This is the third part to my 5th edition conversion of the 3rd edition adventure, ‘Heart of the Iron God.’ It covers the second twelve chambers of the Colossus, 13 – 24.
If you haven’t already viewed the first part already, be sure to start there.
‘Heart of the Iron God’ Index
- Part 1 – Introduction
- Part 2 – Chambers 1 – 12
- Part 3 – Chambers 13 – 24
- Part 4 – Chambers 25 – 27, Conclusion, and Appendix
- Map of the Colossus
Note that all descriptions assume the Colossus is facing south.
13. Hanger Bay
This curious chamber holds large wooden racks set against the east and west walls. Two doors are built into the south wall, and the north wall is composed entirely of two massive doors of iron, flush with the wall. A lever protrudes from the south wall, and you spot many weapons and pieces of armor hanging from the racks. Strange hang-glider contraptions hang from rails on the ceiling, composed of wood and a light, papery material.
The racks contain several weapons and suits of armor, including 40 masterwork arrows, 2 masterwork rapiers, and 4 suits of splint mail armor. This chamber is used as a hanger for the Nighthawks to make aerial attacks with their hang gliders. Anyone using a hang glider gains a fly speed of 60 ft. The lever opens the large iron doors in the Colossus’ back to the air outside.
If the PCs arrive before the Nighthawks leave the hanger, they find a gnome commoner from area 14 helping four Nighthawks strap themselves into the gliders. If this is the case, the Nighthawks rip off their gliders (this takes 1 round) and attack, while the gnome flees to area 14 and sounds the alarm. If the PCs reach this area after the Nighthawks have finished their hang-gliding runs (2 minutes after the gliders first appear–see “The Village”), they are here seeing to their equipment, reattaching the gliders to the ceiling, talking, and keeping watch on the ground below, ready to fly out again on a moment’s notice.
14. Auxiliary Control Room
You appear to have entered some kind of control station. An array of buttons and multihued levers have been set into a wooden panel across the wall, and several plush seats are bolted to the floor at various locations. A steel, periscope-like device hangs from the ceiling, and a cylindrical lift shaft occupies the center of the room. A hole in the floor allows access to a ladder leading to the level below. The entire chamber is brightly lit by a golden glow that emanates from the ceiling.
This chamber is a control station used to manipulate secondary functions of the Colossus. The ladder leads down to area 11. They cylindrical shaft contains a Tenser’s floating disc ready to head up to area 18 or 19, while the periscope hangs from the ceiling, allowing a person to view the area behind the Colossus. A successful DC 16 Intelligence check gives a character some basic ideas as to what the controls do. Any area effect spells have a 50% chance of rendering 1d2 levers useless.
The room has the following controls:
- A silver pull chain turns the alarm on.
- A red lever shuts all external openings (arrow slits and so on), in preparation for ocean travel.
- A blue lever operates the lift.
- A black switch switches control of the main movement of the Colossus to the auxiliary control station.
- Several other plain levers control the basic movement of the Colossus, provided the black lever has been pulled down. Otherwise, they do nothing.
- A scarlet lever is actually a cunning trap (see below).
Torax the minotaur champion (see the Appendix) guards the chamber along with two gnome commoners, one of whom mans the periscope.
Torax is equipped with +2 plate, fire fist (it has the same properties of flame tongue, except as a +1 warhammer), gauntlets of ogre power, ring of protection, potion of fire resistance, potion of superior healing, and Quaal’s feather token (anchor).
Torax is fiercely loyal to Xentarich and maintains order among the troops. The crew, except Xentarich, view him with great fear and always treat him with respect. Torax usually watches over the gnomes in area 14.
Tactics. Torax attacks any intruders, and the gnomes either flee or cower in terror. Torax is fearless in combat, using his Power Attack trait intelligently once he gauges the defensive capabilities of his foes. He tries to back into a doorway to prevent being flanked and force enemies to come at him one at a time. If coaxed and approached peacefully after a skirmish, the gnomes might talk (see area 5 for details).
The scarlet lever appears to do nothing. It actually releases an invisible, odorless sleeping gas into the area. All creatures in the room must make DC 15 Constitution saving throws. Those who fail slump to the ground, asleep for 3d6 rounds as a sleep spell without a hit point limit. Those who succeed feel drowsy and realize what is happening. The lever also activates an alarm within the bridge (area 25). A successful DC 19 Intelligence (Investigation) check reveals tiny, concealed air vents that allow the gas into the room. A character can disable the device with a successful DC 22 Dexterity check using thieves’ tools.
