Thursday, March 12, 2009

Darkness at Hope Cross Part 3

Well, here's the rest of DaHC - sans maps - I'll try to work on those soon and put this together into a pdf...

E. The Temple of Darkness

E1. The sheep carcass
This crevice in the rock was hidden by a large boulder previous to the great storm that swept through the area. The stream shifted the stone enough that when Adam Shepherd’s sheep fell into the stream, it was swept into this cave. It was the sheep’s cries that drew Adam to this cave where he found a handful of sealed clay pots in which were scrolls of an ancient language. (Note: There are few experts in the language - over 1000 years out of use - so getting a translation could prove difficult for the PCs). Thinking he might find real treasure deeper in the cave, he left the ewe behind and explored the caves. There are 8 pots with scrolls in them. The scrolls are religious texts dealing with a pantheon of 13 gods – air, water, stone, fire, love, hate, darkness, fate, chance, life, death, chaos, and order. These are old gods, elemental powers, really, worshipped ages ago by the people of the area.

E2. Steps up into the darkness
At the back of the cave there is a 3’ high opening about 8’ above the floor. That opening rises in steps to area 3.

E3. Poison Pool
This cave contains another dozen clay pots with scrolls in them as in area 1 above. In an alcove in the western wall is a pool of water. Steps have been carved into the rock leading down to the edge of the pool. Two human skeletons lie half submerged in the pool. One has a gold medallion (100gp value) depicting the symbol of darkness. The water here is poisoned by some liquid mercury(quicksilver) that polluted the water here. The water poisoned all of the followers of the god of darkness in this temple. The level of mercury in the water is such that it would take years for someone to die of exposure and downstream, where the underground stream meets seven stone creek, the mercury content is sufficiently diluted to not be a threat to anyone downstream.

E4. Smooth Stones
Hand and foot holds have been cut in the rock here, climbing 50’ up a natural stone chimney. Decades of use have worn the stones smooth.

E5. Frescoes of the Old Gods
This natural cavern gives way to worked stone. The walls of the east end of this space are covered in mosaics depicting acts of the old gods – fate and chance battling; air, stone, fire and water creating the world; fire and water destroying human beings; etc. The images are primal and depict the old gods’ power over all creation and, especially, their dominance of humans, demi-humans and humanoids. The corridor ends in two sealed doors. They are cast iron and depict the gods again in various activities. These monstrosities are each 6’ wide, 10’ high and must be at least 18” thick (if they manage to destroy the doors or open them, they will discover that they are a sandwich of 2” thick cast iron, 6” thick oak timber, 2” thick iron straps, 6” thick oak timber, 2” thick cast iron). The doors are wizard locked (at 15th level) and barred from the inside.

Note that from this chamber on, the pull of the Avatar of Darkness (see 15 and New Monster) becomes strong. Characters will have to make will checks (save vs. Death Magic) every round or begin moving toward the Inner Darkness and the presence of the Avatar of Darkness.

E6. Secret Room
This small room was a secret guard chamber when the temple was active. The secret door here (normal chance to detect) is very narrow. Fully armored characters might have a chance to get stuck here. Full plate (80% chance), Scale mail (40% chance), Banded, Ring, Splint mail (20% chance).

This would only be an annoyance except that the Avatar of Darkness has summoned two shadows and posted them in this otherwise empty room.

SHADOW (2): AC 7; MV 120’; HD 3+3; hp 19,21; THAC0 16; #AT 1; D 2-5; SA Drain STR; SD +1 wpn to-hit, 90% Hide in Shadows; SZ M; Int Low; AL CE; XP 301, 309 (MM)

E7. High Priest’s Chambers/servant’s chamber
These chambers were the High Priest’s chambers. They were opulent, hundreds of years ago, now having fallen to the same decay that has claimed most of this complex. In the main room, seated on a huge bone throne is a corpse. When the full party is in the room, each must make a save vs. magic. Failure means the character is teleported to a random place (consult the following table). The corpse is actually a Crypt Thing, which will not reveal its identity unless attacked.

