At the behest of those that read this blog (i.e. the only people I'm inclined to try and please) I am releasing the Silver Temple of Transcendent Flame in its raw, unedited, homebrew form.
That means you are getting my notes that I wrote [ for me ] to run a real game and not something polished up as presentable. It is likely that if I continue in this vein, I will release the Ruins of Burash-Ket next as the October post. Both the Silver Temple and Burash-Ket can be found on the map above. Burash-Ket lies on the southern edge of Eh’Kûknôch Ûsoh (the Lake of the Skies).
Since I happen to speak Korean I give my southern names a kind of Korean Pig-Latin treatment that allows me to actually make sense of the translations in my head while providing consistency to the names without using real Korean words.
Apologies for the compass rose: In the map above, north is toward the lower left corner of the map. In the map below, north is more conventional and nearly straight up.
Note the Great House of Pathak-Beil here (who is one of the NPCs provided in the appendices to "A Fabled City of Brass"). He is an emir of the Sultanate and a Knight of the East (the official title of those attaining the 8th degree within the Esoteric Order of the Twilight Princess.
The set up for this is that, in order to introduce my players to AD&D, I had them assume the personas of upper-mid level EVIL characters, bent on sacking a sacred temple in the Muk-nas Crags.
Once my players had finished their assault on the Silver Temple of Transcendent Flame and murdered the GOOD aligned defenders of the Order therein, the EVIL characters were repossessed by yours truly and their brand new 1st level characters began play in Geoul (shown above). [why yes, now that you mention it, Geoul rhymes with Seoul...how clever of you to notice]
The PCs were inducted into the Esoteric Order of the Twilight Princess (which is a secret but beneficent organization) in the back streets of Geoul and informed that terrible things were afoot---- and that a powerful EVIL organization sought to destroy the sultanate along with the EOTP. Once initiated, it was revealed to the PCs that the group responsible was called the Night Stars, but that they reported to the Quorum of High Darkness within the Combination of Giga-Dhune. The Night Stars had sacked the Order's most holy sanctum and slain the Twilight Princess.
Well, the players were instantly hooked of course because THEY were the bastards that had done this terrible thing and were now on the other side of their crimes. The players knew exactly what had taken place at the temple and just how powerful those villains were compared to their new level-one puds.
What my players didn't know, was where those evil NPCs had gone (after I confiscated the character sheets). Nor did they know what significance it was that those fiends had banished the Starfire Neonate from the inner sanctum of the temple.
So, the player characters sailed across the Lake of the Sky to the Great House of Pathak-Beil and there met their first real lord and mentor within the Order, using his house as a base of operations.
Of course the house was also haunted and some sections of it were bricked off, and there was this Lovecraftian thing w/ the fireflies that descended on the mansion every night...not to mention the tragedy of the emir's dead son and what that son had unleashed by delving too deep in the Lost Red City of the Monkey God. But I digress. Suffice to say that the players had much to explore and suss out: related to the Order, the house, and goals pertaining to undoing what the Night Stars had done.
One of the early adventures was to the Lost Red City and another was to the Ruins of Burash-Ket. But all of this is ancillary to this blog post and meant only to frame and shore up the context in which I used the Silver Temple of Transcendent Flame.
In fine, although my players thought it was a one-off introduction to AD&D's combat mechanics (which it was) it was also the seed of the campaign; introducing the first tier of villains in a power structure that would dog them for years to come. It also introduced the Starfire Neonate, a semi-living McGuffin that would reappear in the campaign's final act: The Dream House of the Nether Prince.
Or it wouldn't.
What I mean is, that although I made a valiant attempt to hook the players with the Neonate and the Night Stars and the Esoteric Order, the interests pursued by the PCs was and has ever since been the choice of the players.
They could have turned left.
They could have turned left for years. But they didn't. And so the Order became more robust over time, the plot thickened, the villains' overlords were revealed and so forth and so on, until at last the method for recovering the Starfire Neonate was finally discovered. This strange entity holds the key to the campaign's true end...or at least the end and fulfillment of the purpose of the Esoteric Order.
Even though the Esoteric Order will thereafter be obsolete and defunct, the campaign itself will of course march on...with new threats and new dungeons and new developments.
To say that I had the arc planned from the beginning is grossly inaccurate. Rather, I planted strange seeds from which nearly anything could sprout. And as the players made choices, I thereby determined what sort of fruit those seeds would bear.
Had choices been different, the Neonate might very well have been tertiary to the Order (and therefore the campaign)...something that faded away. Instead, through player action and interest, the Neonate was developed over time to become what it finally is: the lynch-pin of what is likely to be seven years of gaming.
