The craziness of the AaWBlog could not be contained within the month of May, and thus insanity abounds throughout Maddening May! Fight off strange slugs, explore a sunken insane asylum, and traverse the Dar’spelun Slugmarsh—if you’re brave enough for it.
Read up on Maddening May here and here!
In case you somehow missed it, we collected all of the amazing content from the Hungering Jungle of NaeraCull in FOUR FREE PDFs you can get right here on AdventureAWeek.com!
Of course, regular readers already know what happened in October: we got spooky with Macabre Manses. There are several haunted houses to explore, written by Rory Toma, Justin Andrew Mason, and RPG Superstar Steve Helt!
Explore the Macabre Manses here and here!
Stay tuned! More is coming down the line for Remember in December, and if you check in next week, details on the AaWBlog Adventure Path!
The Stone Sentinels of NaeraCull are several immense figures, each standing over 50-feet tall, that appear to be large humanoids carved from the stone of the Stepping Mountain. The mountain itself draws its name from the fact that several of the Sentinels stand with heavy stone vistas hoisted upon their shoulders. These extend behind them to brace the mountainside, creating a series of outcroppings that from the distance appear to be steps up the side of the towering mountain.
Representing both male and female humanoids, the Stone Sentinels are depicted unclothed and without accoutrements. While several elevate the stone vistas, others seem to be in various states of pose; some sitting, lying, or kneeling. One of the gigantic figures even supports an elaborate, now abandoned, structure that was long ago built upon one particularly large vista. The one thing that all of the titanic figures have in common is that each and every one of them is turned to face southwest towards the distant valley that extends from the storm-wreathed Drakesdown Mountain.
The origin and history of the Stone sentinels has been forgotten to time, and even the oldest of creatures in NaeraCull cannot recall a time before their existence. For those learned whom do delve into such historical mysteries, the Stone Sentinels of NaeraCull offer a note of interest, but little more. It seems that scholars cannot agree on the origin or purpose of the Sentinels and pursuing the matter further than, “no one really knows,” is taboo.
Shout of the Sentinels CR 2
CN haunt (all Stone Sentinels)
Caster Level 5th
Notice obvious (no check required)
Trigger removal of the earthbound gem from the Stone Sentinel at Grimstark Stoneturner’s excavation site.
Reset never (though it repeats for each of the sentinels if their “hearts” are ever removed).
When Grimstark’s excavation of the Stone Sentinel reaches its core, he discovers the earthbound gem and promptly removes it.
Effect When the “heart” is removed from the Stone Sentinel, the statue suddenly seems to come to life. The figure stands straight up, sending light debris falling down all around it. Outstretching its arms, palms-down, to the sides, it speaks with a near deafening, booming voice. In the Giant language the Sentinel loudly shouts, “To the earth I commend my spirit. Before my brethren, I return from whence I was wrought.”
After the sentinel speaks the words, countless cracks emerge and crawl across the surface of its body—in an instant it collapses into a pile of featureless rubble.
Shout of the Sentinels
In the moments after the Sentinel is destroyed, the dust cloud it left lingering behind dissipates. One of the other Stone Sentinels suddenly opens its mouth and a booming, deep hum-like harmonic resonates from within it. After a few seconds a dozen other sentinels join the first, each emitting a baritone drone in various octaves that generates a tingling sensation upon the bodies of all creatures in the surrounding area.
The drone of the sentinels is unimaginably loud and can be clearly heard as far as 25 miles away from the site. All creatures on the mountainside must make a DC 15 Fortitude save or be deafened for 2d6 hours as their ears trickle of blood and constantly ring with a sound similar to the resonating alarm being emitted by the Stone Sentinels. Any creature affected by this deafness for more than 6 hours must make a DC 20 Will save or be driven insane (a psychosis that lingers for 1d4 days) by the unending drone.
After a one round all of the remaining sentinels join the chorus, and the resonance causes the ground to shake upon the entire mountainside, triggering the wrath of the effigy landslide trap. As the debris and boulders tumble down, all of the sentinels stop their shout in unison, close their mouths, and return to the state they were in before the haunt activated.
Destruction The only way to stop the haunt once it is triggered is to place the earthbound gem back into the core of the Stone Sentinel before it self-destructs.
Wrath of the Effigy CR 2
The Stone Sentinels of NaeraCull are mounted upon the southwest side of a steeply inclined mountain face. There are several natural outcroppings and ledges that dot the landscape as well as piles of eroded debris and large boulders; trap takes place on that mountain face.
Type magical; Perception —, Disable Device —
Trigger event (shout of the Sentinels haunt); Reset none
This trap is triggered by the shout of the Sentinels haunt [detailed in tomorrow’s post! -JAM]. When the haunt triggers the ground trembles violently for two rounds, causing much of the loose boulders and debris resting upon the incline to come tumbling down. The falling debris strikes the Stone Sentinels, but causes very little damage due to their size and hardness.
Effect A torrent of debris, followed by several large rolling boulders, crashes down the mountainside. To avoid the debris creatures must succeed a DC 12 Reflex save. If failed, the creature takes 1d4 points of bludgeoning damage from tumbling debris and falls prone.
There is a 50% chance that one of the enormous, rolling boulders comes towards any one creature. The boulders—while deadly—are large and highly visible, and thus easily avoided. A creature in the path of one of these massive rolling stones must succeed a DC 6 Reflex save or take 4d6 points of damage and be knocked unconscious for 1d6 rounds.
Note: This trap affects all creatures located at Grimstark Stoneturner’s excavation site.
Aura faint transmutation; CL 7th
Slot none; Price 5,200 gp; Weight 15 lb.
This multi-faceted gemstone is as large as a human skull, and noticeably heavy for its size. It glows from within with a faint amber light that pulsates rhythmically (similar to a heartbeat), gently vibrating as each pulse reaches its apex of intensity.
Once per day an earthbound gem allows its user to use a number of different spell-like abilities: soften earth and stone (CL 3rd) once per day, stone shape (CL 5th) once per week, and transmute rock to mud (CL 7th) once per month. Each time the earthbound gem is used there is a cumulative 1% chance that the user is turned to stone as flesh to stone (CL 11th). This cumulative chance only dissipates if the earthbound gem is unused for a full. An earthbound gem is activated when the user holds the large jewel in one hand and uses their other hand to touch the target of its spell-like abilities.
Success on a Knowledge (history) check to learn more about an earthbound gem reveals some facts about the unique item’s lore:
DC 15 Legends surrounding the creation of the Stone Sentinels of NaeraCull mention that even after the titanic creatures were petrified, their hearts still beat, the life-force within sustaining their existence in a motionless state where they are forced to helplessly gaze out over the land they so loved. [More informationcan be found in Grimstark Stoneturner’s Research!]
DC 20 Some researchers claim that earthbound gems are used to animate the inanimate. The existence of this magic item within the core of one of the Stone Sentinels brings to question whether they are simply statues or instead immobile living constructs.
DC 25 While not exceedingly powerful, earthbound gems are exceptionally rare because they are notoriously difficult to craft. Earthbound gems are highly sought after by artificers as a core component in the construction of many powerful stone-based constructs and golems.
Before starting to craft an earthbound gem, the ruby components must be stored together in a stone mold and heated to a red-hot glow once per day for six months (to create the single massive gem); otherwise the gem cracks during the crafting attempt.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, cluster of rubies with a combined value of at 1,000 gp or more, soften stone and earth, stone shape, transmute rock to mud, dancing lights, permanency; Cost 2,600 gp