B01: Under His Skin

Password: Odin!
Subscribers: Download
Purchase: PDF / Print / Fantasy Grounds

5E (below)

Maps

click to enlargeclick to enlargeB1-Under-His-Skin-Jungle-Map copyB1-Under-His-Skin-Tower

Audio

Jungle Wildlife
Sounds in the Tower

In Pathfinder, this adventure assumes the party is using the medium experience track.

 

Adventure Background

Saben Behi has been called by his peers ‘one of the most brilliant men of the last century’, for the countless books he has written, and his study of the very nature of magic has touched lives across the world.

But despite the high praise and the efforts of his fellows, his name is all but unknown – and Saben would be happy if it stayed that way. Ever since he was young, Saben didn’t like people or attention, and his latent talents and brilliant mind only drew more and more eyes to him. Even his seclusion in the prestigious Lunar Academy didn’t earn him the peace he yearned for.

And so, for the last half-century, Saben has chosen to live in an isolated tower within a protective jungle, itself in the center of the unclaimed desert nestled between the two nations in which he lived. His only contact with the outside world was that of the occasional book he would publish, in exchange for costly materials he could not procure any other way.

In the last few years of his life, Saben’s studies grew steadily darker; necromancy, eternal life, and the nature of what lay beyond. In his last letter to the academy, he claimed to be seeking the means to transform into a worm that walks; an evil creature neither quite living nor undead.

The particular walking worm that caught Saben’s attention was the unfortunate Rodrei Ka – a druid and startlingly opposite to the wizard that captured him. Rodrei delighted in the closeness of living things, of maggots and writhing creatures against his flesh. But, other than the power over these same creatures, he was a failure at establishing command over anything else and utterly depraved.

Rodrei couldn’t even transform himself into a worm that walks on his own; he had to sell his soul to a kyton, agreeing to live his life in servitude. Once the deal was made, he sacrificed himself to the dark powers, completing his obscene transformation into a sentient mass of worms and grubs.

And then, after only a few meager years of attempting to repay his endless debt, Rodrei found himself trapped in a cage in Saben’s tower, where he would have been doomed to spend perhaps the rest of his eternal life under careful study. Except that his creditor felt there would be more entertainment in letting him free. One of the kyton's servants opened a tiny hole in the magical cage, just large enough for one worm at a time to squeeze forth, and like that, Rodrei was again free.

Rodrei quickly executed his former captor, and turned to searching his prison for any treasure that might be worth his freedom to the devil that owned him – though the kyton isn’t interested in such a deal at all. There were people coming looking for the wizard, and the druid’s soul would make an excellent addition to their collection.

 

Adventure Hooks

The PCs could be promising students from the Lunar Academy, interested in helping – or asked by faculty – to look into Saben’s apparent disappearance.

The PCs could be acquaintances or fans of Saben, who have followed his work in the past and are concerned about the circumstances mentioned in his last letter.

The PCs could be adventurers hired by the Lunar Academy to look into Saben’s last letter.

 

Adventure Synopsis

The PCs, having learned of the sudden lapse in Saben’s communication and the worrying contents of his final letter, travel to Saben’s tower only to find that even the jungle grounds surrounding his home have become dangerous and inhospitable.

The PCs must navigate through the maze-like jungle Saben had cultivated around his tower, fighting off the jungle itself and the creatures within.

Once they arrive at the tower, the group finds it locked, and filled with vermin of all kind – and worst of all Rodrei Ka, a creature no longer mortal, who slew Saben in his sleep and slowly ate his corpse.

Once the worm that walks has been defeated, the group is able to lay Saben properly to rest, and escape the rotting tower.

 

Setting

The border between the countries of Bluerast and Laily is defined by a swath of desert wasteland not owned by either country - so undesirable that it has refused a proper name for centuries, and is known most often as "the desert". Once every generation or so, each country will try to claim the desolate place for themselves, only to let it lapse again as the arid sand isn’t worth the energy to hold.

In the very center of this desert, an equal two-day's journey from both lands held by Bluerast and by Laily, is where Saben makes his home; in a mansion-like tower in the middle of an impossible jungle.

Saben himself was born and raised within the fertile planes of Bluerast, though once he was old enough to set out on his own, he traveled to Laily's mountains for the Lunar Towers Academy before claiming the small plot of no-man's-land for himself.

 

Chapter 1 – Far From an Oasis

Two days of traveling through the desert, two nights where the temperature drops to near freezing the moment the sun sets. Only after such a harsh journey does Saben’s tower jut out of the horizon.

Your guides bid you farewell a short distance away, erring to stay away from the home of the isolated wizard. For people who have to make this journey every several weeks, it’s probably the wisest choice. Saben chose this place above all others so that people would keep their distance.

The transition from the arid desert to the humidity of Saben’s jungle is instant, like stepping through a waterfall – though less comfortable. The trees of this apparent oasis loom ten and twenty feet tall, even the ferns tower as tall as a man. There wouldn’t be any easy passage through the underbrush – only the single winding path he set out for his occasional visitors.

The adventure begins as the PCs arrive at the border of the jungle around Saben’s home. The jungle is a dangerous place, maintained only by magic and Saben’s efforts. Saben deliberately keeps the jungle around his home dangerous, to keep visitors out. Rodrei’s tampering with the tower’s wards (see area C1) only worsens the problem by removing the protections available to the path. Most of the jungle creatures are oblivious to this, but they do occasionally wander into the normally protected space.

 

 

No Longer Safe

For each day the PCs remain within the jungle, there is a cumulative 25% chance of encountering a hunting colony of 1d3+1 stirges (d20) / a patrolling band of 1d3+1 vegepygmys (Pathfinder).

 

 

Off the Beaten Path

Even without the wards, the path is still the safest and only sure way to travel through the jungle. Attempting to press through the jungle towards the tower, just visible above the trees no matter where in the jungle you are, the PCs should make a Survival check.

Skill Check:

A Survival check below 14 fails to notice the gentle shifting of the trees and plants in the forest as they guide the PCs back to where the group entered after several hours, with a flat 50% chance of encountering a group of 1d3+1 stirges (d20) / vegepygmys (Pathfinder) waiting on the path.

You emerge from the forest no closer to the tower than when you entered, with a faint feeling of déjà-vu.

A 14 or higher Survival check notices the shifting of trees and plants, but is unable to account for the change during travel. The group returns to their entry point as above, including the potential encounter with the jungle protectors, but receives a cumulative +1 competence bonus each further time they attempt to enter the forest.

The ground seems to change beneath your feet, shifting the paths between trees to lead you back to where you began.

A 19 Survival check is enough to take the shifting trees into account, making it to the next path section closer to the tower.

Despite the shifting forest, you stay your course, emerging onto the path much closer to Saben’s tower.

 

 

A. Jungle Entrance

A clear boundary separates Saben’s jungle from the desert around it, turning from sand to thick grass in the space of a single step. A dozen paces beyond that is the jungle proper, and the narrow dirt path leading into the gloom. Barely visible beneath the shadow of the canopy, a body lays face-down in the dirt.

The body is that of one of Saben’s couriers, Jeleste. Barely sixteen, she was fit and lightly equipped, just food, water and a single letter in her bag. Despite it only having been a few days since her death, the jungle heat and Rodrei’s insects have nearly reduced the corpse to mulch.

The letter is short, just a single page. It reads:

 

 

 

B. Winding Path

The path to Saben's tower is designed to gently deter intruders, and if that's impossible, to kill those irritating enough to press onward.

Skill Check: Each time the PCs come to a fork in the road, they may make a DC 12 Survival, or a DC 17 Spot (d20)/Perception (Pathfinder) check to identify the path more traveled – which is the one leading to Saben’s tower. On a failure, the PCs are unable to discern which path might lead them forward and must make the decision blindly.

Should the PCs take the wrong route at any intersection, they will arrive at a dead end.

 

 

B1. Dead End (CR1 each)

The twisting path begins to spiral in onto itself, opening into a small clearing. At its center is a monument of sorts, heavy with moss and brightly colored flowers.

The numerous dead ends of Saben’s maze are all the same. A fifteen foot clearing, at the center of which stands a stone marker onto which is etched the phrase “You should not have come here” in Common.

Creatures: Each stone marker is home to a pseudodragon (d20) / two vines of Xtabay (Pathfinder). The stone’s inhabitants will wait for the PCs to approach the stone and give them a moment to read it before attacking.

