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Sielo's Fort Campaign Update

by Steven B Wilson

While I'm not going to do a campaign journal relating all the deeds of the party, I do plan on posting my notes from the campaign - mostly will be the changes I have made to existing modules. The first adventure the party went on was B5 Horror on the Hill. To understand why I made some of the changes I did, it might help to look at the timeline of the Fort I came up with, especially the last 10 or so years.

Other changes I made (usually animal or monster changes) because I didn't have stats for them in 3E and I didn't want to do a conversion for that particular beastie.


Horror on the Hill Adaptations

Sielo's Fort.
The end of the traders' road.
Perched along the banks of the mighty Volaga River, this isolated frontier settlement is the last stop on the caravan routes. The mile-wide river is all that separates the Fort from the shadowy bulk known only as "The Hill," a land of nameless terrors and ancient legend.
The fog-shrouded crests and densely wooded slopes of The Hill rise 400 feet, looming ominously over the tiny settlement. On clear days, The Hill's rocky cliffs can be seen jutting from its bulky mass, but the view is usually obscured by gouts of steam that seem to rise from outlets on The Hill itself.
This mysterious mountain has long been rumoured to shelter bands of vicious monsters. Only the awesome waters of the Volaga have prevented the monsters from invading the under garrisoned Fort. Several groups of brave and hardy adventurers have crossed the river to explore The Hill's summits and face the wicked monsters, but none of these bands was ever heard from again.
Now a new group of eager adventurers - the grown children of Sielo's Fort - have met in the Lion's Den Inn. It is here that the adventurers discuss their own daring plans to explore the dangerous mountain.
If they can find transport across the river they will be on their own. They must thread their way through a dense wood, where every bend of the trail can conceal hideous peril...
The rumours have never been proven false. No one else has ever returned. The Hill is one of horror, to be sure. But for the strong and daring, it is a Hill of just rewards for deeds well done. The new adventurers are ready and willing to take their chances. So let the adventure begin!

A successful Gather Information skill check (DC 15) for each character will get 2 rolls on the rumour table. Two additional rumours can be learned from the Provisioner, who is the oldest member of the Sielo Family. If the characters are family members she does not require the mentioned beer - she tells them freely.

There is no discount for family members when buying equipment - they are Sheared after all - but an unspecified person pulls a few strings and gets the characters (provided at least one is family) passage across the river for free. Characters will have to build a smoke signal fire on the other side to come back (with 20% chance of being seen per hour).

Note on Treasure: There are no electrum pieces minted in Karameikos. Therefore, ignore all electrum pieces unless otherwise noted. All platinum pieces found in this adventure were minted in Thyatis at one point or another.

Wandering Monsters on the Surface of the Hill
Daytime Nighttime
1) 1-6 Hobgoblins 1) 1-8 Goblins
2) 1 Ogre 2) 1-2 Ghouls
3) 1-6 Stirges 3) 1-4 Dire Bats
4) 1 Giant Lizard 4) 1-8 Skeletons
5) 1-3 Giant Bats 5) 2-12 Dire Rats
6) 1-4 Centaurs 6) 1 Thoul

#4 Killer Beehive
Use Giant Bee statistics for Killer Bees and Giant Wasp statistics for Queen Bee.

#5 Driver Anthill
Use Giant Ant, Soldier for the two outside, Workers for 14 of the ones inside, and Queen for one inside.

#7 Ancient Statue
At the top of this steep, rocky hillside is a heavily weathered statue, carved from granite by some forgotten sculptor. The statue might have been a tall human with a sword at one time, but erosion by the weather and what appears to be axe and sword marks mar the surface details.

This was once a statue of Halav, marking the supposed spot where Halav and the beast-man king died. There is no longer anything of value connected with the statue in any way.

#13 Clearing of the Mysterious Cottage
This is the temporary (and illusory) dwelling of two of the Witches of Dymrak, who give their names as Rosabella and Rosalinda. They are neither plump, grey-haired, nor have pleasant manners. Neither gives a clue about their true nature or abilities when talking to strangers, whom they greet coldly. They are not overtly hostile...yet.

Why they are here on The Hill at this time is unknown. Perhaps they are here to negotiate some kind of alliance with Vlack and his growing horde. Or it might have something to do with the male Ogre living on The Hill, who they want dead for some unexplained reason.

