracking wood echoes up and back down the staircase up in to the darkness, followed by a faint screech.

The doorway enters into a cloak room, at the far end of which is set of steps, leading up. The cloak room has been vandalized; anything that may have had value has been gone for some time now.

6 Narrow Spiral Staircase

This narrow staircase is very poorly lit, and the crumbling walls reveal severe rot in the mortar. The place is absent of all smell; not even the salty sea penetrates the porous walls.

The steps can only support a small amount of weight at a time, so they creak and moan as the players ascend. If the party weight exceeds 1,000 pounds, they collapse at a weak point 40' up the ascent and the party falls, taking 4d6 points of falling damage. A DC 15 search check and a DC 10 knowledge (engineering or architecture) check will allow the players to spot the weak point as they approach it.

7 Lamp

The staircase opens out into a platform overlooking the bay. Stone gargoyles adorn the rooftop, an odd adornment for such a utilitarian structure. The lamp unit itself has long since disappeared, and the glass dome is all broken.

Creatures (EL 11): The gargoyles are (of course!) alive, and move once the players are in range of their surprise attacks. From their vantage atop the lighthouse, they have been aware of the party ever since they set foot on Harpy Point.

If the encounter with the party of initially unfriendly gargoyles goes well (DC 25 Diplomacy check to modify their attitude from unfriendly to friendly) the party can gain a valuable source of information about the lay of Harpy Point and it's namesakes. They are on more or less friendly terms with the harpies, and if the gargoyles are convinced to be helpful (DC 40 Diplomacy check) they will be given a token that will help them negotiate later encounters with the harpies: the ritual greeting the gargoyles use whenever beginning a conversation with them, "Winged wretches, all on rock, gaze at morsels on the dock, sea foam splash, thunder clash, on the stones their bodies crash." Opening a conversation with the harpies using this rhyme will give a +4 circumstance bonus on Diplomacy checks.

If the party is hostile or threatening, however, they gargoyles will gladly attempt to rend them limb from limb.

A party of gargoyles has taken up residence in this abandoned lighthouse. They have traveled far together over the years from their people's home in the wastelands to the east of the Middle Kingdoms. Seasoned adventurers, they have lived here for some months in relative comfort, picking off the citizens of Onuago and the other towns around the bay. They are single-handedly the most responsible force for decimating the population of the nearby settlements. Their names are pronounced with a trilled r, and double consonants are pronounced twice.

Partaxis CR 7
Male gargoyle fighter 3
CE Medium-Size monstrous humanoid (earth)
Init: +3 Senses: darkvision 60 ft. Listen +4, Spot +4
Languages: common

AC: 22 (+5 armor, +4 natural, +3 dex) touch 13, flatfooted 19
HP: 81 (HD 4d8 + 3d10 + 42) DR 10/Magic
Fort: +10 Ref: +8 Will: +6

MV: 40 ft., fly 60 ft (average)
Attack: overclaw gauntlet +13 (1d6+5 / 19-20 x 2)
Full Attack: overclaw gauntlet +14 (1d6+5 / 19-20 x 2) and claw +12 (1d4+4) and bite +10 (1d6+2) and gore +10 (1d6+2)
Space / Reach: 5 ft. / 5 ft.
Base Attack: +7 Grapple: +15

Abilities Str 19 Dex 17 Con 22 Int 7 Wis 12 Cha 4
SQ: freeze
Feats: Multiattack, Improved Critical (overclaw gauntlet), Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple, Weapon Focus (overclaw gauntlet)
Skills: Hide +7*, Swim +7, Listen +4, Spot +4

possessions: breastplate, +1 overclaw gauntlet.

Rexx-r CR 7
Male Gargoyle sorcerer 3
AL Medium Size monstrous humanoid (earth)
Init: +3 Senses: darkvision 60 ft. Listen +6, Spot +6
Languages: terran, some common

AC: 21 (+4 natural, +4 mage armor, +3 dex) touch 13, flatfooted 18
HP: 54 (HD 4d8+3d4+28) DR 10/Magic
Fort: +7 Ref: +9 Will: +10 - with resistance

MV: 40 ft., fly 60 ft (average)
Attack: claw + 9 (1d4)
Full Attack: 2 claws +9 (1d4+3) and bite +7 (1d6+1) and gore +7 (1d6+1)
Space / Reach: 5 ft. / 5 ft.
Base Attack: +5 Grapple: +8

Abilities Str 16 Dex 17 Con 19 Int 4 Wis 14 Cha 11
SQ: freeze
Feats: Multiattack, Still Spell, Combat Casting
Skills: Concentration +8, Hide +7*, Listen +6, Sense Motive +3, Spot +6

Spells Available:
0th (6 per day): detect magic, daze, ghost sound, ray of frost, resistance
1st (5 per day): mage armor, ray of enfeeblement, shocking grasp

Possessions: spell component pouch on a lanyard.

