Nanzobar, Episode 3
Lost Treasure of the Obrakan
Treasure hunters are gathering in Mezcala to attempt to find the ancient Nawati Shrine called the Obrakan. If the shrine is there, it may contain the greatest treasure of the Nanzobar!
A one-shot adventure for 3rd-level characters. 5th Edition
This adventure is the third episode in Season Two of the Arcane Vault Assembly One-Shot Series: Nanzobar
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The Explorer’s Notes
The adventure begins in the city of Mezcala where the party is approached by a heavy-set Niwati leader who wishes to equip a party to attempt to find the Treasure of the Obrakan. Emoch has forsaken the traditions of his people and embraced the profiteering ways that have prospered Mezcala, led by outsiders, like the Baracas family. Now, Emoch is one of the wealthy merchant lords that govern Mezcala. Read the following when Emoch engages the party:
“Adventure! I tell you there is a chance that the Obrakan is real! The greatest treasure of the Nanzobar! Now, with the old explorer finally giving up his maps and journal - I want to launch an expedition to find it. Others are as well, of course, so we need to move quickly!”
Emoch offer is to fund the expedition in exchange for 50% of the treasure found. He is willing to provide provisions and equipment for the expedition, as well as provide them “the fastest barge on the river - the Wind Jammer”
If the party agrees, he escorts them to his villa where they can choose from the equipment and goods to take with them on the expedition. He also provides them with a leather sheath binding several sheets of yellow vellum. The title of the document is impressed into the leather:
Area Map and Notations by Andrus Devaro
“These are the notes of the famed explorer, Andrus Devaro. He refuses to reveal the location of the Obrakan, but many believe that his notes hold the key to finding the ancient shrine. Studying the notes may yield clues to accomplishing our quest!”
Emoch allows the party to take the document. The sheaf of parchment includes a verse that Devaro claims is his translation of an ancient Niwati clue to finding the Obrakan:
Follow the Fiery Flies
Past the Spider’s Palm
The Pool Beyond the Stones
Reflects the Cobra’s Eyes
The Treasure of Obrakan
Lies Within Its Belly
Mouth and Gullet Enter
For Gold of Ancients Gone
When the party embarks on the quest, they will use the map and the notes from Andrus Devaro, and their experience in the river jungle itself to try to decifer the verses and find the hidden shrine.
Emoch offers accommodations for the night within the compound of his villa and urges the party to be ready to depart at first light.
We are not the only ones who have received a copy of the explorer’s notes. We need to move quickly to outpace other treasure hunters.
Emoch is willing to part with special items from his personal stores, in hopes that they will increase the chances that the party succeeds. Allow each player to select one item from the following list to take with them. If the party fails to find the treasure of the Obrakan, Emoch asks for the items to be returned, where possible.
Javelin of Lightning
Rope of Climbing
6 +1 Crossbow Bolts
Potion of Extra Healing
Potion of Invisibility
Potion of Dragon’s Breath
Gauntlets of Swimming
Ring of Animal Friendship
+1 Compass Dagger (when placed on a flat surface or the palm of a hand, the dagger turns to points north)
Emoch provides the following items along with the ship, Wind Jammer, and its captain for use on the expedition:
1 200’ Length of hemp rope
2 50’ lengths of hemp rope
2 grappling hooks
A Large Mirror, very bright
Powder of Water Purification (10 doses, purifies 1 gallon of water per dose)
Hyper-Tinder Box (Metal Cannister that ignites a torch-like flame from one end when the lid is flipped open, which requires a bonus action)
5 Leather flasks of burning oil
5 Thick Glass bottles of lantern oil
1 Bullseye Lantern
2 Potions of Healing
2 Weeks of Rations for each member of the party (stored onboard the Wind Jammer)
The next morning, Emoch ensures the party is aroused before dawn. He is visibily excited and urges them to prepare quickly and head to the docks where Captain Nocat aboard the Wind Jammer is expecting them.
The boats and quays of the river docks teem with workers preparing vessels and barges. Emoch leads you to the end of one of the docks where an elegant river barge floats gracefully. A lean Niwati man with short black hair stands beside a bellows connected to an odd crystal globe in the middle of the ship.
Captain Nocatt is a middle-aged Niwati man who is fiercely loyal to Emoch and his house. The boat is an agile river barge equipped with an expensive elemental wind engine crafted by the Elementalist on Yucatan Island north of Mezcala. The wind engine amplifies the air provided by the bellows and feeds two cup-like sails that drive the boat against or along the current of the Nanzomar. A rod attached to the wind engine controls the direction and amount of air provided to each sail, allowing the pilot to control the nimble ship easily. Emoch is technically the owner of the Wind Jammer, but he cedes all control and decision regarding the vessel to Nocat.
