The Westraven Witch
Note: none of the minis should be initially placed.
Vicnel, Berserk Cadaver Collector (V)
2 Arbalesters (A)
2 Whirling Blade Traps (W)
As the tremendous doors swing open with a creak, you emerge into a split-level chamber. A tremendous central platform is at the same height as the landing on which you enter, along with two smaller platforms farther beyond, but each is separated from one another by a wide trench. Some 20 feet below, this trench houses small walkways alongside tremendous flows of a disgusting, unidentifiable green sludge. The air below is a foul-smelling haze. Ladders here and there, and a small bridge, allow for passage from one level to the other, but there is no obvious means of bridging the gaps between the various platforms on the main level.
If a player successfully assesses the sludge (DC 20 Dungeoneering):
The horrid slime is no doubt both corrosive and poisonous, and is emitting the noxious fumes that make the lower level so hazy. The mist looks thin enough, however as to be only mildly repulsive and distracting, not dangerous.
When the players enter, the Whirling Blades and Arbalesters have not yet been revealed. All are concealed beneath trap doors in the floor at their marked locations. The moment a player sets foot on the main central platform, the Whirling Blades and Arbalester are triggered and spring up through the floor.
The Whirling Blades move (in a random direction) and attack on their initiative. They are mindless and have no concern for Vicnel, so he may also be subject to their attacks if he’s caught in the wrong position. He is aware of how they work and will attempt to steer clear of them. They will not move over the edge of the platform (voluntarily). If a direction roll would put them over the edge of the platform, they will move to the square nearest the edge. If they are already at the edge, re-roll for direction until they move along the edge or inward. If they are pushed off the central platform to the sewer level below, they crash down, immobilized (no save) for the rest of the encounter, but continue to attack on their initiative.
The Arbalesters always prefer to attack the nearest opponent on their own platforms first, then the nearest on the central platform. The 5×5 corner section closest to each constitutes its guarded area. If there are no enemies on the central platform, the will attack those on the lower level if they can find a clear shot without leaving their own platforms. They never leave their own platforms. They will not attack Vicnel or the Whirling Blades, focusing only on the players. The control panels to deactivate the Whirling Blades traps are located along the south wall of the central platform, at ground (sewer) level.
Vicnel begins the encounter in Stone Form, and will attempt to maintain this bluff until a player actually comes within melee range and the traps have triggered. Once he has activated, he cannot resume his Stone Form again (Note: he cannot become petrified by the belt’s power). It is likely the players will mistake him for a statue without careful scrutiny (DC 20 Insight check). Vicnel will not voluntarily leave the platform as long as there are PCs on it. He typically engages the nearest opponent and attempts to finish it off before moving on to the next.
Reminder: if this avatar of Vicnel is killed, the character dealing the final blow will receive a Boon.
Features of the Area
The Hairless Corpse: the Hairless Corpse is stuck to Vicnel himself, impaled upon his many spikes. Removing it from him is not difficult once he is dead (DC 10 Athletics check), but doing it during combat is much trickier: It requires a Standard Action within melee range, and the attempt can only be made while Vicnel is flanked and/or restrained. It takes a DC 25 Athletics or Thievery check to succeed. This causes the Hairless Corpse to fall to the ground, where it can more easily be retrieved.
Two levels: the gray areas (the entryway, the central platform, and the two arbalester platforms) are 20 feet above the greenish “sewer” level.
The sewer level: the lower level is filled with the disgusting stench of the green sludge. Anyone making an attack from the lower level suffers a -2 penalty to hit. The haze also provides light concealment against non-adjacent creatures.
The sludge: the disgusting slime is both toxic and corrosive, though not deep (only 2 feet). Anyone falling in takes 2d6 poison and acid damage, and ongoing 5 poison and acid damage (save ends).
The bridge: a small but sturdy bridge safely spans the river of sludge.
The ladders: the ladders provide a means of switching levels. They are in good condition, but slick with moisture (DC 5 Athletics). These ladders are bolted directly into the walls, and cannot be moved.
The control panels: the control panels for the Whirling Blades traps are along the south wall of the central platform, at the sewer level.
The upper level: the upper level is dry and the odor of the sludge is faint enough so as to not cause any combat penalties.
Lighting: the sludge emits a pale greenish glow, bathing the chamber in dim light.
Ceiling: the ceiling is 20 feet above the upper level.