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2. Side Hall
Sights and Sounds: It is dark here. A DC 15 Listen check (DC 15 Perception check for Pathfinder) allows a player character to hear the mountain lions in area 8. However, without a DC 15 Move Silently check (DC 15 Stealth check for Pathfinder), the lions will also hear the PCs.
This hall runs north and south, the walls adorned with painted frescoes of humans riding, running along with, or chasing horses. A few ride winged horses high in the sky.
A skeletal corpse lies near the bottom of the stairs.
Corpse: This wasSignar Fuen, a dead adventurer slain by a wandering monster two years ago on his way out of the dungeon. Now all his equipment is long gone, but if he is ever resurrected, he knows many secrets about the dungeon. The PCs will find the remains of many dead adventurers in the dungeon, but Signar is significant to encounters they may have much later. In his flight from the dungeon, he lost an intelligent amulet on Level 12. If the PCs find it, they may be compelled to locate Signar's corpse and get him brought back from the dead.
Frescoes: Time has worn away portions of the frescoes, but they still hide a secret. Anyone studying them at length (DC 20 Search check, DC 20 Perception check for Pathfinder) finds that at the horses' legs at one point form letters and spell out words in Elvish. The message is:
"The gray lies between the black and the white. The shadow lies between the dark and the light."
Southeast Passage: This curving corridor slopes down steadily so that the northern end is 20 feet higher than the southern end.
South Door: The door to area 9 is stuck and requires a DC 13 Strength check to open it.
Development: If the PCs linger here and are not quiet, one of the lions in area 8 will sneak up and attack.
2A: A round secret trapdoor (DC 20 Search check to find, DC 20 Perception check for Pathfinder) lifts up to reveal a very narrow spiral iron staircase that descends 10 feet down into a pair of rooms below this chamber as well as area 4 and area 10. The ceiling in these undercroft chambers is only about 7 feet high. Other than a few empty barrels, at first glance it seems that there's not much here. However, if the westernmost room is searched (DC 20), under one barrel a strange sigil can be seen, seemingly burned into the flagstone on the floor. A DC 16 Knowledge (arcana) check suggests that it is draconic in nature, but that's all. A DC 20 check, however, means that the character realizes that this is one of the twelve secret sigils. This sigil, the first and weakest of all them, conveys power to a melee weapon if it is etched onto its surface. It allows the wielder to, as a free action, turn that weapon into a dragon bane weapon for 1d6+1 rounds. Etching the weapon requires a DC 15 Craft (weaponsmith) check and one hour. Once used, it disappears, but it can be re-etched, although no weapon can have it etched more than once and no wielder can have more than one weapon with the sigil upon it at a time.
These chambers are not known to any of the current residents of this level of the dungeon (the doppelgangers of Level 2 know about it) and could be used as a safe place for the PCs to retreat to and rest without leaving the dungeon altogether.