Minimum crew: 1
Operation: Water Vehicle Proficency
Emoch is correct that other expleditions are headed toward the Juxtacoatl area to attempt to find the Obrakan and claim its treasures. Two other groups are detailed below. You can decide if these groups have already left port or if they are getting ready to leave as the party embarks. The groups are identified by their river boats:
The Deep Current
The DeepCurrent is a river barge that converts water into a jet stream to propel the boat. The vessel is crewed by eight capable Niwati tribal warriors paid by the expedition’s leader, a foreigner named Draz Naghan.
Draz is a barrel-chested, blond-haired, sunburned outsider with a relentless pleasant attitude and friendly demeanor. His “may-the-best-man-win” attitude is a little hard to swallow. Draz’s pleasant attitude is infact genuine. However, Draz’s physical and mental talents combined with eternal optimism has a way of blinding him, making him gullible and unwittingly reckless.
Draz has retained the use of the elemental riverboat called DeepCurrent. The Current uses a water elemental-based engine to drive it forward by converting water into a jet stream below the rear of the boat. The DeepCurrent is crewed by Niwati natives from Mezcala.
Minimum crew: 1
Operation: Water Vehicle Proficency
The Steam Boi
The Steam Boi is a steam powered river barge under the command of Tiazo, the Oxca river pirate from Oxca. The steam boi sports a paddle wheel at the stern of the boat that is powered by an elemental fire engine that burns coal to turn the wheel. Like all elemental river barges, the Steam Boi was manufactured in Yucatan by the mysterious Elementalist that has long resided there.
Tiazo is a nasty pirate originally from Oxca who is taking a break from his normal profession to make the attempt to find hidden jungle treasure. He is just as likely to wait and see if someone else finds the treasure so he can steal it from them as they return from the jungle. Tiazo is well connected to the thugs that are the true ruling force in Oxca. His crew consists of eight Niwati river pirates.
Minimum crew: 2
Operation: Water Vehicle Proficency
You can use these explorer groups to add tension and urgency to the players efforts to navigate the Juxtacoalt river delta. You might use Draz as a source of help if the party finds itself in a bind. The party should see Tiazo as a menacing threat, since the dour Niwati man has a hard time hiding his true nature. Depending on the choices of the players, Draz or Tiazo may play an important part to the conclusion of the adventure.
In addition to the encounters detailed in the adventure, you may wish to include other random encounters to challenge the party as they make their way up the Juxtacoatl. You can roll or choose from the list below:
Stirges - Six stirges descend on the characters as they travel the river or make their way through the jungle.
Bask of Crocodiles - The party encounters a group of 8 crocodiles that watch and wait for opportunity to strike a creature who falls into the water or comes too close to the shoreline of the river.
School of Flying Fish - Fish start flying out of the river, some landing in the deck of the river barge. The fish are delicious if eaten.
Giant Crocodile - The massive monster floats through the water hunting for a meal.
Kirballi - Seven Kirballi goblins try to stealthily follow the barge until it stops for the night when the goblins hope to swoop down and steal the barge during the night.
Niwati Warriors - Nine Niwati warriors hunt along the banks of the Nanzobar. They are hostile to outsiders.
6 River Pirates - Six Niwati river pirates in 3 long canoes try to sneak up on the river barge and board the ship, hoping to throw its crew overboard and steal the vessel.
Giant Ape - a massive ape roars and pushes through the jungle, its head visible through the tree tops. The creature is headed toward its lair in the western mountains.
The Juxtacoalt covers a large area of the Nanzobar. Tributaries from the Western mountains carve channels through the jungle until they merge with the main Nanzobar river channel. On the Wind Jammer, it takes two days to reach the mouth of the Juxtacoalt area of the river.. They can anchor and sleep on the ship or come ashore and camp on the outskirts of the jungle.
Locations Described by Andrus Devaro:
The following descriptions of locations in the Juxtacoatl river area includes the notes from Andrus Devaro as well as the actual details, encounters, and impact on the party’s travel. You can provide the Juxtacoatl Area Map and Notations handout to the players.
A. Cliffs of Insanity:
I don’t know why these cliffs are called this, but they are. I will say I do seem to almost hear moaning from the woods above the cliffs on top of the plateau. Careful here - River in the cliffside channels runs swiftly and is treacherous.
As the party navigates this channel, whoever is navigating the boat must succeed on a water vehicles DC 13 skill check to avoid damage to the vessel. If Captain Nocat is at the helm, he makes the check with +6 to the roll. Alternatively, you might allow a player to substitute a Nature or Insight skill check in lieu of the water vehicle check. On a failed check, the boat takes 2d8 damage.
