Note: This room is near the entrance of Castle Nalew, a central adventuring location in my monthly ToKiMo campaign. While the players have been through this room, they have not yet discovered all of its secrets. I would advise not reading this post if you play in that campaign.
Note 2: One of this room’s features was re-used in the The Midas Chest room. I prefer not to post a room with the same element twice, but here it is not central to the room’s challenge.
The room is massive, with a high arched ceiling and numerous steel doors around its edge. It is heavily dilapidated, with weeds growing through the cracks on the floor, bits of rubble on the ground, and even a few small holes in the ceiling where dirt, light, or rain can filter through. In the room’s center is a shallow pool of water. At one time this was obviously a rather elegant water feature, but now the water is stagnant and fills the room with a putrid stench. Characters will not be able to see the bottom simply by looking in, but the water is in fact only about 1ft deep.
The western wall is almost entirely dominated by a massively wide archway, around which is carved an elaborate depiction of a spiritual battle. An army of celestials charge from the northern end of the arch, while an army of devils charge from the southern end. The armies rise up the wall, and across the arch, meeting in the middle with brutally gory results depicted masterfully in stone. If characters choose to investigate the artwork on this arch more thoroughly, they may notice that there is a small demon, far from the front ranks, depicted as dying. Closer examination of this demon will reveal that the gash from which he is bleeding is in fact an actual slit in the stone wall, just large enough to fit the tip of a dagger into. Doing so will open a secret door within the room. (On the map above it is placed between the throne and the lion statue, but it might be placed anywhere.)
Directly above the archway is a stylized stone scroll, upon which has been carved the following words:
“Atop the world I stand, beneath the world I will lie. Home will always find me.”
In the east of the room is a large brass half-sphere, the apex of which rises to about 5ft off of the ground. It has been expertly crafted to demonstrate the continents, oceans, and even rivers and forests, of the known world. Fused to the top of the world is a heavy chair, also of brass. The chair has been cracked and several pieces of it hang askew, but despite being mangled, it appears to be intact. There are no chunks of brass on the ground, and it seems as though some bending would get the chair back in shape–though it is not so broken that it cannot be sat in without fixing it. Under the edge of the chair is a switch. If toggled, this will release 3 of the chair’s legs from their mounting on the half-sphere, allowing the chair to swivel around on the rotating fourth leg. This will reveal a small alcove, within which is a platinum facemask with three pieces of obsidian mounted under each eye. The pieces has no lips or mouth, and is worth 2,000gp as an art piece.
Elsewhere in the dungeon/castle/world, the players may learn that this are was built by an ancient king named Barj Volik, who was born far away on Stonespear Isle. These islands are well known, and can be found on any sufficiently detailed map of the world. If the players examine the brass world-sphere, searching for Stonespear Isle, they will find it easily enough. If the island is pressed, then seams will appear in several of the world’s larger rivers, and the brass will slide away, revealing a staircase into the tomb of Barj Folik.
Finally, there are four strange statues in this room. They are made to vaguely resemble a bear, a bull, a lion, and a gorilla. However, rather than depicting these creatures as they would appear in the wild, these steel statues instead depict what those creatures would look like if they were outfitted in full-plate armor. If any character sits in the throne atop the world, these four creatures will become animated. The sitting player may then attempt a save versus magic (or will save DC 25). If they succeed, then the creatures will obey them for 1d6+1 days. (after which another save must be made). If the save is failed, the statues will attack immediately and without mercy.