A12: When the Ship Goes Down

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Rybalkan-Peninsula-Overland-Map Map of Serpent Lake and Location of Rybalka  storm-giant-mapNOtags Players Map

Audio

Water Splashing

Sailboat Hoisting Sail

Ship: Below Deck

Blustery Wind

Serpent Lake

 

 

 

Adventure Background

Storm giants are impressive sights, their homes even more so. Huge structures that dominate the landscape wherever they are situated, or drifting edifices which draw the attention of all they pass over. One such floating home belongs to Tordon Raivota, a storm giant with a general interest in weather of all kinds, and a specific task placed upon him after generations of responsibility. He is as good as they come, with many feeling he must have celestial blood somewhere in his family tree, something that has never been confirmed or disproved but is true.

Tordon Raivota is the current steward of a legendary machine call the Tropospheroscope. This machine has the ability to create weather of any kind, at any time, in any place. The machine was actually built for a very particular purpose; to house and seal away a fragment of the Shard of the Sun, the bulk of which was halted above the planet's atmosphere. A small number of tiny slivers fell to the surface, one of which landed in Obor, the giant lands, just inside the border with Pradjna. It was recovered at the expense of many giant and gnome lives, as its blistering energy evaporated any creature that approached it without significant magical protection where it stood. Eventually, gnome ingenuity and deftness coupled with giant strength and constitution were able to trap the fragment in the Tropospheroscope, which was then secured in a floating housing and placed under the control of a family of storm giants, the Raivota clan. It was found that the energy of the fragment had to be released on a daily basis and that powering a machine which changed the weather was the best way to ensure nothing was heavily damaged by this release.

This was many years ago, so many that most folks have pretty much forgotten the real purpose of the floating island. It is just viewed as the legendary machine that can give you the weather you want if it needs to be changed. In fact, it was used so infrequently, and the Raivota clan had to release the weather changes away from civilisation so often, that the island often wasn't even seen for many months on end. Stewardship passed from generation to generation until it fell to Tordon.

However, Tordon was the caretaker of the Tropospheroscope when an unfortunate incident happened; he had an accident during a routine check of the machine and was killed. With no one to properly service the equipment or control the island, it floated around randomly, pushed by the unpredictable weather that it was producing. The island shifted away from Obor and into the mountains of Klavek. No one in isolationist Obor knew where it had gone.

During one violent storm over the Serpent Lake, the island hit a cliff and sheared off the bottom of its keel. This flipped the island over and further damaged the Tropospheroscope. Storms were produced on a daily basis, with the magical wards beginning to be warped by the natural strength of the fragment. The machine then began to be influenced by the powerful magic which kept the home afloat, changing the natural (if extreme) weather into arcane events. On top of all of this, the home was taken over by dragons. Which brings us to the present day.

 

Adventure Hook

It's been almost a month since a ship has been able to leave Rybalka because of the unseasonal weather. There hasn't been an arrival in that time either, so something must be wrong further up along the coast. Now, as the bursts of torrential rain and lightning ease and the gaps between the worst of the weather grow longer, a body has floated in on the current, attached to a pair of transport crates. The crew on shore recognise the man as a well-known captain, one who is a veteran of Serpent Lake and someone who knows - rather knew - his way around the waterways. Finding out who is responsible for his death would be a feather in your cap! 

Adventure Synopsis

Rybalka

The party steps out to the sounds of commotion -  something has been spotted floating towards the jetty. When it is pulled ashore, it is found to be Duglig Merimies, a captain of more than 25 years experience on Serpent Lake. His body is lashed to a pair of packing crates, traditionally seen on freight ships. The knots look self-tied, but it seems like the choice of buoyancy wasn't the best, as Merimies's head and feet have clearly suffered from being in the water.

 

Unfortunate delay

Captain Honamatros of the Vippalopare, the Klavek ship currently in dock, wants to sail out to find out what has happened to her fellow captain. She asks the party to join her, promising to care for all their sailing needs on the trip whilst pointing out that they will be the muscle; her crew are good for a short, sharp fight, but not experienced for anything more taxing.

However, the villagers in Rybalka aren't so keen to see the adventurers - and their protectors - leave. A group of stevedores goes to Rybalka's cathedral and stirs up the idea that the PCs are rather too keen to leave. Juriendor, the village's spiritual focus,  leads his flock down to the docks, and there can be a significant disagreement between the sailors and the congregation.

 

The Trail

As the Vippalopare finally sails away from Rybalka, it follows a trail of flotsam. Tracing a path back along it may help the PCs find out what has taken place. Another body is found, in a worse condition than the first one, as a result of both being in the water and other natural causes. Other items can be pulled from the lake.

 

The Whirlpool

During the second day of sailing back up the trade route, the PCs encounter a greater water elemental, which has collected much of the original wreckage. If the PCs take the fight to the elemental, if can either draw them under the surface or create a waterspout. Either way, Captain Honamatros has to retreat to protect her ship whilst battle ensues!

 

Former Friends

On the third day of sailing from Rybalka, the ship encounters former companion creatures of Tordon Raivota. The first is a roc that was injured in the original accident. If she can be calmed down and spoken with, she will help the party.

The second encounter is with a quartet of celestial sea cats; this group can sense the death of Raivota, but is unsure exactly what took place. If the PCs can talk with the sea cats,  they describe the scene of the accident well enough for the sailors to understand where to go.

Other encounters are possible; it is up to you as the GM to decide.

 

The Island Home

There are a number of encounters once the PCs reach the island crash site, not least finding it is upside down. There are new creatures and traps to overcome, and the PCs will find themselves battling through these trials to reach two dragons for what seems like the final showdown!

 

The Basements in the Air

But there is more after the dragons. Leading from the central lair is the first of the former basement levels. One contains shadow dragons, whilst the other holds the machine which is the engine of Raivota's floating home, his Tropospheroscope. This powerful item is now malfunctioning, but how do the PCs stop its magic from producing such violent events?

 

Raivota's Tropospheroscope

The PCs finally deal with both the machine that is cause the erratic weather and its former caretaker. Surely nothing more can happen?

 

Possible conclusions

This could be a tough adventure for the party; there's not that much to help them once they get into Raivota's former home and, although there are clues along the way, there are also some red herrings about what the PCs are likely to face. Whatever they are able to work out, the Tropospheroscope is an unpredictable machine, especially after a month without maintenance and being upside down.

The party could easily come to a sticky end through no fault of its own, just with "bad-luck" rolls; this isn't the intention, so there are some possible alternative ends to the adventure. Also, throughout the adventure there are ways to make each encounter more or less difficult, to make it a better fit for your party.

As GM, it's a task you face to entertain your players and give them the kind of game they want and deserve. Be creative with the tool you have here and enjoy the trip!

 

 

A New Day Begins

Day break

Rybalka's dock has almost become a ghost town because of the frequent yet unusual storms. There hasn't been an arrival in weeks, which means something must be wrong with the usual merchant service. Everyone is beginning to get tense, for various reasons; the mayor, Igor Leonid is concerned about the lack of supplies and new recruits to the village; Juriendor is beginning to think his gods are about to stir up trouble for the village; Fin Starling has had enough of the crew of the Vippalopare, the ship which has been forced to stay in dock for the whole time; the dockyard workers are short of anything to do and have had no pay for ten days now; the list goes on and on. For you, the frequent and regular thunder, lightning and torrential rains have kept you indoors, a situation which isn't ideal when you make your living from adventuring! But eventually the weather has been easing, at least comparatively, and you can venture out. Where's the best place to get the freshest air so early in the day? The lake front of course, so you head towards the docks. As dawn can come late to Rybalka, this isn't so strange.

 

If the players have played through A6 - Bear Trouble, they may well have their own base, which is the building immediately to the right of Bugg Inn (5). Otherwise they may be staying at Bugg Inn itself or possibly at the Thirsty Serpent tavern (3). Whatever the situation, let them tell you what they intend to do. However, the longer they take to reach the docks (between the Shipwrights' Guild (16) and the Fishermen's Consortium (8)) the more they will be able to hear the growing sound of a crowd. The PCs home is about 340 feet from where the crowd is gathered; its members are making quite a noise. At first, it is either DC29 OR 22 to hear the sound, depending on where the PCs stay, but this reduces as they get closer.

Skill Check

Listen/Perception DC 29

Success = As you step from your lodgings/Bugg Inn into the village, you can hear the sound of a crowd down towards the docks. The noise is getting louder, and not just because you are getting closer. Something is happening down there.

OR

Listen/Perception DC 22

Success = As you step from the Thirsty Serpent tavern into the village, you can hear the sound of a crowd down towards the docks. The noise is getting louder, and not just because you are getting closer. Something is happening down there.

This check reduces by 1 for every 10 feet the PCs get closer to the docks. As they move through the village, have them make various rolls to see if they pick up the noise. Eventually they will either hear the crowd or will catch snatches of an excited conversation about what is happening from passers-by.

The alternative to hearing the crowd is that once they round the corner near the Thirsty Serpent tavern, the PCs may possibly see people hurrying in the general direction of the docks.

Skill Check

Spot/Perception DC 18

Success = You see someone hurrying towards the docks, followed moments later by two others who are calling after the first. They seem excited as they head off down the road to the lake front.

If the players suggest the party go somewhere else, let one of the village guards burst in just as they get settled and ask that they come to the docks. If they hesitate, have the guard point out that the mayor himself has sent him to collect them. The mayor feels that, "It is the least you can do to come and give your professional opinion on what is going on down there."

Once the PCs get to the docks, they see plenty of activity. Three of the dock's stevedores are leaning from the main jetty with their long-handled cargo hooks, usually used to draw smaller casks and chests from the depths of holds, stretching towards two large packing crates that are floating within reach. The noise from the crowd includes phrases such as, "A body!" and, " Is it alive?"; advice like, "Pull it this way, we'll grab it!", "Mind the jetty edge, it could be fragile!" along with, "Don't touch it!" and doom-mongering such as "This looks like trouble!", "The gods weren't pleased with that one!" and various calls to protective deities.

Eventually the crates are snagged and dragged towards the dock. Any PC within a reasonable distance can make a Spot role to notice various things.

Skill Check

Spot/Perception DC 18

Success = You see an official Klavek monarchy stamp on each of the two crates. Both are faded and damaged, but at least this indicates they have come from a Klavek ship at some point

Spot/Perception DC 22

Success = The body on the crates is positioned so it is face upwards, with a securing knot on its chest. Anyone with skills points in a Profession which includes the use of ropes or the actual skill Use Rope will know that this is a standard way to secure yourself to a floating item if you are likely to fall asleep or unconscious.

As the stevedores lift the crates from the water, assisted by some of the crew of the Vippalopare, the ship currently in dock, the comments increase and a few people make signs to their favoured deity. As those who pulled the body and crates from the water step back, more can be seen.

Skill Check

Spot/Perception DC 18

Success = The crates are noticeably damaged; cracks and holes are in both of them and they look waterlogged, which may account for they way they sat so low in the water

Spot/Perception DC 25

Success = From this distance, the body doesn't look in good condition. As the crates floated so low, the head and feet must've been in the water, because the nose, ears, eyes and toes of the body are missing.

Because of the state of the body, most people will step back even further. This leaves room for the PCs to look more closely at it. They will be joined by Erfaren Honamatros, the captain of the Vippalopare. This more personal inspection may reveal further information.

Skill Check

Heal/Survival DC 15

Success = You find that the tongue is also missing. All these body parts seem to have been eaten away, as what look like teeth marks cover the extremities that have been in the water. There is a tattoo of a lake god on the neck.

Heal/Survival DC 18

Success = You see signs of hypothermia, around the remaining extremities of the body. The tattoo continues onto the chest and stomach of the man.

Heal/Survival DC 22

Success = You find signs of electrical burn marks, as if the body has been hit by lightning from one of the storms it must have floated through.

Whilst the PCs are inspecting the body, Erfaren Honamatros moves the head to one side to look more closely at the tattoo, before reaching into the pockets on the front on the man's clothes, searching rapidly and finally drawing out a small bone token. If the PCs question her at any stage, Honamatros pulls out a similar but different token and says;

"These tokens are given to each of us when we become captains and are replaced every five years. Me, I've been sailing for 15 years and have this, a shell fishhook. This man here has been sailing for more than 25 years; I know because he carries a bone fishhook token. And I know the tattoo as well; only one man has such a strong belief in gods of the lake to cover this much of himself. This is Duglig Merimies. Now what's a veteran like Merimies doing upside down on a leaky pair of Klavek cargo crates? He's sailed this route since the day the monarchy gave permission to deliver along the coastline. He's done it hundreds of times."


 

If the PCs want to find out more about Duglig Merimies, they can ask around and gather together various pieces of information from a variety of sources. Below are a few suggestions, some of which are true. Feel free to add any of your own from different places, but don't give too much away about the actual situation.

Skill Check

Gather Information (3.5E)/Diplomacy (Pathfinder) DC 10

Success = Mayor Leonid or sage Statel tell you that Merimies was the first captain to sail a supply vessel to Rybalka (TRUE),

Fin Starling tells you that Merimies's crew rarely visited the Thirsty Serpent bar (TRUE),

Juriendor tells you that the crew did visit the church more than most sailors (TRUE),

Anyone connected with the docks tells you Merimies insisted on a clean and efficient crew (TRUE) and that his ship was the Jarvikaveri (TRUE).

Gather Information (3.5E)/Diplomacy (Pathfinder) DC 18

Success = Mayor Leonid or sage Statel tell you that Merimies was trusted by the Mohkba officials more than almost any other captain (MOSTLY TRUE - There were suspicions about whether his greatest loyalties were with the Crown or the Church),

Fin Starling tells you that "one or two" of Merimies's crew did used to visit the gambling rooms of his tavern and had lost their entire pay on previous evenings (FALSE, in that there were several frequent gamblers and a very few drank without Merimies knowing) ,

Juriendor tells you that Merimies always asked for a personal meeting when he visited Rybalka (TRUE),

Anyone connected with the docks tells you Merimies only ever punished his crew members by getting them to convert and to then lead services to the gods of the lake (FALSE, in that he used other methods too, but those sailors never worked for him again and so no other methods were reported).

Gather Information (3.5E)/Diplomacy (Pathfinder) DC 25

Success = Mayor Leonid or sage Statel tell you that Merimies was actually beyond reproach and this event is unthinkable (The MAYOR thinks this is TRUE, the SAGE knows this to be FALSE and that Merimies had previously acted as a spy, barely escaping with his life on one mission far out at sea. Merimies had believed that he had been saved by the gods),

Fin Starling tells you that one or two of Merimies's crew had been heard talking about how they might make money from delivering small items without Merimies knowing (TRUE),

Juriendor tells you that Merimies had felt it important to donate much to the church (FALSE, in that Juriendor had managed to make Merimies feel guilty about his good fortune and religious protection and had constantly "persuaded" him to give more and more),

Anyone connected with the docks tells you that "they've heard" that Merimies wasn't above abandoning any crew member that didn't meet his standards at isolated outposts along the lake edge (FALSE, as he actually believed his crew came to him by divine guidance and did all he could to keep them unless they let him down, in which case he returned them to Mohkba.)

Anyone speaking with Erfaren Honamatros can get the information that Fin Starling knows for DC roles two higher and the TRUE information from the docks for DC roles two lower. However, if more than three questions are asked of her at this stage, she will clam up and redirect the conversation. Honamatros has her own suspicions, which she doesn't wish to share at this time.

Gather Information (3.5E)/Diplomacy (Pathfinder) DC 30

Success = Sage Statel tells you what he knows

As you can see, pretty much all of what is revealed doesn't actually tell the PCs anything about what has happened but will get them jumping to conclusions. Let them dig around as much as they like until they have a theory about what may have happened.

If your players are the type who prefer to get straight to the action rather than spend a long time on additional events, these Gather Information (3.5E)/Diplomacy (Pathfinder) skill checks can be completed as one roll. Then just move on to "The Journey" and have them set sail without any further delay.

Unfortunate delay

Although she may initially remain rather tight-lipped about her fellow captain, Erfaren Honamatros does actually want to find out what has happened to Duglig Merimies. A captain of such long-standing shouldn't have met such an end; not only did he deserve better, Honamatros can't imagine how Merimies got into the situation where he lost his entire ship and its crew. Something terrible must have taken place and Captain Honamatros wants to put as much right as she possible can.

Once the PCs have gathered what information they wish to, even if they have previously talked with Honamatros, the captain of the Vippalopare will approach them, offer an apology for her earlier brusque manner and then make them an offer. 

Conversation with Captain Honamatros

"Well, my friends, it seems you've been asking about my colleague Merimies. Ah, I know I gave you short shrift before and you didn't deserve it; I was shocked to see such a fine captain reduced to so much lake serpent bait. I'm saying sorry from the depths, indeed deeper than that, because I have a request; I'd like you to help me find out what actually happened. I intend to sail back along the trade route, to see if I can find out what claimed Merimies's ship and crew. His vessel, the Jarvikaveri, had crossed these waters for longer than most can remember; even he didn't actually know how old his ship was, as he claimed it after a battle."

"I'll be full-square with you all and admit I need you. My lads and lasses are fine on the water and few are better in a boat if the fight is short and sharp. But neither I nor anyone else knows what is out there and I need your experience and individual strengths. Other than evidence of what happened to Merimies, and enough food to get up back to  Mohkba, I want nothing from this trip. I'll even pay my crew out of my own money, which is only right when attempting to find out the fate of a friend. Everything we find will be yours, unless it is clearly Merimies's and should be returned to his family. I'll vouchsafe for you with the Mohkba port cargo authorities if we get that far. Otherwise I'll return you either here to Rybalka or wherever you wish along the shore. Can I count on you? It'll be a feat worthy of a tavern tale or two to rescue a sunken ship and reunite it with its former captain!"

 

If the PCs talk a little more with Captain Honamatros, she reveals one or two further pieces of information, which may help them corroborate what they already know or simply add to the mystery. This conversation will only work with diplomacy; Honamatros has had to stand up to plenty of intimidation in her time as a young female captain and not much fazes her now. She is still a little wary, mostly because she needs to know the PCs will support her, and this is reflected in the Diplomacy DCs

Skill Check

Diplomacy DC 15

Success = Duglig Merimies had been becoming increasingly reliant on his belief in the support of the Lake Gods, although whether he had their support was debatable. Despite this, his crew trusted him completely.

Diplomacy DC 19

Success = Merimies frequently tried to convert other captains to his beliefs, which irritated many and angered a few. He frequently complained to the Mohkba harbour-based clerics about the "lack of respect and reverence" of others.

Diplomacy DC 23

Success = Merimies had had a intense argument with a senior cleric of the God of War about how the Lake Gods were the ones who had allowed the Klavek navy to gain control of the Vikmordere ships, which had resulted in more than insults being exchanged. Senior clerics with great power aren't always keen on having the law laid down to them by those seemingly "less wise" than they. Merimies had never revealed who the cleric was.

With this additional information in place, the PCs can begin to prepare for the journey. Captain Honamatros is keen to get going and will instruct her team of sailors and handful of marines to get themselves and the Vippalopare ready as quickly as possible.

However, the villagers in Rybalka aren't so keen to see the adventurers, and main protectors, leave. Whilst the PCs' and crew's preparations for the journey are under way, a ceremony for the deceased Duglig Merimies is arranged. However, prior to this actually taking place, a  group of stevedores goes to Rybalka cathedral during a service and ferments the idea that the PCs are all too keen to leave. Juriendor leads his flock down to the docks and delivers a fiery sermon on the value of supporting and protecting those who need you most and the relative worthlessness of those who only pass through, after which there are some minor fisticuffs between the sailors and the congregation. This dock-side dispute, can, if handled badly, turn into a full-scale fight between believers in the God of War and edgy, experienced sailors. Eventually Juriendor and Captain Honamatros get to the bottom of the matter and both the sheepish congregation and crew members promise to make amends, the crew offering to act as assistants for the PCs during the journey whenever they can by way of apology. Details of this help are below.

Juriendor's Sermon

As you prepare for the journey, the sound of another crowd can be heard, again coming towards the docks. Periodically there is the blast of a war-horn, indicating that Juriendor and his congregation are approaching. Eventually the flock can be see, Juriendor at its head, with his priests and acolytes behind him, banners in hand, followed by about 30-35 people, many of whom you can recognise even from a distance. As the crowd reaches the dock area, a number of the burly stevedores appear from within it and beckon to their comrades to join them; some do, so don't, unsure of what is going on.

At the same time as this is happening, the crew and marines of the Vippalopare gradually knot together, forming a smaller crowd of their own, about 25 strong. They glance towards each other, then at Captain Honamatros, whose only comment at this stage is, "Hold steady! I'll not be starting anything against unarmed, church-going gentlefolk."

Someone in the crowd produces a large box and Juriendor, an impressive sight in his celestial armour and with his morningstar held above him, begins a blistering sermon against "interlopers and ne'er-do-wells", against those who bring unrest, disharmony and chaos to Rybalka, against people who "pick and choose when they wish to help those in need"; the crowd hangs on every word, the occasional roar or agreement coming from its mass. More people are joining it, until there are about 50 members, almost the whole of the available village. Those members of the village guard who are on duty appear, only to see some of their comrades in the crowd, so also hesitate.

Then it gets ugly.

Juriendor shouts, "You've heard from those who work these very docks that the people who live amongst us and claim to have our interests at heart," - the morningstar is pointed at you - "are happy to leave us at a moment's notice! Where is their dedication to duty? Where is their appreciation of all we have done for them? Gone! Turned to so much smoke on the breeze by the captain and crew of that vessel!" - the morningstar is swept over the sailors and Vippalopare in a grand gesture - "I say drive them back to where they came from! Into the lake with the lot of them!"

Another roar goes up and the mob moves forward. The members are clearly unarmed (and have in fact just come from a service, so no weapons were present) and are relying on numbers and passion. But a roused mob is a roused mob, and it begins to push and shove the crew of the Vippalopare back towards the edge of the dock.

 

Crowds

The dockside area becomes full of the two opposing crowds - Juriendor's congregation, with the rabble-rousing stevedores adding to the numbers in opposition to the crew and marines of the Vippalopare. In most cases, it isn't necessary to put every person on the map when a fight breaks out on quayside. Instead just indicate which squares on the map contain crowds. Usually the crowd will move at 30 feet per round, but if it see something obviously dangerous, they’ll move away at 40 feet per round at initiative count 0. The PCs don't count as dangerous due to Juriendor's speech about keeping them in Rybalka.

