Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ages of Lingusia: The City of Kymir

   The city of Kymir is an expansive coastal port along the northern coast of the Empire of Hyrkania. It is one of four key city ports that provide gates to overland trade in the Middle Kingdoms, and has prospered as such for many centuries. The core of the city reflects this, having built up long ago upon a tell mound.

The Purge of Kymir (1958-1959)

   The city of Kymir has long been a loyal supporter of the Emperor, but recently a shadow has been cast over the otherwise bright city with the rumors of dark forces and hordes of monsters amassing at the empire’s border. Within the city itself hints of chaos cults have sprung up, and fear has run rampant among the citizens as it is suggested that chaos kin such as doppelgangers and even worse have infiltrated the ranks of the city’s aristocracy. There is a fear that the city may somehow fall to chaos from within, and governor-regent Dalos Ternakus wants to put a stop to this. Officially he can do little; the accusations against house Strallikus and house Tharik have little real weight; no actual murders have been evidenced that haven’t been accounted for through seemingly more innocent means, but the rumors are still too difficult to ignore. Dalos decides to hire some “special agents” on the side to do some dirty work for him, see what can be dug up. Among those he seeks out is the young mercenary Wormi, who recently earned the regent’s respect after he rescued his daughter Alandra from a kidnapping attempt. He will hire Wormi, along with the adventurers, to investigate these claims and murders and see if there is any stock to them, and the rumors that two of Kymir’s three strongest houses are corrupted from within by chaos…
   Wormi has his own agenda. He’s aware that both of the rival houses in Kymir have vast treasure houses, and that he might be able to get in to those coffers and help himself. He wouldn’t be above raiding Ternakus’s coffers either, but will forego such actions while he’s on their employ.
   During this time, the minotaur Zigmund and his Cult of Ogron is active in the city. Zigmund is a useful source of knowledge as it relates to the Lower Dark beneath, albeit an annoying one as he spends his time attempting to convert people to the following of the Wind Lord.
   Another known persona during this period is Dihralk Nephu, who is presently making a name for himself in the region fighting on the side in the gladiatorial circuit while also seeking employment as a full-time solder. He is presently a captain in the Kymir garrison.
   The mystery behind Kymir is multifold. House Strallikus is indeed corrupt…and has been for a long time. Darante Strallikus is the eldest son of the house and destined to the ranks of dukedom. He is also a high priest and templar of the chaos cult to Dalroth and Slithotep, and has been allowing various agents of chaos in to the city walls for some time now, including a cabal of Sherigras and their undead hordes that lurk in the sewers, as well as doppelganger agents that have been quietly positioning themselves in the city, taking over various famous or powerful individuals and either ridding themselves of the bodies of their victims or making the bodies unidentifiable.
   House Tharik is also corrupted, but they worship a different chaos god: Sul’Ziddarak, the Sleeper. Oddly, the Dalroth cult is opposed to this one, for it is believed that Sul’Ziddarak is an usurper deity; either Dalroth of Sul’Ziddarak can lead the triumphant to the new era of chaos, but not both, according to the vile eldritch tomes both cults read their scriptures from. As such, the problems in Kymir are two-fold: both cults are seeking dominion over the city, and only their opposition to one another is preventing it from happening immediately.
   The agents of Sul’Ziddarak are drawn from the darkness of the Far Realm, the domain that touches the edges of true chaos and beyond, and include mind flayers and other abominations. The cultists of house Tharik are led by lady Eleska Tharik-Cartadi, who appears human on the surface, though she holds this façade to hide the inhuman shoggoth-like entity she has transformed in to. Most of her true cultists have undergone terrible mutations, but like the cultists of Dalroth this shapechanging ability gives them an edge in the strange secret war of Kymir.
   There is one more party at work in the city. The Astral Blades are an elite order of knights who swear loyalty to Etah, the dreaming traveler, a god of the planes that imbues its kin with psionic powers, some say. The Astral Blades are eternal enemies of the cult of Sul’Ziddarak and will seek them out to slaughter them whever they appear; they consider this chaos entity to be far more evil and powerful than the deities Dalroth and Slithotep, which are both considered fallen gods of the pantheon of order so far as the Astral Blades are concerned. The headquarters of the Astral Blades includes a Planar Gate to the domain of Astrophikus, from which they hail originally.
   The adventurers hired by Lord Ternakus are plunged in to the middle of this intrigue and must try to sort out who or what is the real threat in the city of Kymir. He will give them a 1,000 GP stipend per week to resolve this issue and stop the cult of Sul’Ziddarak!

