Odyssey of The Dragonlords - Campaign Book (5e) (v1) (2019) - PDFCOFFEE.COM (2024)

5e

Odyssey of The Dr gonlords

Battle the gods and become a legend in this epic adventure for the world's greatest roleplaying game

Odyssey of The Dr gonlords

Credits

About this Book

Created by James Ohlen, Jesse Sky

Welcome to Odyssey of the Dragonlords. This booklet will provide you with everything you need to run an epic campaign in the forgotten land of Thylea. Odyssey of the Dragonlords is heavily inspired by stories from ancient Greek mythology. As we designed the campaign, we sought to include ideas from many different sources: The Odyssey, The Iliad, Jason and the Argonauts, The Oresteia, and others. However, Thylea is not ancient Greece. You will not find Zeus, Athena, or Apollo among the gods. As you explore Thylea, you will encounter familiar tropes, monsters, and treasures from Greek mythology—but the rules are different here. Mortals have only recently come to these lands. The world of Thylea blends high fantasy with the trappings of ancient history. Elves, dwarves, and halflings now live alongside minotaurs, centaurs, and satyrs. Our goal is to make your party feel like heroes from one of the greatest stories ever told—but the ultimate end of that story is entirely within your power. Your players will make choices that forever change the world of Thylea. As the gamemaster, we encourage you to embrace this idea and run with it. How will your players reshape history—and what does it mean to be a hero?

Writing: James Ohlen, Jesse Sky, Drew Karpyshyn Editing: Jesse Sky, Mike Brunton Graphic Design and Layout: Michal E. Cross Illustrations: Chris J. Anderson, Michal E. Cross, Wadim Kashin, Sebastian Kowoll, Lius Lasahido, Roman Likholob, Grzegorz Pedrycz, Erikas Perl Adventure Book Cover Art: Marc Simonetti Player’s Guide Cover Art: Lius Lasahido Public Domain Paintings: Wikimedia Commons World, City, and Island Maps: John Stevenson Dungeon Maps: Nicholas Spinelli Additional Writing: Patricia Barnabie, Mike Brunton, Katie Johnson, Drew Karpyshyn, Tracy S. Design Editing: Nicholas Johnson, Brandon Korolik Proofreading: Loricha Honer, Rob Sardone, Jelmer Panman, Ted Bunt Playtesters: Dean Andersen, Sean Carriere, Ross Gardner, Michael Grimes, David Hollis, Chris Jones, Jordan Lander, James LaValle, Alex Maize, Christopher Ohlen, Kevin Packard, Michael Scales, Mike Schoen Special thanks to Chris Birch and the entire team at Modiphius Entertainment for their guidance and support throughout the process of publishing these books.

ON THE COVER (Campaign Book)

ON THE COVER (Player’s Guide)

The city of Mytros is under attack by a colossal silver dragon, while two heroes prepare to save the city. The Oracle has prophesied the Doom of Thylea: the destruction of Mytros and the death of the gods. Who will rise to save the forgotten land?

An Amazonian warrior from the island of Themis watches from the trees. She wields her curved kopis sword in one hand while tending to her bronze automaton stimfay bird with the other.

Odyssey of the Dragonlords is published under the OGL rules for 5th Edition. Special thanks to all the many talented people who created our favorite edition of the world's greatest roleplaying game. Odyssey of the Dragonlords and all content herein © James Ohlen 2019, © Jesse Sky 2019 www.arcanumworlds.com

Contents Preface: Why Greek Mythology?.......... 4 Introduction............................................ 6 Story Overview...............................................6 The World of Thylea.....................................7 The History of Thylea...................................7 Traveling to Thylea..................................... 10 The Powers of Thylea................................. 10 The Mortal Kingdoms................................ 12 People of Thylea.......................................... 12 Factions of Thylea....................................... 13 The Laws of Thylea..................................... 14 Adventure Overview.................................. 16 Story Structure............................................ 18 Running the Adventure.............................. 18 Epic Paths...................................................... 19 Starting the Campaign............................... 20 Playing the Villains...................................... 20 Playing the Gods......................................... 23 Running the Epic Paths.............................. 23 Creating Epic Paths..................................... 27 Character Advancement............................ 28 Adjusting the Campaign............................ 28 Ch. 1: Heroes of the Prophecy............. 30 The Sour Vintage........................................ 31 Hunting the Boar......................................... 33 Temple of the Oracle ................................ 34 The Oracle’s Prophecy............................... 39 The Great Labors........................................ 39 Leaving the Temple..................................... 40 Ch. 2: The Great Labors....................... 41 The City of Estoria...................................... 42 The King’s Daughter................................... 50 The Mithral Forge....................................... 53 The Mossy Temple...................................... 63 The Necropolis at Telamok....................... 73 The Tomb of Xander.................................. 80 Ch. 3: Summoned by the King............. 86 Summoned by the King............................. 86 Summoned by the Queen.......................... 91 The City of Mytros...................................... 92 The Colossus of Pythor............................ 107 The Great Games...................................... 111 The Ghost Ship Ultros............................. 116

Ch. 4: Voyage of the Ultros................ 124 The Embarkation...................................... 124 Map of the Ultros...................................... 128 Navigating the Oceans............................. 129 The Constellations.................................... 130

Ch. 10: The New Pantheon................ 247 The Captive God....................................... 248 The City of Aresia..................................... 253 Zakroth's Prison Fort................................ 265 Tomb of Karpathos................................... 270

Ch. 5: The Cerulean Gulf................... 137 The Golden Heart..................................... 138 Island of the Chimera............................... 139 Island of the Fates..................................... 140 Island of the Exiles.................................... 143 Scorpion Island.......................................... 147 Indigo Island.............................................. 150 Titan’s Folly................................................. 153 Fire Island................................................... 154 Island of Yonder......................................... 162 Island of Themis........................................ 171

Ch. 11: The Sunken Kingdom............ 276 The Sunken City........................................ 277 The Temple District.................................. 283 The Chasm................................................. 287 Freeing the Gods....................................... 291

Ch. 6: The Forgotten Sea.................... 179 Aerie of the Roc......................................... 180 The Garden of Helios............................... 181 Island of the Dragon................................. 184 Typhon, the Maw...................................... 187 Island of Time............................................ 189 Charybdis, The Ravening Mouth........... 193 Praxys, Tower of Sydon............................ 193 Ch. 7: The Nether Sea......................... 194 The Prison Cube........................................ 201 Hypnos, Throne of Dreams.................... 204 Confronting Lutheria............................... 209 Ch. 8: Praxys, Tower of Sydon........... 212 The Tower................................................... 213 The Basem*nt............................................ 217 The Forge.................................................... 222 The Heavens............................................... 227 The Throne................................................ 233 Confronting Sydon.................................... 239 Ch. 9: The Battle of Mytros................ 240 The King’s Dragon.................................... 242 The Mad King............................................ 243 The Armies of Sydon................................ 244 The Great Feast......................................... 245 Kentimane Awakens................................. 245 Conclusion.................................................. 246

Ch. 12: Apokalypsis............................ 292 The Nether Titans..................................... 295 The Tarrasque............................................ 296 The Kraken................................................. 297 The Nether Dragon................................... 298 The Behemoth........................................... 299 The Empyrean Palace............................... 301 Epilogue....................................................... 303 App. A: Creating Heroes.................... 304 Bronze Weapons and Armor.................. 306 Fame............................................................. 306 Epic Paths.................................................... 306 App. B: Playable Races....................... 312 App. C: Class Archetypes................... 322 New Spells.................................................. 339 App. D: Dramatis Personae............... 342 The Elder Titans........................................ 342 The Titans................................................... 345 The Five Gods............................................ 348 Mortals........................................................ 353 App. E: Monsters................................. 364 App. F: Encounters............................. 434 App. G: Treasures............................... 444 App. H: Dragonlords.......................... 453 App. I: The Divine Path...................... 456 App. J: Secrets and Myths.................. 457 App. K: Handouts................................ 463

For thousands of years, the Titans were the lords of this land. The Dragonlords drove back their armies; then fell to Sydon's hand. Five Gods from the heavens came, as the Oracle had foreseen. And a sacred oath was sealed with the blood of the Silver Queen. Five hundred years have passed, but the peace has been in vain. The time has come for war in Thylea once again.

Preface: Why Greek Mythology?

T

he very first epic roleplaying campaign took place over 3,000 years ago. A band of heroes gathered to undertake an impossible quest, and among them were the children of Hermes, Apollo, Poseidon, and Zeus. They were the Argonauts—the legendary sailors led by Jason. Their ranks included Orpheus, the most talented musician in the world, and Peleus, the father of Achilles. They were even joined by Hercules, the famous warrior, who had recently completed his fabled Twelve Labors. Why should we liken the heroes of the Argonautika to a party of roleplayers? Because in spite of their illustrious qualifications, and in spite of prophecies which foretold success, the Argonauts were ill-equipped for the challenges that awaited them. They abandoned their quest almost as soon as they set sail, and the rest of the story unfolds like a comedy of errors. Fellow game masters, stop me if this sounds familiar. Jason of Iolcos bears an uncanny resemblance to your average tabletop roleplayer. When he isn’t accidentally slaughtering his own allies, he’s wallowing in self-pity and bemoaning his bad luck. He seems just as frightened to lead the party as he is of being usurped. At multiple points in the story, the gods are forced to step in and save the Argonauts from his terrible leadership. In the end, the Golden Fleece is secured through the magic of the sorceress Medea. She isn’t even counted among the so-called heroes. The heroes of Greek mythology are very different from the super-powered, self-sacrificing paragons that we’ve come to idolize in Hollywood films. In the Greek epics, there is no clear line between good and evil, no villains to thwart, no alien invasions to repel. Heroic deeds are frequently puzzling and at times infuriating. Odysseus punctuates his harrowing journey home by murdering all the men who courted his wife. Achilles refuses to fight when his men need him most. Jason quickly abandons Medea once his quest is finished. Because of their flaws, it is hard to shake the feeling that the heroes of the Greek epics were real historical figures. When might fails, they succeed through cunning, and when cunning fails, they succeed through luck. These were mortal men cast into impossible situations, forced to survive through spectacular means, and left to brood on the fickle whims of fate. In spite of their divine parentage, they were, above all, very human. This is in large part what makes these characters so enduring in the Western imagination. But most importantly, it makes them the perfect archetypes for the heroes of your next roleplaying campaign.

4

Pr eface | Why Gr eek My thology?

WHAT IS MYTHIC HEROISM?

Odyssey of the Dragonlords casts your players into the roles of mythic heroes, who have been the subjects of a dire prophecy. This prophecy pits a small band of mortals against the last of the Titans—and promises an epic conflict that will forever reshape the world of Thylea.

Gods and Kings Mythic heroes have dealings with the gods, almost as a matter of course. The gods are not always nice. They are jealous, capricious, cruel, generous, vengeful, kind, vicious, forgetful, thoughtless, lusty, selfish, passionate, and generally all-too-human in their ways. They do not know everything and cannot control everything, but within their spheres of influence, they are awesome, terrible, and dangerous. It’s a foolish mortal who disrespects the gods. The wisest heroes acknowledge the power of the gods over every aspect of life. Mythic heroes must also contend with the will of mortal kings and queens. Earth-shattering events demand action from the most powerful rulers from across the land, but their hands are often bound by the vagaries of fate. Sometimes, they are forced to take up arms and join the quest themselves, but more often they must depend upon the might of famous heroes.

Oaths and Curses Mythic heroes are often bound to their quest by powerful oaths. Oaths are inviolable sacred vows that are sworn only in the most serious of circ*mstances. Oaths have a powerful, far-reaching effect on society. They may create peace between the gods, promote unbreakable fellowships, and even instigate bloody wars. No mortal of sound mind would ever dare break an oath, lest they be afflicted by terrible curses. To be cursed by the gods is to be cursed by the land itself. Food turns to dust in the mouths of those who are cursed. Harpies peck out their eyes, and their souls are dragged screaming into the Underworld. For this reason, even the bravest of heroes fear the consequences of breaking an oath. The gods, on the other hand, are literally incapable of breaking their oaths, for they are made from the same magic that binds and enforces them.

Fame and Hubris All great heroes seek to increase their fame. This may sound like vanity, but within a mythic context, fame is essential to achieving one's goals. Famous heroes may summon warriors to their aid, influence the opinions of the masses, and even demand audiences with the gods.

Though seeking it may shorten one's life, fame is the most direct route to immortality. But the danger of increasing one's fame is hubris. Excessive pride, or hubris, leads to the downfall and destruction of many famous heroes who overestimate their abilities—or who underestimate the gods.

Fate and Prophecy Mythic heroes are subject to the forces of fate and prophecy in equal measure. Fate directs the lives of both gods and mortals, and though she is the greatest of all mysteries, she is also cruel to those who defy her. The greatest gift she gives us is the gift of prophecy. Prophecies reveal paths that would otherwise be hidden to us—paths which allow us to rise to our fate, rather than be destroyed by it. Such paths are often dangerous, and walking them may seem like madness, but that is the task of the mythic hero. To dismiss prophecy and spurn one's fate is hubris of the highest order.

Comedy and Tragedy In the end, the story of a mythic hero falls into one of two categories. Those who win fame by rising to their fate and honoring their oaths may be forced to make tragic sacrifices, but they will be happier in the end. On the other hand, those who turn from fate, break their oaths, and curse the gods will meet tragic endings, even if their lives are happier in the short run. In other words, mythic heroism means rising to the challenges that fate throws at you, even when the gods themselves work against you. It means losing yourself in the wilderness for decades, only to return in glory when your enemies least expect it. It also means betraying your loved ones, overthrowing rightful kings because of petty grievances, and discovering that you were a pawn of prophecy all along. Mythic heroes do not lead easy lives, but they do lead dramatic ones. It's not just the victories that make their adventures memorable—it's the failures, also.

Introduction

T

his book is designed to help you run a story-driven roleplaying campaign that combines classic fantasy dungeon crawling with the epic sweep of Greek mythology. It takes place in the world of Thylea—a forgotten continent where fey creatures make war upon civilization and gods walk the earth in the guise of mortals. The campaign is designed for the 5th Edition of the world's greatest roleplaying game. It has been designed for a party of 4-6 heroes of 1st level. By the end of the campaign, the heroes should be 15th level or higher. Odyssey of the Dragonlords combines an epic story with a structured, open world. As the players complete major milestones in the story, new parts of the world will become available for them to explore. The story is divided into a prologue and five acts, the last being an epic finale. The goal of this adventure is to explore what it means to be a hero in a land where gods and Titans still walk the earth—where the forces of civilization are only just beginning to prevail against the monsters that haunt the seas and the forests. Your players will take on the role of mythic heroes charged with fulfilling a prophecy and confronting the Titans. Their decisions will shape the future and forever change the world of Thylea. Warning: Major Story Spoilers This book is intended for the GM only. It contains major spoilers for the story. Everything you need to know about the world as a player can be learned by reading the Player's Guide to Odyssey of the Dragonlords. Reading this section—or any part of this adventure book—may ruin several major surprises that are best experienced at the table. Proceed at your own risk!

STORY OVERVIEW

This section covers the major concepts in the story. More detailed information can be found in the History of Thylea section or in the Secrets and Myths appendix.

Ancient Thylea For many ages, Thylea was a wilderness of centaurs, satyrs, cyclopes, and other creatures who worshipped their native gods, the Titans. Mortals who came to Thylea lived in small, defenseless tribes—until the arrival of the Dragonlords.

6

The Five Gods When all seemed lost, the mortals of Thylea were saved by the sudden appearance of the Five Gods, who walked the land in mortal guise. They forced the Titans into a temporary truce, called the Oath of Peace.

The Oath of Peace The Oath of Peace has prevented open warfare with the Titans for five hundred years. But now, the truce is ending. The power of the Five Gods wanes, and the Titans prepare to wage war upon mortals once again.

The Oracle's Prophecy At the beginning of the story, the heroes are chosen by the Oracle to confront the ancient Titans and end the conflict once and for all. This requires them to fulfill the Oracle's prophecy and rebuild the ancient order of the Dragonlords.

The Villains The story has three major villains. Sydon, Lord of Storms Sydon is the ancient Titan who once ruled over Thylea, long before the arrival of mortals. He seeks to dominate the land once again—to be worshipped by all mortals. Lutheria, Mistress of Death Lutheria is another ancient Titan. She is the sister-wife of Sydon. She has dominion over the underworld, and she seeks to corrupt mortals and capture their souls for her own amusem*nt. King Acastus of Mytros Acastus is the last descendant of the Dragonlords. He is a cowardly manipulator who seeks to undermine the heroes and wrap himself in the glory of his ancestors. Preparing Your Adventure Here is a quick breakdown of the chapters that you should read through before running the adventure.

• Introduction. This chapter contains most of the important information that you need to know as GM.

• Chapters 1-3. It's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the first few chapters of the story.

• Appendix: Creating Heroes. This section has everything you need to know about creating heroes in Thylea.

The Dragonlords

• Appendix: Dramatis Personae. This section provides

The Dragonlords were an order of heroic, dragon-riding mortals who came to Thylea five centuries ago. They initiated the First War against the Titans and defeated their armies. Most of the Dragonlords and their dragons were killed during this conflict.

• Appendix: Monsters. This section will give you a sense

Introduction

extensive information about the cast of NPCs.

of what sorts of enemies your party will be fighting.

• Appendix: Secrets of Thylea. This section outlines the secret histories of the gods and Dragonlords.

THE WORLD OF THYLEA

Thylea is located across a great expanse of ocean, far beyond the borders of the known world. It is a land of great beauty and ancient splendor, untouched and unspoiled by civilization since the dawn of time. Thylea is sometimes called “the Lost Land.” It has a large central landmass which tapers into peninsulas surrounded by hundreds of islands. Beyond that, on all sides a clear expanse of ocean called the Forgotten Sea stretches for a thousand miles in every direction. Sprawling ruins, glittering lagoons, and massive statues dot Thylea’s landscape. Great beasts wander her plains, and fey creatures haunt her woods. Centaur tribes war for control on the steppes, and reptilian savages battle across her islands. Although Thylea is a land with a long history, most of it has been lost. At the heart of the archipelago the Mother Goddess, in the form of a colossal world-tree, watches over her creation. She is also called Thylea, and her true name is lost to time. Her children are Sydon and Lutheria, the Twin Titans, who dwell in the far reaches of the ocean. They are the masters of everything under the endless expanse of the sky.

THE HISTORY OF THYLEA Arrival of Mortals In the centuries before the founding of Mytros, mortals had no dominion over the untamed lands of Thylea. When elves, dwarves, and humans washed up on Thylea’s shores, their weapons failed them, and their magic ceased to work. They were forsaken by their gods, forced to live as beggars among the fey races. Curious about these strange refugees, the nymphs and satyrs offered them hospitality, and many small settlements were founded. The centaurs, however, offered them no quarter, and the cyclopes were known to devour men whole. Life in Thylea was short and brutal for the so-called ‘trespassers’ from foreign lands. During this era, the Twin Titans wielded great powers, unlike anything seen since the dawn of time. Sydon was venerated as the Lord of Storms. He could conjure apocalyptic storms with his right hand and cataclysmic earthquakes with his left hand. His sister-wife Lutheria held dominion over the land of dreams, and her voice was said to give life to the dead. Fearing eradication, the desperate mortal settlers built shrines to Sydon and held feasts in Lutheria’s honor. Thousands of sacrifices were dedicated to the Lord of Storms, and libations of wine were poured to the Lady of Dreams at every meal. The twins were at first unswayed but, over time, they warmed to the persistent worship of the hapless settlers. In exchange for this devotion, the Titans offered the mortals oaths of protection, which shielded them from

Timeline of Thylean History ~2,000 DA 24 DA 18 DA 14 DA 12 DA 10 DA 1 DA 0 CE 1 CE 28 CE 35 CE 125 CE 330 CE 370 CE 400 CE 468 CE 500 CE

Height of the Gygan empire Arrival of the Dragonlords Founding of the first settler kingdoms The First War begins Sydon kills the last dragon The Five Gods appear Mytros ascends to the heavens The Oath of Peace is sworn Founding of the Kingdom of Mytros Disappearance of the Ultros Construction of the Necropolis The Aresian campaigns begin Pythor becomes king of Estoria The Kraken destroys one of the Colossi The last great Aresian campaign ends Acastus becomes King of Mytros The Oracle's Prophecy (Now)

the worst ravages of the centaurs and cyclopes. The settlements survived, but they were always at the mercy of the Twins. So it remained for many hundreds of years.

Arrival of the Dragonlords One fateful day, a flight of powerful bronze dragons arrived on Thylea’s shores, each bearing a great champion from the Old World. These were the legendary warriors known as the Dragonlords, and they heralded an upheaval that would forever change the history of the Forgotten Land. Within just a few years of their arrival, many small cities were founded, and a half-dozen small kingdoms sprang up along the roads of the western reaches. The Dragonlords founded powerful dynasties, and the humble mortals who had once lived in terror of the Titans now abandoned their temples and stood tall. The Dragonlords were symbols of hope for a beleaguered people. Whenever any mortal settlement was razed to the ground by roving centaurs and cyclopes, the Dragonlords would repay the attackers in kind. Through harsh winters, blistering summers, and relentless assaults by the native races, the Dragonlords fought tirelessly, and the people of Thylea persevered. Everywhere the dragons were greeted with shouts of adulation. When spotted flying overhead, they would be hailed as saviors, and great songs and feasts would be held in their honor. They were radiant to behold, bronze scales gleaming like fire. To be visited by one of the dragons was to be blessed; and nowhere was more blessed than the City of Mytros. But the great powers that ruled Thylea grew jealous. Sydon and Lutheria, the Twin Titans, immortal children of the mother goddess, amassed great armies to eradicate the city. The Dragonlords responded by gathering all the mortals in Thylea into a united assault on the native races, and so began the First War. Introduction

7

The First War The histories of the First War are vague, having been passed down through the centuries in the form of decaying scrolls and tapestries. What is known for certain is that the native races were driven into exile. The centaurs retreated into the steppes, while the satyrs fled into the forests. The Gygans, an ancient civilization of cyclopes, were annihilated, leaving behind the crumbling ruins of their fallen cities. The cost of victory was great: by the time the war ended, the last of the dragons had been killed defending the city they loved most. Although the Dragonlords are remembered as the great heroes of this age, their noble dragons came to be equally venerated as guardian spirits. The blood of their sacrifice is woven into the stones of Mytros, and to this day the city is said to glow radiant bronze at sunset. Perhaps most miraculous of all, however, was the appearance of the Five Gods. These immortal figures descended from heaven when the tide had turned against the Dragonlords. Some have claimed that they were manifestations of Thylea’s own desire to protect her immigrant children. They took the form of mortal men and women, but their eyes were alight with the fire of divinity. Don’t Spoil the Twist! The people of Thylea do not know the true nature of the Five Gods. Only the gods know it, and they are forbidden to talk about it by the Oath of Peace. The story finale includes a major twist where the Five Gods return to their true forms. Don’t spoil this epic moment for your players!

Each of these new gods manifested some portion of the power that had once belonged to the Titans. Pythor, the Lord of Battle, took command of the centurions of Mytros and, after many gruesome battles, the armies of the native races were broken. When the final spear had been thrust into the heart of the Gygan King, the Five Gods fell into a torpor, apparently to recover their strength. The city, it seemed, was safe. But Sydon and Lutheria swore vengeance. The mountains shook, the seas boiled with rage, and spine-chilling nightmares descended upon the mortal armies. Such was the anger of the Titans that their retaliation threatened to sunder the very foundations of Thylea. In the end, Mytros, the goddess of dawn, sacrificed herself and ascended once more to the heavens in order to rescue her beloved city from destruction.

The Oath of Peace Having lost their mounts, the Dragonlords commissioned a fleet of warships and took to the seas. The greatest of these ships was called the Ultros, captained by one Estor Arkelander. He is said to have sailed into 8

Introduction

the very depths of the underworld where Lutheria sleeps upon her diamond throne. The other Dragonlords are said to have ascended Phraxys, the Tower of Sydon, where the Lord of Storms watches all. Many songs are sung of the trials and troubles of the Dragonlords, but few can say what actually transpired during their final journey into the perils of the Forgotten Sea. The priests of Mytros watched for signs of the impending apocalypse. On the night of the winter solstice, when Thylea’s doom seemed near, the boiling seas suddenly calmed and the nightmares ended. Some days later, a black ship sailed into the harbor of Mytros, carrying the bodies of many of the Dragonlords. The ship was captained by Damon, a powerful wizard who had served the Dragonlords during the First War. He was mortally wounded, but he uttered not a single word. He delivered three precious items to the Temple of the Five, and then vanished in his ship, along with the bodies and arms of his fallen masters. One of the items that Damon carried was a scroll of parchment, upon which was written the Oath of Peace. This Oath was cause for great celebration. Sydon and Lutheria had sworn not to take vengeance upon the mortals of Thylea for a period of 500 years, provided that daily sacrifices to the Titans should resume, and that their temples should be maintained and honored.