Combat: Pseudodragon (3.5)

PSEUDODRAGON

Monster Manual

 

Size/Type:Tiny Dragon
Hit Dice:2d12+2 (15 hp)
Initiative:2
Speed:15 ft. (3 squares), fly 60 ft. (good)
Armor Class:18 (+2 size, +2 Dex, +4 natural), touch 14, flat-footed 16
Base Attack/Grapple:+2/-8
Attack:Sting +6 melee (1d3-2 plus poison)
Full Attack:Sting +6 melee (1d3-2 plus poison) and bite +1 melee (1)
Space/Reach:2½ ft./0 ft. (5 ft. with tail)
Special Attacks:Poison
Special Qualities:Blindsense 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft., immunity to sleep and paralysis, low-light vision, spell resistance 19, telepathy 60 ft.
Saves:Fort +4, Ref +5, Will +4
Abilities:Str 6, Dex 15, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 10
Skills:Diplomacy +2, Hide +20*, Listen +9, Search +6, Sense Motive +7, Spot +9, Survival +1 (+3 following tracks)
Feats:Alertness, Weapon FinesseB
Environment:Temperate forests
Organization:Solitary, pair, or clutch (3-5)
Challenge Rating:1
Treasure:None
Alignment:Always neutral good
Advancement:3-4 HD (Tiny)
Level Adjustment:3

A pseudodragon has a body about 1 foot long, with a 2-foot tail. It weights about 7 pounds.

A pseudodragon can communicate telepathically and can also vocalize animal noises.

 

Combat

A pseudodragon can deliver a vicious bite, but its principal weapon is its sting-equipped tail.

Poison (Ex)

Injury, Fortitude DC 14, initial damage sleep for 1 minute, secondary damage sleep for 1d3 hours. The save DC is Constitution-based and includes a +2 racial bonus.

Blindsense (Ex)

A pseudodragon can locate creatures within 60 feet by non-visual means (mostly hearing and scent, but also by noticing vibration and other environmental clues). Opponents the pseudodragon can’t actually see still have total concealment against the pseudodragon.

Telepathy (Su)

Pseudodragons can communicate telepathically with creatures that speak Common or Sylvan, provided they are within 60 feet.

 

Skills

Pseudodragons have a chameleon-like ability that grants them a +4 racial bonus on Hide checks. *In forests or overgrown areas, this bonus improves to +8.

 

The text above is Open Game Content, and is licensed for public use under the terms of the Open Game License v1.0a.

‘d20 System’ and the ‘d20 System’ logo are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
and are used according to the terms of the d20 System License version 6.0.
A copy of this License can be found at www.wizards.com/d20.

Combat: Xtabay (Pathfinder)

XTABAY (2)

Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 2

This patch of vines is ornamented with beautiful crimson and violet flowers, the petals of which seem to bear tiny faces.

CR 1/2

XP 200

N Small plant

Init +1; Senses low-light vision, tremorsense 30 ft.; Perception +1

 

DEFENSE

AC 12, touch 12, flat-footed 10 (+1 Dex, +1 size)

hp 8 (1d8+4)

Fort +6, Ref +1, Will +1

Immune acid, plant traits

 

OFFENSE

Speed 5 ft.

Melee 2 stings +0 (1d3–1 plus 1d2 acid)

Special Attacks devour, soporific pollen

 

STATISTICS

Str 8, Dex 13, Con 19, Int —, Wis 12, Cha 11

Base Atk +0; CMB –2; CMD 9 (can't be tripped)

 

ECOLOGY

Environment any land

Organization solitary, pair, copse (3–5), or garden (6–12)

Treasure none

 

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Devour (Ex) While a creature is under the effects of a xtabay's soporific pollen, the plant may, as a full-round action, occupy the same square as the sleeping creature and slowly sap the life from it. Every round the xtabay uses this ability, the affected creature must make a DC 14 Fortitude save or take 1d2 Con damage. This feeding is curiously painless, and normally isn't enough to waken a foe put to sleep by the plant. Each round this feeding continues, the sleeping victim can attempt a new DC 14 Will save to awaken. This save DC is Constitution-based.

Soporific Pollen (Ex) As a standard action, a xtabay can release sleep-inducing pollen into the air around it. Each creature within a 10-ft.-radius burst centered on the xtabay must make a DC 14 Will save or fall asleep for 1d3 minutes. A creature that succeeds on the Fortitude save cannot be affected by the same xtabay's soporific pollen for 24 hours. A creature put to sleep by this pollen can be awakened by vigorously shaking the sleeper (a standard action) or by damaging it. This is a mind-affecting sleep effect. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Known for their potent—and ultimately deadly—scent, xtabays are a floral hazard to the unwary. As fast-spreading as ivy, a xtabay's vines are sturdy and adaptive, making the plant a potential threat nearly everywhere—from gardens to wells to forest groves.

Attractive flowers blossom from the vines of xtabays, emitting the spores that mean a slow death for their victims. The strange, face-like patterns that grow on the petals are disturbing but seem to have no real function. Hermits or other reclusive types have been known to surround their territory with xtabays, warding off pesky creatures and adventurers alike. Instances of xtabays of larger-than-usual size have also been reported. These massive plants possess tendrils as thick as tree limbs and flowers that can fell even the hardiest of warriors with their overwhelming perfume. Underground, xtabays thrive in the wet, dark environment, covering the walls and floors of entire caverns and anesthetizing whole dens of subterranean creatures.

Nomadic plants, xtabays traverse large expanses of land until they sense nearby life, at which point they lie dormant and take on the guise of harmless flowers while releasing their deceptive aroma. Once a creature is subdued, the beast-like plant wastes no time in devouring it, disregarding creatures unaffected by its aroma. Because of their carnivorous nature, xtabays only rarely run short on nutrients, consuming the entirety of a victim's body over the course of several days following the initial process of draining its blood. Xtabays are able to devour creatures thanks to their lengthy roots, which produce a corrosive acid that breaks down and absorbs flesh and bone.

The above text is Copyright Paizo Publishing.

 

 

 

B2. Jungle Ambush (CR2)

Saben has ensured this jungle has long been a breeding ground for exotic creatures, maintained by the bodies of a steady supply of unwelcome visitors or potential thieves. Whilst normally restricted to the jungle itself, with the tower’s wards lowered one of many colonies of stirges (d20) or vegepygmys (Pathfinder) have begun to lay claim to the territory normally encompassed by the path.

While the PCs might encounter a number of stirges (d20)/vegepygmys (Pathfinder) within the jungle, it has no effect on this encounter here – there are hundreds of the creatures within the jungle.

(D20)

A droning sound erupts suddenly from the trees above your head, and moments later the sound is coming from the thick foliage to the sides of the path as well.

Creatures: The stirges will quickly assault the nearest PCs to the edge of the path, draining blood and then flying back off into the jungle to digest their meal.

Combat: Stirges (3.5)

STIRGE (3)

Monster Manual

Treasure: A quick search in the jungle reveals some unfortunate explorer near the wayside. His equipment is rotted, but he does wear a silver necklace worth 30gp.

Size/Type:Tiny Magical Beast
Hit Dice:1d10 (5 hp)
Initiative:4
Speed:10 ft (2 squares), fly 40 ft. (average)
Armor Class:16 (+2 size, +4 Dex), touch 16, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple:+1/-11 (+1 when attached)
Attack:Touch +7 melee (attach)
Full Attack:Touch +7 melee (attach)
Space/Reach:2½ ft./0 ft.
Special Attacks:Attach, blood drain
Special Qualities:Darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision
Saves:Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +1
Abilities:Str 3, Dex 19, Con 10, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 6
Skills:Hide +14, Listen +4, Spot +4
Feats:Alertness, Weapon Finesse B
Environment:Warm marshes
Organization:Colony (2-4), flock (5-8), or storm (9-14)
Challenge Rating:½
Treasure:None
Alignment:Always neutral
Advancement:
Level Adjustment:

A stirge’s coloration ranges from rust-red to reddish-brown, with a dirty yellow underside. The proboscis is pink at the tip, fading to gray at its base.

A stirge’s body is about 1 foot long, with a wingspan of about 2 feet. It weighs about 1 pound.

 

Combat

A stirge attacks by landing on a victim, finding a vulnerable spot, and plunging its proboscis into the flesh. This is a touch attack and can target only Small or larger creatures.

 

Attach (Ex)

If a stirge hits with a touch attack, it uses its eight pincers to latch onto the opponent’s body. An attached stirge is effectively grappling its prey. The stirge loses its Dexterity bonus to AC and has an AC of 12, but holds on with great tenacity. Stirges have a +12 racial bonus on grapple checks (already figured into the Base Attack/Grapple entry above).

An attached stirge can be struck with a weapon or grappled itself. To remove an attached stirge through grappling, the opponent must achieve a pin against the stirge.

