B18: Three Faces of the Muse

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Maps

Encounter 1 - Great Choir - full page-portrait Encounter 1 - Great Choir - VTT - full page-portrait Encounter 2 - Sculpture Studio - GM Map - half page landscape Encounter 2 - Sculpture Studio - Player Map - half page landscape Encounter 2 - Sculpture Studio - Player Map - VTT - half page landscape Encounter 8 Gazeebo Section - GM Map - full column-portrait Encounter 8 Gazeebo Section -Player Map - full column-portrait Encounter 8 Gazeebo Section -Player Map - VTT - full column-portrait Encounters 3 and 4 - South Tower - GM MAP - full page-portrait Encounters 3 and 4 - South Tower - Player Map - full page-portrait Encounters 3 and 4 - South Tower - Player Map - VTT - full page-portrait Encounters 7 and 8 - The Oasis - GM Map - full page-landscape Encounters 7 and 8 - The Oasis - Player Map - full page-landscape Encounters 7 and 8 - The Oasis - Player Map - VTT - full page-landscape Site Plan three quarter column portrait

Audio

Cathedral

 

B18 COVER

Three Faces of the Muse

A renaissance for four to five 7th level characters

One of the greatest artisans of the age dies in a tragic construction accident while completing work on the cathedral dedicated to the goddess of beauty, art, love, and music. Undaunted, the high priest beseeches the goddess to return the great master's soul to complete the task. Though the blessing is surely granted, the soul of the artist remains trapped in the Beyond. The clues to this mystery lie hidden in the works of the virtuoso scattered throughout the cathedral grounds. Can the PCs interpret the art of the renowned composer, sculptor, architect, and painter in time to free the soul, or will the crowning glory of his life's work go unrealized? Worse yet, will the jewel of the goddess remain at the mercy of lesser artisans to complete?

Also included in this adventure:

  • Encounters that will test the PCs’ skills and artistic merit as well as their combat prowess, often at the same time!
  • A chance for minstrels to shine!
  • A new magic item, the stonering - perfect for rogues, spies, and those who simply need a way to disappear into the walls.
  • An opponent (with an ability to transcend death) ripe for introduction as a recurring villain in your campaign. Revenge is never so sweet than when driven by the past success of the heroes.
  • Notes on scaling the encounters for parties of six or more.

 

Adventure Background

Weary of eternal strife, an upasunda asura named Aprame-Vara-Dharme sought new enlightenment. Inspired by the work of the famed artist Michello, she entered a trance-like meditation to better comprehend the art of the master's works. After years of contemplation, the former aspects of her destructive nature turned to creativity and she appeared to Michello as his muse, inspiring the artist to even greater heights. Split into three aspects, the asura's consciousness waited patiently to be joined with Michello's soul in final enlightenment.

As Michello's fame grew, many patrons competed for his services. As a renowned composer, sculptor and architect, his work was in great demand, although he never stayed with one patron for very long. He, too, was searching for a project to feed his soul. When the high priest of the goddess of beauty, art, love, and music offered Michello a commission to build a cathedral, the artist knew the project represented the culmination of his life's work. Inspired by the aspects of the asura, Michello attacked the project with an intensity that burned as bright as the works of art he created. As his bond with the muse grew stronger, a demiplane came into existence, a place where the three aspects of the muse and Michello could interact. Michello accessed the demiplane through an uncompleted fresco with the aid of a magical brush.

As the cathedral neared completion, a series of accidents plagued the site. Rumors that these accidents were engineered by jealous former patrons of the artist began making the rounds. Undeterred, Michello continued his work but died in a scaffolding collapse while painting the ceiling fresco. His soul fled the material plane to join with the upasunda in the demiplane. When the high priest sought to raise the artist, pulling Michello's soul back to the material plane, the upasunda took it as a betrayal, entrapping the artist's soul and abandoning her short-lived peace.

 

 

Adventure Summary

The PCs discover that Michello's soul lies hidden within a great ceiling fresco the artist was working on at the time of his death. To enter the fresco, the adventurers must re-assemble his brush, the pieces of which lay scattered amongst his other creations on the construction grounds. Lingering aspects of the asura attached to the art seek vengeance.

At the great organ, the PCs encounter allips issuing forth from the pipes, babbling in unholy harmony. The hymnals themselves levitate and hurl magic at the party during the confrontation, a different effect for each aspect of the four-part harmony. In the sculpture studio, stone gargoyles animate and must be defeated while the PCs complete an unfinished sculpture from which the animated statues draw fast healing—completion of the statue blocks off the unholy healing. At the bell tower, the party plays Michello's lyre of building to allow access to the tower itself, where a mud elemental, clockwork soldiers and a glass golem lie in wait.

Assembling the magical brush allows entry through the fresco into the demiplane: a painted landscape warped by the hatred of the upasunda. A line-drawing of a chimera swoops down out of an unfinished section of the composition as the PCs arrive. A basidirond-infested oasis deceivingly promises respite; the manifestation of  Michello’s soul lies trapped within. Surviving these threats brings the party to the final encounter with the upasunda, whose defeat—and temporary exile before rebirth—allows the soul of Michello to be called back from beyond.

 

 

Adventure Hooks

The PCs are tasked by a merchant prince to lure the artist away from the cathedral project to work on the trader’s own palace.

Michello is known to craft magical items through his art, especially musical equipment. PCs seeking such items arrive at the cathedral to find the artist dead and the high priest dismayed at his inability to recall Michello’s soul.

Rumors of foul play surrounding the artist's death entice the party to solve the mystery. Perhaps the rumors tie back to a recurring villain of the PCs' acquaintance.

Like any great house of worship, the cathedral is a source of high-level healing and divine spellcasting. Additionally, the assembly of craftsmen and merchants of all stripes drawn by the ongoing building project make it easy to find unique and varied services and items, magical or mundane.

 

 

Getting Started

Encounter Challenge Ratings

Three Faces of the Muse is designed for a party of four to five 7th level PCs but is also appropriate for a 6th level party consisting of six or more. An APL of higher than 7 requires adjustment to the encounters to maintain the challenge: suggestions are provided in the encounter notes.

 

The great cathedral stands before you, magnificent in the rising sun. While there is evidence of ongoing construction—in the form of scaffolding, laborers, and workshops surrounding the site—it is clear that the building nears completion. A throng of merchant stalls, tradesmen, and townspeople fill the square in front of the church; what should be an almost festival-like atmosphere to the gathering instead seems overwhelmed by the sadness and apprehension blanketing the crowd.

Moving through the market the PCs overhear that the architect of the cathedral (Michello) died a week ago in an accident. As the adventurers work the market crowd or speak to low-level priests while awaiting audience with the high priest, they may make Gather Information/Diplomacy or Knowledge (local) checks to pick up the most recent rumors. They may also make these checks after speaking to the high priest—indeed the cleric prompts them to do so.

  • DC 15 A street artist selling knockoff copies of Michello's paintings speaks with disdain about the master’s recent works. He says they are boring—Michello has used the same model for all his works in the past three years. The vendor thinks even the death of the artist won't impact the prices of what he calls “fetish art”.
  • DC 20  Lights and sounds have been seen in the clock tower on the southwest corner of the cathedral since the artist's death. Odd, as the tower has been sealed for some weeks after an underground spring undermined the foundations.
  • DC 25 While working with the master on the ceiling fresco in the north transept, an apprentice found that the artist had disappeared. Sent to fetch for a barrel of lime to mix more plaster, when the apprentice returned Michello was gone. The apprentice assumed his master had left to supervise another project on the cathedral grounds. He spent the day seeking him out and did not find Michello until the evening when he returned to the north transept. The master was resting comfortably on the scaffolding, a day’s worth of new painting completed on the fresco.
  • DC 30 A laundress complains about Michello's clothing, saying that the artist must be getting messier in his old age. For the past year, his attire has been covered in dried paint, more than she would expect from an otherwise fastidious man.

Speaking with the high priest, the PCs learn Michello has worked on the cathedral for 12 years. The builder's skill and access to powerful construction magic sped the project to completion. In the past few years, the artist has become more and more driven. The cleric is not sure if the rash of recent construction accidents is due to the increased pace of work or if there is some validity to the rumors that a rival is attempting to bring the project to halt by suborning Michello's services.

The priest does not know why his raise dead spell will not work. After the failure of the raise spell five days ago, he contacted the artist's spirit with a speak with dead spell to confirm that he wanted to return to life to complete the cathedral. The answers given by the corpse seemed to indicate yes, although the cleric recalls that many of his questions were answered by the simple phrase, "she is my inspiration!" The frustrated priest knows that it is within his power to recall the soul of the artist for only two more days. If he cannot discover what binds Michello to the afterlife, the artisan will be lost forever.

 

Once the PCs agree to solve the mystery, the cleric shares three more pieces of information with the party before they begin:

  • Michello's apprentice, who pulled the artist from the wreckage of the scaffolding, reported the artist's brushes had all been separated into their component parts (handle, ferrule, and bristles), and scattered amongst the wreckage. When he re-assembled the brushes, the apprentice noticed that one was missing.
  • The day following the artist's death, the organist was found catatonic at his bench in the great choir of the cathedral. The choir has remained closed since; the monk is undergoing care in the infirmary and appears to have suffered some sort of mental episode beyond the ability of the priests to heal.
  • Workmen attempting to complete the stairs on the western facade and lay flagstones near the south tower reported a huge explosion of mud and stone while they were at work. The burst flung them backwards and they fled the scene. Already on edge due to strange sounds of work occurring from Michello's sculpture studio after his death, this new accident was the last straw in breaking the worker's morale. All construction work on the cathedral has halted.

 

The PCs may think to investigate Michello's body. His clothing is covered in dried paint; a DC 20 Craft (painting) or Profession (artist) check indicates the coverage is not the random assortment one would suspect from drips of paint. In fact there is no plaster mixed in with the pigment, which would be expected had the color dropped from the ceiling fresco. A DC 26 Search/Perception check spots similar dried pigment in the artist's hair and face.

The party may also wish to examine the north transept, where the scaffolding accident occurred. The introduction to Act Two contains the appropriate descriptions and information; the PCs will not be able to jump ahead prior to assembling the brush.

 

Sidebar - Adventure Pacing and Temple Healing

The PCs have two days to rescue Michello's soul. The most efficient time for them to rest is in between Acts One and Two, once they have collected all the parts of the brush. Because the adventure takes place on the cathedral grounds, the party have easy access to additional healing. The CRs of the encounters in Act One reflect this. Note that the healing should not be free (standard NPC spellcasting costs apply) or unending (the priests have other patients than the PCs). The high priest is a 9th level cleric and he is assisted by the dean of the cathedral (5th level) as well as a handful of 3rd level priests and 1st level acolytes.

 

Site Plan three quarter column portrait

SITE PLAN: Cathedral of Beauty, Art, Love and Music

Act One - Legacy of the Artist

 

The PCs must investigate the great choir, the sculpture studio, and the clock tower to recover the pieces of the brush. They may make their investigation in any sequence they desire.

1. Unholy Harmony CR 8

The great choir occupies the western half of the chancel. A 50-foot square floor of patterned marble is flanked to the north and south by mahogany risers and pews, with heavily carved and paneled railings. Behind the fourth riser, a wood paneled wall supports a balcony 12 feet overhead. The stone vaulting of the inner bays rises majestically above the balcony, two sets of vast organ pipes filling the arches on each side. Hymnals litter the pews and the organ console itself, located in the southwest corner, is covered in parchment and sheet music.

Encounter 1 - Great Choir - full page-portrait

Unholy Harmony - Encounter 1

Michello spent hours at the organ composing music that worked in harmony with his architectural design. In this he was inspired by the first aspect of the upasunda's consciousness, the Aprame-muse. Aprame manifested herself as a trio of smoky apparitions emanating from the organ pipes themselves, singing along with the holy music.

The Aprame-muse hid the handle of Michello's brush (which radiates an aura of moderate conjuration) amongst a handful of conductor's batons, buried under the mound of sheet music and parchments at the organ console (Search/Perception DC 20). In addition to musical notations, charcoal drawings of a beautiful woman (the visage of the Aprame muse) cover the papers littering the organ console.

Creatures: Disturbing the console awakens the Aprame muse in the form of three allips. A discordant fugue music emanates from the organ pipes, accompanied by a shadowy mist. The undead spirits flit amongst the mist (DC 25 Spot/Preception to act in the surprise round), babbling in unholy harmony. The faces of the creatures are recognizable from the charcoal drawings with a Spot/Perception check of DC 15.

The visages also resemble the gargoyles in encounter 2 and the glass golem in encounter 5 (Spot/Perception DC 25). If the PCs have already encountered the gargoyles or the golem, they receive a +2 circumstance bonus to the check to notice the resemblance; if both +4.

The mist (as per obscuring mist) fills the great choir from a height of 40 feet and up, and dissipates in 9 minutes.

Hazards

Aprame's fury also manifests itself in the hymnals and sheet music stored in the pews flanking the open space of the great choir. The hymnals and parchments themselves explode into the air, creating a swarm of papers and books in the choir pews, distracting any who enter the (Fortitude DC 14 or nauseated each round spent in the swarm of papers - a save is required each round). The pews themselves are considered difficult terrain (except for the steps on either end), and the railings provide a +2 cover bonus to AC to any creature or object on a step higher than the attacker.

