Land of Vampires Adventure Three
The Land of Vampires series continues with “The Seed of Corruption,” a four-part level 4 adventure for one GM and one player! In what follows, we’ll cover part three of this duet adventure where the party explores the lower floor and basement of Renwick’s Manor, a haunting locale on the edge of the Fetid Fields!
We’ll be releasing this campaign in serial this summer and fall in part thanks to the incredible support of our patrons—thank you all! If you’re enjoying this campaign and would like to support us, we’d love for you to join us on Patreon!
Part Three: Down Below
The Vile Vault
The evil hidden within has corrupted this once great treasure hall.
- The entire vault has no natural source of light and is pitch black.
- The floors are covered with over a foot of water making this entire level difficult terrain.
The slippery staircase descends about thirty feet into the earth before spilling into a chamber. The sickly-sweet stench of decay permeates the room. Something died down here.
The smell comes from a mostly decomposed body with arm outstretched to the open northern door. A successful DC 13 Intelligence (Medicine) check revels that the body has been here for weeks. A subsequent successful DC 15 Intelligence (Investigation) check allows the party to discern that this is a wildling man. Evidently, he etched a note in the wall. The script is in Giant and reads: when one door closes, another opens.
It’s true. The doors in the vault are enchanted such that only one door can be open at a time. To proceed, characters must close one door before they can open the next.
[GM’s note: Depending on your party’s preferences, you can tell them this function of the dungeon or have the PC work to figure it out. As a middle ground, a successful DC 15 Intelligence (Investigation) check could help the PC put the pieces together for the doors’ mechanics.]
V2. Trapped Stairs
Two sets of stairs descend further into the dark.
Both stairs turn into slides as soon as a character sets foot on them. A character going down the northmost stair faces an open spike pit at the end of their slide and must succeed on a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw or suffer 1d6 bludgeoning and 1d6 piercing damage.
V3. Guard Hall
In the northernmost vestibule, an ancient crank shimmers in the darkness.
Bars block the way into areas V4 and V5, though with light, the characters can see into those areas. These bars are indeed controlled by the crank in the vestibule, but a gelatinous cube currently engulfs the crank.
The crank simultaneously opens the way to areas V4 and V5.
V4. The Cage
Behind bars, a grotesque, bloated blob of flesh paces. It hungrily reaches out toward your warmth.
Nehemiah Renwick lured his family into this cage believing that they were conspiring to take the Heart of the Field from him. Their anguish, and the corruption from the gem, prevented them from dying. In a fit of madness fueled by starvation, they eventually began eating one another, resulting in the hulking undead abomination that is now trapped. The compiled Renwick family uses the ogre zombie stat block.
Once the terrifying thing is defeated, the relieved ghost of Malachi Renwick who was a child when his father locked him and his family into the vault recounts his grisly end and cautions that his father never left the chamber of riches across the way. Once the boy’s spirit is laid to rest, his essence protects the chamber from evil intrusion for the next 24-hours, and the party gains the benefits of a long rest.
V5. False Fortune
Glittering piles of plunder fill both chambers of this vault.
The gold and riches piled here have corroded over the centuries. A thorough investigation nets the party only about 500gp worth of valuables out of the countless thousands amassed here, ruined by the ravages of time and the jewel’s corruption.
Characters in the northernmost chamber feel a heavy sense of loss and waste. As they look around, a DC 13 Intelligence (Investigation) or Wisdom (Perception) check reveals an odd inset on the western wall, inscribed in Common in a flowery script: One’s most prized possession, offered, secured, desired, returned. This riddle is the key to opening the secret door to area V7.
This riddle is a roleplay opportunity. The PC must offer an item that’s valuable to them to have it magically secured in the vault. They then must desire the item back, which will open the secret door into V7.
V6. Moldy Path
Patches of orange and green mold and pockets of complete darkness cover this chamber in an alternating pattern.
Success on a DC 14 Wisdom (Nature or Survival) check reveals that the chamber contains several pockets of either blight mold or burst mold.
Blight mold appears in patches of 5-10 square feet and devours light in a 15-ft.-radius. Additionally, a character entering a patch of blight mold must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or suffer the blinded condition for 1d4 hours.
Burst mold releases dangerous gases in a 10-ft.-radius sphere that explosively react to the presence of any flame. A PC must make a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw or else suffer 6d6 fire damage, or half as much on a success.
[GM’s note: You have flexibility in terms of how many of the squares are covered by the mold and how difficult it is for your party to traverse this space. A checkerboard pattern with a few safe spots would work well, but if the PC or a companion are extremely hurt, this room could become deadly quite quickly.]
A dark, beautiful gemstone floats in a silent, pristine tomb. At first glance it seems to be suspended magically in the air, but a faint shift in the air reveals the ghostly form of an awestruck specter holding it aloft with mouth agape, entranced.
This spirit is what is left of Nehemiah Renwick, now a wraith. If the party disturbs his reverie in any way, he turns on them, jealously clutching the item to his incorporeal chest.
Most of Renwick’s memories are spotty, pushed aside by his obsession with the green gem. If someone broaches the subject of his family’s fate, he sems truly remorseful, but then fixes his gaze on the gem once more. It takes a truly compelling argument to make him relinquish his treasure. This can be achieved by a character sympathizing with his situation and reassuring him that the gem will be in good hands. Persuading Renwick requires two or more DC 15 Charisma (Persuasion) checks. If the party insists on taking it by force, he attacks.
[GM’s note: Renwick is a formidable boss creature for level 4 characters, especially for a party of two (one PC, one GMPC/companion). Some alterations to his stats include reducing Renwick’s hp at the beginning of or during the encounter, reducing the damage of the life drain action (such as 2d8 + 3 rather than 4d8 + 3), and removing the create specter action.]
The Heart of the Field
This gem is indeed the item that Lazarus seeks. Casting the legend lore spell reveals the following information about this item:
This is a sacred item from one of the four fanes, namely the Field Fane, the home of Eronia. Under normal circumstances, this item would be one of blessing rather than corruption, but Steymhorod’s fall twisted its true nature, making it a fount of pollution and terror. The corrupted gemstone has caused the fields in Steymhorod to turn foul and swampy, much like the Fetid Fields.
Until restored to the Fane of the Fields, this item slowly causes the area around it in a 10-mile radius to become corrupted. Mundane insects, snakes, and spiders become unnaturally huge and aggressive. Crops rot on the stalks. And an aching despair takes root in the hearts of mortals.
Land of Vampires is a serial adventure created under the OGL with 5e SRD resources. The support of our patrons makes this campaign possible. If you’d like to receive a new adventure PDF each month and support our creation of a full duet campaign, join us on Patreon! Alternatively, you can now purchase the first five adventures in this campaign in the DnD Duet shop! (Patrons receive the compiled adventures as part of their patron rewards.)
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