What ever happened to the Runecarved Key?


Pathfinder Society

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Scarab Sages 2/5

Probably old news, but if so I guess I just haven't done the right scenarios. It seems like after Race For The Runecarved Key the thing is just forgotten. What happened with that thing?

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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The Race for the Rune-carved Key special had two parts. The first is still available. The second was only run a single time at GenCon, and then retired.

Scarab Sages 2/5

In that case, anybody got some spoilers?

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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The key was used to open a specific dungeon demiplane with a strict time limit. The highest ranked teams from the first part were allowed to explore the dungeon and attempt to retrieve an artifact from within. Lots of Golarion lore was involved in the encounters and traps, and any teams who had not escaped by the end of the con slot were sealed within and lost forever, marked dead in the campaign reporting. The key could no longer open the portal to that plane afterwards.

The players of the surviving PCs were granted the goblin race boon for their success.

Scarab Sages 2/5

Ah, ok. Well, that sounds like it was a lot of fun. Thanks for the summary!

Dark Archive

I do think for the benefit of those GM's who dont attend such events there is a little spoilers sheet that summarises the events of those sorts of things, as it was kind of challenging to have to GM scenarios that referred to the Grand Convocation and the events therein without any idea what actually happened.

Personally I dont mind the location specific specials as long as there is a cheatsheet of what happened in Canon so we know exactly what is going on.

I did manage to find some information on the GC by reading up on previous blog posts, but a downloadable pdf that is easy to find would be more useful.

1/5

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:

The key was used to open a specific dungeon demiplane with a strict time limit. The highest ranked teams from the first part were allowed to explore the dungeon and attempt to retrieve an artifact from within. Lots of Golarion lore was involved in the encounters and traps, and any teams who had not escaped by the end of the con slot were sealed within and lost forever, marked dead in the campaign reporting. The key could no longer open the portal to that plane afterwards.

The players of the surviving PCs were granted the goblin race boon for their success.

That...is bad ass.

The Exchange Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Austin aka countchocula

bugleyman wrote:
Steven Schopmeyer wrote:

The key was used to open a specific dungeon demiplane with a strict time limit. The highest ranked teams from the first part were allowed to explore the dungeon and attempt to retrieve an artifact from within. Lots of Golarion lore was involved in the encounters and traps, and any teams who had not escaped by the end of the con slot were sealed within and lost forever, marked dead in the campaign reporting. The key could no longer open the portal to that plane afterwards.

The players of the surviving PCs were granted the goblin race boon for their success.

That...is bad ass.

Seconded

Silver Crusade

countchocula wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
Steven Schopmeyer wrote:

The key was used to open a specific dungeon demiplane with a strict time limit. The highest ranked teams from the first part were allowed to explore the dungeon and attempt to retrieve an artifact from within. Lots of Golarion lore was involved in the encounters and traps, and any teams who had not escaped by the end of the con slot were sealed within and lost forever, marked dead in the campaign reporting. The key could no longer open the portal to that plane afterwards.

The players of the surviving PCs were granted the goblin race boon for their success.

That...is bad ass.
Seconded

Curious as to how many got sealed away.

Dark Archive

I think 100 Players went in and there was 35 goblin boons given out (however that I believe also includes the GM's)

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Not all survivors received a Goblin race boon. The players at the top-scoring tables for each sub-tier won them. So, if there were four tables at the 3-4 subtier, the 6 players at the highest-scoring table would win boons. The exception was one of the higher tiers (9-10, I think?) where there were no survivors.


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I understand that the goblins were a one-time thing, but it makes me upset that we don't even get to participate in the Part II for the experience of having played it. It sounds like a really fun adventure, and after having such a great time in Part I, my table would have loved to continue on to the sequel.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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Mike has stated that he doesn't care for devoting resources to a once-off scenario again, especially considering the many other people who have expressed that same feedback to him. (I would really like to just have a copy to see what happened, I don't even care about being able to run it.) Thanks to Chris for filling in what I got wrong. I can only go by what I've heard after all.


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Yeah, I don't even care if it's not doable in PFS. I just want to read the scenario. Hell, I'd even organize a non-PFS event to run it just like a PFS special! Everybody would enjoy it.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

From what I heard, the scenario was basically a word document that was printed out and handed to the GMs. Paizo doesn't like releasing unformatted documents like that to the public, and it'd be a waste of time/money in their eyes to properly format it for release. So a summary is pretty much all that we'll probably ever see. :/

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Well, VOs still have access to the Grand Melee, which is unformatted. :)


Are they allowed to share it with others? I don't wanna pressure our local VO if his hands are tied, but I'd love to see the thing!


Game Master wrote:
Are they allowed to share it with others? I don't wanna pressure our local VO if his hands are tied, but I'd love to see the thing!

No


Then there is no recourse but to aspire to that lofty rank myself someday! Thanks for the info everybody.

Shadow Lodge

While it's a shame that most of the campaign's players didn't get to see the outcome of what happened to the key, I'm still glad Paizo went so far as to release unformatted documents to GMs to have something come of it if it meant an officially released scenario/special couldn't be done.

I usually say go all the way or not at all, but this is an exception. Something is better than nothing when it came to resolving this storyline.

Dark Archive

Is there any chance of the grand melee ever being run again?

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

No. The Grand Melee, the Grand Convocation, and others like it are only run once at their respective conventions. While it has been mentioned that the staff would love to run similar events again in the future, the limited use of such events compared to the development time is a problem.


I was actually thinking about the runecarved key the other day. I have gm'd said special but I did not have the faintest idea what the key was.

Shadow Lodge

Why couldn't they take both parts of the Race for the Runecarved Key and turn them into a module? Obviously this would take some editing, but it should take less then creating a whole new module right? Then said module could be played outside of PFS play, or it could be made PFS legal.

Of course if that wasn't possible for lore reasons, they could change a few things, but it would be a better utilization of the material then just letting it sit around never to be touched again.

I've never played or GM'd Race for the Runecarved Key, part 1 or 2, so I do not know how difficult it would be to convert it to a module, I understand that it is a multitable event, but I do not see why it couldn't become a module that would only require 1 table (perhaps with other tables becoming NPCs and automatically doing so well).

Scarab Sages

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If they ever repackage it I suggest they call it Stuck in the Cathedral. Seriously, Race wasn't well received (it's sitting at 2.5 stars right now) and the sequel while being very exclusive and run only by 4 and 5 star GMs still wasn't particularly well-liked by anyone I know that played. I just checked and I've run part one 3 times which includes a party rage quit at CincyCon.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

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My character was in a web, blinded by darkness, inside difficult terrain and helpless inside a summoned creature's threatened area all at the same time, yet the it was not the worst part of the con special, Sheila Heidmarch's ruthlessness was. What a complete villain. My inquisitor had to go get an atonement and seriously reconsider her occupation.

Scarab Sages 4/5 ⦵⦵

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Is the stuff the Pathfinders do in the scenario really that bad, considering how much the rival organization gunning for the key has been depicted as irredeemable card-carrying villains?

