Adventures in the Void
|Status||Explored July 885 TA|
|Campaign||The Elven Watch Campaign|
Primary Plot: The party will need to rent a room, get the mirror in, figure out how to do the NV, and use the teleport.
Secondary Plot: The elven watch, Silverbrook, has been killed (body in Guest Room 23). He has been replaced by an assassin. He will try to discover what the party is doing, and then alert his companions to intercept. This is headed by Gladwell, the manager.
Tertiary Plot: The Orb Priests will try to find out what's going on. They will act very mysteriously. Actually, they are just looking for a path to redemption. They are led and financed by Mister Farwell.
Subsequent to this adventure, research was done on the Void and the Navigium Vectorium by Hylax the Barker.
Items of the Void
Mirror of the Void
The Mirror of the Void shows the near future. However, it requires a massive amount of magic to work. As a result, it will function in the Realm only within the Armitage Inn.
If the party concentrates on the VM while staring at the mirror, they will see it flashing through its regular cycle. However, if they are clever, they will discover that there is a delay of 10 minutes between when they see a rune and when it actually appears. This allows them to know the pattern just before the black rune that they seek comes up.
This full length mirror is 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide made of a perfectly flat glass and no frame. The glass seems to be filled with a black smoke which swirls around inside.
Bestiary of the Planes
This strange, alien tome appears upon close inspection to be a bestiary, a description of fantastic monsters and their environs. When viewed, the text beside many of the creatures is garbled and the pictures are blurry. Furthermore, when the reader flips a page in the book, the contents of the previous page are forgotten. Even attempting to copy the book provides only garbled text and illegible drawings.
The book is bound in a blackish-blue hide, and a black metal clasp keeps its contents secure.
There are three creatures which have text and pictures in the language of the Realm. These pages seem ordinary, their contents can be copied and remembered. These are:
- The Realm- Nazgul, Octopus, Deep Sea Angler Fish
- The Void- Nightgaunts, Formless Spawn, Bunyips
Flute of the Planes
The Flute of the Planes is not unique, but one of a number of different musical instruments used to travel between different planes of existence. The travel between planes lasts for one day, and then the wearer and all those in the immediate vicinity are teleported back to where the tune was started.
Each of the magical Instruments of the Planes has an additional power which can be used in exchange for a teleport charge. The Instruments cannot be recharged, and they disintegrate after their final use.
The special power of the Flute of the Planes can be used to beguile different creatures on each plane, although the tune that affects each creature will differ as well. Note, that the tune must be played continuously while the creature is beguiled or the spell is broken.
- The Realm - Sand Golems
- The Void - Nightgaunts (tune #1)
The length of the tunes varies, but typically they are six to eight bars in length.
Teleporting tunes always come in pairs. In the tunes that you gave me, #3 and #5 are the two voices of a duet. The same is true of tunes #4 and #6. Therefore, these four tunes are teleports. To teleport to a place, play the first tune. To teleport back, play the second tune. If the second tune is not played within one day, the magic will lapse and you will be automatically teleported back. A set of tunes can be used only once each month.
Charming tunes are always singular and can be used over and over again. For each plane, there is a different tune to charm a different monster. So you will have to find tunes to charm monsters for any planes beyond the two that are mentioned above.
Cursed tunes come in a variety of shapes and sizes. In this case tune #2 is in a time signature that is wrong for the flute. The effect of the curse is to Slow the player, allowing him to move at half speed permanently. Once started, the cursed tune will continue to play even after the musician has stopped. Each round a save would be required to avoid the curse. Many cursed tunes are in a musical style that are foreign to the instrument.
Compass of the Void
This small, seamless glass box appears to be made of a single piece of material, although no known method of glassblowing could make such perfectly flat faces and uniform thickness. The box is three inches on a side and appears to be filled with a black smoke.
On one corner of the box, a small red "Y" has been expertly etched into the glass. On the opposite corner, an "N" has been marked.
A mundane leather box with a belt loop has been made with a wool lining to allow for the device to be carried during adventures.
Each character must generate a temporary statistic called Sanity. Sanity is your flexibility and resilience to emotional trauma. If you have a high sanity, you find it easier to rationalize traumatic events or to repress horrific memories.
To generate your Sanity rating, roll 6d6 take the best three. Multiply this number times 5 to get your sanity. 15 to 90. When you must make a sanity check, you must roll a percentile over your current sanity score.
Creatures of the Void cause physical damage and sanity damage. There are two types of insanity: temporary and permanent.
If you lose 5 or more sanity points in one roll, you have suffered enough trauma to make another sanity roll. Failing this will lead to temporary insanity. This can be anything from fainting to hallucinations. The effects are immediate and the duration of this is usually short. When the temporary insanity is over, a mild phobia might remain as a reminder of the experience.
If you get to 0 sanity points, you go permanently insane. The effects of this may not be readily apparent, you might be haunted by a powerful sense of foreboding. But, in the end, you will suffer from a lunacy to help trivialize the massive shock that you have undergone.
Letter to Falstaff
|My Beloved Grandson,
The decision to return to the Reaches has not been an easy one for the Elven people. Everywhere we are challenged by the expansion of the humans. While the forests of the Reaches have long been assaulted by both the men of the south and the orcs to the north, your efforts and those of the Rangers have kept the balance. Had there been no other threat to this land, the Host of the Radiant Dawn would not have been dispatched to establish a stronger elven presence. However, our mission here is more dire than you can imagine.
An ancient terror lies just below the streets of Teufeldorf. Long before even the elves walked the earth, there existed, for a lack of a better term, a nexus near the present-day city of Teufeldorf. This nexus drew strange beasts and beings to it like a moth to a flame. At the center of this phenomenon, a strange smoky ball with flaming runes spun strangely suspended in the air. Once every decade or so, a visitor would drop through the globe.
Legend holds that a mystical astrologer priest from a distant land came to the Realm in earliest days of our people. He spoke of his people living in the inky blackness of a land he called the Void. It is said that the priest traveled the Realm taking notes on the flora and fauna and all seemed peaceful. It is also known that the priest could see the past and the future. After six years, the priest returned to the Void through the portal.
