Thomaly's Mining Adventure
The party assists a young boy in retrieving a magical item.
A short adventure ideal for parties interested in gruesome horror or surprises. The adventure uses 5e mechanics, and monsters range from 1/4 to 13 level challenge rating. Encounters are given a range to be adjusted for the deadliness of an encounter. Difficulty checks are approximated but not specified, and monster statistics can be found at the end of the document, as well as maps of the various areas, and random tables for NPC's.
The party assists a young boy in retrieving a magical treasure from the local mines, only to discover the situation is not what it seems, and they must fight to free him and his family from the grasp of a demon that has enslaved the 3 of them.
The adventurers begin by riding into the small village of Floren. It is a town populated primarily with gnomes and elves, and known mostly for its crafting, if it's known at all. It is situated in the woods, near caves which are mined for semi-precious minerals and ores. Almost all of the citizens are either miners, woodsmen, hunters, or craftsmen.
Why the players pass by here is up to them and you. Perhaps they are simply passing through on their way to somewhere more well-known, or looking for a place to rest their head for a few days. Perhaps they stumble across the town by accident. Either way, they're here now.
It is a lush area, warm and green, bursting with life. They can enter the town from any direction, but Thomaly's house should be one of the first things they encounter.
Should they for some reason wish to explore the rest of the town, they will find a few shops selling basic weaponry, armor, and jewelry/trinkets. If asked about Thomaly, the vilagers will all have variations of the same thing to say--he's a sweet boy who never really caused any trouble. No one is aware of anything suspicious going on with him and his family. A chart with potential NPC's to populate the town with is listed at the end of the document, along with a map.
Thomaly's House is intended to be explored at the end of the players journey. For this reason, details on the inside of the house are listed closer to the end of the document. However, if the players manage their way inside early, that's fine too.
1. The Outside of the House
The outside of the house is gated with a fence of wooden stakes. There is a small dirt path leading to the front door, and wildflowers growing along the edge of the path. The rest is patchy grass, with a couple of Thomaly's toys littered about. Thomaly is playing with a stone tied to a stick, pretending it's a hammer.
When Thomaly sees the adventurers, he will flag them down and attempt to talk to them. He is a small elf, with messy hair, covered in dirt. He is energetic and idealistic, marveling at the adventurers and how strong and brave they look.
Thomaly and his parents are currently under the enthrall of a demon that's in their basement (and have been for a little over a week). He will not be able to say any of this, and will not let the players into his house, as he's under the demons power currently. While he is too small to realisitically stop the players from getting inside should they really try, he will be very insistant that they not enter, as he shouldn't be talking to strangers anyways.
The quest and information he gives the players is as follows:
- His father [Jevin] is miner (Thomaly will refer to him as the best miner ever, because he admires him so much).
- There's been a new treasure uncovered in the mines a few days ago, and Thomaly wants to see what it is, but his mom won't let him go try and find it.
- None of the miners have been able to bring the treasure back, and since it was discovered, some of the miners themselves have not returned.
- Apparently the treasure is gaurded by monsters, and that's why some of the miners haven't come back--they're still fighting off all the monsters. Thomaly thinks some of the miners may have died, but no one will tell him.
- He wants the adventurers to go to the mines, and find the treasure, so that he can see what it is.
- He will watch the players as they head off, and then go back into his house and lock the door.
- If asked where his parents are, he will say that they are currently away--his father at work, and his mother [Belna] is doing stuff in the house and she specificaly asked not to be disturbed. (this is a lie forced on Thomaly by the demon, but he will nt be able to reveal it as such under any circumstances).
The mines are located east of the town, and have several levels. The earlier levels are mostly cleared out and harmless, with a few miners either coming, going, or milling about. The deeper the players venture, the more perilous the mines become. The bottom level has been blocked off by the miners currently there, as they believe it's too dangerous to try to fight the monsters there without better equiptment and training.
The treasure is located at the bottom level, and is gaurded by lesser monsters that were released once the miners got there.
Maps of each level are detailed at the end of the document.
History of the Mines
The caves the mines are located in were the homes of Nagas, long since dead. They left their treasures behind, and it is through the miners excavations that they have been uncovered once more, allowing demons to take hold of the treasure and use it for evil. People in the village, and few miners, know this history or could guess at it.
