Tunnels & Trolls : Gristlegrim Room 535 -- The Birthplace of Balruks

This is one of Gristlegrim's stranger rooms. Looking into it through one of the doors in the walls, it appears to be a featureless cube about 100 feet on a side. Doors can be seen on all four walls, and there is an overwhelming feel of magic about the place--not good or bad per se, but strange magic. A hidden stairway spirals from the floor above to the floor below in one corner.

However, once a delver actually sets foot on the room's floor, everything changes, and he finds himself inside a great chasm on a narrow path that only leads down toward a river of lava flowing sluggishly below. In the lurid light, the adventurers can see similar paths on the other walls--all leading downward--none leading up and out. The paths twine in and out of jagged spires of rock, so that not every part is visible. But visible acros the chasm are huge cave entrances that lead into the rock, and it can be assumed that there are such cave entrances below them on their own path.

The path they are on will lead downwards interminably--no matter how far they go down it, they will never seem to reach the bottom, though the temperature will increase, and the air will get fouler as they descend. To descend the path safely will either require great caution on the part of the delvers, or saving rolls made on Dexterity. The G.M. should roll 1D6 every once in a while to get a Dex. saving roll level from 1 to 6, and then have everyone try to make a level one saving roll on Luck. If anyone misses, they must then try to make the x-level saving roll on Dexterity. Missing a saving roll should not be fatal, but should damage the clumsy one in some way, and perhaps cause great terror.

As they descend, they will begin to notice the menacing beating of a drum. When they finally come to a cave mouth, they will see two huge red eyes glowing at them out of the darkness. The G.M. will again roll 1d6 to determine the monster rating of the balruk inside the cave. Multiply the die roll by 100 to get the monster rating.

Each cave has one balruk in it--a young balruk without benefit of great sword or flaming whip, but still probably a great threat to the delvers. These balruks do have wings, and can fly, and when a party of adventurers tries to enter a cave, the balruk will rush out and attack them.

In the back of each cave will be a huge pile of gold and jewels--massy gold by the thousandweight, jewels the size of eggs, ancient weapons, some of which may be magical. However to reach the treasure, the delvers must pass the balruk. Hidden someplace beyond the treasure will be a secret door leading out of the balruk metropolis. Players will have to declare that they are looking for secret exits in order to find one, and make a L5SR on Luck to locate it. There is one exit in each cave.

Game masters may pass out whatever treasure they wish to adventurers who manage to slay a balruk--note that the depths of the caves are pitch dark--the firelight from the chasm only penetrates in to about the second corner.

This room is meant to be extremely deadly. It will be an extremely good team of players who can get through it alive.