Incandium's Eruption, Saatman's Throne
An adventure by Michael McCarthy compatible with 3.5e and Pathfinder, for a party of 4-6 level 14th PCs. In Pathfinder, this adventure assumes PCs are using the medium experience track.
Table of Contents
- Adventure Background
- Adventure Summary
- Adventure Hooks
- Chapter 1 - A Fiery Welcome
- Chapter 2 - Incandium
- B. The Pens
- C. Momma’s Ledge
- D. Kobold Caverns
- E. Volcanic Lip
- F. Incandium’s Lair
- G. Incandium’s Labs
- H. The Anomaly
- Concluding the Adventure
- Experience Rewards
- New Magic Item
- New Alchemical Items
- New Spell
- New Diety
- Elemental Princes: The Father of Fire
- Campaign Supplement: The Serpens Sanguis
- Player Map
- VTT Map
Incandium's youth was fairly typical, at least for a half-dragon raised amongst dragons, filled with years of endless physical and mental abuse. It was always clear he was different than his clutch-mates, though his mother only claimed it was because he was ‘special’, never explaining what latent power his elemental blood held.
Being inherently weaker than his brothers, Incandium took instead to magic, an area in which he far outpaced his brothers. His innate elemental power and brilliant – if twisted – mind allowed him to quickly overshadow his brothers, and eventually even his own mother.
When he was just shy of a hundred, he decided to stage a coup of his volcanic home, killing his mother and her mate in a single confrontation. When his brothers saw what he did, he defeated them too, sealing them in cages where they would be harmless to him until he had consolidated his power over the nearby countryside – which he did in under a year, enslaving every draconic creature within a hundred miles.
Since then, he has used his clutch-brothers as amusement and experimental subjects, and his clutch-sisters as breeding stock, mating them with any dragon he found suitable. These true-blooded eggs in turn were treated no better than his clutch-mates, and met the very same fate.
He made no secret of his volcano filled with dragons, renaming the volcano after himself and constantly threatening the nearby countryside with the idea of dozens of dragons descending upon them, burning down a small hamlet on the outskirts of the city of Volosk to prove that he was serious in his threat.
In the years since, Incandium has expanded the caverns beneath the volcano, unearthing in the process both molten magma and a great power sealed beneath the volcano, even more ancient than the Saatman Empire he was soon to encounter.
He was one of the first dragons contacted by Saatman, and with promises of ruling alongside all kinds of dragons in the future, Incandium couldn’t resist the opportunity. He threw himself with fervor into harnessing the energy of the rift with the intent of using it to age dragons far faster than naturally possible, which would allow him and Saatman to gather an army like none could expect or prepare for.
Two of Incandium and Saatman’s allies have already launched attacks on the Klavek Kingdom; the massive black Storm (Storm’s Wake, A18) and the distant white Midwinter (Midwinter’s Chill, A16), yet both assaults were turned aside by a party of heroes, who Incandium has decided must be eliminated. To ensure no more foul-ups, Incandium plans on seeing to it personally.
After being baited into meeting the dragon Incandium in battle in Western Klavek, the party finds themselves on the precipice of a volcano they are told will soon erupt – with a swarm of dragons.
Delving inside, the volcano is revealed to be a complex maze of tunnels, crawling with dragons, kobolds, harpies, and even home to a powerful elemental prince.
Strangest of all is hidden beneath Incandium’s laboratory in the depths of the volcano – a rift to other planes and an endless font of energy which they must tame, or destroy.
In doing so, however, they will meet and draw the ire of the self-entitled dragon emperor, Saatman – and they will learn that they must prepare for war!
The party, which has been investigating dragon activity after the recent uprising on the eastern and northern coasts of the Klavek Kingdom, finds that along the south-western border are rumors of red dragons. By the time they have stopped in Volosk, they have learned that the most well-known of these dragons is called Incandium, like the volcano.
The city the party is in is attacked by a red dragon, but instead of looking for easy targets, it heads directly to the PCs, calling them out by name and claiming to come from Incandium. The townsfolk aren’t very happy that the PCs might be attracting that sort of trouble. The only clue to the cause of the attack is the rumor of similar dragon activity along the nearby Promyshlennik mountains. By the time they have stopped in Volosk, they have learned that both a dragon and a volcano share the name Incandium.
While there are always creatures preying on livestock, in the south-western corner of Klavek it has begun to be an epidemic - dozens of cattle are being stolen every week, alongside pets and even the occasional traveller. People are whispering of some sort of flaming dragon stealing from them in the night.
Volosk is a decent sized town, innocently standing only a dozen miles from the foot of Incandium, on the western border of the Klavek kingdom. It primarily serves as the final major outpost before one of the safest crossings of the Promyshlennik mountains to Obor. Its walls are tall and fortress-like, intended to protect against attack from any side, but since its founding nearly a hundred years prior, it has never needed them.
The populace, living in relative safety as they do, has become complacent. When Incandium informed them that he renamed the mountain and would be collecting tribute, they didn’t even attempt to challenge him.
The PCs will likely have stopped in this town before approaching the volcano. Asking around, the party will hear comments on how the people here pay tithes to both the King, and to the dragon of Incandium, who is known to meet messengers and challengers in the foothills outside the volcano, even unexpected ones.