It takes 2 squares of movement to enter a square with crowds. The crowds provide cover for anyone who does so, enabling a Hide check and providing a bonus to Armor Class and on Reflex saves.

If you chose to use the "Swarm" variation below, the crowd can just move over the PCs and the PCs through the crowds without the extra movement requirement.

Directing Crowds (EL 8 for one crowd or 10 if both crowds involved)

It takes a DC 15 Diplomacy check or DC 20 Intimidate check to convince a crowd to move in a particular direction, and the crowd must be able to hear or see the character making the attempt. It takes a full-round action to make the Diplomacy check, but only a free action to make the Intimidate check.

If two or more characters are trying to direct a crowd in different directions, they make opposed Diplomacy or Intimidate checks to determine whom the crowd listens to. The crowd ignores everyone if none of the characters’ check results beat the DCs given above.

Although the crowds are of different sizes, the villages are less-used to this kind of event than the crew members, who have had to defend and account for themselves before. The size of one balances out the experience of the other.

Obviously, the leader of the congregation is Juriendor, and he will do all he can to sway his flock, directing it to surround the PCs and drag them back towards the cathedral whilst attempting to convince them to stay, as well as to push the crew of the Vippalopare either back onto its boat or into the lake, before setting the boat loose from the dock to be taken by the current. Juriendor will almost always use Diplomacy; despite being the high priest of a war god, he has never trained to intimidate anyone and will only use it as a tactic in the most dire of circumstances.

Juriendor (10th Level cleric):

Diplomacy: +16, Intimidate: +3 (untrained, Cha bonus only), Sense Motive +14

The crew of the Vippalopare can either be swayed by their captain, Erfaren Honamatros, or by the most diplomatic and/or intimidating member of the party. Captain Honamatros will be intent on pushing the congregation away from the ship and setting up a defensive cordon around the jetty it is attached to, as well as ensuring the PCs don't get caught up in a needless fight. She will use a mixture of the two as necessary; Diplomacy to move her crew forward, Intimidate to move the crowd back, with the players deciding which to use before each round. If a PC takes on this role instead of Captain Honamatros, they can do as they wish.

Erfaren Honamatros (7th Level expert):

Diplomacy: +12, Intimidate: +12, Sense Motive: +10

 

The mechanics are straightforward.

The GM rolls for Juriendor, the players for Honamatros or their chosen representative. If both succeed OR fail with their roles and the difference between scores is fewer than 10, the two mobs engage in pushing and shoving, with the odd punch or kick thrown in for good measure.

If both succeed or both fail but the difference between the totals is 10 or more, the person with the highest score is able to move the opposing crowd back 5 feet.

If one succeeds and the other doesn't, the relevant crowd is able to push the other back 10 feet.

The crew of the Vippalopare start just over 30 feet from the lake's edge. The congregation needs to be pushed back a little over 30 feet for a clear cordon to be set up. If either side achieves their aim of pushing the other back this distance, then the event is over. If the PCs give themselves up to Juriendor's flock, then the event is over as well.

For each round that passes, Juriendor and Captain Honamatros/the PC also make Sense Motive  rolls. Starting at DC 40 and reducing by 5 per round, each can see that other is only really defending their position rather than attacking the other. On any round that BOTH make a successful role, or after 8 rounds in any circumstances, the steam will go out of the melee and they will both wonder what they are doing. They will quickly converse, find out the whole event was stirred up by a third party and order their respective crowds to disperse. Both feeling rather sheepish, they make their peace, with hearty back-slaps accompanying this, before going their separate ways.

 

However, it is possible that a PC will want or feel the need to "get physical."

Each member of the congregation crowd is roughly CR 1/3 to CR 1/2, so they are never going to be much of a challenge to the PCs. The congregation as a whole can be made more of a challenge by thinking of them as a swarm. By using a swarm to represent everyone in the crowd, PCs will take automatic damage every round they are within the confines of it, which makes it certain for the mob to have some effect, at the same time as the GM keeping a control of the amount of damage it does by having the mob roll onwards when it has "done its job". As anyone who's been caught up in a rushing crowd or experienced a mosh pit will tell you, the amount of constant-but-minor damage you take makes for a noticeable experience.

Of course it also means the PCs might find themselves taking subdual damage from the crew of the Vippalopare as well, as it shifts about in its own "swarm" and moves over the PCs. As GM, you may call that the crew are friendly and don't damage the PCs, but treating it as another subdual damage-dealing swarm adds something to the encounter. The members of the crew and remaining stevedores are roughly CR 1/2 to CR 1 each.

Remember, the participants in the congregation are just venting some pent up anger and frustration. They don't mean to hurt anyone in any real way and are not aiming to do property damage. As a result, their attacks are nonlethal. However, if the PCs start dealing lethal damage, the congregation will get ugly. The swarm attack changes from nonlethal damage to standard. If this does happen, Juriendor will concentrate on healing member of the congregation who are injured whilst Captain Honamatros will call her crew back to the ship. The PCs will find themselves in the middle of a very angry congregation if they wildly strike out.

Congregation, Swarm (3.5)

3.5E, Congregation (Swarm)

Size/Type: Gargantuan Monstrous Humanoid (Males and females of mixed races)

Hit Dice: 32d4+32 (112 hp)

Initiative: +0

Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)

Armour Class: 12 (+2 leather), touch 8, flat-footed 12

Base Attack/Grapple: +28/+41

Attack: Swarm (5d6+1 nonlethal, slam plus tangle)

Full Attack: Swarm (5d6+1 nonlethal, slam plus tangle)

Space/Reach: 20 ft./20 ft.

Special Attacks: Distraction, tangle

Special Qualities: Swarm

Saves: Fort +23, Ref +25, Will +24

Abilities: Str 13, Dex 11, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 9, Cha 8

Skills: Bluff +17, Intimidate +17, Listen +16, Spot +16

Feats: Great Fortitude (x 6), Iron Will (x 2), Lightning Reflexes (x 3)

Environment: Any with significant humanoid numbers

Organisation: Solitary

Challenge Rating: 8

Treasure: None

Alignment: Neutral, but the members believe themselves to be Lawful Neutral at least, if not Lawful Good

Possessions: Leather armour, various everyday possessions

Swarm Traits: The Congregation has the following special qualities:

- The Congregation's hit dice type is based on the majority of its members (Commoners - d4)

-  In order to attack, the swarm moves into an opponent's space, this provokes an attack of opportunity.

-  The swarm can occupy the same space as a creature of any size, since it crawls all over its prey.

-  A swarm can move through squares occupied by enemies and vice versa without impediment, although the swarm provokes an attack of opportunity if it does so.

-  A swarm can move through cracks or holes large enough for its component creatures.

-  A swarm has no clear front or back and no discernible anatomy, so it is not subject to critical hits or flanking.

-  Reducing a swarm to 0 hit points or lower causes it to break up, though damage taken until that point does not degrade its ability to attack or resist attack.

-  Swarms are never staggered or reduced to a dying state by damage. In addition, they cannot be tripped, grappled, or bull rushed, and they cannot grapple an opponent.

-  A swarm is immune to any spell or effect that targets a specific number of creatures (including single-target spells such as disintegrate). Because the Congregation has no hive mind, mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects) are not exceptions to this rule.

- A swarm takes half again as much damage (+50%) from spells or effects that affect an area, such as splash weapons and many evocation spells.

Distraction (Ex): Any living creature vulnerable to a swarm's damage that begins its turn in one of the Congregation's squares is nauseated for 1 round; a Fortitude save (DC 20) negates the effect. Spellcasting or concentrating on spells within the area of a swarm requires a Concentration check (DC 20 + spell level). Using skills that involve patience and concentration requires a DC 20 Concentration check.

Tangle (Ex): The Congregation can make a grapple check against any creature Large or smaller and that is affected by its melee attack. This is a free action. If the swarm succeeds, then the target creature is grappled, while the swarm is not. The grappled creature must move with the swarm until it breaks free, which it can do with an opposed grapple check (the targeted creature may replace its grapple check with an Escape Artist check). If the grappled creature breaks free, it remains within the swarm but can move freely again.

Congregation, Swarm (Pathfinder)

CONGREGATION, SWARM CR ½

Fe/Male Human Commoner 1

Alignment Varied Medium Humanoid (Human)(Swarm)

Init +0; Senses Perception +3

 

DEFENSE

AC 10, touch 8, flat-footed 11 (-1 Dex, -5 Natural, +4 Size, +2 Leather)

hp 6 (1d8+1)

Fort +3, Ref +0, Will +3

 

OFFENSE

Spd 30 ft.

Melee Swarm 1d6

Space 30 ft. Reach 0 ft.

Special Attacks Distraction (Ex)

 

STATISTICS

Str 13, Dex 11, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 9, Cha 8

Base Atk +0; CMB +1; CMD 11

Feats Catch Off-Guard, Coordinated Maneuvers, Simple Weapon Proficiency - One: Unarmed Strike

Skills Acrobatics +0, Perception +4, Survival +1, Swim +4

Special Qualities Hive Mind (Ex), Swarm Traits

Crew, Swarm (3.5)

3.5E, Crew (Swarm)

Size/Type: Huge Monstrous Humanoid (Males and females, all humans)

Hit Dice: 16d6+32 (98 hp)

Initiative: +1

Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)

Armour Class: 14 (+3 studded leather, +1 Dex), touch 13, flat-footed 13

Base Attack/Grapple: +14/+24

Attack: Swarm (4d6+2 nonlethal, slam plus tangle)

Full Attack: Swarm (4d6+2 nonlethal, slam plus tangle)

Space/Reach: 15 ft./15 ft

Special Attacks: Distraction, tangle

Special Qualities: Swarm

Saves: Fort +15, Ref +13, Will +13

Abilities: Str 14, Dex 13, Con 15, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8

Skills: Bluff +9, Intimidate +9, Listen +10, Spot +10

Feats: Great Fortitude (x 4), Iron Will (x 1), Lightning Reflexes (x 1)

Environment: Any with significant humanoid numbers

Organisation: Solitary

Challenge Rating: 8

Treasure: None

Alignment: Neutral, but the members believe themselves to be Lawful Neutral

Possessions: Studded Leather armour, various sailing-based possessions

Swarm Traits: The Crew has the following special qualities:

- The Crew's hit dice type is based on the majority of its members (Sailing experts - d6)

-  In order to attack, the swarm moves into an opponent's space, this provokes an attack of opportunity.

-  The swarm can occupy the same space as a creature of any size, since it crawls all over its prey.

-  A swarm can move through squares occupied by enemies and vice versa without impediment, although the swarm provokes an attack of opportunity if it does so.

-  A swarm can move through cracks or holes large enough for its component creatures.

-  A swarm has no clear front or back and no discernible anatomy, so it is not subject to critical hits or flanking.

-  Reducing a swarm to 0 hit points or lower causes it to break up, though damage taken until that point does not degrade its ability to attack or resist attack.

-  Swarms are never staggered or reduced to a dying state by damage. In addition, they cannot be tripped, grappled, or bull rushed, and they cannot grapple an opponent.

-  A swarm is immune to any spell or effect that targets a specific number of creatures (including single-target spells such as disintegrate). Because the Crew has no hive mind, mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects) are not exceptions to this rule.

-  A swarm takes half again as much damage (+50%) from spells or effects that affect an area, such as splash weapons and many evocation spells.

Distraction (Ex): Any living creature vulnerable to a swarm's damage that begins its turn in one of the Crew's squares is nauseated for 1 round; a Fortitude save (DC 20) negates the effect. Spellcasting or concentrating on spells within the area of a swarm requires a Concentration check (DC 20 + spell level). Using skills that involve patience and concentration requires a DC 20 Concentration check.

Tangle (Ex): The Crew can make a grapple check against any creature Large or smaller and that is affected by its melee attack. This is a free action. If the swarm succeeds, then the target creature is grappled, while the swarm is not. The grappled creature must move with the swarm until it breaks free, which it can do with an opposed grapple check (the targeted creature may replace its grapple check with an Escape Artist check). If the grappled creature breaks free, it remains within the swarm but can move freely again.

Crew, Swarm (Pathfinder)

CREW, SWARM CR ½

Fe/Male Human Expert 1

Alignment Varied Medium Humanoid (Human)(Swarm)

Init +2; Senses Perception +5

 

DEFENSE

AC 14, touch 11, flat-footed 12 (+3 armor, +2 Dex, -5 Natural, +4 Size)

hp 7 (1d8+2)

Fort +4, Ref +2, Will +5

 

OFFENSE

Spd 30 ft.

Melee Swarm 1d6

Space 20 ft. Reach 0 ft.

Special Attacks Distraction (Ex)

 

STATISTICS

Str 13, Dex 14, Con 15, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8

Base Atk +0; CMB +1; CMD 13

Feats Great Fortitude, Iron Will

Skills Acrobatics +5, Bluff +0, Climb +0, Diplomacy +0, Escape Artist +1, Fly +1, Intimidate +3, Knowledge (Local) +4, Perception +5, Profession (Sailor) +5, Ride +1, Stealth +1, Swim +4

Gear Studded Leather

Special Qualities Hive Mind (Ex), Swarm Traits

 

Eventually the swarm of congregation members will reach zero hit points and disperse. Hopefully another solution will have been reached before this happens as it won't look good for the PCs to have around fifty injured locals.

Once the full story becomes clear, the crew offer to act as helpers for the PCs during the journey whenever they can, by way of an apology; this means that instead of just sailing the ship, PCs will be able to work with the crew to develop a rank in two of the following skills:

Balance (3.5E)/Acrobatics (Pathfinder)

Knowledge (geography)

Knowledge (local)

Perform (sing)

Profession (sailor) (2 ranks)

Spot (3.5E)/Perception (Pathfinder)

Swim

Use Rope (3.5E)/+1 to your CMB for tying knots and +1 to using a grappling hook and rope (Pathfinder).

They will also make sure none of the PCs' equipment is affected by water whilst everyone is on the boat.

Meanwhile, Juriendor makes good any damage with healing spells and gives the captain 4 potions of Cure Light Wounds and 2 of Cure Moderate Wounds to help on the journey.

Unless healed, the results of these events will be a reminder of the misunderstanding for days to come.

The Journey

The Trail

As the Vippalopare sails away from Rybalka, it becomes clear that there is a trail of flotsam to follow, one that is drifting on the traditional trade current. This current flows around Serpent Lake from the capital all the way to the final Klavekian outpost, Rybalka, and all the merchant ships use it. A very small number of random crates can be picked up from the lake's surface and the condition of both these and their contents offer some clues as to what has happened. During this day's sailing, another body is found, more mutilated than the first. What is left also shows signs of severe hypothermia and lightning burn marks.

Skill Check

Inspection of the crate with the body on reveals the following:

Spot/Perception DC 10

Success = This crate does not have the Klavek Monarchy mark on, meaning it was picked up during the journey.

 

Inspection of other crates found on the surface (roll twice, with a repeated result referring to the previous chance of success, e.g. two rolls of 18 gives you the crates for 18 and 15):

Search/Perception DC 12

Success = This crate has clearly been throw around or heavily buffeted at some stage.

Search/Perception DC 15

Success = If this crate is opened, a number of water-proofed leather sacks are inside. Most of the those against the sides of the crate are ruined, but a handful in the middle contain pickled vegetables and candied fruit, all of which have been over-cooked within their sacks.

Search/Perception DC 18

Success = A small cluster crates, all of which are smaller than the one with the body on, show signs of either burn holes through the sides and are empty.

Search/Perception DC 25

Success = A crate with another box inside is found. The box contains three cold iron daggers which are stuck to each other. If they are separated and placed on a flat surface up to six inches apart, they will move back towards each other and stick together again, as a lightning strike has made them magnetic. They are each worth 4 gp

 

Inspection of the body reveals the following:

Heal/Survival DC 10

Success = You find that all of the extremities of the body are missing, along with the legs to about 3 inches below the knees and arms to about the same distance below the elbows. All these body parts seem to have been eaten away, as what look like teeth marks cover the parts of the body that have been in contact with the water. The body is of a female.

Heal/Survival DC 15

Success = You see signs of hypothermia around the extremities of the body.

Heal/Survival DC 18

Success = You find signs of electrical burn marks, as if the body has been hit by lightning from one of the storms it must have floated through. You also find that there is a significant hole at the base of the skull and that part of the brain has been nibbled on.

Search/Perception DC 20

Success = The sailor still has her belt on. If this is removed, if is found to be two thin layers of leather rather than just one solid piece. Between these two layers are 4 thin, flexible sheets of silver, 1 inch by 4 inches in size. This is often a way of smuggling precious metal, or at least hiding it from others.

Alchemy/Appraise DC 20

Success = The silver is extremely pure, as if is has undergone some process to remove impurities and make it a better version of itself, perhaps involving changes in its state via exposure to some form of energy. There is about half a pound of silver here, which should be worth about 25 sp, but the sheets are probably worth 10 times that for magical or weaponsmithing purposes.

The Whirlpool (EL 9)

During the second day of sailing back up the trade route, the amount of debris picks up a little. Eventually a clear, steadily swirling eddy can be seen on the surface of the lake, and there is an increase in the amount of timber from the wrecked ship floating by. It turns out that the whirlpool is actually a greater water elemental, which has collected most of the wrecked ship and is sorting through the items to find anything of value. What it has found is stored in its vortex, which is creating the whirlpool down into the sea. If the PCs choose to fight the elemental, if can either draw them under the surface or create a waterspout. Either way, Captain Honamatros has to retreat to protect her ship whilst battle ensues!

(Change to a Huge elemental for EL 7, an Elder elemental for EL 11)

Water Elemental, Greater (3.5)

3.5E, Water Elemental, Greater

Size/Type: Huge Elemental (Water, Extraplanar)

Hit Dice: 21d8+105 (199 hp)

Initiative: +5

Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares), swim 120 ft.

Armour Class: 22 (-2 size, +5 Dex, +9 natural), touch 13, flat-footed 17

Base Attack/Grapple: +15/+31

Attack: Slam +21 melee (2d10+8)

Full Attack: 2 slams +21 melee (2d10+8)

Space/Reach: 15 ft./15 ft.

Special Attacks: Water mastery, drench, vortex

Special Qualities: Damage reduction 10/-, darkvision 60 ft., elemental traits

Saves: Fort +17, Ref +14, Will +9

Abilities: Str 26, Dex 20, Con 21, Int 8, Wis 11, Cha 11

Skills: Listen +14, Spot +14

Feats: Alertness, Cleave, Great Cleave, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Sunder, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack

Environment: Elemental Plane of Water

Organisation: Solitary

Challenge Rating: 9

Treasure: See text

Alignment: Chaotic Neutral

A water elemental can’t venture more than 180 feet from the body of water from which it was conjured.

Water elementals speak Aquan but rarely choose to do so.

Combat

A water elemental prefers to fight in a large body of water where it can disappear beneath the waves and suddenly swell up behind its opponents.

Water Mastery (Ex)

A water elemental gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls if both it and its opponent are touching water. If the opponent or the elemental is touching the ground, the elemental takes a -4 penalty on attack and damage rolls. (These modifiers are not included in the statistics block.)

A water elemental can be a serious threat to a ship that crosses its path. An elemental can easily overturn small craft (5 feet of length per Hit Die of the elemental) and stop larger vessels (10 feet long per HD). Even large ships (20 feet long per HD) can be slowed to half speed.

Drench (Ex)

The elemental’s touch puts out torches, campfires, exposed lanterns, and other open flames of nonmagical origin if these are of Large size or smaller. The creature can dispel magical fire it touches as dispel magic (caster level equals elemental’s HD).

Vortex (Su)

The elemental can transform itself into a whirlpool once every 10 minutes, provided it is underwater, and remain in that form for up to 1 round for every 2 HD it has. In vortex form, the elemental can move through the water or along the bottom at its swim speed. The vortex is 5 feet wide at the base, up to 30 feet wide at the top, and 10 feet or more tall, depending on the elemental’s size. The elemental controls the exact height, but it must be at least 10 feet.

The elemental’s movement while in vortex form does not provoke attacks of opportunity, even if the elemental enters the space another creature occupies. Another creature might be caught in the vortex if it touches or enters the vortex, or if the elemental moves into or through the creature’s space.

Creatures one or more size categories smaller than the elemental might take damage when caught in the vortex (see table for details) and may be swept up by it. An affected creature must succeed on a Reflex save when it comes into contact with the vortex or take the indicated damage. It must also succeed on a second Reflex save or be picked up bodily and held suspended in the powerful currents, automatically taking damage each round. An affected creature is allowed a Reflex save each round to escape the vortex. The creature still takes damage, but can leave if the save is successful. The DC for saves against the vortex’s effects varies with the elemental’s size. The save DC is Strength-based.

Creatures trapped in the vortex cannot move except to go where the elemental carries them or to escape the whirlwind. Creatures caught in the whirlwind can otherwise act normally, but must make a Concentration check (DC 10 + spell level) to cast a spell. Creatures caught in the whirlwind take a -4 penalty to Dexterity and a -2 penalty on attack rolls. The elemental can have only as many creatures trapped inside the vortex at one time as will fit inside the vortex’s volume.

The elemental can eject any carried creatures whenever it wishes, depositing them wherever the vortex happens to be. A summoned elemental always ejects trapped creatures before returning to its home plane.

If the vortex’s base touches the bottom, it creates a swirling cloud of debris. This cloud is centered on the elemental and has a diameter equal to half the vortex’s height. The cloud obscures all vision, including darkvision, beyond 5 feet. Creatures 5 feet away have concealment, while those farther away have total concealment.

Those caught in the cloud must make a Concentration check (DC 15 + spell level) to cast a spell.

An elemental in vortex form cannot make slam attacks and does not threaten the area around it.

Skills

A water elemental has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.

Water Elemental, Greater (Pathfinder)

Pathfinder Greater Water Elemental

CR9

XP 6,400
N Huge outsider (elemental, extraplanar, water)
Init
+5; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +16

DEFENSE

AC 23, touch 14, flat-footed 17 (+5 Dex, +1 dodge, +9 natural, –2 size)
hp
123 (13d10+52)
Fort
+12, Ref +15, Will +4
DR
10/—; Immune elemental traits

 OFFENSE

Speed 20 ft., swim 90 ft.
Melee
2 slams +20 (2d8+9)
Space
15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks
drench, vortex (DC 25, 10-60 ft.), water mastery

STATISTICS

Str 28, Dex 20, Con 19, Int 8, Wis 11, Cha 11
Base Atk
+13; CMB +24; CMD 40
Feats
Cleave, Dodge, Great Cleave, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Sunder, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack
Skills
 Acrobatics +18, escape Artist +20, Knowledge (planes) +12, Perception +16, Stealth +10, Swim +30
Languages
Aquan

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Drench (Ex)

The elemental's touch puts out non-magical flames of Large size or smaller. The creature can dispel magical fire it touches as dispel magic (caster level equals elemental's HD).

