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Alternative Adimarchus & The Cagewrights


Shackled City Adventure Path

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I've just posted the below document in full onto the new TheRPGenius.com site but thought I would post it up here in sections for comment and future changes/alterations.

So I'm apologising in advance for any doubling up from posts found in 'The New Cagewright' and 'Linking Adimarchus to the Cagewrights' threads because a large potion of the document is made up of information found in those threads or inspired by posts/ideas found within them.

Also Note though that there is a great deal of new material and ideas including Cagewright foreshadowing, Adimarchus alterations and a few new side treks/min-adventures.

Hope you can take something away from the thread.

Delvesdeep


Adimarchus
& the
Cagewrights

This document suggests ways to better foreshadow, link and improve the main villains of the SCAP – Adimarchus and the Cagewrights.

The Cagewrights

In the official SCAP Hard Cover the Cagewrights are a collection of mostly faceless villains. When the party finally confront them during the Thirteen Cages and Strike on Shatterhorn adventures the battles end up of being just a collection of meaningless encounters, not the exciting conclusion to a long campaign as they really should be.

The two biggest problems I see with the Cagewrights are that they are not known individually to the party and that there are just too many of them to remember.

Presently the Cagewrights consist of 13 Cagewrights and 5 Apprentices.

In the Path many of the most memorable villains are not Cagewrights such as Vhalantru (Beholder), Jil (LL assassin), Blue Duke (Ogre-Mage commander of the half-orcs), Ike Iverson (Wee Jas cleric) and Fetor (Lore master from SotSP). This also seems like a double up to me – too many villains overall.

Finally the Cagewrights and Adimarchus should be connected. If Adimarchus is the ultimate villain of the path then his evil will should drive the overall plot and this includes the Cagewrights.

So …..

I am removing all of the Cagewrights I feel that are forgettable and unimportant to the overall plot. So of the 18 Cagewrights included in the official SCAP Hard Cover I have removed or replaced 11 of them with other interesting ‘bad guys’ so as to try and reduce the overall villains in the Path, leaving only the most important of these.

I'm changing the whole make up of the Thirteen to include only 6 Masters, 6 Apprentices and 1 leader.

The New Cagewrights
The Cagewrights are a Cult of Madness, determined to spread insanity and release Adimarchus - the Lord of Madness, onto the world. More on that later though.

Here are my ‘Thirteen’-

The Apprentices-
The Cagewright Masters of the Apprentices are written up in bracket next to each.

1. Zarn Kyass (Blue Duke - apprentice of Gau Kleeoch)
2. Fetor Abradius (Loremaster - Apprentice of Shebeleth)
3. Khyron Bonesworn (Leader of evil Adventurers - apprentice of Alurad Sozizan
4. Ike Iverson (Wee Yas 2nd in command - apprentice of Embril)
5. Jil (2nd in charge of the Last Laugh - apprentice of Nulin 'Fish' Wiejeron)
6. Lady Thifirane (Cauldron Noble - Apprentice to Vhalantru)

Each of the Apprentice Cagewrights wear a small silver cage necklace (see Lady Thifirane's necklace for a more detailed description).

Cagewright Masters-
1. Vhalantru (Beholder – Cauldron’s self appointed 'Mayor')
2. Nulin 'Fish' Wiejeron (Assassin & Last Laugh Jester/Guildmaster)
3. Shebeleth Regiden (Spiritual Leader of Adimarchus)
4. Embril Aloustinai (High cleric of Wee Yas)
5. Gau Kleeoch (Minotaur General/Body Guard of Dyr’ryd)
6. Alurad Sozizan (Blackguard/cleric, Adventurer Hunter)

Each Cagewright Master wears a ring identifying him as a master - see the HC for details.

Cagewright Leader-
Dyr'ryd (Demodand Cagewright Mastermind, Adimarchus' Voice)

Clarifications
Number One - Unless one escapes, it is very likely that by the end of the Party at House Rhiavadi all of the Cagewright Apprentices will be killed.
Ike - Defeated during SotSP (Church of Wee Yas)
Fetor - SotSP (Spellweaver Ruins)
Jil – LoO (Last Laugh Safehouse)
Thifirane, Khyron & Zarn – LoO (Party at House Rhiavadi)

Number Two - I am converting Nulin 'Fish' Wiejeron into the Guildmaster of the Last Laugh and the only Jester.
To avoid confusion later I intend to only refer to Nulin as the ‘Jester’ unless the party are researching him specifically.
I realize the HC states that there is more than one leader but they are never written up anywhere so, as much to tie up loose ends as anything else, I will make 'Fish' (the Cagewright assassin) the ultimate leader and have Jil his second in command.

The party may attack the Last laugh headquarter before the latter chapters so 'Fish', and therefore one of the Thirteen, may be killed early. Otherwise they will face him during 'Thirteen Cages'. The party will hear of Fish and may even see him earlier in the path to help foreshadow this villain.

They may hear his crazied laugh when they find one of his dead victims in a Cauldron alleyway (a council member?) previous to this.

Delvesdeep


Cagewright Foreshadowing

Khyron Bonesworn (Apprentice) & Alurad Sorizan (Master)
Khyron is the clerical leader of the Necrocants and apprentice to Aluizid the Blackguard slayer of adventurers.
Possible Foreshadowing for these villains could involve –

Chapter 4 or earlier
The party here from a reliable source (possibly Meerthan) that a group of adventurers known as the Red Riders were ambushed on the road to Cauldron by a group known as the Necrocants. The Necrocants were lead by a handsome man with yellow eyes who wielded a skull caped mace and a shield adorned with a white skull. Only one member of the Red Riders survived the attack.

Chapter 5
At the beginning of Chapter 5 the ‘Strider’ of the party is contacted by Meerthan, urgently summoning them to the Drowning Morkoth. When they arrive Meerthan is prepared and quickly tells them that Fario, Fallian and Shensen were ambushed by the Necrotaunts are hiding in the jungles a few miles from the Lucky Monkey.

Meerthan teleports them to the Striders and find Fallian unconscious and the other two badly injured and out of spells. Within a few rounds the Necrotaunts find the party and Striders and attack using the undead dinosaurs and Lucky Monkey zombies (the Inn Keeper leads the way).

The Necrocants are Khyron (see HC write up), Ranita (8th level Wizard/Necromancer), Malruin (6th level human ghost rogue), Sir Hellin (Swordwraith) & Dralan (Frost Giant Mummy).

The Necrocants

• Thankyou to Qualidar for the excellent Necrocant write ups.

Khyron Bonesworn CR 10 (see pg 366 in the SCAP HC)

Dralan CR 9
Male Frost Giant Mummy
CE Large Undead (cold)
Init -1 (Dex); Low-light, Darkvision 60; Listen +2, Spot +12
Aura Dispair (sight, DC 16)
Languages Frost Giant, Common
-----------------------
AC 22, touch 8, flat-footed 22 (+4 chain shirt, -1 Dex, -1 size, +10 natural)
hp 91 (14d12 HD); DR 5/–
Immune Cold
Fort +10, Ref +6, Will +16
Weakness Vulnerable to Fire
--------------
Spd 40 ft
Melee Huge Great Axe +15/10 (3d6+13+mummy rot/x3)
or 2 Slams +15 (1d4+9+mummy rot)
Ranged Rock +6 (2d6+9)
Space 10 ft; Reach 10 ft
Base Atk +7; Grp +20
Atk Options Cleave, Great Cleave, Imp Overrun, Imp Sunder, Power Attack
Special Atks Rock Throwing
Combat Gear Huge Great Axe, 4 Rocks (tomb markers)
---------------
Abilities Str 29, Dex 9, Con 0, Int 6, Wis 14, Cha 15
SQ Undead Traits
Skills Climb +13, Craft Armor +6, Intimidate +6, Jump +17
-----------------------------

Despair (Su): At the mere sight of a mummy, the viewer must succeed on a DC 16 Will save or be paralyzed with fear for 1d4 rounds. Whether or not the save is successful, that creature cannot be affected again by the same mummy’s despair ability for 24 hours. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Mummy Rot (Su): Supernatural disease—slam, Fortitude DC 16, incubation period 1 minute; damage 1d6 Con and 1d6 Cha. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Unlike normal diseases, mummy rot continues until the victim reaches Constitution 0 (and dies) or is cured as described below.

Mummy rot is a powerful curse, not a natural disease. A character attempting to cast any conjuration (healing) spell on a creature afflicted with mummy rot must succeed on a DC 20 caster level check, or the spell has no effect on the afflicted character.

To eliminate mummy rot, the curse must first be broken with break enchantment or remove curse (requiring a DC 20 caster level check for either spell), after which a caster level check is no longer necessary to cast healing spells on the victim, and the mummy rot can be magically cured as any normal disease.

An afflicted creature who dies of mummy rot shrivels away into sand and dust that blow away into nothing at the first wind.

Malruin CR 8
Female ghost (human) rogue 6
CE Medium Undead (incorporeal)
Init +3 (Dex); Listen +7, Spot +7
Aura Horrific Appearance (sight, DC 17)
Languages Common, Elvish
---------------------------------------------------------
AC 14, touch 14, flat-footed 11; incorporeal
hp 44 (8d12 HD)
Immune as undead
Fort +2, Ref +8, Will +1
---------------------------------------------------------
Spd fly 30 ft
Melee unarmed +7 (1d3)
Base Atk +4; Grp +4
Special Atks Sneak Attack +3d6, Corrupting Gaze
---------------------------------------------------------
Abilities Str 10, Dex 16, Con 0, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 16
SQ Evasion, Uncanny Dodge, Rejuvination, Turn Resistance +4
Feats Weapon Finesse
Skills Appraise +6, Balance +14, Bluff +8, Climb +9, Disable Device +7, Gather Info +14, Hide +22, Jump +11, Move Silently +14, Open Lock +12, Search +15
---------------------------------------------------------
Corrupting Gaze (Su): A ghost can blast living beings with a glance, at a range of up to 30 feet. Creatures that meet the ghost’s gaze must succeed on a DC 17 Fortitude save or take 2d10 points of damage and 1d4 points of Charisma damage.

Horrific Appearance (Su): Any living creature within 60 ft that views a ghost must succeed on a DC 17 Fort save or immediately take 1d4 points of Strength dmg, 1d4 points of Dexterity dmg, and 1d4 points of Constitution dmg. A creature that successfully saves against this effect cannot be affected by the same ghost’s horrific appearance for 24 hours.

Manifestation (Su): A ghost dwells on the Ethereal Plane and, as an ethereal creature, it cannot affect or be affected by anything in the material world. When a ghost manifests, it partly enters the Material Plane and becomes visible but incorporeal on the Material Plane.

A manifested ghost can be harmed only by other incorporeal creatures, magic weapons, or spells, with a 50% chance to ignore any damage from a corporeal source. A manifested ghost can pass through solid objects at will, and its own attacks pass through armor. A manifested ghost always moves silently. A manifested ghost can strike with its touch attack or with a ghost touch weapon.

A manifested ghost remains partially on the Ethereal Plane, where is it not incorporeal. A manifested ghost can be attacked by opponents on either the Material Plane or the Ethereal Plane. The ghost’s incorporeality helps protect it from foes on the Material Plane, but not from foes on the Ethereal Plane.

Rejuvenation (Su): In most cases, it’s difficult to destroy a ghost through simple combat: The “destroyed” spirit will often restore itself in 2d4 days. Even the most powerful spells are usually only temporary solutions. A ghost that would otherwise be destroyed returns to its old haunts with a successful level check (1d20 + ghost’s HD) against DC 16.

As a rule, the only way to get rid of a ghost for sure is to determine the reason for its existence and set right whatever prevents it from resting in peace. The exact means varies with each spirit and may require a good deal of research.

Turn Resistance (Ex): A ghost has +4 turn resistance.