CRYPT THING: AC 3; MV 120’; HD 6; hp 31; THAC0 13; #AT 1; D 1-8; SA Teleportation; SD +1 wpn to-hit; SZ M; Int Very; AL N; XP 461. (FF)

%roll Teleport location
01-20 Room 3 (Poison Pool)
21-40 Room 5 (Frescoes of the Old Gods)
41-60 Room 8 (Sanctuary)
61-80 Room 11 (Common Room)
81-90 Room 14 (The Black Pool)
91-95 Room 14g (The Old One)
96-00 Room 15 (The Inner Darkness)

E8. Sanctuary
This room is under the effects of continual darkness (at 20th level). Since the room is completely dark, PCs will need some kind of magical method of seeing for feel their way around in the dark. Secret doors will be virtually undetectable in this darkness.

Thirteen statues form an arc in this room – each one is a representation of one of the Old Gods. They are, clockwise from the south east, air, water, love, fate, order, life, darkness, death, chaos, chance, hate, fire, and stone. All have been defaced, knocked over, broken, except the statue of Darkness. When the Avatar of Darkness possessed Adam Shepherd, he directed him to destroy the other gods before sending him out to “spread the darkness.”

In the center of the dais on the Eastern wall is an altar. The stone is stained dark and there is a channel cut into it to a drain hole in the floor. There is also a small (about 1’ in diameter) hole in the floor (down which the priests would throw the remains of the animal sacrifices of old) which leads to area 14, the chamber of the Old One.

Hiding in the darkness are three more shadows who will attack at first opportunity.

SHADOW (3): AC 7; MV 120’; HD 3+3; hp 16, 18, 24; THAC0 16; #AT 1; D 2-5; SA Drain STR; SD +1 wpn to-hit, 90% Hide in Shadows; SZ M; Int Low; AL CE; XP 289,297, 321. (MM)

E9. Hidden Sacristy/Sacrifice Room
This hidden room was used for the true sacrifices to the old gods. Humans, demi-humans and humanoids were routinely brought here, laid on a huge stone table (with channels cut in it draining to a small hole, as in the Sanctuary, draining into area 14) and their hearts were cut out. Frescoes on the wall reveal the ancient and disturbing rituals – which included cannibalism.

The room holds the remains of a number of ritual knives, bowls, and the like. In addition, there are 5 amulets hanging on the Eastern wall – each contains the symbol of darkness and is fashioned of silver (value is about 50 gp each). The leather thongs will disintegrate quickly with use. Also, about 8” down the sacrifice drain is a small diamond (worth 500 gp).

The very center of the room (indicated on the map by the dashed line) is dirt covered wood, very old and 95% likely to collapse under any weight. A character falling into the hidden room takes 1d6 damage from the fall. Disturbing the room at (even by walking on the wood) wakes the bats that live in the chamber. They burst out from under the wooden floor and swoop around the room for 2 rounds before leaving the chamber. The bats will not attack, though they will confuse spell casting, fly into torches, etc.

Bat (64): AC 8; MV 10’/240’; MC: B; HD ¼ ; hp 1; THAC0 20; #AT 1; D 1; SA Swarm; SZ S; Int Anim; AL N; XP 1. (MM2)

In this small chamber, previously accessed via a trap door and a wooden ladder (which has rotted away) is the remains of a bed and a small wooden cabinet. The cabinet is nearly buried in bat guano and contains 18 gp, 39 sp, and 8 potions. The cabinet is, however, in terrible disrepair. Unless the character takes some kind of precautions, he or she must make a Dex check (at -4 Dex or less on d20) or have the cabinet fall apart destroying 1-8 of the potions inside. In addition, the cabinet is infested with 16 Rot Grubs.

ROT GRUB (16): AC 9; MV 10’; HD ¼ ; hp 1; THAC0 -; #AT -; D -; SA Burrow (1-6 + 1-3 till death); SZ S; Int Non; AL N; XP - (MM)

The potions in the cabinet are:
1. Green Dragon Control
2. Fire Resistance
3. Frost Giant Strength
4. Healing
5. Invisibility
6. Oil of Etherealness
7. Polymorph Self
8. Speed

9a. Sacrifice Preparation Chamber
This small camber off the hidden sacristy was the chamber where sacrifices were prepared. The remains of various tools of torture can be found hanging on the wall or in the dust on the floor. Channels are cut into the floor, which slopes toward the middle and an 8” diameter drain hole draining to area 14.

