Six cracked marble pillars line the walls of this hall, at the north end of which stands a nine-foot-tall statue of a dwarf seated on a throne, a mighty stone warhammer across his lap. Large emeralds gleam in the statue's eyes.
The dust and debris covering the floor has been swept to one side, and a campsite of sorts now spreads in front of the statue. Half a dozen bedrolls and packs are neatly arranged around a rough-built fire pit. A wooden table stands on the west side of the room between two pillars.If the room's occupants are not aware of the characters as they enter, add the following:
Two bugbears stand by the table, flanking a dark elf dressed in black leather armor and robes. He clutches a black staff with a carved spider at the top and frowns as he sees you. "It seems that I must deal with you myself. A pity it must end this way."Nezznar the Black Spider is joined by four giant spiders that defend their master to the death. If they are expecting trouble, the spiders hide behind pillars, and Nezznar casts invisibility on himself and stands near the table. Make a Dexterity (Stealth) check for the spiders. When intruders appear, the spiders try to entangle them in webs before closing to melee range. Nezznar joins the fray on the round after the spiders attack.
If the doppelganger from area 18 retreated to this area, it assumes the guise of Nundro Rockseeker so that Nezznar can use the "dwarf" as leverage to force the party's surrender (although the drow won't actually harm the doppelganger). See the "Roleplaying Nezznar" section for more information on the drow villain.
Statue. The statue depicts Dumathoin, the dwarven god of mining. Any character who has proficiency in Religion recognizes the deity. The statue is beautifully carved, and its emerald eyes appear extremely valuable. However, the jewels are clever fakes made of worthless glass, as close inspection and a successful DC 15 Intelligence (Investigation) check reveals. Nevertheless, a powerful spell protects them, and a detect magic spell reveals a strong aura of abjuration magic surrounding the statue.
A character can climb the statue easily and pry a jewel loose with a successful DC 10 Strength check. However, if either eye is removed, the pillars that line the walls crack, triggering a ceiling collapse. Each creature in the room must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw, taking 4d10 bludgeoning damage from falling rubble and falling prone on a failure, or taking only half the damage on a success.
Table. The table is strewn with notes and maps showing Nezznar's efforts at exploring the mine so far. A black leather sack of treasure is amid the papers.
ROLEPLAYING NEZZNAR Edit
Even though he intends to kill the characters, Nezznar is curious about them. Given the chance, he quizzes the characters at length regarding their identities, allegiances, interests, and goals,. He files it all away in memory in the hope that someday he might find a use for what he learns. Nezznar admits to being the Black Spider, and to using the Cragmaw goblins and the Redbrands to ensure that Wave Echo Cave remains his secret. He will say or do anything to put the characters off their guard, including promising to surrender or proposing cooperation against the monsters impeding his progress toward reaching the Forge of Spells. However, he betrays the characters as soon as they outlive their usefulness.
The creatures in area 18 can hear sounds of combat in this room. If they haven't already been dealt with, they arrive after 3 rounds and act immediately after Nezznar's giant spiders in the initiative count. If the characters capture Nezznar and deliver him to the town master's hall in Phandalin, the drow is locked up until Sildar Hallwinter or another representative of the Lords' Alliance can escort him to Neverwinter to face justice and interrogation. However, unless the characters post guards outside Nezznar's cell, Halia Thornton breaks him out ofjail, smuggles him out of Phandalin, and delivers him into the waiting arms of the Zhentarim. The Zhents want to learn everything the Black Spider knows about Wave Echo Cave. What happens to Nezznar at that point is up to you.
Nezznar carries a potion of healing and a spider staff. In addition, the drow carries an iron key with a head shaped like an anvil. This key unlocks the door to area 20. Nezznar's exploration of Wave Echo Cave has yielded some treasure, which the drow keeps in the sack on the wooden table. The sack contains 190 ep, 130 gp, 15 pp, nine small gemstones (10 gp each), and a dwarven ale mug made of hammered electrum (100 gp).