Renita CR 8
Female human Wizard (Necromancer) level 8
NE Medium Human
Init +2 (+2 Dex); Listen +1, Spot +1
Languages Abyssal, Common, Draconic, Infernal
----------------------------------------
AC 12 (16 w/shield), touch 12 (16), flat 10 (14) (+2 Dex)
hp 41 (or 56 w/False Life, -3 w/ Spectral Hand);
DR 10 vs arrows/magic (80 hp), DR 10/adamantine (80 hp) w/Stoneskin
Fort +4, Ref +4, Will +7
----------------------------------------
Spd 30 ft (60 ft w/ Expeditious Retreat and/or Fly)
Melee Dagger +4 (1d4/19-20)
Ranged Dagger +6 (1d4/19-20)
Base Atk +4; Grp +4
Combat Gear Dagger
----------------------------------------
Spells (CL 8, +4 melee touch, +6 ranged touch):
4th Level (DC 18 or 20*): Globe of Invulnerability, Bestow Curse*, Burning Blood*, Stoneskin
3rd Level (DC 17 or 19*): Fly, Ray of Exhaustion*, Undead Torch*, Vampiric Touch*, Wind Wall
2nd Level (DC 16 or 18*): Command Undead*, False Life*, Ghoul Touch*, Protection from Arrows, Spectral Hand*
1st Level (DC 15 or 17*): Backbiter*, Expeditious Retreat, Magic Missile, Shield, Shocking Grasp, Spirit Worm*
0 Level (DC 14 or 16*): Dancing Lights, Daze, Disrupt Undead*, Light, Touch of Fatigue
*Necromancy School
----------------------------------------
Abilities Str 10, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 19, Wis 12, Cha 10

Feats Craft Wand, Empower Spell, Greater Spell Focus (Necromancy), Scribe Scroll, Still Spell

Skills Bluff +5, Concentration +13, Knowledge (Arcana) +15, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) +11, Know. (History) +15, Sense Motive +6, Spellcraft +17

Possessions dagger

Sir Tharex CR 8
Male Swordwraith Fighter 6
LE Med Undead
Init +5 (Dex, Imp Init); Listen +4, Spot +5
Languages Common
--------------------------------------------
AC 22, touch 11, flat 21 (+8 full plate, +3 shield, +1 Dex)
hp 45 (6d12 HD); DR 10/magic and slashing
Fort +7, Ref +3, Will +4
--------------------------------------------
Spd 20 ft
Melee +1 Frost Longsword +11/6 (1d8+6+1d6 cold, +1 Str damage/19-20) or Shield Bash +11/6 (1d6+3+1 Str dmg)
Base Atk +6; Grp +9
Atk Options Imp Shield Bash, Power Attack, Improved Sunder, Cleave, Imp Bull Rush
Special Atks Strength Damage
Combat Gear Masterwork Full Plate, +1 Lg Steel Shield, +1 Frost Longsword
--------------------------------------------
Abilities Str 17, Dex 12, Con 0, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 14
SQ Undead Traits, Turn Resistance +2
Skills Balance -5, Climb +5, Hide -1, Intimidate +10, Jump -9, Move Silently -1, Ride 9
--------------------------------------------
Strength Damage (Su): A creature struck by a Swordwraith’s melee weapon takes 1 point of temporary Strength damage in addition to normal damage from the weapon.

Turn Resistance (Ex): A swordwraith is treated as an undead with 2 more Hit Dice than it actually has for the purposes of turn, rebuke, command, or bolster attempts.

And finally, the Deinonychus Zombie reinforcements:

Deinonychus Zombies (4) CR 5
N Medium Undead
Init +1; Darkvision 60 ft; Listen +0, Spot +0
-----------------------------------------------------
AC 18, touch 11, flat-footed 17 (+1 Dex, +7 natural)
hp 55; DR 5/slashing
Undead immunities
Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +6
-----------------------------------------------------
Spd 60 ft
Melee Talons +7 (1d8+5)
Base Atk +4; Grp +8
Atk Options Single actions only
-----------------------------------------------------
Abilities Str 21, Dex 13, Con –, Int –, Wis 10, Cha 1
Feats Toughness
-----------------------------------------------------
Damage Reduction (Ex): A zombie has damage reduction 5/slashing. Zombies are lumbering masses of flesh.
Single Actions Only (Ex): Zombies have poor reflexes and can perform only a single move action or attack action each round. A zombie can move up to its speed and attack in the same round, but only if it attempts a charge.

Khyron retreats after things start to turn against his group and Meerthan commands the party and Striders to let him go hoping to magically trail him back to his Cagewright Master.

Later the same day Meerthan asks the party to come to the Drowning Morkoth to help him scry for Khyron and to try and remember everything they see in case his scrying is discovered and what they see is the only clues they have to locating the Master Cagewright and the other Masters.

Meerthan produces a large ornate silver mirror and begins to chant. The reflection begins to waver like a pond disturbed by a stone before the image becomes clearer and the party find themselves looking at a the ruins of a dark temple.

A figure clad in spiked armour climbs the stair of the temple which is easily recognizable as Khyron. The dark cleric walks through the shadow filled hallway, his footsteps echoing off the ancient walls before approaching the dimly lit altar.
Stooped over the altar with his back to Khyron, is a man wearing a cloak made of human skin covering his shadowy full plate armour.

Shaggy black hair protrudes from his scalp and a great bloodied sword sits at his side. A huge red badger sits atop the altar snarling at the clerics approach.
‘I have failed Master’ you hear Khyron say breaking the silence, ‘the Striders still live….’

The man spins around, anger blazing in his blackened eyes. In his blood covered hands he holds the torso of a man who he has carefully begin to tear the skin from. His face is covered in a pattern of blood-red tattoos and hanging around his neck is a necklace of fresh hearts.

Khyron quickly continues -‘They called for help and we..’
‘Silence!’ the dark man raises his hand in fury, ‘and you came straight back here?! I said never to seek me out unless I summon you!’ he screams in anger at his cowering apprentice.
The crazed looking Cagewright shifts his attention to the temple around him, silently scanning about the room until his gaze settles directly on the party.

‘And now you have brought them to me!’ he screams on the brink of losing complete control.
Suddenly a cold calm settles over the Cagewright and he speaks directly to the scry -‘Meerthan, it is you isn’t it. I know where you are now. I will come to take your heart soon!’ he cackles before grabbing a black ring from the altar and thrusting it on his finger instantly ending the scry.

After the scry Meerthan sits stunned for a moment, his face awash in a mask of undisguised fear.

Pulling himself out of the introspection Meerthan tells them the man is Alurad Sorizon, crazed adventurer hunter and sadistic blackguard slaughter for the Cagewrights. When the Striders attacked the Cagewrights Alurad had cut sway through many of their strongest members before Meerthan’s leader finally slew the man with his final breath.

Meerthan devotes his attention over the next chapter in finding Alurad.

Chapter 7
Khyron has been disfigured when they see him at the party. The skin of one half of his face has been torn off in payment for his mistake. The party will combat Khyron once again at House Rhalandi and likely kill him.

Chapter 11
Alurad will be encountered by the party during their hunt to retrieve Nidrama from the Haunted Village. Alurad will attack the party from the back of a Nightwing with four flesh golems, of his creation, lumbering out to combat them from the ground.


Shebeleth Regidin (Master Cagewright – Spiritual Leader)

Shebeleth, Spiritual Leader of the Cagewrights and High Priest of Adimarchus, abhors other faiths and the hope the institutions provide to the city. He is determined to wipe all potential spiritual resistance from Cauldron before he initiates the evil ritual that will turn it into a permanent planar gate to the Prison Plane.

Chapter 3 or 4
The High Inquisitor and Arch Bishop of the church (either St Cuthbert or the party clerics church), His Divine Holiness, Shebeleth Regidin arrives in a white and gold carriage to help the faith in its dire of hour. Shebeleth is adorned with a high peaked cap and long white and gold robes. He walks with a golden staff.

The party may see the coach or just meet with the High Bishop at his request. Jenya, Asfelkir, Kristof or the leader of the party clerics church should be respectfully thrilled by the arrival of Shebeleth and be very keen to introduce the party to him. Shebeleth tells them he was written to by Jenya/Askelkir/Kristof about the troubles in Cauldron and has come to help. He asks the party about their adventures and listens to their thoughts, worries and suspicions. Shebeleth gives the party each of minor magical item to help protect the church and defeat the evil that seems to be washing into Cauldron.

Items: Necklace of Fireballs (Type 1), Hand of the Mage, Phylactery of Faithfulness* and Eyes of the Eagle.

* The Phylactery dictum is a little different – far more militant and intolerant of other faiths including other ‘good’ faiths.

Shebeleth encourages the party to work to help the Cauldron community in any way and return with any information about the evil that Jenya/Asfelkir/Kristof had written to him about and he will personally reward them.

If the party are suspicious
If the party seem overly suspicious about Shebeleth he confronts them directly about their concerns and even asks them to detect his alignment, read his thoughts etc if this would help allevate their suspicions and uses his remarkable trickery spells and abilities to twist them. He later says that they are wise to be suspicious for he suspects that many other good faiths in this city have been corrupted by the seductive power of evil.

Chapter 5
Shebeleth begins to make some changes to the church, ‘encouraging’ more acolytes to be trained (hand picked and loyal to him), more funds to be used to train more holy soldiers/guards to protect the faith and go out and bring the faith into the homes of the needy and frightened. He uses a great deal of his personal treasury to help fund the improvements and uses some of his wealth to help repair the church petitioner’s homes which were damaged from the floods and riot/s. Shebeleth says he is becoming concerned with the other churches connections with the corrupt government and nobles

In reality these improvement are being used to buy loyalty, eat up the churches funds and prepare for an attack on the other good churches.

Chapter 7
Shebeleth has asked the church leader (Jenya etc) to step down because of past incompetence’s and the new direction of the faith at the start of the Chapter.

If the party resist this decision Shebeleth says he will give the leader one more chance but only if they openly take actions against the evil that is building in the city hidden in the churches themselves. Holy defence and strong resolve is required immediately.

If the party tell Shebeleth where they are going he makes sure he warns Fetor of their potential arrival before beginning to gather his flock and manipulate, mass charm etc them into a religious fever.

When the party travel to the Demonskar, Shebeleth gathers the church faithful and new holy defenders to attack the evil hidden in the Church of ….(Pelor, Kord or other). The ensuing conflict kills many and damages both churches.

When the party kill Fetor and discover that Shebeleth is his actually his Cagewright Master they will return to the city to confront the evil cleric.

Shebeleth greets them with his headgears off revealing the smoking ruby eye embedded into his forehead. He cackles insanely as they approach saying – ‘The damage is already done my pitiful servants. The churches will never recover in time before the Cagewrights terror is unleashed upon Cauldron. You have been little more than gullible pawn I’m afraid…’

Depending upon their strength at the time, he then uses a readied time stop spell to summon 2 Fasastu and 1 Kelubar Demodands to finish off the party and then Word of Recall to return to the Fiery Sanctum.

Delvesdeep

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hey delvesdeep, welcome back.

Whereabouts on RPGenius are you posting these, I couldn't find them...

Thanks!


Mothman wrote:

Hey delvesdeep, welcome back.

Whereabouts on RPGenius are you posting these, I couldn't find them...

Thanks!

I sent it to Koramado a couple of weeks a go but that was before the new site was put up so maybe it was lost in the change over. I'll try again.

Delvesdeep


Nulin 'Fish' Wiejeron Guildmaster/Jester of the Last Laugh.

He is one of the few Cagewrights whose infamy is well spread. ‘The Jester’ should be mentioned in hushed tones frequently during the Path and stories should occasional surface about the Jester’s crazed giggle just before he assassinates a victim.

Rumours may also circulate that the Jester is in fact a twin (foreshadowing Nulin’s incredible ability to duplicate himself in battle into two jesters both with equal powers). Nulin was granted the incredible power when he worked for the Nerra to dispose of an ancient enemy.

Chapter 6 (upon returning from Occiptus)
The party receives a secretive summons from an old contact from Flood Season – Artus Shemrick (pg 110). The message is left with an ally of the party and was delivered by a beggar (Artus disguised).

