Bureaucrats and brimstone await adventurers who make it this far Everdown. An officious gnome solider who guards the way out of the palace won’t allow anyone to pass during lock-down without the permission of the queen. The Chain Devil they’ve been tailing has found this palace to be a suitable residence for himself, and something very strange is afoot in the kitchen.
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.
Many Ways In…
Adventurers who make it to this map will have entered through one of three routes
- The Well Room (location 9 on previous map) directly accesses the secret tunnels of this area. From these tunnels they can access many locations throughout the palace complex. 4 animated chains roam these tunnels looking for victims to drag back to the Chain Devil (beyond deadly encounter) that animated them.
- The Main Gate which leads to the Great Hall (4).
- The Guard House, via a tunnel from The Kitchen (Location 4 on previous map. If they followed this route, they are likely to have the deep gnome miners traveling with them. These miners are still predisposed to provide assistance, but in conflict, they side with other deep gnomes. While in the Guard House, a successful (DC 15) perception check will identify the entrance to the secret passages on the south side of the room.
The Great Hall and Kitchens
- The Great Hall of this palace houses the thrones of the nobility. It was set for a banquet that appears to have been interrupted in progress. The hallway to the east is a temple to the gnomish gods. The hall to the west leads to the Guard Barracks (9), where the Lower Passage can be found. The whole area is littered with Gnomish Hobblers (11, hard encounter), which will make the area difficult to pass. Hobblers will attack creatures indiscriminately, A fact that any gnome present will point out can be used to the party’s advantage
- The Palace Kitchens spotless, a credit to the food-safety and sanitation practices of the servants who work there. The only apparent smell is a faint hint of sulfur. The party will meet Varisha, a deep gnome servant here. She is a “sulphurous impersonation” of the Adult Oblex hiding in a closet in the Servant’s Quarters (7). See What the Oblex Gnows below. If the adventurers notice the sulfurous smell, this impersonation and all others have advantage on checks to mislead the adventurers by telling them the smell is the Chain Devil
- The Store Room is also incredibly clean. Searching this area will result in the party finding the first 2 adventuring items they look for. Arix and Tram, two more gnomish servants (impersonations) are here as well.
- The Servant’s Quarters are now the home of the Adult Oblex (hard encounter) .
- The secret passages that connect many of the room narrows as it approaches the Royal Quarters, allowing only small or smaller creatures to pass.
Bureaucrats and Brimstone
- A gnome-sized wooden counter separates the entrance to the Guard’s Barracks from the stairs that lead to the Lower Passage out of the Gnome Kingdom. Stationed at the counter is an officious little gnome, Dralia. She will refuse passage to anyone without the written leave of the Queen. Her and the seven other deep gnomes here will fight to the death to prevent anyone from passing. To the south of the room is a door to the guard’s bunks, and a second wooden counter. This area is the gnome’s customs house. Under normal circumstances, the adventurers will not be granted access to this area. If they manage to be granted access, or sneak in, they will find the following: 1 Potion of Animal Friendship, 1 +1 ranged weapon appropriate to the party, 1 Oil of Slipperiness, and 1 Level 2 Spell Scroll: Suggestion.
The Royal Chambers
- The Grand Salon used to be where the royal entertained their guests in luxury. They would be served wondrous foods at the great golden table in the middle of the room, surrounded by bookshelves filled with some of the greatest literary works in history. Now the chain devil that tore down the roof of the keep and murdered the queen sleeps here on that same golden table. Adventurers who expend significant effort pouring through the books here will find a Manual of Quickness of Action. This will require a successful perception check (DC 15) and 3 days of searching.
- The secret passages here become narrow as the approach the Royal Quarters. Only a small or small creature can pass.
- The Royal Quarters are comprised of a common area, the royal bedchamber, servants quarters, and a smaller bedroom for the royal family. A large fountain surrounded by stone benches dominates the common area. The Chain Devil has redecorated this area with the body parts and fluids of gnomes and four lengths of chain. In the royal bedchamber, the queen lies dead in her bed with a +1 dagger clutched in her hands. Searching the Royal quarters yields a small chest with 100gp of gems, and
…One Way Out
Getting down the stairs in the barracks is the only way out. The easiest thing to do would just be to kill all of the guards, or get someone else to do it. Getting evidence of the Queens demise would be a good start towards convincing Varisha to grant the party passage. The kingdom remain doomed, but they’ll get past the guards. But many a do-gooder will feel the need to intervene and set things right in this gnomish monarchy.
What the Oblex Gnows
The Oblex has all the knowledge that the servants would have, including full knowledge of the layout of the palace and the presence of the Chain Devil in the Grand Salon (9). It is getting hungry, and views the party as a food source. The Oblex will attempt to eat them whenever it thinks it has sufficient advantage. It is very intelligent, and will be open to bargaining with the party if they can offer it an alternative food source. By the same token, it is not very interested in conflict with the Chain Devil, but it would do so with sufficient inducement.