Chapter 1 of The Great Genie Palace Heist
1. Grand Entrance.
You appear on a precipice jutting out from a mountain of tan sandstone. Before you in a cleft of rock stands a wide portico of translucent alabaster, its columns and causeway constructed from a single vein of the pale rock that extends through the mountain itself. Everything is illuminated with a soft yellow light; this luminescence suffuses the air itself. In the middle of the portico from four strong iron chains hangs an 8 foot tall hollow cylinder of iron, and perpendicular to it supported by two chains is a thick iron rod. Beyond that, on two low dais stand two large iron statues of bulls facing each other. And beyond that, steps climb up to a pair of double iron doors wide enough to allow four men abreast to pass through them, were they opened. In the center of each door is a small shuttered and barred window. Just above the doors perch four alabaster angels in shallow alcoves. It is quiet; neither an insect hums nor a small breeze stirs.
The statues perched on the dais are 2 gorgon guardians and the four statues perched in the alcoves are 4 gargoyle guardians. Apparent intruders and those whose names are not already in the guest book cause the gargoyles and gorgons to attack.
The iron cylinder and rod are a bell and clapper. If the bell is rung, Azarakhsh and Negeen will answer, accompanied by two earth elementals. If the PCs have no convincingly legitimate business with the dao, they will shut them out; if they prove hostile, they will forcibly remove them.
The doors are solid iron (20 feet wide, locked, DC 25 Dexterity check to pick lock, DC 25 Strength check to break) with two small shuttered and barred windows 8 feet up (DC 25 Strength check to bend bars; then DC 15 Dexterity check for medium creature to squeeze through).
Climbers may find tiny windows leading into the foyer 40 feet up (DC 15 Strength check to climb, DC 10 with secured rope, fall 10 to 40 feet on failure), if they can squeeze through (DC 15 Dexterity check for medium creatures to squeeze in), or the small rotunda windows (same DC), or the large mica windows into the garden (same DC), or the balcony of Negeen (DC 20 Strength check to climb, fall 10 to 80 feet on failure).
8100 xp (easy). Treasure: none.
Beyond the iron doors, yellow light streams in from behind you and from high windows to dimly illuminate a vaulted and columned cross-shaped hall. The walls and ceiling are covered in blue and white rhomboid tiles arranged in intricate repeating geometric patterns. The columns are made of polished blue marble, their capitals and pedestals carved from alabaster. The floor is sandstone, its polish worn and scoured apparently by heavy foot traffic. From the center of the vaulted ceiling hangs an unlit gilded candelabra adorned with large crystal shards. The north end of the hall leads to an arched iron door; the east and west ends are each occupied by large white marble sculpture of athletic humanoid figures, one male and one female. Beyond each statue is another arched iron door. Low stone benches line the walls, and a low stone desk lies not far from the entrance.
2 stone golem guardian (statue). 10800 xp (medium). Apparent intruders and those whose names are not in the guest book are subject to attack. Treasure: 4 scrolls of greater restoration inside the desk.