B. Hippo’s Hello:
Old jungle statue of a fat hippo sitting upright. The Jungle folk call it Haptoraptus. Definitely old. Incidentally, a pod of those nasty long-tusked hippopotamuses congregates in the channel here. Be careful not to spook them!
A pod of twelve Hippopotamuses, one bull and his large harem, reside in the area of the river. A few may be on the shore near the hippo statue. A player in the party can attempt an animal handling skill check (DC 13) to try to calm the creatures as the boat passes through. Otherwise, the beasts bump and roar at the barge as it passes by. If antagonized, the bull of the group will try to actually attack the barge. The attack on the barge’s hull does 1d8 points of damage to the boat. If nearby, Tiazo and the Oxca pirates might try to intentionally disturb the hippos while the party passes the area to cause problems for the players’ expedition.
C. Eternal Vines:
The Jungle is so thick on the north side of the Juxtacoatl. Hard to even think about penetrating deeply into the northern bank.
The jungle on the north bank of the river is very thick. Hacking a way through this part of the jungle is the only way to travel through on foot, making the area double difficult terrain, where 1 foot of progress costs 4 feet of movement.
D. Monkey’s Fall:
A huge monkey statue like that of Haptoraptus. Oddly, no one seems to know what this one is called, even in the Niwati tongue. I suspect that they don’t like to talk about it, as if it's some kind of taboo or curse associated with it. Monkeys don’t have a problem with the place, since there are always hundreds of them crawling all over the statue.
If the party stops at the statue and tries to investigate the vine-strewn ruins, the monkeys become noticeably anxious. Have a player roll a DC 13 Animal Handling check to see if they can calm the monkeys. If the skill check fails, or if the party antagonizes the creatures, the monkeys scream in a frenzy and leap to attack as four swarms of monkeys.
E. Swift Channel:
The JuxtaCoatl runs swift and straight here. Dangerous, but still passable. This is the best channel into the deep mountains beyond the jungle.
To navigate this successfully, Nocat or a player who is piloting the ship must roll a successful DC 13 water vehicles check (Nocat has +6 to the roll). On a failed check, the boat takes 1d8 points of structural damage. Alternatively, you might allow a player to substitute a Nature or Insite skill check in lieu of the water vehicle check.
F. Sand Bar:
Careful here; the Sand Bar is sometimes visible and sometimes lies submerged depending on the rains. Easy to get your boat stuck!
There is a 50% chance that the sandbar is invisible in the murky Juxtacoatl waters. If it is not visible, the boat will strike the sandbar if the party passes through this area. A player can jump into the water and attempt to free the river barge with a successful DC 20 Strength (athletics) check. Otherwise, it takes a full hour to get the barge free of the gripping sand. Another character can help break the WindJammer free, giving advantage on the Strength (athletics) check.
G. Hangman’s Tree:
Some years ago river pirates established this as a place to dispense capital punishment. It's unclear why the pirates would go to such lengths. They must get something out of it, else why not just dump bodies into the river?
The pirates do, indeed, have a reason to dispose of victims on this island. Some of the old Niwati river people know that a green hag has lived on this island for many years. The superstitious river folk sometimes sacrifice people to the terrible hag to appease her. Some even worship the monster.
An old woman, a green hag, collects the bodies that are hung from nooses tied to a massive tree on the south side of the island. The hag has a house built of logs and moss in a dense thicket in the middle of the island. She uses the skin and bones of the corpses that the Niwati bring her to concoct magics and to decorate her house.
If the hag's house is found and searched, the party could find 2-5 of the following magical items among the refuse with a successful DC 15 Intelligence (investigation) check:
Amulet of Beauty (+1 to Chr when worn)
Idol of Frog Control (Cast Animal Friendship at will but the spell only affects Frogs)
Stone of Perception (Enables a character to have 10’ Blindsight when gripped tightly in one hand)
4 +1 magical darts
Brooch of the Butterfly (wearer can polymorph into a butterfly for 1 minute 1/day)
H. Bivouac Island:
Flat, reasonably hospitable island east of the Bay of Fingers. The place has been used repeatedly by explorers as a camp and base. Basic camp features include fire rings, water barrels, latrines, etc.
The island is relatively flat and the jungle less dense, giving way to clearings and paths leading to a number of campsites on the island. The frequent visits from locals and sailors exploring the Juxtacoatl have created this haven for explorers to camp and rest.
The campsites are primitive places that include well-established fire rings, barrels, and crates that once held supplies from past expeditions in various states of decay, as well as latrines dug in the muddy ground. The largest campsite in the middle of the island sits on the crown of a low hill. A large stone box with a stone lid serves as a container of odds and ends from past explorers.