E10. Acolytes’ Cells
These tiny rooms were the cells of the acolytes and minor priests of the temple. The rooms all contain the rotted remains of beds and small tables. They are dust covered (though tiny, skittering footprints can be detected in some. Additionally, the rooms contain:
a. A human skeleton, a tattered scroll (light at 10th level) which is damaged so has a 50% chance of failure and 2 copper pieces.

b. A human skull, some broken toys, a cast iron symbol of darkness and a pack of rats.

Ordinary Rat (47): AC 7; MV 150’; HD ¼ ; hp 1 (x32) 2 (x15); THAC0 20; #AT 1; D 1; SZ S; Int Anim; AL N; XP 3(x32) 4(x15) (MM2)

c. Chicken bones, a sketch of Seven Stones Creek on a leather scroll and a piece of brimstone.

d. Broken glass, 2 vials of oil and a giant centipede.

Giant Centipede: AC 9; MV 120’; HD ¼; hp 2; THAC0 20; #AT 1; D -; SA Poison; SZ S; Int Non; AL N; XP 32 (MM)

e. A human skeleton, a brass cup, a loose stone in the Eastern Wall (treat as Secret Door) reveals a small book titled, Songs of the King.

If the book is opened, it summons an Invisible Stalker which will attack the bearer of the book unless the proper word is spoken (which can be found in the book, eventually). If the book is closed and set down or dropped, the stalker will disappear, only to reappear if the book is opened. Note, the spell on the book will always summon an invisible stalker unless the correct word is spoken, even if a stalker has been killed. The book is valuable to worshippers of the old gods (perhaps as much as 100 gp) but worthless otherwise.

f. This door was barricaded from the inside, but was broken through by brute force. The splintered remains of the door and several boards that had been nailed to the frame on the inside are scattered throughout. The floor is stained and a human skeleton in rusted and broken chain mail (without skull) lies in the middle of the room. A broken mace lies beside the body. On the left hand of the corpse is a ring set with a tiny ruby (about 50 gp).

g. Apart from the general rubble of rotted bed and table, and the dust and cobwebs of the ages, this room is empty.

h. A human skeleton.

E11. Common Room
This area was the common hall for the under priests and the acolytes. The room is covered in giant spider webs. The webs burn away easily. There are no spiders here (well, not any longer) but the party will find a couple skeletons (human, human, goblin) bound in silky strands. One of the corpses has an emerald ring (worth 100 gp) and another has a still usable sword. The southwest corner contains the privy. Most everything else that was in this room has rotted away.

E12. Kitchen/Dining hall
This room contains the rotted remains of tables and benches, crockery, a couple rusted cast iron skillets, broken and dented metal cups and pans, broken glass, animal bones, etc. In the Southwest corner is the fireplace where most of the food was cooked. In the area around the cookfire, indicated by a dashed line on the map, the floor appears to be covered in rusty metal rubble.

In fact, the floor is covered in Russet Mold (about a 10’x10’ patch) which will release spores in an invisible cloud as characters approach and, if the mold is touched, delivers 5-20 hp damage and victim must make save vs. poison or become infected with the mold and die in 2-5 rounds. Characters who die in this way rise again as Vegepygmies in 21-24 hours.

Russet Mold: AC 9; MV 0’; HD -; hp 13; THAC0 -; #AT -; D -; SA Spores (5-20 + poison); SD Immune to Wpns/Fire/Cold; SZ S~L; Int Non; AL N; XP - (MM2)

E13. Cook’s room
The cook of the temple was a crazy half-orc who dabbled in necromancy, much to the delight of the Old One (area 14). The walls of the cook’s room are scrawled with arcane symbols, pentagrams and the like. The cook has become a wraith.

WRAITH: AC 4; MV 120’/240’; HD 5+3; hp 31; THAC0 15; #AT 1; D 1-6; SA Energy Drain; SD +1 wpn or silver to-hit, Immune to Sleep/Charm/Hold/Cold; SZ M; Int Very; AL LE; XP 761. (MM)

Beneath the remains of the cook’s bed is a loose stone (treat as secret door) beneath which is the cook’s treasure: a cast iron symbol of darkness, 3 gp, a scroll (Slay Living – that is, the reverse of Raise Dead).