The Present Day The Oath of Peace has prevailed for 500 years and, throughout this age, the mortals of Thylea have flourished. The City of Mytros grew into a great metropolis, and it has been protected by the twin Colossi, beacons of civilization on the shores of a dark frontier. More settlers came from beyond the Forgotten Sea, and the ranks of humans, dwarves, and elves grew. The remaining Dragonlords became kings and established dynasties to rule over the new cities that were founded across the land. As the worship of the Five spread, so also did their power over the land and oceans grow, until every village boasted shrines to Volkan and Pythor, and the dominion of Sydon and Lutheria was nearly forgotten. The Five Gods loved their people and made sure to walk amongst them whenever they could. While five centuries may seem like an eternity, the time now grows near where this period of peace must finally come to an end.

The Oracle’s Prophecy With the imminent end of the Oath of Peace, the Oracle has prophesied the Doom of Thylea: the death of the gods, the destruction of the sacred tree, and the total annihilation of all mortal races. Players in this campaign will take on the role of a group of heroes who have been summoned to the Temple of the Oracle in an attempt to avert this catastrophe.

Introduction

9

TRAVELING TO THYLEA

THE POWERS OF THYLEA

Adventurers who explore the oceans of their world to their farthest reaches will eventually discover the Maelstrom: a terrifying region of hurricanes, whirlpools, and jagged rocks. Drunken sailors often boast of death-defying encounters within the Maelstrom, but none who have sailed its waters have ever returned. Adventurers who brave the Maelstrom must spend days battling storms, skirting whirlpools, and navigating through treacherous shoals. The passage is so intense that the crew is likely to be rendered unconscious. Lucky adventurers will awaken in calmer waters, under a cloudless sky—a glittering green expanse known as the Forgotten Sea. The Forgotten Sea stretches for hundreds of miles in every direction, and it boasts hundreds of islands. Powerful ocean currents prevent ships from approaching these islands, and any attempt to do so will cause a ship to lose control and be smashed on a rocky shoreline. Watchful sailors may glimpse strange things on the islands: impossibly tall humans in fine clothing, monstrous reptilian beasts, and great stone carvings in the shape of human faces. Intrepid explorers will eventually catch sight of a towering bronze colossus shining brightly on the horizon. This beacon serves to guide ships into the harbor of Mytros, the greatest city in Thylea.

The Ancient Titans The Titans are divine powers native to Thylea. They have existed since the dawn of time. Thylea, Great Mother of All Thylea is the namesake of the Lost Land. She takes the form of a gargantuan tree on an island at the heart of the Cerulean Gulf, and her followers believe that her roots reach deep into the earth, binding the world together in an eternal embrace. Thylea is believed to be a generous, life-giving goddess. The Druids of the Oldwood believe that her will is communicated through the changing of the seasons, rather than through words. Long winters, for example, signal her displeasure; long summers are a sign of her approval. Kentimane, The Hundred Handed Kentimane was the most powerful of the Titans. He is believed to be both the husband and eternal guardian of the Great Mother. Many references are found to him in the poetry of the gygans and the centaurs, but few credible sources have survived the ravages of time. Kentimane is usually depicted with one hundred heads and one hundred hands. Sydon, The Lord of Storms Sydon is the Lord of the Oceans and all that flows from them. He takes the form of a colossal, bearded man with three eyes, and he carries a terrifying black glaive. He surveys both land and water tirelessly, summoning storms to punish those who displease him. Sydon is a jealous and vengeful god who makes no allowances for the worship of any god but himself or his sister-wife, Lutheria.

Discovering the Lost Continent Thylea may be found in almost any adventure setting. It exists beyond the boundaries of all maps, and its location is unknown to even the most experienced travelers. Sailors often shipwreck here from other worlds.

Thylean Deities Deity

Alignment

Suggested Domains

Symbol

The Ancient Titans Thylea, Great Mother of All

TN

Nature

Eternal golden ash tree

Kentimane, The Hundred Handed

TN

Destruction

Spiral of ten stone hands

Sydon, The Lord of Storms

LE

Tempest

Obsidian eye with garnet iris

Lutheria, The Lady of Dreams

CE

Death

Crown of black antlers

Mytros, The Goddess of Dawn

LG

Life, Light

Silver dragon with golden eyes

Volkan, The God of Forges

NG

Forge

Silver anvil wreathed in blue flame

Pythor, The God of Battle

CG

War

Golden hammer and five stars

Kyrah, The Goddess of Music

CG

Trickery

Silver-stringed lute with five stars

Vallus, The Goddess of Wisdom

LG

Knowledge

Golden laurel wreath with five stars

Narsus, The God of Beauty

TN

Beauty

Ivory mask with sapphire eyes

Helios, The God of the Sun

NE

Wealth

Golden sun with twelve rays

The Five Gods

Forgotten Gods

10

Introduction

Every temple in Thylea fears the wrath of Sydon. Daily sacrifices are offered to him in every village, even as the settlers continue their silent prayers to the Five. Whenever thunder rolls through the skies of Thylea, you can be sure that someone has provoked Sydon’s anger.

Mytros, the Goddess of Dawn

Lutheria, The Lady of Dreams Lutheria takes the form of a beautiful, black-eyed woman who sleepwalks through the underworld, greeting the spirits of the dead. She carries a crystal scythe, which she uses to harvest the souls of those who displeased her in life. Lutheria commands her followers to live without remorse, to drink, dance, and feast to their heart’s desire, because any day could be their last. She is a mother to the fey races of Thylea, who she strongly favors. Worship of Lutheria is rare among settlers, but she is nevertheless honored with many feasts and festivals because Sydon demands it. Whenever any drink is poured, a libation must be made to Lutheria or else a swift punishment is sure to follow.

The Five Gods The Five Gods are widely celebrated as the settlers’ favored gods. With the exception of Mytros, they are not heaven-dwelling deities but familiar faces who walk among their people. They have been known to take mortal husbands and wives, rule over cities, and sire demi-god children. They helped the Dragonlords and the mortal races to defeat Sydon and Lutheria during the First War. For centuries, they have blessed the mortal races, protecting them from tyrannical domination by Sydon and Lutheria. Shrines to the Five gods can be found in nearly every settler household. Prayers to the Five must be accompanied by the sign against the evil eye to ward off the jealous gaze of Sydon and Lutheria. Mytros, The Goddess of Dawn Mytros, called by some the ‘Silver Queen’ is the most benevolent of the Five Gods and the patron goddess of the most important kingdom in Thylea. She is widely credited with the survival of the city during the destruction and aftermath of the First War, and she is said to appear to her priests as a warrior queen clad in shimmering golden armor. Having ascended to the heavens after a cataclysmic battle with Sydon and Lutheria, she no longer walks among mortals. She is the most powerful of the Five Gods, and the source of most priestly magic in Thylea. Volkan, The God of Forges Not much is known about Volkan except that he is the husband of Mytros. He concerns himself with artifice and crafting and is primarily worshipped by dwarves, smiths, and wizards. He is depicted as an elderly and wise-looking man (and sometimes as a dwarf ). He is rumored to travel through the Heartlands on the winter solstice, distributing toys and sweets to children.

The goddess of dawn took her name from the city she loved. She died protecting Mytros during the First War and ascended to the heavens. We humble priests still draw upon the power of her magic. — Aesop of the Dragon Shrine Pythor, The God of Battle A son of Mytros and Volkan, Pythor appeared to the settlers during the First War and fought tirelessly against the centaurs and gygans that threatened to overwhelm the city of Mytros. His praises were sung for centuries after, and he is said to have walked among the settlers in mortal guise, taking women to his bed and fathering demi-god children. A few centuries ago he became the king of the city of Estoria when he overthrew a mad tyrant. Vallus, The Goddess of Wisdom Vallus is revered as the goddess of wisdom and beauty, and she is believed to know as much about Thylea’s history as Sydon and Lutheria. She was once known to travel far and wide, surveying ancient ruins and collecting lore concerning the origins of the land and the fey races. Prayers are offered to Vallus when guidance is needed and information is scarce. She is the oldest daughter of Mytros and, in many ways, she has inherited her mother’s legacy, serving as both queen and patron goddess to the city. Introduction

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Kyrah, The Goddess of Music Kyrah is revered as the trickster goddess of music and poetry. She is the swiftest of all the gods, capable of disappearing in the blink of an eye and she can travel great distances with each step. Her voice is said to be more beautiful than any musical instrument. There are very few shrines to her, except among bards, who revere her as the Muse.

THE MORTAL KINGDOMS The Kingdom of Mytros The city of Mytros was the first settlement founded by the Dragonlords. It was protected by the Goddess of Dawn and grew into a mighty kingdom after the end of the First War. It is the largest city in all of Thylea and the center of commerce, religion, and politics. The Great Games are held outside of the city once a year. The Temple of the Five stands at the center of the city, but in recent years the worship of Sydon has been growing in popularity. The Titan now has his own grand temple that stands across the street from the Temple of the Five. Mytros is ruled by the mighty King Acastus, the last true descendant of the Dragonlords. Acastus is revered across all of Thylea and he is the husband of Queen Vallus, the wisest of the Five Gods. Through some miraculous feat of magic, he has recently resurrected the race of dragons, which were thought to be extinct since the end of the First War. He now seeks to rebuild the ancient order of the Dragonlords and restore the city of Mytros to its former glory.

The Kingdom of Estoria Estoria is an ancient stronghold that has resisted centuries of attacks by centaurs, cyclopes, manticores, and other dangers which thrive on the steppes beyond the Arkelon River. The king of Estoria is Pythor, the mightiest of the Five Gods. He rules from his palace at the highest vantage point in the city. From his throne, Pythor can survey the sprawling farmlands of his kingdom to the south and watch vigilantly for any new threats that might emerge from the north. Although the Estorians are considered provincials by the people of Mytros, everyone knows that the greatest warriors and adventurers of this age are forged in the service of the Lord of Battle.

was me to Estoria, it When I first ca s and re than goatherd home to little mo are the rs. But now, we beleaguered soldie h! pride of the Nort of Estoria — Pythor, King 12

Introduction

The Kingdom of Aresia The kingdom of Aresia has long been a rival to the kingdom of Mytros. The two cities have been engaged in dozens of wars over the last several hundred years, which are collectively known as the Aresian campaigns. The reasons for the fighting vary, but one thing is certain: warriors on both sides seek glory in battle. The warrior monks of the eastern shore are amongst the most feared fighters in all of Thylea. Their children begin training with spears from the day they take their first steps, and every adult is required to serve in the militia. Aresians spend their lives in pursuit of ‘degrees’ in schools of martial philosophy, which have been refined over many centuries of defending their borders. Aresian warriors cultivate an air of rugged austerity out of a sense of pride in their history, but it disguises long hours spent on beauty rituals, poetry readings, and decadent feasting. The most powerful families in Aresia are those which take the greatest pains to appear ascetic—eating unspiced gruel and wearing little to nothing in public, while lavishing fine foods and luxurious garments on their servants in paradoxical and conspicuous displays of wealth. The highest caste warriors make a point of leading lifestyles that most closely resemble those of their hard-pressed ancestors.

Barbarians of the Gulf For millennia before the coming of the Dragonlords, outsiders would occasionally wash up on the shores of Thylea. These were usually shipwrecked explorers or merchants who were blown far off course. Of all races and nationalities, these people had to live in harmony with the natives of Thylea. They formed tribes and lived on the islands of the Cerulean Gulf. When the Dragonlords came, these tribes fought with the natives of Thylea against the newcomers. In present times the barbarians are still looked upon with fear and distrust by the civilized races. They are seen as being as dangerous as the centaur tribes or fey creatures of the Oldwood. The most feared of the barbarian tribes are the Amazons that dwell upon the island of Themis.

PEOPLE OF THYLEA

Thylea is home to many different races, only some of whom are native to her shores. Thyleans are collectively referred to as mortals—even those with very long lifespans. For more information about Thylea's native races, including their origin myths and physical descriptions, refer to the Playable Races appendix.

Native Races • Centaurs, Satyrs, and Sirens. These creatures have

existed in Thylea for thousands of years. They are common in rural areas but somewhat rare in cities. • Gygans. The gygans are a race of ancient cyclops that were mostly exterminated during the First War.

• Medusae. Medusae are mortals who have been cursed

The Temple of the Oracle

Settler Races

The Oracle is a famous water nymph who dwells in the hot springs below a temple south of Estoria. She has the gift of prophecy, and her soothsaying is heeded by gods and kings alike. Despite her heritage as a daughter of Sydon, she has always had a special fondness for the mortals of Thylea, and she is attended by many faithful priests.

by dark powers. They are secretive and very rare. • Minotaurs. Minotaurs are cursed tribes of humans. They are usually treated very poorly in cities.

• Humans. Humans are plentiful. Some were ship-

wrecked here thousands of years ago, and others came over with the Dragonlords 500 years ago. Humans populate all major cities and settlements. • Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Halflings. These races are less common than humans, but they populate all major cities and settlements in fair numbers. • Half-orcs. Half-orcs are rare, and they are not stigmatized as they are in other lands. There are no orcs. • Tieflings. Tieflings are called “Stygians” and assumed to be servants of Lutheria. They are secretive and rare. • Dragonborn. Dragonborn are exceedingly rare. If they exist in Thylea, then they are hidden away in remote places. Thyleans would be shocked to see one.

FACTIONS OF THYLEA The Temple of the Five The Temple of the Five was one of the first buildings constructed in the city of Mytros, and is the oldest civic building there. Elected representatives from the districts of Mytros and her outlying villages form a council that meets at the temple every new moon. However, the pattern of civic life is increasingly dictated by the Order of Sydon, who believe that the Temple of the Five should be destroyed in order to appease the Titans. King Acastus has taken no sides in this conflict, but the peace is becoming precarious.

Centurions of Mytros The city of Mytros conscripts a regular army of centurions to enforce the law of the land. The centurions have a history that dates back to the First War, when they followed Pythor into battle against the centaurs and gygans. Although the centurions honor Mytros at religious festivals, nearly every soldier prays openly to Pythor, the god of battle. The highest-ranking centurion is King Acastus who commands the army and serves as the final arbiter of justice for the city.

The Academy at Mytros The Academy was formed centuries ago and is the center of learning in Thylea. The great wizard Damon was one of its founders, but it wasn’t only an institution for magical learning. It was also a place for philosophy and other intellectual pursuits. Now it consists of many colleges devoted to the different schools of magic (divination, evocation, etc.) and to safeguarding the lore of Thylea. It is also a place where Thylea’s interests in theater, song, and other arts are encouraged.

The Druids of Oldwood Deep within the Oldwood is a druid grove ringed by monolithic stones. The druids of Oldwood are whiteclad men and women who wear laurels and wield oaken staves. They worship the mother goddess Thylea, and believe that the people of Mytros should never have settled in her Heartlands. They perform a daily ritual sacrifice to Thylea, hoping to atone the sins of the mortal races.

The Order of Sydon The Order of Sydon are zealots who revere the ocean titan Sydon above all other gods. They watch for signs from the heavens—lightning strikes in particular—and their priests communicate the will of the ocean god to the council of Mytros. The ranks of the order are filled with heavily-armored paladins who wear cerulean cloaks and golden clasps, but they welcome true believers from any warrior background. The Order wishes only to enforce the will of Sydon, and they have been known to destroy shrines to the Five.

The Cult of the Snake This thieves’ guild operates in the shadows of Mytros. They are headquartered deep within the aqueducts. The cultists have recently been breaking into the homes of wealthy citizens, stealing everything of value, and leaving entire families petrified. The leader of the cult is someone who calls herself the Lady of Coins.

Lost Tribe of the Gygans The gygans were Sydon’s favored people, six armed giants with a single eye. Once the greatest civilization in Thylea, the Gygan Empire fell during the First War. The ruins of this empire can be found on countless islands throughout the Cerulean Gulf. The few surviving gygans keep to themselves, but take any opportunity for vengeance against the hated settler races.

Centaurs of the Steppes The centaurs of the Steppes are a nomadic people divided into dozens of warring tribes. They move through the hills in thunderous stampedes, hunting, foraging, and raiding the camps of other peoples. Centaurs hold themselves to a strict code of honor, and the children of warriors slain in battle are adopted and raised as part of the conquering tribe. During times of Introduction

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truce, the centaur tribes set up camps along the steppe rivers, drink honeymeade under the stars, and sing tales of ancient Thylea.

The Raving Ones The Raving Ones are a den of fey creatures who worship Lutheria. On the edges of the Oldwood, west of Atrokos, there is a system of caves where they are said to dwell. They sometimes travel along the roads in the guise of maidens in distress, luring travelers back to the den to be torn apart and devoured in rituals to the goddess of revelry. The Raving Ones are the mothers of the goatlings, who are born from the union of a satyr and a Maenad.

THE LAWS OF THYLEA

There are several aspects of Thylea that are different from a typical fantasy world. Oaths are expected to be honored upon the life of the swearer, and guests can expect to be shown hospitality even in the homes of their fiercest enemies. When these ancient laws of Thylea are disobeyed, the resulting punishment can forever change the life of a hero. Oaths and curses are not enforced by any particular titan or god. These are natural laws that were woven into the fabric of Thylea at the dawn of time. Even Sydon and Lutheria must honor their oaths or suffer dreadful consequences.

Guest Friendship Guest friendship is a concept of great import in the lands of Thylea. It requires that all hosts show generosity and courtesy to guests who are far from home, no matter what disputes may divide the two parties. For guest 14

Introduction

friendship to be established, a host must invite someone into their home and provide them with food or drink. It is expected that the guest should provide a gift to the host to seal the friendship, but the bond is established as soon as the guest has shared a meal with the host. The bond of guest friendship ends when the guest has departed with the host’s blessing. After that, the two may become enemies once more. However, if one party brings about harm to the other while the bond is in effect, then the friendship is broken, and the offending party is now subject to the curse of the treacherous. The Furies are widely known to be the arbiters of such disputes, and few are willing (or foolish enough) to suffer their wrath.

Sacred Oaths Oaths are sworn between men and their kings all the time, but oaths between men and gods are rarer and more binding. Oaths sworn to powerful creatures of the Fey, or to demons and devils can be just as binding. Oath of Peace An oath of peace is one where a powerful creature or king demands that the person swearing the oath will commit no violence against them or any of their servants. There is almost always a time limit to such an oath. Sometimes the time limit can be weeks or months, but other times it may be years or centuries. An oath of peace is central to the story presented in this book. Oath of Protection An oath of protection is one in which a powerful individual is sworn to come to the aid of another in a time of great need. One of the most famous of these oaths

in mythology is the oath that the Achaean kings swore to Menelaus, husband of Helen. The kings swore to assist Menelaus if anyone ever threatened Helen. When Menelaus called upon the kings to fulfill their oaths, the Trojan War was the result. An oath of protection requires the swearer to answer a call for aid as quickly as possible. Once the threat has been neutralized, the oath is fulfilled, and there is no further obligation. Failure to answer the call, or even allowing the other party to come to harm, will cause the oath giver to be branded an oathbreaker, and they too suffer the curse of the treacherous. Oath of Service An oath of service is an oath sworn by one individual to another. The swearer is required to perform one task, which does not need to be specified when the oath is sworn. Unlike the oath of protection, this task could be of any type: it may even require evil deeds, such as assassination. For this reason, most people are hesistant to ever swear such an oath, viewing it as a last resort. When the oath swearer is called upon, they must answer as quickly as possible. Once the task has been completed, the oath is fulfilled and there is no further obligation. Failure to answer the call, or refusal to complete the task, brands the swearer as an oathbreaker and makes them subject to the curse of the treacherous.

Mortal Curses Curses fall upon those who break oaths, break guest friendship, make deals with powerful evil creatures or anger the gods. Curses are not to be taken lightly: they publicly and clearly mark a hero’s untrustworthy quality for everyone to see. Curse of the Harpy Any person afflicted with this curse will slowly transform into a harpy. It is sometimes invoked by powerful fey creatures such as hags or nymphs when an oath is unfulfilled, though sometimes the gods might punish a mortal with this curse. The only way to stop the transformation is through powerful divine magic.

Curing the Curse. Casting the greater restoration spell once per day for three days is required. Each time the spell is cast, the transformation is slightly reversed. However, the spell has no effect once the subject is completely transformed at the end of week 4. Missing a casting requires the whole process to begin again. Harpy Ability: Luring Song. The harpy sings a magical melody, and every humanoid and giant within 300 feet that can hear the song must succeed on a DC 11 Wisdom saving throw or be charmed until the song ends. The harpy must take a bonus action on its subsequent turns to keep singing, but it can stop singing at any time. The song ends if the harpy is incapacitated. While charmed by the harpy, a target is incapacitated and ignores all other charm effects. If the charmed target is more than 5 feet from the harpy, they must attempt to move toward the harpy by the most direct route. The target doesn't avoid opportunity attacks, but it may repeat a saving throw before moving into damaging terrain, such as lava. A charmed victim should also repeat a saving throw when it takes damage from another character, as well as at the end of each of its turns. If a creature's saving throw is successful, the effect ends. Targets that successfully save are immune to this ability for the next 24 hours. Curse of the Medusa A person cursed in this fashion will slowly transform into a medusa. This curse usually comes from bargains made with devils and demons: a mortal might have been asking for beauty or eternal life, but instead was granted the terrifying form of a medusa. Sometimes, ancient fey creatures such as hags will transform a victim into a medusa, often simply for amusem*nt. The transformation can be stopped with divine magic, but without intervention the victim will transform within a few weeks. Curse of the Medusa Time

Curse Progression

1 week

Cursed individual's Charisma improves by 4 points to a maximum of 24.

Curse of the Harpy Time

Curse Progression

2 weeks

1 week

Cursed individual grows wings and now has a minimum fly speed of 20 ft.

Creature's skin turns sickly green. Gains darkvision 60 ft.

3 weeks

2 weeks

The wings are now fully grown, increasing fly speed to a minimum of 40 ft.

Creature's hair transforms into snakes. Gains the snake hair ability.

4 weeks

Creature gains the petrifying gaze action.

3 weeks

Cursed individual gains the luring song ability (see below).

5 weeks

4 weeks

Creature is fully transformed into a harpy. Alignment becomes chaotic evil, and the character is now under the control of the GM. Only reversible with wish spell.

The cursed victim fully transforms into a medusa, Alignment becomes lawful evil, and this character is now controlled by the GM. Only reversible with wish spell.

Introduction

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Curing the Curse. Someone must cast the greater restoration spell on the creature once per day for three days, and each time the spell is cast, the transformation is reversed a little. The spells have no effect once the subject has been completely transformed, and if a casting is missed the process must restart. Medusa Abilities. These abilities are described in the medusa playable race entry in the appendix. Final Transformation. After 5 weeks have passed, you may choose to follow the rules described in the table above, but you may also allow an affected player to re-create their character with the medusa playable race, using the same level and class that they were before. Curse of the Graverobber This curse is visited upon someone who takes any magical item from the grave of a hero blessed by the gods. Those afflicted by this curse cannot eat. After a number of days equal to their Constitution score, the cursed character will gain one level of exhaustion every day until they die from starvation. It is impossible for the person to get rid of the magical item that they stole, even by returning it to the correct grave. It will always return to their possession at midnight. Curing the Curse. Casting the greater restoration spell on the affected creature will remove this curse. The curse can also be removed by finding someone who will take possession of the stolen magical item willingly. To do this, the cursed individual must be truthful about the item’s provenance. This would require a DC 20 Charisma (Persuasion) check on someone with an Intelligence score of 10 or less.

Curse of the Treacherous This curse afflicts those who abuse guest friendship or break powerful oaths. Those who violate the tenets of guest friendship are at risk of being cursed by the offended host or guest. Breaking an oath made to the gods will almost always cause the offending mortal to be cursed, but a person might also become cursed for breaking an oath to an especially powerful king, or even a pious beggar. The effect of this curse is directly related to the injustice of the offense. Dispatching the Erinyes. The curse of the treacherous manifests itself in a manner that is unique to Thylea. The Furies, the three queens of the erinyes, gather in the Room of Far Sight in Praxys to determine the severity of the offense. When they have agreed upon a necessary response, they dispatch 1-3 erinyes to punish the target. These erinyes will hunt and try to capture their quarry until they have been defeated. Those captured by erinyes are taken to the Island of Oathbreakers in the Nether Sea (area N), where they must live out the rest of their miserable lives. Hunting as the Erinyes. The erinyes are dispatched from the Island of Oathbreakers, and they must first track down their prey. This takes d100 hours. Every erinyes dispatched in this manner possesses a rope of entanglement. She also has a temporary special ability that allows her to cast plane shift at will. She is only able to cast plane shift on her quarry, and only if the target is restrained by the rope of entanglement. If these requirements are satisfied, then the target must make a DC 16 Charisma saving throw. Failing this saving throw causes the target to be banished to the Island of Oathbreakers in the Nether Sea.