Complications in Kymir:

The Steel Dragon
   There is rumored to be an ancient Steel Dragon dwelling in the Lower Dark beneath Kymir, whose cave is accessible by a winding series of grotto tunnels off the coast. The steel dragon is named Karmakus Incineratos. It looks like both factions are vying for control of this dragon to aid them in their intended take-over of the city.
Hook: The Deep Delve Company (run by Silver Dwarves) is interested in finding out where the dragon’s lair is located, and is looking for willing scouts to delve deep; they will pay 100 GP up front and 500 GP on receipt of the data they need, with a 250 GP hazard pay bonus if the PCs survive any “incidents.”

The Mad Asylum
   One of house Strallikus’s secret cult temples is located in the Arykad Asylum, located on the northern high bluffs overlooking the city and the sea. Here, the Headmaster of the asylum, a tiefling named Mariskos Vagan, openly allows the worship of Slithotep and uses the madmen of the asylum to create new and terrifying monsters, which he keeps locked away until the signal for their release is given when the Dark Armies begin their march.
Hook: Anton Dalos is a young nobleman out of Galent who has come to Kymir seeking his lost sister named Anadra, who traveled to Kymir after becoming infatuated with a nobleman named Carnast Yindalor. Carnast has obstinately refused to help Anton and even threatened to kill him if he continued poking his nose in to the matter, so Anton has gathered his personal savings of 1,900 gold as well as his war horse and his magic sword (+2 long sword Luckblade) if the PCs will interrogate Carnast and rescue his sister. What the PCs will ultimately find out is that Carnast has sold Anton’s sister to the headmaster Mariskos Vagan, who then declared her insane and locked her away as a forced convert to the cult of Slithotep in the asylum…

The Black Orphanage
   The chief temple of house Tharik is actually the Goldenlight Orphanage, where the children of the orphanage (and the benevolent priests of what everyone thought was the living goddess Hella) are not at all what they seem; at the orphanage’s heart is a terrifying orb, a singularity of darkness that is said to be a passage to the far realm and a place from which Sul’Ziddarak’s beating heart can be heard. All of the children and priests of the orphanage have changed, purged of human souls and tainted by demonic entities from the far realm.
Hook: Friendly streetwise PCs may befriend street urchins who speak of their friends who have been taken away to the orphanage, and when they next meet them their friends are “changed” to terrifying shells occupied by unknown forces…

The Lich King
   Kymir has long been the home of the Lich King, the legendary Laikhanamen, though few are aware of this. Those secret powers that seek to control the city know the lich king dwells within, and have been jockeying to buy him off or earn his support…anything to keep from drawing his attention. Only regent Ternakus himself is unaware that Old Man Laikhanamen, who periodically visits his palace to provide some advice and insight on city affairs, is actually this ancient, immortal undead sorcerer. Laikhanamen may actually prove to be the single most valuable ally the adventurers could hope for in thwarting both foes, although Laikhanamen’s own armies would involve raising a veritable army of the dead to do the job.
Hook: The elderly gentleman Laikhanamen will seek out the PCs for various sundry tasks he needs completed, including some unusual ones, such as taveling to five corners of the city and setting up tall rod-like objects in the center of ritual pentagrams, then opening stoppered bottles filled with minor elementals…he may also send the PCs to investigate rumors that the ruins of Clastus in the swamps to the south have been overtaken by orcs bearing a strange new mark, and that he wants to know if the mark in question is that of the eight-eyed god Dalroth…

