Side Quests: Volume 1


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Side Quests - Volume 1 contains:

A Pathfinder Side Quest by Will Myers for four PCs of levels 5-6
Elves have appeared in Rybalka and are on the search for something ancient. Will the PCs uncover their plot, try to stop them, or join them?
Giant's Cavern
A Pathfinder Side Quest by Stephen Yeardley for four to six PCs of levels 8-11.
A distraught but angry and determined cleric is looking for a group to work with her to recover the bodies of her former allies and a specific weapon which was the cause of their deaths. However, she needs reassurances that she won't be cheated and demands a heavy deposit for her information, which will lead to greater rewards.
A Pathfinder Side Quest by Jonathan G. Nelson for four PCs of levels 9-11.
An ancient cult of maniacal dragon worshipers known as Serpens Sanguis once dwelled deep within a hidden sanctuary buried beneath a tall mountain peak but in recent years the cult has grown deathly silent, all that is left are rumors of powerful magicks and a great treasure hoard which awaits those brave enough to enter.
Turn again, Turn again
A Pathfinder Side Quest by Stephen Yeardley for four to six PCs of levels 8-12.
When the gods and demi-gods were young, fresh and inexperienced, they were often taken in by the duplicitous nature of some of their "worshipers", falling for flattery and deception from those who were a little more "worldly-wise". So some of the newer demi-gods devised a series of chests that responded to the actual nature of the person opening it, thus revealing their true selves. These chests were filled, placed in a hidden and challenging spot and watched by two of these deities - to ensure fair play - for when experienced followers, who a particular deity wanted to help develop further, came along.

 

1.1 CONTAGION

by Will Myers

A 3.5/Pathfinder Side Quest for 4 PCs of level 5-6

 

 

Adventure Background

The Elves of the Silent Forest have had almost no contact with the outside world in the last two thousand years.  Any time they have to interact with other societies, they will send shape-shifted spies in order to determine the strengths and weaknesses of those societies.  Only once those attributes have been decided will the Elves send in a representative.

As organisms do, they evolve in relation to their environment and through natural selection the strongest organisms survive.  This has now happened in the Silent Forest and something has evolved that is particularly good at killing Elves.  These creatures have developed abilities that allow them to circumvent the abilities that Elves possess.

The Elves of the Silent Forest know of an item that they believe is buried under the Rybalkan church of the God of Warriors due to them having a spy in Rybalka.  They hope this item will help them defeat this new threat that plagues the Silent Forest.

 

 

Adventure Synopsis

The Elves have had their Rybalkan spy place a magical item in the stream that feeds into Rybalka to curse the town in order to draw any heroes out of Rybalka.  Once that occurs, a team of shape-shifted Elves that appear as Vikmordere warriors will enter the town, using the confusion and fear of the Vikmordere to break into Rybalka Cathedral and try to find the item they need.

The PCs will follow the clues out of town to the north for half a day toward the Dark Wood.  There they will encounter a band of real Vikmordere warriors who are investigating the false band of warriors, the Elves, and could come into conflict with the PCs.

The PCs will find the Flask of Curses in the stream.  Removing it will prevent the curse from continuing in Rybalka after another day, but the curse will have to be removed from the villagers.  After finding the Flask and dealing with the Vikmordere, the PCs will begin their return to Rybalka to be met with a messenger telling them of the “Vikmordere” attack on Rybalka and their breaking into the cathedral.

Upon returning to Rybalka, the elves, still disguised as Vikmordere, will be found in or around the cathedral.  The PCs will either need to be very diplomatic, which will be difficult due to their foes appearing as Vikmordere but still being Elves, or combat will ensue.  At no point will an elf drop its disguise before death.

 

 

 

Adventure Hooks

  1.  The PCs notice that Quorron has been doing sub-par work lately.  Items that he creates or repairs are of a lower quality than usual, due to the curse.  Being that Quorron is a stalwart perfectionist, he is angry at the downward spiral the town seems to be in.

  2.  The PCs are summoned to the Mayor’s office because Mayor Leonid has fallen victim to the curse and is afraid that some of his political enemies are out to get him.  He wants the PCs to find out what’s happening and why.

  3.  Sage Yuri Statel believes that the curse can be removed with a mixture that requires the bark of Cheldwood trees.  The trees grow to the north, near the edge of the Dark Wood and he would like the PCs to retrieve some of the bark for his potion.

  4.  The PCs notice that their own skills have started to suffer because of the cursed water.  They may decide on their own to do some investigating.

  5.  The hunters employed by the village start having bad luck. The animals seem to always spot them and run away. The few times the hunters are able to get off a shot they end up breaking their bow strings or slip and fall down steep embankments.  The hunters ask the PCs for help, for the good of the town.

 

 

Description for the Players

It started with some of the townsfolk having minor mishaps such as bumping their heads on things and falling down stairs, but whatever is affecting the town has spread and is now causing problems for everyone: Rybalka is under a secret attack.  This attack must be foiled or Rybalka may be cursed forever!

click to enlarge

 

Part One

For almost two weeks now, things have gotten bad in Rybalka.  Everyone seems to have bad luck.  The quality of goods and services are dropping rapidly.  Even Quorron, a stalwart of the community, is affected.  Something must be done.  You may be the town’s only hope.

The PCs can do some investigating around town, making Intelligence and Perception (both DC 15) checks to determine that the only two things all of the victims has in common is that they all live in Rybalka and that they all drink the same water.  People new to Rybalka (less than a week) seem to be unaffected by the curse, but they will be once they have drunk the water for more than a week.  A PC with the Heal skill can make a DC 15 skill check, but other than various mild maladies, such as bumps, bruises, or broken bones; there are no physical indications of disease.

 

Yuri Statel

Sage Statel can find no magical cause of the problems that are plaguing Rybalka.  This is because while the cause is indeed magical, the source is not in town.  He believes that the problem can be cured alchemically, but he needs the bark of the Cheldwood tree in order to make his mixture.  With the Cheldwood trees being so close to Dark Wood, Yuri is hesitant to gather the ingredient himself.

 

Juriendor

High Priest Juriendor does not know what is causing the town’s malady and has been praying for guidance for over a week with very little response.  He continues to lead services at the church of the God of Warriors which seems to console the townsfolk but offers them no relief.

 

1A. Dire Boars

Three hours outside of Rybalka, the party will cross paths with a small herd (7 total, one adult male, one adult female, one adolescent male, four juvenile) of dire boars.  These boars are more aggressive due to the plants and fruits they’ve been eating that have been tainted by the cursed water.  Normally, they would challenge but avoid any people but their increased aggression means that combat with the adult and adolescent male (treat as a standard boar) is inevitable.  The female will move away with the juveniles, but will fight to protect her brood if necessary.

(1-2) Dire Boars (3.5)

DIRE BOAR 3.5

Size/Type Large Animal
Hit Dice 7d8_21 (52 hp)
Initiative +0
Speed 40 ft. (8 squares)
Armor Class 15 (01 size, +6 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 15
Base Attack/Grapple  +5/+17
Attack  Gore +12 melee (1d8+12)
Full Attack Gore +12 melee (1d8+12)
Space/Reach 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks  Ferocity
Special Qualities Low-light vision, scent
Saves  Fort +8, Ref +5, Will +8
Abilities  Str 27, Dex 10, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 8
Skills  Listen +8, Spot +8
Feats  Alertness, Endurance, Iron Will
Challenge Rating  4
Alignment  Always neutral

(1) Adolescent Dire Boar (3.5)

ADOLESCENT DIRE BOAR 3.5

Size/Type: Medium Animal
Hit Dice: 3d8+12 (25 hp)
Initiative: +0
Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares)
Armor Class: 16 (+6 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 16
Base Attack/Grapple: +2/+4
Attack: Gore +4 melee (1d8+3)
Full Attack: Gore +4 melee (1d8+3)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Ferocity
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, scent
Saves: Fort +6, Ref +3, Will +2
Abilities: Str 15, Dex 10, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 4
Skills: Listen +7, Spot +5
Feats: Alertness, Toughness
Challenge Rating: 2
Alignment: Always neutral

(1-2) Dire Boars (Pathfinder)

Dire Boar             CR 4

XP 1,200
N Large animal
Init +4; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +12

DEFENSE
AC 15, touch 9, flat-footed 15 (+6 natural, –1 size)
hp 42 (5d8+20)
Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +2
Defensive Abilities ferocity

OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft.
Melee gore +8 melee (2d6+9)

STATISTICS
Str 23, Dex 10, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 8
Base Atk +3; CMB +10; CMD 20
Feats Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Perception), Toughness
Skills Perception +12

(1) Adolescent Dire Boar (Pathfinder)

Adolescent Dire Boar                     CR 2

XP 600
N Medium animal
Init +0; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +6

DEFENSE
AC 14, touch 10, flat-footed 14 (+4 natural)
hp 18 (2d8+9)
Fort +6, Ref +3, Will +1
Defensive Abilities ferocity

OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft.
Melee gore +4 (1d8+4)

STATISTICS

Str 17, Dex 10, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 4
Base Atk +1; CMB +4; CMD 14
Feats Toughness
Skills Perception +6

 

 

1B.  Vikmordere Warriors

After five hours of travel, the party will be near the source of the trouble, the submerged Flask of Curses.

As you continue your trek north, the sun reflects off of the snow and a gentle, cool that emanates from the Dark Wood blows over you.  The sound of the stream has grown louder as the waterway has widened.  There is a smell lingering on the breeze; an acrid smell that makes your nose twitch.  It fills your mouth and makes you cough.

In this area is a small party (five warriors plus Kampe) of Vikmordere warriors.  They will hide in the woods (Spot/Perception DC 25) and watch the PCs, but will not attack unless confronted.

If the Vikmordere are spotted and approached peacefully (treat starting attitude as indifferent), they will explain they are searching for proof of another group of Vikmordere that was spotted heading toward Rybalka.

The leader of the Vikmordere party is Kampe, who is an able hunter and warrior.  He will tell the party that one of his scouts saw another party of “rogue Vikmordere” moving toward Rybalka when there are not supposed to be other parties in the area.  He will also make note of the water in the stream, which has grown darker the further along the party travels.  If there is no conflict, the Vikmordere will head back to their land and report their findings.

If the Vikmordere party is not found, they will observe the PCs and eventually follow them back to Rybalka.

Kampe (3.5)

Kampe 3.5
Size/Type Medium   Ranger 5 / (Male Human)
Hit Dice  5d8+5 (32 hp)
Initiative: +7
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 16 (+3 Armor, +3 Dex), touch 13, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple: +5/+7
Attack: Morningstar +7 melee (1d8+2) or Composite Longbow +6 ranged (1d8+2)
Full Attack: Morningstar +7 melee (1d8+2) or Composite Longbow +6 ranged (1d8+2)
Space/Reach:  5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: spells
Special Qualities: 1st Favored Enemy (animals +4), Track, Wild Empathy, Combat Style (archery), Endurance, Animal Companion, 2nd Favored Enemy (undead +2)
Feats: Improved Initiative, Point Blank Shot, Stealthy
Skills: Climb +6, Craft (Bowmaking) +4, Heal +2, Hide +12, Knowledge (local) +9, Knowledge (nature) +9, Listen+8, Move Silently +12, Speak Language +7, Spot +8, Swim +8,
Saves: Fort +5, Ref +7, Will +2
Abilities: Str 15, Dex 17, Con 12, Int 15, Wis 13, Cha 13
Challenge Rating: 5
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Languages: Common, Dwarf, Goblin, Vikmordere
Spells
0 – (1/DC 12) entangle

(5) Vikmordere Rangers (3.5)

Vikmordere Ranger
Size/Type Medium Human Ranger 3
Hit Dice 3d8+2 (15 hp)
Initiative: +1
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 14 (+3 Armor, +1 Dex), touch 11, flat-footed 13
Attack: Club +2 melee (1d6+1) or Longbow +2 ranged (1d8+1)
Space/Reach:  5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: -
Special Qualities: 1st Favored Enemy (animals +2), Track, Wild Empathy, Combat Style (archery), Endurance
Feats: Point Blank Shot, Stealthy
Skills: Climb +7, Heal +4, Hide +7, Knowledge (geography) +9, Knowledge (local) +6, Knowledge (nature) +9, Listen +4, Move Silently +7, Spot +4, Swim +7
Saves: Fort +5, Ref +2, Will -1
Abilities: Str 12, Dex 13, Con 15, Int 16, Wis 7, Cha 10
Challenge Rating: 3
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Languages: Common, Dwarf, Goblin, Vikmordere

Kampe (Pathfinder)

Kampe PF           CR 5
XP 1,600
CG Medium Ranger
Init +7; Senses -; Perception +8

DEFENSE
AC 16, touch 13, flat-footed 13 (+3 Armor, +3 Dex)
hp 33 (5d10+5)
Fort +5, Ref +7, Will +2

OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee Morningstar +7 (1d8+2)
Ranged Composite Longbow +6 ranged (1d8+2)
Space/Reach  5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks spells

STATISTICS
Str 15, Dex 17, Con 12, Int 15, Wis 13, Cha 13
Base Atk +5; CMB +7; CMD 20
Feats Improved Initiative, Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot*, Stealthy
Skills: Climb +6, Craft (Bowmaking) +4, Heal +2, Knowledge (local) +9, Knowledge (nature) +9, Linguistics +7, Perception +8, Stealth +12, Swim +8,
Special Qualities: 1st Favored Enemy (animals +4), Favored Terrain (forest), Hunter’s Bond (companions), Track, Wild Empathy, Combat Style (archery), Endurance, Animal Companion, 2nd Favored Enemy (undead +2)
*Combat Style feat
Languages Common, Dwarf, Goblin, Vikmordere

Spells
0 – (1/DC 12) entangle

(5) Vikmordere Rangers (Pathfinder)

Vikmordere Ranger         CR 3
XP 800
CG Medium Human Ranger
Init +1; Senses -; Perception +4

DEFENSE
AC 14, touch 11, flat-footed 13 (+3 Armor, +1 Dex)
hp 18 (3d10+2)
Fort +5, Ref +2, Will -1

OFFENSE
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee Club +2 (1d6+1)
Ranged Longbow +2 ranged (1d8+1)
Space/Reach:  5 ft./5 ft.

STATISTICS
Str 12, Dex 13, Con 15, Int 16, Wis 7, Cha 10
Base Atk +3; CMB +4; CMD 15
Feats Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot*, Stealthy
Skills: Climb +7, Heal +4, Knowledge (geography) +9, Knowledge (local) +6, Knowledge (nature) +9, Perception +4, Stealth +7, Swim +7
Special Qualities: 1st Favored Enemy (animals +2), Track, Wild Empathy, Combat Style (archery), Endurance, Favored Terrain (forest)
*Combat Style Feat
Languages: Common, Dwarf, Goblin, Vikmordere

 

 

 

Part Two

 

2A.  Stream Crossing

North of where the party has met the Vikmordere, the stream has become a black sludge and only the swiftness of the current has kept it from clogging the streambed altogether.  If tasted, the water has a very bitter taste to it, causing the taster to gag.  If drunk, the water will induce nausea for 1d4 hours.

As the stream widens and starts to wind its way further up the hill, turning toward Dark Wood, there is a fairly large, simple wooden bridge that is in need of slight repair.  On the north side of the bridge, the water is still clear.

Under the bridge (Spot/Perception DC 20) is a long-necked golden vase, with a silver stopper tied to the neck with twine.  If the vase is retrieved, any party member that can read Elven or uses a spell that accomplishes this can tell that the script is Elven and identifies the vase as a Flask of Curses.  The script also describe the type of curses the Flask is producing.  If detect magic is used, the vase will radiate as moderate conjuration.