Volosk is as complex a city as any other. The following stat block uses Pathfinder settlement rules to quickly summarize a number of its important aspects (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/mastery/settlements.html). If you do not have access to these rules, or choose not to use them, simply ignore the content between LG Medium Town and ‘demographics’.
Chapter 1 - A Fiery Welcome
As the adventure begins, the PCs are in the foothills around Incandium, having accepted his challenge, succumbed to his threats, or simply having decided that any angry dragon should be dealt with before it becomes a problem.
A number of trails lead towards the volcano, but all of them eventually converge here, in a wide-open space with nothing but grassy hills and the occasional rock for miles in any direction.
PCs interested in teleporting near or into the mountain should arrive here as well. PCs intending on arriving inside the mountain should feel odd, as if perhaps the mountain here dimensionally locked.
Flying PCs should find themselves above this area on their route, or one similar, though there is little change in the encounter otherwise.
A. The Field of Battle (CR 16)
It is a blindingly sunny day, without a cloud visible in the sky. The mountains rising in the near distance barely block the rays of the harsh sun from the rolling hills, most prominently among them the volcano, Incandium.
From your vantage point, there is nothing to block your vision for miles behind you. You can look down on the hamlets peppering the hills, innocently going about their lives completely unaware of the threat of the nearby volcano.
The surrounding area is basically empty space, a place where this battle can take place without any chance of assistance, escape unlikely, and the combatants on mostly even footing.
Incandium will have been waiting for the PCs, and when they arrive, he will approach from the air at a leisurely pace – far slower than he can actually move. He would prefer to parley with the PCs before combat, but will immediately launch into combat if attacked.
Incandium is not dissimilar to most half-dragons, appearing as a powerfully built humanoid with red, scaly skin. However, where most dragons have membrane between their wings, Incandium instead has literal wings of fire. Incandium wears only a loose fitting toga – which reveals his brightly glowing tribal tattoos – and several pieces of magical jewelry.
If given the chance, he will tell the PCs that he is impressed with their exploits, especially as to how they have become dragon slayers, and how he and Saatman have decided the party deserves to be dealt with more personally. He will add that if they surrender, he will take them back to his laboratory, where they can live short but fulfilling careers as test subjects in the final stage of his new dragon breeding project.
If attacked immediately, he will keep it much simpler, telling the PCs on the first round that "You cannot stop me any more than you can prevent the eruption!"
Chapter 2 - Incandium
Incandium is a rather small mountain, with twin peaks leaning in opposite directions from an eruption long ago. The smaller of these two spires is nothing more than a titanic rock, but the larger of the two is nearly hollow with the catacombs within, carved from centuries of draconic inhabitation.
B. The Pens
The pens are where Incandium imprisons his draconic half-brothers and sisters. These chambers were once the main hall of Incandium; featuring a throne, chandeliers and elaborate architecture carved centuries ago. In the past decade they have been drastically expanded, with rough passageways carved directly through priceless murals, and entire walls destroyed to leave a single massive main cavern.
Considering the crudeness of the architecture, these areas are well constructed and clean - the brothers may be prisoners, but they won't live in squalor if they can avoid it.
B0. The Grate
Preventing access into or out of the mountain's main passage is a massive gate, iron bars three inches thick spaced only twice that far apart across the thirty-foot wide maw of the cavern. A huge golden lock spans the two bars in the very center.
This lock is actually a magical construction, and is immune to spells like knock, as it is not physically connected to any door or portal. By using Incandium's key, the lock will warp the space around it, turning the tiny spacing between the bars to a portal ten feet across, but leaving the bars intact. Three rounds later, it deactivates, returning to normal. The lock cannot be removed from the bars without destroying it, leaving only a 5 pound block of solid gold.
B1. Main Atrium (CR 15)
Supported by huge arches fifty feet high, this chamber's floor bears the marks of the passing of many taloned feet. What were once carefully depicted murals depicting dragon dominance over all lesser races have been despoiled where crude passages have been cut directly into the old works of art.
The main cavern is abandoned when the PCs arrive, but the brothers are always listening for noise in the central corridor. Unless the PCs are being particularly stealthy, after 1d4 rounds several of Incandium's brothers will slink from their pens and see their first chance for a fresh meal in weeks - immediately attacking.
Incandium's brothers are warped from his experiments, with bulbous growths or unevenly sized limbs. These mutations do not affect their combat statistics.
If the PCs do not eliminate all of the dragons, the next time the PCs enter this area, the remaining four brothers will be here, feasting on the remains of the others.
The door to B4 is a huge, iron door with an elaborate puzzle lock. It is detailed in B4.
B1a. Brother’s Pen (CR 11)
This rough-hewn room is less finished than the rest of the structure, and appears to have been rather recently carved, as the stone bears no marks of passage yet, save for a single groove in the center of the floor.
This room is large enough for a single dragon to lay in and move about, but little else.
There are currently a total of eight ‘brothers’, and eight rooms, but only four brothers will have remained in their pens upon the PCs arrival, and will remain there until the PCs enter. The other four pens are completely empty.
B1b. Big Brother’s Cage (CR 13)
Carved off the side of some older chamber, two of the walls are ancient and finished, while the other two are fresh hewn stone.
Only one of Incandium's older brothers survived his wrath; Valex. The smartest of the pure-dragon side of the family, he had always seen that Incandium was something different and spared him the same horrors the rest of his family visited upon him.