Adventure Overview Prologue: The Prophecy

Act 1: The Great Labors

The adventure begins in a rural inn called The Sour Vintage. The heroes are summoned by the goddess Kyrah, who has disguised herself as a traveling poet. The Boar Hunt. Kyrah explains that the Oracle has had a vision which revealed the heroes as the chosen warriors who will prevent the 'Doom of Thylea.' In order to confirm this, the heroes must defeat a monstrous boar which the Titans, Sydon and Lutheria, sent to ravage the countryside. Temple of the Oracle. After dealing with the Great Boar, the heroes travel to see the Oracle, who has been captured by a hag. After rescuing her, the heroes learn that they must complete three 'Great Labors' in order to prepare for their confrontation with the Titans:

Kyrah suggests that the heroes begin their Labors in the city of Estoria. Estoria is ruled by King Pythor, one of the Five Gods, who should prove helpful. The King's Daughter. But first, King Pythor needs the heroes' assistance to rescue his daughter from being sacrificed to Sydon. Once this is done, Pythor throws a celebration for the heroes and offers them guidance for their quest. The heroes also meet Pythor's father, an absent-minded dwarf who claims to be the god Volkan. The Great Labors. The heroes can use Estoria as a base as they search for clues and complete each of the Great Labors. The Labors require them to visit three locations—The Mithral Mines, The Mossy Temple, and The Necropolis at Telamok. Each of these dungeons can be reached with a half-day journey from the city. The Dream. Once the heroes recover the Horn of Balmytria, they must drink from it to complete their

• Drink from the Horn of Balmytria • Light the fires of the Mithral Forge • Recover the weapons of the Dragonlords 16

Introduction

task. This triggers a dream where two more Labors are revealed—the heroes must recover a ship called the Ultros and an ancient artifact called the Antikythera. Summoned to Mytros. Once the heroes have accomplished two of the Labors, King Acastus of Mytros sends a detachment of soldiers mounted on dragons to invite the heroes to his city for an audience. King Acastus is revered across the lands, for he seeks to restore the ancient order of the Dragonlords. The heroes should finish their final Labor before answering the summons.

Act 2: The Dragonlords When the heroes arrive in Mytros, the city is assailed by hurricanes sent by Sydon, the Lord of Storms. The Storm. As the Oracle's Chosen Ones, the heroes are expected to quell the anger of the Titan, and they are faced with a difficult choice. Once this is done, King Acastus thanks the heroes and rewards them with a map to the legendary trireme, the Ultros—the only ship that can brave the storms of the Forgotten Sea. The City of Mytros. The heroes meet Queen Vallus, the goddess of wisdom, who offers the heroes counsel and warns them about the king's ambitions. Afterwards, the heroes are free to spend time exploring the city. The Dead Falls. Eventually, the heroes must travel to the Dead Falls to battle the undead crew of the Ultros and recover the ship for themselves. They encounter the ghost of an ancient Dragonlord, Estor Arkelander. The Celebration. Once the Ultros has been recovered, the heroes return to Mytros, and Vallus throws a massive celebration in their honor. She gives the heroes an ancient navigational device called the Antikythera. With this, the Great Labors are completed, and it's time for the heroes to set sail to confront the Titans. The Legendary Crew. Pythor crashes the celebration with his father Volkan in tow. Pythor swears an oath of service to the heroes and joins them aboard the Ultros, while Volkan promises to forge them weapons at the Mithral Forge. But the heroes must make haste—the Oath of Peace will come to an end in sixty days, and the Titans are preparing for war. The Dragon Egg. Secretly, Vallus gives the heroes another gift: a single dragon egg. This is the last dragon egg that Acastus had in his possession. Kyrah reveals that Lutheria gave several eggs to Acastus, and she fears that the dragons will be used to wage war against all the mortals of Thylea. She asks the heroes to raise the egg and prove that they are worthy to be the new Dragonlords.

Act 3: The Great Voyage

where Gaius, the commander of the Order of Sydon, makes his base. Gaius and his knights have been a recurring problem for the heroes ever since the beginning of their quest. He rides a silver dragon named Argyn. The Forgotten Sea. This region is more dangerous than the Cerulean Gulf and should not be braved lightly. The heroes may sail into the mouth of Charybdis to reach the Nether Sea. Alternatively, they may sail to Praxys, the Tower of Sydon. There are many islands here to explore, some of which are home to great treasures. The heroes must use their time wisely. The Nether Sea. This strange underworld is where Lutheria dwells—aboard a roving barge called Hypnos, the Throne of Dreams. The heroes must locate the vessel in order to board it and confront the Titan. But first, there are several islands to explore where the heroes may learn some of her weaknesses. Praxys, Tower of Sydon. This tower is where Sydon has long dwelled, consolidating his power. The heroes must scale this massive dungeon, floor by floor, to seek out and confront the Lord of Storms. In the end, the heroes are forced to reckon with the Titan's empyrean children. Sydon meets the heroes but refuses a confrontation—he has plans in motion to attack Mytros.

Act 4: The Battle of Mytros When the sixty days have passed, the Oath of Peace ends, and the Titans are free to attack Mytros. The Gods Transform. When the Oath of Peace ends, the Five Gods revert to their true forms: they are dragons who had been imbued with divine power and locked into mortal forms. Pythor, Kyrah, Volkan, and Vallus agree to carry the heroes into battle against the Titans. The Battle Begins. When the heroes reach Mytros, the city is already under attack by an ancient silver dragon that belongs to the king. King Acastus thought to defend his city, but in his arrogance, he lost control of the dragon. The heroes must defeat the dragon, confront Acastus, and take control of the Colossus of Pythor. The Titans Attack. The city faces three possible attacks, depending on which of the Titans are still alive at this point in the story. Sydon, Lutheria, and Kentimane assail the city, seeking to either subjugate or destroy it. The heroes must join with their dragons and do everything possible to save the city. The New Oath. In the end, the heroes are victorious. Having defeated Sydon and Lutheria, they may force the Titans to swear new oaths (if they survived). The heroes may also swear an oath of protection to the city of Mytros, to cement their legacy as Dragonlords.

Now that the heroes have the Ultros, they must seek out and confront the Titans. However, the first thing they need is the missing gear for the Antikythera. The Cerulean Gulf. There are many islands for the heroes to explore as they search for the gear. The gear is located in the Great Library on the island of Yonder, Introduction

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Act 5: The New Pantheon After the Battle of Mytros, the heroes are summoned by one of the forgotten gods: Narsus, the god of beauty. The Secrets of Godhood. When the Oath of Peace ended, Narsus lost his divinity. Now, he wishes to reclaim it. He sends a messenger to the heroes, who promises that they might achieve godhood themselves. But first, the heroes must rescue Narsus from his captivity in the city of Aresia—an ancient rival to Mytros. The Siege of Aresia. After crossing the ocean to Aresia, the heroes must decide how to deal with the heavily-defended city. They are presented with a variety of options, including the possibility of sneaking in while their army sits at the gates. Once the heroes free Narsus from his prison, he reveals what must be done next. The Divine Artifacts. The heroes must reclaim three key items that may be used to create a new pantheon of gods. This quest takes them to two dungeons in the Aresian peninsula—and then deep into the oceans to the Sunken Kingdom, where a lost pantheon of gods has been locked away for centuries. The Apokalypsis. Once the items have been recovered, the world is ravaged by an apocalyptic event as multiple gargantuan monsters descend upon Thylea. The heroes must defeat the monsters, ascend to the palace of the gods, and defeat the lost pantheon. In the process, the heroes may unlock the secrets of godhood and ascend to the heavens themselves.

STORY STRUCTURE

The world of Thylea has been designed with natural ‘fences’ that curb exploration until the players achieve certain milestones. For example, players cannot explore the Cerulean Gulf until they have acquired a ship. New exploration regions unlock in the following order:

• Learning of the Prophecy… …unlocks the Great Labors

• Completing the Great Labors… …unlocks the City of Mytros

• Recovering the Ghost Ship… …unlocks the Cerulean Gulf

• Exploring the Cerulean Gulf… …unlocks the Forgotten Sea

• Confronting both of the Titans… …triggers the Battle of Mytros

• Collecting the Divine Artifacts... ...triggers the Apokalypsis

As the GM, you may shepherd the party toward the next milestone in the story, but for the most part, you can allow your players freedom to explore. The Battle of Mytros and the Apokalypsis are the epic finales to the adventure, where all the twists and turns of the story bear fruit. These events are ordained by fate and cannot be avoided, but the manner in which they unfold depends entirely upon your players.

Running the Adventure This section contains advice to help you run the campaign. It describes how to roleplay all of the major characters in the story, how to run your players’ epic paths, and how to manage player character advancement. Finally, it provides some tips on how to make adjustments to the campaign. 

This book assumes that you have read (and/or have easy access to) the three core books for the 5th Edition of the world’s greatest roleplaying game. Where items and monsters are referenced that are not included in this book, they can be found in the 5th Edition core books. 

The following abbreviations are used throughout this book:

When you see text in a box like this, it is usually intended to be read aloud as part of the adventure. Don't be afraid to modify the contents of these narration boxes to suit the needs of your party. 

Preparing the Adventure Odyssey of the Dragonlords has been designed so that you do not need to read through the entire book before running the adventure. However, you should read through the entire Introduction chapter. We also recommend that you read through the first few chapters of the book before you begin, and that you familiarize yourself with the contents of the appendices. 18

Introduction

Abbreviations PC = player character NPC = nonplayer character XP = experience points HP = hit points AC = Armor Class DC = Difficulty Class pp = platinum pieces gp = gold pieces sp = silver pieces cp = copper pieces

LG = lawful good CG = chaotic good NG = neutral good LN = lawful neutral TN = true neutral CN = chaotic neutral LE = lawful evil CE = chaotic evil NE = neutral evil GM = game master

EPIC PATHS

Epic paths are an optional addition to character creation. They provide mythic archetypes for the player characters, so that each hero feels larger-than-life, like Hercules, Achilles, Odysseus, or Perseus. Each player should choose one of the epic paths described in the Epic Paths section of the Creating Heroes appendix. This will determine their hero’s mythic context within the land of Thylea and influence relationships with her gods and people.

Standard Backgrounds Epic paths are different from standard backgrounds in that they are specific to this setting. They unlock new aspects of the adventure, including special relationships with story characters and access to specific magic items. Players should choose a standard background in addition to their epic path. This will provide them with skills, tool proficiencies, languages, and starting equipment. The flavor of the standard background should be enhanced or replaced by the epic path's description.

Heroic Tasks Every epic path has a set of goals. While these goals are personal to each hero, they are supplementary to the overall goals of the adventure. When a hero

accomplishes their goals, they become blessed by the gods. Each epic path has a different divine blessing that is granted upon completion of its goals. There are also magic items listed under the goals for each of the epic paths. These items are usually located in distant parts of Thylea and must be found before they can be used. Other items must be forged or otherwise crafted at specific locations, such as the Mithral Forge. Whenever an epic path offers a choice of multiple magic items, the player should choose one, and you should do your best to integrate that item into the story.

Story Connections Epic paths are intended to help tie the heroes to the story in a meaningful way. When you think of the greatest fantasy epics, the heroes always have strong ties to the story—special relationships with kings, queens, villains, and gods. The heroes of these stories are important for reasons that go much deeper than the powers and the items they wield. Epic paths should not diminish player agency. Players are free to pursue the story hooks presented in each path in any way that the GM deems appropriate. They are also free to modify an epic path with the agreement of the GM. The GM should take care when modifying the magic items, however, as the adventure is balanced with these specific items in mind. Introduction

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STARTING THE CAMPAIGN Before you begin this campaign, you should decide how your heroes relate to the lands of Thylea. Are they strangers to these lands, or are they natives? This does not alter the adventure’s structure but it should shape the way you introduce major conflicts and characters.

Forming the Party

Option 1: Sent by the Gods If a majority of your heroes are from lands beyond the Forgotten Sea, then they are believed to be sent by the gods in Thylea’s hour of greatest need. In this case, you should begin with the following: 

You have arrived in Thylea, a strange new land, after crossing a great ocean. Shipwrecked with no means of returning home, you were sheltered in your time of need by the people of the great city of Mytros. Now, it seems, the hour has come to repay their kindness. 

Option 2: Destined for Greatness If the majority of your heroes are native to Thylea, then they are famous throughout the land as being destined for greatness. In this case, you should begin as follows: 

You are known throughout Thylea as mortals destined to perform great deeds. The citizens of the great city of Mytros already tell stories of your exploits, both real and imagined. Now, it seems, the time has come for you to rise and meet your fate. 

Spreading Rumors Before you begin your first session, consider giving your players the following assignment. This exercise creates a fun roleplaying moment to kick things off, and it helps the heroes become better acquainted with one another before they join forces. 

Write your character’s name at the top of three separate notecards. On each notecard, write one rumor about your character that circulates in Thylea’s taverns. These may be rumors of your heroic exploits, ribald jokes about your past exploits, or even mean-spirited gossip. At least one of these rumors must be true, but the others may be exaggerations or outright fabrications. Give your three notecards to the GM before the start of the first adventure. Don’t tell the other players what you have written!

Before the adventure begins, shuffle each player’s notecards and hand them out to the other players at 20

Introduction

The best way to motivate your party in this campaign is to focus on how the party's current goals align with the personal goals in each of their individual epic paths. However, you can also motivate the heroes by awarding Fame points when the party completes major story objectives. As players earn Fame points, they unlock new perks and prestige in the world of Thylea. These perks are detailed in the Earning Fame section of the Creating Heroes appendix.

Player Handouts Give each player a copy of the Thylea World Primer from the appendix. This serves as a handy reference sheet for major concepts and characters that your players should be familiar with. This book includes other handouts that can be used to add flavor throughout the adventure, including maps for many of the major islands. Make sure to prepare these ahead of time for each session.

PLAYING THE VILLAINS 

The heroes’ party should be formed before you begin the first adventure. They need not be very familiar with each other yet: in these dark days, many bands of strangers are gathering to take on the challenges facing Thylea. Perhaps your heroes have arranged to meet for the first time in The Sour Vintage. Alternatively, you can use the conflicts presented in the Prologue chapter to encourage your heroes to band together. To encourage cooperation, you should cement their newfound friendship with an oath of fellowship.

Motivating the Party

the table. No one should get one of their own notecards back. Now, each player will have a chance to read some juicy gossip about their fellow heroes.

Great stories have great villains. This section describes a series of special events and dramatic confrontations that will make the villains in your story memorable.

Sydon, Lord of Storms Sydon primarily takes action against the party through his legions of worshippers. These include the armies of centaurs, cyclopes, gygans, and other native creatures who revere him. He is also served by many mortals, including the Temple of Sydon in Mytros and the fanatical zealot, Gaius, who commands the Order of Sydon.

Learning about Sydon Sydon and his minions take action against the party from the very beginning of the story. Members of the Order of Sydon have been sent to kill the heroes before they even have a chance to hear the Oracle’s prophecy.

I still remember those quiet hours leading up to our first battle against the armies of Sydon. We were not prepared

Event: The Centaur Warband After the heroes finish their first Labor, Gaius, the head of the Order of Sydon, tracks them down from the skies, riding his silver dragon, Argyn. He summons a centaur warband to destroy the heroes. 

for the wrath of the Storm Titan.

– Rizon Phobas, Dragonlord (12 DA)

Dark clouds and thunder roll across the sky. You spot a flash of silver in the clouds. At first, you mistake it for lightning, but it slowly resolves into a magnificent silver dragon. A blue-cloaked figure sits astride the dragon as it circles overhead. The figure speaks: “Give up your quest and prostrate yourselves before the power of Sydon.” His voice abruptly changes to something far deeper and inhuman, “You meddle with forces beyond your comprehension.” The dragon vanishes into the clouds above, and lightning tears across the sky. The ground shakes as something thunders toward you. It's a bloodthirsty warband of charging centaurs! 

There are alternative ways to avoid being sunk. A sacrifice to Sydon will calm his anger, but it must be a white ox or an intelligent creature. The control weather spell can be used to neutralize the storm. A conjured air or water elemental can guide the ship out of danger.

The warband includes one centaur for every hero. They will battle the heroes for two rounds and then abruptly turn away and retreat, leaving their dead behind.

Event: Sydon’s Fleet This encounter occurs after the heroes have defeated or made a pact with Lutheria. It can also happen at a time of your choosing before the heroes have defeated either Lutheria or Sydon. This event can help motivate heroes if you want the story to hasten to its climax. 

Event: The Lord of Storms Sydon sends this storm to batter the Ultros after the heroes have visited 1-2 islands in the Cerulean Gulf. 

Storm clouds suddenly gather above your ship. Lightning flashes overhead, followed by booming thunder. The thunder becomes a voice—the voice of Sydon. “Heed my warning, mortals. Your quest is doomed. Your weapons will fail you. Your gods will perish, and your ship will shatter upon the rocks. Your cities will drown, and your names will be forgotten. You seek to challenge the Titans, but there is no power that can stand against the Lord of Storms." 

The winds pick up and the ocean waves grow choppy. On the horizon, you can see dozens of white sails. It seems that a fleet of ships is passing by, several miles to the east. But these are not normal ships—the oars are the size of tree trunks. They appear to be giant warships, crewed by gygans and cyclopes. And they seem to be headed directly for the City of Mytros. 

Lightning flashes across the sky a dozen times, and the wind turns into a howling gale. The sky darkens until it seems that night has fallen. Sydon has summoned a powerful hurricane to destroy the Ultros. The storm worsens with every hour. After five hours have passed, the storm will reach a crescendo, and any ship in the area will be destroyed. Someone must pilot the Ultros and escape the storm by making at least three successful piloting checks as described below. For each hour spent in the hurricane, whoever is piloting the ship must make a successful DC 15 Wisdom (Survival) check to keep the ship righted. On a failure, they must make a successful DC 15 Strength (Athletics) check or be swept overboard. If someone is helping the pilot, then both characters must make the check.

This is the invasion force that Sydon has been gathering to wipe the mortals from the face of Thylea. This is immediately evident to Kyrah and Pythor. The fleet consists of 30 ships, each crewed by 24 gygans, 1 gygan hero, 24 bronze automatons and 12 cyclopes. Each of the mighty ships is 200 feet long, has a speed of 8 mph, AC 14, a damage threshhold of 15, and 2,000 hit points. If the heroes are foolish enough to attack the fleet, then one of the gygan heroes will blow from a horn to summon 1-2 of Sydon’s children (young empyreans). The reinforcements will arrive within 10 rounds, flying on the backs of rocs. Once Sydon himself has been defeated, this fleet will lose its purpose. The bronze automatons will cease working entirely, as they have no intelligence to guide them. The gygans and cyclopes will return with their ships to the Garden of Helios in the Forgotten Sea. Event: Confronting Sydon The heroes can confront Sydon by ascending to the top of his tower in the Forgotten Sea. However, he will likely escape to the city of Mytros, where the final battle against the Titans takes place. Refer to the chapters Praxys, Tower of Sydon and The Battle of Mytros. Introduction

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Lutheria, Lady of Dreams

This nightmare affects everyone, even races that do not normally sleep, such as elves. Each hero must make a DC 20 Wisdom saving throw or be afflicted with a random short-term madness. Roll on the short-term madness table in the Game Master’s Guide. Since there are no nearby enemies to take advantage of their vulnerability, this is simply an opportunity for players to roleplay their madness.

Lutheria primarily takes action against the party by sending monsters to attack them and nightmares to haunt their dreams. Unlike her husband, she is more focused on corrupting and subverting the party. Event: Dreaming of Lutheria After the heroes leave the Temple of the Oracle, Lutheria sends a nightmare to haunt them. Whenever they take a rest, read the following: 

A woman's voice suddenly emanates from the darkness around you. “So... your great 'quest' begins. Off to become heroes, are you? Mortals are so very proud." A light shines in the dark, illuminating the sad and pathetic figure of an old man, who has been hogtied to a stake. “Look at this one. He’s falling to pieces: joints stiff, skin slack, teeth gone. The life is practically dripping out of him." Inky black shadows fall across the old man. He flinches and squirms, panicking as something draws closer—something that you cannot see. “Yes, his sad mortal life is leaking away. But I wonder what will happen to his soul?” The old man thrashes against his restraints, screaming into his gag as a butcher’s knife descends, and you awaken from the nightmare, bathed in sweat. 

Event: Madness of Lutheria Lutheria sends another nightmare after the heroes complete their second Labor. Whenever they take a rest, read the following: 

 

22

Introduction

“Poor little mortals." The woman's voice is soft and concerned. “So worried about everything! Worried about honoring the gods; worried about offending them. Worried about war. Worried about the future. What can we do to make you worry less?" On the path ahead, you see a man standing with his back to you. He gazes out over a beautiful valley, which is covered with wild flowers. A soft breeze is blowing, and birds are singing brightly. “Knowledge is the greatest of all mortal burdens, don't you think? Knowledge is pain. Ignorance puts the mind at ease. Ignorance makes mortals happy!" The man turns. His face is twisted with pain and despair. Red tears streak his face. His eyes, ears, and mouth have all been stitched shut. 

Everyone awakens from this nightmare at different times. Each person who dreams must roll 1d10. This determines how many rounds until they awaken. They can be awakened early by shaking or inflicting damage to them. Whenever a hero awakens they must make a DC 20 Wisdom saving throw or be afflicted with a random long-term madness. Roll on the long-term madness table in the Game Master’s Guide. This is another opportunity for players to roleplay their madness. The madness can be cured with a lesser restoration spell. Event: Corruption of Lutheria This dream comes to the heroes when they are sailing across the Cerulean Gulf. Read the following: 

Lutheria’s voice comes to you, soft as a sea breeze. "Why do mortals feel the need to explore? To sail over every horizon? What do you expect to find out there in the vast emptiness of the oceans?" Five men cling to the wreckage of a ship, drifting towards a shoreline. As they draw closer, the relief on their faces is palpable. Eventually, they splash through the shallows and collapse on the white sand. "These men once sought treasure, but now they seek simple things: food and fresh water." The sun slowly sets towards the wine-dark sea. The men have set up camp, and the tantalizing smell of roasting pork drifts from the fire. “Perhaps you’d like to join them? Are you hungry?” The men greedily chew the meat and gnaw at the bones, juice and gristle dripping down their chins. You notice that one of the men is missing now, and the discarded bones look much too large for a pig. 

Event: Summoned by the King Once the heroes have completed the Great Labors, King Acastus summons them to Mytros and gives them a map to the Ultros. He hopes that his ghostly ancestor, Estor Arkelander, will kill them. Refer to the Summoned by the King chapter for details. Event: The Voyage of the Ultros The king is angry that the heroes have survived their encounter with his ancestor. He will vehemently deny any accusations that the heroes make. By this point, it should be obvious that Acastus is an enemy of the heroes. Refer to the Voyage of the Ultros chapter for details. Event: The Battle of Mytros Acastus tries to save the city from the Titans by unleashing his dragon, Icarus, with disastrous results. The heroes must defeat Icarus and confront Acastus in the colosseum where the Great Games are held. The king’s rod of rulership is the key that will activate the Colossus of Pythor. He refuses to surrender it, and he may fight to the death to protect his pride. Refer to the Battle of Mytros chapter for details.

PLAYING THE GODS

Everyone wakes together. Each hero must make a DC 20 Wisdom saving throw or be consumed with bloodlust for 1 minute. Those afflicted will do their best to reduce every other hero in their group to an unconscious state. This is a chance for players to fight each other, no holds barred, without guilt or hard feelings. Event: Confronting Lutheria The heroes can confront Lutheria by descending to her throne in the Nether Sea. Whatever happens to Lutheria, she has ways of returning from the dead, and she may show up in the story later. Refer to The Nether Sea, The Battle of Mytros, and The Apokalypsis chapters for details.

Unlike gods in other settings and adventures, the Five Gods of Thylea are directly involved in the story and often travel with the heroes in mortal guise. The gods should never be allowed to overshadow the heroes. While Kyrah will accompany the heroes from the start of the story, she is only there to record their exploits. She does not fight alongside them in battle. Pythor joins the heroes on the Ultros, but his drunkenness renders him mostly useless. Vallus and Volkan are allies, but they never accompany the heroes on their journeys. Refer to the Dramatis Personae appendix for more details on how to roleplay each of the gods. The Oath of Peace Until the Oath of Peace comes to an end, the Five Gods are forbidden from fighting Sydon, Lutheria, or their allies. They can advise the heroes, but generally speaking, they cannot assist the heroes in battle.

RUNNING THE EPIC PATHS

King Acastus of Mytros

This section describes how to integrate each of the epic paths into the story. Every epic path includes a secret divine boon that can be used to bring the hero back to life. Before running any of the epic paths, you should read through the Epic Paths in the Creating Heroes appendix.

King Acastus is jealous of the heroes and worries that they will overshadow him. He has long sought to restore the order of the Dragonlords, but rather than earning his dragons, he's made secret pacts with the Titans.

Sharing Epic Paths Epic paths are designed to give each player their own unique motivations and moments in the spotlight. They work best if they are not shared. Introduction

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However, if your players wish to share an epic path, then the best way to accomplish this is to have them create characters who are siblings or otherwise closely related. They will effectively be playing as partners who share the same story. In this case, they should each get their own rewards, and you may want to differentiate them by tailoring the items to their chosen classes.