It was twelve years later that a creature, called by our people, the Renderer, came into the Realm accompanied by several astrologer priests. The sight of this creature was said to drive the most stoic elf into complete madness. The only existing account of the Renderer was given by Ramsey the Mad,
The Renderer single-handedly destroyed villages, towns, and armies. As you know, in time, the Renderer has become the tale of many a nanny trying to get her charges to behave. What you do not know is that the terror was real and the damage done by this strange creature was immense. How the Renderer and its priests were driven back to the Void is not known, as none who fought it were sane enough to tell their tale.
And for thousands of years this tale has slowly slipped into obscurity. Until now.
It was twelve years ago that another priest of the Void was seen walking the Realm. Our scouts attempted to follow him, but at every turn he seemed to know where we were, undoubtedly using his sight of the future to scrye our actions. Six years ago, he disappeared, into the Game, a strange device of chance found at the Armitage Inn in Teufeldorf. Our spy there reported that the astrologer priest jumped into the Orb when the following rune fired black.
If history repeats itself, the Renderer will return to the Realm in another six years. You must travel to the Void and discover some way to keep this from happening. Its lair must be a place of most extraordinary danger. And, it is not known whether you will be able to return once your mission is undertaken. All the Realm is in your hands, my grandson.
Meet with Silverbrook at the Inn. He will help you. Go with Oakentree.
Falstaff also received these notes:
|In ancient times, the Realm was visited by creatures from an extra-dimensional rift called the Void. These creatures were completely alien, hostile, and powerful. Oakentree participated in the battles against the creatures from the Void, eventually blocking the gate to the Void. Oakentree has sensed that a new gate might be forming. You are to gather information about the Void, if possible. Also, you are to watch for two magical items. One is a book which is unlike any other book and will act as an oracle for information about the Void. The second is a staff which will, at first, seem useless. The possibility exists that this staff will eventually be used to travel to the Void, if needed. It is not important that you possess these items. It is most important that you keep them from falling into the wrong hands.|
|The gate from the Void is coming clearer in my consciousness. It is filled with terrible creatures, shapeless and without thoughts or actions that I can understand. They have been held at bay by those which came when the Netherworld existed. Now that world is gone, and the Void is again a threat to mankind. They have learned from their mistakes when last they sought to invade our world. This time, I fear, that you may need to venture into their dark world, learn their secrets, find their weaknesses, and close the gate. For it seems that we who defeated them before time began are known and barred from entering their realm. With the revelation of this sight, it has come to me that the "staff" that seemed so clear to me before is actually much more than that. It is a stick, indeed, but it is hollow and crafted to be a flute of sorts. Again, I sense that it is the "key" that will be needed when the time is right for travel to that most forsaken place, the Void.|
The Armitage Inn
Room 1: The Veranda
"The stone facade of this building is immaculately white-washed. Fifteen white stone pillars grace a ten-foot wide porch running the entire front length of the building. While there are no windows, a heavy rosewood door bound in gold leads inside. A sign hangs outside this establishment that reads: The Armitage Inn serving Teufeldorf since 455. Two doormen dressed in dark red cloaks stand on either side of the door."
The guards at the Armitage Inn are friendly but very well trained. They are armed with long swords that are discretely hidden under their cloaks. All guards fight as 12th level fighters. Fitzedward, Erland
Room 2: The Lobby
"This room is opulently appointed. There are four doors in this room, one in each wall, and all of them are made of rosewood bound in gold bands. Two more doormen stand at the southern and eastern doors smiling. A long counter in the southwestern corner of the room is manned by two young women, dressed in smart red velvet dresses. The greet the party as they enter. Welcome to the Armitage Inn. If your pleasure is gambling you may pass through the door in the east. If you are in need of rooms, we would be happy to help."
The staff at the Armitage Inn are also friendly and well trained. They are armed with short swords and daggers, always out of sight. All staff fight as 6th level fighters. Silma, Novita, Arthol, Blaine
30 rooms to rent - 1 gp per day per person.
Room 3: The Gameroom
In the center of the gameroom at the Armitage Inn is the Navigium Vectorium.
"The gameroom of the Armitage Inn is an amazing sight. The room itself is very large, approximately 150 long and 100 feet wide. The ceiling is about sixty feet high. The walls and ceiling are carved of rosewood with deep red velvet wallpapered panels inset around the edges. The floor is made of alternating white and black marble squares. A bar of polished rosewood runs the entire length of the northern wall. A number of goblin bartenders run along the length of the bar serving drinks to numerous guests. Two sweeping staircases along the west wall lead up a balcony level. The southern side of the room is filled with small gaming tables, jammed with gamblers of all types."
"The focus of the room, however, is on the sunken 'pit' which dominates the center of the room. Steps lead down into the pit which has a large 12 x 12 grid of runes carved into floor. Arranged around the grid and strung along the steps are a large number of gamblers. They are frantically tossing small colored bags of coins tied with black and white strings onto the runes. Then all attention turns to the centerpiece of the room, a massive shimmering translucent white globe which appears to be made of smoke. On the surface of the globe are faint grey-black runic symbols. Surrounding the globe are two golden metal hoops approximately 50 feet in diameter. The hoops encircle the smoky orb in a swirling manner, crisscrossing each other with a faint whooshing sound. Periodically, the hoops stop for a moment. Where the hoops are crossed, the rune underneath glows in a bright red blaze. A strong smell of ozone follows the flash of the rune, and the hoops begin spinning again. As if suddenly brought to life, several small goblins run around the grid picking up the bags and tossing them to a rather nasty looking troll dressed in a black linen suit. Once in awhile, bags will rest on the rune that was fired. The bettor, jumping up and down with excitement. The action never seems to fade in this mad-capped game of magical roulette."
