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 Post subject: The Horn of Abbadon
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:00 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 1:14 am
Posts: 1389

The Lower Caverns

1 - The Maw of Dagon. This broad open cave is the only visible entrance to the lower caverns. The many stalactites, stalagmites, and columns of wet living stone resemble nothing so much as fangs contained inside a large loathsome grin. The cave is covered by countless pools of standing fetid water and ubiquitous slicks of mud that make the entire surface of the maw count as difficult terrain from the entrance to the dotted line more than forty feet in.

1a. When Kumanda was chief, a pair of bored boggard sentries were stationed here at all times. They would ambush lone or wounded creatures entering the cave, or send for reinforcements if outnumbered.

2 -Pool of Acid. This small wet cave, through a bizarre natural process, sweats acid from its northern wall. This acid has pooled and anyone touching the seemingly clear water takes 1d6 acid damage. Double this damage if anyone foolishly drinks from pool (the boggards have learned this from painful experience). The pool is surprisingly deep and contains roughly 100 vials worth of acid (1000 gp worth). Better, the pool replenishes completely every month. The value of this acid can be applied directly to the creation of any trap with an acid component (no more than half the value of a mechanical trap).

3 - Empty Cavern. This perpetually dripping cavern is empty save for a murky pool populated with blind cave fish. [Make a Knowledge (nature) check.]

4 - Boggard Ambush Site. With its many stalagmites and shadowy corners, this cavern is a natural ambush site. The boggards love to smear themselves in the wet mud and hide in wait here (receiving a +4 circumstance bonus to their Stealth checks), jumping out to impale intruders with their
spears. Unfortunately, the boggards have grown lazy of late and rarely station anyone here. Forcing them to keep the chamber manned is a DC 20 Intimidate check (+4 bonus for making an example of a boggard who abandons his post). The ground in the center of the chamber is dry and soft, to a depth of 20 ft.

5 – Empty Cavern. This nondescript cavern is empty and mostly dry. It is a natural crossroads, and the floor is solid rock. The passage leading into this chamber from the south is very narrow; Medium creatures must squeeze through, making it difficult terrain. Smaller creatures can pass without penalty, while larger ones cannot pass at all.

The most important feature of this cavern is a secret door, which requires a DC 30 Perception check to spot when closed. It leads to a spiral staircase, which winds through two hollow columns in the levels above, ending in the landing on the third level. This landing is the only way to enter the Sanctum without flight or climbing the Horn's treacherous exterior.

As a special note, the exquisite craftsmanship of the door makes it difficult to modify. If a trap is placed here, any failed Craft (traps) check lowers the DC to spot the door by 5 (or 10 on a natural 1).

6 – Empty Cavern. This relatively dry cavern would make a perfect lair for any number of beasts. The floor is solid rock.

7 – Empty Cavern. Another relatively dry cavern and again a perfect lair for a beast. As the two caves previous, this floor is also solid rock. There is a perch at the back that would make a fine place for the beast to sleep.

8 – Mud Pits. Geothermal activity below the Horn of Abaddon has created a natural cauldron of boiling mud here. The hot mud is obvious and not particularly dangerous (though anyone who wades in does take 1d6 fire damage per round). If anyone casts detect magic here, the mud is actually faintly magical. The slow erosion of the magically created Horn of Abaddon has made this pool so. Across the mud pool there is a natural shelf, and upon that shelf is an old mud-splattered metal chest. Currently the chest is empty and open, its lock ruined.

9 – Boggard Village. Every boggard in the Lower Caverns lives here in seven crude mud and thatch huts. There are sixteen bane-wog boggards in total (plus Zikomo). It is rare for all of them to be here at any one time. Usually half of them are of hunting in the nearby swamps, catching birds, turtles, frogs and unwary Farholders for supper. Two to four boggards live in each hut, except for for 9e (home of the tribe's resident secretive loner).

9g was Kumanda's residence, and his consorts will remain there until another boggard gets the courage to claim them (or they are given to one as a reward). The village treasury is kept here, scattered among the many skins and bunches of grass and leaves. The “treasury” is a collection of large bones, broken weapons and armor, crocodile and snake skins and shiny rocks that have impressed Kumanda over the years. Among this worthless junk however, there are a few legitimate treasures. Thre are two large chunks of flawed but valuable amethyst worth 150 gp and 220 gp respectively; a fossilized mammoth ivory tusk worth 500 gp; and a helm of comprehend languages and read magic.

More huts may be built here as the tribe replenishes itself; if Zikomo lives, he will send out runners to the other Boggard tribes in the Salt Brack and shores of Lake Skye, and more frogmen will flock to the Horn's defense each week.

10 – Empty Cavern. Another empty nondescript wet cavern. This crossroads is not suitable for a lair and the hard rock floor makes building pit traps impossible without magic. It does have slight strategic importance, leading as it does to the "back door" to the boggard village.

11 – Strange Fish. This is another wet cavern with a pool of water at its rear. This pool however has a faint glow to it and is surprisingly clear. The pool contains weird pale blue blind cave fish with delicate thread-like spines on their forefins. [Knowledge (nature) check.]

12 – The Cavern of the Blue Slime. This is seemingly yet another wet empty cavern notable only for its very distinctive blue slime mold that covers the western wall. The vibrant blue slime is neither poisonous nor dangerous but is visually striking. Otherwise, at fist glance, this cavern appears uninteresting.

Zikomo Hears-the-Father, though quite mad, has been having visions about this cavern and insists that there is something crucial to the future of the Horn of Abaddon here though he does not know exactly what. His visions turned out to relate to a miniscule tunnel in the base of the south wall, that leads to room 13 beyond. No creature bigger than Tiny (or gaseous or incorporeal) can pass through it.

