The deadly Transgression is covered in more detail in two different Trap Tuesdays this month (here and here!), but not every creature exposed to the powerful effects of the Shard of the Sun is incinerated. Some survive the experience though few are ever left unchanged by the immense ray of energy that rage across Aventyr each day. When the results on Table SL-1: Ashen Death result in a mutation, roll on Table SL-2: Transgression Mutations to see what befalls those who “escape” an Ashen Death (acquiring one of the effects below and therein the ashen template).
[The Transgression and its Ashen Death are by writer Lance Keppner!]
DC 20 Knowledge (nature) to recognize “the Dead Man’s Rest” This plant closely resembles its cousin, the firebloom cactus, but though it has a similar size and shape as well as brown skin, short hairs, and an odor of honey, it offers anything but safe respite. Once a creature touches the trunk and brushes up against the hairs of this desert flora, spines shoot out from inside the trunk (Atk +2, 1d2 points of piercing damage + DC 15 Fortitude save or paralyzed and 1d3 Constitution drain per round). Once injected into the victim the spines inject a paralytic poison that traps the creature in place while the tree siphons all nutrients and when its prey is unconscious or dead, the overgrowth on the tree opens and vine like tendrils grab the body, slowly pulling it up and placing it prone on top of the corpse cactus. Here the plant sucks the victim bone dry, adding the remaining bulk to its “sun shield”.
[The Corpse Cactus is one of many exotic flora by writer Lance Keppner! Art by Sara Shijo!]
During this daily period of intense heat, Fortitude saves against the environment need to be made by creatures involved in strenuous activities (such as combat) in an exposed area but are otherwise unnecessary. During the direct Transgression as temperatures rise to greater than 240° F (115° C), unprotected creatures must make a Fortitude Save (DC 15 +1 per previous check) or take 10d6 points of damage (half damage on a successful save). Half of this damage is considered fire damage and the other half is untyped. The direct Transgression lasts for 66 seconds (11 rounds; “the dread 66”). Any creature slain by the Shard must make a DC 20 Will save or be affected by the Ashen Death (see Table SL-1: Ashen Death).
TABLE SL-1: Ashen Death
Creature explodes in a burst of ash; any creatures within a 10-ft.-radius are afflicted with ashen miasma.
Creature immediately rises as an ashen version of itself.
Creature rises as an ashen version of itself after 1d4 days.
Creature explodes with sun magic, dealing hit dice x d4 fire damage to all creatures within a 5-ft.-radius.
Creature is returned to life (at 1 hp) after 1 minute and suffers a permanent charred appearance, taking a permanent -1 penalty to Constitution and Charisma. Roll on Table SL-2: Transgression Mutations.
Creature is returned to life after 1 minute with full hit points and a permanent charred appearance, as well as a +1 natural armor bonus and +1 racial bonus to Charisma. Roll on Table SL-2: Transgression Mutations. [Next week’s Trap Tuesday! —MM]
[The Transgression is by Scorched Lands writer Lance Keppner!]
[The Transgression is a major element of the Scorched Lands and over the next few weeks we’re revealing the rest of it on next week’s Trap Tuesday! Stay tuned! —MM]
The Shard of the Sun passes over the Scorched Lands twice daily, once around midnight and again around noon (always 12 hours apart on a semi sun-synchronous orbit). As the planet rotates below the Shard is always between it and the sun during noon (or midnight) local time. The Transgression, as it is formally called, takes approximately one hour from the time the Shard appears on the eastern horizon until it passes completely under the western sky. During the Transgression a bright “second sun” appears in the sky emanating waves of heat and bright light; as the Shard reaches the apex of the noon sky temperatures rise drastically, reaching upwards of 240° Fahrenheit (115° C). Fortunately these extreme temperatures last for only “the dead 6’s”, (66 seconds) as the Shard passes directly overhead and the surface experiences the full blast of its power. This burning heat can be endured as long as one takes shelter or finds cover from the direct rays of the Shard; the nightly passing of the Shard has no adverse effects as it receives no power from the sun.
While the Shard of the Sun scorches the land below and destroys most life, a strange residual effect occurs in the Scorched Lands where its touch graces Aventyr—the entire zone is affected by a permanent endure elements spell. Any creature that spends at least 10 minutes in the Scorched Lands’ borders are affected by this phenomena and it lasts until 24 hours are spent outside of the zone, minimizing any heat dangers except during the direct Transgression (dangerous temperatures only exist for 5 minutes before and after the Shard’s direct passing; no environmental checks are required outside of this time.)
[The Transgression is by Scorched Lands writer Lance Keppner!]
Ravine Built into the crust of Aventyr in the central portion of the Scorched Lands is the city of Ravine, the largest settlement of the region. Hovels and dwellings crowd the sides of the busy canyon walls, while the surface level is left almost completely barren save for the sheltered guard posts and canyon lifts.. At the lowest level a stream of fresh, cool water runs throughout the canyon floor, created from a natural aquifer deep underground that runs south and west into the fissures. Pilgrims of all sorts have lived and survived here for centuries, each generation building dwellings closer and closer to the surface as space becomes more limited. The most prized and ancient of dwellings near the canyon floor are sought after and conspired for, often in the nearby market level’s giant lifts (spaced sporadically throughout to ferry goods to and from the surface on giant rock-counterweight scales). Silver plated reflectors set up along the sides of some of the canyon walls reflect sunlight into special cutout terraces that, with irrigation from the stream, provide food for the citizens.
Ravine is run by an elected mayor that serves a five year term and all positions of power within the city are elected officials or appointed by the mayor.
RAVINE N metropolis Corruption +4; Crime +1; Economy +7; Law +5; Lore +6; Society +6 Qualities notorious, prosperous, rumormongering citizens, strategic location, superstitious, tourist attraction Danger +20
DEMOGRAPHICS Government autocracy Population 75,000 (48,000 humans, 7,000 half-orcs, 6,000 half-elves, 14,000 other) Notable NPCs Mayor Wells Sunprince (N Male half-elf rogue 13) Kara the Sun Flea (NG Female human investigator 5/bard 4) [this week’s Statblock Sunday! —MM] Master Pilgrim Sandra Waster (LN Female half-orc ranger 8)
MARKETPLACE Base Value 35,692 gp; Purchase Limit 225,000 gp; Spellcasting 8th Minor Items *; Medium Items 4d4; Major Items 3d4