Sound pours forth from the pages of the hymnals, adding additional strength to the music in a crescendo of four-part harmony. Every other round, starting with round one (at initiative count 10), the hymnals release a spell effect on the party. Roll 1d4 to determine the effect, which targets the PCs randomly:

1. Hold Person (CL 9th, Will DC 17)

2. Sound Burst (CL 9, FortDC 16)

3. Dispel Magic (CL 9th)

4. Sonic Ray (as per Scorching Ray, but does sonic damage instead of fire. 45' range, +5 ranged touch: two rays - CL 9th)

Effect ranges are determined from any square in the appropriate choral section (as per the encounter map).

AllipThe choir hymnals may be disabled individually by identifying and destroying the leading hymnal in each of the four sections. A DC 20 Listen/Perception check correctly identifies which hymnal leads its section after it releases a spell effect. A DC 20 Perform (any music) check may also identify the lead "voice" in a section at any time as a move action. The hymnals (AC 11, touch 11, hardness 2, 9 hp) are magical items with Saves of +6. They are vulnerable to fire but if destroyed by it, the entire pew (including the stairs on either end) in which the hymnal is located bursts into flames as the remaining hymnals in that row catch fire. Treat this as a wall of fire (CL 9th) that directs its heat towards the open space of the grand choir. The wood of the pews is unaffected by this magical fire. An area of effect fire spell may only target the lead hymnal of one section, regardless of its actual area of effect, although rays may target multiple hymnals. A silence spell likewise targets only one section worth of hymnals.

A bard's counter song ability can counter the spell effects as they target the PC. A DC 20 Perform (any music) check correctly identifies the timing and location of the next release, and the bard may ready an action to use his counter song. If the bard's perform check beat the DC by 5 or more, the hymnal's spell effect is automatically countered. Otherwise, the bard makes a caster level check to counter the effect, as if using dispel magic.

Once the leading hymnal in a section has been destroyed, the swarm of music books in its area dissipates, but one further danger remains. Silencing a section also unbalances the choral performance and causes a belch of dissonant music and additional mist from the organ pipes (replenishing any of the mist that might have been cleared). The resulting cacophony assaults the PCs' ears and makes them susceptible once again to the allips' babble, even if they have already successfully saved against it. This cacophony occurs on the hymnal's next initiative following the destruction of one of the sections. A DC 20 Perform (any music) check warns that the music is unbalanced and dangerous. Rebalancing the music requires that the corresponding counterpoint section to the destroyed section be silenced as well. The soprano line's counterpoint is the bass line, while the altos are countered by the tenors (this information is revealed by the Perform check above). Unbalancing the music a second time resets the allips' babble ability once more.

Tactics

Tactics

During Combat The allips hide in the mist 40 feet above the party and babble as they approach. They focus their attacks on a single target while leaving as many fascination effects in play as possible. The allips take advantage of any unbalancing effect created by the destruction of the hymnals to reactivate their babble special attack.

Morale The Allips fight until destroyed. The magic of the hymnals persists for 4 rounds after the last allip is destroyed.

Scaling the enounter For parties of 6 or more, the hymnal hazard activates its spell effect every round instead of every other round. The allips are advanced (stats included in stat block).

(3) Allips (3.5)

Allip

Size/Type: Medium Undead (Incorporeal)

Hit Dice: 4d12 (26 hp)

Initiative: +5

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

Armor Class: 15 (+1 Dex, +4 deflection), touch 15, flat-footed 14

Base Attack/Grapple: +2/-

Attack: Incorporeal touch +3 melee (1d4 Wisdom drain)

Full Attack Incorporeal touch +3 melee (1d4 Wisdom drain)

Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks: Babble, madness, wisdom drain

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

Saves: Fort +1, Ref +4, Will +4

Abilities: Str 0, Dex 12, Con 0, Int 11, Wis 11,

Cha 18

Skills: Hide +8, Intimidate +7, Listen +7, Search +4, Spot +7, Survival +0 (+2 following tracks)

Feats: Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes

Environment: Any

Organization: Solitary

Challenge Rating: 3

Treasure: none

Alignment: always Neutral Evil

Advancement: 5-12 HD (medium)

Level Adjustment: -

COMBAT An allip is unable to cause physical harm, although it doesn’t appear to know that. It keeps flailing away at enemies, yet it inflicts no wounds.

SPECIAL ABILTIES

Babble (Su)

An allip constantly mutters and whines to itself, creating a hypnotic effect. All sane creatures within 60 feet of the allip must succeed on a DC 16 Will save or be affected as though by a hypnotism spell for 2d4 rounds. This is a sonic mind-affecting compulsion effect.

Creatures that successfully save cannot be affected by the same allip’s babble for 24 hours. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Madness (Su)

Anyone targeting an allip with a thought detection, mind control, or telepathic ability makes direct contact with its tortured mind and takes 1d4 points of Wisdom damage.

Wisdom Drain (Su)

An allip causes 1d4 points of Wisdom drain each time it hits with its incorporeal touch attack. On each such successful attack, it gains 5 temporary hit points.

 

Scaling the encounter - Advance the allips to 6 HD -  Adjusted Stats: BAB+3, Attack: Incorporeal touch +4 melee (1d4 Wisdom drain); HP 37, Saves Fort +2, Ref +5, Will +5, Additional Feat: Ability Focus, Babble - DC 18, Skills: Hide +10, Listen +9, Search +6, Spot +9, Challenge Rating: 4

(3) Allips (Pathfinder)

Allip CR 3

XP 800

CE Medium undead (incorporeal)

Init +5; Senses Darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +7

Aura babble (60 ft., DC 15)

DEFENSE

AC 14, touch 14, flat-footed 13 (+3 deflection, +1 Dex)

hp 30 (4d8+12)

Fort +4, Ref +4, Will +4

Defensive Abilities channel resistance +2, incorporeal; Immune undead traits

OFFENSE

Speed fly 30 ft. (perfect)

Melee incorporeal touch +4 (1d4 Wisdom damage)

Special Attacks babble, touch of insanity

STATISTICS

Str —, Dex 12, Con —, Int 11, Wis 11, Cha 16

Base Atk +3; CMB +4; CMD 17

Feats Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes

Skills Fly +16, Intimidate +10, Perception +7, Stealth +8

Languages Aklo, Common

SQ madness

ECOLOGY

Environment any

Organization solitary, pair, or haunt (3–6)

Treasure incidental

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Babble (Su) An allip constantly mutters to itself, creating a hypnotic effect. All sane creatures within 60 feet of the allip must succeed at a DC 15 Will save or be fascinated for 2d4 rounds. While a target is fascinated, the allip can approach it without breaking the effect, but an attack by the allip does end the effect. Creatures that successfully save cannot be affected by the same allip's babble for 24 hours. This is a sonic, mind-affecting compulsion effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Madness (Su) Anyone targeting an allip with a thought detection, mind control, or telepathic effect makes direct contact with its tortured mind and takes 1d4 points of Wisdom damage.

Touch of Insanity (Su) The touch of an allip deals 1d4 points of Wisdom damage (DC 15 Will negates). A successful critical hit causes 1d4 points of Wisdom damage and 1 point of Wisdom drain (instead of double Wisdom damage). With each successful attack, an allip gains 5 temporary hit points. The save DC is Charisma-based.

 

Scaling the encounter - Apply the Quick Advanced Template to the Allips. Quick Rules: +2 on all rolls (including damage rolls) and special ability DCs; +4 to AC and CMD; +2 hp/HD. HP 38 Challenge Rating: 4

 

Development PCs whose Wisdom scores are reduced to 0 may develop schizophrenia. The GM should roll the Will save secretly when the PC is reduced to 0 Wisdom. Failure permits the song of the Aprame-muse to peck away at the PC's innermost thoughts. The delayed onset makes it likely that the PC will not notice the effects until she has entered the fresco, or possibly after the conclusion of the adventure.

 

Schizophrenia

Type insanity; Save Will DC 16

Onset 1d6 days

Effect –4 penalty on all Wisdom and Charisma-based skill checks; cannot take 10 or take 20; chance of becoming confused (see below)

Description A schizophrenic character has lost his grip on reality, and can no longer tell the difference between what is real and what is not. These constant hallucinations cause the schizophrenic to appear erratic, chaotic, and unpredictable to others. Each time a schizophrenic character finds himself in a stressful situation (such as combat) he must make a Will save against his insanity's DC. Failure indicates that the character becomes confused for 1d6 rounds.

 

PCs who fail two or more saves against the allips' babble may become manic or phobic (50% chance of either). The mania or phobia manifests during the final encounter with the upasunda.

 

Mania/Phobia

Type insanity; Save Will DC 14

Onset 1 day

Effect target is sickened (if manic) or shaken (if phobic) as long as the source of the mania or phobia is obvious; chance of becoming fascinated or frightened (see below)

Description

A mania is an irrational obsession with a (usually inappropriate) particular object or situation, while a phobia is an irrational fear of a (usually commonplace) object or situation. Additionally, if a manic or phobic character is directly confronted by his obsession (requiring a standard action), he must make a Will save against the insanity or become fascinated (if manic) or frightened (if phobic) by the object for 1d6 rounds.

A PC is afflicted with only the strongest of the applicable insanities.

 

If all of the PCs are incapacitated by being reduced to 0 Wisdom, the Aprame-muse retires into the organ. The priests of the temple rescue the party and they awaken one day later in the infirmary with a wisdom score of 1, and may continue the adventure from that point. In the course of the rescue the priests recover the handle of Michello's brush for the PCs, and the Aprame-muse flees to the demiplane hidden in the fresco.

Sidebar - Curing Insanity

All insanities have a DC that represents the insanity's strength. An insanity's DC indicates the Will save you need to roll in order to resist contracting the insanity when you are initially exposed to it, but also the DC you need to make to recover. Recovering from an insanity naturally is a lengthy process—once per week, you make a Will save against the insanity's current DC. If you succeed on this save, the insanity's DC is reduced by a number of points equal to your Charisma bonus (minimum of 1). You continue to suffer the full effects of the insanity until its DC is reduced to 0, at which point you are cured and the insanity vanishes completely.

 

Lesser restoration has no effect on insanity, but restoration reduces the current DC of one insanity currently affecting a target by an amount equal to the caster's level. Greater restoration, heal, limited wish, miracle, or wish immediately cures a target of all insanity.

Treasure Mixed amongst the pages of music on the organ console are 3 arcane scrolls: sound burst (CL 4th), sculpt sound (CL 7th), and shout (CL 10th). The magic of the scrolls is enhanced by musical phrasing notated on the parchement themselves. A PC who correctly translates the scrolls (Perform, any music DC 22) may use his own ability score to modify the DCs of the spells contained on them rather than the standard minimum ability modifier.

A handful of charcoal drawings on the backs of some pages of sheet music are of interest to collectors of Michello's art. A DC 18 Appraise check identifies that half a dozen sketches are each worth 200 gp. Exceeding the check by 5 or more allows the PCs to correctly identify the most valuable sketches, raising the value of the collection to 350 gp per sketch.

 

 

2. Chipping Away at it (CR 8 combat plus traps)

Encounter 2 - Sculpture Studio - GM Map - half page landscape

Sculpture Studio - Encounter 2

The area designated for the south transept of the cathedral serves a different purpose at the moment. Thick wooden posts support a thatched roof above, but the walls are made of bleached muslin, allowing strong natural light to filter into the enclosure. Huge blocks of granite, marble, and limestone fill the room, some carved into architectural details, some into decorative statues. Wooden templates rest in one corner of the studio, and a series of sketches and plans cover a worktable nearby. The templates and plans are covered in a fine layer of stone dust. A flapping opening to the west leads to a muddy courtyard; to the north is the entrance to the cathedral.

Michello used this sculpture studio to carve master patterns for the masons, as well as a workshop to create his own sculptures for placement in the cathedral. The studio has been unused since his death—the stone masons are superstitious of the sounds and lights emanating from the workshop. The Vara-muse hid the ferrule (the metal band that binds the bristles to the brush handle) in one of the statues (see creatures below).

A small wooden box on the workbench contains a handful of dust of choking and sneezing (faint aura of conjuration). Unless the PCs succeed on a DC 32 Spellcraft check to identify the cursed item, they believe it to be a dose of dust of appearance.

A toolbox containing stone and wood carving tools (identifiable as masterwork with a DC 10 Appraise check) is next to the table, as well as an empty bucket with a hand pump attached to a spray nozzle. A DC 18 Knowledge (engineering) or Craft (stonemasonry) check identifies this as a tool to suppress the clouds of stone dust created when carving (a fine mist of water helps settle the dust). A barrel of water stands outside in the muddy courtyard.

Misting the dust covering the workbench provides a +2 circumstance bonus to the save against the poisonous stone dust that has settled on the bench itself. The stone dust explodes in a cloud if the box or the papers located on the bench are disturbed.

Poisoned Stone Dust Trap    CR 8

Type mechanical; Search/Perception DC 25; Disable Device DC 20

Trigger location; Reset none

Effect poison dust cloud (see below); never miss; onset delay (none); multiple targets (all targets in a 10-ft.-by-10-ft. area).

