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    Canonfire :: View topic - Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth
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    Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth
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    GreySage

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    Sat Dec 08, 2012 4:46 pm  
    Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth

    Since Wolfling is asking about the layout of ToEE, I will ask you all about your interpretation of the layout for Drelnza's lair (Room 20, Lower Caverns).

    Personally, I am confused how the room is arranged. It would've helped if the authors had included a side view/diagram of the room. I gather that it is spherical in shape, like a globe, about 40 feet across at its middle section (diameter), but tapers to perhaps some 10 (?) feet across at the very top and bottom. The map doesn't really show much at all, but rather a large circle.

    Furthermore, the whole ledge orientation and screens have me utterly baffled. Are the ledges ALL connected together, or are they separated into six different ones? How wide are they? What about those %&^* screens? The dimensions given seem awfully small (6 feet x 1.5 feet x 1/2 foot thick). What dimensions correspond to height and length?

    In a newer edition of this module (3rd, I think) they at least give you a map that shows the ledges are ALL connected and form a ring 5 foot wide before plunging (?) down to the base where the dais and materials are located, along with the 'guardian.' Wink

    Finally, is it a sheer drop, or does one merely slide (potentially unharmed?) downward? Speaking of which, I don't recall reading in the (original) module just how tall the room is from the bottom to top. All I know is that the PCs enter midway up along the diameter of the spherical room...

    thanks to all who reply,

    -Lanthorn
    GreySage

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    Sat Dec 08, 2012 5:11 pm  

    I've always gone with what is depicted in the picture of her lair in the module itself. You can find it here:

    http://www125.pair.com/cashland/grogs/adv16.htm

    It shows a spherical room with separate screened ledges at each opening halfway up the walls. Hence, her Slippers of Spider Climbing come in quite handy while the PCs have to try to balance on a sloping surface or stand on top of her sarcofagus. Wink

    Here's a link to another, similar picture, though it doesn't show the room having spherical walls. I prefer the original.

    http://dc126.4shared.com/doc/0A6oHIfL/preview.html

    SirXaris[/img]
    GreySage

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    Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:37 pm  

    I've glanced at that first picture many times in my module, but it only shows the lair from the bottom and doesn't really give a good idea of the whole chamber.

    The second picture (color version) actually belongs to the module I mentioned as the more recent update. That module shows the lair map with the ledges running 5 feet along the perimeter of the chamber, but the rest of my questions remain unanswered beyond that...

    -Lanthorn, Dangling Above Drelnza Razz
    GreySage

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    Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:12 pm  

    Lanthorn wrote:
    I've glanced at that first picture many times in my module, but it only shows the lair from the bottom and doesn't really give a good idea of the whole chamber.


    I just assume that the lair is exactly the same all the way around. The picture shows two of the screened ledges, so it is easy to assume that the rest of the dimensions of the room mirror the third that is shown.

    SirXaris
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    Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:09 pm  

    I always thought it was a "perfect" sphere, 40 feet in diameter. So, to imagine the dimensions in the vertical, it's easy enough to look at the floor map and extrapolate, as I see it.
    I always went with the picture from S4, which shows the six ledges as separate.
    As to whether or not it's a sheer drop from the ledge, I think that has to be a DM call depending on what part of the ledge a PC falls off of. At the end of the ledge, it is certainly enough of a drop to roll a d6 for falling damage. Now, if the PC falls or chooses to go off the ledge, near the wall of the chamber, I'd maybe go with a Dex check to avoid stumbling for maybe 1d4. (just my opinion of course)

    Ok, the screens. Quoting you: (6 feet x 1.5 feet x 1/2 foot thick). What dimensions correspond to height and length?
    That half a foot thick seems thick to me, unless I take that to mean the dimensions when folded up. I always imagined them much like the classic privacy screens often seen in old B&W movies, when ladies had to change clothes. So usually three panels.
    With that in mind, I'd say the folding screens in Drelnza's room are 6 feet tall, each of the three panels a foot & a half (18 inches) wide, and each panel 2 inches thick, which still sounds like a bit much to me, but maybe that's due to all the fancy embellishments on the ornate things.
    GreySage

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    Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:23 pm  

    BW, NOW I see the ledges to which you are referring in the module! Embarassed

    ALL this time I merely thought those two 'barriers' were shields for decoration! WOW, am I obtuse on that one. They looked like large body shields set up above Drelnza for aesthetics. You are quite right that the picture depicts the ledges as individual, and not at all connected.

