BloodcenserCR 11 XP12,800 LE persistent haunt (25 ft.-radius circle around floating green-flamed censer) CasterLevel 10th Notice Perception DC 26 (to hear screams of the damned) hp 45; Weakness force damage;Trigger proximity; Reset 1 minute Effect When this haunt is triggered, all creatures within the bloodcenser’s area takes 10d10 slashing damage (DC 16 Reflex save halves). Creatures that roll a natural 1, 2, or 3 on the save take double damage instead. Whenever a creature is slain by the bloodcenser haunt, its area of effect increases +5 ft. for every hit die that creature possessed, diminishing at a rate of 5 ft. per round until it returns to its normal size.
Destruction A powerful artifice of the gitwerc, a bloodcenser haunt can only be destroyed by extinguishing the life force of the creature that created it (in this case, Vrag the Candlekeeper [an antagonist we’ll highlight on Sunday! -MM]).
AdventureHook As the PCs make their way to the Ancestral Gateway (using the crystal compass) they notice that bloodcensers litter the way forward, all of the strange green-flamed haunts scattered across space in an arrangement that will make it enormously difficult to move forward without relenting to one narrow channel that takes them near another gateway into Uklonjen. Using the aforementioned psionic item, an adventurer can pinpoint where in space all of the bloodcensers lay with a DC 25 Knowledge (planes) check, and with a DC 30 Profession (sailor) or Profession (soldier) check, pilot the vessel around these hazards; otherwise, there’s no route forward that won’t mean coming across several dozens of these haunts.
Type psionic; Search/Perception DC 27; Disable Device DC 27 Trigger location; Reset none Effect power effects (dimension swap, DC 18 Will save or position is swapped with 1 random guard; Will DC 20 to negate suspend life upon arrival)
HEL spores are littered across the hallways of Varg the Candlekeeper’s asteroid [This Sidequest Saturday! -MM] and represent a serious danger to any creatures that fail to notice them. Often tucked away into the corners of the the stone hallways, the red-black anomalies resemble drops of liquid suspended in mid-air, though a HEL spore is always anchored—however tenuously—to a surface from above and the side.
A creature witnessing a HEL spore in action that makes aDC 30 Spellcraft check recognizes that more than one supernatural effect is at work when a creature targeted by the trap disappears, and aDC 30 Knowledge (psionics) check realizes that this second effect is suspend life. The arrival of a guard (in this case, a magaav) is obvious, however, and the recently teleported NPC receives a free surprise round before the party gets to act.
DESCRIPTION This unusual assortment of crystals remains hovering in the air, twisting to point in a particular direction.
The crystal compass can be used a sextant, but its functions for navigation go far beyond simple mechanical aid, projecting a star chart in a hemisphere around whatever space it is inside or out to 20 feet (whichever comes first). This star chart is always anchored around the Ancestral Gateway that leads to the kingdom of Rybalka in Aventyr and shows where the crystal compass is in relation to it. The crystal compass can always provide this map, regardless of where it is in relation to the Ancestral Gateway. A DC 15 Knowledge (planes) check allows a creature to discern where exactly the ship is in this star chart.
Once per day, the spirit of the crystal compass’ creator can be summoned to ask one question about navigation. The spirit answers as truthfully as it can; if it cannot provide a direct route to wherever the questioner wishes to go, it does its best to get them pointed in the right direction.
Success on a Knowledge (psionics) check to learn more about the crystal compass reveals some facts about the unique item’s lore: DC 15 These strange devices are highly prized by sages of Aventyr; they claim the unique sextants are artifacts of a powerful, forgotten civilization that traveled across the very stars. DC 20 The creators of the crystal compass were known as Uralicans, strange warrior-raiders with potent powers of the mind. DC 25 Uralicans traveled in vessels that floated above the ground with no aid of alchemy or magic, but another unknown force tied to otherworldly energies. DC 30 These airships were powered by xyrx crystals, and the crystal compass is made from the same material.
CONSTRUCTION RequirementsCraft Wondrous Item, Craft (gems) 7 ranks, xyrx crystal, anchored navigation;Cost 23,500 gp
TACTICS Before Combat The tyngdekraften manifests concussive onslaught on a grouping of enemies, sending them scattering. During Combat Wading into the most potent lifeforce (creatures with power points or spell levels), the tyngdekraften attempts to suck away their life force with void drain, attacking anything else getting in the way with quickened swarm of crystal. Should their prey continually try to escape, the construct uses quickened wall of ectoplasm to confine its meal. Morale While intelligent, a tyngdekraften’s thirst for other creatures’ life force is too potent to ignore. When reduced to 40 hit points or less it manifests shrapnel burst, continuing to fight until destroyed.