The Buzzing Darkness
   Unknown to all these other parties, deep in the Lower Dark an army of insectoid beings is stirring as the cults of Thasrik rise anew, driven mad in a buzzing frenzy at the impending chaos. The leader of these forces is no less than the Hive Queen Skatha Idanaor herself, a drider priestess who is considered Thasrik’s consort. She may seek to offer her army to the highest bidder should they wish to secure the city through her brutal tactics and forces.
Hook: odd intrusions to the surface of various insectoid beings are generating minor bounties to put down these pests. The overlord of Kymir will appoint the City Engineer Mordran Gamost to find out where the insectoids are coming from, which he in turn will seek out mercenaries to enter the lower sewers and see if they can seal up the “leaks” from below; he’ll pay them 250 GP each with a double pay hazard bonus if they run in to trouble.

The Mad Prophet and the Village of Cropstor
   The first real power play will happen, it turns out, in the farmlands outside of Kymir. A mad prophet of Slithotep has been speaking in the city for some time now of how the “children of the vine” (Syleni) will spill their blood in the name of the true darkness. This turns out to be a reference to an attack on the Halfling village of Cropstor in the north, where apparently it is believed a “pure soul” of order has been born in the form of the Halfling Kizzel Firedrawn. Kizzel is actually a rather errant soul, but he has no idea he has been pegged for capture—and his village exterminated!—by both cults of chaos. Adventurers may learn of this and seek to stop or mitigate the damage to the village.
Hook: A concerned citizen by name of Alundair Saeraghan hears the mad prophet and grows concerned; he hires the PCs to investigate the prophet and see what is going on (200 GP each, plus 250 GP each additional if they stop or waylay the attack on the village). Alundair is a local wizard of some repute; he is not powerful, but he does what he can to thwart the budding chaos cults in the region and his family has been in opposition to Strallikus for centuries now.

Other Plots:

Agamar Devilhoof and the Spear of Darkness
   This mad wizard minotaur wanders the region seeking allies to steal a legendary artifact from a degenerate cult of serpent men who claim to worship a being called “The Riven King.” This cult has incidentally been stealing children and women from the streets of Kymir and a reward of 10,000 gold has been offered to the one who stops the cult permanently and brings the head of high priestess Nemeska and her two allies, Grokka and Black Furion with it to the highlord of kymir.
   Agamar is a self-serving bastard and will lure the PCs in to the deal on claim he knows where the cult is, and all he wants is this relic he seeks. He does indeed know that the temple is located within the Swamplands of Old Clastus, and that he knows the safe way to get to it. This is true; what they don’t know is how mercenary he is; he will literally throw them all under the bus if need be to get the Spear of Darkness. Agamar has been on the trail of Demogorgon’s relics for some time now, and seeks to possess them all.
Religion DC 24: The Spear of Darkness is rumored to be an ancient unholy relic, wielded by the Demon Lord Demogorgon himself to slay the Aspect of Naril during the War of the Gods, as well as his Seraph generals.

The Secret Behind the cult of Israthor
   The angel Israthor is a vestige (a soul trapped in the Limbo fo the Far Realm), locked in the Far Realms and held captive by the demiurge and tormentor/jail-keeper called Malgastithet; Malgastithet for some reason has adopted Israthor's name and claims to be him to his cultists. The title of the "Riven King" is actually a known title of Malgastithet, and was never used for Israthor.
    Malgastithet is a demigod, a hybrid entity, and it craves power. Its father is the god Slithotep. Its mother is an entity known only as the Phaeras, the Daughter of Darkness. It was condemned to the Far Realms as a gate keeper because it was seen as too deformed and insane even by its parents. It’s motivations are uncertain; madness, or perhaps vengeance for its fate spur it to seek an escape from its prison.
   Malgastithet has a certain belief that the Spear of Darkness contains the power necessary to free it; the Spear is one of many weapons from the War of the Gods that could condemn even an immortal angel’s soul to the Far Realm, never to escape; Malgastithet believes it can be used, as well, to free a soul, or even a physical being such as himself from entrapment in the Far Realm.