13 - Horsemen's Last Redoubt. It was here that the last surviving Son of the Pale Horseman, Rinehart Kappelbrenner, fled by drinking a potion of gaseous form after witnessing Vetra-Kali's death at the hands of King Markadian. He carried with him the Dirges of Apollyon, and the Eye of Vigilance. The only flaw in his plan was that the second potion, meant to let him escape, was broken in his dash to safety. He used the Eye to watch the Silver Seal's creation, and whether in a flash of genius or a vision from the Pale Horseman, he realized how it could be broken.

After recording the ritual on the last page of the Dirges, he took his own life. Eighty years later, after a kidnapped child was forced to prize the book and gem from the cavern's muck, this room contains only Kappelbrenner's lime-encrusted bones.

14 – Empty Cavern. An empty nondescript wet cavern. This would make a fine lair for some beast to guard the lower caverns.

15 – The Backdoor. This large wet cavern is dominated by two murky pools on either side of a comparatively wet walkway. The muck and slime that coats the floor makes the entire chamber count as difficult terrain (boggard swamp stride ignores this difficult terrain). This room also has strategic importance. It is a bottleneck that leads to the back entrance of the boggard village. As our villains have demonstrated, it would thus be wise to defend this from invaders, but again, the boggards are lazy. Forcing them to keep a permanent watch requires a DC 20 Intimidate check (again, with a +4 bonus for examples made of those who abandon their post).

15a. Ths is a particularly large and beautiful cave formation that emerges from the pool. Delicate crystals stud its exterior.

16 – Fungus Farm. The floor of this cavern, save for a walkway around the edge, is covered in a mix of mud and boggard manure. From this foul mixture grows a field of barely edible mushrooms that the boggards reluctantly consume when they can’t get anything alive to eat.

17 – The Breeding Pool. The next generation of boggards swims about and grows in this murky pool. The little boggard tadpoles are noncombatant and confined to the water. They actually look like strange little fish at this stage. Most of these tadpoles are the spawn of Kumanda Slays-Nine-Men and his consorts.

17a. A crude stone statue of a great bloated tentacled boggard watches the pool. This is of course a statue of Father Dagon as the bane-wogs perceive him.

18 – Bone Pit. This wet cavern is full of bones of both animals and sentients. This collection was largely cobbled together from everyone the boggards have ever murdered plus dozens of bodies found scattered about dating from the destruction of the Sons of the Pale Horseman eighty years ago. An enterprising necromancer could sort through the bones and find 100+2d6 intact human, half elven, elven and dwarven skeletons in this pile that could be raised into skeletal minions.

19 – Deadly Diamonds. At fist glimpse, this room looks like a treasure cavern. Beautiful “diamonds” sparkle along the far wall. However, this sparkling beauty conceals a deadly and partially magical trap. Between the two dotted lines is a patch of flowstone so thin that any weight greater than ten pounds will cause it to collapse. Whoever steps on the slick patch will likely fall through this thin “cave ice” onto a floor of jagged stalagmites thirty feet below. There is a pool of strangely luminescent water that pools around the stalagmite’s base. This pool is far too shallow to provide any protection against the fall.

Again, the boggards have learned of this hazard through trial and error. They know that there is something odd about this room and have investigated the strange lights that occasionally dance around this cave. This usually leads to one more boggards crashing through the cave ice and then the ice seeming to regrow on its own. The room carries a faint aura of transmutation magic.

20 – Empty Cavern. An empty nondescript wet cavern. The southern pool used to have cave fish in it, but the boggards long ago ate these tasty little creatures. It does see a great deal of froggy foot traffic, sitting between the village, Zikomo's shrine, and the holding pen.

21 – Fungus Farm. See 16.

22 – Holding Pen. The boggards have constructed a crude holding pen here. This is where victims captured in the swamp are dragged and held until the proper moment for them to be sacrified to Dagon and then eaten. Currently it is empty save for a few scattered bones from an unlucky Iraen trapper the boggards captured weeks ago.

22a. Ths is the crude door to the holding pen. It is made of salvaged bits of metal from captured Talireans' tools that have been lashed together. There are no hinges or locks, it is simply wedged in place and tied to several holes in the rock. Then two boggard guards are stationed here and they stab anyone who gets too close to the door with their spears.

23 – Zikomo’s Temple. This large and high-vaulted cave drips with water so constantly it seems as if it is perpetually raining. Fetid pools and luminescent algae combine to give the chamber an ominous greenish glow and a lingering stench. The chamber is dominated by a large and impressive mud and stick hut that is surprisingly sturdy. This is Zikomo’s Temple to Father, his name for the demon lord Dagon. The entrance is decorated with bones and leather strips cut from dozens of creatures (many sentient).

The temple itself is a single room almost thirty feet across. Inside, countless bones from those who have died upon Dagon’s altar decorate the place. A crude stone block is encrusted with old dried blood. Above the block, drawn in vibrant luminescent paint distilled from rare marsh plants, is the mad spiral rune of Dagon himself surrounded by countless scribbles of daemonic iconography copied from the Horn’s exterior. A fire pit burns in the center of the temple. [Perception check reveals that the altar may contain something.]

Zikomo Hears-the-Father lives here. He spends most of his time meditating, lost in a haze of vision juice. Most of the boggards live in awe and terror of their mad shaman and so rarely visit. There are no guards here. It is widely believed in the village that Zikomo takes care of himself well enough.

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 Post subject: Re: The Horn of Abbadon
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 5:17 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 1:14 am
Posts: 1389

1-1 The Left Eye. Of the four conventional ways into the Horn, this is the easiest to get to. Now that the overgrowth has been cleared away, you simply walk up a wide set of stairs a hundred feet and arrive at the landing. Clearly, this area was supposed to be guarded. There are six arrow slits on both the east and west walls. Forty feet into the passage a solid stone half-wall rises that could provide cover to two medium-sized combatants.

But all of these defensive preparations are now for naught because this entry is unattended. A close inspection reveals that this room has seen many battles. There are small nicks and traces of long dried blood everywhere in the stonework.