Opening the strange letter within a plain brown package reveals a message written in a familiar script which reads simply –

Find me at our last meeting place at the same time as the first. It is extremely urgent.

The party can look back through their other messages or use an Intelligence Check (DC 15) to remember the writing to be Artus Shemrick’s. The same rogue and information broker who sold them the location of the larva tube which lead to the Kopru Ruins.

Artus overheard Orbius talking to the Jester (Nulin) before being discovered. He miraculously escaped as has been in hiding for the last two days and desperately hoped that the party could protect him. Unfortunately for him, the Jester was determined to end this threat personally.

If the party travel to the Lakeside Pavilion at Midnight they find Artus killed with two identical stabs to his front and back. If the party stay to examine the body, a heal check (DC 20) will reveal that the precise blows were made at exactly the same time.

While they remain to observe Artus, an insane chorus of bone chilling laughter echoes off the nearby rooftops. One crazed giggling originating from the Northwest, the other from the Southwest. The laughter eventually fades as the culprits move away in opposite directions.

Sharing the event with other allies will reveal the laughter belonging to the Jester himself and the friend stating with a feared whisper – ‘You are lucky you didn’t come a few minutes earlier or you would have been sharing Artus fate as well…’

Chapter 8 or 9
The party may wish to, with allies in tow, assault the Last Laugh headquarters themselves. The Jester (and his duplicate) will be there to meet them but will flee to the Fiery Sanctum if brought to half his hit points.

See below for more information on the Jesters ‘Duplicate’.


Just a quick note to say that I got your email and this file is up on theRPGenius.com now, too. Excellent work as usual and thanks!

Regards,
Koramado


Gau Kleeoch is the General of a great army and bodyguard of Dry’yrd. She waits to invade the frontiers lands after the Canceri gate is opened and Adimarchus’ madness washes over the land.

The Blue Duke is her greatest commander and leads the mission to undermine Cauldrons forces and, when the time comes, attack from the inside.

When the Blue Duke dies either in the Invasion of Redgorge (End of Chapter 6)or Party at House Rhiavadi (Chapter 8), Gau feels personally assaulted by the lose of her Apprentice and seeks to hunt down his killers.

Gau seeks out the party either at Redgorge (best scenario) or Cauldron city itself. She has prepared herself well using a variety of potions, scrolls and spells cast by her Cagewright allies (none of whom she told why she needed them).

Gau has the following spells cast upon her by a 16th level caster – Spell Turning, Globe of Invulnerability, Stoneskin, Fly, Protection from arrows & Bull Strength. Also note that I have replaced Great Fortitude with Great Cleave in her feat selection.

From outside the walls she issues a challenge – ‘Murderers of my Apprentice the Blue Duke. Come face me on the battlefield or I will tear down its walls and feed upon its helpless people!’

The party will most likely be involved in business within the city and this message will be relayed to them urgently from a wall guard. When the party arrive a troop of soldiers are riding out to confront the single Minotaur while, from the gate towers two ballista bolts are fired.

The party will witness from the wall/sky as one massive ballista bolt narrowly sails over her head while the other strikes her directly in the chest causing her to stubble slightly backwards but otherwise leaves her completely unhurt.
The soldiers thunder towards the minotaur with lances poised when the massive minotaur roars, lowers her head and charges directly towards the surprised riders.

Gau plows through the riders sending 3 soldiers and their mounts spinning through the air to land in a bloodied heap up to twenty feet away. Seemingly unfazed, the remaining riders circle the minotaur, flanking her and attempt to hack her to pieces with their swords.

Unhindered Gau will destroy the troop in a single round – attacking 5 times, using greater cleave and power attack in combination to send horses and riders hurtling through the air in all directions.

If the party attack Gau using spells or missile weapons, she will take to the air to confront the caster/attacker directly. Gau will remain long enough to make a lasting impression then the city will send in a great force of soldiers, Chisel members, Striders etc where she will say - ‘Next time we meet I will be leading my army which will turn this town/city to dust while I feast upon your cold flesh’
Gau will then greater teleport, gate, plane shift away to the Fiery Sanctum.

The purpose of the encounter is to leave a lasting impression of Gau on the party and foreshadow her later appearance and fighting prowess.

Delvesdeep

Cheliax

This is really awesome, I'm begging you to put up the two "extra" adventures as they sound awesome.


I'm already working to insert them IMC!! Thanks again!!

Q.


Thankyou both of you! The two advenures are getting there. The Haunted Village is almost completed but the Inner Demon is still only just started.

Glad to hear you are using the stuff!

Vhalantru – Vhalantru makes an appearance during the Demonskar Ball. Also roleplaying him as a (drunkened?) helpful patron who provides the party with the occasional laugh and some ‘inside’ government information will help alleviate suspicions on him. In this role Vhalantru can also shift the parties focus to ‘villains’ such as Captain Teresong, the Lord Mayor and Lord Taskerhill etc for the tax rises and half-orc guards.

Embril – If you use Demonskar Ball, Embril makes an appearance there also.

Dyr'ryd – The Cagewrights will foreshadow their leader as the party systematically encounter each of them. Meerthan can also provide a significant amount of information about the Cagewright leader and perhaps even his connection to Adimarchus.

Adventure Changes

With the alterations to the Cagewrights this will affect the adventures Thirteen Cages and Strike on Shatterhorn.

In Thirteen Cages the changes are –

• Change Decrihni Baiul (C12)into a two fire giants (CR 11 instead of 14 but the party will need this concession later)

• Replace Freija Doorgan (C17) into a 7th level Noble Salamander Wizard.

• Replace Grehlia Cairnis (C 21) with 2 Elder Magma Paraelementals and 2 elder Fire Elementals. The room is ablaze with larva and fire but otherwise the room description remains as written.

• Replace Thearynn Louvel (C22) with a ‘Flame Brother’ Salamander with the same statistics, abilities and wizard levels as Thearynn. This should still separate him from the Cagewrights but still give the party a powerful wizard to contend with.

• Remove Ardeth Webb (C23) and instead enable the Jester (Nulin ‘Fish’ Wiejeron) to reveal his most sinister power…his ability to duplicate himself into two. This ability will mean that there are two Jesters of equal power fighting in the chamber and enabling each other to flank and therefore sneak attack the same opponent.

These ‘Cagewrights’ are unremarkable so they have been removed. If you wish to leave the adventure as is you can change these villains into Cagewright Allies but this may get confusing to the party. They will assume very quickly that any humanoid type NPC found in the complex is a Cagewright whether they have been foreshadowed previously or not.

Remove Strike on Shatterhorn adventure altogether and replace it with the two Side Treks found in this document – Haunted Village & The Inner Demon. The Haunted Village occurs directly after the Thirteen Cages (when the party are ready) while the Inner Demon transpires when the party finally come face to face with Adimarchus.


Adimarchus

Adimarchus is the ultimate villain in the SCAP, yet for the complete adventure path he is locked away in a cage and in his own insane introspection, controlling no one nor directly leading any evil that befalls the party.

Until the last chapter Adimarchus doesn’t really have any impact on the party and you easily end the SCAP after the Thirteen Cages adventure.

The Cagewrights are the real villains of the Path. They are the villians, from the first adventure who manipulate the city, hunt down the Shackleborn for the ritual, weaken the churches and city guard, infiltrate the government and ultimately almost destroy the whole city.

I find this difficult to believe and comprehend. In my opinion the ultimate villain should be running the show, he should be the ultimate evil mastermind and the cause of all of Cauldrons woes.

Therefore I have directly linked the two – Adimarchus is now the ‘leader’ of the Cagewrights who controls Dry’ryd and corrupts the Cagewrights through his madness.

Adimarchus' Inner Demon
To free Adimarchus from his insanity, the party will need to enter into his maddening nightmares and combat his Inner Demon that is corrupting Cauldron through his dreams of insanity. But to save his soul the party will need to join the despairing fallen angel with his one true love, the angel simply known as Nidrama…

Adimarchus Changes
Adimarchus is not evil but the angel has been lost to good also. He is imprisoned as much is his own despair as in the Skullrot. When the party finally face him he appears as a white winged angel of incredible beauty but trapped in his own insanity and loss.

• Adimarchus can not be freed unless his mind if first freed and then Nidrama, his lost love, opens the cage.

• Adimarchus can only escape from his madness if the party travel into his insane nightmares and kill his ‘Inner Demon’ (use Adimarchus’ demon statistics).

• When the cage is finally opened Graz’zt’s son, Anthux (use Adimarchus’ angel statistics) appears with two Balor (Adimarchus’ traitorous generals – To’lor & Gutlar) to end the angel’s threat to his father forever.

For hundreds of years Adimarchus lead the great celestial armies of heaven against the demonic hordes of the Abyss and in particular, the dark armies of the demon lord Graz’zt.

Adimarchus was cast from the heavens for a crime of love and pride. He was forbidden to descend the mountain to seek the love of a lesser angel. When his deception was revealed and a troop of angels attempted to capture the two. When one angel harmed his love, Adimarchus lashed out in anger slaying the guard before finally being restrained.

In the Cathedral of Feathers Adimarchus was sentenced to the greatest punishment that could be possibly given to an angel – banishment. For Adimarchus this sentence was worse than death for he was not only cast from heaven but worst still he was torn from his greatest love - Nidrama.

This loss was too much for the fallen angel to bear and he was determined to return to the Seven Mounting Heavens are reclaim Nidrama at any cost.

Adimarchus was so blinded by his love for Nidrama that he sought the aid of his ultimate enemy - Graz’zt, whose demonic forces he had lead celestial armies against for hundreds of years. The irony delighted the evil lord and he agreed to award Adimarchus command of his greatest army and greatest general...Occiptus.

Graz’zt tore from the angel part of his soul and in return placed part of Occiptus’ soul within him – forever linking the two, demon and angel.

When Adimarchus’ invasion of heaven failed so did his hope of reuniting with his love and the demonic part of his soul began to feed upon his despair, his Inner Demon started to slowly control him and the two parts of Adimarchus formed.

Now locked in his cage, Adimarchus is lost to his despair and has become insane from his betrayal. Within his maddening nightmares, Adimarchus’ Inner Demon reaches out across Canceri and into the Material Plane to corrupt and control.

One of the first to be touched by Adimarchus’ madness and was eventually corrupted by his Inner Demon, was a powerful demodand called Dry’yrd. Adimarchus’ Inner demon realized that if he could engineer Adimarchus escape he could completely destroy the angels mind and assume complete control of the celestial forever.

To ensure his release, Adimarchus’ Inner Demon arrived upon an ambitious plan. He would use his greatest servant Dry’yrd to form a cult called the Cagewrights. He knew that if a permanent gate could be opened between his prison and the Material Plane, the Asylum would tumble from the burning sky onto the city and loose all of its magical guards and wards, automatically releasing him.

From there the Cagewrights would drive their demodand armies across the land, herding up souls to appease the demodands and forming a new empire of insanity.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I like your work delvesdeep.

Plan to download this from RPGenius, and I'll read through when I get a chance. Let you know if I have any questions or comments, but this all looks very well done at a glance.

Thanks for all the hard work you put into this campaign! You have some very lucky players (and so do the rest of us who use all your ideas...)


The Path to the Eye

Earlier in the path the party may have come across creatures bearing the symbol of the smoking eye – one eye removed, surrounded by ash or a tattoo depicting black smoke. These creatures/NPCs invariably show signs of madness and may even possess abilities/spells that inflict insanity.

The numbers refer to the creatures Hit Dice.

Each special ability is cast from the creatures Smoking Eye 1/day–

Moment of Clarity – Suffer a -3 to all Will Saves due to constant touch of insanity but 1/day per 5 levels of the NPC, the creature can seek the Clarity of Insanity which gives them a +5 to all will saves and mind effecting spells/abilities for as many rounds as they have levels.

