Friday, April 20, 2012

The Dungeon: Level 4 - The Lizard King

The Lizard King crawled from the mire of the water pool and wandered The Dungeon for a time before claiming these halls for his own.  He frequently visits the river on the left side of the map via secret (as in: not available to the characters) submerged passages, and has laid claim to most of that pool's spawn.  In his own twisted way, he loves the monstrous beasts that it spawns, and guards them well against the other denizens of The Dungeon.  He may appear during any combat on this level to lend aid to his poor attacked 'pets'.

This may be the most random of the levels inside The Dungeon.  The hallways range from cavernous to confined, rough wall to worked stone, and from high and dry to fully submerged.  The creatures that dwell here consist of a menagerie of monstrous beasts barely kept from slaughtering each other by an inscrutable ancient lizard king. It also serves as a rarely traveled crossroads, with access to four other levels:
  • The goblins on level 1 rarely venture close to the water out of fear of the owlbear who often plucks rats out of the hordes that live on the far shore
  • The bugbears on level 3 have made incursions in the past, but the threat of the predatory trolls keeps them in check
  • The trolls on level 6 have access to a pool, but use it only for fishing to supplement their diet of bugbear and hate.  Thanks to their secret tunnel, they can also sneak in through a back door, but why bother?
  • The giant spiders on level 8 are content to lurk in their holes.  Giant webs span the stairs and ledge that connect these two levels, providing a clear warning as to what lies beyond the large pool.
The Dungeon: Level 4 - The Lizard King


This level ties The Dungeon together in ways beyond the mere physical.  Access to the submerged treasure can be achieved by tapping into the water breathing properties of the Well of Water in the Dragon's Lair.  The knock spell inside Garinginax's spellbooks on Level 7 can negate the wizard lock on the door to Level 1, making for a much shorter (and dryer) route between the dungeon entrance and the deeper levels.  Finally, the characters may have already encountered a clue to the existence of the Tree of Solace in the tapestry hanging in the study on Level 2.

In fact, due to the properties of the Tree of Solace, this portion of The Dungeon may become a favored stopping point for the characters.  The Lizard King's throne room, with its one exit, may serve as a relatively safe harbor for the party as well - if they can devise a way to bar the door from wandering monsters.

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