Shadow Lodge 5/5

To some people, yes. Thankfully, there were non-despicable methods available, but paladins were in a very risky position for most of the special.

Grand Lodge 4/5

RocMeAsmodeus wrote:
Is the stuff the Pathfinders do in the scenario really that bad, considering how much the rival organization gunning for the key has been depicted as irredeemable card-carrying villains?

Most of who you deal with are not the Aspis, but (mostly) innocent bystanders who merely have the misfortune of wanting the same thing that the Pathfinders do.

5/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston

Well to varying degrees of innocent.


In my opinion this was the worse special to date, running this one time was more than enough. I made sure not to volunteer to run it after gencon I visited multiple cons. Orgins that year was I think the best, since the person acting Shiela did it in a humorous way.

The second part was just as bad as part I. though in much different aspects. My low point was witnessing my table die do to time as well as starting late.

Scarab Sages 2/5

Well, they are talking about doing summaries for the seasons, maybe we will at least get a brief run down of what was in the demi-plane when they do.

Scarab Sages 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I was told it was basically a massacre for all tiers, hence the low PC survavility.

Spoiler:

Apparently you went into the portals that appear at the end of part I and fought a bunch of deadly things to some end, that's all I was told.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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loosef, without getting into too many details, the demiplane was an abandoned headquarters of cultists dedicated to a particular Runelord. It was designed to keep out intruders, but not all the encounters were combat. In fact, more of them were puzzles and traps. They rewarded a lot of different skills, and also allowed intelligent players to shine.

I was GMing a Tier 3-4 table that happened to do very well. They actually had a lot of fun, while working as a great team.

Scarab Sages 5/5

I found Part 1 to be fun, but then ....I tend to avoid combat, and can often "fix it" so that we have little or none.

some details of part one revealed under this:

Normally I try to diplomacy (or bluff) past the conflicts - and I often do a good job of it... and this one is an example of an adventure normally done with a lot of combat - where I sort of changed things around...

You see, I'm a bit of an over-the-top Face character... and I so I always start an adventure with a check with the rest of the players if it was Ok for me to just "Talk our way out" of the encounters. They say "no fighting is ok" so...

First mission: We're given a mission to ambush a shipment just outside of town. We want what's in the wagon, and aren't real concerned with how we get it. So I turn to the other players and say, "let's just walk right up, tell them we're here to pick up the shipment, and walk away with it."

Several players chuckle and say "yeah, sure...". One insists on hanging back in the woods and getting ready for the fight. He's a fighter rogue after all...And here's what we do.

Spells cast going into the encounter:
Aura of the Unremarkable & Glibbness

and we walk plainly down the road from town to the camp site. We have some GREAT RP for 10 mins or so game time... "Great job you guys have done! We'll take it from here. I'll be sure to mention you in my report - how exactly do you spell your name? M-O-O-K-#-4? Great! oh, do you think you guys can hitch that wagon up for me? And my guards and I will be on our way and you can get some well deserved time off."

The Will Saves for the Aura were DCs 22+, and Bluff rolls (Taking 10) 60+.

The player in the woods responded "60 WHAT?" when I gave the judge my bluff number. So I told him "Well, I could take 20 and get a 70+, but I can only do that once per day...and we might need it in a later encounter". I even tipped the Aspis guys with a counter each good for a "special service" in the local house of easy virtue... Departed with names and descriptions of all the Aspis Agents in the transport detail... and not one was harmed by us.

Later in the game the Rogue/Fighter player was shocked when I took 10 on a Perception and got a 12... esp. after I explained that it was a class skill and I had a rank in it. "Yeah, this PC is built for social settings."

Later encounter:
The party of adventurers gather outside the suspects door. The intention is to scare him away from bidding, to get him to leave town. The rogue checks the door for traps, finds an alarm and removes it, unlocks door, and steps to the back of the party. I, in misty Mistmail step to the door and, as the cleric swings open the door, into the room. Swirling my cape with a continual flame spell on the lining around to my back so the "flames" swirl up around me, I pull a Masterwork whip from my belt where I have two, and it bursts into flame (Hellfire trait). Looking at the target sitting on the bed, I drag the burning whip across the carpet, point my silvered spiked gauntlet at the target and say:

"So, do we talk? or do we move on to other options?"

Target sees a Cheliaxian woman (me), clothed in fire & smoke, with a flaming whip that is scorching the carpet. Intimidate check? - ah, can I take 10?

Moving on to Diplomacy with the same target, I guide him to the window and show him a man across the street - "clearly watching your hotel... you must know that you are being watched right? Soon they will come for you..." Unknown to the target, that "man" is one of the adventurers (The Rogue/Figher, watching the building, and in contact with me via a message spell), covering the street in case the target runs for it. I explain to the target in a whisper (heard by all the adventurers via my message spell, a fact unknown to the target) that I "can still get you safely out of town - if you leaves right now. I'll use a Vanish spell to get you out of the hotel unseen and take you around the corner and to the closest stable - where you can get a fast horse and ride to Westcrown or someplace else...." I even got him to pay for the horse.

Almost all of the encounters went like that... It was esp. wonderful to be in a ball room with 10 or 15 other tables, all in hard combats - as we "danced" our way past the fights. We did need to take a half hour brake in the middle, so the other tables could finish up their fights and catch up to us... we spent the majority of the game in non-combat encounters... The rogues (there were two in the party) even got to do "a second story job" while the rest of us provided a distraction (good bluff).

Overall - Part 1 was a lot of fun - for a scenario with only two combats.

Dark Archive

Did the society find anything cool in the 2nd part of the special? I mean besides goblin boons for the players?

Dark Archive

Katisha wrote:

I found Part 1 to be fun, but then ....I tend to avoid combat, and can often "fix it" so that we have little or none.

** spoiler omitted **...

My chelish sorcerer also talked his way through a lot of the fights. It was nice to have other options available.

Dark Archive

Chris Mortika wrote:

loosef, without getting into too many details, the demiplane was an abandoned headquarters of cultists dedicated to a particular Runelord. It was designed to keep out intruders, but not all the encounters were combat. In fact, more of them were puzzles and traps. They rewarded a lot of different skills, and also allowed intelligent players to shine.

I was GMing a Tier 3-4 table that happened to do very well. They actually had a lot of fun, while working as a great team.

Is there a reason to spare the details? It's not like you can spoil the scenario for anyone.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Victor, yes, the Society found some powerful tools, which were used in a later adventures. (And the details aren't mine to spoil.)

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Southwest

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Muser wrote:
My character was in a web, blinded by darkness, inside difficult terrain and helpless inside a summoned creature's threatened area all at the same time, yet the it was not the worst part of the con special, Sheila Heidmarch's ruthlessness was. What a complete villain. My inquisitor had to go get an atonement and seriously reconsider her occupation.

I am in complete agreement that Sheila is a very bad person. My running theory is that she was/is a Lisalan cultist. This explains why so soon after Pathfinder agents recover Lisalan info about Krune that the cultists have it as well. It also explains why she does not give the briefing in Waking Rune.

