Frequency: Very rare
No. appearing: 1-3
Armour class: 7
Hit Dice: 6+2
Percentage in lair: 60%
Treasure type: C
No. of attacks: 1
Damage per attack: 1-6 + stun
Special attack: Gaze causes death
Special defences: Nil
Magic Resistance: Standard
Size: L (6’ at shoulder)
XP value: 700 + 8/hp
This adventure takes place in a section of the dungeon that is basically a long twenty foot wide corridor with a heavy door at the far end, made of iron plates with brass fittings. This door also has an intricate locking mechanism attached, with several dials on it that almost beg to be tinkered with and turned round.
Along the side of the corridor are four large openings blocked by stone slabs, two on each side of the passage.
Behind each slab is a large chamber in which an area of boggy swamp has been set up, complete with marsh plants. In each chamber is a catoblepas, happily grazing on the vegetation.
The locking mechanism consists of a pair of brass rings, the outer one set with four markers in lapis lazuli, numbered 1 to 4 and the inner one with two markers in jet, numbered 1 and 2. There is also a quartz marker on the outside edge of the outer ring.
Aligning the markers will produce eight combinations.
1 & 1 = 1
1 & 2 = 2
1 & 3 = 3
1 & 4 = 4
2 & 1 = 5
2 & 2 = 6
2 & 3 = 7
2 & 4 = 8
The selected combination on the locking mechanism will do one of the following
1. Open the iron door
2. Open the iron door and bring down an iron portcullis at the opposite end of the corridor
3. Lock the iron door firmly and bring down the iron portcullis
4. Lock the iron door firmly, bring down the iron portcullis and open Slab One, allowing a catoblepas to poke its head through to see what’s going on.
5. Lock the iron door firmly, bring down the iron portcullis and open Slab Two, allowing a catoblepas to poke its head through to see what’s going on.
6. Lock the iron door firmly, bring down the iron portcullis and open Slab Three, allowing a catoblepas to poke its head through to see what’s going on.
7. Lock the iron door firmly, bring down the iron portcullis and open Slab Four, allowing a catoblepas to poke its head through to see what’s going on.
8. Lock the iron door firmly, bring down the iron portcullis and open all the slabs, allowing all four catoblepas to poke their heads through to see what’s going on.
Once a setting has been selected, the locking mechanism will not operated again for a full minute, indicated by the movement of the quartz marker.
The fact that the catoblepas heads will be at the same level as the party will increase the chance of their gaze being effective but it is up to the DM to decide by how much. Similarly, if the DM thinks that four catoblepas is an excessive allocation, they are at liberty to reduce the number.
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