Centuries ago, the evil wizard Bog Goroth used dark magic to conquer the land. Through great effort, the wizard was defeated. He was too strong to simply destroy, so the heroes of that time created a subterranean prison where he was sealed away with powerful sorcery.
The wizards of the Spellardium Academy now fear that those seals may be failing. They have sensed his dark magic in the air - like a foul stench that catches in the nose.
The Academy wants to investigate and have asked for your help to investigate Bog Goroth’s prison and, if possible, replace the magical stones powering the seals that keep him contained.
The Tomb of Bog Goroth takes place in two parts. The Bridge and The Wizard’s Prison. Each Player Character (PC) has a Power Stone in their possession that can be used to restore the ancient seals that contain Bog Goroth.
Part One: The Bridge
The PCs enter the cavern leading down to the tomb. The Game Master (GM) may read the following:
The cavern smells of mold and fungus. Mist hangs in the air, swirling in small tufts that fade into nothingness when you draw close.
The PCs will eventually come to a deep chase bridged by, well… a bridge. Made from hempen rope and aging timber planks, it doesn’t look like the safest. When the PCs step onto the bridge, however, they’ll discover that it’s surprisingly sturdy.
When they reach the halfway point, however, they’ll hear a voice - almost like something whispered in their minds. The GM may read the following:
Who dares to encroach upon my abode - wretched prison though it may be? This may be my jail but I am not powerless here! The bonds that hold me here will soon be broken! Leave now or face the wrath of Bog Goroth!
Immediately afterward the chamber starts to tremble and quake. The ropes holding the bridge snap! Have every PC roll a Dexterity Dice Saving Throw. If they roll above a 10, they’re able to keep their grip as the two halves of the bridge crash into the cavern walls.
Anyone who fails will fall to their doom! Call on a PC with appropriate skills to try and save their friend. Have them roll another DC, using the ability that corresponds with their rescue method. The difficulty should again be a 10. If they fail… have one other PC try. If they fail the falling PC disappears into the shadow below - never to be seen again! (For now, at least.)
The remaining PCs can climb up the bridge and proceed into the next cavern.
Part Two: The Wizard's Prison
After crossing the rope bridge, the PCs will follow another adjoining tunnel. The GM may read the following:
You follow this new tunnel and, eventually, come to a place where the crude rock and earth changes into carved stone. You enter a large room, built deep beneath the ground.
At the far end of the room, you see a strange platform lit by firelight. Inside you can see a robed figure sitting at a desk, reading a book. Bones dot the stone floor leading up to the platform - the remains perhaps of curious explorers who stumbled onto this forsaken place.
The room is home to the trapped wizard Bog Goroth. He has used his powers to slow his aging. He won’t notice the PCs entering right away - having assumed he scared them off back at the bridge.
Have the PCs perform a Perception DC. Anyone who rolls a 10 or higher will notice pedestals positioned all around the platform. The air also seems to shimmer strangely at the platform’s edges - the magical barrier that contains Bog Goroth.
The magical barrier is designed to work on Bog Goroth alone. The PCs can attack through it and pass in and out of it at will.
Ask the PCs how they would like to enter the room. Do they want to try and sneak in quietly? Announce themselves with confidence and flair? If they’re discovered Bog Goroth will rise from his desk and challenge them.
In that case, The GM may read the following:
“Ah… visitors. So happy to see you made it across the bridge. Most usually find it too perilous and the rest…” He laughs and gestures to the skeletons. “Well, let’s just say they’re surprised to see what I can do - even weakened as I am.”
“Heed my warning and begone! Or join the dust and bones at your feet!”
The goal here is to get close and replace the Power Stones on the pedestals of Bog Goroth’s platform. He is so wrapped up in his studies (doubtless working toward his escape) that he won’t notice the PCs - assuming they roll high Stealth DCs. If the PCs roll an average of 12 Stealth, they’ll succeed.
If Bog Goroth does notice them, he will immediately use magic to summon four Skeletons. He will also join the fray himself when they mount his platform.
For Bog Goroth, I used a slightly modified version of the generic D&D 5e Mage enemy. I used the generic Skeletons enemy for his minions. In both cases, I weakened them as needed to keep the gameplay moving.
Alternately, if one (or more) of the PCs fell off the bridge and weren’t saved, they’ll now be waiting up on the platform with Bog Goroth. In this case, there will be no chance of sneaking in, the wizard will notice them the second they enter and offer them a trade.
In that case, The GM may read the following:
Give ME the Power Stones in your possession and I will spare your friend(s).
If it appears that the PCs are losing the battle, Bog Goroth will also offer to let them go if they give him the Power Stones they’re carrying. He will be able to sense their magic when the PCs get close.
(Giving Bog Goroth the Power Stones would be disastrous for the world, of course, but it’s a viable option if the players pursue it.)
While it is possible,the PCs goal in this encounter is not to defeat Bog Goroth.
The PCs, instead, need to replace the Drained Power Stones scattered around the platform at the chamber’s rear. Each PC needs to visit a Drained Power Stone individually, replacing it with their fresh one.
For Power Stones, I used polished glass stones that you can find at most big box stores. I used white ones to represent the Drained Power Stones. Each player was given a red one to represent a charged one.
Once they’ve succeeded in doing that, the magical seal containing Bog Goroth will be renewed - cutting him and his powers off from the outside world again.
Any Skeletons still intact at this point will crumble to dust. The PCs may then escape, leaving an enraged and imprisoned Bog Goroth behind them.