1st – Hypnotism, Touch of madness (Will Save or be unable to act for a round as mind in wracked by terrifying visions)
3rd – Tasha’s Insane Laughter
5th – Maddening Suggestion
7th – Confusion
9th – Feeblemind, Nightmare
11th – Mass Suggestion
13th – Insanity
15th – Symbol of Insanity
17th - Weird

Nightmares depicting visions of Adimarchus life may also haunt a character with the Dream Haunted Traits sleep, also foreshadowing the fallen angel.

But most of Adimarchus’ story is probably first relayed to the party during their trip to Occipitus. If the party has been exposed to Adimarchus’ Haunting Nightmares they will recognize the plane from their dark dreams and perhaps make the connection to Adimarchus.

From this point Adimarchus will be mainly foreshadowed through his corrupted Cagewright cult. The first time they will actual come in contact with Adimarchus (or at least his Inner Demon) is when they finally confront Dry’yrd.


Dry’yrd
From his prison Adimarchus' Inner Demon can reach out with his insane nightmares and gradually corrupt a persons mind. He did so with Fetor, Shebeleth, Alurid and others to varying degrees.
Dry'yrd has become completely corrupted by Adimarchus’ Inner Demon. He was the first creature to be touched by the fallen angels maddening dreams and has gradually fallen more and more under his control.

Cauldron was chosen as the location to create the permanent planar gate because of the large amount of Shackleborn, availability of future 'prisoners', isolation from potential threats (ie other cities/forces of good) AND, most importantly, because it was directly aligned on Canceri, with Skullrot - Adimarchus prison.

When the party face Dry'yrd, Adimarchus directly controls the demodands smaller head. The smaller head screams insanely at Dry'yrd, refering to him as his slave and commanding him to destroy the party. When Dry’yrd casts his most powerful spells they are cast from the smaller head.

When they finally kill Dry'yrd, the smaller head remains alive long enough to threaten them - 'His death matters not for I am Adimarchus and he was but a servant..my pawn, there are other Cagwrights that still live that I shall control. I have hundreds of corrupted minds that I can use.... even in your very own group' and laughs insanely before either being silenced by the party or dying on his own.

Before he is silenced the smaller head stares directly at the party member with the Smoking Eye and/or Dream Haunted Trait.
This party member feels a flash of searing pain and falls to the floor, holding his head, screaming. Have them make a Will Save DC 30. If they fall, they rise from the floor and attack the party laughing insanely as they do, speaking with the same voice. Each proceeding round the character can make a new save or the party can intervene.

Before the character is realised Adimarchus will say - 'It is only a matter of time before this mind is completely corrupted and mine to control..'

(Thankyou Mothman for the next idea!)
After Adimarchus' possession attempt on the Smoking Eye or Dream Haunted character, that character begins channelling Adimarchus more directly when he / she dreams.

No more vague dreams and symbolic imagery, but now when the character sleeps Adimarchus' mad ramblings actually issue from his / her mouth. Most importantly these ramblings reveal Adimarchus’ greatest despair over the loss of his angelic love Nidrama and can also be used to foreshadow Canceri, Skullrot, Dark Myrakul and Anthux.

Someone should notice this sleep talking soon enough, and over the next several nights they can pick up the gist of Adimarchus' (and the Cagewrights) plans.


delvesdeep wrote:

Shebeleth Regidin (Master Cagewright – Spiritual Leader)

Shebeleth, Spiritual Leader of the Cagewrights and High Priest of Adimarchus, abhors other faiths and the hope the institutions provide to the city. He is determined to wipe all potential spiritual resistance from Cauldron before he initiates the evil ritual that will turn it into a permanent planar gate to the Prison Plane.

Chapter 3 or 4
The High Inquisitor and Arch Bishop of the church (either St Cuthbert or the party clerics church), His Divine Holiness, Shebeleth Regidin arrives in a white and gold carriage to help the faith in its dire of hour.

If the party are suspicious
If the party seem overly suspicious about Shebeleth he confronts them directly about their concerns and even asks them to detect his alignment, read his thoughts etc if this would help allevate...

I like this idea and I thinking of making him pose as a priest of Pelor. However, I wonder how Shebeleth is able to deceive not only the party,but also all other clergy. If he pretends to hail from Sasserine, sooner or later the party will ask questions there (maybe by just visiting the church of Pelor/other in the near future). And I guess Kristof, Asfelkir or Jenya should have a good idea who are the high ranked priests in Sasserine, especially an arch bishop.

He could be send from a city even further away, but that's not really logical, I think, with a big city as Sasserine so close by.
I also think it is pretty difficult for an evil priest to pose as any other (good) priest: the church rituals, available spells, etc, for a prolonged time. Well, he could of course try to avoid that and focus on funding the poor and increasing the number of acolytes, but still....

Finally, but this is just a personal matter, I once played an adventure in which a couple of Raksjasa's in search of some artifact took over a temple of Pelor and posed as its priests (killed the original priests and charmed the acolytes).
Since then (well I often use adventures, in which not all is as it seems), they have become quite suspicious.

So......

Some advice how I can handle this would be appreciated.


Maglub wrote:
delvesdeep wrote:

Shebeleth Regidin (Master Cagewright – Spiritual Leader)

Shebeleth, Spiritual Leader of the Cagewrights and High Priest of Adimarchus, abhors other faiths and the hope the institutions provide to the city. He is determined to wipe all potential spiritual resistance from Cauldron before he initiates the evil ritual that will turn it into a permanent planar gate to the Prison Plane.

Chapter 3 or 4
The High Inquisitor and Arch Bishop of the church (either St Cuthbert or the party clerics church), His Divine Holiness, Shebeleth Regidin arrives in a white and gold carriage to help the faith in its dire of hour.

If the party are suspicious
If the party seem overly suspicious about Shebeleth he confronts them directly about their concerns and even asks them to detect his alignment, read his thoughts etc if this would help allevate...

I like this idea and I thinking of making him pose as a priest of Pelor. However, I wonder how Shebeleth is able to deceive not only the party,but also all other clergy. If he pretends to hail from Sasserine, sooner or later the party will ask questions there (maybe by just visiting the church of Pelor/other in the near future). And I guess Kristof, Asfelkir or Jenya should have a good idea who are the high ranked priests in Sasserine, especially an arch bishop.

He could be send from a city even further away, but that's not really logical, I think, with a big city as Sasserine so close by.
I also think it is pretty difficult for an evil priest to pose as any other (good) priest: the church rituals, available spells, etc, for a prolonged time. Well, he could of course try to avoid that and focus on funding the poor and increasing the number of acolytes, but still....

Finally, but this is just a personal matter, I once played an adventure in which a couple of Raksjasa's in search of some artifact took over a temple of Pelor and posed as its priests (killed the original priests and charmed the acolytes).
Since then (well...

Thanks for your comments Maglub. You have some valid concerns here.

There are a few ways you can go here -

1 Have Shebeleth actually be the long term High Priest of Pelor/St Cuthbert etc. He is often absent particularly in recent years as he 'travels to other cities and communities' to spread the word of his god.

His alignment is undetectable due to his Ring of Thirteen and his reputation for 'good' is unquestionable. He has assisted in building up the church and armouring it against the vile forces of evil and corruption that has slowly seeped into the communties of the Frontier Lands.

He is well known for his doctrum and stance against 'deceit and greed' and is a master at creating doubt and shifting the focus to other faiths and organisations - particularly good aligned ones.

His charity, generousity and kind nature leaves few doubters but on the odd occasion when his nature has been questioned with spells such as commune, augury and the like the answers are always confused and maddening.

Shebeleth has been using this same disguised persona for years and has built up a increasingly large follwing of fanatically loyal followers. Some of them believe him to be the High Inquisitor of his church other know him as one of the frightening leaders of the Smoking Eye.

2 Have Shebeleth take on the persona of the High Priest. The High Priest of Sasserine has recently changed somewhat and has been acting in a more militant and fanatical way.

This is because Shebeleth has desposed of the priest and disguised himself as the leader.

3 Try and foreshadow the Cagewright Spiritual Leader in another way. Leaving him as written in the SCAP Hard Cover, I feel, does not allow the party an opportunity to learn of this figure nor build up any opinion of him.

Shebeleth is a great villian who deserves to be hated by the party before they finally confront him beneath the city.

Lastly If you want this senerio to work then as DM you can do it. I could come up with plenty of spells of non-detection, methods of deception he employs and senerios that have unfolded to place him in this advantagous postion of evil but in the end in all depends on whether you wish to use the foreshadowing tool or not.

If you believe Shebeleth is better off let as written then thats fine. If you want to foreshadow him further with either the method written here or another of your own creation then I'm sure you can make it work for you and your party.

Afterall most of us here have been DMing for many years now and understand our players and what works for out game.

This is no different.

Good Luck with whatever you do and I hope I was of some help either way.

Delvesdeep

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Maglub, I remember the adventure you’re talking about, with the rakshasas posing as priests of Pelor. Fortunately I don’t think any of my current players have played that one, but I can see how your players would be suspicious if they had!

In my game, I’ve been inspired by delvesdeep’s great idea with forshadowing Regidin, but I’ve changed it a little, maybe my ideas will help you (considering I’m putting him into the church of Pelor too).

IMC, one of the PCs is a Pelorian cleric from Sasserine, who was sent to Cauldron to help Kristof after the two senior priests of the temple died in “tragic accidents” last spring. He has heard rumours that the two priests’ deaths were not so accidental, but hasn’t been able to dig up any major proof for this so far. In fact, in my game, the church of Pelor was the most popular and powerful church in Cauldron till recently, and the two dead clerics were personally quite powerful (high level) too. The Cagewrights and the church of wee jas had them assassinated to knock off a potential foil to their plans for Cauldron. This was done in such a way to make resurrection difficult, compounded with the fact that none of the rival churches wanted to volounter to resurrect their rivals.

There is an organization within the church of Pelor known as the Soldiers of the Sun, clerics (and a few paladins) who deal with particularly dangerous or insidious enemies of the church (and, it is whispered, heretics or traitors within the church). The PC was recently contacted by his superiors in Sasserine, saying that a senior member of the Soldiers of the Sun was being sent out to Cauldron to investigate rumours of foul play with the deaths. He was from the distant head temple, sent to look at the situation with fresh eyes and with no possible corruption from local loyalties.

This was in fact true, but the Cagewrights got wind of this guy coming, and intercepted him on the way to Cauldron, and Regidin took his place. I’ve played up Commander Regidin as being haughty and not all that likable, and my players are suspicious of him – but for the wrong reasons (I hope!) The PC cleric hopes to be appointed high priest in the church of Cauldron, given that Kristof doesn’t seem to be coping with the task, so I am playing up Regidin as a potential rival for this position. So hopefully this will deflect suspicion from his true identity and goals.

As for an evil priest posing as a good one, Regidin has done his homework into Pelorian methods and rituals (a high Knowledge, Religion score should take care of that), but in any case his role is more of “Inquisitor” at the moment than day to day priestly duties, although as a senior member of the church he does give “guest sermons” regularly.


Thanks for the input, great ideas!
Indeed, Shebeleth is a master of trickery and should be able to fool a lot of people including the PC's.
I've already announced his arrival by an overjoyous Kristof and a message in the Cauldron Herald.
Since I gave his real name, he can't have replaced someone else. So, I'll follow Delvesdeep suggestion 1 and combine it with Mothman's idea, being him a senior member of the Soldiers of the Sun sent out to Cauldron to investigate rumours of foul play with the deaths of the priests. In reality he will try to corrupt the temple ofcourse.


In Search of Hope - The Haunted Village

Event One – Travelling to the shadowy ruins of the Haunted Village and searching for the magically hidden Embril. Alurid ambushes them with any surviving ‘undead villains’ from the path such as Mhad the vampire and/or the Necroaunts or failing this, with some flesh golems of his own creation. The party discover that Embril has taken Nidrama beneath the lakes surface and into the Kopru Necropolis.

Event Two – Descending into the lake the party see the alien appearing Kopru Necropolis resting in its murky depths. A wave of powerful Kopru ghosts appears around the party and attack.