    I guess the 'updated' module authors decided to have the ledges all merge as one large outer perimeter overlooking Drelnza. However, from a tactical position for Iggwilv (and her guardian daughter) this is foolish, since it grants invaders a chance to flank and maneuver.

    Thanks, all. Sorry for the myopia. Confused

    OK, another follow-up question:

    To what degree do you think that Drelnza would pursue those who would 'defile' Iggwilv's treasure trove? I figure that, as a guardian of her personal treasure, Drelnza would remain within the chamber and not pursue beyond the hallways.

    -Lanthorn
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:42 pm  

    Vampire are rather vindictive critters. I would have her hound the PCs until they are dead.
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    GreySage

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    Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:53 pm  

    No argument about the malevolence factor with regard to vampires, Ceb, but wondering if, as she is the 'guardian' of the treasure, Drelnza would/could leave her chamber...

    How far would you allow her to chase the PCs? Lower levels only? All the way to the surface world? I've also wondered how much of the Caverns she knows. I guess this all depends if her mother has bound Drelnza (as I perceive it) permanently to the arch-witch's treasure chamber or not.

    The module doesn't say one way or the other, and my knowledge of Drelnza is confined to a single article about Lerrek from an Oerth Journal.

    -Lanthorn
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    Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:48 pm  

    Lanthorn wrote:
    No argument about the malevolence factor with regard to vampires, Ceb, but wondering if, as she is the 'guardian' of the treasure, Drelnza would/could leave her chamber...

    How far would you allow her to chase the PCs? Lower levels only? All the way to the surface world? I've also wondered how much of the Caverns she knows. I guess this all depends if her mother has bound Drelnza (as I perceive it) permanently to the arch-witch's treasure chamber or not.


    I think it definitely varies on several factors:

    - is Drelnza willingly guarding her mother's hoard?
    - is Drelnza bound in some manner, and if so, what are the parameters of her binding?
    - does Drelnza know the Caverns and environs?
    - do you want her to hang around in the campaign as a long-term NPC/monster threat? :D

    Lanthorn wrote:
    The module doesn't say one way or the other, and my knowledge of Drelnza is confined to a single article about Lerrek from an Oerth Journal.


    The original 1976 tournament version includes this info which may be useful for you, Lanthorn:

    Lost Caverns of Tsojconth wrote:
    She has all vampire abilities, but she cannot escape from the room, nor can she call aid... She guards the nexus [the caverns] and must permit none to leave alive is she is to go free.


    Based on that, I would rule that she's definitely not able to pursue outside of the Greater and Lesser Caverns, but it also says she can't leave the room, too, but I'd probably ignore that myself.

    In case you haven't seen my S4 page, it's at http://www.greyhawkonline.com/grodog/gh_s4.html and may offer some further insight/inspiration for you :D
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    GreySage

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    Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:12 pm  

    Grodog, I want to thank you for your input and the hyperlink you have offered. Very nice and helpful.

    I had to make a judgment call last night and allowed Drelnza to vacate the room (lest she get killed with repeated blasts of Fireball) and stalk around the lower caverns, menacing her foes with guerilla tactics, trying to whittle down their numbers...

    appreciatively,

    -Lanthorn
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    Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:35 pm  

    Lanthorn wrote:

    I had to make a judgment call last night and allowed Drelnza to vacate the room (lest she get killed with repeated blasts of Fireball)


    I hope you didn't forget the item saves for all the treasures. Evil
    "Oh, that got cooked by one of the fireballs you threw in there. I'm not sure which one...4th or 5th one maybe."
    GreySage

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    Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:42 pm  

    Nope, not at all... Wink

    The bottom of that chamber has become a partly smoldering field of death, with corpses littering around the dais. Evil Grin

    -Lanthorn
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    Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:43 am  



    Excellent. Evil Grin
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    GreySage

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    Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:47 am  

    OK, everyone. What happens to Drelnza if Iggwilv's treasures (yes, even the books) are somehow taken? Does she remain there for all undead eternity until she is slain, as punishment for her failure? Is she no longer bound to Iggwilv's service as a guardian and is now 'free?' Nothing is written as to the outcome at the end of the module should Drelnza survive but the treasure is taken.

    -Lanthorn
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    Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:50 pm  

    Lanthorn wrote:
    Nothing is written as to the outcome at the end of the module should Drelnza survive but the treasure is taken.