1-2 Eastern Guardroom. This chamber is empty. A long stone bench built into the north wall and tell-tale broken bits of barrel wood hint that once guards holed up here, ready and provisioned to guard this entryway for prolonged periods. But now there is only emptiness and quiet.

1-3 Western Guardroom. This is another empty guardroom adorned only by an L-shaped stone bench in the southwestern corner.

1-4 Lower Storeroom. This room once held many months of provisions for the residents of the Horn, if perchance their temple was ever besieged. When the attack upon the Horn came, it happened so quickly no such stocks were needed.

A temple guardian, a minotaur, retreated in here during the Victor’s assault and fought to the last. This minotaur had the honor of being impaled by the Victor himself using a spear taken from a fallen comrade. So powerful was the Victor’s strike that the minotaur was pinned to the floor. There he remains to this day, looking as if he died yesterday. He bears upon his arm a tattoo of a white horse skull with three burning green eyes. This is the symbol of the servants of Vetra-Kali. Ezra and Halthus have either forgotten the minotaur's name, or never knew it.

As far as provisions, this room is empty, with anything not claimed by the Victor’s men long ago stolen. However, a faint aura of transmutation magic does remain. Any food or drink stored here will not spoil. It is this magical effect that explains why the minotaur’s corpse is in such excellent condition. The weapon pinning the corpse in place is simply a normal spear.

1-5 Pillaged Quarters This ransacked room once quartered a dozen temple guards (with their officer enjoying the privacy of 1-6). When the temple fell, this room was ransacked and forthe last eighty years it has changed little since that time besides gaining a coat of dust and countless cobwebs. Thre is nothing of great value here, but with a little work and some new bedding, this room could again comfortably quarter a dozen men.

1-6 Blasted Room: This room was once the quarters of a temple guard captain. This chamber gave him some privacy yet kept him close to his men. Now there is little evidence of this
room’s original purpose. There is nothing here but ash, blast marks and few burned bits of refuse. A fireball or some other equally disastrous spell went off here eighty years ago as the Victor’s retinue stormed the Horn. The blast annihilated a small group of acolytes taking refuge here. Now eighty years later, only barely identifible shards of bone and ash remain in this blasted
room to mark their demise.

1-7 Pillaged Quarters: Once eight temple guards were quartered here. Now it remains ransacked, tossed into disarray and left to cobwebs. If searched carefully there is actually a small coin purse that was missed in the ransack. It holds 31 gp and an elixir of truth (already found). Otherwise the room is unremarkable.

1-8 Stone-Cutter's Quarters: This wrecked room once housed a dozen stonecutters who labored tirelessly in this wicked place. Now it is full of broken bunks and moldering personal effects. There is nothing of value here.

1-9, 1-10 The Death's Head Tavern: This was once a tavern used to keep their guards and servants content. The tavern is actually not in terrible shape for a building that has been abandoned for eighty years. It seems as if no battle was fought here. The Victor’s men did ransack it for all its gold, food and ale, but still it remains in passable shape if it was merely cleaned and restocked. It would require 200 gp of common items from Farholde to turn it back into a working tavern.

There is a fireplace in this part of the tavern whose chimney cuts out through the solid rock of the Horn. The outer end is covered with a metal grate. The tavern also has a bar and grill.

1-11, 1-15 Servant's Quarters: These wrecked room once housed a dozen servants of the temple. Now it is full of broken bunks and moldering personal effects. There is nothing of value here.

1-12 Guard's Barracksk: Another wrecked room where soldiers once were quartered.

1-13, 1-14 Acolyte's Quarters: Once acolytes of the lower temple were quartered here. Their quarters are now just as ransacked and abandoned as anywhere else. There is one thing in the northern room that is remarkable and it can be found if the room is searched – Brother Trask’s journal.

One of the acolytes, Brother Zander Trask, kept a journal. The journal is frankly rather dull and poorly written. Trask was no great thinker and mostly it is a repetitive and boring record of the day to day drudgery of being a lowly acolyte of the temple. If carefully read and studied for three hours though three interesting facts can be gleaned:

Trask believed there to be something unusual about the south eastern pillar in the lower temple (room 1-27). He suspected it was hollow and had a secret door into it. (There is no secret door on this floor, but he was correct about it being hollow.)

Trask knew by rumor that two powerful daemons named Hexor and Vexor guarded the upper levels. He didn’t know precisely where they were stationed, but he desperately wanted to get a look at them some day.

Trask had seen a priest (who thought no one was present) sit upon the throne in the temple and mysteriously vanish. He didn’t know where the priest went but thought it very interesting.

1-16: the Lower Courtyard. This large courtyard was once the central gathering place for the guards and servants who served the priests in the levels above. It buzzed with activity day and night. But those days are long gone. Now the place is empty, silent and dark.

The only hint of former glories is a fountain that still contains fresh water in the massive basin. The fountain’s centerpiece is carved in the form of Charon on his skiff. When water is needed the skeletal figure bleeds water like blood into the basin below. The great basin of the pool holds a hundred gallons of water and when it is depleted the basin is replenished at the rate of one gallon a round. Despite the fountain’s sinister appearance and the fact it was created by a pestilence-worshiping daemonic death cult, the water is clean, fresh and potable. The fountain is part of the floor of this room and cannot be removed.

1-17 Armory: This chamber once stored the weapons and armor of the guards of the temple. Now it is empty holding little more than a few broken racks.

1-18 Alchemist’s Laboratory: This was once the Sons alchemical laboratory where their many poisons and pestilences were brewed and perfected. Wrecked during the Victor’s raid, broken glassware and alchemical equipment litter the floor. There are items of interest among the junk: schematics for an alchemical golem, three ounces of stone salve, an intact glass reservoir, and most importantly Artephius itself (see below).

1-19 Guardroom: Guards were once stationed here who controlled access to the holding cells and torture chambers beyond this point. But now it is abandoned and empty save for a
few broken pieces of furniture destroyed in the fighting and following ransack.