If the party (foolishly) attacks the witches, they try to overpower the characters without killing them. The use their wand of paralysis, and sleep, phantasmal force, and hold person spells to knock the characters out. If the sisters succeed, the characters wake up in clearing #6, with all of their possessions except for any coins and magic-items they had been carrying.

If the characters are reasonably polite the witches will probe them with questions about what they have seen on The Hill. If the party asks them about The Hill, the witches smile malevolently and reply: "Nobody gets something for nothing. What have you to offer us?"

Bartering continues as stated in the adventure.

#16 Cavern of the Centaurs
The cave is the winter lair of a small tribe of centaurs. The twelve of them have wintered here quietly for several years. They would like to claim all the caves along this cliff for their race, but the ogres (area #14) have been very uncooperative.

They are at first very hostile to the characters because a few days ago their four young colts were kidnapped by the humanoids at the monastery, and there is no reason for the centaurs to believe the characters are not associated with them. The centaurs do not immediately attack as they hope to capture them alive to learn of the whereabouts of their children.

When they learn the characters know nothing, they release them and warn them never to return. If the characters free the centaur colts from their prison (area #34) and lead them back here, the centaurs still do not seem to change their attitudes towards the characters, but they have earned the gratitude of the centaurs of the moors.

Wandering Monsters in the Ruined Monastery
1) 1-4 Badgers
2) 1 Ogre
3) 1-6 Hobgoblins
4) 1 Dire Wolf
5) 1-6 Zombies
6) 1-8 Monstrous Centipedes, Small

#23 Old Tomb
The double doors of this building were once elaborately carved with a human head and torso. Two long arms are carved in relief: they seem almost to be reaching out to gather in, or comforting, anyone standing before the doors. However, cruel axe and sword strokes have chipped away at the details.

This carving depicts the same human (Halav) the PCs might have discovered on the old statue on The Hill (area #7). The doors are locked. The 12' statue inside is also of Halav - in fact, it is the same as the one on The Hill, but in much more detail. There are no gems in the eye sockets.

#31 Ancient Sanctuary
The door to this huge chamber bears the same human (Halav) that was found on the door of the tomb and on the statue on The Hill.

In this room, five giant statues of a human male support the 20-foot high ceiling with their heads. The floor is smooth stone and very clean.

#34 Prison of the Centaurs
The door to this room is barred on the outside and locked. If it is opened, four young centaurs within are crouching belligerently, as if prepared to fight with their bare hands. They are quite surprised if any creatures other then ogres open the door, and wait to see what develops before attacking.

Since these four centaurs were captured but a week ago, and since they doubtless would not have survived long in the hands of ogres, they are grateful to anyone who frees them. Although they will not understand the PCs' language, they try to communicate that they consider the party to be valuable friends (assuming the party doesn't attack them, that is!). If the party successfully rescues these prisoners and return them to their parents, all of the centaurs of the moors are grateful - at least they will seriously consider giving aid to the party in the future instead of driving them away immediately.

#37 Ancient Pagan Altar
This room is dominated by a leering and demonic image carved from a block of pumice (hardened lava). Before this statue is a shallow stone pit, about 6 feet long, 3 feet wide, and 1 foot deep. In the corner of the room lie the remains of another statue, human in form.

The hobgoblins have torn down the statue of Halav and replaced it with one of their patron Immortal, Orcus. They now use the pit for sacrifices (humans preferred) to Orcus.

#46 Cleric's Office
In this room a polished circular table, a fur-lined bench, a desk, and a chair give the room a civilised look. An elaborate candelabra, made out of silver, rests on the table. On the desk is a miniature statue of a demonic figure. This statuette has been carved from pumice (hardened lava).

#48 Cleric's Chamber
Moray Vaco is a cleric of Orcus. He is unaware of the origins of the monastery and doesn't recognise the Halav statues - otherwise he would have the humanoids systematically destroy everything.

#51 Goblin Arena
A wisdom check (DC 15 due to decomposition) will allow a character to recognise the bodies as adventurers who came through Sielo's Fort last week.

#55 Pagan Temple
In this room, seven sets of bare wooden benches face a raised dais, upon which sits likeness of a hideous demon. This statue is carved from pumice and two glittering gems adorn the eye sockets.

