Friday, July 27, 2018

30 Minute Dungeon Delve 12: The Lost Temple of Orcus

Idea: Abandoned temple of Orcus, the demon god of undeath. There are undead and a demon lurking in the tomb, as well as the reanimated head of the high priest who is very talkative.

Hook: There have long been rumors that the strange stone building in the hills was a blasphemous church to a demonic being. It has been a long time since light and foul chanting emanated from the structure, and the church has payed you to investigate, to see if the evil has left.


1. This room is full of graffiti, suggesting that the building has been abandoned for a decent while. (Some of the graffiti reads things like; “Don’t go further than this!” or, “Beware the orb!”.)

2. A red orb floats in the center of the room, glowing ominously. There are scorch marks on the walls and floor, and there is an odd metal disk with writing on it near the entrance to the room. (The orb shoots bolts of reddish energy from it if non-cult members entered the room. In order to differentiate between cultists and non-cultists, cultists would carry metal disks like the one on the floor. Anyone holding a metal disk will not be harmed by the orb.)

3. The floor is strewn with bones, some of which have teeth marks on them. Suddenly, the bones whirl and connect themselves together through dark magic, animating into animated skeletons with sharp claws! (Unlike the orb in room 2, the skeletons are not fooled by the metal disk. One of the skeletons has a jewel rattling around in its skull.)

4. Against the wall is a 3 meter tall statue of a corpulent humanoid with bat-like wings and a rotting goat’s head. The statue is sitting, and its lap is piled with coins and other valuables. (The statue is recognizable to those with knowledge of demons as Orcus, the demon lord of undeath.)

5. There is an audible heartbeat in this room, caused by a disembodied heart laying on a small altar in the center of the room. With every other beat, large black spikes emerge from the floor quickly before retracting. (If the heart on the altar is destroyed, the spikes will stop.)

6. The floor, walls, and even ceiling of this room are covered with carved and painted writing, most of which is gibberish about death being an illusion. (Some of the “paint” is dry, flaky, and brown, evidently dried blood.)

7. This room contains some tables and chairs, with writing implements nearby. On one of the chairs is a headless corpse, rotten and decaying, and on the table in front of it is a remarkably preserved severed head. (If approached, the head will seem to “wake up” and begin trying to make conversation, including several bad puns about having “nobody”. Eventually the head might introduce himself, proclaiming that he is Kenneth, high priest of Orcus. Despite being a demon worshiper, Kenneth is remarkably amicable and quite a decent fellow. He doesn’t know why the cult beheaded him and left, but he is curious to find out, and will ask to be carried with the party back to town.)

8. The room is empty except for an archway leading to nowhere made from shiny black stone, covered in red symbols. (If someone walks through the archway, they arrive in Hell, on a field of blood, surrounded by charred animated corpses for miles. If the person flees immediately back through the archway, the archway simply collapses. If they do not run, the archway has a 2 in 6 chance each round of collapsing behind them, trapping them in Hell.)

9. Some zombies with burning, empty eye sockets stumble around the room, clutching jagged swords. In the center of the room is a brazier, burning blue with magical fire. (The zombies will attack the second they notice the party, they are also decently intelligent, and may attempt to overturn the brazier in order to light the party on fire.. They are wearing a lot of ritual golden jewelry decorated with images of demons and skulls, which could be worth a lot of money to a non-superstitious merchant.)

10. The circular room initially appears empty, aside from the large pentacle carved into the floor. However, seconds after the party enters the room, there is a thunderous roar and a large, rotting demon leaps down from the ceiling, with curved horns, vestigial wings, and glowing red eyes. The demon wields a large warhammer in one hand. (The warhammer used by the demon is enchanted to do extra damage to mortals, and though it is too large to be wielded one handed by a human, it can be used as a maul.)

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