    -Lanthorn


    Well, the most probably theory I can come up with for that is the writers never considered the possibility the players would be able to get the treasure without slaying her. As it is, I don't see how that would be accomplished either.

    Keeping with the spirit of 1st edition, when the module was written, I'd say the answer to that is up to you, the DM. (I have the feeling this is what Mr Gygax would have said if anyone had asked him the question)
    Personally, I think it'd be fun to have her be forced to track down the "thieves", until she can retrieve each and every item and return it to its "proper place". A vampiric 13th level fighter should make for an interesting nemesis for a group of player characters. And of course, she may acquire allies to further plague the PCs.
    GreySage

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    Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:22 am  

    Drelnza was having to play a game of cat-and-mouse, using guerilla tactics all the time, given the strength and power of her foes. She quickly discovered that a frontal, direct assault would likely end up in her destruction. In the end, they were able to fend her off well enough to steal the treasure and slow her down enough to escape the Lost Caverns.

    -Lanthorn
    GreySage

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    Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:00 pm  

    My players defeated her in battle, but she escaped in gaseous form. Of course, that meant that she returned to ambush them time and time again, until they managed to imprison her gaseous form on one occasion within a Bag of Holding (I was young rolleyes ) and dispose of her permanently.

    If she is tasked with protecting Iggwilv's treasures, it makes sense that she should pursue theives as long as far as necessary to accomplish that task.

    SirXaris
    GreySage

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    Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:47 am  

    Thanks for your comments and suggestions, fellows. Not too sure how she would follow them out of the Lost Caverns without a place to lair (perhaps seeking solace in caves by day, tracking by night), but you've given me some things to noodle in my head. In the event that tracking down her quarry is impossible (magical means), other ideas are always welcome. I am flipping between her staying in the Caverns as permanent punishment for failure...or releasing her from bondage. The former seems more likely given Iggwilv's disposition.

    -Lanthorn
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    Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:47 pm  

    She can charm minions and make Vampire Spawn servants, and have them go out and find the PCs. Once they do, they come back to her, and then she uses them all to facilitate her revenge on the PCs. Vampire Spawn (who could have class levels of their own), charmed servants (who can also have class levels of their own), and Drelnza are not exactly a combination of things any PCs would want after them. Sounds pretty fun to DM actually. Evil Grin
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    GreySage

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    Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:18 am  

    Interesting ideas, Cebrion, that I will have to consider. I actually have two (formerly three) factions all vying for Iggwilv's treasure simultaneously, so this could make things more interesting.

    Wondering...if the treasure is plundered successfully, would Drelnza still remain in her chamber in 'stasis' and await future tomb-robbers, or would she be more active, perhaps stalking the Lower Caverns? Of course, the module never indicates anything one way or the other about what happens to the 'guardian' if the treasure is stolen and she survives.

    Also, what about the 'teleportation' tunnels? Would they cease functioning now that the tomb is raided...or not? I guess it depends on whether or not Iggwilv enchanted them permanently or if their power is somehow tied to her magical treasure trove.

    All of these are DM calls, I realize, but I enjoy bouncing ideas back and forth.

    When I decided to run this module, I decided NOT to augment or change the magical defenses on the great doors, or the magical teleportation corridors, even though new spells have been added to our DMing repertoire (Tome of Magic and Spells & Magic namely)...even though I was VERY tempted to do so. I opted to keep the module fairly 'intact' to honor its original creation. After all, it was bad enough that I added two rival factions to plague the PCs...

    -Lanthorn of the Endless Questions
    GreySage

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    Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:27 am  

    Lanthorn,

    You keep mentioning 'guardian'. I thought that the Xeg Yi and Xag Ya were the 'guardians' of Iggwilv's special treasures. I don't remember Drelnza herself being referred to as such, though I don't have a copy of the module in front of me to check it.

    SirXaris
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    Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:39 am  

    SX, the xeg-yi and xeg-ya ARE indeed guardians, but...

    "This is Drelnza, Iggwilv's daughter. She is Iggwilv's 'treasure' and a guardian of the dead arch-mage's wealth."

    In my mind, she is the primary guardian, and FAR more deadly...