15. Torax’s Chamber
This comfortable chamber features a large pile of straw in the corner and a fireplace-like heater in the corner. A weapon rack is built into the wall but is currently empty. A beaten wooden combat dummy rests in the corner; by the damage it has sustained the occupant of this room must be mighty indeed. Many coins lie in a loose pile near the heater.
Torax has left 500 gp worth of mixed coins scattered on the floor. He isn’t concerned about security in the Colossus.
16. Teleporter Chamber
You enter a chamber of polished brass, empty except for three circular platforms of stone set into the floor. Each is painted with a different symbol; the left has the symbol of a foot, the middle shows a jewel, and the right has been painted with the symbol of a door.
The platforms are magical teleportation circles used by the crew for emergency escapes. The left circle teleports anyone stepping on it to area 1. The right circle teleports someone to the underground outpost where the Colossus was repaired and refitted. Several empty chambers and crude buildings occupy the massive area, as well as a colossal frame that was used to hold the Colossus. One of the buildings contains a hidden cache; a character can find it with a successful DC 15 Intelligence (Investigation) check. Within are three potions of cure serious wounds and a scroll of teleport. If Xentarich or Glymm are severely injured they flee to this location, heal up, and teleport back to the Colossus to fight again. The hidden outpost is in Xentarich’s homeland, roughly 1,000 miles away. It is surrounded by a network of empty caverns and tunnels leading to the outside world.
The middle circle is a deadly trap despite its symbol. It teleports anyone stepping on it to the furnace described in area 4. A successful DC 15 Charisma saving throw negates the effect. A character can determine its function with a successful DC 24 Intelligence (Arcana) check, and then disable it with a second DC 24 Intelligence (Arcana) check.
17. Lift Chamber
An ornate archway in this chamber leads into a large cylindrical pillar of metal that fills half the room. Presumably, the shaft leads up and down into other levels of the Colossus. Inside the cylinder near the portal is a lever on the wall. Were it not for the glowing green barrier that fills the arch, you might be able to reach it. On the wall near you are two more levers. One appears to be in working order, while the other hangs loosely from the wall. The occasional flicker of energy sparks from the hole in the wall behind it. Finally, a thin chain dangles from the ceiling near the two levers. It runs up through a roughly cut hole in the ceiling.
The shaft leads down to areas 12 and 1. The barrier is a wall of force. The intact lever on the wall calls the Tenser’s floating disc. The chain rings a bell in the engineering room (area 5). The lever inside the cylinder controls the disc once it arrives and passengers have taken up positions within. Lastly, the broken lever raises or lowers the wall of force. Unfortunately, the lever is damaged and has yet to be repaired. Should a crewmember need to use this lift for some reason, he or she pulls the chain. This rings a bell in area 14, summoning a gnome who scampers to the room to deactivate the portal. Obviously, an engineer called by the PCs refused to allow PCs to enter the room and sounds the alarm if possible. PCs might be able to negotiate with such a gnome (see area 5 for details). A successful DC 15 Intelligence check reveals the purpose of this lever, and a successful DC 22 Dexterity check using thieves’ tools is sufficient to lower the wall of force.
The entire level appears to be composed of a single giant room that serves as some kind of display area. Several ancient antiques and fine tapestries adorn the walls, and multiple floating sculptures of scintillating light hover in the air. Your attention is diverted to four cylinders of glowing light placed through the chamber. Each cell appears to contain some kind of creature. The first holds a large, still reptilian beast lying motionless on the floor. The second contains a beautiful elven maiden who is currently slumped against the wall of her cylinder. The third holds a naked human male staring impassively at you. The last occupied cylinder contains a horrible seething mass of living tissue that seems to shift and pulsate as you watch.
This chamber is accessed via the disc from area 14. A lever within the shaft allows the disc to stop or start moving again. This level is used as Xentarich’s display chamber, where creatures or items he has captured are placed for show. The sculptures are merely permanent major images.
The four creatures are held captive by cylinders made of walls of force. A control station within five levers controls the lift (one lever) while the others turn the cylinders on and off. The walls can be destroyed with a disintegrate spell. A gnome commoner stands by the control station if the PCs have been detected. Otherwise, the room is empty save for the inhabitants of the cylinders.
Cylinder A contains the body of a deinonychus that died as a result of malnutrition. If the wall around it is dropped, the stench of a week of old corpse fills the room.
