I have written this adventure as part of a campaign I am reffing in Greyhawk. However last year I said I would judge at GenCon, and used this part of the Campaign as the module at GenCon.
The campaign has the group first discovering the hidden valley where the Tomb is located. For this part of the game I used the idea in the adventure Alicorn by David Howery from Dungeon No 33. I changed it so it would fit into the World of Greyhawk. Iuz had given a group of goblins a magical arrow that would slay a unicorn guardian to a hidden valley. Once the unicorn was dead the goblins could loot what they believed was a place of treasure. The group finds out about the goblins' mission to kill the unicorn, and had to stop the goblins. In doing so would discover the Tomb of The Shining Sword.
My group did so and found out about the tomb and that "Thomas Shennan" was a hero of the past that no one remembers, not even followers of Pelor who should have been aware of the paladin's deeds. As such the party did some research and found out about the curse, plus the possible location of a holy symbol that could open the Tomb.
For the search for the holy symbol, I used a Mayfair Games module called the Raiders of Iron Rock written by Terry Randall (as part of the White Peaks District boxed set for the City State of the Invincible Overlord). The module had a well-organised force of orcs stealing iron ore for a war. I changed it, so they were under orders from Iuz to steal the ore. The party were to alert the dwarves of the possible Orc attack, as well as ask the dwarves about the location of a Mad Hermit, who had the symbol (not part of the module).
From the Hermit's cave they found out the symbol was in two parts, so they had to locate the second. This is the point my campaign group is up to now. They are to find it as a part of the uniform of a noble from Veluna, while at a Noble's ball. This second piece is a fake but the group finds out it had been stolen by bandits 50 years ago. From there they should manage to track down an old Monster Lair. (I will use the one from the WGA2 Falconmaster, written by Richard W. and Anne Brown).
With the full symbol, and some extra encouragement from the King of Furyondy, The Forgotten Hero adventure begins.
This adventure takes place in the Vesve Forest, in the World of Greyhawk. The group are a party of adventurers helping the King of Furyondy (Belvor IV), stop the plots of his enemy to the North; namely Iuz. Recently King Belvor has been informed that the tomb of a hero who died 100 years ago has been found. His advisors believe that he can be raised, as the curse upon him has faded with time (see below).
His mages have worked upon a magical oil that will raise the dead hero. Once raised King Belvor believes he will provide greater motivation for his people and troops to defend against the forces of evil to the north. The matter is very important, as Iuz has allied himself with a Lord in the Vesve Forest who will be striking against the elves very soon. The King can do very little to help the elves as his men are needed to defend Furyondy. He knows that as soon as a large force leaves Furyondy, Iuz will attack. Iuz's alliance with the Lord does not count as violating the Pact of Greyhawk, so the King is hoping the resurrection of this hero who did so much 100 years ago will help.
Even if he cannot be resurrected there may be some important magical items within the tomb.
The History of The Shining Sword: Thomas Shennan
Thomas Shennan was a paladin of Pelor, and was believed to be born in Furyondy. He travelled the World of Greyhawk, not looking for adventure but helping people and defeating the forces of evil. However not many people know about him. He is not taught about in the church and bards do not know him unless they remember him from 100 years ago. Thomas has been forgotten over the period of time due to the Curse of Total Death.
Written works of 100 years ago will provide information about him and his greatness.
- He was known as the Shining Sword because of the holy sword he wielded. The sword was said to shine as pure sunlight. It was also rumoured that the sword controlled Thomas and that was another reason why many called him the Shining Sword.
- He performed many deeds of greatness, and asked for no money or property. In fact he didn't have a place to live, mainly staying as an invited guest in most villages or at the church. He rode a pegasus called Silverwing.
- He was loved by all but never settled down. Some bards rumoured he was in love with Esabell, a princess from Veluna.
- An evil witch-necromancer (many bards of old believed it to be Iggwilv) gave the curse to Shennan when he killed her and stopped her plans to take over Furyondy with an army of undead. (Like many evil creatures she came back but that is a different tale).
- The curse was called Total Death. This meant. not only would the physical form die but people's memory as well. Shennan soon found he was not able to heal wounds, except for the use of powerful magical healing and that was not enough to heal him fully.
- Thus Shennan decided to retire, rather than ask the High Cleric to waste healing power on him. But his retirement was short, as a Goblin King, using an evil power gathered a goblin horde within the Vesve forest to strike Furyondy. An army was raised to stop the goblins, but not quick enough to stop them marching towards the capital.
- One year after being cursed and only eight months of retirement, Shennan arrived and greeted the Furyondy commanders. He told them he was going to stop the army alone. He then walked in the forest and never returned. The goblins never attacked, but retreated back to their tribes, and remained separated until Iuz rose to power.
- As Shennan died so did people's memory of him and life carried on without him.
- The mages believe that the curse no longer effects Shennan as 100 years have passed, and the discovery of his tomb has allowed scholars to investigate him.
Special Note: The curse no long effects Shennan as 100 years have passed; those over 100 years old who knew about him will remember if asked, but they will find it strange that they forgot him.
True Story: Thomas Shennan was a great paladin of Pelor who performed many deeds of good throughout Furyondy and other lands of Greyhawk.
Iggwilv cursed him when she tried to advance her forces through the north Vesve Forest. He was unable to kill her, but forced her to retreat (see History of Iggwilv). Iggwilv cast a powerful spell upon the Paladin backed with demonic energies she had captured. The curse was one of Total Death. The paladin would not only die from wounds, but also disappear from the memories of all who knew him.
Magical healing only healed 1 hp per level of the spell and normal healing failed to work. Any wounds from adventuring continued to bleed and meant Thomas was not able to perform the great deeds he once had. He retired from adventuring and married his love Esabell Krayts (the daughter of a Veluna noble family). The retirement was short as Thomas heard about the goblin army advancing on Furyondy, and decided he could not sit idle while others risked their lives.
Thomas (healed after a long period of time and many days of laying on of hands) called his pegasus Silverwing, donned his armour, and retrieved The Shining Sword from a church of Pelor.
He then went to battle against the goblin horde. With his mount he flew straight into the command centre of the goblin camp. This took the goblins a little by surprise, but their forces were very powerful. Shennan fought his way to the Goblin King who was a vampire wielding a staff of necromancy called Soul Eater (see Staff of Necromancy). Thomas was struck down by the vampire, as he could not heal the many wounds he had taken. But as the Goblin King went to take Thomas's head, Thomas called upon his faith and struck a deep blow into the heart of the Goblin King. With his last breath Thomas called upon the Shining Sword's sunray power.
The daylight started to eat the Vampire's flesh and blinded the other commanders so they couldn't help their king. At the last moment the Goblin King called the retributive strike part of Soul Eater to create darkness to dispel the sunlight.
This was not enough, and the vampire crumbled into a skeleton with the Shining Sword through its heart. The Staff unleashed its destructive power and took the life force from the stunned goblin commanders.
The goblin army scattered as they fled the darkness created by the staff. With their King and commanders dead, the goblin army was no more. Thus the forces of Furyondy never encountered the goblin army. Upon Thomas's death they forgot about him, and never investigated to discover what happened to the goblin army.
Thomas Shennan rose as a full vampire. Iggwilv had received an added bonus. Thomas's soul would not even know peace in the Seven Heavens (at this stage she was under the control of Grazz't).
Thomas built a tomb to house Soul Eater which had reformed itself and called to Thomas to become it's new wielder so the two together can wreak destruction and death on the world. Thomas refused even though he was a creature with a dark hunger calling to him. Thomas found the Shining Sword would no longer answer him. So he housed the sword and staff near each other so one's good will cancel the other's evil. Soul Eater was also encased in gold for extra protection.
The Tomb took almost a year to build. Thomas fed on animals within the forest, refusing to yield to the hunger. Once the tomb was complete he put the two items within it and was about to seal it with his holy symbol of Pelor. His hunger took over and he had an idea that would make the tomb complete; all that was missing was a body. So Thomas attacked a paladin of Pelor, killed him, and placed him in the Tomb.
When Thomas realised what he had done he gained control and stopped the hunger within him. He then visited his wife whom he loved very much. He found she still remembered and loved him, so the two decided to live forever with each other. Esabell became a vampire to be with Thomas, and the two together have stopped the hunger taking over.
Esabell, while Thomas was building his tomb, had given birth to a daughter, who was given to the church of Pelor for protection once she realised Thomas was "alive". Esabell never told Thomas of their daughter to protect her from becoming one of the family.