1-20 Sergeant of the Guard’s Chamber: Once the sergeant of the guard, an unpleasant fellow named Bargus Thax reigned over this block of the temple from his post here. Now it is empty.

1-21 The Trophy Room: Once grisly trophies hung on the wall of various enemies that the “Sons of the Pale Horseman” had disposed of through the years. The actual trophies are gone,
burned in the same pyre as the Sons themselves. However, the wall is still discolored where the trophies long hung and the plaques beneath the trophies still remain. There are twelve inscriptions:
“Laedrissia the Beautiful who believed she need not honor her promises to us.”
“Markhan the Golden, the draconic protector of Lossewyn. He slept then and now he sleeps forever.”
“Kallister Feign, an illusionist too clever to keep his head.”
“Lazarus M. Who mourns for you now?”
“King Croc, 23 feet snout to tail, delicious on a spit”
“Iris of Ghastenhall, dead from a broken heart and a poison dagger.”
“The Great Serpent of Korokunga, slain for its venom.”
“Lord Jurys Hallifax called the Just hid in his castle and hoped we had forgotten. We hadn’t.”
“Snorri Five-Axe died on a sixth.”
“The ears of Lord Kelerrian. If only he had sense enough to listen.”
“Chief Gorgun Sakkathet, invincible in battle, careless in choosing his cup bearer.”
“Ergun Nigma, The third scion left in the House of the House Hyrhul, second greatest swordsman in the land, the fist to die.”

None of the names inscribed are familiar, save the city of Ghastenhall. If the panels are closely inspected, ten of them are unremarkable. However, a DC 15 Perception skill check reveals that “Iris of Ghastenhall” actually has a small silver ring mounted beneath the name. The same color as the plaque, the ring is easy to miss. This unimpressive piece of jewelry, clearly intended for a very small figer, has a tiny inscription ‘IoG’ beside an ornate rose.

The name plate of ‘Ergun Nigma’ or E.Nigma is actually a fake nameplate. If the nameplate is pulled it pops out. If it is turned three times to the left twice to the right and once again to the left a finely made secret safe opens. Inside are 55 pp, a ruby worth 350 gp, and a set of manacles of cooperation. Both of these secrets were discovered.

1-22 Smithy: This chamber contains a forge in an almost functional state. There are bellows, a forge-fire and an anvil here all in fine shape. There is a bin for storing coal here as well,
but over the years the coal has gotten wet from leakage through small cracks in the wall. Thus the coal bin must be cleaned of the foul soupy mess that currently pollutes it. If the coal bin was cleaned and restocked and a set of smith’s tools purchased in Farholde (5 gp or 55 gp for masterwork), this smithy would be perfectly functional once more. If a skilled smith were in residence, this would make work to repair traps and fine torture implements much simpler. Instead of going to Farholde for every little thing, common items could be quickly made here.

1-23 Capture Cell: This chamber contains a cage made of stout iron bars that run from floor to ceiling. The cage was originally designed to capture those who blundered into the pit trap
in 2-1 above. Now, everything is in disrepair. The metal faux-stone pit trap cover is gone, so now there simply is a chute in the ceiling that leads to level 2 above. The lock has been broken beyond repair and so now the door to the cage simply swings open. If the trap were repaired and the lock replaced, it would be functional once again.

1-24 Prison Guardroom: This room, once used as a guardroom, is now empty. There is a long dried spray of blood in the south eastern corner, where one of the Victor’s knights ran through a soldier in service to the Sons of the Pale Horseman eighty years ago.

1-25 Torture Chamber: Once the pride of the priesthood of the Pale Horseman, this torture chamber is now in sore need of repair. Wrecked by the Victor’s men, the chamber has remained a tangled pile of neglected metal and splintered wood for decades.

Still, it could be repaired. If 1,300 gp is spent here, this room will grant a +5 competence bonus to Intimidate checks against anyone who spends more than ten minutes “sampling the wares”. It will further grant a +2 circumstance bonus to Profession (torturer) skill checks. This initial skill check oftn does not involve any actual torture. Instead, it is simply necessary to strap someone
in and show them what could happen. This alone will loosen the tongues of most. For some though, threats are not enough. Actual torture is needed to extract information. In that case, the same bonus to Intimidate and Profession (torturer) still applies.

The 1,300 gp can expended up to six times. Every time the money is spent, the number of “guests” this chamber can serve increases by one. This room is not large enough to torture more than six victims concurrently. The torture equipment in this room (whether wrecked or repaired), together, weighs approximately three tons.

1-26 Holding Cell: A stout iron door with a small barred window controls entry to this plain stone cell. The door once had a fine lock but that was smashed when the door was kicked in
by a Darian knight. A replacement lock could be bought in Farholde. Inside the room are metal rings set in the wall that could secure manacles enough to restrain either fourteen medium size prisoners or ten medium sized prisoners and one large sized prisoner.

1-27 Lower Temple: This massive open hall with its vaulted ceilings dominates the fist level. At the west wall, a single open archway feeds from the lower courtyard (1-16) into this place of gathering and worship. Six huge columns support the place. Upon every surface are carved baroque scenes of daemons and their humanoid allies marching together to conquer in the name of the daemon prince Vetra-Kali.
-1-27A Thone of the High Priest: Here sits a large stone throne decorated with scenes of daemonic victory over angels. It radiates a moderate conjuration aura. At its base in small script is the nonsense word ‘Yah’ in Abyssal. As a note, sitting on the throne and saying "Yah" does nothing.
-1-27B The Hidden Stairs: This massive stone column is hollow behind two feet of stone. Inside are the hidden stairs that connect the Lower Caverns to the third level.

1-28 Acolytes Preparation Chamber: The priests and acolytes used this chamber to don their vestments and prepare for the horrific rituals performed in the Lower Temple. It is now empty.

