Army of the Fallen Host

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Army of the Fallen Host
Type Dungeon
Status Explored January 918 TA
Location Old Kingdom
Hex 2829
Campaign The Old Kingdom Campaign
Adventure # 133
Map-celestial.jpg
Map-ars magica.jpg

Alfric's Amulet, Part 5: Army of the Fallen Host

From Ginger Beddington's Research: My research tells of a stone that is "frozen" in time - hidden back in the First Age at the moment of the Old Kingdom's most glorious moment. This must refer to the Battle of Ars Magica - which is memorialized in the Tomb of the Fallen Host. It is supposedly the most haunted room in the palace but no reports of a shard have been reported here.

DM's Notes

Tonight is Shadowfest - The Day Between Years. This room will allow the party to "relive" the final battle against Ars Magica. This will involve powerful time travel back to the First Age. Assuming the outcome is the same and more souls are saved, then they will be available for one-time use as a "ghost" unit in Wittenagemot. If the outcome is different, then the Old Kingdom will be a backwater place, the Western Reaches will never be discovered, and everything will be gone.

Encounter 1: "Entrance

A set of intricately carved steps lead down into this short hall - 20' wide and 50' long. The ceiling is domed about 40' high. A set of intricately carved brass doors at the eastern end are carved with two reliefs of red dragons forming an archway.

The walls of this room are covered in a broad horizontal band of marble friezes - depicting what looks like a recreation of the War of Ars Magica in 900 FA - hundreds of horsemen and warriors clash at the center of the room with fire-wielding wizards and terrifying dragons.

In the center of the room is a large statue of King Isolde facing the dragon doors with defiance, a huge marble sword in his right hand, and a clear glass orb in his left hand. The orb glows faintly with a soft ochre light.

The most prominent feature of the room, however, are ghostly figures - hundreds of soldiers dressed in First Age garb. They sway slightly back and forth, some moving amidst their comrades. They all face the dragon doors and appear to surround the King - almost as if protecting their monarch.

Tucked in the southwest corner of the room, a small display shows a battlefield - a host of First Age soldiers, footmen and horsemen, surrounded by an army of dragons, wizards and giants.

Touching the frieze or statue will cause the party to be teleported into the battle. Once in the battle, they cannot leave until it is resolved. They are in the First Age.

Encounter 2: The Battlefield

You are in the center of a great battlefield. The site is near the ocean, as you can hear the pounding of the surf nearby to the south. The battlefield itself is an open plain of tall grasses - no trees or other forms of shelter are obvious. Two parallel rises run from the southwest to the northeast, creating a funnel for the fighting over an area about 1/2 mile wide.

It is hot, the sun pounding relentlessly overhead.

To either side of you are a host of human footmen, dressed in First Age armor and wielding long swords. You seem to have appeared in a gap near the center of the conflict.

Facing you are a legion of hill giants and trolls. A very large mountain giant lumbers over them throwing rocks into your comrades. Above the giant, a number of red dragons circle the battlefield, filling the skies with burning, liquid fire. Several of the largest dragons have riders on their back. Large skeletal creatures dressed in robes with large metal staves.

As you arrive, the enemies surge forward.

If the party takes to the skies...

As you rise above the battlefield, you can tell that the Overlord's army is being decimated. The men are no match for the giants and dragons. It appears that the dragons are making strafing run along the front lines and then allowing the giants to fill the gaps and mop up.

At the rear of the Overlord's army is a large square tent set up on the edge of the hillock overlooking the battlefield. You can see a number of figures guarding the tent.

Behind the advancing Army of Ars Magica, you see a low stone building, circular in shape and built into the ground. The action has moved past the building which appears to be empty.

Further to the east, you see a large cave entrance on near the top of a column of stone that rises from the battlefield like a sentinel.

Encounter 3: Command Tent

At the rear of the Overlord's Army, a large canvas tent has been erected. It is roughly square and about 60 feet on a side. The tent is guarded by a squadron of twenty soldiers each armed with pole arm and dressed in plate mail. A single elf, dressed in blue and white robes, stands outside scanning the sky while seemingly casting a spell.

Badge-collegium.jpg

The elf is a Collegium wizard who watches for intruders. Gnomes have never been allowed into the Collegium, so Hylax will be mistaken for an intruder.