STATISTICS Str 26, Dex 6, Con —, Int 13, Wis 15, Cha 12 Base Atk +19; CMB +29; CMD 37 Feats Combat Manifestation, Ghost Attack, Hover, Improved Initiative, Improved Natural Attack (slam), Psi-Like Ability Focus (gravitational anchor), Quicken Psi-Like Ability (swarm of crystals), Quicken Psi-Like Ability (wall of ectoplasm), Toughness, Wingover Skills Acrobatics +11, Fly +11, Perception +13, Psicraft +13, Sense Motive +20, Stealth -10; Racial Modifiers +10 Sense Motive; Size Modifiers -8 Stealth Languages Common, Uklon; telepathy 200 ft.
SPECIAL ABILITIES Void Drain (Ps) Any creature hit by a tyngdekraften’s slam attack must make a DC 21 Will save or be affected as though hit by an instantaneous power leech. If the target creature does not have any power points, it loses 1d6 spell levels (starting from the highest spell slot); if they have no spell levels, they take 1d4 ability damage to a random attribute (roll 1d6 to determine which) instead. For every spell level or attribute point drained this way, the tyngdekraften’s fast healing increases by 1 for 5 rounds. Void Gravity (Ps) Tyngdekraften are always found alone because they are constantly draining the life force of the environment and creatures around them; the latent psionic energies of Uklonjen grant it fast healing 3 and create small plots of aggregated debris around the creature. As a standard action, it may focus on any one specific object within HD x 1,000 feet and begin drawing it towards it at a speed of 500 feet per round should the object succeed a DC 35 Will save.
Alternatively, the tyngdekraften can spend a swift action to use its void gravity as a pull special attack on any creature within 100 feet, forcing the target creature to succeed on a combat maneuver check against its CMD or be pulled 50 feet closer to the tyngdekraften.
A few of Aventyr’s greatest scholars have heard of these fell creatures of the void, and believe tyngdekraften to be distant cousins to the vidre of the Underworld. None are sure, of course, because the chances of seeing one are extremely remote, and the odds of surviving an encounter with a tyngdekraften are even slimmer.
As the party sails off from Timeaus in their new airship (either a skyfang or black arrow model), a DC 25 Perception check notices that the principal navigation tool—a compass made of crystal—is vibrating slightly. After a minute of quivering, it begins to rattle and the DC of the Perception check lowers to 18, although by then it is too late. The PCs’ vessel flies right into a vacuum mine, denying the engines of any air (along with the adventurers!) as the ship plummets!
The crystal compass [more on that on Monday! -MM] pulsates wildly with light and power as the ship falls, and any PC with ranks in Knowledge (planes) or Knowledge (psionics) can make a DC 15 check to realize that it is trying to tear the veil between realms (and if they succeed and are intent on figuring things out, a DC 18 Spellcraft check reveals that with a bit of aid, it can succeed.
As as soon as any creature makes physical contact with the (now blinking and shuddering) crystal compass, everyone on the vessel makes a DC 35 Will save or is transported away from Aventyr along with the ship (offer anyone that makes the save an opportunity to relinquish their resolve when they see the ship fading away).
The wind whistles wildly in your ears as your vessel plummets through the air, the blinking of the crystal compass encouraging a sense of panic as chaos reigns supreme in the freefall. Someone grasps at the blinking navigational instrument, and the world flashes around you in a kaleidoscope of colors that affront your senses. Nearing the ground it seems the end is near, but then the world seems to fade from existence, replaced by vast blackness intermittently broken by a field of starlight and floating planetoids.
The PCs and their ship have landed in the demiplane of Uklonjen, a light gravity realm nominally ruled over by the ancestors of the Vikmordere, a peoples cut off from an advanced civilization that collapsed upon itself. Unfortunately for the party, their ship arrives in the immediate vicinity of a tyngdekraften, one of the dangerous creatures in this interstellar place! [More on that tomorrow, I swear! -MM]
Anyone piloting the ship can make a DC 34 Profession (sailor) or Profession (soldier)check to right the vessel and avoid the hazardous trap of the tyngdekraften, but otherwise, the vessel is pulled down at 500 feet a round into a magnetized gravity well (the purple swirl on the bottom right hand corner) that holds it in place. While the creature still lives, moving the vessel is nearly impossible and requires five consecutiveDC 24 Profession (sailor) or Profession (soldier) checks to break the otherworldy monster’s hold.
1d10+1 rounds later, the tyngdekraften appears and assails the party, or if they’ve holed up inside the vessel, the ship itself!