The first level of the mine is calm, populated with miners and carts of the gems and ores they've been mining that have not yet been taken back to town. It has mostly been cleared out of new things to find, but there are a few deposits and things lingering.
The entrance to the cave has numerous carts piled high with ores and semi-precious gems. Iron, copper, agate, calcite, fuschite, moonstone, rhodanite, and seraphinite can all be found organized into different crates. A few miners can be found sitting around the carts, lounging about or sorting through all the supplies they have there. These miners and what they're doing is listed below. All miners have basic knowlege on the mines and what's in them. They also all are aware that they've sent word to neighboring cities for help dealing with the creatures newly uncovered down there, and for now are mostly going about their buisness while avoiding the third level.
Rhendrian is a gnome that is lounging on a rock by the entrance, jokingly ordering around the other miners. He is round, with patchy trousers and a kind face.
If approached, he'll be friendly with the players and crack jokes. He won't caution them against going into the mines, as they look strong enough to handle the monsters.
If asked for his assitance, he will offer them a simple pickaxe, but tell them he expects them to return it, or else he won't be able to do his work. He doesn't know anything about the monsters on the third level, as he rarely ventures past the first because of his bad knees.
Lethlin is a human woman of average height and build, with messy hair. She is taking her time to pack the carts, and make sure they're organized. She is laid back, well humored, and profesional.
She won't tell the players not to go into the mine, but will tell them to be sure not to mess anything up when they're going around, as it's all the miners that will have to clean it up later.
Brox is an elf of a muscular build with long hair that is helping Lethlin pack up the carts. He is quiet, and will caution the players against going into the mines, as many good people already got lost down there, and the barricade won't hold if there are people banging on it from both ends.
Brox is more cautious of the monsters than the others, feeling they shouldn't even be working in the mines until they are cleared, but he's not one to turn away the pay.
Just inside the mouth of the cave is a large cavern, clearly stripped of anything valuable. There are tracks for carting things, and full, unorganized carts on all of them. The tracks lead to areas 3., 4., and 5. The rock that remains appears sturdy, and there's a few mining tools lying about.
A large empty room. It has been mined clean. Piles of rubble and dust clutter the edges of the cavern walls, but there's nothing valuable inside them.
An area currently being mined by 2 people, Lorn and Jehkl.
Lorn has large glasses that she has to constantly take off to wipe away dust. She inspects every mineral after uncovering it, and is generally inquisitive.
She is scared of the monsters on level 3.
Jehkl lost his voice and his empathy for others years ago.
Part of the mine that has become a passageway. One of the walls is weakened here, allowing it to be broken down to reveal area 4.
A relatively uncovered area. There are many precious minerals to be torn from the walls here, though they are well hidden and require medium to difficult checks to uncover them.
An area the miners have set up a playing area in. There is a burnt out fire pit with empty crates stacked around it, with playing cards and empty flasks littering the ground.
A precarious area with unstable rock. It's easy to see gold and old lanterns that has been left here, as well as a locked chest at the very back of the room. Should the players enter the area, there will be a cave-in behind them, trapping them inside. Anyone without darkvision will be blinded until a torch is lit.
The area connects with 8A., which is a particularly unstable part of the wall that can be broken down (medium DC to recognize the poor rock and then break it down) to reveal a small passageway leading to area 9. Any other part of the wall they attempt to break will crumble fairly easily, but will only reveal more rock. Digging out the cave-in takes a long time and a difficult check to accomplish.
The chest in the room contains a 1d6 precious stones, and 2d8 GP. It is locked.
A small, unlit passageway leading to area 9.
An unassuming area with crates filled with dust and small rodent carcasses.
The hallway leading to areas 7-14. Held by support beams.
A hidden area filled with semi-precious gems. It requires a medium perception check to see the unstable rock from area 10, and another difficult check to break it down.
This room is filled with many raw ore deposits. They are imbedded deep into the stone and cannot be removed without the use of mining tools.
Similar to room 12, but there is a miner asleep on a crate in here, snoring loudly. He will be difficult to wake up, only budging if he is yelled at or smacked around. His pickaxe is on the floor next to him.
Stent is a lazy miner, with a round belly, who does not appreciate being disturbed. He has a gruff voice and will yell at the players for waking him up, telling them to let him go back to sleep in peace. If pressed further, he will state that he hopes the players get eaten by the monsters, but offer no more information.