Removing the vase from the water will prevent un-cursed villagers from being cursed, but will not remove the curse from those who are already affected.  Anyone who looks into the open mouth of the vase or drinks water from the vase is subject to the spell bestow curse and takes a -4 penalty on attack rolls, saves, ability checks, and skill checks until they can have the curse removed.  Using the stopper on the vase prevents anyone from being cursed until the vase is opened again.

Once the vase is recovered, the party can return to Rybalka.

 

 

2B.  Barking Up the Tree

The Cheldwood trees line the stream on the north side of the bridge.  The bark is particularly brittle, so a DC 25 Knowledge (nature) check will provide the number of pieces that Sage Statel requires.

Cheldwood trees, however, have a defense mechanism.  When threatened, Cheldwood trees that are close together each release a different compound which, when mixed together in the air, creates a sleeping gas.  A DC 20 Fortitude save negates the sleeping effect, but causes dizziness for 1d4 rounds.  A failed save puts a PC to sleep for 1d4 hours and upon awakening, causes dizziness for 1d4 hours.

 

 

2C.  Intercepted

On the return trip to Rybalka, about an hour from town, the party meets up with a messenger from town.  Stopping for a moment to catch his breath, he finally speaks.

I found you!  While you’ve been gone, a bunch of Vikmordere entered Rybalka and made their way to the cathedral!  They’re keeping anyone from going inside and there are sounds of wood breaking!  The village guards can’t get through!  They need help!

The party can begin hustling back to town.  Unless the DM wishes to have more encounters, nothing more happens.

 

 

 

Part Three

 

3A. Invasion

The party enters Rybalka to find it in a state of chaos.  As they near Rybalka Cathedral they learn that Vikmordere (actually Elven warriors and magically disguised, total number 8 plus 2, who are inside the cathedral), have surrounded the sanctuary and destructive noises can be heard from inside.

Mayor Leonid and a handful of guards (equal to the number of PCs) approach the PCs and brings them up to date, not that there’s much new to report.

I’m glad you're back!  Those heathens ambushed some of our guards and have taken over the cathedral!  I tried to talk to them, but they won’t answer!  All they do is stab at people with those spears!  Do something!

The PCs can attempt to talk to the Elves (treat initial attitude as hostile), but this won’t accomplish much, other than threats and a possible poke in the ribs with a spear.  Anyone can make a DC 20 Speak Language/Linguistics or DC 25 Listen/Perception skill check to figure out that the “Vikmordere” are speaking with an odd accent.  A second DC 20 Speak Language/Linguistics or DC 25 Listen/Perception check will determine that this accent is Elven.  Anyone who speaks or understands Elven makes these checks automatically.

The PCs can make a plan to take out the Elven guards and it will be standard combat, with Mayor Leonid and the remaining Rybalkan guards helping out where they can.  The Elven guards have no spellcasters among them and the only two spellcasters are the two inside the cathedral.

(8) Elven Fighters (3.5)

LEVEL 3 ELVEN FIGHTERS x8

Elven Fighter 3
Hit Dice 3d10 +3 (20 hp)
Size/Type Medium Elf Fighter
Initiative: +2
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 16 (+4 Armor, +2 Dex), touch 12, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+4
Attack: Falchion +6 melee (2d4+2/18-20) or Spear +5 (1d8+2) or Composite Shortbow +5 ranged (1d6+2)
Full Attack: Falchion +5 melee (2d4+2/18-20) or Spear +5 (1d8+2) or Composite Shortbow +5 ranged (1d6+2)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft. (10 ft. with spear)
Special Attacks: -
Special Qualities: Immune to Sleep, +2 to saves vs. enchantment, low-light vision
Feats: Cleave, Power Attack, Toughness (+3 hit points), Weapon Focus (falchion)
Skills: Intimidate +6, Spot +9
Saves: Fort +4, Ref +3, Will +3
Abilities: Str 14, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 11, Wis 15, Cha 10
Challenge Rating: 3
Languages: Common, Elven
Alignment: Neutral

(8) Elven Fighters (Pathfinder)

Elven Fighter      CR 3
XP 800
N Medium Elf Fighter 3
Init +2; Senses low-light vision; Perception +9

DEFENSE
AC 16, touch 12, flat-footed 14 (+4 Armor, +2 Dex)
hp 23 (3d10+3+3)
Fort +4, Ref +3, Will +3
Immune sleep; Resist +2 against enchantment

OFFENSE
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee Falchion +6 (2d4+2/18-20)
Melee Spear +5 (1d8+2)
Ranged Composite Shortbow +5 ranged (1d6+2)
Space/Reach 5 ft./5 ft. (10 ft. with spear)

STATISTICS
Str 14, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 11, Wis 15, Cha 10
Base Atk +3; CMB +5; CMD 17
Feats Cleave, Power Attack, Toughness, Weapon Focus (falchion)
Skills: Intimidate +6, Perception +9
Languages Common, Elven

As the battle outside the cathedral winds down, the doors of the cathedral will fly open and a villager will come running out in a panic, followed by an Elven sorcerer disguised as a Vikmordere shaman.  The villager will be nonsensical if questioned, talking about the evils that the Vikmordere inside are committing and how powerful they seem.

The “villager” and the “Vikmordere shaman” inside the cathedral are the last of the Elves and will try anything to escape.  As they are both spellcasters, they will have various means of distraction.  The villager tries to make a stealthy retreat as the shaman commands attention.  The shaman will fight if necessary, but only long enough to provide a distraction for his partner to escape.

If the shaman is captured and questioned, he will drop his disguise and appear in his Elven form, hoping to give his comrade time to get out of the village.

"I am Myhal Melithaltindre, Protector of the Leaf.  I have come to your land because my Queen Warden sent me here to claim an object, the Menalpaur, which we believe was hidden by the Vikmordere in this building some time ago.  We had hoped that the object would help us against our current plight: the Edhelgurth."

"We Elves enjoy certain advantages over you humans, but something has grown within our forest that has advantages over us.  Our fear is that the Elven race will be wiped out entirely.  And if that happens, I cannot believe that the Edhelgurth will be content with us.  Your lands are ripe with prey."

"Sadly, we could not find the artifact.  Perhaps it is a sign from Naneth that our time has come.  Regardless, my mission has failed and I am yours to do with as you wish."

Myhal surrenders himself to the PCs custody.  There are rumblings from the gathered townsfolk that he should be executed immediately, but Mayor Leonid silences them and has Myhal taken away to jail until he can decide what to do with Myhal.

Myhal Melithaltindre (3.5)

Myhal Melithaltindre 3.5
Size/Type: Medium Elf Sorcerer
Hit Dice: 4d4+4 (14 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 16 (+2 Dex, ring of protection +4), touch 16, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple +2/+1
Attack: Sickle +1 melee (1d6-1)
Full Attack: Sickle +1 melee (1d6-1)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: spells
Special Qualities: Immune to Sleep, +2 to saves vs. Enchantment, low-light vision, Summon Familiar, snake familiar
Feats: Combat Casting, Negotiator
Skills: Bluff +8, Diplomacy +6, Knowledge (arcana) +8, Spellcraft +8
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +3, Will +3
Abilities: Str 9, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 9, Cha 18
Challenge Rating: 4
Alignment: Neutral

Spells (spells per day/spells known/DC)
0 – (6/6/14) dancing lights, detect magic, flare, mage hand, prestidigitation, read magic
1 – (6/3/15) disguise self, magic missile, shield
2 – (3/3/16) cause fear, scorching ray, web

Myhal Melithaltindre (Pathfinder)

Myhal Melithaltindre     CR 4
XP 1,200
N Medium Elf Sorcerer
Init +2, Senses low-light vision; Perception -

DEFENSE
AC 16, touch 16, flat-footed 14 (+2 Dex, ring of protection +4)
hp 18 (4d6+4)
Fort +2, Ref +3, Will +3
Immune sleep; Resist +2 to saves against echantment

OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee Sickle +1 (1d6-1)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: laughing touch, spells

STATISTICS
Str 9, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 9, Cha 18
Base Atk +2; CMB +1; CMD 13
Feats Combat Casting, Eschew Materials, Persuasive
Skills Bluff +7, Diplomacy +6, Knowledge (arcana) +8, Spellcraft +8
Special Qualities Fey bloodline,  Immune to Sleep, +2 to saves vs. Enchantment, low-light vision, Summon Familiar, woodland stride

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Laughing Touch (Sp): At 1st level, you can cause a creature to burst out laughing for 1 round as a melee touch attack. A laughing creature can only take a move action but can defend itself normally. Once a creature has been affected by laughing touch, it is immune to its effects for 24 hours. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier. This is a mind-affecting effect.

Spells (spells per day/spells known/DC)
0 – (6/6/14) dancing lights, detect magic, entangle, flare, mage hand, prestidigitation, read magic
1 – (6/3/15) disguise self, magic missile, shield
2 – (3/3/16) cause fear, scorching ray, web

 3B. Discovery

When the PCs enter the cathedral, they find large holes chopped through the wooden floor of the cathedral and the dirt below dug up.  As they near the back of the cathedral they find Juriendor alive but unconscious.  When he wakes (DC 12 Heal check or any healing magic), he will tell of how the two Vikmordere burst into the chapel and asked him where the “Menalpaur” was.  When he said that he didn’t know, they translated “Menalpaur” into “Heavenly Fist.”  When Juriendor still didn’t know, they said he served no purpose and knocked him unconscious.  There is no sign that anything was found in any of these holes, so perhaps the Elves were misinformed or maybe the Menalpaur was taken earlier by someone else.

 

 

Conclusion

The Elven plot has been resolved (for now) and the people of the village are safe.

Sage Yuri Statel begins making his home brew with the Cheldwood tree bark, assuming the PCs brought some back.  High Priest Juriendor, once healed, will help with this process and administering the draught to the villagers.

The PCs may keep the Flask of Curses, destroy it, or sell it to Sage Statel for 100 gp.

 

Elven Flask of Curses

Aura moderate conjuration; CL 7th
Slot –; Weight 2 lbs.

This solid gold vase has a silver stopper and the neck is inscribed with Elven script.  Anyone who looks into the unstopped vase or drinks water that flows from the vase is subject to the spell bestow curse with no saving throw.  The script determines which variation of the curse is cast upon the subject and is decided at creation and cannot be changed.

CONSTRUCTION
Requirements creator must be Elven, bestow curse

 

---

 

1.2 GIANTS' CAVERN

by Stephen Yeardley

A 3.5/Pathfinder Side Quest for 4-6 PCs of Levels 8-11

A distraught but angry and determined cleric is looking for a group to work with her to recover the bodies of her former allies and a specific weapon which was the cause of their deaths. However, she needs reassurances that she won't be cheated and demands a heavy deposit for her information, which will lead to greater rewards.

Cost: 15,000 gold piece deposit or 2 magic weapons worth at least that much as deposit or 10,000 gp/2 magic items worth at least that much deposit and the PCs agree to detail exactly what they are going to do whilst in the area of a zone of truth spell and Tonttu Pappi, the gnome priestess who recruits the party, casts discern lies or the PCs must submit to a quest spell.

 

Adventure Background

The priestess Tonttu Pappi is the last of a party of adventuring gnomes from Pradjna. They had come in search of a lost giant's greatsword rumored to be in a cave in a cliff on the shores or the Serpent Lake, many miles north west of Rybalka. The party, 5-strong in total, had found the spot they were looking for, but fell foul of a trap as they entered the cave and suffered heavy damage. Before Tonttu Pappi could heal the party, they were attacked by the very darkness of the cavern itself; Pappi, finding herself scared out of her mind and unable to decide what to do first, cowered as far as she could from the events going on around her. First the party's wizard, Lumota, seemed to dissolve into a thick, black mist, adding to the enveloping night that surrounded them. Then the main fighter, Suojata Sulku, fell under the weight of the cloud, quickly followed by the last two party members, the twins Ennen and Jalkeesi Sinun, a monk and rogue respectively. Tonttu Pappi suddenly had a moment of lucidity and managed to do two things; cast wind walk to flee and finally properly hear the eerie tune that echoed softly around the cavern for what it was - a trap!
Pappi is now certain that to re-enter the cavern on her own will mean her death - she makes no bones about that. But she wants to recruit a party to try and recover the bodies of her comrades, the giant's sword and, if possible, deal with both the darkness and whatever was playing the devastating tune. The party may well scoff at having to pay the deposit or submit to the spells when it is clearly helping Pappi out; but she will state that apart from the bodies and the sword, the PCs can keep everything else they find, including the items her allies held. The deposit is to confirm that they will bring back the sword, which is her main concern.

(GM's note: the deposit may well be a sticking point, but Pappi will insist. It will be returned as soon as the sword is handed over. She is willing to undergo any magical check to show she is telling the truth. Also, 15,000 gp is just a suggested amount. Feel free to make the actual amount something suitable for the party's current wealth. The sword the gnome party was looking for is a Shifter's Sorrow; the gnomes have a wererat problem.

 

 

 

At the top of the shaft

The nest is actually a vicious collection of barbed branches and sticky, sap-covered tree trunks, all designed to slow down entry into the shaft. It is also now the home of a gargantuan 32 HD assassin vine.

Assassin Vine (3.5)

Assassin Vine (3.5E)
Size/Type: Gargantuan Plant
Hit Dice: 32d8+224 (368 hp)
Initiative: -1
Speed: 5 ft. (1 square)
Armour Class: 21 (+2 Dex, -4 size, +13 natural), touch 8, flat-footed 19 
Base Attack/Grapple: +24/+49 
Attack: Slam +33 melee (2d6+19)
Full Attack: Slam +33 melee (2d6+19)
Space/Reach: 20 ft./20 ft. (40 ft. with vine)
Special Attacks: Constrict 2d6+19, entangle, improved grab
Special Qualities: Blindsight 30 ft., camouflage, immunity to electricity, plant traits, resistance to cold 10 and fire 10
Saves: Fort +27, Ref +12 , Will +12
Abilities: Str 36, Dex 14, Con 24, Int 0, Wis 14, Cha 9
Skills: N/A
Feats: N/A
CR: 10
Treasure: A single blue quartz worth 9 gp glistens to one side of the vine. It looks like a 9,000 gp sapphire, however.
Alignment: Always neutral

Assassin Vine (PF)

Assassin Vine (PF) CR10

XP 9600
N Gargantuan Plant
Init -1; Senses Blindsight, Low-Light Vision; Perception +1
Defense
AC 18, touch 5, flat-footed 18 (-1 Dex, -4 size, +13 natural)
hp 143 (14d8+77)
Fort +14, Ref +2, Will +4
Immune electricity, mind-affecting, paralysis, poison, polymorph, sleep, stunning, Plant Traits; Resist cold 10
Offense
Speed 5 ft.
Melee Constrict (Assassin Vine) +17 (3d6+19/x2) and Slam (Assassin Vine) +17 (3d6+19 plus grab/x2)
Space 20 ft.; Reach 20 ft.
Special AttacksGrab
Statistics
Str 37, Dex 8, Con 24, Int -, Wis 13, Cha 9
Base Atk +8; CMB +25 (+29 Grappling); CMD 34
Feats  -
Skills Acrobatics -1 (-13 jump), Fly -7, Stealth -13
Languages -
SQ Camouflage, Entangle (DC 16)
ECOLOGY
Environment Temperate forests
Organization Solitary, pair, or patch (3-6)
TreasureA single blue quartz worth 9 gp glistens to one side of the vine. It looks like a 9,000 gp sapphire, however.
Special Abilities
Blindsight (30 feet) Sense things and creatures without seeing them.
Camouflage (Ex) Since an assassin vine looks like a normal plant when at rest, a DC 20 Perception check is required to notice it before it attacks for the first time. Anyone with ranks in Survival or Knowledge (nature) can use either of those skills instead of Perception
Damage Resistance, Cold (10) You have the specified Damage Resistance against Cold attacks.
Entangle (DC 16) (Su) An assassin vine can, as a free action, cause plants within 30 feet of it to animate and grasp at foes. This ability is otherwise similar to entangle (CL 4th, DC 13). The save DC is Wisdom-based.
Grab (Gargantuan) (Ex) You can start a grapple as a free action if you hit with the designated weapon.
Immunity to Electricity You are immune to electricity damage.
Immunity to Mind-Affecting Attacks You are immune to Mind-Affecting attacks.
Immunity to Paralysis You are immune to paralysis.
Immunity to Poison You are immune to poison.
Immunity to Polymorph You are immune to Polymorph effects.
Immunity to Sleep You are immune to sleep effects.
Immunity to Stunning You are immune to being stunned.
Low-Light Vision See twice as far as a human in low light, distinguishing color and detail.
Plant Traits Plants are immune to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, patterns, and phantasms), paralysis, poison, polymorph, sleep, and stun.

