Eleusis, Caverns of Danger, 06. Tangled Ropes
This nearly 200 foot-long, 30foot-high cave holds a dense forest of stalagmites, some of which are broken. Water drips from stalactites in the ceiling.
Two ropers lurk among the forest of stalagmites and ambush anyone who happens by.
AppearenceA roper has the appearance of a stalagmite or stalactite, which often allows it to attack with surprise. The creature can move slowly using thousands of sticky cilia beneath its base. It creeps up cave walls and along stone ceilings, finding the best position from which to attack.
TacticsUnderdark Hunters. The roper is an evolved, mature form of piercer, with which it shares its rock-like appearance and hunting tactics. A roper can hold still for long hours, shutting its single eye to look like nothing more than a mundane formation of rock. Creatures that come too close are surprised when that eye snaps open and sticky tendrils shoot out to seize them. The roper then makes horrible guttural sounds as it reels in its struggling victims, drawing them close for the fatal bite of its stony teeth. A roper can digest anything it eats with the exception of platinum, gemstones, and magic items, which can sometimes be retrieved from the creature’s gizzard after death. A roper’s digestive juices are also valuable, fetching a high price from alchemists who use them as a solvent. Weakening Tendrils. A roper has six nubs set along its body, through which it extrudes sticky tendrils that bond to whatever they touch. Each tendril sends out hair-like growths that penetrate a creature’s flesh and sap its strength, so the victim can struggle only weakly as the roper reels it in. If a tendril is cut through or broken, the roper produces a new one to replace it.
Contents & Furnishings
The uneven floor is strewn with bits of chewed-up armor and bone, as well as the occasional coin.
Each roper has 4 gemstones (worth 100 gold drachma each) lodged in its gizzard, which characters can cut open once the roper is dead. The northern roper also has an undigested Dagger +2 with the markings of the Knights of Humanité. They can also gather up a total of 32 cp and 11 silver drachma scattered across the floor.
Hazards & Traps
Close inspection (DC 15 investigation check) will show that the invaders definitely passed through this passageway and engaged the Ropers. It's difficult to tell due to the combat which passage was used to leave. (In fact, several were.)
Room, Natural, Cavern
The water dripping into the cave is unusually warm, and creates a slight fog of steam at the base of the stalagmites.