Vortex (Su)

A water elemental can create a whirlpool as a standard action, at will. This ability functions identically to the whirlwind special attack, but can only form underwater and cannot leave the water.

Water Mastery (Ex)

A water elemental gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls if both it and its opponent are touching water. If the opponent or the elemental is touching the ground, the elemental takes a –4 penalty on attack and damage rolls. These modifiers apply to bull rush and overrun maneuvers, whether the elemental is initiating or resisting these kinds of attacks.

ECOLOGY

Environment any (Plane of Water)
Organization
solitary, pair, or gang (3–8)
Treasure
none

Water elementals are patient, relentless creatures made of living fresh or salt water. They prefer to hide or drag their opponents into the water to gain an advantage.

As with other elementals, all water elementals have their own unique shapes and appearances. Most appear as wave-like creatures with vaguely humanoid faces and smaller wave “arms” to either side. Another common form is that of any aquatic creature, such as a shark or octopus, but made entirely out of water.

A greater water elemental is 36 feet long and weighs 21,000 pounds.

If the PCs defeat the elemental, a number of caskets and crates bob to the surface. These contain the items the creature thought worth keeping; the rest became the flotsam that the party and ship have followed. Each item is 10d4 feet away in a direction based on a clock face, with "12" facing north, so use a d12 to discover the direction.

Each item will only remain afloat for 2d4 rounds before disappearing below the waves, where it will sink at a rate of 10 feet per round. There are three caskets and three crates and as GM you need to secretly roll for how long each will stay afloat.

Print out or draw this table, then complete it as required.

ItemContentsDistance awayDirectionRounds afloat
 Casket 1Potion of Protection from Arrows (10/magic); Caster, 3rd Level; Potion of Remove Fear; Caster, 3rd Level; Potion of Tongues; Caster, 5th Level
 Casket 2Ring of Mind Shielding - Cursed, opposite effect, although the wearer has to be actively thinking something for it to be projected, e.g. when speaking, listening, searching, hiding, etc., not just background thoughts. Once worn, only a Remove Curse CL 10 will allow it to be removed.
 Casket 3A gem in the form of an eye, made up of a large pearl with an emerald embedded in it. The emerald has a small marble of black onyx flecked with white embedded in it. It is worth 2,000 gp to a mage or similar because of its workmanship and suitability as a spell component or piece of golem machinery OR 1,400 gp as a gem.
 Crate 1Light wooden shield +1; Wooden Half-Greaves of Longstriding
 Crate 2A Heavy Repeating Crossbow +1; 1 case of 5 Screaming bolts; 1 case of 5 Sleep bolts; 1 case of 5 alchemical silver bolts
 Crate 3Carved harp of bone and sinew from an unidentifiable creature, value 1,000 gp; a musical Contrabass Serpent, currently in two "S-shaped" pieces, each about 4 feet square, but made of the single, shaped ivory horn of an unknown sea creature, value 4,500 gp

 

New Magic Item

Wooden Half-Greaves of Longstriding

These wooden half-greaves fit snugly over the shins and permanently grant the same effect as the spell longstrider.

Faint transmutation; CL 3rd; Craft Wondrous Item, longstrider; Price 3,000 gp; weight 2 lb

 

Former Friends

On the third day of sailing from Rybalka, the ship and its complement will have two encounters with former companion creatures of Tordon Raivota. The first is his aerial mount, a snow roc named Pilvisepelsieppo. She was injured after the original accident by the two dragons, which she didn't see, and thought the effects of their magic to be the result of the further collapse of Raivota's home and contents. If she can be calmed down and spoken with, she will tell the party about the death of Raivota during  the original accident, about the additional damage to his home and a little about the machine that caused it, the Tropospheroscope.

Calming Down Pilvisepelsieppo the Snow Roc (EL 9)

The party will have 3 rounds to prepare once the snow roc first comes into view.

This is useful, as the situation is slightly different to the usual usage of Diplomacy, with repeat attempts possible as the snow roc flies overhead after each (probable) attack. Although she will engage with a ship carrying armed creatures, she will tend to try to snatch anyone either wielding a ranged weapon or firing magic into the air and just drop them 10d6+60 feet away from the ship from a height of no more than 10 feet.

Although there is no immediate indication that the snow roc intends to kill the PCs, Pilvisepelsieppo's initial attitude towards them is hostile. Any initial Diplomacy check that is attempted will be rushed, although the party will have those 3 rounds to prepare once she first comes into view. If everyone drops their weapons and all bar the steersman kneels down (or similar), her attitude instantly changes to unfriendly (this is still through distrust more than anything else), although any Diplomacy check at this stage will still be classed as rushed. The roc will attempt to snatch a sailor if her attitude remains at unfriendly or worse.

If she can be moved to indifferent by either of these checks, Pilvisepelsieppo will slowly circle and allow a third Diplomacy check. If she can be moved from indifferent to helpful, she will firstly rescue any snatched sailors or PCs and then explain what happened to Raivota's home. If her attitude is moved just to friendly, she will simply fly away.

Pilvisepelsieppo is speaking Auran if speak with animals is used. After a lifetime with Raivota, who raised her from a chick, she can also speak a form of pidgin Giant. She can make her point in this language, but it is very fractured and quite slow.

She will reveal:

"Tordon nest fly"

"Tordon sun burn"

"Tordon nest fall"

"No Tordon, nest snapped"

"Tordon sun now rain"

This is in pidgin Giant. If Speak with Animals is used, the sentences reveal more about the floating island and the accident. The snow roc will then return to the mountains and head towards Obor.

 

Snow Roc (3.5)

3.5E, Snow Roc

Size/Type: Gargantuan Animal (Cold)

Hit Dice: 18d8+126 (207 hp)

Initiative: +2

Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares), fly 80 ft. (average)

Armour Class: 17 (-4 size, +2 Dex, +9 natural), touch 8, flat-footed 15

Base Attack/Grapple: +13/+37

Attack: Talon +21 melee (2d6+12)

Full Attack: 2 talons +21 melee (2d6+12) and bite +19 melee (2d8+6)

Space/Reach: 20 ft./15 ft.

Special Attacks: -

Special Qualities: Immunity to cold, Low-light vision, Vulnerability to fire

Saves: Fort +18, Ref +13, Will +9

Abilities: Str 34, Dex 15, Con 24, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 11

Skills: Hide -3, Listen +10, Spot +14

Feats: Alertness, Flyby Attack, Iron Will, Multiattack, Power Attack, Snatch, Wingover

Environment: Cold mountains

Organisation: Solitary or pair

Challenge Rating: 9

Treasure: None

Alignment: Neutral Good

A snow roc’s plumage is either ice water blue or snow white from head to tail. These enormous creatures are 30 feet long from the beak to the base of the tail, with wingspans as wide as 80 feet. A roc weighs about 8,000 pounds.

Combat

A snow roc attacks from the air, swooping earthward to snatch prey in its powerful talons and carry it off for itself and its young to devour. A solitary snow roc is typically hunting and will attack any Medium or larger creature that appears edible. A mated pair of snow rocs attack in concert, fighting to the death to defend their nests or hatchlings.

Cold Subtype

A creature with the cold subtype has immunity to cold. It has vulnerability to fire, which means it takes half again as much (+50%) damage as normal from fire, regardless of whether a saving throw is allowed, or if the save is a success or failure.

Skills

Snow rocs have a +4 racial bonus on Spot checks.

Snow Roc (Pathfinder)

Pathfinder Snow Roc

CR 9

XP 6,400
N Gargantuan animal (Cold)
Init +6; Senses low-light vision; Perception +15

DEFENSE

AC 22, touch 8, flat-footed 20 (+2 Dex, +14 natural, –4 size)
hp 120 (16d8+48)
Fort +13, Ref +14, Will +8

Immune cold
Weaknesses
vulnerability to fire

OFFENSE

Speed 20 ft., fly 80 ft. (average)
Melee 2 talons +18 (2d6+9/19–20 plus grab), bite +17 (2d8+9)
Space 20 ft.; Reach 15 ft.

STATISTICS

Str 28, Dex 15, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 11
Base Atk +12; CMB +25 (+29 grapple); CMD 37
Feats Flyby Attack, Improved Critical (talons), Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Perception), Weapon Focus (talons)
Skills Fly +7, Perception +15

ECOLOGY

Environment cold mountains
Organization solitary or mated pair
Treasure none

Cold Subtype

A creature with the cold subtype has immunity to cold and vulnerability to fire. A creature with vulnerabilities takes half again as much damage (+50%) from a specific energy type, regardless of whether a saving throw is allowed or if the save is a success or failure.

Rocs are terrifying, legendary birds renowned for their ability to carry off elephants and other big animals. A typical roc is 30 feet long from beak to tail, with an 80-foot wingspan and weight of up to 8,000 pounds. While their beaks are hooked like an eagle's and designed for slashing and tearing, most rocs prefer to seize prey in their massive, clawed talons and drop them from great heights before feasting on the shattered remains. For this reason, they are often followed by flocks of scavengers like rooks, buzzards, and eagles hoping to steal portions of the roc's messy meals. The roc generally ignores such opportunists, but if the scavengers don't take care, they nevertheless may find themselves accidentally consumed by the feeding roc.

Rocs are equally comfortable over land and sea. While they are capable of sleeping in the air as they soar solo across great ranges in search of food, they generally return home to the mountains to roost and procreate. They prefer rocky crags that are completely inaccessible by terrestrial means, building vast nests of tree trunks and ruined masonry. Once a decade, a mated pair lays a clutch of 3–5 eggs and raises its young. Outside of mating, rocs are extremely antisocial, and may attack others of their kind in vicious aerial battles in order to establish their territorial boundaries. When a nest contains eggs or chicks, parents trade off in their long-ranging flights, with one restricting its wanderings to within a 10-mile radius of the nest.

Rocs are most commonly white but can be a number of different colors, from dark brown or gold to black or blood red. Their massive feathers are highly prized, and their eggs even more so. Due to their scarcity and the high risk involved in harvesting them, a single man-sized roc egg can net 4,000 gp if transported to market undamaged. A roc can be trained as well as any other animal, but its great size makes this a daunting task for most would-be trainers of human size. The same isn't true for giants—particularly cloud and storm giants, who often use trained rocs as guardians for their lairs. Rocs are even large enough to serve as mounts for the most prestigious of giants.

 

Encountering the Cats (EL 9)

The second encounter is with 4 celestial sea cats that used to dwell in the now-broken off portion of Tordon Raivota's home, which was a vast reservoir that helped power the Tropospheroscope. The sea cats enjoyed Raivota's company and the turbulent but exhilarating swimming conditions he supplied for them. They are not aware of the dragons as their home sank to great depths when it first broke off the floating island and it took some time for them to reach the surface.

With the death of Raivota, something they have sensed due to the celestial bond with him, they are unsure what to do, although they would like to know exactly what happened to him. They went to the wreckage of the crash once, saw no way to re-enter it or any signs of inhabitants, and came away. If they can be talked with, they can describe the scene; however, they are distrustful of all but the most virtuous of characters and will attempt to damage any boat approaching the crash site, so it can go no further. They will fight until 3 of them are close to death (lost three-quarters or more of their hit points), when all 4 will return to their celestial home.

(Change to 3 sea cats for EL 8, a small pride of 6 for EL 10 and a large pride of 8 for EL 11)

Celestial Sea Cat (3.5)

3.5E, Celestial Sea Cat

Size/Type: Large Magical Beast (Extraplanar)

Hit Dice: 6d10+18 (51 hp)

Initiative: +1

Speed: 10 ft. (2 squares), swim 40 ft.

Armour Class: 18 (-1 size, +1 Dex, +8 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 17

Base Attack/Grapple: +6/+14

Attack: Claw +9 melee (1d6+4)

Full Attack: 2 claws +9 melee (1d6+4) and bite +4 melee (1d8+2)

Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks: Rend 2d6+6, Smite Evil (once per day, +6 damage)

Special Qualities: Damage reduction 5/magic, Darkvision 60 ft., hold breath, low-light vision, Resistance 5 to Acid, Cold and Electricity, scent, Spell resistance 11

Saves: Fort +8, Ref +6, Will +6

Abilities: Str 19, Dex 12, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 10

Skills: Listen +8, Spot +7, Swim +12

Feats: Alertness, Endurance, Iron Will

Environment: Any aquatic (Good aligned plane)

Organisation: Solitary, pair, or pride (5-12)

Challenge Rating: 5

Treasure: None

Alignment: Neutral Good

A celestial sea cat's natural weapons are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

A typical celestial sea cat is 12 feet long and weighs 800 pounds. They are more regal and more beautiful than their earthly counterparts.

Celestial sea cats often come in metallic colours (usually silver, gold, or platinum). They can be mistaken for half-celestials, more powerful creatures that are created when a celestial mates with a non-celestial creature.

Combat

Celestial sea cats attack on sight, either for food or to defend their territory or companions, and use both claws and teeth to grab and rend their prey. They display tremendous courage, always fighting to the death, even against creatures many times their size. Pairs and prides of sea cats attack in concert, trying to wear the opponent down until one beast can dispatch it.

Hold Breath (Ex)

A celestial sea cat can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to 6 × its Constitution score before it risks drowning.

Rend (Ex)

A celestial sea cat that hits with both claw attacks latches onto the opponent’s body and tears the flesh. This automatically deals an extra 2d6+6 points of damage.

Skills

A celestial sea cat has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.

Celestial Sea Cat (Pathfinder)

Pathfinder Celestial Sea Cat

CR 5

XP 1,600
N Large magical beast (Extraplanar)
Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +11

DEFENSE

AC 17, touch 10, flat-footed 16 (+1 dex, +7 natural, -1 size)
hp 42 (5d10+15)
Fort +7, Ref +5, Will +4
Defensive Abilities aggressive, damage reduction 5/evil, energy resistance 10, Cold, Acid and Electricity, spell resistance 10

OFFENSE

Speed 10 ft., swim 40 ft.
Melee 2 claws +8 (1d6+4), bite +8 (1d8+4)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks rend (2 claws, 1d6+6), smite evil 1/day (adds Cha bonus to attack rolls and damage bonus equal to HD against evil foes; smite persists until the target is dead or the celestial creature rests)

STATISTICS

Str 19, Dex 12, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 10
Base Atk +5; CMB +10; CMD 21 (can’t be tripped)
Feats Alertness, Endurance, Iron Will
Skills Perception +11, Sense Motive +3, Swim +12
Languages none
SQ hold breath

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Aggressive (Ex)

The celestial sea cat gains a +4 racial bonus on checks to resist attempts to demoralise it.

Hold Breath (Ex)

A celestial sea cat can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to 6 x its Constitution modifier before it risks drowning.

ECOLOGY

Environment any seas and oceans
Organization solitary, pair or pride (5-12)
Treasure none

Celestial sea cats are large, aquatic predators also known as celestial sea lions for the ecological niche they occupy. They hunt the coastal areas of large seas and oceans, and lair in undersea caves or in half-submerged ship wrecks. Though their diet consists of fish and aquatic animals, celestial sea cats hunt and kill anything that enters their territory. As with terrestrial celestial lions, celestial sea cats maintain a territory into which they do not tolerate intrusion. Even creatures significantly larger are attacked if they trespass on a celestial sea cat’s domain.

Celestial sea cats are intelligent enough to cooperate when facing more powerful or more numerous foes. In combat they attack with both claws and bite, and attempt to drag weaker opponents underwater to drown them. celestial sea cats always fight to the death. They consider sharks to be competitors, particularly fiendish sharks, and attack and kill them without hesitation.

Occasionally, intelligent aquatic or semi-aquatic races strike bargains with celestial sea cats for use as guards and protectors. Celestial sea cats attack sahuagin on sight. An ancient enmity exists between the two races, and the sahuagin prevail only through greater intelligence and organization.

Females rule the celestial sea cat pride. The males hunt and guard the young. The pride’s alpha-female is usually an advanced creature of 7 to 9 Hit Dice. Huge celestial sea cats of 10 to 18 Hit Dice are true terrors, preying on entire ships.

On average, a celestial sea cat weighs 800 pounds and is 12 feet long.

If you wish for any other encounters, consider using these two. The elasmosaurus herd will move swiftly towards the boat as soon as it spots it, lunging down towards the deck trying to seize prey, whilst the orca pod will attack anything the size of a rowing boat or smaller that is sees in the water, rising up from below it to thrust it off the surface before throwing it to one side and landing on it. Having the PCs see the orcas attacking, sinking and eating another body might be an incentive for them to intervene.

Each group has the look of companion creatures, particularly the orcas, and a druid or ranger PC may try to talk with them as well. Both encounters are with simple, hungry predators.

Icewater Elasmosaurus, herd (3.5)

3.5E, Icewater Elasmosaurus herd (4) (EL 9) (change to 3 for EL 8, 6 for EL 10 and a full herd of 6 for EL 11)

Size/Type:Huge Animal (Cold)

Hit Dice: 10d8+66 (111 hp)

Initiative: +2

Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares), swim 50 ft.

Armour Class: 13 (-2 size, +2 Dex, +3 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 11

Base Attack/Grapple: +7/+23

Attack: Bite +13 melee (2d8+12)

Full Attack: Bite +13 melee (2d8+12)

Space/Reach: 15 ft./10 ft.

Special Attacks: -

Special Qualities: Cold subtype, low-light vision, scent

Saves: Fort +15, Ref +9 Will +4

Abilities: Str 26, Dex 14, Con 22, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 9

Skills: Hide -4*, Listen +4, Spot +9, Swim +16

Feats: Dodge, Great Fortitude,Toughness (x2)

Environment: Cold aquatic

Organisation: Solitary, pair, or herd (5-8)

Challenge Rating: 5

Treasure: None

Alignment: Neutral

Cold Subtype

A creature with the cold subtype has immunity to cold. It has vulnerability to fire, which means it takes half again as much (+50%) damage as normal from fire, regardless of whether a saving throw is allowed, or if the save is a success or failure.

Though it resides primarily in the water, an icewater elasmosaurus only breathes air. An icewater elasmosaurus has a total length of some 30 feet, including a tail half as long as its entire body, and weighs about 5,000 pounds. Observers who see only its head or tail might easily mistake it for a massive snake.

Combat

An icewater elasmosaurus is aggressive and attacks anything it notices. The creature is strong, fast, and highly maneuverable, able to turn quickly and lunge at prey. When hunting, it travels with its head out of the water, snapping down quickly to seize prey.

Skills

*An elasmosaurus has a +8 racial bonus on Hide checks in water.

Icewater Elasmosarus, mated pair (Pathfinder)

Pathfinder Icewater Elasmosarus CR 7 (mated pair) (EL 9)

XP 3,200
N Huge animal (Cold)
Init
+2; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +14

DEFENSE

AC 20, touch 11, flat-footed 17 (+2 Dex, +1 dodge, +9 natural, –2 size)
hp
105 (10d8+60)
Fort
+14, Ref +9, Will +6

OFFENSE

Speed 20 ft., swim 50 ft.
Melee
bite +13 (2d8+12)
Space
15 ft.; Reach 20 ft.

STATISTICS

Str 26, Dex 15, Con 20, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 9
Base Atk
+7; CMB +17; CMD 30 (34 vs. trip)
Feats
Dodge, Great Fortitude, Iron Will, Mobility, Toughness
Skills
Perception +14, Swim +16

ECOLOGY

Environment warm aquatic
Organization
solitary, pair, or school (3–6)
Treasure
none

The sleek elasmosaurus is a long-necked, aquatic reptile. Although not technically a dinosaur, they and their kind are often found hunting in oceans and lakes in areas where dinosaurs are more common. You can create statistics for smaller, similar aquatic reptiles (such as the pleisosaurus) by applying the young simple template to the statistics presented above. An elasmosaurus is 45 feet long and weighs 4,000 pounds.

Cold Subtype

A creature with the cold subtype has immunity to cold and vulnerability to fire. A creature with vulnerabilities takes half again as much damage (+50%) from a specific energy type, regardless of whether a saving throw is allowed or if the save is a success or failure.

Orca Pod (3.5)

3.5E, Orca pod (6) (EL 10) ( a mated pair is EL 7, a larger pod of 8 is EL 11)

Size/Type:Huge Animal

Hit Dice: 9d8+48 (88 hp)

Initiative: +2

Speed: Swim 50 ft. (10 squares)

Armour Class: 16 (-2 size, +2 Dex, +6 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 14

Base Attack/Grapple: +6/+22

Attack: Bite +12 melee (2d6+12)

Full Attack: Bite +12 melee (2d6+12)

Space/Reach: 15 ft./10 ft.

Special Attacks: -

Special Qualities: Blindsight 120 ft., cold subtype, hold breath, low-light vision

Saves: Fort +11, Ref +8 Will +5

Abilities: Str 27, Dex 15, Con 21, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 6

Skills: Listen +14*, Spot +14*, Swim +16

Feats: Alertness, Endurance, Run, Toughness

Environment: Cold aquatic

Organisation: Solitary or pod (6-11)

Challenge Rating: 5

Treasure: None

Alignment: Neutral

These ferocious creatures are about 30 feet long. They eat fish, squid, seals, and other whales.

Blindsight (Ex)

Whales can "see" by emitting high-frequency sounds, inaudible to most other creatures, that allow them to locate objects and creatures within 120 feet. A silence spell negates this and forces the whale to rely on its vision, which is approximately as good as a human’s.

Hold Breath (Ex)

A whale can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to 8 × its Constitution score before it risks drowning.

Skills

A whale has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line. *A whale has a +4 racial bonus on Spot and Listen checks. These bonuses are lost if its blindsight is negated.

Orca Pod (Pathfinder)

Pathfinder Orca Pod (6) (EL 10)

CR 5

XP 1,600
N Huge animal
Init +6; Senses blindsight 120 ft., low-light vision; Perception +19

DEFENSE

AC 16, touch 10, flat-footed 14 (+2 Dex, +6 natural, –2 size)
hp 67 (9d8+27)
Fort +9, Ref +8, Will +5

OFFENSE

Speed swim 80 ft.
Melee bite +13 (2d6+12)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 10 ft.