If the party searches the campsites they might find a few useful items. You can have them roll a DC 12 Intelligence (investigation) check to search and find an item. Roll or choose from the list below to determine what they might find:
A vial of antitoxin in a leather flask
A potion of healing in a metal flask
Tackle, pitons and rope to cobble together a complete Climbers Kit
Fishing tackle and line
A healers kit
Hammer and 8 iron spikes
A flask labeled as holy water, but the flask actually contains only rainwater.
A large water jug with a sealed plug contains potable water
4 Torches wrapped in leather, dry and usable.
A half-shafted shovel and digging pick
Camping on the island is safe and the party can use it to take long or short rests. You could determine that the other explorer groups might use Bivouac Island as well, leading to potential interactions and conflicts with the other explorers.
I. Southern Cliffs:
The Juxtacoatl cuts a deep channel here along the Barracas mountains.
The deep channel here creates a safe corridor for vessels passing this area of the river.
J. Cavern Falls:
Difficult to approach all the way to Cavern Falls by boat. The current froths and pushes strongly away from the falls. There is clearly a large cavern behind the falls, but the local jungle clans won’t go near it. I asked why, but their only response was “eggs.”
The cave used to be the home of a young copper dragon. It was birthed in the chamber. The remains of its egg are still there. The dragon has moved on, leaving the lair abandoned. In watery pools in the cave, some of the dragon’s treasure remains. If the party is able to access and search the cavern they can find 14gp, 82 sp, and a platinum ring worth 50gp with a successful DC 15 investigation check. .
K. Stepping Stones:
Important! Boats cannot progress up the channel of the Stepping Stones. More a series of waterfalls and water shoots as tributary streams gather and come off of the Baracas mountains.
This area is exactly as Andrus Devaro describes. Anyone who attempts to navigate a vessel into these channels must succeed on a DC 20 water vehicles skill check or suffer 4d10 damage to their ship.
L. Wall of Green:
Deep jungle on this channel island. Very damp, very rotten vegetation. You can hear terrible buzzing from within the wood, even from the shore. I would say that the circle of life in the Wall of Green is very rapid!
This jungle is thick and the ground wet and muddy on this strand. The whole place is difficult terrain for humanoids on the island. From the shore of the island the players can hear loud buzz of insects beyond the first line of jungle foliage.
4 giant spiders lair in the wet canopy of jungle trees. The ground is very unstable and has a quicksand-like effect that can mire a medium-sized creature. If the players attempt to explore the island past the first line of vegetation, have the players roll a DC 15 perception check. Those who fail will unwittingly stumble into the treacherous terrain and must make a DC 12 Strength saving throw or be caught and restrained in the mud. Stumbling into the area awakens 6 giant centipedes that will rush out and attack characters trapped in the muck. At the end of each of their turns, characters can roll a DC 12 Strength saving throw to hall themselves out of the muck. If another character who is not stuck helps a restrained character, the saving throw is made with advantage. There is nothing of value on the island.
M. Bay of Fingers:
Deep and wide area of the river. Several river tributaries come off the mountains to the west like fingers.
This wide channel of water is a calm, safe place to anchor a ship or land and explore the several fingers of land that form the beginning of the Juxtacoatl fork of the Nanzobar river.
N. Spearhead Point:
A rare solid piece of ground in the deep jungle here. There is a makeshift dock with ample depth to tie off a boat here.
A massive stone bolder, vaguely in the shape of a spear head, jutts out into the waters of the Bay of Fingers. A rickety boat dock made of logs and lashes extends off the side of the stone with room for one boat to tie off. A ladder leads from the dock to the top of the stone outcroping, 10 feet above the water.
O. Watchman’s Island:
A huge tree stands on this island. Explorers have built a crow’s nest high up in the tree as a viewing platform of the surrounding jungle treetops and waterfalls cascading down the western mountains.
The characters can easily climb the tree to access the crow's nest high up in this massive tree. From this vantage, they will be able to view much of the Juxtacoatl river channels, spot boats of other explorer groups, and see the cliffs of the mountain range just beyond the dense jungle to the west. If a player studies the cliffs carefully, they may make a DC 20 perception roll to notice that the jungle gives way before one of the mountainsides suggesting a wide clearing at the base of the cliff. This is the location of the Obrakan, although the stone edifice in the cliffside is not visible from this vantage point.
P. Channel to the Obrakan
This is the river channel that leads to the Hollow of the Cobra described below. This location marker is not included on the players map.