E14. The Black Pool
This cavern is filled with water. If the water is scooped up, it will be seen to be inky black in color. The water also has a slight acrid odor to it. The pool is 60’ deep here and the water rushes over the edge (to the northwest) in a small waterfall that leads down to the Cavern of the old One (E14a). The water is safe, but has a foul taste to it.

E14a. The Cavern of Old One
The eastern two-thirds of this cavern is covered in water, flowing down from the Black Pool above via a waterfall. The water, as above, is inky black and slightly acrid smelling.

The black water that falls from the upper cavern to this cavern drains out through an underwater crevice, somewhere in the murky depths. A shelf of rock rises out of the water on the western side of the cavern. Twenty feet above the shelf is a cave entrance.

E14b. Entrycave
This entry cave appears to be empty. Two small pools of water are on either side of the door. Very observant characters might note that the water is glassy smooth – nothing causes ripples, not vibrations or even the slight breeze that moves through this cave. The cave narrows toward the back. The ceiling is covered in crude paintings of winged creatures and what appear to be demons or gods. From front to back of the cave, the paintings tell a sort of simple story of these demons or gods coming to the winged creatures, the winged creatures bowing down, offering sacrifices, attending the demons or gods. Toward the back of the cave the paintings depict the demons or gods leaving and the winged creatures numbers begin to decline.

The paintings provide a distraction for the guardians of this cave to gain surprise. The cave is guarded by two Ooze Para Elementals. If the party is distracted by the paintings, the para elementals will gain surprise on the first attack. They will each sneak tendrils out to ensnare the closest victim (gain +2 on attack for surprise). If the para elemental hits, it has wrapped a tendril around the PC and will constrict for 2-16 points of damage per round until defeated. Once a PC is ensnared, the para elemental automatically does the constriction damage and will try to ensnare a second victim. There is no limit to the number of victims that can be held and constricted, though the para-elemental can only attack a single victim per round. Constricted victims may attack the para-elemental normally (though the DM may wish to impose some penalty as the victim's movement will be restricted).

Combat here does not attract any of the other denizens of the lair, though it will alert The Old One (if present) to the presence of intruders. The elementals have no treasure, only bits of bone and fragments of metal lie in the two small pits they laired in (the pools beside the entrance).

Ooze (Mud) Para-elemental (2): AC 3; MV 360’; MC: A; HD 8, 16; hp 44, 61; THAC0 12, 7; #AT 1; D 2-16; SA Constriction; SD +1 wpn to-hit; SZ L; Int Low; AL N; XP 3,510, 3,765 (MM2)

E14c. Corridor
The outer cave tapers into a corridor of sorts with a very uneven floor and walls that vary from 4' apart to 12' apart. The ceiling is 5' – 17' high.

E14d. Alcoves
These alcoves are the second guardposts for The Old One's lair: one black pudding clings to the (12') ceiling of each alcove, hoping for an intruder to search the alcoves and drop from above. If no one enters the alcoves, the Puddings will begin to pursue the party on the ceiling, hoping to drop down and surprise the party. They will wait until the party comes to the green slime pit if they are not noticed creeping along the ceiling.

Black Pudding (2): AC 10; MV 60’; HD 10; hp 48,67; THAC0 10; #AT 1; D 3-24; SA Dissolve wood/metal; SD Immunity to blows/cold/lightning/acid/poison; SZ S~L; Int Non; AL N; XP 2,022; 2,288. (MM)

E14e. Green Slime Pit
An iron vein runs through the rock here and a colony of green slime has been feeding on it for decades. This pit of green slime is 10' across, 12' deep and runs the entire width of this cave. If the party has not dealt with the Black Puddings in the alcoves above they will seek an opportunity to drop onto the PCs at this point.

