Author: Kelly Berger 3/2019, based on blurb and great hall map by Arabus Grenier 2/2019
There are several untrusted servants and guards left, as well as trusted staff and some mercenaries. The professionals and trusted staff have had a few days to prepare some ideas and traps, and since they will be forewarned, the chaos and looting will cover their setup to whittle the party down.
AC 12 [studded], HP: 16 [+6 Second Wind]; dagger, improvised weapons, spear (+2 damage dueling style)
> The jail guards know that they will not be treated well – there is only victory or death for them.
$ 12 silver
AC 11, HP: 6, Unaligned, Weapons: knives, fire pokers, kitchen utensils
Servants will look tough, but surrender if they can before a fight starts.
> If the surrender of the servants is not accepted, the party reputation suffers a major penalty.
AC 13 [studded, +1 AC style], HP: 24 [+7 Second Wind]; Unaligned, Weapons: spear, short sword, helmet + [Action Surge]
House Guardsmen will fight until damaged, then surrender.
> If the surrender of the guards is not accepted, the party reputation suffers a minor penalty.
$ 25 silvers
AC 11 [leather], HP: 8, unaligned with spear
> Levy will only fight if they win initiative, then surrender after as a Reaction. They will keep fighting if they feel they will be wiped out. If the surrender of the levy troops is not accepted, the party reputation suffers a minor penalty.
Trusted obsessive attendant for his Lordship + wife (who he is teaching magic to)
With his master feared dead (his familiar says something’s not quite right), he is looking to find a way to ingratiate himself to his master’s ally (the simulacrum – who he thinks is the real magus) or family. He will surrender after the first hit and would and claim to simply be doing his job.
AC: 10/13, HP: 6,4 = 12
> Wizard 1: Thunderwave, Grease; mage hand, ray of frost, prestidigitation + spell book in alternate master bedroom [5 other spells]. He has a potion of levitation and a scroll of Mage Armor x2
Trusted intermediary for Bragget and family priestess; her family is indoctrinated to her faith. The husband knows of the Shadowmancer and both are helping him with the preparation for ritual of resurrection and creating the foci.
+ husband (Fighter 1) AC: 12; HP: 18; Strength 16; mace (under clothes)
+ 1 daughter (Cloistered) AC: 12; HP: 8; dagger (hidden in clothes); Sacred Flame, Light
She is looking for a way to prove her worth to the shadowmancer. Taking down a wounded party would be it. If they seem too strong she will look for a weaker moment.
> Cleric 2; AC 12 [studded]; HP 14; of The Grave Goddess – http://dnd5e.wikidot.com/cleric:grave
Healing Word, Cure Light Wounds, Inflict Wounds
= Will use 2 rounds of prep to cast cure wounds or healing word [spoken in draconic] to gain their trust, then inflict wounds (auto fail save for 30 damage) using a curse in draconic (if party did not recognize it) language the round before.
Path to the Grave: Starting at 2nd level, you can use your Channel Divinity  to mark another creature’s life force for termination. As an action, you choose one creature you can see within 30 feet of you, cursing it until the end of your next turn. The next time you or an ally of yours hits the cursed creature with an attack, the creature has vulnerability to all of that attack’s damage, and then the curse ends.
A trusted aide and dedicated majordomo to his Lordship. He is looking to perhaps take a position in running things. He believes his master to be dead, and his wife to be weak. Installing himself as a temporary lord and making it permanent would be his first plan.
+ wife/2 kids (non-combatants)
> Rogue 4th (Assassin); AC 14 [leather]; HP 15; stiletto [AP D3] Robe of Useful Items; House Control Amulet: Armor, Rug, and Sword at the front reception
Farro will do his best to ambush and kill the party, before he turns on his performance of the sad, elder butler terrified for his life. He will claim to have gotten lucky, if he does kill. He will offer all his jewelry and any information – vague and general – without truly betraying the family.
They know that a partner of his Lordship is really running things locally and that there is some sort of expected incursion, but not that the head of the family is dead. They have been asked to support this partner while he is around (they have only dealt with the simulacrum). They know he [simulacrum] sometimes takes the visage of the head of the family (to draw out assassins and keep his presence known to few) to ask for materials. None of them are involved in the plot or cult in town. They have resources to survive a loss of the manse and rebuild, and are more interested in keeping the family together and defending the blood than stopping the looting. In fact, the family was seeking a more defensible position from the traditional middle-of-the-city location of the manse. That will not mean they won’t sue the party for damages or accuse them of atrocities.
They have all fled to the chapel.
Brother: Derek > Fighter 2nd STR 17
Cousin: Morfred > Rogue 2nd
Aunt: Karen > Rogue 2nd
Half Uncle: Ken > Fighter 4th (Champion) STR 19, breastplate (AC 19; 2 res) + shield
Half Brother: Kolbi > Paladin 2nd; STR 17, breast plate [magical +1] (AC 20; 2 res) + shield [magic +1], Protection Style, Sword of Craggensraid: +1 magical/double damage to evil/auto block [no resilience drop] as a reaction – wielder must be LG alignment
Kolbi will take charge in any negotiations. He will use his knightly order’s reputation to try and stop the party’s destruction. Will use his Lay on Hands in exchange for mercy at the hands of the party. He also has a Potion of Healing.
If the party seems exposed, they will gain up on him.
Under the town the “runic passages” go under the Fielns ancient keep. The head of the family was conspiring with other nobles to use the runic passages, and to take the concentrated power away from Bragget.
This warehouse is unadorned and unremarkable. Inside is a secret entrance to the tunnels that make the runic circle under the town of Merowey.