Instead of robber flies, use stirges instead.

#59 Battle Room
There is no chance to identify the bodies - they are too badly decomposed and mutilated.

#61 Partial Statue
The only item in this room is a huge block of pumice. The top half of the block is carved into a demonic likeness. The bottom half is still shapeless.

#66 Hall of the Hobgoblin King
The king is Vlack. One of the characters might recognise him from the dragon attack on the Fort two years ago. He must survive this encounter (escape somehow) to take his revenge on the players at a later date.

Wandering Monsters in Dungeon Level II
1) 4-8 Piranha Birds
2) 1-4 Stirges
3) 1 Thoul
4) 1-4 Bugbears
5) 1-2 Ogres
6) 1-4 Berserkers

#75 Secret Treasure Room
All treasure (including the electrum) in this room is from the ancient civilisation of Taymora. It has been hidden down here for thousands of years, unbeknownst to the original builders of the monastery.

#76 Cavern of the Giant Shrews
Use Badger statistics with the addition of blindsight.

Wandering Monsters in Dungeon Level III
1) 1 Lava Lizard
2) 2-12 Goblins
3) 1 Swarm of Steam Weevils
4) 1-4 Dire Bats
5) 1 Monstrous Spider, Medium
6) 2-12 Piranha Birds

#85 - 95 Goblin Areas
Replace all kobolds with goblins.

#89 Goblin Lair
The walls of this cavern have many crude paintings on them. The largest is of a huge black beast flying through the air (or perhaps swimming through water?) dragging a huge net full of screaming (drowning?) goblins. Other paintings depict a large goblin or hobgoblin being dismembered by smaller goblins in a variety (and sometimes humorous) ways. Off in a dark corner are several figures around three small oval shapes - perhaps the failed beginnings of another painting, because they look like the artist tried to rub them off.

#91 Chamber of Darkness
The cleric was from the ancient civilisation of Taymora - it was he who hid away his stolen treasure in area #75. Where his body was (thousands of years have turned the bones and clothing to dust) are three bottles (same as in adventure) as well as a Ring of Water Breathing (how he got down here).

#97 Rockslide
Use Snake, Large Viper for statistics.

#99 Old Warrior's Cavern
Room deleted as being too silly - do not use.

#100 Dragon's Entry Room
This room is empty except for six small and warped (and melted?) skeletons on the floor.

A wisdom check (DC 15) shows the goblin skeletons to have been burned by acid.

#101 Lair of the Black Dragons
Replace the red dragon with two black dragon wyrmlings.

A red, phosphorescent moss grows all over the walls of this huge cavern. This moss illuminates three large pools with an unearthly, scarlet light. Water drips down from the ceiling and there are even small streams of water pouring down the walls. There are bones of fish and other river animals, as well as what looks like goblin bones scattered about the cavern.

The central area is covered with slimy mud. However, circling the chamber is a natural shelf about a yard wide that is relatively dry. Flopping about in the room's pools are two, five-foot long creatures who stop at your approach and give a spine-chilling hiss.

They have thin, small black scales with a highly glossy finish. They only speak Draconic - and don't have much to say anyway.

The wyrmlings are abusive (to each other as well as to non-dragons) and quick to anger, with an instinctive cunning and malevolence that more than makes up for their lower intelligence. They are extremely selfish and resent intrusions. These chaotic creatures love to swim almost as much as they love to fly, taking to the skies at night to take advantage of the natural camouflage that darkness provides.

These creatures have no experience in fighting (other than chasing down fish and goblins) but would prefer ambush and surprise attacks to fair fighting. However, they do not expect anything more bothersome than goblins from the direction the PCs enter. Normally they would have no qualms about using any and all advantages they can, including fleeing at the first sign of formidable strength, but their inexperience and pride will keep them from realising their trouble until it is too late.

There is no treasure but an underwater tunnel under one of the pools leads out to the Volaga River. The tunnel has no current, but is nearly a mile long - too far for anyone without magical assistance to swim out.

(You might want to change the underwater tunnel length. Since my group found the Ring of Water breathing, I wanted them to be creative and find a way to get everyone out alive - one player went to the Fort for help and got some water breathing spells/potions/whatever to bring back to the rest of the party)