The Demi-God The Demi-god is a child of Pythor, the God of Battle. Pythor has spent centuries obsessing over his failures. He believes that the Demi-god is his path to redemption. Pythor wants the Demi-god to perform the tasks that he himself failed to accomplish—and to take his place as the God of Battle. Meeting the Oracle. Versi expects great things from the Demi-god. She encourages them to travel to Estoria and meet their father, Pythor. Meeting Pythor. When the heroes first meet Pythor in Estoria, he recognizes the Demi-god as one of his children. He laments that the green dragon Hexia took the Demi-god’s mother from him. Hexia dwells somewhere in the Forgotten Sea. Pythor's Hammer. When Pythor learns that the Demi-god wants to finish building his greatest weapon, he will offer up his magical hammer (Pythor’s hammer). Pythor will explain that the hammer will be needed to forge the weapon. But first he makes the Demi-god swear an oath to save his daughter Anora (the Demigod’s half-sister) from being sacrificed to Sydon. After giving the Demi-god his hammer, Pythor suggests that the Demi-god talk with Volkan, his father, who also dwells in Estoria. Meeting Volkan. Volkan tells the Demi-god that they will only be able to forge Pythor’s unfinished weapon using the Mithral Forge. He tells the Demi-god to relight the Mithral Forge and find the components required to complete Pythor’s unfinished weapon. Forging the Weapon. Once the fires of the Mithral Forge are relit, Volkan can forge the unfinished weapon when given the appropriate materials. When the weapon is complete, Volkan sends a keledone to deliver it to the Demi-god. Pythor's Greatest Foe. The Demi-god eventually discovers that their mother is a prisoner in Hexia’s lair on the Island of the Dragon. By defeating Hexia, the Demi-god will defeat Pythor’s greatest foe and rescue their mother in one fell swoop. The Demi-god’s mother has some knowledge of the Forgotten Sea and can give a vague description of each island. She asks the Demi-god to succeed where her husband failed and save Thylea from the Titans. just lose children. I y m of ud ro I'm p sometimes. count of them od of Battle — Pythor, G

Divine Boon If the Demi-God is ever killed, Pythor will appear within 1 hour and surrender a portion of his divine spark to raise them back to life. This can only happen once, and Pythor suffers one level of permanent exhaustion as a result.

The Vanished One The Oracle, Versi, has lived for millennia and has never loved anyone—until she laid eyes on the Vanished One. She will do anything to ensure that the Vanished One lives, but her jealousy knows no bounds. Meeting the Oracle. Versi asks the Vanished One to swear an oath that they will return to her once the prophecy has been fulfilled and the world has been saved from disaster. Once the oath is sworn, Versi will reveal that the Vanished One’s famed armor, along with the crown of the Dragonlords, are located in the Tomb of Xander at the Necropolis of Telamok. She refuses to offer this information unless the oath is sworn. Versi's Jealousy. Versi uses her divination magic to watch over the Vanished One. She becomes very jealous if anyone else shows romantic interest. If the Vanished One ever consummates another romance, Versi confronts the Vanished One one day later. She will try her best to kill whoever was intimate with the Vanished One. Speaking to Xander. The undead Xander at the Necropolis of Telamok recognizes the Vanished One and gives them a crown of the dragonlords. However, their famed armor has been stolen by a man named Gaius. Gaius is the commander of the Order of Sydon. He keeps the Vanished One's fabled armor in his room on the Island of Yonder. Versi's Vision. When the heroes first set out in the Ultros, Versi appears and tells the Vanished One where to find one of the dragon eggs that are scattered across Thylea. She has had a vision of a dragon egg under the constellation of The Prisoner. This corresponds to the brass dragon egg on Fire Island (area V15). The Forgotten Dragon. If the heroes encounter Hezzebal, the dragon guarding the Mirror Prison in the Nether Sea, then the dragon blames the Vanished One for his long imprisonment. Divine Boon If the Vanished One is ever killed, Versi will appear within 1 hour and kiss them, which restores them to life. This can only happen once.

The Doomed One When the Doomed One was born, Lutheria demanded that they be sacrificed along with many other children as part of an annual wine festival. Of all the parents of these children, only the Doomed One’s refused. Consequently, Lutheria slaughtered the Doomed One’s parents and directed her entire army of servants to torment the child endlessly as a practical joke.

Lutheria's Joke. While Lutheria lives, her servants focus their attacks upon the Doomed One. This includes goatlings, jackalwere, lamia, maenad, and all hostile undead. It should be obvious to the Doomed One that these creatures are singling them out. Meeting the Oracle. The Oracle’s corrupted sister, Demetria, knows more about the fate that has been laid upon the Doomed One. Versi explains that Demetria can be found in the Mossy Temple. Meeting Demetria. Demetria recognizes the Doomed One. She reveals that the Doomed One is destined to die by the workings of Lutheria. She says that only the Fates can say more. This may also be revealed in the dream when the heroes drink from the Horn of Balmytria. Consulting the Fates. The Fates (pg. 140) reveal the full prophecy that accompanied the Doomed One’s birth. They were to suffer all their life and die three times to satisfy the Queen of Death. The Fates also reveal the full story of the Doomed One’s birth parents—and the cruelty of Lutheria’s practical joke. The Fates' Loom. The Fates possess a magical loom that can be used to forge an item capable of protecting against Lutheria. This requires the Doomed One to either kill the Fates or bargain with them. Confronting Lutheria. When the Doomed One confronts Lutheria on her throne in the Nether Sea, the Titan will take no actions for one round as she is consumed by uncontrollable laughter. She fondly recalls all of the pointless suffering that she has inflicted upon the Doomed One. Divine Boon If the Doomed One is killed, they will immediately come under the effects of the spell true resurrection. This can happen only twice. No matter how the Doomed One is raised from the dead, they will remain dead forever after dying for the third time. This restriction ends once Lutheria is dead.

The Haunted One No one believes that the Haunted One’s family ever existed—not even the gods. Only the Fates know the truth. The Haunted One was foretold to “break the power of death.” When Lutheria learned this, she hunted them down and slaughtered their entire family. But Mytros, the Goddess of Dawn, intervened. Before Lutheria could strike the killing blow against the Haunted One, Mytros reached out with divine magic and erased the Haunted One’s entire existence from memory. Lutheria forgot her purpose and returned to her throne. None but the Fates remember the prophecy or the existence of the Haunted One and her family. Mytros saw that the prophecy could only come true if all trace of the Haunted One’s history were forgotten. The souls of their family remain trapped in Lutheria’s scythe.

Meeting the Oracle. Versi tells the Haunted One that their corrupted sister, Demetria, possesses one of her lost family artifacts. Demetria can be found in the Mossy Temple in the Old Woods. Defeating Demetria. Demetria possesses one of the Haunted One’s lesser family artifacts. It was stolen and carried to the temple by one of her goatling servants. Attuning the Artifact. When the Haunted One attunes the lesser artifact, they hear whispers of their family’s voices. The voice of the person they loved most in life (mother, father, spouse, child, etc.) will be loudest. That voice tells them that the other family artifact is held by the Queen of the Amazons. The Amazon Queen. The greater family artifact is indeed in the possession of the Amazon Queen on the Island of Themis. When the Haunted One attunes to the greater artifact, the whispers from their family become louder. The loved relative will tell the Haunted One that the Fates know the truth. Consulting the Fates. The Fates reveal the Haunted One’s full backstory, including the prophecy and the fact that Mytros erased their family from all memory. The Fates say that only by breaking Lutheria’s crystal scythe can the Haunted One free their family’s souls. Confronting Lutheria. If the Haunted One confronts Lutheria directly on her throne in Hypnos, then Lutheria will vaguely recall the prophecy and realize that she’s made a mistake. She will direct all of her efforts at killing the Haunted One before anyone else. Destroying the Scythe. Destroying Lutheria’s crystal scythe releases the souls of the Haunted One’s family so that they may pass on to the afterlife. Remembrance and knowledge of their existence also returns to the world. Divine Boon Once attuned to a family artifact, the Haunted One can escape death once. If the Haunted One is killed, the spirits of their loved ones will possess the hero so that they can continue their battle as if they had just taken a short rest. This can only happen once.

The Gifted One The Gifted One is a grandchild of Sydon, who fell in love with a mortal sorceress decades ago. Lutheria eventually convinced her brother that such a romance was corrupting him. Sydon murdered the sorceress, not knowing that she had already given birth to a daughter; the Gifted One is a child of that daughter. Meeting the Oracle. Versi reveals the Gifted One's conflicted ancestry, explaining that Sydon murdered their sorceress grandmother. She gives the Gifted One a locket that once belonged to her. The Whispering Locket. One week after receiving the locket, the spirit of the Gifted One’s grandmother will speak through it. She will whisper to the Gifted One that they are to resurrect the Dragonlords of old. But they must first exact vengeance upon Sydon. Introduction

25

The Wisdom of Vallus. Before the heroes set sail in the Ultros, Vallus offers the Gifted One her counsel. She believes that the Gifted One will restore glory to the order of the Dragonlords. But first, they must recover the fortress of the Dragonlords. It can be found in the possession of a dragon in the Garden of Helios. Dragon Eggs. The Gifted One can find a dragon egg in several places throughout the world of Thylea. Fortress of the Dragonlords. The instant fortress can be found in the treasure hoard of the gold dragon that rules the Garden of Helios. When summoned, it manifests as a tower with draconic architectural motifs. The Silver Dragon. When the Gifted One meets Nephele, the silver dragon at Praxys, their grandmother will speak to them through the locket. She will reveal that the silver dragon is without a soul. If the Gifted One breaks the locket, her soul can enter the dragon. In this case, the Gifted One gains an adult silver dragon as an ally. However, the dragon is as arrogant and mercurial as the sorceress was in life. She will only assist with the battle against Sydon. Confronting Sydon. When the Gifted One confronts Sydon, he is disappointed that one of his progeny could be so small and weak. Divine Boon If the Gifted One is ever killed, their body will disintegrate. Vallus will then use a true resurrection spell to bring them back to life. She then uses her magic to return the Gifted One to their companions. This can only happen once.

The Lost One The Lost One is a hero who came from the outer world as a survivor of a shipwreck or as an explorer seeking fame and fortune. Unlike the other epic paths, this works well if more than one player decides to create a character with this path. If more than one player creates a character with this path, then their rewards should be added to the lost treasure of the Dragonlords. Meeting the Oracle. Versi believes that the Lost One will find a way home, but first they must find the lost treasure of the Dragonlords. Meeting Pythor. When Pythor meets the Lost One, the god will offer to tell what he knows of the lost treasure of the Dragonlords, but only if his daughter is rescued before being sacrificed to Sydon. When his daughter is safe, Pythor reveals that Estor Arkelander was the last in possession of the treasure. Estor is now the undead captain of the ghost ship, the Ultros. Estor's Bargain. Once the heroes have gained control of the Ultros, Estor Arkelander will reveal to the Lost One that he buried the treasure of the Dragonlords in the Nether Sea. The treasure is sealed in a massive prison meant to contain a creature used by the gods as a weapon at the dawn of time. Estor will guide the heroes 26

Introduction

to it, but only if the Lost One swears an oath to allow him first pick of the treasure hoard—there is a single item that he wants above all else. The Wisdom of Vallus. When Vallus gives the Antikythera device to the heroes, she explains that it can be modified. A skilled gygan smith can rework it so that it can reveal a path through the Forgotten Sea to the world beyond. This work can be done by one of several gygan smiths – Steros, Bront, or Garzoon. The Dragonlords' Treasure. The lost treasure of the Dragonlords is sealed in the broken ‘mirror’ prison that was used to imprison the Kraken in the Nether Sea. The heroes must defeat the corrupted dragon that guards the treasure. Afterwards, if the Lost One swore the oath to Estor, the ghost takes the xiphos of slaughter from the treasure hoard. Divine Boon Once the Ultros has been claimed, if the Lost One is killed, then Estor will appear and possess the body of the Lost One, bringing them back to full health and powers as if they had just completed a full rest. The player can play as the possessed hero and try to extricate themselves from the situation where they were defeated. This can only happen once.

The Dragonslayer The dragon responsible for the tragedy that destroyed the Dragonslayer’s childhood home is the gold dragon known as Helios. Meeting the Oracle. Versi tells the Dragonslayer that they are destined to become the bane of evil dragons. They must seek out the Forgekeeper in the Mithral Mines to learn more about the artifacts they need. The Mithral Forge. The Forgekeeper will give the Dragonslayer their lesser magic item. The Forgekeeper says that the Dragonslayer must obtain a weapon powerful enough to fight a dragon. The gygans of Yonder supposedly forged such weapons in the First War. Consulting the Fates. The Fates reveal that the Dragonslayer should seek the wisdom of the Sun God under the constellation of The Chariot. He will help the Dragonslayer find the revenge that they seek. The Forbidden Library. The Dragonslayer’s greater magic item can be found in the possession of Chondrus on the Island of Yonder. He will offer it willingly if the players agree to his bargain. Confronting Helios. If the Dragonslayer arrives at the Garden of Helios, the Sun God will focus all of his attention on them. During dinner with Helios the Sun God will reveal that he has been waiting for the Dragonslayer’s arrival for a long time. The Fates told him that he would be killed by someone in the Dragonslayer’s family/town/tribe, so he rained fire down upon their home long ago. Once Helios assumes his dragon form, he attempts to devour the Dragonslayer.

Confronting Talieus. In the Great Arena at the Tower of Sydon, Talieus and his audience will focus their ridicule on the Dragonslayer, and the dragons will prioritize attacking the Dragonslayer. Divine Boon If the Dragonslayer is ever killed, they will be visited by Morta (the night hag) from the Island of the Fates. She will raise the Dragonslayer from the dead and reveal that their fate is not to die here. This can only happen once.

The Cursed One The curse that afflicts the Cursed One’s family originates on Typhon Island. Only by going to the island and diving into its central vortex can the Cursed One end the curse. Meeting the Oracle. Versi tells the Cursed One that they must speak with Damon, the ancient lich who guards the Necropolis at Telamok, to learn more about the nature of their curse. Meeting Damon. Damon knew the Cursed One’s ancestor. He says that the curse is unlike any other in Thylea, and that it was devised by Sydon and Lutheria. He says that the Cursed One must seek out the Lotus Witch on Scorpion Island. She will know how to break the curse. Damon gives the Cursed One a lost family heirloom—a gem of brightness. Meeting the Lotus Witch. The Lotus Witch reveals that the magic of the curse originates on Typhon island. Only by going there and diving into its volcanic heart will the Cursed One be granted their wish. But to do so they must possess a magic item powerful enough to protect against a fiery death. The Greater Artifact. The Lotus Witch will only give the Cursed One the artifact that they need if they are able to answer enough of her riddles. Otherwise the Cursed One must kill the Lotus Witch. Typhon Island. When the Cursed One reaches Typhon Island, they can leap into the volcanic core. If they have the artifact from the Lotus Witch, they will appear on the ash plains of Hades unharmed. There the Cursed One will find an old man (NE commoner) guarded by a cerberus hound. The Cursed Ancestor. The old man is the Cursed One’s ancestor, and the curse was his fault. He disrespected the Titans, and this was his punishment. The cerberus says that killing the old man is the only way to end the curse. The old man does not defend himself. Ending the Curse. If the Cursed One kills their ancestor, the cerberus devours the corpse, and all curses on all of the Cursed One’s family members come to an end. The Cursed One awakens back on Typhon Island. Killing the Titans. If both Sydon and Lutheria are killed, then the curse is lifted and the Cursed One's ancestor is released from Hades. Their gem of brightness is also fully recharged. However, this solution is never offered or explained—it must be discovered.

Divine Boon If the Cursed One is ever killed, Damon will teleport in and destroy any remaining enemies. The lich will then hand a raise dead scroll to one of the Cursed One’s companions before leaving. This can only happen once.

CREATING EPIC PATHS

Your players may wish to create an epic path that isn’t offered in Odyssey of the Dragonlords. This section explains how to create one. It is important for an epic path to feel personal to a player, so you should involve the player in the creation process. Epic paths should never give heroes special items or powers at character creation. That is the function of classes and backgrounds.

Make them Epic Epic paths must live up to the name. They must be epic. The story and goals should be heroic enough to work for the protagonist of a great fantasy novel or summer blockbuster movie. For example:

• The abandoned child of a god or king who is destined to overthrow their tyrannical parent.

• A hero who is fated to unify a kingdom that has long been sundered by civil war.

• A hero who is fated to prevent a looming disaster of cataclysmic proportions.

• A hero who is fated to be the savior of their tribe, their home city, or their entire race.

• A hero who is driven to resurrect an ancient order (religion, army, fleet, cult, etc.).

• A hero who is destined to discover a legendary treasure/secret/monster.

Synergy with the campaign Epic paths should involve locations and characters that are already central to the story of this campaign. Epic paths should always drive the heroes to complete the campaign's primary objectives, or else they risk derailing the campaign. Give them reasons to meet the Five Gods, explore the oceans, and confront the Titans.

Freedom of Choice Epic paths must allow the player freedom to choose how they will proceed in the story. They should never force the hero into taking certain actions that might be out of character. They should have well-defined goals, but you should never undermine the player's freedom to choose how they will accomplish those goals.

Heroic Tasks An epic path needs tasks to drive the hero onwards. Several heroic tasks for the hero should revolve around obtaining magic items, special powers, or the services of a powerful companion or mount. Heroic tasks should Introduction

27

Milestones and Ideal Levels Story

Ideal Fame

Ideal Level

Reward For Each Hero

First Great Labor

2

2nd level

400 XP reward for labor

Second and Third Great Labors

4

4th level

800 XP reward for labor

Obtaining the Ultros

6

5th level

1,500 XP reward

The Cerulean Gulf

8

6th level

1,000–2,000 XP reward for each island explored

The Forgotten Sea

10

8th level

3,000–4,000 XP reward for each island explored

Praxys and the Nether Sea

12

10th level

5,000 XP reward for defeating Sydon or Lutheria

The Battle of Mytros

14

12th level

6,000 XP reward for completing the battle

The New Pantheon

16

14th level

7,000 XP reward for each divine artifact collected

The Apokalypsis

18

16th level

8,000 XP reward for each apocoalyptic threat defeated

never put heroes in conflict with other heroes, and they should never distract from the main storyline. Below are guidelines for the power levels of the rewards earned for completing heroic tasks:

• Single Magic Item: Very Rare. This item shouldn’t be

available until the hero is 10th level or higher. • Two Magic Items: 2x Rare. One item should be available at 5th level of higher, while the other item should be available at 8th level or higher. • Special Powers: Equivalent to one of the Epic Boons in the Game Master's Guide. This boon shouldn’t be available until the hero is at least 8th level. • Mount/Companion: CR 3 or lower. This shouldn’t be available until the hero is at least 7th level.

Divine Blessing The divine blessing is awarded to a hero when they accomplish all of their heroic tasks. This is a tool to encourage players to complete their heroic tasks, even those that don’t immediately lead to power gains. The 5th Edition Game Master's Guide blessings should be used as a guideline for this reward.

Divine Boon The divine boon is a 'get out of jail free card' that brings the hero back to life when they are killed. This allows for the possibility of some truly terrifying encounters where the destruction of the entire party is a real possibility. Divine boons usually only activate once for each hero. They should take the form of a key character from the epic path’s backstory, or a major character from the plot.

CHARACTER ADVANCEMENT

You may use standard XP awards for defeating monsters and other challenges. Experience points should be distributed to the heroes at the end of every session. You can also give out XP rewards for completing major story milestones. This is optional, but it provides a strong incentive for your party to stay engaged with the story. 28

Introduction

Above is a breakdown of the ideal hero levels at different points in this adventure. It also shows suitable XP awards for accomplishing major story objectives.

ADJUSTING THE CAMPAIGN Other Campaign Settings Thylea is designed to easily fit into any campaign world. As the ‘forgotten continent,’ it can be located across the far reaches of the oceans in an existing setting. However, this part of the world is so remote that it might be treated as another plane of existence. For example, magic sometimes works differently in Thylea. Oaths that are binding in Thylea might cease to be enforced beyond the borders of this land. The gods of other campaign settings may suspect that Thylea exists, but none of them dare venture into the sacred domain of the Mother Goddess or her husband Kentimane. Communication with the gods of the Old World is possible through the use of spells such as guidance and commune, but their influence on Thylea is extremely limited. You should decide where the Dragonlords and settlers originally came from in your game world. All that is known for certain is that they came from a distant land with dragons and humans. You can also use Thylea as a self-contained setting. Anything could exist beyond the horizon of the Forgotten Sea, so you feel free to expand the world with your own islands and continents!

Starting at 5th level Some groups might be using pre-existing characters at a higher level when they start the adventure. The best way to deal with these high-level groups is to skip two of the three Great Labors in the first act. In this case, the Oracle might provide the heroes with the Horn of Balmytria, and Volkan might lead the heroes to the Mithral Forge.

Smaller Parties & Followers

Customizing the Story

If you are running this campaign with a smaller group of players, you should consider allowing some of the minor NPCs to join the party as player-controlled followers as the party encounters them in the story. Be judicious in distributing additional power in this way—the party size should not exceed six characters, or else encounters will start to be trivialized. Likewise, you don't want combat to turn into a slog. The following NPCs are intended to be used for this purpose: Loreus, Bullbug, Darien, Moxena, Nessa, Pholon, and Steros. The Oracle and the Five Gods should not be controlled by players.

The story presented in this book is just a tool that we've designed to make the campaign easier for you to run. You should feel free to customize the story to your liking—or even just let your players loose on the world with less guidance than we've provided. If you'd like to create your own story in the world of Thylea, then we suggest starting by choosing a strong villain. The villain might be a servant of one of the Titans, a forgotten Dragonlord, or legendary warlord who seeks to become a god. Whatever the case, we strongly encourage that you take advantage of the Epic Paths to raise the stakes and make it feel personal.

Thylean Script This form of writing is used across the kingdoms of Aresia, Mytros, and Estoria. It is believed to date back to the Gygan Empire, as it was already the predominant mode of writing when the first human settlers arrived.

A

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I/J

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ε

φ

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Ι

κ

λ

μ

ν

O

P

PS

R

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Chapter 1:

Heroes of the Prophecy “No, husband, the mortals no longer heed your storms. Let us instead send a great beast to defile the lands they stole from us. I am sure that they will appreciate the irony.”

S

—Lutheria, the Lady of Dreams

ydon and Lutheria, the Twin Titans, have corrupted the heart of an ancient boar and unleashed it in the verdant countryside east of the City of Estoria. They hope to create fear in the people of Thylea so that the mortals will abandon their worship of the Five Gods. The Oath of Peace once protected the human settlers from the Titans, but now the magic of the oath is weakening. This is a small taste of the devastation to come.

Kyrah has summoned the heroes to hunt the boar and put an end to the devastation that it is causing. Once the beast has been slain, the carcass should be burned as a sacrifice to one of the gods or Titans. Great fame and riches are promised to those who make such offerings. The Order of Sydon has demanded that the boar be an offering to Sydon, the Lord of Storms, but everyone in the world knows that such offerings can alter the balance of power among the gods. 

We gods can only do so much to keep the peace, especially when the priests abandon our temples. In these dark times, it is we who must have faith in mortals, rather than the other way around. — Kyrah, Goddess of Music 30

The future of Thylea looks grim. Monsters menace the roads, and corruption threatens the cities. The storm god Sydon demands daily sacrifices at every temple, and his sister-wife Lutheria kidnaps children for her secret rituals. The Five Gods, who once protected the settlers, are silent. And now, the Oracle has prophesied the Doom of Thylea: the death of gods, the destruction of Mytros, and the total annihilation of the mortal races. You are one of a group of warriors who have been summoned to the Heartlands in an attempt to avert this coming catastrophe. You each have reasons for answering the call, but rumors of your coming have already spread across the land. 

The Sour Vintage 

Kyrah the Poet

The Sour Vintage is a traditional country inn located at a crossroads, about twenty miles east of the City of Estoria. The exterior is rustic wood painted black, and the sign hanging from the door depicts a woman carrying a basket full of grapes. Inside the tavern, a haze of pleasant tobacco smoke lingers in the air. You hear the clinking of mugs and the muttering of patrons, most of whom are farmers. You have been summoned here by a woman named Kyrah who wants to hire you for a ‘difficult task’. She has promised a sizable reward, and more information about the Oracle’s prophecy. 

The Poet from Mytros Kyrah (see appendix) has been sent by Versi the Oracle, but she is using the identity of a poet, one of some skill and renown. It is Kyrah’s task to gather the heroes from the oracle’s vision and ensure that they live up to their potential. Kyrah knows all of the rumors that have been circulating about the heroes, and she takes a moment to recognize their unique talents. 

A dark-haired woman calls you over to a table in the corner. She wears a white traveling dress with practical leather boots, and she carries a large satchel that appears to contain dozens of scrolls, along with plentiful writing supplies. “Greetings, I am Kyrah. Thank you for answering my summons. I will be direct. I am here as an agent of the Oracle. She believes that great destinies await you all, but great destinies are forged by great deeds. “A terrifying giant boar has been laying waste to the Heartlands, slaughtering everything in its path. This boar was corrupted by the Titans and sent to punish the mortals of Thylea for their continued faith in the Five Gods. Many have attempted to hunt the boar. All have failed. “If you wish to win fame and fortune, as great heroes should, then you must prove to the people of Thylea that you are the warriors of the Oracle’s prophecy. Hunt this boar and offer it to the gods as a sacrifice." 

