Deathdusk PassagePosted by Corwin
Sarah Darkmagic and NewbieDM have kicked off their downloadable delves, found right here. I wanted to contribute something that could work as a full dungeon delve instead of a single encounter, and here’s what I came up with.
Deathdusk Passage is a collection of three short encounters designed for five players of 1st to 3rd level, taking place in an ominous underground tunnel that connects any two locations of your campaign. After entering the tunnel, the adventurers will become trapped in a hallway where they must fight off oozes and attempt to escape. Next, they will discover a dangerously deep pit; while attempting to cross, monstrous bats will descend upon them and attack. Finally, as they near the exit, statues surrounding an ancient gate come to life, attacking the players as they try to make their escape.
Appearing at first glance to be the entrance to an ornate, stone crypt, the Deathdusk passage has existed for centuries as a shortcut for those willing to brave its darkness. Its craftsmanship is of dwarven origin—no other stonework would have endured so long—though the purpose of its construction remains a mystery.
Just inside, stairs descend into the darkness, masking the presence of hungry monsters, just waiting for a party of inexperienced adventurers. What lies beyond the entrance in uncertain; few have seen and survived the dangers of Deathdusk passage, and they refuse to speak of what lies below. But even without credibility, stories surrounding the passage are plentiful. Tales of endless pits, deadly traps, and forsaken travelers, now waiting in the deep to embrace new adventurers and pull them into the dark.
Whether from fear of such stories, or just simple superstitions, most people ignore the passage entirely, choosing instead to follow the slow and winding mountain trail to their destination. Such a choice is wise, and those who make it nearly always reach their destination unscathed; those that enter Deathdusk passage, on the other hand, are more likely to disappear than reach the other side. Most sneer at the few who dare to attempt the tunnel and lose their lives, but to some, those brave, adventurous few—the journey itself has always meant more than the destination.