Event Three – As they enter the ruins the party find a great temple alit with green ghostly light at its zenith. When they enter the temple they are assaulted by visions of Adimarchus’ madness and continue to grow in strength as they move towards the temples heart. (Will DC 15 + 1 for every ten feet closer to altar, for a maximum of DC 25 or be confused as per the spell for 1d4 rounds)

Event Four – In the temple corridors the party are assaulted by two sets of guardians –Two Darkwalkers and, as they approach the air-filled inner chamber, 3 Demodands.
Event Five - Temple of Adimarchus, depicting Adimarchus more as a ‘fish-like/Kopru’ creature. Embril and the Spellweaver (as per same encounter found in Ruins of Shatterhorn) with the following exceptions.

- Embril has captured Nidrama (who sleeps and is currently travelling with Embril through the realm of Dreams) in an effort to finally destroy Adimarchus’ mind and therefore releasing his Inner Demon to fully control the angels body, effectively transforming Adimarchus into the demon mind and body.

- Instead of Embril attempting to Mind Jar the party she has entered the Plane of Dreams with Nidrama and with the aid of the Spellweaver to attempt to ‘find’ Adimarchus and show the angel his love before she kills Nidrama infront of him and destroys his mind altogether. Embril is unaware that she can not enter Adimarchus’ nightmares from the temple.

The party can claim the Spellweaver’s Dream Catcher to ‘Dream Travel’ 1/day, as per the Manual of the Planes spell. When the party enter the Realm of Dreams (Manual of the Planes) they find great black and red rivers slowly reaching out from a great lake of darkness (Dreamheart).

Through the glittering violet and silver haze and sparkling clusters of dreams, the party can see the inky fingers of madness washing over countless dreams and into countless creature’s minds. As they attempt to approach the darkness it seems to move further and further away. Only passing into the dream world in Adimarchus presence and through Adimarchus’ mind (while directly looking at the fallen angel) can the party hope to enter his nightmares and free him from his Inner Demon.


Dark Dreams / The Inner Demon

Here the party must battle through the dark mirages of his memories, retracing his life to find the moment he committed the terrible act that caused him to be cast from heaven and lose his love.

Here they will find the angel Adimarchus watching also, swallowed up in his own grief and here they will also find his Inner Demon tormenting him.

The Nightmare mimics many of Adimarchus’ maddening dreams, starting from the most recent (when he descended into madness) all the way back to the dream that most haunts his sanity – his crime and loss of Nidrama.

After the party use the Dream Catcher to enter Adimarchus’ dreams they are initially swallowed up in his random insanity until he begins to relive his unending despair and the party can attempt to find him and his Inner Demon -

After a moment utter darkness filled with the insane voices of a thousand minds (laughing, cursing, muttering, screaming etc), the party ‘appear’ in a Skullrot.

Nightmare Nine – Ultimate Betrayal (Madness)
Nightmare Eight – Abandonment (Fear)
Nightmare Seven - Test of the Smoking Eye (Pride) -
Nightmare Six – Demon Lords Pity (Anger)
Nightmare Five – Occiptus (Pain)
Nightmare Four – Invasion of Heaven (Revenge) -
Nightmare Three – Graz’zt’s Gift (Agony) – stop Graz’zt from taking Adimarchus’ soul
Nightmare Two – Banishment (Anguish) – Talk to Haloen about Adimarchus to reduce his sentence
Nightmare One – Love Lost (Despair) – Stop the guards from arriving and convince Adimarchus and Nidrama to escape


If you plan on using these dreams please note that the first dream presented in this post is campaign specific so feel free to either adapt it to suit you own dream-haunted characters background or insert your own.

The reason for this dream is to instill in the character that his past has been horrific, their is insanity in his/her family and the concept of the angel and demon in one.

Haunted Dream One

The demons come to you again this night. Demons of your childhood, demons of your past, demons of your conscience. It is almost the same nightmare you have always endured every sleepless night of your life…

You are in your childhood home again on the night when you lost your family. You see the horrific image of your mother screaming as she tears her hair from her head and her skin from her face. You see your father frantically try to restrain her, shake her to wake her from the madness while you and your brothers and sisters weep in fear and confusion.

You scream out a warning to your dad to protect him from the sickening blow that you have witnessed a thousand times. Your warning is once again in vain as you watch your crazed mother grab a water jug and knock your father to the floor.

The image quickly shifts and you now lay hiding beneath your little bed trying not to make a sound. You peek out from under it and see your older brother lying dead on the floor staring at you.

Suddenly smoke pours into the room and fire races across the ceiling. A hand reaches under the bed to save you and you look up to see a beautiful angel calmly smiling down upon you amidst the smoke and hellish glow of the burning room.

You reach out to take his hand but the smoke begins to engulf you, burning your lungs and causing yours eyes to water. You feel yourself being swept up from the floor, through the window and into the cool night air.

Without opening your eyes you know that the angel has rescued you but as you look you realize it is not an angel but a horrific demon that holds you in its grasp.

You scream in uncontrollable terror as the vile demon slowly opens its bloody maul and begins to feast ….


Haunted Dream Two

You stand surrounded by white winged angels within a pure white cathedral made of marble and ivory. Great stain glass windows welcome warm golden light into the chamber while a chorus of heaven fills the cathedral with beautiful song.

At the front of the church, a glittering diamond altar rests on a raised platform. Flanking the altar stands ten blue skinned angels wearing golden robes. Each angel’s attention and furrowed brow is directed at you.

Your attention is turned to the rafters and the circular opening in the rooftop above you. A bright golden light pours from the opening and a golden angel slowly drifts down to gently rest behind the diamond altar.

You don’t understand why but you know her name is Celeste, arch angel of the heavenly choir, but your heart breaks when you see her eyes filled with tears.

‘You have lost your way my beautiful child’ she whispered. ‘I had hoped with all my heart that you would turn away from the sins of ambition and pride ….’

Looking to first her left then her right she turns back to you, lowering her head in sadness, ‘You have been cast from heaven, never to return….’

‘NNNNnnnoooo!’

Your heart roars with unbearable pain, your soul screams in anguish and your mind descends into rage.

‘Kill me instead Haloen!’ You hear yourself weep, ‘If I am lost to heaven then heaven shall be lost to you all.’

And the blue skinned angels change into slobbering demons and swarm towards you to feast upon your soul….


Haunted Dream Three

You scream in agony as your soul is torn in two. The ritual complete, you stare down in pain at you chest and watch as a six fingered blackened hand rips from your chest clutching a white ball of light.

Holding it aloft Graz’zt, demon prince of the damned, marvels at your soul, as you stumble to your knees in pain.

‘What a price you are willing to pay’ you hear him laugh, ‘what hatred you must have to seek my aid’.

You attempt to speak but the pain is too much. Instead you just raise your gaze to glare at the demon lord in anger before rolling to the ground once again in agony.

‘Rest assured though my white winged friend’ Gyxaat sniggers, ‘my Northern Army is yours and my greatest general Occiptus to lead it…but first I have another gift to share’.

‘Occiptus’ you hear Graz’zt command, ‘Come to me’ and all around you is suddenly blanketed in smoke and flame burning your skin and eyes.

‘Yes my prince’ a voice bellows from high above you. You force yourself to look up from the ground to the colossal legs of demon that stands over you.

‘Here is the gift I promised you my servant’ Graz’zt continues and you see the demon lord holding up the torn piece of your soul.

You feel a loss greater than you thought you could ever imagine and you stare helplessly as Graz’ztt flies upward towards the chest of the demon.

‘The reward requires a sacrifice though Occiptus’ the black prince says as he reaches into the demons chests and tears forth a piece of its black soul before pushing your missing piece of soul into the chest to replace it.

Roaring in pain of his own Occiptus falls to the ground causing the floor to crack and break.

‘And as a special gift to you my angel’ Gyxxat laughs as he floats to the ground with the dark piece of Occiptus’ soul clutched in his six fingered grasp ‘you can take a piece of his soul as well’. And with that he pushes the dark orb into your chest while you vainly attempt to rise.

A new wave of agony spills over you as you feel your body begin to tear and change. From your back your wings transform into four writhing snakes which glare at you before biting your face and next over and over again……..


Haunted Dream Four

The landscape around you is beautiful - white cloud-like hills, a sparkling twilight lake, and a gold and ivory cathedral. A sweet gentle wind carries the song of heaven through the air. Looking upwards you see the sky above you is a heartbreaking blue, spotted with silver lined clouds.

Part of your heart swells with peace and joy, but another part feels increasingly sickened by your surrounds.

Suddenly the peace is broken.

A tangible wave of deafening noise strikes you, the echoes of an epic battle ringing loudly in your ears. You follow the noise and fly towards the edge of the cliff face and gaze down into valley below.

Two great armies fight below you with spectacular magic and with awesome might.

One army is breathtakingly beautiful. White winged angels sound mighty horns, balls of light dart above the battle firing rays of power, majestic hound headed soldiers wield great swords while beautiful blue skinned angles lay waste to their enemies with a wave of their hands.

The other army is as horrifically ugly as the first army is beautiful. Skeletal demons fight with flaming scythes and scorpion tails, huge boar-like demons barrel through their enemies ripping with bloody mauls, snake tailed women with six whirling weapons cut a path through the angel ranks while great horned demons strike out from above the battle with flaming whips and dark swords.

Standing at the rear of the demonic army is Occiptus - a creature of colossal proportions. The howling demons at his feet seem like rats compared to his epic size. Dark smoke and flame pour from the demonic generals eyes and four gigantic white feathery snake-like appendages writhe from his back as he roars in anger at the angel army before it.

As you watch, Occiptus holds one hand open, creating a massive black smoking ball of flame, and hurls it into the celestial army ranks, consuming hundreds of the screaming angels.

You mentally command your reserve forces to attack and complete the conquest.

Howls of horror echo down from high above the valley heralding the approach of thousands more demons. The new demons pour down either side of the valley walls, screaming with bloodlust, keen to taste victory.

You watch as the angelic army valiantly fights on with a sense of pity, only prolonging their inevitable destruction.

High in the sky you hear a single horn sound, a perfect note piercing the terror and calming the tide of panic. You turn your attention upwards and see the clouds part and a great column of light pour down onto the battlefield. Diving from the clouds and through the light, a golden angel flies downwards towards the conflict –Haloen.

As one the angelic army drops to their knees, oblivious to their demonic enemies. The demons stand confused and look upwards.

High above the golden angel slowly places a crystal trumpet to her lips.

You quickly take to the air, desperate to get to the golden angel before she can sound the horn and make the ultimate sacrifice, but you know you are already too late.

A note of sorrow softly sounds at first, then the note begins to escalate and an immense wave of light blasts outwards from the trumpet, completely consuming the golden angel and blasting the battlefield with terrifying holy power.

The ground itself violently shakes as the note and light continues, and the cloud-like ground behind you begins to tear and rip, quickly forming an expanding crack.

Occiptus roars in disbelief and pain before tumbling dead to the ground.

You watch helplessly as the crack turns into a chasm and the chunk of land where the battle has raged is torn away from the heavens.

The land suddenly drops and you feel yourself falling from heaven … falling into the depths of hell.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

This is great stuff, Delvesdeep. Is all this stuff on the other site, RPGenius?

Robert

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
delvesdeep wrote:

Haunted Dream Four

Delvesdeep: are you going to write 9 of these dreams? One for each of the nightmare encounters???

I can't wait to read the others; these are so good.

Robert


Robert Brambley wrote:
delvesdeep wrote:

Haunted Dream Four

Delvesdeep: are you going to write 9 of these dreams? One for each of the nightmare encounters???

I can't wait to read the others; these are so good.

Robert

Yes all of this is on the RPGenius.com site if your interested. I have writtien up 10 dreams (the last dream is exchanged for the first during the Nightmare Realm adventure).

I'll post he next one up on this thread tomorrow when I have a bit more time.