Because of this kindness, Valex was spared – but the life he now lives is no less miserable than his brothers. He will not immediately attack the PCs, hoping they might be 'an intelligent conversation'. He has not left these chambers in two decades, but he can answer a number of questions if pressed; including the history of both Incandium the volcano, and Incandium the dragon.
Valex could also, if bribed with freedom or run of the volcano after the PCs leave, tell the PCs of the trap leading up to Momma’s Ledge, that keeps him and his brothers from travelling upwards beyond this chamber.
B1c. Waste Chamber
The rear half of this room is covered in molten rock, and the air has a sharp metallic tang.
This room is particularly hot.
The pool of magma here is where the brothers are expected to dispose of their waste. Ten feet beneath the surface the passageway narrows to only a few inches across.
B2. Room of Rights
Several of the walls of this room feature simple, repeating carvings depicting dragons wrestling, while the others have been carved out, drastically expanding the original space.
This room is where Incandium allows his brothers to fight for the rights to mate with the female dragons, a right that normally involves a lot of bloodshed. Currently, the room is empty.
B3. Mating Room
Separated from the previous room by nothing but a curtain, this room is clean and untouched, its elaborate carvings unscathed.
This is the room in which Incandium allows his brothers to mate with the females, with some little privacy.
B4. Sister’s Cage (CR 6)
Unlike the harsh sulphurous smell of elsewhere, this room smells almost sickly sweet, and a faint haze hangs in the air like a shroud, making everything appear soft and fuzzy.
Incandium’s ‘sisters’, unlike his brothers, are offered little to no privacy. They share a single, common room, in which the air is heavily laced with conjured opium to keep them largely sedate.
While the smoke has little effect on characters in the room for only a few minutes, PCs who remain in this room or B5 for longer than ten minutes will suffer slowed reactions and reduced motivation, effectively being sickened for one hour. Characters spending longer than two hours in this room suffer 2d4 points of Intelligence and Wisdom damage, and have a strong desire to remain here indefinitely. This is a mind-affecting poison effect.
Incandium’s sisters will defend themselves if struck, but will otherwise be completely passive, as if asleep regardless what else happens in this room.
B4c. Waste Chamber
This room is particularly hot.
The female dragons usually dispose of their waste here. Often, however, Incandium has to have one of the kobolds clean it up for them, they are so heavily sedated.
This circular room has been painstakingly carved to be completely circular, with a spiraling set of tiers containing regularly spaced intervals of almost, but not quite the same size. In ten of these twenty four slots are large, red eggs.
This room is particularly hot.
Of the ten dragon eggs, three of them are nine months old (and near to hatching), three of them are five months old (and will hatch evil dragons), and four of them are only two months old (young enough to be raised by the PCs). Rules for hatching and training dragons can be found in Midwinter's Chill.
C. Momma’s Ledge
After defeating her in combat, Incandium took his Mother’s unconscious body here, and chained it up in the sun so that she would die a slow and painful death of starvation. Most of her bones remain here today, though the rotting carcass has been picked clean by scavengers, some of which claimed the ledge as a home, living in and among the dragon’s bones, and using the scales as everyday materials.
C1. Frost-Covered Landing (CR 15)
The ground here is covered with a thin layer of frost, which glitters in the natural light coming from further up the passageway, where only a tiny window in a large door reveals the sky outside.
This room is magically chilled, which alone is a deterrent for Incandium’s brothers, but amid the frost is a magical trap, focused on a tiny diamond buried in the snow. Removing the diamond from the floor disables the trap (as listed in disabling the trap, below). The trap can also be disabled by defeating the ice devil in area C1a.
The door to the north is flanked by two pairs of levers. All four must be pulled at once to open the door. Pulling a single lever takes a standard action a DC 12 Strength check, and they reset after three rounds making it impossible for a single creature to open the door alone - which is ideal for Incandium, as his brothers have yet to grasp the concept of teamwork.
From the opposite side, a single lever requiring a DC 22 Strength check serves the same purpose.
C1a. Frozen Cage (CR 13)
The floor and ceiling of this room are each decorated with elaborate runic circle. The walls of the room are covered with solid sheets of ice.
This devil is trapped here and used to power the trap in the other room - one circle binds the devil, the other connects his power to the trap in room C1. The devil does not immediately attack the party, but he has no control over the power being drawn from him - he knows that only slaying him here will sever the power connection.
C2. Mechanical Chamber
This room contains the mechanical workings for the door.
C3. Momma’s Bones
Open to the mountain air, this large sunny ledge is covered with refuse, feathers and small bones – all of which pale in comparison to the huge draconic skeleton chained to the ground, staring out at the horizon.
Momma’s body has long since been eaten by the carrion-feeders, which have in turn attracted a colony of particularly filthy harpies to this ledge and the structures within.
The smooth, clean corners of the walls and rooms have all been marred, covered in a layer of grime, from the creature’s poor care.
This ledge is approximately 500 ft up, though many small ledges and cliffs mean that falling from this height does 10d6 falling damage, three times (for a total of 30d6).
C3a. Harpy Prison
Momma’s ribcage has been transformed into a prison for the harpies, and a sturdy wire mesh has been fixed across one side, and an iron door has been fixed on the other.
Rarely are there more than two harpies here, and currently there is only one, Inquexur, who had blasphemously declared that the harpies shouldn’t live in their own filth.
If the PCs talk to her, they will find her receptive to the idea of freedom, though she can’t tell them much of anything beyond C4, except for one thing – that she has seen a blue dragon flying around recently, which is strange in this territory owned by the reds.
