Chapter 5 - The Island of Sins (SPOILER THREAD!)

Rise of the Runelords

A lot of spoilers for chapter 5 here… ok you have been warned.

This might be a bunch of posts for the same subject, so I make a separate thread of this instead of putting it into the “Sins of the Saviours (GM Reference)” thread.

When I stated to run chapter 5 I had two major issues with the adventure.

• There’s a lack of NPC to talk and interact with

• The different areas that connected to Runeforge didn’t look especially functional. I knew this was supposed to be a mix of research centre and diplomatic middle ground between the Runelords domains. The different wings look a bit small with no place for staff or mages do their research.

This is my notes where I expand the areas in my game.

• Each wing from the central Runeforge connects so a sphere for each Runelord Domain. The Spheres can be described like a floating island with about 2000 feet in diameter levitating in cosmic nothingness. The connection to the Runeforge hub is a portal of stone on the side of the island. The islands are actually the inside of a sphere, that is that if you leave at the eastern side of the island, you enter the western side of the same island. What you observe as an island is the minds attempt to make sense of an impossible geometry. If you jump just up high enough, you flip and land on the same spot you started from and if you shoot an arrow straight up you will hit yourself in the head. Have fun harassing your players with messed up physics.

• Each area has slowly decayed and been consumed by the sins that each area represent. The feeling I was going for here is slightly inspired of Dante’s Inferno, how would the world look like if the Runelord and their sins run rampart for thousands of years.

• Each of the halls in the adventure is represented by a building or spot in theses Spheres. The heroes must just find their way through each Sphere and hopefully get the locals help to navigate to the right spot. Run the different halls as described when you reach them.

• The idea of each Sphere is that they should not include extra combat encounters. The Spheres got some NPC:s that might need some help or might cause some problems for the heroes. The lord of each area is in their respective wing, and they sort of lost interest of the Spheres around them.

• Each Sphere have a demon that overlooks the areas and tries to further enhance the sins dominating each Sphere. They are optional and can act as the villain of the different spheres if you want to play around with the sphere and help the NPC:s.

• All these areas follow the same pattern, so use them as you want. They can cause a lot of playtime if used fully, so some of them might be the scenery the characters walk through and some of them might be fully elaborated subplots.
I plan to do some maps of the different areas but can’t promise when they will be done.

Book5 Part 4 The Ravenous Crypts

Sphere of Gluttony

Leader: Azaken

Magic: Necromancy - Sin mages who follow the path of Gluttony seek to manipulate their bodies in their unending hunger for life. Opposing abjuration, enchantment.

Description: A floating island depicting a rural farming village.

When the sphere was created it was a working farming village with fields and animal stock, creating a feeling of normality for the visiting mages. They were producing food and eating even though the Runeforge made it unnecessary. The years in isolation have turned the area into a grotesque parody of a rural community. The fountain of the central square started to produce meat and since then all efforts to take care of the fields of the animals have long since stopped.

The Gluttony have turned the citizens into overweight Ghouls. The fields are overflowing with stagnant and overgrown crops. Even the farm animals have turned into overweight undead monstrosities.

Main Npc: Elyahu Zindenled– Fat Ghoul mayor. Want to devour new food. The PC might look tasty, but Elyahu will gladly help them if they can help him access new types of foodstuffs. He might not settle for just one lunch though… he wants ALL the food.

Sin Demon: Nabasu demon named Broghtazn Gluttonfeeder. He is the creator of the Fountain of Flesh and the one that keep up the process of overfeeding the gluttonous ghouls, even though they actually don’t need to eat in the Runeforge areas. He hides in the top of the windmill.

Interesting spots:

• Farming village: The buildings and lecture halls are mostly abandoned; the ghouls prefer the caves. The mayor still holds his office building to resemble some sort of order in the Mayors Manor. The mayor is too fat to leave the building but some of the ghoulish servants still keep him fed.

• Fountain of flesh: A magical fountain in the central square producing human flesh. The meat builds up in stinking piles and are devoured by the Ghouls. This plentiful access of food has caused the ghouls to be fat and depraved, and they have by the years lost their hunting instincts.

• The fields: They are overgrown with damp and whet weeds filled with fat flies.

• The animal pens: Obese and ghoul inflicted pigs that a bit too fat to be able to walk properly. The ghouls stopped hunting them long ago, but the animals are still stuck in the pens.