 

Blood Drain (Ex)

A stirge drains blood, dealing 1d4 points of Constitution damage in any round when it begins its turn attached to a victim. Once it has dealt 4 points of Constitution damage, it detaches and flies off to digest the meal. If its victim dies before the stirge’s appetite has been sated, the stirge detaches and seeks a new target.

The text above is Open Game Content, and is licensed for public use under the terms of the Open Game License v1.0a.

‘d20 System’ and the ‘d20 System’ logo are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
and are used according to the terms of the d20 System License version 6.0.
A copy of this License can be found at www.wizards.com/d20.

(PATHFINDER)

The snapping of a dried branch alerts you to motion nearby, moments later followed by a small figure leaping from the foliage onto the twisted path. It seems to be woven from vines and branches, but the teeth on its necklace are distinctly human.

Creatures: While one vegepygmy makes a visible entrance in front of the PCs, two others sidle up behind the group with 22 Stealth, so as to attack from surprise.

Combat: Vegepygmy (Pathfinder)

VEGEPYGMY (3)

Pathfinder RPG Bestiary

Treasure: The vegepygmys carry nothing of value except their spears.

 

Short, thin, and green, this small humanoid wields a spear. Tendrils of fungus dangle from its arms, midsection, and legs.

CR 1/2

XP 200

N Small plant

Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +7

 

DEFENSE

AC 16, touch 13, flat-footed 14; (+2 Dex, +3 natural, +1 size)

hp 5 (1d8+1)

Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +0

DR 5/slashing or bludgeoning; Immune electricity, plant traits

 

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft.

Melee 2 claws +1 (1d4) or longspear +1 (1d6)

 

STATISTICS

Str 11, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 8, Wis 11, Cha 11

Base Atk +0; CMB –1; CMD 11

Feats Skill Focus (Perception)

Skills Perception +7, Stealth +10 (+18 in vegetation); Racial Modifiers +4 Stealth (+12 in vegetation)

Languages Undercommon, Vegepygmy (cannot speak)

 

ECOLOGY

Environment any underground

Organization solitary, gang (2–6), or tribe (7–30 plus 1 chieftain)

Treasure standard (longspear, other treasure)

Vegepygmys are created by a dangerous fungus known as russet mold—creatures slain by russet mold serve as incubators for the mold's spores, and a day later, the dead body bursts to release 1d6 fully grown vegepygmys. A vegepygmy has no real relation to the body from which it emerges, but the creature may yet retain a strange sort of reverence for its “birth corpse” and carry with it a grisly memento from the body, typically a few bones or teeth. Often, a vegepygmy uses such bones to craft a crude spear or some other weapon.

Vegepygmy tribes live in tightly knit communities and fiercely guard their patches of russet mold. Vegepygmies cannot speak—they communicate via a crude language of rhythmic taps, beats, and clicks. Hunting parties echo these exchanges through the caves they travel. Vegepygmies stand 2 to 4 feet tall and weigh between 15 to 45 pounds.

Approximately 1 in 20 vegepymies are chieftains. A vegepygmy chieftain is an advanced vegepygmy (often one with class levels) that carries an infestation of russet mold spores in its flesh. A vegepygmy chieftain infects any creature it hits with its natural weapons with russet mold spores (see below).

 

Russet Mold (CR 6)

This hazardous fungus can be found in dark, wet areas, and often grows in great abundance at the heart of a vegepygmy lair. When a creature approaches within 5 feet of a patch of russet mold, the fungus releases a cloud of spores in a 5-foot radius burst. Everyone in the area must make a DC 15 Fortitude save or the spores quickly take root in their victims, inflicting 2 points of Constitution damage per round. A new Fortitude save can be attempted each round to halt the growth. Although immunity to disease won't protect against russet mold spores, the growth can be halted by remove disease and similar effects. Exposure to sunlight also halts the spores' growth. Plants are immune to russet mold spores.

After 24 hours, a fully grown vegepygmy bursts from the body of any creature slain by russet mold, provided the creature was Small or larger. For each size category larger than Small, the body produces one additional vegepygmy.

A patch of russet mold is unharmed by all effects save for acid, alcohol, or remove disease (or a similar magical effect, such as heal), all of which can kill a single patch of russet mold on contact. Sunlight doesn't kill the mold, but does render it dormant and harmless as long as the sunlight persists.

The above text is Copyright Paizo Publishing.

 

B3. Gardens

The path widens into a square clearing, with low wooden fences surrounding carefully tended gardens. Despite the general maintenance, none of the fruit appears to have been harvested, by man or animal alike, and tomatoes, pumpkins and other vegetables rot on the vine.

These gardens, and much of the jungle path, are maintained by ant-like formians (d20)/ plant-creature leshy (Pathfinder), who specialize in such a task. However, their efficiency leaves the garden overflowing; resulting in much of their hard work becoming fertilizer for their next season.

While normally a dozen formian workers (d20) / leshy (Pathfinder) maintain this garden, all but two have been drawn away by the idea of starting their own gardens elsewhere, once the wards fell.

 

(D20)

Skill Check: A DC 18 Diplomacy check, coupled with a DC 15 Sleight of Hand to communicate, can convince the formian workers to follow the PCs to aid them with general labor – though they will refuse to enter combat.

AAW-Formian-color-01

Combat: Formian Worker (3.5)

FORMIAN WORKER (2)

Monster Manual

Formian Worker
Size/Type:Small Outsider (Lawful, Extraplanar)
Hit Dice:1d8+1 (5 hp)
Initiative:2
Speed:40 ft. (8 squares)
Armor Class:17 (+1 size, +2 Dex, +4 natural), touch 13, flat-footed 15
Base Attack/Grapple:+1/-2
Attack:Bite +3 melee (1d4+1)
Full Attack:Bite +3 melee (1d4+1)
Space/Reach:5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks:
Special Qualities:Cure serious wounds, hive mind, immunity to poison, petrification, and cold,make whole, resistance to electricity 10, fire 10, and sonic 10
Saves:Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +2
Abilities:Str 13, Dex 14, Con 13, Int 6, Wis 10, Cha 9
Skills:Climb +10, Craft (any one) +5, Hide +6, Listen +4, Search +2, Spot +4
Feats:Skill Focus (Craft [selected skill])
Environment:A lawful-aligned plane
Organization:Team (2-4) or crew (7-18)
Challenge Rating:½
Treasure:None
Alignment:Always lawful neutral
Advancement:2-3 HD (Medium)
Level Adjustment:

A formian resembles a cross between an ant and a centaur. All formians are covered in a brownish-red carapace; size and appearance differs for each variety.

Worker

While workers cannot speak, they can convey simple concepts (such as danger) by body movements. Through the hive mind, however, they can communicate just fine—although their intelligence still limits the concepts that they can grasp.

A worker is about 3 feet long and about 2½ feet high at the front. It weighs about 60 pounds. Its hands are suitable only for manual labor.

Combat

Formian workers fight only to defend their hive-cities, using their mandibled bite.

Formians are generally aggressive, seeking to subdue all they encounter. If they perceive even the slightest threat to their hive-city or to their queen, they attack immediately and fight to the death. Any formian also attacks immediately if ordered to do so by a superior.

Hive Mind (Ex)

All formians within 50 miles of their queen are in constant communication. If one is aware of a particular danger, they all are. If one in a group is not flat-footed, none of them are. No formian in a group is considered flanked unless all of them are.

A formian worker’s natural weapons, as well as any weapons it wields, are treated as lawful-aligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Cure Serious Wounds (Sp)

Eight workers together can heal a creature’s wounds as though using the cure serious wounds spell (caster level 7th). This is a full-round action for all eight workers.

Make Whole (Sp)

Three workers together can repair an object as though using the make whole spell (caster level 7th). This is a full-round action for all three workers.

 

The text above is Open Game Content, and is licensed for public use under the terms of the Open Game License v1.0a.

‘d20 System’ and the ‘d20 System’ logo are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
and are used according to the terms of the d20 System License version 6.0.
A copy of this License can be found at www.wizards.com/d20.

(PATHFINDER)

Skill Check:

A DC 18 Diplomacy check in either Sylvan or Druidic will convince them to follow the PCs to assist in simple tasks, though they will shy away from participating in actual combat.

Combat: Leaf Leshy (Pathfinder)
LEAF LESHY (2)

Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 3

This little plant person is clad in a winglike leaf cloak and pinecone armor, wielding a twig as a makeshift spear.

