The Treasure House of Angaarn - Background Edit
Millenia ago, the sorcerer Angaarn built a domed stone house to hold his treasure and riches. He laid the rarest jewels and gems in the Trollbark Forest, where the two hills hump double, a day's ride from the city of Waterdeep. He ordered an advisor of him to periodically send adventurers letters, in his hand in red ink, to them.
No one has survived entering the Treasure-House. This is because the tower is cleverly engineered to have the tower's ceiling push down and crush those who attempt to dig out its brain, its gems.
The Treasure House of Angaarn - Hook Edit
They have just arrived in Waterdeep a few hours ago, and are strolling the street:
The dim light of the setting sun shines on the shops and taverns of the city of Waterdeep, in the north of the Sword Coast. The air is a fresh seaside breeze, and townsfolk walk by, hawking wares or buying them. The city smells like roasting meat, and the cobbles of the street are smooth beneath your boots. You have been sent here by The Emerald Enclave to reclaim rumored lost treasures that rightfully belong to Faerûn itself, and plan to begin your quest on the morrow.
The The Heroes should be approached by a shady-looking figure on the street. He will ask them this:
Meet me in the Maul before midnight. I have a book of some interest. I know I can rely on you. Its owner, Rannarsh, one of the Nobles, has been tracking it down. However, it is of immense value and I fear it would be wasted on him, that evil man. For a small consideration, I will sell you this trophy.
The Maul will be its typical shithole that it is. The man will approach again - he has dusky hair, rough, warted skin, and coughs often, darting his eyes around as if he is worried about being tracked. He'll call himself Leonard (This is a lie). There are a few orcs in the corner, about 5. They are drunk, and will harass the Heroes.
A figure approaches, stealthily and somehow fearful, pausing at the doorway. You recognize him as the same man who spoke to you earlier. Even at this distance, his face is drawn, weary under the flickering torchlight. His dusky hair is matted, partly covering his dull green eyes. Making a few tentative steps forward, he suddenly shudders and stumbles. The large package he carries falls. Gathering it to his bosom, he tries to rise, only to fall heavily.
When they examine the body, they notice a large dagger sticking out of his back. With a successful DC 15 investigation roll, they find out that the dagger is well-made, perhaps of a Noble House. The Heroes should already know that the Nobles are considered above the law, even from the Masked Lord's wrath.
Lying underneath the man is a massive tome weighing nearly 20 pounds. Anyone may open the book, as it is not cursed and cannot harm those handling or looking through it. Titled The Book of Antiquities and Lost Treasures, the book is crammed with ancient maps, diagrams and legends of treasure. At the back, the Heroes see one treasure that has never been found, the hoard of Angaarn in the Trollbark Forest. Across from a sketch of its owner, Urgaan, a man with thinning black, shoulder length hair, sunken eyes, and a hawklike nose, is a map of its location, and a strange language is inscribed on it.
The script in the map is important, and written in a strange mixture of Dwarvish and Draconic. Heroes must succeed on a DC 12 Intelligence check to deduce the meaning. This is it :
Let kings stack their treasure houses ceiling-high, and merchants burst their vaults with hoarded coin, and fools envy them. I have a treasure that outvalues theirs. A diamond as big as a man's skull. Twelve rubies each as big as the skull of a cat. Seventeen emeralds each as big as the skull of a mole. And certain rods of crystal and bars of orichalcum. Let Nobles and Masked Lords swagger jewel-bedecked and Queens load themselves with gems, and fools adore them. I have a treasure that will outlast theirs. A treasure house have I builded for it in the far northern forest, where the two hills hump double, like sleeping camels, a days ride from the city of Waterdeep.
A great treasure house with a high tower, fit for a king's dwelling - yet no king may dwell there. Immediately below the keystone of the chief dome my treasure lies hid, eternal as the glittering stars. It will outlast me and my name, I, Angaarn of Waterdeep. It is my hold on the future. Let fools seek it. They shall win it not.
For although my treasure house be empty as air, no deadly creature in rocky lair, no sentinel outside anywhere, no pitfall, poison, trap or snare, above and below the whole place bare, no serpent lethal-fanged yet fair, no skull with mortal eye a-glare, yet have I left a guardian there. Let the wise read this riddle and forbear.