Kyrah's Identity Kyrah is actually the goddess of music and makes little effort to disguise her identity, but she behaves like any other mortal woman. If anyone suggests that she might be more than she lets on, she feigns innocence and changes the subject. The locals recognize her as a poet from Mytros, but most will assume that she has merely been blessed with the appearance of the goddess.

The poet offers the heroes assistance in accomplishing this task. She has hired two hunters who can help track down the corrupted boar. They will be waiting outside of the tavern an hour before dawn. She also offers the heroes a reward for slaying the beast: a golden arrow per hero worth 25 gp each. She will give the reward to the heroes once the Oracle is satisfied that they are the heroes from her vision. 

Kyrah explains that the Titans, Sydon and Lutheria, have always hated the mortals of Thylea. For five hundred years, their hatred has been shackled by the Oath of Peace. Now, the power of the Oath has waned, and this ancient beast is one of many signs that they are plotting war upon Mytros once again.

Staying the Night The heroes can spend the rest of the night drinking and speaking to the locals. This is a good opportunity for the heroes to learn about each other, as well as hear of any recent events and rumors. Kyrah is willing to answer any questions they may have about Thylea. The heroes may also purchase basic supplies from Aetala, the innkeeper. Ch apter 1 | Heroes of the Prophec y

31

Spreading Rumors If your players have prepared rumors about themselves, now is a good time to distribute them around the table. This is an opportunity for your players to roleplay their characters and get to know each other better.

The Innkeeper The innkeeper is a retired hunter named Aetala (NG veteran). She knows the Heartlands better than most, and she has all the rumors from Estoria. She recognizes at least one of the heroes, and she suggests that they hunt the boar. Aetala made her fortune hunting a similar beast decades ago. of other lands. The beasts of Thylea are not like those with tusks like Today, we lost twenty men to a great boar even as it devoured spears. It spoke to us of death and justice, our comrades.

32

—Rizon Phobas, Dragonlord (12 DA)

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Injured Hunting Party These hunters are recovering from minor injuries sustained while hunting the boar. They set a trap for the beast by laying twenty pounds of rotten fruit in the middle of a field and hiding in the surrounding hedges. The boar took them by surprise. It gored one of their friends with its tusks and dragged him into the woods. They tried to follow but the sounds were too horrible, and so they came here to drink to the memory of their dead friend.

Forlorn Farmers Most of the other patrons in the tavern are farmers who are too frightened to tend their fields. Their families are holed up inside farmhouse basem*nts, or else they’ve fled to the safety of Estoria until the beast has been killed. If any of the farmers recognize the heroes, they become angry with them: why aren’t they out hunting the boar? What else are heroes good for, anyway?

Hunting the Boar Kyrah and the two hunters are waiting outside the tavern an hour before dawn. The hunters are named Taneias and Javon (LG scouts). The morning is cold and foggy, and the ground is wet with dew. The hunters lead the party away from the tavern and deep into the hills to the north. The party passes many farms and settlements that have been destroyed by the corrupted boar. 

As you make your way northward into the Heartlands, you pass many ravaged farms and settlements, all attacked by the boar. The rocks and trees along the road have been gouged by its tusks, leaving deep, ragged trenches. Carrion crows flock in the fields, picking at the bodies of failed hunters and unfortunate settlers. 

The party should make a DC 10 Wisdom (Survival) check to attempt to track the corrupted boar. A failure means the heroes spend an entire day in fruitless searching. You may choose to run one random plains encounter during the hunt, whether or not they succeed on this check. Kyrah will not fight in any of the heroes’ battles. She will stay away from enemies and make meticulous notes for an epic poem about the struggle. She will, however, do her best to help the heroes by keeping their spirits up. If the heroes appear to be in grave danger, she may sing one of her songs to lend aid. If a hero dies, she will wait until the danger has passed and then use her raise dead scrolls to bring them back to life, invoking the power of Mytros, the goddess, to do so.

THE BOAR’S CAVE

• Rope Snare. This trap requires 50 ft. of rope. It will

entangle the boar’s legs, cutting its movement speed in half and preventing it from using any charge abilities. Setting it requires a Survival DC 12 skill check. • Spiked Pitfall. This trap requires someone to dig a hole 10 ft. deep and fill it with sharpened wooden stakes. If the boar fails to leap over it, it will take 3d6 piercing damage and become immobilized. Digging the pitfall requires Survival DC 20 skill check. • Spiked Barricade. This trap requires setting up a row of sharpened stakes, angled toward the cave mouth. If the boar runs into the barricade, it will take 2d6 piercing damage. Constructing the barrier requires a Survival DC 12 skill check. At this point, have the party make DC 16 Wisdom (Perception) checks. Anyone who fails to make the check is surprised during the following battle. One of the hunters is killed as soon as the boar appears: 

Suddenly, you hear a bestial grunt from inside the cave. A massive boar suddenly charges from the cave mouth, goring one of the hunters on its tusks! Tossing the body away like a ragdoll, the creature draws itself up to its full height. It’s an ancient white boar with fierce red eyes and bloodied yellow tusks. 

Eventually, the party stumbles upon a cave in the hills where the boar has dragged its most recent kills. The boar is inside the cave, messily devouring a couple of unfortunate scouts. 

From this height, you can see miles of mountainous hills to the west. A thick blanket of fog hangs over the lower land, and you can hear a gentle chorus of birds greeting the morning sun. Eventually, you pick up the boar’s trail: another path of wanton destruction, split tree trunks, and splatters of blood. The trail ends at the shadowy mouth of a cave. Ear-splitting grunts and squeals echo from inside. 

The party may choose to set a variety of traps for the boar. Each trap requires a successful Wisdom (Survival) skill check to assemble. Failing the check causes someone to stumble and make a loud noise, at which the boar becomes alerted to the party’s presence. Possibilities for traps include:

Encounter: The Boar Attacks

Kyrah’s Assistance

Setting Traps

The great boar has several spears and arrows lodged in its back, all the result of failed attempts to kill it. The boar is bleeding from these wounds, causing it to suffer one level of exhaustion at the end of each of its turns in combat. Sensing that it is surrounded, it will try to attack each hero at least once.

Death of the Boar

The boar fights until it is reduced to 0 hit points; at this point it can be captured with a net and bound with ropes. Once captured, the boar locks eyes with the heroes and speaks its dying words directly into their minds. Everyone hears its booming voice inside their heads:

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33

“Know this, mortals. Your sins cannot be atoned. An ancient power sleeps in the heart of Thylea, and when it awakens, the age of Mytros will come to an end. Just as my broken body falls to ruin and decay, so too all mortal things will come to death and darkness. No prophecy will save you.” 

recommends not making the offering to either Sydon or Lutheria, as such an act will only strengthen their dominion over the lands of Thylea. Reactions to the Sacrifical Offering Diety

Effect

Thylea

All heroes gain the charm of vitality. Beasts in every forest will aid the heroes.

Kentimane

Earthquakes. The Hands of Kentimane will aid the heroes in battle once.

Sydon

The weather is beautiful for one week. The Order of Sydon is pleased.

Lutheria

Lutheria grants one hero the blessing of protection during her first dream.

Mytros

All heroes gain the charm of heroism and are protected from Lutheria’s madness during the first dream.

Volkan

Volkan grants the heroes one random magic item upon meeting them.

Kyrah

Kyrah confesses her identity. She swears an oath of protection to the heroes.

Pythor

Pythor swears an oath of service to the heroes upon meeting them.

Vallus

Vallus grants the heroes a scarab of protection upon meeting them.

None

Hurricanes and earthquakes. The heroes are transformed into goats for one day.

The boar’s cave is only 50 ft. deep, and it’s full of stinking water, gore, and boar dung. If the heroes decide to wade into the disgusting mess in the cave and explore, there is some treasure to be found. Treasure The two shredded corpses inside the cave may be searched. Between them, they have 25 gp and 37 sp. One of them carried a silvered spear. Kyrah points out that it is customary to bury or burn the dead, and that each body should have two gold pieces placed on its eyes, the expected payment for the Ferryman.

Sacrifice to the Gods Once everyone has drawn breath and tended their wounds, Kyrah reminds everyone that the dying boar should be offered as a sacrifice to the gods. This is the way of things in Thylea, and it will be a great offense to both the gods and the people of Mytros if the beast does not die as a proper offering. Whichever god receives this sacrifice will grow in power as a result. The heroes should collect wood to construct a sacrificial bier around the beast. Then, they must decide which god will receive the sacrifice. Kyrah will remind the heroes that the Order of Sydon demanded that the boar be sacrificed to the Lord of Storms. She strongly

The chosen Ones Whatever happens, the boar-slaying heroes are now celebrated as the Oracle's Chosen Ones. The people of Thylea will expect them to travel to the Temple of the Oracle and discover what great destiny awaits them.

Temple of the Oracle “Never trust the words of that witch, Versi. She once claimed that she saw no great deeds in my future, but look now—am I not the King of Mytros?”

Though others failed, you slew the corrupted boar that plagued the lands west of Mytros. Your names are everywhere celebrated as the Heroes of the Heartlands. Now, you have come to the Temple of the Oracle to claim your reward. Kyrah has promised that you will learn more of your destiny from the water nymph, Versi, the legendary Oracle who brokered the Oath of Peace. She is the daughter of Sydon, the Lord of Storms, but she has always been an ally to the mortals of Thylea. But Kyrah has heard nothing from her in two weeks, and now she fears that something may have happened to the Oracle.

—King Acastus, on the Oracle of Thylea The Temple of the Oracle is the fabled home of Versi, an ancient naiad, a water nymph, with the gift of prophecy. She has recently issued a dire warning to the people of Mytros—the Doom of Thylea is nigh, and only the great heroes from her vision can rescue the land from total destruction. 

34

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O2. The Temple Portico 

This massive temple has been built directly into the wall of the canyon. Towering columns support a pediment that is carved from the rocky cliff-face. A marble frieze of Sydon sits enthroned above the center columns, his black glaive in one hand. Standing at the center of the portico are four men clad in bronze mail and bright blue cloaks. 

The Current Situation

Braeca has posted four soldiers here. The soldiers have been told to expect a band of dangerous warriors and, consequently, their nerves are somewhat on edge. They will not immediately abandon their post, but they are easy to intimidate. They will eventually flee into the temple unless the heroes corner them or otherwise goad them into a fight.

The Oracle, Versi (see appendix), has been trapped in a cave below the temple for two weeks. After learning of Versi’s most recent prophecy, the Lord of Storms decided to punish his daughter for her insubordination. Sydon sent a sea hag named Heleka to bring Versi back to his tower in the Forgotten Sea. Like all hags, Heleka is utterly evil. She is taking immense pleasure from tormenting the naiad, but Sydon has forbidden her from physically harming Versi. Meanwhile, Gaius, the Commander of the Order of Sydon, has learned that the heroes have come to meet with the Oracle. He has personally ordered a detachment of soldiers to kill the heroes before they can even have a chance to become famous enough to challenge the powers that rule Thylea. The soldiers are led by a priest named Braeca (LE acolyte), and they have been ordered to kill the heroes on sight.

O3. The Temple Chamber 

O1. Boiling Geysers 

The Temple of the Oracle is located in a cleft in the earth, many leagues from the nearest settlement. As you descend into the chasm, the forest disappears, replaced by steep walls of craggy rock. Warm vapors rise from cracks and vents along the floor of the chasm, filling the air with an eerie mist. You feel yourselves sweating from the heat and exertion. 

While crossing through the chasm, the heroes may accidentally stumble across geysers of boiling steam that suddenly shoot up. Each time the heroes move in the rocky area of this chasm, they must make a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw. On a failure, they are blasted by scalding steam and take 2d6 fire damage. Minions of Heleka There are four steam mephits in the chasm. They were summoned by Heleka and ordered to prevent anyone from getting close to the Temple. The mephits will attempt to lure heroes to cross the boiling geysers. 36

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The inner chamber of the temple is dominated by a massive bronze statue of Sydon, who sits upon a throne at the rear of the cella. At the foot of the statue is a rectangular pool, which reflects the light of four large braziers into rippling patterns on the ceiling. Five men clad in bronze mail and bright blue cloaks are gathered around the sacrificial bier. They appear to have taken the temple attendants hostage. One of the hostages is shouting at the soldiers.

KEY LOCATIONS 

Braeca is waiting inside the temple with another four soldiers. He is holding Proteus (LG acolyte) and three temple attendants (LG commoners) captive, but he does not intend to harm them. However, the dead bodies of several more temple attendants are strewn about the temple in a bloody mess. Proteus is the elder attendant of this temple, and he is loudly and forcefully pleading with Braeca to stop “the witch” from harming Versi. If questioned, he explains that a sea hag named Heleka arrived at the temple two weeks ago. She has been wantonly slaughtering his acolytes in order to torment the captive Oracle. Sacrificial Bier. There is a bronze bier in the room where sacrificial offerings are usually made by the priests. Animal bones are scattered among the ashes. Treasure. Braeca and his men are carrying 25 gp and 100 sp. Braeca carries a bronze symbol of Sydon, which depicts the wrathful visage of the Lord of Storms.

O4. Locked Stairway Door The stairway door that leads to the temple basem*nt is locked. The key to the door is located in the Attendants’ Chambers (O5). The door can be smashed open with a successful DC 20 Strength (Athletics) check.

O5. The Attendants’ Chambers These seven rooms are where the temple attendants sleep. All of the rooms are sparse and tidy. Heleka enchanted four flying swords and left them hanging on the wall next to the key to the locked stairway door (O4). The swords remain motionless until the key is touched, at which point they come alive and attack. Treasure. The priests keep no material wealth. They have extra robes, boots, and scrolls inscribed with prayers to the gods. Proteus’s room is the one exception. He has a small chest that contains six potions of healing.

O6. Mimic Door The door at the bottom of the stairway is a mimic loyal to Heleka. It looks like a strong oak door with Sydon’s face carved into it. When someone touches it, the mimic will attack, with the ‘carved’ face of Sydon biting whoever touched it.

O7. The Oracle’s Grotto 

Liquid blue light shimmers and refracts across the slick walls of this rocky grotto. The room is lit by torches and filled with the vaporous mist of steaming hot springs. You can hear water cascading into an underground river at the rear of the cave. 

Versi has lived in the waters of this cave for centuries, attended by the faithful acolytes who serve her Temple. She spends her days on the rock in the center of the cave, inhaling the vapors of the hot spring and listening to her dreams for new prophecies. Her visions have always come true, and she is therefore greatly feared and admired by the people of Thylea. This cave and the resting chamber beyond it should be considered her lair. One of the rugs in the center of this grotto is actually a rug of smothering. It will attack anyone Ch apter 1 | Heroes of the Prophec y

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who tries to move deeper into the cave. Heleka is in the Oracle’s resting chamber, where she is torturing one of the temple attendants in order to torment the Oracle herself.

O8. The Oracle’s Chamber 

At the entrance to this chamber, a beautiful woman in golden raiment is stretched out above the underground river, held captive by tendrils of animated water. In the chamber behind her, a hideous, blueskinned woman cackles as she plunges a knife into a terrified acolyte. 

completely fixated on holding the Oracle, and it will not retaliate when attacked. Once Heleka has finished tormenting Versi, she plans to drag the Oracle into the depths of the cave and search for an exit to the ocean. Treasure. Heleka carries a single pearl worth 100 gp. She also has a note that reads: 

Heleka... I bid you now make good upon the oath of service that once you swore me. You know the secret ways through the Forgotten Sea to the cave where my daughter dwells. Find her and bring her to Praxys unharmed, and I will release you from your oath. — Sydon, Lord of All

 

Versi is furious with Heleka for slaughtering her temple attendants, who were like children to her. She would kill the hag if she could, but she has been restrained in her resting chamber by a water weird. The water weird is 38

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The Oracle's Belongings. In addition to what can be found on Heleka, many of the gifts that the Oracle has received over the years are found here. These include:

THE GREAT LABORS

five black pearl gems worth 500 gp each, three emerald gems worth 1000 gp each, and six fine brooches worth 750 gp each. Taking any of the Oracle’s gifts marks the thief as cursed by the gods. The curse can only be lifted by a greater restoration spell or by bringing the treasure back and begging forgiveness from the Oracle.

The heroes have rescued the Oracle from the clutches of a hag and cemented their place as the subjects of her prophecy. Now, it seems that the party must perform three mighty tasks in order to prepare themselves for a confrontation with the Titans, Sydon and Lutheria. Both Proteus and Kyrah are capable of interpreting the Oracle’s vision. Proteus has extensive knowledge of Thylea’s geography and culture, but he believes that these tasks may truly be impossible. Kyrah is more likely to prod the party into action—she’s eager for an exciting story to inspire her poetry.

THE ORACLE’S PROPHECY

Once the Oracle has been rescued from the sea hag, she thanks the heroes and introduces herself. Centuries ago, she foresaw the coming of great warriors who would save Thylea in her hour of need. Now, Versi delivers the full prophecy to those in attendance. 

The Oracle inhales the vaporous fumes that surround her. She stares into each of your eyes, probing your souls with her penetrating gaze. Some time passes before she speaks. “You warriors who stand here gathered will be tested. The Fates have revealed three great tasks that must be accomplished before you are ready to sail into the three seas and face the Titans.” “You must shape the silver fires of the lost forge in order to craft the tools that you will need. You must claim the mighty weapons wielded against the Titans by the first Dragonlord. And you must drink deep from the bottomless dragon horn, for it will reveal a vision that I cannot see.” “But woe unto thee, for I have seen the end of all things. My father’s anger cannot be quelled, and his sister schemes even now. Your quest may yet fail and, if it should, the sky will rain black fire, and the doom of Thylea will come.” 

1. Claim the Weapons of the Dragonlords The weapons of the first Dragonlords were forged at the Mithral Forge by the god Volkan, and all were capable of wounding the Titans and those descended from them. These are located in Telamok, a necropolis in the Mithral Mountains. The tombs were built to house the remains of the Dragonlords who came to Thylea five centuries ago. No one ever goes there now, as it’s guarded by an undead gatekeeper known as Damon, who must be paid with a special kind of coin before he will allow anyone entrance. Proteus gives the heroes one burnished dragonlord coin and tells them to keep it safe. 2. Light the Fires of the Mithral Forge The Mithral Forge was used by the dwarves to construct the weapons of the gods in the First War. The Forge can be used to build powerful magical items

Versi the Oracle 

With the Oracle’s full prophecy delivered, it’s time for the heroes to undertake three great tasks. But first, she will speak with each hero, revealing specific information about each of their epic paths. Epic Paths: Meeting the Oracle Versi has valuable information for heroes using every epic path. This is an important opportunity to recognize the backstory and motivations of every epic path in the party. Don't miss this chance to make your players feel special. Refer to the Running the Epic Paths section for details. The Vanished One. Versi will treat the Vanished One differently than the other heroes. She will ask to speak to this particular hero privately in her cave, where she will remind them that they must return to her when the Great Labors have been completed.

In spite of her heritage, Versi has always shown herself to be a true ally of the settler races. If anything, she loves mortals just a little too much.

— Vallus, Goddess of Wisdom

or repair ancient magical items that no longer work. Kyrah suggests that the party travel to the city of Estoria. A clan of dwarves works the local copper mines, and they are likely to know more about the Forge’s whereabouts. 3. Drink From the Horn of Balmytria The Horn of Balmytria is an actual dragon horn that a famed silver dragon lost in battle against the gygans. It was recovered by the priests of Mytros and consecrated by the Five. It reputedly has many magical powers including the ability to grant visions to those who drink from it. The horn was stowed in a reliquary in the city of Estoria and, as far as anyone knows, it’s still there. If the heroes ask about the “three seas” Kyrah will explain that it almost certainly refers to the Cerulean Gulf, the Forgotten Sea, and the legendary Nether Sea. Compelled by Prophecy Even if the heroes refuse to undertake the tasks, the people of Mytros believe that the prophecy must be fulfilled, and the gods will conspire to move the quest forward. Everyone the party encounters will know them as the ‘Chosen Ones.’

LEAVING THE TEMPLE

This is a good time to introduce the concept of Fame to your players. Each time the heroes complete a quest or perform a great deed, they earn Fame. As the party's Fame increases, they unlock perks. See the Benefits of Fame table in the Creating Heroes appendix for details. Kyrah also signals that she will be following the heroes and watching over them, with the intention of composing an epic poem about their exploits. Epic Poetry Battle. If the party already has a bard who wishes to serve as an epic poet, then Kyrah offers them a challenge: the two of them will compose separate epics, and when the quest is done, they will each read their poem aloud at the Theater of the Gods in Mytros to see which version of the story gets the most applause. Finally, Kyrah offers one last suggestion before the party continues onward. 

"There is one tiny problem, though. The tricky thing about fame is, if you're not careful, one hero might outshine all the others. Then all the stories will be about that one hero and how strong and valiant they are — and all the rest of you will be yesterday's news." "So... I encourage you to swear an Oath of Fellowship. This is a sacred oath that will bind you together in the spirit of solidarity. When one of you wins fame, all of you will share it. And, who knows? Perhaps the magic of the oath will even protect you against some of the dangers that lie ahead." 

If the heroes elect to swear the oath, then your players should each read the following aloud:

“The future of Thylea may be bleak, but there is always hope. The people of this land will look to your actions as a sign of things to come. Seek neither fame nor fortune, but show them the true meaning of heroism. Make yourselves a beacon of light as we enter this time of darkness, and go with the blessing of this temple.” 

Kyrah's Advice: Winning Fame After Proteus has departed, Kyrah offers the heroes another take on the tasks ahead. 40

The Oath of Fellowship

The party should choose one of the three Labors before leaving the temple. Kyrah volunteers to serve as a guide and traveling companion. She won’t take no for an answer. She recommends traveling to Estoria first, because the Horn of Balmytria should be there, on display at the Dragon Shrine (E7). She also gives the heroes the golden arrows that she promised as a reward. Parting Gifts. Before the party leaves the temple, Proteus intercepts the heroes and thanks them for saving Versi from the clutches of the sea hag. He is skeptical that any of these so-called ‘Great Labors’ may be accomplished by mortals, but he believes that Thylea desperately needs heroes who are willing to try. He gives each of the heroes one potion of healing and takes his leave of the party with encouraging words: 

"Listen to me — forget what Proteus said. This is your chance to win fame beyond your wildest dreams. You want fame, right? Of course you do. All great heroes want fame. Fame is the path to immortality." "These 'Great Labors' are only the beginning. The path ahead of you will be filled with opportunities for winning fame. If you truly manage to rise to your fate and confront the Titans, then poets will sing of your deeds for ages to come."

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"I am [name], and I swear upon my life and my honor that I will uphold the oath of fellowship with the warriors who stand at my side." 

As they swear the oath, the heroes should toast with a round of wine. You may choose to re-enact this ritual at the table for extra dramatic effect.

Chapter 2:

The Great Labors “I miss my mother dearly, but I wish she had never devised the Oath of Peace. Five hundred years without a battle to test me—five hundred years without a real victory. It's worse than anything the Titans might have dreamt up to torture me.”

T

—Pythor, King of Estoria, God of Battle

he heroes have rescued the Oracle from the clutches of the witch Heleka, and in the process, they've learned the first portion of what the Fates have in store for them. Now, they must undertake a series of Great Labors in order to prepare for their confrontation with the Titans.

Running the Adventure The party's next destination is the city of Estoria, which should serve as a base for the heroes for this chapter. In Estoria, they will meet up with characters and hear rumors that will lead them to the three locations that must be visited to complete their Great Labors. Estoria offers many other activities and quests for the heroes to engage with. These are all optional, but they should help immerse players in the world of Thylea.

The Great Labors The party must perform 2-3 of the following tasks.

• Claim the weapons of the Dragonlords • Light the fires of the Mithral Forge • Drink from the Horn of Balmytria 1. Claim the Weapons of the Dragonlords This task requires the heroes to travel to Telamok, the necropolis in the Mithral Mountains. This requires a bit of travel, and it's quite dangerous. 2. Light the Fires of the Mithral Forge This task requires the heroes to locate the ancient Mithral Forge. There is a clan of dwarves in Estoria that works the local copper mines, and they are likely to know more about the Forge’s whereabouts. 3. Drink From the Horn of Balmytria The Horn of Balmytria is kept in a reliquary in the city of Estoria and, as far as anyone knows, it’s still there. Investigating the Dragon Shrine (E7) in Estoria is the best place to start. Meeting King Pythor In addition to these Great Labors, the heroes will meet King Pythor of Estoria. Pythor requires the heroes' aid to prevent his daughter from being sacrificed. Ch apter 2 | The Gr e at L abor s

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The City of Estoria Estoria is the largest settlement along the Arkelon River. It is built into a rocky gorge, sprawling down from a stone-walled fortress that faces the steppes to the north. The Arkelon itself runs along the northern edge of the fortress, and forms a natural moat that can only be crossed by a bridge at the north gate or at the ford near the Rock of Estor. On the far side of the river from the city are grasslands where bands of centaurs patrol.