Dark Archive 5/5

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Eric Brittain wrote:
Muser wrote:
My character was in a web, blinded by darkness, inside difficult terrain and helpless inside a summoned creature's threatened area all at the same time, yet the it was not the worst part of the con special, Sheila Heidmarch's ruthlessness was. What a complete villain. My inquisitor had to go get an atonement and seriously reconsider her occupation.

I am in complete agreement that Sheila is a very bad person. My running theory is that she was/is a Lisalan cultist. This explains why so soon after Pathfinder agents recover Lisalan info about Krune that the cultists have it as well. It also explains why she does not give the briefing in Waking Rune.

This could be an interesting setup for

Spoiler?:
the new Eyes of the Ten.
Sovereign Court 5/5 RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Victor Zajic wrote:
Katisha wrote:

I found Part 1 to be fun, but then ....I tend to avoid combat, and can often "fix it" so that we have little or none.

** spoiler omitted **...

My chelish sorcerer also talked his way through a lot of the fights. It was nice to have other options available.

When we played it in Columbus I was able to go all social as well. When dealing with one of the encounters, I actually said, "Great, all we have is a hitter (the barbarian) and a mastermind (me). We need a hacker a grifter and a theif." That put us all in the right mindset.

Our table won, and we needed a team name. I just blurted out "Leverage Inc." :-)

"Cultists of Lisalla steal your runecarved key. We get it back for you. We provide... Leverage."

Silver Crusade 5/5

Was part two where the replica [REDACTED] was? Or one of the things that [REDACTED] lets you borrow when you go off to [REDACTED] [REDACTED]? I've played a good portion of the Lissalan metaplot from season four and never found it.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Yes, UndeadMitch.

Silver Crusade 5/5

Thanks, that finally occurred to me at work yesterday, mainly due to this topic. I only played one of the [REDACTED] before playing the season four conclusion, and I thought that 4-26 was cool enough to pick up a copy of it to look at after playing it, saw that part, and wondered where that stuff appeared.

As far as Sheila goes, I think that she was mainly a victim of inconsistent writing and/or GMing.There were some events where she seemed pretty cold, but I have also played/run some scenarios where she also shows genuine concern for the party. I've been reading the Shattered Star AP while I put together a group to play through it, and she seems pretty cool. I actually like Sheila Heidmarch, despite the efforts of some to the contrary.

EDIT: After going back and rereading my post, I want to make it clear that I wasn't taking a jab at any of the authors of season 4. They did a pretty awesome job.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Huh, I should go reread the Lissala arc to figure out what the society found in part 2.

5/5

UndeadMitch wrote:
As far as Sheila goes, I think that she was mainly a victim of inconsistent writing and/or GMing.There were some events where she seemed pretty cold, but I have also played/run some scenarios where she also shows genuine concern for the party. I've been reading the Shattered Star AP while I put together a group to play through it, and she seems pretty cool. I actually like Sheila Heidmarch, despite the efforts of some to the contrary.

I don't get the feeling that some people have towards her. She is a strong woman willing to spend her resources (i.e. pathfinders) getting the job done. Maybe some people don't like the idea that their characters are resources to be spent.

5/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston

Yeah, as far as I can tell all the VCs send you on near suicide missions. Aram Zey the self appraised worlds smarterest Venture Captain does so while also giving you bad mission intel. Sheila at least gives you a nice breakfast first, as to the Rune Carved Key.

Rune Carved Key Spoiler:
Sure, you are basically being told to engage in banditry, however looking at it from the larger view of the Society. However this is against the Aspis consortium, and you can definitely do it without going all murder hobo.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Global Organized Play Coordinator

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This is something we wouldn't usually do, but considering it is the holiday season, I thought it was time to offer an awesome gesture and at least give the fluff part of part 2 to the community. It won't have the stats of monsters and traps and the like (please don't ask for them or become grumpy if I don't provide them), but it will have most of the rest of the text of the scenario. Boxed text is italicized. It still will not be sanctioned for OP again (please don't get grumpy when I don't reconsider this decision), but it could be revisited by the Society sometime in the future, and it makes for some good reading and it can serve a home game well if the desire is there to fill in the holes. Enjoy and happy holidays!

Spoiler:

RACE FOR THE RUNECARVED KEY, PART 2: THE LOST TEMPLE OF LISSALA

BY KYLE BAIRD AND TIM HITCHCOCK

Background

Ten thousand years ago, when Earthfall destroyed the powerful empire of Thassilon, its despotic rulers—masterful wizards known as runelords—abandoned their kingdoms for the safety of other planes, the sleep of millennia, or other contingencies. Least among the runelords was the mighty Krune, Runelord of Sloth, whose mastery of conjuration magic was unparalleled in his time, and likely across the ages. To avoid the world-shattering calamity of Earthfall, Krune sequestered himself in a timeless sleep, and gave his followers instructions on bringing him back to the face of Golarion when the time was right.

As the high priest of the goddess Lissala—who first tought rune magic to the Azlanti wizard Xin, and whose dominance over fate and obedience led the runelords to their dominance of Thassilon—Krune had a large number of followers spread throughout all seven of Thassilon’s feuding nations, and when he instructed them to remain vigilant and awake him when the time was right, they placed hidden shrines and temples throughout the realm to aid them in the centuries to come.

One such temple was hidden high in the Mindspin Mountains, in Krune’s own realm of Haruka. But like most things left hidden for a hundred centuries, it was eventually lost to time, and the few Lissalans who perservered through the ages soon forgot where it was. Among the resources hidden in this temple, were powerful artifacts made in the image of Krune’s own favored dragontooth spear and rune-encrusted scepter, as well as a small army of dedicated Lissalan cultists who hoped to awaken upon his return and help him usher in a new era of Lissala’s rule over Golarion.

Now the Pathfinder Society has recovered a mysterious Thassilonian relic known as the Runecarved Key, a massive stone device believed to open a secret vault somewhere in Varisia. Through intense study of the runes etched upon the artifact, Magnimarian Venture-Captain Sheila Heidmarch has uncovered the location of the lock the key fits—none other than the very temple in which Krune’s faithful interred themselves with the replicas of his sacred weapons.

ADVENTURE SUMMARY

After a brief meeting with Sheila Heidmarch, the PCs step through a portal that leads to a hidden chamber deep within the Mindspin Mountains. There they use the Runecarved Key to open a forgotten temple erected by high-ranking members of the cult of Lissala after the fall of Thassilon. Once opened, the PCs have a short amount of time to race through the temple’s traps and terrible denizens to recover the artifacts within before the temple reseals itself. As with the main Race for the Runecarved Key adventure, the performance of the players will be scored to determine a winner for the event.