Note that the map below is one of Tim Hartin's: a talented guy to whom I've given money. You should give him money too and use some of his maps in your own projects. Final disclaimer is that there's less detail on personalities than I would normally give to a foundational faction, but b/c I didn't know if it would actually become the foundation, I kept things light. Remember that the primary goal of this adventure was to TEACH AD&D's combat round to folks that were unfamiliar with it. Everything else was secondary. And so, without further gilding the lily, I give you the usable but shoddy initial draft of the Silver Temple of Transcendent Flame.
Silver Temple of Transcendent Flame
You are a hardened group, ruthless and without regret.
Each of you turned your back on society and its norms long ago, favoring a personal quest for power (and vengeance on the stupid herd of humanity -- both for what it tried to do to you and what it promises to continue doing).
For this purpose you joined a legendary order of absolute darkness; one which seeks to overthrow the world of men and establish a cryptarchy where the powerful and intelligent hold authority above all others.
This secret order, known to you as the Combination of Giga-Dhune, has made you strong and rich and given you much in the way of pleasure and power.
The Combination has many quorums, and you belong to the Quorum of High Darkness. Within this quorum are three teams. You belong to the first: The Night Stars.
The Captain of the Night Stars is a monster of a man, someone you personally fear and respect. His name is Caul, Flayer of Men, and he is an Anti-Paladin of mythic deeds.
The leaders of the Combination are shadowy but never indirect when it comes to delivering your orders. The crimes you have committed in pursuit of the Combination's goals are many.
Over the years, the blood you have spilled has revealed grooves in the landscape of your enemy, trickling down channels invisible before, leading you to a hidden bastion of power for those you hate: The Esoteric Order of the Twilight Princess.
The Order of the Twilight Princess is formidable, hiding much as the Combination -- but having its spies and liaisons well positioned throughout Bablemum. It is only recently that you have finally learned the location of their most secret sanctuary: The Silver Temple of Transcendent Flame.
You have slipped south, through tangled forests, up between the clefts of the Muk-Nas crags to tread dangerously among the pinnacles.
From precipice and broken summit you have gazed beyond the ridge, down into Rauch, the Great Desert and the Valley of Dust. You camped at daybreak for the sake of your Drow witch, but now evening is falling, lighting the edges of the peaks with fire and you take courage, stepping from shadow onto the narrow path that leads up.
Not far and you see your destination for the first time. Carved into the mountain, an inextricable part of the stone, the Temple of Transcendent Flame is cut from a vast white deposit of fine grain marble. Its turrets, columns and balconies are mostly shadowed by the peak above, but some of its false windows and smooth corner towers extend just far enough to be raked over in exquisite detail by the sun's final rays.
There are no true windows into this impenetrable fortress. Just a gaping front door, bound in fine metal and left open to the callow mountain air. Great censers hung on either side of this portal send up plumes of heady southern incense that mix pleasantly with the biting wind.
It seems your captain, Caul, has done well. They are not expecting you.
What exactly you are here for, is something that Caul, Flayer of Men has not yet told you. All you know is that within the Temple of Transcendent Flame is something that the Order of the Twilight Princess has been sheltering, using to protect the entire country of Bablemum from the Combination's influence.
And you are here for the sole purpose of finding that thing and destroying it at any cost.
You swallow hard, master your fear and begin to run, following Caul, who has already drawn is mighty sword and begun his charge on the open doors.
The Silver Temple of Transcendent Flame is typically only able to be entered by means of the broad 10' wide staircase that descends from the front portals. The temple is dedicated to Tantrut : the Blue Eye. Thus it is from Tantrut that the Order gets its power on this world.
Attempts to scry or teleport into the temple are automatically countered as long as the Starfire Neonate is alive; likewise the Temple cannot be found by any magical means.
1. The north doors are open but if any noise is heard from the staircase (including the scrape of metal armor) they will be shut and barred from the inside (area 2) leaving the Defenders of area 1 to deal with the intruders.
Once the doors are shut, a bell will be heard ringing deep in area 2, calling the temple denizens out to the defense.
The foyer of area 1 is richly carved white marble, depicting feathered serpents attending seraphim. The seraphim are descending on a mountain bearing a small orb of indistinguishable brightness in their palms which they seem to be gifting to human worshipers below.
Two white marble stoups flank the northern doors and contain holy water. There are seven staves of white oak mounted around the edges of the room, each with a continual light spell cast on it. The couatl will use these to make snakes.
Two 5th level monks in golden silk armor guard area 1 with a couatl.