Finding the Obrakan
Andrus Devaro’s notes also include a cryptic clue of how to find the ancient Niwati shrine of the Obrakan. Devaro claims the script is his own poetic translation of a Niwati saying that reveals the way to the Obrakan. The eccentric explorer does not disclose if he actually located the shrine or not. Regardless, the clue does reveal that following “fiery flies” will lead seekers to the Obrakan. A swarm of giant fireflies inhabits the Hollow of the Cobra. The fleet of flies leaves the area often to feed upon flowers that grow throughout the Juxtacoatl. Following the fireflies will lead the characters in the direction of the Hollow, enabling them to discover the Obrakan shrine.
Following the Flies
The swarm of fireflies lights up the night when they are present. They are difficult to miss when viewed at night. Following them at night in the jungle is nonetheless difficult. But once the party has their bearings from the flight of flies they may be able to follow the channel that leads to the Hollow of the Cobra.
When the party enters the Juxtacoatl roll d100 and consult the list below to randomly determine where the swarm can be found. When the party first enters the Juxtacoatl area and each night thereafter, roll to determine the location of the fireflies. Siting and following the fiery swarm of flies is the key to finding stream bed that leads to the Hollow of the Cobra and the shrine of the Obrakan.
01-06 Cliffs of Insanity
07-13 Hippos Hello
14-20 Eternal Vines
21-27 Monkey's Fall
28-34 Swift Channel
42-49 Hangman’s Tree
50-57 Bivouac Island
58-64 Southern Cliffs
65-71 Stepping Stones
72-79 Wall of Green
80-86 Bay of Fingers
87-93 Spearhead Point
94-00 Watchman’s Island
The Hollow of the Cobra
Once the party finds the fireflies, and follows them through the Bay of Fingers, and up the river channel toward the western mountain cliffs, read the following:
The fireflies lead you up a channel that grows rocky and too dangerous to navigate via the boat. Nocat maneuvers onto one of the banks of the channel. The jungle grows thick on either side of the river and a dark green canopy blocks out the sun above. “I can go no further with the boat, Nocat declares.
The party will have no choice but to continue the difficult path by foot. As they progress, the river breaks into a dozen streams, carving up the jungle. Eventually, the jungle thins out as beams of sunlight break through the canopy. Read the following when they approach the Hollow of the Cobra.
You clamber over an cluster of wet boulders, then push through a mass of thick palms to stand on the shore of a beautiful blue-green pool nestled at the bottom of a cliff. A hundred mountain streams pour off the cliff into the pool and into the surrounding jungle.
Poised a hundred feet above the water, a massive head of a Cobra, carved out of the stone cliff, glares over the pool. The eyes carved into the snake’s head glint as if filled with gold. The cobra’s mouth hangs wide open. Between its fangs, you see a tunnel leading into darkness.
Thirty feet below the massive head, two more snakeheads extend from the cliffside,like viperous arms extending from the body of the Cobra. The mouths of the arm-snakes gape open as well, offering access to more tunnels leading into the mountain.
As characters assess the pool, the surrounding jungle, and the stone edifice carved into the cliff, you may have attentive plays make perception checks.
Perception (Wisdom) checks on the cliff and the snake heads:
DC 12 - You spot the hand and footholds carved into the cliff and cobra’s body
DC 16 - The character notices the hand and footholds in the cliff and sees vines and creepers filling the tunnel inside the left snake head. The character also notices the right snake head is free of jungle growth.
DC 20 - The character notices the handholds, and the contents of the tunnels in the mouth of the two snake heads and further deduce that a thin waterfall that streams over the head of the center cobra head makes its way into an internal chamber within the mouth of the cobra.
Perception checks on the pool and the island in the middle of the pool:
DC 12 - The beautiful emerald color of the pool is caused by a layer of algae covering the bottom of the pool.
DC 16 - You notice runes carved into the stone columns on the island and thick twisted vines tied the blocks like manacles to hold a sacrifice.
Perception checks on the Jungle surrounding the pool and at the base of the cliff:
DC 12 - Thorned thickets surround the pool allowing no simple way to circumvent the water. However, walking and swimming in the shallows of the pool might be a way to avoid the gnarly vegetation.
DC 16 - A shallow stream of water finds its way into the pool through the thorny foliage and the base of the cliff. DC 20 - You notice a gap in the jungle at the base of the cliff and suspect it leads to a small hollow in the midst of the thicket. .
A form of algae contaminates the pool, but also gives it the stunning blue-green color. The water tastes oddly bitter, although it is not toxic. No fish swim in the pool, but a hardy form of snake grass grows like reeds along the shore. A small sandy island rises in the middle of the pool. Two five-foot stone columns, entwined with vines stand five feet apart on the island.
This island is a place where ancient Niwati would offer humanoid sacrifices to the Vaeya powers of the Obrakan, tying the victim between the stone columns as part of the ritual.