 

The shaft

Climbing down the shaft takes a Climb DC 20 roll at the top, at each trap and half way down. It is approximately 80 feet deep. There are natural handholds to help with the climb, but they are slick with mud in many instances.

Within the shaft

The shaft has two traps in it, one about 15 feet down and the other about 40 feet below that.

The first is an energy drain trap. It can strike anywhere across the shaft.

Energy Drain Trap CR 10

Magic device; proximity trigger (alarm); automatic reset (immediate);
Spell effect (energy drain, 17th-level wizard, DC 23 Fortitude may recover levels);
Search DC 34; Disable DC 34.

The second trap is a mage's disjunction trap. Its burst effect reaches 40 feet up the shaft and partially down the steps, but not into the main cavern and therefore doesn't the items that the former allies of Tonttu Pappi were carrying.

Mage's Disjunction Trap CR 10

Magic device; proximity trigger (alarm); automatic reset (immediate);
Spell effect (energy drain, 17th-level wizard, DC 23 Will negates for items);
Search DC 34; Disable DC 34.

Base of the shaft

At the base of the shaft is a huge pile of bones, made up of the dozens of creatures that have fallen foul of the assassin vine and the traps and have then been stripped bare by various passing oozes, jellies and cubes. If anyone falls down the shaft, all this acts like a poisoned spiked pit trap.

Diseased Sharp-boned Pit Trap

CR 10; natural; result of fall; automatic reset; DC 20 Reflex save avoids;50 ft. deep (5d6, fall); multiple targets (any that fall down the 15 feet wide shaft); pit bones (Atk +10 melee, 1d4 bones per target for 1d4+5 plus disease each); disease (slimy doom disease, DC 14 Fortitude save resists, 1d4 Con);Search DC 16; Disable Device DC 25 (clean the bones).

When damaged, character must succeed on another saving throwor 1 point of damage is permanent drain instead.

Steps down

There are 33 steps from the base of the shaft to the sandy shore of the underground river, each 10 feet wide. Three events will occur along them.

The first person that stands on the 10th step finds that the bones at the base of the shaft, unless destroyed, form into what appears to be a huge chimera skeleton, due to there being at least three heads, at least four legs with clawed feet, and several horns. Use the stats given for the PAthfinder version, but stress the multi-headed, multi-limbed nature of the beast.

Chimera Skeleton (3.5)

Chimera Skeleton (3.5E)
Size/Type: Huge Undead
Hit Dice: 29d12 (188 hp)
Initiative: +8
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armour Class: 16 (+3 Dex, -2 size, +5 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 13 
Base Attack/Grapple: +14/+31 
Attack: Bite +23 melee (3d6+9)
Full Attack: Bite +23 melee (3d6+9 plus disease) and bite +23 melee (2d6+9 plus disease) and gore +23 melee (2d6+9 plus disease) and 2 claws +18 melee (1d6+4 plus disease)
Space/Reach: 15 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks: Disease (slimy doom disease, DC 14 Fortitude save resists, 1d4 Con. When damaged, character must succeed on another saving throw or 1 point of damage is permanent drain instead.)
Special Qualities: Damage reduction 5/bludgeoning, darkvision 60 ft., immunity to cold, undead traits
Saves: Fort +9, Ref +12 , Will +16
Abilities: Str 29, Dex 16, Con 0, Int 0, Wis 10, Cha 1
Skills: N/A
Feats: Improved Initiative
CR: 10
Treasure: None
Alignment: Neutral Evil

Chimera Skeleton (PF)

(Multiplying) Chimera Skeleton (PF) CR9

XP 6,400
NE Gargantuan undead
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +0

Defense

AC 14, touch 8, flatfooted 12 (+2 Dex, +6 natural, –4 size)
hp 81 (18d8)
Fort +6, Ref +8, Will +11
DR 5/bludgeoning; Immune cold, undead traits

Offense

Speed 40 ft.
Melee bite +20 (4d6+22)
Space 20 ft.; Reach 20 ft.

Statistics

Str 32, Dex 15, Con —, Int —, Wis 10, Cha 10
Base Atk +13; CMB +28; CMD 40
Feats Improved initiativeB
SQ multiplication, powerful bite

Special Abilities

Multiplication (Su)

When a multiplying skeleton is reduced to 0 hit points, its bones reform 1d4 rounds later into two smaller multiplying skeletons with 9 Hit Dice each. Each resulting multiplying skeleton continues to reform into smaller and smaller sizes (with half the HD of the previous each time it multiplies.) A multiplying chimera skeleton reforms into two Large skeletons with 9 HD each, each of which then reforms into two Small skeletons with 4 HD each. When these four Small skeletons are killed, the skeleton no longer multiplies and is finally destroyed.

Powerful Bite (Ex)

A multiplying chimera skeleton applies twice its Strength modifier to bite damage.

A multiplying skeleton reassembles itself into smaller skeletons when it is destroyed. As these smaller skeletons are themselves destroyed, they continue to multiply into even more skeletons. Once the skeleton’s Hit Dice can no longer be halved or the resulting skeletons would be Tiny or smaller, the skeletons are finally destroyed. Multiplying skeletons can be created using animate dead, but they count as twice their normal number of Hit Dice per casting.

Statistics for a multiplying skeleton as it gets smaller

Large (9 HD)

AC 14, touch 12, flat-footed 11 (+3 Dex, +2 natural, –1 size)
hp 40 (9d8)
Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +6
Melee bite +12 (2d6+14)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Str 24, Dex 17
Base Atk +6; CMB +14; CMD 27

Small 4 HD

AC 17, touch 16, flat-footed 12 (+5 Dex, +1 natural, +1 size)
hp 18 (4d8)
Fort +1, Ref +6, Will +4
Melee bite +5 (1d6+2)
Str 12, Dex 21
Base Atk +3; CMB +3; CMD 18

Original concept

Section 15: Copyright Notice - Pathfinder 44: Trail of the Beast

Pathfinder 44: Trail of the Beast. Copyright 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC, Author: Richard Pett

 

The first person that steps around the final bend finds themselves face-to-face with a gang of 5 wraiths. These creatures are under the thrall of the dread wraith in the main cavern. They are the restless spirits of Tonttu Pappi's former companions and another unfortunate, a dwarven ranger who paddled down the northern stream in  the beached canoe and fell foul of the wraiths and dread wraith. They will swarm the first PC in an attempt to weaken her or him, then move on.

(5) Wraiths (3.5)

Gang of 5 Wraiths (3.5E)
Size/Type: Medium Undead
Hit Dice: 5d12 (32 hp)
Initiative: +7
Speed: Fly 60 ft. (good) (12 squares)
Armour Class: 15 (+3 Dex, +2 deflection), touch 15, flat-footed 12 
Base Attack/Grapple: +2/- 
Attack: Incorporeal touch +5 melee (1d4 plus 1d6 Constitution drain)
Full Attack: Incorporeal touch +5 melee (1d4 plus 1d6 Constitution drain)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Constitution drain, create spawn
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., daylight powerlessness, incorporeal traits, +2 turn resistance, undead traits, unnatural aura
Saves: Fort +1, Ref +4 , Will +6
Abilities: Str 0, Dex 16, Con 0, Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 15
Skills: Diplomacy +6, Hide +11, Intimidate +10, Listen +12, Search +10, Sense Motive +8, Spot +12, Survival +2 (+4 following tracks)
Feats: AlertnessB, Blind-fight, Combat Reflexes, Improved InitiativeB
CR: 5
Treasure: None
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Languages: Common, Infernal

5 Wraiths (PF)

Gang of 5 Wraiths (PF)  CR5 each

XP 1,600
LE Medium undead (incorporeal)
Init
+7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., lifesense; Perception +10
Aura unnatural aura (30 ft.)

Defense

AC 18, touch18, flat-footed 15 (+5 deflection, +3 Dex)
hp 47 (5d8+25)
Fort +6, Ref +4, Will +6
Defensive Abilities channel resistance+2, incorporeal; Immune undead traits
Weaknesses sunlight powerlessness

Offense

Speed fly 60 ft. (good)
Melee incorporeal touch +6 (1d6 negative energy plus 1d6 Con drain)
Special Attack create spawn

Statistics

Str —, Dex 16, Con —, Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 21
Base Atk +3; CMB +6; CMD 21
Feats Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative
Skills Diplomacy +10, Fly +7, Intimidate +13, Knowledge (planes) +7, Perception +10, Sense Motive +10, Stealth +11
Languages Common, Infernal

Special Abilities

Create Spawn (Su)

A humanoid slain by a wraith becomes a wraith in 1d4 rounds. These spawn are less powerful than typical wraiths, and suffer a –2 penalty on all d20 rolls and checks, receive –2 hp per HD, and only drain 1d2 points of Constitution on a touch. Spawn are under the command of the wraith that created them until its death, at which point they lose their spawn penalties and become free-willed wraiths. They do not possess any of the abilities they had in life.

Constitution Drain (Su)

Creatures hit by a wraith's touch attack must succeed on a DC 17 Fortitude save or take 1d6 points of Constitution drain. On each successful attack, the wraith gains 5 temporary hit points. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Lifesense (Su)

A wraith notices and locates living creatures within 60 feet, just as if it possessed the blindsight ability.

Sunlight Powerlessness (Ex)

A wraith caught in sunlight cannot attack and is staggered.

Unnatural Aura (Su)

Animals do not willingly approach within 30 feet of a wraith, unless a master makes a DC 25 Handle Animal, Ride, or wild empathy check.

 

On reaching the bottom of the stairs, the PCs will hear a haunting melody playing across the water. It is a foul trap, sowing confusion and fear across whole parties. This is actually two CR 5 traps that occur simultaneously. The spells are accompanied by a haunting tune that drifts around the whole cavern and insidiously filters into a living creature's brain. This is because the main physical piece of the device is a small music box. If the Disable Device roll is exceeded by 10, this box can be taken away as treasure and re-used elsewhere. It is worth 10,000 gp as part of the overall cost of a trap containing this component.

Confusion and Fear Trap CR 7

Magic device; proximity trigger (alarm covering the base of the stairs and across the cavern lake); automatic reset;
Spell effects (Confusion and fear, 7th-level wizard, DC 16 Will saves for resolve, possibly for partial effect with fear);
Search DC 29; Disable Device DC 29.

 

The Cavern

The water of the cavern lake is 5 feet deep and very cold, actually below freezing, although the movement of the flow is just enough to stop the lake from solidifying in all but the coldest weather. An unprotected character in the cold (below 40° F) must make a Fortitude save each hour (DC 15, + 1 per previous check) or take 1d6 points of non-lethal damage. A character who has the Survival skill may receive a bonus on this saving throw and may be able to apply this bonus to other characters as well. A character who takes any non-lethal damage from cold or exposure is beset by frostbite or hypothermia (treat her as fatigued). These penalties end when the character recovers the non-lethal damage she took from the cold and exposure.

As soon as the PCs touch or start to cross the water in anyway, the dread wraith will attack. It appears to be an unnatural cloud of dense, black fog, sucking all the welcoming and protective light from the surrounding area. Deep within the cloud are two crimson embers that barely give off a glow; the creature's eyes. It is staggeringly fast as it charges into battle, striking out at arcane spellcasters first (wizards, sorcerers, bards) before targeting the most martial member of a group, then directing its blows those with low Fortitude saves (usually rogues) before finishing off the party.

Dread Wraith (3.5)

Dread Wraith (3.5E)
Size/Type: Large Undead
Hit Dice: 16d12 (104 hp)
Initiative: +13
Speed: Fly 60 ft. (good) (12 squares)
Armour Class: 25 (-1 size, +9 Dex, +7 deflection), touch 25, flat-footed 16 
Base Attack/Grapple: +8/- 
Attack: Incorporeal touch +16 melee (2d6 plus 1d8 Constitution drain, DC 25 Fort save)
Full Attack: Incorporeal touch +16 melee (2d6 plus 1d8 Constitution drain, DC 25 Fort save)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks: Constitution drain, create spawn
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., daylight powerlessness, incorporeal traits, lifesense 60 ft., undead traits, unnatural aura
Saves: Fort +5, Ref +14 , Will +14
Abilities: Str 0, Dex 28, Con 0, Int 17, Wis 18, Cha 24
Skills: Diplomacy +9, Hide +24, Intimidate +26, Knowledge (religion) +22, Listen +25, Search +22, Sense Motive +23, Spot +25, Survival +4 (+6 following tracks)
Feats: AlertnessB, Blind-fight, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved InitiativeB, Improved Natural Attack (incorporeal touch), Mobility, Spring Attack
CR: 11
Treasure: None
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Languages: Common, Infernal

Dread Wraith CR13

XP 25,600
LE Large undead (incorporeal)
Init +13; Senses darkvision 60 ft., lifesense 60 ft.; Perception +28
Aura unnatural aura (30 ft.)

Defense

AC 26,touch 26, flat-footed 16 (+7 deflection, +9 Dex, +1 dodge, –1 size)
hp 184 (16d8+112)
Fort +12, Ref +14, Will +15
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +4; incorporeal; Immune undead traits
Weaknesses sunlight powerlessness

Offense

Speed fly 60 ft. (good)
Melee incorporeal touch +20 (3d6 negative energy plus 1d8 Con drain [Fort DC 23])
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks create spawn

Statistics

Str —, Dex 28, Con —, Int 14, Wis 20, Cha 25
Base Atk +12; CMB +22; CMD 40
Feats Alertness, Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Improved Natural Attack (incorporeal touch), Mobility, Spring Attack
Skills Diplomacy+18, Fly +24, Intimidate +26, Knowledge (planes) +13, Perception +28, Sense Motive +28, Stealth +24
Languages Common, Infernal, Skald

 

Treasure

Driven almost hilt-deep into the south-western wall of the huge stalactite that juts out into the lake to the north of the beach is the sourse of the gnomes' problems - Rottotappaja, the giant-sized shifter's sorrow-type greatsword. It is unclear how the sword got in the stalactite, but it is obvious that it requires stone-altering magic to get it out. (Appropriate Knowledge DC 5 roll)

Rottotappaja (Minor Artefact)

Rottotappaja was originally made for the cloud giant jarl Taivas Pomo, who struck any petitioner who came before him with it to ensure they weren't in disguised form. This had the twin effect of helping ensure he wasn't threatened by hidden assassins and that not many giants, or others, met with him without serious intent; Pomo's time wasn't wasted by idle chit-chat.