Monk A) HP 16/ AC 6/ MV 18"/Att 5|4/ Dmg 2-7/immune to disease, haste, slow/ THAC0 19/ 45% to dodge any non-magic missile/ Exceed to hit score by 5+ = stun 1-6 rounds no save
Monk B) HP 15/ AC 6/MV 18"/Att 5|4/ DMg 2-7/ immune to disease, haste, slow/ THAC0 19/ 45% to dodge any non-magic missile/ Exceed to hit score by 5+ = stun 1-6 rounds no save
Couatl) ARMOR CLASS: 5
HIT DICE: 9 (THAC0 12) HP: 40
NO. OF ATTACKS: 2
DAMAGEIATTACK: 1 -3/2-8
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Poison, magic use
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Become Ethereal
MAGIC RESISTANCE: Standard
ALIGNMENT: Lowful good
SIZE: M (12' long)
PSlONlC ABILITY: 70
Psionic Dimension Door (10 points)
Psionic Body Control (2 points/turn)
Psionic Invisibility (3 points/turn)
If a constriction attack succeeds, the victim takes 2-8 hit points of damage that melee round and each round thereafter until one or the other is killed.
Magic User Spells: 1st: Charm Person (1s), Hold Portal (1s), Magic Missile [3 missiles] (1s), Shocking Grasp (1s); 2nd: Mirror Image (2s), Strength (1 turn); Third: Slow (3s)
Cleric Spells: 1st: Sanctuary (4), Protection from Evil (4s), Command (1s); 2nd: Hold Person (5s), Silence 15' Radius (5s), Slow Poison (1s); 3rd: Dispel Magic (6s), Continual Light (6s); 4th: Sticks to Snakes (7s 7 snakes: 35% for each to be poisonous. Constrictors are HP 16/THAC0 16/2 att/ 1 | 1-3/MV 9 (open doors penalty of +1 to escape constriction). Poisonous are HP 9/THAC0 16/1 att/ see MM2 p. 111 for poison types/MV 15. )
The couatl will cast hold portal on the door and flee to area 2 via ethereal plane if the monks are killed.
2. The south doors are likely held by the couatl in area 1 and further barred from inside. If the hold portal is dispelled, the doors will still take a total of 100 hp of damage before breaking open. An ax will do 1-6 hp of damage per round and a crowbar will do 1-8.
Area 2 is also of white marble with 5 massive pillars useful for cover. The pillars are each cut to resemble a stack of four white cubes: each side with a realistic open eye. Any evil creature standing within 10' of a pillar suffers a penalty of 1 on all rolls and the eye will animate, appearing as a large blue iris, blinking at the evil creature and so forth. Any evil creature who comes within 5 feet of a pillar will take 1-6 dmg (save vs spell for half). An evil creature who touches a pillar must save vs spell or be stunned for 1-6 rounds and takes 1-6 damage without the possibility of a save.
Spell casters will hang toward the north while fighter types move south to engage.
All doors leading out of this room are locked and bear glyphs of warding (save for half, full damage is 18 hp fire damage)
The gates to 4 and 5 are also locked and shut if there has been any detectable disturbance from 1. A great bell hangs at 2 just north of the central pillar and will alert all inhabitants of the temple that enemies have arrived.
The initial defenders:
2 squads of five 1st level fighters: HP 8 ea./ AC 5 chain/ MV 9"/Att 1/ Dmg 1-8 +1 scimitar/THAC0 19/ STR 17
2 teams of five 1st level monks: HP 4 ea./ AC 9 silk/ MV 15"/ ATT 1 (2)/Dmg 1-8 scimitar (or 1-6 long bow) / THAC0 20/ DEX 12/ Dodge non-magical missiles on 12 or less d20
1 ninth level cleric (Kos Mik): HP 48 / AC 5 studded leather +1 & shield/ MV 9" / Att 1 / Dmg 2-7 +2 (footman's flail +2) / THAC0 14 / Spells: 1st Cure Light Wounds x2, Sanctuary, Bless, Command x2; 2nd Hold Person x2, Silence 15' radius, Slow Poison x2, Spiritual Hammer; 3rd Cure Blindness, Cure Disease, Dispel Magic; 4th Exorcise, Cure Serious Wounds; 5th Plane Shift / WIS 16, STR 14 / Ring of Shooting Stars (only indoor powers can be used in the temple) / She has a steel key on her person that opens the secret door from 23 to 24.