Climbing up the cliff onto the stone snake heads extended from the cliff face is not difficult. The cliff is festooned with vines and foliage, and players may discover the network of handholds that were carved into the cliff and the sides of the carved snake heads ages ago. The party can access the tunnels through the gaping mouths of any of the three snake heads.
The Jungle at the base of the cliff is particularly thick. Thin streams of water pour down the cliff face into the foliage and run into the pool. The thick undergrowth completely obscures a cave at the bottom of the cliff. If a player pushes through this thicket, they may find the crack in the cliff wall that gives access to a hidden cave if they are specifically investigating the cliff. Have that character roll a DC15 Intelligence (Investigation) check, if they specifically state they are searching the through this thicket.
What is the Obrakan
Over a thousand years ago, a great Niwati king carved the shrine of the Obrakan from an existing cavern behind a cliff wall in the Western Mountains. The King worshipped the Vaeya powers that dominated the jungle and built the shrine to perform and hold his sacrifices to those ancient jungle Gods. The Vaeya responded to the devotion of the primitive king and set their power upon the place. In the waters of the shrine, a guardian of Vaeyan power was born, and the treasures offered up to the Gods were blessed (or cursed, depending on the point of view) as sacred to the Gods. Over generations, the people of the Niwati came to understand that the Obrakan was a place to be avoided, a place of horror and death for those who lacked the respect of the old powers. And so, over time, the precise location of the shrine was forgotten.
As the party progresses toward the Shrine of the Obrakan, they will be quietly followed by the Watcher. The Watcher is a role or responsibility that has been passed down for many centuries by the ancient Niwati to ensure that the cursed treasure of the Obrakan is not disturned, lest the curses of the Vaeya be spilled out upon all the people of the Nanzobar. The Watcher is considered a sacred responsibility by the Niwati of the deep jungle. The Watcher in the current generation is a werejaguar known as Xapalli. Xapalli tracks the party and will quietly follow them into the Obrakan. When and if they attempt to take the treasure, Xapalli will attempt to stop them by any means possible.
A. The Cobra Head
If the party climbs up and makes their way inside the head of the center cobra head, read the following:
Water drizzles into the chamber beyond the maw of the great cobra through the porous stone in the ceiling. Water streams down a curved “throat” at the back of the chamber disappearing down a steep 5’ wide shoot. A 3-foot tall iron lever stands upright before the throat just before the water plunges down into the darkness. The lever stands in a central position in a straight groove cut into the stone floor. It looks like it can be pushed to a position to the left and to the right.
The lever does not move easily, but a player can slide the lever right or left with a successful DC 10 Strength (Athletics) check. When moved in either direction and also when moved back to the center position, anyone inside any part of the Obrakan will hear grinding stone as some large mechanism shifts in the bowels of the mountain.
The lever controls a stone valve deep in the earth that shifts the egress of the “throat” tunnel in the depths of the shrine. When the lever is in the center position, the throat opens into an opening in the ceiling of the Chamber of the Belly (area E). If the lever is moved to the right, the valve shifts the tunnel into the passageway accessed through the mouth of the righthand snake.
If the lever is moved to the left, the valve shifts the tunnel into the passageway accessed through the mouth of the lefthand snake. If the party experiments with the lever and spends several minutes watching the left and right-hand snake when they move the lever, water spilling down the shoot eventually falls out of the mouth of that snakehead into the pool below.
Descending the shoot. Water rushes down the shoot from the chamber of the Cobra head no matter which position the iron lever is in. The stone shoot is slick with slime and moss. Any character that tries to descend the shoot without being secured via rope of other means will slip and fall down the watery shoot. The stone shoot reaches free fall for about 20 feet and then either deposits the creature into the Chamber of the Belly (area E) or curves to deposit creatures into either the right (area C) or the left (area B) passageways. See each area description for the result of a character being washed down one of the shoots.
Treasure. The eye sockets carved in the head of the cobra are filled with a thick gold leafing. A player on top of the cobra’s head that spends at least 10 minutes working can carve off 100-400 gold pieces worth of gold shaving from the eye sockets.
B. The Left Arm
Read the following if the party ascends the edifice and gains access to the tunnel in the maw of the left-hand snake head. .
The gaping mouth of the snake head is covered in vines and creepers. Inside the mouth, you see a five-foot round tunnel filled with more vines, jungle weeds, and moss extending back through the arm of the snake into the blackness.
The tunnel is filled with creeping vines that must be pushed or hacked through in order to progress down the tunnel. Treat the entire tunnel as difficult terrain. Halfway up the tunnel two swarms of centipedes drop onto the party and attack. On the second round of combat with the centipedes, a strangle vine, animated by the Vaeyan powers of the place, attack the foremost character in the tunnel, attempting to pull victims toward its center root in side the Belly of the Obrakan (area E).