Approaching Estoria Most travelers approach Estoria from the southern gate, which is lightly guarded so that merchant caravans can easily ferry their goods in and out of the city. The north gate, on the other hand, is heavily guarded by suspicious soldiers who will only admit the heroes once they recognize them as the Oracle’s ‘Chosen Ones.' 

This is a summary of the important NPCs in Estoria.

• King Pythor (see appendix) is the legendary god of battle who rules Estoria.

• Princess Anora (CG noble) is the favored daughter of King Pythor and the pride of the city.

This settlement is nestled between the cliffs of a rocky gorge. The north wall of the town is part of a stone fortress, and protects the town from any dangers that might come from the steppes. Houses, taverns, and shops of all kinds sprawl down from the fortress, filling much of the gorge. The northern wall is defended by a legion of soldiers, while the southern gates admit a steady stream of travelers and merchant caravans. The road that runs south from the gate is lined with tileroofed inns. 

Important NPCs

• Volkan (see appendix) is a grumpy dwarven blacksmith who is actually the God of the Forge.

• Delphion (NG veteran) is the innkeeper who runs the Dragon’s Tooth, a public house.

• Aesop (NG elven priest) is the keeper of the Dragon Shrine, where the Horn of Balmytria is enshrined.

• Gaius (see appendix) is the commander of the Order of Sydon, who demands that Anora be sacrificed.

• Pericles (CG scout) is a retired scout who tends the 

The Looming War Estoria has stood for centuries as the greatest defense against the centaurs, cyclopes, manticores and other dangers to be found on the steppes north of the Arkelon River. The fortress city has been in steady decline since its god-king, Pythor, began to drown his sorrows in wine. Now, conflict threatens to swallow Estoria, and panic is setting in among its citizens.

vineyard at the edge of town.

• Thobos (LG halfling noble) is the mayor of Woodhike, a nearby settlement.

ARRIVAL IN ESTORIA

When the heroes first arrive in Estoria, run the following encounters:

Encounter: The Southern Gates 

• The surrounding farms have few livestock remaining, exhausted by the daily sacrifices demanded by Sydon.

• The city is experiencing a drought, because the Lord of Storms is withholding rain from this region.

• Cyclopes have been crossing the river and pillaging farms along the road to Mytros.

• Centaurs are gathering in record numbers, and are

obviously preparing to assault the city. • Sydon has demanded that the king's daughter be sacrificed on the night of the next full moon. • King Pythor has gone mad with grief for his daughter.

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Approaching the city from the south, you encounter a caravan of merchants who are also headed towards Estoria. With them are the first domesticated animals you have seen in some time, a herd of bony oxen lumbering along the dusty road. The merchants seem tired, and they greet you warily. 

The oxen are to be delivered to the temple, where they will be added to the other daily sacrifices made to Sydon. There are barely any draft animals left in the countryside, and even these sickly animals will fetch a high price because of the king’s desperation to appease the Titan. The merchants (LN commoners) share this sad tale with the heroes. They also describe the marauding cyclopes and centaurs that make the roads dangerous to travel.

KEY LOCATIONS

Quest: Summoned by the King When the king learns that the Oracle’s ‘Chosen Ones’ have entered Estoria, he immediately sends six soldiers to fetch the heroes and escort them to his palace. 

E1. Public Amphitheater  

The streets grow more crowded as you enter the city proper. Travelers and citizens mingle, exchanging both goods and gossip. Guards line the streets, though they are most concentrated by the city gates. Despite their attempts to present a stoic facade, you sense that they are restless about something. A small detachment of hoplites moves towards you from the north. One man bearing an officer’s insignia steps forward from his fellows and respectfully hails your party. 

The circular stage of the open air theater has been built into the bottom of a hill away from the center of town. Rows of seats taking the form of inlaid stone blocks spread up the slope of the hill, giving onlookers a clear view of any performers below. 

The guards treat the heroes with cautious reverence, but they cannot refuse the king’s orders. They encourage the heroes to comply, as they are afraid to return to the king empty-handed. They seem nervous about the troubles brewing in Estoria, as it is widely believed that King Pythor has gone mad. Quest Hook: The King's Daughter This encounter begins The King’s Daughter. It's strongly recommended that you run that part of the adventure before allowing the heroes to explore Estoria.

RANDOM ENCOUNTERS

These encounters are an easy way to add color to the city. Roll on the table below whenever you want something unusual to happen in the city. Random Encounters in Estoria

This is a small open air local theater. It is used for festivals, plays, and major public announcements. Most famously, the annual wine festival takes place here. Whenever the wine festival is active, priests of Lutheria come to town, often with fey performers. The wine festival might happen when the heroes return to Estoria after finishing one of the Labors. Otherwise, it might take place in the city of Mytros, later on. Event: The Wine festival Whether the festival takes place in the simple theater in Estoria or the grander one in Mytros, it is the same event. The festival of three plays lasts for one week and is led by Tassos (CE priest), a priest of Lutheria. Tassos gives three performances over the course of a week:

• The Fall of Estor. This tragedy takes place during the

First War and depicts Estor Arkelander's final days. In the end, he sacrifices himself to save the entire crew of his legendary ship, the Ultros. • The Plight of Pellenia. This dark comedy takes place in Hypnos, the Throne of Dreams. Lutheria is depicted as charming and sympathetic as she tortures Pellenia, an acerbic bard with no sense of humor. • Pythor and the Five Sisters. This tragedy describes the tumultuous love affair between Pythor and his jealous wife, Hexia. Pythor is depicted as an irascible idiot who bumbles his way into becoming king.

d20

Encounter

d20

Encounter

1–2

A street urchin asks the party if they are heroes. He wants to know, "What's the biggest, scariest monster you've killed?!"

11–12

Seven cultists of Sydon have tied a cow to an altar in the public square. They prepare to sacrifice the cow by setting it alight with torches.

3–4

An old, white-bearded satyr thwacks one of the heroes with his cane and scoffs at the lack of respect shown to elders in this city.

13–14

An old woman with horrid teeth shouts and cackles at every passerby, demanding that they bow to her, the Lady of Dreams!

5–6

A beautiful wine merchant offers the heroes a bottle as a "free sample" and then charges 1 silver for every swig they take after the first.

15–16

A couple of angsty teenagers in togas argue about the existential subtext of Tassos's latest drama, "Pythor and the Five Sisters."

7–8

A merchant's cart breaks down, and ten heavy barrels of wine roll out, careening down the street toward the party!

17–18

A group of hoplite soldiers approach the party and harass them about their ratty equipment and rag-tag appearance.

9–10

A powerful centaur shoves past one of the heroes and demands an apology. "You thought I was a horse, didn't you?!"

19–20

A goatling runs through the street, kicking over statues and smashing pottery against the walls. Guards chase him toward the party. Ch apter 2 | The Gr e at L abor s

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At the end of the week, the festival ends in a bacchanal of drinking, eating, and carousing. In addition to human and elven actors (CN commoners) Tassos uses satyrs in the performances. The satyrs act in the comedy and perform music for the two tragedies. His two lead actresses are Seema, a green hag and an oread nymph named Aria. The green hag uses her illusory appearance ability to hide her identity, while the nymph dresses and applies make-up to appear more human. They hate each other intensely. Predatory Hag. If Seema notices any of the heroes watching her performance, she takes an immediate interest in them. She flirts with them afterwards, with the intention of convincing them to accompany her to the party at festival’s end. There she will attempt to murder the hero and eat their heart. Aria will try to intervene and shoo the hero away to safety, but Seema characterizes Aria’s intervention as bitter jealousy.

E4. East Gate 

E5. The Agora 

This gate includes a fortified stone bridge that crosses the Arkelon River. The atmosphere at the gate is tense, as disciplined soldiers stand off against jeering bands of centaurs on the steppes just beyond the river. The heavy wooden doors of the gate are apparently kept shut and barred at all times. 

This gate leads to the northern steppes. The great wooden doors are kept shut and barred, opening twice daily for scouting parties that patrol the steppes. The towers are manned by a dozen soldiers.

E3. South Gate 

This gate is bustling with merchants and travelers, many of whom pull heavy carts behind them. The gate is guarded by two bored-looking soldiers. 

This gate is where most merchants enter and leave the city, traveling along the main road through the Heartlands. The gate is guarded at all times by two soldiers, and the guard changes at sunrise and sunset.

Estoria’s well-trodden streets converge at the bustling central agora. A motley assortment of stalls litters the area, from canopies of fine silk to stacks of rotted wooden crates. Merchants at the stalls eagerly vie for your attention with a wide variety of quality wares, all of which seem very reasonably priced. 

E2. North Gate

This gate leads eastward into the vineyards and gardens that supply the city with much of its wine. The area is well-protected by the surrounding rocky cliffs, so there are seldom any guards here.

Attending the Wine Festival The Wine Festival can be used to help teach the players about the world. If heroes choose to stop by and watch one of the performances, you might choose to read aloud one of the Myths of Thylea. You could even act out a scene from one of your favorite Greek comedies or tragedies.

This gate is quiet, though you can hear the sounds of the city echoing through the streets. The floral scents of gardens and sweet vineyards drift from the east.

The center of activity in Estoria is the agora, the large open area that serves as the marketplace and public square for the town. Around the outside of the agora are long, open air buildings that have shops in the back. Despite the variety of shops here, the selection of adventuring gear is rather limited. Basic tools, weapons, and armor are available for sale, but more advanced items, such as platemail and crossbows, cannot be found. If the heroes ask for such things, the merchants will grudgingly refer them to Volkan's Hall (E9). Event: Cursed Grave Robber A starved looking man named Claus (NE bandit) is desperately trying to sell an emerald necklace that he claims to have found at the Necropolis at Telamok. The necklace is a necklace of fireballs with a single gem left. Claus is willing to sell it for 1 gp, but none of the merchants in Estoria are willing to buy it. If the heroes agree to buy it off of Claus, one of the merchants will intervene and explain that Claus is a graverobber. The merchant explains that Claus managed to sneak past Damon, the guardian of Telamok, and gain entry to the Necropolis. He stole the necklace from one of the tombs and is now cursed by the gods. As long as he has the necklace he is unable to eat: he just throws up everything. The only way to end the curse is for him to sell the necklace to someone who knows how he got it. If he lies when he tries to sell it, or leaves it somewhere, he always wakes up with it in his possession. If a hero still foolishly buys the necklace, then they become afflicted by the curse of the graverobber. Refer to Introduction: The Laws of Thylea for details.

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E6. Living Quarters 

Three distinct groups of buildings are walled off from the rest of the city. The simple stone houses in the first complex line the central courtyard in neat rows. The structures of the second group are covered with ornate statuettes and carvings. The third group is a rustic collection of humble brick homes. 

The chief attendant of this shrine is a priest named Aesop (NG priest). Aesop has heard the prophecy, and he has bad news for the party: the Horn of Balmytria has been stolen from the reliquary. Thieves broke into the shrine two nights ago and escaped with it. Aesop will answer any questions the heroes may have about the horn, and he welcomes an investigation for clues in the reliquary. Investigation: The Reliquary 

This is the residential district of the city. The citizens of Estoria are divided into three neighborhoods. The soldiers live in the first area, the craftsmen in the second, and the farmers in the third. These homes are walled off from the outside, but each includes a spacious interior courtyard which provides an open view of the sky.

The reliquary is a small stone chapel with three alcoves protected by glass. The glass of the central alcove has been shattered, and dark purple stains are splattered all over the floor surrounding it. 

E7. The Dragon Shrine 

This shrine sits at the end of a quiet street that runs into the wall of the gorge. It’s a large stone building with a copper dome. The pediment above the door bears a marble engraving of the legendary dragon, Balmytria. Inside the building, there is a strong smell of incense. You can hear the muttering of prayers, as the priests of the shrine carry out their daily rituals. 

Aesop, Keeper of the Dragon Shrine

Investigating the reliquary reveals many small hoofprints among the stains. The stains are spilled wine, and they form a haphazard trail that leads out of the building and into an adjoining alleyway. The party may follow the stains a short distance until the trail becomes too difficult to follow. At this point, the thieves can be tracked with a successful DC 15 Wisdom (Survival) check, or by using the detect magic spell, which reveals that the wine stains glow faintly with magic. Following the trail leads the party into the Oldwoods south of town. It continues for about 10 miles, all the way to the Mossy Temple. Returning the Horn of Balmytria If the heroes return the Horn of Balmytria to the reliquary, Aesop will be overjoyed. If the heroes have not yet taken a drink from the horn, then Aesop will urge them to do so now. This is a sacred ritual that should grant the heroes clarity on their quest. Aesop asks the heroes to swear an oath to take the horn to Queen Vallus in Mytros. He warns the heroes that King Acastus may attempt to claim the horn as a symbol of his right to resurrect the Dragonlords. Aesop believes that in these uncertain times, the horn rightfully belongs to the Goddess of Wisdom. The Keeper of the Dragon Shrine Aesop is one of the few priests who still honor the legends of the Dragonlords. In the age before the First War, the dragons were chief among the forces that protected the mortals of Thylea. Aesop believes that the dragons will return one day. He knows that King Acastus of Mytros has sworn to resurrect the ancient order of the Dragonlords, and he has heard rumors that the king now has a small flight of dragons under his command. For his part, Aesop believes that if anyone is to resurrect the Dragonlords, it should be the Oracle's Chosen Ones.

E8. The Dragon’s Tooth 

A nondescript brick building with carved white stone accents, the popular public house distinguishes itself by the sheer amount of activity in and around it. Patrons regularly drift in and out in varying states of sobriety. The scent of food and sounds of raucous conversation emanate from the open door and windows. 

The patrons of The Dragon’s Tooth are talkative. The heroes can learn many rumors by speaking to the merchants, soldiers, and farmers who gather there: Rumors in the Dragon's Tooth

This public house is frequented by merchants and soldiers staying at the thatched inns in the southern outskirts of town. Lodging at an inn can be arranged with the bartender, a wiry old white-haired man named Delphion (NG veteran). He is friendly and knowledgeable, but has little patience for small-talk or superstition. He knows of the party’s quest, and will help them however he can.

d8

Rumor

1

Teenagers in the region have been disappearing lately, including Thericles's daughter. Thericles is the old man who runs the vineyards in Estoria.

2

A massive hurricane is brewing off the coast of Mytros. It could be weeks before it’s safe to travel to the city. The roads nearby are closed.

3

The Order of Sydon have demanded the destruction of the Temple of the Five in Mytros.

4

A band of warriors traveled to the Necropolis last month and haven’t been heard from since. Everyone knows that the place is forbidden.

5

King Acastus of Mytros has fulfilled his promise to revive the Dragonlords of old. Several farmers claim to have spotted his dragons flying overhead.

6

The copper mines of Estoria are struggling to produce enough ore to meet the needs of the city. If only the Mithral Mines could be reclaimed...

7

Everyone agrees that Princess Anora would make a much better ruler than her father, King Pythor. Everyone loves Pythor, but he's a terrible king.

8

Volkan, the old dwarven blacksmith, has been grumpier than usual lately. He claims to be the God of the Forge. Everyone just humors him.

Rumors in The Dragon’s Tooth 

Stepping through the door, you see that the busy street outside the tavern barely hinted at the sheer number of patrons crammed inside. Locals and travelers from across Thylea crowd around the bar and an assortment of wooden tables, sharing the latest gossip. 

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Quest: The Dwarves of Estoria There are several dwarves who visit The Dragon’s Tooth every night. They work the local copper mine. The dwarves are part of a clan that was forced to flee the Mithral Mines centuries ago. Some of them are old enough to have been alive when that event took place. They have no interest in returning to the Mithral Mines, even if it were to be cleared out, because they know that the entire place was cursed by the Titan, Lutheria. However, some of the oldest members of the clan are still seeking closure. They would like to bury the kin that they lost in the Mithral Mines, and they are willing to pay 10 gp for each dwarven skull returned to them.

Volkan the Blacksmith

E9. Volkan’s Hall 

Near the center of town is a large building with fortified stone walls and a shingle roof. A sign hangs from the building’s heavy, bronze-banded doors. It reads, Volkan’s Hall. Inside the hall, you are greeted by the warm glow of embers and blasts of hot air. The room is decorated with a variety of bronze armors, weapons, and farming tools. A weathered-looking dwarf works at an anvil near the blistering forge at the back of the hall. He wipes the sweat from his brow and greets you. 

Volkan's Reward If the heroes chose to sacrifice the great boar to Volkan, then he will recognize them immediately and grant them their reward. He has spent the last few days crafting it, and he’s quite proud of the results. Roll on a lesser magic item table for the result.

Volkan (see appendix) is actually the legendary God of the Forge and King Pythor’s father. He is not secretive about being one of the Five Gods, but locals have long thought of him as a strange dwarf with delusions of grandeur. He doesn’t bother to correct them. Volkan comes across as unbalanced, forgetful, and myopic. He provides blacksmithing services to Estoria and all the farming communities in the Heartlands. He can usually be found at his anvil, grumbling about all the work to be done. Volkan is assisted by a gangly teenaged boy named Theo (NG commoner), who minds the stables and runs errands in town. Quest: The Mithral Mines Volkan recognizes the heroes as the Oracle’s Chosen, and he is vaguely impressed. He rambles at great lengths about the ancient forge in the Mithral Mines. He speaks of the great weapons and artifacts that were forged there in ages past, before Lutheria cursed the place. Volkan vows to join the heroes in the Mithral Mines once they have rekindled the fires of the forge.

Dad never showed his feelings much, and he was always busy in his workshop. But every year on my nameday, I would find some new magical trinket hidden under my pillow. That's how I know he cares. — Kyrah, Goddess of Music

E10. The King's Palace 

The once-great Estorian Palace looms high over the city. Large windows let in copious amounts of sunlight, which fails to chase away the gloom that has settled in the palace. As you walk the halls, you notice evidence of the court’s past glory in the form of precious artifacts dating back to the First War. Extravagant tapestries show tales of Estoria’s history and King Pythor’s grand adventures, though more recent events are nowhere to be seen on the hangings. 

The Estorian palace is simple in design. It boasts a single great hall flanked by side chambers for the kitchens, servant’s quarters, and bedrooms. At the back is a stairway that descends to the basem*nts where storage chambers and dungeons are located. King Pythor (see appendix) can always be found in the great hall, accompanied by a half-dozen of his advisors (LN nobles). The first time the heroes come to the palace, refer to the adventure section, The King's Daughter.

E11. The Rock of Estor 

Jutting out of the shallows of the Arkelon River, the Rock of Estor is less impressive than its name would suggest. Its flat surface forms a natural altarpiece where numerous sacrifices have evidently taken place. There is an iron pole stuck directly in the center of the rock, and white stones are scattered around its base. Strong rapids rush past the rock noisily. 

by a cyclops that throws boulders at them from 200 ft. away. He will (deliberately) miss several times, but if the heroes don’t get the message, he will begin to aim directly at them. If they attack him, a band of a dozen centaurs will come to the cyclops’s aid.

E13. The Estorian Vineyards 

This rock sits in the middle of the Arkelon River. It is 15 ft. in diameter and stands only a few feet out of the water. The rock sits in the middle of a ford across the river that is only 2-3 ft. deep across its entire width. The top of the rock is smooth with the iron pole sticking in center, surrounded by chunks of white rock. Sacrifices to Sydon are made at the rock. Almost every day, two members of the Order of Sydon (LN guards) lead a cow out to the rock. They tie the cow to the iron pole and then hurry away. A few minutes later, two basilisks (with swim speeds of 20 ft.) emerge from the water and scuttle over to the cow. They turn the cow to stone and then devour the petrified remains. This takes a few minutes, and then they scuttle back into the river. Encounter: Basilisks The basilisks have a cave one mile to the north, and a successful DC 15 Wisdom (Survival) check reveals tracks leading into the cave. The cave is only accessible by swimming underwater and then up into a small grotto where the basilisks have a nest. Between sacrifices, four basilisks can be found here, and there are four eggs in the nest. If all four basilisks are killed, they will no longer show up for sacrifices.

SURROUNDING LANDS

Thericles (NG scout) used to serve the King but has now retired to the outskirts of Estoria to tend to his vineyard with his husband. He is descended from the Phobas family line of the Dragonlords, and he is highly respected by the citizens of Estoria. He is currently in despair because his daughter Corinna has gone missing. Quest: Missing Daughter Thericles wants someone to find out what has happened to his daughter. She disappeared into the Oldwood a week ago, and Thericles has been unable to track her. In actuality, Corinna is one of many teenagers who have been lured into the Mossy Temple by a tribe of goatlings who serve the corrupted dryad, Demetria. Reward. If the heroes are able to rescue Corinna and bring her back, Thericles is overjoyed. While he is not a wealthy man, he does have a family heirloom: a javelin of lightning. He gladly gives it to the heroes as a reward.

Grassland stretches across the horizon as far as you can see. The sun shines down from a perfect, cloudless blue sky. A refreshing breeze blows across your skin and through the waves of green grass. The picturesque serenity of this vast, rolling landscape is at odds with the dangers that lurk in this untamed wilderness.

The lands north of Estoria and across the Arkelon River are too dangerous for travel. Bands of centaurs patrol the grasslands just a few miles away from Estoria. Occasionally a cyclops will lumber through the grasslands as well. If the heroes are determined to explore the lands north of the Arkelon they will be discouraged

You follow a small trail away from the road and into the forested hills. After an hour of travel, the trees grow dense, and the canopy blocks most of the sky. Eventually, you emerge into an expansive forest glade carpeted with golden leaves. Several dozen small huts and houses are scattered throughout the glade, along the banks of a clear stream. Gnomes and halflings bustle about the area, tending small sheep, foraging for berries, and collecting kindling for their fires.

E14. Woodhike, Halfling Enclave

E12. The Northern Steppes 

This lonely vineyard is on the outskirts of the city. Wooden trellises erupt from the tilled soil in neat, symmetrical rows. Healthy green vines wind around these structures, bearing a bountiful crop of brilliant purple grapes. After some walking, you find a fit middle-aged man among the vines, pruning the plants with great care. Upon hearing your approach, the man turns to greet you. Although he appears friendly, his brow is deeply furrowed with apprehension.

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If the party wishes to speak to someone in the village, Thobos (LG halfling noble) will invite them into his house for tea. Thobos is the mayor of Woodhike, and he travels to Mytros twice a year to represent the smallfolk. He offers the party anything he can to help with their quest, but all the beds in Woodhike are for small races. Once the tea is poured and formalities are out of the way, Thobos asks the party for their help with his problems. Quest: Bandits Recently, animals have been going missing, and the sprites have discovered trees felled by axes. Thobos believes that there are human poachers living somewhere nearby. There is in fact a group of bandits about a mile upstream, led by a woman named Korteva (CE bandit chief). She’s somehow bullied a gentle-natured cyclops into joining her gang, and he is convinced that the bandits are his friends.

After following the stream for a mile or so, you hear the sounds of thunderous footsteps just ahead. Soon, the originator of those loud footfalls comes into view: a muscular, twelve-foot tall cyclops. He smiles and waves in your direction. In the trees beyond, you can see a party of humans sitting around a fire. 

The party can persuade the cyclops that the bandits are not his friends with a successful DC 18 Charisma (Persuasion) check. Otherwise, if the party threatens the bandits in any way, the cyclops joins the attack in order to protect his so-called ‘friends.’ The cyclops is neutral good, so killing him is an evil act. If the party manages to separate the cyclops from the bandits, then Thobos is willing to adopt him.

The King’s Daughter The heroes have been summoned to the Estorian Palace to meet with King Pythor. Pythor is one of the Five Gods—the legendary God of Battle. But now, he is said to be mad with grief over his many lost loves, and the imminent sacrifice of his daughter, Anora. The Order of Sydon has demanded that the princess be sacrificed to the Lord of Storms. If this is not done, then an army of centaurs and cyclopes will descend upon Estoria and slaughter all the people of the city. Because King Pythor is one of the Five Gods, he is bound by the Oath of Peace. He cannot take up arms against the Titans until the oath ends. Only the heroes can intervene to save his daughter.

The History of King Pythor King Pythor has ruled over Estoria for several centuries, having taken power when he overthrew the tyrant king Lysis Arkelander, a descendant of Estor Arkelander (after whom the city is named). The long years have not been kind to the god-king. He has had more than a dozen wives and countless mistresses, but those he loved the most have almost always come to gruesome ends, thanks to the green dragon Hexia. No one knows why the dragon has such hatred for Pythor, but the loss of so many loved ones has driven Pythor to drink. Although the people of Estoria love him, Pythor is essentially a womanizing drunkard. He abdicates all his responsibilities in favor of hunting, seducing the latest beauty at court, or indulging in drunken and self-pitying excesses that last for days.

I think people love the idea of my brother more than they love the man himself. It's true that his exploits are legendary, and as a poet, I can't help but love the stories.