This child had grown up to become a member of the Vorlancer family. Esabell was able to calm the evil within Thomas but Thomas has slowly turned more evil with time. He has built a hidden castle within the Vesve forest and has attracted different types of knights to him. These knights range from evil humanoids, to undead and demons. Iuz has sent an elf called Cevil, to help advise Thomas, so that he has a powerful ally who will attack the elven strongholds.
He is the lord about whom the rumours have reached the king of Furyondy. Esabell has spread the rumours, as she does not want her husband to turn to the forces of evil. She can not directly harm Thomas, as she is a vampire slave, but while he has been distracted she has passed on small amounts of information to Furyondy. She knows that once a group discovers her husband is not the one buried within his tomb, she can convince them that she needs their help.
The problem has become more urgent, as there is a feast to be held in honour of Thomas becoming an ally of Iuz. The main course is their great granddaughter, who is currently being held captive in Thomas's castle by the elf Cevil. Once Thomas feasts upon his own flesh and blood he will forever be evil, causing many people to die.
Part one of the adventure has the PCs, finding the tomb and discovering that the dead paladin within is not Thomas Shennan. The group has to deal with the battle between good and evil between the Shining Sword and Soul Eater that has been fought over the last 100 years.
Part two of the adventure is rescuing Ariel from the agent of Iuz, and persuading Thomas that he should end his unlife.
For the GenCon and campaign, one of the group members is related to Thomas Shennan, and it is their sister that is about to become the meal. The character knows her sister has disappeared but the war has distracted the character from finding her.
Note: Maps. There are none. Maps should not be needed for part one, as the path is reasonably limited. Part two involves a castle, of which I have not developed a map, as the party gain instructions as to the layout of the castle and the areas to avoid. A map will be developed for my campaign game once I get around to developing the castle more.
Part I : The Hidden Grove
The group has got all their gear together and is teleported to the Hidden Grove, which is where the tomb sight is. The Grove itself has become a site of Good vs. Evil in a small way, as the two powerful items, the Shining Sword and the Soul Eater continue a battle they have fought for 100 years. Neither side gains the upper hand, The Shining Sword would like to destroy the Soul Eater if possible as it would stop the evil influence on the countryside and the Soul Eater wants to destroy all living life.
The first part of the adventure is discovering the small battle of good and evil within the grove, and that the body of the Shining Sword is not the great hero but a low-level paladin, who was murdered and his body placed in the tomb.
At that point Esabell will show up and explain the situation.
Encounter One : The Valley before the group at first is a place of beauty and peace. However as they continue along the stream, they notice a beautiful set of butterflies, flirting around the flowers. Just as the group watches them, there is a swarm of grey/black moths that attack the butterflies and some attack the group. They cause no damage apart from a small stinging. A dazzling light produced by the butterflies repels the moths, forcing the moths to break off their attack.
After the attack the party see some of the surviving moths are sucking on the dead butterflies.
As they continue they see, the vegetation is very similar; very beautiful trees and flowers are being strangled by vines, or grow through them.
Encounter Two : The Undead. As the group journeys further into an area of woods, they notice that there are a lot of weapons, shields, and remains of armour scattered around the ground. There is the odd bone, but it seems mostly to have been eaten or corroded away.
If the weapons and armour are examined, they are the size that small humanoids would use. The weapons include rusted short swords, old bow quivers etc. Beautiful flowers are growing all around them.
However soon there is a movement of leaves and branches, as a large group of skeletons starts moving towards the group. There are four skeletons per group member, however they are not quite normal. The group notices the skeleton's eye sockets have a red glow, and their bones also are knitted together with red magical bands.
DM This is the goblin graveyard, where Thomas went through the goblin army to get to the Goblin King. The bones on the ground are the result of the conflict. The skeletons are over a 100 years old and were created by the Soul Eater. Their bones are just a shell for the dark magic keeping together. As such the skeletons are a little more powerful.
Skeleton HD 1 HP 8, AC 5 Dam 1-6, Att 1 THACO 20
The skeletons can not be turned because of the power near by. If turned they explode in a cloud of darkness, and reform after one round. Nonmagical weapons cause only one point of damage. If reduced down to zero HP the skeleton reforms fully. Magical weapons are needed to destroy them forever.
Also with the Skeletons is a Shadow Shaman. It is a goblin shaman turned into a Shadow. It is a 5th level Mage/Priest. It is holding back, waiting for the group and will attack using spells with range while the skeletons engage.
Shadow Shaman. HD 5 HP 30 AC 2 Dam 1-3, 1-3, 1-6 Att 3 THACO 16 Each hit will damage 1 point of Strength for 2 turns. Spells Cause Light Wounds 2, Withdraw, Mirror Image, Summon Insects, Curse, Hold Person, Protection from Good, Heat Metal, Magic Missile 2, Mirror Image, Slow, Shield, Darkness 15' Radius, ESP
There no treasure on the goblins.
Encounter three : The entrance.
Past the skeletons the group will notice a large trap door set into the ground. To one side, is a stone with the words "Here Lies Thomas Shennan, known as the Shining Sword. Peace to the world".
Within the door are the symbols of Pelor, the God of strength, light and healing. To open the door, the holy symbol of Pelor held by one of the group members (the paladin in my group), needs to be held up to sunlight. Then a beam of sunlight is focused though the holy symbol to strike the door. As soon as the holy symbol's light shines on the door it rumbles open. The group will be given the instructions before they start the adventure.
Near the door is a unicorn, called Goldenmane. He greets the group with a smile, and asks why they are here. He knows the group are not enemies, and informs them that he is the guardian of the tomb and protects it from evil forces trying to get in. Goldenmane received a calling to come here over twenty years ago and he has been stopping the evil creatures that roam within the valley.
Part two: The Tomb.
Once the door is open a bright light comes streaming out of a stairway heading down. The light provides warmth and a feeling of hope as it streams over the group. As their eyes adjust the group notice a set of stairs cut into stone leading down. To each side are symbols of Pelor and the words to his hymns.
At the end of the passageway is an opening that reveals a chamber, also brightly lit. But the last 10 feet of the corridor is not lit and has no symbols. At this point the corridor has an old trap; it was never tested and doesn't work. It is more to scare the party.
If a certain amount of weight is placed on the floor (120 kilograms, two characters), there is a sound of crashing stone. The group can say what they are doing and then those members jumping out of the way should make dexterity rolls. Those who fail trip over as the ceiling block drops to the ground. However the ceiling only falls part of the way stopping about three feet from the bottom. (This is because the walls cut for the tomb have shifted a little so the bottom is narrower than the top).
Chamber of Light This chamber has two doors within it. One of the doors is open, with many bones scattered near it. The door's bottom looks likes it has been clawed away from the bottom up. (The skeletons caused this before the Chamber of Light destroyed them). The chamber has many beams of sunlight that are focused through a large diamond, which scatters the beams throughout the chamber.
As soon as the group enter into the chamber or are looking into it, they see a skeleton claw through the open doorway.
It heads towards the group but gets only part of the way before exploding into dust, as a beam of light hits it.
The beams of light cause no damage to the group members, but instead works as antipathy-sympathy. Those struck by the light have a feeling of great hope and if they fail the saving throw do not want to leave the light until 3 turns have passed and they have confessed their crimes. Those who don't confess their crimes will suffer one point of dexterity loss per round (max of minus 4). This effect lasts three turns.
The door will open once someone who has been struck by the light touches the door.
Room of Bones
The clawed door to the side has a small plaque within it. "May the Dead Rest". Beyond the door is a large chamber, with many symbols of Pelor within it. Each of the two score symbols give off a small golden glow, which lights most of the chamber.
On the floor of the room, is a large pile of bones. Within the darkness part of the room at the far side of the room, the bones seem to move and meld together. While the group watches, an area of darkness appears around a holy symbol and removes the light. As soon as the light is removed ten skeletons start to move and will attack the group.
This room is where Thomas put most of the dead goblins. He managed to bless the place and create many holy symbols to stop the Soul Eater from animating the skeletons. However the staff has managed over the years to reach out and remove the power of the holy symbols. If a continual light by a priest or paladin of Pelor is cast on a symbol it will become re-activated with power.
To the most evil acting of the characters a special image forms within their mind.
"There is an image which appears in your mind. It is a picture of special magical symbols. You gain the feeling that these symbols grant you the power of summoning. Then they change to an image of a staff that grants you great powers. The staff is surrounded by a large amount of gold, which looks like an Ogre would have trouble lifting. " The characters gets the feeling all they need to do is accept the power (yes or no) and they can summon help.