GETTING STARTED

Read the following to get the event underway:

After defeating the Lissalan cultists and recovering the fabled Runecarved Key, you have ensured the future success of the Pathfinder Society in Magnimar and have become the toast of Heidmarch Manor! As your stay in the Heidmarch’s most elegant of guest quarters draws to a close, Sheila and her husband invite you to attend a final farewell party at Haruka House. However, once you arrive you see all is not as it seems. Curiously, only a select few of your fellow Pathfinders have received invitations, though all are recognizable as those whose efforts in the fight against the Lissalan cultists were most outstanding. After everyone settles into the lounge, Sheila stands forth to address the assembled Pathfinders.
"Good morning friends,
“Again, many thanks for what you have done for the Society and the Magnimar Lodge. I hope you all slept well last night. I'll not insult your intelligence and cut to the quick, for as you've guessed, I have another proposal for you.
“Last night, while poring over the runes that give the Runecarved Key its name, I and a trusted associate of mine—a Tian Cyphermage from Riddleport brought here specifically to help uncover the relic’s purpose—stumbled across a secret guaranteed to excite everyone in our esteemed society. It appears the key not only opens a long-sealed Thassilonian vault, but it also provides a means of teleporting directly to the otherwise inaccessible location deep within the Mindspin Mountains. What fell purpose the subterranean chamber serves, I don’t know for certain, but it is likely we will find objects of great power and secrets that have not been seen by mortal eyes in a hundred centuries.
“My Cyphermage friend believes the key may open a temple to Lissala—which would explain the cult’s interest in the key and their assault on the auction—and that within we may find cultists from the age of Thassilon resting a sleep of eons, or ancient relics of the faith from before Earthfall.
“Whatever it may truly hold, there’s only one way to be certain. I'm hoping you shall all accompany me to this site to see if the analysis of the key is accurate.”
Sheila throws something onto the ground and a vaporous blue portal suddenly manifests.
Motioning toward the portal, she asks, "Shall we?" and without hesitation, jumps through and disappears.

Allow your table 2 minutes to prepare themselves or perform whatever other tasks they wish before the portal closes. After 1 minute and 50 seconds pass, give a final warning and a countdown to spur them on with the adventure

The portal flickers softly, then starts to fade away. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1!

The portal closes on the count of 10. Once the portal closes, there is no way to open it until Sheila returns with the temple’s coordinates. Anyone that fails to step through the doorway is left behind and cannot participate in the adventure.

Those who step through are teleported to a dark stone chamber deep within the earth in the Mindspin Mountains in eastern Varisia.

ACT 1: EXPLORATION

The portal discharges you into a dark stone chamber forty feet across, with seven identical walls. Each wall features a decorative archway like an open door, only surrounding not a passage but the smooth solid wall that appears elsewhere in the room. A massive ceramic and glass mosaic of a seven-pointed star dominates the room’s floor, a smaller sihedron recessed into the center of the larger symbol.

Sheila welcomes the PCs to their destination, a glowing wayfinder illuminating her face from below. She stands the assembled Pathfinders in a circle around the sihedron. As she places the stone sihedron of the Runecarved Key into the hole, the runes on its bow and upper shank light up, glowing a mysterious otherworldly green. At the same time, the stone walls within the archways on each wall slowly turn to pale green curtains of swirling energy, mysterious portals to areas unknown. Once the portals manifest, the runes on the key slowly start to fade and the key melds into the floor. Sheila begins wildly scanning the room, then turns her eye's back to the keyhole. Her expression turns to one of somber concern.

"I'm not sure we did that right… It looks like the key has been destroyed, or rather drained of power and transformed into something else. I fear there's only enough power in the key to keep this portal open a few hours. You'll have to go through the portals now, while they’re still active. Explore what you can and then get out before the portals close. Quick, one team per portal! Go!"

Allow the PCs to pick a portal, urging them to make a quick decision, as the clock is ticking and their opportunity to earn Key Points (and to survive the adventure) depends on acting quickly. While each portal simply leads to a scaled version of the same dungeon, making the decision seem important will give the players a sense of excitement as they step through the glowing curtain of energy within the portal of their choice.

T1. The First Door

Stepping through the portal, the PCs find themselves in a long, dark corridor. The corridor is completely bare, consisting of only dull gray stone walls and flagstone. Eerily, every echo seems amplified; footfalls sound like thunder and even the PCs’ whispers seem like roaring demons. Every so often, beneath the clamor, rise the faint vaporous whispers of other, unfamiliar voices speaking in lost tongues. The moment a PC stops to listen, however, these voice become still and silent as if they never existed. The passage continues for several hundred feet, before coming to an end at a strange metal door.

Here, the corridor comes to an end before a circular brass-plated door engraved with seven arcane symbols. The center of the door is carved with a fist-sized indentation. On the left side of the door stands a small brass pedestal upon which rests a stone disk about the size of a human palm.

The stone disk is a magical key and is easily removed from the pedestal. If a PCs picks up the stone plate, present them with Handout 1. The plate's face is divided into seven equal sections and each section is carved with one of the ancient Thassilonian glyphs for the seven virtues. Starting with the top of the handout and moving clockwise, they read: Kindness, Zeal, Love, Humility, Charity, Generosity, and Temperance. These can be identified with a DC 15 + APL Knowledge (arcana or history) or Linguistics check or automatically by PCs who can speak Thassilonian.

Individuals inspecting the indentation in the door note that appears identical in size and shape to the stone disk. Set within the indentation is a small heptagonal iron plate embossed with the runes for the seven sins, identifiable with a DC 15 + APL Knowledge (arcana or history) or Linguistics check or automatically by PCs who can read Thassilonian. A DC 15 + APL Perception or Disable Device check to inspect the indentation further notes that the plate can be rotated. Starting with the top and moving clockwise, the runes read: Wrath, Sloth, Lust, Pride, Envy, Greed, and Gluttony.

The disk fits perfectly within the indentation, allowing the runes of the seven virtues to cover the runes of the seven sins and act as a sort of dial to rotate the runes imbedded in the doorway. As soon as the disk is inserted into the indentation with the proper virtue rune covering the corresponding sin rune, it locks in place, triggering a telepathic bond between the creature placing the disk and the temple's long-dead founder, a high-ranking priest of Lissala and acolyte of Runelord Krune. This connection imparts upon the PC the ability to speak and read Thassilonian for 1 day and they receive a telepathic message that had been delayed for millennia before being delivered:

"The key to my temple is the key to my kingdom. We are the chosen of Lissala, thus our kingdom must stand above all others."

After Earthfall, Krune’s servants sealed and trapped this temple to protect the loyal subjects interred within, but they also believed that one day Lissala's faithful would return to wake them. Thus, the curious passage was intended to provide future disciples with a clue to the key disk's correct use. A DC 15 + APL Knowledge (history or religion) check allows a PC to recall that the Runelord Krune was the high priest of Lissala before the fall of Thassilon, and that he ruled the realm of Haruka, kingdom of sloth; to unlock the door the disk must be rotated, clicking through each of the runes until the rune for sloth is in the top position. Yet Krune’s acolytes were both lazy and fickle, and they took the tenets of sloth to the extreme. Only those using the least amount of effort to turn the key can safely open the door. This is achieved by rotating the dial counter-clockwise two spaces; manipulating the key in any other manner triggers the trap, detailed below.

Once the rune of sloth is placed in the correct position, the key disk unlocks from the door and can be pulled free. Removing the disk causes the doors slide open. From the moment the door opens, the PCs have 1 minute (in both game terms and in real time) to go through the door before it closes and the entire device resets.