C4. Upper chambers (CR 14)
These rooms were once used by dragons before Incandium, for now they serve as the filthy nesting rooms of the many harpies that use this cliff as a home. Beneath all the grime, they feature the busts of ancient dragons, and glass murals that let in narrow rays of colored light.
There are 33 harpies living here in total, but during the day typically 20 of them are out hunting, and the others are divided between all three areas in C4. At night, all the harpies can be found in C4c, sleeping.
The harpies will be quick to realize they are no match for the PCs in direct combat, and will draw them out of their rooms, if possible to area C3, where they will then attempt to use their captivating song to pull the PCs off the cliff. Once half the harpies have been slain, the rest will flee.
C4a. Harpy Hall
The harpies spend most of their time here, singing, dancing and playing with their food, amongst just about everything else – evidenced by the refuse laying almost ankle deep everywhere on the floor.
During the day, there are typically eight harpies here.
C4b. Harpy Kitchen
This is where the harpies ‘prepare’ their food, which mostly involves taking live animals caught on the mountainside and tearing them into more bite-sized chunks. Currently, there is a half a mountain goat laying on the middle of the floor here.
During the day, there are typically three harpies here.
C4c. Harpy Bunks
While this is the one room relatively free of waste, it has been filled with sticks and other soft fragments to create a huge, connected bed for the harpies together
During the day, there is typically only one harpy here.
C5. Ancient Staging Room
This room is far more ancient than the others, and utterly devoid of the engravings so prevalent elsewhere.
While Incandium had searched these upper chambers, he wasn’t looking for this Medium sized secret door leading to these ancient chambers, and overlooked an entire subcomplex running through the mountain.
This room is nothing more than a staging room, and is kept empty. The door to C6 is made of stone, and unlocked.
C6. Ancient Sitting Room
This strange room features a large iron brazier, a jagged stone throne, a crystal bowl and an empty cage at one end, and an elaborate rug at the other.
This is the room from which the elemental princes met with mortals; typically the dragons who lived in the mountains, but not exclusively.
D. Kobold Caverns
The kobolds here have been servants of the dragons for generations, and while they aren’t particular pleased with Incandium in general (he’s no more dragon than they are, many of them say), they continue to serve him because they can’t escape any more than their draconic masters can.
There are a total of 87 kobolds living within these caverns, and of them only eight are warriors capable of challenging the PCs. During the day, they busy themselves mostly in the workshops, and at night they return to their homes in Dragonpass Way.
Unlike other creatures within the catacombs, most of the kobolds would prefer following a full-blooded dragon once again more than they desire freedom.
They aren’t afraid of engaging the PCs in conversation immediately, knowing that even collectively they aren’t particularly dangerous, save for their traps. If cornered or attacked, any kobold will immediately surrender – though if surrender is not offered, they will fight for their lives, hoping to hold the party off for five rounds - long enough for the Incandium Stewards to arrive to engage them properly.
The kobolds do not have any central leadership, usually deferring to the volcano's dragons, but if the PCs do speak with them one elder, Grax, will come forward to speak for them. He will ask them to eliminate all of the half-breeds in the mountain, and leave so that a proper dragon might take rule.
If the kobolds are given an unhatched dragon egg (likely from B5), they will be ecstatic. In exchange, they will offer the PCs the entirety of the dragonhide storage, and answer any questions they can. Specifically, they can detail the number of dragons living here, Saatman’s tattoos, the harpies, and that at one point Incandium walked through with a large blue dragon who was called Saatman.
D1. Dragonpass way (CR 15)
This wide, flat street is flanked by dozens of ramshackle buildings, each with an elaborate false front. Images of dragons being worshipped by kobolds are carved into the road itself.
The main street is open, wide and well kept to allow easy passage for dragons – though few are given permission to do so any longer.
There are a total of twenty-one two storey buildings here, sized for small creatures, though the false fronts imply many are three stories or higher. They are homes and simple shops in equal measure.
At any time a half dozen kobolds are in the street, and will sound the alarm if the PCs attack, drawing the Incandium Stewards in 5 rounds.
The Incandium Stewards below are paladins, but instead of drawing their power from the gods they instead draw power from the elemental patriarchs within the mountain, allowing them to be lawful evil. This replaces their aura of good ability with aura of evil, but does not otherwise affect their class abilities.
D2. Kobold Workshops (CR 6)
This series of interconnected and precariously stacked workshops fill a space once intended for creatures many times their size. The smell of hot metal clings to everything, giving the air a bitter metallic taste.
While these workshops look precarious, they are mostly safe for moving around or through. Any time area damage is done while within the workshops there is a 50% chance that the entire connected structure will collapse, doing 2d6 points of bludgeoning and 2d6 points of slashing damage to all creatures in the room, and creating difficult terrain in all squares.
In addition, the ground between the workshop spaces is littered with tiny traps intended to keep dragons from walking through the workshop spaces.
D3. Sootscale brewery
The kobolds brew mushroom ales here. There are normally a half-dozen kobolds working here, as well as three casks of strong, earthy ale.
D4. Recreation hall
This large hall is empty of occupants, but full of clutter, stacked in neat piles around the sides of the room.
This is the space the kobolds use for storage and recreation, from sports, dice, and even the occasional gladiatorial match when they are fortunate enough to have a prisoner. The stacks of things around the room range from tables to rusty weapons, but nothing of value.