Delvesdeep


We finally resumed our campaign after a hiatus while the Pelorian priest's player was away. We played through Drakthar's Way without him, but I didn't want to go on with the campaign while he wasn't available.

So after killing the bugbear and recovering a crate of strange metallic alloy, the party just began the Flood Festival. The Stormblades interrupted a birthday party (my son's character ages as he does, and it's his birthday this weekend). Despite their attempts to prevent a brawl, the kid (a sorcerer) had enough of their taunting and cast Flare at Zachary, then at Todd. Todd slapped him in return, and it was on.

Anyway, the next day (day three of the Festival), Ulf the priest of Pelor had a big moment as the wandering Inquisitor, Shebeleth, arrived in Cauldron to investigate the problems the Shrine of Pelor has been facing over the past few months.

I forgot what magic items Delvesdeep suggested he gift them, so I went a bit higher level; a Wand of Scorching Ray for the sorcerer, Boots of Elvenkind for the rogue, a Shield +1 for the paladin, and a Morningstar +1, Defending, for the cleric. They certainly appreciated the gifts; maybe it was a bit much, but there's no question that they know he's on their side now.

They've just arrived at the Lucky Monkey; Shebeleth will be busy during their absence...

We need an evil smilie on this board.


Do you find it hard when it comes to creatures/NPCs attacking your son considering his age?

I'm just thinking with my own son (albeit he is only just coming up to 4 years old) how I would react as a DM while playing NPCs. Monsters wouldn't care and probably target him even more as an easy target but human NPCs may struggle.

Anyway this is off the point. I'm glad to hear your game is up and running again.

On to the next dream....

Haunted Dream Five

Lifting your head slowly from the soft floor you look down to see the white cloudlike ground change into a grey, sickly looking skin. Hairs begin to grow up wards out of the skin and you find the ground spongy and clammy to touch.

You rise to your feet and survey the landscape.

Thousands of bodies litter the ground about you. Hideous demons lie entangled with beautiful angels. But as you watch the skin-like ground begins to open up beneath the demon corpses and their vile bodies are sucked down before the ground once again closes up.

Around the angels large translucent blisters begin to form and totally encapsulate the celestials within sickly boils. These cysts form cords which snake down to join with the skin and begin to slowly suck the angels essence down into it.

You take to the sky on white wings and see the colossal form of Occiptus lying dead in the distance. Flying closer you see the skin fall away from the demonic general leaving only his great skull and ribs thrusting up from the ground.

In your head you hear the voice not for the first time. ‘We should claim this land and make it ours to command!’
‘No’ you hear yourself scream in response, ‘my place is in Heaven with my love, not in this vile place of evil.’

For a moment there is silence, and then in a voice dripping with bitter disappointment the voice responds ‘If you are too weak to claim the power that this land could give you, then reclaim your pitiful soul that was taken from you. It lies waiting in Occiptus skull and then leave this land forever!’

Suddenly there is hope…

Could this be true? Could you dare to hope such a thing was possible? Or is it another way for your Inner Demon to drive you insane?

Either way you had to know.

Flying through the dark sky you come to rest upon the lip of Occiptus’ great empty eye. Inside you could see a pure white light spilling across the chamber and, stepping forward, a small ball of light and dark hovering in the centre of the hollow skull.

You hesitantly step forward and then, every so tentatively reach out to grasp the light.

‘Ahhhh!’ Pain, incredible pain washes over you as you are suddenly immersed in an agonising column of black flame.
One of your eyes explodes and you scream louder and attempt to rip yourself from the flame. Your eye begins to burn and from your empty eye first one then another plasm of flame flies, circling the room before darting through Occiptus’ empty eye and towards the dark sky.

Finally you fall from the flame with smoke billowing from your missing eye.

You lie there weeping from the pain, from the torture, from all you have lost. Despair overwhelms you once again and you feel yourself slipping out of consciousness and further into madness.

From the dark recesses of your mind you hear the demon whisper –

‘Hail the ruler of Occiptus…’


delvesdeep wrote:

Do you find it hard when it comes to creatures/NPCs attacking your son considering his age?

I'm just thinking with my own son (albeit he is only just coming up to 4 years old) how I would react as a DM while playing NPCs. Monsters wouldn't care and probably target him even more as an easy target but human NPCs may struggle.

Anyway this is off the point. I'm glad to hear your game is up and running again.

So am I. It was frustrating with the player wanting to be around, but stuck in the boonies several hours away with no ride home. We were at the point where one of the other players or I was ready to go get him ourselves.

Anyway, as to your opening question, most NPCs are going to be hesitant about fighting an 11-year old...right up until he shoves a couple of magic missiles or acid arrows up their nose. Todd Vanderboren is a special case; considering his alignment, personality, and obvious conflict with his PC brother (the priest), and the need to get some combat into the game anyway, it was pretty easy to justify his actions in starting the bar brawl. Incidentally, my son's character now has an enemy for life; after Todd slapped him, he replied by announcing his was going to kick him where it counts...and he rolled a 20. Confirmed crit to the 'nads, and Todd is not the type to forgive or forget. For good measure he kicked Todd twice more, and Todd ended up drawing his rapier. A Hold Person from his brother ended that pretty quickly, but it was an interesting moment, to say the least.

As for the monsters...most of them aren't going to care about how old my son's character is; they're either more likely to target him because he looks like an easy meal, or they'll ignore him and go after 'meatier' fare, like the burly half-orc (several meals worth if you freeze the leftovers).

I'm going to keep stealing your ideas, BTW. Just FYI.


Haunted Dream Six

You clutch the pitiful angel by his throat; watching his strength begin to falter and the spark of life begin to fade in his eyes. Demons encircle you and howl with bloodlust and scream for the angel’s death.

‘Kill him slowly my lord so we may saviour his death!’ says one, ‘and then drink his celestial blood!’ you hear another guttural voice add in support.

Turning to your left first, then your right, you see two great horned demons, one with one half of its face scared and its eye and horn missing while the other has two red horns that curl over its face. Your lieutenants - To’lor and Gutlal both smile wickedly towards you with eagerness.

You attention turns back to the angel in your grasp and you feel his struggles cease. Staring into his eyes you feel something unexpected, something you had not dared to feel in decades.

You feel pity.

From the deep recesses of your consciousness you hear the seductive voice command you - ‘Kill him, kill him now! Your army deserves to feast upon him after the deaths he caused!’

‘No!’ you scream out loud, resisting your Inner Demon, ‘he fought well. He will live for the moment.’ Chain him to my throne!’

The demons are visibly disappointed and angered by the command. ‘But my lord, he dared try and hunt you down to kill you!’ the great horned demon by your side asserts.

‘He will live until I tire of torturing him, now To’lor and Gutlal leave me and take the troops with you!’ you order. Fire flares up in the lieutenants demonic eyes before they bow, ‘As you order my lord’ they say in unison and they signal the other demons to follow them from the throne room.

You sit on a throne made of demonic skulls and bones within a cathedral of gold and ivory staring at the chained angel at your feet.

‘I was once a pitiful angel like you - blinded by the light of heaven, ignorant of the truth that I was but a meaningless pawn’ you eventual say with venom in your voice.

‘I am nothing like you – DEMON LORD!’ the angel spits back, ‘you have turned your back on heaven to lead the very thing you once fought to destroy!’

‘Ahhh, so you know me do you? You know everything about me?’ you say rising to your feet, ‘you know nothing!’ and you lash out with your foot slamming into the angels face. Your voice rising with growing anger you spit down at the cowering celestial ‘I did not turn my back on heaven, they turned their back on me!’

‘I was a general of Heavens armies. I was a champion of their cause. But what was my reward – banishment! And my crime – love. Yes, love. I dared love an angel forbidden to me because of her station. In heaven love should be cherished and worshipped, not punished.’

You stand over the angel ripping him to his feet to look into your eyes, ‘And you call me a demon lord like it is an insult. Well when heaven cast me out the demons embraced me. They followed my command and they heeded my call. In hundreds of worlds they have erected statues, shrines and temples to me and worship me like a demonic god ’

Throwing the angel to the floor you say coldly ‘And when I needed help it was Graz’zt, curse his black soul, my old enemy who granted it too me, not any celestial!’

‘But, you once fought against Graz’zt. You repelled every invasion the demon lord sent against us.’ The angel dared to respond.

‘Yes, he has been my enemy for a millennium. I was a desperate fool to seek his aid. Now he has found a way to curse me with an Inner Demon who did this to my eye and who threatens to drive me to the brink of insanity. But I am too strong, I will not let despair overcome me any longer!’ you respond dropping back into the throne.

Tentatively rising to his feet, the angel looks at you with a new level of understanding and sympathy brimming in his eyes. ‘I came to kill you Adimarchus. I came to save us from the immense army you are building to invade heaven, but perhaps heaven is not the enemy you should be attacking…...perhaps Graz’zt is.’

After a moment of silence in barely a whisper you respond–

‘Perhaps Graz’zt is Angel, perhaps he is…’

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

hey delvesdeep, I finally got around to reading your full document from RPGenius.

Awesome stuff mate. Its inspired me to start using the more complete dreams for my PCs, based off the ones you've written, rather than the fragmentary and surreal ones Ive been using. You've got some excellent ideas for Adimarchus' backstory, and the more complete dreams will probably be needed if I do end up using the "redeeming Adimarchus" end-game. Well done.

One suggestion, in your write up of the Cagewrights, you mention the Ring of Thirteen - since now only 6 or 7 of the Cagewrights will bear such a ring, I was probably going to change the name to Ring of the Cagewrights or some such (in case the PCs identify or legend lore them or some such). A very minor detail I know....


Mothman wrote:

hey delvesdeep, I finally got around to reading your full document from RPGenius.

Awesome stuff mate. Its inspired me to start using the more complete dreams for my PCs, based off the ones you've written, rather than the fragmentary and surreal ones Ive been using. You've got some excellent ideas for Adimarchus' backstory, and the more complete dreams will probably be needed if I do end up using the "redeeming Adimarchus" end-game. Well done.

One suggestion, in your write up of the Cagewrights, you mention the Ring of Thirteen - since now only 6 or 7 of the Cagewrights will bear such a ring, I was probably going to change the name to Ring of the Cagewrights or some such (in case the PCs identify or legend lore them or some such). A very minor detail I know....

Good point.

How about we brainstorm a few ideas for the name -

Cagewright Ring
Ring of Shackles
Smoking Ring
Link of Insanity
Ritual Ring

Any other suggestions?

Delvesdeep

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think Ring of Shackles has exactly the right flavour to it!

I would vote either for that, or just simply Ring of the Cagewrights.

I suppose another idea could be Ring of Carceri.


What about Link of Insanity - the title eluding to a link in a chain and insanity to Adimarchus?

I think your right - Ring of Shackles seems appropriate though.

Delvesdeep

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
delvesdeep wrote:

What about Link of Insanity - the title eluding to a link in a chain and insanity to Adimarchus?

I think your right - Ring of Shackles seems appropriate though.

Delvesdeep

I don't mind Link of Insanity (its quite clever), but for some reason I can just picture my players finding it a bit odd.

Also, I've wondered if the Cagewrights actually consider themselves (or Adimarchus) insane? Maybe they think they have perfect clarity, as does Adimarchus, or, if they acknowledge him as insane, that is a product of his imprisonment rather than an inherit trait?

I know Adimarchus is described as the Demon Prince of Madness, but that might be a portfolio which is attributed to him since he did become insane, rather than one he celebrates as his own.

Anyway, long digression, my point is theres a possibility that the Cagewrights might not wish to call the rings something associated with Insanity. Just a thought.


As always Mothman you are right on the ball.

I would imagine there are very few in this world who are insane and know they are.

So 'Ring of Shackles' it is!

Haunted Dream Seven

You step from the black flame and into a skull chamber of Occiptus. Turning about you will the final stage of the test to be complete.

From your Smoking Eye a great fiery plasm roars and flies directly at the black flame and then disappearing within its midst.