Inscribed on the back of the door is the following phrase: "By the command of my kingdom, so shall the gates of your temple be opened." The word "Haruka" (the name of Krune's kingdom) serves as a command word that opens the door from the inside of the temple.

Trap: If the PCs fail to perform the door opening sequence correctly, a ghostly voice booms "You have failed to demonstrate your full devotion, For this insolence, it is the will of Lissala that you bear the burden of sloth and reap from it no rewards!" Moments later, the blasphemers are cursed with arcane fatigue. If the PCs attempt to break the door down or cut through it using brute force, such an attempt activates the subtier-appropriate trap, targeting any creatures adjacent to the door.

Room Objectives

Completing the following objectives earns Key Points for the PCs while in this room.
Primary Objective: Gain entry to area T2 through the Thassilonian puzzle door.
Secondary Objective: Avoid triggering the trapped door.
Minor Objectives: Learn through the use of Knowledge checks that Runelord Krune was Lissala’s high priest and that he ruled the Thassilonian realm of sloth, Haruka.
At least 1 PC must make a telepathic bond with the ancient Thassilonian priest.
Exit the door by citing “Haruka” as the password. (This objective is likely only attainable at the scenario’s conclusion.)

T2. The Hall of Fate

The passage opens into a semi-circular dome paneled in glittering heptagonal plates of rune-etched mica fitted into an intricate framework of oxidized copper and brass. The southern wall is flat with a broad arch carved into the center. On either side of the arch hang a series of long, vertical metal plates embossed with runes and pictures. Through the arch stretches a long corridor lined on either side by deep alcoves. The floor is covered in a massive carving of a rune-covered man wielding a dragon-toothed longspear and a scepter.

This room once served as the temple’s hall of records—dubbed the Hall of Fate by the Lissalans—and though there are no tomes, scrolls, or tablets stored here, the runes and pictograms on the metal plates hold more information than they immediately reveal. Many of the mica panels on the dome’s surface depict the virtues of rule, represented by the seven virtuous runes and rudimentary pictograms of people engaged in each activity, all so abstract that they are essentially runes themselves. Spread evenly throughout the panels are similar plates depicting the seven sins and associated scenes of each vice.

While the heptagonal plates are abstract representations of the runes, sins, and virtues that were central to Lissala’s faith, the vertically-aligned plates to the east and west of the southern archway present a detailed account of the cultists’ interment within the temple and the requisite rituals for waking them when the prophesied time of Krune’s return is nigh
Over the eastern set of plates, a Lissalan scripture carved in Azlanti into the stone reads:

"Sleep and await my coming, children, and when the world is once again ready for my rule, all you dream in the sleep of centuries will come true."

A PC making a DC 20 Linguistics check can translate this text; a PC who speaks Thassilonian gets a +5 bonus on this check. The plates beneath the scripture depict mouthless, rune-covered cultists preparing to be interred for the long wait until Krune’s return: bowing before Krune—the same figure depicted on the chamber’s floor; wrapping themselves like mummies; climbing into large, rounded sarcophagi; draining the blood from human victims and anointing the sleeping cultists in the life-giving fluid; laying a rune-covered rod on an altar; and resting a dragon tooth longspear across the seat of a massive throne.
Over the western set of plates, a Lissalan scripture carved in Azlanti into the stone reads:

"When all the keys are found, I will be awakened by the faithful of our goddess. On that day, awake and come to me with the symbols of my rule and you will stand beside me in a new world of Lissala’s making."

A PC making a DC 20 Linguistics check can translate this text; a PC who speaks Thassilonian gets a +5 bonus on this check. The plates beneath the scripture depict mouthless, rune-covered cultists awaking and retrieving the replica regalia of Krune from area T6: rising from their round sarcophagi; praying before an unholy symbol of Lissala; bathing their hands in a bowl of water atop an altar; raising dragon tooth longspears in their left hands; and a priest carving the rune of greed in the right hand of a fellow priest, who holds a scepter in her clenched fist as blood drips down onto the altar.

The intricately carved floor mural here depicts Runelord Krune, a reminder to all who followed him in their veneration of Lissala that he had the power—through her and her teachings of rune magic—to alter their fate for better or worse. The figure can be identified with a DC 20 Knowledge (history) check, a successful PC recalling historical depictions of his entire body being covered from head to toe with Lissala’s most powerful runes, and that he carried with him both a dragon tooth longspear and a sacred rod.

Beneath the figure’s feet is an inset circle the size of the key disk found in area T1 that radiates a moderate aura of conjuration. Placing the key disk in this inset produces no result unless all seven runestones from area T3 are connected to the key disk in a configuration matching sin rune to associated virtue rune. Once this is done, a PC placing the key disk in the floor inset causes a stone tablet to materialize next to the key disk, teleported from a secure demiplane. The tablet reads, in Thassilonian:

“Only through the corruption of virtue shall you understand true power, for as much as virtue defines the sin, sin defines the virtue. Yet eclipsing sin with the veil of virtue will bring about the true reward, and that reward is power, knowledge, and a blessing from Lissala herself—embodied in the weapon I wield.”

This passage is a hint at the correct configuration of runes on the throne armrests in area T6.
When the key disk is removed from the inset after the tablet has appeared, the southernmost face statue in area T3 descends, revealing an ongoing hallway behind it.

Creatures: The Lissalan priests made ancient pacts with this chamber's guardians, lawful outsiders known as inevitables, These curious construct-like creatures have sworn to defend the chamber against intruders at any cost and use all the powers at their disposal to prevent passage into the alcove-lined corridor beyond.

Room Objectives
Completing the following objectives earns Key Points for the PCs while in this room.
Primary Objective: Defeat the inevitable guardians protecting the Hall of Fate.
Secondary Objective: Use the runestones from area T3 to open the seal in the floor beneath Krune’s feet.
Minor Objectives: Identify the image on the floor mural as a depiction of Runelord Krune.
Translate both verses of Azlanti text on the southern wall.

T3. The Faces of Sin
Beyond the inevitable guardians lies an alcove-lined corridor. Within each alcove, a hideously carved stone face protrudes from the far wall. The stylized faces each represent a different individual, though all appear tortured, their hollow, gaping mouths carved to make them appear as if they are screaming. Upon the forehead of each stony countenance is carved a rune representing one of the seven sins.

The curiously carved faces are magical and radiate a faint aura of transmutation. All are hollow, cleverly concealing a small triangular runestone within a niche inside the mouth. Each runestone correlates to the rune carved into the forehead of the bust it hides within and radiates a faint aura of the magical school associated with its respective sin. The three faces to the west hold the runestones of wrath, pride, and envy. The three alcoves to the east hold the runestones of greed, gluttony, and lust. The southern alcove holds the runestone of sloth.
Traps: Anyone peering within the mouth can clearly see the stone floating within, but once a living creature places her arm into the mouth of the facade, it triggers a trap. Instantly, the statue's jaws slam shut, clamping the individual's arm in place. Next, a magical brand sears a sihedron rune into the victim's forearm over the course of several rounds (as detailed in the trap stats below), permanently branding it with the ancient symbol. A creature held in one of the statues’ mouths can attempt to escape the grapple using normal rules for doing so, treating the trap’s CMD as 10 + the listed CMB to grapple). A creature that escapes the grapple before the trap’s duration ends has a cumulative 20% chance of avoiding being branded for each round of duration avoided.

