D20 RPG's; The Chained - A Free Adventure
Remember the great and wise Trash Heap from fraggle rock? The idea intrigued me way back when so i implemented it into my D&D game. I created a mighty being, an elder power, a living mountain. You can find epic stats for living mountains in the 3.0 Epic Handbook. When I created this though D20 had not yet been introduced so I presented the Chained as an Omniscient being who had been cursed by the other elder gods to be rooted to the spot. Before that time the Chained had the power to shift between planes and even worlds.
The true nature of the Chained is forgotten with time. His own sanity has fragmented and even he has forgotten his original desires for power. Now, he only seeks to regain the knowledge of his original name. Having lost his identity he promises knowledge to those who pass his tests. The trick lies in when they reach him his telepathy allows him to secretly glean any and all pertinent information from their minds.
His true name is Chithrothoth. During the past 75,000 years he has successfully recovered the first syllable, Chith. He did this by piecing together gathered information from the mind's of beings who approached him in their search for knowledge. It is said that if the Chained ever recovers his true name his memory will return and he will go on a search for vengeance that no living deity will be capable of stopping.
Provided below is the outline of the adventure the players would go through once they made it through Mt Gaur-Dok to the Shining Valley. In the mountain those seeking to find the Chained will be confronted by the petitioner spirit warriors of the Living Mountain's dead followers. Though they are dwarven these petitioners weild ancient rune magic and Epic magical weapons against any and all intruders to the caves of Mt. Gaur-Dok. Those slain are restored the next day to resume their neverending vigil. An end to this eternal service will only come with the destruction or release of the Chained from his curse.
I will leave you, the DM/GM, to create the needed creatures and monsters for this adventure since their power will be dependant upon the level of your PC's. Within the Shining Valley I have listed the creatures players will confront and provided traps and dilemmas they will be faced with. Have fun, don't kill them before they get to the Chained, remember that for all his testing he wants them to reach him so he can scour their minds.
The Shining Valley
The shining valley is a ten mile long, flat valley that starts on a ridged coastline at the feet of impassable crags and then ends at the foot of the living mountain of evil that is the Chained one. The valley is surrounded by the eastern edge of the Irridescent crags. The crags reach thousands of miles across Kole and contain hundreds of separate domains. Delbinar and the Shining valley are all part of the domain controlled by the chained. The origin of the chained and the nature of his supposed curse are only rumored but any creature that can brave both Mt. Gaur-Dok and the Shining valley and live may beseech the Chained for one specific question. The Chained is said to be Omniscient but only Omnipotent within the Shining valley itself. He supposedly enjoys the occasional entertainment of visitors but will only meet with those found worthy through the trials of the Mt. and valley.
ML1.- A much greater distance was crossed while within the mountain than you would ever thought possible, were you not aware of magic. Somehow you find yourself at the easternmost end of the shining valley and there seems to be only one direction to go in. Whats more, anyone who tries to fly, levitate or even recieve a telekinisis will be sadly dissapointed to find they dont work.
As you begin walking, Mt. Gaur-Dok at your back, Tendrils of stone with skull-shaped heads simultaneously rise up from the ground before you. As one they speak, "Look, look around you. You have entered my center of power. These spires, this land, lay corrupted beyond your help. What fool borne reason have you for entering my domain?"
Once reply is made, "If you reach me I will answer any question each of your tiny minds can muster." Then the tendrils descend.
ML2.- Pools of black tar bubble obsenely in the frigid cold of the Shining valley. Spanning for at least a half mile in every direction they are a daunting barrier to be crossed.
A head suddenly pops up from the center of a forty-foot pit and it says, "From bubbling pits they rose, from magma-filled pools they came. Growing forever and learning all, these gods, gods unnamed. More heads begin to poke up from the surface of two more pools and all three take individual form. They will attack the moment they surface as a unit. (see stats)
ML5.- Small, rocky mounds, 2ft high and 4ft in diameter span the entire width of the valley. Another barrier. As you begin walking through and start thinking there may be no danger a trio of the mounds burst upward and blast anyone nearby. All make ref. save DC23 - 12d6 or 1/2 dmg.
As you hit the ground a familiar voice speaks from everywhere, "Somefew took form and left home, Dumathion, Dunatis, Skoraeus Stonebones. Those who stayed evolved yet more, but with great power came great war."