D5. Scorched Cage
This cave is ten feet deep, and sealed off by narrowly spaced iron bars. The entire area is scorched black from heat.
These are the cages any kobolds which break their own interior laws are kept in, the bars and surrounding stone marred permanently black.
The heat damage is a result of previous draconic masters who enjoyed roasting the prisoners to ensure the smaller creatures stayed entirely in line.
D6. Mushroom gardens
While most kobolds eat little other than meat, for the Incandium kobolds it is a delicacy. Instead, they subsist almost entirely on large brown mushrooms grown here. Unknown to the kobolds, these mushrooms do not grow from the nutrients in the soil, but from the lingering elemental energy in the volcano.
D7. Trap-shoot (CR 14)
Piled from floor to ceiling, save a narrow passage down the center, are the irregular metal shapes of dozens or possibly hundreds of traps, stacked carelessly atop one another in a mishmash of springs, blades and vials.
The kobolds of Incandium have always produced more traps than their draconic masters care to use, and the excess have been stored here, protecting their hard-won rewards from generations of loyal service.
D8. Dragonhide storage
Behind a small door is a room whose ceiling is no higher than three feet at any point. Inside, carefully arranged chests are lined along the walls.
The kobolds have gone through great lengths to keep this chamber private from the dragons of the volcano. Inside, they have hoarded every trinket and reward they have earned over the years.
E. Volcanic Lip
The volcanic lip is open to the sky and was once a popular location for the dragons of Incandium to sit and sun, looking unobscured for hundreds of miles in every direction.
Each different tier is separated by a slope of approximately 45 degrees.
E1. Upper lip
The peak of the volcano climbs just above the clouds, looking out like a sea of whiteness just extending to the horizon in all directions.
The volcanic lip is irregular, but wide enough to easily walk. The slope outside is gradual for about fifty feet, before dropping off sharply beyond that.
E2. Sunning rock
This large rock here is hot – far warmer than the sun alone would make it. From here, you can see out past the lip of the mountain, and down into the crater below.
This rock is warmed not just by the sun, by also by a narrow vein of magma that runs nearly to the surface here, making this rock always an ideal temperature for a red or similar dragon.
E3. Inner arch (CR 12)
This tier flattens out, collecting rubble and boulders that have rolled inwards from the crater’s lip.
The large rocks that litter this area are actually dormant earth elementals. They serve the elemental imprisoned in E4, and are working to subtly make the crater less pleasant for dragons – which they feel is working. If the rocks are investigated closely the elementals will attack the PCs.
E4. Bowl (CR 12)
The bottom of the crater drops down ten feet, but apparently dead-ends beyond.
At the base of the crater is a passage that normally leads downwards. Currently, it is sealed off by the bulk of a bound Earth Elemental.
The elemental has been commanded not to let anyone but Incandium through, and once attacked will retreat into the rock to gain a surprise advantage the round after.
F. Incandium’s Lair
These connected chambers are Incandium’s lair, and his ancestors before him. Unlike elsewhere, the elaborate work on the walls has been left unscathed. The murals depict ancient times, back all the way to the first Saatman Empire where the humanoid races served largely as slaves and food for the draconic ones. The murals also depict how, apparently, one dragon defeated the army that toppled the empire, all by itself and came to live here in this mountain.
In addition, this entire area under the effect of redirect teleport (DC 25), redirecting any teleportation effects to the magma’s surface in F5.
F1. Sitting Room
This room is lit with a warm light radiating from the stars illustrated on the ceiling, walls and floor. Several nebulae are engraved in the floor like huge seats.
This room is where the dragons of the volcano normally entertain their personal guests. Incandium generally leaves the room unused.
F2. Sleeping Room
This room has been carved smooth and flat, and the far end is filled with cushions and furs.
This room has long been the private chamber of the volcano's masters – which Incandium has somewhat altered to accommodate his much smaller size. The furs and cushions are themselves protected from the heat by a faint magic, but are not particularly valuable.
This room is particularly hot.
F3. Thinking Room
The walls of the room are lined with shelves, interspersed with elaborate stone statues of dragons supporting books made from solid stone.
This room is Incandium’s library, filled with centuries of accumulated knowledge recorded on pages of thin slate instead of flammable paper. Each of the nine hundred books weighs 15 lbs, and is worth 1gp.
This room is particularly hot.
F4. Treasure Room
The passage here suddenly stops cold.
While this appears to be a tiny, empty room, it actually contains most of Incandium’s wealth, hidden behind a permanent illusion and wall of force. The wall of force has been modified to allow only creatures through with a particular rune tattooed on their body, and only in flame ink. Details on this rune and the tattooing process can be found in G5.
PCs searching this room will discover that two of the walls are cool to the touch, unlike the warm rock elsewhere. This grants a DC21 Will save against the illusion each round they remain contact. Passing through the wall immediately passes the save against the illusion.
F5. Teleportation funnel
Any attempts to teleport within F, G or H find themselves redirected here, to a small room filled with lava. A DC 25 Will save allows a user to identify that special distortion and cancel their spell before being redirected, which results in the teleporter arriving 5 ft. above the surface of the lava.
This room is so hot that being in this room alone does 3d6 fire damage per round – and landing in the magma does 5d6 fire damage each round, and failing to stay on or above the surface does 10d6 fire damage each round. Creatures immune to fire can navigate the passage downwards, eventually surfacing in area G1.
