Deadly Dungeons 16: Gold Egg Lure

Gold Egg Lure MapThis natural chamber contains several wide, shallow pits. Perhaps 1ft deep and between 6 and 15ft across. Each pit holds several eggs of brilliant, sparkling gold. Each egg has a beautiful swirling pattern, and some even have speckles which appear to be tiny pearls. The beauty of these artifacts is all the more profound because they do not appear to be a work of craft, but a work of nature. The intricate details of each entirely unique egg could be studied for hours.

The empty space in each pit is filled with a dark, foul-smelling mash of organic material. This is packed around the eggs, holding them upright. No egg is closer than 1ft from any edge of the pit, or any other egg in the pit. It is a simple matter to identify the mash as the rotting meat of dead creature. Anyone with basic knowledge of nature will be able to deduce that this was probably done to insulate the eggs before they hatch, and provide food for whatever young emerge from them after. A close, detailed inspection of the mash will reveal that while most of it is of unrecognizable origin, there are several distinct humanoid parts included in the mash, such as fingers.

Also within this room are several small alcoves. The entrances to these alcoves are placed above eye level, between 7 and 10 feet off the ground. They are small, and well hidden amongst the natural flow of the stone walls. They will not be noticed unless the players specifically declare that they are looking at higher areas of the cavern wall with their torches. Simply walking the perimeter of the room would be insufficient.

Within these alcoves rest the parents of the eggs. Between 3 and 8 of them. The specific manner of this creature is left to GM discretion, as this is not a Merciless Monsters post. However, for my purposes, I chose a special breed of giant spider with the following attributes in addition to the basic ones:

  • Spins web which is razor sharp, rather than sticky. It prefers to consume chunks of bleeding meat, rather than drain its victim’s innards.
  • Mandibles which become superheated and can easily smelt metal or stone. This is both how it escapes from a golden egg in its youth, and how it creates this specific environment from sheer stone when it is time to mate.
  • Preys particularly on humanoid species.
  • Evolved eggs which avaricious humans would find too tempting not to try and steal.

Whatever creature is used, some sign of its presence should exist. Perhaps tangled strands of razorweb bunched up at the door, which a perceptive player might notice glinting in the torchlight.

While characters are distracted by the eggs, the creatures will move in to kill them. In the example of the razorweb spiders, they will spin a web across the cavern’s only exit, causing anyone who leaves to fall into bloody chunks. If the players set a watch while examining the eggs, that watch should notice the spider’s efforts and alert the rest of the party. Unless this or other precautions are taken, however, it is likely that at least one player will die here. Bear that in mind before making use of this room.

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