Type Poison, inhaled; Save Fortitude DC18

Frequency 1/round for 6 rounds

Effect 1 Con drain; Secondary Effect 1d3 Con damage; Cure 2 consecutive saves

 

Creatures

Four of the statues in the workshop stand out from the rest. These carvings are set amidst half a dozen human-sized stone blocks (awaiting their turn to be carved) and resemble winged warrior women with 6-inch long fingernails and a helm sprouting a pair of horns. These statues are infused with the spirit of  the Vara-muse, and are identifiable as threats with a DC 39 Perception check (Pathfinder) or a DC 20 Spot check (3.5).

The faces of the statues resembles the allips in encounter 1 and the glass golem in encounter 5 (Spot/Perception DC 25). If the PCs have already encountered the allips or the golem, they receive a +2 circumstance bonus to the check to notice the resemblance; if both +4. If they Appraised the more valuable sketches in encounter 2, the bonus increases by an additional +2. PCs who notice the resemblance gain a circumstance bonus to note that the statues are alive (Pathfinder: +5 to Perception; 3.5: +2 to Spot). The three gargoyle statues stay frozen (using their freeze special ability) until the PCs spend longer than 3 rounds studying them or make their first attempt to finish carving the unfinished statue (below), or if the gargoyles are recognized as threats by the PCs.

 gargoyle-01

Three of the statues (the gargoyles) are complete, the fourth nearly so; the detailing on the belt still rough. The belt radiates an aura of moderate conjuration and faint transmutation. A stone-cutting chisel and wooden mallet lie discarded at the base of the statue. Examination of the unfinished belt permits a DC 15 Spellcraft or Craft (stonemasonry) check to determine that completing the detailing on the belt allows a small compartment in the buckle to open: the ferrule lies inside.

Completing the carving to access the hidden compartment requires five Craft (stonemasonry) checks DC 18, or DC 25 Disable Device checks. Each check consumes a full-round action; a PC working on the carving is considered flat-footed, unless he takes a -4 circumstance penalty on the check (the PC must choose each round before making the carving check). The chisel in the dirt is a regular tool, but the tools near the workbench are masterwork (DC 10 Appraise). Failure on the skill check by 5 or more results in the carver being targeted by a slow spell (CL 5; Will DC 14). This spell effect resets. It is possible to take 10 on the first check, but not once combat is joined. The carving challenge is equivalent to a CR 5 trap.

Attempting to bypass the carving challenge with a stone shape, meld into stone or similar spell is extremely risky, activating the following protections.

 

Counterspell Trap    CR 8

Type magical; Search/Perception DC 31; Disable Device DC 31

Trigger magical sensor; Reset immediate

Effect Attempting to bypass or carve the belt detail magically results in the spell being countered by a greater dispel magic CL 11th (+15 on the caster level check to counter). The trap also targets a flesh to stone spell (Fortitude DC 24) on the caster attempting to manipulate the carving.

Tactics

Tactics

During Combat One gargoyle always attempts to perch on the block next to the unfinished statue to harass anyone working on the carving.

Morale The gargoyles fight to the death and they receive regeneration 5 as long as the belt carving is unfinished. Once knocked unconscious, the gargoyles resume a statue-like stony appearance. As they regenerate they activate their freeze ability once more, requiring additional checks by the party to determine that they are healing and remain "hidden" if possible until restored to half health before continuing the fight. PCs may notice a pulse of green energy from the belt carving reflected in the gargoyles eyes with a passive DC 25 Spot/Perception check (if engaged in combat apply a -5 distraction penalty to this check.) A follow-up DC 21 Spellcraft (also passive) check informs a PC that the gargoyles are receiving regenerative magic from the belt, and the only counter is to kill them outright or complete the carving.

Scaling the encounter For parties of six or more add a fourth gargoyle to the fight.

(3) Advanced Gargoyles (3.5)

Advanced Gargoyle

Size/Type: Medium Monstrous Humanoid (Earth)

Hit Dice: 6d8+19 (55 hp)

Initiative: +2

Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares), fly 60 ft. (average)

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

Base Attack/Grapple: +8/+8

Attack: Claw +9 melee (1d4+2)

Full Attack: 2 claws +9 melee (1d4+2) and bite +6 melee (1d6+1) and gore +6 melee (1d6+1)

Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks: -

Special Qualities: Damage reduction 10/magic, darkvision 60 ft., freeze, regeneration 5*

Saves: Fort +6, Ref +7, Will +3

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

Cha 7

Skills: Hide +9*, Listen +4, Spot +4

Feats: Multiattack, Toughness, Weapon Focus: claws

Environment: Any

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

Challenge Rating: 5

Treasure: Standard

Alignment: Usually chaotic evil

Advancement: 5-6 HD (Medium); 7-12 HD (Large)

Level Adjustment: +5

 

Special Ability

Freeze (Ex)

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

 

Skills

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

 

* The regeneration ability is tied to the magic of the unfinished statue and dissipates when the belt carving is completed.

(3) Advanced Gargoyles (Pathfinder)

Advanced Gargoyle CR 5

XP 1,600 each

CE Medium monstrous humanoid (earth)

Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +7

DEFENSE

AC 20, touch 14, flat-footed 20 (+4 Dex, +6 natural)

hp 52 (5d10+25)

Fort +6, Ref +8, Will +6

Defensive Abilities DR 10/magic, regeneration 5*

OFFENSE

Speed 40 ft., fly 60 ft. (average)

Melee 2 claws +9 (1d6+4), bite +9 (1d4+4), gore +9 (1d4+4)

STATISTICS

Str 19, Dex 18, Con 20, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 11

Base Atk +7; CMB +9; CMD 23

Feats Hover, Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Fly)

Skills Fly +14, Perception +7, Stealth +13 (+19 in stony areas); Racial Modifiers +2 Stealth (+6 in stony environs)

Languages Common, Terran

SQ freeze

ECOLOGY

Environment any

Organization solitary, pair, or wing (3–12)

Treasure standard

SPECIAL ABILITIES

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

 

* The regeneration ability is tied to the magic of the unfinished statue and dissipates when the belt carving is completed.

Development Once the gargoyles are defeated and the belt detail completed, the ferrule can be retrieved from the small compartment. The Vara spirit flees to her refuge in the fresco.

Treasure Mounted in the back of the belt buckle is a large emerald worth 900 gp, readily apparent when retrieving the ferrule from the compartment. If the PCs think to check the eyes of gargoyle, they discover 6 more emeralds worth 300 gp each, otherwise a DC 25 Search/Perception check is required to notice them. A separate DC 25 Search/Perception check causes a PC to notice that the stone dust and chips created from finishing the carving on the belt glow with a faint green hue as well. This dust is equivalent to a single dose of stone salve, but is applied by sprinkling over the desired area.

 

 

3. Mired in the Courtyard (CR 7)

Encounters 3 and 4 - South Tower - GM MAP - full page-portrait

The South Tower - Encounters 3 & 4

The south tower houses a huge clock and the bells of the cathedral but much of the detailing on the lower levels is unfinished. There currently appears to be no way to access the interior of the tower. PCs notice that the hands on the huge clock do not move with a DC 20 Spot/Perception check.

The south yard of the construction site contains stacked stone of all sorts, timber for scaffolding, lead sheets for roofing as well as barrels and bales of tools and hardware. Any space unoccupied by materials or workshops is packed bare earth, which turns to mud the closer one gets to the south tower of the cathedral. The walls of the tower are simple solid stone—shallow etchings have been made in them, as if the blueprints have been transferred full scale onto the west and south facades of the tower. On the western side, mud fills the entire courtyard and the unfinished steps of the west facade form a broken barrier to the north. Narrow planks provide a precarious walkway through the mud and ramp up to the west wall of the tower, which contains a recess for double bronze doors. Upended pavers and foundation stones litter the muddy courtyard. A stone chest lies half buried in the mud; sodden and filthy parchments stand mired in the sludge nearby.

While completing the storerooms and crypts below the south tower, workers disturbed an underground spring. Michello was forced to temporarily fill in the archways as well as the window and door piercings of the tower while correcting the problem. He has been using his lyre of building to add detailing to the south tower while the spring was being diverted and the foundations repaired. A DC 12 Knowledge (engineering) check informs a PC that the temporary masonry in window openings and archways indicate that the sealed tower is undergoing some sort of repair.

A complete circumnavigation of the tower (including examining the interior from the narthex) reveals solid stone everywhere, save for the door recess in the western facade. Great paneled bronze doors are inset into the stone door frame, but no hardware has been installed. The stone of the architecture and bronze of the doors meld into each other. Rudimentary chalked drawings of hinges, handles and locks are evident on the bronze and surrounding stone.

The stone chest buried in the mud contains the lyre of building (DC 30 Open Locks/Disable Device); the scattered papers include better renderings of the hardware etched on the bronze doors as well as the stone pattern for completing the paving and stairs of the western courtyard. Other notations on the parchments are recognizable with a DC 25 Perform (any music) check. They seem unrelated to the designs and appear to be musical doodlings.

 

A DC 21 Spellcraft check confirms that the lyre of building can easily craft the hardware and stonework sketched on the parchment.

A DC 20 Knowledge (engineering) check allows a PC to read the blueprints of the tower itself that are buried under the stone chest (Search/Perception DC 28)

 elemental-earthelemental-01

Creatures

The musical notes are actually a lullaby for an elemental that inhabited the earth and mud surrounding the spring. Michello used the lullaby to lure the elemental to the diverted spring (about 100 yards to the south). The elemental liked the music so much that Michello was often forced to perform for it before commencing work, and he promised that he would not pave over the courtyard until the tower was finished so the outsider could enjoy more concerts. When workmen attempted to start laying flagstones in the area, the elemental used its great strength to hurl the stones up and into the mud, creating the current scene of disarray.

Music from the lyre of building attracts the elemental who appears when the door hardware is almost complete. The outsider speaks in Terran:

 

You are not song man.  Play song man song!

 

A PC must have translated the musical notes to even make the attempt to lull the elemental, and does so by weaving the lullaby melody into a construction melody with a DC 24 Perform (stringed instrument) check. If the PC fails this check (or if she can't  make the attempt) the elemental attacks the following round. After the first Perform check the elemental demands more music (two more checks worth). The door hardware is complete at this juncture, making the performance easier (DC 20), but if the PC fails at either check, the lyre of building begins laying the paving stones, infuriating the elemental and causing it to strike. If the party successfully performs the lullaby, award experience as if they had defeated the elemental (who returns to his new home).

 

Terrain The muddy yard is difficult terrain. The plank walkway requires a DC 10 Balance/Acrobatics check each round to negotiate or the PC is considered flat-footed. The stone ledge in front of the door and the large pavers in the mud are stable and a PC may jump from paver to paver by making the appropriate checks.

 

Tactics

Tactics:

During Combat: The earth elemental (3.5) uses its awesome blow to deposit PCs into the mud, and uses Power Attack against prone or unarmored party members. It uses Cleave and Great Cleave to targets PCs on the stone ledge near the door. The mud elemental (Pathfinder) targets party members grouped on the stone ledge with Great Cleave if appropriate, or bull rushes PCs off the planks and into the mud, trying to slam them against the tower walls or stairwell, knocking them prone. It uses Power Attack against prone, unarmored, or entrapped targets.

Morale The elemental retires if reduced to 20% health, burrowing to get away.

Scaling the Encounter For parties of six or more, the elemental is an advanced version of the standard creature (stats included in the stat block).

Earth Elemental (3.5)

Earth Elemental

Size/Type: Huge Elemental (Earth, Extraplanar)

Hit Dice: 16d8+80 (152 hp)

Initiative: -1

Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)

Armor Class: 18 (-2 size, -1 Dex, +11 natural), touch 7, flat-footed 18

Base Attack/Grapple: +12/+29

Attack: Slam +19 melee (2d10+9)

Full Attack: 2 slams +19 melee (2d10+9)

Space/Reach: 15 ft./15 ft.

Special Attacks: Earth mastery, push

Special Qualities: Damage reduction 5/-, earth glide, darkvision 60 ft., elemental traits

Saves: Fort +15, Ref +4, Will +7

Abilities: Str 29, Dex 8, Con 21, Int 6, Wis 11,

Cha 11

Skills: Listen +10, Spot +9

Feats: Awesome Blow, Cleave, Great Cleave, Improved Bull Rush, Iron Will, Power Attack

Environment: Elemental Plane of Earth

Organization: Solitary

Challenge Rating: 7

Treasure: None

Alignment: Usually neutral

Advancement: 17-20 HD (Huge)

Level Adjustment: -

COMBAT

Though an earth elemental moves slowly, it is a relentless opponent. It can travel though solid ground or stone as easily as humans walk on the earth’s surface. It cannot swim, however, and must either walk around a body of water or go through the ground under it. An earth elemental can move along the bottom of a body of water but prefers not to.

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Special Ability

Earth Mastery (Ex)

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

Push (Ex)

An earth elemental can start a bull rush maneuver without provoking an attack of opportunity. The combat modifiers given in Earth Mastery, above, also apply to the elemental’s opposed Strength checks.

Earth Glide (Ex)

An earth elemental can glide through stone, dirt, or almost any other sort of earth except metal as easily as a fish swims through water. Its burrowing leaves behind no tunnel or hole, nor does it create any ripple or other signs of its presence. A move earth spell cast on an area containing a burrowing earth elemental flings the elemental back 30 feet, stunning the creature for 1 round unless it succeeds on a DC 15 Fortitude save.