The sihedron brand is permanent (though it can be magically removed). What consequences come with being branded are not revealed in this adventure, though the mark may come into play at a later date. The brands radiate a faint aura of divination, and branded characters occasionally hear whispers in Thassilonian speaking gibberish. The brands’ whispers grant an affected PC a +4 bonus on Knowledge checks regarding Thassilon. Once an individual is branded, he can freely reach inside any of the statues’ mouths without setting off any additional traps.

Room Objectives
Completing the following objectives earns Key Points for the PCs while in this room.
Primary Objective: Acquire all seven runestones.
Secondary Objective: Complete the primary objective without a single PC becoming branded with the sihedron rune.
Minor Objectives: Use Disable Device to deactivate all seven traps.
Voluntarily allow oneself to be branded after seeing another PC receive a brand.
Remove a brand via magical means before concluding the adventure.

T4. The Map Door
Once the Face of Sloth descends (see area T3), a 30-foot passage is revealed behind it, leading to a pair of thick metal-plated sliding doors. The doors are etched with a map of Thassilon—pre-Earthfall Varisia—with studs of bronze, copper, and other assorted metals marking various locations. A huge lock mounted in the center of the doors holds them fast. Set into the floor, directly in front of the door is a circular brass plaque. It is engraved with a passage in Thassilonian that reads:

"In the next life, when the keeper of the key comes, Lissala’s whispers shall steal into the ears of her favored ones awakening those who sleep near death. Again they shall arise and upon that day, they shall claim the world from the heresy of denying its one true master."

Anyone casually inspecting the lock finds a small etching around the perimeter of the central chamber that reads:

"My throne is the key to my kingdom."

The etching provides a clue to opening the door. A DC 20 Knowledge (history) check allows a PC to recall that Krune's throne was located in the city of Xin-Haruka. A DC 25 Knowledge (geography or history) check quickly locates Xin-Haruka on the map, represented by a magnetized cobalt stud. Anyone attempting to remove the stud discovers that it is actually the bow of a key, which can be removed and used to open the door. Alternatively, a DC 20 + APL Perception check of the entire map reveals that the cobalt stud isn’t connected to the map in the same way as other geographical markers.

Room Objectives
Completing the following objectives earns Key Points for the PCs while in this room.
Primary Objective: Gain entry to the room beyond the Map Door.
Secondary Objective: Solve the riddle and use the Xin-Haruka key to open the door instead of force.

T5. Stasis Chamber

As the doors slide slowly open, a frigid chill seeps into the corridor. Beyond lies a broad chamber with curved cathedral ceilings and multiple arches leading into darkened corridors. Dense black mist shrouds the floor at a hieght of two feet. In the room’s center stands a huge cage-like structure that seems to crouch like a giant metal insect atop a pair of identical, semi-circular stone altars. From the cage rises a tangled forest of stone and metal ducts, ridged like vertebrae and carved with thousands of tiny Thassilonian runes. The ducts weave through the chamber along its ceiling and through the surrounding alcoves where they connect to scores of large, stone, cocoon-shaped pods carved from the room’s very walls, interwoven and bound with metal. Like the ducts, the pods are also entirely graven with Thassilonian runes.

At the southern end of the room, opposite the main entrance and beyond the weird cage, is a cocoon twice as large as the rest in the room, devoid of duct work and runes save for a single massive metal sihedron in the pod’s center.

The stone pods lining the walls of the chamber and are hollow and serve as arcane stasis chambers for dozens of Lissalan priests and high-ranking members of Haruka’s government (hardness 8, hp 30, Break DC 28, Disable Device DC 25 + APL). The ducts travelling the room, connecting the pods to the central console, were designed to feed off living creatures to supply energy to the beings within the pods. While the device kept them alive for centuries, it eventually failed, and the sleeping priests died, suffering the horrid fate of starvation, even as they lay dreaming in stasis. Now undead, they wait for their machine to once again feed them or to be released from their arcane cocoons to feed for themselves.

If a stasis pod is forced open, it releases its undead occupant (see Creatures section below), otherwise the occupants remain in stasis unless wakened by the feeding tubes.

The cage-thing is also a creature of sorts, though it too lies dormant and only animates if the PCs successfully manipulate the console and open the secret door leading to the next chamber. Once PCs inspect the console, show them Handout 3, then read or paraphrase the following passage.

The console appears to be carved from a single chunk of smooth, greenish-black stone. Carved into its surface is a curious arrangement made of heptagons and other complex geometric shapes. The design is encircled by a shallow heptagonal-shaped channel cut into the stone. At each of this heptagon's points, a hole bored into the console holds a small shard of clear, colorless crystal. The crystals appear to be scorched within, as if a flame burned them from within. Similarly, greasy black scorch marks mar the console top, surrounding each of the crystals. Elsewhere, small metal rungs about the perimeter of the console hold over two dozen crystal shards of assorted colors.

GMs will recognize the geometric arrangement as the first four rooms within the temple in their correct layout. The console controls both the secret passage and the stasis pods of hundreds of Lissala's most devoted followers, who at the fall of Haruka, sought to follow their leader into the future, by placing themselves in an arcane stasis for one thousand years. After the faithful entered their chambers to prepare for the Sleep of Eons, the Priestess of the Future Dawn deliberately jammed the incorrect crystals into the console's activation holes, forcing the device to overload, and shut down. She did this to assure that the cultists would remain safely locked in stasis until the prophesied day of awakening, which unfortunately came nine millennia later than the thousand years they planned for.

The crystals around the console appear in seven different types: blue-green tourmaline, coppery orange citrine, metallic gray tenorite, rust-red carnelian, pale milky opal, pale green aventurine, and silvery hematite. Each gemstone corresponds to the color of one of the seven skymetals, which were each in turn associated with one of the seven sins venerated in ancient Thassilon. In order to activate the console and open the hidden doorway behind the large stasis pod at the room’s southern end, the gem corresponding to each of the seven sins must be placed in the correct location within the heptagon on the console’s face.

Starting clockwise from the top, the gems should be arranged in the following order: tourmaline, aventurine, carnelian, citrine, hematite, opal, and tenorite. If a crystal is correctly placed, it glows faintly and begins humming in a steady, resonant thrum. When all seven crystals are correctly placed, the southernmost stasis chamber opens up to reveal a doorway within in place of a slumbering creature.

A crystal placed in the incorrect location does nothing unless it is placed in one of the two spots opposite its correct location. In the latter instance, the gem glows brightly for 1 round before exploding in a flash of light that blinds any living creature adjacent to the console for 1 minute unless that creature succeeds at a DC 13 + APL Fort save. Such crystals are drained of their color and appear in all ways like the seven crystals originally placed in the console when the PCs arrived.