"About 10 feet above the swirling hoops and globe is a narrow ledge built of wood reachable from the gameroom by a narrow staircase up from the balcony. On the staircase are a number of men, dressed in yellow robes, hypnotically watching the device. Periodically, a man will jump into the orb. The globe will stop as it always does, and a few seconds later, the chopped remains of a yellow priest drops through the bottom of the device. Quickly, several goblins rush out and remove the remains through a door in the northern wall."
"Signs on the wall state the following odds:"
The party is told that every few weeks, a rune will flash and the entire ball will turn pitch black. When this happens, strange things happen. Many times, nothing will happen or just a strange odor will be encountered. Other times, sand or water pours from the bottom of the device. Once and a great while, a creature will drop from the globe.
The men in yellow are the Orb Priests. They believe that they can reach their god by jumping through the portal at exactly the right instant, the time that they have come to true inner peace. While most fail, each year several are granted an audience with their master.
Gordian Shard will approach the party.
Room 4: Members Lounge
"This room is decorated in high style. Several large leather sofas, a small table, and a hexagonal gambling table stand around this richly paneled rosewood room. There are two doors in the north and east of this room."
Rooms 5-7: Members Accommodations
"This room is replete with overstuffed sofas, beds, a small writing table with quill, ink, and Armitage Inn stationery, a small chest with a lock and key. Adjoining the room is a privy with both a toilet and a bath."
A thorough search of Rooms 6 or 7 will reveal the peep holes from the guard room.
Room 8: Guard Room
"This room is where a single guard stands watch over the Members rooms. It was put here so that security could be maintained discretely. An odd mirrored table sits across from the room, allowing the guard to see down the hallway in both directions. There is a toilet in the corner of this room."
Room 9: Mister Farwell's Suite
"This suite is richly appointed with an outer room paneled in dark woods. The outer room has a large canopy bed with heavy white curtains is in the north, and a large leather sofa is sprawled about the southeastern corner of the room. The inner room is an office of sorts with an ornate wooden writing desk and another smaller hexagonal table made of a polished black stone. A single door leads into a privy."
A servant, Bhoskar, is always here. He is a mute and carries a whistle around his neck to summon help. He fights as a 15th level fighter.
The secret room contains Mister Farwell's treasure chest: Potion of Clairaudience, Potion of Invisibility, Potion of Mana, Manual of Puissant Skill at Arms, 400 platinum, 800 gold, and 200 silver pieces.
Mister Farwell is a cleric who will disappear if threatened. He wears a Helm of Teleportation. He is the leader of the Priests of the Orb.
Room 10: Guard Room
"This simple room has a hexagonal table with six chair around it. A deck of cards is always on the table."
There are 1d4+2 guards here. They are always playing poker. Hookham, Gavin, Eldon, Cullen, Bror, and Huffam.
Room 11: Common Servant's Quarters
"This room is dark. The sounds of sleeping can be heard coming from within."
"This long room has a number of bunk beds in it neatly lined against the east and west walls. At the foot of each bed is a small locker containing linens, servants clothes, and the like."
There are 1d12 servants sleeping here. A search of the lockers will garner 20 gold pieces and 60 silver pieces.
Room 12a,b,c: Prostitutes Rooms
"This room is darkly paneled with a large bear skin rug in front of a large four-poster bed covered with skins, velvet blankets, and myriads of pillows. A table against the far wall has vials of liquids, powders, and ointments spread around."
"If the room is occupied, a red tassel will hang from the knob. If not, the tassel will be on the inside of the room."
The tables are filled with perfumes. There is a 20% chance that the room will be occupied by a couple making the beast with two backs.
Room 13: Managers Room
"This simple room is very neat and orderly. A bed and table are against the north wall. On the table are books and papers, neatly stacked. Several bottles of ink are stoppered, and a collection of writing tools are arranged in a row beside the papers."
This is the room of Gladwell, the manager of the Armitage Inn. He is a fat man with brown hair and brown beard. He has blue eyes and a single gold-rimmed monocle that he uses to inspect the servants.
The table has a copy of the puzzle.
Room 14: Wine Cellar
"This room is unnaturally cold and dark. Two long racks of wine bottles run the length of the room. All are well dusted and turned regularly."
A single guard is seated in a chair near the common entrance. He will graciously ask the guests to leave if they wander in here. Sadler.
Some of the wine is very valuable.
A secret door leads into a small room where some ancient port is stored. There is also a small white box with a number of tubes running from the bottom into the floor. This is the cooling system. If opened, the box will explode for cold damage, and the room will begin to warm very quickly.
Room 15a,b,c,d,e,f: Storerooms
"These small rooms are all very cool. They are filled with boxes of vegetables, meats, and spices. Most are neatly arranged, and it looks as if they are all quite fresh."
A series of ducts run from the wine cellar to keep these rooms cold.
Room 16a,b: Kitchen
"This large two-room complex is the heart of the Armitage Inn. A number of long tables run along the north wall. An oven complex with attendant fire places are located in the center of the rooms. Racks of spices, pots, chopping blocks, and the like are scattered about. A number of servants are always in this room."
The kitchen is run by Arla, a massive woman with a booming voice and a cleaver in one hand.
Room 17: Staff Room
"This room has several large leather sofas that look like they have seen significant wear over the years. Two tables are in the center of the room with a number of chairs around them. One table has a deck of cards and the other a collection of dice. There is almost always several servants here relaxing. An exterior entrance to the Inn is in the north wall of this room."
Room 18: Guard Room
"This room has a broken-down hexagon table, now leaning on an old beer barrel. Several rickety chairs are around the table. Several guards are dicing at the table."
This is the primary guard room. As such, there is 1d6 guards here. One will be manning the spy hole. The door is always locked into this room, requiring a password to get through.
Room 19a,b,c: Private Alcoves
"These small nooks have a large leather seating area built into the walls. A thick woven tapestry can be drawn closed for privacy."
