Friday, October 26, 2012

Bettellyn: The Grand Reliquary -- Part IV

Continued from the previous section.  Click HERE to go back.

Areas 6-12, Underground Terminals

These 30x30’ cells are destination points for the teleporters in Area 5 on top of Towers A-G.  A globe enchanted with a continual light hovers near the ceiling.  Magical circles in these cells aren’t “password-protected”, although they do require a command word (the corresponding immortal’s name) to activate.  Whichever tower PC’s visited last will connect with Area 6.  Remaining teleporters connect with the other towers, following a clockwork scheme.  Scribble the names of the corresponding immortals on the map.  White robes from Area 13 will teleport back to the chests where they came from if PCs try to leave with them.  A simple, unlocked door leads to the hallways beyond.  Hallways remain unlit.

Two other NPCs are prowling nearby, avoiding contact at all cost until PCs locate the Orb of Eternity if this was why they came here.  They are sister Jezabioth and Corybemus/Farraxillion.  Both remain invisible (Corybemus has 3-5 spells, levels 1-4, including multiple invisibility and polymorph self spells), waiting for PCs to unveil what they're looking for.  Jezabioth will be first to intervene and try to steal it before PCs can exit the reliquary.  Corybemus will be next, possibly attempting to take it away during the PCs’ sleep once outside the underground level.  He will not take the chance of his draconic nature being associated with his existence as the Archbishop of Magisteria.  If he appears, it will be either an another polymorphed creature (a tabi-like winged ape or a large golden eagle, for example) or his dragon form (never as the archbishop).  If out of spells, Corybemus, will leave and wait for another time to acquire the artifact.  If Jezabioth steals it first, Corybemus will find her and kill her and the soul eater possessing her fairly soon afterward.  Any undead tracking the PCs may show up at any time, since daylight does not rule the underground.

Area 13. Changing Rooms

The chamber lies sideways, about 90’x30’.  A series of bead curtains mask changing rooms from the main chamber.  Two large chests sit in the middle of the room, filled with long, white, hooded robes.  A faint bluish gleams emanates from the stone floor.  When PCs first peer into the room from the stairs, one of the bead curtains clatters as one of the two invisible NPCs leaves and quietly heads down toward Area 14.

The changing rooms are 10’x10’ and are fitted with a bench and coat hooks on the three walls.  A small stone hand facing upward juts out from the middle wall, underneath a coat hook.  If anyone leaves anything on the bench or on the hooks, and touches the hand, all items vanish and a golden token appears in the hand.  If the token is removed and returned to this hand (or another in any of the changing rooms) the stored items reappear in exchange for the token.

The chest are heavily built and studded with metal fittings.  If magic is detected, they will radiate an aura.  The chest and the robes have actually been imbued with a permanent fire resistance dweomer.

Area 14.  Upper Landing

Stairs from Area 13 lead to a chamber 30’x20’.  Two mirror-like statues stand along opposite walls, small flames shooting from their eyes.  A shimmer opposite from the stairs’ landing may infer the way is blocked (wall of force).

The mirror-like statues are somewhat similar to the silveons in Area 6.  If anyone attempts to step past the wall of force without wearing a white robe, the two statues produce a fireball with enough HD to match the highest level creature in Area 14 or on the stairs to Area 13.  Save for half damage.  The statues will continue to produce fireballs each round until everyone not wearing white robes retreats to Area 13 fully.  The wall of force regenerates each round if dispelled.  The white robes enable their owners to walk through the wall of force.

The area beyond is a large dock-like, semicircular stone platform, seventy feet across at its widest point.  It rises 90' above the platform. It is unlit, save for faint star-like dots on the vault.  Steps lead down to a pool.  Near the stairs, cabbage-sized stone balls are piled into two small pyramids.  These balls feature intricate eye and star carvings.  One of the stones is missing from the top of a pyramid.  Within 1d4 rounds of reaching that point, the missing ball appears on top of the pile.  It is dripping wet.