• Skull Cave: Sleeping cave for the obese ghouls

• Windmill: The windmill has not made flour in a while… one of the ghouls have started to grind the flesh from the fountain to some sort of sludge to speed up how fast he can eat… the place looks rather unsettling

• The Ravenous Crypts: The crypts are the basement of the ruined manor up in the hills.

Book5 Part 5 The Vault of Greed

Sphere of Greed

Leader: Ordikon

Magic: Transmutation, Sin mages who follow the path of Greed delight in transforming things into other things, as well as enhancing themselves. Opposing enchantment (Lust), illusion (Pride).

Description: An island of robust temples and official buildings.

When the transmutation magic went wild it first turned the building decoration int noble metal, but after that it slowly turned the villagers into metal statues as well. Some of them are somewhat sentient. Those who are living, and mobile are mostly part of the tax collector workforce who collect treasures from all the buildings in the area. Unfortunately Mimics of animated chests and sentient coins plague the area, so they consume the collected taxes that slowly evaporate and turn into dust. The dust rebuilds the treasures out in the villages to keep the eternal flow of the economy.

The tax office building is protected by a big wall guarded by gold statues. In front of the gate is a town square filled with beggars turned into statues. The moaning cries from the frustrated poor fills the area.

Behind the walls there’s a small mountain with a statue of Karzoungs face overlooking the area.

All the silver and gold the heroes collect within this sphere turn to dust as soon as it leaves the area.

Main Npc: Aretas Novastan– Master Tax collector. Wants to kill the mimics and keep all treasures eternal. Would like to steal Ordikons powers and learn the secret of turning living thinks into metal. He lives in the Tax office.

Sin Demon: Nalfeshnee – Saglamahr Goldspoiler. He’s the one that creates all the mimics and keeps the beggar’s sentient. He is sometimes disguised as tax clerk giving Aretas advice, but usually spend time in the Bank Temple on a mimic throne.

Interesting spots:

• Tax office: Big central building with a protective wall. All the tax collectors form up lines to do their deliveries and sort the treasures in the different vaults. A golem made of keys walk the corridors and control the vault doors.

• Town square of beggars: Desperate and hungry beggars filled the square in front of the tax office when all the gold went to taxes. They slowly turned into statues during the years.

• Bank temple: Big and abandoned. Some of the mimics started a colony here and guard the area fiercely. The big central chamber has turned in to a throne room with a big chair on a living pile of gold.

• Border wall: The wall was established to sort of citizens, guest and officials. It divides the entire sphere into many different areas, with slow half sentient guards trying to check the paperwork for everyone moving around.

• Cages with all the thieves: The worst criminals (that is thieves) were hung up in cages to starve outside the town walls. A lot of them turned into statues fused into the cages. A golem made of cages roam the area looking for additional thieves.

• The Vault of Greed: A small opening beneath the Karzoug statue leads into the Vault inside the statues head. A little Thistletop throwback.

Book5 Part 6 The Iron Cages of Lust

Sphere of Lust

Leader: Delyahine

Magic: Enchantment. Sin mages who follow the path of Lust gain great personal satisfaction at manipulating others’ minds, emotions, and wills. Opposing necromancy (Gluttony), transmutation (Greed).

Description: Island of lavish temples and brothels surrounded by a living forest.

Once this was a beautiful place with a temple and training area surrounded by a flowery garden. When the sin of Lust went rampart the mages went further into depraved activities and didn’t notice how the garden slowly grew into a thick forest of wines and thorns. The garden started to engulf the buildings and its citizens, fusing building and people to hungry and moving vines.

The entire area Have been overgrown with thorny vines, leaving a small central area with a few survivors. Most residents have been fused into the vines and into each other, creating a moaning and creaking forest. Sensual shadows and whispers float through the area.

The central area is a settlement of lust slaves tries to keep themselves alive and hiding from the consuming vines.

The vines are a bit tricky; they will open up for the characters when they enter through the portal and will gladly lead them to the village area, but the forest close up behind them. The forest has great respect for Delyahine and her daughters, so they have free range walking through the area.

Npc: Areli Shareth– Leader of the Lust slave trying to escape the lust filled forest. She has seen some paths that might lead to Delyahines temple, but want to make sure that the rest of her tribe is safe first

Sin Demon: Succubus – Fyserova Lustwhisper , plant new trees and tries to lure people out into the forest. Disguised as a dryad harassing the area with fog and sleep spells

Interesting spots:

• Main town square: Several building with makeshift barricades. The survivors try to patrol the border and cut down all vines that get to close. A central fire is constantly burning with the cut down plants.