If the character refuses the message repeats for the next most evil acting character. It will not appear to characters of good alignment who have been acting good. If a character accepts the offer, the character will gain the ability to cast a monster summoning, but it is dark and crackles with negative energy. Note if the character uses the monster summoning they will suffer a minus 2 to their save Vesves the Possession by the ghost (see the Chamber of Healing). The monster summoned will be a Rust Monster (see Chamber of Strength).
These skeletons are the same as above.
10 Skeletons HD 1 HP 8, AC 5 Dam 1-6, Att 1 THACO 20
The skeletons can not be turned because of the power near by. If turned they explode in a cloud of darkness, and reform after one round. Non Magical weapons cause only one point of damage. If reduced down to zero HP the skeleton reforms fully. Magical weapons are needed to destroy them forever.
If the group get too close to the moving bones the bones will also attack. These bones are a little more powerful and seem to be trying to dig their way out of the room and towards the staff, but they have not been getting through the stone wall very well.
Skeletal Wall HD 10 HP 60 AC 0 Dam 1-6 Att 10 THACO 10 The skeletons cannot be turned because of the power nearby. Nonmagical weapons cause only one point of damage. If reduced down to zero hp the skeleton reforms fully. Magical weapons are needed to destroy them forever.
Chamber of Strength
This is another lit room. In the middle of the room is a large statue of iron standing next to a large table with two chairs. Beyond the statue is a stone door.
The statue moves towards the table and sits down, its arm comes up in an arm wrestling pose. It mouths the words "Show your True Strength", and with its second hand it gestures for the first person to sit.
As soon as the group enters the most evil acting of the characters receives a special image with in their mind. Note if the group explored the Room of Bones and received this message then ignore here.
"There is an image which appears in your mind. It is a picture of special magical symbols. You gain the feeling that these symbols grant you the power of summoning. Then they change to an image of a staff that grants you great powers. The staff is surrounded by a large amount of gold, which looks like an Ogre would have trouble lifting." The characters gets the feeling all they need to do is accept the power (yes or no) and they can summon help.
If the character refuses the message repeats for the next most evil acting character. It will not appear to characters of good alignment who have been acting good.
The iron golem is a programmed illusion. This is a test to reveal the inner strength of the character and not the physical strength. There is no real way for an individual to beat the golem in an arm wrestle but the party can try. However if the challenging character decides to use their inner strength, they make a saving throw vs. spells with wisdom bonuses, and if successful they will see the door is an illusion and the group can walk through it.
If attacked the illusionary golem will act to defend itself. It will also put itself in front of the doorway if someone has not passed the test and tries to leave the chamber.
If the players are having problems with the test, The Shining Sword will telepathically inform someone to use their inner strength.
Iron Golem HD 18 HP 80 AC 3 ATT 1 DAM 3-30
If the character uses the monster summoning, a Rust monster will appear. The rust monster will go towards the Iron Golem, put a tentacle into it and then it will attack the nearest character but not the one who summoned it. The Rust monster shows the golem is an illusion so it decides it wants something nice to snack on.
Rust Monster HD 5 HP 32 AC 2 Att 2 DAM 2 + Special Special attack: Rust on any metal. Magic get 10% chance per plus to save.
Chamber of Healing
There are two doorways out of this area. One has written above it "The Shining Sword" and the other has "Darkness". To one side is a stream of light that flows from the ceiling and onto the floor that looks like a waterfall. As soon as the group enters the room, from the door marked Darkness come summoned monsters which attack the group. Also with them is a ghost that tries to possess the character who received the summoning power (if none received it the ghost will try to possess anyone). The monsters are to distract the group while the ghost tries to possess a character. Once successful the ghost will force the character into the chamber of darkness and free the staff.
Black Pudding HD 10 HP 55 (17) AC 6 Att 1 DAM 3-24 + Special THACO 11 Highly corrosive acid dissolves chain mail in one round. Immune to acid, cold, and poison. Lightning and blows from weapons divide them into smaller puddings. Fire does magic missile damage.
Rust Monster HD 5 HP 32 (12) AC 2 Att 2 DAM 2 + Special THACO 15 Special attack: Rust on any metal. Magic get 10% chance per plus to save.
Umber Hulk HD 8+8 HP 68 (16) AC 2 Att 3 DAM 3-12/3-12/1-10 THACO 11 Looking at eyes causes confusion (as per spell) save vs. spells to avoid.
Ghost HD 10 HP 60 (18) AC 0 Att 1 DAM aging 10-40 years THACO 11 Fear, Priest immune if above 6th level, if 8th level others get +2 to save. Magic Jar if within 60 yards. If a person is possessed then that person will try to free the staff.
The Chamber of Healing, has a small stream of light down one wall. If anyone who is wounded (real hit points) they will be healed to combat hp. This will include any poison, disease, effecting of wounds, etc.
The Chamber will only work once per character, if the characters try to use it again they must make a saving throw vs. spells. If they fail they get a great desire to help the poor. This is not giving them money, but working in the field or building a house or delivering a sick child somewhere etc.
Beyond the Door of Darkness
This is a chamber of Darkness. No light from the Chamber of Healing (or any other type of light) will enter this place of death and cold. Once someone enters the room a pool of blackness seems to appear within the night.
The source of darkness is the Soul Eater a Staff of Necromancy (See Staff of Necromancy). The staff is surrounded by a large amount of gold, but a small crack has appeared because of the spells the staff has been using on its prison. Because of this crack the staff's power to been able to extend beyond the room.
Resealing the gold prison can stop the power of the staff. This is because the staff has run out of charges to continue to break free. Thus the staff will be trapped as long as it is confined within the gold.
If a character grabs the staff, they will have to make an ego saving throw. The staff's Int is 13 and Ego 14 (Total 27). If the character is possessed the staff takes over and will try to recharge itself. The killing of creatures using the magic of the staff recharges the staff. Each creature killed will add one charge. If the staff is used physically to kill something the staff also gains 1 charge.
Note: Full details on the staff's powers are in the Staff of Necromancy write up. As the staff was never to be freed it was never written up for the GenCon adventure.
Beyond The Shining Sword's Door
This is a bright room, with a large stone coffin. To one side is a strange pile of earth upon, which is a skeletal form with a sword sticking into it.
A telepathic voice will be heard within the paladin's head. "Greetings follower of Light. I am the Shining Sword, holy sword for those chosen by Pelor. I advise you not to lift me or else the darkness will rise again."
The Shining Sword is within the body of the Goblin King, (which was turned into a vampire by the staff). If the sword is removed the Vampire will rise again. If this happens the Goblin King will go gaseous and rescue the staff. At this point the group has a big fight on its hands.
Within the stone tomb is a body within heavy field plate. Below the helmet is a skeletal figure. This person is a paladin of Pelor by the named of Jamark Forray. Thomas killed him so the illusion of his death was complete.
Jamark knows very little except that he was killed, for no real reason.
At this point the wife of Thomas shows up and Part 1 finishes.
Note: the Goblin King is not written up as the group should not remove the sword. However this did happen in a GenCon game, as greed got the better of the Paladin. So I made the Goblin King a 15 HD vampire with an AC-5 or so. The first thing he does is turn to mist that looks as if his bones have turned to dust.
The Shining Sword is an intelligent Holy Avenger of Pelor, with full +5 Holy Avenger abilities as well as the ability to summon sunlight once per day as per the 7th level priest Sunray spell. Also the sword will shine with bright sunlight whenever drawn. The light is in a 20 foot radius and automatically dispels darkness. Those of good alignment within the light count as blessed. (The wielder does not gain a bonus for the bless). The Shining Sword has an Int of 16 and Ego of 15.
Jamark is a 5th level Paladin of Pelor. His stats are STR 17, INT 12, WIS 14, DEX 15, CON 16, CHA 18. HP 44 (14). AC -1 Currently he is wearing the armour which Thomas wore as a paladin, which is field plate +2, which protects the wearer from any form of Strength drain, and once per day enables the wearer to cast cure serious wounds. (The armour only provides its special abilities to the wearer if he/she is a follower of Pelor). Jamark will want to return to a church of Pelor to discover what has happened since his death, but he is very grateful to the group and will offer whatever assistance he can. He will accompany them on the next mission if they ask him to.
