The raider lord Yarnath prowls the wastelands in his crawling citadel called Slither. Not long ago, Yarnath bent all his effort toward recovering an artifact fragment known as the Crown of Dust. But someone beat him to it. Yarnath did not come away empty handed. Though he did not find the fragment he sought, his raiders located the crown jewel of the ancient artifact. This red stone, called the Blood Jewel, is the crystallized blood of an ancient primordial. With it, Yarnath might unlock the power of a being mighty enough to slay the ancient gods. Does anyone dare to oppose him?
Slither is built from the gargantuan skeletons of several mekillot dirks bound together by beams of fused bone. Turrets and sharp spires rise crookedly from the drik-shell structure, which looks as if it has the ability to crawl across sand, scrub plains, salt flats, and ridged foothills with equal facility. It is currently quiescent and unmoving.
Slither is a dune trader’s worst nightmare. First come the waves of raiders sworn to Yarnath: elves, dragonborn, undead, and a recently pledged monstrosity of teeth and hunger. Next, the crawling fortress heaves over a nearby ridge and appears for all the world like a living monster with a tiny citadel built upon it.
Slither, the Crawling Citadel
A mul defiler named Yarnath created this crawling
citadel of bone. Yarnath drained his own life in the
process to animate the construction, passed into
undeath, and became a powerful lich.
A wall of fused bone surrounds the six towers, which were built upon animated, fused mekillot carapaces. The wall is sufficient to keep out attackers, especially when Slither is under way and a full complement of raiders patrol the space between the curtain wall and towers. Currently, just a few elf raid leaders patrol the interior of the wall
1. Yarnath’s Tower
The tower is the lich’s private quarters. No one goes here and lives, not even the crew.
2. Unknown Tower
Kivrin does not know the purpose or contents of this tower for certain. He suspects that it houses the magical contrivances which animate and power Slither, along with their guards and wards.
3. Armory Tower
This tower contains a vast array of armor and weapons and is under heavy guard.
4. Ritual Tower
This tower is where Yarnath performs his magical research..
5. and 6. Green and Gold Towers
The final two towers have more barracks, the treasury, food stores, the private quarters of Yarnath’s lieutenants, and other important chambers.
When the group sneaks to the top of the Ritual Tower they find the crenellated tower top is strewn with humanoid bones. Some are still fresh with gnawed meat. A horrifying, fourfooted beast roams the bone piles, looking for a bit of flesh it missed. Among the older bones stretch large spider webs. In the deck at the center of the tower is an opening onto a set of spiral stairs. Four statues of elf raiders with crossbows stand at silent attention surrounding the stairs.
A tembo leapsto attack the party: Everyone hates tembos. These creatures feature in stories meant to frighten children into being good. Unfortunately, tembos are not mere confabulations but all too real terrors. Tembos delight in causing ruin and heartbreak by carefully picking a means of death that creates the most anguish for the victim and his or her companions. The fact that Yarnath could put a compulsion on one to serve as his guardian to the entrance of his Ritual Tower reveals something of the lich’s wide and varied power.
After pushing the horrid beast from the tower they follow a spiral staircase down.
The spiral staircase ends in this chamber, descending no farther. You see a dank, gloomy chamber layered in shadows. Candle sconces provide flickering light. One section is closed off behind bars and holds several slumped humanoid forms, some of which are obviously dead. Opposite the barred cell is a room with no door. On the forward side of the tower is a magic circle inscribed in the floor, and opposite that is a shaft leading down.
Rook – one of Yarnath’s Master necromancers occasionally has need of live subjects for the experiments he conducts in his lower laboratory level. Thus he sometimes has captives brought to this chamber for confinement until they are needed. When Yarnath is busy with other projects, however, the captives brought here perish from starvation or predation from the cell keeper ssurran dune mystic and its two belgoi hunter guards. For that reason, the barred portion of the level contains only rotting bodies and a couple of salt zombies that spontaneously formed from the dead captives in this chamber, thanks to Slither’s undead ambience. In addition to the salt zombies that lie among the dead, a few black reaver zombies also sprawl as if mere corpses, but they remain ready to spring up as aides to Yarnath or Rook if they happen to appear in the circle. The black reaver zombies also defend the chamber if any invader appears.
After overcoming the undead prison wards the group stealthfully descends the shaft.
The floor beneath the shaft is covered in remains of prisoners dropped from above and left for dead; most have decayed to bones and powdered carcasses. On either side of the shaft’s detritus stand two statues of elf raiders holding crossbows. The central chamber holds all manner of strange equipment scattered on tables and shelves, including several chairs with restraints; two of them hold corpses that remain upright because of the chair’s numerous straps. In the center of the chamber, a circle of sigils on the floor casts a green radiance. Within that radiance stands a corpse whose eyes are lambent green liquid. Beyond it stands a hulking corpse in moldering leather and carrying a longsword.
Easily defeating the green arcanian; a corpse that Yarnath animated with a defiling acid spell the group continues down another set of spiral stairs.
This chamber is bare of any decoration except a magical circle in the floor. Three sets of doors provide entry further into the tower; two are single doors, and the central one is a double door.As the group opens the door they see Thri-kreen infest this large chamber! It is painted with a single bizarre scene: the body of a massive snake is depicted on the wall, completely surrounding the room. On the snake’s head, which is more humanoid than ophidian, rests a glowing crown. The snake’s tail coils inward along the floor from the wall and rises like a stinger in the center of the chamber. The stinger forms a stone pedestal, and on it rests a red-glowing gem beneath a sealed crystal dome. Several stone chests are arrayed along the far wall.
Deftly defeating these foes they group hears the pathetic whimpering of a half dead Dragonborn lying on a torture rack. Thinking he was some sort of undead creature the Mul viciously turned the crank – causing the creature to yelp and cry out.
He informed them he was a prisoner of this place that they were trying to extract information from him which in return for his freedom he imparted this wisdom on the party:
The Dragonborn spoke of a necromancer Tal Lorvas, who has unearthed an underground tomb that dates back to the height of the ancient Giustenal empire. Lorvas has been terrorizing the surrounding lands with his vile experiments, and now he hopes to find the crown, hidden in the tomb, that is tied to a ritual he wants to perform by the rise of the next full moon.
Unfortunately the Dragonborn perished in your escape from Slither.
Running madly from the lich’s lair you wonder if you will ever escape his clutches.