Room 20: Guest Rooms
"The guest rooms at the Armitage Inn are very similar in makeup. Each has two large beds, a dresser, and several tables and chairs inside. They are comfortably decorated with warm carpets and abstract wall hangings. Soft pillows and blankets show that these are rooms for guests willing to pay the Inn's rates."
a - the party will be put here.
b - the party will be put here.
c - the party will be put here.
d - Occupied by Waldengrave, a minor noble with a major gambling problem.
e - empty
i - The room where they put suspects and really rich folks.
j - Thornburn's room. He is masquerading as a merchant of spices. Actually the master of assassins.
m - Kegan
n - Lazar
q - Unwin, the fake Silverbrook. Working for Thornburn who works for Gladstone.
r - body of Silverbrook. Killed by a poisoned dagger thrust to the back.
s - Silverbrook's old room. Careful examination will reveal bloodstains, drag marks into room r.
t - Sandfrid
u - Kinloch
Treasure to be found: Arrows +2 (20), Potion of Vitality, Potion of Red Dragon Control, 3000 gold, 1000 silver.
Gordian Shards, Peddler of Pots
A very short, very fat man approaches the party. His forehead is slick with sweat, and he has a strange bubbling drink with a little paper umbrella in it. He smells strongly of fish. He smiles a wide grin with brilliant white teeth.
"Welcome to Teufeldorf, gentlemen. My name is Rollo Shards, Peddler of Pots. My father, Gordian, asked me to come and speak with you. Am I addressing the future king of this magnificent Realm? My father runs a small shop across the street from this fine establishment. It is a simple affair, nothing grandiose or anything. But he has a device there that you might want to see."
Rollo will convince the party that it is worth their while to go to the shop.
"As you are crossing the street, a loud crash draws your attention to the south. It seems that a cart full of barrels has overturned, and tuns of beer are rolling down the street. From the north, a single arrow flies through the air." ROLL DICE. "It hits Rollo." ROLL AGAIN. "Rollo looks at you with an expression of abject terror. He then disintegrates leaving no trace at all."
If the party pursues the attacker, they will see him plunge a black dagger into his chest and he too will disintegrate completely.
"The shop smells strongly of fish, although it appears to be moderately clean. The walls are lined with shelves filled with antique pots and pottery. Many are designed in the style of the Second Age artisans. In a case in the corner of the room several very old looking First Age pots are carefully displayed. Nobody is in the shop. Behind the counter, the party discovers a trapped door. On it is the following diagram."
Fill up the vacant spaces in the diagram with such numbers from 1 to 81 inclusive as have not already been given, so that there shall be formed a magic square adding up 369 in each of twenty directions.
Fill in the following numbers in the order given, beginning at the cell in the top right-hand corner and proceeding downwards and "round the square"": 13, 81,78, 6, 75, 8, 15, 16, 77, 70, 19, 79, 21, 9, 23, 2, 69, 66, 67, 74, 7, 76, 4, 1, 5, 80, 59, 73, 61, 3, 63, 12. It is obvious that opposite numbers in the border must sum to 82 in all cases, but a correct adjustment of them is not very easy.
"A narrow set of stairs leads down to an ordinary cellar. The room has two small beds. A table is strewn with pots of glue and bits of ancient looking pottery. A half-constructed Second Age pot sits on one table. One wall of the room is lined with shelves filled with boxes, crates and jars of shards. These have been carefully separated by color and type."
"A search of the room reveals of Wand of Mending under one of the bed, a chest with 600 gold pieces, and a small bank book belonging to Gordian Shards. The bank book shows a balance of almost 30,000 gold. A note in the book reads, 'I don't know all the things that the Cube of Shards can do, but it seems capable of creating magical items if given the proper fuel.' A secret door in the western wall leads to a dugout tunnel leading under the street above back towards the Armitage Inn."
"The passageway ends in a small room, roughly hewn. The room radiates an aura of magic. Within the room is a strange golden box that is etched with thousands of small lines that flicker with blue, red and green light. The box is approximately 6 feet by 6 feet by about 2 feet tall."
Rules for the Cube of Shards
Put into any number of magical items.
- a very small chance of destroying the items (1-5%)
- a small chance of creating an inferior item (5-10%)
- a large chance of creating the item that the person wants (80%)
- a small chance of creating a superior item (5-10%)
- a very small chance of creating an uber-item (1-5%)
If items that are unlike are placed in the cube, the percentages will be shifted to the negative.
A +3 to +4 = requires 16 - 9 = 7 (a total of +7 worth of items)
Gladwell, the manager - (part of the assassin's plot)
Potion of Clairaudience
If the party chooses to jump through the NV at precisely the time that correct rune flashes black:
They will appear at a "hub" in the Void. These hubs are all subterranean with shiny black walls. The hub complexes are always 64 rooms arranged in a chess board fashion, ringed by 28 teleports. This particular hub is called "Meridian", although that name does not appear anywhere within the structure. Within Meridian, characters will realize that they have no need for rest, food, water or other refreshment. They will also find that beans and hit points are not regained by rest, although they can be magically restored in a normal fashion.
Of the 28 lands that are connected via Gates to Meridian, only a few are known to the party:
- Demondim - this is how the Demons of the Covenant traveled to the Realm. In fact, there are a few demons left running around Meridian.
- N'Kai - land of the Tsathoggua
- Yuggoth - land of the Daolith
For untold centuries, the Tsathoggua have controlled Meridian, keeping other races from using the gate to get to N'Kai. The Tsathoggua are not terribly bright and still do not know how to use the "gate" technology, although they are adept at using the NV. They have been tricked on occasion (ala the Demondim Gate), but generally they are good gatekeepers.
Until recently, the Tsathoggua have battled the Daoloth successfully mostly because the Daoloth were restricted to getting to Meridian via the NV once every five years or so. Even then, only a few priests could get through at a time. However, the Daoloth have recently discovered the Harp of the Planes, an item which allows them to teleport priests to Meridian for up to a day. By doing so, they have broken the code of the gates, and they are currently collecting pieces to open a permanent "gate".