This huge +1/+1 two-bladed greatsword has blades of alchemical silver. On a successful attack with this silvered weapon, each blade can do 4d6 points of damage plus its magical bonus as well as the -1 penalty on the damage roll a wielder takes and then the appropriate strength bonus (with the usual minimum of 1 point of damage). The weapon deals an extra 2d6 points of damage against any creature with the shapechanger subtype. When a shapechanger or a creature in an alternate form (such as a druid using wild shape) is struck by the weapon, it must make a DC 15 Will save or return to its natural form. (4d6/4d6, 19-20/x2)

Scattered around the beach that the canoe is on are the belongings of the 4 former member of Tonttu Pappi's party and the slain dwarf. All potions and scrolls have been spoiled, so aren't listed.

Lumota -masterwork cold iron dagger, +1 robes, ring of chameleon power, tan bag of tricks, wand of mirror image (6 charges)
Suojata Sulku - +1 gnome hooked hammer of mighty cleaving (both heads), +2 studded leather armour, bead of force, boots of springing and striding
Ennen Sinun - Eleven +1 shuriken, +1 saingham, monk's belt, dusty rose prism ioun stone
Jalkeesi Sinun - +1 shortbow, eight +2 arrows, +1 slick leather armour, deep red sphere ioun stone, lens of detection, necklace of adaptation, +1 rogues tools,
The fallen dwarf - +3 leather armour, +1/+1 dwarven urgrosh, +1 light mace of aberration bane, handy haversack (the central pouch is currently almost entirely full of food, the outer two pouches contains pieces of various aberrations)

Conclusion

If the PCs return Rottotappaja to Tonttu Pappi she will do everything in her power to ensure they are cured and restored in every way before promising her support at every turn in the future. In fact, she will be so impressed with the party, she will ask if it wants to go on the wererat hunt. But that's another tale.

However, if the PCs decide to keep the sword, they will earn the eternal emnity of the gnomes of Pradjna and can expect regular and increasingly frequent visits from gnomish representatives aiming to take Rottotappaja from them. If the PCs sell it on, they will still be hunted down and made to pay a heavy price.

Possible Additional Side Quest Ideas

If you wish to expand this adventure further, here are some suggestions for the approach to the nest, the stairway and the rivers away from the cavern. They are ideas only and are there are prompts of an appropriate level.

The ledge

Upon reaching the spot where the nest is located, the PCs may find that a huge (or bigger) flying creature or creatures has/have taken up residency. Examples include:

  • a mated pair of advanced 12 HD achaierais
  • a clutch of 4 elder arrowhawks
  • an advanced 13 HD couatl
  • an advanced 14 HD vrock
  • a elder air elemental

The ledge trail near the nest is now home to a wing of fully advanced, 12HD gargoyles, 6 in total, all of which attack the PCs on sight.

The stairs

Just as the PCs reach the bottom of the shaft, they are attacked by a creature that has worked its way along the northern tunnel. This colossal, fiendish monstrous centipede has only been down here for 1 day, but already it is getting hungry. Adventurers make a tasty morsel to enjoy until a main meal comes along.

The tunnels

The northern tunnel leads upwards, eventually coming out towards the top of a tall hill. The spring that starts the flowing river that leads underground is close to a look-out point of a young adult green dragon/2 juvenile silver dragons. The dragon/s is/are wary of the party, but eventually the green will attack from the air whilst the silvers will ask for a gift for their help in getting down to the ground, if it is required.

The southern tunnel descends deeper into the Underworld. The canoe can be used to go with the flow, as it is over 20 feet long and can accommodate 5 medium humanoids. The GM can place any underground creatures along the way that she wishes, although in the first large body of water the PCs come across there will be a scrag hunter (6th level ranger) that will attempt to capsize the canoe and drag a PC to his or her watery grave.

A scrag equivalent to a troll hunter has the aquatic subtype. They dwell in any body of water in any climate. They have a base land speed of 20 feet and a swim speed of 40 feet and are found only in aquatic environments. They regenerate only if mostly immersed in water. It also fights with a +1 trident (2d6+8/ x2) and may have a weighted net (50% chance) to catch prey in and help drown.

---

 

White-Dragon

1.3 SERPENS SANGUIS

by Jonathan Nelson

 

A 3.5/Pathfinder Side Quest for 4 PCs of levels 9-11

Cost: 20,000 gp or retrieval of three draconic magic items for a local wizard in trade for the information.  Alternatively the GM may utilize the available adventure hooks.

 

Adventure Background

Serpens Sanguis was once a powerful cult of wizards whose members preached word of the true gods of antiquity, the dragons.

A conclave of these dragon-worshipping wizards constructed a complex in a series of caves hidden within a small mountain.  They required a safe haven from the harsh and at some times downright violent opposition to their existence.

The wizards prepared for the inevitable incursions by their opposition, and built a secret entrance to the lower conclave caverns, then constructed an enormous life-like statue of a dragon and placed it over the secret door.  Adding magical effects permanently created a deterrent for any would-be intruders in the form of a mist/smoke breathing wyrm.

What the wizards did not expect is the terrifying creature Crucianus, which arose from the underworld lake within the very center of the Serpens Sanguine cavern.  This maniacal creature was cunning, malevolent, and obtained its sustenance through the forced suffrage of others.

Possessing extremely powerful psionic and metamagic powers, Crucianus dominated all that lived within the conclave, forcing them to fight amongst themselves.  This generated jealousy, anger, and hatred, all of which the abhorrent creature channeled into the creation of the Orb of Despair, a magical item capable of feeding a vicious cycle of negative energy.  This provided a source of sustenance upon which Crucianus greedily fed.  After just a few short weeks of the introduction of the Orb of Despair, the wizards had completely destroyed their home and slain those they had once called friends and comrades.  One particularly powerful wizard, driven to madness and forced to slay her husband was the sole survivor.  The woman, her mind utterly destroyed begged the dragon gods for deliverance from this world.  After many days of praying the wizard finally drowned herself in the water of the lake.

The creature Crucianus, finding no further sustenance here, withdrew to the depths of the lake, entering a hidden dimensional conduit and returning to the realm from whence it came.

Fifty years have passed since these events occurred, and the members of Serpens Sanguis in the form of tormented undead wizards now roam the conclave caverns.  They are tied to a physical existence through their eternal suffrage, a curse manifested by their unwillingness to forgive one another, even in death.

 

 

Adventure Synopsis

The PCs have heard tales of a dragon lair nearby and come seeking treasure.  Instead they find a secret conclave of undead dragon-worshipping wizards protecting a powerful magical item created by a malevolent entity of antiquity.

The entry cave provides a brief puzzle for the PCs to figure out before discovering the dragon is only a statue with magical enhancements.  A brief search reveals the trapped secret entrance to Serpens Sanguis.

The door to the sanctum is protected by a magical spell which summons the sanctum’s guardian, a young red dragon which the PCs must dispatch in order to proceed.

Stairs descending into the cave proper are magically trapped and the upper chambers are flooded with foul gases from below possibly nauseating the party.  Those that fall from the stairs, fall to their death.

The main chamber contains a large underworld lake of unknown depth.  A path skirts the lake’s edge on both sides leading into a smaller cave on the far side of the lake.  A few corpses can be found in the area and treasure retrieved.

On the other side of the lake are the ruins of buildings, one of which contains the Orb of Despair, hidden among the rubble.  Perhaps the Orb can shed some light on the state of things within Serpens Sanguis and the possibility to set things right and lay the dead to rest.

To put the wizard’s souls to rest the PCs must destroy the Orb of Despair.  Once this is done, the undead members of Serpes Sanguis turn to ash, removing the long held curse on the souls which once called these secret caverns home.

Once the foul curse has been lifted there is much to plunder in the form of gems, gold, and magic items.  All of the magic items have draconic symbols and markings leading the PCs to believe a dragon really did once frequent these caverns.

 

Adventure Hooks

The PCs have heard rumors of a cave containing an ancient dragon’s treasure hoard hidden somewhere in the surrounding mountains.

If the PCs require additional motivation, it could come in the form of...

  • A rival adventuring party taking up the quest
  • A local entrepreneur offering to fund a quest in search of this long lost treasure hoard.  (Perhaps he or she is actually a member of Serpens Sanguis attempting to locate the local conclave which ceased communication with the rest of the sect many centuries ago.)
  • An attack on the local village which appears to have been made by a dragon which in turn gives rise to ancient stories of the dragon cave in the mountains.  (The fire was in fact caused by a dragon, but it was only a very young red dragon which recently learned how to breathe fire.  The naive wyrmling was simply testing out his new talent in the middle of the night on the local town as it seemed as good a place as any.)
  • A local villager disappears.  Rumors persist of a dragon who lives in the nearby mountain and snatches up travellers for dinner once or twice a year.  (The villagers actually slipped and fell off an embankment and into the river, washed far downstream and located by the time the adventurers return from their quest.)

Special Notes for the Game Master

In an Adventureaweek.com side quest adventure, the story is kept loose so that the GM may fill in the gaps to accommodate his or her setting or campaign.  Feel free to adjust, change, or add to the adventure as you see fit.

1. Dragon Cave Entrance

This cave entrance is fairly large and shows signs of heavy use.  Large claw marks mar the ground and walls of the cavern.
If the PCs search the ground further they will find that the marks stop just outside the cave.

Skill Checks

Perception/Spot DC 20

Success = The deep marks in the stone disappear just outside the cave entrance as if a large flying creature has been coming and going from this entrance.
After the PCs step into the cave itself they may hear some sounds echoing off the cave walls.

Skill Check

 

Perception/Listen DC 10

Success = You can just barely make out a deep growling sound emanating from somewhere within the cave, if you didn’t know better you might think it was a large beast snoring.

Effects of the Orb of Despair

Once the PCs progress at least 30 feet into the cavern they will come under the effects of the Orb of Despair.  Any living creature within a ¼ mile radius of the Orb of Despair is affected by rage and crushing despair simultaneously, while causing them to attack the nearest living creature, regardless of friend or foe.  DC 16 Will save negates both effects.

Note: the Orb of Despair is described in detail at the conclusion of this side quest adventure.

 

Dragon of Pride

2. Dragon Guardian (Statue)

The cult constructed this statue to protect its inner sanctum from intruders.  Although the dragon statue does have some offensive measures in place, it was primarily designed as a deterrent to any inquisitors from the nearby town.

Firstly, the statue is crafted as a lifesize dragon by skilled hands and painted by equally skilled artists.  Each scale is painstakingly painted with such detail that only one well educated in the lore of dragons would be able to spot it as a fake and would need to be within 10’ of the statue.  Permanent illusions have been placed upon the dragon to create eyes which open and close, and smoke/mist which rises from the nostrils and mouth of the beast.  Since the statue itself is real, these illusions are very difficult to detect without magical means (Spot/Perception DC 40).

Secondly, hundreds of permanent magic mouth spells provide snoring, growling, and even a series of questions and automatic responses to the PCs (all predetermined so nonsensical answers or questions from the PCs will receive pre-programmed responses immediately revealing that something is amiss.)

Thirdly, appropriate offensive spells (based on dragon color and determined by GM) are poised to target the PCs immediately following the first question if not answered correctly.  This is designed as a final deterrent to potential invaders.

A huge dragon, mist or smoke rising from its nostrils sleeps comfortably sprawled out upon a large stone platform before you.  The dragon opens its eyes and looks you over.  “Who dare disturbs the slumber of the great Serpensanguis?”
If the PCs answer “Ssssss” (like a snake hissing) the magical incantations performing the show will cease and the secret door hidden under the dragon’s tail will slide open, trap disarmed.

If the PCs answer incorrectly or do not answer within a round, a single spell (GM’s choice and appropriate for color choice of dragon) will discharge upon the party and the dragon will roar so loud it deafens the PCs for a moment.

After the final offensive spell is discharged the PCs will no longer be in danger (unless the GM decides otherwise) and may proceed to investigate this area further which may lead them to discover area 3.

 

3. The Dragon’s Secret Door

The secret door to the outer sanctum of Serpens Sanguis is located underneath the dragon on a section of the tail.  A small panel  located here will open if pressed gently and the words “Serpens Sanguis Aeternum” are uttered.  The PCs may then progress inside the tail of the hollowed out dragon statue, down through the foot and into the stone platform, emerging on a stairwell in the caverns below, the hidden sanctuary of Serpen Sanguis.

If the words are not spoken, the panel will still open, but instead a trap will be instantly triggered effecting anyone standing on the stone platform which holds the dragon statue.

Shocking Floor Trap    CR 9

XP 6,400

Type magic; Perception DC 26; Disable Device DC 26

 

EFFECTS

Trigger proximity (alarm); Duration 1d6 rounds; Reset none

Effect spell effect (shocking grasp, Atk +9 melee touch [4d6 electricity damage]); multiple targets (all targets on stone platform).

 

 

 

4. Entry to the Sanctum

After passing from the dragon statue down the stairs into the caverns the PCs enter a perfectly square (20’x20’) room made from solid stone.   Before the PCs is a large stone door, the final entry into the inner sanctum of Serpen Saguis.  A dragons claw is imprinted upon the door with a red human handprint in the center.  Those with ample knowledge (Perception/Spot DC 15 or Knowledge: Arcana) will discern that the dragon print is in fact real (as is the human print).  The door is not locked, but it is trapped.  To safely open the doors one must press their hand into the human sized indentation and speak the words “Verba vero mea spondeo rerum dominos, dracones” which translates to “My allegiance I pledge to the true lords of the world, the dragons”.  If anything else is spoken aloud whilst a hand is inserted into the indentation, or the door is otherwise tampered with, a trap will be triggered, summoning the dragon.  Combat with the dragon will be very dangerous considering the close quarters.

Serpens Guardian Summons     CR 9

 

XP 12,800

Type magic (conjuration); Perception DC 28 Disable Device DC 28

 

EFFECTS

Trigger proximity (any light source); Onset Delay 1 round; Reset automatic (after 15 minutes)

Effect spell effect (summons a young dragon (the summoned dragon vanishes upon being slain, or when the trap resets)

Red Dragon, Young (3.5)

Young Red Dragon

Size/Type: Large Dragon (fire)

Hit Dice: 13d12+39 (123 hp)

Initiative: +5

Speed: 40 ft., fly 150 ft. (poor)

Armor Class: 21 (+12 natural, –1 size), touch 9, flat-footed 21

Base Attack/Grapple: +13/+24

Attack: bite +19 (2d6+10), 2 claws +19 (1d8+7), 2 wings +14 (1d6+3), tail slap +14 (1d8+10)

Full Attack: bite +19 (2d6+10), 2 claws +19 (1d8+7), 2 wings +14 (1d6+3), tail slap +14 (1d8+10)

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

Special Attacks: breath weapon (40-ft. cone, DC 19, 6d10 fire)

Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., Immunity to fire, paralysis, and sleep, vulnerable to cold

Saves: Fort +11, Ref +8, Will +10

Abilities: Str 25, Dex 10, Con 17, Int 12, Wis 13, Cha 12

Skills: Appraise +15, Bluff +15, Fly +9, Hide +10, Intimidate +15, Listen +12, Move Silently +10, Sense Motive +15, Spot +12

Feats: Cleave, Flyby Attack, Improved Flyby Attack, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Power Attack

Challenge Rating: 7

Alignment: Chaotic Evil

Languages:  Common, Draconic, Undercommon

 

Red Dragon, Young (Pathfinder)

Red Dragon, Young

 

Young Red Dragon    CR 10

 

XP 9,600

CE Large dragon (fire)

Init +5; Senses dragon senses, smoke vision; Perception +15

 

DEFENSE

AC 22, touch 10, flat-footed 21 (+1 Dex, +12 natural, –1 size)

hp 115 (11d12+44)

Fort +11, Ref +8, Will +10

Immune fire, paralysis, sleep

Weaknesses vulnerability to cold

 

OFFENSE

Speed 40 ft., fly 200 ft. (poor)

Melee bite +17 (2d6+10), 2 claws +17 (1d8+7), 2 wings +12 (1d6+3), tail slap +12 (1d8+10)

Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (10 ft. with bite)

Special Attacks breath weapon (40-ft. cone, DC 19, 6d10 fire)

Spell-Like Abilities (CL 11th)

At will—detect magic

Spells Known (CL 1st)

1st (3/day)—shield, true strike

0 (at will)—mage hand, message, prestidigitation, read magic

 

STATISTICS

Str 25, Dex 12, Con 19, Int 12, Wis 13, Cha 12

Base Atk +11; CMB +19; CMD 30 (34 vs. trip)

Feats Cleave, Improved Initiative, Improved Vital Strike, Iron Will, Power Attack, Vital Strike

Skills Appraise +15, Bluff +15, Fly +9, Intimidate +15, Perception +15, Sense Motive +15, Stealth +11

Languages Common, Draconic

 

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Smoke Vision (Ex)

A very young red dragon can see perfectly in smoky conditions (such as those created by pyrotechnics).


