Dungeon Crawl Classics #15: Lost Tomb of the Sphinx Queen (OGL) PDF

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An adventure for character levels 14–15.

Legend tells of a long-dead empire of sphinxes, ruled over for millennia by a great queen named Ankharet. She fell into darkness and her empire was shattered, as her subjects rebelled and cast her down. Unable to kill her, it is said that they bound her with great magic and buried her in a tomb, to wait for the foretold heroes who would be able to slay her and end her evil forever. Their empire in ashes, the sphinxes scattered to roam the world in bitter freedom, save a single great androsphinx.

On the edge of the mysterious Barren Hills, between the mountains and the Great Desert, there is a gigantic statue of a crowned gynosphinx, ancient beyond reckoning. At its feet, a great androsphinx known as Khubsheth the Prophet has dispensed counsel and prophecy to all who come to him for longer than mortal records can tell. The heroes have come to visit Khubsheth, whether for counsel, prophecy or out of curiosity, but as soon as he lays eyes on them, he attacks! Upon his defeat, he tells them that they are the heroes foretold by the legend of Ankharet. Ankharet ruled over a long-dead empire of sphinxes, but she fell into darkness. Her subjects rebelled and cast her down, but were unable to kill her. It is said that they bound her with great magic and buried her in a tomb, to wait for the foretold heroes who would be able to slay her and end her evil forever. Kubsheth the Prophet tells the heroes that they must enter the tomb of the long-dead sphinx queen, kill her, and destroy her cursed crown, an artifact of tremendously evil power. As his blood seeps into the sands, a doorway opens at the base of the statue, leading down into darkness...

If you enjoy this adventure, look for the rest of the Dungeon Crawl Classics series!

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An RPG Resource Review


Now there's a dramatic start for an adventure! You visit a venerable sphinx prophet, but as soon as he claps eyes on you and your party he attacks! Apparently he decided that you were the heroes predicted of old, who would deal with an evil sphinx queen and destroy her crown. Just why the old sphinx chose to attack over this may become apparent...

Naturally, there's a detailed backstory that explains most of what is going on (but not why the sphinx prophet attacks the people he's been awaiting for a very long time!). There's also the usual scaling information, wandering monster list, and other bits and bobs to aid you in preparing to run this adventure.

What follows is a spectactular puzzle-oriented delve with many delightful features such as images of the party included in the murals - well, their eventual arrival had been prophesied millenia ago! There are undead to fight as well, and deadly traps to circumvent. Even though this complex was built by those who wanted to imprison the evil sphinx queen, whom they could not slay themselves, until the promised party arrived to do the job for them, they certainly did not make it easy.

The tomb consists of three levels, the last being accessible only if you can figure out a teleportation system. Descriptions are vivid and detailed, back-up information is comprehensive, and there are loads of handouts to produce at appropriate moments so that the players can see what is being explained to them.

This is a really tough and demanding delve that should challenge the party and - should they survive to the end - give them a real sense of achievement. It's excellent for parties who enjoy pitting their wits as well as their swordarms against whatever the dungeon holds. A true classic!

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