 

Scaling the Encounter This elemental is a stronger and tougher version of the standard creature with maximum hit points and increased Strength (Str 31)

HP 208

Base Attack/Grapple: +14/+31

Attack: Slam +21 melee (2d10+10)

Full Attack: 2 slams +21 melee (2d10+10)

Challenge Rating 8

Mud Elemental (Pathfinder)

Mud Elemental CR 7

XP 3,200

N Huge outsider (earth, elemental, extraplanar, water)

Init +3; Senses Darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 30 ft.; Perception +13

DEFENSE

AC 20, touch 12, flat-footed 16 (+3 Dex, +1 dodge, +8 natural, –2 size)

hp 95 (10d10+40)

Fort +11, Ref +10, Will +3

DR 5/—; Immune acid, elemental traits

OFFENSE

Speed 20 ft., burrow 10 ft., swim 30 ft.; earth glide

Melee 2 slams +15 (2d6+7 plus entrap)

Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.

Special Attacks entrap (DC 19, 10 minutes, hardness 5, hp 15)

STATISTICS

Str 24, Dex 16, Con 19, Int 6, Wis 11, Cha 117

Base Atk +10; CMB +19; CMD 33

Feats Cleave, Dodge, Great Cleave, Greater Bull Rush, Improved Bull Rush, Power Attack

Skills Climb +17, Escape Artist +13, Knowledge (planes) +7, Perception +13, Stealth +8, Swim +15

Languages Terran

ECOLOGY

Environment any land or water (Plane of Earth)

Organization solitary, pair, or gang (3–8)

Treasure none

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Earth Glide (Ex) A burrowing mud elemental can pass through dirt, gravel, or other loose or porous solid matter as easily as a fish swims through water. It cannot use this ability to pass through a solid barrier such as a stone or brick wall. Its burrowing leaves behind no tunnel or hole, nor does it create any ripple or other sign of its presence. A move earth spell cast on an area containing a burrowing mud elemental flings the elemental back 30 feet, stunning the creature for 1 round unless it succeeds on a DC 15 Fortitude save.

Entrap (Ex) The mud from an elemental's entrap ability can be washed away in 1d3 rounds of immersion in water.

Scaling the encounter - Apply the Quick Advanced Template to the elemental: +2 on all rolls (including damage rolls) and special ability DCs; +4 to AC and CMD; +2 hp/HD. HP 115. This increases the CR to 8

Development PCs attempting to enter the tower with dimension door or other teleportation spell without deciphering the tower plans materialize in a solid space taking 1d6 points of damage and being shunted to a random open space: Roll a d6—on a 1-4 the PCs land back outside the tower or in the narthex of the cathedral; on a 5 they land in the cellar of the tower, where the elemental appears in the 40-foot square area of unpaved mud (see area 4b); on a 6 they land safely on the first floor of the tower.

Treasure Unscrupulous PCs may fail to return the lyre of building once Michello is revived.

 

 

4. Climbing the Tower

Encounters 3 and 4 - South Tower - Player Map - full page-portrait

The South Tower - Encounters 3 & 4

The south tower has been bricked off for weeks and although it will eventually connect to other hallways and chambers of the cathedral, currently it remains a self-contained structure, which is why the priests and townsfolk are superstitious of the lights seen glowing from the stained glass face of the clock tower.

The interior dimensions of these levels are 40 feet by 40 feet, although ceiling heights vary from level to level.

 

4a - Main Floor

Unlike the exterior of the tower, the architectural details in this chamber are fully rendered. The ceiling vaults 35 feet above. On the north wall, an archway leading to the narthex is filled with solid masonry, as are the window piercings on the west and south wall.

An unlocked doorway to the east opens to a stairwell with one flight leading up and one flight leading to the cellar. The floor is otherwise empty save for muddy tracks and some straw brooms.

 

4b - Cellar

A pile of dressed stone pavers fills the northwest corner of this room. The rest of the muddy floor sprouts wooden shovels, buckets and troughs. A two-man barrel pump with hundreds of feet of canvas hose leans drunkenly in the center of the room. The entire rooms smells wet and musty.

Hidden in the sludge of mud near the pump is a pouch containing 300 gp (Search/Perception DC 22). The master mason dropped the payroll pouch in a rush to escape the cellar when workers first tried (unsuccessfully) to deal with the damage caused by the spring just before Michello sealed the tower.

 

4c - Western Arcade

This fifteen foot tall chamber will eventually link with the arcade over the narthex and north tower to provide a walkway that runs the entire width of the cathedral. Prayer kneelers, wooden benches, candle racks and statuary flank the walls of the chamber. Heavily carved window frames await the removal of reinforcing masonry and the insertion of leaded glass panes.

The prayer kneelers provide an opportunity for a GM to hide documents or other evidence linking a recurring villain in the campaign to the recent outbreak of construction accidents. The documents could be notes to an inside agent somewhere in the labor force or even the religious hierarchy. The documents are hidden in a secret compartment in one of the kneelers (DC 22 Search/Perception). The stairwell continues up to the next level.

 

4d - Scriptorium

The western and southern exposures of this level are pierced for magnificent 20-foot high double windows. Unlike the levels below, the clear leaded glass is not bricked in with masonry but huge iron grates, with straps 4 inches wide bolted into the stonework on either side of the windows. The 6-inch openings in the grating allow light into the chamber, which contains a clutter of bookshelves, writing desks and writing supplies. On the eastern wall a huge pendulum swings back and forth, the shaft disappearing into a slot in the ceiling above.

The furniture in the scriptorium was pushed into the center of the room, but none of the equipment is remarkable. The doors in the north wall of the chamber leading to other parts of the cathedral have been bricked in. Continuing upward is possible by climbing a wrought iron spiral stair in the southeast corner.

 

4e - Gear Room and Workshop (CR 8)

The shaft of the pendulum below thrusts up through a slot in the floor on the eastern wall and connects to a huge collection of gears and shafts that take up most of the center of the room. A number of gears stand perpendicular to the floor and disappear into the ceiling ten feet above. Grated windows to the west and south provide light; a much larger collection of gears and parts lie on worktables pushed up to the light wells. Unlike the reinforcing grates below, the decorative bars inset in the stone frame seem permanent. A wooden stair surrounded by iron bars in the northeast corner continues to the next level; the northern wall is bricked in.

The gears and cogs are part of a mechanical ballet Michello was constructing when the tower became unsafe. The pieces of the animatronic sculptures are scattered amongst the work tables and western wall.

The iron bars surrounding the stairs contain a locked access door (Superior lock - Disable Device DC 40, hardness 10, hp 60, break DC 28). Destroying a section of the bars to allow passage is as difficult as destroying the door, but the bars may be bent (Strength DC 24) to allow a DC 20 Escape Artist check to slip through (Small-sized characters receive a +4 circumstance bonus).

Creatures Two clockwork soldiers that were intended to be part of the mechanical clock ballet stand at attention on the western wall. The Dahrma-muse has modified them to guard this level. A DC 16 Knowledge (arcana) check correctly identifies the creatures..

Tactics

Tactics

 

Before Combat The clockwork soldiers remain on standby until at least two PCs enter this level. They then use a swift action to leave standby mode and attack (granting a +4 circumstance bonus to their initiative check).

During Combat The soldiers gang up on opponents, attempting to flank with one solider attempting to disarm or grapple while his mate strikes with his halberd.

Morale The constructs fight until destroyed.

Scaling the Encounter For parties of 6 or more, a third clockwork soldier increases the EL/CR to 9

(2) Clockwork Soldiers (3.5)

Clockwork Soldier

Size/Type: Medium Construct

Hit Dice: 8d10+20 (64 hp)

Initiative: +6

Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)

Armor Class: 20, touch 14, flat-footed 16 (+2 Dex, +2 dodge, +6 natural)

Base Attack/Grapple: +6/+15

Attack: +1 halberd +16 (1d10+13/×3)

Full Attack: 1 halberd +16/+11 (1d10+13/×3)

Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks: latch

Special Qualities: Contruct traits, Damage reduction 5/adamantine, darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, vulnerable to electricity

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

Abilities: Str 28, Dex 15, Con -, Int -, Wis 11, Cha 1

Skills: -

Feats: Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes

Environment: Any

Organization: solitary, pair, trio, troop (3–8), or company (9–12 plus 1–4 clockwork servants)

Challenge Rating: 6

Treasure: standard (+1 halberd, other treasure)

Alignment: Usually neutral

Advancement: -

Level Adjustment: -

Special Abilities

Efficient Winding (Ex) A clockwork soldier can function for 2 days per Hit Die every time it is wound.

Latch (Ex) Clockwork soldiers have specially designed hands that easily grasp and lock onto weapons and objects. A soldier can attempt to disarm or grapple as a standard action without provoking an attack of opportunity, and it receives a +2 bonus on disarm checks. In addition, it receives a +2 bonus against attempts to disarm it.

Proficient (Ex) A clockwork soldier is proficient with all simple and martial weapons.

Standby (Ex) A clockwork soldier can place itself on standby as a standard action. While on standby, a clockwork soldier cannot move or take any actions. It remains aware of its surroundings but takes a –4 penalty on Spot and Listen checks. Time spent on standby does not count against the soldier's wind-down duration. A clockwork soldier can exit standby as a swift action—if it does so to initiate combat, it gains a +4 racial bonus on its Initiative check.

(2) Clockwork Soldiers (Pathfinder)

Clockwork Soldier CR 6

XP 2,400

N Medium construct (clockwork)

Init +6; Senses Darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +0

DEFENSE

AC 20, touch 14, flat-footed 16 (+2 Dex, +2 dodge, +6 natural)

hp 64 (8d10+20)

Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +2

DR 5/adamantine; Immune construct traits

Weaknesses vulnerable to electricity

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft.

Melee +1 halberd +18/+13 (1d10+13/×3)

Special Attacks latch

STATISTICS

Str 28, Dex 15, Con —, Int —, Wis 11, Cha 1

Base Atk +8; CMB +17 (+19 disarm); CMD 31 (33 vs. disarm)

Feats Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes

SQ efficient winding, proficient, standby, swift reactions

ECOLOGY

Environment any

Organization solitary, pair, trio, troop (3–8), or company (9–12 plus 1–4 clockwork servants)

Treasure standard (+1 halberd, other treasure)

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Efficient Winding (Ex) A clockwork soldier can function for 2 days per Hit Die every time it is wound.

Latch (Ex) Clockwork soldiers have specially designed hands that easily grasp and lock onto weapons and objects. A soldier can attempt to disarm or grapple as a standard action without provoking an attack of opportunity, and it receives a +2 bonus on disarm checks. In addition, it receives a +2 bonus to CMD against attempts to disarm it.

Proficient (Ex) A clockwork soldier is proficient with all simple and martial weapons.

Standby (Ex) A clockwork soldier can place itself on standby as a standard action. While on standby, a clockwork soldier cannot move or take any actions. It remains aware of its surroundings but takes a –4 penalty on Perception checks. Time spent on standby does not count against the soldier's wind-down duration. A clockwork soldier can exit standby as a swift action—if it does so to initiate combat, it gains a +4 racial bonus on its Initiative check.

Development The clockworks' winding key also fits the door to the stairs (DC 20 Search/Perception).

Treasure The +1 halberds maintain their magical properties even after the destruction of the clockworks. A stock of precious metals (10 lbs gold, 20 lbs silver, and a few thin plates of adamantine: 3 lbs) worth 1,500 gp are hidden under a pile of discarded gears and parts (Search/Perception DC 22).

 

4f. A Vision in Crystal (CR 8)

The gears from below connect to additional machinery on this level, and eventually to a huge stained glass clock face set into the western wall. A series of ropes, cables and counterweights also engage the mechanism and form a series of hempen walls as they run up unto what must be the bell tower above. A wooden ladder on the south wall climbs to the next level. A stack of uncut stained glass lies in racks near the ladder, a cutting table on locked casters nearby. An assortment of cutters and brushes litter the worktable.

The bristles of Michello's brush lie on the stained glass cutting table along with half a dozen other brushes, and may be mistaken for a glass working tool unless the PCs make a DC 15 Search/Perception check to notice that the bristles have no handle and are bound only by glue at the flat end. The bristles may also be differentiated by detect magic—they exude an aura of moderate conjuration.

 Stained Glass Golem

Creatures

The Dahrme-muse has attuned her consciousness to the stained glass clock face, animating as a stained glass golem which springs out and attacks the party as they approach. PCs who notice that the drive shaft of the gearing is not attached to the hands mounting of the clock face (Knowledge [engineering] DC 20) gain a +2 circumstance bonus to spot the golem hidden in the clock face. If the PCs noticed that the hands on the clock face were not moving (or if they heard the story of the clock tower "haunt" from the cathedral workers) they may make the knowledge check as if it were trained.

 

A DC 19 Spot/Perception check is required to see the golem within the clock face and act in the surprise round. This check may be hampered, as the PCs must begin to make saves from the golem’s Dazzling Brightness ability as soon as they enter the chamber.

Tactics

Tactics

During Combat The golem activates its Reflect Spells ability as it attacks and at every opportunity. The light streaming into the clock tower is sufficient to maintain the Dazzling Brightness ability throughout the combat.

Scaling the Encounter For parties of six or more, treat the golem’s slam attacks as if under the effects of keen edge (19-20 x2). This does not increase the CR of the elemental.

