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Wandering Wasteland: PRANKSTER Isle

The PCs have tracked the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. operations to the Grave Morass and sure enough, floating out on the lake of tar and sludge is a fortress where the criminal cabal has been hard at work. Now is the perfect time for the adventurers to disrupt the manufacture of a deadly biomechanical threat soon to be unleashed on Mohkba, the Klavek Kingdom, and the whole of Aventyr!

grave morassThis island in the Grave Morass is 250-ft. in diameter. On its southwestern shore is a 20-ft.-radius shed made from recycled metals (Bleirvar’s Workshop), on its southeastern shore is another almost identical building (slightly smaller and more angular, 15 ft. by 15 ft.) where supplies are kept, and on the north side of the landmass is a much larger shanty (40 ft. wide and across) that serves as the barracks for P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. agents.

Anyone approaching the northern shore of the island risks alerting the guards in the barracks (PRANKSTER Hirelings and PRANKSTER thugs) and while approaching from any other direction is stealthier, there is a 50% chance the PCs trigger a tar pit trap when doing so. A patrol of one hireling and two thugs walk the perimeter of the island on a leisurely lookout every 30 minutes, keen for anomalies coming from Bleirvar’s Workshop or the intervention of the meddling adventurers that have plagued the cabal’s plans for some time now. When the party is detected, P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. pour out of the barracks at a rate of 1d4 hirelings and 2d4 thugs every round (in total there are 6 hirelings and 12 thugs on the island).

The primary targets of the PCs are the Storage shanty and Bleirvar’s Workshop. Within the former the party finds two contraband cyphersthough one is empty, the other is filled by a screaming cesspool of abominated heads and limbs about the size of a children’s doll. The biomancer spends most of the time in his Workshop, carefully tending to a vast array of esoteric equipment and machines that synthesize magic and science. These devices are quite fragile and in some cases volatile; if even one device is utterly destroyed (beyond the reach of mending) or lost in the muck of the Grave Morass, the entire production process will be halted for weeks as the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. restart the operation.Bleirvar the Biomancer (Final-Mezadev-C)

As soon as he becomes aware of trespassers on PRANKSTER Isle, Bleirvar ceases the rituals required to incubate skurgxon in the pool of alchemical reagents outside of his Workshop (heated by the Transgression and catalyzed by mentis quie blooms taken from the Vast Swamp) to face the intruders. If his desk hasn’t been raided and emptied by the PCs already, he grabs his crystal ball and wand of animate dead (CL 7th, 7 charges) and fills the battlefield with undead to supplement whatever PRANKSTER underlings are still fighting.

Between Bleirvar’s boasts in combat (sure of his victory, he has no compunctions or modesty regarding the age of chaos and destruction his twisted creations herald) and inspection of his Workshop, the party easily conclude that skurgxon have been prepared for a terrorizing assault in Mohkba! Anyone able to detect magic easily recognizes that powerful conjuration magic—almost certainly teleport spells—was recently used several times recently, and records in the biomancer’s desk (a DC 14 Perception check) confirm that as many as 3 agents have already received their shipment of biomechanical horrors.

A few minutes after the battle ends, Jesker the Great arrives via teleport to share what he’s learned—all information the party has recently uncovered for themselves. With such a dire threat looming ahead the wizard wastes no time, casting conjuration spells in a flurry to rapidly bring the party to Mohkba to stop the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. Unfortunately at the last minute he mumbles, “oh no, they were expecting me! Hold onto your helmets!” just as the world dissolves in white and the adventurers suddenly find themselves with a very, very big problem. [The players are in for a bigor rather small surprise. Tune in next week as the party find themselves in Mohkba! —SP]

5E Rules

Searching Bleirvar’s desk for his records regarding skurgxon deliveries requires a DC 11 Intelligence (Investigation) check.


[Submitted by Stephanos ‘netlich’ Patelis!]

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Wandering Wasteland: Part 2

scowl carver (mutant)After landing in the Scorched Lands, the PCs pick up on the trail of the nefarious P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R. cabal. Heading off into the desert they find the Canyon March, a network of smugglers that help escaped slaves reach freedom. Unfortunately they aren’t the only ones traveling into the sand and the PCs are soon forced to either help defend or kill a mutant named Scowl Carver. Either way they garner a few pairs of striding boots and some valuable information on where the nefarious faction was operating in the wastelands.

Heading back to Ravine and canvassing the city doesn’t drum up any new information and though at first it seems like the criminal group has given the party the slip, that very night a host of P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. fall upon the PCs while they sleep! Fortunately some evidence on their boots lead the adventurers to one conclusion: whatever the nefarious cabal is up to, they are active in the dreaded Grave Morass on the southern reaches of the Scorched Lands.

corpse cactus (reduced)More dangers of the desert threaten the PCs as they travel—lethal respite offered by corpse cactii, devious merchants with equally fell gifts, the scorching Transgression [the final reveal of its full effects! —MM], magically aggressive tar changed by the passing of the Shard of the Sun, and the restless spirits of those creatures claimed by the ash, oil, and sand pit long ago—but nothing as deadly as what awaits them in the Grave Morass.

Bleirvar the Biomancer (Final-Mezadev-C)Tune in tomorrow to see how Bleirvar the Biomancer fits into Wandering Wasteland and why the PCs need to collect as many contraband cyphers as they possibly can!

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Wandering Wasteland: Grave Morass

grave morassWhatever catastrophe or circumstances led to the creation of the Grave Morass ensured the death of an untold number of primitive peoples and primordial beasts that sheltered in its canyon-like confines rather than suffer the prowling undead of NaeraCull’s jungles. Macabre scholars believe it an irony of the gods that these residents have become animated themselves, and none know how many of them persist or where they might tread when beneath the surface of the black. Exploratory parties sent by the warlords of the deserts or Ravine’s politicians rarely return, prompting the rulers of the southern reaches of the Scorched Lands to keep no small amount of anti-undead equipment and holy water close at hand.

Undead of the Grave Morass
Any type of non-cold skeletal undead can rise from the tar of the Grave Morass, but these animated creatures are predominantly humanoids and large primordial beasts (such as dinosaurs, mammoths, and sabertooth tigers). There is a 50% chance that the tar covering the undead that rise here has been magically affected by The Transgression and attacks from these undead have a chance of inflicting the tarred condition; each hit dice an undead possesses grants one such consecutive attack. For example, a 4 HD skeleton with two weapons would grant the tarred condition for one attack after charging, two attacks during a full-round attack the next round, and the first of its next attacks during a full-round attack the following round (but no more afterward). Any undead able to inflict the tarred condition in this way increase their CR by +1.

Tarred: You take a -4 penalty to all Charisma-based skill checks. Spells that target you instead affect a random target within 30 feet (no save) and have a 10% chance per caster level of triggering a random effect from the list below. The tarred condition can only be removed via dispel magic (CL 18th), heal, limited wish, miracle, or a wish. After 2d4+1 days the tarred condition alleviates itself as the substance crumbles away.
1 – Splay: targeted spell now affects all targets within 30 ft. of the original target
2 – Negate: targeted spell is negated and has no effect
3 – Damaging: targeted spell does twice the damage (in the case of spells that do not deal damage, double duration)
4 – Penetrating: targeted spell grants its caster a +10 circumstance bonus to bypass spell resistance
5 – Tricky: the saving throw DC(s) for the targeted spell are increased by +5
6 – Rebound: targeted spell also rebounds back on its caster