The current threat to the Realm comes from Yuggoth. Entering Yuggoth, the party will see the armies of Daoloth and the Render himself ready to invade the Realm. The astrologer priests are in Meridian gathering the pieces needed to open a gate between Yuggoth and Meridian. This will allow them to move their army into place. The creatures from N'Kai who follow Tsathoggua are attempting to stop them by gathering the same pieces. While the Tsathoggua will try to imprison the party, they can be convinced to help if they know that the real enemy is Daoloth. The key for the party is to steal or destroy the Harp of the Void, thus limiting the Daoloth priest's access to the Void. The cube will show the party's relative position to the entrances to N'Kai and Yuggoth.
Tsathoggua (dwells in N'Kai) tsah-THAUG-wah
- formless spawn
- serpent people
- furry subterranean voormis
Daoloth, the Render of the Veils (dwells in Yuggoth)
- astrologer priests
General Description of the Caverns
"The floors, walls and ceilings of the caverns are very uneven with large crystal outcroppings protruding from the stone. The rooms are dimly lit by an eerie black purple glow coming from these crystals."
- The walls cannot be shaped and are unaffected by magic. Even simple markings will quickly be erased from their surface.
- Some of these rooms will have green sand or stone floors and some will have white sand or stone floors (like a chess board).
- Magic use will cause the purple crystals to glow more brightly for a few moments. Then, they will return to their normal state.
The Meridian NV
"You arrive in a very large cave, several miles long. Above you, a massive shimmering translucent white globe which appears to be made of smoke. On the surface of the globe are faint grey-black runic symbols. Surrounding the globe are two golden metal hoops approximately 50 feet in diameter. The hoops encircle the smoky orb in a swirling manner, crisscrossing each other with a faint whooshing sound. Periodically, the hoops stop for a moment. Where the hoops are crossed, the rune underneath glows in a bright red blaze. A strong smell of ozone follows the flash of the rune, and the hoops begin spinning again."
"The most noticeable thing about your arrival, however, is that you are falling. The cave does not seem to have a bottom, although you notice that the walls narrow the further down you fall."
"An enormous ancient stone archway is set against one wall of this room. The arch is thirty feet in height and about forty feet in width, and it is constructed of expert craftsmanship without the use of mortar. The stones of the archway are almost smooth with time, and they feel cool to the touch. Blocking the archway is an ancient wooden door bound in iron. A single rune is marked on the door in what looks like black paint. The door also feels slightly cool to the touch."
If a torch is brought near the door, blue runes will appear along the stone arch. A "gate" cannot be established except by placing the correct figurines into the correct rooms.
"This body of water is dark, cold and brackish. It smells slightly of dead fish and decay. There are no currents here., and the surface of the water is completely still. The bottom of the lake is illuminated ever so faintly by the glowing purple crystals found throughout the complex."
An enormous lake can be found at the bottom of several of the shafts. The lake is entirely interconnected, although there are parts that require underwater swimming in order to navigate the passages.
In the center of the lake, lives the Deep Ones. They will attempt to feed on anything that drops in. Predominantly grayish-green with a white belly. They are mostly shiny and slippery, but the ridges of their backs were scaly. Their forms are vaguely anthropoid, their heads are the heads of fish with prodigious bulging eyes that never close. At the sides of their necks were palpitating gills and long webbed paws. The hop irregularly, sometimes on hind legs and sometimes on four…their croaking, baying voices….held all the dark shades of expression with their staring faces lacked. Good absorption, insanity with their call.
The smaller pools and estuaries are filled with Bunyips in general, although there are other denizens here. Although they do not need to eat, most will attack voraciously if the party enters their pools. The lake encounters include: octopus, piranha, kelpies, and tangle weed.
"This vast cavern stretches in all directions. It glows with an eerie purple light which comes from numerous crystals that are in the roof and floor. The air here is very still, damp and heavy with a musty smell. A number of passages lead down into the ground below this labyrinth."
The aerie can be reached by a number of passages that slope up. The upper reaches of the aerie are filled with nightgaunts. There are also a number of vampire bats and even a few piercers.
Encounter One: Voormis
"The party is attacked by a number of large shaggy humanoid creatures, somewhat umber colored. They move very quickly and do not seem to be carrying any weapons."
The voormis are stationed at the globe to gather up any intruders. If the party will follow them, they will lead them to the Temple of Thriss (formless spawn). If they attack, more parties of voormis will be dispatched to find the intruders and kill them!
Encounter Two: Voormis Ambush
In this cavern, the Voormis will setup an ambush. They will have one Greater Voormis here (polymorphed into an elf captor). They will threaten the party to kill the elf unless they give up.
Encounter Three: Temple of Thriss
"In the center of this cavern has been erected a strange temple-like structure. The temple is a large upside down pyramid with a single entrance at its base. There are no windows or other visible means of entrance into the temple. On top of the temple is a black statue of a toad-like being. It has a fat furry body and a toad-like head with bat-like ears and fur. Its mouth is wide and its eyes half closed, as if sleepy. The sounds of construction can be heard coming from the top of the temple. In addition, a number of shaggy voormis can be seen moving about outside the temple. A large pile of rubble is levitated near the top of the temple. Every ten minutes or so, a voormis brings a large bucket of rubble from the construction area and loads it onto the pile."
Careful watching will show that there is a lizardman priest on top of the temple. He will periodically lower the pile to the ground.
The interior of the temple has a number of small tubes running throughout. This allows the formless spawn to move around at will.
The temple will contains a Ring of Invisibility, Luck Coin, and Potion of Mana, and a piece of the chess game.
Level 1: Entrance
"This simple room has an entrance in the south and a spiral staircase leading up." Two greater voormis will always be here.
Level 2: Serpent Priests
"This large square room is completely void of any furnishings. Each wall has a carved relief of the same toad-like creature sitting staring out. The eyes of these carvings glow with a faint brown light."
The party will be requested to stay here.
"Each of the small rooms is identical. They hold a shrine and altar to the toad-god. In addition, there is a small table with several books, ink, and pens on it. The writing in the books is in a language not readable by the party."
The toad god statues are magical. The books are spellbooks and magical writings on how to increase the power of this temple and extend the reach of Tsathoggua.