This leads into the tunnels under the town and that connect the runic circle. This connects the town to the cellars and sewers under the manse.
There is a one way passage that allows entry into the cellars and sewers, and a one way door into the Store Room. This is how the fighting force that ambushed the party in the Sewer Storeroom got to it without the rest of the manse knowing.
This has been set up as a kill pocket. There are a group of soldiers that gather into a group to march and wipe out the party.
> You cut through the guards at the top of the stairs. It was a kill pocket, but you easily fotced your way through it. The wreckage smoulders around you as you regroup. One soldier got away… just one. Who knows where the single passage out leads and what is waiting? A tipped over brazier is causing smoke to fill the room.
Leading into darkness. 5’ wide, straight into darkness.
The tunnel goes straight for a hundred feet or more. With a rush of air, the blurry bluish figure of Medja forms out of the smoke and and points back the way you came. “The danger is too great, brave warriors! I cannot protect you if you venture into the heart of darkness. There is no shame if you turn back now. You have never faced danger of this likes before. The foe of the Shadowmancer is powerful, the risk is terrible and great. The reward is another manse, but you must live for that to matter. I will bear you no ill will if you were to retreat instead of braving the unknown that lays before you.” The figure dissolves and drifts away, leaving its voice echoing down the tunnel.
> This is an illusion and parlor trick. The group can take the advice and turn back, or press on.
You continue down the side corridor. The air grows thick, and the smell of the sewer is strong. Suddenly, the passage ahead gets dark, and a blue light forms in the distance. A rapidly walking figure comes to a stop in moments ahead of you – it resembles the one that formed out of the smoke. “I do not take kindly to the deception that was wrought upon you in my name! You have demonstrated that you possess the courage worthy of my name. For this, I will drive the shadow spies from yourselves! None shall follow you and you can decide to venture forth or back without the dark passengers!” And with the last thunderous word, he waves a hand and you see your shadow burn, and hear a high pitched shriek. You feel as if a weight has been lifted from you. You hear a quiet, sinister laugh come from every direction, and it confuses and disorients you.
The way is clear either way. The PCs will not be followed for a full day.
It is assumed that at least one guard might escape. If not,the party should see the simulacrum’s familiar. Kill it or not, the compound will be alerted. The spies watching the party saw them go underground and the alert will have come from below (the first kill pocket) and the household erupted in chaos – this was not totally unexpected. Since the real master of the manse is already dead, there has been no real attempt to hold the chaos from spreading (it can better serve the Shadow Mage). A second trap was prepared, a fake ritual area, in the great hall below. This is still readied. The most trusted soldiers are still there. The alert woke them up and prepared them to set the kill pocket. Panic is spreading. Servants overheard whatever news was reported and word has spread that enemies are coming. Looting has begun. The family has sought refuge in the chapel and their trusted allies have gathered near the great hall.
A set of steep, rough stairs leads up to a hatch which is closed. As you get near it, all noise from up above ceases.
> It feels as if there is a weight resting on the top.
DC 19 Athletics check to break through in one round. Otherwise it takes 2, and the waiting forces will be in ambush position.
This is a sparse store room. Most of the materials here are for repairing jail cells and equipment.
> There is one jail guard here unless any below escaped to warn them. In that case, they and the escapees pile a palette with debris on top of the hatch [Strength DC 19] and wait – warning the rest of the jail. If the PCs fail once, the jail guards will have enough time to light and prepare 3 fire bombs in clay pots (each Dex DC 15 save w/Disadvantage for tight quarter on first 2 for 4D6 fire damage each. Debris will be reigned down (Dexterity save DC 14 or 2D6/7 damage – difficult terrain for 1 round) on the party to keep them at bay.
> 4 house soldiers (debris and spear), 3 jailors (fire bombs) + fleeing guards from below (hidden behind the party by barrels), head jailor (Stinking Cloud breathe of his creature; disadvantage) and more. When the PCs push into the area, many will flee and barricade themselves.
If they are warned they will try and fight to the death.
Guard from first kill pocket: AC 15 [chain half] HP 30 Spear D8 +5 attack
Once the party gets into the room:
> Having fought your way in, the room darkens and it feels as though you are falling. The light returns and you feel an extra weight, like your own shadow is dragging you down. Horrifically, you watch your shadow stretch and twist, it is wrenched from its anchor point on your body and you feel as though someone has stuck a knife in you. The shadows burn with the light of Medja and a throaty yet muffled scream comes from all around you. Finally, the last of the shadows burns away and you are left with your own normal shadows.
Everything is still. You hear no noise coming from beyond the door. The walls are cold stone, and wet in some places. You can smell what only can be a dungeon from beyond the door.
Empty except for stone, oil, grease, tools, wood and raw materials.
This room has blood from a few days ago. There are various cages and devices for torture. It also includes medical supplies for barely keeping them alive.
> Inside a cage is a man who is on the edge of death. He begs to be let go. He claims he is a victim – who got in the way of Fielns in a business transaction he “sold him out on”. If pressed further, he will make something up; Deception (+5) vs. Insight to sense something is wrong with his tale. He is a serial rapist and arsonist once the town went into turmoil. Letting him go will hurt the reputation of the party.
Secret Door: DC 22 – Leads to hidden stairs going up
Various common torture implements – no creativity. Fresh blood is everywhere from a corpse of a man who just died in the last 24 hours.
> Strapped to a rack is a woman. She was accused of being a spy for the party themselves. She has been repeatedly violated and ruined – she begs for death, it is all she can think of. She cannot remember her own name (Terry). All the jail guards have abused her. Other prisoners will swear to this. Major Restoration is the only thing that could restore her.