Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Where They Come From

The nineteenth day of Foculchstar in the fourth year of Gostul the Just

I was in the home of Agathosaster looking for the Kurrn Golem Primer. A curious book, designed for novice wizards to learn the craft and art of making golems, where the instructions are patently wrong. Agathosaster's copy was supposedly annotated by Gadeon. I hoped it would give me some insight into where he may currently be hiding.

As we checked the shelves for the tome we had an interesting conversation about zombies.

Agathosaster said, "Do you realize the total sum of zombies that have attacked the living far exceeds the number of humans that have ever existed."

"How do you figure that?", I asked.

"We started keeping census records in Orsborough 400 years ago. In that time we have grown from 5600 people to 9000 people. Yet we are attacked yearly by zombies from the southern wastelands that number in the tens of thousands. In fact we are predicting an early attack this year, probably twenty seven thousand strong."

"That will be good for the crops."

I finally located the book I was searching for and skimmed it. It was either a fake or a different Gadeon, because the handwriting was not from the Gadeon I know.

"Sorry the book was not the one you were looking for. It is true we depend on the undead to keep our fields fertile, and our undead killing techniques are second to none. With the excess some of the more enterprising citizens have started a fertilizer export concern. The mystery remains though. Where do they come from?", said Agathosaster

"You truly don't know?"

"No"

"Let me show you where they come from."

The twenty fifth day of Foculchstar in the fourth year of Gostul the Just

Enveloping Agathosaster in my shroud I carried him deep into the southern wastelands full of ice and snow. I quickly found the signs I was looking for, and came in close to the zombie pit.


I saw the entrance into the chambers in the south end. I willed us through the barrier into the levitation passage. With another minor effort of will I lowered us to the ice golem chamber.


Agathosaster let out a cry of shock and horror upon realizing the mechanisms at work. A faint music could be heard as four ice golems each with two sets of arms, one of ice and one of flesh, the flesh smaller and lower on the torso, pulled newborns from a second levitation passage in the south. With their arms of flesh they placed the newborn in a creche, where in a matter seconds they grew into adults. Once full grown the golems used their ice arms to pin them down and the flesh arms to suffocate them. Activating the creche a second time to turn the newly dead human into a zombie. Then the golem released them and they wondered up the the levitation passage to the pen outside.

Agathosaster wanted to stop this, but if I let him out of my shroud he would have been detected and killed. I let him know there was more to see. We went down the passage where the infants were coming from. The birthing chamber.


Agathosaster lost conciousness in the birthing chamber. It was too horrific. The center of the room was taken up by an undulating pulsating mass, tendrils thin and thick reached into the neck, chest and arms of women attached to creches similar to those in the golem chamber above. The room was hot and damp smelling strongly of birth and death. Discharge from the creches, thick and heavy, flowed to the southern end of the chamber. The mass and tendrils somehow forcing the women to impregnate and gestate in a matter of minutes. Their faces hollow and gaunt. Dazed by whatever the tendrils were doing.

To the east side of the chamber was a section of cages holding women prisoners. Guards were placed around the room, and the tentacles of the mass would deliver the babies to the levitation passage. The music was louder here.

After going through various chambers of no import, we found the choir room. Two groups of singers powering this enormity with a blasphemous hymn. Attached to the ceiling of this chamber was a stone dracolich apparently in slumber. The singers always nervously glancing up at it.


What's Going on Behind the Scenes

Let's go in reverse.

The choir is lulling the stone dracolich. The music lulls the dracolich and draws out his energy powering the entire operation. A small crawlspace/conduit connects all the important rooms. The music is deafening in the choir room and never stops. A small sampling. The dragon is so still the players may think it is just carved into the rock, a tough DC to detect it is alive, but should the music ever stop it will awaken and kill everything. The choir members rotate in staggered two hour shifts.

The raiders head north, pillage villages, and bring back women prisoners to continue the cycle. The raiders and guards can be any villain you choose. Orcs and goblins are always a good choice. Mix it up.

The ice golems who make the zombies have limited volition. If the PCs don't interfere with their tasks, they will leave the PCs alone. If for any reason they notice the PCs, meddling PCs, the golems will try to pin them in the creche as they were designed to do. A baby comes up the levitation passage about once every 3 rounds. They'll gently and safely float in the top of the passage until someone or something removes them.