Rannarsh knows the Heroes have this book. If the Heroes go to his house, he will offer money, but he will only offer max 10 gold pieces. He will demand how they came into possession of a stolen book. If they deal with him, he gives the book a cursory check, and notices the missing map, but says nothing. If they outfit an expedition, he finds out about it, and realizes that it just may be real.
The Treasure House of Angaarn - Journey to the Trollbark Forest Edit
It takes a single day to reach the Treasure-House of Angaarn.
The landscape is soggy, and the skies are overcast, gray and stormy. Slimy green grass surrounds water-logged oaks. The now-muddy ground pulls at your feet as you walk.
The Treasure House of Angaarn - Ulat Angaarn Edit
As the Heroes advance through the Trollbark Forest, they sight a frail figure aheado f them. They cannot catch up with it. Each time they think they are near it, it appears elsewhere.
A dark-headed man in garb somewhat similar to a scholar's picks his way across the Trollbark Forest. Wispy thin as the fog itself, he eerily appears and then disappears, following a trail known only to himself.
Although it appears the man uses magic, he is really Ulat, the ninth descendant of Angaarn. He is also headed to the tower, and has a more recent and accurate map of the area and the treasure which allows him to go directly to the site. If the Heroes get too close to him, he hides or uses his ring to projecting his image and leading the Heroes away from him. Anyone following his tracks arrives in the tower at the same time.
The Treasure House of Angaarn - Ambush Edit
This encounter occurs at about 5:00 as the sun sets.
A tower rises above the oaks in the distance, watching like a silent giant. Two hills hides its lower reaches. Ahead lies a clearing, shrouded in the evening's shadows.
Secretly roll a d20 if a Hero is ahead of the party. If the roll is less than that of the Heroes' intelligence score, he notices soldiers hidden behind thick bushes and wet oaks. If the roll is not successful, the Heroes walk into an ambush.
The ambushers are some of Lord Rannarsh's, the noble whose book was stolen, guards who were sent to kill the Heroes. Half hide to either side of the path the Heroes follow. Once more than half of this group is killed or captured, the survivors attempt to flee to Fallingwater. They only know that Rannarsh's Sergeant of the Guard ordered them to attack the party, and do not know the party's objective. They also do not know where Rannarsh is or if there are other guards. 6 Thugs ambush them.
After this encounter, the Heroes come upon Poloi's Camp at a large clearing.
The Treasure House of Angaarn - Poloi's Camp Edit
The Heroes arrive too late in the day to go where the tower and treasure await. Ahead they see Poloi's camp.
In a clearing sits a large tent. Watching, you see four people, a middled-aged couple, an elderly man, and a young woman.
In the Trollbark Forest, Poloi, his daughter Tenni, his senile father Loed, and wife Darssh, reside.
Poloi, his wife, and his grandfather are all Commoners, as is the daughter. The tower is visible from Poloi's camp. The family does not talk of it or of its treasures, except for Loed and Tenni.
Poloi and Darssh ignore the questions or quickly change the topic to some familiar and distant subject. Loed is incapable of giving coherent advice. Usually he just says something about treasures and stones, blood and stones.
He once searched the tower and saw the stones move and kill treasure hunters, and the experience unhinged him.
It is too late to go in the tower so Poloi will invite the Heroes to spend the evening in his camp. For a nominal fee he provides a good meal and wine. He does not want to know what the Heroes intend to do.
The Treasure House of Angaarn - Tenni's Story of the Tower Edit
Tenni will ask a Hero to go with her alone, and will at first deny any knowledge of the tower. Tenni says:
Something horrible is inside. I watch it from the edge of the forest, but never go close. Never, never, never. I say to myself there be a magic circle I must not cross. And I say to myself there be a giant inside. Queer and fearsome giant. All gray he be, like the stone of his house. All gray - eyes and hair and fingernails too. And he has a stone club as big as a tree. And he be big, bigger than you, twice as big.