• Tunnel system: The Lust slaves have dug a wast network of tunnels during the years, trying to reach a way out. Some of the tunnels have collapsed and some of them have been found by the vines and turned into living traps. Aeli won’t tell the characters about these tunnels until she’s sure the heroes can help them.

• Vine forest: The area moves around a lot and the trees doesn’t seems to stay put for long. They are all connected to a huge main tree made of interwoven people. The vines are most hostile around the central village, but at the edges they open up to several glades.

• Fyserovas garden: A small temple area made of flowers. A little waterfall falls into a pretty little pond. Her dryad disguise is accompanied with some quasit disguised like fairies. The illusion might break a little when the quasit tries to sing.

• The Iron Cages of Lust: A big tent up on a mountain top.

Book5 Part 7 The Shimmering Veils of Pride

Sin: Pride

Leader: Xanderghul (dead) Vraxeris.

Magic: Illusion - Sin mages who follow the path of Pride seek to perfect their own appearance and domain through trickery and illusions. Opposing conjuration (Sloth), transmutation (Greed).

Description: Island of monuments and theatres. All buildings have been turned into stages where actors try to capture audiences.

This was once a beautiful area of schools, temples, gardens, and statues. When the Runeforge became isolated and the residents became bored, they turned into acting and music. When pride started to escalate the acting troops got problem when everyone wanted to get centre stage. Eventually everyone went into individual shows, but no one were left to be audience.

This is a sphere where everyone turned into actors, and no one is left to watch or do any actual work. (Note - feels like were heading that way… soon everyone will be content creators!)

Some of the stages have summoned imps as crowd, for those who can’t do magic have sometimes created crude dummies to watch them.

When the characters enter the area, the rumour will start running like wildfire… and some actors will go into extremes to get people to actually watch them. And if they don’t get the worship their ego says they deserve they might react in hostile ways. And to sit through one play or concert wont certainly not be enough.

Main Npc: Emmander Mannisant– Bard who just need an audience for his Mimic orchestra (sentient drums and tubas) where he takes centre stage as conductor. He has an idea of trying to organize the different actors in setting up a schedule where people take turns watching shows… and to organize theatre group where the take turn taking the lead. So far, he hasn’t been successful setting this controversial idea into motion.. but the characters might have better success.

Sin Demon: Marlith – Uininnith Soulspoiler. Acts as a critic, undermines each actor’s performance and manipulate them to try even harder.

Interesting spots:

• Main square theatre scenes: The buildings around the centre square have all been refurbished into open stages. The competition here is pretty fierce and desperate where the different actor try to outshine each other.

• Treetop theatre: Emmanders stage is built on top of a large tree with a nice view over the area

• Alley of statues: This is a packed row of large and larger statues of famous actors and musicians… which means each and every citizen within the sphere. A group of stone golems are constantly creating the next statue with a long list of orders and request. The statue area has turned pretty crowded in 10000 years.

• The Mimic choir: A lot at sentient instruments have been created during the decades and all of them doesn’t make the cut to pe part of the prideful shows. The leftover instruments and created their own area where they fulfil their function (making noise) unguarded.

• The Shimmering Veils of Pride: A pyramid built beside the main town.

Book5 Part 8 The Festering Maze of Sloth

Sin: Sloth

Leader: Jordimandus

Magic: Conjuration. Sin mages who follow the path of Sloth enlist agents and minions to perform their tasks or create what is needed as it is needed. Opposing evocation (Wrath), illusion (Pride).

Description: Island of unfinished and half-built temples. The trees around the temple area are dead and the entire region seems to be coated in a thin layer of slime. The central square has caved into a pool of sludge.

The sphere of Sloth was always reliant of slaves and unseen servants. Then Runeforge became isolated the mages became aphetic, and after a while they forgot who were mages and who were slaves. All the labor were done by an army of unseen servants.

When the characters enter the sphere, they apparently empty half-finished buildings, but with food and drinks being carries around by unseen hands.

After a couple millennia of apathy, the population have turned into oozes. The residents are still in their homes, but they have turned into slimy creatures, and some of them are caught in a middle state of half-ooze half-human form. The unseen servant produces food and drinks and pour them into the ooze population.