Esabell Shennan arrives to explain the problem to the group. She is a vampire and so is her husband. The Goblin King killed him at the same moment he put The Shining Sword into the Goblin King. The major clash of forces caused most of the goblin army commanders to be killed; those that survived ran.
Esabell explains that Thomas built the Tomb to house the powerful magical items. Thus helping to keep the world safe by using the power of the good to cancel that of evil. However, Thomas was no longer good and it took a lot of willpower to stop the evil within him, and he slipped. He killed the paladin to make the illusion of his death more complete, and then claimed Esabell. At which point the two were able to live with each other more than they had in life.
However their love has not been enough. Servants of evil have been trying to turn her husband into a powerful leader of evil. Esabell no longer knows her husband and wants the group to help kill him.
She knows that there is a special ceremony, at which the forces of evil will be welcoming their new leader. Esabell believes that the group, if they get there before the ceremony, can convince Thomas to finally die. She believes the good still left in Thomas will agree to die before the evil finally takes over. Especially as it is his own great granddaughter Ariel that will be the feast for Thomas. Thomas does not know this, as the mage has kept her hidden until the feast. If she can be rescued Thomas will release his hold on his undead life.
Esabell explains that she had a child, which was born while Thomas was building the tomb. She was able to deliver the child to the church before her husband came to her. The child lived to form a Veluna noble family called Vorllancer. If the descendent of Thomas is sacrificed Thomas will become a powerful servant of evil.
Note: In my campaign, one of the party members is the sister to Ariel. As such she will also realise she is the great granddaughter of Thomas and Esabell.
However, Esabell cannot convince him alone as she has the vampire curse within her. She will give them a rough map of the castle and the location of a secret passageway into it. If the group can get there before the guests of the ceremony and rescue Ariel, then she believes the group can convince Thomas to find peace for his soul.
The castle is deep within the forest and is guarded by a large number of troops knows as the Night Legion. They guard the place, as they have been attracted to Thomas's presence; waiting for the night they can serve him by riding and killing the innocent. The main agent of the Dark One (Iuz) is a high level elven mage called Cevil. He has been a major influence in the campaign against the elves within the forest. This elven mage is the one guarding Ariel.
Esabell's Map This shows the secret entrance, which is part of the way up the cliff that the castle stands on. This secret entrance was an old lair for a dragon which has long been killed; beyond the lair are old dungeons that will lead the group into the heart of the castle. From there they can rescue Ariel and confront Thomas. The map shows where the group can locate the mage, and the Great Hall where Thomas will be. She says that she cannot reveal too much of the castle as she is forbidden to reveal castle defences.
Esabell will warn that through out the forest are many patrols, these should be avoided as their failure to report will alert the castle of trouble.
The Castle The castle is about 10 days journey from the tomb. Esabell will provide directions and landmarks to enable the party to arrive near an old dragon lair, which is the easiest way into the castle. For the GenCon game the castle was just one day away and the ceremony was the night that the party arrived at the castle.
The castle of the Night Legion is within the middle of the Vesve Forest. It is just within Iuz's claimed territory, and close to the elven lands. The castle itself stands on a large rocky outcrop, which was a lair for a mated pair of dragons (one reason why the elves avoided the area). Thomas killed the pair during his adventuring and decided their lair would make an ideal place for his castle. He managed, with his wife's help, to use his special abilities to start the castle, and after studying engineering within the libraries during the night he was able to design what he wanted.
The years of building continued, and the castle became a darker place as Thomas started to be influenced by dark dreams. Within the last twenty years after the castle's completion, evil men have been attracted to the place. Thomas welcomed them in to train them to become knights so he had guards and servants for the castle. The souls of evil warriors in the form of Sword Wraiths also appeared. They liked the discipline that Thomas enforced, so they became his lieutenants. They didn't mind waiting for the time that Thomas's small force of dark knights would attack.
As part of the castle's defence Thomas hired a mage to create special clouds of darkness that would surround the castle, so he and his wife could walk around during the day. Thomas can control these clouds with his weather summoning ability so they extend 5 miles out from the castle. The trees though not very thick seem darker than in most other parts of the forest. During the night however the clouds often disappear so the two vampires can view the stars together.
Encounters Patrol Within the forest at the bottom of the cliff, is a patrol. The patrol is made up of 10 mounted troops. Half of them are skeletons while the others are evil humans. They are led by a sword wraith. Each are mounted on skeletal mounts. They are patrolling around from 100 to 500 feet from the cliff and require the group to come up with a plan to by-pass them and climb the 60 feet that will get them to the dragon's lair.
5 Skeletons HD 2 HP 15, AC 2 Dam 1-8 2-16 (charge), Att 1 THACO 18 The skeletons are wearing plate mail with shield and wield well-kept long swords and lances. These pieces of armour have been gained from different battlefields and fights within the Vesve forest.
10 Skeleton Horses HD 3 HP 20 AC 5 Dam 1-4 /1-4 Att 2 THACO 18 The horses each wear leather barding.
4 Men HD 3 HP 22 (10) AC 2 Dam 1-8 +2/ 2-16 +2 Att 3/2 THACO 16 Each of these men is wearing plate mail with shield and wields a well-kept long sword and lance. The men are specialised in long sword and lance.
1 Leader Sword Wraith HD 7 HP 42 (15) AC 3 Dam 1-10 Att 3/2 THACO 13 Drain 1 point of Str per hit. +2 or better weapons needed to hit.
The Dragon Lair This place is dark and musty, there are the bones of the two dragons scattered around the cavern floor. The heads of the dragons are missing. Beyond the cavern is a small passage that leads to the dungeon. The passage starts to reduce to only one foot wide and ends in a brick wall. A small amount of water leaks through the bottom of the wall indicating that the wall may not be that strong.
The wall can be broken through to give the party access to the dungeon. The wall is about 5 feet thick and requires a little bit of work to get through, however the water from the dungeon has weakened the mortar making it easier.
A thief, dwarf or person with engineering or similar nonweapon proficiency, can work out the best way through the wall quietly. Doing so will take about an hour. The wall can be smashed though in ten minutes. This makes a lot of noise alerting the guards within the dungeons.
The Dungeon Once the old wall is broken though the group can enter the dungeon. Any amount of noise will attract the attention of Cevil's main torturer Lussus and the dungeon guards.
The Old Well Beyond the wall, is small chamber that contains a disused well. The group will be about 2 feet from the well, and 5 feet from the closed door. There is a one-foot gap around the edge of the well to get to the door. Because the floor is slippery a dexterity roll is needed to get to the door. If the roll is failed the character falls into the pool of water 13 feet below the well opening. This causes no damage except to make noise and characters in heavy armour will sink to the bottom of the 7 foot deep murky water. (Total depth of the well is 20 feet).
An old bucket and rotted rope is next to the well. Note: the water flowed into the well from small cracks in the walls. Most of these cracks have been filled in but some water still gets into the room but drips down the side and eats away at the brick wall the group came through. As such, the whole room is damp.
The door into the dungeon passage is locked.
Dungeon Passage Beyond the door is a 5-foot wide passageway, that is 40 feet long and ends in a heavy wooden door. Down the left side of the passageway are two heavy wooden doors, and in the middle of the right side is a portcullis.
From the first door on the left comes a cry of pain. (if the party made little noise) If the party made noise the guards and Lussus will be in the corridor. Lussus will be back at the second doorway getting extra cover so he can cast spells.
Lussus is a Half Orc Priest/Fighter of Iuz. 6th/6th STR 17 INT 12 WIS 15 DEX 16 CON 16 CHA 6 HD 6 HP 50 Attacks 3/2 Damage 1-12 +4 AC 1 THACO 11 Lussus uses a two-handed sword (I allow two-handed swords to do 1d12) +1, and wears chainmail +2. He is specialised in two handed sword, so gets +1 to hit and +2 damage and 3/2 attacks. Other weapons include dagger, heavy crossbow (damage 1d8+2, again I changed the damage), staff Spells 1st 2nd 3rd 5 5 1
Special Note on spell casting: to give a bit of flexibility I make spell casters learn/pray for their two highest spell levels only. This reflects their skill at spell caster or standing with their diety, thus I have only listed the two highest levels of spells. The number of spells able to be cast per day does not change. 2nd Level 3rd Level Hold Person 2 Animate Dead Aid Detect Charm Know Alignment
Priest Abilities Cast change self once per day +2 saving throw vs. spells cast by good aligned spellcasters Commands undead as if 7th level
Non Weapon Proficiencies: 8 Torture: 16 (3) Religion: 15 (1) Gaming: 6 (1) Leatherworking: 12 (1) Survival: 12 (2)
Lussus is a large ugly half-orc, with more orc looks than human, however he was never treated like a full orc by the orc tribes and totally despised by the humans. His yellow eyes reflect the pleasure he feels, as he applies his torture trade. Lussus has always followed the calling of Iuz but he has not been able to gain the power of some of Iuz's human servants. He however has a nasty streak and likes to torture living things, so he learned to apply his skills to prisoners from the war. He was able to get vital information out of most prisoners. Even if he failed, he would use a speak with dead just to let the spirit know it has not escaped him.