After the dragon has been slain, or the trap has expired, the PCs are able to open the door and proceed.

The large stone door slides open, revealing gray stone stairs descend into natural caverns. Warm air rushes up from below, carrying the strong stench of stale death, threatening to drive you back the way you came.
The intense odor of death which culminates and builds within this area is so strong players must succeed on a Fortitude DC 20 or experience extreme nausea making movement near impossible.  Take in mind that remaining in this area with the stone door open may result in door’s trap being reset and triggered again.  Of course, by closing the door the PCs will be sealing themselves in with the nauseating fumes and will grow increasingly ill the longer they remain here. Those that succeed on the Fort save still experience the normal effects of nausea as detailed below.

If the PCs wait in this area for 1d6+10 minutes (note the trap reset time), the air will clear and they will be able to progress down the stairs without the nauseating effects.

Nauseated

Creatures with the nauseated condition experience stomach distress. Nauseated creatures are unable to attack, cast spells, concentrate on spells, or do anything else requiring attention. The only action such a character can take is a single move actions per turn.

 

The Stairs

The stairs which descend into the inner sanctum are made from gray stone and wrap neatly around the existing cavern walls. There are no handrails on the stairs and permanent grease spells in place along the first two levels.  If no one in the party has dispel magic they will have to risk slipping and falling into the depths of the cavern which is certain death at this height.

Grease (spell)

Grease

School conjuration (creation); Level bard 1, magus 1, sorcerer/wizard 1, summoner 1

 

CASTING

Casting Time 1 standard action

Components V, S, M (butter)

 

EFFECT

Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)

Target one object or 10-ft. square

Duration 1 min./level (D)

Save see text; SR no

 

DESCRIPTION

A grease spell covers a solid surface with a layer of slippery grease. Any creature in the area when the spell is cast must make a successful Reflex save or fall. A creature can walk within or through the area of grease at half normal speed with a DC 10 Balance/Acrobatics check. Failure means it can't move that round (and must then make a Reflex save or fall), while failure by 5 or more means it falls (see the Balance/Acrobatics skills for details). Creatures that do not move on their turn do not need to make this check and are not considered flat-footed.

The spell can also be used to create a greasy coating on an item. Material objects not in use are always affected by this spell, while an object wielded or employed by a creature requires its bearer to make a Reflex saving throw to avoid the effect. If the initial saving throw fails, the creature immediately drops the item. A saving throw must be made in each round that the creature attempts to pick up or use the greased item. A creature wearing greased armor or clothing gains a +10 circumstance bonus on Escape Artist checks and to their Grapple/Combat Maneuver Bonus checks made to escape a grapple, and to their Grapple/Combat Maneuver Defense to avoid being grappled.

 

 

 

5. Underworld Lake of Despair

After descending the stairs the PCs enter the inner sanctum of Serpens Sanguis.

The stairs finally empty into a vast cavern, the ends of which you cannot see.  The entirety of this cave is dominated by a large underworld lake, the light which reflects from its surface reveals it to be a deep murky gray-green coloration with tiny waves rippling across its surface.  Something floats out near the center of the lake, although it is hard to see what it is at this distance.

The walls of this cave are painted with twisting murals of great dragons covered in arcane symbols.  Portions of the arcane writing glow, giving off just enough light to safely skirt the walls around the edge of the lake without a light source.
The devout once used this lake as a scrying tool to seek out dragons in the area and channel their prayers in the form of magical energy to their draconic lords.  The remains of a small wooden boat can be found at the lake’s edge along with three skeletons, one of which appears to tightly grip the pebble-covered shore with its finger bones.  A golden necklace is twisted many times around this skeletons neck.  If the skeleton is poked or prodded nothing happens, but if the necklace is removed the spirits of all three skeletons begin to drift across from the other side of the lake, approaching the PCs at full movement speed.

(3) Fye (3.5)

Fye
Size/Type: Medium undead (incorporeal)
Hit Dice: 4d8+12 (30)
Initiative: +2
Speed: fly 50 ft. (perfect)
Armor Class: 15, touch 15, flat-footed 13 (+3 deflection, +2 Dex)
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+3
Attack: incorporeal touch +5 (1d6 plus possession)
Full Attack: incorporeal touch +5 (1d6 plus possession)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: possession
Special Qualities: darkvision 60 ft.; Aura despair (10 ft, DC 15)
Defensive Abilities: incorporeal; Immune undead traits
Spell-Like Abilities: (CL 4th)

  • At-will-detect thoughts (DC 15)
  • 3/day-cause fear (DC 14)
  • 1/day-feeblemind (DC 18)

Saves: Fort +4; Ref +3; Will +6
Abilities: Str -, Dex 17, Con -, Int -, Wis 14, Cha 16
Skills: Fly +10, Listen +2. Spot +2
Challenge Rating: 4
Alignment: Neutral

When a traumatic event occurs within the vicinity of a temple or other holy place, energy often lingers in the area polluting and contaminating an object or the ground itself. This sometimes leads to the formation of a mindless entity-the fye. A fye has no memories because it was never alive, nor does it feel emotions toward any creature living, dead, or undead. Fye do not communicate nor reason, they simply exist. Though it is not bound to the area where it was created, a fye rarely moves more than 100 feet or so away from its “birthplace”.

A fye appears as a translucent humanoid about 6 feet tall whose lower torso tapers off around the knees into vaporous nothingness. Its face always has the appearance that the creature is screaming or howling though it never utters any sound.

A fye usually does not enter combat unless it is directly approached or molested. In combat, a fye uses its cause fear spell-like ability against its closest target, followed in the next round by its feeblemind ability. If opponents continue to harass the fye it uses its incorporeal touch and possession ability.

Special Abilities
Aura of Despair (Su) A fye continually emanates an aura of despair in a 10-foot radius. Any creature within or entering this area must succeed on a DC 15 Will save or take a -2 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, ability and skill checks, and weapon damage rolls for as long as they remain within the area. A creature that successfully saves is immune to the aura of despair of that fye for one day. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Possession (Su) Once per round by making a successful incorporeal touch attack, a fye can merge its body with a creature on the Material Plane. This ability is similar to a magic jar spell, except that it does not require a receptacle. The target can resist the possession by succeeding on a DC 15 Will save. If the save fails, the fye disappears and enters the target’s body. The save DC is Charisma-based.

(3) Fye (Pathfinder)

Fye  (3)

 

This creature resembles a translucent humanoid whose face is contorted and twisted as if frozen in an eternal scream, though it makes no sound.

Fye                                       CR 4

 

XP 1,200

N Medium undead (incorporeal)

Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +2

Aura despair (10 ft, DC 15)

 

DEFENSE

AC 15, touch 15, flat-footed 13 (+3 deflection, +2 Dex)

hp 30 (4d8+12)

Fort +4; Ref +3; Will +6

Defensive Abilities incorporeal; Immune undead traits

 

OFFENSE

Speed fly 50 ft. (perfect)

Melee incorporeal touch +5 (1d6 plus possession)

Special Attacks possession

Spell-Like Abilities (CL 4th)

At-will-detect thoughts (DC 15)

3/day-cause fear (DC 14)

1/day-feeblemind (DC 18)

 

STATISTICS

Str -, Dex 17, Con -, Int -, Wis 14, Cha 16

Base Atk +3; CMB +5; CMD 18

Skills Fly +10

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Aura of Despair (Su)

A fye continually emanates an aura of despair in a 10-foot radius. Any creature within or entering this area must succeed on a DC 15 Will save or take a -2 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, ability and skill checks, and weapon damage rolls for as long as they remain within the area. A creature that successfully saves is immune to the aura of despair of that fye for one day. The save DC is Charisma-based.

 

Possession (Su)

Once per round by making a successful incorporeal touch attack, a fye can merge its body with a creature on the Material Plane. This ability is similar to a magic jar spell, except that it does not require a receptacle. The target can resist the possession by succeeding on a DC 15 Will save. If the save fails, the fye disappears and enters the target’s body. The save DC is Charisma-based.

When a traumatic event occurs within the vicinity of a temple or other holy place, energy often lingers in the area polluting and contaminating an object or the ground itself. This sometimes leads to the formation of a mindless entity-the fye. A fye has no memories because it was never alive, nor does it feel emotions toward any creature living, dead, or undead. Fye do not communicate nor reason, they simply exist. Though it is not bound to the area where it was created, a fye rarely moves more than 100 feet or so away from its “birthplace”.

A fye appears as a translucent humanoid about 6 feet tall whose lower torso tapers off around the knees into vaporous nothingness. Its face always has the appearance that the creature is screaming or howling though it never utters any sound.

A fye usually does not enter combat unless it is directly approached or molested. In combat, a fye uses its cause fear spell-like ability against its closest target, followed in the next round by its feeblemind ability. If opponents continue to harass the fye it uses its incorporeal touch and possession ability.

 

Section 15: Copyright Notice - Tome of Horrors Complete

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

Floating in the center of the lake is a bloated corpse. Somehow psionic and magical manipulation accidentally caused this corpse to become immune to decomposition.  The corpse wears a Ring of Wizardry III.  If the corpse is touched it springs into action, suddenly screaming and levitating above the lake, howling in agony.

Lich Shade (3.5)

Lich Shade
Size/Type: Medium Undead
Hit Dice: 11d8+55 (104)
Initiative: +8
Speed: 30 ft.  Fly 60 ft. (poor)
Armor Class: 20 (+4 Dex, +1 dodge, +5 natural), touch 15, flat-footed 15
Base Attack/Grapple: +8/+15
Attack: 2 claws +15 (1d6+7 plus 1d6 cold)
Full Attack: 2 claws +15 (1d6+7 plus 1d6 cold)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: chill, death throes, spell leech
Special Qualities: darkvision 60 ft., spell sense 100 ft.
Defensive Abilities: channel resistance +2; DR 10/ bludgeoning and magic; Immune undead traits; Resist cold 10, electricity 10; SR 20
Saves: Fort +10, Ref +9, Will +12
Abilities: Str 24, Dex 19, Con --, Int 19, Wis 16, Cha 20
Skills: Hide +18, Intimidate +19, Knowledge (arcana) +18, Knowledge (religion) +18, Listen + 17, Move SIlently +19,  Sense Motive +17, Sleight of Hand +17, Spellcraft +18,   Spot +17, Use Magic Device +16
Feats: Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes
Challenge Rating: 9
Treasure: double standard
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Languages: Common, Infernal, plus any four

Lich shades are evil creatures who attempted to achieve lichdom but failed for whatever reason. The creature is not destroyed, nor does it become a lich, it becomes something in between - something in between mortal life and eternal unlife.

A lich shade stands about 6 to 6-1/2 feet tall and weighs about 160 pounds. The robes and gowns it wears often denote its previous life's profession (wizardly robes or priestly vestments for example).

Combat
A lich shade attacks with its powerful claws, rending and tearing at its foes. If facing a spellcaster and it leeches one of its spells, it usually releases the first spell leeched as an eldritch bolt against its closest foe. Further leeched spells are used to heal the lich shade or cast back against its foes. If faced with certain defeat, a lich shade wills its own destruction, invoking its death throes ability, hoping to take several of its opponents with it.

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

Special Abilities
Chill (Su) A lich shade's claws inflict an additional 1d6 points of cold damage on a hit, and any creature that takes this additional cold damage must make a DC 20 Fortitude save or be staggered for 1 round by the numbing chill. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Death Throes (Su) When a lich shade is destroyed, it explodes into a burst of choking dust. All creatures within 10 feet must make a DC 20 Fortitude save or take 1d6 points of Constitution damage from the violent choking and necromantic scouring of this supernaturally vile dust. Those who fail the save are also nauseated for 1d6 rounds, while those who succeed are merely sickened for 1d6 rounds. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Spell Leech (Su) Whenever a spellcaster within 50 feet of a lich shade casts a spell, the spellcaster must make a DC 20 Will save or the spell is lost, as if it were counterspelled. The lost spell's energy is transferred to the lich shade, who can use the magical energy in one of the following three ways. A lich shade can only store the energy of one spell at a time.

  • Cast: A lich shade can cast the spell on his turn at caster level 11th. When casting spells in this manner, he ignores the spell's material component requirements, but not its focus requirements.
  • Eldritch Bolt: A lich shade can release the spell as an eldritch bolt of pure magic energy as a standard action (range 50 ft., ranged touch +12, 1d6 damage per 2 levels of the spell used to create it).
  • Healing: A lich shade can absorb the spell's energy to heal hit points equal to the spell's level × 4. Hit points in excess of his maximum are instead gained as temporary hit points. These temporary hit points last for 1 hour before fading.

Spell Sense (Su) A lich shade can automatically pinpoint the location of any spellcaster within 100 feet who has cast a spell within the previous round. It can also identify spells as they are being cast and all existing spell effects as if it were under the effects of greater arcane sight.

 

Lich Shade (Pathfinder)

Lich Shade   (1)

 

This creature appears as a rotting and skeletal humanoid dressed in tattered and worn robes with ancient runes etched on their surface. Its eyes blaze with a crimson fire.

 

Lich Shade                CR 9

XP 6,400

NE Medium undead

Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft., spell sense 100 ft.; Perception +17

 

DEFENSE

AC 20, touch 15, flat-footed 15 (+4 Dex, +1 dodge, +5 natural)

hp 104 (11d8+55)

Fort +10, Ref +9, Will +12

Defensive Abilities channel resistance +2; DR 10/ bludgeoning and magic; Immune undead traits; Resist cold 10, electricity 10; SR 20

 

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft.  Fly 60 ft. (poor)

Melee 2 claws +15 (1d6+7 plus 1d6 cold)

Special Attacks chill, death throes, spell leech

 

STATISTICS

Str 24, Dex 19, Con --, Int 19, Wis 16, Cha 20

Base Atk +8; CMB +15; CMD 30

Feats Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes

Skills Intimidate +19, Knowledge (arcana) +18, Knowledge (religion) +18, Perception +17, Sense Motive +19, Spellcraft +18, Stealth +20, Use Magic Device +16; Racial Modifiers +2 Sense Motive, +2 Stealth

Languages Common, Infernal, plus any four

 

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Chill (Su)

A lich shade's claws inflict an additional 1d6 points of cold damage on a hit, and any creature that takes this additional cold damage must make a DC 20 Fortitude save or be staggered for 1 round by the numbing chill. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Death Throes (Su)

When a lich shade is destroyed, it explodes into a burst of choking dust. All creatures within 10 feet must make a DC 20 Fortitude save or take 1d6 points of Constitution damage from the violent choking and necromantic scouring of this supernaturally vile dust. Those who fail the save are also nauseated for 1d6 rounds, while those who succeed are merely sickened for 1d6 rounds. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Spell Leech (Su)

Whenever a spellcaster within 50 feet of a lich shade casts a spell, the spellcaster must make a DC 20 Will save or the spell is lost, as if it were counterspelled. The lost spell's energy is transferred to the lich shade, who can use the magical energy in one of the following three ways. A lich shade can only store the energy of one spell at a time.