Xarion and the Spear of Darkness
   Xarion wants the Spear of Darkness for himself, as a weapon he can use to further his own intentions in the forthcoming War. He has many agents, as well as infiltrators in the cult, seeking the knowledge of the spear.

   Hyrmyskos has a grand arena and it is known for a cluster of carefully bred blue dragons that it keeps chained for the arenas. One blue dragon has escaped, known by the name of Grakkas, but more commonly called Horsekiller for his love of horseflesh. Rumor is that Horsekiller already has a dedicated following of dragonborn and kobolds out of a cave along the base of the Slithotendan Mountains; he’s been causing mayhem in villages throughout the northern province, and a reward has gone out that the first to bring him in will receive 5,000 gold and a plot of land out of Hyrmyskos, awared by highlord Calidantes himself.

Overview of Kymir:

Tell Avath
   This region of the city is found on top of the great tell, sometimes called the “Tell Avath” which in the old tongue means “Seat of Ancestors.” The city fo Kymir has existed for more than two thousand years, and in that time the inner city proper has grown on top of the ruins of prior eras; the tell itelf is a vast network of catacombs, subterranean streets, overlaid waterworks, sewage drains and forgotten crypts. In Kymir’s history the city has been subject to fire, destruction by war, abandonment by plague and other phenomena over two and a half thousand years multiple times; each time, the people eventually returned and built on the ashes of old. Thus has Tell Avath grown tall.

Locations on Tell Avath:

The Silver Palace
   Here is where Overlord Dalos Ternakus rules with his family. The palace is famous for the architecture of its Grand Hall where public events  are conducted, for the entire roof of the steepled complex is lined in carefully worked silver décor.

The Temple of Naril
   Ostensibly Naril is the patron of the Empire, and his temples are found in every city, his shrines in every village. The Kymiri temple to the sun lord is uncharacteristically small and does not have a proper garrison for the Solarian Knights, though a handful are present at any given time, either as guests, on pilgrimage, or simply offering their services for a time. The high priest of the temple is Aldran Yintar, a mousy man of noble birth but far removed from his own family out of Krythia. Rumor has it he was sent here to manage the temple to remove him from his home city some years back after a scandal involving the export of slave women of native descent to foreign lands. No one knows if this is true or if he was framed, and Aldran refused to discuss the matter.

 Laikhanamen’s Tower
   The local character “Old Man Laikhanamen” who is in fact the legendary lich king dwells here. His tower is located along the Royal Park, and is uncharacteristically friendly and pleasing to the eye. It is a favored spot of young lovers. The tower is cared for by his favored seneschal, Lady Madaras, a robust woman of mixed ogreish and elvish ancestry and a very friendly if ugly woman.

The Steel Dragon Inn
   This inn is rumored to have been run for centuries now by its proprietor and his family, the tiefling Janisar Zane. Janisar is a friendly fellow, and claims to have descended from the old bloodlines of lost Clastus; when drunk he insists he has the birth mark of the old Regent upon his buttock, and he may well even show it. The inn itself is a popular spot for young nobles and wealthy adventurers, but it is not cheap.

“Fire in the Sky” Apothecary
   This store branch of the Alchemist’s Guild is modest but well-stocked, providing tonics, elixirs and tinctures to the general population as well as more serious potions to adventurers. It is run by the dragonborn scholar and wizard Taranos. A small school of Alchemy is operated on the grounds.

The Watch Tower of Gamandan
   This is the prison and operation center for the City Watch of Kymir. The Captain of the Guard and city protector is Captain Aelon Tamis, a former Solarian who fell from grace many years ago and withdrew from the service of Naril. He now privately worships the death god Kavishkar and the ancestral god Karn, being a minor priest in the very small local cult to this deity.