1 sixth level paladin (Argash Whelm): HP 41 / AC 2 plate + shield / MV 6" / Att 1 / Dmg 2-8 +3 broadsword +2 LG aligned causes 1-4 hp to any evil touching it / THAC0 13 / STR 17 / all saves +2 / immune to disease / lay on hands 12 hp / cure disease 1 per week / protection from evil 10' radius / potion of speed / potion of super heroism (thaco 9 and + 17 hp) / holy symbol of Tantrut (small white cube with a blue eye in each side)
1 eighth level monk (Nim Gnos): HP 19/ AC 2 silk +1/ MV 24"/Att 3|2 / Dmg 2-12 /immune to disease, haste, slow/ THAC0 19/ 45% to dodge any non-magic missile/ Exceed to hit score by 5+ = stun 1-6 rounds no save: if stunned AC of victim +1 = % to instantly kill/ Heal self 3-6 hp 1 per day/ potion of healing
4 blink dogs: HP 12 ea/ AC 5 / MV 12" / Att 1 / Dmg 1-6 / THAC0 15 / If attacked, roll of 7+ on d12 = teleport. If teleport, 75% of appearing behind opponent and gain immediate additional attack on rear AC.
3. This open pit separates area 2 from 6 and creates a defile that spell casters from 6 can stand behind and fire across. The pit is 20 feet deep and does 2d6 falling damage. In the center of it where the arms of the pit meet a mural of a blue open eye looks up from the floor.
4. Barred Gates block either end of this hall. A standard bend bars roll will allow passage.
5. As 4, but there is a hidden pit trap here. 20 feet deep. 2d6 damage. It triggers 1-3 on a d6.
6. 5 more eye-filled pillars here (identical to those in 2) help protect this room. The guardians here are fierce indeed.
2 Level 5 Magic Users: HP 12 & 16 / AC 8 silk +1 / MV 12" / Att 1 / Dmg 1-4 dagger / THAC0 20 / Spells: 1st Magic Missile x2 (3 missiles), Jump, Charm Person; 2nd Detect Invisibility, Detect Evil; 3rd Protection From Normal Missiles/ The first has a wand of fire with 4 charges; the second has a wand of lightning with 4 charges
1 Sub Adult Silver Dragon: HP 30 / AC -1 / MV 9"|24" / Att 3 / Dmg 2-5, 2-5, 2-20 / THAC0 10 / Breath Weapon (cone of frost 8" long for 30 hp dmg [or] cloud of paralyze gas 5" x 4") / Spells: 1st Shield, Magic Missile (3 missiles); 2nd Web, Invisibility; 3rd Slow/ vulnerable to fire and electricity (+1 dmg per die) .
These guardians will attack from the north side of the pit (3) if possible. Note that the dragon can easily leap across if it chooses.
The secret trap door goes down to a hidden escape tunnel from 14. It is opened by saying Tantrut's name aloud.
7. 4 3rd level clerics stand guard in this hall. (see area 14) The hall is frescoed with images of brilliant clouds and indistinct flying creatures. There are two folding screens here and cedar installations for holding several dozen gold, blue and white silk ceremonial garments. Remember that the door to the west is inscribed with a glyph of warding which the clerics can easily bypass.
4 Clerics: HP 14, 10, 11 / AC 8 silk +1 / MV 12" / Att 1 / Dmg 2-7 footman's mace / THAC0 19 / Spells: 1st Cure Light Wounds, Command; 2nd Spiritual Hammer / These will come to the aid of those in Room 2 only if the situation is dire, hoping to entice enemies across the glyph and into room 7.
8. All walls of this room are smooth featureless fitted blocks of white stone, with the exception of the southern wall. This wall is a vast white relief of churning clouds and thread-like forms, which surround a great staring eye at center. The eye, some 6' in diameter has been fitted with a smaller blue enamel disk that appears glossy and wet and perfectly resembles the central structures of a more or less human eye. Cedar kneelers line the wall and are accompanied by discrete silver cruets of oil and boxes of incense.
The blue disk is in fact a minor artifact of the Temple. It is a medium shield +2 that can be easily removed from its socket. Against 1 chosen attack per round, the shield's bearer may attempt to turn the eye of Tantrut on that attacker. Doing so requires the attacker to make a save vs Death Magic or suffer 1-6 hp of damage and become affected as if by a scare spell (scare will not affect creatures of 6 or more HD). The shield is unaligned and may be used by anyone who takes it.
9. If there has been battle in the temple and or the bell in 2 has sounded, then the north door (a cedar portal covered with beaten silver) will be locked.
There are large stone stoups of holy water to either side of the door.
The ceiling of the room is domed and 20 feet high but all surfaces here are white, unreflective stone.