  • Cast: A lich shade can cast the spell on his turn at caster level 11th. When casting spells in this manner, he ignores the spell's material component requirements, but not its focus requirements.
  • Eldritch Bolt: A lich shade can release the spell as an eldritch bolt of pure magic energy as a standard action (range 50 ft., ranged touch +12, 1d6 damage per 2 levels of the spell used to create it).
  • Healing: A lich shade can absorb the spell's energy to heal hit points equal to the spell's level × 4. Hit points in excess of his maximum are instead gained as temporary hit points. These temporary hit points last for 1 hour before fading.

Spell Sense (Su)

A lich shade can automatically pinpoint the location of any spellcaster within 100 feet who has cast a spell within the previous round. It can also identify spells as they are being cast and all existing spell effects as if it were under the effects of greater arcane sight.

The road a spellcaster travels in his or her quest for lichdom is not without danger. During the dark rituals invoked to achieve lichdom, the caster sometimes errs in his or her calculations or unleashes mystic forces best left untapped. When such an event occurs, the spellcaster is usually destroyed outright. Other times, something is born as a result of this failed ritual - a lich shade.

Lich shades are evil creatures who attempted to achieve lichdom but failed for whatever reason. The creature is not destroyed, nor does it become a lich, it becomes something in between - something in between mortal life and eternal unlife.

Lich shades retain portions of their life's memories, and always retain full memory of the dark ritual they attempted while trying to become a lich. For this reason alone, they have grown to hate the living and particularly living spellcasters whom they blame (in some warp twisted way) for their current condition. A lich shade always attacks any opponents who have a spellcaster in their midst, often targeting that individual directly above all others.

A lich shade stands about 6 to 6-1/2 feet tall and weighs about 160 pounds. The robes and gowns it wears often denote its previous life's profession (wizardly robes or priestly vestments for example).

A lich shade attacks with its powerful claws, rending and tearing at its foes. If facing a spellcaster and it leeches one of its spells, it usually releases the first spell leeched as an eldritch bolt against its closest foe. Further leeched spells are used to heal the lich shade or cast back against its foes. If faced with certain defeat, a lich shade wills its own destruction, invoking its death throes ability, hoping to take several of its opponents with it.

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

 

Section 15: Copyright Notice - Tome of Horrors Complete

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

Ring of Wizardry

 

Aura moderate (wizardry I) or strong (wizardry II–IV) (no school); CL 11th (I), 14th (II), 17th (III), 20th (IV)

Slot ring; Price 20,000 gp (I), 40,000 gp (II), 70,000 gp (III), 100,000 gp (IV); Weight

 

Description

This special ring comes in four kinds (ring of wizardry I, ring of wizardry II, ring of wizardry III, and ring of wizardry IV), all of them useful only to arcane spellcasters. The wearer's arcane spells per day are doubled for one specific spell level. A ring of wizardry I doubles 1st-level spells, a ring of wizardry II doubles 2nd-level spells, a ring of wizardry III doubles 3rd-level spells, and a ring of wizardry IV doubles 4th-level spells. Bonus spells from high ability scores or school specialization are not doubled.

 

Construction

Requirements Forge Ring, limited wish; Cost 10,000 gp (I), 20,000 gp (II), 35,000 gp (III), 50,000 gp (IV)

6. Serpens Sanguis Sanctum (Ruins)

The ground in this cave is completely covered in rubble.  Large pieces of residential structures litter the ground.  This cave is even wider than the lake cave, providing ample room for whoever once lived here.  Amidst the rubble are the scattered remains of humans, most of which are wrapped in tattered robes decorated in arcane symbols and draconic writing.

Each of these skeletal forms is actually a Lich Shade and will rise from the ground and attack if approached.  If any of the PCs speak Draconic and attempts to use speak with dead, the lich will stop for but a moment to reveal a portion of the history here, and then began to rant and rave about plots and murders, finally reacting with violent rage and once again attacking the PCs.

Haunted Ground

Any location within Serpens Sanguis containing rubble is haunted due to the effects of years of plotting, jealousy, revenge, and murder.

These areas of accursed ground are the sites of horrid crimes or intense and bloody battles. The intense fear of those who lost their lives lingers and saturates the area. This fear and despair affects living creatures that stray within these areas.

A living creature that starts its turn in an area of haunted ground must succeed at a DC 15 Will saving throw or become shaken for 1d4 rounds. If the creature is already shaken, it becomes frightened for the same duration instead.

Frightened creatures become panicked for the same duration instead. Creatures that are immune to fear effects are immune to haunted ground.

Source: Paizo Blog


On the back wall of this cavern is another large passage, completely blocked by rubble from a massive cave-in.  It is not possible to proceed any further into the complex.  GMs may allow PCs to find a way inside and expand on this location should they wish to extend the adventure or perhaps drop a nice hook for their next adventure.

PCs searching through the rubble in this cave may find a number of trinkets, historical artifacts, or magic items.  Use the table below to determine what is found.

Search DCTreasure FoundInformation
102d10+10 gold coinsMinted with dragon heads
15Bag of Holding 50lbs.Filled with spell components
20Amulet of Natural Armor +3Crafted from dragon bone
25Rod of the Dragon**detailed below
30Orb of DespairQuest Item (detailed below)

Rod of the Dragon

Aura moderate necromancy; CL 10th

Slot none; Price 19,000 gp; Weight 5 lbs.

Description

This rod strikes as a +2 heavy mace. Once per day, upon command, the head of the rod becomes that of an actual serpent for 10 minutes. During this period, any successful strike with the rod deals its usual damage and also catches the target on fire.  These flames are difficult to extinguish and a full two rounds must be spent doing so.  While on fire the target and the target’s clothing, items, and armor take 1d4+4 damage per round. The rod only functions if its possessor is evil.

Construction

Requirements Craft Rod, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, magic missile, flame arrow, creator must be evil; Cost 9,500 gp

If any living creature touches the Orb of Despair, it summons the twenty tortured souls (Lich Shades as above) bound to the orb to the area.  They will arrive at the rate of one creatures every 1d6+2 rounds which will mercilessly attack those that possess the orb until it has once again been freed from the hands of the living.

To put the wizard’s souls to rest the PCs must destroy the Orb of Despair.  Once this is done, the undead members of Serpes Sanguis turn to ash, removing the long held curse on the souls which once called these secret caverns home.

Once the foul curse has been lifted there is much to plunder (GM’s option) in the form of gems, gold, and magic items.  All of the magic items have draconic symbols and markings leading the PCs to believe a dragon really did once frequent these caverns.

 

 

 

New Magic Item

 

The Orb of Despair

The Orb of Despair was left in Serpens Sanguis Sanctum by the horrific creature Crucianus when it left to return home.  The wizards of the sanctum are unable to be put to rest and continue to relive the events of their past day after day because of the existence of this horrible cursed orb.

If this orb is found and handled by any living creature, it summons the twenty tortured souls bound to the orb to the area.  They will arrive at the rate of one creatures every 1d6+2 rounds which will mercilessly attack those that possess the orb until it has once again been freed from the hands of the living.

The orb itself can easily be crushed between two large stones or obliterated with a warhammer.  The blast of negative energy will make all affected feel apathetic and lethargic for a full 24 hours at which point the effects fade.  The undead on the other hand will immediately be freed from their torturous prison in the world of the living, their bodies collapse in piles of ash throughout the cavern and the curse of this sanctum has been lifted.

Orb of Despair

Aura strong evocation; CL 20th
Slot none; Weight 3 pounds

This black sphere is streaked with red and dark blue in a constantly swirling storm of color.  Created many years ago by the metamagic creature Crucianus, the Orb contains the rage, agony, and despair of members of the Serpens Sanguis cult. Crucianus cast spells upon the cult members to make them tired and angry, using illusions to make the captives believe in things that were not there.  Using these angry, exhausted, pain-filled individuals, Crucianus was able to set them against each other and harness the energy that came from them and place it into the Orb of Despair.

Crucianus used his abilities to increase the effectiveness of his spells and increased the negative energy released from the members of Serpens Sanguis.

Once the members of Serpens Sanguis had killed one another, the last was shown an illusion, cast by Crucianus, of her husband, whom she had already killed in her rage.  The illusion told her that the only way to relieve her suffering was to take her own life.  She did so, allowing Crucianus to take in the pain and suffering from this woman and make it the capstone to the Orb of Despair.

Curcianus took the Orb and placed it in a special cradle, where the Orb floats slightly off of the surface and rotates slowly on some unseen force.  This cradle allows the Orb to affect his entire complex by causing the seeds of despair, anger, and hopelessness to be planted in any living creature inside the complex.

As an afterthought, Crucianus had the members of the Serpens Sanguis cult, who now lie dead in rotting piles, reanimated as guardians of the Orb.  These undead can sense themselves within the Orb and seek to protect it.  Should any living creature touch the Orb, these protectors sense it and are drawn to the Orb to defend it.

There is only one Orb of Despair known to have been created, but another enterprising Wizard may discover its secrets.

 

EFFECTS

Any living creature within a ¼ mile radius is affected by rage and crushing despair simultaneously, while causing them to attack the nearest living creature, regardless of friend or foe.  DC 16 Will save negates both effects.

 

CONSTRUCTION
Requirements All metamagic feats, crushing despair, mind fog, rage, symbol of pain

 

 

Conclusion

The PCs may continue to explore the sealed passageway and the depths of the lake (perhaps the dimensional conduit as well), or they may simply return to the nearby town informing the authorities of the existence of this place.  Or perhaps the PCs wish to claim this place for themselves as a base of operations and safehold for their acquired treasure.  They’ll obviously have to do something about the dragon guardian spell at the front door, but cleaning up the rest of the place shouldn’t be too tough... or so they think.

 

 

---

 

 

1.4 TURN AGAIN, TURN AGAIN

by Stephen Yeardley

A 3.5/Pathfinder compatible adventure for 4-6 PCs of Levels 8-12

Cost: Juriendor has had his clerical team undertaking extensive research into the whereabouts of a forgotten chest, one which is meant to respond to the person opening it. This has taken a lot of time, effort and no small amount of money, as he and his team have had to conduct their studies without giving too much away, so questions of sages and summoned creatures have been expensive. He won't ask for anything from the PCs for the map giving the location, but does ask for half of all they find and first choice of items as well; he and the PCs can then alternate to choose what they would like as reward; as it happens, all he wants is the Tome the chest contains. Juriendor will quest each of the PCs to return with all of the items found in the chest unused, which is the real cost to the PCs.

 

Adventure Background

When the gods and demi-gods were young, fresh and inexperienced, they were often taken in by the duplicitous nature of some of their "worshippers", falling for flattery and deception from those who were a little more "worldly-wise". So some of the newer demi-gods devised a series of chests (not just one, as Juriendor believes - he has found out about the one which best matches his alignment, which GMs can decide best fits their campaign) that responded to the actual nature of the person opening it, thus revealing their true selves. These chests were filled, placed in a hidden and challenging spot and watched by two of these deities - to ensure fair play - for when experienced followers, who a particular deity wanted to help develop further, came along. Once a follower had proved himself to be true or otherwise, he was never able to find the chests again; the test had been passed or failed as appropriate and that was that.

 

Adventure Hook

After many months of researching – both without and within sage’s homes and dusty clerical libraries – Juriendor has found the path to the Forgotten Sacred Treasure Chest and hopes you are able to follow it. Its return carries a fabulous bounty, whilst its contents will bring a fabled glory to each of you, one which will open doors for the rest of your life! Juriendor offers you a deal which is "to the benefit of all of us!" (See 'Cost')

 

 

The Caves

The caves are set in a ravine that cuts through a shallow hill on the edge of an plain of semi-desert which is sandy and strewn with rocks. The entrance is not particularly hidden, but it would be fairly straightforward to mistake for a similar way into another series of small caves. Several of the others around here appear to have been lived in at some stage, although this isn't actually the case - the stone tendriculos sometimes drags bodies away and the possessions of these former adventurers are strewn about. If you want the PCs to wander around various possible caves before finding the actual one, there is a chance of finding non-metallic adventuring equipment as follows:

Low ValueMedium ValueHigh Value
%Item%Item%Item
01-30Nothing01-58Nothing01-72Nothing
31-35Bedroll59-61Backpack (no buckles)73-74 Block and tackle (wooden)
36-40Candle62-64Barrel (wooden sides)75-76 Chest (large, wooden)
41-45Chalk (1 piece)65-67Bridle (camel, leather)77-78 Cleric's vestments (Evil)
46-50Firewood (3 days)68-70Bridle (horse, rope)79-80Cleric's vestments (Lawful)
51-55Flask (clay, empty)71-73Case (leather, map or scroll)81-82  Flask, acid (clay)
56-60Ink pen (peacock quill)74-76Holy symbol (wooden, good)83-84 Monk's outfit
61-65Jug (clay, empty)77-79Holy symbol (wooden, evil)85-86Musical instrument (drums)
66-70Ladder sides (2, wooden)80-82Pouch, belt (leather)87-88Net (25 ft. sq., thin rope)
71-75Ladder rungs (11, wooden)83-85Rope, hempen (50 ft.)89-90 Rope, silk (50 ft.)
76-80Mug (wooden)86-88Scales (wooden, merchant)91-92 Saddle, pack (leather)
81-85Oil (1 flask)89-91Sealing wax (wooden box)93-94Signet ring (bone)
86-90Sack (empty)92-94Tindertwigs (2)95-96Spell component pouch
91-95Signal whistle95-97Travelling outfit (silk)97-98Tent (canvas and leather)
96-100Torch98-100Waterskins (2, leather)99-100Tools, artisan (wooden)

The fact that no metallic or gem-based items are found may give the party a clue about what could be  ahead of them.

No magic items are found during these searches, other than in front of the main caves. For whatever reason, the close links to deity-affected ground draws them away from this plane after 1d3+2 days. In fact the whole area has a strange, hazy feel to it if any PC chooses to concentrate and contemplate the area.

Knowledge (the planes) DC 35 roll (-2 per hour spent in contemplation and concentration, as if research had been undertaken) allows the PC to realise that they can feel their alignment being tugged at, as if various forces are attempting to draw them away from and back to what they know, believe and trust in.

Knowledge (nature) DC 35 roll (-2 per turn spent in contemplation and concentration, as if research had been undertaken) allows the PC to realise that the natural nature of what this type of terrain should be like is blurred and incomplete because of the closeness of other-worldly influences.

If a player asks to make a check using Knowledge (religion) and is successful against a DC 25 roll, this means the PC concerned has a minor crisis of religious conscience, similar to when moments of doubt make your life-time of future belief stronger,  as other alignment-based ideas spring into his or her head. A Will save DC 12 plus the number of points the previous roll was exceeded by is required, otherwise the PC will lose  some spells, the total number of levels of which are the same as the amount the Will save is failed by, starting with 1st level spells.

For example, if the PC makes the Knowledge (religion) roll with 28 (3 more than required), the Will save becomes DC 15 (12 plus 3). If the PC gets 9 for this save, it is failed by 6. Then they will lose 6 levels of spells, starting with 1st level spells and moving on to 2nd level as necessary.

