(Inspired by "Too Many Curses" by A Lee Martinez)
Margle was a chaotic evil wizard who had reached incredible levels but was killed in the end by a wet floor, a kobold and a bat. (A purple Nurgax, some deviant form of dragon he created, had a part to play in it as well.)
After a crazy period when Margle's castle was working things out and a certain purple nurgax let nature take it's course, Margle's body, or what bit remained of it, was interred in his long ago prepared crypt.
Margle, being absolutely insane as well as evil in his life, was determined to continue his hoarding and trying to keep all the the things he had collected and amassed over the years. His reasoning, if he couldn't enjoy it alive, no one else would either.
Margle was a collector of just about everything. Treasure, monsters, magical items, art and even people. It is rumored that somewhere, somehow, in his crypt, the vast majority of his collection still remains.
Margle, again being an insane evil wizard, certainly wouldn't have made it easy for anyone to find it, let alone just walk in and take anything.
However, there is a way, they say, to summon Margle's Tomb entrance to the location of a summoner bold or desperate enough to try to enter.
Be prepared for tricks, traps, spells and monsters of all sorts if you ever find Margle's Tomb.
The chance of finding Margle's Tomb is random because he was such a powerful wizard that he set his tomb as a traveling tomb. It could be anywhere, any time.
You might go into it at one place and come out of it (if you come out of it) somewhere else entirely. The dice will let you know. Unless, of course, the DM has already decided upon where it is and if it will stay put while players are in there.
(If any DM's would like maps of Margle's Tomb, please post in the comments below and I will get you a d/l link)
Summoning The Tomb
There does, in fact, exist an incantation in which the person reciting can summon the Tomb's entrance into being where the summoner is. However, The summoner must make a saving throw against magic or else lose their memory permanently.
The incantation reads thusly,
"Margle's Tomb where he lies dead, hopeless keeper of fear and dread, stony vault of dark bedlam, come here to me, where I am."
The summoner will want to be in a wide open field or other vast open place to summon the tomb.
Entering The Tomb
The entry to the tomb itself looks like any common mausoleum. Approx. 15' x 20' The only thing inside the tomb is a stone crypt in the center of the room. Presumably, this is where Margle's remains are interred. We may never know for sure because of the number and strength of the enchantments which prevent it from being opened. Ever.
IF the characters were to push from the rear of the crypt however, they will find that it slides forward to reveal a stairway decending to an underground location.
Truth be told, there are 4 levels under the crypt in which Margle's un-imagineably immense collection is stored. Each descending level being more treacherous than the one above it.
The first below ground level is safe (enough) for characters levels 1 through 4.
The second level is able to be entered by characters level 4 to 7. Characters not of at least level 4 won't be able to find the entrance to this level. Any characters not at least level 3 going in with others of level 4 or higher may find themselves lethally in over their heads.
The third level below can be entered by characters levels 8 to 12. Characters not of at least level 8 won't be able to find the entrance to this level. Any characters not at least level 7 going in with others of level 8 or higher may find themselves lethally in over their heads.
If at least one character isn't at least level 13 or higher, they won't even be able to find the entrance to the fourth level and if all characters entering the fourth level aren't at least level 12, they are extremely likely to never leave.
If a character is on a quest for a particular item or artifact that they believe is in the tomb somewhere, the more powerful or valuable that item is, the more likely that item will be on a lower, and more dangerous, level.
DM's note: To determine what level the item in question is or might be and to what level it will be found on, you may want to consult the "Treasure Tables" page here on WikiMage. It will likely provide you with the user level appropriate to wield such an item then you can place it on the level corresponding with the levels mentioned above.
There are five levels to Margles Tomb in total. The top most level being the tomb or crypt itself. It is the only way in and it is the only way out.
Anyone of any class or race can summon the Tomb to appear by properly using, and surviving, the proper incantation.
Getting in and back out alive is another topic entirely.
Each level of Margle's Tomb is increasingly more dangerous and is larger than the level preceding it. Not only do you have to successfully summon the tomb and try to find the way down to the lower vaults, but you have to endure any number of traps, tricks, monsters and other ghastly encounters just to get down to the next lower level.
Providing that a character or group should successfully make it down to the 4th level, they must then again successfully navigate and fight their way back to the entrance.
Entering Margles Tomb is not something done on a whim and very few walk away entirely unscathed by their experience in the tomb.
Each successive level of the tomb holds treasures and valuables of ever greater power and value. with the most powerful and valuable at the 4th, bottom-most level.
The dangers also increase exponentially the lower one moves downward. It is rumored that margle was such a powerful wizard, he even has dragons, demons and demi-gods imprisoned down on the 4th level.
The last wizard to return from the 4th level alive and somewhat sane commented that there is a doorway down there, behind which is imprisoned something so horrible that Margle's own notes suggest he wouldn't even open that door, but desired to do so for the untold treasure that is guarded within. That wizard died exactly 3 months from the day he came out of the tomb. The only thing we know is that his nursemaid shudders when describing the horrible screams coming from his room the night he died.