The door to F2 is clearly visible and opens easily from this side.
F6. Ancient Antechamber
The floor and walls of this room are ancient, smooth stone.
Incandium was just one of the many dragons to live within this mountain without knowing of the secondary structure running throughout the volcano, once the home of ancient elemental princes here on the material plane.
The staircase in the north of the room leads up, eventually to C6.
F7. Ancient Earthen Chamber
This room is overgrown with fungus, despite the heat of the volcano, and the walls and floor appear to be made of rich soil.
This room was formerly home to an elemental prince of earth, but it has been abandoned for nearly two thousand years. Even after so long, the rich soil here can support any plants easily - as evidenced by the growth. None of the plants here are particularly rare, but they are all edible, as can be identified with a DC 15 Knowledge (nature) check. One pound of soil from this room grants a +4 bonus on Survival checks to grow any single plant or plant creatures. The soil does not spoil, and each pound could be worth 200 gp if taken from this room. There are 50 pounds of salvagable soil here.
F8. Ancient Aerie
This chamber extends a hundred feet up, and several hooks extend from the walls.
This chamber had once housed an elemental prince of air, but it has abandoned for thousands of years.
F9. Ancient Magma Pool (CR 16)
A pool of magma dominates the room, actively burbling with blue and red flames. The pool is bounded in forged iron and studded with rubies, and hanging above it is a huge golden scepter, burning with white-hot flame.
This magma pool has served as the home for an elemental prince of fire for thousands of years. Currently, it serves as the throne of the relatively recent Father of Fire. Each prince communes with the volcano to draw in the history of the mountain, which the current Father of Fire is doing.
Once the PCs reach for the edge of the pool or the staff behind it, he will rise from the magma appearing as a dragon made of flame to speak with the PCs. He is not interested in fighting, though he will not be polite – the PCs have intruded into his throne room. He is curious why the PCs are there, and if they admit they killed Incandium, he will demand they prostrate themselves, and curse them if they do not.
If challenged, he will immediately open combat against the PCs without pause.
F10. Ancient Spring
A deep bowl sits in the center of the room, illustrated with waves but bone dry.
Once the home of an elemental prince of water, it has been abandoned for thousands of years. Most of the sapphires that decorated the rim of the pool have been pried out, except for one, worth 75gp.
G. Incandium’s Labs
These areas are where Incandium, and his ancestors before him, performed magical experiments. Unlike his ancestors, however, Incandium detected and excavated to the planar rift beneath the volcano (area H), constructing a magical passage between the two areas.
This area under the effect of redirect teleport (DC 25), redirecting any teleportation effects to the magma’s surface in F5.
G1. Magma chamber
Only a narrow walkway runs the perimeter of the room, much of the rest of the floor being comprised of magma. In the center, an island of stone breaks through the magma, on which a narrow pillar stands.
The only danger here is falling into the magma – which is unlikely except for attempting to cross to the platform in the middle.
This room is particularly hot.
G2. Magma platform
At the center of the platform is a circle engraved into the floor, at the edge of which is a narrow stand apparently meant to hold a small cube or similar object.
This circle is actually the lip of an elevator-like platform that, if activated, descends to area H below. However, it can only be activated with the correct keystone, which is currently inside the chamber below with Saatman. Fortunately, the key was one of the many items created in these very chambers, and it is possible to recreate, with enough work.
When the correctly assembled key is placed in the stand, the engraved circle activates, becoming an elevator that descends to area H.
If examined, the platform has an aura of moderate transmutation magic, and is connected to the pillar, which itself has a faint abjuration aura.
In an anti-magic field or if dispelled (DC 26), the elevator will detach from the platform and fall down the 300 ft deep shaft. Legend lore or other divination magic will be able to detail the key needed to activate the platform, potentially even the method to create the key.
Despite being surrounded by lava, this platform is kept cool, maintained by magic.
G3. Alchemy Station
A large stand fills one wall of this room, covered in pristine alchemical equipment. The other walls are used to house clay pots of varying sizes, each sealed carefully with wax.
This room is kept magically cool, as many of the supplies here would quickly spoil if exposed too long to intense heat. It contains masterwork alchemical supplies, enough to perform any Craft (alchemy) check with a +4 circumstance bonus.
Searching the station will reveal several of the more alchemical recipes Incandium uses, including fire ink, azure powder and engraving solution. Details on these alchemical items can be found at the end of the adventure.
There are currently three doses of engraving solution in flasks under the table.
G4. Crafting Lab
A huge iron bench dominates the far wall, thick with tool marks from the metalworking supplies around it. Other tools sit on similar benches around the room - benches of wood and stone to the left, anvils and jewel setting tools to the right.
This is the chamber in which Incandium creates the physical structures of magic items he designs. All the tools here are masterwork, which grant a +2 circumstance bonus on Spellcraft or Craft checks involved in making magic items.
Searching the area can uncover the plans for a number of magic items. Specifically, details on how to create a bracer of shields, the front door lock, and the elevator as well as its key. There are also two scrolls of redirect teleport here, each engraved on a thin sheet of slate, one pound (16 ounces) of pure mithral, and two pounds of gold.
The instructions to create the elevator's key are complex - first, six small mithral pyramids must be created, then they must be etched with particular magical designs (see image A; puzzle pieces), and finally they must be assembled into a cube (see image B, correct alignment) before they can be used to activate the elevator.