1-29 Sacrifice Holding Chamber: Once this was where sacrifices intended for the grisly rites of the Lower Temple were held. Now, it is merely an empty chamber. The open archways is covered by a ragged silk tapestry. The tapestry is so soiled, it is difficult to make out the great white horse skull that adorns it surrounded by a ring of jagged daemonic iconography that loosely translates, ‘All must ride with the Horsemen’.

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 Post subject: Re: The Horn of Abbadon
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:50 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 1:14 am
Posts: 1389
Level 2
Note: Casting any spell with the evil descriptor is impeded on this level until the Knight’s Shrine is desecrated. See 2-18 for details.

2-1 The Right Eye: The entryway to the second level is accessible via a small winding stairway that hugs the side of the Horn. This small stairway rises almost two hundred feet and is covered in places with thick ropy vines. The entire stairway counts as difficult terrain. Once you arrive at the aperture, you are confronted with a forty foot long entryway that should be a death trap. Between the arrow slits (six on the right, six on the left, the pit trap and the half-wall at the corridor’s end, this should be a true defensive hard point of the Horn. Now, it is anything but. No one mans this defensive hallway. The once concealed pit trap is open and obvious, a twenty foot wide chasm in the middle of the hallway. The pit trap falls into room 1-23 below.

2-2 Eastern Guardroom: This empty guard room connects to the Temple of the Priests (2-20) by the only obvious door and to the entrance hallway by a secret door. It is otherwise empty.

2-3 Western Guardroom: This empty guard room has nothing of value in it.

2-4 Barracks: This empty chamber once quartered a dozen temple guards charged with securing this level. Now it is empty, its contents and occupants long ago committed to a Mitran pyre. If carefully searched, there is a small scrap of half-legible paper written in Abyssal. It reads: “Evacuate now...get to the throne...upper levels lost... stairs a deathtrap...only way out...Yah.”

2-5 Capture Pen: This cage is directly below the entranceway to the third level (3-1). Unlike the other pit trap in 2-1, this trap is still in working order. It drops down into a cell with agood lock (DC 30). The lock currently sits open with the key sticking out of it. Otherwise, this room is empty.

2-6 Barracks: This barracks once quartered eight guardsmen. Now it is empty.

2-7 Statuary Graveyard: Once the courtyard (2-16) was decorated with statues of priests and daemons. The knights smashed the statues and piled them here. The head of a petrified acolyte was left here as well.

2-8 Captain’s Quarters: This chamber once housed the private chambers of the guard captain of the Horn of Abaddon. Though most of the valuables and furnishings are gone, his bed still remains. This impressive oak four-poster bed is a mammoth piece of wood and a masterpiece of craftmanship. One of the knights under the Victor was so impressed by the furnishing he ordered it preserved hoping to come back and claim it someday. The knight died assaulting the Sanctum above but his order was obeyed even when everyone had forgotten exactly why he had given it. And so the bed sits here. The finely varnished wood shows no sign of wear. The beddings are rotten and moldering but if they are replaced, this is a magnificent bed.

It is worth 2500 gp but getting it out of the Horn back to Farholde would be a great labor. It would consume a full weekly action for minions to wrestle it outside and haul it to town.

2-9 The Beastmaster’s Quarters: This room once quartered the Horn’s Master of Beasts. This chamber was thoroughly ransacked and then set afire. It is now choked with ash and rubble. Still, if searched and cleared, there are three stout lengths of chain bound to iron collars with good locks large and strong enough to cage a wild beast. There is also an intact mural that shows the Master of Beast’s greatest triumph; the binding of Hexor and Vexor.

2-10 Barracks: This barracks once quartered eight guardsmen. Now it is empty.

2-11 Antechamber of the Master of Acolytes: This chamber has a human skeleton nailed to the western wall by a spear with a broken haft. Written above the impaled skeleton is the phrase: “The Master of Acolytes, stealer of children. Let all who would turn to darkness see his fate and return to the light." Other than this grim display, this room is empty.

2-12 Master of Acolytes’ Private Chambers: Once this chamber housed the finery and furnishing of the Master of Acolytes. It was ransacked like everything else on this level. But in this case, the ransacking including smashing murals that showed the Master doing his wicked business and going amongst the people of Talingarde to steal children to serve the “Sons”.

The knights were so vigorous in smashing the murals, that there is now a sizable hole in the western wall. Though this hole has come the aggressive greenery of the Caer Bryr and now vines and creepers fill this chamber. The hole is clogged with foliage but still could allow someone of medium size to cut through and enter here.

Two of the Caer’s more exotic inhabitants have already done this. A pair of verdurous oozes have crawled here. They have thrived by eating birds and other flying creatures using their control of vines to snatch them from the air and from their nests. They would relish larger prey.

2-13, 2-14, 2-15 Acolyte’s Quarters:
These quarters once housed a total of thirty-six acolytes. They are now empty.

2-16 Upper Courtyard: This large courtyard with its forty foot tall dome was once a center of social life here in the Horn. The deathpriests of old would gather to debate the philosophical intricacies of pestilence, all the while plotting to unleash yet more virulent horrors upon the world. Those days are now long past. The only hint of this once powerful wicked society is the candelabra of three continual flame spells that burn an undying eerie green at the apex of the dome.

There is a magic fountain here that produces fresh water (it possesses a moderate transmutation aura). The fountain’s centerpiece is carved in the form of a trio of exultant hydrodaemons that vomit forth the water into the basin below. The great basin of the pool holds a hundred gallons of water and when it is depleted the basin is replenished at the rate of one gallon a round. Despite the fountain’s sinister appearance and the fact it was created by a disease-loving daemonic death cult, the water is clean, fresh and potable. The fountain is part of the floor of this room and cannot be removed.

2-17 Priests’ Quarters: This chamber once housed four priests of the Pale Horseman. Now, it is largely empty with only a few remaining wrecked pieces of furniture remaining. Most of the furnishings here were dragged out of the Horn and burned in the great pyre alongside the dead priest’s corpses. There is nothing of any interest or value here.