1. Entrance

A series of non-metallic adventurers items are scattered around the marked area from just 2 days previously. The stone tendriculos has absorbed any metal and gems as food sources, but has left the following:

+1 Leather armour

+1 quarterstaff

Leather boots

(All Lawful Evil)

 

Padded armour

+1 short bow

Leather quiver with arrows

Boots of Elvenkind

(All Chaotic Good)

 

Brass Dragonhide armour

Pipes of the Oasis (as Pipes of the Sewer but attracts 1d2 Locust swarms)

Hide boots

(All True Neutral)

 

Depending on the PCs' actions, these groups of items may rise up as 3 Animated Objects and defend “their find”; even in this state, they don't want others to succeed in overcoming the puzzle of the caves. They belonged to a trio of adventurers that was defeated at the entrance and because of the nature of the caves, each group of items has become infused with the alignment essence of their previous user. As such, they will now only work properly for something that has the same alignment. If a PC of the same alignment as them takes hold of them, they will go along willingly. If PCs of a different alignment to their own attempt to hold them, they will fight. If defeated as Animated Objects and taken by a PC of a different alignment, they become cursed items with the mirror opposite statistics to their beneficial statistics. A remove curse on each of the items overcomes these fairly easily, whilst dismissal on any set of items allows them to be used normally as the "spirit of alignment" leaves the items.

If the party leave the objects outside, they will wait until the PCs are overcoming the trials within the complex and follow behind them, waiting for their chance to attack again, probably in Area 3B, although they may wait in area 3 for a returning party. The Animated Objects may also encounter their former users in Area 2 if the party doesn't deal with them, in which case they will flee back out of the caves.

If taken by the party, these items will manage to break free and present themselves as Animated Objects at an unwelcome moment, just as the party reach Area 4. They will fight until half their hit points and then flee on that occasion, stalking the PCs from there on in.

If the items of clothing are closely inspected, a Knowledge (geography) or Knowledge (local) DC 25 roll reveals them to have been made by a gnomish tailor call Ozwald Doaveng.

(Foreshadowing for another possible adventure: Whilst not an arcanist himself, Ozwald was known to have the ability to make items which were beyond masterwork quality and he was able to precisely match the descriptions given to him by wizards and clerics alike, often exceeding their ideas and expectations. Ozwald was known to only spend a short time on each plane, however, as his works were in high demand. Even now, many hundreds of years on from his first items being made, he is thought to still appear on occasions, but only when the time is right. His charges seem to range from 1 cp to the wealth of a realm.)

 

Animated Objects (3) - CR 2 each

3.5E - http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/animatedObject.htm

PF - http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/constructs/animated-object/animated-object-small

 

Entrance - A Stone Tendriculos (as standard tendriculos but with the Elemental type and Earth subtype [3.5E] and Elemental and Earth subtype [PF]. It is not Extraplanar) patiently waits above the cave. This creature's squat body is crowned with a series of smaller stones, its arms are thin bands of whipping rock and it has a wide, deep brown maw. It forms part of the capstone of the entrance and will fight to prevent entry. When it reaches one quarter of its hit points, it seems to expire but actually retreats into the surrounding stone and regenerates, to be faced again on the way out. This is a pre-programmed action rather than a conscious one.

 

Stone Tendriculos - CR 6

3.5E - Use general stats http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/tendriculos.htm

PF - Use general stats http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/plants/tendriculos

Basic information

A stone tendriculos can rear up to a height of 15 feet. It weighs about 6,000 pounds.

Plant creatures and other earth creatures are unnerved by the presence of a stone tendriculos; they avoid it and any place it has been within the last 24 hours.

Combat

Prowling deep underground or waiting in rocky areas (looking like nothing more than a small hillock), a stone tendriculos attacks savagely, showing no fear. It attempts to swallow as much flesh as it can, as quickly as it can.

Improved Grab (Ex)

To use this ability, a stone tendriculos must hit a creature at least one size smaller than itself with its bite attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check it establishes a hold and can try to swallow the opponent in the following round. A stone tendriculos can also use its improved grab ability on an appendage or stone tendril attack. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold, picks up the opponent, and transfers it to the mouth as a free action, automatically dealing bite damage.

Swallow Whole/Paralysis (Ex)

A stone tendriculos can try to swallow a grabbed opponent by making a successful grapple check. Once inside the elemental's mass, the opponent must succeed on a DC 20 Fortitude save or be paralyzed for 3d6 rounds by the stone tendriculos’s thick layers of internal digestive dust and shale, taking 2d6 points of bludgeoning damage per round. A new save is required each round inside the creature. The save DC is Constitution-based. A swallowed creature that avoids paralysis can climb out of the stomach with a successful grapple check. This returns it to the creature’s maw, where another successful grapple check is needed to get free. A swallowed creature can also break its way out by using a light bludgeoning weapon to deal 25 points of damage to the stone tendriculos’s interior (AC 14). Once the creature exits, the creature’s regenerative capacity closes the hole; another swallowed opponent must break its own way out. A Huge stone tendriculos’s interior can hold 2 Large, 8 Medium, 32 Small, 128 Tiny, or 512 Diminutive or smaller opponents.

Regeneration (Ex)

Bludgeoning weapons and water (including ice) deal normal damage to a stone tendriculos. A stone tendriculos that loses part of its body mass can reform it in 1d6 minutes. Holding the severed portion against the stony mass enables it to reattach instantly.

Other differences from a standard tendriculos:

The creature becomes "Huge Elemental (Earth)"

"Plant traits" replaced by "Elemental traits"

(Foreshadowing for another possible adventure: A Spot/Perception DC25 roll, or Search/Perception DC 20 roll if the creature is defeated, will reveal a rune carved into the chest of the stone tendriculos. A Knowledge (religion) or Knowledge (nature) allows a PC to recognise this as the symbol of an ancient stone giant goddess. The creature was at least in part created, along the lines of a stone golem, but fused with a tendriculos's spirit.)

 

2. Ovoid Space

This cavern widens slightly to make an ovoid space. It contains three allip-type creatures, which are the spirits of the adventurers whose equipment is outside. Whilst they didn’t commit suicide, they had spent years searching for the Forgotten Sacred Treasure Chest and months travelling to this place, only to be defeated at the first hurdle just 2 days ago; this drove them collectively insane and, at the last moment of their existence, as they were almost dead from their wound, they fell on each other, each one blaming the other two for their combined failure.

If the PCs have the items from outside, the three spirits enter a vicious rage which affects their stats in exactly the same way a rage does a barbarian.

 

Spirits (3) - CR 4 each

3.5E - http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/allip.htm

PF - http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/undead/allip

Rage (Ex)

When one of the 3 takes damage in combat, it flies into a berserk rage on its next turn, clawing and biting madly until either it or its opponent is dead. It gains +4 to Strength, +4 to Constitution, and -2 to Armor Class. The creature cannot end its rage voluntarily.

The Animated Objects won’t fight against their previous owners, but they don’t want to be returned to such insane creatures either. If the items have been defeated as Animated Objects and are now being used by party members, even those of the same alignment, they will simply shut down in this area and fall to the floor if possible, petrified and useless. After 2 rounds in this state, they will attempt to flee from the cave.

 

3. Guardian

A Guardian Naga (Neutral alignment) rests in this area. The naga is only there the first time the PCs pass through; after that, it leaves the area until the PCs either succeed or fail and are possibly killed and it is required to welcome a new group of adventurers in the future.

It offers a four-tray balance to the PCs, one tray marked for each of Law, Chaos, Good and Evil, and invites them to put coins in each one, explaining that a small donation to the Caves of Balance is required to continue . The naga allows the party to place coins onto the balance until they are all agree on the content. Then the balance moves as appropriate. The PCs are offered a second chance to add coins to the trays - they find they can't remove those already in place - and after that their decision is final. The worth of coins to balance the trays works as follows:

 

1 pp = 2 gp = 4 sp = 8 cp

 

The total in each tray affects the outcome of being able to walk through 3A or 3B.

If the trays are out of balance, the PCs will have to face the Neutral Defender of the Loop. Whichever tray contained the greatest value of coins will mean those with that alignment in any way will not be able to interact with or harm the Neutral Defender - it just won't be detectable by them in any way. After this first challenge is overcome, the rest will operate as described. Archway 3A can be passed through, archway 3B is blocked .

However,  anything other than balance also activates the traps into 3A and 3B. The party will need to go through 3A, setting off the trap unless it is found and disabled, and face the Neutral Defender, before returning to Area 3 and finding the way through 3B passable.

If the PCs head for 3B before facing the Neutral Defender, they set off the trap, but find that they can only pass about 15ft through the gap and along the tunnel at this time. They need to pass round the Loop and deal with the Neutral Defender before returning to Area 3 and then passing through 3B. If only one PC passes through to find this out, the GM will need to make a note of who it is, as the first PC will suffer the effects of the trap with the next PC to go through the arch if the trap isn't disabled. The trap details are below.

If the trays are balanced once the PCs have donated coins, or they have faced the Neutral Defender as required, 3B offers a clear way forward with the trap disabled, whilst 3A is blocked. This can mean that each PC is granted immediate access to the Four Marks of Balance without having to face the Neutral Defender of the Loop as a first challenge. The first challenge is considered complete and the PCs gain experience as if they had defeated the Neutral Defender.

 

Guardian Naga - CR 10

3.5E - http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/naga.htm#guardianNaga

PF - http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/aberrations/naga/naga-guardian

The naga is able to speak Abyssal, Infernal and Undercommon in addition to Celestial and Common.

As the PCs approach it, it will have cast expeditious retreat  in case of any duplicity on the party's part. If challenged, it will fight defensively, attempting to drain the PCs of resources prior to them facing the real tests. Its scales can have the same effect as if it is wearing a Robe of Scintillating Colours; it will activate this effect as soon as anyone attempts to strike it. When the naga falls below 25% of its hit points, it will attempt to leave the cave and, if successful not return until the PCs have gone (it will see them leave) or are killed .

If the party speaks to the naga, it points out that going through the archways out of the cave will "cleanse you of pre-formed misconceptions." If the scales are balanced, it will relay the first piece of information to the party (see below).

 

Trap - 3A

Prismatic Spray Trap - CR 8

Magic device; proximity trigger (alarm); automatic reset

Spell effect (prismatic spray, 13th-level wizard; DC 20 Reflex, Fortitude or Will save depending on the effect)

Search/Perception DC32, Disable Device DC 32

This trap works when a PC walks through

 

Trap - 3B

Polymorph Any Object Trap - CR 8

Magic device; proximity trigger; automatic reset

Spell effect (polymorph any object, 20th-level wizard)

Search/Perception DC32, Disable Device DC 32

This trap works in a very specific way. It polymorphs any two creatures that pass through it into exact duplicates of each other, but only works once per month per creature. Otherwise the effects are permanent (unless the PCs concerned come back a month later and step through the archway again or they reach area 4 and take the items from one of the chests). The trap will work once for each member of the party and then remain unset. For game purposes, players should swap character sheets if they are affected by this trap.

 

A i

When looked through, this archway offers a clear view to B i, but it is an impenetrable barrier from this side. It can only be crossed through from the direction of B i. If a Spot/Perception DC30 roll is made, 5 softly glowing tiny red runes can be seen moving around the arch, 1 each for Law, Chaos, Good, Evil and Neutrality. DC 35 notes that the rune for Good is at the top of the archway most frequently.

 

A ii

When looked through, this archway offers a clear view to B ii, but it is an impenetrable barrier from this side. It can only be crossed through from the direction of B ii. If a Spot/Perception DC30 roll is made, 5 softly glowing tiny red runes can be seen moving around the arch, 1 each for Law, Chaos, Good, Evil and Neutrality. DC 35 notes that the rune for Evil is at the top of the archway most frequently.

 

A iii

When looked through, this archway offers a clear view to B iii, but it is an impenetrable barrier from this side. It can only be crossed through from the direction of B iii. If a Spot/Perception DC30 roll is made, 5 softly glowing tiny red runes can be seen moving around the arch, 1 each for Law, Chaos, Good, Evil and Neutrality. DC 35 notes that the rune for Law is at the top of the archway most frequently.

 

A iv

When looked through, this archway offers a clear view to B iv, but it is an impenetrable barrier from this side. It can only be crossed through from the direction of B iv. If a Spot/Perception DC30 roll is made, 5 softly glowing tiny red runes can be seen moving around the arch, 1 each for Law, Chaos, Good, Evil and Neutrality. DC 35 notes that the rune for Chaos is at the top of the archway most frequently.

 

Once the runes have been noticed on one of the arches, the DCs on the others reduce by 5.

 

Loop – Various challenges

Depending on when the PCs walk around the Loop, they face different challenges in the form of creatures to deal with. They will pass around the Loop at least 4 times, possibly 5 times, and maybe more if they choose to, facing a different creature as follows. However, no creature can be faced more than once.

How they deal with it is up to them, but fighting and killing it is by far from the only solution; deals, diplomacy and deception are all acceptable and will gain the same xp for the party.

As the PCs pass around the Loopthey will be different alignments as a result of the archway(s) they have walked through to get there. This will affect the way the various creatures will interact with them. If they are of the same alignment in any way, the creatures will talk with them and tell them a little about the task they face and how to complete it. If they are too dissimilar, the creatures will be more inclined to attack to kill.

The creatures are all found at the base of the Loop.

 

1st – Gray Render - N (CR 8)

3.5E - http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/grayRender.htm

PF - http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/magical-beasts/gray-render

If the party manages to balance the scales the guardian naga offers them, they won't have to face this creature. Remember, the alignment rune of scale that had the heaviest weight of coins in means PCs of that alignment can't help defeat the Neutral Defender, or indeed even see, hear or smell it. There is a 5% chance that the render will instantly form a bond with any PC that is true neutral. It will leave the Loop and cavern and wait outside for the PC to return. This may initially seem beneficial, but the creature will attack anyone or thing that seems to be disagreeing with the recipient of the bond, which could cause problems. The render will only stay for a week, after which it returns to the cavern.

If the PCs do have to face this creature, they find that the Loop is dry and dusty, with a feeling that the air wants to become earthen as it enters their lungs. The walls are crumbly, with flakes coming away from them when they are brushed against. A Listen/Perception DC 25 roll allows them to hear a soft, contented humming coming from deep within this section of the caves. It is the render, which is slowly pacing around the Loop by itself, drawing the 5 runes for each alignment category on the walls. It also draws lines between them, seemingly in a random way, but that can't be the case as every now and then it stops humming, looks at a particular link, rubs it out and draws a different line in.

These actions are partially what give the caves their magical ability to transform and transport people. The render's runes are drawn in such a way that the innocence of the creature bleeds through the chalk and into the images, feeding them with complete the complete impartiality of a neutrally-aligned being's perception of all the possible extremes.

The PCs will find that they are unable to affect the runes themselves. However, if anyone was to spend 24 hours (over three continuous days) studying the links between the various runes, they would gain a +2 insight bonus to any Knowledge skill of their choice as the roll alignment plays in overall understanding becomes clearer.

As the PCs approach, the render stops writing on the walls and watches them, waiting for their next move.  It readies an attack action, but will only follow through with this if the PCs attack first. If offered 3 further insights to the links between alignments, the render will take the party to the first line of enlightenment information and the test is passed. What these are can be at the GM's discretion, but 3 successful Knowledge (the planes) or Knowledge (religion) roles, the first DC 22, the second DC 25 and the third DC 28, will achieve the same end. These can be a mixture of the two Knowledge types. There is no chance to retry on a failure, or to take 20 as there are repercussions for failing the roll.

Alternatively, appearing as another render (through polymorphing or something like it) and "reasoning" with the creature in some way will win it over if 3 successful Wisdom rolls against the creature's rolls are made. Otherwise the party must defeat it. When it reaches 0 hp, it melts away into the dust of the floor, to return when another party appears.

 

2nd – Avoral - NG (CR 9)

3.5E - http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/avoral.htm

PF - http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/outsiders/agathion/agathion-avoral

On walking around the Loop to meet this challenge, the PCs find that it is incomplete, with open skies above and below them. No particular roll is required when they just walk around, but if a fight takes place, individual stepping blocks bob up and down due to the extra momentum, and a Balance/Acrobatic DC 8 roll is required for a move and single action and a DC 13 roll required for a full attack, otherwise the PC misses with one attack. The avoral isn't affected by this as it is able to fly, and any PC with this ability will also be free of the effect. The avoral is microscopically cleaning the area with gust of wind spells as the PCs approach, but will ready a flyby attack as they approach, only using this if they attack first.