GREEN SLIME (giant pool): AC 9, MV 0'; HD 10; hp 54; THAC0 16; #AT -; D -; SA Slime; SD Immunity to most magic; SZ S; Int Non; AL N; XP 718. (MM)

E14f. The Old One’s Slave
The old one has enslaved a Kelubar (Slime) Demodand. The squat humanoid creature is shackled by a collar and chained to the center of the ceiling. It has free range in this room, but cannot go beyond. Bones and fragments of metal litter the floor here.

The collar is magical. It prevents the demon from using any of its magical abilities (including gating in others of its kind). If the party does not attack immediately, the Demodand will beg for mercy claiming to want to repay its captor (which it calls the Slime Lord) for its captivity.

To remove the collar requires simply a dispel magic spell cast at the 10th level or greater. Doing so destroys the collar and the magic contained therein, of course.

If the party frees the Demodand, it will indeed seek out the Old One and attack, first gating in two more Kelubar Demodands with identical statistics.

Regardless of what the party does to aid or stop the Demodand, if they are successful against the Old One, they will turn on the party and attempt to kill them (they are chaotic and evil after all). The creature has no treasure.

Kelubar/Slime Demodand (1/3): AC -2; MV 120’/240’; HD 13; hp 76; THAC0 9; #AT 3; D 2-8/2-8/4-16; SA Detect Invisibility/Magic/Good, Dispel Magic, ESP, Fascinate, Fog Cloud, Tongues, Weakness (3/day), Gaseous Form, Invisibility, Ray of Enfeeblement (1/day) as MU13, Summon 1-2 Kelubar, Acid slime (4-24); SD +2 wpn to-hit, Immune to acid/poison/fear/illusions/phantasms, ½ dmg fire/cold; MR 26-37%; SZ M; Int Exc-Gen; AL CE; XP 5,327 each. (MM2)

E14g. The Old One’s Court
This chamber is where the Old One spends most of its time in a kind of stasis, though since the Temple of Darkness has been rediscovered, the Old One has been stirring. It longs for the days when sacrifices start pouring in again.

The roof of this cave has a 3’ diameter hole cut in it, beneath which is a huge brass laver, 12’ in diameter, on a cast iron stand. The hole in the roof branches out to the various sacrifice areas of the temple above, funneling the blood and remains of the sacrifices to the Old One here (ages ago).

Beneath the laver is a giant, amoeba-like creature, holding a deep, black sphere (or looking stunned with the bits of deep black stone protruding from various places – if the Stone has been destroyed).

Hundreds of years ago, the Old One discovered the Stone of Darkness and set itself up as the chief of the old gods. Through the use of this peculiar magic item, the Old One possessed the high priest of this temple and persuaded him to begin human sacrifices as well as the traditional animal sacrifices. The Old One received the blood and remains of sacrifices dumped down from the sanctuary and the secret chamber of sacrifice.

When the priests and others in the temple died, the Old One entered a deep sleep, awakened only by the arrival of Adam Shepherd. When Shepherd appeared, the Old One again projected its will as the Avatar of Darkness via the Stone of Darkness, hoping to re-awaken the worship of the old gods (and the sacrifices). If discovered, the Old One will seek to gate itself to a huge cavern underground and flee (with the Stone of Darkness if possible).

The Old One AC 1; MV 90’; HD 20; hp 111(79); THAC0 7; #AT 2; D 3-30/3-30; SA Nil; SD Immune to weakness, paralysis and charm, gate; MR 30%; SZ L; Int Avg; AL CE; XP 9,830. (NOTE: hp in parentheses are if the Stone of Darkness has been destroyed).

The Old One is attended by 2 Gelatinous Cubes, one on either side of the doorway, which will attack the first PC who enters the cave. The cubes have survived on mosses, slimes and molds for a long time in this cave and hunger for flesh.

