Carved from a cliff face of soft matte green stone, the Jade Catacombs are well-known to sages and adventurers, and rightly feared.
The magics of this place have transformed the resident trio of medusas into something ever so slightly different. They are green, semi-transluscent, and even their touch is deadly poison. Fortunately they cannot spend much time away from the Jade Catacombs, for the magical energies that transformed them is also required to keep them alive.
Unfortunately, the magics also seem to keep them nourished and alive without food or water – not that it makes them any less hungry or thirsty.
Adventurers have come here for decades, and the ruined and smashed jade statues out in front of the catacombs advertises their fate to newcomers. Most come seeking a small magical statuette that can cure even the most potent of magical poisons and diseases. The jade statues resulting from the glare of the medusas are proof against the normal stone to flesh spells (and restoration magics). Ancient texts and a few sages know the secrets of adapting the spells to these twisted magics, and a bit of research and well-spent coin will “unlock” these secrets and rituals for a clever party.
And these old rituals are important, as the magic that transformed the medusas is still strong here. Within the first ten minutes of entry observant adventurers will note that clothing begins to flake and stiffen and change in colour, with the tips of hair coming next. Every hour spent within the Jade Catacombs calls for a saving throw (petrification, fortitude, or constitution) to avoid the beginnings of the transformations into jade.
Every failed save improves the victims AC by 1, but decreases charisma and wisdom by a like amount as well as reducing movement rates by 5′. Three failed saves and the victim is transformed entirely into jade and becomes unable to do anything for 72 hours until they regain consciousness as a green and twisted version of themselves with their ability scores returned to normal, AC improved by 2, and a twisted evil alignment (under the DM’s control).
- - -The map of the Jade Catacombs was originally inspired by looking at a few photos of the outside of El-Khazneh at Petra – but I basically let my pen run free based just on that glimpse of the facade of that structure. I posted a time lapse video of the drawing process in July and then promptly lost the map before I got a chance to scan it – finally turning it up late last week to scan for this post.
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You can download the map of the Jade Catacombs for use in your own games from the blog post at http://wp.me/psUVp-2kZ