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The Ancient Temple

Level 2 Exploration Scenario

The PCs explore the depths of an ancient temple to the Marrow of Animus, god of war, strife, and individuality. The ruined temple is in poor condition, heavily overgrown and haunted by old ghosts.

This scenario is part of The Icon Curse Quick Adventure and has a number of narrative elements specific to that storyline. However, you can fairly easily modify these to adapt this scenario to a wide range of similar scenes.


Setting Dungeon
Type Normal
Lighting Lit
        C – D           
        |     \      
(start) A – B – G – (goal)            
        |     /
        E ~ F


(Region A) Oratory
This is the remains of an ancient oratory, where the priest would have given sermons and blessings. An elevated platform still stands; you can imagine the podium of bone that would have stood atop it. Behind the platform, an open door provides access to a hall. Clay and bone doors on the left and right are closed and look sturdy even after all this time.
If a PC passes through A-B (one way), it seals shut, and A-C and A-E open.
If a PC passes through A-C or A-E (one way), both seal shut, and A-B opens.
Doors that were picked will seal again, but busted doors (damage) stay gone.
Exit To Obstacle
North C Reinforced Locked Door
East B -
Southeast E Reinforced Locked Door
Wandering Spirits Respawn: 1; Pursues at 3+ PCs x2 at 5+ PCs
Mechanisms for the doors (reveals function only) Hidden: 1d4

(Region B) Catacombs
These old catacombs appear to have lain dormant and untouched for centuries; Whisperwind's hunters must have taken another route. You feel a chill in your soul as something stirs around you; the cursed statue calls out to the beyond, desperate to prevent you from succeeding.
Exit To Obstacle
West A (see Notes in A)
East G Daunting Corridor
Fortune Hidden: 1d6

(Region C) Flooded Halls
The earth beneath these halls long ago gave way, and rainwater collected over centuries has completely flooded this area. It's filled with some kind of weird algae, and the water is ice cold.
This region requires swimming.
Exit To Obstacle
South A (see Notes in A)
East D Blue Mold
Noxious Fungi

(Region D) Halls of Battle
This part of the temple is in pretty good condition. It appears to be dedicated to glories won in war, with statues and carvings of soldiers and champions, slaying and sacrificing. Something about it feels sinister, as though it wants to demand similar bravery from you.
Exit To Obstacle
West C -
Southeast G (see Murder-holes)
Murder-holes (D-G) Hidden: 1d6

(Region E) Overgrown Wing
Vines and brush have largely overtaken this wing of the temple, being more visible than the stone walls of the ruins. That makes it substantially more difficult to find your way about.
PCs may treat this region as wilderness setting.
Exit To Obstacle
North A (see Notes in A)
East F Hidden: 1d6
Spider Webs Hidden: 1d2

(Region F) Lair
The halls lead into a short, natural cave tunnel set into the mountain. You suspect this was not a part of the original temple. A horrific smell assails you; looking about, you see a number of half-devoured animal corpses and a relatively fresh one of a mountain bear. Perhaps the hunters killed it?
Exit To Obstacle
West E Hidden: 1d6
Northeast G -
Foul Vapor
Fortune Hidden: 1d6

(Region G) Chamber of Sealing
This large chamber consists of four concentric circles of pillars, each containing strange symbols, carvings, and/or devices. They are in rough shape; it's tough to make out what several of the symbols and carvings are supposed to be, and they're covered in dirt and dust sufficient to suggest that they haven't been touched in a very long time. However, from the mechanisms and magical channels you are able to make out, they appear to be connected to the wall on the east, which has several markings that suggest it was recently lowered. If the hunters passed through here, this wall was not blocking their progress then as it is yours now.
Exit To Obstacle
West B Daunting Corridor
Northwest D -
Southwest F -
East Goal Puzzle Wall
Wall Darts Hidden: 1d6
Poisoned Surface Hidden: 1d6 6 PCs


Put this temple underground or have the PCs explore at night to up the difficulty due to added darkness. Because the design encourages splitting the party, this may leave some PCs without the ability to see where they're going. It's especially challenging in the Flooded Halls if the party lacks magical light (such as from a Glowstone or Moonsilk Gown).

If you don't like the closing door mechanic, put a single Reinforced Locked Door at A-B (removing A-C and A-E doors), and require three keystones in order to activate the Puzzle Wall. Without all three keystones, it's not possible to play Actions against the Wall. Place the keystones in B, C, and E. Only hide them with large player counts, and make sure the Hidden dice is low.

Or, remove the B-G connection and instead connect B-D and B-F. This gives players many ways to explore the temple and is especially suitable if you hide more treasure. Consider hiding a lever that opens a secret passage in another region, with substantial rewards (such as 1 Wealth or a handful of Valuables) hidden behind it. Hide the lever in D or F, with the opened passage in the opposite C or E.

More level 2 exploration scenarios

scenario_e_the_ancient_temple.txt · Last modified: 2019/06/27 12:36 by triptycho