Elves: Alaion, Tarathiel, Flinar, Tannyll, Estoladien, Nimben, Sidhanar (peace brother), Lenthel (tuneful sister)

Inside the tent, King Isolde - the same man from the statue - is in conference with an elven woman dressed in blue and white robes wearing the familiar diamond pattern of the Collegium Magicium. Isolde is pleading for help, Baudhel is listening unmoved. The two sit in leather chairs on either side of a small wooden table. A second wooden table sits near the tent's entrance with a small chest on it. The tent is otherwise empty of furniture.

The chest is intricately carved ivory of an exotic pattern - clearly not elven. On it a four-armed woman with a long snakes tail - a marilith - is etched. Her hands are outstretched with four small circular indents.

The small bag contains circular tiles numbered 0 through 9. On the top of the chest is carved the phrase, "GIVE ME YOUR LIES". The key is inside the chest along with treasure. SOLVE: 7 1 3 5 (spells out lies).

In the chest are: Alfric's Amulet Shard #5, Shadowweight Stone, Staff of Earthbinding

Around the two central figures, 8 elves are arrayed in the circle. They face outward, providing privacy and protection to those inside. The elves are a variety of ages and wear differing sets of bracers, rings and equipment. The only commonality in their appearance is the diamond-shaped emblem on their robes and a blackened yew staff in their hands.

Baudhel (judgement sister). If uninterrupted, they will conclude their talk in 30 minutes - and the elves will join the battle.

Encounter 4: The Slave Pits

In the rear of the battle, behind the Army of Ars Magica, is what appears to be an arena of sorts - a low stone building, circular in shape that is dug from the earth. It is in good repair and looks to be of recent construction. Stone steps lead from ground level down to a central stage. A steep 30' drop at the end of the stairs creates a pit-like appearance for the stage. Sixty-six portcullis doors ring the edge of the pit stage. All the portcullises are down except one.

Some movement can be seen coming from behind the portcullis doors. Otherwise the arena appears to be empty.

The Slave Pits contain large, very hungry lizards - which can be released into the pit. If the party provides some type of ramp, the lizards will run up the ramp and into the battle - providing a diversion from that flank of the battle.

The open passageway leads to a small stone room - roughly crafted. The room is ringed with sixty-six levers set into the wall. All the levers, save one, are down. A small panel near the open door is etched with flickering runes.

Puzzle 5 1.jpg

In the center of the room, a large muscular man stands. He is bald with a large black mustache, dressed in leather armor with nasty flails in each hand.

The Pit Master hides here waiting for the army battle to pass by. His weapons are flails of submission.

Encounter 5: Roc Caves

High on the rise to the east is a single cave entrance which is very large with a wide landing overlooking the battlefield.

Entering the cave, you see a very large domed room - clearly carved from the stone, although following the natural curves of the terrain. The walls are embed with colorful crystals, seashells and other decorative items. Amidst these are paintings of large eagle-like birds, rocs. In the center of the room is a large pool of water in a perfectly round stone basin. The basin is beautifully engraved with a mosaic-like design inlaid with copper and shalestone.

On the outside of the pool is a ring of 19 letters: ZQKARLCTMDVNFWOGXPJ On the inside it reads “Come, human, die by sword or spear.”

The following letters are missing from the outer ring: BEHISUY. When those letters are removed from the phrase, it reads “Command word ORPAR”.

When the command phrase is spoken, a large black swirling mist appears over the pool. From this, dozens of rocs pour out. They are drawn to the sounds of battle outside - engaging with the dragons.

Encounter 6: Return to the Third Age

The air around you begins to grow cold. Suddenly, you find yourselves back in the Palace. You are exhausted.

You notice that there are many fewer ghostly figures moving about the room. They sway back and forth as before. They are still protecting the statue of their King. However, the orb in his hand now glows a faint yellow - where before it had been a dull ochre.

A shade of Isolde - perfectly overlaid with the statue moves it head and speaks to you:

"Heroes. You have done a great service to the Overlord. The War of Ars Magica has been won and the loss of life lessened. For that service, the Army of the Fallen Host is at your command to undertake one mission for you before the dead can move on from this world. Tell me what is your desire, and it will be done".