And with his club he kills, kills, kills. But only if you go close. Every day, almost, I play a game with him. I pretend to be going to cross the magic circle. And he watches from inside the door, where I can't see him, and he thinks I'm going to cross. And I dance through the forest all around the house, and he follows me, peering from the little windows. And I get closer and closer to the circle, closer and closer. But I never cross. And he be very angry and gnash his teeth, like rocks rubbing rocks, so that the house shakes. And I run, run, run away. But you mustn't go inside. Oh, you mustn't.
The Treasure House of Angaarn - Angaarn's Mad Tower, Entrance Edit
Silent as death, the tower stands out like a gravestone on the moor. Cold, gray stones are stacked with no evidence of mortar or cement. The single doorway is a black, gaping mouth. The tower rises four stories above the ground from the rear of a large, circular dome mounted on a hexagonal base. Connected to the front of this hexagonal base, opposite the tower, are two smaller domed rooms. The doorway into the building lies on the front wall, between the two smaller domed rooms. The doorway into the building lies on the front wall, between the two smaller domes. The door is open.
Lord Rannarsh's men arrived at the tower a few minutes before the party. Rannarsh ordered them to set an ambush, and slipped away. He sneaked into the tower, hoping his guards defeat the party. The guards rush from both sides to attack the party as soon as the Heroes reach the tower entrance. If a player makes a DC 12 Survival check, the character sees several footsteps and tracks leading to the entrance of the tower.
If they believe there is another ambush, they have surprise round.
Rannarsh's men outnumber the Heroes. All of them have short swords, and they are willing to flee. They will at first say that the sergeant told them what to do, but if intimidated will admit that Rannarsh was with them, but ran off when the fighting started. They do not know he is hiding in the tower. Men stats - 3 Spies.
If the Heroes don't grant quarter, the men will attempt to fight to the death.
While the party is busy with the guards, Rannarsh seeks the treasure in the tower. When he hears them enter, he hides in area 7. The guards will continue to fight no matter what.
The Treasure House of Angaarn - The Tower Edit
The only visible windows are in the tower, one per floor. Unseen to the Heroes are windows at the top of the dome. The doorway has no door hung in it.
Inside are four areas at ground level. The large room (Area 1) the two front, smaller, domed rooms (areas 2 and 3) and the stair landing (Area 4). The stairs curving to the west lead to the upper dome rooms ( Areas 8 and 9). The stairs curving to the east connect with the three other levels of the tower (areas 5, 6, and 7).
1. The Large Room Edit
Each wall in the room is 40 feet long. At the west and east ends of the southern wall are doorways leading to areas 2 and 3. On the northern wall, opposite the entrance, a doorway leads to area 4.
A skeleton lies strewn about the center of the room. Tatters of ragged cloth, mildewed and rotten, cling to its ribcage. Clutched in its left hand is a piece of parchment, stained and crumbling. A pale and ghostly man appears at the back door opposite the entrance. He looks as though he is walking out of a strange fog. He raises a hand in a gesture of peace.
The man is Ulat's magical image. It has the statistics of a Priest, similarly to Ulat himself. If not attacked, he speaks.
I greet you, you men of blood. More blood has been shed. It is not well.
Do not speak, for I know your purposes. You have come to take treasure from this house. Others have sought to do the same. They have failed. You will fail. As for myself, I have no lust for treasure. For forty years I have lived on crusts and water, devoting my spirit to Eldath. The gems and ornaments of this world and the jewels and gauds of the world of demons cannot tempt or corrupt me. My purpose in coming here is to destroy an evil thing.
I am Ulat Angaarn, the ninth lineal descendant of Angaarn. This I always knew, and sorrowed for, because Angaarn was a man of evil. But not until fifteen days ago, on the Day of the Spider, did I discover from ancient documents that Angaarn had built this house, and built it to be an eternal trap for the unwise and venturesome. He has left a guardian here, and that guardian has endured.
Cunning was my accursed ancestor, Angaarn, cunning and evil. The most skillful architect in all Waterdeep was Angaarn, a man wise in the ways of stone and learned in geometrical lore. But he scorned Eldath. He longed for improper powers. He had commerce with demons, and won from them an unnatural treasure. But he had no use for it. For in seeking wealth and knowledge and power, he lost his ability to enjoy any good feeling or pleasure, even simple lust. So he hid his treasure, but hid it in such a way that it would wreak endless evil on the world, even as he felt men and one proud, contemptuous, cruel woman—as heartless as this fane—had wreaked evil upon him. It is my purpose and my right to destroy Angaarn's evil.
