Recommended levels 1-2
A Dwarven mining conglomerate has discovered a new alloy of mithril buried deep within a rocky moon. Marketed as Hyper-Mithril, this rare metal is even stronger and lighter than its normal form.
Unfortunately a malfunction has shut down the heavily automated Hyper-Mithril mine and the repair team sent to fix it never returned. The adventurers are hired to investigate the source of the malfunction and rescue any survivors.
1- Descent into the mine
The adventurers descend into the dark mine on a large cargo elevator and arrive in area 1. Mithril veins are visible on the hewn stone walls, laced with strands of Hyper-Mithril. A heavy-duty mining robot is in standby mode near the elevator, its drilling arm seems to be missing.
The north passage transitions into natural tunnels and caverns. It is blocked by a thick tangle of Hyper-Mithril threads and is impassible unless cut with specialized drilling equipment.
A Bolderpod has made its nest in this offshoot of the main mining area. Boulderpods resemble pill bugs with shells made of stone that travel by curling up and rolling. They are fond of collecting chunks of ore and metal, which they use to line their nests and decorate their rocky carapaces. This Boulderpod has scavenged the drilling arm from the mining robot in area 1.
While not aggressive, it won't appreciate having its nest rifled through and will attack adventurers who try to steal from it. The boulderpod will fight until it is at half hit points, after which it will attempt to roll away. It can also be lured away from its nest with an appealing metallic object.
Boulderpod CR 1 XP 400
N Large vermin (earth)
Senses: darkvision 60 ft. blindsense 30 ft. Perception +5
EAC 11 KAC 13 Fort +5 Ref +3 Will +1
Speed 30 ft. burrow 30 ft.
Melee: slam +8 (1d6+3 B)
Str +2 Dex +1 Con +4 Int - Wis +0 Cha +0
Acrobatics +5 Athletics +10, Survival +5
3- Dwarven Repair Team
This cavern is full of Hyper-Mithril webs. Suspended in them are the members of the Dwarven repair team sent to investigate the mine automation failures. Team leader Graldor Blast-Stone is happy to see the party, and can't wait to get back to the surface for a hot meal and cold drink.
He tells the party his team was ambushed by "Them silver leggy buggers" and "strung up in these blasted webs." Blast-Stone referring to the Hyper-Mithril Spiderlings, who's lair the mining operation has breached. The webbing can be cut with the mining robot's drilling arm.
4- Cornered by the Cave-in
This chamber is littered with rubble and perceptive adventurers may notice that the rock here seems less stable. A tunnel leads out of the north end of the chamber. If the adventurers approach the passage, it collapses and becomes impassable. The vibrations from the cave-in attract the attention of several Hyper-Mithril Spiderlings.
The spiderlings have two long legs attached to a central body with gem-like eyes and a pair of mandibles. The are the source of the Hyper-Mithril, as they ingest mithril ore and produce Hyper-Mithril webs to catch their prey. The spiderlings are able to fuse together with these strands, commonly forming four legged units, though larger units are also possible.
Three fused pairs attack the cornered party, splitting into single spiderlings when damaged.
Hyper-Mithril Spiderling CR 1/3 XP 135
N Small vermin (earth)
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., blindsight (vibration) 30 ft.; Perception +3
EAC 10 KAC 12 Fort +3 Ref +1 Will +0
Speed 30 ft. Burrow 30 ft. Climb 20'
Melee: Bite, +4 (1d6 P)
Ranged: Web, One target, DC 12 Ref save or entangled
Str +0 Dex +3 Con +1 Int - Wis +0 Cha +0
Acrobatics +3 Athletics +3 Stealth +7
Hyper Mithril Web- One target- DC 12 Reflex Save or the target is entangled. It takes a full round action to clear the webs. If webs are not cleared off the target within one minute the target becomes restrained and requires specialized mining equipment to be freed.
Fuse- Two Spiderlings can begin combat fused by thin Hyper-mithril strands. By doing so they lose one of the pair's bite attacks but become medium sized, gain 3 EAC/KAC and pool their Hit Points. Once the pair is damaged they split apart and return to normal statistics with remaining HP split between them.
5- Dead End
The center of this cave has a massive debris pile. Upon closer inspection, the pile seems to be composed of rocky Bolderpod shells, leftovers from the spiderling's meals. If the party chooses to sift through the pile, they find some raw semi-precious gems worth 200 credits and not much else.
6- Hyper-Mithril Spiderking
The ceiling of this large natural cavern is coated in Hyper-Mithril webs, crawling with spiderlings. When the party enters, they begin to fuse together into a mass of legs and fangs. This is the Spiderking, a cluster of angry spiders loosely held together by Hyper-Mithril webbing. As the webbing is freshly spun, each successful attack against the Spiderking separates off a Spiderling.
Hyper-Mithril Spiderking CR 3 XP 800
N Medium vermin (earth)
Senses: darkvision 60' blindsight (vibration) 30'
EAC 14 KAC 16 Fort +7 Ref +5 Will +2
Speed 30 ft. burrow 30 ft. climb 20 ft.
Melee: Bites +11 (1d6+5 P)
Str +4 Dex +1 Con +2 Int - Wis +0 Cha +0
Acrobatics +8 Athletics +13 Survival +8
Multi-attack- The spiderking can bite three times per round at a -6 penalty, or twice per round at the usual -4 attack penalty.
Split off- Each successful attack against the Spiderking splits off a smaller Spiderling. These Spiderlings use the same statistics as the regular Spiderling except that they have 1 HP each and they lack the fuse ability.
7- Egg Chamber
Egg sacks dangle from the roof of this cave and flammable gasses rise from vents in the ground. The air in here is warm and toxic to humanoids, but perfect for incubating Spiderling eggs. A spark could easily destroy the eggs, eliminating the threat to the mining operation along with the source of the Hyper-Mithril. Of course, egg samples could be taken if the adventurers can figure out a way to safely harvest them.