‘It is done Anthux’ you hear yourself say and turning to face the angel by your side ‘the Test of the Smoking Eye has been created and the ascension of the next ruler of Occipitus after me assured. Perhaps that shall be you Anthux?’ you finish with a laugh.

‘You know I would never rule this evil place Adimarchus and I’m hoping you will soon seek redemption and cease ruling it yourself too,’ you the angel say.

‘Perhaps after Graz’zt is destroyed by our army Anthux’ you say in response.

‘OUR army Adimarchus…OUR army! He is an enemy not an equal or even an ally!’ the voice erupts in your head, ‘you are a fool Adimarchus.’

Ignoring the Inner Demon has proved increasingly easier the longer you spend conversing with the angel Anthux.

‘Lord Adimarchus’ a guttural voice interrupts

‘Yes To’lor’ you respond in annoyance at being disturbed.

‘Our scouts report that Graz’zt’s forces outnumber ours by three to one’ To’lor reports with a tinge of fear betrayed in his voice.

‘I have never lost against the six-fingered fiend. Have no fear for I will could never lose against one such as he’ you speak with utmost confidence.

‘Come, we must ready the army for tomorrows conquest’


Haunted Dream Eight

Dark armies howl and scream as they face off against each other over the debris littered battlefield.

‘They are too many Dark Lord! We must retreat!’ Gutlal forces out through his scarred mouth.

‘Nonsense! I will destroy half of Graz’zt’s army on my own’ you hear yourself scoff. ‘and Anthux will destroy the other half, now order the army to attack, I will lead the reserve troops once they are in position, Anthux will head the main force’

‘As you wish, Lord Adimarchus’, Gutlal replies with a sinister look in his eye.

You take to the air high above the impending conflict and glide unseen with your white feathery wings towards the great force of gigantic demons you have hidden at the rear of the conflict.

You land on a great pile of bones and rusted weapons discarded from countless other conflicts and appear.

‘Giant demons of the Wastelands’ you begin, quelling any noise immediately. ‘You are the greatest of my troops, the most powerful of my demons!’

The gigantic monsters murmur their approval.

‘You are undefeated and feared by all creatures, you are invincible to their pitiful attacks’

The great demons eyes begin to glow with fiery battle lust and some begin to strike their chests or shields.

‘You shall crush this army beneath your feet, you fuel your strength with their blood. Nothing will stand in your way!’

The demons begin to growl and shake their weapons feverishly.

‘I will lead you myself this day to glorious victory – ready yourself for Graz’zt’s destruction!’

Once again you take the air lifting your sword high, ready to charge out of the cover and into the enemies ranks when something catches your eye.

To’lor frantically flies across the dark sky from the direction of the battle. You hold up your hand to stay your force as he approaches and notice he bears numerous gruesome wounds.

‘Lord, Anthux….he has been captured and taken from the battlefield’

Fear washes over your mind…terrible, numbing fear. You feel helpless and sickened with terror at the loss of Anthux.

‘Where has he been taken?’ you frantically ask.

‘I fear that he has been taken to Canceri my lord, to Graz’zt’s terrible asylum called Skullrot!’ To’lor answers.

‘Then I must save him,’ and you begin to cast.

‘What of the army Adimurchus and this force?’ To’lor urgently asks as you begin to fade.

‘You command them, I care not!’ and you fade away into nothingness…


Haunted Dream Nine

‘Ahhhh….Nooo, I beg you…kill me now!’

From within a cage shaped like a coffin made of metallic bones, the bars studded with spikes and cruel hooks, Anthux screams in agony.

You watch horrified as he tears at his dark hair, ripping great bloody clumps out before then clawing at his skin in an insane attempt to the end his unbearable pain.

You strike the cage again and again with spell, sword and even your bare hands yelling for the angel to stop, yelling for him to try and escape, yelling for him to see past his madness and just hear you…

The Lich-Fiend cackles again at your frustration. ‘His pain has just begun angel, he will sink further and further into his own despair, pain and madness until his mind is forever broken!’

You turn to the vile creature with burning rage clouding your vision. You can feel all of your frustration and pain instantly transform into incredible terrifying anger.

Recognising your intent Skullrots powerful warden quickly intervenes -
‘Destroy me Arch Angel and you will never know how to release him!’

‘Speak quickly Lich-Fiend, your time is running out as is my self control!’ you roar on the brink of losing all control.

‘Heeheeeheee’ Dark Myrakul cackles once again with delight.

‘To release him dark angel is a simple thing Adimarchus, simple yet the most difficult decision you will most likely to ever be given’

‘Enough of the riddles Myrakul, answer me now or die where you stand!’ you scream, losing all patience.

‘All you have to do dear angel, is merely take his place!’

The Lich-Fiend’s cackles escalate in volume as he watches the revelation of his statement wash over your face.

No! There must be another way! You will destroy Dark Myrakul and return when you learn another way to release Anthux. But turning to gaze upon the angel lost in agony, terror and insanity you know you can not let him endure this living hell a minute longer… no matter what the cost.

Lowering you head in resignation and defeat you whisper –‘Then so it must be!’

Staring into Anthux’s mask of agony you speak louder with conviction, ‘Release him unharmed and return him to his home and I will take his place.’

‘Of course Adimarchus,’ Dark Myrakul replies sounding almost respectful yet sly, ‘step away from the cage and his pain will soon end’

You slowly move away from the prison and watch as the Lich-fiend approaches the dark twisted cage and runs his hand over the bars. Instantly a door appears and swings open with an auditable moan like the wail of a sorrowful spirit.

Reaching into the cage Dark Myrakul roughly pulls Anthux from the cage and throws him towards the floor. You lurch to catch him, saving him from any damage and then cradle him in your arms like a child.

Anthux continues to writhe in agony in your arms oblivious to what is occurring around him. His eyes dart about, his mind still lost in his own dark insanity.

You snap your head upwards, ‘You said he would be unharmed!’ you warn through clenched teeth.

‘And so he will be the moment the cage door closes within you inside’ Dark Myrakul relies with a cruel smirk

Turning your gaze back to Anthux your eyes soften instantly.

‘You finally won my dear friend’, you whisper, ’I have turned my back this night on all evil and fled from a vengeful victory to save another soul.’
Shaking you head with an ironic smile you add with a sad chuckle,
‘I fear instead of me converting you to the dark, you have brought me back to the light.’

Gently lowering Anthux to the floor you step up towards the open cage and, taking one last look at the pain wracked angel you say,
‘I do this for you my dear friend’
And step into the dark cage hearing Dark Myrakul close the door with a resounding click of finality.

‘Heeeheeeheee’ Dark Myrakul cackles as you feel the beginning feelings of pain begin to grow within you mind. Repressed for so long, within the dark recesses of your consciousness you feel your Inner demon stir.

You grasp the bars of the cage with pain and twist your head towards Anthux’s prone form to seek some form of solace from the growing agony.

You watch the angel slowly rise to his feet. Shaking off his lunacy Anthux meets your gaze. For a moment a look of sorry is etched in his face before it slowly twists into look of sheer delight and glee.

‘Fool!’ you hear him say; ‘Now you will rot in hell, destroyed by dementia and knowing that it was I, Anthux, Graz’zt’s own son that brought down the great Adimarchus!’ And before your eyes Anthux form changes from a dark angel to a black skinned demon with six fingers on each of his grotesque hands.

At first you believe that your mind is playing tricks on you, your Inner Demon creating evil illusions to break your heart and mind but then you realise the truth.

This is neither illusion nor trick of insanity, it is real and you have been betrayed by your own weakness and your own need for redemption. Your whole life has been for nought and all that you have ever loved a lie and lost to you forever.

The mere thought drives you into a spiralling descent of utter despair and madness. A terrible corrupting madness blasts out of your mind and prison, spilling out over Canceri, finally giving the Inner Demon the power and voice he had always sought….


This dream will replace the first dream found above in the Adimarchus Nightmare Realm. It also the dream that Adimarchus dreams the most and that the player with the Dream Haunted Trait dreams the most but unfortunately can not decipher.

It is the dream that the player dreams ‘in-between’ the other first nine dreams which appears as a maddening collection of insane images. This is because it is the dream that Adimarchus finds the most painful to relive and thus twists it with dark emotions and insane images.

Nidrama is the only way the party can witness the most important and fateful moment in Adimarchus’ life.

The dream also foreshadows (as do most of the other dreams) events that transpire in the final encounter with Adimarchus when he is realised by the party from the cage healed (hopefully) from his insanity.

Nidrama presenting Adimarchus with the same damaged flower that he gave her that fateful night is the final key to convincing Adimarchus to seek redemption.

Haunted Dream Ten

“Now don’t open your eyes my love” you hear a lyrical male voice whisper into you ear, “we are almost there”.

“Where are you taking me Adimarchus?” you hear yourself say with a sweet feminie voice.

“Now open your eyes Nidrama we are here”.

You slowly open your eyes and gasp at the beauty what you see. A large golden blanket has been spread out on the glittering silver sand of small cove. The wine-dark Silver Sea gently washes up against the beach creating a faint reassuring chime as each wave breaks.

The sky above you is dark but filled with silvery stars bright enough to illuminate the shore.

Turning your attention back to the beach, Adimarchus has moved to sit on the blanket where he fills two crystal glasses with a glittering red wine. By his side a basket sits open and he has laid out fruits, cheeses and breads on an ivory platter.

“Oh this is wonderful Adimarchus!” you say breathlessly, “it is so perfect”. You move closer to embrace your love and kiss him passionately.

“But what if we are seen?” you say after a moment looking about.

“We are safe here Beautiful” Adimarchus assures you, “we are miles from anyone and I made sure we were not seen. Now sit down and enjoy yourself, the wine is from the vineyards of the Elven Lords of Arborea”

You sit down and have a sip savouring the taste and the moment. You look over at Adimarchus and reach out to hold his hand squeezing it. He turns to smile at you and leans in to give you another kiss before turning to look out over the sea and waves.

You continue to look at him. He seems more at peace than you have seen him in months. You know he has been worried about others finding out about your love but tonight his usual furrowed brow is smooth.

He feels your gaze and turns back to you.

“I have something for you my love” he says reaching into the basket, “now close your eyes.”

“You and your surprises” you tease him.

“Hold out your hand”, you reach out your small smooth hand tentatively, your mind excitedly attempting to guess what the gift could be.

“OK, have a look”.

You slowly open your eyes and look down at your hand.

“Oh Adimarchus its so…but how?” you stubble.

“It is an Elysium Tulip! Taken from the field where I first looked upon your beautiful face and lost my heart the same moment” Adimarchus whispers.

You feel as if you are floating, your heart bursting with love as you lean towards Adimarchus.

“Well isn’t this touching”, a snickering voice yells out from high above you on the cliff top.

Instantly you spin about in shock and panic dropping your flower on the sand.

Your love has been found out.

Adimarchus springs to his feet as a group of eight angels float down to the sand each bearing the symbol of Justice upon their armour. These were no normal angels; these were here to arrest you both.

Floating down last of all is a ruby haired angel, “Well, well, well, what do we have here!” he says with undisguised smugness, “the great Adimarchus found embracing a lesser. Now what will the Celestial Fathers say?”

The ruby haired leader slowly walks over towards you shaking his head in mock disbelief. “It’s a shame Adimarchus, so many angels look up to you – The great all conquering general…and now you have been found out for the fraud you really are!”

“We are doing no harm to anyone, that law is an antiquated mockery of Heavens beliefs. Love should be more embraced in this place rather than structured by your standing!” Adimarchus retorts.

“What a wonderful speech Adimarchus. But you said it yourself didn’t you general…it is a law.”

Stopping right in front of you the leader moves his hand up to lift your face and ads “but I must say Adimarchus I would have been tempted too with a beauty such as this!”

Adimarchus face screws up with instant rage, “Do not touch her soldier lest I teach you some well overdue manners” he commands through clenched teeth.

Turning his head back to Adimarchus the guard leader returns coldly “With all due respect general you are no position to teach me anything…especially without your Sword of the Stars – Celestia!’
‘Now fly these two back to face trial” he orders to his men.