Seek not to dissuade me, lest doom fall upon you. As for me, no harm can befall me. The hand of Eldath is poised above me, ready to ward off any danger that may threaten his faithful servant. His will is my will. Do not speak, men of blood! I go to destroy the treasure of Angaarn.
Ulat created the fog with his spell. He is at the bottom of the stairs in area 4. If the Heroes come that way, Ulat goes into area 9 and closes the gate behind him.
If located, he does not accompany the party, and does not come with them. He allows them to search, if they do not harm him.
The room is empty. Gray stones reach from floor to ceiling with barely a crack in them. The paper shreds fall apart if touched. If they take special precaution, they can tell it is their own map, another copy of it.
= 2. and 3. The Small Front Rooms
The room is circular and domed. It is 15 feet wide, and its ceiling is 10 feet high. The room appears empty. Looking into the main room, you see a faint shimmering in the air near the doorway to this room.
This shimmering is an illusion of the light. It is a trick, and does nothing. This room has a ceiling window.
4. Tower Base and Stair Landing Edit
A short corridor leading off the main room opens into an alcove with two sets of stairs, one curving east, the other west. The stairs are 5 feet wide.
Debris lies piled under the stairs. A heavy, padlocked grill, rusty and slime-coated, closes the upper right stairs leading to the rooms above the main building. You hear movement in the west stairs leading to the tower.
Under the pile of debris, a beautiful sphinx carving with ruby eyes can be found. It is very precious.
Nothing else of value is here. The sound is Rannarsh searching the tower for a key to the grill's padlock. The key on the corpse's finger in area 5 opens the lock. Otherwise, a DC 14 lockpicking attempt can open it. The stairs are slick, and Heroes can fall if they fail a dexterity check of DC 12. They take 2d10 damage if this occurs.
5. Tower First Floor Edit
This room appears empty. A mold-covered hand extends from beneath a pile of rubbish near a window. A metal ring in the shape of a key surrounds the swollen finger.
The body under the rubbish has a crushed ribcage if investigated. Its clothes, though rotting and decrepit, show that the owner was a man of substance. The man's ring is the only valuable thing in this area. The ring fits all but the most giant fingers. It opens the grill in area 4.
Rannarsh tried to remove the ring, using his dagger to cut it off. Fresh scrapes on the metal and on the stone floor beneath the hand and ugly gashes on the hand show that someone recently tried to remove it. When he heard them, he fled to area 6.
6. Tower Second Floor Edit
Bloated and swollen with the ripeness of death and submersion, a body lies in the center of the floor. Its skull is crushed. Light from the open window glints on a metal cylinder which lies near the corpse's outstretched hand.
The body has been there for several weeks. It has 60 gold. Any Hero opening the cylinder finds a map similar to the warning in their map, but written this way:
Mine is a secret treasure. Orichalcum have I, and crystal, and blood-red amber. Rubies and emeralds that demons would war for, and a diamond as big as the skull of a man. Yet none have seen them save I. I, Urgaan of Angarngi, scorn the flattery and the envy of fools. A fittingly lonely treasure house have I built for my jewels. There, hidden under the keystone, they may dream unperturbed until earth and sky wear away. A day's ride beyond the city of Waterdeep, in the valley of the two double-humped hills, lies that house, trebly-domed and single-towered. It is empty. Any fool may enter. Let him. I care not.
Lord Rannarsh is hidden behind the remains of a door by the doorway. If the Heroes roll a perception check with DC 15, they discover Rannarsh, who suddenly flees upstairs to room 7. Otherwise, he waits until they are in room 7, 8 or 9 and leaves.
7. Tower Third Floor Edit
The barren room is like the two below it. Upon first glance it appears empty. If Rannarsh is here, he charges the Heroes, hoping to break through their group. During the ensuing combat, if it appears the Heroes are going to win, he drops his sword and pleads for mercy, pretending to be afraid of something. He will follow or lead them to treasure.
Given the opportunity, he will stab someone and attempt to flee. His only concern is to safely leave the building, and nothing will distract him. He has Knight statistics.