Odds and Ends
  • If your PCs are normal make a medium fortitude save entering the golem chamber or they become nauseous.
  • Make a difficult fortitude save entering the birthing chamber or they become nauseous. -2 penalty if they missed the first fortitude save.
  • Cutting a woman free of the mass and tendrils leaves her physically unharmed.
  • The prisoners are full of information, some of it accurate.
  • Moving through the barriers and down levitation passages is an easy will save/check.
  • This can be run stand alone or dropped into a larger dungeon. Just hook whatever you like into the main hallway.

Source Materials
Creative Commons License
Where They Come From by Rogue Prismatic Golem is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://rogueprismaticgolem.blogspot.com.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Insane Ramblings

The thirteenth day of Foculchstar in the fourth year of Gostul the Just

I found Siljar. He was Gadeon's mentor and friend. The magic has corroded his mind. All I got from him were insane ramblings.

I continue to seek Gadeon.

Ever tried to play an insane NPC? Finding the right thing for them to say can be tricky at best. I wrote a little utility to help. Give it source text, and it will use markov chaining to create a string of words that seem realistic, but cannot stand up to scrutiny. If you really want to be brave with it you can fill the source with your DM notes.

The text from Paradise Lost was obtained through Project Gutenberg.

Words to output:
Chain Length:

Source Materials
Creative Commons License
Insane Ramblings by Rogue Prismatic Golem is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://rogueprismaticgolem.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Labyrinth of the Black Sun

The third day of Foculchstar in the fourth year of Gostul the Just

Overheard men in Villisport speaking of an abandoned Black Sun temple in the Amber Pine mountains.

Found the temple easily. It was made of a shining black granite stone reaching 60 feet into the sky. The temple is open to the air, and in the center is a dried out fountain. Four staircases on each side of the fountain lead to a basement.



At the south end of the basement a stone golem, simple creature, guards a door to a room of crumbling scrolls and ledgers. He was designed to attack anyone crossing a line in the floor.  An item of mild interest on the wall would heal him four to five times a day were he to be damaged. The simple golem did mange to keep the vermin of this abandoned temple out of the scroll room. The scrolls were of little interest on the whole, but one of them was the map to the entrance of a Labyrinth designed to protect something of great value to these ancient Black Sun worshippers.



The Fifth day of Foculchstar the in fourth year of Gostul the Just

The Labyrinth has proven difficult. It has the power to suppress even my powerful abilities and magics, and damaging the stone walls of the labyrinth is an exercise in futility as they simply repair themselves.  I was still able to teleport out at will, but not in.  In the labyrinth are pedestals which hold ornate masks carved or formed from a yellow gemstone. Touching the mask teleports you to another pedestal in another part of the labyrinth. This would be easier if the minotaurs would stop trying to attack me.




Reached the center of the labyrinth which leads to small a chamber beneath.  Heading south leads to a hall of traps.  Eight doors five of which were trapped. Reached the final chamber and discovered two massive black granite golems.  They wore a larger version of the masks found on the pedestals in the Labyrinth. The "Black Sun" was nothing more than a sphere of annihilation. The lesser golems kept trying to grab me and place me in it.  I did notice that four central columns exerted a will on the sphere to move it to help the lesser golems.



The search for Gadeon continues.


The Path through the labyrinth
  • 4-LL to 41-Z
  • 37-P to 6-R
  • 21-S to 6-U
  • 30-X to 21-LL
  • 10-FF to 16-I
  • 11-I to 21-U
Touching any other pedestal teleports them using the Teleport Table below.
Teleport Table
This table will never teleport you to 22-U, which is the entrance to the Chamber of the Black Sun.
If you don't want the players to know the teleports are random make the rolls ahead of time and write them down on a piece of paper.
2d6 1
2
3
4
5
6
1
4-LL 30-X 36-II 24-T 16-M 21-I
2
6-LL 10-FF 10-V 34-B 2-N 22-B
3
36-GG 0-KK 25-O 32-B 24-F 23-O
4
2-U 24-FF 20-DD 16-E 23-O 25-OO
5
37-P 28-AA 31-V 4-D 26-M 41-B
6
21-S 30-LL 40-OO 11-BB 35-T 25-Q




Source Materials
Creative Commons License
Labyrinth of the Black Sun by Rogue Prismatic Golem is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://rogueprismaticgolem.blogspot.com.