GELATINOUS CUBE (2): AC 8, MV 60’; HD 4; hp 21,22; THAC0 15; #AT 1; D 2-8; SA Paralysis, Surprise on 1-3; SD Immune to cold/electricity/fear/hold/paralyzation/polymorph, sleep; SZ L; Int Non; AL N; XP 234, 238. (MM)

E15. The Inner Darkness
This room is covered in THICK DARKNESS. The air in this room is as thick as water and completely dark - as per continual darkness, 20th level, but the air thickens and slows movement rate by 50%, number of attacks are cut by half (i.e., every other round), countered by ring of free action and the like. Infravision functions at 25% range, Darkvision functions normally. PCs with a constitution of less than 12 will have difficulty breathing in this air (CON 9-12 unable to focus on anything but trying to breathe, CON <9,>F. Ending the Adventure

Killing the Avatar of Darkness and, thereby, destroying the Stone of Darkness ends the threat in the area. If the PCs reveal the existence of the temple to the villagers, worship of the old gods will slowly recur. This will bring the wrath of the Church of the True Path (in Jacob’s Well) as well as Arlin Farmoor, the local druid. PCs who can bring some evidence of the demise of the Avatar of Darkness (not just Adam Shepherd’s sudden recovery – perhaps one of the locals joined the expedition – or they bring back shards of the Stone of Darkness) will be rewarded by the villagers with 557 gp and free wares from any of the establishments (within reason). They will be hailed as heroes and stories of their saving Hope Cross will be told for years to come.

G. NPCs of Note

In addition to people who live in Hope Cross, the party may encounter a number of other personalities.

Shiralla, the Witch Woman. Shiralla is 280 years old, though she appears to be only in her mid 40s.
S 9, I 16, W12, D 9, Cn 10, Ch 17, Lvl 10 MU, hp 38, AC 9, THACO 16, AL CN. She carries a staff of Command which she uses to influence or intimidate people. The staff has 21 charges remaining, though she can recharge it.
Spells (those with an asterix are memorized when encountered)
Level 1 Affect Normal Fires, Charm Person*, Comprehend Languages, Dancing Lights, Detect Magic*, Enlarge, Friends*, Identify, Light, Mending, Message, Read Magic, Sleep*, Write
Level 2 Audible Glamer, Continual Light, Detect Evil*, ESP*, Forget, Knock, Locate Object, Scare*, Strength*, Wizard Lock
Level 3 Clairaudience*, Clairvoyance*, Dispel Magic, Feign Death, Gust of Wind, Haste, Hold Person*, Slow, Suggestion*, Tongues
Level 4 Confusion*, Fire Charm*, Hallucinatory Terrain, Massmorph, Minor Globe of Invulnerability*, Polymorph Self*, Polymorph Other, Remove Curse
Level 5 Contact Other Plane, Feeblemind*, Magic Jar, Passwall*, Stone Shape*, Teleport*
Level 6 Enchant an Item, Legend Lore, Globe of Invulnerability, Guards and Wards, Project Image, Reincarnation, Repulsion*
Shiralla will aid the party if they are respectful toward her and if they pay her fee. Generally, Shiralla will ask the party to do something for her (obtain a specific herb, bring the blood of a specific creature, take something somewhere) for she is not interested in money. The deed need not be completed before she gives the information to the party, but if they renege on their bargain with her, she will hunt them and haunt them. Use Shirall’s “fee” as a springboard for future adventures.

Shiralla is well respected (and generally feared) among the local townspeople. Her home is detailed elsewhere. She figures in many of the adventures in the Hope Cross/Jacob’s Well area.

Arlin Farmoor, Druid.
Late in life, after his wife died, Arlin (who hails from the Frontier lands) became the apprentice of another druid who, five months ago, was coming to tend the grove at Jacob’s Well. The pair were attacked on the way and Arlin’s master was killed. Arlin assumed his master’s role and took over care of the grove. No one has questioned him because of his age (he is nearly 60) and he wears his master’s cloak of elvenkind and carries his Staff of the Druid (see new magic items). He is only 2nd level, so he is quite unable to train another druid (and, if pressed by PC Druids who need training, he will make the excuse of being too busy).

S 11, I 11, W 16, D 9, Cn 15, Ch 15, Lvl 2 Druid, hp 9, AC 9, THACO 20, AL N. The Staff of the Druid has 13 charges left and Arlin cannot recharge it.
There is a 30% chance that Arlin will be in Hope Cross when the party is there. Arlin is the subject of another adventure (The Question of Balance) wherein the Druid Grove is more fully detailed. He is only a passing character in this adventure (if he appears at all).