CR 1/2

XP 200

N Small plant (leshy, shapechanger)

Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +1

 

DEFENSE

AC 13, touch 12, flat-footed 12 (+1 armor, +1 Dex, +1 size)

hp 5 (1d8+1)

Fort +3, Ref +1, Will +1

Immune electricity, sonic, plant traits

OFFENSE

Speed 20 ft., climb 10 ft., fly 10 ft. (clumsy); glide

Melee shortspear +2 (1d4–2/19–20)

Ranged seedpods +2 touch (1 plus deafen)

Spell-Like Abilities (CL 2nd; concentration +3)

Constant—pass without trace

STATISTICS

Str 6, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 5, Wis 12, Cha 13

Base Atk +0; CMB –3; CMD 8

Feats Weapon Finesse

Skills Fly –1, Stealth +5 (+9 in forests and jungles), Survival +1 (+5 in forests and jungles); Racial Modifiers +4 Stealth and Survival in forests and jungles

Languages Druidic, Sylvan; plantspeech (trees)

SQ change shape (Small tree; tree shape), verdant burst

 

ECOLOGY

Environment any forest or hill

Organization solitary or grove (2–16)

Treasure standard

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Glide (Ex) A leaf leshy cannot use its fly speed to hover. When flying, a leaf leshy must end its movement at least 5 feet lower in elevation than it started.

Seedpods (Ex) Leaf leshys sprout explosive acorns, pine cones, or other seedpods, and can hurl these as ranged attacks. A seedpod has a range increment of 10 feet and detonates on contact to deal 1 point of bludgeoning damage (this damage is not modified by Strength). Anyone struck by a seedpod must succeed at a DC 11 Fortitude save or be deafened for 1 round. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Leaf leshys tend to the well-being of trees, whether natural stands or cultivated orchards. In appearance, they have soft, pulpy-looking bodies and wear clothing made of dozens of leaves. Larger leaves cover their shoulders, often giving them the appearance of wearing cloaks, and most adorn their relatively featureless heads with helmets made from pine cones, nuts, or fruit rinds. This leafy layer of clothing functions as masterwork padded armor for a leaf leshy, but not for any other creature.

Leaf leshys love to play at war. When not laboring on their trees, they wheedle any companions to engage in mock duels with their twig spears, resorting to private weapon drills when they must. In actual battle, they are much more cautious, sticking to cover and harrying their foes with hit-and-run tactics, as they have a strongly developed sense of self-preservation.

Statistics above Copyright Paizo Publishing


C. Saben's Tower

This clearing houses Saben’s tower-like home. It is described in detail in Chapter Two.

 

 

 

 

Chapter 2 – A Wizard Built It

 

Adventure Location: Saben's Tower

Adventure Location Saben’s Tower

Location Built in a jungle within a desert between two countries, Saben has taken great pains to keep himself isolated.

History Before Saben’s arrival, this location was no different than any other series of dunes in the small desert between Bluerast and Laily, a desolate no-man’s land not worth capturing by either country. Over the last several decades, Saben has converted this few square miles into a lush jungle controlled and protected strictly by magic.

Rodrei has recently disabled these very wards by tampering with the circle of runes surrounding the tower, causing many of the protections to begin to fail and throwing the formerly carefully structured system into chaos.

Location Saben’s Tower
Dangers Vermin, Traps
Lighting Sunlight
Walls Magically-treated wooden walls (unless noted)
Doors Unlocked good wooden doors (unless noted)
Mood/Theme Overwhelming decay overtaking the tower.

click to enlarge

 

 

C1. Tower Exterior (CR 2)

The trees of the jungle finally part, leading you to a large, round clearing. The path continues to wind, gently now, towards the tower that dominates the space, flanked on either side by a collection of potted shrubberies.

Around the whole space is a ring of stones, each featuring a single rune, free of even a hint of the vegetation growing so rampant on all sides of the clearing. Beside where you entered, two of these stones lay cracked into fragments, a third lying out of order beside them.

Whilst Saben’s tower is well maintained, with clean plaster walls and a manicured lawn, it isn’t inviting, either. The few windows are narrow, and there is only a single, small front door, which has begun to rot along the bottom but otherwise remains tightly shut.

There are several options available for PCs attempting to enter the tower. The front door is the most obvious – despite the trap to keep intruders out – and once opened should remain so unless closed by the PCs. The few times Rodrei entered and left the tower, he discorporated and simply swarmed beneath the door, causing the slight rotting.

Alternately, the PCs could enter through one of the tower’s many windows. Doing so requires a DC 20 Escape Artist check for each character attempting to squeeze through the narrow windows – and for a window above the first floor, a second Climb check, as well.

The PCs also have the option of climbing the tower to the landing at C11. The plaster walls of the tower offer little purchase to bare hands, but offer excellent purchase to pitons and other climbing tools. A DC 17 Climb check is required for each floor scaled, but climber’s kits offer twice their normal bonus.

Howling Door Trap

HOWLING DOOR TRAP

CR 2

Type magic; Perception DC 27; Disable Device DC 27
EFFECTS
Trigger
open door; Reset automatic (close door)

Effect spell effect (ear-piercing scream, 2d6 sonic damage plus daze, DC 12 Fort save for half damage); single target

 

 

C2. Entryway

In the center of this hexagonal chamber stands a soldier of stone, eight feet high and holding in both hands a sword half as tall as he is himself. Sitting at his feet are two heavy chests, banded in iron, and behind it a pair of foreboding doors.

The statue in this room is deliberately crafted to appear as if it were a stone golem, complete with an intimidating glare watching the door and chests. Fortunately for the PCs, Saben felt the cost of an actual golem was too high, and resorted to alternate measures.

Instead of a golem, Saben installed here a large threatening statue, and a permanent programmed image (dispel DC 19) to make it appear to animate. When the PCs enter the room, the illusion will draw its sword, and stand menacingly as if it would prevent the PCs from passing. As an illusion however, it has no such power.

Skill Check: A DC 17 Knowledge (arcana), check is sufficient to tell the PCs that the creature on the pedestal is not the golem it appears to be, allowing each PC a DC 19 Will save to disbelieve the illusory guardian.

Dispelling or bypassing the illusory guardian grants the PCs 600 XP.

Treasure: Examining the chests at the statue’s feet reveals them to be empty. Rodrei has already emptied them of the spell components which had been delivered for Saben, which he now keeps with him in C14.

 

C3. First Floor Atrium (CR2)

This long atrium is carpeted down its length with a rich carpet, opening at the end to a number of windows to let in the natural light of the sun. On either side of the room, between the doors branching off in both directions, is a number of elaborate paintings of magical phenomena.

After a brief problem with his guests touching his collection too often, Saben installed weight-sensitive trap doors in this room. Their locations are fairly obvious once one knows what to look for; they are the only places in the room not carpeted. They are designed to only give way only after a moment, so characters walking along the walls are safe, but stopping for even a moment causes the floor to fall out beneath the target.

Each uncarpeted section is a separate pit.

 

Spiked Pit Trap

SPIKED PIT TRAP

CR 2

Type mechanical; Perception DC 20; Disable Device DC 20
EFFECTS
Trigger
location (marked areas); Reset manual

Effect 10-ft.-deep pit (1d6 falling damage); pit spikes (Atk +10 melee, 1d4 spikes per target for 1d4+2 damage each); DC 20 Reflex avoids; multiple targets (all targets in each marked area)

 

 

C4. West Wing (CR 2)

The west wing of the tower was the place Saben had restricted for things he wanted to keep out of the main section of the tower – guests, and dangerous experiments.

Rodrei’s tampering with the tower wards have opened the wing up to the least desirable guests at all; a nest of giant ants is beginning to take up residence just below the wing.

There are currently four giant ants in the nest, one of whom is above ground, reducing the contents of this floor to mulch. When the PCs first arrive, the giant ant is in the meeting room at C4b during the day and C4c at night. After two days, or the night after the PCs kill the first ant, an additional pair of giant ants will emerge, and effectively reduce the walls between all areas in C4 to difficult terrain.

Unlike the majority of the tower, the walls of this section of the tower are magically treated masonry.

 

 

C4a. Guest Bedroom

Though clean, this small bedroom is still grungy, and the potted plants in the corners of the room do little to brighten it up.

While Saben didn’t enjoy the company of people in general, sometimes it was necessary for his work. So, he converted this small room into a bedroom, as quickly and shoddily as he could. The bed and dresser show such a lack of dedication and are of obvious sub-par quality.

The two potted plants, however, look as if they have been carefully maintained despite the rest of the tower’s neglect. Thanks to Saben’s enchantments, they never need water, sunlight or care, and could be sold for 50gp. They each weigh 2 lbs. and are otherwise as delicate as a normal houseplant.

 

 

C4b. Meeting Room

What appears to have once been a large table and a collection of chairs litters the floor of the room in scraps, and the ground seems to be covered by a carpet of busy ants.

The base of the northern wall seems to be their point of entry, where a tunnel more than two feet across pierces the stone floor, leading underground.