Contains the mine shaft leading down to level 2. A large sign positioned above it reads "DANGER. Live creatures below. No unsupervised personel allowed."
The second level is the most populated with gems and ores. There are a few miners here, and a couple monsters that have slipped through the cracks of the barracades. Carrion Crawlers, Rust Monsters, Swarm of Bats and Swarm of Rats all live down here. It smells heavily of minerals, must and dirt. It is lit with dim lanterns.
The first area of the second level is taken up mostly by the mine shaft. If the players are not stealthy crawling down it, they will awaken a Swarm of Bats, which will attack at the distrubance.
The second section is a large empty chamber, with an empty cart resting in the center, and branching into the next areas (3, 4, 5 and 6).
Inside the mining cart is a sleeping Rust Monster, which is sedated after eating most of the contents of the ungaurded cart. It holds in its claws a large chunk of Iron.
It will only wake if the players make a large amount of noise, or if it's attacked. If none of the players are wearing metal (or carrying it), it will continue to ignore them if woken, but will attack if it is provoked.
There are a few small bones, easily identified as rat and carrion crawler, lying around the edge of the room.
An uneven room, empty save for a bucket the smells of urine and a swarm of rats in the corner. They can be seen from afar, and will attack if the players get too close.
Another section filled with a swarm of bats, asleep on the cieling. They will wake up and attack if the players try to explore the empty room, and get a surprise round if they are unnoticed.
Section 5 rests above section 2, and is a holding place for some mining equpitment. A couple of shovels, as well as pickaxes and hammers are insid e of a large wooden crate in the back (to keep the carrion crawler away from it.) There are also a few wooden crates filled with dirt and raw metals, as well as some rope tied into bundles.
The section leading into section 7. It smells the most heavily of death. 3-5 Carrion crawlers have taken the parts of their prey they still desire to eat here, and are sitting around a pile of rotting body parts. When the players approach, all of them will scurry away and burrow into section 6a.
The pile of body parts and intestines smells so vile that to avoid vomiting the players must make a constitution saving throw (easy). Any attempt to rifle through the pile requries another saving throw (medium) to not throw up.
The Carrion Crawlers home. It is through a wall of rock and dirt, which is of medium difficulty to knock down. If they are discovered, they will attack the players. Inside it is cramped, only fitting one or two party members inside at a time. The only thing inside, besides the crawlers, is a pile of gold (6d10) that they've been hoarding.
The section of the mines where the barricade has been made. Bones, both human and monstrous (recognized as Naga, Nothic, and Manes bones with a difficult check), are scattered randomly across the ground. There is also, if searched for (DC easy to medium) various trinkets from the miners who died littered in the dirt. These can include broken watches, buckles, rings, hankerchiefs, or other memoriabilia. There is nothing worth a hefty price.
Should the party be low on health for any reason, they may find a couple of health potions.
The Barricade is made of reinforced wood. Players who put their ear to it will hear the chatter of monsters from beyond. It requires a difficult strength check to knock it down with brute force, but it can be burned as normal wood.
Through the barricade is a mine shaft, leading down to level 3.
The deepest level, and the most dense with monsters. It's a small area, as the miners uncovered the monsters and were forced to retreat and build the baracade soon after. Rotting corpses and bones liter the area, both from monsers already defeated and miners that couldn't quite make it out. This level has the treasure Thomaly sent the players to find.
Down the mining shaft is a cluster of Bone Nagas and Nothics. Based on player level, there should be between 1-3 Bone Nagas, and 2-5 Nothics. They are gaurding three simple chests, as well as a larger ornate one. The battlefield is cramped and uneven, with abandoned mining tools and large rocks litering the area.
The 3 smaller chests are locked, and contain simple magical items (Nothing above a +1 bonus or beyond one damage bonus/resistance. Rings, necklaces, bracelets, daggers, gloves, boots, etc. are all appropriate). The locks are easy to unlock or break open, as the wood and metal they are made of has started to rust and grow weaker. The large ornate one contains The Crown of The Spirit Naga (details in the Reward section).
Also in the large chest is a glowing green stone, cold to the touch and incredibly smooth. It glows softly in the light, and is the treasure the demon possessing Thomaly desires. It can do nothing on its own (though it pulses with a hypnotic magical energy), but added to the Necklace of Geas the demon is using, it can amplify its effects.