The Lower City
   The bulk of the city stretches out along the cliffs of Tell Avath and down to the river bay (the Eladrine Bay) where most commerce takes place. The Lower City is where most skullduggery occurs, and is a famous haven for smugglers and pirates in Hyrkania, as Kymir is one of the few ports that does not enforce the royal tariffs (unless forced to) nor does its Harbor Authority bother to verify the identity or affiliation of inbound vessels. As such, many privateers that might be on the enemies’ list of the Hyrkanian Royal Navy can settle here, within the bounds of the Empire, without risk of capture and imprisonment.
Locations in the Lower City:

Lefferen Prison
   Once run by one of the most notorious sadists in the empire’s history, the prison is now half abandoned, as much of it is believed to be haunted and overrun by the undead; the other half of the prison remains viable, walled away from the ruined section destroyed during the Plague of Grakkas two centuries ago that almost left Kymir a ghost town. The most famous ghost of the haunted wing is thwe sadistic Lefferen himself; the prisoners are usually well behaved, threatened with being cast in to the dark haunted wing to be dealt with by the undead if they are troublesome.

Blackspire Tower
   This tower is located down by the waterfront and is the center of operations for the Harbor Authority, which is notoriously lax. Harbormaster Quin Dreyas (a Halfling) operates from here, and is secretly the head of a wealthy smuggling operation known unofficially as the Blackspire Smuggler’s Guild to those who deal with it.

Goldenlight Orphanage
   As mentioned elsewhere, this orphanage operates in the Lower City and is on the surface a service dedicated to the living goddess Hella. Beneath this thin exterior lies a dark cult temple to the vile Sul’ziddaran and his abominable servants.

Keep of the Astral Blades
   This small keep is maintained by this esoteric order and doubles as a temple to the golden god Etah. The Astral Blades purchased the abandoned keep some years ago and have long since been commissioned with the highlord of Kymir to provide the defense of the southport region of the Lower City. They have done a remarkable job, in fact, much to the irritation of the main City Watch. The leader of the Astral Blades Kaiden Dann Nemaron, an eladrin battlemind who is, in fact from Astrophikus.

The Sorry Kobold Tavern
   This dockside tavern is a famous place for privateers and pirates to gather and relax without fear of reprisal from the law. It is also a place for poor adventurers to seek out new employment.

Note: the folllowing encounters may look familiar to those of you who have seen the Agraphar book. They do, in fact, bear such a close resemblance for I actually poached them from my Agraphar campaign and reskinned everything for the Kymir campaign I ran (convenient when its two different groups of players). Rather than delete, ignore or rework it I have left it as-is for posterity:

Encounters in Kymir Province

The Black Swamps of Clastus:

Trouble in Zeremast: This Halfling Syleni community is located south of Kymir, and the town locals are under siege from small blue-skinned goblins, as they describe it. The problem has been ongoing for weeks, and the last party of mercenaries they hired to find and kill the beasts disappeared. No one knows why the beings are attacking, but they will pay 500 gold to the adventurers to stop the assault. Mayor Wendel Spigilsmit will happily offer to serve as a guide if the PCs need one (since the other guides are too terrified to leave their homes).

Encounter: Xivort Raiding Party (625 XP)
   The PCs may stumble across a gang of Xivort raiders while investigating.
2 Xivort Slashers
1 Xivort Net Caster
2 Xivort Darters
1 Xivort Shadow Caller

Encounter Location: The Xivort Cavern (Total of 4300 XP; broken in to 6ish encounter areas)
   The Xivort cavern includes a fiery idol of flowing molten gold, around which they will dance and cavort madly, proclaiming their infernal love for dread “Israthor.” The following are all of the cavern’s occupants, which may be encountered all at once or separately, depending on how cautious the PCs are:
12 xivort slashers
4 xivort net casters
16 xivort darters
4 xivort shadow callers
6 thornskin frog guardians
Other Possible Swamp Encounters: Chitines, cave fishers, ankhegs, bullywugs

   Much of the entire northern mountains are draped in this dark and chilly northern forest. The Spinewood is a necessary feature of the land, but locals shun traveling alone in the woods for fear of what lurks within. Some example encounters:

Wylden Clan: A clan of Wylden have emerged in the deep woods and are on the hunt. They are unsympathetic to humans, and are presently seeking out the strange beasts and demons that are answering the call of the dark cult of Israthor, hunting such beasts.