STATISTICS

Str 27, Dex 15, Con 16, Int 2, Wis 15, Cha 6
Base Atk +6; CMB +16; CMD 28
Feats Endurance, Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Perception, Swim), Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Perception +19, Swim +28; Racial Modifiers +8 Perception
SQ hold breath

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Hold Breath (Ex)

An orca can hold its breath for a number of minutes equal to 6 times its Constitution score before it risks drowning.

ECOLOGY

Environment cold oceans
Organization solitary, pair, or pod (3–20)
Treasure none

The orca, or “killer whale,” is actually the largest species of dolphin. Adult orcas are typically 15–25 feet long and weigh 8,000–12,000 pounds

 

If either of these encounters are used and the stomachs of the relevant creatures opened, the PCs will find the remains of a number of sailors. If you wish to reward the PCs, have one partially-digested hand be wearing a tarnished ring with a rune-engraved pearl set in it. When cleaned, the ring is found to be low-grade gold, although the pearl is better quality. Its jewellery value is 750 gp. A Knowledge (religion) DC 17 roll reveals the rune to be a protective one; the ring becomes a +2 Ring of Protection if worn by a humanoid with the aquatic sub-type OR the individual is a follower of a water deity of your choice. It will be worth up to 8,000 gp to either such creature or 10,000 gp if they are both aquatic and an appropriate follower.

The Island Home

Now that the PCs have reached the island, their troubles really begin. The first task will be to get into the home, as it is upside down, with the former upper living quarters now the ground floor whilst the original basements are now the first and second floor. What is now the ground floor contains seven rooms; one central octagon surrounded by six chambers which form an outer ring. The central room, formerly Raivota's living quarters, is now the lair of the dragons and can be entered at two points, although one of these is set with a fiendishly difficult trap. The outer ring houses their pet elektrohydra (in the former guest room) along with some mephits (in the storeroom/laboratory between the hall and the library), which have concluded such powerful creatures as the dragons must in fact be some kind of gift from the gods. The other four rooms (former hall, library, dining room and kitchen) are trapped with magical devices, but the current inhabitants haven't triggered them due to their understanding with the dragons, who have given advice on how to move through the rooms as and when the other creatures need to. Depending on what they do in the library, the PCs may well find themselves with an angry quartet of invisible servants to deal with.

The dragons aren't all that inventive and are living cautiously. They can't actually believe their luck at the moment, despite losing their brood; the home will be perfect for them if they can deal with the malfunctioning Tropospheroscope. Almost all of their hoard is now here, transported by them, the mephits, and their young before they died. From the PCs' point of view, they will find themselves battling through all of this to reach whatever is on the inside and the final showdown.

Sighting the floating island

As you continue to sail against the current, the crew working hard to keep the momentum going whilst you are free of bad weather, the near-silence is suddenly broken by a surprised cry from the look-out: "Land ahoy, Captain, but not anything I recall! Something new for us to investigate!" The captain quickly joins the look-out and scans the horizon in the direction the eagle-eyed man is pointing. You can't resist joining them, curious about the "Something new" comment. At first you see nothing; the look-out is obviously an expert at his job and even Captain Honamatros is struggling to catch a glimpse. But then it is clear that a rock, much taller than it is wide, is ahead of you, jutting out of the lake. From this distance, there also seems to be a cloud formation at the top of the island, something lower and darker than what is patchily covering the rest of the sky. The captain calls for a slower speed and the oars-crew reduces its stroke rate. The captain turns to you, a slightly puzzled look on her face, and says, "Well friends, I think this may be time to go to work. That rock or island or whatever it wasn't there when we last sailed to Rybalka and isn't something I've come across before. Best ready yourselves; I reckon we'll reach it in less than 30 minutes."

 

The PCs do indeed have about 30 minutes. Allow them to prepare, send out reconnaissance missions, cast divination spells or whatever else seems reasonable. After about 20 minutes, or if a character, familiar or spell goes to have a look and comes back to report, continue with the following description.

 

Approaching the floating island

As you get a better view of the mysterious island, an incredible sight becomes clear. The rock isn't actually in the water, it is floating in the air, the bottom of it some 25 feet above the surface of the lake. Even more curiously, it appears to be upside down, because if your eyes aren't mistaken, there is a worked structure at the base of the otherwise natural, rough-hewn edifice. It is also much clearer now that the top of this monolith is shrouded in a storm, whilst rocks seem to regularly and frequently fall from the sky. Reaching this floating island isn't going to be straightforward.

The island is roughly 240 feet in diameter/120 feet in radius, with the built structure approximately 180 feet from side to side, leaving a 30 feet wide "walkway" around it. The entire structure - natural rock and worked building - is between 400 and 450 fee high and bulges in the middle. The storm has a radius of 360 feet, which means it extends for 240 feet beyond the edge of the island in every direction. This means there is plenty of protection from the falling rocks and hail stones once the PCs are underneath the floating rock, although the lightning, thunder, wind and rain will still affect them, and they do have to get there in the first place.

As the PCs approach the edifice, the roiling cloud at its summit is found to be effectively two traps, although they are more like puzzles to bypass as they can be observed from a distance and plans put in place to avoid them.

The Storm of Vengeance works through the 10 rounds of effects and is then still and quiet for 10 rounds, other than the cloud remaining in place and standard rain falling. This reset period will give the PCs a window of opportunity to either move under the island or perhaps find a way to disable the trap. The falling rocks are continuous.

Remove the Extended Falling Block trap for lower level parties. Have the reset period be only 5 rounds for higher level parties.

Storm of Vengeance - 3.5E

Storm of Vengeance Trap

CR 10

Type:  Mechanical

Search/Perception: DC 34

Disable Device: DC 34

Trigger: Proximity trigger (alarm); automatic reset (20 rounds between full cycles)

Attack: Spell effect (storm of vengeance, 20th level caster, Fortitude or Reflex save DC 24 where appropriate), 360 ft., radius

This second "trap" is actually linked to the malfunctioning Tropospheroscope as well, although it is a by-product rather than a deliberate effect. Disabling the Storm of Vengeance trap will disable this effect at the same time. Every round, 1d4-2 rocks will fall either towards the boat the PCs are in, or the PCs themselves if flying or swimming. This continues until they are under the floating island.

Extended Falling Block Trap

CR 7

Type:  Mechanical

Search/Perception: DC 20

Disable Device: DC 34

Trigger: Proximity trigger (alarm); automatic reset

Attack: Atk +15 melee (3d6); multiple targets (can strike a character in randomly specified squares) 360 ft., radius less the 120 ft. radius under the floating island

Storm of Vengeance - Pathfinder

Storm of Vengeance CR 10

XP 9,600

Type magic; Perception DC 34; Disable Device DC 34

EFFECTS

Trigger location; Reset automatic (20 rounds between cycles)

Effect spell effect (permanent storm of vengeance [9th level, CL 20th]; DC 24 Fortitude or Reflex save negates where appropriate), multiple targets (all creatures within 360 feet).

This second "trap" is actually linked to the malfunctioning Tropospheroscope as well, although it is a by-product rather than a deliberate effect. Disabling the Storm of Vengeance trap will disable this effect at the same time. Every round, 1d4-2 rocks will fall either towards the boat the PCs are in, or the PCs themselves if flying or swimming, until they are under the floating island.

Extended Falling Block Trap CR 7

XP 3,200

Type mechanical;Perception DC 20; Disable Device DC 34

EFFECTS

Trigger location; Reset manual

Effect Atk +15 melee (5' stone block; 3d6); multiple targets (can strike a character in randomly specified squares) 360 ft., radius less the 120 ft. radius under the floating island.

This trap is the result of various pieces of the outer machinery from the wrecked Tropospheroscope and magically enhanced rocks from the partially damaged home of Raivota floating around in the air. There are about 50 pieces of the two types in total; damaging any of them removes them from the overall effect. Recognising various runes and sigils on the pieces, which link them together, is the result of the Search/Perception roll DC 34, whilst damaging pieces to ultimately render the trap inert is the result of the Disable Device rolls DC 34. Each time the DC is beaten, the difference between the total and the required check is the number of floating pieces made useless; once 34 pieces are disabled, the whole trap shuts down. Remember that the trap cycles through the 10 rounds of the spell after each 10-round automatic reset period. The floating island is not affected by any of the trap's effects as it is built to withstand much more extreme natural weather. Even the sound of the thunder and force of the wind is negated once Raivota's former home is entered. This is a magic effect of the home which will eventually disappear without Tordon Raivota maintaining it.

The falling rock trap is based on debris being drawn up from the top of the floating island and thrown through the air. The difference between the debris and the magically enhanced rocks can be spotted by noting the direction they are travelling; the magical rocks follow a near-horizontal path whilst the debris moves in a vertical trajectory. It is disabled in exactly the same way as the Storm of Vengeance trap.

Players Map - click to enlarge

Players Map - click to enlarge

The Basements in the Air

There is a lot to consider once the PCs reach the inverted floating island. Firstly, the PCs have to get into the place, only to find the ceilings are now the floors and the doorways are 15 feet up from where they stand. Leading from the central lair, which is now the lowest level, up through the space of what used to be a stairway going down, is the first of the former basement levels. When the dragons first arrived, they brought a number of their wyrmling off-spring with them and housed them in this upper aerie. However, a burst of the now-malfunctioning Tropospheroscope killed them all in a flash of sunlight; the heat and light from this event left nothing but the young dragons' imprints on the wall and they now haunt this area as shadow creatures.

Up from this level, previously in the second basement, is the machine which powered Raivota's floating home, his Tropospheroscope. This powerful item is now malfunctioning, although it is running out of controlled energy (the fragment itself will still have energy, but the machine will be unable to draw on it). It was the cause of the unseasonal storms,  amongst other freakish weather, and could easily be the parties biggest problem due to the immense energies it contains and barely controls. A version of Raivota is still trying to repair the machine.

Outer walls are doors are about 8 feet thick, inner walls and doors are 6 feet thick. When Tordon Raivota was alive, he kept all of the doors in excellent condition; despite the internal doors being double slabs of granite, each one 25 feet high, 10 feet wide and 6 feet thick, they opened as easily as if made of spider's web, with a Strength check DC 2. Even now the island is upside down, the workmanship involved means they still open with just a Strength check DC 8. They are all double hinged, so they can open in either direction. The outer doors are a little more challenging, as detailed below.


The Way In

The floor of the structure is between 20 and 30 feet from the surface of the sea, depending on the swell created by the storm. Although there will be violent rain and winds for much of the time, the island provides some protection from it, allowing the PCs to decide what to do without being completely washed or blown away.

The distance from the base of the built structure to the bottom of the doors is 20 feet, the height of the doors is 25 feet. They are stone, with large ring handles about half way up them; these rings would lie flat in recesses if the island was the right way up, but at the moment they have fallen forward and jut out horizontally. They are 12 feet from the natural stone above the PCs' heads. Each door is a single slab of hewn stone, about 25 feet wide, 30 feet high and a little over 8 feet thick. They are well-made and have hardness 8 and 1,440 hp. The break DC is 90, if any one asks.

There doesn't appear to be any other way into the built section of the island.

The doors are finely crafted, with scenes of storm, stone and cloud giants in discussion, competing at games, feasting and working together at magic, agriculture and architecture. There are no signs of conflict throughout this montage. These scenes are present on both sides of the door. The doors are trapped and barred on the inside. The trap is a minor one, as Raivota didn't get many attempts at theft on his island. One particular engraving shows a storm giant catching a bolt of lightning, in the same way other giants traditionally catch rocks. If the bolt is depressed, the trap is disarmed for two rounds.

If possible, have the roll made "in secret" by using a set of pre-rolled d20 scores. Add the PCs' skill ranks to a roll and casually mention the particular engraving if anyone beats the total. This can be used as a way to occasionally surprise the players and keep them on their toes.

Spot/Perception DC 25

Success = Storm Giant catching lightning noticed. If lightning depressed, trap is disarmed for 2 rounds

If a PC states s/he is actively studying the doors, a Search/Perception DC 22 does the same job.

Glyph of Warding (Blast) Trap

CR 6

Type:  Spell

Search/Perception: DC 28

Disable Device: DC 28

Trigger: Spell trigger (alarm); no reset

Attack: Spell effect (glyph of warding (blast); 16th-level cleric, 8d8 electricity; multiple targets (all targets within 5 ft.) DC 14 Reflex save half damage)

Glyph of Warding  Trap CR7

XP 3,200

Type magic; Perception DC 28; Disable Device DC 28

EFFECTS

Trigger spell; Reset none

Effect spell effect (glyph of warding (greater blast); 16th-level cleric, 8d8 electricity; multiple targets (all targets within 5 ft.) DC 14 Reflex save half damage)

 

The bar on the inside of the doors stretches across their entire width. It is 8 inches thick, hardness 8, has 120 hp and is break DC 31. Other than that, the bar has no special qualities. The sound of the stone bar falling on the stone floor echoes through the hallway, above even the noise of the storm somehow. It shatters on impact, making the floor area inside the doorway difficult terrain, 15 feet below the doors themselves and the area 10 feet from them.

 

The Hallway

Once the PCs are through the entry doors, they will close behind them in two rounds, even if spiked open in the usual way. They are much heavier than anything the PCs are likely to use to keep them open unless magic is involved, such as an Immovable Rod.

This was clearly an entrance hallway, although now it is a jumbled mess of 12 broken chairs, 6 tables, 4 display cabinets and 4 sofas. The items would've been of various sizes, mostly suitable for giants, but also ogre and medium humanoid size. The floor - formerly the ceiling - is also littered with pieces of glass and paper, making much of it difficult terrain. The going isn't helped by shards of stone if the bar was shattered.

Either side of the main doors and the door that is opposite the entrance way, a brazier is bolted. Each of these four is 8 feet in diameter and 12 feet tall. The remains of their previously-burning coals is also on the floor. Each of them is made of bronze and engraved with various images of efreeti. If the brazier is touched and a command word is spoken - polttopallo - a flaming sphere appears in the bottom of it. When the floating island was the correct way up, this sphere would be underneath the coals and would super-heat them for a minute. The coals would then warm the hallway for 4 hours. Each brazier could be used 3 times a day, although Raivota rarely had to do this as most of his guests didn't require the increased temperature. The braziers still work, but if the command word is uttered, the flaming spheres now fall to the floor and bounce 10 feet in a random direction (d8) for three rounds before resting in once place for the remaining 7 rounds of their duration.

Remember, the floor is 15 feet below the bottom of the doors.

New Magic Item

Brazier of Super-heating

These bronze braziers, on a command word, have a flaming sphere appear at the bottom of them which super-heats any coals placed on top of it for one minute. This allows the coals to warm a 40 ft. by 40 ft. room for 4 hours. The coals aren't used up by this magical heat. The brazier can be commanded to work three times a day.

Moderate transmutation; CL 10th; Craft Wondrous Item, flaming sphere; Price 21,600 gp plus the value of the brazier; weight 20 lb upwards

 

If the PCs search through the debris on the floor, they will find a guest book, which is about three feet by four feet in size. Attached to it is a writing instrument, about two feet long. Most of the pages of the book have been damaged in one way or the other, but anyone who spends 20 rounds looking through the remaining pages will see the name "Aani-Nako Korvat" appear several times. A successful Knowledge (local) or Knowledge (nobility and royalty) or anyone who can speak Giant will identify this person as the link between Obor - the giant land - and Klavek. It is more of a titular name than a real name, as it literally means "Voice, Eyes, Ears"

 

Skill Check

Knowledge (local) DC 30 OR Knowledge (nobility or royalty) DC 25

Success = recognising the name and realising Tordon Raivota had some very high-ranking friends.

Even in its severely damaged state, the guest book and writing instrument would be worth 1,000 gp to anyone with an interest in giant lore or history.

 

On each of the 4 walls that face into the hallway and don't have doors in them, a horn is attached, hanging down into the room from a secure hook. Each horn is about 18 feet from the floor. Each of the hooks-and-chains holding the horns is magically enhanced so that an activation word is required to get it to let the horn free. The invisible stalkers in the library have the words available in a small notebook. If checked, each horn, hook and chain radiates magic.

 

Horn 1 - Post Horn of Panic

This strange instrument is a twin post horn. If uncurled, the instrument would be about 15 feet long. It has one mouthpiece and two outlets. It acts as Drums of Panic when blown. All creatures within 120 feet (with the exception of those within a 20-foot-radius safe zone around the horn) are affected as by a fear spell (Will DC 16 partial). A Post Horn of Panic can be used once per day.

The hook-and-chain release word is "Janistaa"

Moderate necromancy; CL 7th; Craft Wondrous Item,fear; Price 30,000 gp; Weight 20 lb..

 

Horn 2 - Horn of the Tritons

This device is a 9 feet long, thin instrument made from the horn of what looks like a narwhal. It can be blown once per day except by a triton which can sound it three times per day. A horn of the tritons can perform any one of the following functions when blown.

  • Calm rough waters in a 1-mile radius. This effect dispels a summoned water elemental if it fails a DC 16 Will save.
  • Attract 5d4 Large sharks (01-30 on d%), 5d6 Medium sharks (31-80), or 1d10 sea cats (81-100) if the character is in a body of water in which such creatures dwell. The creatures are friendly and obey, to the best of their ability, the one who sounded the horn.
  • Causes aquatic creatures with Intelligence scores of 1 or 2 within 500 feet to become panicked as if they had been targeted by a fear spell (Will DC 16 partial). Those who successfully save are shaken for 3d6 rounds.

Any sounding of a horn of the tritons can be heard by all tritons within a 3-mile radius.

The hook-and-chain release word is "Lainemiehet"

Moderate conjuration and transmutation; CL 8th; Craft Wondrous Item, fear, summon monster V, control water, creator must be a triton or get construction aid from a triton; Price 15,100 gp; Weight 15 lb.

 

Horn 3 - Horn of Opening

A horn of opening is a hollow mithral tube about 10 foot long. When blown, it sends forth magical vibrations that cause locks, lids, doors, valves, and portals to open. The device functions against normal bars, shackles, chains, bolts, and so on. A horn of opening also automatically dispels a hold portal spell or even an arcane lock cast by a wizard of lower than 15th level.

The horn must be pointed at the item or gate to be loosed or opened (which must be visible and known to the user). The horn is then blown, a clear note sounds, and in 1 round the target lock is unlocked, the shackle is loosed, the secret door is opened, or the lid of the chest is lifted. Each sounding only opens one form of locking, so if a chest is chained, padlocked, locked, and arcane locked, it takes four uses of a horn of opening to get it open. A silence spell negates the power of the device. A brand-new horn can be used a total of 10 times before it cracks and becomes useless; this horn has 4 uses left.

The hook-and-chain release word is "Aukinainen"

Moderate transmutation; CL 11th; Craft Wondrous Item,knock; Price 3,000 gp; Weight 10 lb.

 

New Magic Item

Horn 4 - Bronze Horn of the Depths (EL 0 or 6-10)

This magic instrument is about 12 feet long with a single valve halfway along its length. It is made of bronze but is pitted with greenish water marks. It appears to be normal until someone speaks its command word, depresses the valve and blows the horn. Then the horn summons 2d4 kapoacinth to fight for the character who summoned them. The horn can be blown just once every seven days. In order to use the horn, the person blowing it needs to be proficient with all martial weapons or have bardic music ability. Any character who uses a bronze horn of the depths but doesn’t have the prerequisite is attacked by the kapoacinths she herself summoned.

Summoned kapoacinths are actual humanoids; they arrive as any kapoacinth would normally appear. If the person who blows the horn is chaotic, they attack anyone the possessor of the horn commands them to fight until they or their opponents are slain or until 1 hour has elapsed, whichever comes first. If the person who blows the horn is chaotic and they DON'T command the creatures, the kapoacinths attack any lawful creatures in the vicinity, starting with those whose alignment is diametrically opposite the user of the horn. This is because although they are usually Chaotic Evil, the summoned kapoacinths retain their chaotic nature but become Good, Neutral or Evil depending on the alignment of the person blowing the horn.

If the person blowing the horn is lawful, the summoned kapoacinths will attack them before moving on to other lawful creatures for one hour, which is the duration of the summoning.

The hook-and-chain release word and horn activation word is the same; "Syvyysasukas"

Strong conjuration; CL 13th; Craft Wondrous Item, summon monster VI; Price 50,000 gp; Weight 12 lb.

Gargoyle - Kapoacinth (3.5)

3.5E, Gargoyle - Kapoacinth  (2d4, EL 0 (0), EL 6 (2), 7 (3), 8 (4 or 5), 9 (6 or 7), 10 (8))

Size/Type:Medium Monstrous Humanoid (Aquatic)

Hit Dice: 4d8+19 (37 hp)

Initiative: +2

Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares), swim 60 ft.

Armour Class: 16 (+2 Dex, +4 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 14

Base Attack/Grapple: +4/+6

Attack:  Claw +6 melee (1d4+2)

Full Attack: 2 claws +6 melee (1d4+2) and bite +4 melee (1d6+1) and gore +4 melee (1d6+1)

Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks: -

Special Qualities: Damage reduction 10/magic, darkvision 60 ft., freeze

Saves: Fort +5, Ref +5 Will +4

Abilities: Str 15, Dex 14, Con 18, Int 6, Wis 11, Cha 7

Skills: Hide +7*, Listen +4, Spot +4

Feats: Multiattack, Toughness

Environment: Cold aquatic

Organisation: Solitary, pair, or wing (5-16)

Challenge Rating: 4

Treasure: None

Alignment: Usually chaotic evil (see text)

A gargoyle’s natural weapons are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Freeze (Ex)

A gargoyle can hold itself so still it appears to be a statue. An observer must succeed on a DC 20 Spot check to notice the gargoyle is really alive.

Skills

Gargoyles have a +2 racial bonus on Hide, Listen, and Spot checks. *The Hide bonus increases by +8 when a gargoyle is concealed against a background of stone.

These cousins of the gargoyle have the aquatic subtype. They have a base land speed of 40 feet and a swim speed of 60 feet (no fly speed) and are found only in aquatic environments.