Steffan Karian, Tinker
Steffan is a traveling tinker. He can fix almost anything mechanical, and many other things besides. He is a metalsmith, though of only fair ability. He is a Lvl 0 non-combatant but he is full of information on the region. He is secretly a spy for the Alliance of Free Lands (those who rebel against Imperial Rule) and would gladly join the party in their travels, though he is worthless in a fight. He has two special abilities, however, that may make him useful to the party (if he joins the party, he will work toward becoming a thief – though “officially” his class will be fighter): Outdoors he can Find the Path (as per 6th level cleric spell) 50% of the time if he is new to an area, 90% if he has been in an area before; he has a base 50% chance of knowing something on virtually any subject (per Legend Lore, 6th level MU spell).
S 12, I 14, W 11, D 17, Cn8, Ch 8, Lvl 0, hp 5, AC 9, THACO n/a, AL N.
Steffan is staying in a tent just east of Great Bridge. As he is a wandering tradesman, Steffan can be a fount of information on the surrounding areas.

Trapper Jorn Arintar
Trapper who lives alone in the Great Forest. He earns his keep by selling pelts (and meat) of small game, beavers typically, from the Seven Stones Creek area. He knows the Northwestern part of the forest very well (especially the creek area). He avoids the Pixies at Seeley’s Glen and the Dryad at here tree (though he helped her once and carries her charm). He is a gruff, but good man in his late 40s. Jorn is wary of strangers initially but once he is befriended he is fierce in his loyalty. He loves the people of Hope Cross (which he considers his home, even though he lives far from the village itself) and he was a good friend of the former druid. The new druid, Arlin Farmorr, he doesn’t trust yet (“There’s something about him I just don’t like.”). He wears his brown and grey hair and beard long and unkempt, he is always dressed in leather and fur.
S18, I16, W15, D11, Cn15, Ch10, Lvl R4, hp 27, THACO 18 ,AL NG.
Jorn carries a knife +1 (treat as dagger+1) and a short sword.

H. New Magic Items

Staff of the Druid
ExpV: 8,000 GpV: 30,000
This oaken staff is imbued with the following abilities, usable at will:
Animal friendship, locate animals, locate plants
The following abilities at one charge, once per day:
Purify Water, Charm Mammal, Animal Summoning I, Call Woodland Beings
The following abilities at 3 charges, once per day:
Animal Summoning II, Insect Plague, Pass Plant

Stone of Darkness
Minor Artifact
This 3’ sphere of inky, black basalt is highly magical, and highly evil. The Stone can be used to project the possessor’s will in the form of an Avatar of Darkness, up to 1000’. The possessor of the Stone can see and hear what the Avatar sees and hears via a magical connection, and the possessor of the Stone speaks through the stone to the mouth of the Avatar of Darkness. The magical nature of the Stone means that non-evil beings who even touch the Stone of Darkness are harmed by the magic. Good aligned creatures must save vs. poison or die; and if they do not die, they must save vs. magic or become permanently insane. Neutral creatures who touch the Stone must save vs. magic or become evil (50%) or become temporarily insane (50%) – an insanity that lasts 2 years. Evil creatures who touch the Stone must save vs. magic or become enthralled by the Stone (in essence, the Avatar of Darkness controls the creature through the Stone).

The possessor of the Stone of Darkness, in addition to the creation and manipulation of the Avatar of Darkness, can use the Stone to cast darkness 30’r 3/day, can cause fear by touch (at will),

If the Avatar of Darkness is “killed” the Stone of Darkness is destroyed (for 10-60 damage) and the possessor must make a save vs. magic or be under the effects of a feeblemind spell.

I. New Creatures

Avatar of Darkness
AC -1; MV 120’; HD 9; hp 9-72; THAC0 12; #AT 2; D 1-10+3/1-10+3; SA Spells, Possession; SD Darkvision 60’, summon shadows; MR 55%; SZ L; Int Avg; AL CE; XP 2,000+12/hp.

The Avatar of Darkness is the embodiment of evil elemental forces (see the Old One) created by the magics of an artifact known as the Stone of Darkness, not truly an embodiment of a god. The forces behind the Avatar of Darkness are ancient and evil and extremely intelligent, and through the Avatar of Darkness they are able to exert their will upon human victims. The Avatar, however, is really simply a puppet for deeper and darker elemental forces.

