Friday, April 19, 2013

A-to-Z Challenge Day 16/17
Pi (Π) & Rho (Ρ): Pyramid of Pyros

Entry 16/17 for The Lost Catacombs of Kadmos

Continued from Entry 15/Omicron (Altars & Ossuaries)...

Secret doors exit the Π/Ρ/Σ ossuary to the left and right of the entry, as well as behind the shelving unit against the back wall. To access the secret door behind the shelves, the shelves must be moved but they are also trapped. Moving the shelving unit will pull a "trip wire" that causes the stones of the ceiling to fall, doing 1d4 damage to anyone standing inside the ossuary.

Down the secret passages are pressure plates in the floor. When 10gp weight or greater is placed on any of these plates, the plate will be triggered, accompanied by a "click." The two "flanking" pressure plates each send a blast of flame down their respective hallways that does 1d6 points of flame damage (on a failed saving throw vs. breath weapon). The pressure plate down the central hallway locks and unlocks the door to area Π/Ρ (Pyramid Room). Additionally, the closer the PCs come to the door to the Pyramid Room, the hotter the temperature will get (the area just outside the Pyramid Room door is about 20° warmer than the Π/Ρ/Σ ossuary).

Pyramid Room

When you first enter this area, even the largest members of your party feel dwarfed by the massive limestone pyramid before you, approximately 80' across at the base, 50' tall, and floating over the middle of an 90'x90' wide pit that appears to be bottomless. A 5' wide walkway lines the perimeter of pit and allows a 360° look at the pyramid. The longer you stand in this room, the warmer it seems to get.

After a moment, you realize that the capstone of the pyramid is constructed with some kind of "hinge," and the hinged stone is "open."

Closing the "cap" of the pyramid will do 2 things: 1) it will return the temperature in the area to normal, and 2) it will open a passageway through the wall to the north.Due to the heat of the pyramid, as well as the smoothness of the stone, there is a -10% penalty applied to climbing attempts. Furthermore, anyone climbing the pyramid will take 1d4 points of heat damage for each turn spent in direct contact with the pyramid while the capstone is "open." Anyone with infravision or a similar ability will be able to detect the passageway just beyond the stone wall.

The inside of the pyramid is filled with a magical, eternal fire and extinguishing it would be nearly impossible for a group of low-level characters. Anyone that attempts to look "into the fire" (through the open capstone) will be blinded for 3d6 turns.

The "bottomless" pit is actually illusionary and is, in truth, only 20' deep. Anyone falling in will take 2d6 points of damage.

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