Kapoacinth (Pathfinder)

Kapoacinth CR 4

XP 1,200
CE Medium monstrous humanoid (earth, aquatic)
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +5

DEFENSE

AC 16, touch 12, flat-footed 14 (+2 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 42 (5d10+15)
Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +4
DR 10/magic

OFFENSE

Speed 40 ft., swim 60 ft.
Melee 2 claws +7 (1d6+2), bite +7 (1d4+2), gore +7 (1d4+2)

STATISTICS

Str 15, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 6, Wis 11, Cha 7
Base Atk +5; CMB +7; CMD 19
Feats Hover, Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Fly)
Skills Fly +12, Perception +5, Stealth +11 (+17 in stony areas); Racial Modifiers +2 Stealth (+6 in stony environs)
Languages Common, Terran
SQ freeze

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Freeze (Ex)

A gargoyle can hold itself so still it appears to be a statue. A gargoyle that uses freeze can take 20 on its Stealth check to hide in plain sight as a stone statue.

ECOLOGY

Environment aquatic (any), ocean/sea, or coastline
Organization school (3-12)
Treasure standard

One unusual variant of gargoyle dwells not amid buildings and ruins but under the waves of the sea. These creatures are known as kapoacinths—they have the same basic statistics as normal gargoyles, save that they have the aquatic subtype and their wings grant them a swim speed of 60 feet (but are useless for actual flight).

Kapoacinths dwell in shallow, coastal regions where they can shamble up from the surf to prey on those that reside there. They are more likely to form wings, as kapoacinths prefer group living to a solitary lifestyle.

The way out of the room opposite the main doors is fiendishly trapped; it has been set up as a significant deterrent for would-be thieves and interlopers who managed to get this far. There is an engraving in a circle around the handles and keyhole which says:

"It is not what you can see and feel that will kill, it is what you can neither see nor feel."

It is avoided by the dragons at all costs. Surprisingly, the door can be opened from the other side with no ill effects, but the dragons haven't discovered this yet.

Any attempt to open these doors activates 2 effects in quick succession. They happen so quickly that you'd miss them if you blinked.

Firstly, a gelatinous cubes appear in front of each of the doors, half way up them, so the base of a cube is about 7 feet from the ceiling/former floor; the cubes and the doors are each 10 feet wide.

Secondly, a forcecage surrounds each of the gelatinous cubes. Each forcecage fits precisely around the cube and, because it doesn't move, holds the gelatinous cube and anything trapped in it in place.

The gelatinous cube and forcecage stay in place for 15 rounds, then disappear, leaving behind any person who was unfortunately caught after they have taken 15d6 damage. If the trap fails to catch any one when it activates, it disappears and reactivates one round later; it does this until it catches someone or 10 rounds have passed.

If the trap is disabled, it automatically resets after two rounds. The PC who undertakes the disabling will notice the rotating reset wheel whirr into action as soon as they complete the task, giving them a clue. If PCs disable the trap and attempt to open the door, they find it is locked and barred on the other side. The bar is the same as the one on the door into the home and the details are at the end of the entry for this room.

(Reduce the time in the cube by 5 rounds for lower level parties - this is still meant to be a deadly trap, however)

Forcecage and Gelatinous Cube Trap - Prison of Paralysis

CR 10

Type:  Magic device

Search/Perception: DC 32

Disable Device: DC 32

Trigger: Proximity trigger (alarm); automatic reset

Attack: Multiple traps (one forcecage trap and one Summon monster IV trap that summons a gelatinous cube); spell effect (forcecage, 15th-level wizard), spell effect (summon monster IV, 15th-level wizard, gelatinous cube)

 

Prison of Paralysis CR 11

XP 12,800

Type magic; Perception DC 32; Disable Device DC 32

EFFECTS

Trigger Proximity (alarm); Reset automatic

Effect spell effects (forcecage, windowless cell, DC 20 Reflex save or be trapped inside for 10 rounds), one summon monster IV spell to summon a gelatinous cube that attacks anyone inside the cage for 15 rounds (Atk automatic [1d6 acid]); multiple targets (all targets in a 10-ft. cube)

 

Gelatinous Cube (3.5)

3.5E, Gelatinous Cube

Size/Type: Large Ooze

Hit Dice: 4d10+32 (54 hp)

Initiative: -5

Speed: 15 ft. (3 squares)

Armour Class: 4 (-1 size, -5 Dex), touch 4, flat-footed 4

Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+7

Attack:  Slam +2 melee (1d6 plus 1d6 acid)

Full Attack: Slam +2 melee (1d6 plus 1d6 acid)

Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks: Acid, engulf, paralysis

Special Qualities: Blindsight 60 ft., immunity to electricity, ooze traits, transparent

Saves: Fort +9, Ref -4 Will -4

Abilities: Str 10, Dex 1, Con 26, Int 0, Wis 1, Cha 1

Skills: -

Feats: -

Environment: Underground

Organisation: Solitary

Challenge Rating: 3

Treasure: None

Alignment: Always neutral

The nearly transparent gelatinous cube travels slowly along dungeon corridors and cave floors, absorbing carrion, creatures, and trash. Inorganic material remains trapped and visible inside the cube’s body.

A typical gelatinous cube is 10 feet on a side and weighs about 15,000 pounds, though much larger specimens are not unknown.

Combat

A gelatinous cube attacks by slamming its body into its prey. It is capable of lashing out with a pseudopod, but usually engulfs foes.

Acid (Ex)

A gelatinous cube’s acid does not harm metal or stone.

Engulf (Ex)

Although it moves slowly, a gelatinous cube can simply mow down Large or smaller creatures as a standard action. It cannot make a slam attack during a round in which it engulfs. The gelatinous cube merely has to move over the opponents, affecting as many as it can cover. Opponents can make opportunity attacks against the cube, but if they do so they are not entitled to a saving throw. Those who do not attempt attacks of opportunity must succeed on a DC 13 reflex save or be engulfed; on a success, they are pushed back or aside (opponent’s choice) as the cube moves forward. Engulfed creatures are subject to the cube’s paralysis and acid, and are considered to be grappled and trapped within its body. The save DC is Strength-based and includes a +1 racial bonus.

Paralysis (Ex)

A gelatinous cube secretes an anesthetizing slime. A target hit by a cube’s melee or engulf attack must succeed on a DC 20Fortitude save or be paralyzed for 3d6 rounds. The cube can automatically engulf a paralyzed opponent. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Transparent (Ex)

Gelatinous cubes are hard to see, even under ideal conditions, and it takes a DC 15 Spot check to notice one. Creatures who fail to notice a cube and walk into it are automatically engulfed.

Gelatinous Cube (Pathfinder)

Ooze (Gelatinous Cube) CR 3

XP 800
N Large ooze
Init –5; Senses blindsight 60 ft.; Perception –5

DEFENSE

AC 4, touch 4, flat-footed 4 (–5 Dex, –1 size)
hp 50 (4d8+32)
Fort +9, Ref –4, Will –4
Immune electricity, ooze traits

OFFENSE

Speed 15 ft.
Melee slam +2 (1d6 plus 1d6 acid)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks engulf, paralysis

STATISTICS

Str 10, Dex 1, Con 26, Int —, Wis 1, Cha 1
Base Atk +3; CMB +4; CMD 9 (can't be tripped)
SQ transparent

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Acid (Ex)

A gelatinous cube's acid does not harm metal or stone.

Engulf (Ex)

Although it moves slowly, a gelatinous cube can simply engulf Large or smaller creatures in its path as a standard action. It cannot make a slam attack during a round in which it engulfs. The gelatinous cube merely has to move over the opponents, affecting as many as it can cover. Opponents can make attacks of opportunity against the cube, but if they do so they are not entitled to a saving throw. Those who do not attempt attacks of opportunity can attempt a DC 12 Reflex save to avoid being engulfed—on a success, they are pushed back or aside (opponent's choice) as the cube moves forward. Engulfed creatures are subject to the cube's paralysis and acid, gain the pinned condition, are in danger of suffocating, and are trapped within its body until they are no longer pinned. The save DC is Strength-based.

Paralysis (Ex)

A gelatinous cube secretes an anesthetizing slime. A target hit by a cube's melee or engulf attack must succeed on a DC 20 Fortitude save or be paralyzed for 3d6 rounds. The cube can automatically engulf a paralyzed opponent. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Transparent (Ex)

Due to its lack of coloration, a gelatinous cube is difficult to discern. A DC 15 Perception check is required to notice a motionless gelatinous cube. Any creature that fails to notice a gelatinous cube and walks into it is automatically engulfed.

Open Locks DC 30

Success = door is now unlocked

The bar on the inside of the doors stretches across their entire width. It is 8 inches thick, hardness 8, has 120 hp and is break DC 31. Other than that, the bar has no special qualities. The sound of the stone bar falling on the stone floor echoes through the hallway, above even the noise of the storm somehow. It shatters on impact, making the floor area inside the doorway difficult terrain, as ever being 15 feet below the doors themselves and the area 10 feet from them.

 

The doors in the south-western wall are locked and have three padlocked chains running through the circular handles on the other side of them. The doors require an Open Locks DC 28 check whilst each of the chained padlocks is Open Locks DC 25. If the chains have been opened via magic from here, they will be on the floor below the doors in the next room and two of the heads of the elektrohydra will be sniffing them.

The doors in the north-western wall are unlocked.

The Destroyed Storeroom and Makeshift Laboratory

This room is now the aerie to a number of lightning mephits. The floor is the usual distance below the doors into and out of the room. Tordon Raivota spent much of his time looking at the effects of energy sources on mundane and everyday object. Very occasionally , a magic item came out of these experiment, but only occasionally. Two such items are in the room, both cursed, and the dragons have chosen to leave them here.

The floor in this area is a total wreck, difficult terrain made up of half a dozen table, shelves, book and display cases, glass from a hundred items, pottery from a thousand, pools of chemicals and substances that are a complete mystery, pages from note books that have large handwriting through out them; imagine someone has taken the chemistry, physics and biology labs from a school or college, crammed them into one room and then shaken it as hard as they could. That is the scene in front of the PCs.

Several shelves are still attached to the walls, 10 in total, and many of them support the nest of a Lightning Mephit. This mob of creatures thoroughly believes that the dragons are at the very least representatives of the gods of lightning and may possibly be on the way to becoming deities in their own right. They have trailed after the female dragon for the last 50 years or so and have seen her relationship with the young male grow over the last decade. They can tell that this young male is something special, which indeed he is, so are fiercely defensive of the pair.

The mephits have reveled in the company of the dragons and have grown from the experience, both in strength and cunning. They regularly let themselves be used for aerial target practice with the dragons, actually benefiting from the lightning strikes they receive. In return, they have become swifter and more dexterous and rapidly fly around the much stronger dragons to test their ability to get through the heavy defences of a tougher opponent, at the same time as allowing the dragons to become better able to deal with more agile foes. It is truly a relationship of mutual benefits.

Each has collected a few shiny, sharp or interesting objects for its nest. Of course, the dragons have taken anything of any real value. The contents of the nests are as follows:

Nest 1

Three pieces of green glass which make up a 4" by 4" square; the blade of a silver dagger; a 1 gp green spinel; a page with half the instructions for brewing a potion of flying.

Nest 2

Two lumps of pink coral which have somehow retained their colour; some purple feathers from a set of masterwork crossbow bolts; 6 cp; a picture of a behir on which the mephit has written "Princess" in Auran and is very possessive about. (+1 to hit, +1 damage, -1 AC for two rounds vs. anyone who touches the picture)

Nest 3

A complete masterwork alchemy flask in a dozen pieces (could be repaired); a handful of pages from a travel journal about northern Obor; a left hand leather gauntlet scarred by lightning; a tiny 3 gp diamond.

Nest 4

A ball of string that is made up of intertwined red, blue and yellow threads; a 1" by 3" piece of jade worth 4 gp; two pages with the full instructions for brewing a potion of resist energy; 1 gp that is actually iron pyrite and worth 1 cp.

Nest 5

A set of five stirring utensils made from lead; 4 sp; the hilt from a short sword made from a single piece of bone; the wire holding frame and handle from a lens of detection.

Nest 6

A book cover made from yeti hide; the metal tips from four javelins; three chips of ruby work 5 sp in total; a small cloth bag with two pinches of dust of sneezing and choking (the dragons know this is here, but have chosen to ignore it).

The mob works in three pairs, each pair flanking an opponent whenever possible. They make good use of the 3-D nature of aerial combat. Once a creature is down, they will swiftly move on to the next foe. If it comes to such an extreme, they will hurl the sharp items from their nests and treat them like poor quality throwing daggers, doing 1d2 hp of damage.

Lightning Mephit (3.5)

New Monster

3.5E, Lightning Mephit (grown to 6 HD) (Mob of 6) EL 9 (change to 4 for EL 8, and to  a mob of 8 for EL 10)

Size/Type: Small Outsider (Air, Electricity, Extraplanar)

Hit Dice: 6d8 (27 hp)

Initiative: +8

Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares), fly 60 ft. (perfect)

Armour Class: 18 (+1 size, +4 Dex, +3 natural), touch 15, flat-footed 14

Base Attack/Grapple: +6/+2

Attack:  Claw +7 melee (1d3)

Full Attack: 2 claws +7 melee (1d3)

Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks: Breath weapon, spell-like abilities, summon mephit

Special Qualities: Damage reduction 5/magic, darkvision 60 ft., fast healing 2, immunity to electricity, vulnerability to water

Saves: Fort +5, Ref +9 Will +5

Abilities: Str 10, Dex 18, Con 10, Int 6, Wis 11, Cha 15

Skills: Bluff +10, Escape Artist +12, Hide +16, Diplomacy +6, Disguise +2 (+4 acting), Intimidate +6, Listen +8, Move Silently +12, Spot +8, Use Rope +6 (+8 with bindings)

Feats: Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Initiative

Environment: Elemental Plane of Air, Quasi-Elemental Plane of Lightning

Organisation: Solitary (1), gang (2-4 mephits of mixed types), or mob (5-12 mephits of mixed types)

Challenge Rating: 4

Treasure: Standard

Alignment: Usually neutral

Advancement: : 3-5 HD (Small); 7-9 HD (Medium)

Level Adjustment: +3 (cohort)

Lightning mephits come from the Elemental Plane of Air and the Quasi-Elemental Plane of Lightning.

Lightning mephits have a sparky, bright demeanor. Each one is about 4 feet tall and weighs about 1 pound.

Lightning mephits speak Common and Auran.

Combat

All mephits fight by biting and clawing or by using a breath weapon, the nature and effects of which vary from creature to creature.

A mephit’s natural weapons are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Breath Weapon (Su)

10-foot cone of lightning, damage 1d4 electricity, Reflex DC 12 half. Living creatures that fail their saves are tormented by minor aftershocks that inhibit co-ordination and cause jerky movements unless they have immunity to electricity or are otherwise protected. This effect imposes a -4 penalty to AC and a -2 penalty on attack for 3 rounds. The save DC is Constitution-based and includes a +1 racial bonus.

Spell-like Abilities

1/hour—shocking grasp (caster level 3rd); 1/day—lightning bolt (DC 15, caster level 6th). The save DC is Charisma-based.

Fast Healing

A lightning mephit heals only if exposed electricity (whether natural, such as an electrical storm, or magical, such as its own shocking grasp or lightning bolt spell-like ability).

Lightning Mephit (Pathfinder)

Lightning Mephit CR4 (Mob of 6)

XP 1,200
N Medium outsider (air, electricity, extraplanar)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +7

DEFENSE

AC 18, touch 15, flat-footed 14 (+3 Dex, +1 size, +1 dodge, +3 natural)
hp 26 (4d10+4); fast healing 2
Fort +2, Ref +7, Will +4
DR 5/magic; Immune electricity
Weaknesses vulnerability to water

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft., fly 60 ft. (perfect)
Melee 2 claw +4 (1d4 plus 1d4 electricity)
Special Attacks breath weapon (15-foot cone of lightning, DC 13 for half, 1d8 electricity)
Spell-like Abilities (CL 6th)

1/hour--shocking grasp
1/day--lightning bolt, summon (level 2, lightning mephit 25%)

STATISTICS

Str 10, Dex 17, Con 12, Int 6, Wis 11, Cha 15
Base Atk +4; CMB +4; CMD 17
Feats Dodge, Improved Initiative
Skills Bluff +7, Diplomacy +6, Disguise +6, Escape Artist +6, Fly +14, Intimidate +6, Perception +7, Stealth +9
Languages Auran, Common

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Breath Weapon (Su)

15-foot cone of lightning, damage 1d8 electricity, Reflex DC 13 half. The save DC is Constitution-based and includes a +1racial bonus. Creatures wearing metal armor take an extra +2 points of damage from a lightning mephit's breath weapon.

Fast Healing (Ex)

A lightning mephit heals only if exposed electricity (whether natural, such as an electrical storm, or magical, such as its own shocking grasp or lightning bolt spell-like ability).

Vulnerability to Water (Ex)

A lightning mephit takes 1d4 points of damage per gallon of water it contacts. Pouring water onto a lightning mephit requires a successful rangedtouch attack. Water from other sources, such as spells or effects that create water but do not specify an amount in gallons, deal 1d4 points of damage per caster level to a lightning mephit within its area of effect. Damage from water-based attacks, like the slam attack of a water elemental, is increased by 50% against a lightning mephit.

ECOLOGY

Environment any (Elemental Planes of Air or Quasi-Elemental Planes of Lightning)
Organization solitary, gang (2-4 mephits of mixed types), or mob (5-12 mephits of mixed types)
Treasure standard

Lightning mephits come from the Elemental Planes of Air and Quasi-Elemental Planes of Lighting. Rarely are they encountered elsewhere unless summoned or called by a spellcaster. If encountered on a material plane it is usually in the employ of some spellcaster who has called it to do his or her bidding. Occasionally however, a lightning mephit stumbles into a material plane by way of a lightning storm (when said storm reaches into the Plane of Air and opens a temporary portal). Lightning mephits found anywhere except their home plane will be encountered in areas where lightning and storms are most prevalent. A lightning mephit is about 4 feet tall and weighs about 1 pound.

A lightning mephit begins combat with a lightning bolt attack, targeting the opponent closest to it. On the following round it breathes a cone of lightning on its foes if most are within range; otherwise it moves to melee combat. Once in melee, a lightning mephit uses its natural attacks and shocking grasp, as well as its breath weapon (if it can catch most of its opponents in the cone).

A lightning mephit's natural weapons are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Section 15: Copyright Notice - Tome of Horrors Complete

Lightning Mephit from the Tome of Horrors Complete, Copyright 2011, Necromancer Games, Inc., published and distributed by Frog God Games; Author Scott Greene.

A search of the floor of this room reveals a ring of clumsiness, something else which the dragons have deliberately avoided. It takes 2 person/hours of searching to find it without detect magic.

False Treasure

Search/Perception DC 30

Success = ring of clumsiness found, thought to be a ring of feather falling

 

The Library (EL 0 or 10)

The library is smaller than the two previous rooms. Because the island occasionally experienced turbulence as it floated over Obor, the bookcases, each thirty feet high and three feet deep, were bolted to the floor and are therefore still attached to the ceiling. The dragons rather like this defence and take care to move along the bottom of the room whenever they pass through it.

Originally, each bookcase had doors made of thin wire across the front of it, which helped stop the books from falling when turbulence was encountered. The violent nature of the flipping over of the island tore these off and they now rest upon  the floor. Of course, this meant that 99.9 per cent of the books are now on the floor as well, with just some over-sized tomes still stuck in the racks.

There are three long shelves which run from the outer wall into the middle of the room. Each of these is a little over 25 feet long. The wall adjoining the inner room is a set of shelves, as are the walls to each side of both doors. The shelves on the bookcases are about 3 feet apart and are strong enough for the PCs to climb up and crouch on if they choose to do so (medium) and even stand upright on in some cases if they are small.

Each shelf was used to store books on particular subjects. Starting with the shelves to the right of the door at the top of the room as you look at the map and going in a clockwise direction, the shelves are labelled to hold the following topics:

Arcana (right-hand side of the upper door as you'd look at it)

Architecture and Engineering (wall against the inner chamber

Dungeoneering (left-hand side of the lower door as you'd look at it)

Nature (right-hand side of the lower door as you'd look at it)

Geography (first main bookcase pointing into the room)

History and Local (second main bookcase pointing into the room)

Nobility, Royalty and Religion (third main bookcase pointing into the room)

The Planes (left-hand side of the upper door as you look at it)

 

The library is home to a pair of invisible stalkers, employees of the former owner, Tordon Raivota, along with the will-o'-wisp each has as a companion. If the PCs stand and watch for more than 3 rounds, they will see the books being tidied. When the island lurches, 2d4 piles fall over.

As you stand and look at yet another room of debris, you can see books moving around and being put onto tall piles, of which there are about 50 dotted about the floor, each around 5 feet high on average. Suddenly there is a judder for some unknown reason, and the island lurches a little. A number of piles fall over and the stacking process starts again. Occasionally a book flips open and, if it is in a particularly dark area, a globe of soft light appears just over it. When the book shuts, the globe fades away.

If the PCs disturb any of the piles and don't replace the books that fall from them, the invisible servants and will-o'-wisps will attack. If the party makes it across the room without disturbing any of the piles, the creatures do nothing. If a PC picks up a book and places it on the shelves, one of the librarians will lift it, check to see if it is in the correct place and, if it isn't, replace it on a pile.

If a PC picks up a book, spends time looking to see where it should roughly go and then places it either on the correct shelf or one shelf away, one of the invisible stalkers will take a book about the same subject from a pile and hand it over to the PC. The book will take 8 hours to read and understand and will increase the relevant Knowledge skill by one rank. It will take 2 more books to increase the skill by another rank, 4 to increase it by a third rank, 8  for another, and so on. Tordon had a lot of books, but many of them were repetitive.

If the PCs take any book from the library without permission (permission can be being given a book or asking for one from the invisible stalkers, who will produce a lending log), one of the stalkers, along with its will-o'-wisp, will follow the party and attempt to retrieve the book, often at the most inconvenient of times for the PCs but most opportune for the stalker.

If the PCs spend time looking for the most valuable books and they succeed at Search/Perception checks on a sliding scale, or use detect magic, they will find the following:

Search/Perception 32 (3 books), 24 (2 books), 16 (1 book) (roll randomly if 1 or 2 books)

Success = books are found as listed

Book 1 - Empty Blessed Book

This well-made tome is always of small size, typically no more than 12 inches tall, 8 inches wide, and 1 inch thick. All such books are durable, waterproof, bound with iron overlaid with silver, and locked.

A wizard can fill the 1,000 pages of a blessed book with spells without paying the 100 gp per page material cost. This book is never found as randomly generated treasure with spells already inscribed in it.

Moderate transmutation; CL 7th; Craft Wondrous Item, secret page; Price 12,500 gp; Weight 1 lb.