But centuries of wearing the crown have dulled his spirits.

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— Kyrah, Goddess of Music

Meeting the King

as she will do anything to protect her city. Knowing this, Pythor has locked her away in the dungeons to prevent her from leaving the palace.

When the heroes arrive in the throne room, Pythor is drunk and attempting to fight the statues of the Five Gods, which line the hall. As the Oracle’s chosen arrive, his attendants withdraw, whispering nervously among themselves. This leaves only the King to speak with the heroes. 

Possible Solutions

Once the room has emptied and the chamber doors are shut, the King tosses away his spear and sits heavily upon his throne, holding his head in his hands. He beckons you to come closer. “You are the Oracle's Chosen, yes? Let me tell you of my woes...” 

If Kyrah is with the heroes, then she will step forward to lecture King Pythor, who is her brother. 

Before Pythor can continue, Kyrah brashly interrupts him. “Whatever your ‘woes’ may be, drowning yourself in wine will not solve them,” she scolds. “You have a duty to serve your people in these dark times! This wallowing does no one any good.” King Pythor hangs his head at her harsh words. “That may be true, but what can be done? The Oath of Peace binds my hands. And now, the Titans conspire to steal away my precious daughter, Anora.” “But perhaps… perhaps you heroes can aid me.” 

Pythor will tell the heroes of the problems that face him. Several weeks ago, the Order of Sydon sent a detachment of warriors to Estoria with demands from the Lord of Storms. The Titan demanded that Pythor’s daughter Anora (LG noble) should be chained to the Rock of Estor amid the rushing waters of the Arkelon River, and left there overnight as an offering to Sydon. Princess Anora Anora is Pythor’s only child by his last mortal wife, a woman he dearly loved. Years ago, Anora’s mother was carried away to the Forgotten Sea by the evil dragon, Hexia. The Army of Sydon If this sacrifice is not accomplished by the next full moon, then all the gathered tribes of the centaurs will descend upon Estoria and raze the city to the ground. Sydon has already starved the city with this latest drought, and he always makes good on his threats. If Pythor doesn’t comply and sacrifice his daughter, it will mean the deaths of thousands. The Rock of Sacrifice To be chained to the Rock is to be devoured by the beasts of the river. Princess Anora is resigned to her fate

The heroes can discuss solutions with Pythor and Kyrah. The heroes need not act immediately; they have the time to complete one Great Labor before the next full moon. However, if the heroes fail to show up, the Order of Sydon will carry out the sacrifice by force, with Anora going willingly to her doom. Pythor, all kingly dignity washed away, will beg the heroes to help protect his daughter. He suggests the following possible courses of action:

• Negotiate with the Order of Sydon. The heroes could persuade the Order of Sydon to choose another sacrifice. Pythor offers fifty oxen (worth 100 gp each) for this solution. He knows that the Order will also want another human, but he can’t bring himself to suggest anyone. If present, Kyrah will suggest that this may be the best option available. • Challenging the centaur chieftain. The heroes could challenge the centaur chieftain to combat. If they prevail, they could demoralize the army of centaurs and cyclopes that have gathered along the northern banks of the Arkelon. This would be a feat worthy of the Dragonlords, but Kyrah thinks this would be suicide, as the only way to disperse the army would be to defeat the chieftan on unequal footing. • Let Anora be sacrificed. The heroes can tell Pythor that they are unable to help. If they do so, Pythor will drink himself into a stupor before the sacrifice and remain insensible for a week afterwards.

One additional option is to track down and kill the basilisks that petrify those offered on the Rock of Estor. No one will suggest this plan, so the heroes will have to come up with this on their own. It should be noted that doing so will not save the princess, for Lutheria will send harpies to Anora’s sacrifice to make sure of the death.

Asking for Assistance If the heroes ask for help in accomplishing their Great Labors, King Pythor will direct them to talk to his father, the dwarf Volkan who runs the local smithy. If pressed as to how a dwarf could be his father, Pythor will apologetically explain that, “it’s... complicated.” Epic Paths: Meeting Pythor Pythor has valuable information for the Demi-god and the Lost One. However, he will use this for leverage, and he is significantly more helpful after Anora has been rescued. Refer to the Running the Epic Paths section for details.

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The Order of Sydon The seven captains representing the Order of Sydon can be found lodging in the palace. They are led by a heavily-armored man named Gaius (see appendix). He will turn down the offer of fifty oxen and will initially be against anyone taking the place of Anora. However, Gaius will change his mind if any of the heroes suggest themselves as replacements. If they don’t think of this, he suggests it before they leave. He knows that Sydon wishes to see the Oracle's Chosen killed, and offering them up on the Rock of Estor would be a fitting way to do it. Gaius will only agree to a substitution if all of the heroes agree to be sacrificed together.

The Centaur Chieftain King Pythor arranges for the heroes to meet with the chieftain on the other side of Arkelon. The chieftain comes with a dozen centaurs and two cyclopes. The chieftain, Baenor, is a massive centaur (centaur hero with maximum hit points), and he can be convinced to participate in a ritual combat with a successful DC 20 Charisma (Persuasion) check (or with a particularly strong argument). Ritual Combat. If the heroes convince Baenor, then he swears an oath that his army will leave the city in peace if his side loses. Baenor will demand that there are an equal number of combatants on both sides. He also demands that all of the heroes participate in the battle. Baenor leads the fight, joined by one cyclops, and the remainder of his force are a number of centaur heroes to equal the number of heroes. It should be obvious that victory here will be almost impossible. Kyrah will advise against it, especially if the heroes intend to use trickery, as this will only anger the centaurs further. If the heroes persist and are killed, Kyrah will gather their bodies and bring them back to the palace, where she spends one week reviving them.

central pole. The shackles can be unlocked with a successful DC 15 Dexterity check with thieves' tools. They can also be destroyed by attacks (AC 15, 10 HP each). On the far side of the river, twelve centaurs gather to watch the proceedings. They will not intervene unless attacked or anyone tries to get to their side of the river. The Harpies Attack. Ten minutes after the heroes are chained, three harpies will begin to circle one hundred feet above the rock. The harpies have been sent by Lutheria to watch over the spectacle of the sacrifice. The harpies won’t use their songs, but they will taunt the heroes. If any of the heroes leave the Rock of Estor the harpies will use their luring song to lure those particular heroes into the depths of the river, where they will swoop down and attempt to kill them. The Basilisks Attack. Twenty minutes after the heroes are chained, two basilisks will emerge from the river and attack anyone on the Rock of Estor. If the basilisks have already been killed in their nest cave, then nothing appears. The harpies, the centaurs and the Order of Sydon will become increasingly agitated as they wait for the basilisks. Eventually the harpies will swarm down in a fury and try to kill the heroes. If the heroes survive until sunrise, then Gaius and his captains will grudgingly allow them to go free. The terms of the sacrifice have been met, even if the Titan himself is infuriated by the outcome.

CELEBRATION WITH THE KING

If the heroes survive the Rock of Estor or prevail in a battle against the centaur chieftain, Pythor will summon them back to his throne room in the palace. 

THE SACRIFICE 

You are part of a grim procession that leads toward the Rock of Estor in the River Arkelon. Gaius and his knights lead you through the ford and onto the sacrifical rock. After binding each of you by the leg to the central pole, Gaius motions to you and says, “You are now offered as a sacrifice to appease the Lord of Storms. Remain here until the sun rises. If you step away from the rock, this city will suffer the wrath of Sydon.” 

Gaius and all seven of his captains accompany the heroes to the Rock of Estor. Each person chained to the Rock of Estor can only move up to 10 ft. from the

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When you return to the palace, King Pythor is already deep in his cups, celebrating your victory. He greets each of you with a bone-crushing hug and a painful slap on the back. “Warriors of the prophecy, you have my eternal gratitude!” “There was a time when I would have taken to the fields to battle the centaur army single-handedly, but alas, I fear my fighting days are behind me. Perhaps it’s time to officially retire my hammer…” 

The king retrieves his hammer (Pythor’s hammer) and grants it to one of the heroes, giving preferential treatment to his demi-god children if any are present. As the God of Battle, Pythor once used this hammer to smash entire armies of gygans, centaurs, and cyclopes. There are countless stories about this hammer, none of which Pythor can quite recall at the moment. He explains that his father, Volkan, the God of the Forge, created it. Volkan can use the hammer to craft mighty weapons and armor at the Mithral Forge.

The measure of a hero is one's ability to protect those that we care about most. The new Dragonlords cannot merely be warriors with mighty weapons... they must also be willing to make great sacrifices for the future of Thylea. —Aesop, Keeper of the Dragon Shrine

Finally, the king declares a full week of celebration in Estoria, in honor of the heroes. The heroes may choose to stay and enjoy the week’s celebrations. There will be plays at the public theater that they can participate in, as well as much feasting and drinking. If Kyrah is present, she encourages the party to press on with their Labors.

The Mithral Forge The Mithral Forge was used by the dwarves to construct the gods’ weapons in the First War. Almost all of the powerful magical weapons and armor used by the Dragonlords and their successors were created here. It now lies abandoned by the dwarven smiths: the upper levels have become the lair of a tribe of troglodytes, and the lower levels are guarded by a terrifying beast.

The Abandoned Road 

This long-abandoned road is rocky and overgrown with roots and thorny shrubs. It winds westward along the granite cliffs of the Estorian tributary. North of the road are expansive steppes, and beyond that, hazy blue mountains. The sky is gray and cold by day, but at night the clouds withdraw to reveal a blanket of stars.

The History of the Forge The Mithral Forge was a key component of the victory of the Dragonlords over the armies of the Titans. The dwarves that came across the seas with the Dragonlords discovered this deposit of mithral and adamantine in the central mountain range of the new continent. For more than a decade, the mithral and adamantine was mined and used to forge weapons, armor, and magical artifacts for the mortal armies. The Titan, Lutheria, decided that something had to be done about the mine. She formed a pact with the Fates, who used their magic to breed a terrifying cerberus hound. Lutheria unleashed this hound to destroy the forge and slaughter the dwarves. After driving out the dwarves, the cerberus hound made a lair in the mines and began to spawn hundreds of death dogs. The Dragonlords tried to retake the forge, but they were repeatedly driven back until they were forced to abandon it entirely. For several centuries the hound watched over the ruined forge. However, a decade ago, some primordial thing from the depths of the Underdark emerged and killed it. The death dogs remained in the mine but, without anything to direct them, they retreated into the lower depths. Several tribes of troglodytes crept into the upper levels soon afterwards.

TRAVELING TO THE FORGE

The Arkelon River flows southward from the Mithral Mountains and cascades over the Great Falls of Arkelon, where it empties into the Cerulean Gulf. Setting out from the North Gate of Estoria at dawn, the heroes may follow an abandoned road through the steppes to reach these falls by dusk.

This road was once used to ferry metal goods and ore from the mines, until it was abandoned centuries ago. The steppes are quiet and the trip is uneventful. At sunset, the heroes encounter a band of centaurs.

Encounter: Band of Centaurs 

The thunder of hooves can be heard from the north. You see a dozen mounted men riding in your direction. The riders wear bronze helmets, and they carry long pikes tied with flowing scarlet ribbons. As the riders draw closer, you realize that they aren’t riders at all. They are centaurs—nomadic warriors with the torsos of men and the lower bodies of horses. 

Twelve centaurs will surround the heroes. If the centaurs are attacked, they will fight only to subdue, not to kill. The chief of the centaurs is named Hukar. He warns the heroes that, if they are heading to the Great Falls, then they should beware. Troglodytes dwell in the caves there, emerging at night to hunt for food. He thinks that two of his kin fell into the clutches of the foul creatures. There is nothing he can do for them, as the paths and tunnels of the mines are too treacherous for his kind. Quest: The Missing Centaurs If the heroes agree to search for Hukar’s kin, then he gives them an ivory horn. He tells them to blow the horn on the riverbank of the Arkelon when they have discovered the fate of his kin, and he offers a reward. Rewards. If the heroes discover the fate of the missing centaurs, they may do as Hukar instructed. The horn will summon the centaurs to the riverbank. They will Ch apter 2 | The Gr e at L abor s

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mourn their dead and invite the party to drink under the stars with them. True to his word, Hukar will give the heroes three potions of heroism as a reward. Blood of Sydon. Hukar explains that the potions are concocted from the blood of his tribe, who are blessed by the Lord of Storms, the Ocean Father—Sydon. He knows that the heroes are prophesied to confront the Titans, but he encourages them to consider Sydon's great wisdom.

THE GREAT FALLS OF ARKELON 

This rocky promontory looks out over a spectacular vista dominated by the Great Falls of Arkelon. The river cascades over a sheer cliff and roars into a vast, semi-circular lake, throwing up a white mist. The Great Falls are almost beyond description. It’s as if an entire ocean has spilled over the edge of the world, and you stand marveling at the space beyond. You have never seen anything so grand. The sound of rushing water is almost deafening, and the light of the fading day gleams across the water like red gold. Four massive statues of stone hands surround the lake. To the south, you can see the river snaking down from the mountains, through the Oldwoods, while the snowcapped Mithral Mountains dominate the western horizon. 

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A wooded path descends down to the misty riverbank, where the collapsed entrance to the mines can be seen. A secret pathway into the mines can be found here with a trivial investigation. The lake is flanked by four massive statues of hands, two per side. These are the Hands of Kentimane, the Elder Titan, but they are dormant for now.

The Collapsed Entrance The main entrance to the mines is blocked by tons of rubble and is completely inaccessible. This was done by the dwarves when they fled from the cerberus hound, as they hoped to keep the beast sealed away.

F1. Secret Pathway 

This rocky ledge leads up from the riverbank and passes through a short tunnel, which deflects an endless cascade of water from the Great Falls. The ledge grows narrower as it ascends, stretching for a quarter-mile along a sheer cliff of slick black rock. Beyond the ledge, a shimmering curtain of translucent water spills down to crash on the rocks below. Cold white mist fogs your vision, and roaring water drowns out all other sound. 

This path leads under the waterfall. Anyone walking along it is sprayed with water from the falls. Wet moss covers the sides, though the path itself is well used and

relatively safe. This is the main path used by troglodytes to go hunting at night. There is a rope ladder that leads down to the river below that troglodytes use when they go fishing. This pathway was carved into the cliffside centuries ago when the dwarves were first exploring the natural caves behind the waterfall.

The Troglodytes of Mithral Mountains The troglodytes here are foul creatures that came from the deep regions of the Underdark, far below the sunlit lands of Thylea. They were driven to the surface by the same primordial creature that killed the cerberus hound. Now, they hunt for food on the surface at night. While they dine mainly on fish, they consider the tortured flesh of centaurs and civilized folk to be delicacies. The hierarchy of the troglodytes is determined by strength, with troglodyte brutes taking all the choicest meats. Brutes usually stay within the troglodyte warrens, forcing their weaker kindred to do the hunting. Troglodytes like to attack by stealth, using their chameleon skin to merge into the walls of the Mithral Mines. Typically, one troglodyte will grapple a victim at the start of combat so that the victim’s companions have to choose to abandon their friend if they flee. If the troglodytes manage to defeat the heroes, they won’t kill them but instead bring them to their king. The heroes will awaken with all of the effects of a short rest, but with none of their weapons.

Encounter: Troglodyte Foragers 

A stink wafts up from below as four filthy-looking humanoids clamber onto the path ahead. Each carries a net full of wriggling fish. Upon seeing you, the trogloytes drop their fish and chatter to each other. The stench is nearly overwhelming. You notice a hungry gleam in their eyes. 

These troglodytes are part of a daily expedition sent to fish the river further down from the falls. There are three troglodytes and one troglodyte brute. They attack the heroes as soon as they spot them.

F2. Forked Tunnel 

This natural tunnel runs for fifty feet at a slight incline. The floor is wet and moss grows along the walls and ceiling. The floor is well-used, covered in the tracks of the foul creatures from the waterfall. The tunnel eventually forks. To the left, the tunnel continues into a network of natural caves. A terrible stench comes from this direction, along with echoing shrieks of pain and horror. To the right, the tunnel becomes a stonework passageway. 

F4. The Prison Pit 

THE TROGLODYTE CAVES

The troglodyte caves are inhabited by dozens of the vile creatures, including broodmothers and litters of troglodyte young. They are more organized than typical troglodytes, because they have an intelligent king.

F3. Troglodyte Cave Entrance 

A natural stair descends into a cavern lit by the flickering fire of a roasting pit. The partially-burnt body of a centaur is spitted over the pit. Across the room is a prison pen fashioned out of petrified timber. It is currently holding a centaur that is being tormented by a half-dozen loathsome lizard people. The creatures poke at the centaur with sharpened sticks and croak with delight when he cries out in pain.

This corridor is heavily used. Every time the heroes travel through the tunnel, there is a 1 in 6 chance that they encounter a band of (2d4 + 2) troglodytes led by a troglodyte brute. One troglodyte will run back to the warrens to raise the alarm, while the other troglodytes fight to the death.

The tunnel descends into the earth. Out of the darkness rises a stench worse than anything you have ever known. The shrieking sound from deep within the caves suddenly ceases. 

The cave entrance is guarded by four troglodytes. They press up against the sides of the tunnel and have advantage on their Stealth checks due to their chameleon trait. Every six hours, the troglodyte guards here are replaced by four new troglodytes from deeper in the caves.

This prison pit is where the troglodytes keep any prey that they capture. There are four troglodytes in the room. In addition, two troglodyte brutes are hidden against the walls, and they have advantage on Stealth checks due to their chameleon trait. They attack immediately and fight to the death. Captured Centaurs. The young centaur being held captive here is Kaluk, one of Hukar’s kin. The spitted centaur is Hirak, who can still be saved with healing spells if the heroes move quickly enough. He will die within five rounds unless healed. Both Kaluk and Hirak wish to leave the mines as quickly as possible.

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F5. The Warrens 

F8. Refuse Pit 

This area seems to be a den of sorts. Straw mats lie along the edges of the cave, and they are covered in filth. The floor is littered with the bones of humans, centaurs, and other creatures. 

This cluster of tunnels and caves are where most of the troglodytes dwell. The warrens are normally the resting place for dozens of the creatures, but when the heroes arrive, most of them are elsewhere. Two troglodytes and two troglodyte brutes currently sleep in the caves. If they hear the heroes coming, the troglodytes will hide along the walls or in their own filth on the floors, preparing an ambush as the heroes investigate.

This cave is much colder than the previous areas. A strange, cold wind blows from the southwest tunnel. 

Three troglodytes and a troglodyte brute are here. The southwest tunnel descends for several miles into the Underdark. This is how the troglodytes originally made their way to the surface. The vast network of caves that makes up the deep regions of the world are beyond the scope of this book.

F7. Brood Den 

As you enter this cave, the hideous stench somehow grows even worse. Three large troglodytes squat in the center of the cave. From their looks, these are the broodmothers for a litter of more than a dozen young. The broodlings are currently tearing their weakest sibling limb from limb as it squeals in terror.

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Treasure Buried 5 feet under the disgusting muck is a mithral breastplate, mithral ringmail, an adamantine short sword and an adamantine spear. None of these items radiate magic, so the only way to find them is to poke around in the refuse. Finding an item requires one minute and a successful DC 15 Investigation check. Anyone who touches the filth automatically fails at any stealth-based activity until they can have a bath.

F9. The Troglodyte King 

This chamber has rough-hewn stone steps that rise up to a platform at the far end. On the platform is a huge troglodyte sitting on a crude throne. This creature wears a golden circlet, and he is flanked by several others of his kind. He smiles wickedly and addresses you in your language: “How dost thou, sweetlings?” 

This is the troglodyte king. He has possessed his headband of intellect for over a century, but it has brought him little cheer. He’s fallen into a deep depression, because he’s surrounded by filthy idiots all the time, and he has no one worth talking to. When the heroes arrive, he is eager to engage them in conversation.

The broodmothers are bigger than average and have the statistics of troglodyte brutes. They will viciously defend their young and fight to the death. There are twelve troglodyte broodlings (8 AC, 1 HP). They hiss at the heroes, but they do not attack. If approached, they will try to bite the heroes. Such heroes must make a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw or suffer 1 piercing damage and become poisoned for 1 hour. If the broodlings are not slain, they will grow into adult troglodytes within 1 week. This may create a minor moral dilemma for the party.

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 

This is where the troglodytes leave their waste. Entering this room requires each hero to make a successful DC 15 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for 1 hour.

F6. Chilly Cave 

A darkened pit gapes in the center of this chamber. The sides of the pit are coated with wretched streaks of black and brown. You choke on the stench, which burns your eyes and nostrils.

The Eloquent Troglodyte The king is able to speak the common tongue, but he does so in an unusual manner. Caliban from Shakespeare’s The Tempest is a good inspiration for his style of speech. Describing his predicament: This golden band taught me language; and my profit on’t is, I know how to curse. The gods torment me; Oh! Such unworthy company these foul things are. Proposing a game of riddles: Thou makest me merry; I am full of pleasure: let us play a game! Reacting to insults: Prithee, tread softly, that my anger not be unleashed upon thee! Shouting encouragement to his brutes during battle: Lo, lo, again! Bite them to death, I prithee.

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Game of Riddles The king moans about the unfairness of his predicament and asks to engage the heroes in a game of riddles. He is evil to the core, and plans to eat the party, no matter the outcome of the game. However, he desperately wishes to test his enhanced intellect against the heroes, so he would prefer to outsmart them.

F11. The co*ckatrice Pens 

Table of Troglodyte Riddles Riddle

Answer

What becometh harder to catch, the faster that thou runneth?

Breath

What dost thou breaketh every time thou speaketh?

Silence

What runs but never walks, has mouths but never talks, has heads but never weeps, and has beds but never sleeps?

A River

THE MITHRAL MINES

The mines were built out from a shaft that gives easy access to a vein of mithral and adamantine mineral deposits. The shaft descends for one mile into natural caverns that connect with the Underdark. The dwarves mined the easily accessible ore along the first 500 ft. of the shaft before they were driven out by the cerberus hound. The mithral and adamantine veins continue all the way down to the Underdark. Untouched since the dawn of time (except for the few decades the dwarves mined it), the deposits are the greatest lodes of mithral and adamantine in the world. The troglodytes inhabited the upper level of the mine until just a few days ago when the death dogs arrived.

F12. Barracks 

Ahead of you, the natural passage breaks into a tunnel of what looks to be dwarven construction. A stone bridge crosses overhead, and a narrow 5-foot-wide ledge leads up to it. The bridge is apparently guarded by a statue of a large, two-headed dog.

The tunnel extends into the deep shaft where the mithral and adamantine can be found. Centuries ago, dwarves discovered the veins of the valuable minerals while exploring the natural caverns. The statue is a death dog that was petrified by a co*ckatrice. It awakens from its petrification 10 minutes after the heroes arrive.

This room looks like the scene of a recent battle. There are several half-eaten troglodyte corpses in one corner. Three statues of two-headed dogs stand at the center of the room. There are also several rotting wooden racks that might have once been used for weapons and armor.

F10. Broken Entryway

There is a single co*ckatrice running around loose, and it attacks the heroes. If the heroes wait around in this room for more than one minute, the death dog’s petrification ends and it also attacks. These pens are used by the troglodytes to keep a flock of co*ckatrices. The troglodyte king enjoys breeding them and fighting them against each other. He also uses the co*ckatrices to petrify prisoners so that they can be preserved for later consumption. Sometimes he serves a cooked co*ckatrice to 'honored guests.' Just a few days ago, the death dogs from the lower levels started exploring the upper levels. The dogs killed the troglodytes in this room, but one of the troglodytes let the co*ckatrices loose as a last resort. The co*ckatrices ran amok. Some were eaten by the death dogs while others used their power to petrify the beasts.

The king is accompanied by two troglodyte brutes and one female troglodyte. The king is a troglodyte brute with maximum hit points and 19 Intelligence. Treasure. Aside from the king's headband of intellect, he carries a single mithral ingot as a royal scepter. The scepter is worth 500 gp.

This square chamber seems to have been used as a pen for some sort of animals, but whatever was here has escaped. Cages made from petrified wood lay broken or open. A statue of a troglodyte stands in the middle of the room, along with a statue of a two-headed dog. Scattered about the room are about a half-dozen corpses of what appear to be chickens.

There are two co*ckatrices in this room. They attack when the heroes enter. The three death dog statues will awaken from their petrification 10 minutes after the heroes arrive. The death dogs awaken one at a time, every two rounds.

F13. Storage Room 

This looks like it was once a storage room. It's filled with rotting sacks and broken crates.

 

This was once a storage room for the dwarves. It was looted long ago.

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F14. The Dwarven Hall 

F17. The Deep Shaft 

This massive hall is supported by a series of pillars, many of which have been broken. The corpse of a gargantuan three-headed dog is splayed out in the center of the room. Several two-headed hounds chew away at the flesh of this rotting corpse. The skeletal remains of dwarves are scattered everywhere. 

There are three death dogs in this room. They attack and fight to the death. The cerberus appears to have been killed by something massive, which must have come up from the Deep Shaft (F17). Treasure. One of the dwarven skeletons wears a mithral chain shirt. There are 25 dwarven skeletons. Their skulls may be returned to the dwarves at The Dragon's Tooth (E8) for proper burial.