Placing a crystal within the mechanism or withdrawing one from console is a move action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. A PC can recognize the significance of the seven different gem colors with a DC 15 + APL Knowledge (arcana or history) check. A successful check allows a PC to correlate 3 crystals to their respective school of Thassilonian magic, plus 1 additional crystal for every 2 points by which the PC exceeds the DC.

A PC may make a DC 22 + APL Disable Device check to place a crystal in the correct spot through simple guesswork. A success means the crystal was placed in its correct spot; a failure places a crystal in the wrong spot to no effect; a failure by 5 or more results in a crystal in an opposing slot, triggering its blinding effect. The DC for all future attempts is reduced by 1 for each success or failure by 5 or more, as the process of elimination makes future attempts easier.

Creatures: As soon as the PCs activate the console by placing one crystal in either the correct location or one of its two violently incorrect slots, the long serpentine tubes above the console spring to life and attack the PCs seeking to drain their life forces. Each time they injure PCs, they drain blood which is siphoned off to the corpses in the various pods, causing more of them to begin activating and opening—slowly and methodically releasing their undead inhabitants. The tubes are long and can move about the room by swinging and swerving like giant metallic snakes hanging from jungle branches. While they have movement speeds and mobility like any other creature, their other end remains attached to the network of ductwork crisscrossing the room.

Room Objectives
Completing the following objectives earns Key Points for the PCs while in this room.
Primary Objective: Use the console to open the doorway to area T6.
Secondary Objective: Prolong the conflict long enough to release and defeat all possible undead in the chamber (based on the number listed in each subtier’s respective creatures section.)
Minor Objectives: Use Knowledge skills to decipher to meaning behind the colored gemstones.
Avoid being blinded while attempting to operate the console.

T6. Throne Room

The throne room’s only entrance is a thick door of solid lead at the southern end of the 50-ft. corridor from area T5. The door is warm to the touch. The door is unlocked, but wedged shut, requiring a DC 20 Strength check to force open. The door is also warded with a permanent contingency spell that releases the occupants in the next chamber from a long slumber of temporal stasis.

The door opens onto a narrow, five-foot wide ledge, a dizzying sixty feet above the ground. The ledge skates the perimeter of a tremendously huge heptagonal chamber with cathedral ceilings rising forty feet above the ledge. Wind rushes everywhere, driven in part from the considerable heat rising from the floor below, which appears to be a churning pool of boiling-hot molten lead.
From the center of the room rises a huge stone spire crowned with a platform on which rests a great silk-cushioned throne of bone, stone, and metal. The throne's armrests extend on either side, each fitted with a socket holding an upright spear. Set on a raised dais before the throne stands an altar of solid glimmering diamond, within the form of a interred body holding a glowing, rune-encrusted scepter.
About halfway around the ledge, on either side of the chamber, a narrow metal gangway extends from the ledge toward the central platform. Both gangways stop a few yards shy of the platform upholding the throne.

The bottom of this chamber is filled with a 10-foot-deep river of molten lead. While cooler than lava, molten lead deals 1d6 points of fire damage per round of exposure. Individuals plummeting into the river become completely immersed, and take 10d6 points of fire damage per round. Immunity or resistance to fire serves as an immunity or resistance to molten lead. A creature immune to fire might still drown if completely immersed in the lead river.

Creatures: Coiled about the base of the spire lounges a magnificent primal magma dragon from the elemental plane of fire, a powerful creature bound long ago in ageless servitude to Runelord Krune himself. As soon as it hears the doors open, it lies still, pretending to sleep. The clever creature waits as long as possible before addressing the PCs, for he seeks the tactical advantage of pinning them to the chamber's narrow ledge or catching them unaware while they stand precariously on the gangways over the molten lead floor.

Ygvostrai first attempts to address the intruders and converse with them, hoping to lull them into a false sense of security. He introduces himself, and explains that his former master, exalted Krune, bound him here as an eternal protector of this sacred shrine to the runelord’s glory. During this introduction, he attempts to position himself close enough to the PCs to effectively use his breath weapon. If the PCs entertain his conversation—and he is large enough—he duplicitously offers to fly them over to the throne. If an individual accepts the offer, as soon as he mounts the dragon, the creature rolls, attempting to pitch the individual into the river of lead (requiring a DC 20 Ride check to avoid falling from the dragon’s back). If the PCs refuse his offer or otherwise show their suspicions, he politely replies, “very well,” then blasts them with magma breath.

If there are two dragons in the PCs’ subtier, Ygvostrai follows the tactics listed above, while his mate submerges all but her head in the molten lead, attempting to hide her presence from the PCs until the start of combat, at which point she joins Ygvostrai, hopefully surprising the Pathfinders with a second intimidating opponent.

Development: Covered with ancient Thassilonian runes, the massive throne on the chamber’s central dais is a replica of Krune’s own throne, placed here in veneration of the sleeping runelord who the cultists in temporal stasis in the adjacent room hoped to serve again in the future. Beyond simply being a replica of the runelord’s throne, the ornate chair also provides a means of accessing two of the temple’s most valuable artifacts: replicas of Thrune’s sacred weapons—a dragon tooth longspear and an arcane rod of incredible might. The dragon tooth longspear is one of the two spears extending from the throne’s armrests. The rod is encased in the diamond altar and can be retrieved by performing a ritual to summon it into the performer’s hand.

On the topside of the right armrest are carved the seven runes of sin and on the top of the left armrest are carved the seven runes of virtue. A DC 10 + APL Perception check reveals that the top of the small foot bench in front of the throne flips up to reveal a small hollow. Within the hollow, are two levers, etched in ancient sigils and runes. The left lever causes the left armrest on the throne to rotate on a horizontal axis to reveal the seven runes of sin opposite the previously visible runes of virtue. The right lever causes the same effect in the right armrest, revealing the runes of virtue.

There are four possible armrest configurations. Only the configuration displaying the runes of virtue on both armrests releases the dragon tooth longspear from the left armrest’s socket if pulled out by a PC sitting in the throne. The longspear in the right socket is not actually a removable weapon, the metal of its haft thoroughly fused to the throne. A PC who discovered the stone tablet beneath the floor in area T2 can make a DC 12 + APL Intelligence check to interpret the scripture as indicating the correct armrest configuration. The images of Krune and his priests with longspears raised overhead in their left hands in area T2 should indicate to the PC attempting to retrieve it that the left longspear is the true relic. If anyone attempts to pull the right longspear from its socket or either longspear is pulled while the wrong armrest configuration is in place, the temple’s defenses activate immediately (see Act 2).
The altar is carved from a single slab of flawless white diamond, the facets along its corners and edges reflecting and refracting the light from the molten lead below and the glowing scepter encased within it. In the middle of the solid block of diamond is a stone carving resembling the figure seen in area T2—Runelord Krune. The visage of the high priest of Lissala lies on its back with eyes closed and arms crossed across its chest, cradling a scepter of intertwined ebony and ivory, covered in glowing runes and sigils—among the most sacred and arcane symbols of the priesthood of Lissala. Any attempt to damage the altar causes the magical scepter to instantly shift to another plane for 1d4 minutes. Each subsequent attempt to retrieve the scepter through force causes it to shift away for a longer period of time, adding an additional 1d4 minutes to its duration each time.