This room is particularly hot.
G5. Tattooing Chamber
This chamber is more recently carved than the others. On a small bench sits a needle-like tool, a flask of glowing liquid and several sheets of slate.
There are two dozen sheets of slate, each one depicting a slightly different illustration in a tribal style.
At the bottom of the slate is a worn book detailing how to create fire ink, and how to tattoo oneself with it. In the margins are notes written in draconic contemplating how to create a wall of force that only allows branded creatures through. The notes suppose that the treasure hoard would be well served by such a protection, as a temporary brand could be applied to minions to allow them to fetch items, without granting them permanent access.
The flask contains two doses of fire ink.
This room is particularly hot.
G6. Enchanting Labratory
A round, glass-smooth table is set in the exact center of the room. The air is electric with magic energy.
This is the room in which Incandium imbues items with magic, and beneath the table are a number of masterwork tools to assist in the process, which would grant a +2 circumstance bonus to Spellcraft checks. In addition, there are eight doses of azure powder amongst the tools.
This room is particularly hot.
H. The Anomaly
When this mountain was the home of the elemental princes, the rift within this chamber served as their font of power. As time passed and the planes turned, the nature of the rift changed from providing raw energy to more of a temporal anomaly, connected to a plane with a far faster flow of time then the material.
As the anomaly changed, most of the princes abandoned this seat of power for others, and this rift was abandoned until rediscovered a decade ago by Incandium.
This area under the effect of redirect teleport (DC 25), redirecting any teleportation effects to the magma’s surface in F5.
H1. Anomaly Chamber (CR 15)
The walls and floors of this chamber are marble smooth, with perfectly square corners in ways no mortal could cut. In the center of this cross-shaped chamber is a wavering vein of energy, running from floor to ceiling and partially obscuring the chamber beyond, where a blue dragon and several men with their backs to the wall watching the rift, and the room, very carefully.
This room is ancient, thousands of years old, carved by the elemental princes. The rift in the center is forty feet across, and runs from the floor to the ceiling.
It connects to a plane of positive energy where time flows many times faster than here on the material plane. The rift is safe for inorganic objects, but living creatures touching the rift will take 10 points of damage per round, and are forced to make a DC 30 Fortitude save to avoid taking one point of Constitution, Strength and Dexterity drain from irregular aging. Exposure for three or more consecutive rounds also results in a character aging one year.
Saatman and Incandium have been attempting to develop a spell to expand and regulate the effects of the rift, but are being exceedingly careful to do so without alerting any extraplanar forces that might be watching for such a disturbance. They have yet to succeed to a level they find acceptable.
When the PCs arrive, Saatman and two Serpens Sanguis cultists will be on the far side of the rift, maintaining analyze dweomer so as to study the rift.
Saatman will be honestly surprised at the PCs arrival, and will abandon his spell to speak with them. He is curious of their motivation, and will only reveal who he is if he will get equal information in exchange.
After several rounds of bartering, he will tell the PCs their efforts are in vain, for even though Incandium has fallen, all dragons in the Klavek Kingdom are banding together with the intent of crushing this 'pitiful human kingdom'.
With that, he will dismiss the redirect teleport effect in the area (A Standard action, as this effect was cast by him), and greater teleport away, leaving the cultists to deal with the PCs.
If the PCs manage to prevent Saatman from teleporting away, he is treated as an Ancient Blue Dragon in combat.
Concluding the Adventure
With Saatman’s plan revealed and Incandium’s master plan circumvented, the PCs have earned themselves a moment of respite. This adventure is complete once the PCs have faced Saatman in the anomaly chamber, but there are likely other areas of the volcano still to explore, and a kingdom to warn of the impending invasion!
Fortunately for the PCs, Saatman’s plans aren’t quite as close to fruition as he implies, and weeks or months can pass in-game before the next threat of dragon invasion arises.
The PCs may also become curious over the repeated symbol they have seen about - that of the Serpens Sanguis. Information on the cult, and their symbol, can be found in the appendix.
If PCs unlock the door between the brother and sister’s chamber, grant them Experience for a CR 14 encounter.
If the PCs correctly assemble the mithral pyramids, Grant them experience for a CR 16 encounter.
If the PCs discover the ancient passageways, grant them experience for a CR 14 encounter.
If the PCs give the kobolds a dragon egg, grant them experience for a CR 16 encounter.
If the PCs destroy or seal the rift, grant them experience for a CR 18 encounter.
New Magic Item
Bracer of Shields
New Alchemical Items
Fire Ink (Advanced Race Guide)
Cost 1gp; Weight —
Fire ink is a glowing solution that can be imprinted onto skin, which lasts for one hour after being applied. It makes users without resistance or immunity to fire sickened for the duration. One dose covers a hand-sized area. Crafting this item requires a DC 13 Craft (alchemy) check.
Cost 1sp; Weight —
Azure powder is a blue, chalky dust. It is harmless, and sticks to surfaces for one hour before falling away. It also reacts violently to engraving solution, as detailed below. Throwing a handful of azure powder at a target or square is a ranged touch attack with a range increment of 5 ft. Crafting this item requires a DC 11 Craft (alchemy) check.
Cost 2gp; Weight 0.5 lb.