2-18 The Knights’ Shrine: After the raid upon the Horn, the Victor and his knights occupied the place for weeks. Largely the soldiery camped outside of the Horn, believing the place to be cursed. However a few knights stayed in the temple to assist in completing the purge of everything even vaguely associated with the Sons of the Pale Horseman. While they were staying here, those knights built a small, ad hoc shrine to Mitra here in this chamber. The knights’ courage and their sincere prayers to Mitra consecrated the shrine and it became a beacon of good in what is otherwise a wretched pit of lingering corruption.

Little more than a plain wooden table where many candles have burned down to nubs, there is also the drawn image of the sun on the wall. An inscription has been carved below that reading “Mitra lucet omnibus, Mitra omnia regit” – “Mitra shines on everyone, Mitra rules everything.” This is one of the mottos of the Knights of the Alerion rendered in an old holy tongue. A successful Knowledge (religion) skill test (DC 15) will know this (made with a +5 bonus for Gaerlan and Lucavi, who were trained as knights).

As long as this shrine remains consecrated any spell with the evil descriptor is impeded on this level. To cast an impeded spell, the caster must make a concentration check (DC 20 + the level of the spell). If the check fails, the spell does not function but is still lost as a prepared spell or spell slot. If the check succeeds, the spell functions normally.

Desecrating the shrine is not difficult. The cleric spell desecrate will accomplish this as well defacing the shrine and offering a living sacrifice to Asmodeus or any other evil deity here (an animal will suffice). To realize what must be done here, a Knowledge (religion) skill check (DC 15) must be made. Advice from Ezra Thrice-Damned reduces the check to DC 5.

While the consecration persists Ezra and the ceustodaemons will not enter this chamber.

2-19 The Broken Statue: These quarters once housed six acolytes. But now all that remained was broken, headless statue, which has since been restored to the living man it once was.

2-20 Temple of the Priests: This is the smaller of the two temples (see 1-27) but is by far the grander. Six stately pillars rise to high vaulted ceilings. Images of winged carrion birds circle high above set into the stonework. stunningly beautiful, intricate murals cover every inch of the walls and floor of this place. At fist glance, the murals appear quite lovely showing vast armies of supplicants, each exquisitely rendered in bas relief, walking arms outspread towards some unseen goal.

Only as you progress towards the throne and the eastern wall does the message of the murals becomes clear. The figures become more and more emaciated, worn and diseased. Around the throne can be seen cackling daemons herding them like sheep. Nearer the wall they are no longer supplicants but instead shambling undead marching in great legions. And on the eastern walls is the supplicant’s destination -- a throne carved in the likeness of a great skull and above it reads (in abyssal) “Lead the flock into the arms of blessed Death.”

The throne itself radiates conjuration magic. If the throne (A) is searched carefully there is another easy to miss inscription here -- “Rah.” As below, saying "Rah" while seated on the throne has no effect.

2-21 Hall of Murals: This long L-shaped corridor extends almost 220 feet. Every ten feet is a new mural carved in larger than life detail. Together these murals depict a detailed history
of the Sons of the Pale Horseman. Some of the murals have been defaced, but there is simply so much adornment throughout the Horn that after a while the knights in the Victor’s service simply could not deface it all. They instead contented themselves with annihilating its defenders.

Someone with a working knowledge of the Abyssal tongue and with patience could catalog every major event in the Sons’ history -- from their founding in a distant land, their expulsion, their search for a new home, their building of the Horn, the summoning of Vetra-Kali and then the many years of serving the daemon prince. It is actually an epic tale (though doubtless aggrandizing of the Sons). But there is more here than simple history.

Anyone who takes the time to carefully read the murals will realize that there are detailed rituals described here. Transcribing them into useable forms is time consuming. For every day of labor, the transcriber can make one Knowledge (arcane), Knowledge (religion) or Knowledge (planes) skill check (DC 25). Success earns the researcher one of three rituals: Call Forth the Hounds,
Call Forth the Steed
or the Cauldron of the Earth. These rituals can only be performed once a year.

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 Post subject: Re: The Horn of Abbadon
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:20 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 1:14 am
Posts: 1389
Level 3

3-1 The Center Eye: No stairs rise to this grand archway. Instead, to enter here you must either fly or climb. To climb is no simple feat. This entryway rises more than two hundred feet above the cavernous entry (C1) far below. The easiest way is to climb from the entrance to level 2 – the right eye (2-1). This still involves a ninety foot angled ascent (adequate handholds, DC 15 Climb skill check). It is far easier to fl or levitate to the entrance.

The landing platform is baroquely adorned with every surface decorated with countless daemons tormenting and triumphing over mortals foolish enough to oppose them. Prominent among these decorations to the left of archway is a bas relief of Vetra-Kali sitting cross-legged. His three eyes are buttons that if pressed simultaneously deactivate the pit trap that wards the entrance. The pit remains deactivated until an identical bas relief on the other side of the wall is similarly pressed.

Once inside, the entranceway is a large hallway with five doors. The baroque decoration continues and everywhere is found bas relief carving showing the doings of daemons. There is a great deal of Abyssal writing here as well. If a Knowledge (planes) skill check is made (DC 25; award a +5 bonus if the character understands the Abyssal tongue) it can be understood that this hallway tells the tale of the ascension of the daemon prince Vetra-Kali

It is revealed that Vetra-Kali is a leukodaemon who through his savagery and remorseless cruelty rose from the ranks to be appointed an Archdeacon of Pestilence in service to the Pale Horseman. This hallway exalts and praises the many ruthless deeds done by Vetra-Kali to gain this prominence. Six green ominous flckering continual flmes (one beside each of the single doors and two beside the double doors at the end of the hall) light this hall.

3-2 Blasted Chamber of the High Priest: This was once the personal chamber of the mortal leader of the Sons of the Pale Horseman. The last high priest, then known as Ezra Twice-Damned, dwelt here. Now it is empty save for ash and splinters. The chamber was wrecked by a tremendous explosion such as a fireball.

