Divided By Zero

The Heart of Darkness

Act II, Scene IV

… Shortly after going below deck, the boat lurches violently. You can hear the sailors are all yelling and shouting at one another. The deck above echos with the sounds of feet running to and fro. Soon, there is no noise… then you hear a sole set boots walking on the deck…

The door to your room opens, and you see a ghastly sight before you… http://www.cenobite.com/library/hr5-draw01.jpg … It smiles and says to you “New passage has been arranged for you, please follow me.”

When the party goes top deck, the bodies of the sailors are strewn about, torn apart. The creature the leads the party to another ship, manned by nothing. Only the creature and the party are on the ship. Hours pass, and the ship docks.

“I shall now lead you to my master, do not be shocked at what you see…” The creature leads the party off the ship, onto the dock, in the distance a red tower stands. As the party gets closer to the tower, they notice the stone is not stone, but blood shaped into the form of a tower. They enter the tower, and go up the winding steps… higher and higher, until they reach an antechamber, barren except for a throne with a stone…elephant sitting upon it (http://img248.imageshack.us/img248/5381/chaugnarts6.jpg ). The creature motions for the party to enter the antechamber, and closes the door behind them.

The party, alone in the antechamber feels a chill… a chill of the soul… the elephant’s eyes turn a shade of red – blood red. The trunk raises – at the end of the trunk, instead of nostrils – a mouth.

The Being moves preternatural fast, its trunk lashing out and grabbing Grom by the throat..

“Steal from me?” it bellows!

It then drops Grom, who then rises with withered features: a hollow eye, an arm gimped.

The Elephant then speaks as it nothing happened. It tells the party that it wants the Heart in the Darkness, and if it retrieves it for “him” he will provide the party with a suitable replacement for Nitzer.

“I am the Horror from the Hills… the Feeder… the Elephant God!”

“Only I can release you from this plane, only through me can you find your way amongst the islands in the ocean of the night.”

He offers the party all the treasure they find, less the heart, a map home, as well as a Clear Ioun Stone for each party member, 1 keen weapon, +1 acid weapon (1d6 acid), spined shield, belt of strength +2, rope of climbing.

He then motions for the party leave his presence, and bids the creature to take them to the lair of the Heart (in the Darkness).

The party boards the strange ship they arrived on, crewed only by the creature. They notice that the sky and the water seem to be one and the same… in fact, it appears that maybe there is no water and the ship sails through the sky. This is confirmed when after an unconfirmed amount of time passes (as there is no sun, or moon, or stars…) they approach an island, but one that looks like http://i648.photobucket.com/albums/uu201/drig_photos/floatingisland.jpg .

The ship docks, and the creature states to the party, that they should venture straight from this point, and they will come to an inverted pyramid of the darkest black stone. They are to enter the pyramid, make their way to the top, retrieve the Heart, and return.

The party walks for a while, and they spot an upside down pyramid in the distance, as they get closer to it, they see it is actually floating above the ground, the inverted apex about 18 feet off the ground. About 200 feet above the apex (the inverted base) there is a door.

After numerous attempts to leave the pyramid, the party finally succumbs to futility and attempts to climb to the entry way. They toss Smizz, and as he approaches the apex, gravity reverse for him, but he does manage to land safely. They then use the rope to carefully manage to get the rest of the party from “here” to “there”.

  • Level One: Riddle Lair.

Upon entering the pyramid, the party is in a 10′ × 10′ room, a disembodied voice asks a riddle. After managing to answer numerous riddles, a room is revealed with a stairwell up…

  • Level Two: Maze Lair.

The party must traverse the maze to the next set of stairs, however unknown to them, there are 3 “clockwork” minotaur (same as regular minotaur, except for AC17, and HP50. CR shifts to 5). The party defeats the minotaurs, and navigates the maze… the find a ladder leading up to a hatch.

  • Level three, Final Level: Darkness.

The party enters the level, and enters into complete darkness. This a magical darkness that cannot be dispelled until the dragon is killed. A stench of rancid meat fills the air. Perception DC20 for each player…

XP 3,200
CE Medium dragon (water)
Init 6
Defense AC 21, touch 12, flat-footed 19 (
2 Dex, 9 natural)
hp 76 (8d12
24)
Fort 9, Ref +8, Will +7
Immune acid, paralysis, sleep
Melee bite +13 (1d8
6), 2 claws 12 (1d64), 2 wings 7 (1d42)
Special Attacks breath weapon (60-ft. line, DC 17, 6d6 acid) once every d4 rounds.
Str 19, Dex 14, Con 17, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 10
Base Atk +8; CMB +12; CMD 24 (28 vs. trip)

… successful check allows the reflex save to be normal, failure results in -3 to reflex saving throw for the breath weapon attack. All combat is in complete darkness… all players miss 50% of attacks. The Room is not very large, therefore dragon cannot do flight moves.

Increase CR1 for fighting in total darkness.

After the dragon is defeated, the darkness fades. The players cut out the heart of the dragon and take it to the Elephant God’s proxy. She takes the orb, and presents another one to the party.

Treasure:

  1. Black Star Sapphire (800 gp)
  2. Fire Opal (1100 gp)
  3. Freshwater Pearl (11 gp)
  4. Red Spinel (130 gp)
  5. Red-brown Spinel (120 gp)
  6. Ioun Stone (dusty rose prism)
  7. Studded Leather (Medium) (+1 armor)
  8. 342 platinum, 207 gold, 118 silver.

Comments

Aelferic

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