Lussus was assigned to Cevil just before the attack on Chendl. Cevil was acting a scout for a small group of Knights of the Hart lead by Baron James Vorllancer. Cevil captured the Baron to question him about the defenders of Chendl. The knight lasted a full week before he cracked. This was because Cevil managed to capture the Knight's daughter Ariel, and threaten her with Lussus.
Lussus continued to work for Cevil when Cevil managed to convince the lesser boneheart Panshazek, that he could destroy the elves within the forest and bring a powerful ally to Iuz's cause. But Cevil needed elven prisoners to question and experiment on. So Lussus was assigned and was taught by Cevil the pressure points of elves so he could cause them more pain. Cevil loved the screams of the elves but he couldn't torture them with the same skill as Lussus.
Lussus enjoys working for Cevil, and is reasonably loyal to him. The two of them can relate to each other as both to know what is like to be rejected by their race.
5 Men HD 3 HP 22 (9) AC 2 Dam 1-8 +2/ 2-16 +2 Att 3/2 THACO 16 Weapons: long sword (specialised), lance (specialised)
1 Leader Sword Wraith HD 7 HP 42 (15) AC 3 Dam 1-10 Att 3/2 THACO 13 Drain 1 point of Str per hit. +2 or better weapons needed to hit.
These are the guards in the room next to Lussus's torture chamber.
Armoury turned Torture chamber (Note: Lussus will notice if he becomes part of a silence 15' radius that will happen if the party moves along the passageway towards the torture chamber).
This stone room is 15' by 15', with most of the room taken with a rack. Standing over the rack is an orc with a hot poker in his hand, he looks up from his elven prisoner towards the party. Quickly he brings the poker down towards the elf, yelling “stand back creatures, and I don't barbecue the elf.” Around his neck is the skull symbol of Iuz.
Lussus is trying to alert the guards next door with his yelling. He does not think the party is concerned about the prisoner so he will kill the elf to stop him providing any aid to the party if they rescue him.
Depending upon the party's actions Lussus will try and get his sword that is 5 feet away from him leaning against a wall.
This room has recently been converted from a storeroom into a torture chamber, so only includes a special rack, irons, small needles, strange bottles of mild poisons and a brazier to heat the irons. To one side of the chamber is a bed where Lussus sleeps. Hanging on the wall above the bed are 5 faces in different pain filled expressions. These faces seem to have been ripped off the original owners and preserved.
(The faces represent Lussus's trophies, he tortures a victim and applies his leather working skills to preserve the face. Because of the difficulty of the task Lussus has only succeeded with these five, but he is practising)
For those after treasure Lussus has about 300 gold pieces saved up from Furyondy. He also has a belt and boots (worth 150 gp) from Baron Vorllancer which Ariel gave her father for his birthday one year. Lussus also has a set of keys, one for the well room, another for the storeroom and some for the irons on the prisoners.
The prisoner is an elven scout called Forandera Trueshot. He was captured while investigating the area as his people heard rumours that the two dragons that ruled this territory are dead. Forandera does know about Cevil even though he was a child when Cevil was banished from his clan 300 years or so ago. He can tell the group a little bit about his history (see Cevil below). Forandera is a ranger/magic user 3rd /3rd he is currently in no condition to move, and wants to rest after the tortures.
Prison The portcullis is easily opened from the passageway. Beyond it is a chamber with 5 prisoners chained to the wall. All are humans from Furyondy who are awaiting their fate. As these people don't know too much information they have not been tortured to a great extent. They can move but at ¼ movement, and will need help out of the castle, or else they are likely to be spotted and captured or killed. These prisoners are 1st level fighters.
Secret Prison turned Armoury Next to the normal prison is a secret chamber for the more important guests. The secret door can be spotted with the normal changes. Within the prison are crates of weapons and armour, which have been stored here. There are 10 suits of plate mail, 20 chain mail, 53 long swords, 51 shields, 26 heavy crossbows and 2 crates of bolts (250 in all). This chamber is drier than the others so the weapons are in good condition.
Guard Room This room has bunks for 11 people. Five men and one Sword Wraith are within this chamber, resting after guard duty. The Sword Wraith is showing one of the men the best way to defend with a two handed sword. It has not allowed the men to take off their plate mail, as they need to get use to sleeping in it. So it takes just one round for these men to be ready for action.
Store Room This room is filled with barrels, the odd box, rope and other misc items. There is also stairs leading up to the main corridor of the castle. The door at the top of the stairs is locked. The heavy doors stop any sound from the dungeons alerting the rest of the castle.
Well and Cold Store Beyond this door is a new well. A pulley system in the ceiling allows water to be drawn through a trapdoor in the ceiling (which leads to the kitchen). Fresh water seeps in through a hole in the wall. The west wall is a made of metal rather than stone. A metal door is in the middle of the wall. Beyond the door is a small room fully enclosed in metal. Hanging in the room, on hooks, are various forms of skinned animals.
The room is cool and is used to keep meat fresher longer.
The Main Castle The stairs from the dungeon store room lead to a room that opens under the main stairs leading to the second storey. A closed set of double doors leads to the Great Hall and to the left is an open archway to the kitchens. The smell of food cooking and the sounds of a cook ordering servants around come from the kitchen.
Just beside the kitchen entrance is the doorway to Cevil's tower.
Optional Encounter: As the group come through the doorway from the dungeons a halfling carrying a large pot of stew to towards the Great Hall spots them. In his surprise he stumbles over his own feet and starts to lose control of the pot.
Basically the group members near the front (the first four up the stairs), can act to prevent the halfling from dropping the pot all over the floor and attracting the attention of other servants and the guards in the Great Hall.
The group has one round to come up with an idea. Some example are; a) Feather fall the pot so who makes a dexterity check can catch it, b) A diving catch of the pot by a party member (a dexterity roll at -4, then a constitution roll to hold on the hot pot without crying out), c) Hold person on the halfling to stop him falling over, d) Or charming the halfling so he doesn't tell the guards he saw the group when they ask him about the mess.
The halfling is called Joseph Twinkletoes. He was a defender of the Vesve as one of the Highfolk slingers. However after his company was killed by orcs, he ran away. He didn't know where south was and ended up travelling north. Thomas's guards picked him up, and he was offered a position as a servant rather than returning to the wars. Joseph agreed, but has recently decided he must return to the Highfolk, as his employer has started to work for Iuz. He knows that Cevil has two women within his tower, (as food is cooked for them) but he doesn't know who they are. Once per day Cevil collects the meals and returns to his tower, but recently he has been dining with the Lord and Lady. Cevil also gets live animals and animal food delivered to him from time to time.
The Lord and Lady don't seem to eat much, the cook says it is because they fear poisoning, and organise their own food. Other servants think they are undead, as they are pale and cold, but no one wants this to be true. None of the servants are prisoners and seem to be free to go. But recently a large force of men have arrived, and war is again talked about. The servants now believe those who go are killed. (This is true but upon orders of Cevil).
He will warn that none of the servants touch Cevil's door as it is magically trapped and locked.
The Kitchen Servants are busy preparing things for the feast that is tonight. There are 12 servants all of different races, 7 human, 1 halfelf, 2 goblins, 1 orc and 1 halfling. (note dwarves and elves were taken to be questioned by Lussas). There are two cooks one called Onwen Cooke, and the other Master Ouri.
The servants shouldn't notice the party unless they cause a lot of noise or trouble. They will not act unless attacked, but they will answer basic questions. The only exception is Master Ouri, who will later inform the guards (see below, but he turns gaseous and escapes out a window).