As you stand you see three mighty beings who bear gothic grimaces and clearly crave your doom. (see stats)
ML7.- Amid the rough rocky plains there stands a forbidding jungle. Beyond it the wind bites at your exposed skin and the chill reaches your bones. The steam rising from the trees is enticing to say the least but as you close near the evil emanating from it seems to beckon to you to be destroyed. Soon you see a small opening amid the tangle of black vines, red thorns and razorleaf trees. If you dont take a trail you surely will be cut to ribbons. Ducking under your greeted by a friendly lilted voice.
A Satyr-like creature stands before you, only four ft high, and smiles. "Allo', I be Trevor, the Buckawn of Chith. Chith forest that is, I'm here to tell you mates that this forest is your final barrier. Within you'll find many adversaries, all followers of the Chained. Some I think you've already acquainted with, and boy are they gonna be glad to see you, but you needn't defeat them all. Place these four marbles in the four clearings upon their proper resting place and the dark treants will open the way out for you." Trevor then dissapears and four black marbles fall to the ground.
Grove-A- A druids grove? Perhaps a vile mockery of the druidic glens, maybe a place where the worship of twisted malign evil is commonplace. Five round columns of black stone surround a stream that oozes in a circle. Upon the center, largest column sits a robed man, quietly observing you. In your minds you hear, "You've made a long journey and I commend your success thus far. If you like this is fine place to rest," A long table full of various foods appears before the columns(Dissensions feast all fort save DC24 or confusion takes effect as cast by a 20th lvl mage). "I Shall further tell you the tale of the chained so that you may further understand, Centuries of battle with mystic and might, the chained was finally thrown down. His followers and worshipers tied to his fate, then hid the Chained ones crown. In anger and jealousy over stolen power they demanded that all must pay. Cast under guard of the elder Chthon the Crag lies chained to this day.' And lo we have thrived in this energy filled place waiting for our time of revenge, when the name is remembered the chain will be gone and this world will be ours." Then the man laughs out loud and is gone.
Notes; Once a marble is placed atop the topmost, largest column a pedestal rises from the earth with a tiny indent for the marble that fits within.
Grove-B- Four obsidian statues of Dragons ring this barren glade. In the center is a 50ft pillar hewn of some strange metal. On the pillar is a glowing Symbol of Pain(as cast by a 20th lvl mage, fort save DC27). Then swarms of ghouls appear out of nowhere and attack(40- 11 of which have a single casting of call lightning-12d8 each save vs half DC24). The pillar has the needed indent atop it, but reaching could be quite difficult without the use of flying and the like.
Grove-C- Amidst a veritable wall of choking vines, a stone doorway stands, clearly glowing with magical power. Find Trap DC30 (The opener is struck by spiritual hammer taking 4d12, no save) The First three people through the doorway are struck by a spell, Find Trap DC30, Scything blades from the doorframe - (Reflex check DC24 half or take full from 32d4). Here then Several Anti-druids attack! (see stats)
Upon the stone door an indent is marked for a marble.
Grove-D- The chanting of Anti-druids is a chilling collage, combining languages and dialects to form one droning, insistent chorus. If any sound was more distorted only dark gods could possibly speak it.
Standing in a circlular, four foot wall, Three druids stand facing one another, and between them floats what you take must be their superior. Starting from their position a fork of lightning blasts you all. (reflex save DC25 15d8 or half) A wall of repulsion keeps anyone from getting close enough for melee.
Notes; The druids have cast two spells- Circle of stone 14 rds, +4 on all their saves and 5 in 6 chance that any magical effect/spell is reflected back at the caster, even area of effect magics as well. Also, Black Circle- Good priests suffer 1d10 per anti druid involved in the casting(4) and 1d4 to any good creature per anti-druid involved in the casting. save vs half - fortitude save DC27.
Below where the Grand anti-druid floats a stone plaque lies in the ground and a perfect indentation for the black marble awaits. Once the last marble is placed a path opens out of the jungle and no further attacks are made upon the pcs.
ML10.- In his Omniscience the Chained has long ago divined future visits from those seeking his knowledge with momentous events in the world and even in the surrounding sphere. The PC's arrival is no different.
At the last mile the ground suddenly begins to quake and then inexplicably the pcs are lifted off the ground and carried by the will of the chained to his presence.
As you fly toward the sparkling jagged mountain which is the Chained you hear an ancient, dry voice speak in your minds, "And from the Far west a sword was drawn, while tumult scarred its scabbard. To the east the sword will swing for the colors on one dwarf's tabard. A great tumult in the sky, one god will fall, thus the Chained stands closer, to the ruling of all."
Your awed by a sentient mountain, utmost power symbolized in itself. "I am grateful for the entertainment as well as the important lessons you have taught my followers this day, ask your questions."
Any and all questions the Chained can answer except what is his name, that which has been stolen from him.
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