Cylinder B contains a beautiful elven maiden named Aletha (NG female elf aristocrat). She comes from a noble family that lives in a great forest a thousand miles to the west over the ocean. If she is returned home, the PCs are rewarded with 2,000 gp.
Cylinder C contains an ancient and deadly chaos beast (see the appendix) squashed into the confining cylinder.
Cylinder D contains a starving remorhaz. Xentarich polymorphed into a human shape. It gives no response until it is free. It then attacks, using its special abilities to great effect. It is hungry and only half aware of its new form.
Tactics. If the PCs have been detected, Glymm has stationed an available mercenary (probably a gnome commoner from area 5) here. his orders are to drop all four walls of force should any intruders enter the room. Once free, the chaos beast and remorhaz each attack the nearest creature. This could be one of the characters, each other, or Aletha, depending on how the PCs enter the room. The monsters shift their attacks to deal with the largest threat once combat begins.
If the chaos beast is more than 20 feet away from a potential target at any time, it moves to the lift shaft and proceeds to climb up. The beast then rampages around the Colossus, attacking whatever it meets. You can opt to have the characters meet it again at an inopportune time if they’re having an easy time with later encounters, or you can use the beast to soften up later foes if the characters are hard pressed.
The antiques were placed here by Xentarich. An old tapestry depicting a war between the gods weighs 15 pounds (500 gp). A valuable vase sits against the wall (200 gp). Various other art objects in the room are individually less valuable, but all told, some statuary, fine carpets, and small porcelain figurines weight a total of 80 pounds (1,300 gp).
This well-lit chamber is constructed out of a pale blue metal. Glowing circles of radiant light have been set into the wall, revealing two short corridors leading from this area. You can see several doors and archways leading to other rooms beyond. A spiral staircase of polished crystal curves up to the next level, and you can make out a massive figure standing at the top. The familiar cylindrical lift shaft sits here, allowing access to the lower levels.
This chamber has three identical steel doors leading from it, and a circular lift shaft. A lever within the cylinder raises or lowers the Tenser’s floating disc up and down the shaft. The staircase leads to area 25. There is no doorway to area 23. Instead, a small, heart-shaped recession is set into the wall where a door should be. If the gemstone key from area 26 is pressed into the recession, the wall slides away.
Xentarich’s shield guardian stands near the top of the staircase and has been instructed to attack anyone that does not use the password “Xentarich” before setting foot on teh stairs. All the crew know this password and reveal it under interrogation, but only if the characters specifically ask how to bypass the creature and make a successful DC 23 Charisma (Persuasion or Intimidation) check. Two archways lead into the arms of the Colossus (area 24). A large, taut rope has been strung along the arms, and hooks have been placed next to the archways to allow a person to quickly slide down the ropes to reach the hands. However, a DC 5 Strength (Athletics) check is required to climb back up the rope.
Tactics. If attacked, the shield guardian has been instructed to retreat to area 25. The construct has a stoneskin spell available for casting.
20. Glymm’s Chamber
This chamber is dimly illuminated by hundreds of small glowing stones set into the curved ceiling, reminding you somewhat of a night sky. A small bed is tucked away in the corner next to a gap in the wall that radiates heat. A small wooden chest sits next to the bed. A robe covered in glowing stars sits on a hook near the doorway.
The small chest contains Glymm’s clothes. Glymm is quite the joker and has placed a cursed robe of powerlessness (see the appendix) on the wall for any thieves to find.
A secret cache behind the fireplace, discovered with a successful DC 18 Intelligence (Investigation) check, hides Glymm’s spellbook, which is permanently invisible. Glymm uses a see invisibility spell each day to read his book. His book contains all his spells currently memorize,d plus the following additional spells: 1st–disguise self, feather fall; 2nd–arcane lock, blur, detect thoughts, fear, major image, Nystul’s magical aura; 3rd–hold person, protection from energy; 4th–confusion, dimension door, stoneskin, wall of fire; 5th–cloudkill, teleportation circle.
As you peer into the chamber, you feel a wave of warm air hit your face. Through the doorway, you make out what appears to be some kind of heated pool in the center of the room, filling the chamber with clouds of steam. The walls are adorned with smooth red tiles, and you spot a small closet in the far corner. You can also see several robes hanging from hooks on the nearby wall.
The small cabinet contains towels and soap. This chamber is used as a washroom for the inhabitants of the Colossus. The water is heated by magical rods below the tub that lose their heating capability if removed. The chamber is currently empty.