Glass Golem (3.5)

Glass Golem

Size/Type: Large Construct

Hit Dice: (12d10+30) (96 hp)

Initiative: -1

Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)

Armor Class: 21, touch 8, flat-footed 21 (–1 Dex, +13 natural, –1 size)

Base Attack/Grapple: +9/+18

Attack: slams +14 (2d8+5 plus bleed)

Full Attack: 2 slams +14 (2d8+5 plus bleed)

Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks: bleed (1d8), dazzling brightness

Special Qualities: Construct traits, damage reduction 5/adamantine, darkvision 60 ft., immunity to magic, low-light vision, reflect spells

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

Abilities: Str 20, Dex 9, Con -, Int -, Wis 11, Cha 1

Skills: -

Feats: -

Environment: Any land

Organization: solitary or gang (2–5)

Challenge Rating: 8

Treasure: none

Alignment: Usually neutral

Advancement: -

Level Adjustment: -

Special Abilities

Dazzling Brightness (Ex) A glass golem in an area of bright light dazzles any creature within 30 feet that sees it for 1 round (Fortitude DC 16 negates). Once a creature makes its save against this ability, it is immune to that golem's brightness for 24 hours. The DC is Constitution-based.

Immune to Magic (Ex) A glass golem is immune to any spell or spell-like ability that allows spell resistance. In addition, certain spells and effects function differently against a glass golem, as noted below.

• A shatter spell damages a glass golem as if it were a crystalline creature.

• A keen edge spell affects all of a glass golem's slam attacks as if they were slashing weapons.

• A magical attack that deals cold damage slows a glass golem (as the slow spell) for 3 rounds (no saving throw).

• A magical attack that deals fire damage ends any slow effect on the golem and heals 1 point of damage for each 3 points of damage the attack would otherwise deal. If the amount of healing would cause the golem to exceed its full normal hit points, it gains any excess as temporary hit points. A glass golem gets no saving throw against fire effects.

Reflect Spells (Ex) As a free action once every 1d4 rounds, a glass golem can align its internal structure to enhance its resistance to magic for 1 round. During this time, the golem reflects spells (even spells that function differently against the golem as described in its immune to magic ability) as if under the effect of a spell turning spell.

A glass golem is a sizable guardian constructed by a powerful caster, usually in the shape of an armored humanoid. They are more common in desert lands where quartz-based sand is readily available, or in urban centers where glassblowing is commonplace.

A typical glass golem is 10 feet tall and weighs 2,500 pounds.

Stained Glass Golems (+0 CR): Divine casters sometimes build glass golems that resemble the windowpanes commonly found in temples. Thin and agile, these colorful beings often act as spies, wielding powers of stealth that their other counterparts do not possess. A stained glass golem has a +8 racial bonus on Stealth checks.

Construction

A glass golem's body is made from 2,500 pounds of glass mixed with special salts and rare minerals worth 1,000 gp.

Glass Golem (Pathfinder)

Glass Golem CR 8

XP 4,800

N Large construct

Init –1; Senses Darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +0

DEFENSE

AC 21, touch 8, flat-footed 21 (–1 Dex, +13 natural, –1 size)

hp 96 (12d10+30)

Fort +4, Ref +3, Will +4

Defensive Abilities reflect spells; DR 5/adamantine; Immune magic, construct traits

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft.

Melee 2 slams +16 (2d8+5 plus bleed)

Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.

Special Attacks bleed (1d8), dazzling brightness

STATISTICS

Str 20, Dex 9, Con —, Int —, Wis 11, Cha 1

Base Atk +12; CMB +18; CMD 27

ECOLOGY

Environment any land

Organization solitary or gang (2–5)

Treasure none

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Dazzling Brightness (Ex) A glass golem in an area of bright light dazzles any creature within 30 feet that sees it for 1 round (Fortitude DC 16 negates). Once a creature makes its save against this ability, it is immune to that golem's brightness for 24 hours. The DC is Constitution-based.

Immune to Magic (Ex) A glass golem is immune to any spell or spell-like ability that allows spell resistance. In addition, certain spells and effects function differently against a glass golem, as noted below.

• A shatter spell damages a glass golem as if it were a crystalline creature.

• A keen edge spell affects all of a glass golem's slam attacks as if they were slashing weapons.

• A magical attack that deals cold damage slows a glass golem (as the slow spell) for 3 rounds (no saving throw).

• A magical attack that deals fire damage ends any slow effect on the golem and heals 1 point of damage for each 3 points of damage the attack would otherwise deal. If the amount of healing would cause the golem to exceed its full normal hit points, it gains any excess as temporary hit points. A glass golem gets no saving throw against fire effects.

Reflect Spells (Ex) As a free action once every 1d4 rounds, a glass golem can align its internal structure to enhance its resistance to magic for 1 round. During this time, the golem reflects spells (even spells that function differently against the golem as described in its immune to magic ability) as if under the effect of a spell turning spell.

A glass golem is a sizable guardian constructed by a powerful caster, usually in the shape of an armored humanoid. They are more common in desert lands where quartz-based sand is readily available, or in urban centers where glassblowing is commonplace.

A typical glass golem is 10 feet tall and weighs 2,500 pounds.

Stained Glass Golems (+0 CR): Divine casters sometimes build glass golems that resemble the windowpanes commonly found in temples. Thin and agile, these colorful beings often act as spies, wielding powers of stealth that their other counterparts do not possess. A stained glass golem has a +8 racial bonus on Stealth checks.

Construction

A glass golem's body is made from 2,500 pounds of glass mixed with special salts and rare minerals worth 1,000 gp.

Development Once defeated the Darhme-muse spirit retreats into the fresco.

Treasure A trio of scale models of the clock tower face lie under chunks of cut glass scrap on a shelf under the workbench (Spot/Perception DC 20). The models are rendered in mithral filigree and cut gems rather than glass: two are worth 700 gp each. The third is a golembane scarab.

 

4g. The BellTower

Ropes and cables from below connect to a series of seven bronze bells standing mute in their carriages. A ladder leads to a hatch in the roof.

The bell tower is deserted, but the trap from the roof hatch (4h) triggers if the PCs fail to notice it.

 

4h. Roof (CR 7)

Stone spires and crenellations decorate the roof, which is fabricated from sloped lead sheeting. A narrow stone gutter provides a place to stand in between the slope of the roofline and the stone fortifications. A trapdoor accesses the room below.

The hatch is trapped, setting off the bells below when the PCs reach the bottom rung of the ladder.

 

Greater Shout Trap CR 7

Type magic; Perception DC 31; Disable Device DC 31

Trigger location; Reset none

Effect spell effect (greater shout, 10d6 fire damage plus deafness, DC 24 Fortitude save for half damage and no deafness); multiple targets (all targets in a 30-ft. cone)

 

 

Act Two - Into the Painting

The PCs eventually find themselves in the north transept, either to investigate the scene of the accident or to reunite the wayward brush with its fellows. The demiplane where Michello's soul lies bound is accessed through the fresco by means of the magical brush.

The vaulted ceiling in this huge bay is covered in a half-finished fresco; the floor by a half-collapsed scaffolding. Barrels of lime, plaster and troughs for mixing surround a worktable faced on all sides by small drawers with single wooden knobs. Mortars and pestles covered in dry pigment, brushes, trowels, lining tools, canvas and parchment clutter the surface. A full size mirror stands next to the table.

Michello's apprentice lurks here, and can retell the story of the shattered brushes if need be. If the party has assembled the brush and are stuck as to what to do next, the apprentice or high preist seeks them out to inquire as to their progress and nudge them in the right direction.

A DC 15 Spot/Perception check notices that the unfinished half of the fresco is actually cartooned with red lines. This red pigment, or sinopia, clearly shows the rest of the intended detailing of the composition. If asked, the apprentice states that a thin layer of plaster is spread over the sinopia and then the pigment added. The hardening of the plaster locks the color in place. A DC 15 Craft (painting) or Profession (artist) check reveals the same information. If the PCs get closer to the ceiling (130 feet above the floor) the Spot/Perception check is reduced by 1 for every 10 feet of distance closed. Among other details, the red cartooning contains a line drawing of three women reclining against or embracing a door.

The scaffolding may be climbed, but is unstable: a DC 22 Knowledge (engineering) or DC 28 Perception check notices the danger. Repairing the scaffolding requires 4 hours of work and a DC 15 Knowledge (engineering) or Craft (carpentry) check (this is a good way to delay the party at the end of the first day). If the scaffolding is not repaired, it collapses further when any creature climbing reaches the halfway point (6d6 falling damage)—and then is unrepairable in less than two days.

The worktable contains sketches of the fresco's subject matter, but there are also a large number of sketches of three beautiful women—whose images are so similar they could be sisters—and which match the faces on the sinopia. On one such sketch, containing the faces of all three "sisters" (Search/Perception DC 25), the following line of verse is scrawled in charcoal:

 

The door to my inspiration

flows from my brush,

cloaks me in color,

and visions of truth.

 

Hidden in the vague language of the verse lies a clue on how to enter the demiplane through the fresco safely once the pieces of the brush are collected and assembled.

 

5. Paint by Numbers

Michello accessed the demiplane by painting himself: applying watered pigments to his clothing, hand, hair and face with his magical brush. The magic transported him into the demiplane through freshly prepared plaster. Once within the demiplane, he communed with the asura, and the pigment leeched from his body to color the fresco on the Material Plane. Once the prepared plaster was colored in, the artist returned to his home plane, although traces of the pigment still clung to him.

Using Michello's brush, the PCs may safely enter the demiplane by first spreading a layer of plaster over a section of the fresco and then making a DC 17 Craft (painting) or Profession (artist) check to paint themselves (or a companion) with dry pigment mixed in lukewarm water. PCs painting themselves must use the mirror, and take a -4 penalty to the check.

Success allows them to enter the painting, in fact once "painted" a visible magical aura (detectable as strong conjuration) surrounding the painted PC is apparent to any who hold the brush. A voice in the brush wielder's head states, "send away those who are not one with the art." Once the room contains only creatures who have been treated with the pigmented solutions, those beings levitate toward the fresco itself, entering the demiplane as they reach the vaulted ceiling.

Failure on the Craft or Profession check, or failure to use the brush correctly, does not prevent the PCs from entering the demiplane, but does cause problems for them on the other side:

  1. The PCs mistakenly complete the unfinished door cartooned in sinopia (the apprentice actually suggests this if the players are unable to figure out the clue hidden in the verse). Result: PCs enter the fresco through the door but are covered in wet plaster and pigment, the effects of which are detailed in encounter 6.
  2. The PCs fail to prepare the fresco with fresh plaster. Result: The PCs levitate into the painting safely, but the color of the chimera in encounter 6 is unstable - see encounter 6 details.
  3. One or more PCs fail on the check to "paint" themselves. The color of the chimera in encounter 6 is unstable, and PCs who failed the check are covered in pigment and plaster as if they entered through the door in 1 above.

Sidebar - The Demiplane of Inspiration

When Aprame-Vara-Dharme began to contemplate creativity rather than destruction, her resistance to the asura's normal path of existence forced her to find refuge from others of her kind. From her travels through the planes, she had discovered a small pocket of extradimensional space. The space was devoid of all details. It was not until she began to inspire—and seek inspiration from Michello—that the details began to appear within her refuge.

 

The demiplane has the following traits:

Normal Gravity

Normal Time

Self-contained shape: The demiplane is a dome with a one-mile radius. Creatures in possession of Michello's brush discern a path to the oasis at the center, otherwise they wander aimlessly, the borders of the plane depositing them back on the far side of the dome. After 4 hours of such travel, a DC 15 Survival or Craft (painting) check allows a creature to find the true path to the oasis.

Alterable Morphic

No Elemental or Energy Traits: However, once the asura is slain and Michello's soul is freed, the plane becomes minor negative dominant as the color leeches from the terrain. On minor negative-dominant planes, living creatures take 1d6 points of damage per round. At 0 hit points or lower, they crumble into ash. The death ward spell protects a traveler on such a plane.

Mildly Lawful Evil Aligned: Creatures who have an alignment opposite that of a mildly aligned plane take a –2 circumstance penalty on all Charisma-based checks.

Normal Magic

 

6. Three Heads are better than one (CR 7)

The world about you is unfinished. Like the fresco you just entered, sections of the surrounding terrain are fully rendered in color, chunks of it are nothing but a blank white canvas, and still others contain sketched detailing in red pigment. Diving down out of one such area is a winged beast with three heads, almost unrecognizable: it too appears to be a fabrication of plaster and redline sinopia.

PCs covered in both plaster and pigment take a -10 ft circumstance penalty to their base speed, and a -4 circumstance penalty on their Spot/Perception checks. Create water clears the plaster from one PC, although traces of pigment still remain. Prestidigitation can clean a PC of pigment and plaster, but it takes 7 rounds to clear a medium sized creature, or three rounds to clear a small sized creature.

 chimera-01

Creature A redline drawing of a chimera comes to life as the PCs enter the demiplane. It starts 50 feet away from the party, 20 feet up in the air.

Combat hazard

As the combat continues, pigment leeches out of the PCs and colors in the detail on the chimera. Depending on the manner in which the party entered the fresco, the chimera's dragon head may be unstable and shift its color. It starts the combat as a white dragon, but each time its breath weapon recharges, it leeches color from a specific PC within 60 feet (determined randomly—if a PC whose pigment was successfully applied in encounter 5 is chosen the color remains stable for the current recharge). A PC covered in plaster from encounter 5 must make a DC 14 Fortitude save or take 3d6 damage from an effect similar to vampiric touch (CL9). The chimera gains these hit points as temporary hit points. The table below determines the new color of the dragon head, and the corresponding breath weapon (roll again if there is no change in color).