DM's Note: Working within the few parameters set on this page, you may "stock" Margle's Tomb with anything you see fit in terms of treasure, monsters, traps and tricks. There are maps of each level coming soon that will be able to be downloaded with some accoutrements already in place.
Maps and Lists
I have been making maps and lists of what each level/aspect of margle's Tomb may contain for a "default" run which can be used off the cuff by anyone. Of course, I also fully expect a DM to either completely ignore the literal contents I have placed in it and replace them with what treasure and monsters they want to put in it. All I ask is that DM's keep into consideration the character levels each level is intended for.
I will say that a group of nothing but first level characters entering Margle's Tomb should never see daylight again.
First and second level groups have about a 50% chance of making it back out.
First to 3rd level character groups have up to a 70% chance to make it back out and..
First to 4th level characters have up to a 90% chance to get out alive.
Don't be afraid to make it extremely difficult. With the right operation, Margle's Tomb will result in a sense of dread and "Do we have to go there? Can't we just cut off a body part or sacrifice someone to get (whatever it is)?"
Margle's Tomb should never be boring. It should never be easy. Margle was one of the most powerful evil wizards ever. He did things not just because he wanted to or even just because he could. he also did things just for spite. He was so evil, he even hated himself. No way will he ever just give something up easily.
Margle collected anything, everything and anyone he could get his hands on. The treasures in his tomb should be monumental. The cost? TPK should be entirely expected. To enter Margle's Tomb is only for the truly desperate (which makes it a great place to send a group on a quest) or truly foolish (which makes it a great place to send someone to be punished).
Tomb Entry Level
Dungeon Level One
Main Hall (MH) - Starts at stair entrance from upper tomb at East end. Goes forward West 20 ft to a intersection left (Hall 1) and right (Chamber L1C2). Continues 50 ft West ahead to Secret Door (SD) on left side. Continues forward West 15 ft to dead end.
Hall 1 (H1) - Starts at intersection to left (South) side of MH, runs 65 ft South to a Dead End ahead and opening on left (East) side to L1C1
Hall 2 (H2) - Starts at door on right side of entrance to L1C2 for 10 ft. Turns left and runs straight for 60 ft to entry to H12 on left (West) side and DE ahead.
Hall 3 (H3) - Begins at West entry to Room L1R3 and door to L1C3 on right (North) side. Continues straight West for 45 ft to SD on left side to H10. Continues straight ahead West 5 ft to door to L1C5.
Hall 4 (H4) - Begins from West door of L1C3 striaght for 50 ft. Ends in 'T' Section to H5.
Hall 5 (H5) - Begins at NorthWest corner of Dungeon to the South straight for 20 ft to entry on left to L1C4. Continues straight South 5 ft to starirway on left descending to Dungeon Level 2 (No one below level 4 can detect magically hidden stairway). Continues for 5 ft to pass on left to H4 and entry ahead to L1C5.
Hall 6 (H6) - Begins at East door from L1C6 and heads East 5 ft to Pit 10' deep in floor (3 in 6 to fall in)Continues East straight 25 ft to 'T' intersect with H7 to left and right.
Hall 7 (H7) - Begins at South wall of Dungeon Level 1 on West side of L1C7. Straight North 15 ft to pass on left (West) to H6. Continue straight North 5 ft to entry to L1C7 on right (East) and entry to H8 on left (West). Continue straight ahead North 35 ft to SD to MH.
Hall 8 (H8) - Begins at entry from H7 West for 5 ft to right turn (North) then straight for 15 Ft to HD to L1R4 on left (West) side. Continue straight North 20 ft to Dead End (DE) ahead and pass to H9 on left (West).
Hall 9 (H9) - Begins at West end of H8 and continues straight West ahead 30 ft to pass on right (North) to H10 then straight ahead 5 ft to H11 on left (South). Staright ahead West 5 ft to door to L1R2.
Hall 10 (H10) - Runs North from near West end of H9 fo 25 ft to HD leading to H3.
Hall 11 (H11) - Begins at North HD from L1C6, continues straight ahead North 20 ft to DE ahead, pass on left to L1R2 and pass on right (East) to H9.
Hall 12 (H12) - Begins at North SD from L1C2. Continues straight ahead North 10 ft to SD on left (West) to L1R1 and turns right straight ahead (East) for 20 Ft to DE ahead and pass to H2 on right (South).
Chamber 1 (L1C1) - Treasure - 250 GP + 750 EP in iron trunks. Monster(s) 1 werewolf- Size- M, AC- 5, HD- 4+3 (d8), # Att- 1, Dam/Att- 2-8(2d4), Special- surpise on 1-3(1d6), defense- Hit only by silver or magic weapons, XP-205+5/HP. Room Description- 10'x60'chamber, water trickling down walls. air is smoky/hazy, hear grating sounds before entering.
Chamber 2 (L1C2)- - Treasure- none. Monster(s)- 3 giant ticks - Size- S, AC- 3, HD- 2-4(d8), # Att- 1, Dam/Att- 1-4(1d4), Special att- blood drain (1-6 (1d6)), disease, XP- 105+2/hp. Room Description- chiill, clear air. Dank, mouldy smell walls dirty.