C. The Right Arm
Read the following if the party ascends the edifice and gains access to the tunnel in the maw of the right-hand snake head. .
The gaping mouth of the snake head extending from the cliffside is wet and slick with moss and slime. A dank pungent smell wafts down the tunnel from the darkness.
The five-foot diameter passageway up the part of the snake is covered in a slick slimy substance. The tunnel is difficult terrain, and halfway up the passage, all characters must make a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw to maintain their footing. A failed saving throw indicates they slip, fall prone, and slide 15 feet back toward the mouth of the tunnel.
When any character reach the point on the map marked with “T,” they will trigger a pressure plate trap in the floor. The pressure plate can be found by characters who specifically state they are investigating the structure of the tunnel in that area. A successful DC 20 Perception (Wisdom) check will reveal the presence of the pressure plate trap. Unless the party detects and somehow circumvents the pressure plate, any creature that steps on the plate weighing more than 50lbs, triggers a 3-foot portal in the ceiling of the tunnel to swing open releasing a deluge of water from a cistern to rush into the tunnel. All creatures situated from the Trap’s location to the mouth of the snake-head must make a DC 15 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone and sent sliding down the passageway. One or two characters have a chance to grab onto the mouth of the snake with a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw, otherwise, characters are ejected out of the mouth of the snake into the emerald pool sixty feet below, taking 3d6 bludgeoning damage.
The water flows out of the snake’s head, and into the pool for 20 minutes. Afterwhich, the valve shuts, the mountain streams refill the cistern refills completely in three days, and the trap automatically resets.
D. The Hidden Cave
Read the following if the party finds the cave entrance hidden in the dense foliage at the base of the cliff.
The jungle completely covers a 5-foot tall, 30-feet deep cave at the foot of the cliff. Inside, water falls through a 10’ wide hole in the ceiling of the cave. The water forms a shallow pool and then streams out of the cave. A thick twisted vine hangs down through the center of the gaping hole, quivering as cold mountain water falls around it.
The vertical tunnel reaches up 60’ up into the Belly of the Obrakan. Climbing the vine requires three DC 10 Strength (Athletics) checks to reach the top in area E.
Thirty feet above the floor of the cave, a 5’ alcove rings the vertical tunnel. The Vaeyan powers of the place draw a monstrous constrictor snake to guard the tunnel up into the Belly of the Obrakan. The snake is naturally camouflaged giving it advantage on its stealth rolls to determine if the party detects its presence. The serpent’s 10’ attack range (bite) allows it to remain on the ledge and strike creatures climbing the vine. If players do not detect the monster as they climb, it will have advantage and surprise on its first attack. Any creature bit, when surprised by the snake, must make a Strength saving throw DC 10 or fall 30 feet to the bottom of the cave, inflicting 3d6 bludgeoning damage.
E. The Belly of Obrakan
The Belly of the Obrakan is a large spherical chamber, half filled with murky water around a large stone platform in the center. Read the following when the party gains access to the room:
You find yourself in a high-domed chamber. Vines hang thickly from the ceiling twenty feet above. Two five-foot-wide passageways on either side of the chamber offer access to a stone walkway that circles the room. In the middle of the chamber, a stone platform rises out of a pool of dark agitated water. The platform is covered with mossy statues, jewelry made of gold and silver, masks and other objects bejeweled with precious gemstones. A dark pit opens in the center of the platform.
Note, if the iron rod in the mouth of the Cobra Head (area A) is in the center position when the party arrives in this chamber, then a stream of water pours out of a five-foot hole in the ceiling of the chamber, passes through the pit in the center of the platform, and falls into the Hidden Cave (D) below. If the iron rod is in any other position, the water is diverted into one of the other snakeheads, and no water falls into the Belly of the Obrakan.
Falling into the Belly
If the players tumble down the throat of the cobra head (A), they will fall into this chamber, effectively sustaining 30 feet of free fall and likely landing on the platform in the center of the room. You can have characters who fall through the throat roll a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw to catch one of the tick vines hanging from the ceiling as they pass into the cavern. If successful, the player luckily catches a vine and ends up hanging 10’ above the platform. If the save fails, they will sustain 3d6 bludgeoning damage, landing on the stone platform. If the character fails the saving throw with a total roll of 5 or less, the player passes through the pit in the platform and falls to the floor of the hidden cave (area D), taking 9d6 bludgeoning damage in the fall.
The party might descend with climbing gear down into the Belly of the Obrakan or access the shrine through the right or the left-hand snake heads.
Read the following when the party notices the water filling half the chamber:
The murky water of the pool is impenetrable. Yet, the water is not still. The pool agitates and laps against the side of the platform and the stone walkway circling the room.