 

Although there are thousands of ants in this room, they are harmless worker ants, drawn here by the pheromones of the much stronger giant ants beneath.

 

Creatures: during the day, one giant ant remains in this room, gnawing on the walls and remnants of furniture.

Combat: Giant Solider Ant (3.5)

Giant Soldier Ant

Monster Manual

Size/Type:Medium Vermin
Hit Dice:2d8+2 (11 hp)
Initiative:0
Speed:50 ft. (10 squares), climb 20 ft.
Armor Class:17 (+7 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 17
Base Attack/Grapple:+1/+3
Attack:Bite +3 melee (2d4+3)
Full Attack:Bite +3 melee (2d4+3)
Space/Reach:5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks:Improved grab, acid sting
Special Qualities:Scent, vermin traits
Saves:Fort +4, Ref +0, Will +1
Abilities:Str 14, Dex 10, Con 13, Int Ø, Wis 13, Cha 11
Skills:Climb +10
Feats:TrackB
Environment:Temperate plains
Organization:Solitary or gang (2-4)
Challenge Rating:2
Treasure:None
Advancement:3-4 HD (Medium); 5-6 HD (Large)
Level Adjustment:

Giant ants are among the hardiest and most adaptable vermin. Soldiers and workers are about 6 feet long, while queens can grow to a length of 9 feet.

Acid Sting (Ex)

A giant soldier ant has a stinger and an acid-producing gland in its abdomen. If it successfully grabs an opponent, it can attempt to sting each round (+3 attack bonus). A hit with the sting attack deals 1d4+1 points of piercing damage and 1d4 points of acid damage.

Improved Grab (Ex)

To use this ability, a giant ant must hit with its bite attack. A giant soldier ant that wins the ensuing grapple check establishes a hold and can sting.

Skills

*Giant ants have a +4 racial bonus on Survival checks when tracking by scent and a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks. A giant ant can always choose to take 10 on Climb checks, even if rushed or threatened.

Combat: Giant Ant (Pathfinder)

Ant, Giant

A thin, six-legged ant the size of a pony stands at the ready, its mandibles chittering and its stinger dripping with venom.

Giant Ant

Pathfinder RPG Bestiary

CR 2

XP 600

N Medium vermin

Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft., scent; Perception +5

DEFENSE

AC 15, touch 10, flat-footed 15; (+5 natural)

hp 18 (2d8+9)

Fort +6, Ref +0, Will +1

Immune mind-affecting effects

OFFENSE

Speed 50 ft., climb 20 ft.

Melee bite +3 (1d6+2 plus grab), sting +3 (1d4+2 plus poison)

STATISTICS

Str 14, Dex 10, Con 17, Int —, Wis 13, Cha 11

Base Atk +1; CMB +3 (+7 grapple); CMD 13 (21 vs. trip)

Feats ToughnessB

Skills Climb +10, Perception +5, Survival +5; Racial Modifiers +4 Perception, +4 Survival

ECOLOGY

Environment any

Organization solitary, pair, gang (3–6), or hive (7–18 plus 10–100 workers, 2–8 drones, and 1 queen)

Treasure none

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Poison (Ex) Sting—injury; save Fort DC 14; frequency 1/round for 4 rounds; effect 1d2 Str; cure 1 save

Giant ants are as industrious as their normal-sized kin. While their nests generally don't consist of thousands, their greatly increased size more than compensates.

The statistics given above are for soldier ants—the variety most commonly encountered. The following simple templates can be used to create variants of the standard soldier ant.

Worker (–1 CR) Worker ants do not have a poison sting attack or a grab special attack.

Drone (+1 CR) Drones have the advanced simple template and a fly speed of 30 feet (average).

Queen (+2 CR) The queen of a nest is an immense, bloated creature. She gains the advanced and the giant simple templates, but drops her speed to 10 feet and loses her climb speed entirely.

 

C4c. Blasted Chamber

The unadorned stone walls of this room are scorched with the marks of hundreds of spells. Fire, acid and even claws seem to have left their marks in the rock, despite the shimmering protective runes along the perimeter.

This was where Saben performed his most unpredictable magic, and he had installed a number of wards to keep the rest of the tower safe from anything that might have happened within this room.

The stone walls in this room are immune to any effect that allows spell resistance, but are otherwise no stronger than the other walls of this section.

 

 

C5. East Wing

The east wing of Saben’s mansion is the tower proper where he made his home, and was designed specifically to keep people out.

Since Saben’s death however, Rodrei has triggered all the traps during his exploration of the tower, some accidentally himself, and some by the use of controlled or summoned creatures. Now, instead of being littered with traps, the wing is littered with the corpses of small animals and large insects.

 

 

C5a. Lower Landing (CR 2)

The floor of the room is littered with the half-eaten carcasses of dozens of small animals, alongside the shattered carapaces of particularly large insects.

While Rodrei has the capacity to magically summon creatures to follow him, his entropic desires have led him to entice large numbers of jungle creatures, particularly rats and insects of a similar size, to follow his lead in attempting to ascend the stairs, triggering every magical and mechanical trap in the process.

As they triggered one trap after another, their numbers dwindled down until only a few hundred remain, picking at the carrion now littering the base of the stairs.

 

Creatures: The collection of vermin that remain in this room have been convinced by Rodrei that they should remain here and eat anything that looks appetizing. Though it wasn’t intended as a defensive measure, the moment the PCs enter the room, the rodents, insects and other creatures that make up this swarm surge forward for some fresher food.

AAW-RatSwarm-color-01

 

VERMIN SWARM

Treasure: Sifting through the debris at the base of the stairs will reveal 78 masterwork arrows have survived intact from their use in the trap on the stairs.

Combat: Rat Swarm (3.5)

Rat Swarm

Speed:15 ft. (3 squares), climb 15 ft.
Armor Class:14 (+2 size, +2 Dex), touch 14, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple:+3/—
Attack:Swarm (1d6 plus disease)
Full Attack:Swarm (1d6 plus disease)
Space/Reach:10 ft./0 ft.
Special Attacks:Disease, distraction
Special Qualities:Half damage from slashing and piercing, low-light vision, scent, swarm traits
Saves:Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +2
Abilities:Str 2, Dex 15, Con 10, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 2
Skills:Balance +10, Climb +10, Hide +16, Listen +6, Move Silently +8, Spot +7, Swim +10
Feats:Alertness, Stealthy, Weapon FinesseB
Environment:Any
Organization:Solitary, pack (2-4 swarms), or infestation (7-12 swarms)
Challenge Rating:2
Treasure:None
Alignment:Always neutral
Advancement:None
Level Adjustment:

Combat

A rat swarm seeks to surround and attack any warm-blooded prey it encounters. A swarm deals 1d6 points of damage to any creature whose space it occupies at the end of its move.

Disease (Ex)

Filth fever—swarm attack, Fortitude DC 12, incubation period 1d3 days, damage 1d3 Dex and 1d3 Con. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Distraction (Ex)

Any living creature that begins its turn with a swarm in its square must succeed on a DC 12 Fortitude save or be nauseated for 1 round. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Skills

A rat swarm has a +4 racial bonus on Hide and Move Silently checks, and a +8 racial bonus on Balance, Climb, and Swim checks. A rat swarm can always choose to take 10 on all Climb checks, even if rushed or threatened. A rat swarm uses its Dexterity modifier instead of its Strength modifier for Climb and Swim checks. A rat swarm 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.

Combat: Rat Swarm (Pathfinder)

Rat Swarm

A squirming, roiling mass of squeaking rats draws closer, teeth flashing and claws scratching everything in its path.

Rat Swarm

CR 2

XP 600

N Tiny animal (swarm)

Init +6; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +8

 

DEFENSE

AC 14, touch 14, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +2 size)

hp 16 (3d8+3)

Fort +4, Ref +5, Will +2

Defensive Abilities swarm traits

 

OFFENSE

Speed 15 ft., climb 15 ft., swim 15 ft.

Melee swarm (1d6 plus disease)

Space 10 ft.; Reach 0 ft.

Special Attacks disease, distraction (DC 12)

 

STATISTICS

Str 2, Dex 15, Con 13, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 2

Base Atk +2; CMB —; CMD

Feats Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Perception)

Skills Acrobatics +6, Climb +10, Perception +8, Stealth +14, Swim +10; Racial Modifiers uses Dex to modify Climb and Swim

 

ECOLOGY

Environment any

Organization solitary, pack (2–5 swarms), or infestation (6–12 swarms)

Treasure none

 

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Disease (Ex) Filth fever: Swarm—injury; save Fort DC 12; onset 1d3 days; frequency 1/day; effect 1d3 Dex damage and 1d3 Con damage; cure 2 consecutive saves. The save DC is Constitution-based.