Two guards quickly grab your arms and you watch the rest of the angels walk towards Adimarchus more hesitantly.

Turning to the approaching guards Adimarchus says calmly “I wouldn’t if I were you”

“Take custody of the criminal now!” you hear the leader scream and the guards lunge at the general.

With a loud whoosh Adimarchus flies straight into the air kicking out at two gaurds and sending them sprawling to the ground, one motionless the other clutching his shatter nose.

Instantly the remaining four guards draw their weapons and take to the air in pursuit. The call of a horn resounds across the sky from the shore below.

Adimarchus flies fifty feet into the air spins and rolls about turning his ascent into a fall catching the guards by complete surprise. With outstretched hand the general grabs at the arm of one angel as he dives through them, twisting the blade out of his hand and then slashing with the weapon at one of his wings sending the surprised guard spiralling to the ground before he even knew what had happened.

Arresting his fall Adimarchus then lifts himself once again into the air and meets the charge of another angel by catching the wrist of his clumsy slash with his free hand and using the pommel of his blade to smash into his face sending him floating to the ground also.

The remaining angels attempt to organise their next assault more by coming in at different angles. One comes from his left while another strikes at from above him to his right but the general can not help but shake his head at their lack of training.

Adimarchus simple ducks beneath the first blow from the left and striking the angel in the head with the flat of his blade knocking him unconscious and then following up his spin with a slash to the back of the angel to the rights knees.

Diving down quickly Adimarchus arrests the unconscious angels fall and lays him on the ground.

“Let go of her soldiers and you will allowed to leave unharmed” you here Adimarchus order coldly.

From behind you you hear the leader order with rage and frustration betrayed in every syllable – “Kill her now! She and Adimarchus and no more than common criminals whose sentence is assured!”

You snap your head to your left and right to the guards that are holding you. Both look confused and frustrated, duty bound to follow the order but reluctant to execute such a command.

Slowly one begins to draw forth dagger while Adimarchus holds out his hand to stay his actions – “This is not the act of good angel, you can not do this” he attempts to frantically reason.

“She is a criminal and I am your superior, DO IT NOW!” the guard leader screams.

You see the guard staring like a frightened child at Adimarchus, sweat rolling down his brow his face betraying a mix of a thousand conflicting emotions.

“I beg you to drop the weapon now or I will be forced to kill you myself. This is your last warning – STOP NOW!” Adimarchus orders his voice rising with urgency.

“Please I beg of you, I don’t want to die!” you plead

“DO IT!” you hear the leader command his voice reaching fever pitch.

Adimarchus stares into the guards eyes looking for hope, for doubt but then he sees them flash and look he has seen thousands of times on the battlefield and the soldier moves the blade slightly to begin the cut.

Adimarchus acts immediately slashing out horizontally in a precision arc and then following the direction of the blow spinning around and thrusting backwards at hip height.

“No Adimarchus!” you hear yourself scream and then you see that you are too late.

The guard with the dagger’s head lies at his feet, a shocked look permanently frozen on his angelic face and the other guard clutches at his abdomen, Adimarchus blade sunk to the hilt in his stomach.

Looking up to your love you say in little more than a whisper – “What have you done?!” and you see Adimarchus face change from a mask of rage to one of shock as he drops to his knees.

From out of nowhere a club savagely strikes Adimarchus in the back of the head sending him sprawling, face first into the sand motionless.

“And now great general Adimarchus you have doomed yourself” and turning to you “and your whore forever!”

Anger rises up inside you but before you can act angel guards begin too fly down from the sky.

“Take her first then this other criminal away!”The guards can not mask their surprise when they see Adimarchus lying on the sand but comply with the order lifting you into the air.

You watch Adimarchus slip further and further away from you, left helpless upon the beach with the other guards and feel a wave of horror and despair settle in your stomach.

You knew at that moment that your love was forever lost and your life would be changed forever.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Delvesdeep, regarding your idea for foreshadowing Shebeleth, a few people have asked how to deal with the situation when / if people are suspicious of him.
Well, just reading Dragon 353 Class Acts, there is an alternate class feature for clerics called Cultist, where they can forgo the ability to turn or rebuke undead in exchange for (ok, I don’t have the magazine in front of me, so I’m going from memory): +2 to Bluff checks and, when they are carrying their holy symbol, immunity to spells like detect lies, zone of truth and know alignment (I think that’s correct, if someone would like to check…?)

This might be a good feature for Shebeleth, IRC his rebuke undead ability isn’t likely to be that useful…


Mothman wrote:

Delvesdeep, regarding your idea for foreshadowing Shebeleth, a few people have asked how to deal with the situation when / if people are suspicious of him.

Well, just reading Dragon 353 Class Acts, there is an alternate class feature for clerics called Cultist, where they can forgo the ability to turn or rebuke undead in exchange for (ok, I don’t have the magazine in front of me, so I’m going from memory): +2 to Bluff checks and, when they are carrying their holy symbol, immunity to spells like detect lies, zone of truth and know alignment (I think that’s correct, if someone would like to check…?)

This might be a good feature for Shebeleth, IRC his rebuke undead ability isn’t likely to be that useful…

I tried to give a few suggestions to handle suspicion in regards to Shebeleth and too be honest if the party are clever enough to uncover him for the evil Cagewright Mastermind he is then they should be rewarded.

But in saying this I like your suggestion. Shebeleth is a master of deception and loves to undermine other faiths and twist them towards either self destruction or eventual conversion. Having the Cagewright spiritual leader gain a better ability to hide his evil manipulations has got to be good doesn't it?!

I'll include this idea next time I update the document.

As always thanks for your ideas Mothman :)

Delvesdeep

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
delvesdeep wrote:
Mothman wrote:

Delvesdeep, regarding your idea for foreshadowing Shebeleth, a few people have asked how to deal with the situation when / if people are suspicious of him.

Well, just reading Dragon 353 Class Acts, there is an alternate class feature for clerics called Cultist, where they can forgo the ability to turn or rebuke undead in exchange for (ok, I don’t have the magazine in front of me, so I’m going from memory): +2 to Bluff checks and, when they are carrying their holy symbol, immunity to spells like detect lies, zone of truth and know alignment (I think that’s correct, if someone would like to check…?)

This might be a good feature for Shebeleth, IRC his rebuke undead ability isn’t likely to be that useful…

Well of course theres always amulets and such that hide their thoughts/alignments.

IMC, Cauldron is a pretty lawful city and magic is regulated. Certain types of magic is illegal to be cast within the city; Including in that is anything that controls, alters, manipulates the mind of another (i.e. charm, suggestions, dominate) as well as spells/effects that detect the thoughts or alignment of another.

The city is governed primarily by nobles; so the laws should reflect those that nobles would want passed that would protect their interests. Nobles wanting to ensure that their subterfuge attempts and political scheming could not be so easily detected by magic. Sure it sounds like the laws are there to protect "the people" of the city - but really most of the laws are there to protect the interests and profitability of the nobles.

Other laws of note: obviously no magic that causes damage to property. Armor is illegal to be worn except city officials, chartered employees, or special authorizations allowed by mercenary/body guard personel (typicaly hired by nobles for protection). This is also true with weapons: all weapons are to be peace strung or unstrung (as with bows), except for those as noted above.

Eventually the PCs should be able to obtain such a letter of authorization - may cost a filing fee (tax); and of course it could be revoked, "Agree that the half-orc mercenaries are good for the city and accept it, or have your license revoked without refund"

Should be pretty good leverage.

Robert
Robert


I remember using the 'peace tie' in a past Forgotten realms campaign.

I like your ideas Robert. You sould like you have been playing/DMing for a fair while but are new to SCAP. Am I right about this?

Anyhow, This si the last 'offical' installment of the 'unoffical' alternative version of Adimarchus and the Cagewrights. I hope it has provided some people some useful ideas or at the very least, a springboard for ideas of their own.

Good luck with your games

Delvesdeep

The last part of the dream was never seen by Adimarchus or Nidrama so it is not included in the initial dream that is shared by Nidrama when she is rescued by the party from Embril when they next sleep.

But it is ‘experienced’ by the party when they relive the dream in Adimarchus Nightmare Realm.

Haunted Dream Ten
Continued

On the beach the Ruby haired angel leader watched the guards lift Adimarchus’ limp form into the sky with an undisguised look of glee.

Looking down to the sand something captures his attention and he leans down to scoop it up.

Opening his hand he gazes upon an incredibly beautiful and delicate flower. Lifting his gaze skyward once again he watches Adimarchus and the guards disappear into the star-lit sky while the leaders hand slowly closes, crushing the flower.

“And so falls the unbeatable general of Heaven and conqueror of demons” he whispers, allowing the crushed flower to slip to the sand from his hand…his six fingered hand.

Please note that I also intend on writing up both side treks/adventures –

In Search of Hope
(Hunt for Embril, Alurad and Nidrama within the Haunted Village and Kopru Necropolis)

&

Dark Dreams(Trek into Adimarchus Nightmare Realm to destroy his Inner Demon, save his sanity and possible even his soul)

In further detail when time permits but rather than hold off the rest of this information for weeks I thought people may be interested to read it now.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
delvesdeep wrote:

I remember using the 'peace tie' in a past Forgotten realms campaign.

I like your ideas Robert. You sould like you have been playing/DMing for a fair while but are new to SCAP. Am I right about this?

You are correct. I'm 34 now; been playing D&D since I was 10 in 1982, through all five editions (Basic, Advanced 1st, 2nd, D&D 3rd and 3.5).

I pretty much inherited the role of DM when I was 15, when our neighborhood's DM graduated High School and left for college and air force.

I fell in love with being a DM so I have pretty much been about 80% DM and 20% player ever since.

I have yet to start the SCAP; I bought it last summer while I was in the middle of running another camapaign that was winding down - it lasted about 3 and a half years - it started as soon as 3.5 was released. The campaign just ended, so the SCAP begins for our group March 31st; but I have been reading it thoroughly and been reading this board for the past 6 months getting all sorts of ideas - which included your dream sequences and the Ball side-trek.

I can't wait for it to begin and me to finally be able to use so many wonderful ideas and to share the games with you all.

If you're interested, you can see what I've gotten done so far at:

http://z6.invisionfree.com/World_Of_Mydian/index.php?act=idx

There's not much to it yet - but I'm adding more info daily as we build towards "kick-off"

Robert


I have been reading quite a bit of the literature on this alternative SCAP plotline and have been very impressed. Thanks to Delvesdeep for his hard work on the the entire idea, along with the foreshadowing. Characters need to be re-occuring for the party to form relationships with them.

With the involvement of Jil in the alternative, does it make sense that she tells the party about Orak in Drakthar's Way? I thought about this, and I think I might substitute Artus. Artus is playing both sides for info, with his own self-interest at heart. He is in it for the money, and probably doesn't understand the power at stake.

Thoughts?


Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

I was thinking of tweaking Drakthar's Way so that the cagewrights are basically using the PCs to clean up Drakthar, since he's blown his hand and they want to give people the impression it's nothing more serious.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
section8 wrote:

I have been reading quite a bit of the literature on this alternative SCAP plotline and have been very impressed. Thanks to Delvesdeep for his hard work on the the entire idea, along with the foreshadowing. Characters need to be re-occuring for the party to form relationships with them.

With the involvement of Jil in the alternative, does it make sense that she tells the party about Orak in Drakthar's Way? I thought about this, and I think I might substitute Artus. Artus is playing both sides for info, with his own self-interest at heart. He is in it for the money, and probably doesn't understand the power at stake.

Thoughts?

I would think either one would work. If Jil has become important to a party member (some romantic relationship as has been suggested), then it would make perfect sense that she provide this info to her love-interest.

Otherwise either her or Artus could do so for profit.

Ive already laid the groundwork with Artus in my campaign as a person of little morals and one who sells info; the party already knows to go to him for this type of thing and they're not even done with Life's Bazaar yet. So this will seamlessly translate into the next chapter, too.

Robert

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