    -Lanthorn
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    Sat Dec 22, 2012 4:06 am  

    Drelnza is not trapped in the room. She will only stay there while she has an interest to, such as to protect everything else that is there. If she is defeated, goes gaseous, and returns to her resting spot, and the PCs gut the place, when she recovers she won't simply lie down on the plinth and return to stasis. The stasis is over and there is no compulsion keeping her there other than her own interests, which of course will change depending on the situation. Drelnza has above average Intelligence and Wisdom- play her as such.
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    Last edited by Cebrion on Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:04 am; edited 1 time in total
    GreySage

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    Sat Dec 22, 2012 8:13 am  

    Good point, Ceb. Would you have her leave the Lost Caverns, or remain there (bound by Iggwilv) and use it as a staging ground/lair from which to exact her vengeance? I'm thinking that Iggwilv likely Geased her daughter (or used other powerful binding magic) to act as her guardian.

    I guess it boils down to "What would Iggwilv do?" If her daughter failed in this task, what is the outcome? Permanent banishment within the Caverns, or forced bondage to track down the thieves? If the latter, she will have to be very cautious when leaving the relative safety (for her) of the Caverns, likely the spot where she was transformed into a vampire in the first place (at least, that is my pespective).

    -Lanthorn
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    Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:14 am  

    I wouldn't have Drelnza geased at all. Vampires are vindictive enough as it is, so that ought to be enough impetus to exact vengeance in and of itself. Drelnza could use the caverns as a base, though once the spherical room has been violated, her resting place is in jeopardy too, so I would have her establish a new resting place (perhaps behind the subterranean water fall, in a niche she hacks into the cavern wall, a few dozen yards down from the beginning of the water fall, in which she puts a coffin- yes, very well hidden). Other than that, she might make alliances with various creatures, even if it is for something as simple as sharing food (Drelnza drains the blood, the critter gets the rest). Who knows what other secret areas Drelnza knows about (such as the hidden chamber in the upper area of the horn that remains inviolate), and what they contain. That applies not only for Tsojcanth, but to the surrounding area as well. There are lots of potential servants in the surrounding area (orcs, gnomes, various critters, etc.), plus any critters still in the caverns that were not wiped out.
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    Last edited by Cebrion on Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
    GreySage

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    Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:00 am  

    I agree with Ceb. Drelnza should not be bound to the chamber, or even the caverns. After all, that is what I mentioned having done with her originally in my own campaign. Wink

    SirXaris
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    Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:25 am  

    Ceb, SX, good ideas. I like it. I can see your point about her not remaining in her old lair given its compromised position. The only reason I suggested having her Geased by Iggwilv is that I don't think the malevolent old witch would give her 'guardian' freewill. After all, she was a summoner and binder of fiends; I don't foresee her having any more goodwill to her daughter when it came to enforcing her desires and guarding her treasure. She doesn't strike me as the 'motherly' sort. Wink

    Would you still have the teleportation nexus working? Or do you think the magical effect is somehow tied to the presence of Iggwilv's treasure?

    -Lanthorn
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    Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:19 pm  

    I don't think Iggwilv even needed Drelnza there to protect her treasures. After all, she left the Xeg Ya and Xeg Yi for that purpose. I think that she probably simply made a deal with Drelnza or offered her something in exchange for staying on as an extra guard. In fact, guarding Iggwilv's treasures was probably only a secondary effect of Drelnza's purpose for being there.

    What you need to decide, then is why Drelnza wanted to stay in the caverns. It was certainly a safe place for her to lair. If she was free to come and go as she chose, she could wander without fearing that her coffin would be discovered and destroyed by some random group of adventurers. (Well, anything is possible. Razz ) She would be close enough to Perrenland, Ket, Veluna, and the High Vale to sate her evil lusts or involve herself in political power games as she wished. She may even have simply felt comfortable there, if that was where she was raised by her mother (or her mother's fiendish servants Evil Grin ). I see no reason for Drelnza not to be free to come and go as she wishes.

    Maybe, Iggwilv promised her power and treasure in her will. Razz

    SirXaris
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    Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:08 am  

    I have a totally different perspective on Drelnza. Although I am not really sure if she became a vampire purposefully or not (maybe forced into vampdom by her mother), I take the stance that Drelnza is but a pawn in her mother's grander schemes and machinations. To me, Iggwilv compelled (magically) her daughter to serve as her 'guardian' over her treasure. The two alien creatures are relatively minor compared to the powers that Drelnza herself can muster. Additionally, these creatures don't even appear unless the PCs actually manage to find and retrieve the items deeper in the slab. To me, that is telling as to their 'lesser' status as protectors of Iggwilv's largesse.