Level 3: Formless Spawn
"This massive room is filled with thousands of statues to the toad god. The room radiates a powerful aura of magic. Of note are four very large 20' wide statues all centered on the stairway."
The formless spawn will be here. It's name is Thriss.
Encounter Four: Xystus
"As you enter this cavern, the doorway shimmers and a rune flashes. You can hear a spell being cast."
"This small room is piled high with books. In the center of the room are several large ornately carved tables arranged in circle. These are also littered with books and piles of paper. A small gold cage sits on one corner of the desk, in it is an ornamental Bird of Paradise, a species common to the southern Reaches and Sandal. The back table has a large tank on it. Several squid-like creatures are moving around in the tank. In the center of the tables is an overstuffed leather chair of excellent craftsmanship. It is very well worn."
"The room appears to be empty."
Invisibly standing in the corner....
"The priestess standing in front of you is willow thin, her once beautiful features stretched thin over her gaunt frame. She is blond with a light complexion and piercing blue eyes. She is dressed in traveling clothes with a simple robe and wears a platinum ring with a sapphire and a ruby upon her finger. She seems somehow familiar, although you can't seem to place her in your mind."
The priestess Xystus will be found here. She fled the Reaches after the collapse of the brotherhood and her discovery that she suffers from a rare terminal illness. Within the confines of the Void she needs no sleep, no food, and her condition does not seem to worsen, although she is still aging. She tirelessly researches the volumes that were stolen from Sarth looking for a cure. No luck yet.
Many of the books are on disease and magical cures. Another large pile of the tomes are blank. Fuzzwort will remember that there was a theft at Sarth about 50 years ago of many texts on this subject. It was thought that the job was done by an insider via the use of magic, but nothing was ever discovered. The squid provides her with ink. The bird with feathers, although it is also her familiar.
Xystus will fight as a 36th level wizard. Cloak of Displacement. Ring of Xystus. 600 platinum pieces.
Encounter Five: Demons of the Covenant (scouting party)
"You can hear the low guttural growling of a number creatures arguing with each other in the cave ahead."
"Ahead of you are ten misshapen creatures about 8 feet in height. They are bent over and their flesh is ghastly white and hangs loosely from their bones. Their eyes glow slightly red and the continuously sniff the air. They look remarkably like the cave wights that you fought in the Second Demon Wars. The cause of the argument between the cave wights seems to be the decapitated body of a nightgaunt."
The cave wights will attack. Each of them carries a vorpal blade which will lop off a character's head on a 20.
If a dead cave wight is questioned it will tell of serving its master whose description sounds very much like that of a lore master. The lore master's name is Sharptalon.
Encounter Six: Demons of the Covenant (guards)
In addition to the scouting party, there five parties of demons roaming about. These all include a barrow wight and ten cave wights. Their weapons will always be sharp!
Encounter Seven: Sharptalon's Cave
"This cavern has a bed in its center with several rows of hides suspended from racks to form several chambers. In the bed is the gnarled form of a lore master, sleeping. Upon entering the room, a strangely falsetto voice says, 'Who enters the chambers of Sharptalon? Leave or be destroyed.'"
The lore master is actually dead (has been for some time). The cave is occupied by two small goblin-like creatures. They have kept the 60 cave wights and 5 barrow wights in line by pretending that Sharptalon is still alive. They can cast some minor spells (mostly fireballs). The loremaster's staff has long since turned to dust, but they do have a magical item and a small stash of gold and potions. The chest is locked with a puzzle and contains: Grindstone of the Dwarven Smiths; 600 gold pieces; 1 medium ruby; Potion of Mana (3), and a chess piece. The answer is 35.
Encounter Eight: Hywel the Eminent
"A very stout gnome in bright yellow and red robes is sitting on a purple crystal smoking his pipe. He seems to be middle-aged although his ring of white hair and large ears and nose make him seem older. He has brown eyes and a wide grin."
"Greetings travelers to the Void. I am Hywel, gnomish trader of knowledge and magic. It isn't often that I run into adventurers from the Realm. May I ask what your name is my good gnome and what business you are upon."
"I have a special first time deal for all newcomers. Solve a riddle and get a free potion. Nothing to buy. No risk. Are you game?"
If the party answers "Nothing", Hywel will give them a Potion of Mana. He will also sell them chess pieces for 10,000 gp each. And sell them bits of information for 1,000+ gp.
Encounter Nine: The Bastion
Many years ago, a mad wizard on the world of Gangee had a series of dreams. He dreamt of ancient beings, black and formless. They spoke to him of other worlds, and, in time, he believed they were gods. The wizard, whose name was Mirax, was drawn to a place on Gangee where a huge spinning ball was hidden in an ancient pyramid temple. Years later, Mirax returned to Gangee followed by several of these formless monsters. They were immense and had the power to drive men mad, seeming to feed on the crazed thoughts of the population. In time, they ruled an entire continent from the dark depths of a large highland lake. It was at that time, that Mirax died. In his possessions was found a timetable for using the ancient pyramid temple. The rulers of Gangee, at least the continents not ruled by the Ancient Ones, sent men and materials through the teleport ball and built the Bastion to keep others from coming through their doorway. Every five years for the next century, men were sent. For the last fifty years, nothing. As so the men of Gangee wait for word from their home. Several expeditions into the Void have not returned. These men are paranoid!
Level 1: The Outer Walls
"The outer defenses are a series of iron portcullises which have been erected in a cage-like fashion so they cannot be moved. Each cage has an outer door and an inner door. A number of cages will be strung in a passageway. The cages typically contain five or six men dressed in rags and worn clothing armed with bows and pikes."
They will fire flame arrows and use their pikes to strike at anyone getting close to the cage. They will retreat back to the last cage, but do not have the key to get through the last cage into the Keep. They will howl, drool and otherwise appear to be quite mad. These are actually prisoners sent to man the most dangerous outposts.
Level 2: The Keep
"This room seems to be made of a metallic substance and is definitely man-made. The ceiling is 40 feet high and the room appears to be about 60 feet in diameter. Their is a strong smell of ozone here."