10. The double doors to the east can be barred from this side and will sustain 100 hp of damage (similar to those in area 1) before opening. The floor of area 10 is awash in vivid, wild color and lit by very thin skylights that pierce the ceiling 40' overhead. The colors are so brilliant that any non-temple inhabitant who sees them must save vs spell or be stunned for 2-8 segments. Silver sconces hold lanterns that additionally light the area and make the floor appear to churn like sun-raked clouds at dusk.
The Twilight Princess awaits intruders here, determined to protect the Starfire Neonate in 13.
She is attended by 4 monks in sky blue silk (8th level each): HP 19/ AC 2 silk +1/ MV 24"/Att 3|2 / Dmg 2-12 /immune to disease, haste, slow/ THAC0 19/ 45% to dodge any non-magic missile/ Exceed to hit score by 5+ = stun 1-6 rounds no save: if stunned AC of victim +1 = % to instantly kill/ Heal self 3-6 hp 1 per day/ 1 potion of healing each
The Twilight Princess wears sky blue and magenta silk and her face is painted with many eyes. This painted mask is magical and causes blindness for 1-4 rounds in any foe who looks at her and fails a save vs Spell. Only 1 such save is required.
Twilight Princess: Mecelia Galashiels (10th level Monk | 6th level Magic User): HP 24 / AC 0 silk +2 Ring of Protection +1 (all saves at +1) / MV 24" / Att 2 / Dmg 3-13 / Immune to disease, haste, slow/ THAC0 16 / 50% to dodge any non-magic missile / Exceed to hit score by 5+ = stun 1-6 rounds: if stunned AC of victim +3 = % to instantly kill/ heal self 5-8 hp 1 per day / Spells: 1st: Shocking Grasp x4 (1d8+6 dmg); 2nd: Web, Mirror Image; 3rd: lightning bolt, Protection from Normal Missiles/ 1 potion of extra healing (3d8+3), 1 wand of fear with 6 charges.
It is likely that only 2 of her personal attendants will be with her as the other two will be protecting the Starfire Neonate in 13. If attempts to open the double doors are heard, the Princess will send one of her attendants south to make sure the way is clear (this will take but 2 rounds because of monks great speed). If the passages to the south are clear, she will attempt to smuggle the Starfire Neonate out with two of her attendants and unless room 2 is watched carefully by the enemy, the monks will move silently and escape via area 1.
11. This hallway is frescoed in sky blue plaster which fades into black at the ceiling. The ceiling is set with scores of white gemstones of varying size and indicate known constellations. When the doors are opened, vapor will spill out, crawling up to 10' from the doors. This vapor is continually replenished and completely obscures the floor of area 11 to a depth of three feet. The vapor is cold but harmless. It's primary purpose is to reveal invisible intruders who will disturb the mist or make holes in it. Should an enemy turn invisible, the Twilight Princess may attempt to lead them into this room.
12. This room is walled in solid black marble and set with white gems akin to the ceiling in area 11. The floor is black and unadorned save for a magic circle of inlaid alabaster. The alabaster inlay glows softly so long as the Starfire Neonate is still alive and inside the temple. If the Starfire Neonate is killed or leaves, the circle will lose its power and cease to glow.
Held within the circle is a type 1 demon: HP 43 / AC 0 / MV 12"|18" / Att 5 / Dmg 1-4, 1-4, 1-8, 1-8, 1-6 / THAC0 12 / MR 50% / At Will: Darkness 5' radius (will use to gain partial concealment and improve AC by 2), Detect Invisible Objects, telekinesis 2,000 gp weight, Gate in another Type I Demon 10% (1 per day), Teleport, Infravision/ 50% damage from cold, electricity, fire, gas (poison etc) / Immune to silver but take standard damage from weapons.
Once free, this horror will help in killing everyone in the temple. If its new "allies" are weakened by this process, it will then turn on them and seek to kill all or drag at least one victim back to the abyss as a slave.
The temple has been tormenting this creature in an effort to gain information about the Combination of Giga-Dhune.
13. If the Starfire Neonate has not been smuggled south toward area 1, it is here. The room is bathed in alien light of a decidedly magenta tint and vapor covers the floor as in area 11. Rising from the mist is a bizarre stone bier, surmounted by slender columns which form the perimeter of what can only be described as a stone crib. A mobile of magical design hangs over the confinement, tilting lazily, spinning small gas globes of color and fire as if planets and sun have been hung here for the creatures entertainment.