Book 2 - Book of Illustrated Illusions

This book of illustrations is usually found in an snakeskin, leather, or wooden cover. A complete book consists of thirty-four pages (plus cover). When a page is opened at random, ripped out and dropped to the ground, a major image of a creature is formed. The figment lasts until dispelled. The illusory creature cannot move more than 30 feet away from where the page landed, but otherwise moves and acts as if it were real. At all times it obeys the desires of the character who ripped out the page. When the illusion is dispelled, the page turns completely black and cannot be used again for any purpose. If the page is picked up, the illusion is automatically and instantly dispelled. The illustrations in a book and the illusions they bring forth are summarized on the following table:

1 - Dragon (type matches alignment of the person who ripped the page out the book as closely as possible and if more than one possible type, role randomly)

2 - Human fighter and four human guards (sex of fighter is the opposite of the person who ripped the page, others are random)

3 - Human wizard (sex is the same as the person who ripped the page)

4 - Human druid (sex is the same as the person who ripped the page)

5 - Cloud giant (random sex)

6 - Male ettin

7 - Female bugbear

8 - Male goblin

9 - Female glabrezu

10 - Elf wizard (random sex) and apprentice (opposite sex to wizard)

11 - Female half-elf ranger

12 - Harpy

13 - Female orc barbarian

14 - Male ogre mage

15 - Female gnoll

16 - Male kobold

17 - Male lich

18 - 3 human clerics (one female, one male, the final one the opposite sex to the person who ripped the page)

19 - Medusa

20 - Dwarf paladin (sex is the opposite of the person who ripped the page)

21 - Frost giant (random sex)

22 - Female troll

23 - Male hobgoblin

24 - Goblin (random sex)

25 - Iron golem (androgynous)

26 - 3 halfling rogues (one female, one male, the final one the opposite sex to the person who ripped the page)

27 - 3 female pixies

28 - Female half-elf bard

29 - Male hill giant

30 - Female ogre

31 - Male orc

32 - Female kobold

33 - Mirror image of the person who ripped the page

34 - Opposite sex version of the person who ripped the page

A randomly found book is usually complete (11-100 on d%), but may be discovered (01-10) with 1d20 of its pages already torn out. If pages are missing, reduce the price by a corresponding amount.

Faint illusion; CL 6th; Craft Wondrous Item,major image; Price 8,100 gp; Weight ½ lb.

Songbook of Charming

This book has a bronze-leaf cover with intricately chasing. The volume is about 7 inches by 4 inches and half an inch thick. The pages are made of expensive vellum and the ink is metallic, perhaps containing mithral. When opened, it has two songs in every language that can be learned as per the skill Use Language on facing pages; one song in each language is written to impress males, the other to impress females.

Each song enables the performer to make one suggestion (as the spell, Will DC 14 negates) as part of a complete performance of the tune, if he can succeed on a DC 14 Perform (sing) check. If the check fails, the audience cannot be affected by any further performances from the singer for 24 hours.

Faint enchantment; CL 5th; Craft Wondrous Item,suggestion; Price 7,500 gp; Weight 5 lb.

Invisible Stalkers (3.5)

3.5E, Invisible Stalkers

Size/Type: Large Elemental (Air, Extraplanar)

Hit Dice: 8d8+16 (52 hp)

Initiative: +8

Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares), fly 30 ft. (perfect)

Armour Class: 17 (-1 size, +4 Dex, +4 natural), touch 13, flat-footed 13

Base Attack/Grapple: +6/+14

Attack:  Slam +10 melee (2d6+4)

Full Attack: 2 slams +10 melee (2d6+4)

Space/Reach: 10 ft./10 ft.

Special Attacks: -

Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., elemental traits, natural invisibility, improved tracking

Saves: Fort +4, Ref +10 Will +4

Abilities: Str 18, Dex 19, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 11

Skills: Listen +13, Move Silently +15, Search +13, Spot +13, Survival +2 (+4 following tracks)

Feats: Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Weapon Focus (slam)

Environment: Elemental Plane of Air

Organisation: Solitary

Challenge Rating: 7

Treasure: None

Alignment: Usually neutral

Invisible stalkers are creatures native to the Elemental Plane of Air. They sometimes serve wizards  and sorcerers, who summon them to perform specific tasks.

A summoned invisible stalker undertakes whatever task the summoner commands, even if the task sends it hundreds or thousands of miles away. The creature follows a command until the task is completed and obeys only the summoner. However, it resents protracted missions or complex tasks and seeks to pervert its instructions accordingly.

Invisible stalkers have an amorphous form. A see invisibility spell shows only a dim outline of a cloud, while a true seeing spell reveals a roiling cloud of vapor.

These creatures speak only Auran but can understand Common.

Combat

An invisible stalker attacks by using the air itself as a weapon. It creates a sudden, intense blast of wind that pounds a single target on the same plane as the creature.

An invisible stalker can be killed only when it is on the Elemental Plane of Air. When performing a task elsewhere, it automatically returns to its home plane when it takes damage sufficient to destroy it.

Natural Invisibility (Su)

This ability is constant, allowing a stalker to remain invisible even when attacking. This ability is inherent and not subject to the invisibility purge spell.

Improved Tracking (Ex)

An invisible stalker is a consummate tracker and makes Spot checks instead of the usual Survival checks to trace a creature’s passage.

Will-O'-Wisps (3.5)

3.5E, Will-O'-Wisps

Size/Type: Small Aberration (Air)

Hit Dice: 9d8 (40 hp)

Initiative: +13

Speed: Fly 50 ft. (perfect) (10 squares)

Armour Class:  29 (+1 size, +9 Dex, +9 deflection), touch 29, flat-footed 20

Base Attack/Grapple: +6/-3

Attack:  Shock +16 melee touch (2d8 electricity)

Full Attack: Shock +16 melee touch (2d8 electricity)

Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks: -

Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., immunity to magic, natural invisibility

Saves: Fort +3, Ref +12 Will +9

Abilities: Str 1, Dex 29, Con 10, Int 15, Wis 16, Cha 12

Skills: Bluff +13, Diplomacy +3, Disguise +1 +3 acting), Intimidate +3, Listen +17, Search +14, Spot +17, Survival +3 (+5 following tracks)

Feats: Alertness, Blind-fight, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Weapon FinesseB

Environment: Temperate marshes

Organisation: Solitary, pair, or string (3-4)

Challenge Rating: 6

Treasure: 1/10 coins; 50% goods; 50% items

Alignment: Usually neutral

Will-o’-wisps can be yellow, white, green, or blue. They are easily mistaken for lanterns, especially in the foggy marshes and swamps where they reside. A will-o’-wisp’s body is a globe of spongy material about 1 foot across and weighing about 3 pounds, and its glowing body sheds as much light as a torch.

Will-o’-wisps speak Common and Auran. They have no vocal apparatus but can vibrate to create a voice with a ghostly sound.

Combat

Will-o’-wisps usually avoid combat. They prefer to confuse and bewilder adventurers, luring them into morasses or other hazardous places. When they are forced to fight, they loose small electrical shocks, which act as melee touch attacks.

Immunity to Magic (Ex)

A will-o’-wisp is immune to most spells or spell-like abilities that allow spell resistance, except magic missile and maze.

Natural invisibility (Ex)

A startled or frightened will-o’-wisp can extinguish its glow, effectively becoming invisible as the spell.

Invisible Stalker (Pathfinder)

Invisible Stalker CR 7
XP 3,200
N Medium outsider (air, elemental, extraplanar)
Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +12
DEFENSE

AC 20, touch 14, flat-footed 16 (+4 Dex, +6 natural)
hp 80 (7d10+42)
Fort +13, Ref +11, Will +4
Defensive Abilities natural invisibility; Immune elemental traits

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft., fly 30 (perfect)
Melee 2 slams +12 (2d6+4)

STATISTICS

Str 18, Dex 19, Con 22, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 11
Base Atk +7; CMB +11; CMD 25
Feats Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Weapon Focus (slam)
Skills Acrobatics +14, Bluff +10, Fly +22, Knowledge (planes) +12, Perception +12, Sense Motive +12, Stealth +14, Survival +12
Languages Auran, Common
SQ improved tracking

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Improved Tracking (Ex)

An invisible stalker takes no penalty to Survival checks when tracking and moving at any speed.

Natural Invisibility (Ex)

This ability is constant—an invisible stalker remains invisible at all times, even when attacking. As this ability is inherent, it is not subject to the invisibility purge spell. Against foes that cannot pinpoint it, the invisible stalker gains a +20 bonus on Stealth checks when moving, or +40 when standing still—these bonuses are not included in the statistics above.
ECOLOGY Environment any (Plane of Air)
Organization
solitary

Treasure
standard
Very little is known about these enigmatic and mysterious creatures, as their very nature makes details of their true form difficult to discern. Brought to this world from the Plane of Air, these creatures fulfill tasks for those who conjure them. Invisible stalkers act as guardians, assassins, and trackers, occupations in which they excel. Their natural invisibility and skill at stealth allow them to follow their quarry without detection and give them the upper hand when it comes to exterminating a mark. Many invisible stalkers resent this and see these petty tasks as nothing more than chores dictated by mortals. When given a particularly complex or bothersome task, an invisible stalker seeks to find a loophole in a poorly worded instruction. For instance, wizards calling an invisible stalker into service with the instructions “protect me from danger” might find themselves escorted to a faraway hidden location, or even brought to the Plane of Air. Due to their constant summoning, many invisible stalkers harbor hostility for those dwelling on the Material Plane. Those invisible stalkers new to the mortal world only know the stories of their kind and tend to keep an open mind about the intentions of those who call them. Over time, or in the service of a particularly vile master, invisible stalkers form negative opinions of these creatures of flesh and bone, leading to their tendency to pervert their instructions and cause harm to their masters. For older and more experienced invisible stalkers, the only thing protecting those who summon them is the magic that binds them. These creatures automatically try to use inconsistencies in the wording of their tasks and literal twists on the intention to find a way to inconvenience, injure, or even kill the priest or arcanist that brought them to the plane.

Will-O'-Wisp (Pathfinder)

Will-o'-Wisp CR 6

XP 2,400
CE Small aberration (air)
Init +13; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +17

DEFENSE

AC 26, touch 26, flat-footed 16; (+5 deflection, +9 Dex, +1 dodge, +1 size)
hp 40 (9d8)
Fort +3, Ref +12, Will +9
Defensive Abilities natural invisibility; Immune magic

OFFENSE

Speed fly 50 ft. (perfect)
Melee shock +16 touch (2d8 electricity)

STATISTICS

Str 1, Dex 29, Con 10, Int 15, Wis 16, Cha 14
Base Atk +6; CMB +0; CMD 24
Feats Alertness, Blind-fight, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +21, Bluff +11, Escape Artist +21, Fly +31, Perception +17, Stealth +25
Languages Aklo, Common
SQ feed on fear

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Feed on Fear (Su)

Any time a will-o'-wisp is within 15 feet of a dying creature or creature subject to a fear effect, it gains fast healing 5.

Immunity to Magic (Ex)

Will-o'-wisps are immune to all spells and spell-like abilities that allow spell resistance, except magic missile and maze.

Natural Invisibility (Ex)

Will-o'-wisps have the ability to extinguish their natural glow as a move action, effectively becoming invisible, as per the spell.

ECOLOGY

Environment any swamp
Organization solitary, pair, or string (3–4)
Treasure incidental
Every trapper and bog farmer living near marshes or swamps has his own name for these faintly glowing balls of light—jack o' the lanterns, corpse candles, walking fires, pine lights, spooklights, rushlights—but all recognize them as dangerous predators and false guides in the darkness.

Evil creatures that feed on the strong psychic emanations of terrified creatures, will-o'-wisps delight in tempting gullible travelers into dangerous situations. In the wild lands where they're most common, will-o'-wisps favor simple tactics like positioning themselves over cliffs or quicksand where they can easily be mistaken for lanterns (especially if they can set their traps near actual signal lanterns), allowing them to lure unwary travelers into perilous situations. On rare occasions, will-o'-wisps seeking easier pickings will move into a city and take up residence near gallows or follow along invisibly behind an army in order to harvest the fear of the dying men; why the vast majority choose to remain in the swamps where victims are scarce remains a mystery. Will-o'-wisps only use their electric shock ability under extreme duress, preferring to let other creatures or hazards claim their victims while they float nearby and feast.

Will-o'-wisps can glow any color they choose, but are most frequently yellow, white, green, or blue. They can even vary their luminosity to create patterns—many will-o'-wisps are fond of creating vague skull-like shapes in their glow to further terrify their victims. Their actual bodies are barely visible globes of translucent spongy material 1 foot across and weighing 3 pounds, capable of emitting light from every surface. A will-o'-wisp's light is approximately as bright as a torch, and though they do not seem to use sound to communicate with each other, they hear perfectly and can vibrate their bodies rapidly to simulate speech.

While vilified by most other sentient creatures, will-o'-wisps are actually quite intelligent, if utterly alien in their reasoning. Sometimes organized into groups called “strings,” their society and goals remain complete unknowns to outsiders, as do their origins, though they have sometimes been known to strike bargains with those who can offer them vast quantities of appropriately frightened victims. As will-o'-wisps do not age, and are effectively immortal unless killed by violence, particularly ancient will-o'-wisps can serve as fantastic repositories of knowledge from the ancient past, although convincing one of these cruel creatures to cooperate with an interrogation can be a trick in and of itself.

 

The Dining Room

There are a number of traps around this room, all designed to deter would-be adversaries from trying to enter what is now the dragons' home. None of them are particularly challenging, certainly not in comparison with what else has been encountered, but they are deadly and an annoyance.

The PCs will easily see that this room is noticeably less untidy than the others they have been through. Originally it just had a pair of tables, one giant-sized and the other medium-sized, and a dozen chairs for each. Each table had two silver candelabra on it which magically lit the 4 candles placed in them, and full place settings for each of the 12 seats consisting of cutlery for 8 courses (7 knives, 7 forks and 3 spoons) so that there are over 400 pieces of cutlery in the room.

The candelabra are in the dragons' hoard now, but the cutlery is used for the traps. The 10 feet of floor area (8 squares as the doors are 20 feet wide) that is immediately "in front" of each of the doors (although they are 15 feet in the air) is set to trigger a Fusillade of Forks (similar to a Fusillade of Darts in 3.5E) whilst the doors themselves trigger a Fusillade of Knives (similar to Fusillade of Spears in 3.5E and Hail of Bolts in Pathfinder). The forks, particularly the ones for giants, are like daggers, whilst the knives, particularly the ones for giants, are like short swords. If all of the cutlery is gathered together it is worth 600 gp and weighs a total of 48 lbs.

 

Fusillade of Giants' Forks (6 in total, 2 "in front" of each door)

CR 5; mechanical; location trigger; manual reset; Atk +18 ranged (1d4, fork); multiple targets (2d4-1 forks per target in a 10-ft.-by-10-ft. area); Search DC 19; Disable Device DC 25. Market Price: 18,000 gp.

Fusillade of Giants' Knives (6 in total, 2 on each door)

CR 6; mechanical; proximity trigger; repair reset; Atk +21 ranged (1d6, knife); multiple targets (2d4-1 knives per target in a 10 ft.-by-10-ft. area); Search DC 26; Disable Device DC 20. Market Price: 31,200 gp.

 

Hail of Forks

XP 1,600

Type mechanical; Perception DC 19; Disable Device DC 25

EFFECTS

Trigger location; Reset manual

Effect Atk +18 ranged (1d4, fork); multiple targets (all targets in a 10-ft.-square area, 2d4-1 forks per target)

 

Hail of Knives

XP 2,400

Type mechanical; Perception DC 26; Disable Device DC 20

EFFECTS

Trigger location; Reset manual

Effect Atk +21 ranged (1d6, knife); multiple targets (all targets in a 10-ft.-square area, 2d4-1 knives per target)

 

The Kitchen (EL 10)

This room is trapped, meaning it takes real caution and care to successfully negotiate it. Four large preparation tables, each 7 feet square and positioned towards the corners of the room, are bolted to the ceiling, held in place previously to prevent anything being shaken off. The dragons have loosened the bolts and there are now rocks on top of each table. There is also an invisible wall of iron in place between the corners of the 4 tables; this could easily be flown into by flying PCs. If any weight is placed on the wall of iron, any additional weight placed on any of the tables or the balance of the set-up is disturbed, the whole lot will fall. This is likely to happen as the PCs move towards the door and takes a Reflex save DC 25 to avoid.  There are also 4 triggers on the floor, in amongst all the usual debris, 15 feet from each corner. In effect, the whole set-up is equivalent to a crushing wall trap covering the whole room.

 

Crushing Ceiling Trap

CR 10; mechanical; location trigger; repair reset; no attack roll required (18d6, crush); Search/Perception DC 20; Disable Device DC 25. Market Price: 25,000 gp.

 

Crushing Ceiling Trap

XP 9,600

Type mechanical; Perception DC 20; Disable Device DC 25

EFFECTS

Trigger location; Reset manual

Effect no attack roll required (18d6, crush); multiple targets (all targets in the room)

Searching through the debris on the floor will produce all the usual utensils you'd expect to find in a kitchen. All foodstuffs have now been eaten either by the dragons or were fed to the elektrohydra as snacks.

 

The Guest Room (EL 9)

The dragons keep their 8-headed elektrohydra in this room, rather like a pet. In fact they first drew it into their family when their off-spring were hatched, trading with clan of frost giants which had raised it from an egg. Although their young have met an untimely end, they have kept the creature to act as a guardian for their next brood. It's actions are straightforward as it has been encouraged since its birth to attack.

There is nothing of any value in this room. The elektrohydra has turned all the furniture and other items that made this a comfortable if utilitarian place to stay into a nest of smashed junk. There are a couple of stripped carcasses as well; one looks like the remains of some kind of dire shark with a horn whilst the other is young dragon, silver if the few remaining scales are anything to go by. Both the horn and the scales could be worth something to an alchemist if you choose.

Unless they have been dealt with by PCs in the hallway, the doors in the north-eastern wall are locked and have three padlocked chains running through the circular handles on the other side of it. The doors require an Open Locks DC 28 check whilst each of the chained padlocks is Open Locks DC 25. If the chains have been opened via magic from the hallway, they will be on the floor below the doors in the next room and two of the heads of the elektrohydra will be sniffing them.

As you enter the room, you can smell the stench of rotting flesh and hear a barely-detectable slithering sound. Suddenly,  a harsh rattling comes from the debris in the middle of the floor; a blueish head appears, then another, before a creature slides from the nest. Its eight heads are clearly focused on you all.

(Each additional or subtracted head changes the EL by 1 in the appropriate direction) 

Elektrohydra (3.5)

New Monster

3.5E, Elektrohydra

Size/Type: Huge Magical Beast

Hit Dice: 8d10+43 (87 hp)

Initiative: +1

Speed: 20 ft.  (4 squares), swim 20 ft.

Armour Class:   18 (-2 size, +1 Dex, +9 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 17

Base Attack/Grapple: +8/+20

Attack: 8 bites +11 melee (1d10+4)

Full Attack: 8 bites +11 melee (1d10+4)

Space/Reach: 15 ft./10 ft.

Special Attacks: Lightning breath (Reflex save DC 19)

Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., fast healing 18, low-light vision, scent

Saves: Fort +7, Ref +8 Will +12

Abilities: Str 19, Dex 12, Con 20, Int 2, Wis 10, Cha 9

Skills: Listen +7, Spot +8, Swim +12

Feats: Combat ReflexesB, Iron Will, Toughness, Weapon Focus (bite)

Environment: Marshes

Organisation: Solitary

Challenge Rating: 9

Treasure: 1/10 coins; 50% goods; 50% items

Alignment: Usually neutral

These blueish hydras can breathe balls of lightning 10 feet high, 10 feet wide, and 20 feet long. All heads breathe once every 1d4 rounds. Each ball deals 3d6 points of electrical damage per head. A successful reflex save halves the damage. The save DC is 10 + ½ hydra’s original number of heads + hydra’s Con modifier. An elektrohydra has a bony rattle at the end of its tail which it shakes increasingly as it gets more and more angry.

Combat

Hydras can attack with all their heads at no penalty, even if they move or charge during the round.

A hydra can be killed either by severing all its heads or by slaying its body. To sever a head, an opponent must make a successful sunder attempt with a slashing weapon. (The player should declare where the attack is aimed before making theattack roll.) Making a sunder attempt provokes an attack of opportunity unless the foe has the Improved Sunder feat. An opponent can strike at a hydra’s heads from any position in which he could strike at the hydra itself, because the hydra’s head writhe and whip about in combat. An opponent can ready an action to attempt to sunder a hydra’s head when the creature bites at him. Each of a hydra’s heads has hit points equal to the creature’s full normal hit point total, divided by its original number of heads. Losing a head deals damage to the body equal to half the head’s full normal hit points. A natural reflex seals the neck shut to prevent further blood loss. A hydra can no longer attack with a severed head but takes no other penalties.

Each time a head is severed, two new heads spring from the stump in 1d4 rounds. A hydra can never have more than twice its original number of heads at any one time, and any extra heads it gains beyond its original number wither and die within a day. To prevent a severed head from growing back into two heads, at least 5 points of fire or acid damage must be dealt to the stump (a touch attack to hit) before the new heads appear. A flaming weapon (or similar effect) deals its energy damage to the stump in the same blow in which a head is severed. Fire or acid damage from an area effect may burn multiple stumps in addition to dealing damage to the hydra’s body. A hydra does not die from losing its heads until all its heads have been cut off and the stumps seared by fire or acid.

A hydra’s body can be slain just like any other creature’s, but hydras possess fats healing (see below) and are difficult to defeat in this fashion. Any attack that is not (or cannot be) an attempt to sunder a head affects the body.

Targeted magical effects cannot sever a hydra’s heads (and thus must be directed at the body) unless they deal slashing damage and could be used to make sunder attempts.

Fast Healing (Ex)

Each round, a hydra heals damage equal to 10 + the number of its original heads.

Skills

Hydras have a +2 racial bonus on Listen and Spot checks, thanks to their multiple heads.

A hydra has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.

Feats

A hydra’s Combat Reflexes feat allows it to use all its heads forattacks of opportunity.