A rat swarm typically consists of a biting, roiling mass of hundreds of disease-ridden rats driven to uncharacteristic heights of aggression by fantastic and overwhelming hunger. In such numbers, they become voracious hunters, capable of killing a full-grown human with hundreds of bites. Rat swarms are often found in the sewers of large human settlements.

Rat swarms surround and attack any warm-blooded prey in their path.

 

C5b. Trap Mechanisms

The door to this room is locked with an average lock (DC 25). Inside are the mechanisms that control the mechanical traps on the stairs. Currently, all the traps are sprung, and all the ammunition exhausted. However, should the PCs reset and re-arm them, they can enable two arrow traps, a swinging axe trap, and a wall-scythe trap in ascending order on the stairs leading up from C5a.

 

 

C5c. Dank Storage

This dark, closet-like space smells of mold and mildew.

Saben rarely used this space beneath the stairs, and the supplies within – old parchment, robes and past-prime spell components – have been exposed to the elements too long. Any character searching this space is bound to be disappointed, and is exposed to filth fever (Dungeon Master’s Guide; http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialAbilities.htm#filthFever [d20]; Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook; http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/glossary.html [Pathfinder]) from the cloud of thick dust picked up by such a process.

 

 

C6. Kitchen

The shelves and counters that line the walls of this kitchen have been emptied onto the floor, whatever methods used to keep the food fresh abandoned in the process. Now, insects crawl through the rotting mulch littering the floor.

Saben had kept a fairly large supply of food here, mostly preserved meats and fresh vegetables from the garden at B3. A permanent unseen servant prepared and delivered Saben’s meals, and still remains in this room, inert.

Rodrei has gorged the worms that make up his body on this food, leaving a small part of himself here to enjoy the mulch it has become. The PCs entrance to this room is likely the first time Rodrei is aware of the PCs in the tower, absorbed with the lockbox as he is. He will do nothing with this information, but will not be caught by surprise upstairs should the PCs enter this room.

 

 

C7. Alchemy Lab (CR 2)

The wide table against the far wall is made from a single slab of stone, and balanced atop it are a collection of delicate philters and phials. It appears there were once other tables flanking it, too, but their contents are now reduced to a layer of fine, broken glass on the floor of the room.

While Saben was barely an average alchemist, he was still a savant when compared to Rodrei’s abysmal skill. After failing to find anything immediately valuable here, Rodrei attempted to brew up his own concoction, trying to make use of the wide variety of ingredients and tools here.

For his efforts, Rodrei managed to create a creature that quickly engulfed the table he was brewing it on, and everything else it could reach beside. Fortunately, the door to the room is warded against acid, or the newly created life would have continued to grow and devour everything else within the tower when Rodrei quickly locked it in here.

Creature: The creature Rodrei created is no more complex than a single cell – though many times the size, and certainly more corrosive. It will not attack the PCs immediately, but it resents being prodded at, and will eventually follow the PCs up the stairs even if they attempt to leave it be.

Combat: Alchemic Amoeba

ALCHEMIC AMOEBA

CR 2

XP 800
N Small ooze

Init -5; Senses blindsight 30 ft.; Perception -5
DEFENSE
AC 6, touch 6, flat-footed 6 (-5 Dex, +1 size)
hp 17 (2d8+8)
Fort +3, Ref -5, Will -5
Defensive Abilities acid, ooze traits, split (5hp)
OFFENSE
Spd 10 ft., climb 10 ft., swim 20 ft.
Melee slam +3 (1d3+1 plus 1d3 acid and grab)
Ranged 2 pseudopods +3 (1d3 acid)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks constrict (1d3+1 plus 1d3 acid)

TACTICS
Morale The alchemic amoeba fights to the death
STATISTICS
Str 12, Dex 1, Con 18, IntWis 1, Cha 1
Base Atk +1; CMB +1 (+5 grapple); CMD 6 (can't be tripped); Grapple +5 (d20)
Skills Climb +9, Swim +9
SPECIAL ABILITIES

Acid (Su) any creature striking an alchemic amoeba with a natural weapon or unarmed strike must make a DC 12 Reflex save or take 1d3 acid damage from contact with the creature’s surface. This damage occurs each round a creature maintains contact with an alchemic amoeba, such as while grappling.

Pseudopod (Ex) As a standard action, an alchemic amoeba can form up to two pseudopods on its surface, and launch them up to 30 ft., exploding with acidic cytoplasm upon striking any solid surface.

 

Skill Check: A DC 20 Search (d20)/Perception (Pathfinder) check to search the room reveals a secret room containing exactly what Rodrei had been seeking, a valuable cache of potions. The door, whilst hidden, is unlocked.

A section of wall slides back, revealing a triangular storeroom behind. On the single shelf sit rows of flasks, both full and empty, and a pair of large carafes.

 

Treasure: Inside this secret area, Saben kept a number of supplies; four potions of cure light wounds; two large carafes, one containing ten doses of alchemist's fire, one containing ten doses of acid, as well as a siphoning system, and a total of fifteen empty flasks each large enough for a single dose.

 

 

 

C8. Crafting Workshop

The edges of the wide marble cylinder that dominate this room are covered with row after row of softly glowing runes, chiseled into the mirror-smooth surface of the stone. The walls of the room are covered with a variety of delicate tools hanging on hooks or set in cases, each similarly elaborately adorned.

Saben used this room to enchant any magic items he needed to make, and its contents have largely been ignored by Rodrei.

Anyone crafting a magic item within the workshop receives a +4 competence bonus on their skill check for the excellent tools. If the tools are taken to be used elsewhere without the table or to be sold, they only grant a +2 competence bonus, and worth 200gp.

 

 

C9. Library

Though the shelves are irregular in size and shape, they fit together like a puzzle, leaving only narrow aisles between the stacks. In a space near the center of the room sits a single, comfortable looking – though heavily soiled – chair.

Saben’s library is extensive in subject matter, and mostly his own work, comprising of hundreds of books. By spending ten minutes searching the room, characters can take 10 on any Knowledge check, even untrained.

Treasure: Individually, none of these hundreds of books are particularly valuable. Each of the approximately 800 books could be sold for 5 sp, and weighs 0.5 lbs.

 

 

C10. Creature Storage (CR 3)

Small cages are bolted haphazardly to the floor of this room around the perimeter, with a single large cage occupying the center. Despite the bloodstained floor, the creatures inside seem to have starved to death, and are already beginning to heavily decompose.

While Saben was a brilliant wizard, he did still follow a number of unethical practices – particularly that of trapping magical creatures in cages, and cutting pieces of them off to study. To prevent their escape, each cage was sealed shut by magic – though like many other wards in the tower, they were tied to the now defunct circle of runes outside, and are no longer active. Now, each cage is held shut only by a simple latch.

Unlike other rooms in the tower, this room has thick walls and no windows. It is lit by a permanent light spell affixed to a small orb hanging by a chain from the ceiling.

Rodrei’s arrival to the tower was into one of these very cages, where he might have remained for years if not for his creditor's desire to be repaid. After several days of watching him suffer, the kyton which Rodrei had made a deal with sent a servant to Saben’s tower to free him – weakening the barrier just enough for the discorporated druid to squeeze out, one maggot at a time.

Four of the five other cages contained creatures that have since starved to death outside of Saben’s already irregular care, and have become more food for the insects that fill the tower under Rodrei’s influence.

Creature: The fifth cage, however, holds a jittery water mephit called Fizz, who doesn’t need to eat, and is fully capable of causing Rodrei plenty of pain despite the worm that walks’ lack of solidity. While initially unfriendly, Fizz does know what happened, and can inform the PCs of the details of Rodrei’s escape and the days since if they promise to free him. Once freed, if the PCs offer him any sort of further payment for the task, he will join the upcoming fight against Rodrei. If the PCs free or ally with Fizz, grant them experience as if they defeated him in combat.

Combat: Fizz the Water Mephit (3.5)

Fizz the Water Mephit

Size/Type:Small Outsider (Extraplanar, Water)
Hit Dice:3d8+6 (19 hp)
Initiative:0
Speed:30 ft. (6 squares), fly 40 ft. (average), swim 30 ft.
Armor Class:16 (+1 size, +5 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 16
Base Attack/Grapple:+3/-1
Attack:Claw +6 melee (1d3+2)
Full Attack:2 claws +6 melee (1d3+2)
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
Saves:Fort +4, Ref +3, Will +3
Abilities:Str 14, Dex 10, Con 13, Int 6, Wis 11, Cha 15
Skills:Bluff +8, Escape Artist +6, Hide +10, Listen +6, Diplomacy +4, Disguise +2 (+4 acting), Move Silently +6, Spot +6, Swim +10, Use Rope +0 (+2 with bindings)
Feats:Power Attack, Toughness
Environment:Elemental Plane of Water
Organization:Solitary (1), gang (2-4 mephits of mixed types), or mob (5-12 mephits of mixed types)
Challenge Rating:3
Treasure:Standard
Alignment:Usually neutral
Advancement:4-6 HD (Small); 7-9 HD (Medium)
Level Adjustment:+3 (cohort)

Water mephits come from the Elemental Plane of Water.