The Starfire Neonate appears to be a lilac-skinned human infant with sparse white hair, aglow in its own halo that emanates from behind the creature's head. Its small arms are held at meditation poses and it has only one cyclopean blue eye in its face. The Neonate's lower body is composed of seven fatty tentacles that writhe softly against the stone and its nipples and navel are replaced by three small violet-pink eyes that flick their gaze this way and that, in unison with each other but not in unison with the single blue eye in its face. The light from the creature's halo is bright white and it fights with and nearly overpowers the magenta glow in the room.
Starfire Neonate: HP 4 / AC 8 / MV 3" / Att 0 / Dmg 0 / THACO 20 / MR 50% / It cannot be hit by any weapon of less than +3 enchantment. / An exorcise or unholy word will banish the neonate from the prime material plane. / Additionally, magic damage that gets through its magic resistance amounting to 4 or more will similarly banish it. The Neonate will not defend itself or attempt to communicate in any way.
If it is slain/banished, the entire temple will rumble as if struck by thunder and all remaining defenders / inhabitants will flee. They will abandon the temple to the defilers and all that will remain are some of the heavier loot items, traps and the three respective clay golems in areas 14 & 33.
14. The door to the south (see area 9) is likely locked. If so, it also has a firetrap on it: p. 77 PHB. This is a ruse, designed to lead the enemy away from 13 and toward 14. The firetrap will detonate in a 5' radius (1d4+9 dmg : save vs spells for 1/2)
a: is an altar set with the silver coffer encrusted with beautiful fiery jacinths. The value of the coffer is 3,000 gp. Inside it is an orb of white marble wrapped in platinum wire and set with sapphires (worth a whopping 4,500 gp). It will detect as magical, but is in fact a deception meant to make raiders think that this is the object that the temple is guarding. The word Starfire is engraved on it. If it is touched, the two clay golems will animate and attack.
2 Clay Golems: HP 50 ea. / AC 7 / MV 9" / Att 1 / Dmg 3-30 / THAC0 10 / MR immune to all spells except Move Earth, Disintegrate, Earthquake / Only blunt magical weapons will hit it / Haste self for 3 melee rounds 1/ day after having been in melee for at least 1 round/ damage inflicted by a clay golem is permanent unless healing spells of a 17th level cleric are used.
b: is a secret escape route which the clerics in area 7 will use if they can lure the intruders to 9, lock the door behind them, and descend to 14.
15. This serves as the larder for the temple and is stocked with flour, grain, fruits and vegetables, meat and spices.
16. Here is a workshop for repair and manufacture of arms and armor. There is a forge, anvil and all the tools needed. There are also 1-4 suits of fine chain mail and 1-6 broadswords and maces. One chimney pulls fresh air into the workshop and the forge sends it back out.
17. Dining Hall. Two long trestles with benches occupy this area. There are silver utensils and cups. The room is lit with lanterns.
18. Open kitchen. A great oven and fireplace take up this niche as well as a large table for preparing foods. Copper cookware hangs overhead.
19. Common Sleeping Quarters. Many bunks fill this space along with small footlockers. Most of the monks reside here. The secret door is well hidden (found only 1 in 8). It is opened by pushing the nearest bunk, which functions as a lever.
20. Common Meeting room. A large table with maps of the surrounding territories, plans and so forth exists here. There are chairs, a fireplace and so forth.
21. Residence of sixth level paladin (Argash Whelm): He is not likely here. For furnishings see DMG 218-219. Special Treasure: Ring of Light: This ring allows the wearer to cast a continual light spell three times per day; this light cannot be dispelled except by a cleric of 9th level or higher. In addition, the ring automatically dispels all darkness spells within 60' of the wearer as if the wearer were a 9th-level cleric. XP 1,000 GP 5,000
22. Residence of eighth level monk (Nim Gnos): He is not likely here. For furnishings see DMG 218-219 Special Treasure: Tapestry: A wall hanging of 20' drop x 15' width worked in dyed wool; coarse threads on a background of scraped and sewn-together animal hides. Mildewed, moth-eaten, dirty and water-stained, but still impressive: a gold-colored entwining-snakes border encloses a scene of a crowned, bearded, noble king spearing a giant golden bull from horseback, surrounded by his courtiers. Nine black doves fly in a circle in the sky overhead, and from the bull's mouth are falling sparkling gems. The origin and meaning(s) of the work are unknown. 20 gp value (700 gp to a sage)
23. Residence of ninth level cleric (Kos Mik): She is not likely here. The secret door to 24 is locked and Kos Mik bears the only key. The key must be inserted into the headboard of her bed (a hole which blends into the carved design), then the bed must be pulled straight out which will reveal the opening behind it. The opening of this secret door is a noisy affair and can be heard in both 20 and 19. For furnishings see DMG 218-219 Special Treasure: Pendant: A fire opal with a gilded, fine twist-link neck chain (1,400 for the opal / 1,500 for the whole affair.)