There is a secret door here but it partially cracked open. What was once a finely made secret door now only requires a DC 15 Perception skill
check. If this room were cleaned, the door patched and closed this could again be a well concealed secret door.

3-3 The Burned Library: This room once held one of the greatest collections of blasphemous and evil tomes ever assembled on this world. Now it contains only ashes. When the Victor discovered this chamber, his words were terse: “To the fire.”

His order was obeyed. Every scroll, tome and treatise was consigned to flame. All that remains is an inscription in Abyssal that reads “Behold the secrets of death. Use them for my glory.” There are no secrets here anymore. Only ashes and memories.

3-4 Guardroom: This empty chamber once housed guards of the upper temple. Now it is empty and holds nothing of value.

3-5 Fane of the Thee Eyed Prince: As ornate and baroque as the entryway hall (3-1) is it pales before this expansive and vaulted chamber. This is the Horn’s third temple -- reserved only for the High Priest and his elite retinue. Most of the Sons of the Pale Horseman never entered this temple and never experienced the strange rites conducted within. The fane is adorned with a riot of lurid color. Brilliant bas reliefs depict daemons of every sort engaged in countless acts of wanton evil, callous destruction and inhuman savagery. Rows of pews allow a congregation of the chosen to gather. The podium is doubtless where foul sermons of Abaddon’s wisdom and bile were delivered to those gatherings.

At the front of the chamber are four shrines (A-D):
A – A white shrine decorated with bas relief depictions of open pits of the dead and lepers crying in anguish.
B – A shrine of red stone decorated with cruel iron weaponry and scenes of slaughter.
C –A shrine of black stone decorated with images of mortals wasting away from hunger and starvation.
D – A shrine of pale green stone adorned with a skull with two coins over its eyes and an inscription of jagged abyssal writing which reads “Behold a pale horse. Its rider is Death and all shall follow him.”

E – A large bas-relief image of Vetra-Kali sitting crosslegged holding his greatest work, his masterpiece, a vial of some sort. Below the vial is inscribed a name ‘The Tears of Achlys.’ Vetra-Kali also holds three blades and a strange jagged key with an Abyssal inscription “Hail Vetra-Kali”. The three eyed daemon prince pays homage to the four shrines, but there is no doubt that this fane is built primarily to honor him. Anyone who approaches this image of the daemon prince without saying “Hail Vetra-Kali” is afflicted by fearful visions (as the fear spell; DC 18 Will save to resist).

On all the other walls are litanies of the deeds of this monster. It was Vetra-Kali who crossed the great void and came to the prime material plane to establish the Sons of the Pale Horseman. It was he who oversaw the construction of the Horn of Abaddon and it is because of this that the Horn superfiially resembles this horror from another world.

There is a secret door hidden in the east wall. It is well concealed (DC 30 Perception check to find) but radiates a strong conjuration magic. If the secret door is opened (by pressing all three of Vetra-Kali’s eyes in unison) then it leads to a room shaped like the treasure vault (3-6) but full only of worthless discarded temple paraphenalia covered in cob webs -- wrecked pews, discarded masonry, piles of mouldering boards and the like. If the secret door is opened while saying the words “Hail Vetra-Kali” in Abyssal then it instead opens to a small pocket dimension and the true treasure vault.

3-6 Treasure Vault: This room is not really a room. Instead it is a pocket dimension overlaid over another room of exactly the same size. This is the treasure vault of the Sons of the Pale Horseman and this is where the lion’s share of their wealth remains. This treasure vault is what the Victor and his men never discovered. It’s hardly surprising – they were not seeking riches. Instead, they sought to purge every last daemon and priest from the Horn of Abaddon and that they accomplished. And so for eighty years, the vault has lain undiscovered and quiet, save for the rantings of Ezra, who coalesced into a Thrice-Damned dread wraith roughly a decade after the Sons' defeat.

Ths pocket dimension always glows with an ambient pale green light. Wraiths and daemons can enter it freely without needing to open the door or say the password.

3-7 Antechamber: Priests once waited here to greet visitors. Now it is empty and devoid of anything interesting or valuable.

3-8 The Lightning Scarred Room: A great magical battle was fought here between the wizards and clerics of the Sons and the priests of Mitra. The deep gouges cut into the stonework reveal where powerful spells once blasted out again and again. Now, other than its scars, this room is empty and unremarkable.

3-9 Meditation Hall of the High Priest: This room has no furnishings. The walls and floor of this chamber are covered in Abyssal script. The phrase “Receive the wisdom of Abaddon” is written prominently on the curved northern wall. There is a circle of such script in the center of the floor that is the nonsense word “nen” repeated over and over again. Saying ‘nen’ here does nothing.

3-10 Sacrifice Holding Cells: This long row of six cells (A-F) having stout steel doors and good locks. Here the “Sons” kept their sacrificial victims and playthings until the moment was right to offer them to their daemon gods. Now it is empty (though one suspects, Dear Readers, not for long!).

3-11 Chamber of Delights: Once this was the great brothel chamber of the high priesthood. The rewards for serving Vetra-Kali were doled out here in sumptuous excess. When the Victor raided this hall, he ordered the erotic murals defaced and the great chamber purged of any hint of its original purpose.

Now it is simply a gigantic empty room. The only hint of its former uses are a few defaced murals. A close examination will reveal hints of the wanton excesses once depicted here. Most disturbing (to everyone but Lucavi) are the hints that not everyone who visited the brothel was human or even humanoid.

3-12 Top of the Secret Stairway: The narrow spiral staircase that runs from the hidden chamber in the lower caverns (C5A) terminates here into a landing. This room is empty and bare. There are two badly deteriorated skeletons inside broken worthless suits of what was once masterwork full-plate. The ruined armored in covered in symbols similar to those that adorn the Horn itself. These are all that remains of the elite guards who stood in the way of the Victor as he fought his way towards the sanctum.