If the party is able to give 3 additional pieces of information about the ability to see beyond normal vision or gain insight through the most careful  and thoughtful study - basically something linked to true seeing and the natural ability to see beyond normal ranges - the avoral will take them to the second line of enlightenment information and the test is passed. What these are can be at the GM's discretion, but 3 successful Knowledge (arcana) or Knowledge (nature) roles, the first DC 22, the second DC 25 and the third DC 28, will achieve the same end. These can be a mixture of the two Knowledge types. There is no chance to retry on a failure, or to take 20 as there are repercussions for failing the roll.

Alternatively, appearing as another avoral (through polymorphing or something like it) and "reasoning" with the creature in some way will win it over if 3 successful Intelligence rolls against the creature's rolls are made. Otherwise the party must defeat it. When it reaches 0 hp, it melts away into the air around the bobbing platforms, to return when another party appears.

 

3rd – Night Hag - NE (CR 9)

3.5E - http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/nightHag.htm

PF - http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/monstrous-humanoids/hag/hag-night

On walking around the Loop to meet this challenge, the PCs find that the tunnels become blurred and seemingly insubstantial, as if they are on two planes at once. This is the case, as the Ethereal plane is leaking into the Loop on this challenge. This doesn't really influence the situation other than is a spell is cast which makes use of the Ethereal plane, in which case the caster is considered 2 levels higher OR 2 levels lower (a 50/50 chance for each) than they actually are. This effect doesn't affect the night hag. As the PCs approach, the night hag is peeling extremely thin slivers of the walls away with her finger nails and appears to be forming some kind of heart-shaped stone with these multiple transparent pieces of rock; it is as if she is rebuilding an onion one layer at a time. She readies a bite attack as the PCs come nearer, but only uses this if the Party attacks first.

If the party is able to give 3 additional insights into the dreams, aspirations and misuses of alignment and position, the night hag will take them to the third line of enlightenment information and the test is passed. What these are can be at the GM's discretion, but 3 successful Knowledge (history) or Knowledge (nobility and royalty) roles, the first DC 22, the second DC 25 and the third DC 28, will achieve the same end. These can be a mixture of the two Knowledge types. There is no chance to retry on a failure, or to take 20 as there are repercussions for failing the roll.

Alternatively, appearing as another night hag (through polymorphing or something like it) and "reasoning" with the creature in some way will win it over if 3 successful Wisdom rolls against the creature's rolls are made. Otherwise the party must defeat it. When it reaches 0 hp, it melts away into the Ethereal plane, instantly blown beyond reach, to return when another party appears.

 

4th – Zelekhut - LN (CR 9)

3.5E - http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/inevitable.htm#zelekhut

PF - http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/outsiders/inevitable/inevitable-zelekhut

On walking around the Loop to meet this challenge, the PCs find that the Loop takes on a metallic, smooth and precise form, with the walls, ceiling and floor clear of protrusions and anything that might be classed as "out of place". Periodically along the base of the walls, thin slits appear, with runnels leading to them from various directions across the floor.

If the party is able to give 3 additional insights into how items are properly made to fully fit their function or how order is maintained across the lands, the zelekhut will take them to the fourth line of enlightenment information and the test is passed. What these are can be at the GM's discretion, but 3 successful Knowledge (architecture and engineering) or Knowledge (geography) roles, the first DC 22, the second DC 25 and the third DC 28, will achieve the same end. These can be a mixture of the two Knowledge types. There is no chance to retry on a failure, or to take 20 as there are repercussions for failing the roll.

Alternatively, appearing as another zelekhut (through polymorphing or something like it) and "reasoning" with the creature in some way will win it over if 3 successful Charisma rolls against the creature's rolls are made. Otherwise the party must defeat it. When it reaches 0 hp, its components melt into liquid metal which rapidly runs away into the drains points around the Loop, to return when another party appears.

 

5th – Marid - CN (CR 9)

3.5E

Size/Type: Large Outsider (Extraplanar, Water)

Hit Dice: 12d8+24 (78 hp)

Initiative: +8

Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares), swim 60 ft.

Armour Class: 22 (-1 size, +4 Dex, +7 natural), touch 13, flat-footed 16

Base Attack/Grapple: +12/+23

Attack: Slam +17 melee (2d6+6) OR +2 trident +19 melee (2d6+9)

Full Attack: 2 slams +17 melee (2d6+6) OR +2 trident +19/+14/+9 (2d6+6

Space/Reach: 10 ft./ 10 ft.

Special Attacks: Water mastery, drench, vortex, water's fury, spell-like abilities

Special Qualities: Change shape,darkvision 60 ft.,immunity to water, plane shift, telepathy 100 ft., vulnerability to fire

Saves: Fort +12; Ref +12; Will +11

Abilities: Str 23; Dex 19; Con 14; Int 14; Wis 16; Cha 16

Skills: Bluff +18, Craft (any one) +17, Concentration +17, Diplomacy +22, Disguise +3 (+5 when acting), Intimidate +20, Listen +18, Move Silently +19, Sense Motive +18, Spellcraft +17, Spot +18

Feats: Combat Casting, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved InitiativeB, Great Fortitude, Improved Natural Attack

Challenge Rating: 9

Treasure: Standard coins; double goods; standard items (+2 trident, other gear)

Alignment: Chaotic Neutral

Languages: Aquan, Auran, Common, Ignan, Terran

 

Change Shape

A marid can assume the form of any small, medium or large giant, humanoid or water elemental

Water's Fury

As a standard action, a marid can release a jet of water in a 60-foot line that deals 1d6 points of damage and blinds the target struck for 1d6 rounds. A DC 18 Reflex save reduces the damage by half and negates the blinding effect. The save DC is Constitution-based.

 

PF - http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/outsiders/genie/marid

This marid carries a +2 trident which it uses with two hands. Remember to adjust the attacks figures accordingly; +1 to each hit, +2 to damage and strength bonus at one-and-a-half times usual.

On walking around the Loop to meet this challenge, the PCs will find themselves wading through knee-high water, for medium characters, and waist-deep for small characters. Naturally, this will have a hampering effect on movement and some actions; running may well be next to impossible, for instance. However, despite this water, the wall above 5 feet aren't wet at all; it is as if the water simply can't get that high. Any attempts to moisten or splash the walls above this height disappear within 2 seconds.

If the party is able to tell 3 additional stories about how people have performed aor acted their way through trouble above and below ground, the marid will take them to the fifth line of enlightenment information and the test is passed. What these are can be at the GM's discretion, but 3 successful Knowledge (dungeoneering) or Knowledge (local) roles, the first DC 22, the second DC 25 and the third DC 28, will achieve the same end. These can be a mixture of the two Knowledge types. There is no chance to retry on a failure, or to take 20 as there are repercussions for failing the roll.

Alternatively, appearing as another marid (through polymorphing or something like it) and "reasoning" with the creature in some way will win it over if 3 successful Charisma rolls against the creature's rolls are made. Otherwise the party must defeat it. When it reaches 0 hp, its dissipates into a deep blue pool wave which soon flows away into he rest of  the surrounding water around the Loop, to return when another party appears.

 

 

Gaining Enlightenment

Each time the PCs work their way around the Loop, either they are shown a phrase which gives information to help on the path to enlightenment by the guardian or find it engraved above the archway as 3A as they step back into Area 3. There is never more than one engraving above the archway, and usually there are none. The information from each trip around the loop is as follows:

1st –  Forget all you believe and trust what you become (the guardian naga says this to the party if they balance the scales)

2nd – You must be everything and nothing to succeed

3rd – You won’t succeed at first, but a handful of effort will be enough

4th – Sometimes you have to fully live the lives of others in order to understand them

5th – Once you have experienced all Life has to offer, you can truly follow your path.

 

In order to gain the information to help on the path to enlightenment, the PCs will need to go through the 'B' archways to gain access to the challenges in the Loop. These archways can be used in any order. In fact, a party of 4 PCs could each use a different arch for each of the challenges, with any attempt to walk through the arches simultaneously being resolved through initiative rolls.

 

B i – Mark of the Holy

Any creature passing through the archway this symbol will become Good, with all the effects this has on their character. They then appear at A i as if the two paths are one. Once at A i they can not step back to B i. They will also need to pass around the Loop and meet its challenge before they can go back through 3B.

The following mark appears on the far left-hand side of a creatures forehead once they have walked through the archway and met the challenge in the Loop:

 

B ii – Mark of the Unholy

Any creature passing through the archway this symbol will become Evil, with all the effects this has on their character. They then appear at A ii as if the two paths are one. Once at A ii they can not step back to B ii. They will also need to pass around the Loop and meet its challenge before they can go back through 3B.

The following mark appears above the left eye on a creatures forehead once they have walked through the archway and met the challenge in the loop:

 

B iii – Mark of the Axiom

Any creature passing through the archway this symbol will become Lawful, with all the effects this has on their character. They then appear at A iii as if the two paths are one. Once at A iii they can not step back to B iii. They will also need to pass around the Loop and meet its challenge before they can go back through 3B.

The following mark appears above the right eye on a creatures forehead once they have walked through the archway and met the challenge in the loop:

 

B iv – Mark of Anarchy

Any creature passing through the archway this symbol will become Chaotic, with all the effects this has on their character. They then appear at A iv as if the two paths are one. Once at A iv they can not step back to B iv. They will also need to pass around the Loop and meet its challenge before they can go back through 3B.

The following mark appears on the far right-hand side of a creatures forehead once they have walked through the archway and met the challenge in the loop:

 

B v – Solid Wall

For anyone without the four Marks of Balance, this is a solid wall and the entrance to Area 4 simply doesn't exist and can not do so in any way short of direct divine intervention. It is a barrier created by the agreement of a number of deities and requires agreement between at least three of them for it to be opened for something that hasn't undertaken the five tests.

The entrance to Area 4 won't be open until a person walks through B i, B ii, B iii and B iv and receives the Marks of Balance upon them. Then anyone with all four marks will see that there isn’t really a wall there and will be able to carry on into the last caveThis could mean that some member of a party can see the entranceand even walk through it, whilst others can't see it. If this is the case, any PC that walks through the gap just seems to disappear into thin air to any PC that can't see the entrance.

 

4. The Forgotten Treasure

Once they step over its threshold and reach Area 4 to complete the quest, PCs will find themselves True Neutral, with the four marks gone but memories of their original alignment. As all the party members move into the passageway leading to the main chamber, it seals behind them, leaving no obvious way out of the cavern. The PCs are now expected to finish the quest; any attempt to travel out of the chamber is met with failure, as the sealing on the passage way is actually part of a process that transports the cave to the chests, not the other way around. The cave, and PCs in it, are now at the junction of the Planes of Law, Chaos, Evil and Good, where perfect balance between the four is achieved and only those of Neutral alignment can survive without being driven permanently insane. Original alignment can be retrieved and the details how to do so are at the end of this entry.

 

Forgotten Sacred Treasure Chest

A series of five similar chests are placed in this room. Each radiates a philosophical attitude – Neutral, Lawful, Chaotic, Good and Evil. Whatever the chests radiate is their true alignment, although you can project your own “feelings” onto it, thus the Evil chest could read as Lawful, Neutral or Chaotic Evil, depending on what you “expect” it to be. The chests are insubstantial and actually reside in their own plane of existence - Law, Chaos, Evil and Good. As anyone approaches them, that person is entering another plane from the point of Balance Alignment.  This makes the chest appear solid, not because it is appearing in the cave, but because the person is leaving the point where the cave mostly exists and entering a plane where the cave partially exists. As a PC moves towards the chest, she becomes increasingly insubstantial to anyone more than 10 feet away for each additional 5 feet they are apart. Anyone within 10 feet still sees the other person as solid and whole.

 

Only one chest can be opened. Each has its own alignment symbol on it. Once this is done, the rest go out of phase, never to return for these characters (the room is able to sense who has come within 100 feet of it at any time, and once they have entered any of the 'B' portals, their philosophical imprint is remembered.) The content of each chest is as follows:

 

Lawful – An Amulet of Health +2, a Monk’s Belt, a scroll with one each of the Law domain spells on it, a reflecting shield which can be called on 3 times per day to reflect spells with the Chaos descriptor back at the caster, a Bracelet of Friends and Lawful copies of the tome and candle listed below

 

Chaotic – A Golem Manual (Flesh), a Harp of Charming, a scroll with one each of the Chaos domain spells on it, a reflecting shield which can be called on 3 times per day to reflect spells with the Law descriptor back at the caster, a Bracelet of Friends and Chaotic copies of the tome and candle listed below

 

Good – A Horn of Goodness, a Strand of Prayer beads (Lesser), a scroll with one each of the Good domain spells on it, a reflecting shield which can be called on 3 times per day to reflect spells with the Evil descriptor back at the caster, a Bracelet of Friends and Good copies of the tome and candle listed below

 

Evil – A Cape of the Mountebank, a Horn of Evil, a scroll with one each of the Evil domain spells on it, a reflecting shield which can be called on 3 times per day to reflect spells with the Good descriptor back at the caster, a bracelet of Friends and Evil copies of the tome and candle listed below

 

Neutral – One bead for each PC. When grasped, these beads become a +1 weapon of their choice which is as close to the power of a shortsword as possible (for Medium creatures; max 1d6 damage, 19-20/ x2 critical, around 2lb. in weight), with either the Anarchic, Axiomatic, Holy or Unholy ability of their choice. There is also a Bracelet of friends and Neutral versions of the tome and candle listed below.

 

In each chest there is a thick book, and this is what Juriendor will choose as his item when the PCs return with all the treasure they have gained. It is bound in ironwood and lead as well as being sealed with beeswax. It is also shut up tightly with an amazing lock (DC 40 to open) and continually radiates an anti-magic shield around itself. It is a combined Tome of Leadership, Influence and Understanding +3, an artefact completed by the gods themselves, written from the viewpoint of each of the main alignments. The book also contains a cut-out space which houses a 4-use Candle of Invocation. These are usually attuned to a specific alignment, but the version within the tome is set to work for someone with one of the 4 main components regardless of the rest of the users alignment make-up, e.g the Lawful candle will work for Lawful Good, Lawful Neutral and Lawful Evil clerics.

If the PCs return with a tome and candle that match Juriendor's alignment in some way, he will use it as soon as possible. If they return with one that doesn't match his alignment, he will destroy it in an official ceremony and be rewarded by his deity with an increase in experience which takes him to the beginning of the next level. Juriendor will be eternally grateful to the PCs in either circumstance and will ensure their safety and security whenever they are in town and provide them with an Wand of Endless Cure Minor Wounds. Juriendor's deity will also watch over the PCs and provideas the GM sees fit.

 

After taking the items from the chosen chest, the path opens up from Area 4 back to Area 3B whilst the previous route to Area 4 seals behind them. The PCs can leave the site any time they wish. They will lose all memory of how to get to the site unless a wish is used by each of them at the same time to gather and corroborate their stories.

In order to return to their original alignment before leaving the caves, all a PC has to do is go back through the one or two routes which switch them back. No further challenges will occur in the Loop, although the polymorph ability at 3B will reactivate; above the archway at 3B, on both sides, will be a magic mouth which says, "Enter, leave, return once more." If a PC goes through this entrance, goes back and then comes back again, they polymorph into themselves. This is a slightly unnerving feeling, as if they have stepped into a parallel universe, although this isn't the case. It happens every time they do it.

The return trip to Juriendor will be uneventful, unless the GM wishes differently.