Monday, April 1, 2013

A-to-Z Challenge Day 1
Alpha (Α): Azurite & Alabaster Asp

Entry 1 for The Lost Catacombs of Kadmos

The walls, ceiling, and floor of this 30'x30'x30' cube of a room are lined completely with alabaster of bright white. Planted against the north wall is a 5'x5'x5' cubed pedestal of the same alabaster, topped by a 5' statue of an asp carved out of a deep blue azurite, its mouth agape, and its two massive fangs carved out of the same white alabaster as the room. The walls to the west and east each feature an alabaster relief sculpture of an arched door surrounded by dozens and dozens of alabaster asps. The relief to the west features the letter alpha (Α) carved squarely in the middle of its scuplted door, and the relief to the east features the letter omega (Ω) carved squarely in the middle of its scuplted door. On the floor in the middle of the room is a 5'-tall azurite inlay of the letter alpha (Α).

The archways are simply “false” doors. Examining them will reveal nothing more than what they appear to be). Try as the PCs might, there is no way for the them to "open" these doors or pass through them. The soft alabaster of the reliefs will give in easily to damage (5 hit points required per relief) and reveal nothing but the stone base of wall underneath them.

The letter inlaid on the floor is actually a clue to exiting the room, as it points directly to the pedestal under the asp statue. when both of the asp’s fangs are depressed (upward) at the same time, the front panel of the panel of the pedestal will “slide down” out of the way. However, when the fangs are pressed (even lightly), they each release a poison that kills in 2d4 turns (unless a successful saving throw is made vs. each fang). The fangs are razor sharp and will break through leather gloves effortlessly, but may be depressed easily using any common object (like the blade of a sword, or the edge of a shield). The alabaster of the pedestal is soft enough for the characters to “dig” through (10 hit points damage required), but the pedestal and statue will collapse in the process, falling “forward” toward where the breakage occurred, doing 1d4 points of damage to the person standing closest to the pedestal, and with a 15% chance of each fang make a successful "hit" against that person.

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