Onwen is an old army cook, who came to work for Thomas long before the Greyhawk Wars. His main job is to ensure the guards are well fed, and that the servants don't worry about the Lord and Lady's eating habits. Onwen knows too well what they are but he owes his life to them as he killed some commanding officers in the army (with his cooking). He fled and he managed to find his way to the castle and was given a place to live. Onwen is very protective of his position in the castle, and wants revenge on the new cook Master Ouri. However he is waiting for tonight's feast before he tries to get it. (The revenge is in the form of poisoning some of the guests). Onwen was a 3rd level fighter, but is overweight and out of practice. But he is very good with a meat cleaver. THACO 17 Dmg 1-4 +2 Attacks 3/2 (Specialised in meat cleaver) also he can throw them. AC 10 HP 11.
Master Ouri is an Ogre Magi currently polymorphed as a large human specialist cook brought in for the special feast. Cevil wants to make an impression on the servants of Iuz who will be attending. Master Ouri is a specialist cook from the Horned Society that Cevil met in his years of travel. The monster has developed a special skill in cooking strange creatures for the different tastes of monsters and outer planes beings. Master Ouri is aware of the betrayal Onwen has planned by using his charm power on a trusted servant that is helping Onwen.
The plan does not worry Master Ouri, as he plans to counter it by offering the servants a chance to eat his wonderful cooking. This will force Onwen to either admit his plan by stopping the servants from eating the poisoned dishes or allow his friends to die.
The guests will have their own tasters, or take other precautions, as poisoning is a common activity within the service of Iuz, so the guests are unlikely to be harmed.
AC 4 Mv 9 Fly 15 HD 5+2 HP 37 (15) THACO 15 Att 1 Dam 1-12 +6 Spells: invisible, fly, cause darkness, polymorph into humanoid, regenerate 1 hp/ round, charm person 1/day, sleep 1/ day, gaseous form, cone of cold (8 d8). Cooking skill 18.
The Ogre Magi has a special supply of larvae for the feast as well, but he prepares them himself, as he doesn't want a servant spoiling such a special food. He has also prepared a special recipe for Ariel. When she drinks the special wine her blood will become flavoured for the Lord and Lady.
Cevil's Tower This is the location of Cevil, the agent of Iuz. He is an elven mage that wants power and revenge upon the elves who threw him out as he started to get greedy for magical power.
The tower has three levels.
The Quarters The door to this area is magically locked, and also has a fire trap (1d4 +14) upon it. The fire trap will alert the mage that someone is invading his area. At first he will believe it is a guest and send a charmed servant to prevent the person from entering any further. If the servant is attacked he will use project image to work out what the group wants. If they attack he will cast spells at the group until hard pressed at which point he runs up to the prison and grabs the prisoner so he has a hostage.
This room is very fancy, and has many riches from different periods of history. Most of the art is human but many pieces are elven which have been twisted around to an evil theme. There is a large bed and a desk and chairs.
The servant: This is a beautiful half elven woman who had been charmed by Cevil to be his lover and servant. She does not know her own name (which is Shanna). She will welcome freedom once the charm is released, until that point Shanna is loyal to Cevil. She has no real combat ability. If she is released from the charm she will inform the group of the whereabouts of Cevil and Ariel. Also that it is best if Cevil is kept away from Ariel, as he is likely to kill her.
The Lab The stairs up lead to another room that is also locked by a wizard lock. Beyond the door is the smell of chemicals and animals. This room is a lab with different animals in cages. Many of which are small fantasy animals, which have had different experiments performed on them.
The lab is where Cevil is working on a disease that he wants to use against the elven animals to lower the elves morale, by destroying or perverting things that are close to them.
Cevil Certanarzar SpellDancer the Evil, is Cevil's full name given to him by the elven people. It has been shortened to Cevil so human and humanoid people can quickly pronounce his name and so Cevil can ignore some of his past.
Description: Cevil is 5' tall and has the striking features of a Grey Elf. His deep green eyes burn with a powerful hatred and down his left cheek is a fresh scar from his eye to throat. He dresses in a twisted version of elven clothing made from fine blue green and black silk with the fur or leather of elven creatures. The prize of his clothing selection is a buckle made from unicorn horn on his belt of treant bark. Cevil is ever calm and calculating taking his elven time to perform tasks. He ensures that all of his actions will benefit him (even if it is the distant future). He walks as if gliding himself through the air and with an aura of power.
However Cevil can change the way he acts so that he can trick those around him. He acts like an elven scout when dealing with the forces of Furyondy.
Cevil belonged, over 300 years ago, to a Grey Elven community that lived deep within the Vesve forest. He was a mage whose power was destined to be greater than many of the Grey Elf elders. He studied as a single class mage, so he did not get sidetracked by learning the skills of warrior like many of his fellow elves.
During the long time of his study, Cevil attracted the attentions of a fellow student called Leeana. The two were lovers until Cevil decided he was ready to learn the inner secrets of elders' magic. The elders told him he was not ready for the test, as he was only 356, and he should be spending more time with his love and enjoying the world around him. Cevil managed to convince the elders (his father was one of the elders that regarded Cevil as too young) that he was ready and the test was set in one-year's time.
Cevil worked hard at his magical skill stopping only to spend time with Leeana. When the test date started to close he forbade Leeana to see him until after the test. His plan didn't work. The night before the test Leeana came to his bed to calm his nerves.
She was sent by his father Dewenzer Spelldancer, of the elders, as he knew Cevil would fail the test, unless he understood that the power of his heart was needed to pass rather than the force of his will. He hoped that Cevil would learn the lesson that his love for Leeana could see him through the testing.
The time of the testing arrived and Cevil started the near impossible magical weaving. He passed the first part of the test with little difficulty and moved to the harder part, manipulating the elements and nature through spell dancing and inner peace. The test found Cevil's heart was not at peace, and the harder he tried the more difficult the test became, but his will tried to force the elements when his heart failed. Cevil's will was very strong and almost succeeded but the elements overcame him and after two weeks of testing Cevil failed.
The Elders were happy with the test and explained to Cevil that his heart was not ready, even though he knew all the traditional magical techniques, the elders would not teach their higher secrets. Cevil blamed Leeana for his failure as she distracted him the before night the testing. She confessed that his father sent her to him, to distract Cevil from the Test. What Cevil didn't realise was that he would have failed the test anyway because his heart housed evil. His father realised this and sent Leeana to him so that love could tame the evil. Thus enabling his son to past the test, using his heart.
Cevil took his father's actions as an act of betrayal, and started to plan a revenge on the elders. Thus Cevil's evil desires were released. Cevil started with the one thing besides magic he cared about, so he would not be distracted from his true art ever again. Leeana and Cevil were to be married and Cevil organised a great ceremony so he could turn the elven magics against the elders, and take by force what they were unwilling to teach him. For ten years he worked out the fine details of his plan as he studied the patterns of magic that defended the elven lands. (One of the first things he did was create a ring that would shield his plans from the Elders). Whenever Leeana was with him during those years, Cevil heart whispered to him to accept the love he felt and reject his quest for power.
The day of the wedding arrived, and Cevil was ready for his revenge. During the marriage ceremony the magic energies of the Elders flowed though out the community. Cevil captured the energies and turned them against the Elders. Unprepared for an attack the elders found themselves in difficulty. Leeana tried to reason with Cevil, and Cevil started to realise how much he loved her, and let his grip on the magics lessen.
An Elder escaped the binding and attacked Cevil. Cevil, realising his revenge had failed, blamed Leeana again and he unleashed a disintegrate spell at Leeana. Her body was reduced to particles before she could make a sound. Cevil than unleashed other spells at the elders, but he had to retreat. With a teleport spell Cevil escaped.
He was forever banned from his elven people. He blamed the elders for Leeana's death and has been planning more revenge against his people.
For the past three hundred years, Cevil has been travelling around the human lands looking for a way to get at the elves. Iuz's raise in power has given Cevil the opportunity to get his revenge. He believes that the destruction of his people is best served by destruction of all that they hold dear. He has been working to destroy their forest and to change their animals to horrors.