24. (see area 33) This room contains a holy font at its center that will heal any good creature 1/day who drinks from it. Damage healed is 2d4+2. Any evil creature who drinks from the font receives a like amount of damage. Neutral creatures who drink from the font feel uncomfortable, guilty and distracted for the next 2-4 hours.
25. Vault. This is the temple's treasury. The secret door is found only 1 in 8 and is opened by applying a minimum of 600 lbs. pressure (three large men standing) on the step directly in front of the door.
Inside are an array of chests and sacks containing a total of 30,000 gp value but the weight is impressive as most of it is in copper and silver. There are 1,000 platinum pieces in the hoard and 10,000 electrum (accounting for 10k of the total value). 100,000 sp fills two large chests. Another 1,000,0000 cp fill 20 other large chests. Finally there are some jewels and other more valuable baubles that represent the final 10K gp value of the treasure, and these items will be quite easy to carry.
26. Waters of Amnesia. The door to this room is superficially oxidized bronze with engravings of intertwined banners of cloth that are covered in stars and eyes. These banners fall in spirals from the sky of an empty plane with very distant mountains in the background.
Within, the room is entirely tiled and decorated with designs of alien birds and prehistoric-looking fish, all with many eyes. A large steaming pool rests in the southern portion of the room. It begins shallow, being only 1' deep at the north-most part and slopes quickly to a depth of 6'. The pool smells vaguely of ozone mixed with a sweet tang and a tiny skylight lets a shaft of light in over the center of it.
Any non-good creature entering this pool must save vs death magic or lose its memory: effectively reducing its level by 1/2 rounded up. Thus a 7th level non-good creature entering the pool becomes 4th level unless a successful save is made. The pool will radiate both good and magic upon detection. The pool is used to wash away sin in the initiation process to the Esoteric Order of the Twilight Princess.
27. This strange room appears to be part of a much longer hallway. The north wall bears an archway with a fresco that makes the room seem to continue in that direction toward a far off pinpoint of light that might be a doorway or a lantern: it is impossible to tell. The south wall is identical except that the passage appears to go toward a pinpoint of darkness in that direction. Adding to the illusion is a pattern on the floor of white flagstones, each bearing an upward staring eye of blue. This pattern appears to be a path that connects the two archways north to south and is repeated in each fresco so that the unsettling flagstones lead out of sight in both directions.
If either archway is approached a gust of wind will be expelled from the fresco into the face of the one approaching and the fresco will waver momentarily as if animated. If a knock is cast on either archway, that archway will open for 1 turn and allow any on the path of eyes to enter it. Those heading in the direction of the dark will age 1 year per round that they travel in that direction, though they may not realize it at first.
Those traveling toward the light will grow 1 year younger per round of travel.
Turning around in either case will not undo the effects but will deposit the characters back in room 27 unless they previously traveled for 6 rounds or more, in which case they will be trapped. Traveling the full length (to darkness or light) will age or renew 10 years respectively. Those who vacillate and travel back and forth can easily die or become infants who wink out of existence.
Traveling in either direction to conclusion will deposit the traveler on the single street city of Anthelion in the Plane of Concordant Opposition with the entry point being one of two doors that face each other across that singular street.
28. This the private room of the Twilight Princess, circular with blue walls painted like gold and white clouds. A simple blue silk pillow rests in the center of the room with an ornate hookah nearby. In a circle around the pillow a ring of white marble has been inlaid along with the words: morality is a line you do not cross.
Anyone smoking the hookah is subject to immediate great intoxication unless they roll their constitution or less on 5d6. See DMG 82 for effects. A further toke will render the smoker unconscious for 7 - 10 hours unless the same constitution check is made.
29. Visitors' Barracks. This is the common bunk area for all guests at the temple. Accommodations are simple mats supported by frames three inches off the floor with blankets and pillows. The area is neat and there are dressing screens for changing as well as two washstands with basins, towels, water and so forth. Paper lanterns with candles light the space.
30. Temple. (see area 33) This area is hung with expensive looking pink, azure and silvery tapestries depicting alien landscapes full of stars, eyes and distant mountains. There are very low benches, barely taller than the kneelers in front of them, which form two banks for worshipers with an aisle down the center. The head of the temple is at the west wall where a great white altar rises in amorphous, asymmetry: sculpted or formed like some organic amoeboid with pseudopods extending upward in several vague directions. On the front of this soft, spatter-shaped altar is a great open eye of blue that looks directly down the aisle toward the east wall. The altar will do 1d4 dmg to any evil character touching it.
