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Sidequest Saturday (Uralicans Uncut): Gateway to HEL

Whether they were entranced by psionic anomalies or herded here by avoiding bloodcensers, the PCs and their vessel head for Uklonjen’s gateway to HEL (which is on the way to the Ancestral Gateway, where the crystal compass points).

AAW-GitwercCover-color-02A particularly sordid gitwerc—Varg the Candlekeeper [the subject of tomorrow’s Statblock Sunday! -MM]—attempted to cross the great river of weapons some time ago, failing and instead finding himself here. The natives of the demiplane, while powerful and masters of their realm, are not equipped to capture Varg, and he ran rampant through the weakest among them for years. The gitwerc made far more bloodcandles than he required, and eventually, decided to brave the passage to HEL once more. After decades of work he has prepared a massive stone to transport himself across the bladed river, and with countless rituals using the soul-capturing tapers, opened what was once a blip between dimensions into a gateway nearly large enough for him to travel through.

A true vessel would serve Varg far better, however, and as soon as he becomes aware of the PCs’ ship (which happens the moment a bloodcenser is destroyed) the gitwerc decides it should be his own. As soon as the party are within 5 miles of the gateway to HEL, their passage is interrupted by a huge asteroid that reaches out with an infernal hand wreathed in psionic energies, holding it fast against it.

From out of the orange mist soars a massive stone easily a mile across, infernal runes covering the length of it. The asteroid spins toward you and as it nears the ship, a massive spectral arm of appears around the side, grabbing onto your vessel and drawing it onto the rocky surface!

The product of numerous bloodcandles, each 5-ft.-square of the arm (which has a space of 15 feet by 100 feet) has 100 hit points and fast healing 20; in order to free their ship, the party have to cut it off at least three 5-ft.-squares (either the arm or “claws”).

16 magaav (host devils) prowl within the Candlekeeper’s asteroid under the direction of Varg’s “first mate”, a contract devil named Haxskrekin. The hallways are lined with 200 lit bloodcandles, and anyone that succeeds on a DC 24 Spellcraft check realizes that they power the arm holding down the ship. It takes a swift action and ½ a flask of holy water to extinguish a bloodcandle, and they remain lit until Varg’s death or 4 hours, whichever comes first. Every corner outside of the direct line of sight of the helm has a 50% chance of containing a HEL spore.

HEL asteroid

Varg sits at the helm of the asteroid, directly across from his private quarters. As soon as a bloodcandle is extinguished the Candlekeeper sends his infernal guards to wear down intruders (if the patrolling devils don’t find trespassers first) and flees into the safety of the asteroid’s one room, waiting behind the 2-ft.-thick rough hewn stone door until his minions—or the adventurers—are dead.

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