This large room is actually a giant metal trap. The party will notice that the floor, walls and ceiling here are metal. The Gangeeans are on the outside of the trap. Several will pour scalding water from several slots in the ceiling. Others will shoot lightning arrows from holes in the walls. As a last resort, the sorceress Bretta will charge the entire sphere with lightning frying anything touching the wet surface. A secret door in the trap room allows access into the keep. Bretta holds the key.
Level 3: The Portal
This is the same room description as the rest of the gates. The room has what is left of 60 warriors armed with frost arrows and Bretta the Sorceress. Bretta is 21st level. The room contains several pieces of the chess puzzle, Superior Wand of Lightning, Quiver of Fire and Ice, small emerald, and 1200 gp.
Encounter Ten: Onyx Ooze
This creature appears as a black puddle which is almost impossible to detect in the dim light of the caverns. It wanders the passageways of the Void cleaning up debris and the like. It cannot move the chess pieces which pass right through its sticky exterior. The onyx ooze can read minds and will shape itself to be a "shadow" of something familiar to a living creature, thus tricking it into being attacked. It causes a mild loss of sanity and will drain constitution when it strikes a character.
The onyx ooze always returns to the "soda fountain" to be cleansed. It moves up the passage and into the treasure pool. Gravity pulls it through the soda straws removing debris. Once into the room below, the ooze will reform and go out on its cleaning task.
"The sound of dripping can be heard coming from the ceiling of this cavern. Thousands of narrow soda straw formations are dripping with a black ooze that is puddling on the floor."
"A narrow passage leads up to a narrow room above the ooze cavern. In the center of the narrow cavern is a large pool-like impression in the floor. There are hundreds of small holes in the floor of the depression."
If the pool is in use, it will be filled with onyx ooze. Otherwise, it will have the following treasure in it: 1200 silver, 900 gold, 120 platinum, 2 very small diamonds, 2 medium amethysts, 2 Hand Axe +1, Plate Mail +3 (small), Potion of Storm Giant Strength, 3 Potion of Grievous Healing.
Encounter Eleven: Abhoth the Unclean
A telepathic link to the lowest sanity character will draw them towards Abhoth.
"A gray mass that quivers and swells perpetually. Obscene monsters constantly form in the gray mass and crawl away from their parent. The tentacles and limbs grasp many offspring and devour them again, returning to the primal mass, but more manage to escape. Nearing the creature will cause the various monstrous spawn which continually detach from the body to become more and more numerous and harry and attack the party."
It will attempt to devour the party. If killed, it will shrink back into the earth and eventually to ooze back to the surface when healed. Mild insanity.
Encounter Twelve: World's End Spider (Atlach-Nacha)
"This creature superficially resembles a huge and hideous black hairy spider with a strange, remotely human face and little red eyes rimmed with hair. It eternally spins its fantastic web, bridging the unguessably deep chasm."
Old books cite the belief that when the web is completed, the end of the world will come.
It will fling sticky strands to entrap. Spit poison. Phase. And eventually attack with a bite. It causes mild insanity.
Encounter Thirteen: Crushing Eye (Cyaegha)
"This monster appears as an enormous black mass with one huge spherical green eye. When viewed closely, the black mass is actually a number of long tentacles."
The crushing eye floats near the ceiling of the caverns. There, it is almost undetectable. It uses a strong levitate spell to lift characters off the ground and crush them. Once dead, it will levitate them into its tentacles to eat. Sight of it causes mild insanity.
Encounter Fourteen: Quake Wurms (Shudde M'ell)
When the party gets to the center of this room, the Shudde M'ell will cause an earthquake knocking the party into their maws. Tentacles will come out and snap them up.
"The ground begins to shake, and you are pitched towards the center of this room. Suddenly, the floor gives way to long tentacles and a gaping maw. The tentacles are shiny and black with large barbs along the inside edge."
Encounter Fifteen: Ribboth the Fat
"The far wall of this cavern is made of a most impressive curtain of natural rock formations forming a virtual waterfall of ebon stone."
Careful search will reveal a secret passageway behind the waterfall leading to a small ledge at the very top of the formation near the ceiling. On the ledge is Ribboth the Fat.
"A massive frog-like creature sits on a stone bench with a commanding view of the cavern floor below. In front of her is a table filled with small objects, statues, pots, and the like. On a silver pedestal is a red crystal ball."
Ribboth uses the crystal ball to see what her hell hounds see. She can also project her voice through the crystals in the dog's collars. Using this, she has trained the dogs to ambush wanderers and take their possessions which she puts into her magical chest.
"In front of you are six large hell hounds, their eyes glowing red and wisps of steam coming from their grizzled muzzles. Suddenly, a woman's voice speaks to you in Common. Put down your gold and leave this place or die at the hands of Ribboth."
Careful examination will show that the dogs each have a collar with a glowing red gem set into the leather. The quality of workmanship on the collar is very poor.
If attacked, Ribboth will summon all four sets of hell hounds (24) to his aid. In addition, she has six at her side at all time. Ribboth's chest is locked with the following puzzle and contains: 1200 gold, 1200 platinum, 2 very small diamonds, Keoghtom's Ointment, Figurine of the Golden Lion, Dagger +2, and a piece of the chess puzzle.
You may go as you please, upwards and downwards, forwards and backwards, any way possible along the open paths. How many ways its it possible to read the word MADAM?
Every reading must begin with an M, and as there are only four M's there can be only four starting points. It will be found that there are 20 different ways of reading MADAM, always starting with the same M, therefore the correct answer is that there are 80 ways in all.
Encounter Sixteen: Stone Squirrels
"Darting in and about the rocks of this room are a number of small hyrax-like rodents. They are sleek with long black fur and bushy black tails. The rodents chitter excitedly as the party approaches."
Careful observation will show that most have puffed out cheeks, as if carrying something around in them. Once and awhile, they will spit out what they are carrying in their cheeks and hold them in their front paws. One has a chess piece. If frightened, they will turn into stone. Can be tricked for food.
