THE VIRNIG DRACOPILLAR

I am prepping for my next campaign – Out of the Abyss – and the adventure path clearly has a touch of whimsy with more than a passing resemblance to Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland.  They even say as much in the preface.  So I went back and read the two 1e adventures that are much more directly inspired (actually set in) wonderland – Dungeonland and The Land Behind the Magic Mirror.  I picked up some of the encounters in those adventures and decided to convert them for Out of the Abyss.  Since Out of the Abyss uses a lot of random tables these should be easy to insert.  

Enjoy!

This thick-stemmed fungus is larger than any of the others you have seen. Its cap is oddly lumpy, only about 5′ off the ground at its edges and rising as high as 9′ or more on some of its bumps.

If the party comes within 30’ or so, read on:

Suddenly the top of the blue fungus moves. There appears to be some blue creature atop a flat-capped mushroom. In fact, you now can tell that it is a large, caterpillar-like creature with draconic features curled comfortably in a circle. It encircles a brass urn of some sort, which has a strange stem that the monster bites occasionally. Thereafter, the creature seems to grimace and send forth a small cloud of opalescent smoke. Perhaps it is a dragon-worm!

 

Virnig (treat as a behir), being especially old, wise, and crafty, will attempt to talk to the characters and project a friendly and laconic attitude  as he continues to try and hit a character with a smoke ring.  The brass hookah he smokes also has a magical property, the dweomer of which only Virnig can master (and who is immune to). Each time he puffs forth a ring of smoke, it has a special property.  Roll d6 to determine which smoke ring is blown first.

 

  1. Touch turns smoke ring to gem set necklace worth 2d4 x100 gold pieces.
  2. Contact with solid substance turns smoke ring into a clinging stinking cloud of 10’ cubic size.
  3. Contact with a solid substance turns smoke ring into a rope of entanglement which lasts for 1 round.
  4. Touch causes electrical discharge as a shocking grasp.
  5. Contact with solid substance turns smoke ring into a poisonous snake.
  6. Touch causes smoke ring to become a fog cloud of 10’ cubic size which lasts for 1 minute.

Being very clever and most evil, Virnig will play the role of an affected but harmless creature to the hilt. When he has his audience properly in his spell, he will breathe out a smoke ring of the first sort, asking one member of the party to catch it. If one does, then he will quickly puff as many as five more out. As each must be blown once before one number can be repeated, the five will follow in sequence, of course. If necessary, the DM should repeat this process. Each ring will be puffed out at a different character. The range of a smoke ring is 10’. One will travel but slowly, so they are easily avoided if a character so attempts, there being but a 1 in 20 chance of accidental contact when trying to avoid a puff of the smoke. A wind of any sort, including a gust of wind spell, will demolish a smoke ring and ruin its dweomer. A ring of smoke loses all magical properties after exceeding its 10’ range.

If no character catches the initial smoke ring, the behir will continue to converse in a lazy and obtuse fashion, meanwhile puffing the next five rings of smoke upwards, so that he can again offer the first as a lure. If this second attempt fails, he will then puff out the next five in rapid succession. This will extinguish the hookah. Virnig will then attack on the following round by breathing lightning at the one he deems most powerful in the party, and delivering a bite at the next most powerful member. Thereafter, the behir will melee two characters, choosing those already wounded in favour of others. He will bite at one while claw-attacking, after constricting the second.

Treasure: The only worthwhile treasure is the huge blue fungus upon which Virnig rests. The right side causes growth, the left diminution – as the spell enlarge/reduce. If sun dried for about 8 hours, the mushroom pieces can be stored indefinitely. If not so cured, they will spoil in 2 days. The hookah is of no value except to a behir.

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