Because of his knowledge of the forests Cevil has been able to become a scout within the Furyondy army during the Wars. Once such time he was leading a patrol of the Knights of the Hart, which were being lead by a Veluna Noble called Baron James Vorllancer (The Baron came to Furyondy to help in the wars as Veluna could not aid Furyondy). The Baron was captured and questioned by Lussus and Cevil. One of the scouts he was questioning managed to escape and grab Cevil's dagger of wounding. She attacked Cevil giving him a scar down his left cheek. The scout jumped out of the tower into the muddy moat below. Cevil recovered his dagger but not the scout, whom he wishes to kill. (note: the scout is a character in my campaign but was not part of the GenCon group)
Cevil, Elven Mage 14th Level HP 43 (9) STR 11 INT 18 WIS 14 DEX 17 CON 15 CHA 15 AC -4 Bracers AC 4 Dexterity -3 Ring of Protection +3 Cloak of Protection + 2 Wand of Lightning (46 charges) Dagger of Wounding +2 Ring of Mind Shielding Cevil has Stoneskin Up, Also Contingency with Fireshield (cold) (activated when his stoneskin goes down) Spells 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 4 4 4 4 4 2 1 Spells 5th Level 6th Level 7th (He has cast from 5th level): Major Creation Project Image Spell Turning Fabricate True Seeing Telekinesis
The 5th level spells have been used in his experiments. Note the reason for the choice of 6th and 7th level spells is because Cevil is not expecting trouble, but is wary of the other servants of Iuz who will arrive and might want to discover what his plans are.
Languages: Elven (18), Common (18), Gnome (18), Halfling (18), Goblin (18), Hobgoblin (18), Orc (18), Gnoll (18) Non Weapon Proficiencies 17 (includes 7 for Int, and 2 weapon proficiencies exchanged for NWP) Spellcraft (18), Tracking (14), Animal Lore (18), Plant Lore (18), Herbaliam (16), Dancing (17), Singing (15), Riding Land Based (horse) (17), Swimming (11), Survival (18), Etiquette (15) Cooking (18) Cevil's Spellbook 1st 2nd 3rd Conjure Spell Component Melf's Acid Arrow Sepia Snake Sigil Feather Fall Vocalize Haste Magic Missile Continual Light Lightning Bolt Burning Hands Deep Pockets Fly Identify Detect Invisibility Blink Read Magic ESP Clairvoyance Unseen Servant Preserve Dispel Magic Detect Magic Invisibility Explosive Runes Cantrip Knock Flame Arrow Charm Person Magic Mouth Water Breathing Mending Locate Object Tongues Comprehend Languages Levitate Protection from normal missiles Sleep Mirror Image Slow Shield Stinking Cloud Spell Trap Message Spectral Hand Suggestion Tenser's Floating Disk Strength Wind Wall Wizard Mark Wizard lock Vampire Touch 4th 5th 6th Wizard Eye Lower Resistance Anti Magic Shell Polymorph Other Mordenkainen's Faithful Hound Contingency Charm Monster Airy Water Death Spell Confusion Cloudkill Enchant an Item Dimension Door Conjure Elemental Globe of Invulnerability Enchanted Weapon Fabricate Legend Lore Evard's Black Tentacles Feeblemind Project Image Fire Shield Hold Monster Chain Lightning Fire Trap Teleport True Seeing Wall of Ice Telekinesis Disintegrate Remove Curse Wall of Force Magic Mirror Passwall Leomund's Secure Shelter Major Creation Polymorph Self Stoneskin Contagion 7th Spell Turning Charm Plants Limited Wish Mordenkainen's Sword Forcecage Volley
Within the lab itself are many different herbs and spell components to cast each of his spellbook spells 20 times (a lot of easy to gain spell components).
The animals include: two Blink Dogs (in special cages), an elven cat, a sapling of a treant, as well as normal forest animals. All are suffering from a type of magical disease, which cannot be cured by normal cure disease.
The animals have not been well treated, so will attack those who put hands etc. near the cages. The disease Cevil is working on is a form of Chain Madness, that can be spread to most living things, including plants. Not only will the creature become insane but they slowly rot from the outside in, so the disease destroys the beauty of the creatures as well. Cevil has the cure, as he doesn't want to catch the disease himself.
The cure is a combination of herbs and treant sap, magically altered by a remove curse then limited wish (as Cevil doesn't have access to cure disease). There is enough cure for all the animals as well as 50 more doses. (Each batch creates 100 doses). Note: DM's Option the cure can also work on the normal cure madness.
Cevil has little other treasure within the lab, as most of it is within a secret lair in the Cairn Hills.
The Prisoner A set of stairs led up to the last room. This door is also wizard locked. Beyond is a small tower with Ariel within.
Ariel is the key to saving Thomas, as he will not want to kill his own innocent great granddaughter. He does not know that Ariel is his kin, and once the special wine is added to her bloodstream Thomas will not care.
Ariel Vorllancer HP 10 1st level Fighter STR 14 (12) INT 13 WIS 11 DEX 16 CON 15 CHA 17 Ariel is 17 years old and has had some training as a warrior from her father, but most of her time is spent helping her mother run the estate, while her father and sister (Limlisa) go adventuring. She looks very much like Esabell, which is why Cevil recognised her to be related to Thomas.
Ariel does not know where she is or that she is related to Thomas and Esabell, as she has not met them. Nor does she know what will be happening to her, as Cevil has told her nothing about her situation. She does know that her father was killed after Cevil and Lussus tortured him. She believes they were after information relating to the castle defences in Veluna and southern Furyondy.
The Great Hall/Dining Room The Great Hall is where the feast will be held and is where Thomas and Esabell are currently located. They are awaiting the guests and are spending time greeting then and talking with them.
Servants run around with jugs of ale and wine filling the cups of the tasters, who then pass the drink to their masters. The time the group enter the Great Hall will determine the number of guests that have arrived. Each guest has about three followers who are trusted (charmed) guards and servants.
In the afternoon three guests and their servants have arrived. These are lesser commanders (Captains/Majors) in the Iuz war machine. They are on average 7th to 10th level fighters, with bodyguards of 2 7th level fighters.
In the evening the other guests arrive including a General, an orc Chieftain, two nalfeshnee tanar'ri disguised as military advisers, and lastly the lesser boneheart Panshazek, who is ensuring he gets the credit for gaining a powerful ally.
Along the sides of the room are 24 guards in full military uniform.
This may seem to be an over the top encounter, but it is not designed to be a charge in and attack. The guests will not get involved in any fight unless directly attacked. Their bodyguards will stand in the way but will not help Thomas's guards. If area effect spells go off the guests will try to leave the hall until the fight is over.
They believe that if Thomas cannot handle the adventurers he is not worthy of becoming an ally of Iuz. Plus they don't mind some blood sports.
If the group arrives here without Ariel, Thomas will order the guards to attack and will call for more reinforcements. This should mean the group are outmatched; if necessary Thomas will fight them which should mean defeat for the group.
If the group has Ariel, Thomas will order the guards and guests away. In the evening there are far more guests so Thomas and Esabell will see the group in the hallway. The group must then persuade Thomas that he must go to his god, as his vampire life destroys all the he stood for and ever did.
20 Men HD 3 HP 22 AC 2 Dam 1-8 +2/ 2-16 +2 Att 3/2 THACO 16
4 Leader Sword Wraiths HD 7 HP 42 AC 3 Dam 1-10 Att 3/2 THACO 13 Drain 1 point of Str per hit. +2 or better weapons needed to hit.
The End If the group manages to show Ariel to Thomas and explain what Cevil and the other servants of Iuz are trying to do, then Thomas agrees that ending his life is best for everybody. He dispels the darkness cloud that hangs around the castle and allows sunlight to breach its walls. He then removes the agents of Iuz from the castle, and walks hand in hand with Esabell into the sunlight.
Thus ending the Forgotten Hero.
Please Note I have not finished detailing all the rest of the castle, nor have I provided stats for Thomas and Esabell. If attacked Thomas is a 16th level fighter with 122 HP, AC -7, regeneration 3/hp per round Attack 5/2 Damage 1-8 +9 or Attacks 2 damage 1-8 plus level drain 2 levels. Plus normal vampire abilities and the ability to control weather.
Esabell will also protect her husband. She acts as a normal vampire.
I will write a history about Thomas's family and complete the rest of the castle when I have more time. I hope those who read this adventure enjoyed it. Please Email me with any comments, questions, or grammar corrections :)
Magic Items Staff of Necromancy: This staff is similar to the Staff of the Magi, but is enchanted for the specialist Necromancer wizard. The staff is not recharged through special commands or absorbing spells but through the killing of living creatures with its powers.
The following powers do not drain charges: Detect Undead Darkness Protection from good Chill Touch Energy Drain One Level per touch save vs. rods, staff, wands, negates.