Thomaly's House (continued)
The interior of Thomaly's House is slightly musty. Not dirty, but not completely clean. The interior wood is slightly bent and warped in the way old houses tend to be. Decorations are minimal, as the family is poor. Despite this, it is well lived in and well loved. Now, it is abandoned, and is offputtingly quiet.
2. The Living Room
The living room is messy. Chairs and couches are in dissaray, the carpet has been rumpled, and there are books and toys strewn everywhere. The table used for eating has plates and cutlery left out on it. A very thin layer of dust rests over the furniture. Near the back are the stairs leading to the upstairs, and next to the living room is the kitchen.
3. The Kitchen
The kitchen is worse than the living room. Dishes are in the sink, with small flies and gnats buzzing around it. Herbs have been left on the counter, meant to be dried. The icebox isn't filled with anything, and is leaking because it hasn't been refilled. Any food is untouched.
In the corner of the kitchen is the cellar door. It is unlocked.
4. The Uptairs Hallway
The hallway upstairs is almost completely empty, save a small table with a wooden vase by the window. In it is a flower, which has wilted to a stiff brown. It is so fragile that if it is touched, it crumbles beneath ones fingers.
Each door (leading to the bathroom, Thomalys room, or his parents rooms) is closed, but not locked.
### 5. The Bathroom The bathroom is mostly empty, and contains a large wooden tub and a small bucket (you know that that's used for), as well as a small basin filled with water for washing hands. In a small cupboard is a small razor, and a bottle of perfume. There is also a small pin for doing hair, and a meager comb that has some of its teeth broken off.
The room smells rancid, and there is a sludge in the bottom of the small bucket.
6. Thomalys Room
Thomalys room looks a mess. There is a small shelf, with small rocks and wooden sticks that have been wittled into tiny points. His bed is unmade, and his clothes strewn about the floor. He has a small piggy bank with savings (1d4 silver, 1d8 copper), overtuned by not broken on the floor.
7. Thomalys Parents Room
The parents room is in almost no dissaray. The bed is made, clothes are folded nicely in the armoire, and there is a single picture of the family on a nighttable. Everything is, as per the rest of the house, covered in a very very thin layer of dust. The floor creaks as it is walked across.
Underneath the bed is a small pouch of savings (1d4 gold, 1d10 silver). Other than that, there is nothing special in the parents room.
8. The Cellar
The cellar is down a set of rickety wooden stairs. There is no light, and it is filled with barrels of dried food and some old ale.
The monster holding the family hostage is a Nelfeshnee, a demon which often serves as 'judges' of the abyss. It is chaotic evil, speaks Abyssal and a broken draconic (both verbally and telepathically). It has no name prounceable in any languages other than Abyssal, and, should it for any reason say its name, it comes out simply as a horrifying growl.
The Nelfeshnee is possessing the family (namely Thomaly, as his parents are now dead) with a Necklace of Geas (detailed later in the document). Its motivation is to take over part of the world, to drag humanity into the abyss, where it can torture them forever and gain status as a demon.
Thomalys parents lie at the Nelfeshnees feet, no more than lumps of broken and bleeding flesh at this point. The Nelfeshnee forced them to tear apart and eat each other alive using the necklace. It was done for its own amusement after it became bored with them and realized more people would be drawn in by the innocence of Thomaly. Thomaly sits by the demons feet as well, crying as he can do nothing to stop it.
The players will have little chance to interact with the Nelfeshnee, as it will attack them on sight. Based on player level, the encounter should consist of 1 Nelfeshnee*, and 3-5 Manes (detailed at the end of the document). Thomaly exists as an NPC in the fight, though he will only cower in the corner. The demons will not target him, but will not specifically ignore him for any AOE attacks. Any AOE attacks made by players will also harm Thomaly unless otherwise specified.
*if the Nelfeshnee proves too difficult at CR 13, taking away its multiattack or lowering its damage die by 1 can be useful in scaling down a fight.
If Thomaly survives, he is incredibly grateful to the players, and will run up to them, crying. Any information on the possession the players did not gather on their own, he will tell them freely. He will speak rapidly and blubberingly, as he is incredibly distressed from having to endure being enchanted and watching his parents die.
Thomaly will offer the players as much as he can because they freed him (his piggy bank in his room, if they have not taken it, as well as the singular candy and piece of string he has in his pocket). He will also ask them what he can do next, as he is now an orphan. He will not travel with the players, as he is too afraid of monsters.