Encounter: Wylden Hunting Party (675 XP)
   The Wylden will likely begin stalking the PCs and then attack, though a charismatic effort to quell their fears may win them over.
2 wylden destroyers
2 wylden hunters
1 wylden ancient

Encounter: Goblin Advance Squadron (850 XP)
   The goblins of the swamps are patrolling the region as advanced scouts for the army of SGaviltar the Elflsayer and capturing one or more alive might lead to valuable information on their intentions, info which could save lives.
3 goblin warriors
1 goblin skullcleaver
2 goblin sharpshooters
1 goblin hexer

Encounter: Chaos Beasts Answer the Call of Israthor
   Many strange beasts wander through the Spinewood seeking out the visions of power and darkness Isrador offers for their allegiance. They are utterly hostile to anyone not of their own kind.

In the Mountains of Madness:
   The mountains harbor many dangerous beasts, including goblin patrols, errant kobolds, and occasional orc and drow raiders. Dwarves and various giants are to be found here, as well.

Around the Black Shrine:
   There are no specific encounters around the black shrine, but strange things will happen en route. A seraph guardian will step forth to task anyone who approaches; he seeks not to slay, but will force the defeated to the base of the mountain. He can only be bypassed with the right word, which comes from a Pillar at the center of the Ruins of Clastus, written in the ancient tongue of the Primordials, but legible to any who hold the mysterious Amulet of Gazad’hran (see more below): “Sinsaith, Protect me.” Once said in the original Primordial language, Sinsaith will allow passage. If the PCs defeat him and his servants, he will reform in 24 hours with twice as many servants to try kicking them off the mountain again.
Encounter: The Seraph Sinsaith (1,000 XP)
1 Angel of Valor (Sinsaith)
4 angel of valor cohorts

   There are a lot of goblins, hobgoblins, ogres and trolls congregating here. Orcs stay away mostly, dwelling much deeper in the mountains; they fear Scrotus the Bold and his mighty army. Any number of strange encounters with the goblinoid army’s recruits could happen in this region!

In the Ruins of Clastus:
Encounter: Skulks on Patrol (975 XP)
   A group of Skulks have taken up residence in the ruins, among other foul beasts, in hopes of the promise of power Isrador’s visions have wrought. They have allied themselves with a barghest named Negratos, who is an exile among goblinoids.
1 Skulk Mesmerist
3 Skulk Murderers
1 Skulk Hunter
1 Barghest Savager (Negratos)

Encounter: Lurking Warlock and Gang (828 XP)
   A band of monsters led by the charismatic tiefling warlock Enestro have taken residence in what was once a grand Library in Clastus. They too have come, hypnotized by Israthor’s call to power.
1 Tiefling Heretic (Enestro)
6 Infernal Armor Animus (bodyguards)
2 Hex Knight dark ones (Alistair and Tabitha)

Encounters: Roaming Beasts (Total XP variable)
   Many beastly monsters have felt the call, though they have not the minds to understand it. Some examples:
3 Volcanic Dragon Wyrmlings (600 XP)-mother may show up for pick-up
1 Young Black Dragon (875 XP) from the swamplands
4 fire bats (800 XP)
6 gray oozes (750 XP)
1 Ankheg and 10 Ankheg Broodlings (550 XP)

Encounter: The Dead Patrols of Clastus (variable XP)
   The guardians of lost Clastus are rising to fight off the hordes that descend upon the city. They are restless, for they remember the era when Clastus was alive, and how it was destroyed by the worship of Israthor. They might not attack beings of good with plain evidence of such (amulets to good gods, say). They are all bound to an amulet, the Amulet of Gazad’hran, the last Necromancer of Clastus. This amulet is in the possession of Enestro.
Patrol 1: 6 Dread Protectors (900 XP)
Patrol 2: 3 Dread Protectors, 2 Dread Marauders (850 XP)
Patrol 3: 2 Dread Protectors, 1 Dread Marauder and 2 Dread Archers (1,000 XP)