There is a silver knife on the altar and a silver tazza filled with blood. (The blood is snake blood)
a: Is the aisle
b: Is the preparation room for the presiding clergy
c: Is a small library of books related to the Esoteric Order of the Twilight Princess and the god Tantrut.
31. The latrine for the temple is here, consisting of stone seats with holes along the north wall. Silk curtains provide each seat with relative privacy. There are rolls of tissue and burning incense here along with washstands and mirrors. The smell is quite pleasant as the toilets drop waste on a large gelatinous cube housed beneath the floor. The scent this creature gives off is almost citrusy.
32. (see area 33) General Library of the Temple, consisting of many scroll racks, illuminated manuscripts, ancient tomes and the like. There are a few tables and comfortable chairs here as well as magical lanterns for reading. Books of Note:
A volume about a legendary golden bull with a white tail said to inhabit the jungles of the south
There is a tome for the creation of clay golems in the library.
A book about the Lost Red City of the Monkey God.
33. Southern Guardian. A large clay golem stands at the center of this room. It is under magical commands to investigate areas 30, 32, and 24 in the event that these rooms are entered by non-good aligned entities. It will reach area 24 four rounds after the secret door to that room is breached. It will reach area 32 in a single round after non-good characters enter that room. And it will reach area 30 three rounds after the temple is entered. The clay golem will NOT animate when area 33 is entered, but will only animate if one of the other three rooms it is set to guard are disturbed. Should the golem be attacked or molested in any way, it will of course attack.
Clay Golem: HP 50 / AC 7 / MV 9" / Att 1 / Dmg 3-30 / THAC0 10 / MR immune to all spells except Move Earth, Disintegrate, Earthquake / Only blunt magical weapons will hit it / Haste self for 3 melee rounds 1/ day after having been in melee for at least 1 round/ damage inflicted by a clay golem is permanent unless healing spells of a 17th level cleric are used.
So, there you have it.
The EVIL Party consisted of:
Caul, Flayer of Men (Anti-Paladin)
Vessyka Vith (Drow Witch) "High Mystic of the Night Stars"
Tergomant Glim (Cleric) "Priest of the Night Stars"
Ergonin Hews (Fighter) "Shield of the Night Stars"
Nicodemus Plath (Assassin) "Knife of the Night Stars"
Sable Croft (Fighter) "Enforcer of the Night Stars"
Vladimir Sush (Modified Death Master) "Necromancer of the Night Stars"
Sadly the sheets for these characters have gone missing since they were slain many years ago.
What I can gather from notes:
Ergonin Hews had a Ring of Blinking
Caul's plate mail and two-handed sword were certainly magical and I think +2
The Drow Witch was 6th level w/ a scroll of fireball
Sable Croft's stat block ran as follows: 7th LVL Fighter | HP 57 | AC 3 | MV 6 | THAC0 11 | DMG 2d4 +4 (ATT 3/2 round) | Plate mail, Bardiche +1, potion of gaseous form, potion of healing, 34 gp
I believe that Caul was 8th level at the time of the raid and that the rest of the characters were of 5th----7th level.
So sad that the sheets have vanished, but I did move last year. And you know how things go missing when you move. I'm sure if you were to riff off the above and sprinkle each character w/ a few magic items you'd more or less have the group of characters that we gamed with.
If you want a recap, these are the notes I took from that first session. Recall that we had been playing Pathfinder since July of the Previous year (look here).
Play Session 1: 05/18/1975
The Combination of Giga-Dhune sent the Night Stars from its Quorum of High Darkness to defile the Silver Temple of Transcendent Flame and destroy the Starfire Neonate.
This mission, led by Caul "Flayer of Men", could be termed a success. Many monks and clerics died as well as a pair of other planar stewards of the temple: a couatl and a silver dragon.
Notes from the Pathfinder game are hard to come by outside of the modules that I ran (Dreaming Tower being the first).
You'll notice my method of dating is a bit dramatic. It was 2015 at the time but I applied a 1975 date to simulate that we were traveling back in time as we pulled out the AD&D rules.
You are welcome to browse the entire six years of our game here. Note that this is a living document and that the last 4 sessions have taken place in my module "A Fabled City of Brass". Sessions 133 onward showcase the party's foray into the City and the lethal nature of the encounters.
Perhaps next Blog Post will be the Ruins of Burash-Ket, seen here in an excerpt from the Black Book of Dream Company:
That's all for now, taffers.
and Happy Gaming!