Main Npc: Igoria Vedemino– Half ooze drunk mayor who just want to be left alone. Go bother someone else! She might have some memories of how Jordimandus used his flying chair to enter the central pit.

Sin demon: Dretch Demon – Arzon Sloughsleeper. Work in the kitchen and summon all the unseen servants.

Interesting spots:

• Half built village: The area has fallen into decay. Some efforts of repairs have been started almost everywhere but never been finished. The pungent smell is almost too much.

• The sludge pit: The center square has caved in and is a slime covered cone downwards to a central dark opening. It looks like some of the buildings are on its way falling into the pit, but it’s a slow process. Most buildings have a system of pluming leading waste into the central pit.

• Smoking den: This building has a bunch of ex-people stuck into the different rooms. Water pipes have been pressed into the different oozes and filling the entire building with a sickening sweet-smelling smoke.

• The unseen servant kitchen: A robust building where a bunch of chimneys produce smoke. The kitchen is an intricate system of machines, coking stoves and preparation areas.

• The pile of trash: Behind the kitchen workshop there’s a literal mountain of trash building up way higher than any building in the sphere. This is where the unseen servants dump the leftovers and trash.

• The Festering Maze of Sloth: The hole in the middle of the sludge pit leads down to the Festering Maze.

Book5 Part 9 Halls of Wrath

Sin: Wrath

Leader: Athroxis

Magic: Evocation. Sin mages who follow the path of Wrath focus on complete mastery of the raw destructive power of magic, and delight in channelling those destructive forces in awesome displays. Opposing abjuration (Envy), conjuration (Sloth).

Description: Island broken up into three factions in constant war. The entire area is made up of trenches and barricades of the different factions. The population have turned into mutilated berserkers.

During the millennia of isolation, the mages were slowly consumed by Rage, and eventually forgot how to do magic. Minor issues between individuals slowly turned into different fractions conducting full scale ware between each other.

The entire area is dominated by trenches and barricades splitting the sphere up in different battlefields. During the years different fractions have controlled the separate battlefields, but no side have managed to take the upper hand to end the conflict. The bloody effect of the eternal was can bee seen everywhere with spike traps and heaps of fallen soldiers and weapons. Each fraction has a tent base area surrounded by spiked walls; the rest of the sphere is a burned battlefield.

The years of battle have turned the mages into mutilated barbarians. Sin spawn axemen can be summoned and recreated, but none of the barbarians are intact. Most of them miss at least one limb and have gruesome battle scars.

Athroxis castle lies on the upper ground overseeing the battlefields. Her castle if the reward for the most brave and brutal fighters who might be accepted into her service. This is more or less a religion of all the berserkers in the area, and the saying is that when a fighter dies, they go into the eternal wars inside the castle.

Npc: Aviram Makkerzan. One armed, and one-eyed fighter. Leader of the Bloody Axe faction. If the PC kills the other faction leader, she will let them to the path to the Halls of Wrath. The two other faction leaders are Eikonas Dagatag (of the faction Kill Stealers) and Agrolys Posipon (of the faction Hit them hard).

Sin Demon: Vrock – Xolvoneth Bloodrager, arms dealer and warmonger. He runs the spiky forge tower and have connection to all the different factions, giving them military advise and supply them with new spiky weapons.

Interesting spots:

• War tents: All the three factions have a tent area where they prepare for the next battle and gear up. The central tent I the war rent where they make up all the battleplans. Each area is surrounded by spiky palisades. Each area a medical tent where they take care of all the wounded and attach weapon parts to lost limbs.

• No mans land: A series of battlefield interconnected by trenches. It’s a complete maze with trenches supplied with traps and piles bodies and worn-out broken weapons.

• Arena of honour: One of the central battlefields are an arena surrounded with seats for an audience. This is where formal challenges between fighters in the factions take place. For big fight members of all faction might attend.

• The rage labyrinth: For those fighters who are so utterly consumed by rage so the cant function anymore is let down in a separate trench system. Here the utterly mad hunt each other down like wild animals.

• The forest of thorns: A spiky forest in the outer rim of the island is the supply of all the palisades. Some spiky and unpleasant demons hunt the area.

• The forge tower: Inside the forest is a spiky tower with the forge. The Vrock have a couple of demon minions endlessly forging new weapons.

• Halls of Wrath: A path through the forest least up to the hill where the castle containing the halls rest.

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