 

d10Head ColorBreath Weapon
1–2

Black

40-foot line of acid
3–4

Blue

40-foot line of lightning
5–6

Green

20-foot cone of acid
7–8

Red

20-foot cone of fire
9–10

White

20-foot cone of cold

 

Additionally, the breath weapon of the chimera interacts with the plaster covering any of the PCs. The plaster may be affected more than once, even by the same breath weapon.

 

acid:         The acid of the breath weapon interacts with the lime in the plaster

DC 14 Fortitude save or nauseated for 1d4 rounds

fire:         The plaster heats up and blisters the skin.

2d8 additional damage (3.5)

3d6 additional damage (Pathfinder)

DC 17 Reflex save for the breath weapon halves this damage as well

lighting:     Plaster blasted off the body in chunks

The PC's square, and the eight squares surrounding it, become difficult             terrain

cold:        The plaster hardens under the blast of chilling breath

PC is slowed for 1d4 rounds; DC 14 Reflex save for half duration (1 round             minimum)

Tactics

Tactics

During Combat The chimera dives down out of the sketched sky and hovers—kicking up a cloud of red dirt, white plaster dust and other debris as per the feat—using its breath weapon as soon as possible. After a single full round of attacks, it plays cat and mouse with the party, maintaining and retiring into the debris cloud and using its scent ability to maneuver and unleash its breath weapon to best effect, readying actions as need be (its scent ability is reduced to 30 feet due to the grit and debris in the air). When approached by one or two combatants in the 10-foot area clear of the debris, the chimera will drop down with a 5-foot step to take a hovering full-attack action. It then returns to a war of maneuver and surprise.

Morale The chimera fights to the death and only varies its tactics if the vampiric touch hazard is in play from plaster-covered PCs. In this case, when reduced to half health or more the chimera always withdraws into the debris cloud until its breath weapon is recharged. It uses readied actions to make single attacks on approaching PCs as part of this maneuvering, and reengages when its breath weapon recharges.

Scaling the Encounter For parties of six or more, advanced statistics are provided for the chimera at the end of the stat block. Increase the DCs of the Breath Weapon and vampiric touch effects of the hazard as well.

Chimera (3.5)

Chimera

Size/Type: Large Magical Beast

Hit Dice: 9d10+27 (76 hp)

Initiative: +1

Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares), fly 50 ft. (poor)

Armor Class: 19 (-1 size, +1 Dex, +9 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 18

Base Attack/Grapple: +9/+17

Attack: Bite +12 melee (2d6+4)

Full Attack: Bite +12 melee (2d6+4) and bite +12 melee (1d8+4) and gore +12 melee (1d8+4) and 2 claws +10 melee (1d6+2)

Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks: Breath weapon

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

Saves: Fort +9, Ref +7, Will +6

Abilities: Str 19, Dex 13, Con 17, Int 4, Wis 13, Cha 10

Skills: Hide +1*, Listen +9, Spot +9

Feats: Alertness, Hover, Iron Will, Multiattack

Environment: Temperate hills

Organization: Solitary, pride (3-5), or flight (6-13)

Challenge Rating: 7

Treasure: Standard

Alignment: Usually chaotic evil

Advancement: 10-13 HD (Large); 14-27 HD (Huge))

Level Adjustment: +2 (cohort

COMBAT

The chimera prefers to surprise prey. It often swoops down from the sky or lies concealed until it charges. The dragon head can loose a breath weapon instead of biting. Several chimeras attack in concert.

SPECIAL ABILTIES

Special Ability

Breath Weapon (Su)

A chimera’s breath weapon depends on the color of its dragon head, as summarized on the table below. Regardless of its type, a chimera’s breath weapon is usable once every 1d4 rounds, deals 3d8 points of damage, and allows a DC 17 Reflex save for half damage. The save DC is Constitution-based. To determine a chimera's head color and breath weapon randomly, roll 1d10 and consult the table below.

 

d10

Head Color

Breath Weapon

1–2Black40-foot line of acid
3–4Blue40-foot line of lightning
5–6Green20-foot cone of acid
7–8Red20-foot cone of fire
9–10White20-foot cone of cold

 

Scaling the Encounter Add +3 HD to the chimera, increasing the CR to 8

HP 102 (12d10+36)

Base Attack/Grapple: +12/+20

Attack: Bite +16 melee (2d6+4)

Full Attack: Bite +16 melee (2d6+4) and bite +16 melee (1d8+4) and gore +15 melee (1d8+4) and 2 claws +13 melee (1d6+2)

Saves: Fort +11, Ref +8, Will +7

Additional Feat: Weapon focus: bite

Challenge Rating: 8

Chimera (Pathfinder)

Chimera    CR 7

XP 3,200

CE Large magical beast

Init +5; Senses Darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +10

DEFENSE

AC 19, touch 10, flat-footed 18 (+1 Dex, +9 natural, –1 size)

hp 85 (9d10+36)

Fort +9, Ref +7, Will +6

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft., fly 50 ft. (poor)

Melee bite +12 (2d6+4), bite +12 (1d8+4), gore +12 (1d8+4), 2 claws +12 (1d6+4)

Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.

Special Attacks breath weapon (usable every 1d4 rounds)

STATISTICS

Str 19, Dex 12, Con 17, Int 4, Wis 13, Cha 10

Base Atk +9; CMB +14; CMD 25 (29 vs. trip)

Feats Hover, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Skill Focus (Perception), Toughness

Skills Fly +2, Perception +10, Stealth +4 (+8 in scrubland or brush); Racial Modifiers +2 Perception, +4 Stealth in scrubland or brush

Languages Draconic

ECOLOGY

Environment temperate hills

Organization solitary, pair, pride (3–6), or flight (7–12)

Treasure standard

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Breath Weapon (Su) A chimera's breath weapon depends on the color of its dragon head, as summarized on the table below. Regardless of its type, a chimera's breath weapon is usable once every 1d4 rounds, deals 6d8 points of damage, and allows a DC 17 Reflex save for half damage. The save DC is Constitution-based. To determine a chimera's head color and breath weapon randomly, roll 1d10 and consult the table below.

 

d10

Head Color

Breath Weapon

1–2Black40-foot line of acid
3–4Blue40-foot line of lightning
5–6Green20-foot cone of acid
7–8Red20-foot cone of fire
9–10White20-foot cone of cold

 

Scaling the encounter - Apply the Quick Advanced Template to the chimera: +2 on all rolls (including damage rolls) and special ability DCs; +4 to AC and CMD; +2 hp/HD. HP 103. This increases the CR to 8

Development The destruction of the chimera's carcass foreshadows the strangeness of the journey through the demiplane. The PC holding the brush discerns a path in the twisted landscape where the colors appear more stable than the surrounding terrain.

With the killing blow, the body of the chimera crystallizes, then cracks. Blood leeches into the landscape, all but obscuring the sections of white plaster and sinopia that remain in a splash of reddened gore, twisting the portions of the terrain rendered in full color into dark and sinister versions of the once beautiful vista.

Treasure Gems worth 2,600 gp may be recovered from the shattered corpse of the chimera: rubies, emeralds, lapis lazuli, white pearls, or onyx, dependant on the final color of the dragon's head at the conclusion of the combat. A DC 15 Appraise check is required to notice the gems in the wreckage of the corpse.

 

7. The Garden of Creation (CR 8)

Encounters 7 and 8 - The Oasis - GM Map - full page-landscape

The Oasis - Encounters 7 & 8

The land about you continues to morph and shift, although the path you are on seems stable. Clover covered hills give way to dry brush and sandy dunes. Ahead in the distance standing palms indicate the presence of an oasis.

The oasis is actually a dome 200 feet in diameter, masked by illusion and perspective faux painting covering the exterior and interior surfaces. The perspective magically shifts as the viewer's eye moves. Four sets of palms on the cardinal points of the dome mark safe entrances. Entering at any other place causes the PC's vision to blur and become unbalanced. This condition causes the PC to lose her equilibrium as the perspective of the scene changes. Until cleared, the PC takes a -4 penalty to Spot/Perception checks, and when in a stressful situation (such as combat) must make a DC 16 Fortitude save or be nauseated for one round (sickened on a successful save). Two successful saves clears the condition—they need not be consecutive. Magical healing that cures blindness also clears the condition.

As the PCs approach the dome for entry, they undergo a transformation into two-dimensional renderings of themselves. Their two-dimensional forms meld with the painting, becoming one with the image and then passing through to the interior side, where they then return to three-dimensional shape. A DC 26 Spot/Perception check notices this transformation; the GM may grant a +2 or +4 conditional modifier to this roll if the party marches in an open order, as there is a stronger likelihood of seeing a PC “edge-on”.

 

Once on the interior, the PCs see more of the garden refuge:

The desert wind and sand is screened by palms and other foliage. From within the garden the open desert vista is visible through the swaying trees marking the boundary. The air feels cooler here—perhaps due to the proximity of the spring bubbling up into the pool. A wooden footbridge crosses the water. On the far side a bearded man with bright colored scarves tied to his wrists and ankles sits at the waters edge. Covered in clay, he feverishly sculpts away at block of grey mud, water running in rivulets down the half-finished creation. Through the lush vegetation behind him a sandstone gazebo rises. Three shadowy figures are visible within, but distance and shadows make it difficult to determine any details.

Michello's trapped soul found substance in the demiplane and works to complete a study model in clay of the upasunda; a larger sandstone version is partially complete in the gazebo. He grabs wet clay from the pool's edge, and sponges it with water from a two gallon bucket nearby.

Though the final sculpture is intended to capture the upasunda's true form—distinct with 6 arms and three melded faces—Michello is confused by the basidirond hallucination cloud in the area, and renders the three aspects of the muse individually (although all three forms are connected by clay). The partially completed model is 3 feet tall and consists of three figures: a standing woman wielding a longsword, with a sitting woman on either side leaning against the skirts of the standing warrior. The two sitting "sisters" wield a spear and kukri respectively. A DC 18 Spot/Perception check reveals that the shadowy figures in the gazebo are in fact a larger version (seven feet tall) of the model the artist is working on, in an earlier stage of development. Exceeding the check by 10 or more allows a PC to spot fangs in the clay sculpture and make a DC 28 Knowledge (planes) check to identify the sculpture as that of an upasunda—although the separation of the three figures is peculiar. The DC has been calculated with the asura considered a rare creature, and a circumstance penalty has been applied due to the unconventional and incomplete nature of the model.

Once every minute Michello is affected by the hallucination cloud of the basidironds hidden in the foliage. If the PCs observe his behavior before approaching, they may note that something in the area is affecting him—roll on the hallucination cloud effect each minute for Michello—he stops sculpting and acts out the indicated effect. This might be interpreted as madness. If the PCs question Michello, he mutters incoherent statements about the sculpture, although the fact that he refers to the three figures as "she" is also an indication that something is amiss.

Hazards

Exit from the dome of the oasis is difficult. From within it is not clear where the palms actually define safe egress; a PC must make a DC 28 Spot/Perception check to determine the safe passage. If they witnessed the 2-dimensional transformation entering the dome, they gain a +5 circumstance bonus to this check. A PC attempting to exit who fails must make a DC 19 Reflex save to avoid being caught in uncured plaster and fresco work on the dome wall (a DC 14 Strength or DC 19 Escape artist check allows them to break free). A full-round action to douse a trapped PC with at least two gallons of water also frees a trapped being. This is equivalent to a CR 5 trap.

basidirond__matt_bulahao

Creatures Three basidironds lie hidden in the foliage surrounding the gazebo. They release their spores and attack the PCs once they cross the bridge to engage with Michello. The basidironds have already tried to feed on Michello, but as he is only a manifestation of his soul, he provides no real nourishment to the plant creatures, so they have learned to leave him alone. A DC 16 Spot/Perception check spots the basidironds in the surrounding foliage once they reach the edge of the bridge. They notice the strange blooms, but must make a DC 15 Knowledge (nature) check to correctly identify the threat.

Tactics

Tactics

During Combat The hostile blooms release their hallucination clouds when the PCs cross the bridge and then move forward to the attack.

Morale The plants fight until destroyed.

 

Scaling the Encounter For parties of 6 or more that are having an easy time thus far, consider adding a fourth plant to the grove, increasing the CR to 9.