    -Lanthorn
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    Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:05 pm  

    I agree that it is quite reasonable that Iggwilv could have forced her daughter into servitude. However, it is not a sure thing. Drelnza is a 13th level fighter in her own right, after all. Nothing to threaten her mother, but more than a simple patsy. She must have been given either great responsibility/command in her mother's power structure or great freedom to seek her own power in order to attain such as she possesses. For Drelnza to now be compelled against her wishes to serve as a guardian for her mother's treasure would require quite an explanation. There may have been a falling out between the two, but I doubt Iggwilv would have simply betrayed her daughter to gain a powerful guardian for her treasure. If her daughter had been a valuable servant up to such a point, why risk her ire just to force her to guard her treausres. Surely, Iggwilv could summon a demon or three to serve that purpose. Seems more likely that the two struck an accord convenient to them both.

    But, it's your campaign. Just be sure the reason is believable to your intelligent player. Wink

    SirXaris
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    Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:12 pm  

    With respect to binding a 13th lvl vampire warrior...if Iggwilv can dominate Grazz't, an Abyssal Lord, for a time, I think that Drelnza would be a much simpler...

    However, you speak with logic about a potential deal brokered between witch-mother and deadly daughter. Drelnza's very high experience lvls do leave one wondering how she attained such power, and it does stand to reason she could've served as Iggwilv's lieutenant/general during her reign over Perrenland. This is not out of the realm of possibility, and thus, one could postulate a possible 'agreement' between the two Evil women.

    The door for possibilities is open.

    If anyone reading this has information pertinent to the background or history of Drelnza, it would be very welcome. All is know is that she is purported to be the daughter of Iggwilv and Lerrek (yes, before his lichdom).

    -Lanthorn


    Last edited by Lanthorn on Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
    GreySage

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    Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:39 am  

    Lanthorn wrote:
    All is know is that she is purported to be the daughter of Iggwilv and Lerrek (yes, before his lichdom).


    Well, according to the Twilight Saga, it may be possible for a lich to conceive... Razz

    SirXaris ducks and runs.
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    Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:38 am  

    SirXaris wrote:
    Well, according to the Twilight Saga, it may be possible for a lich to conceive... Razz

    SirXaris ducks and runs.


    AAAAAAHHHH!!! Shocked Laughing

    I don't think that such 'essence' would 'keep' that long...but I guess at least it would be chilled. Razz

    Now we know the truth of SirXaris. Next he'll tell us he watches Barney instead of Jurassic Park, and prefers Harry Potter to the Lord of the Rings trilogy (my wife and I are still at an impasse at that one). Wink

    -Lanthorn

    [Keep 'em comin', 'Xaris. I guess you've been reading from the Argon Book o' Puns lately.]
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    Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:46 pm  

    I've taken my 13 year old daughter to see each of the first three Twilight episodes, so I've seen them. She saw the last one without me, though, so I have yet to see the ending. I just can't bring myself to walk into that movie alone. Razz

    Alas, much to my dismay, I can't seem to convince her that real vampires don't sparkle. Neutral

    SirXaris
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    Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:57 pm  

    Another query:

    How well do you all think Drelnza knows the extent of the maze that is the Lost Caverns?

    For instance, do you all think she knows there is another way out of the Lower Caverns via the chamber that has become the lair of the dracolisk (Room 16 of the Lower Caverns).

    thanks,

    Lanthorn
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    Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:02 pm  

    My simple answer would be 'yes'.

    That's because, in my campaign, Drelza would have been raised in these caverns and so quite familiar with them. Besides, that secret door is a minor secret compared to those I would expect Iggwilv to keep from her powerful daughter.

    SirXaris
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    Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:51 pm  

    Lanthorn wrote:
    How well do you all think Drelnza knows the extent of the maze that is the Lost Caverns?

    For instance, do you all think she knows there is another way out of the Lower Caverns via the chamber that has become the lair of the dracolisk (Room 16 of the Lower Caverns).


    I think that depends on your vision of the Caverns themselves---were they mostly the way they are presented in the module while Iggwilv occupied them? Or, are some of the various entrances and exits more-recent additions (like the umber hulk tunnel, the pech tunnel, the sinkhole perhaps) while others were more permanent features (the river exits, the Great Cavern)? Up to you to decide :D
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