8. and 9. Upper Dome Rooms Edit
Anyone entering the stairs to the upper dome reaches a landing. The two rooms form a circle. They are similar and neither has a door hung in its doorway.
The upper dome is divided in two separate rooms by a thick, straight wall below the dome's main keystone. The two semi-circular rooms are identical, but through the doorway in the right room there is a body lying on the floor. His chest is crushed as though by a giant club, and his blood spreads on the floor. He looks familiar.
Area 8 is haunted by the spectre of Angaarn. If anyone enters this area, the spectre materializes in the center of the room and behaves like Ulat's image in room 1. Pretending to be Ulat it moves towards the nearest Hero to touch them. Statistics for spectre: It splits into two Spectres, both of the same spirit.
The dead man is Area 9 is Ulat. Only those looking up see blood on the stones that form the roof. It is enchanted, and has the ability to kill unwanted visitors. The stones of the roof crushed Ulat.
Directly beneath the keystone of the roof lies the wall where the treasure is hidden. One stone of the straight wall in area 9 is slightly out of line. Anyone examining this wall and checking for hidden doors and traps should find the stone. It is engraved with old Waterdeep writing.
The stone is weighty, and well-fitted into the wall. Small words are engraved on its surface, still barely readable. it says "Undaar ysh laiz den 'oard von Angaarn."
Black, tarry mortar lies evenly around it. The stone does not look like it can be easily removed.
The writing means "Beneath me lies the treasure of Angaarn." The treasure is hidden behind the stone. Heroes must remove 10 inches of black, tarry mortar around the stone to pull it free. They must make strength checks of DC 12 4 times to pull it free. Each turn, make a con saving throw. If it fails, they suddenly feel an intense emotion/feeling of being frightened, panicky, and despaired.
Once it is out, the Heroes can pull the stone out of the wall. The Heroes find:
In the center is a titan diamond, cut with a myriad of oddly angled facets. Around it are two irregular circles, the inner formed of twelve rubies, each a decahedron, the outer formed of seventeen emeralds, each an irregular octahedron. Lying between these gems, touching some of them, sometimes connecting them with each other, were thin, fragile-looking bars of crystal, amber, greenish tourmaline, and honey-pale orichalchum. All these objects do not seem to be floating in the metallic liquid so much as resting upon it, their weight pressing down the surface into shallow depressions, some cup-shaped, others troughlike. The rods glowed faintly, while each of the gems glittered with a light that your mind strangely conceives to be refracted starlight.
There is also a scroll case in the back, with a map. Anyone attempting to remove the treasure causes the building to attack the party. Through the window, the Heroes see Tenni calling to them, moving towards the building to save them. She will drag them out to save them, she thinks they are Heroes. Maybe they are Heroes.
The Dancing Stones Edit
If the stones near the treasure are touched, they move as if living, closing the doorways or windows rapidly, catching victims as they pass through, or causing 2d10 damage as the ceilings, walls or floors suddenly bulge. It attacks the Heroes often, and a DC 12 Dexterity check is needed to exit any given doorway.
Heroes attempting to exit the building using spells find themselves transported to the third floor of the tower. The original owner, Angaarn, tried unsuccessfully to implement a transporter in this room, and now residual magic causes teleportation here.
The large diamond has the ability to cause 3d10 damage to those nearby, and Heroes can only drop it with a successful DC 16 Strength check. This continues in every room before they leave. If discarded in the building, the diamond acts as a permanent Magic Missile that casts 4 bolts at a time, bobbing around the room. The diamond will ricochet until the Heroes have all left the tower.
The Mad Tower in the Clearing Edit
Once the Heroes are in the clearing, the diamond loses its powers but the building's tower starts flailing at anything living within 100 feet of the walls. It has only one attack, causing 3d10 damage. It automatically hits one Hero at random until they have left the circle. Heroes beyond 100 feet still take 1d4 points of damage periodically because of the earthquake like conditions in the area. The tower continues to flail until it is destroyed.
Back to Waterdeep Edit
Once they are back, the gems can be sold for 500 gold coins. The map in the scroll case can be sold for 50 gold coins, as it is a map of the sewers under Waterdeep.