Atop the altar are several items that can be used in a ritual to summon the scepter from within the impenetrable diamond altar: a bowl of ivory containing crystal clear water, a dagger of ebony encrusted in long-dried blood, and all 14 sin and virtue runes engraved into the altar’s top surface, virtues to the right and sins to the left. All 14 runes appear to have at one point held blood in their deep grooves, as though it dripped into each from above. A PC who translated the metal plate in area T2 can recall that the priest in the plate was carving the rune of greed in the right hand of a fellow cultist, who held the scepter in her clenched fist as blood dripped down onto the altar. A PC who translated the scripture engraved on the wall around this image can deduce with a DC 12 + APL Intelligence check or a DC 15 + APL Knowledge (arcana) check that two PCs must participate in the ritual—one holding a clenched fist over the rune of generosity, while the other carves the rune of greed into the back of her hand, replicating the depicted scene from the metal plate.

This ritual wound deals 1d4+Str points of damage to the target PC and deals 1 point of bleed damage that can only be healed by dipping the hand in the bowl of water on the altar. No matter how much blood is added to the bowl, the water remains clear, and if dumped out refills itself in 1d4 rounds. If the ritual is incorrectly performed, and blood falls from the victim’s clenched fist on the wrong rune (or the wound rune isn’t the rune of greed), the takes damage from the dagger as normal but the temple’s defenses also trigger. If performed correctly, however, the rod within the altar disappears, instantly reappearing in the victim’s clenched fist.

Room Objectives
Completing the following objectives earns Key Points for the PCs while in this room.
Primary Objective: Retrieve one of the replica regalia items of Runelord Krune.
Secondary Objective: Retrieve both replica regalia items of Runelord Krune.
Minor Objectives: Avoid taking any damage from the molten lead covering the room’s floor.
Defeat Ygvostrai before he has the chance to use his breath weapon a second time.
Solve both of the room’s puzzles without triggering the room’s defenses.

ACT 2: ESCAPE!

As the PCs explore the room, or after they are finished doing so, there are a number of conditions that may activate the temple’s defenses, forcing the Pathfinders back toward the temple entrance. These conditions are as follows:
• If the PCs retrieve both the dragon tooth longspear and the runic scepter, the defenses activate immediately upon the retrieval of the second relic.
• If the PCs attempt to leave area T6 without both relics, the defenses trigger when any creature comes within 10 feet of the exit.
• If a PC incorrectly attempts either ritual, the temple’s defenses immediately activate.
Once the temple turns against them, it becomes a race both against the clock, and the additional foes and obstacles presented in the following encounters. The PCs must make their way back to area T1 before time is called.

T6. Throne Room II

Once the temple begins to fight back against the defilers of Krune’s profane throne, a portculis falls across the interior of the lead door to area T5 (see below for portculis stats). At the same time, the pool of molten lead at the bottom of the chamber begins to rise at a rate of 5 feet per round. The violently boiling molten lead spews lead bombs into the air (as lava bombs, Pathfinder RPG GameMastery Guide 234) every 1d3 rounds. Each subtier below presents a random number of bombs per eruption, which appear spread across randomly determined quadrants of the room, maximum 1 bomb per quadrant per round unless more than 4 bombs trigger in the same round.

Room Objectives
Completing the following objectives earns Key Points for the PCs while in this room.
Primary Objective: Escape the room before the molten lead reaches the level of the walkway.
Secondary Objective: Seal the lead door behind the fleeing party to prevent the molten lead from flowing into the rest of the temple.

T5. Stasis Chamber II

Among the countless ancient runes inscribed into the walls, floor, ceiling, and ducts in this chamber, a series of them, spread seemingly randomly throughout the room, glow a bright red when the temple attempts to repulse the invaders.

Creatures: The glowing runes are programmed to summon a small contingent of daemons from the plane of Abaddon to destroy any interlopers, which the outsiders gladly do, for any souls they capture in the process are theirs to keep and feast upon. The runes summon a pair of daemons initially, which wait eagerly for the PCs to approach. When this wave of outsiders is defeated, a second series of randomly positioned runes begins glowing orange, and a second, identical wave is summoned 1d4 rounds later. These daemons pursue the PCs through the rest of the temple complex until the PCs successfully exit back into area T1. The waves continue with a delay of 1d4 rounds, each time the runes taking on the color of the next color in the light spectrum (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) and back again in the reverse order until all PCs are driven from the temple or destroyed.

Development: Some parties may attempt to escape through the doorway to room T3. While doing so certainly gets them closer to the temple exit, it also limits the number of total waves they can face before the adventure’s conclusion. The daemons follow the PCs through the temple, each wave sensing where the last band of their kind died and traveling quickly in that direction. Where the PCs face the waves of daemons is ultimately less important to their final score than how many they face in total (though those parties who remain too long in area T5 risk being unable to return to area T1 before the portal to the temple entrance closes.) Remember that the door to area T1 can only be opened by speaking the correct password, magical means, or physical force (see door stats on page XXX). See Conclusion below for information on what happens when the PCs either exit the temple, leaving any undefeated waves of daemons behind, or time runs out.

Room Objectives
Completing the following objective earns Key Points for the PCs during their escape from the room.
Primary Objective: Escape from the temple before time is called by traveling back through the portal in area T1.
Secondary Objective: Escape through the portal in area T1 with the entire party alive and conscious.
Minor Objectives: Escape through the portal in area T1 with Krune’s rod.
Escape through the portal in area T1 with Krune’s dragon tooth longspear.

CONCLUSION
As time draws near for the Runecarved Key’s power to cease maintaining the portals out of the temple, each group should receive a 15-minute warning that their 5 hours in the temple is almost up. Those who escape through the portal back to where Sheila Heidmarch waits survive the dangerous venture into the lost temple of Lissala, while those on the other side of the gates when the key’s power is depleted are considered dead, for the waves of daemons will not stop their constant assault until all creatures in the temple are dead. If, however, the party possesses the means to escape through other means (plane shift, teleport, word of recall, etc.) they may do so at the scenario’s conclusion without being assumed dead, though they earn no Key Points for escaping through the portal in room T1 (see above). If an entire party fails to escape, they receive no Key Points for the adventure. Eventually the Pathfinder Society discovers a means of recharging the Runecarved Key’s power and opens the gates again to retrieve the bodies of those left behind during the original mission (this body retrieval comes at no cost to the PCs; all resurrection effects are priced normally).

At the event’s conclusion, GMs should total their tables’ Key Points earned across the entire adventure and present these totals to the event coordinator. The table with the highest score in each subtier will receive not only the Chronicle sheet for completing the second round of the adventure, but also an additional prize Chronicle sheet only given to the top party of each subtier in the event. All PCs, regardless of the table’s success and ranking, receive the Chronicle sheet for the night’s event in addition to the standard Chronicle sheet awarded for completing the main Race for the Runecarved Key mission.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

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