(3) Basidironds (3.5)

Basidirond

Size/Type: Medium Plant

Hit Dice: 7d8+21 (52 hp)

Initiative: +1

Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares)

Armor Class: 18, touch 11, flat-footed 17 (+1 Dex, +7 natural)

Base Attack/Grapple: +5/+10

Attack: slam +10 (1d8+7 plus spores)

Full Attack: slam +10 (1d8+7 plus spores)

Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks: Hallucination cloud, spores

Special Qualities: Plant Traits, immunity to cold, cold lethargy

Saves: Fort +8, Ref +3, Will +2

Abilities: Str 20, Dex 13, Con 16, Int -, Wis 11, Cha 1

Skills: -

Feats: -

Environment: any non-cold underground

Organization: solitary, pair, or grove (3–8)

Challenge Rating: 5

Treasure: Incidental

Alignment: Always netral

Advancement: 9-12 HD (Large)

Level Adjustment: -

SPECIAL ABILTIES

Hallucination Cloud (Ex) As a standard action once per minute, a basidirond can release a cloud of invisible spores in a 20-foot radius. All creatures within the area must succeed on a DC 16 Fortitude save or be affected by powerful hallucinations as long as they remain in the cloud plus 1d4 rounds after leaving the area. A new save must be made each round a creature remains within the affected area. A hallucination cloud persists for 5 rounds before dispersing—a strong wind causes it to disperse immediately. The save DC is Constitution-based. To determine what hallucination is suffered each round, roll 1d6 and consult the following table.

d6 Hallucination

1 You're sinking in quicksand! Fall prone and spend 1 round flailing your arms and legs as if trying to swim.

2 Attacked by a swarm of spiders! Spend a full round action to attack the floor near you with your weapon.

3 An item you hold has turned into a viper! Drop it and flee from the item at top speed for 1 round.

4 You're suffocating! Stand in place, hold your breath, and clutch at your throat for 1 round.

5 You've shrunk to 1/10th your normal size! Take no actions for 1 round and monsters won't see you.

6 You're melting! Grasp hold of yourself in an attempt to hold yourself together, and take no actions for 1 round.

Spores (Ex) Any creature struck by a basidirond's slam attack is coated with spores. The creature struck must make a DC 16 Fortitude save or these spores take root in his flesh, and particularly in his lungs. The save DC is Constititon-based.

Basidirond Spores: Disease—inhaled; save Fort DC 16; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d2 Con damage; cure 1 save.

Cold Lethargy (Ex) Although a basidirond is immune to cold damage, any cold effect it is exposed to slows it for 1d4 rounds. During this time, the basidirond cannot use its hallucination cloud or spores.

(3) Basidironds (Pathfinder)

Basidirond    CR 5

XP 1,600

N Medium plant

Init +1; Senses Low-light vision, tremorsense; Perception +0

DEFENSE

AC 18, touch 11, flat-footed 17 (+1 Dex, +7 natural)

hp 52 (7d8+21)

Fort +8, Ref +3, Will +2

Immune cold, plant traits

Weaknesses cold lethargy

OFFENSE

Speed 20 ft.

Melee slam +10 (1d8+7 plus spores)

Special Attacks hallucination cloud, spores

STATISTICS

Str 20, Dex 13, Con 16, Int —, Wis 11, Cha 1

Base Atk +5; CMB +10; CMD 21 (25 vs. trip)

ECOLOGY

Environment any non-cold underground

Organization solitary, pair, or grove (3–8)

Treasure incidental

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Hallucination Cloud (Ex) As a standard action once per minute, a basidirond can release a cloud of invisible spores in a 20-foot radius. All creatures within the area must succeed on a DC 16 Fortitude save or be affected by powerful hallucinations as long as they remain in the cloud plus 1d4 rounds after leaving the area. A new save must be made each round a creature remains within the affected area. A hallucination cloud persists for 5 rounds before dispersing—a strong wind causes it to disperse immediately. The save DC is Constitution-based. To determine what hallucination is suffered each round, roll 1d6 and consult the following table.

d6 Hallucination

1 You're sinking in quicksand! Fall prone and spend 1 round flailing your arms and legs as if trying to swim.

2 Attacked by a swarm of spiders! Spend a full round action to attack the floor near you with your weapon.

3 An item you hold has turned into a viper! Drop it and flee from the item at top speed for 1 round.

4 You're suffocating! Stand in place, hold your breath, and clutch at your throat for 1 round.

5 You've shrunk to 1/10th your normal size! Take no actions for 1 round and monsters won't see you.

6 You're melting! Grasp hold of yourself in an attempt to hold yourself together, and take no actions for 1 round.

Spores (Ex) Any creature struck by a basidirond's slam attack is coated with spores. The creature struck must make a DC 16 Fortitude save or these spores take root in his flesh, and particularly in his lungs. The save DC is Constititon-based.

Basidirond Spores: Disease—inhaled; save Fort DC 16; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d2 Con damage; cure 1 save.

Cold Lethargy (Ex) Although a basidirond is immune to cold damage, any cold effect it is exposed to slows it for 1d4 rounds. During this time, the basidirond cannot use its hallucination cloud or spores.

Development

When the plants are defeated, Michello's mind clears somewhat, although the artist mixes singular and plural pronouns when relating his tale. If questioned by the party, he tells the tale of visitations by three muses while building the cathedral. Each inspired a different aspect of his art—music, painting and sculpture. With the magic in his brush he was able to enter this demiplane to commune with the trio, and he would spend hours composing, painting or sculpting. He would then take his sketches, mock-ups and canvases back for use in the cathedral. Even when working on the material plane itself, the muses appeared to him as visions.

Michello does not remember much of the scaffolding accident (unless the GM wishes to expand on the deliberate sabotage theme from the adventure hooks)—all he recalls is awakening in the demiplane. For the first time, all three muses were present at the same time and for a while (his idea of how long is vague), creativity flourished. Then he felt a divine force pulling him back. The three muses transformed into swirling scarves and bound him, and he lost consciousness.

When he awoke the muses demanded more art from him—this time of a violent subject matter. Initially he resisted her demands but finally gave in. Michello started with the carvings on the sandstone gazebo where every day the muses would sit so he could render them in stone. He ends his tale by saying, "she will come soon. Even now she speaks to me, and I fear unless she is satisfied I will remain here forever."

If the PCs remove the scarves, they disappear and re-materialize on the artists extremities one round later.

Treasure None

 

Approved final interior art 12-16-13

8. Three Faces of the Muse (CR 9)

Encounter 8 Gazeebo Section - GM Map - full column-portrait

The Gazebo - Encounter 8

On closer examination, the sandstone gazebo is decorated with carvings of war, destruction and death. These carvings seem out of place in the otherwise idyllic setting. Some carvings have been cast in bronze and bolted into the structure. Through the arches of the gazebo is a partially completed sandstone sculpture, similar to the mock-up the artist had been working on by the spring.

A DC 12 Craft (stonemasonry) check reveals that the carvings have been modified from more pastoral subject matter to the current violent scenes. A DC 15 Knowledge (nobility) check indicates that the scenes are an homage to perfect war and destruction—a kata of violence perfected.

Small pebbles of dried clay are strewn about the entrances to the shaded area of the gazebo. A DC 25 Search/Perception check reveals they were intentionally placed rather than random droppings of clay from wet mock-ups. A 5-foot jump clears the pebbles (although stairs leading to the gazebo prohibit a running start), or a DC 20 Move Silently/Stealth avoids the dried clay, which crunches underfoot. PCs making the jump must make a DC 10 Move Silently/Stealth check to land quietly. If they fail, or if a PC sufficiently disturbs the clay, Aprame-Vara-Dharme hears them while hidden in the stone blank.

The stone sculpture radiates two faint auras; one of transmutation from the stonering, and one of divination. A third aura of transmutation manifests when she casts haste. The asura's Elusive Aura requires that a caster succeed on a DC 24 caster level check to detect these auras with divination magic.

Lighting: Lighting in the gazebo is normal to all who are in its confines. The bright light outside makes it tricky to adjust ones eyes, making the area within the gazebo dim lighting to those looking in.

Three-Dimensional Combat: The upasunda climbs up into the dome during combat. The dome rests on a circular lintel 22’ high on top of eight columns. The cornice detail protrudes 1 foot to the inside or outside of the base of the some, providing a perimeter ledge to Balance/Acrobatics (DC 5) on. The apex of the dome is a further 20 feet above (42’ from the deck). The Climb check for the columns is DC 15. The outside of the dome is climbable with a DC 10 Climb check. The top of the dome (comprised as a 15-foot diameter circle in the center) can be traveled on with a DC 5 Acrobatics/Balance check as part of a character’s movement.

 AAW-Asura-color-01

Creature: The upasunda uses her stonering to meld into stone when the PCs enter the oasis. She maintains a telepathic link with Michello, and uses the crunching of the pebbles to warn her when PCs enter the gazebo. Hidden in the stone sculpture until the party enters the gazebo, she exits as described in the tactics block, hurling curses at the party—saying that the artist's soul is hers, and she will wreak vengeance for his betrayal. Her curses and diatribes are a good way to reveal some of the background of the adventure.

 

When the upasunda finally exits the sculpture read the following

The stone sculpture seems to twist and meld, the three figures become a single six-armed woman with three faces, wielding a variety of  weapons. The monstrosity steps out of the shell, which remains inanimate behind the sudden threat.

 

Sidebar: Insanity

PCs exhibiting a mania towards the upasunda recognize one of the three faces of the sandstone sculpture as matching that of the allip manifestation of the muse. They ignore the combat, picking up a stone-polishing rag off the floor and buffing the partially completed structure for the duration of the mental break. Phobic PCs flee in fear.

Tactics

Tactics

Before Combat Aprame-Vara-Dharme remains hidden in the stone statue and casts haste when the PC give themselves away by crunching the clay, or not entering clandestinely. She pre-cast spider climb and see invisibility shortly after entering the statue—these buffs are active at the start of combat. As she steps out of the statue she casts rainbow pattern. If the party manage to enter the gazebo quietly, she can hear the PCs if they speak loudly, or make other noise. She uses her best judgment to determine if she has time to cast haste.

During Combat The upasunda uses free actions to direct the rainbow pattern (and those ensnared by it) out of the gazebo and towards the walls of the oasis dome each round. PCs drawn all the way to the edge of the oasis risk the plaster hazard from encounter 7. She starts combat with her kukri sheathed (making slam attacks in lieu of the blade). This leaves three hands free to spider climb up the columns and into the dome of the gazebo. Once nestled in the dome she attempts to summon 2 adhukaits to her aid. Aprame-Vara-Dharme is currently hated for attempting to abandon an existence of destruction for quiet contemplation. She must succeed on a DC 23 Intimidate check to direct the adhukaits to attack the PCs or they will simply form a defensive stance and will not strike until attacked by the party. If the PCs have some way of overhearing this telpathic communication (in infernal) a Sense Motive DC 20 check determines they will not attack.

Morale The asura fights to the death. If she feels the need for more cover, she casts deeper darkness and attempts to split the party and engage single targets, using her spider climb, fast movement speed and other spell like abilities to accomplish the task. She is happy to engage single or flying creatures within the dome while the rest of the party is stuck on the ground.

 

Scaling the Encounter The fury with which Aprame-Vara-Dharme has rededicated herself to destruction has already impressed other asura. Her summoning spell is guaranteed to call one adhukait to her aid, with a 45% chance of a second. PCs should receive XP for defeating the first adhukait who appears. The upasunda does not need to make an Intimidate check to put these allies in play. The CR of the encounter is adjusted to 10.

 

Alternately, if you are running a six player 6th-level party through the adventure, consider not summoning the adhukait unless the party is doing very well—Aprame-Vara-Dharme hits very hard all by herself.

Upasunda (3.5)

Upasunda

Size/Type: Medium outsider (asura, evil, extraplanar, lawful)

Hit Dice: 12d8+48 (102 hp)

Initiative: +7

Speed: 50 ft. (10 squares)

Armor Class: 24 (+7 Dex, +1 dodge, +3 insight, +3 natural), touch 21, flat-footed 16

Base Attack/Grapple: +12/+22

Attack: mwk longsword +19 (1d8+6/19–20)

Full Attack: mwk longsword +19/+14/+9 (1d8+6/19–20), mwk spear +19 (1d8+9/×3), mwk kukri +19 (1d4+6/18–20) or 6 slams +18 (1d4+6)

Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks: Infused weapons, multiweapon mastery, spell-like abilities

Special Qualities: All-around vision, aura (elusive) 50',  damage reduction 10/good, darkvision 60 ft., improved evasion, immunity to curse effects, disease, flanking, poison, regeneration 5 (good weapons, good spells), resistance to acid 10 and electricity 10, spell resistance 20, telepathy 100 ft.

Saves: Fort +12, Ref +15, Will +15 (+17 vs enchantment)

Abilities: Str 22, Dex 24, Con 19, Int 15, Wis 24, Cha 19

Skills: Bluff +14, Concentration +14, Diplomacy +14, Escape Artist +22, Hide +18, Intimidate +15, Jump +24, Knowledge (arcana) +8, Knowledge (planes) +14, Listen +18, Move Silently +18, Perform (dance) +16, Sense Motive +16, Spot, +22, Tumble +18

Feats: Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Great Cleave, Improved Grapple, Mobility, Power Attack, Spring Attack

Environment: any (Hell)

Organization: solitary, pair, or squad (3–6)

Challenge Rating: 9

Treasure: standard (weapons listed above plus other treasure)

Alignment: Usually lawful evil

Advancement: By character class

Level Adjustment: +8

SPECIAL ABILTIES

All-Around Vision (Ex) A upasunda's three sets of eyes allow it to look in any direction, providing a +4 racial bonus on Spot and Search checks. An upasunda can’t be flanked.

Elusive Aura (Su) Asuras exist within reality but apart from it. All but the least of asuras exude an aura that affects all creatures within the area as if by a nondetection spell. The size of the aura is proportional to the asura's power. The caster level check to attempt divination on creatures within the aura is 15 + the spell-like ability caster level of the asura creating the aura.

Infused Weapons (Su) In addition to being evil and lawful, weapons an upasunda wields are considered to be magic for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction.