A large amethyst (200 gp) is tucked into a pocket of one of the robes.
22. The Brig
This cold and featureless room is separated in half by a wall of iron bars. A large door allows access to the enclosed area, and a set of keys hangs on a hook nearby. The area is bare save for a plain wooden stool lying on the floor inside what is obviously some sort of cell.
The door is locked but can be opened with the keys or picked with a successful DC 23 Dexterity check using thieves’ tools. The Darkblade normally on duty here now helps one of the ballistas in the hands (area 24). The bars are magically enchanted with a ward that prevents any creature from passing between them. This is just as well due to the cell’s occupants.
The crew recently captured four invisible stalkers sent by a rival wizard of Xentarich. The initial squad consisted of seven of the creatures, but three were slain in the battle that ensued.
Tactics. If the characters decide to leave the room, the stool moves an inch. The stalkers hope to lure the characters into opening the door. If the characters do so, the creatures attack. Not if the characters flee, the stalkers do not pursue them; instead, they resume their mission to track down and slay Xentarich.
23. Heart Chamber
This chamber is a perfect sphere. Hovering in the center of this room is a massive crystal glowing with a rhythmically pulsing red light. The walls are polished to a mirrorlike sheen and reflect the crystal’s luminescence, flooding the room with crimson light.
The only way to enter this room is by magic or the gemstone key in area 26. The walls have been reinforced behind the silvery outer surface with 3 inches of adamantine to make attempts at penetration highly difficult (AC 23, hp 120). The light is so bright it’s uncomfortable to stay in the room for long. Any creature who stays in the chamber for more than 1 round without some sort of eye protection becomes dazed (treat it as the poisoned condition) until they exit the chamber.
The heart cannot be removed. A detect magic spell reveals that it is the source of a very strong magical aura. The heart has an AC of 19 and 100 hit points. It is affected by spells normally. Once reduced to 0 hit points, an intense white crackling energy field begins to build up in the shattered crystal. After 5 rounds the heart explodes completely, destroying the level and ripping the head of the Colossus from its shoulders. This also destroys the spirit of the Colossus. The explosions cause a complete power failure and the Colossus crashes to the ground, causing a small earthquake and crushing anything beneath it. Although intact, the Colossus is terribly damaged and never functions again. Attacking the heart triggers and alarm in the bridge (area 25) and the brain (area 27). Reinforcements, if available, arrive from both locations in 3 rounds if this alarm sounds.
Anyone on the level when the heart explodes must make a DC 23 Dexterity saving throw or take 70 (20d6) fire damage on a failed saving throw, or half as much damage on a successful one. In addition, characters surviving this blast take another 35 (10d6) points of falling damage when the Colossus falls on the round following.
A taut rope runs down a tunnel through the Colossus’s arm. As you pass down, you see gears and crafted pipes built into the wall beside you. Eventually, you reach a chamber within the first of the might titan. There you spot a heavy ballista firmly attached to the wall that points toward one of e three gaps between the Colossus’s fingers. A seat with leather straps allows a person to be seated at the ballista without fear of falling while the creature moves, and rope rigging covers every other surface in the room. Through the gap, you can see glimpses of sky and land.
From this height, the massive weapon is too inaccurate to fire at individuals on the ground. These weapons are generally used to fire into a mass of targets or at buildings. The ballista can rotate and fire through one of the three gaps.
Two Darkblades (see the appendix) are stationed in each hand. If the PCs have concealed their presence so far, the Darkblades are strapped into the weapon. Otherwise, they are tied to some of the riggings in the walls but watch both the exterior windows and the passage into the hand carefully. It takes someone 1 round to extra his or herself from the ballista. A character strapped in is considered grappled.
Tactics. Tasha and Manithare man the left hand, while Gared and Ioka lurk in the right. Both pairs try to flank low-AC foes and take them out fast. As soon as the PCs arrive (in either hand) that pair begins to shouting for their companions in the other limb. If they are called for, it takes them 3 rounds to arrive.
To be continued in ‘Heart of the Iron God‘ Part 4: Colossus Chambers 25 – 27, Conclusion, and Appendix
‘Heart of the Iron God’ Index
- Part 1 – Introduction
- Part 2 – Chambers 1 – 12
- Part 3 – Chambers 13 – 24
- Part 4 – Chambers 25 – 27, Conclusion, and Appendix
- Map of the Colossus