Tortt CR 7
Female Gargoyle rogue 3
LE Medium Size monstrous humanoid (earth)
Init: +5 Senses: darkvision 60 ft. Listen +4, Spot +8
Languages: common

AC: 21 (+4 natural, +5 dex, +1 dodge, +1 deflection) touch 16, flatfooted 16
HP: 71 (HD 4d8+3d6+35) DR 10/Magic
Fort: +7 Ref: +11 Will: +5, Evasion

MV: 40 ft., fly 60 ft (average)
Attack: short sword + 11 (1d6+4)
Full Attack: short sword + 11 (1d6+4) and claw +10 (1d4+3) and bite +8 (1d6+1) and gore +8 (1d6+1)
Attack Options: Sneak Attack +2d6
Space / Reach: 5 ft. / 5 ft.
Base Attack: +6 Grapple: +9

Abilities Str 17 Dex 19 Con 20 Int 10 Wis 11 Cha 4
SQ: Freeze, Evasion
SA: Trap Sense +1, Trapfinding
Feats: Multiattack, Dodge, Mobility
Skills: Craft (trapmaking) +3, Disable Device +8, Hide +7*, Listen +4, Sense Motive +5, Search +6, Spot +8, Tumble +6

Possessions: +1 Short Sword, Ring of Protection +1.

Kattaxx CR 7
Female Gargoyle cleric 3
NE Medium Size monstrous humanoid (earth)
Init: +1 Senses: darkvision 60 ft. Listen +4, Spot +4
Languages: common, some terran

AC: 19 (+4 natural, +5 armor, +1 dex) touch 11, flatfooted 19
HP: (HD 4d8+?) DR 10/Magic
Fort: +8 Ref: +5 Will: +9

MV: 40 ft., fly 60 ft (average)
Attack: claw + 13 (1d4+6)
Full Attack: claw +13 (1d4+6) and claw +12 (1d4+6) and bite +10 (1d6+3) and gore +10 (1d6+3)
Space / Reach: 5 ft. / 5 ft.
Base Attack: +6 Grapple: +12

Abilities Str 19 (23) Dex 12 Con 19 Int 8 Wis 14 Cha 9
SQ: freeze,
SA: command or rebuke undead, turn air creatures, rebuke or command earth creatures, scent
Feats: Multiattack, Combat Casting, Power Attack
Skills: Concentration +8, Hide +7*, Knowledge (religion) +2, Listen +4, Spot +4

Spells Prepared or Available:
1st: bless (already cast), cure light wounds, magic fang* (already cast)
2nd: cure moderate wounds, bull's strength (already cast)
Domains: domain (bestial, earth)

Possessions: chain mail, holy symbol of Kerilia, Major Elemental Spirit: a piece of unworked granite on a lead chain.

Tactics: The gargoyles have prepared with some spells as the PCs have approached their roost, already included in their stats above. The gargoyles' close-quarter tactics include well-coordinated attacks especially between the sorcerer, rogue and fighter. The fighter will often grapple an opponent, who the rogue will quickly slay with a flurry of sneak attacks. Spellcasters who draw attention to themselves will be countered with bull rushes or grapples followed by a drop from the heights onto wave-beaten rocks 400 feet below. They be tight.

If reduced to less than 1/4 HP, the gargoyles will attempt to flee the scene, and will probably move off to less hostile pastures, perhaps in the mountains near castle Steiglitz.

Treasure: The gargoyles have managed to collect a fair amount of wealth from their victims, and have hidden it within rotating mechanism upon which the broken lamp rests. It consists of several leather sacks and a backpack with 53 platinum coins, 200 gold coins, 525 silver coins, a small gold bracelet worth 4 gold, a solid gold sculpture of tritons on hippocampus worth 750 gold, a freshwater pearl worth 10 gold, a black pearl worth 550 gold, a polished obsidian worth 15 gold, and a golden yellow topaz worth 450 gold. Tortt, the rogue, has rigged it with a crude crossbow trap, however, as a precaution against her friends stealing what she considers hers.

Basic Arrow Trap:
CR 1; mechanical; proximity trigger; manual reset; Atk +10 ranged (1d6/×3, arrow); Search DC 20; Disable Device DC 20.

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