8-Headed Elektrohydra (Pathfinder)

8-Headed Elektrohydra CR 9

XP 6,400
N Huge magical beast
Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision,scent; Perception +13

DEFENSE

AC 18, touch 9, flat-footed 17 (+1 Dex, +9 natural, -2 size)
hp 84 (8d10+40); fast healing 8
Fort +10, Ref +9, Will +4

OFFENSE

Speed 20 ft., swim 20 ft.
Melee 8 bites +10 (1d8+4)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks pounce, 8 breath weapons (10 ft. by 10 ft. by 20 ft long ball, DC 18, 3d6 electricity)

STATISTICS

Str 18, Dex 12, Con 18, Int 2, Wis 11, Cha 9
Base Atk +8; CMB +14; CMD 25 (can't be tripped)
Feats Combat Reflexes, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Toughness
Skills Perception +13, Swim +12; Racial Modifiers +2 Perception
SQ hydra traits, regenerate head

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Fast Healing (Ex)

A hydra's fast healing ability is equal to its current number of heads (minimum fast healing 5). This fast healing applies only to damage inflicted on the hydra's body.

Hydra Traits (Ex)

A hydra can be killed by severing all of its heads or slaying its body. Any attack that is not an attempt to sever a head affects the body, including area attacks or attacks that cause piercing or bludgeoning damage. To sever a head, an opponent must make a sunder attempt with a slashing weapon targeting a head. A head is considered a separate weapon with hardness 0 and hit points equal to the hydra's HD. To sever a head, an opponent must inflict enough damage to reduce the head's hit points to 0 or less. Severing a head deals damage to the hydra's body equal to the hydra's current HD. A hydra can't attack with a severed head, but takes no other penalties.

Regenerate Head (Ex)

When a hydra's head is destroyed, two heads regrow in 1d4 rounds. A hydra cannot have more than twice its original number of heads at any one time. To prevent new heads from growing, at least 5 points of acid or fire damage must be dealt to the stump (a touch attack to hit) before they appear. Acid or fire damage from area attacks can affect stumps and the body simultaneously. A hydra doesn't die from losing its heads until all are cut off and the stumps seared by acid or fire.

ECOLOGY

Environment Any marshes
Organization solitary
Treasure standard

Elektrohydra (+2 CR): Variants of the standard hydra, the elektrohydra lives in any type of marsh or in deserts of any type. Each of its heads has a breath weapon (10-ft. by 10-ft. by 20-ft. long ball, 3d6 electricity damage, Reflex half) useable every 1d4 rounds. The save DC is 10 + 1/2 the hydra's HD + the hydra's Con modifier.

 

Raivota's Room (EL 13)

This room has been been taken over by the pair of blue dragons, both young adults. The two of them have decided that the island makes a perfect home for future broods. Both of the dragons are sorcerers; the male is adept at using the two wands that they have in their hoard - a Wand of Order's Wrath and a Wand of Unholy Blight -  whilst the female is quite the dab claw at Ventriloquism and similar sonic spells, so they have set themselves up as angry gods of the locale. Indeed, it was the sailor calling out the name of the Lake Gods at just the wrong moment that brought the dragons down on the ship.

The female, Sahkoistaasattia, is very close to full adulthood, having just had her first clutch, whilst the male, who isn't that long into his adult life, goes jovially (for a blue dragon) by the nickname Pentuaatelinen, something which could be taken as a derogatory term as it means "Kid Blueblood". But Pentuaatelinen always readily acknowledges that he is the youngest son of a prestidgeous blue dragon family, one which he intends to fully support until he can take it over entirely by legal, if selfish means.

Sages who specialise in the study of dragonkind and their ways will traditionally relate that blue dragons are creatures of the warm deserts, and indeed the vast majority do live in those temperate climes. But not all deserts are hot and sandy; frozen tundra can also become a desert, and whilst white dragons live in cold mountainous regions, these frigid, open expanses are very occasionally taken over by blue dragons that wish to experience a different way of life. Pentuaatelinen comes from a family that has ruled a vast, uncharted territory far to the north of the planet whilst Sahkoistaasatti has lived in the region all her life after being delivered to a wizard as an egg and only becoming a free dragon once she had died. They still have the colouring of blue dragons, but the demands of the extreme low temperatures they have to endure mean they develop different physical aspects. Few people get to see a tundra blue dragon in its natural environment, fewer still live to recount their experience.

The room is almost 70 feet across, with a trapdoor in the ceiling by the northern wall covering a wide flight of stairs leading upwards (formerly downwards). Of course, the stair can't be used unless someone has the ability to walk upside down. The dragons keep the trapdoor firmly closed after the accident with their wyrmlings. They are occasionally visited by their young, but the brightness of this room seems to scare them off.

There are two other ways into the room; the door in the east wall, leading to the hallway, is barred, whilst the one in the west wall, leading to the dining room is probably the one the PCs have come through. The floor of the room is completely covered with treasure as there are two hoards here. Sahkoistaasatti boosted her possessions with some of the valuables belonging to her former mistress, whilst Pentuaatelinen owns a little more than usual for a dragon his age because of his family. The sea of coins, gems, works of art and mundane items spread before you is a sight to behold, more than most PCs will have ever seen in their entire lives. It makes the floor uneven ground for fighting on.

As the party enters the room, the dragons will be opposite whichever door they come through. Both breath on their first attack and then start to move. Sahkoistaasatti will move clockwise, rising into the air and beginning to hover. Pentuaatelinen will grab the wands and assess the party. Whilst not hugely experienced at dealing with adventurers themselves, they appreciate that do-gooders exist and know what to look for. Pentuaattelinen's family in particular have a long recorded history of facing all kinds of foes whilst Sahkoistaasatti's former mistress dealt with various humanoids on a regular if infrequent basis. Sense Motive should tell them all they need to know.

As Sahkoistaasatti hovers and makes the thousands of coins in the rooms begin to shift around before either casting a spell or using her other natural attacks, depending on the PCs actions. Pentuaattelinen will use whichever wand is appropriate before taking to the air and hovering himself.

The next round will see them both use flyby attack, diving by the nearest PC, attacking with a bite and then pulling out of reach and hovering. They will both breath again as soon as possible. The mix of spells, the wands and flyby attacks will be their approach, using power attack against any foe who looks unarmoured.

If either of the pair is reduced to a quarter of its hit points, Sahkoistaasatti will look to escape, something both dragons have agreed. Pentuaatelinen will make every effort to give her the opportunity to survive, his high-born chivalrous nature inspiring him to the end. If Sahkoistaasatti gets out of Raivota's home, she will make her escape, spending time only to blast the Vippalopare with a bolt of lightning as she flies by it. She will return to Pentuaattelinen's family to report what has happened, meaning the PCs will have gained some very powerful enemies, ones who will stalk them the whole world over from this point on.

The treasure in the room is buried under all the coins. If the fight has taken place standing on the coins, there is a 50% chance that each of the art objects has been damaged and its value halved, 90% chance the potion bottles have been broken and 40% chance the cases containing the scrolls have been crushed and the scrolls torn.

(Each dragon is CR 11 [3.5E] and CR 12 [PF], so have just one present if your party is of a lower level and reduce the treasure as follows; remove two items from these four - the Staff of Earth and Stone, the Wand of Order's Wrath, the Wand of Unholy Blight, the +1 ghost touch heavy mace - two of these four - +1 greatsword, +2 heavy steel shield, +2 ring of protection, the Wand of Summon Monster II - and three out of of the total of six potions and scrolls, along with the platinum pieces, half the gold and your choice of half the value of the rest of the gems and art objects)

Young Adult Blue Dragons (3.5)

3.5E, Young Adult Blue Dragon (Mated pair for EL 13)

Size/Type: Large Dragon (Earth)

Hit Dice: 18d12+72 (189 hp) (Male)

Initiative: +0

Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares), burrow 20 ft., fly 150 ft. (poor)

Armour Class:   26 (-1 size, +17 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 26

Base Attack/Grapple: +18/+28

Attack: Bite +23 melee (3d6+6)

Full Attack: Bite +23 melee (3d6+6) and 2 claws +21 melee (2d6+3) and 2 wings +21 melee (1d6+3) and tail slap +21 melee (1d8+9)

Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft. (10 ft. with bite)

Special Attacks: Breath weapon, lightning (line, 80 ft., 10d8, Reflex save DC 23), frightful presence (Will save DC 21), spells

Special Qualities: Create/destroy water, DR5/magic, immunity to electricity, sound imitation, spell resistance DC 19

Saves: Fort +15, Ref +11 Will +13

Abilities: Str 23, Dex 10, Con 19, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 14

Skills: Concentration +24, Diplomacy +16, Intimidate +14, Listen +22, Search +22, Sense Motive +14, Spellcraft +11 (+13 to decipher scrolls), Spot +22, Survival +2 (+4 when following tracks), Use Magic Device +25

Feats: Flyby Attack, Hover, Improved natural Attack (bite), Improved Natural  Attack (claw), Magical Aptitude, Multiattack, Power Attack

Environment: Deserts

Organisation: Wyrmling, very young, young, juvenile, and young adult: solitary or clutch (2-5); adult, mature adult, old, very old, ancient, wyrm, or great wyrm: solitary, pair, or family (1-2 and 2-5 offspring)

Challenge Rating: Wyrmling 3; very young 4; young 6; juvenile 8; young adult 11; adult 14; mature adult 16; old 18; very old 19; ancient 21; wyrm 23; great wyrm 25

Treasure: Triple standard

Alignment: Lawful Evil

Spells

Sahkoistaasatti

0th, 6 per day (5 known) (DC 12): Arcane Mark, Detect Magic, Mage Hand, Read Magic, Resistance

1st, 6 per day (3 known) (DC 13): Colour Spray, Silent Image, Ventriloquism

Pentuaatelinen

0th, 6 per day (5 known): Arcane Mark, Detect Magic, Mage Hand, Read Magic, Resistance

1st, 6 per day (3 known): Mage Armour, Magic Missile, True Strike

A dragon attacks with its powerful claws and bite, and can also use a breath weapon and special physical attacks, depending on its size. It prefers to fight on the wing, staying out of reach until it has worn down the enemy with ranged attacks. Older, more intelligent dragons are adept at sizing up the opposition and eliminating the most dangerous foes first (or avoiding them while picking off weaker enemies).

Bite

Bite attacks deal the indicated damage plus the dragon’s Strength bonus. A dragon also can use its bite to snatch opponents if it has the Snatch feat.

Claw

Claw attacks deal the indicated damage plus ½ the dragon’s Strength bonus (round down). The dragon also can use its claws to snatch opponents if it has the Snatch feat. Claw attacks are secondary attacks, requiring a -5 penalty on the attack roll. (Many dragons choose the Multiattack feat to lessen this penalty to -2).

Wing

The dragon can slam opponents with its wings, even when flying. Wing attacks deal the indicated damage plus ½ the dragon’s Strength bonus (round down) and are treated as secondary attacks.

Tail Slap

The dragon can slap one opponent each round with its tail. A tail slap deals the indicated damage plus 1½ times the dragon’s Strength bonus (round down) and is treated as a secondary attack.

Grappling

Dragons do not favor grapple attacks, though their crush attack (and Snatch feat, if they know it) use normal grapple rules. A dragon can always use its breath weapon while grappling, as well as its spells and spell-like or supernatural abilities, provided it succeeds on Concentration checks.

Frightful Presence (Ex)

A young adult or older dragon can unsettle foes with its mere presence. The ability takes effect automatically whenever the dragon attacks, charges, or flies overhead. Creatures within a radius of 30 feet × the dragon’s age category are subject to the effect if they have fewer HD than the dragon. A potentially affected creature that succeeds on a Will save (DC 10 + ½ dragon’s HD + dragon’s Cha modifier) remains immune to that dragon’s frightful presence for 24 hours. On a failure, creatures with 4 or less HD become panicked for 4d6 rounds and those with 5 or more HD become shaken for 4d6 rounds. Dragons ignore the frightful presence of other dragons.

Spells

A dragon knows and casts arcane spells as a sorcerer of the level indicated in its variety description, gaining bonus spells for a high Charisma score. Some dragons can also cast spells from the cleric list or cleric domain lists as arcane spells.

Damage Reduction

Young adult and older dragons have damage reduction. Their natural weapons are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Immunities (Ex)

All dragons have immunity to sleep and paralysis effects. Each variety of dragon has immunity to one or two additional forms of attack no matter what its age, as given in its description.

Spell Resistance (Ex)

As dragons age, they become more resistant to spells and spell-like abilities, as indicated in the variety descriptions.

Blindsense (Ex)

Dragons can pinpoint creatures within a distance of 60 feet. Opponents the dragon can’t actually see still have total concealment against the dragon.

Keen Senses (Ex)

A dragon sees four times as well as a human in shadowy illumination and twice as well in normal light. It also has darkvision out to 120 feet.

Breath Weapon (Su)

A blue dragon has one type of breath weapon, a line of lightning.

Using a breath weapon is a standard action. Once a dragon breathes, it can’t breathe again until 1d4 rounds later. If a dragon has more than one type of breath weapon, it still can breathe only once every 1d4 rounds. A blast from a breath weapon always starts at any intersection adjacent to the dragon and extends in a direction of the dragon’s choice, with an area as noted on the table below. If the breath weapon deals damage, creatures caught in the area can attempt reflex saves to take half damage; the DC depends on the dragon’s age and variety, and is given in each individual entry. Saves against nondamaging breath weapons use the same DC; the kind of saving throw is noted in the variety descriptions. The save DC against a breath weapon is 10 + ½ dragon’s HD + dragon’s Con modifier.

Create/Destroy Water (Sp)

A blue dragon of any age can use this ability three times per day. It works like the create water spell, except that the dragon can decide to destroy water instead of creating it, which automatically spoils unattended liquids containing water. Magic items (such as potions) and items in a creature’s possession must succeed on a Will save (DC equal to that of the dragon’s frightful presence) or be ruined. This ability is the equivalent of a 1st-level spell.

Skills

Bluff, Hide, and Spellcraft are considered class skills for blue dragons.

Sound Imitation (Ex)

A juvenile or older blue dragon can mimic any voice or sound it has heard, anytime it likes. Listeners must succeed on a Will svae (DC equal to that of the dragon’sfrightful presence) to detect the ruse.

Young Adult Blue Dragons (Pathfinder)

Young Adult Blue Dragon CR 12 (mated pair)

XP 19,200
LE Huge dragon (earth)
Init +4; Senses dragon senses; Perception +19
Aura frightful presence (150 ft., DC 19)

DEFENSE

AC 25, touch 8, flat-footed 25 (+17 natural, -2 size)
hp 147 (14d12+56)
Fort +13, Ref +9, Will +11
DR 5/magic; Immune electricity, paralysis, sleep; SR 23

OFFENSE

Speed 40 ft., burrow 20 ft., fly 200 ft. (poor)
Melee bite +20 (2d8+10), 2 claws +19 (2d6+7), 2 wings +17 (1d8+3), tail slap +17 (2d6+10)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 10 ft. (15 ft. with bite)
Special Attacks breath weapon (100-ft. line, DC 21, 10d8 electricity), crush (Small creatures, DC 21, 2d8+10), desert thirst (DC 21)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 14th; concentration +16)

At willghost sound (DC 12), minor image (DC 14)

Spells Known (CL 3rd; concentration +5)

1st (6/day)mage armor, shield, true strike
0 (at will)arcane mark, detect magic, mage hand, read magic, resistance

Tactics Blue dragons prefer to surprise foes if possible, and are not above retreating if the odds turn against them.

STATISTICS

Str 25, Dex 10, Con 19, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 14
Base Atk +14; CMB +23; CMD 33 (37 vs. trip)
Feats Combat Casting, Dazzling Display, Hover, Improved Initiative, Multiattack, Shatter Defences, Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Bluff +19, Fly +9, Intimidate +19, Knowledge (local) +19, Perception +19, Spellcraft +19, Stealth +9, Survival +19
Languages Auran, Common, Draconic
SQ sound imitation

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Desert Thirst (Su)

A blue dragon can cast create water at will (CL 14). Alternatively, it can destroy an equal amount of liquid in a 10-foot burst. Unattended liquids are instantly reduced to sand. Liquid-based magic items (such as potions) and items in a creature's possession must succeed on a Will save (DC 21) or be destroyed.

Sound Imitation (Ex)

A very young or older blue dragon can mimic any voice or sound it has heard by making a successful Bluff check against a listener's Sense Motive check.

 

ECOLOGY

Environment deserts
Organization usually solitary
Treasure triple

Blue dragons are consummate schemers and obsessively orderly. In combat, blue dragons prefer to surprise foes if possible, and are not above retreating if the odds turn against them. They prefer to lair near those that they control, sometimes even within the confines of a city.

 

Dragon Treasure Hoard

The dragons have the following treasure between them:

Coins

23,000 sp

14,000 gp

900 pp

 

Gems

1 x blue-white diamond; 4,000 gp

1 x blue star sapphire; 1,300 gp

2 x blue sapphire; 1,200 gp and 900 gp

1 x violet garnet; 700 gp

2 x black pearl; 600 gp and 500 gp

4 x aquamarine; 500 gp, 500 gp, 300 gp and 300 gp

2 x deep blue spinel; 400 gp and 400 gp

1 x amethyst; 110 gp

2 x deep green spinel; 110 gp and 70 gp

1 x jade; 110 gp

1 x tourmaline; 100 gp

1 x moonstone; 70 gp

1 x silver pearl; 70 gp

2 x carnelian; 60 gp and 50 gp

1 x bloodstone; 50 gp

1 x citrine; 50 gp

2 x clear quartz; 50 gp and 50 gp

1 x lapis lazuli; 13 gp

1 x freshwater irregular pearl; 12 gp

3 x blue quartz; 11 gp, 10 gp and 10 gp

1 x tiger eye turquoise; 9 gp

1 x azurite; 7 gp

1 x obsidian 6 gp

 

Art objects

Pair of golden bracers, each with 2 deep blue spinels; 3,000 gp each

A string of small pink pearls; 5,000 gp

A gold music box; 4,000 gp

A gold circlet with 4 aquamarines; 3,000 gp

A sapphire pendant on a gold chain; 2,200 gp (worn by Sahkoistaasatti)

An eyepatch with a mock eye of sapphire and moonstone; 2,100 gp

A solid gold statue of Pentuaatelinen; 700 gp

A pair of brass mugs with jade inlay; 550 gp each

A silver-plated steel longsword with white pearl inlay in the hilt; 400 gp

A set of 6 silver chalices with blue quartz gems; 85 gp each

A small gold bracelet; 50 gp

 

 

Magic items

1 x +1 ghost touch heavy mace

1 x +1  greatsword

1 x +2 heavy steel shield

1 x Potion of Cure Light Wounds (3rd) in a glass vial

1 x Potion of Hide from Animals in a sealed leather bottle

1 x Potion of Invisibility in a small clay jar

1 x Ring of Protection +2

1 x Scroll with Gentle Repose (5th) in a wooden tube

1 x Scroll with Enlarge Person (1st), Ghost Sound (1st) in a leather tube

1 x Scroll with Cure Light Wounds (1st), Disguise Self (1st), Magic Circle Against Good (5th) in an iron tube

1 x Staff of Earth and Stone - 21 charges

1 x Wand of Order's Wrath (8th) - 17 charges

1 x Wand of Summon Monster II - 22 charges

1 x Wand of Unholy Blight (8th) - 13 charges

4 x Self-lighting silver candelabrum


There are as many mundane items as you care to include in the hoard, but only one is of any real interest; the bow carving from the Jarvikaveri, an ancient sea serpent, is leaning up against one wall.

 

New Magic Item

Self-lighting Candelabrum

This candelabrum operates as a normal candle stick but holds 4  candles. When the command word is spoken, the central upright casts produce flame to light the candles around the outside. The spell lasts until the candles are all lit, but never for more than one minute.

Faint evocation; CL 3rd; Craft Wondrous Item, produce flame; Price 6,000 gp; Weight 2 lb.

The Stairs Upwards

The trapdoor in the ceiling can be clearly seen. It is bolted shut at present, and requires a strength check DC 18 to push it up sufficiently to slip the two bolts. Pushing upwards with nothing to brace against is extremely difficult and add 10 the strength check. Magic will also undo the bolts. The trap door falls back into the room when open, possibly hitting the PC who opens it.

The Storage Area (EL 9)

This cavernous area is still a jumble of boxes, crates, chests and other storage items. Many are strewn around the floor (former ceiling) of the area in huge heaps and tangles whilst others appear attached to the ceiling. Several items are swirling in the air, occasionally falling to the floor and disappearing into the mess, due to the fluctuating and slowly eroding magic that keeps the island afloat. There is a faint but distinct smell of cooking meat all around. If the PCs look upwards and have sufficient illumination, they will be able to see the Tropospheroscope through the hole in the roof of this cavern, as the machine partially covers it in its current position .

All items of any value have been cleared from the is room by the adult dragons. If the PCs spend any time looking, they can find the remains of virtually any basic adventuring equipment they care to name, but it is all in a fragile or damaged state.

This is the final resting place of the previous brood of Sahkoistaasattia and Pentuaatelinen. The former young are now a six-strong shadow dragon gang, having been burned beyond nothing by the Tropospheroscope. They have a level of nervousness not usually associated with dragons or undead, as they have experienced the current version of Raivota and keep out of the way. They will watch the party for a 1d3+2 rounds before attacking.

The ladder that used to lead from this cavern to the area where the Tropospheroscope was housed is severely damaged and will break if more than 25 lbs is placed on it. There are plenty of rocks to attach ropes to, however.

 

Shadow Wyrmlings (3.5)

3.5E, Wyrmling Shadows (6) (change to 3 for EL 7, 4 for EL 8 and 8 for EL 10)

Size/Type: Small Undead (Incorporeal)

Hit Dice: 6d12 (40 hp)

Initiative: +3

Speed: Fly 40 ft. (good) (8 squares)

Armour Class: 15 (+1 size, +3 Dex, +1 deflection), touch 15, flat-footed 12

Base Attack/Grapple: +3/-

Attack: Incorporeal touch +6 (1d6 Str)

Full Attack: Incorporeal touch +6 (1d6 Str)

Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks: Create spawn, strength damage

Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., incorporeal traits, +2 turn resistance, undead traits

Saves: Fort +2, Ref +5 Will +6

Abilities: Str 0, Dex 16, Con 0, Int 6, Wis 12, Cha 13

Skills: Hide +8 (+4 in bright illumination), Listen +7, Search +4, Spot +7

Feats: Alertness, Dodge, Mobility

Environment: Any

Organisation: Solitary, gang (2-5), or swarm (6-11)

Challenge Rating: 4

Treasure: None

Alignment: Chaotic Evil

A shadow can be difficult to see in dark or gloomy areas but stands out starkly in brightly illuminated places.