Water mephits are jaunty creatures with an unflagging sense of humor who quickly get on the nerves of everyone around them. Each one is about 4 feet tall and weighs about 30 pounds.

Water mephits speak Common and Aquan.

Combat

Breath Weapon (Su)

15-foot cone of caustic liquid, damage 1d8 acid, Reflex DC 13 half. The save DC is Constitution-based and includes a +1 racial bonus.

Spell-Like Abilities

Once per hour a water mephit can hurl an acidic blob that functions like acid arrow (caster level 3rd). Once per day it can create a mass of smelly fog that duplicates the effect of a stinking cloud spell (DC 15, caster level 6th). The save DC is Charisma-based.

Fast Healing (Ex)

A water mephit heals only if it is exposed to rain or submerged up to its waist in water.

Skills

A water mephit 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.

Combat: Fizz the Water Mephit (Pathfinder)

Fizz the Water Mephit

This small humanoid creature has thin, leathery wings, small horns, and a mischievous smile.

Mephit

CR 3

XP 800

N Small outsider (varies)

Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +6

 

DEFENSE

AC 17, touch 14, flat-footed 14 (+2 Dex, +1 dodge, +3 natural, +1 size)

hp 19 (3d10+3); fast healing 2

Fort +2, Ref +5, Will +3

DR 5/magic

 

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft., fly 40 ft. (average)

Melee 2 claws +5 (1d3+1)

Special Attacks breath weapon (15-foot cone, effect based on type, Reflex DC 13 for half)

Spell-Like Abilities (CL 6th)

1/day—summon (level 2, 1 mephit of the same type 25%), additional abilities based on mephit type

 

STATISTICS

Str 13, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 6, Wis 11, Cha 14

Base Atk +3; CMB +3; CMD 15

Feats Dodge, Improved Initiative

Skills Bluff +8, Fly +10, Perception +6, Stealth +12

Languages Common, one appropriate elemental language (Aquan, Auran, Ignan, or Terran)

 

ECOLOGY

Environment any (elemental planes)

Organization solitary, pair, gang (3–6), mob (7–12)

Treasure standard

 

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Breath Weapon (Su) Each type of mephit can unleash a particular breath weapon every 4 rounds as a standard action. The DC is Constitution-based and includes a +1 racial bonus.

Mephits are the servants of powerful elemental creatures. Key sites and locations on the elemental planes are full of mephits scurrying about on important errands or duties. Each mephit is associated with one element that defines its spells and abilities. The mephit types are listed below.

 

Water Mephit (Water)

Water mephits are commonly found on the Plane of Water. These mephits are constant jokesters.

Fast Healing: Works only while the mephit is underwater.

Speed: Swim 30 ft.

Breath Weapon: A cone of acid that deals 1d8 acid damage.

Spell-Like Abilities: acid arrow 1/hour, stinking cloud 1/day (DC 15)


 

 

C11. Summoning Circle (CR 2)

Jutting out from the side of the building, this large circle of runes is open to the air. Only a narrow railing stands between you and the roof far below – while disembodied whispering voices urge you to jump.

The runes of this circle, carved in the iron of the floor, bind these places closer to the other planes than most of the world. As a result, it is particularly easy for things to leak through, whether they are the voices of the long-departed, or worse creatures that live in the dark.

 

Creature: One creature in particular floats just a few feet above the circle – the messenger of the kytons that Rodrei owes his soul to, an imp (d20)/augur kyton (Pathfinder). It is the creature that freed him from the cage, and it continues to watch over him, delighting in his madness. It waits patiently here for each attempt of Rodrei’s to appease it, occasionally flying off to survey the area before returning.

 

Combat: Imp (3.5)

IMP

Monster Manual

Size/Type:Tiny Outsider (Evil, Extraplanar, Lawful)
Hit Dice:3d8 (13 hp)
Initiative:3
Speed:20 ft. (4 squares), fly 50 ft. (perfect)
Armor Class:20 (+2 size, +3 Dex, +5 natural), touch 15, flat-footed 17
Base Attack/Grapple:+3/-5
Attack:Sting +8 melee (1d4 plus poison)
Full Attack:Sting +8 melee (1d4 plus poison)
Space/Reach:2½ ft./0 ft.
Special Attacks:Poison, spell-like abilities
Special Qualities:Alternate form, damage reduction 5/good or silver, darkvision 60 ft., fast healing 2, immunity to poison, resistance to fire 5
Saves:Fort +3, Ref +6, Will +4
Abilities:Str 10, Dex 17, Con 10, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 14
Skills:Diplomacy +8, Hide +17, Knowledge (any one) +6, Listen +7, Move Silently +9, Search +6, Spellcraft +6, Spot +7, Survival +1 (+3 following tracks)
Feats:Dodge, Weapon Finesse
Environment:A lawful evil-aligned plane
Organization:Solitary
Challenge Rating:2
Treasure:None
Alignment:Always lawful evil
Advancement:4-6 HD (Tiny)
Level Adjustment:— (Improved Familiar)

In its natural form, an imp stands almost 2 feet tall and weighs about 8 pounds.

Combat

Imps are craven, but not so timid as to pass up an opportunity for a surprise attack using their invisibility and alternate form ability. In its natural form, an imp attacks with the wicked stinger on its tail. It quickly flies out of reach if a foe manages to strike back effectively.

An imp’s natural weapons, as well as any weapons it wields, are treated as evil-aligned and lawful-aligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Poison (Ex)

Injury, Fortitude DC 13, initial damage 1d4 Dex, secondary damage 2d4 Dex. The save DC is Constitution-based and includes a +2 racial bonus.

Spell-Like Abilities

At will—detect good, detect magic, invisibility (self only); 1/day—suggestion (DC 15). Caster level 6th. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Once per week an imp can use commune to ask six questions. The ability otherwise works as the spell (caster level 12th).

Alternate Form (Su)

An imp can assume another form at will as a standard action. Each imp can assume one or two forms from the following list: Small or Medium monstrous spider, raven, rat, and boar.


Combat: Augur Kyton (Pathfinder)

Kyton, Augur

Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 3

A single eye peers from behind the armor plates and keen-edged blades that compose the cage-like exterior of this tiny flying orb.

Augur

CR 2

XP 600

LE Tiny outsider (evil, extraplanar, kyton, lawful)

Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., deathwatch; Perception +7

 

DEFENSE

AC 17, touch 15, flat-footed 14 (+3 Dex, +2 natural, +2 size)

hp 19 (3d10+3); regeneration 2 (good weapons and spells, silver weapons)

Fort +2, Ref +8, Will +4

DR 5/good or silver; Immune cold

 

OFFENSE

Speed 20 ft., fly 50 ft. (perfect)

Melee gore +4 (1d4–1 plus bleed)

Space 2-1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft.

Special Attacks bleed (1d2), unnerving gaze (30 ft., DC 9)

Spell-Like Abilities (CL 6th; concentration +4)

Constant—deathwatch

At will—bleed (DC 8), mage hand, open/close

3/day—inflict light wounds (DC 10)

1/week—commune (CL 12th, 6 questions)

 

STATISTICS

Str 8, Dex 17, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 12, Cha 7

Base Atk +3; CMB +4; CMD 13 (can't be tripped)

Feats Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes

Skills Bluff +4, Escape Artist +9, Fly +11, Intimidate +4, Perception +7, Sense Motive +7, Sleight of Hand +9, Stealth +17

Languages Common, Infernal (cannot speak)

 

ECOLOGY

Environment any (Plane of Shadow)

Organization solitary, pair, pack (3–5), or squad (6–8)

Treasure standard

 

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Unnerving Gaze (Ex) A creature that succumbs to an augur's unnerving gaze becomes shaken for 1 round.

Gory sentinels with a lust for flesh and the myriad bodily fluids contained within, augurs number among the most common—as well as most despicable—kytons on the Plane of Shadow. Having given up their humanoid bodies in favor of the more stealthy and wretched guise of a singular large eye armored in bloodied metal plates, augurs act as spies and sycophants for more powerful kytons. Their miniscule size, sturdy exterior, and unnerving gazes make them ideally equipped for dangerous reconnaissance missions to the Material Plane, where the augurs are able to scout out potential raiding locations or spot vulnerable, lone travelers before their more powerful kyton brethren cross the planes to attack.