Multiweapon Mastery (Ex) An upasunda takes no penalties when fighting with multiple weapons.

Spell-Like Abilities (CL 9th; concentration +14)

At will—disguise self, greater teleport (self plus 50 lbs. of objects only), feather fall, see invisibility, spider climb

3/day—deeper darkness, levitate, rainbow pattern (DC 18)

1/day—haste, hold monster (DC 18), summon (level 4,
2 adhukaits 45% or 1 upasunda 20%)

 

Racial Modifiers +8 Jump, +6 Escape Artist, +2 to listen and spot

(2) Adhukait (3.5) - Summoned

Adhukait

Size/Type: Medium outsider (asura, evil, extraplanar, lawful)

Hit Dice: 9d8+27 (68 hp)

Initiative: +3

Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares)

Armor Class: 20 (+3 Dex, +1 dodge, +6 natural), touch 14, flat-footed 16

Base Attack/Grapple: +9/+14

Attack: mwk kukri +15 (1d4+5/18–20) or claw +14 (1d4+2)

Full Attack: 2 mwk kukris +15/+10 (1d4+5/18–20) and 2 claws +12 (1d4+2)

Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks: dance of disaster, spell-like abilities

Special Qualities: All-around vision, aura (elusive) 30', damage reduction 5/good, darkvision 60 ft., dual mind, immunity to curse effects, disease, flanking, poison, regeneration 5 (good weapons, good spells, resistance to acid 10 and electricity 10, spell resistance 18, telepathy 100 ft.

Saves: Fort +9, Ref +11, Will +10 (+12 vs enchantment) dual mind

Abilities: Str 20, Dex 17, Con 17, Int 13, Wis 16, Cha 16

Skills: Bluff +12, Concentration +12, Escape Artist +18, Hide +12, Intimidate +12, Jump +16, Listen +14, Move Silently +11, Knowledge (planes) +7, Perform (dance) +12, Spot +14, Tumble +12

Feats Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Multiattack

Environment: any (Hell)

Organization: solitary, pair, or band (3–12)

Challenge Rating: 7

Treasure: standard (2 masterwork kukris, other treasure)

Alignment: Usually lawful evil

Advancement: By character class

Level Adjustment: +6

SPECIAL ABILTIES

All-Around Vision (Ex) An adhukait's two sets of eyes allow it to look in multiple directions, providing a +4 racial bonus on Spot and Search checks. An adhukait can’t be flanked.

Dance of Disaster (Su) Whenever an adhukait hits with a melee attack during a full-attack action, it can move 10 feet before making its next attack. The adhukait's normal speed does not limit this movement—it can move 10 feet after any successful hit among its four attacks, as long as it has another attack to make.

Dual Mind (Su) An adhukait is a single creature with two distinct minds, so it can attempt two saving throws against mind-affecting effects. If either saving throw succeeds, the mind-affecting effect fails to affect the adhukait.

Elusive Aura (Su) Adhukaits exist within reality but apart from it. All but the least of asuras exude an aura that affects all creatures within the area as if by a nondetection spell. The size of the aura is proportional to the asura's power. The caster level check to attempt divination on creatures within the aura is 15 + the spell-like ability caster level of the asura creating the aura.

Spell-Like Abilities (CL 6th; concentration +12)

At will— feather fall, greater teleport (self plus 50 lbs. of objects only), spider climb

3/day—blink, blur, mirror image, spike growth

1/day—summon (level 4, 1 adhukait 35%)

 

Racial Modifiers +6 Escape Artist, +4 Jump, +2 Listen, +2 Spot

Upasunda (Pathfinder)

Upasunda    CR 9

XP 6,400

LE Medium outsider (asura, evil, extraplanar, lawful)

Init +7; Senses all-around vision, darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +23

Aura elusive (50 ft.)

DEFENSE

AC 24, touch 21, flat-footed 16 (+7 Dex, +1 dodge, +3 insight, +3 natural)

hp 114 (12d10+48); regeneration 5 (good weapons, good spells)

Fort +12, Ref +11, Will +15

Defensive Abilities improved evasion; DR 10/good; Immune curse effects, disease, flanking, poison; Resist acid 10, electricity 10; SR 20

OFFENSE

Speed 50 ft.

Melee mwk longsword +20/+15/+10 (1d8+6/19–20), mwk spear +19 (1d8+6/×3), mwk kukri +19 (1d4+6/18–20) or 6 slams +18 (1d4+6)

Special Attacks infused weapons, multiweapon mastery

Spell-Like Abilities (CL 9th; concentration +13)

At will—disguise self, greater teleport (self plus 50 lbs. of objects only), feather fall, see invisibility, spider climb

3/day—deeper darkness, levitate, rainbow pattern (DC 18)

1/day—haste, hold monster (DC 18), summon (level 4, 2 adhukaits 45% or 1 upasunda 20%)

STATISTICS

Str 22, Dex 24, Con 19, Int 15, Wis 24, Cha 19

Base Atk +12; CMB +18 (+20 grapple); CMD 36 (38 grapple)

Feats Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Great Cleave, Improved Grapple, Mobility, Power Attack, Spring Attack

Skills Acrobatics +19 (+27 when jumping), Bluff +16, Diplomacy +13, Escape Artist +25, Intimidate +16, Knowledge (arcana) +8, Knowledge (planes) +14, Perception +23, Perform (dance) +16, Sense Motive +19, Stealth +19; Racial Modifiers +8 Acrobatics when jumping, +6 Escape Artist, +4 Perception

Languages Common, Infernal; telepathy 100 ft.

ECOLOGY

Environment any (Hell)

Organization solitary, pair, or squad (3–6)

Treasure standard (weapons listed above plus other treasure)

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Infused Weapons (Su) In addition to being evil and lawful, weapons an upasunda wields are considered to be magic for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction.

Multiweapon Mastery (Ex) An upasunda takes no penalties when fighting with multiple weapons.

Adhukait (Pathfinder)

Adhukait    CR 7

XP 3,200

LE Medium outsider (asura, evil, extraplanar, lawful)

Init +3; Senses all-around vision, darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +19

Aura elusive (30 ft.)

DEFENSE

AC 20, touch 14, flat-footed 16 (+3 Dex, +1 dodge, +6 natural)

hp 76 (9d10+27); regeneration 5 (good weapons, good spells)

Fort +6, Ref +11, Will +9; dual mind, +2 vs. enchantments

DR 5/good; Immune curse effects, disease, flanking, poison; Resist acid 10, electricity 10; SR 18

OFFENSE

Speed 40 ft.

Melee 2 mwk kukris +15/+10 (1d4+5/18–20), 2 claws +9 (1d4+2)

Special Attacks dance of disaster

Spell-Like Abilities (CL 6th; concentration +9)

At will— feather fall, greater teleport (self plus 50 lbs. of objects only), spider climb

3/day—blink, blur, mirror image, spike growth

1/day—summon (level 4, 1 adhukait 35%)

STATISTICS

Str 20, Dex 17, Con 17, Int 13, Wis 16, Cha 16

Base Atk +9; CMB +14; CMD 28

Feats Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Nimble Moves

Skills Acrobatics +15 (+19 when jumping), Bluff +15, Escape Artist +21, Intimidate +11, Knowledge (planes) +9, Perception +19, Perform (dance) +14, Stealth +15; Racial Modifiers Acrobatics (+4 when jumping), +6 Escape Artist, +4 Perception

Languages Common, Infernal; telepathy 100 ft.

ECOLOGY

Environment any (Hell)

Organization solitary, pair, or band (3–12)

Treasure standard (2 masterwork kukris, other treasure)

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Dance of Disaster (Su) Whenever an adhukait hits with a melee attack during a full-attack action, it can move 10 feet before making its next attack. The adhukait's normal speed does not limit this movement—it can move 10 feet after any successful hit among its four attacks, as long as it has another attack to make.

Dual Mind (Su) An adhukait is a single creature with two distinct minds, so it can attempt two saving throws against mind-affecting effects. If either saving throw succeeds, the mind-affecting effect fails to affect the adhukait.

Development  With the death of the asura, the scarves around Michello's ankles and wrists fall off. He tells the party his soul is no longer bound and if the goddess wills it, he will allow it to be drawn back from the beyond by the high priest—he then fades away. The scarves float into the center of the spring.

Treasure Aprame-Vara-Dharme bears a magical item, the stonering.  In addition to this, the war kata bronze plates (six in total) can be pried off the sandstone structure with a DC 15 Strength check. Three of the two-pound plates detect as magic (faint transmutation). These may be used to create +2 ability enhancement items for the three physical statistics. For Pathfinder the plates serve as belt buckles for the appropriate belt. For 3.5 the plates form embossing stamps for gauntlets of ogre power and gloves of dexterity +2 (the plates must stay in the bearer's possession), while the third plate can be strung on a leather thong for use as an amulet of health +2. Alternately, the set of 6 plates may be sold to a collector for 8,000 gp.

 

 

Conclusion

The scarves floating in the middle of the pool remain dormant for 2 minutes after Michello's spirit faces away. They then begin to suck all of the color out of the landscape, (DC 15 Spot/Perception to notice per round) as the demiplane becomes minor negatively aligned. PCs take 1d6 damage from negative energy per round as the color is sucked out of their own forms (although until they notice the color drain, they may be unaware as to why). Escaping the oasis dome (which requires negotiation of the plaster hazard from encounter 7) allows the party to find a crack in the landscape that will send them back through the fresco on the Material Plane (but unless they rebuilt the scaffolding they fall 130 feet to the floor). A DC 17 Reflex save allows a PC to pull back from the edge before falling and take precautions for a safe exit.

The high priest celebrates that Michello's soul is free to return. He rewards the party with 1,000 gp each as well as two 3rd-level divine potions of the PCs choice. He then retires to a specially prepared side chapel to perform raise dead once more on Michello before time runs out. As the artist returns to strength he rewards the PCs by offering to craft a single wondrous item at cost. For purposes of crafting, Michello crafts as a 5th-level wizard with the Craft Wondrous Item and Craft Magical Arms and Armor feats, or if the item is a musical item, as a 10th-level wizard.

 

 

Future Adventures

Though the asura is slain, her spirit will be reborn. GMs may wish to bring Aprame-Vara-Dharme back as a recurring opponent for the PCs. She may advance to a higher form of asura—the aghasura (CR 11) and eventually the asuranda (CR 20). The spirit of destruction cries out for vengeance, not only for personal satisfaction, but to perfect the art of destruction that asura believes is due all of the gods' creations. Mistaken in her desire for quiet contemplation and a different path, Aprame-Vara-Dharme is now an entity driven to reap the whirlwind.

PCs experiencing insanity may have more difficulties in the coming weeks as schizophrenia manifests. If under the effects of a mania or phobia, episodes are triggered by an encounter with any powerful female warrior figure reminiscent of the asura.

 

 

Experience Awards

Award the PCs experience based on the creatures and traps encountered.

 

The following additional experience is awarded (to the group or individually as noted).

2,400 XP (group) For destroying the magical hymnals in encounter 1.

1,200 XP (group) If the hymnals in encounter 1 deactivate after the death of the allips

300 XP (individual) Recognizing the similarities between the faces of the allips/gargoyles/golem

500 XP (individual) Manifests mania or phobia after encounter 1

1,000 XP (individual) Manifests schizophrenia after encounter 1

600 XP (individual) Completed the stone carving in encounter 2

300 XP (individual) Contributed to repair of scaffolding

500 XP (group) Prepared fresco with plaster prior to entering in encounter 5

200 XP (individual) Each PC successfully painted in encounter 5

200 XP (individual) Noticed the two-dimensional transformation entering the oasis dome

300 XP (individual) Caught in the oasis dome plaster trap

400 XP (individual) Avoided the oasis dome plaster trap

 

 

New Magic Item

Stonering
Aura faint transmutation; CL 5th
Slot Ring; Price 7,200 gp; Weight -
Description

This simple stone ring allows the wearer to use meld into stone once per day as a spell-like ability. The ring bearer may also detect secret doors and compartments in stonework as per detect secret doors for up to five minutes per day. The detection need not be continuous, but each use expends one minute's duration.

Construction
Requirements Craft Ring, detect secret doors, meld into stone; Cost 3,600 gp

 

 

GM Maps

Site Plan three quarter column portrait Encounter 1 - Great Choir - full page-portrait Encounter 2 - Sculpture Studio - GM Map - half page landscape Encounters 3 and 4 - South Tower - GM MAP - full page-portrait Encounters 7 and 8 - The Oasis - GM Map - full page-landscape Encounter 8 Gazeebo Section - GM Map - full column-portrait

Player Maps

Site Plan three quarter column portrait Encounter 1 - Great Choir - VTT - full page-portrait Encounter 2 - Sculpture Studio - Player Map - half page landscape Encounters 3 and 4 - South Tower - Player Map - full page-portrait Encounters 7 and 8 - The Oasis - Player Map - full page-landscape Encounter 8 Gazeebo Section -Player Map - full column-portrait

VTT Maps

Site Plan three quarter column portrait Encounter 1 - Great Choir - VTT - full page-portrait Encounter 2 - Sculpture Studio - Player Map - VTT - half page landscape Encounters 3 and 4 - South Tower - Player Map - VTT - full page-portrait Encounters 7 and 8 - The Oasis - Player Map - VTT - full page-landscape Encounter 8 Gazeebo Section -Player Map - VTT - full column-portrait