All Over the Map,  Everdown Maps

A D&D 5e Maze for Your Consideration: Part 2 – My Enemy’s Enemy’s Enemy

The last installment in this series found our heroes (or maybe villains?) climbing down either a well or pit to escape a labyrinthine temple. We resume here having reached the bottom of one of these shafts to find an underground river running through a cavern. The PCs are now level 2, and this module assumes 4 players. The difficulty of each encounter is given inline so you can adjust for your party as needed.

Items and creatures that can be found in D&D source-books are bolded. Flavor text is italicized. The numbered list below corresponds to the numbered locations on the map above. If the PCs attempt to take a long rest in an insecure location, or are too indecisive, roll for an encounter on the table below.


You hang from a rope at the bottom the shaft overlooking this cavern. The hiss you could hear above in the temple is now the roar if a mighty underground river that flows from the waterfalls in the northwest, to a iron portcullis to the southeast. A great wooden platform that once carried…something…to and from the temple above now lies broken on the ground to the south side of the river. The great chains that were used to hoist it lay coiled on the ground.

More importantly than any of that…you and your companions are not alone here. You count them, 1, 2, 3, 4 small beings moving around in the dim light. One of them, the biggest, is clawing at a large wooden door to the north. They are unaware of you, perched 20 feet above (either the river or floor of the cave, depending on whether the well or temple shaft was taken)

The Underground River

  1. Here in the main cavern 1 Kuo-Toa Whip and 3 Kuo-Toa (hard encounter) are scouting the area. If they detect the party, they will attack and attempt to capture them (non-lethal melee combat). If any member of the Kuo-Toa party is killed, the Kuo-Toa will attempt to retreat up the falls at the northwest end of the river. Any that escape will return reinforced with two additional Kuo-Toa, at the least convenient time. If the party manages to kill all of the Kuo-Toa before they escape, they will not return later. Garem, the Cult Fanatic will intervene if the party has trouble with the Kuo-Toa scouts.

    Key features of this area:
    • The waterfall to the northwest is passable by creatures with a swimming speed. Between the smooth rock and swift water, creatures that do not have a swim speed will find the falls impassable.
    • The platform on the south side of the cavern has fallen loose from the moorings that once held it in shaft down from the temple. A 20 foot length of chain may be removed with a successful strength check (DC 10), and maybe useful (or harmful) later.
    • The portcullis that blocks the way downstream is sturdy. There does not appear to be any way to move it.
    • The door to the north is barred from the inside. The PCs can attempt to break it down, but maybe the should just try knocking and announcing themselves. Garem will be glad to know the Kuo-Toa have left, and will invite party in to rest. See What Garem Knows below.

Hell’s Kennel

  1. Storeroom – The old priest thanks you enthusiastically for chasing off the Kuo-Toa as he ushers you into what appears to be a storeroom. A stained wooden table sits against the wall on the west side of the room. Additionally, several barrels are stacked in the corners. Some of them look empty, but the others…”Do you need to get some rest,” the old man asks. He opens the door on the north side of the room. You can see a few straw-filled mats on the floor of this adjoining room.
    • Exploring the storeroom without Garem present will yield the following: 1 Robe of Useful Items, 1 Alchemy Jug, and 2 tainted healing potions (2d4+2, a creture that consume this potion must pass a DC12 constitution check or fall asleep as if under the effect of the spell Sleep . Garem will be indignant if the PCs attempt to take anything, and will refuse to part with his possessions if asked.
  2. Quarters – There are enough mats in this room for the party to use to take a long rest. Garem offers up his own bed to them, and says he will sleep somewhere else. During the rest, Garem will attempt to lure one of the PCs from the room. If he is succesful, he will attempt to cast Hold Person upon them, bind them, and attempt to sacrifice them to the devils. The remainder of the party should wake to the screams of their comrade who has been awakened by being stabbed with a dagger. Garem will attempt to flee to the kennel.
  3. Kennel – As you open the door, the choking stench of fire and sulfur engulfs you. A low, rumbling growl punctuated by fierce barks emanates from the room and four glowing red eyes glare at you.
    • 2 Hell hounds (deadly encounter) are caged in this room. One is in the cage on the bottom left. The second is in the middle cage of the second row. The one closer to the door will use its breath weapon as soon as the PC’s open the door unless they make some attempt to enter sneakily.
    • The door on the south side of the room is trapped. If the door is opened without disarming the trap, the cage closest to the door will open. A successful perception check (DC 10) will detect the trap on the door. A successful sleight of hand check (DC 10) will disarm the trap.
    • If a Hell Hound is freed, it will attempt to tear open the cage of its fellow hound. It will do so with a successful strength check (DC 13). Freed Hell Hounds are hostile to everyone, including Garem and Kuo-Toa.
  4. Cavern – Even before you open the door, the reek of rotting fish fills your nostrils. The floor is covered with the corpses of Kuo-Toa, mostly stripped of their flesh, but some clearly the victims of ritual sacrifice. The floor of this cavern is visibly slick with putrescent organic matter. The clatter and squelch of the nasty little things feasting on the rot is disturbingly loud.

    A successful perception check (DC 10) to search the Kuo-Toa corpses will result in the party finding the following: 1 +1 Weapon appropriate for the party, 1 Unbreakable Arrow, 1 Potion of Healing, 1 Elixir of Health and 10 gold pieces.

Down the river

The only true exit to the area seems to be following the course of the river. The party may wish to take time exploring the area, or build a raft to carry them downstream. Give them some time, but if play starts to lag, roll a random encounter to deal with, or have the river flood.

The encounters on this map are sufficient to elevate players to level 3.

A few things…

Running Combat
The creatures in this area area divided into three factions, the Kuo-Toa, the Hell Hounds, and Garem. While the Hell Hounds are caged, they are subservient to Garem, but when they are free, they will try to kill him for imprisoning them. Additionally, Garem has been “harvesting” the Kuo-Toa for some time now, both as food and for sacrifice. They are hostile to all other creatures, but especially him. If they are available to come back with reinforcements, bring them back as soon as fighting has broken out and involve them in combat.

What Garem the Cult Fanatic Knows
Garem is a wizened but other wise healthy looking human male. If the party passed the religion check on the altar in the temple, they will immediately recognize the vestments he wears as those of the priests of Asmodeus they found dead above. Garem knows that he and the other priests were regularly sacrificing prisoners like the PCs to devils. They summoned hellspawn to serve them. The priests overstepped and summoned a Kyton (Chain Devil) that killed the most of them. Garem is not eager to share any of this information. He will attempt to deceive the party into thinking he was also a victim of the priests in the temple.

Random Encounters

1d4 RollEncounter
11 dying Kuo-Toa arrives. It is not hostile, and has only one hit point. If the party heals it or aid it in any way, it will regurgitate a Ring of Feather Falling. If they kill it and decide to cut it open, they also find the ring.
21 Blink Dog appears. It follows the party until it can help in some way. It delivers that assistance and then teleports away.
3The sound of the waterfall becomes louder. The river begins to rise, flooding most of area 1.
44 Swarms of Rats (medium encounter) push their way through the nearest door and attack the party.

After reading this article, you can find the other maps and encounters in this series categorized under Everdown Maps. My thanks again to probabletrain for their wonderful Dungeon Scrawl map editor.

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