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Dungeon 23: Final Fight in Hell!

Dungeon 23: Final Fight in Hell!

Throughout 2023, our roster of Kobold Press superstars worked together to create a full dungeon for the Dungeon23 project! Each installment has contained a few areas that stack up to a full delve! Here is the FINAL INSTALLMENT Of Kobold’s D23 dungeon experience! Catch up on previous articles here.

Dungeon Prompts

No prompts this time. Let’s get to the action.

The Dungeon Map

map by Dyson Logos

The final dungeon level uses Dyson Logos’ map, The Statues of the Thrall Gods. (This link provides an unkeyed version of the map.)

This installment of the dungeon covers only Areas 27–32.

Area 27: Outside the Dungeon

Four statues are built into the walls of the surface entrance of the dungeon. Each is twelve feet tall and shows the fiendish Yskarakta wielding wicked weaponry.

The PCs can reach this area by walking out of Area 26. They can also get here if they spent 1 minute in Area 8B with the barbed devil’s key.

Each star on the map represents one of Yskarakta’s statues. The bust to the far right shows the fiend brandishing a greataxe. The effigy in the middle left shows Yskarakta twirling his chiming staff. The likeness to the far left shows him bellowing words of destruction from his toothy maw.

The statue in the middle right looks as though it is missing something. It depicts Yskarakta holding a dagger in his left hand in a defensive posture. The fiend’s right hand is empty, but it looks like sculptor had posed Yskarakta’s arm as though holding a weapon, striking downward. A PC who casts detect magic learns that the dagger emanates an aura of transmutation.

The satarre mystics in the dungeon enchanted both daggers to serve as keys to Area 28 in case of emergency—their liege is unaware of this glaring security breach. The dagger that would fit in the statue’s right hand is in Area 31. Either dagger grants access to Area 28.

Area 28: Yskarakta’s Chamber

Unlike the rest of this complex, the floor here is softened dirt. From the center of this darkened room, a forked tongue hisses a challenge in the Void Tongue.

This is Yskarakta’s lair, which can only be approached from Areas 20, 29, or 30. To enter, the PCs must use one of the three keys: the dagger from Area 26, the dagger from Area 31, or the barbed devil’s key from Area 8. If the PCs didn’t find any of the keys, Yskarakta bids them to enter his chamber instead.

Yskarakta, Lord of the Satarre (see Tome of Beasts 2) stands at the center of this room. He is joined by his two most loyal satarre mystics (see Tome of Beasts 2). The fiend is spoiling for a fight, but he draws too much power from his chamber to confront threats elsewhere.

The two satarre mystics try to avoid direct confrontation, staying in the shadows of the chamber. They use their Unveil trait as soon as possible to disrupt the PCs’ morale, and they use Void Bolt whenever not engage in melee.

They take their bonus action to use Planar Commander, giving Yskarakta additional attacks, and they use Void Deflection to avoid ranged spell attacks. (If the mystics from Area 31 join the battle later, no more than two mystics support Yskarakta at onece when using Void Bolt, Unveil, or Planar Commander; however, they use Void Deflection and can serve as a vessel for Yskarakta’s Eternally Reborn ability.)

Yskarakta has a hit point maximum of 100 instead 169. He initially burrows below the dungeon floor, using his Move legendary action to make a surprise attack against a backline PC. He uses his multiattack early and often, saving his Unraveling the World action as a finishing move. The fiendish lord uses his Whispering Doom legendary action if the PCs are clumped together, or the Word of Destruction legendary action against a single target that dealt significant damage to him that turn.

If Yskarakta is reduced to 0 hp, he uses his Eternally Reborn ability with any living satarre mystics. These mystics are so devoted that they choose to fail their Constitution saving throw, becoming the new vessel of Yskarakta (with 100 hp). As a GM, make this ability very apparent to the players so they can minimize the number of times they must fight Yskarakta.

Each star in this area marks one Souldrain Vent. Each vent feeds the essence to this chamber from the satarre victims in Area 13. If Yskarakta is within 30 feet of a vent at the start of his turn, he recovers 13 (2d8 + 4) hp. The Souldrain Vents don’t function if the PCs removed the satarre from their chambers earlier.

Area 29: The Greenhouse

This room is stifling hot. The shadowsun beats down through glass panes in the ceiling. The branch of the world tree is apparent here, as minions of Yskarakta have tended to sprouts in this hellish greenhouse.

Five satarre commoners here lovingly tend to sprouts from the world tree. Upon seeing the intruders, they attempt to flee noisily toward Area 32. They don’t know much about this dungeon level and speak only Abyssal, but PCs who make successful DC 10 Charisma (Intimidation) checks can stop them in their tracks, and even order the gardeners into another area. If questioned about anything, they respond by pointing toward Yskarakta’s lair pensively.

Area 30: Long Hallway

Ruts are worn in the smooth hallway floor from the pacing of Yskarakta’s cultists.

The mystics and minions of Yskarakta pace this hallway, awaiting summons from their lord to enter Area 28 by the western entrance. PCs who make successful DC 15 Wisdom (Perception) checks detect a faint metallic taste in the air from minions who flogged themselves to hurry the summons.

Area 31: Mystic Quarters

A half-dozen hard wooden bunks are found behind this locked door. Three satarre, cloaked in black robes, easily detect your entrance.

The door to this area is locked. It can be unlocked with a successful DC 15 Dexterity (Thieves’ Tools) check or by holding the dagger from Area 27 to the lock.

The order of mystics devoted to Yskarakta sleep and meditate in this area. Currently, three satarre mystics (see Tome of Beasts 2)are here. If confronted, they fight, pursuing PCs to at least Area 26 if they flee. The mystics are devoted to their dark lord and they fight to the death.

If the PCs don’t encounter the mystics before entering Area 28, the mystics join the boss fight 1 minute after it begins. PCs who make successful DC 15 Intelligence (Investigation) checks find the missing dagger from the statue in Area 27 in the mystics’ dirty robes. A successful DC 20 check also turns up a wand of polymorph with two charges remaining.

Area 32: Treasure Room

Coins of all metal and denomination are scattered on the floor in a heap measuring six inches high. Gems gleam from the heap, as do swords, axes and rapiers.

Yskarakta orders his minions to leave treasure and magic items here until he repurposes or uses them for trade. PCs can collect 1,500 gp in assorted coinage and 3,500 gp worth of gems.

They can also find multiple +2 magic weapons that match whatever weapon they carry. However, when a PC picks up any of these weapons, the weapon casts geas on that PC. If the PC fails a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw, the weapon instructs the PC that it can’t attack Yskrakta. PCs are free-willed of course, but contradicting this instruction, results in 27 (5d10) psychic damage. This cannot occur more than once per day.

However, words matter, especially with enchantments, and the source of the spell dictates how the geas functions. Clever players might realize that the +2 weapon can’t attack Yskarakta, but they are free to use other weapons, spells, and unarmed attacks against the fiendish lord without violating the geas. And these weapons can be used to attack satarre mystics freely.

The geas ends early if a PC casts remove curse, greater restoration, or wish. It also ends early the first time that Yskrakta dies in the presence of the weapon.

About Benjamin Eastman

Benjamin L. Eastman was introduced to D&D by his four closest friends—who immediately betrayed his trust by sacrificing his first character to a demonic artifact. Undeterred, he’s played all manner of RPGs in the intervening years. In addition to writing Warlock Lairs and monsters for Kobold Press, he’s contributed to the Stargate RPG and Americana, and co-authored DMs Guild adventures including Baby Tarrasque. He is perhaps proudest of the bar brawl—his first published monster in the Creature Codex

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