Nemradar Hill Lands:
   Patrols of human raiders from the jarldoms can be found here, but the single greatest threat is the infamous Blue Dragon Horsekiller, as he is called, an arena-bred renegade. Additional encounters could include northern blue orcs of the Frozenblade tribe who dominate the region from northern ice caves out of the Spinewood along the Mountains of Madness, as well as dark dwarves and more ferocious beings.

The Draconic Presence:
   This region is rife with kobolds, dragonborn and to a lesser degree drakes, all who stem from the draconic insurgence out of the Caves of Israthor, where the mysterious being’s calls have been drawing draconic beings from all across the land.

Daeragastor and Denetar Keep:
   This ruined city has been rife with undead and essentially uninhabitable since its fall two decades ago. There have been efforts to repopulate, but all have ended in tragedy.  The city was destroyed through a terrible event about which much mystery is surrounded; a small fortress manned by the Solarian Paladins called Denetar Keep rests outside the city’s walls, protecting the rest of the world from the mysterious undead within. They also man a light house along the coast to warn away ships using the Straights of Nyarlith to travel to and from the Inner Sea region.
   Unknown to most, Daeragastor was destroyed when the vile apprentice necromancer Varimoth sought to steal the secret of unlife from his master, Gaviltar. In doing so, he forged a pact with the demon lord Demogorgon, who made him an immortal lich….in exchange for the souls of Daeragastor. In one terrible night the demon lord’s army was released and ran amok through the city streets, slaying all in their path. When the dawn rose, the demons vanished, but the dead began to rise. Gaviltar was in his castle along the western edge of the Spinewood when this happened, but his newly powerful former apprentice sought him out and murdered him in his keep, then crafted a spell to lock the wizard’s spirit within, never to escape.
   Today, Varimoth seeks more power, and he is behind the mounting forces of goblins and orcs at Clastus, seeking evidence of the lost tomb of the ancient being Israthor, whom he has determined is a fallen Old God from the war; Israthor’s dreams have haunted him, as he seeks to steal the power from this corpse-god’s resting place beneath Clastus.
   Some sample encounters include:

Encounter 1: horde of zombies (1206 XP)
12 zombie rotters
6 zombies
Encounter 2: Wight’s Army (1,000 XP)
1 Wight
1 Deathlok Wight
5 zombies
Encounter 3: Assembly of Darkness (1,300 XP)
1 Ghast
6 ghoul flesh seekers

Encounter 4: Necrotic Survivor (700 base XP + 2000 for lich if they actually fight and defeat him)
   The necromancer Gaviltar perished, but his acolyte Varimoth lived and has stolen his master’s secret cashe of lore, allowing himself to become a lich!
1 Lich (human wizard)
12 decrepit skeletons
2 blazing skeletons

Castle Gaviltar:
   This castle is dominated by Gaviltar himself, who is a ghost manifest. His castle is full of undead, slowly being raised by his sheer force of will. Gaviltar, should he ever be interrogated, might feel kindly toward those seeking information, enough so to let them know about the mystery of Israthor, and of the rumors that an ancient key can be found to unlock the secrets of the Ruins of Clastus and the being beneath. He also knows of the tunnels beneath Daeragastor that can reach the subterranean ziggurat. He knows that the key can be used in two ways: to unlock the door to Israthor’s domain, or to seal it forever, banishing Israthor forever from Lingusia. He will help the PCs if they promise him two things: first, to find his remains in Daeragastor and bring them to Castle Gaviltar; second, to avenge himself against his traitorous acolyte and student, Varimoth! He can provide them with a special device to aid them in the second task: a dagger designed to destroy the young lich and trap his undead soul within its blade…

All text copyright 2011 by Nicholas Torbin Bergquist, all rights reserved


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