While their usefulness in tasks of stealth and guile makes augurs deadly companions, their insatiable lust for blood often proves their ultimate downfall. Augurs, like most kytons, find themselves in a heightened state of arousal when witness to the destruction of flesh, but the extent to which these muscular orbs find pleasure in blood is far more treacherous than their more disciplined peers. Many augurs cannot help but indulge themselves when exposed to gore—rolling within and dipping their blades into freshly spilled pools—an unfortunate trait which has led many careless augurs to their capture or doom.

An augur's gruesome appearance is not always self-inflicted. They are sometimes constructed by other kytons who seek to impose an everlasting punishment upon a particularly unwilling mortal sacrifice; the defiant individual's body is cast aside for scraps as its mind and soul are transferred into the monocular shell, producing an augur when the ritual is complete. Augurs are the least pragmatic type of all kytons, and thus the least respected among their peers. The condemnation of an individual's spirit to the cage-like body of a kyton augur is the precedent for a truly agonizing and lonely existence.

A lawful evil spellcaster can gain an augur as a familiar at 7th level by taking the Improved Familiar feat.

A typical augur kyton is 1 foot in diameter and weighs 30 pounds.

 

 

C12. Upper Landing

The landing at the top of the stairs is littered with the skins of thousands of molting insects.

While observant PCs might notice a lack of additional stairs leading upwards from here, there is nothing of particular interest here on the landing. Instead, this space provides a likely staging area for PCs before their final battle with Rodrei.

 

 

C13. Saben’s Bedroom

This room must be Saben’s bedroom, but even at a glance you can tell something is wrong. The covers have been tossed off the lonely bed in the center of the room, and the half-naked wizard lays motionless above his sheets. To the side, a thin curtain is drawn across a long archway leading into another room.

The late Saben Behi lies here, just as he was sleeping when Rodrei snuck in and slit his throat. Saben didn’t even struggle, simply bleeding out his life in a matter of moments into his self-cleaning sheets – not even leaving obvious evidence of his own death.

Rodrei has since filled the wizard’s body with thousands of maggots, allowing them to devour him from the inside out. When characters attempt to examine the body, read to them the following:

At the slightest touch, Saben’s skin sloughs off his body, releasing thousands of flies into the air. The air vibrates from their wings only for a moment before they disperse, out the windows and into the jungle around the tower.

If the PCs have not yet entered the study to fight Rodrei, also read the following:

As the insects disperse, the curtain begins to shuffle, and around its edges, along the floor, walls and ceiling come crawling hundreds of insects, worms, and maggots.

Treasure: Beneath Saben’s bed is a sizable chest containing several changes of clothing, already in disarray from Rodrei’s earlier search. However, even despite the lack of individually valuable pieces, the clothing is sewn with gold and small gems, making each of the nine outfits worth 30gp.

 

C14. Study (CR 5)

Crawling insects cover every inch of space in this room, almost blotting out the light from the window. The biting and gnawing swarm has destroyed much of the room’s former contents, though a desk and several shelves seem to have suffered years of decay instead of total destruction. Piles of what might have been books and scrolls are now little more than fragments of parchment amid piles of worms.

In the center of all this is a hunched figure, wearing a close-cut robe and running it’s gloved hands over a long box. He stops and turns to you after a moment, revealing his face to be made of thousands of squirming maggots and worms. A single jewel emerges from the writing mass like an eye, spins once, and then vanishes back into the figure’s head.

This worm-faced figure is Rodrei Ka, one of the weakest worms that walks ever to have the risen. His own fear of death and moderate incompetence at the spread of rot and decay led him to make a deal with a Kyton – immortal life as a worm that walks in exchange for his spreading of evil and eventually his soul descending to hell.

Being short-sighted as he is, Rodrei regrets having made such a deal, and has grown slowly more and more panicked in attempting to find a way out – particularly in some form of alternative payment. He has torn Saben’s tower apart looking for anything that might be worth as much to his creditor.

But, Saben was about as interested in material goods as he was in people in general, and spent all the wealth he had earned on further experiments, and this tower itself. Rodrei has scavenged several bags of valuable components from elsewhere in the tower, and has found an unopened gift in a sealed case on one of Saben’s shelves – which he has been attempting to open for nearly a week now with no success.

 

Creatures: While the insects drawn to Rodrei are themselves harmless, they can be targeted by area effects to rob Rodrei of his fast healing. Any square targeted by any area effect that does at least one point of damage removes the insects from that square. So long as Rodrei is in a square without insects, he does not gain the benefits of his fast healing.

 

Boss Combat: RODREI KA

RODREI KA

CR 5

XP 1,200
Male worm that walks druid (blight druid) 4

NE medium vermin (augmented, human)
Init +1; Senses blindsight 30 ft., darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +17

DEFENSE

AC 14, touch 14, flat-footed 11 (+1 deflection, +1 Dex, +2 insight)
hp 34 (4d8+16); fast healing 5
Fort +8, Ref +2, Will +6
Defensive Abilities worm that walks traits; DR 15/—; Immune critical hits, disease, paralysis, poison, sleep

OFFENSE

Spd 30 ft.
Melee slam +4 (1d4+1 plus grab)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks discorporate, grab (Large), squirming embrace

Druid Spells Prepared (d20) (CL 4th, Concentration +1)
2ndsummon nature’s ally II (2)
1stcause fear, magic fang, summon nature’s ally I
0thcreate water, cure minor wounds, read magic, resistance

Domain Spell-Like Abilities (Pathfinder) (CL 4th, concentration +6
5/day— bleeding touch

Druid Spells Prepared (Pathfinder) (CL 4th, Concentration +6)
2ndsummon nature’s ally II (2)
1stcause fear, summon nature’s ally I, tar ball
0thray of sickening, read magic, resistance, summon minor ally


TACTICS

During Combat Rodrei is a careless fighter, and as soon as combat is joined will cast summon nature’s ally II to summon giant centipedes into battle alongside him, assuming any attacks he provokes will be negated by his DR. He will grab and embrace any targets that are holding objects that look valuable, hoping to kill at least one target in case the group flees.
Morale Rodrei will fight until reduced to 0hp, at which point he will wild shape into a vulture (one still made of insects) and flee out the tower window. He will not pursue characters that flee down the stairs.

STATISTICS

Str 12, Dex 12, Con 19, Int 12, Wis 15, Cha 13
Base Atk +3; CMB +4 (+12 grapple); CMD 19
Feats Animal Affinity, Diehard, Eschew Materials, Skill Focus (Handle Animal)
Skills Escape Artist +5, Handle Animal +13, Knowledge (nature) +9, Perception +17, Spellcraft +8, Survival +9
Languages Common, Druidic, Infernal
SQ nature bond (death domain), nature sense, orisons, resist nature’s lure, trackless step, vermin empathy, wild shape (1/day), woodland stride
Other Gear ring of protection +1, carved diamond eye (worth 400gp)

Treasure: The lockbox Rodrei struggles with isn’t as powerful or as complex as he was worried about, it is simply a lead box warded to remain closed while within 10 ft. of any evil creature. Once the box has been opened, the enchantment fades leaving only the lead box itself and its contents, an adamantine dagger (d20) / endless pistol (Pathfinder).

In addition to the lockbox are two sacks of rare spell components from C2; 500gp of onyx, 50gp in gold dust, 250gp in small rubies suitable for continual flame, a miniature platinum sword worth 250gp, and 500gp of diamond dust. The bags had previously contained a number of other more disposable ingredients as well, but they have long since been ruined by the insects.

 

 

New Magical Item

Endless Pistol

Aura faint conjuration; CL 1st
Slot none; Price 3,000 gp; Weight 8 lbs.
DESCRIPTION
This finely crafted pistol has no visible chamber for ammunition, and weighs several pounds heavier than it would look, as if it were full of several pounds of shot already.

The endless pistol is treated as a masterwork pistol that never requires to be loaded with ammunition, and is always considered to be loaded and primed. As a result, it cannot be loaded normally with special or enchanted ammunition.
CONSTRUCTION
Requirements
Craft Magic Arms and Armor, abundant ammunition, magic weapon; Cost 2,000 gp

 

Chapter 3 – Laying Saben to Rest

No doubt the PCs, after traveling all this way will be interested in informing the Lunar Academy or Saben’s family of his demise. As these are in separate countries, the PCs will soon have to make the decision to brave the jungle, and desert once more.

 

 

About the Author

Michael McCarthy has been busy in his first year on the adventure writing scene. Check out his new adventure path at:

http://dreamscarredpress.com/dragonfly/Store/cid=15.html