If the players touch or pick up any of the treasures on the platform, the tentacles of the Vaeyan monster in the depths of the water erupt into the air:
Gray-green spiked tentacles burst out of the water, flailing in the air. You glimpse a mass of something large just below the opaque surface of the water.
This immortal monster is born of the Vaeyan power of the shrine. It was known as the Kannatak (the Jungle Krakan), but that name has been lost to time. The creature serves a two-fold purpose for the arcane powers of the jungle: It is to ward the ancient treasures in this room made sacred to the old Gods, and if the treasures were taken, the creature would be released to exact vengeance on all the Nanzobar Jungle peoples.
On the first round of initiative, the Kannatak waves its tentacles menacingly but does not strike with them. Anyone holding any of the treasures of the Obrakan will be attacked by one of the tentacles on the second round of combat. On the third round, if the characters persist in looting the treasure the Kannatak attacks with two tentacles per round. Combat continues as long as any player remains in the room and holds any of the Obrakan treasures. The Jungle Kraken does not invoke its legendary actions here in the shrine, as its purpose is to ward the treasure not destory intruders.
Enter the Watcher
If the party touches the treasures, drawing out the Kannatak, Xapalli, the Watcher, will rush into the Belly of the Obrakan to try to stop the party from taking the treasures. Xapalli screams at the party in an old form of Niwati, telling them that the treasure is cursed, but the language is lost and unintelligible without magical means of understanding. Xapalli will do all he can to stop the party from taking treasures from the chamber. If they do leave the chamber and Xapalli is still alive, he also leaves knowing that he will have to warn the river valley about the release of the River Kraken.
Leaving the Obrakan
If the player characters succeed in getting any of the treasures out of the shrine, they will hear a great grinding of stone. As they leave the Obrakan with the treasures, they will see a great blast of water burst from the mouth of the Hidden Cave at the bottom of the cliff. Glouts of water rip through the foliage and vomit the slimy mass of the Jungle Kraken into the emerald pool.
You see water erupt from the bottom of the cliff and expel a huge bulbous creature with eight spiked tentacles surrounding a baleful central eye into the emerald pool. The monster shoots through the water and scrambled onto the far bank. You stare in horror as the creature violently shambles into the tree line and disappears into the jungle.
The creature's purpose now turns to vengeance on the people of the River Valley. It no longer cares if the party takes the treasures and it moves with great speed through the jungle and into the river waters to emerge later in Nanzobar Adventures.
The platform holds the following treasures:
6 golden idols
24 pieces of jewelry: rings, chains, chokers, brooches, and amulets.
3 large bejeweled masks
3000 square gold and silver “coins”
The idols weigh between 20 and 50 lbs each, and the masks are the size of shields. The silver coins have turned black with tarnish.
Of course, the party might encounter other complications from Draz Naghan or Tiazo’s band of Oxcan ruffians. Draz is a good-natured man, who takes the let-the-best-team-win attitude. And while Tiazo would happily kill anyone in his way, the river captain is just as happy to steal treasure from those emerging from the shrine rather than risk his own neck. If you plan to play further adventures in Nanzobar, the Jungle Kraken might play a role, so its escape from the shrine is important. If the party makes decisions that leave the gold in place within the shrine and thereby do not trigger the release of the Jungle Kraken, you can have Draz or Tiazo trigger the release as they follow after the player characters into the shrine.
Returning to Mezcala with portions of the Lost Treasure of the Obrakan can be as much as an adventure as you would like to make it. Do the Oxcan pirates make a move to steal the treasure? Are there other dangers navigating out of the Juxtacoatl river maze?
If the party returns to Mezcala with the treasure, Emoch is overjoyed at his good fortune. He brings the party into his villa and houses them indefinitely if they should want it. Emoch offers to assess the treasures and brokers buyers for the rare valuable objects, masks, and coins. He more or less offers the players 50% of the converted wealth. The total take will amount to 5,000 to 30,000gp, depending upon how much of the treasure the party was able to take. Of course, the player may prefer to keep or hold back some of the treasure from Emoch.
If any of the Niwati see characters in possession of old jungle treasures or ancient coins, they will despise and shun the player as most of the jungle folk consider the ancient treasures cursed or belonging to ancient Vaeyan powers.
The Missing Verse:
Follow the Fiery Flies
Past the Spider’s Palm
The Pool Beyond the Stones
Reflects the Cobra’s Eyes
The Treasure of Obrakan
Lies Within Its Belly
Mouth and Gullet Enter
For Gold of Ancients Gone
But Heed the Watcher’s Drum
For Long the Law was Laid
Revenge Upon the Takers
The Jungle’s Eye Shall Come