3-13 The Daemons’ Charge: This rounded chamber has a high domed ceiling and is everywhere adorned with grisly bas relief depictions of the nightmare realm of Abaddon. A spiral staircase without railing rises at the western end of the room. A curved half-wall blocks direct access to the staircase.

Here is the place that Hexor and Vexor were summoned to guard. It was their task to ensure that only those who served the interest of Vetra-Kali were able to access the Sanctum above. They failed in this task only once. After the Victor and his retinue destroyed them, it took them almost a month to reform, and they were resolved to never fail again.

The Spiral: This is the great spiral stair case that rises more than two hundred feet straight through the heart of the Horn of Abaddon. It connects the Daemon’s Charge to the Sanctum of Vetra-Kali (S-1). Though steep and an arduous climb, the stairs are not trapped or in any way dangerous. They are lit every twenty feet by green flickering continual flames contained within rough iron sconces. The walls are decorated with images of the Horsemen ascending to to the Heavens, and laying waste to the Celestial Hosts.

The Sanctum of Vetra-Kali
S-1 The Sanctum: This large domed chamber is baroquely decorated and everywhere adorned with jagged daemonic iconography and visions of spreading pestilence and mortal suffering. It is a grand chamber: eighty feet across at its widest, ninety feet long and rising at its apex to a dome fit feet high.

Low partition walls section of two ritual preparation chambers (A and B). And dominating the chamber is the statue of Vetra-Kali himself carved from hard green alabaster. He holds three knives and three bowls and leers eyeless over the altar before him. He presents a figure of brutal alien malice. The green stone of the altar is stained black in many places, doubtless from the countless victims who met their end upon its block. There is a reservoir at the base of the statue and any water placed there is instantly polluted and transformed into unholy water. The statue radiates overwhelming evil.

The Dirges specifies exactly how a sacrifice must be made to Vetra-Kali. The victim must be placed upon his altar and there have their heart cut out while still alive . The heart is then placed in one of the three bowls that the statue of Vetra-Kali holds.

Until the arrival of the Ninth Knot, a lightning elemental made its lair here, perpetually circling the dome in endless motion. It formed sometime after the Sons' defeat from the vast amounts of raw magic in the air, perhaps sparked by a summer thunderstorm.

Completely out of place are the heavy silver chains that bind the altar and connect to a heavy argent seal pressed with the holy sunburst of blessed Mitra -- the Silver Seal. The the chains and the seal are a powerful divine artifact and cannot be moved by any mortal agency. And as long as the seal persists, Vetra-Kali will never again manifest upon this mortal plane.

Anyone evil who touches the seal takes 10d6 good-aligned damage. A Fortitude save (DC 20) halves the damage. Any evil outsider who touches the seal must further immediately make a Will save (DC 20) or be banished back to their home plane. It radiates an overwhelming aura of good. Until the Withering Eye was replaced, the Seal hallowed this chamber, but now it merely holds the desecration of the rest of the Horn at bay.

S-2 The Balcony: This open balcony overlooks the surrounding countryside. From here you can see the other strange jagged hills that rise around the Horn. The hills seem almost to be bowing as if each of these ancient stone giants recognize they are lesser than the grand and magnificent spectacle that is the Horn of Abaddon.

If someone were to be thrown off this balcony, they would fall 50 feet before smashing into the side of the Horn (taking 5d6 damage). At that point, this individual would have one chance to avoid falling further. They could try to grab onto one of the countless jutting lesser spires that thrust from the Horn, with a DC 18 Reflex save. If they succeed, they stop falling and can climb back to the balcony using the many handholds and ledges (DC 10).
Fail and the victim plummets three hundred feet to the canopied forest floor below (taking 20d6 damage).

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 Post subject: Re: The Horn of Abbadon
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:20 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 1:14 am
Posts: 1389

A note on the cover of the golem schematics say that the construct was named "Artephius." Eight things are needed to restore the alchemical golem to full functionality:

1. The Eye – Artephius, even if activated, would be blind. Its single glass lens has been shattered. The lens is entirely present however and so could be repaired using the make whole spell. Failing that, a new lens matching the exacting specifiations of the schematics could be commissioned in Farholde. It would cost 1000 gp.

2. The Brain – Artephius needs a new human, dwarven, elven, half-orc or half-elven brain. No other race will do – they are not the right size and attunement. It need not be from a living person. Someone who died in the last twenty four hours from natural causes will do. Of course, murder is always an option. Finding a brain will likely not be a problem for our band of villains. The difficulty is installing it. A successful Craft (Alchemy) skill check is required to install the brain.

3. The Heart Cog – Artephius’ mithral heart cog was stolen long ago, likely by one of the Victor’s retainers. Without this critical component, Artephius will not activate. A new cog will have to be made. Fortunately, the exact shape is described in the schematics. 500 gp worth of mithral will suffice to make the heart cog. A smith in Farholde would do the delicate work for 10% of the mithral’s value (50 gp). Regardless, a Craft (blacksmith) skill check is required.

4. The Reservoir – Artephius needs a new glass reservoir where the four primal reagents can mingle and power the golem. The glass reservoir was smashed during the battle and now the pieces are missing so make whole is of no help. However, there is a spare reservoir amongst the smashed remains of the alchemist’s gear. Installation is a simple matter requiring no skill check. If the reservoir is broken, a new one could be made made. A glass blower will be able to follow the schematic and reproduce the reservoir for 100 gp.

5. The Reagent of Fire – Artephius needs ten doses of alchemist’s fire.

6. The Reagent of Ice – Artephius needs ten doses of alchemist’s frost.

7. The Reagent of Acid – Artephius needs ten doses of a potent acid. The acid that pools in the lower cavern (C2) has more than enough to do the trick, or it could be made from scratch.

8. The Reagent of Electricity – Artephius needs a large supply of lightning elemental blood.

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