The Avatar of Darkness can summon 1-2 Shadows 1x per day (5% chance that the shadow summoned is a Shadow Demon). The creature can cast continual darkness at 20th level 1/turn at a 60’ radius and can cast the Thick Darkness spell 1/week. In addition, the creature can cause fear (as fear wand) 1/turn. The Avatar of Darkness extends his will out in a 300’ radius, drawing victims toward him requiring PCs to make a check (save vs. death magic) every round or begin moving in a straight line toward the Avatar.

The Avatar of Darkness takes on human form, though it can shapechange into nearly any form of solid darkness. When attacking it typically creates long, spike-like claws on the end of terrible fists that rake for 1-10 points of damage each (plus strength bonus).

The primary weakness of the Avatar of Darkness is light. If the darkness/thick darkness is dispelled around the creature, in normal light it attacks at -1 and its AC worsens by 1 (that is, AC 0). In magical light (light spell, etc), it attacks at -2 and its AC worsens by 2 (AC 1). In Holy Light of some kind (an item imbued with light from a god, for exmaple – cleric light spell is not, in and of itself, holy light) it attacks at -4 and its AC worsens by 3 (AC2). In Holy Light the Avatar of Darkness must make a morale check every round or cower in fear.

Possession – the Avatar of Darkness can attempt to infiltrate a human soul. The action takes one full round and the AoD must give its full concentration and effort. It is particularly vulnerable when attempting to possess someone (it’s lack of movement and concentration give the Avatar an effective AC of 4 during the round it is attempting to possess someone). If the Avatar takes damage during the round of an attempted possession, the possession fails and the enthrallment over that being is broken (at least for that round, though saves vs. death magic must continue). If a PC is successfully possessed by the AoD, he or she will become instantly Chaotic Evil and will fly into a berserk fury and attack the nearest creature (even their own comrades) - + 1 "to hit", +2 on damage, -3 on their own armor class. The rage will last for 7-12 rounds, and during this period, the possessed being will continually attack without reason or fear, moving on to attack other creatures nearest them if initial opponents are slain (language from scarab of enraging enemies). Possessed PCs will not attack logically but primally. That is, they will not use spells and magic items, but will attack with whatever weapon is at hand, bare hands if necessary, in a berserk fury.

The cure for possession is a Continual Light Spell followed by a Remove Curse (10th level or greater).

The Old One
AC 1; MV 90’; HD 20; hp 20-160; THAC0 7; #AT 2; D 3-30/3-30; SA Nil; SD Immune to weakness, paralysis and charm, gate; MR 30%; SZ L; Int Avg; AL CE; XP 6,500+30/hp.

The Old One is a primordial elemental being, one of the old gods. This creature resembles a huge, intelligent amoeba, able to form almost any shape out of its nearly transparent body. Eyes, legs, mouths, weapons, whatever is needed. The Old One will gate away to a safe place if threatened. It exists only to spread darkness and chaos, often at the direction of the greater elder gods. (NOTE: those with the original printing of Dieties and Demi-Gods will probably recognize The Old One as a modified Shoggoth). The Old One is not very intelligent, but it is clever and will use terrain, magic items and lackeys to its best advantage. If seriously threatened, the Old One can gate itself to safety elsewhere on the Prime Material Plane.

J. New Spells

Thick Darkness (Alteration)
Level: 6 Components: V, S
Range: 12"
Duration: 1 week Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: 6" radius globe
Explanation/Description: This spell creates a 60’ diameter globe of continual darkness, with a twist. The air within this globe of darkness becomes thick and heavy, as if moving underwater. The thickened air slows movement rate by 50%, number of attacks are cut by half (i.e., every other round), countered by ring of free action and the like. Infravision functions at 25% range, Darkvision functions normally. PCs with a constitution of less than 12 will have difficulty breathing in this air (CON 9-12 unable to focus on anything but trying to breathe, CON <9, characters will fall to the floor gasping for breath – save vs. paralysis each round or suffocate – 3 consecutive failed saves and character dies).


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