Encounter Seventeen: Meyer's Cubes
"Floating in the air in the center of this cavern is a box about six inches on a side inlayed with many intricate lines and patterns. The lines crackle with magical power."
If observed closely, there is a puzzle on each which will turn the box off. The box will open when turned off showing an interior space of about 4 inches in all directions. Closing the box will turn it back on. If the box is removed from the room while turned on, it will magically teleport to its original position. Designed by the astro-wizard Meyer to hold chess pieces in place by making it difficult to get them out. Must solve puzzle to release.
Different number in each circle so that all lines add up to 24. No solution is possible with ten consecutive numbers, but you can use any integers you like. Several solutions.
See the diagram above for a description:
Encounter Eighteen: Sons of Guildford
The sons of Guildford, Tolbert and Baring. Sir Baring of Guildford - third son and fighter. Sir Tolbert of Guildford - fourth son and archeologist. They were sent to Mt. Thunder to check out a mysterious black swirling pool. One is an archeologist. They touched the pool and were teleported to the Void. Rescue and they will help. Know nothing.
The sons are being slowly killed by Mind Erasers, long-snouted beasts that slowly feed on your memories (most recent first). The Mind Erasers live here because it is the lair of Rust Bats, flying versions of the rust monster, which attack metal-toting parties that wander in. The Rust Bats don't care about the living part of a party, so the relationship works."
Black, protean beings that can change shape in an instant, from toad-like lumps to elongated things with hundreds of rudimentary legs. They ooze through small cracks and enlarge their appendages at will. They are oftentimes found in temples and sunless caverns. Due to their extreme fluidity and countless different forms available to them, each has at least four attack forms which they may vary from round to round.
The most fearsome of their attacks, their bite, instantly swallows its victim. While the victim dies from constriction, he is unable to take any action whatsoever. The formless spawn can continue to make bite attacks and continue to swallow prey until it has reached its own size in victims. While digesting a victim, a formless spawn may continue to fight but may not shift location without disgorging what it has swallowed.
Formless spawn are immune to all physical weapons, even magical ones, and wounds made by them simply snap closed after being opened. Spells may affect them.
Sight of these creatures causes a moderate loss of sanity.
Shocking and uncouth black things with smooth, oily whale-like surfaces, unpleasant horns that curve inward towards each other, bat wings whose beating made no sound, ugly prehensile paws, and barbed tails that lash needlessly and disquietingly. And worst of all, they never speak or laugh, and never smile because they have no faces at all to smile with, but only a suggestive blankness where a face ought to be.
Nightgaunts grasp and carry off intruders, who are unceremoniously dumped in the most dismal and horrible places imaginable and left to die. They are not very intelligent, but can understand some languages. Nightgaunts attempt to sneak up quietly on victims, grasp their weapons, and overpower them. Two or more nightgaunts can combine their strength to grapple with a strong victim.
Nightgaunts most fearsome power is their tickle which can be applied only to a grappled victim. A successful tickling is extremely unnerving, for the barb of the tail is razor-sharp and perilous even while its light application does no damage; the target becomes bewildered, humiliated, and disoriented. This effectively immobilizes their victim.
Nightgaunts tails can slice through metal armor like paper, making their tail attacks very deadly.
Sight of these creatures causes a moderate loss of sanity.
The eyes are glowing coals, and the hide is an unwholesome and unnatural combination of fur, scale, and feather. Swimming, its powerful flippers come into play. Walking, the hind legs allow it to stand erect, towering twelve feet or more. The hunting cry is the only sound made, as dire and desolate as death, or a savage, roaring paean of hate, rage, and hunger. The bunyip has long claws, and hugs its prey to death. It prefers eating women to men. It is found in ponds and spring-fed pools.
Bunyips are reported to have the ability to raise and lower the water levels of their pools at will.
Sight of these creatures cause a minor loss of sanity.
Voormis are large shaggy humanoid creatures, somewhat umber colored. They lumber very quickly and attack without fear.
These creatures resemble upright serpents with ophidian (resembling snakes) heads and scales, but with two arms and legs. They possess tails and are often dressed in robes.
Ring of Invisibility
City of Yuggoth
"The landscape before you is an odd one. Above you is an archway made of crystal-like silver rocks. Behind you is the gate back to the Void. The sky is devoid of color here and the buildings seem to be made of the strange silver material, giving the entire landscape a blinding gleam. A single white sun is almost directly overhead."
"Stretching away from in front of you is a long ramp that widens as it desends from the archway. From this ramp, a number of inclined planes are attached, mostly sloping down. The edges are all perfectly sharp, although they are a jumble of oblique angles. It is hard to say whether these features are natural, as there is no other terrain to use as a reference. Behind you a cliff face rises several hundred feet, again just a series of angled silver surfaces."
"The flat land on either side of the main ramp is populated with thousands of constructs, statues made of various shapes, cubes, cylinders, spheres and hemispheres, these parts connected by long rods. The creatures are of a grey dull metal that makes them stand out from their shiny silver surroundings. All the statues face towards the main ramp, unmoving, neatly ordered in rows and columns."
"In the distance at the end of the main ramp sits a very odd castle-like structure. A tall tower flanks a lower hall behind which looms a more massive structure. Without normal references, it is difficult to determine the size of these structures."
- The tower is the the refuge of the astrologer priests. This is where the harp is.
- Daolith is in the low-slung hall.
- The large hall in the rear faces out over the city and contains a workshop, an audience hall and various minor temples.
Tower of the Astrologer Priests
- Top level - library/study
- Middle level - sleeping quarters - just slabs of silver material; inky black liquid to drink
- Bottom level - harp room with passage to Daolith's hall
- Thousands of oddly shaped silver crystals each reflecting a scene of what an astrologer priet or citizen is doing. Daolith himself is in the center of the hall suspended over a pool of black liquid which periodically drips up and is absorbed into his body.
- Overlooks the city. Long hallways. Minor temples. Workshops.
Insanity Warriors (10,000)
Harp of the Planes