The Following powers drain one charge per usage: Animate Dead Bloodstone's Spectral Steed Contagion Enervation Evard's Black Tentacles Feign Death Summon Shadow Spectral Hand Vampiric Touch Wraithform
The Following powers drain two charges Create Greater Undead Death Spell Finger of Death Monster Summoning VI / Summon Minor Death
Energy Drain recharges the Staff one charge per level drained. If a person is drained to below 0 levels then the victim will become a juju zombie, if create greater undead is used on the victim the creature will become a vampire. If a creature is killed by the staff's spells or being hit by the staff the staff is recharged by one charge per 2 HD/Levels of the victim.
In combat the staff is a +3 weapon which causes double damage (2d6 +6) to good creatures. The energy drain or chill touch abilities can be activated to effect the target along with the normal attack.
The staff enables the wielder to command undead as if a cleric of 8th level.
Retributive strike is a breaking of the staff. It must be purposeful and declared by the wizard wielding it. When this is done all charges in the staff are released in a black globe of 30-foot radius. All creatures within 10 feet of the broken staff suffer hit points of damage equal to eight times the number of charges in the staff (1 to 25), those between 10 feet to 20 feet take 6 x levels, and those 20 feet to 30 feet distant take 4 x levels. Successful saving throws versus magic indicate only one-half damage is sustained. Those creatures killed by this negative energy become sekeletons, any spell caster killed will become a spellcasting shadow.
The staff of necromancy does not provide saving throw bonuses nor can it absorb spells.
Soul Eater: The Staff of Necromancy
Soul Eater is the name given to a special staff of Necromancy which was said to be created by the Greater God Nerull. The staff is made of made of a ebony wood, so black that it seems to standard out amongst darkness. Very small runes of dark red encircle the staff, they are so fine that a magnifying glass is needed to read them. Fused within the middle of the staff is the bones of a minor death. And some speculate, that the staff has a layer skin from Nerull around the outside.
The staff has no extra special powers except for 60' telepathy. It does not know any languages but sends dark images to those its want to communicate to. The staff has an intelligent value of 14 and an Ego of 13 and can dominate a wielder very much like an intelligent sword. However it can use its powers without the need for a wielder, so is able to let a non mage to use it's abilities. The staff often transforms the non-mage user into a vampire through level drain and its Create Greater Undead abilities. This way the vampire wielder becomes more attuned to the magical energies and can call upon them without Soul Eater's permission.
The staff is neutral evil but can be wielded by any non good. Good aligned characters take 2d6 +6 damage plus must save vs Death Magic or be drained a level if they touch the staff.
Note on the Staff: Soul Eater does not count as an artifact, so can be destroyed through normal means. It does count as hard metal and gains +4 to saving throws. The staff can saves Crushing Blow to survive the Retributive Strike. It most cases the wielder will never survive to know that the staff will reform after the Retributive Strike. And Soul Eater doesn't know of this ability.
History of the Staff. The staff was created to be wielded by the Great Hierarchs of Nerull. The first Great Hierarch to wield Soul Eater was Tras Deathhand a powerful Necromancer (rumoured to have studied the ways of Nerull from deep within the Bright Desert, and who's skeletal right arm was a fully functional). With the power of the Staff, Tras was able to create a large temple within Abbor-Alz Mountains called the Fortress of Living Bone. (Note its exact location is unknown (except to the Dwarves), due to its destruction 120 years after its construction. The priests of Pelor have tried to keep the locate secret. As the fortress existed over 700 years ago, even they have lost the location.).
From the fortress Tras organised a group of assassins whose goal was to kill all good and bring power to the church of Nerull. These assassins would animate the dead bodies of the slain with a special ritual and thus prevented many of the slain being resurrected. In the final days of the fortress Tras, had been slowly transformed by his dark art into a lich.
The powers of good lead by followers of Pelor and the Mountain Dwarves located the Underground Fortress and then attacked it. The forces within the Darkness were far more powerful than that of good but a High priest cast Earthquake opening the ground so that Sunlight pieced the heart of the fortress. The Sunlight caused the Living Bone to scream out in pain and try to crawl off to the shadows, causing the fortress to collapse. Then the army attacked. Tras wielded Soul Eater and struck down many invaders but his magics were limited by the sunlight and the priests who turned his undead.
Tras then called to Nerull to save him as he had sacrificed many souls in Nerull's name. Nerull is not one to ignore his servants, but does not reward failure. Nerull transformed Tras's soul so that it became one with the staff, and then a surviving servant took the staff into the depths of the earth. The soul provided the staff with an evil intelligence very much like that of an intelligent sword. Soul Eater does not know of its former life but is aware that is wants to kill and cause death and darkness to spread over Oerth. To this end Soul Eater is hungry to drain the life forces of living creatures.
The reason why the staff is called Soul Eater, is because it is always hungry to drain energy from the living. This is because the trapped soul within has part it missing so it can not remember who it is or its history. The staff is aware but does not remember periods beyond 10 years nor is it loyal to its wielder. The staff often seeks a new wielder if it is not being used to kill things. But its wielder plays an important part as the staff requires a wielder to provide direction and plans to further evil. The staff will control a weak creature but its actions tend attract the attentions of more powerful creatures that can wield the staff with more purpose.
The Soul Eater has appeared in the hands of different followers and non followers of Nerull until Tsojcanth discovered it after killing a necromancer. He kept the staff as it might be useful but did not weaken to its desires to kill. Tsojcanth had plans of his own to bring himself to greater power as he worked with the four elements and not the dead. So the staff was rarely used expect to create undead workers.
Upon Iggwilv's discovery of the staff, it started to feed her information about Tsojcanth through images projected into her head. Iggwilv used the staff's knowledge and later its abilities to create powerful undead armies while she focused on the binding of demons to her service. She then used the staff to help destroy the forces Perrenland.
Ten years later and after Iggwilv's failure to take Furyondy, Soul Eater was stolen by a Goblin King called Defskic the Cunning, while Iggwilv recovered from her battle with Grazz't. The Goblin was transformed into a powerful vampire, who was renamed Defskic Lifeslayer, and used his powers to raise a large goblin army. CY 480 the goblin forces strike through the Northern Verse forest and toward Furyondy. Defskic used some giants and other humanoids (promising them power and a share of Furyondy) to distract the demi-human forces while his main force moved to attack an unsuspecting Furyondy.
Defskic was defeated by The Shining Sword (See history of Thomas Shennan in the Forgotten Hero). Defskic managed to kill the Paladin but at the last moment the Paladin thrust his sword through the vampire and caused a sunray to form inside Defskic's body. Defskic used Soul Eater to preform a Retributive Strike to try an remove the holy light streaming out of his undead body. The goblin commanders that came to his aid were touched by the power unleased by the staff and their life energies drained. The darkness caused most of the goblin troops to flee as their commands and shamans were killed by the Retributive Strike.
Thomas Shennen rose to become a full Vampire three days after the battle (as he was killed by Defskic's bite not the staff). He find his sword and the staff next to each other. He refused the calling of the staff (which was not destroyed by the Retributive Strike) and his sword now refused his calling. Thomas then built his Tomb which was more of a holding place for his sword and Soul Eater. Soul Eater was placed within a casing of Gold, while his sword was buried with a body of a Paladin of Pelor (whom Thomas killed so that his tomb would be complete).
Soul Eater remains within the Tomb, but has used some of its powers to lessen the gold casing around it. (Chill touch after a hundred years has weaken the gold). The staff uses the undead created by its Retributive Strike to try and kill all near it. However the Shining Sword called to the forces of good, and helps keep a strange balance around the staff. Because the good and evil are close to together either can be found via detect good/evil. The creatures of darkness still can be detected as evil and the tomb as good.
Iuz has been made aware of the Staff's existence, as many of his goblins' ancestors know of the Goblin King Defskic (Iuz was also aware that Iggwilv used it but he remembers she lost it). Iuz wants the staff as a show piece to get a lot of the Vesve forest goblins on his side. The effect upon the goblin forces is similar to that of the Torch of Gruumsh. (They are more likely to serve the wielder of the staff, as their legends have it is a great weapon for the goblin "people"). The goblins' memory is not that good so the stories of the staff have changed from tribe to tribe and each generation (it has been about 5 to 6 goblin generations since the battle). This has made finding the staff very difficult. Iggwilv has also mentioned the staff to her son, but she wants it for herself, as it was a part of her power. Note Nerull doesn't mind about the staff, his view is his followers have to earn the right to wield the weapon, and finding it is part of that right.
References: Iuz the Evil From the Ashes Campaign Book Rary the Traitor The Dungeon Masters Guide: ie the Staff of Magi. The Lost Cavern of Tsojcanth The Forgotten Hero Adventure
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