Engraving solution is a thin, caustic liquid that burns the skin to touch, but has much more violent reactions to other, specific materials. In particular, when it comes in contact with azure powder it reacts violently, doing 5 points of acid and 5 points of fire damage to the target - this reaction leaves a permanent etch on any substance with a hardness of 20 or less. One dose of engraving solution is enough to etch one dose of azure powder. Crafting this item requires a DC 12 Craft (alchemy) check.
Elemental Princes: The Father of Fire
Few dispute that the universe is formed of four ‘classical’ elements; earth, fire, water and air. These elements rule over every aspect of life in some way, even if only subtly, and over these powers reign the elemental princes.
They are less well understood than the gods themselves, but known that collectively their power must be of similar scope. Unlike the gods, however, elemental power is held more in station than in their sheer being, for each elemental prince can pass down the title, or divide it amongst their inheritors as they see fit.
Scholars do not fully understand why immortal creatures like elementals ever step down from such lofty positions. They guess that such a station must be tiring or unpleasant – or perhaps even dangerous. However, global trends in all kinds of natural phenomena; from crops to plagues and sea level to earthquakes all corresponds to different elementals holding these titles.
Though it varies from one era to the next, it is thought that there are ten princely stations for each of the classical elements. Each station holds sway over the natural forces of one aspect of their element, and these princes are often found at a powerful planar nexus or awe-inspiring natural location so as to tap into the power of their element. Some prefer to reside on the material plane and consort with mortals; while others prefer to reign from their elemental planes.
The Father of Fire is one prince who has long since chosen to make the volcano of Incandium his home – long before even dragons even had chosen to carve their own fortress into its mountainside. He is responsible for sparks within the natural world, so that fires may be spread from one point to another, and always takes great pride in his work, ensuring each spark is flawless.
Like all elemental princes, the Father of Fire has the capacity to bestow his favor or ire upon an individual.
The Favor of Fire
A creature who has been blessed by the Father of Fire can create and manipulate sparks with no more than a wave of their hand. They gain one or both of the following abilities:
Spark Shower (Su) As a swift action, a creature blessed by the Father of Fire can send a shower of sparks from their hand, igniting any flammable objects and doing 1 fire damage to all targets within a 5 ft square. Alternately, a creature may ignite a single flammable object within their reach.
Spark of Inspiration (Ex) Once per day as a standard action, a creature blessed by the Father of Fire can gain a flash of insight, recovering one daily use of a power or ability normally available a number of times per day tied to an ability score.
The Curse of Sparks
A creature who has been cursed by the Father of Fire finds that flames follow him wherever he goes, and destroy whatever he touches. They gain one or both the following qualities, chosen by the father of fire when he lays the curse. These curses cannot be lifted without the use of wish, miracle or direct divine intervention.
Trail of Sparks (Su) Sparks lick from the heels of a creature cursed by the Father of Fire, igniting any flammable objects in their square. This ability cannot be suppressed.
Arcing Sparks (Su) Sparks from any flames seek you, like moths to a flame. Any time you or any creature or object within 5 ft of you takes fire damage, you are struck by rising sparks, and take 1 point of additional fire damage, bypassing fire resistance, but not immunity.
Campaign Supplement: The Serpens Sanguis
The Serpens Sanguis are a cult of men and women who believe above all other things that dragons are the truest of divine creatures, and should rule over all mortals with divine right. Many members of this cult even believe that dragons are divine will made incarnate, and as a result that dragons are literally gods walking the land.
The cult was founded during the war in which the now Klavek Kingdom conquered the draconic Saatman Empire, whose kings and rulers did live like the gods they claimed to be. Unfortunately, nearly every one of these so-called divine dragons was slain throughout the course of the war, and the few survivors fled to the far corners of the world to avoid persecution.
The founders of the cult were the most loyal of the dragon’s servants, powerful arcanists who drew their powers from the dragons themselves. Though they were much weakened by their master's departure, they continued to work mostly in secret, plotting to overthrow the kingdom from its earliest days.
Over the years, and with each failed attempt their group has grown and fragmented, with each cell having their own ideas on how a proper revolution might come about, returning dragons to power. Some cells prefer to work more subtly: such as by tainting crops with dragon blood so those eating it will feel the power flow in them; while others are more direct, like the group who resurrected Saatman after nearly two thousand years.
They take their symbol from the ancient Saatman empire, a draconic ouroboros twisted into an infinity, with the sun encompassed on one side, and the moon in the other. To them, this represents how dragons encompass all, in both the day and the night, not unlike the gods.
There are currently six major sects of the Serpens Sanguis active in the world, and countless splinter cells as small as a single member. Of these sects, only two are within the borders of the Klavek Kingdom.
The first, and largest group call themselves the imperialists. They are led by Rasputin, a powerful wizard who seeks to return the previous dragon emperor to power by raising him from the grave. The last emperor of the Saatman Empire, a blue dragon who calls himself Saatman, now directly commands this sect and has been working to gather dragons of all creeds and colors to his side.
The second, much smaller group, is also much more subtle. They call themselves the Stewards of the Tzar, and have been infiltrating the royal retainers for decades. Their plan is to taint the royal blood with that of dragons, and to thus turn the entire Klavek Kingdom into the second Saatman Empire. Their plan is much less immediate, though if it were to succeed as intended, it would be no less of a threat for the Klavek people.
For more information on Serpens Sanguis (including a mini-adventure), check out SIDE QUESTS - VOLUME 1 by Adventureaweek.com.