A wyrmling shadow is the same shape as a standard blue dragon and is weightless. Wyrmling shadows cannot speak intelligibly.

Combat

Wyrmling shadows lurk in dark places, waiting for living prey to happen by.

Strength Damage (Su)

The touch of a wyrmling shadow deals 1d6 points of Strength damage to a living foe. A creature reduced to Strength 0 by a wyrmling shadow dies. This is a negative energy effect.

Create Spawn (Su)

Any dragon or reptilian creature reduced to Strength 0 by a wyrmling shadow becomes a shadow under the control of its killer within 1d4 rounds.

Skills

Wyrmling shadows have a +2 racial bonus on Listen and Spot checks and a +4 racial bonus on Search checks. *A shadow gains a +4 racial bonus on Hide checks in areas of shadowy illumination. In brightly lit areas, it takes a -4 penalty on Hide checks.

Shadow Wyrmlings (Pathfinder)

SHADOW WYRMLINGS CR 7

Male Dragon, Blue, Wyrmling

CE Small Undead (Augmented Dragon, Earth, Incorporeal)

Init +9; Senses Blindsense (60 feet), Darkvision (120 feet), Dragon Senses, Low-Light Vision; Perception +12

 

DEFENSE

AC 19, touch 19, flat-footed 14 (+5 Dex, +1 size, +3 deflection)

hp 57 (6d12+18)

Fort +8, Ref +10, Will +8

Defensive Abilities Channel Resistance +3, Incorporeal; Immune critical hits, electricity, paralysis, precision damage, sleep, Undead Traits

 

OFFENSE

Spd 40 ft., Burrowing (20 feet), Flight (150 feet, Perfect), Shadow Slip

Melee Bite (Dragon, Blue, Wyrmling) +8 (1d6+7/20/x2) and

Claw x2 (Dragon, Blue, Wyrmling) +7 x2 (1d4+2/20/x2) and

Unarmed Strike +12/+7 (1d2+5/20/x2)

Special Attacks Breath Weapon (40-ft. line, 2d8 electricity, every, Command Shadows, Create Spawn, Strength Damage (1d6)

 

STATISTICS

Str -, Dex 20, Con -, Int 10, Wis 17, Cha 17

Base Atk +6; CMB +10; CMD 28 (32 vs. Trip)

Feats Dazzling Display: Bite, Improved Initiative, Weapon Focus: Bite

Skills Bluff +12, Fly +24, Intimidate +12, Perception +12, Stealth +18, Survival +12

Languages Draconic

SQ Desert Thirst (Su)

 

Raivota and the Tropospheroscope

Details of this item appear at the end of the adventure with a relevant summary of what could happen here.

It is an extremely powerful magic item which can literally make or break the weather in any given area. Although not very old in the grand scheme, the Tropospheroscope is a significant part of a larger major artefact, created by the giants of Obor and the gnomes of Pradjna to contain, at its core, a tiny fragment of the "Shard of the Sun" which orbits the planet. The fragment couldn't be destroyed and was placed in the Tropospheroscope as the only alternative. However, as so often is the case, even the best of intentions can go wrong when unimaginable power is placed in the hands of mortal creatures.

Tordon Raivota was killed in the same type of accident that destroyed the wyrmling blue dragons, although he inadvertently caused the first malfunction. Whilst conducting some general maintenance prior to the routine venting of energy that built up, Raivota, for the first and only time, dropped two of the magical implements used to undertake the task into the space occupied by the fragment. They jammed up against the fragment and the magic-infused cage, causing a short circuit-type effect. The Tropospheroscope released a huge burst of energy, similar in nature to a sunburst spell, but much more powerful. Raivota knew the power of the bursts, but had naturally never seen one, as the release process usually gave him time to retreat from the cavern. This time was different; his last thought, as the energy from the Tropospheroscope surged through him, was how beautiful the light was, similar to the descriptions of the brightness on the celestial planes of his distant ancestors. Then at virtually the same moment, in fact before he could finish the thought, his soul was ripped from his body by the power of the burst and his solid form was evaporated to nothing where he stood.

Because of his celestial links, Raivota has retained his Chaotic Good alignment and does not create undead spawn. He is also not affected by holy water. Whilst alive, Raivota was a 5th level cleric, following the domains of Good and Protection. Bringing him to zero hit points will finally send him to one of the celestial planes, released from his task.

Now, an undead Tordon Raivota is still trying to repair the machine, unaware that he will never be able to do so and his efforts are fruitless. He doesn't even truly realise that in his ire at the Tropospheroscope killing him unexpectedly, he has transformed physically as well as having his very nature and essence altered. He is now a wraith-like form, unable to interact with the machine yet constantly feeling he is so close to achieving his goal, particularly as the control tool has become a ghost touch item that he can carry, due to the immense surge of energy. He will be carrying this item when he first approaches the party, although despite appearances, it is not a weapon in any way; in fact, it is now useless. He will angrily fight off anyone who disturbs him, particularly those attempting to completely disable the machine.  But the Tropospheroscope still has to be dealt with, and the process of disarming may be of some use to the PCs...

Change to the stats of a dread wraith (no create spawn or daylight powerlessness, make alignment chaotic good) for EL 11 or an 8-HD advanced spectre (no create spawn or sunlight powerlessness, make alignment chaotic good)  for EL 9

Undead Tordon Raivota (3.5)

3.5E, Undead Tordon Raivota

Size/Type: Huge Undead (Incorporeal)

Hit Dice: 24d12 (156 hp)

Initiative: +19

Speed: Fly 60 ft. (good) (12 squares)

Armour Class: 26 (-2 size, +15 Dex, +3 deflection), touch 26, flat-footed 11

Base Attack/Grapple: +12/-

Attack: Incorporeal touch +25 (3d6 plus 1d8 Constitution drain)

Full Attack: Incorporeal touch +25 (3d6 plus 1d8 Constitution drain)

Space/Reach: 15 ft./15 ft.

Special Attacks: Constitution drain

Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., incorporeal traits, lifesense 60 ft., undead traits, unnatural aura

Saves: Fort +8, Ref +23 Will +19

Abilities: Str 0, Dex 40, Con 0, Int 16, Wis 20, Cha 16

Skills: Diplomacy +29, Hide +41, Intimidate +10, Knowledge (religion) +29, Listen +31, Search +29, Sense Motive +31, Spot +31, Survival +5 (+7 following tracks)

Feats: Ability Focus (Constitution drain), AlertnessB, Blind-Fight, Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved InitiativeB, Improved Natural Attack (incorporeal touch), Mobility, Spring Attack, Whirlwind Attack

Environment: Any

Organisation: Solitary

Challenge Rating: 13

Treasure: None

Alignment: Chaotic Good

Despite his size, Raivota now possesses unearthly quickness, and makes use of hisSpring Attack feat and natural reach to strike with deadly effect and melt back into the shadows—or the walls.

Lifesense (Su)

Raivota notices and locates living creatures within 60 feet, just as if it possessed the blindsight ability. It also senses the strength of their life force automatically, as if it had cast deathwatch.

Constitution Drain (Su)

Living creatures hit by Raivota’s incorporeal touch attack must succeed on a DC 23 Fortitude save or take 1d8 points of Constitution drain. The save DC is Charisma-based. On each such successful attack, Raivota gains 5 temporary hit points.

Incorporeal Traits

An incorporeal creature has no physical body. It can be harmed only by other incorporeal creatures, magic weapons or creatures that strike as magic weapons, and spells,spell-like abilities, or supernatural abilitites. It is immune to all nonmagical attack forms. Even when hit by spells or magic weapons, it has a 50% chance to ignore any damage from a corporeal source (except for positive energy, negative energy, force effects such as magic missile, or attacks made with ghost touch weapons). Although it is not a magical attack, holy water can affect incorporeal undead, but a hit with holy water has a 50% chance of not affecting an incorporeal creature.

An incorporeal creature has no natural armor bonus but has a deflection bonus equal to its Charisma bonus (always at least +1, even if the creature’s Charisma score does not normally provide a bonus).

An incorporeal creature can enter or pass through solid objects, but must remain adjacent to the object’s exterior, and so cannot pass entirely through an object whose space is larger than its own. It can sense the presence of creatures or objects within a square adjacent to its current location, but enemies have total concealment (50% miss chance) from an incorporeal creature that is inside an object. In order to see farther from the object it is in and attack normally, the incorporeal creature must emerge. An incorporeal creature inside an object has total cover, but when it attacks a creature outside the object it only hascover, so a creature outside with a readied action could strike at it as it attacks. An incorporeal creature cannot pass through a force effect.

An incorporeal creature’s attacks pass through (ignore) natural armor, armor, and shields, although deflection bonuses and force effects (such asmage armor) work normally against it. Incorporeal creatures pass through and operate in water as easily as they do in air. Incorporeal creatures cannot fall or take falling damage. Incorporeal creatures cannot make trip or grapple attacks, nor can they be tripped or grappled. In fact, they cannot take any physical action that would move or manipulate an opponent or its equipment, nor are they subject to such actions. Incorporeal creatures have no weight and do not set off traps that are triggered by weight.

An incorporeal creature moves silently and cannot be heard with Listen checks if it doesn’t wish to be. It has no Strength score, so its Dexterity modifier applies to both its melee attacks and its ranged attacks. Nonvisual senses, such as scent and blindsight, are either ineffective or only partly effective with regard to incorporeal creatures. Incorporeal creatures have an innate sense of direction and can move at full speed even when they cannot see.

Undead Traits

An undead creature possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature’s entry):

No Constitution score.

Darkvision out to 60 feet.

Immunity to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects).

Immunity to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning,disease, and death effects.

Not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability drain, or energy drain. Immune to damage to its physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution), as well as to fatigue and exhaustion effects.

Cannot heal damage on its own if it has no Intelligence score, although it can be healed. Negative energy (such as an inflict spell) can heal undead creatures. The fast healing special quality works regardless of the creature’s Intelligence score.

Immunity to any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless).

Uses its Charisma modifier for Concentration checks.

Not at risk of death from massive damage, but when reduced to 0 hit points or less, it is immediately destroyed.

Not affected by raise dead and reincarnate spells or abilities. Resurrection and true resurrection can affect undead creatures. These spells turn undead creatures back into the living creatures they were before becoming undead.

Proficient with its natural weapons, all simple weapons, and any weapons mentioned in its entry.

Proficient with whatever type of armor (light, medium, or heavy) it is described as wearing, as well as all lighter types. Undead not indicated as wearing armor are not proficient with armor. Undead are proficient with shields if they are proficient with any form of armor.

Undead do not breathe, eat, or sleep.

Undead Tordon Raivota

TORDON RAIVOTA CR 15

Male Giant, Storm

CG Huge Undead (Augmented Humanoid, Giant, Incorporeal)

Init +3; Senses Darkvision (60 feet), Low-Light Vision; Perception +37

 

DEFENSE

AC 18, touch 18, flat-footed 15 (+3 Dex, -2 size, +7 deflection)

hp 218 (19d8+133)

Fort +18, Ref +9, Will +15

Defensive Abilities Channel Resistance +4, Incorporeal, Rejuvenation, Rock Catching; Immune critical hits, electricity, precision damage, Undead Traits

 

OFFENSE

Spd 50 ft., Flight (30 feet, Perfect), Swimming (30 feet)

Melee Slam x2 (Giant, Storm) +10 x2 (2d6+1/20/x2) and

Unarmed Strike +15/+10/+5 (1d6+3/20/x2)

Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.

Special Attacks Corrupting Touch 15d6 (DC 26), Fatal Fate (DC 26), Telekinesis, Vehemence (DC 26)

Spell-Like Abilities Call Lightning (1/day), Chain Lightning (1/day), Control Weather (2/day), Freedom of Movement (Constant), Levitate (2/day)

 

STATISTICS

Str -, Dex 16, Con -, Int 20, Wis 24, Cha 24

Base Atk +14; CMB +19 (+21 Bull Rushing+21 Sundering); CMD 39 (41 vs. Bull Rush41 vs. Sunder)

Feats Awesome Blow, Cleave, Combat Reflexes (4 AoO/round), Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical: Greatsword, Improved Sunder, Improved Vital Strike, Iron Will, Power Attack -4/+8, Vital Strike

Skills Acrobatics +22, Climb +9, Craft (Enter Choice) +15, Diplomacy +17, Fly +15, Intimidate +25, Knowledge (Religion) +20, Perception +37, Perform (Sing) +17, Sense Motive +29, Stealth +22, Swim +14

Languages Auran, Draconic, Giant

SQ Ghost Trappings (Su), Water Breathing (Ex)

 

Whilst it is no small challenge to defeat Raivota, there is still the Tropospheroscope to be disabled. It continues to malfunction, and a stream of energy can bee seen flooding from it if see invisibility, true seeing or a similar spell which reveals things as they actually are is cast.

The machine is a series of five interlocking wooden rings, one each for air, electricity, earth, fire and water and covered in runes and sigils representing these elements, which would rotate smoothly if the machine was still on its mounting. These rings are 12 inches thick and 20 feet in diameter, but are looking very battered after the weeks of malfunctioning. Within the centre of these is a spherical adamantine capsule just over 18 inches in diameter. The adamantine is 3 inches think and holds a sphere of mithral, 12 inches in diameter and also 3 inches thick, which in turn holds a sphere of lead, 6 inches in diameter and 3 inches thick. This leaves a small space in the very middle, perhaps a quarter of an inch in diameter, which hold the fragment of the Shard of the Sun. Usually, the protection barriers mean the build up of energy can be controlled and the whirling elemental rings ensure it is dissipated efficiently, producing whatever weather is required by spinning each ring in a particular way using the control rod.  As the moment, with it being close to getting stuck in the gap between the two caverns, the spinning motion is shifting the machine about in unintended ways. This is what is leading to the random and severe weather and the occasional burst of extremely high levels of energy as the machine momentarily frees itself, only to become partially trapped again almost immediately after.

The battering the Tropospheroscope has taken means it won't be repaired by average, mortal hands. In fact if Raivota was alive, he wouldn't be able to do much more than shut the whole thing down and hope the build up of energy could be controlled until he got back to a remote area of Obor. If the machine was returned to the gnome and giant engineers who have been historically trained at the schools of the original makers, plus the deities who helped at the time could be persuaded to lend their guidance once more, then the Tropospheroscope might once again work the way it was intended to.

However, none of that is possible and the machine needs to be stopped. Although it is a minor artefact, it is in a fragile state and its shut down can be achieved reasonably straightforwardly, although what the PCs do with the central sphere is another matter.

To shut the machine down, each of the five rings needs to suffer 50 hp of damage from an opposite element - the air ring is damaged by electricity, the electricity ring by earth, the earth ring by fire, the fire ring by water and the water ring by air. Spells and weapons can do the job, as can summoned creatures. Depending on how they dealt with the invisible stalkers and will-o'-wisps in the library, the PCs can ask all of them to help damage the water and air ring respectively, if they consider this. The rings are quite fragile by now; each has a hardness of 5 as there magical nature is ebbing away. Delivering the necessary damage would be straightforward if not for the malfunctioning central sphere.

For every 2 points of damage dealt to the Tropospheroscope, there is a cumulative 1% chance that the fragment of the shard will release a burst of energy rather than just the steady invisible stream. If anyone is watching this stream, they will see that it stops completely for one round just before the burst occurs. Once a burst does occur, the cumulative total drops back to zero and the process is repeated. If energy is released, it is the same as an empowered, heightened sunburst, as the machine is beginning to fail and the energy releases are lessening. Of course, a burst of energy could help the PCs defeat Raivota.

 

Malfunctioning Tropospheroscope

Empowered, heightened sunburst; 9d6 hp damage and blinded for living creatures, Reflex save DC 26 for half damage; 37d6 damage for undead, Reflex save DC 26 for half damage and in addition, the burst results in the destruction of any undead creature specifically harmed by bright light if it fail its save.

Once every ring has been destroyed, the machine stops producing weather and the Storm of Vengeance trap outside ends. Now the central sphere can be grabbed; what is done with it is up to the PCs. It weighs about 150 lbs, amazing considering it was floating freely within the ring set up. They also have to consider how to get the dragons' hoard off of the floating island. They may well find that the Vippalopare has been severely damaged by the retreating Sahkoistaasattia, in which case just getting home may be the most pressing problem. If they leave it behind, Sahkoistaasatti will return to claim back her possessions. She won't come alone...

If the players come up with an idea to get rid of the sphere, let them go through with it. The only way to truly destroy the fragment is to reunite it with the Shard of the Sun. Any other way will mean the fragment reappears somewhere on the planet in 5d4 years.

Of course now the party has the central component of the Tropospheroscope it may decide to keep it for its own purposes. Other than generate weather events, the sphere doesn't really do anything for the PCs; its value lies in being part of the overall Tropospheroscope. The energy from the fragment will continue to flood out of it and is more likely than not to have a strange effect on the weather wherever the PCs go. The table below will help with this, but feel free to add elements of your own.

d%WeatherCold ClimateTemperate Climate (1)Hot Climate
01-35Normal weatherCold, calmNormal for season (2)Hot, calm
36-45Abnormal weatherHot, calmNormal for opposite seasonCold calm
46-50Cold snapHotter, windyHeat wave
51-60Heat waveCold snapCold snap
61-65Colder, windyColder, windyHotter, windy
66-70Hot, windyHeat waveCold, windy
71-75Inclement weatherPrecipitation (snow)Precipitation (seasonal)Hotter, windier
76-79Abnormal inclement weatherPrecipitation (rain)Hotter, windierPrecipitation (rain)
80-83Hotter, windierPrecipitation (opposite season)Precipitation (snow)
84-87StormSnowstormThunderstormDuststorm
88-90Abnormal stormThunderstormSnowstormThunderstorm
91-93DuststormDuststormSnowstorm
94-96Powerful stormBlizzardWindstormTorrential downpour
97Abnormal powerful stormTorrential downpourBlizzardWindstorm
98WindstormTorrential downpourTornado
99HurricaneHurricaneBlizzard
100TornadoTornadoHurricane
(1) Temperate includes forest, hills, marsh, mountains, plains, and warm aquatic.
(2) Normal for season means winter is cold, summer is warm, spring and autumn are temperate. Marsh regions are slightly warmer in winter.

Every time the sphere containing the fragment is jolted or jarred, one of the above events will occur, lasing for 10d6 minutes. Also, as the energy builds up, there is a cumulative 4% chance per hour that one of the above events will occur, lasting for 1d6 hours. It will become increasingly difficult for the PCs to disguise the fact that wherever they go, odd weather events occur. They will constantly suffer the effects of these random weather events, which occur without notice at the beginning of the round after the jolt, jar or the cumulative percentage roll says that energy must be released, whether that is damage to themselves, their equipment and belongings or those around them and their property.

As for storing the item, that is equally problematic. Placing the fragment into any inter-dimensional space or extra-dimensional pocket instantly causes a weather event to occur. This lasts for just one round, before another, and another and another takes place. These events continue until the fragment is removed from the space or pocket or twenty rounds, when the sphere will disappear altogether.

If anyone decides to peel open the protective layers of the fragment, the following happens:

If the adamantine is removed, the fragment produces a sunburst that affects all living creatures in the way it would normally affect undead - 37d6 damage and possible destruction. The Reflex save for half damage rises to DC 36. Undead are hit by a maximised version for 222 hp damage and possible destruction. The radius of effect becomes 240 feet.

If the mithral is removed, the fragment produces a maximised sunburst for 222 hp damage to and possible destruction of every  living creature. The Reflex save for half damage rises to DC 46. Undead are hit by an intensified version for 444 hp damage and possible destruction. The radius of effect becomes 720 feet.

If the lead is removed, the fragment produces an intensified version of the previous effect for 444 hp to and possible destruction of every living thing. The Reflex save for half damage rises to DC 56.  Undead are hit by a re-intensified version for 888 hp damage and possible destruction. The radius of effect becomes 2160 feet.

Perhaps the most straightforward approach is to make it impossible to open the central sphere.

Returning the fragment to either the giants or gnomes is the most sensible idea, but eventually a number of interested parties will take notice and pay the PCs a visit; some possibilities are below. Perhaps then their troubles really have begun.

Possible conclusions

As previously said, the party could easily come to a quick and messy end once inside the floating island, but this isn't the intention. If they are clearly over-faced by the final magic item, change the conclusion to defeating the dragons and then, for example, sinking the island or caving in the remaining roof to permanently damage the Tropospheroscope.

However, if they make short work of recovering the fragment of the Shard of the Sun, those interested parties will come around. Groups that would certainly be interested in the fragment include:

The overarching Klavek Officialdom; sage Statel back in Rybalka, for instance, along with his contacts

The Klavek Magical Society, as all types of magic need to be sanctioned

The Obelisk Order and the leaders of Timaeus, the arcane lands where the Shard of the Sun is monitored, would take it off the PCs' hands and reward them

Every church from Mohkba to Rybalka, and beyond into other lands, particularly those that worship Light

Assorted druid orders across the planet

Various Vikmordere tribes, including those lead by the vampire undead

If it isn't returned to them, the gnomes and giants, to whom, after all, it does belong, will come looking; the PCs would be rewarded well if this was done diplomatically

The dragons, particularly Sahkoistaasattia and Pentuaattelinen's family, but others too

Assorted other planar creatures will be interested, as its origins may well be from their home

And finally the many other undead that exist in the gloomy, secret places on the planet, all of which will want such a potent symbol of light destroyed.

Finally, if the PCs attempt to sell the sphere to anyone, they will find that person or people will soon pursue them for their money back and compensation on top.

Feel free to take your pick and have the players face the consequences of liberating such a powerful but unpredictable item.

 

A12 – Experience Awards

  • 1,000 each – Stopping the Tropospheroscope
  • 500 each - Coming up with a way to dispose of the Tropospheroscope
  • 300 each - Bringing back news of the Jarvikaveri
  • 250 - Not killing the invisible stalkers and will-o'-wisps
  • 100 each – Support Roles: Cartographer (map-maker), Treasure Keeper, Adventure Log,Time Keeper/Initiative Tracker
  • 100-300 each – Role-Playing experience (varies depending on if player role-played and/or altered their voice/accent)
  • CR experience – (Combat, Trap Removal, etc.)
  • Any additional awards you feel are appropriate
  • You may consider not giving some of these out if any PC decides to remove any of the layers from the fragment's protective skins.