Area 15. The Pool

Gazing down into the water should reveal small star-like points gleaming deep below the surface, perhaps reflections from the vault above.  Careful observation should unveil two more pieces of information.  The water must have been disturbed recently, judging from ripples across its surface.  Two dark shadows, one small, the other large, briefly obscure the star-like pattern below.

The small shape is one of the two NPCs swimming deeper into the water.  The other is a creature guarding the pool.  At the bottom of the pool, about 60’ deep, lies a permanent reverse gravity effect.  There is no solid “bottom” per se—the pool actually continues to an identical upside-down chamber separated from Area 14 with this reverse gravity effect preventing the water on the other side from falling.  Dispelling the reverse gravity would create a 20’ cube in which gravity isn’t altered, which is insufficient to affect the pool in any significant manner.

The creature guarding the pool is an obsidian beholder.  This construct is a golem version of the aquatic beholder described in DMR2 Creature Catalog.  The only difference is that the one in the pool is a construct rather than a living creature.  It is imbued with the magical ability to swim and levitate.  The construct will attack anyone entering the pool without holding on to a stone ball, or letting go of the stone ball before reaching the reverse gravity limit, or attempting to double back from the reverse gravity rather than continuing on toward Area 16 (or vice-versa if coming back).

tone balls are intended to pull down those who hold on to them to reach the reverse gravity area rapidly.  Descent abruptly stops at this point, and the visitor must let go of the stone ball.  A few more strokes will then take the visitor past the reverse gravity effect, making it possible to swim back up the pool on the other side.  When a stone is let go, it teleports back to the pile from which it had been taken.

Obsidian Beholder* (1): AC3, HD13******, MV 150’ (50’) swim/levitate, AT 2 claws +1 bite + eyes, Dmg 2d4/2d4 claws, 2d10 bite + special, Save as F13, ML 12, Int 4, AL N.  Special Attacks: paralysis, charm person, hold monster, confusion.  Special Defenses: immune to charm, sleep, and hold spells; immune to gases and poison; +1 or better weapon to hit; self-repairs.

The obsidian beholder only has two eyestalks but features two lobster-like clawed arms, and looks like it’s been carved out of a large block of obsidian.  It is otherwise similar in shape to other beholders.  The large eye can produce a blinding flash of light paralyzing anyone within 60’ for 1d10 rounds (save vs. death ray).  One of the eyestalks produces a charm person effect, while other can generate a hold monster, both within a 60’ range.  If the two eyestalks work simultaneously, they alter instead one’s ability to determine the direction toward the water’s surface.  Those swimming below the surface would mistake the reverse gravity area as the way to the surface, continually swimming up and down across the reverse gravity limit until they drown.  The effect is permanent unless the victim is rescued.  The only way to save confused swimmers is to knock them out and pull them to safety.  At zero hit point, a victim below the surface sustains another 1 hp drowning damage per round, unless magical water breathing is available.

The obsidian beholder either fights underwater or about 10’ above the surface.  If need be, it will pursue trespassers up to the wall of force in Area 13, or anywhere it may on the opposite side of the pool.  The large eye can sustain up to 20 hit points of damage, which will deactivate the flash effect.  Eyestalks can sustain up to 12 points each.  Any damage to the obsidian beholder regenerates after its “destruction” at the rate of 2 hp per Turn.  Scattered obsidian pieces will levitate toward the self-repairing golem with a Strength of 14 if held on to.  The golem actually “awakes” when it regains at least half its original hit points.  When inactive (or repairing itself) the golem rests inside an alcove, below the water’s surface at the reverse gravity limit, across from Area 14.  Loose golem pieces will initially levitate toward that alcove 1 Turn after the obsidian beholder is destroyed.

As with all other constructs, the obsidian beholder is immune to sleep, charm, and hold spells, as well as gases since it doesn’t breathe (or arguably to poisons as well since it is a heartless, bloodless beast).  It also requires +1 magical weapon or better to hit.

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