With the monsters slain, you survey the room. There on the ground, beside the torn limbs of his parents, is Thomalys body. Once innocent and full of youth, it now lies broken. Corrupted by powers he did not understand, and forced onto the battlefield of a fight he did not deserve, he now lies there, still and unbreathing. At least he does not have to live the life of an orphan
Should Thomaly die, there will be no one to offer the players any rewards. They are free to survey the house, and can take whatever they want from it. They also can loot the bodies of the demons they've slain, detailed in the Rewards section of the document.
If you are running a campaign where levels are event-based, now would be an appropriate time to level the players. If level ups are XP based, then XP can be calculated from monster stats and gold earned. Further items to be rewarded are listed below.
Necklace of Geas
Very Rare Necklace, wearable
This is what the demon was using to entrance Thomaly and his parents. The Necklace of Geas is a necklace made from the bones of a Naga, bleached a pale white and inlaid with hauntingly deep green gems. The necklace has 5 charges, and when you expend one, you can enchant a creature with Geas, cast as a 5th level spell. The spell regains 1 charge per day. If the necklace runs out of charges, roll a d6. On 1-5, you cannot use the necklace again for another 24 hours. On a 6, it crumbles to dust.
Very Rare Glove
An oddly malleable jaw, with 4 tusks jutting out of it. It has been fashioned to fit the fist of a medium creature, with the spikes positioned over the knuckles. While worn, any unarmed attackes offer +1 to attack and damage, and give a 10% chance to cause bleeding in the target (1d4 slashing damage per round until any healing affect is applied).
The Nelfelshnee jaw also has 4 charges. A charge can be expended to throw the jaw at a target (range 30), and on a hit, it bites down on the target and causes 4d6 piercing damage. The jaw regains 1d4 charges each day. Should all the charges be expended, roll a d4. On a 4, one of the tusks falls out, decreasing the damage of the Jaw by 1d6.
When all tusks have fallen out, the Jaw becomes useless, and cannot be used in any capacity.
Crown of the Spirit Naga
Rare Crown, Wearable
The Crown of the Spirit Naga is forged from the scales of a tormented spirit naga, ripped from its body and created while magic and life still coursed through its veins. Unfortunatly, being imbued with such magic means that the Spirit Naga still has a tie to the mortal world, and can influence those who wear the crown.
The crown has 10 charges. Charges can be expended to cast the following spells:
- Dominate person (5th level. Cost: 10 charges)
- Blight (4th level. Cost: 5 charges)
- Charm person (2nd level. Cost: 2 charges)
- Minor Illusion (Cantrip. Cost: 1 charge)
The crown regains 1d10 charges each day, to a maximum of 10. When the user drains the power of the crown, the Spirit Naga has a chance to possess the target. Whenever the charges are all expended, roll a d6. On a 6, the Spirit Naga has influence over the players actions for the next 1d10 hours (maximum until the next dawn).
The crown can be destroyed by burning it or crushing it, and doing so causes a horrible piercing scream to echo throughout a 20 foot radius, until it is completely destroyed.
Other Possible Rewards
|5||Rare Gems (1d4)|
|6||Common Gems (1d6)|
Gems, Rare--price 1d4 x 100 GP
Gems, Common--price 1d10 x 10 GP
|Name||Race||Personality (Pick 2-3)||Job||Build (Pick 2-3|
|Merlina||Elf||Cheerful||Jewelry Store Merchant||Small|
|Slorei||Conceited||Large hands and feet|
NPC's from the town can be generated by mix and matching the chart above. People from the town are of little consequence to the campaign, and so the above is meant to serve only as ideas to help keep things moving quickly. NPC's can grant side quests as needed (Delivering messages to others or fetching things) but no one has anything of dire consequence that needs doing. Side quests, if given, should be very easy to complete.
Small guy, neutral good
- Armor Class 10
- Hit Points 4 (1d8)
- Speed 25ft.
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA 8 (-1) 10 (+0) 10 (+0) 10 (+0) 9 (+0) 12 (+1)
- Senses passive Perception 10
- Languages Common
- Challenge 0 (10xp)
pitiful whack: Thomaly swings with his small gnobbly fists. +1 to hit. Hit: 1d4 damage.
Note: These Bone Nagas are descended from Spirit Nagas.