F15. Dwarven Quarters 

Rotting bunk beds and chests make it obvious that this chamber was living quarters, of sorts. 

The dwarves took most of their possessions when they fled. The troglodytes have looted almost everything else, but there are a few valuables that can be scavenged. Room One. There is a sack buried underneath the rotting furniture. It contains 65 sp. Room Two. There is nothing of value in this room. Room Three. One of the dwarven skeletons has a ring with an amethyst worth 250 gp.

F16. Entrance Hall 

This tunnel expands into a grand entrance hall, but it is completely blocked by rubble after thirty feet. 

This tunnel leads to the surface, but it is blocked by many tons of rubble which cannot be moved.

When the mithral deposits were first discovered, I saw little reason to celebrate. It was not until I first held a mithral weapon that I appreciated the ingenuity of Volkan and his dwarven smiths.

—Rizon Phobas, Dragonlord (6 DA)

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This stonework tunnel ends at the precipice of a huge natural rift in the earth. The rocky ceiling is only twenty feet above you, but the rift drops away into a fathomless black depth. Veins of silvery ore can be seen in the sides of the shaft. Ancient mining equipment lines the walls, but the wooden platforms and walkways are rotten and unusable. Chains are attached to the ceiling of the shaft in a pulley system that used to lift ore from the depths. Most of the chains are rusted and many have broken. The area around you has been scored by gouges in the stone, as if some giant claw once reached out of the pit. 

There is nothing living here, but it has an ominous feel to it. There used to be wooden platforms that allowed dwarves to mine the mithral and adamantine, but most are gone and anything that remains is unusable. There are also pulley systems and ore pails along the sides. There is an entrance to the second level 100 ft. down the shaft, but the only way to reach it is to climb the sheer face of the shaft. Doing so requires three successful DC 15 Strength (Athletics) checks. Someone who manages this could use pitons and rope to create an easier path for everyone else. The shaft goes down for a mile, becoming increasingly hot before ending in a huge cavern filled with noxious gas. Stalagmites, stalactites and a fiery red glow give it the appearance of some kind of hell. Falling to the bottom inflicts 70 (20d6) bludgeoning damage. Every round spent in the gas-filled cavern requires a DC 10 Constitution saving throw to avoid being poisoned. This is actually an entrance to the Underdark which empties into a lake of magma. What lies beyond the lake is outside the scope of this book.

F18. The Dwarven Elevator 

This room seems to be some sort of dwarven elevator. It is a ten-foot metal cube crafted from bronze, with leering dragon heads engraved into the walls. The dragons are depicted with snarling mouths. 

This elevator leads 100 feet down to the Mithral Forge area, but it’s deadly to anyone who doesn’t know the required password. The password is the word “dragon” in dwarvish (the troglodyte king knows this). The elevator is an elaborate and deadly fire trap: Triggering the Trap. Inside the elevator is a lever to activate it. Once engaged, the elevator begins to descend. It takes 5 rounds to descend all the way.

• On the second round, all heroes inside must roll for

initiative. On initiative count 20 of the second round, black oil is pumped into the room from the mouths of the dragon heads on the top of the elevator. • On the third round, the roar of flames can be heard from below and oil continues to be pumped into the room. • On initiative count 10 of the fourth round, flames pour through mouths of the dragon heads on the sides of the room, igniting the oil. Anyone in the elevator takes 21 (6d6) fire damage at the end of the fourth round and the fifth round. The damage is reduced by 7 (2d6) if the oil was blocked before initiative count 10 of round 3 and by a further 7 (2d6) if blocked before initiative count 10 of the second round. • At the end of the fifth round, the fire dissipates, and the elevator doors open with a bell chime. Disabling the Trap. The trap can be disabled by speaking the command word at any time, or by jamming the mouths of the dragons, to prevent the flames from coming through. If the dragon heads are jammed, they glow fiery red, and the heat is intense. The heroes can pull the lever to take the elevator back to the upper levels. Descending again will restart the trap mechanism.

F19. The Armory 

The armory was ransacked long ago and all that remains is rotten wood, refuse, bones, and broken equipment. The armor and weapons are of exquisite make, but they have been rendered useless by centuries of neglect. Treasure There is a mithral xiphos +1 buried under the refuse. It is covered in a layer of dirty grime and corrosion. It can be located with a successful DC 20 Wisdom (Perception) check or with the detect magic spell.

F20. The Lava Pool 

This room is dominated by a large circular vat of molten lava in the center. Something is swimming beneath the bubbling magma. An ornate bronze sphere stands close to the lava pool. The sphere is supported by four legs and has a spout that faces toward the lava.

THE MITHRAL FORGE

This is the central part of the Mithral Mines, where the dwarves forged the magical items used by the Dragonlords to defeat the armies of the Titans. The most obvious way to get down to the armory is by using the elevator, but it is also possible to reach the armory by climbing down the main shaft.

This room is lined with iron racks for holding weapons and armor. Almost all of the racks have been tipped over, and the only weapons and armor that remain are broken or corroded. Bones and refuse lay in piles in the corners of the room.

There are two death dogs that rest here. They sit by the bronze device, but they don’t do anything except growl at the heroes. If anyone tries to touch the bronze sphere, the death dogs attack.

The Forgekeeper. In the lava pool is the Forgekeeper, a salamander. She swims in the lava pool and is willing to talk to the heroes. She explains that the bronze device has been configured to keep her from escaping by blasting the area with cold unless it’s disabled. It was designed by the dwarves who originally built the forge. The Forgekeeper is aware of the history of the entire place and is willing to share the information if the heroes promise to disable the sphere. The Forgekeeper also knows the password to the elevator. Triggering the Trap. Should the Forgekeeper leave the lava pool before the bronze sphere device is deactivated, it makes a clicking noise and anyone in the room is suddenly struck by the effect of a cone of cold spell for 36 (8d8) cold damage. This cold blast repeats every five rounds until the bronze device is disabled. Disabling the Trap. The device can be disabled by smashing the sphere (AC 18, 30 HP). When smashed, the sphere will release its magic across the entire room, inflicting 36 (8d8) cold damage on everyone present. A successful DC 15 Investigation check will reveal that the device can be jammed. If jammed, the device makes a grinding noise every round for five rounds, and then the trap triggers as normal. The Forgekeeper's Contract Negotiating with the Forgekeeper will bring the attention of the young cerberus hound in the other room. The hound will enter the room and attack with the death dogs. Once freed, the Forgekeeper thanks the heroes. She has been imprisoned for centuries and fosters a burning hatred for all dwarves. She will treat dwarves in the party with hostility. The dwarves summoned her to the mortal world and then bound her within their forge. She not only powered the forge, but also used her skills as a metalsmith to help the god Volkan craft many powerful mithral and adamantine items. She must remain for five centuries unless the contract that bound her is destroyed. She thinks that the tablet bearing the contract is kept in the Blast Furnace (F21). She knows how to restart the forge and is willing to do so if the party agrees to release her from her contract. If the heroes give the Forgekeeper the contract, she will melt it. However, instead of immediately returning to the Plane of Fire, she will remain for one year and forge items for the heroes. The heroes can try to coerce the Forgekeeper with the contract tablet, but the results are always the same. 62

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F21. The Blast Furnace 

This room appears to be a dead blast furnace. Four large stone vats are lined up against the walls. Spouts extend from the walls over the top of the vats. At the center of the room, there is a 3 ft. wide circular hole. 

This is where mithral ore was melted down into ingots. The blast furnace is guarded by a young cerberus hound. He is intelligent enough to hold a conversation with the heroes. He claims to be a servant of Lutheria, the Mistress of Death. The hound’s mother was killed a few years ago by a great beast from the bowels of the earth. He took her place by devouring a half-dozen of his brothers and sisters. He won’t talk for long, because he’s very, very hungry. He has three mouths to feed, after all! Treasure. The cerberus hound has gathered some of the dwarves’ ancient treasure. Coins totaling 56 pp, 125 gp, and 389 sp are gathered in a corner. There is also an adamantine trident and six adamantine javelins. The rune tablet that keeps the Forgekeeper bound to the Mithral Mine is part of this treasure hoard. Event: Awakening the Forge Only the Forgekeeper can awaken the Forge. Once the cerberus hound is defeated, she tells the heroes to wait, then slithers down a hole in the floor. Five rounds later, she returns from the same hole. Lava bubbles from the hole and begins to flow in rivulets through the room. Anyone with a passive Perception of 15 or higher hears the dwarven elevator activating. There are multiple levers throughout this area which can be used to tip a cauldron of molten lava or to cause jets of fire to blow out from vents. Cauldron Traps. Choose two spaces on the map. These spaces are where the cauldrons will dump lava, doing 28 (8d6) fire damage to anyone in the space. Fire Vent Traps. Choose two spaces on the map. These spaces are where vents of fire will erupt, doing 14 (4d6) fire damage to anyone in a 15 ft. line from the opening of the vent. Encounter: The Troglodyte Horde If the heroes have not defeated the troglodyte king, then awakening the Forge summons a horde of troglodytes to attack the forge area. One minute after the Forgekeeper

awakens the forge, noises can be heard from the direction of the dwarven elevator. The Forgekeeper will tell them that the sounds are similar to that made by a “strange and disgusting beast” that came to visit her a year ago. She describes the King of the Troglodtyes and explains that she gave him the password to the elevator. At this point, the heroes must roll for initiative. On initiative count 10 of the first round, the elevator door opens and a dozen troglodytes, four troglodyte brutes, and the troglodyte king emerge. The king will send four stealthy troglodytes to scout out ahead of them. He plans to kill all of the heroes. The Forgekeeper provides hints as to how the party can use the forge's many traps against the filthy creatures.

F22. The Secret Dock 

This room is a dock that is large enough for most ships. A beautifully carved bronze lever extends from the wall. It can be used to activate a stonework dam at the top of the river that creates a gap in the waterfall. Once the heroes have the Ultros, they may use this lever to dock beneath the waterfall and return to the Mithral Forge.

Using the Mithral Forge Refer to the Treasures appendix for information about how the heroes can make use of the Mithral Forge. If the heroes make a deal with the Forgekeeper and discover the docks, then they can easily return to the Forge. The Forgekeeper will work with Volkan to make items from any components that they bring. The dock is well hidden and has been forgotten by everyone, so it makes a good hiding place for any ship that the heroes might have, including the Ultros.

This chamber leads to a secret dock, which is located behind the Great Falls. The stone dock extends behind the thundering waterfall. The room is filled with rotting sacks, barrels, and boxes. There is an ornate bronze lever on the far side of the room. 

Epic Paths: The Mithral Forge Both the Demi-god and the Dragonslayer use the Mithral Forge to craft some of their artifacts. Refer to the Running the Epic Paths section for details. 

The Mossy Temple Deep within the Oldwoods lies a ruined temple complex covered in a thick layer of moss and surrounded by massive trees. No one knows who built the temple, but the Druids of Oldwood believe that it is the oldest structure in the Heartlands. They maintain a circle of standing stones nearby, hoping to appease the spirits that haunt the temple. None who enter the temple have ever returned.

The History of the Temple The temple's true name is lost to history. It was built thousands of years ago by an ancient race of six-armed cyclops called the gygans. It honors Sydon, and it harkens to a time long before the mortal races arrived in Thylea. During this period, the gygans were devout servants of the Titans. They propitiated Sydon with great sacrifices, earned his favor, and their empire spanned all the islands of Thylea. The gygans were thought to have been exterminated by Pythor and the Dragonlords by the end of the First War.

Arkelander chopped down her sister’s oak tree to use as the mast for his ship, the Ultros. Demetria went mad with grief for her sister. She swore fealty to Lutheria, who embraced her and further stoked her rage. Demetria loathes mortals. She captures young men and women to serve in Lutheria’s dark rituals, telling them that they are being initiated into an ancient priesthood. In actuality, the women are transformed into monstrous maenads, while the men are slaughtered and devoured in ritual feasts. In the past year, Demetria has become more brazen. She has captured dozens of teenagers now. Recently, she sent her goatlings to steal the Horn of Balmytria, in order to feed her growing number of servants.

Quest: The Horn of Balmytria 

Demetria, the Vengeful Dryad Recently, teenagers have been disappearing from the towns and farms around Estoria. They are lured into the forest by roving bands of goatlings that serve the mistress of the temple, a dryad named Demetria. Demetria has good cause to hate the people of Mytros and Estoria. Centuries ago, the Dragonlord Estor

As the Oracle's Chosen, you know that one of your Great Labors is to drink from the Horn of Balmytria. But the horn has been stolen from the Dragon Shrine by a tribe of goatlings. They’ve carried it south from Estoria into the Oldwoods, and they haven’t been very careful. The trail is marked by haphazard splashes of red wine which run all the way through the forest. 

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THE OLDWOODS

The forest grows dark around you, with barely any light making its way through the canopy. You hear birds and beasts clamoring beyond every bush, and eventually, the path you are following seems to disappear into the underbrush. You emerge into a dimly-lit clearing, surrounded on all sides by oak trees. The forest suddenly grows quiet. You can hear something crashing through the brush ahead of you. A young girl bursts into the clearing, breathing hard. Tears streak her dirt-caked face. She looks stunned to see you. “You... are you really there? Please help!” You hear more crashing sounds from the forest as six hideous creatures emerge into the clearing. They are six goat-headed creatures with cloven hooves. One of them laughs harshly. “Give us the sweetling. We’ve had dinner, but she’ll make a fine dessert!”

The Oldwoods is an ancient forest that lies in the center of the Heartlands, surrounded on all sides by fields and farms. It is a forest consisting mostly of ancient oak and walnut trees. For the first century, the new settlers to Thylea cut down trees to build their farms, towns and cities. But they stopped when they reached the Oldwoods because fey creatures are known to haunt the forest. In the modern daytimes, no one enters the Oldwoods except for the Druids. Traveling to the edge of the Oldwoods only takes a few hours. Traveling within the Oldwoods to the Mossy Temple takes the better part of a day. Tracking the goatlings requires a successful DC 10 Wisdom check.

Encounter: Tribe of Goatlings Following the trail of the goatlings, the heroes eventually come to a shadowy clearing in the woods. 64

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The six goatlings attack the heroes before they can respond. Three of them will use mockery. Roleplay the taunts that they hurl at the heroes.

Curing Herkus. If Herkus is ever cured of his insanity, he will thank the heroes profusely. With his mind returned to him, Herkus turns out to be a very talkative gnome. He is one of the Druids of Oldwood. Demetria poisoned him with a tea made from a flower that grows in the ancient glade.

• “Get lost, you pathetic starvelings!” • “Your face inspires me… to vomit!” • “You are a plague-sore on the ass of a pig!” • “Bald legs! Bald legs! Bald legs!” • “Fish-faced assassins of joy!”

Herkus the Helpful When Herkus transforms back into a gnome, he stares at the heroes with a dazed expression. He then starts eating leaves and nuts, and without a greater restoration spell, he remains insane. However, if the heroes enter the temple, he follows and returns to his squirrel form. He sits on the shoulder of the hero who attacked or captured him. He shrieks and throws nuts (that he stores in his cheeks) at enemies during fights. Herkus has the statistics of a druid with the following additions. His size is small, and he has darkvision, speed 25 ft. and gnome cunning: He has advantage on all Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws against magic. He also has the ability to polymorph into a beast of CR 1/2 or lower twice per day.

Quest: Corinna’s Friends Corinna (NG scout) is the daughter of Thericles, who works the vineyards in Estoria (E13). She and her friends were lured into the temple by a beautiful woman named Demetria, who promised wealth, beauty, and fame. Corinna was warned to leave the temple by a young satyr named Loreus, who said that she and her friends would soon be doomed to a fate worse than death. She fled the temple, but the goatlings pursued her. If the party asks about the Horn of Balmytria, Corinna confirms that the horn is in the temple. She warns the party that Demetria is unspeakably beautiful, and has a way with words that makes everyone fall in love with her. Nevertheless, she wants to save her friends, so she is determined to accompany the heroes into the temple.

THE TEMPLE EXTERIOR

T2. The Temple Entrance 

T1. The Standing Stones 

This clearing is dominated by seven large standing stones, each about twice the height of a man. The canopy is less thick here, allowing dappled light to pass through its rustling branches. Small creatures occasionally dart through the carpet of leaves blanketing the ground. Each of the standing stones is covered in splotches of fuzzy green moss. They are arranged in a half-circle, and they are cold to the touch. You sense that they have been here for a very long time. 

 

These standing stones were erected by the druids of the Oldwood more than a thousand years ago. If a druid or ranger takes a short rest while within 10 feet of the standing stones, it will count as a long rest instead. This only works once per 24-hour period. Herkus the gnome (CG druid) hides near the standing stones in the form of a squirrel. Herkus is completely insane. As a squirrel, he chatters at the heroes madly. He jumps from stone to stone and then throws nuts at them. He will jump on them and try to bite them. He will only transform back into a gnome if he is captured or damaged.

The clearing grows wider as you continue eastward. Ruined architecture seems to suddenly loom over you. You realize that what you thought were trees are actually towering pillars of fluted marble, overgrown with vines and green moss. The columns stand in two rows, marching toward a massive stone temple facade. The ruins are worn with unfathomable age, and several of the pillars toppled and shattered centuries ago. Dozens of gargantuan tree roots wind their way through the clearing, climbing over fallen pillars and rupturing the walls of the temple. 

There are a few ways into the inner chambers of the temple. No one guards the temple, but the roots of the ancient oaks can be animated by Demetria. She can use a bonus action to cause one of the roots to attack any creature within reach. The roots can discern race, so Demetria can allow certain races, such as satyrs and goatlings, to come and go as they please. Animated Roots. Each root has an AC of 10 and 10 HP. Each root can make one attack per round: +3 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 2 (1d4) bludgeoning damage. If the target is Medium or smaller, it is grappled (escape DC 10) and restrained until the grapple ends. The roots have a passive Perception of 14.

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The lands were once spotted with countless stone cities and temples, built by the Gygans. Many were destroyed

adamantine with an AC of 23, 30 HP, and a damage threshold of 5. Attacking either object will make a loud echoing noise. Attacking twice will alert the entire complex to the heroes’ presence.

or dismantled, their stones re-purposed. Others remain hidden away in remote places. —Vallus, Goddess of Wisdom

T5. The Ancient Baths 

THE INNER CHAMBERS T3. Ruined Antechamber 

The temple antechamber is a wide, rectangular room, shrouded in darkness but for the faint rays of light coming through the entrance. The room smells wet and earthy, and the floor is carpeted with soggy dead leaves. 

The upper floor of the temple consists of four rooms: the antechamber, the main worship chamber, the baths, and a flight of stairs leading into the underground chambers. Broken Shield. There is a broken bronze shield on the floor that appears to be centuries old. It bears the symbol of the Dragonlords. Inscribed along the edge of the shield are scenes of a dragon-mounted warrior subjugating a race of six-armed cyclopes. The Dragonlord can be identified as Estor Arkelander with a successful DC 15 Intelligence (History) check.

T4. The Chamber of Sydon 

This chamber is dominated by a beautiful marble statue of the Titan, Sydon. The Lord of Storms sits upon his throne, hunching slightly so that his massive form seems too large for the room. The ceiling is domed, with an oculus that allows through a broad ray of light. Sydon holds a large mirror, which catches the light and directs it through a small shaft that opens below his feet. 

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This room is part of an ancient bath complex. There are public baths in the city of Mytros, but this one is far older. The fountains would normally be running at all times, refreshing the water in the pool, but these probably haven’t worked for centuries. Stagnant Oozes. The pool water is the domain of two gray oozes. These gray oozes remain motionless and invisible at the bottom of the pool. They will only attack someone who enters the water. Animated Roots. Demetria has ordered the roots here to attack anyone except goatlings, satyrs, and maenads. Two roots will attempt to grab and restrain the heroes. The roots will drag and hold anyone they grapple under the water: refer to the rules on holding your breath and drowning. Because the roots are beneath murky water, attacks against them have disadvantage. Any creature dragged underwater will also be attacked by the gray oozes.

T6. The Descending Stairway 

In the room behind the baths, a stairway descends into the shadows of the lower floor. The stairs are watched over by four hideous stone statues. Each appears in the form of a six-armed cyclops. The statues are missing arms, legs and heads, and two of them hold discolored bronze bowls in their lower arms.

This central chamber is quiet. There are no animal sounds and the statue seems to stare at the heroes. If Herkus is present in squirrel form, he shrieks and throws a nut at the statue’s head. Small Shaft. The mirror reflects light into a small hole in the floor. A Small-sized creature can crawl down the shaft, which leads to another mirror and then goes straight down into the Ancient Glade (T8). Someone can drop down 20 feet into the chamber. They must succeed on a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw or they take 7 (2d6) bludgeoning damage. The Statue and Mirror. The statue is made of marble around a core of adamantine with an AC of 18, 100 HP, and a damage threshold of 5. The mirror is polished 66

This expansive, rectangular room is shrouded in darkness. You hear the echoing sounds of droplets falling into a vast pool of deep, stagnant water. Black vines and massive tree roots climb down the walls and wind across the room. As you walk forward, the stone floor gradually descends into the water.

Two of the statues are merely inanimate and will collapse into dust when touched. The other two statues retain the magic that animated them as guardians centuries ago. The statues have the statistics of gargoyles with no fly speed. They awaken and attack when an intruder starts to descend the stairway. However, should someone place an offering in the bowl held by one of the statues and say a short prayer to Sydon, the statues will remain inanimate. Suspicious Footprints. The stairs are marked by dozens of hoofprints and human footprints, some of which track through haphazard splashes of red wine.

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THE ANCIENT GLADE

The Ancient Tree Stump 

The ancient glade was a natural cavern that the gygans built over. The gygans’ mirror system lets light into the cavern and allows the rare plants to grow. The natural cavern has a ceiling that is 20 ft. in height, while the worked stone tunnels and chambers are 10 ft. in height.

This massive stump must have belonged to a magnificent tree, centuries ago. It was cruelly hewn down to waist-height. Thousands of green clovers grow over the ancient injury. 

T7. Tunnel of Roots 

This tunnel leads deeper below the earth. Stone archways support a low ceiling of rocky dirt. Curtains of heavy roots and vines hang down from the archways, blocking your view of the way forward. 

The roots do nothing when they are first encountered. However, if Demetria attempts to flee through the tunnel, she can use these roots to restrain the heroes.

This expansive cave is a garden of strange ferns, fragrant flowers, and luminescent fungi. A massive tree stump sits in the center, overgrown by a carpet of green clovers. A stream of clear water winds around the trunk, babbling noisily. Light streams in from an opening in the stone ceiling. The air is pleasantly damp, and the smell of the garden is intoxicating.

This cavern is used as a place to grow rare plants of various kinds. It is moist and is fed by a small underground stream. The mirror system reflects light down a small shaft into the underground glade. This is how the rare plants get sunlight. Encounter: Sostrate Two goatlings chase a young man around the glade. He shrieks when they grab at him, but they always release him so that they can resume the chase. Four other goatlings are currently hidden and watching from the shadows. The boy, Sostrate (NG commoner), is one of Corinna's friends. If the heroes do not intervene, the ‘game’ will eventually end in his death. If the goatlings see the heroes, they will first try to finish off Sostrate and then attack the heroes. Roll for initiative and make the intent of the goatlings clear. Any goatling who is damaged before his first round will shift his target to the heroes. If Herkus is on a hero’s shoulder, he will throw a nut and draw the ire of one of the goatlings. If Corinna is present, she will rush forward to save Sostrate. The four goatlings hidden in shadows will attack anyone who moves in to save Sostrate.

This was a sacred tree to the fey of Oldwood, but the Dragonlord Estor led a band deep into the forest and chopped it down. He carved the tree up and used it for the mast, keel, and prow of the Ultros. Demetria's Sister. This was once the sacred tree of Demetria's sister, another dryad. Demetria keeps a small clay pot with her sister's ashes resting on the top of the stump. If opened, the ashes smells of roses. If Demetria discovers that anyone has touched the ashes, she will be determined to kill that individual.

• Ethereum Plant. This can be harvested in order to 

Garden of Strange Plants There are also several rare and useful plants here:

T8. The Ancient Glade 

create the poison, essence of ether. It takes an hour to harvest enough of the plant to make a single dose. There are enough plants in the chamber for 12 doses. Proficiency with the Poisoner’s Kit is required. • Aconite. This can be harvested in order to make the poison, assassin’s blood. It takes two hours to harvest enough of the plant to make a single dose. There are enough aconite plants in the chamber for 12 doses. Proficiency with the Poisoner’s Kit is required. • Sunril Berry Bush. The berries from this legendary bush have the same effect as goodberries. Thirty berries can be harvested from the bush. The berries are easy to harvest, but they will spoil in 24 hours.

T9. Cavern of Fungus 

This cavern is blanketed with luminescent pink and teal-colored mushrooms. The walls are hewn from smooth rock, and they slope upward from the ground, leaving many comfortable spots to recline. A stream of water from the adjoining glade flows into a stone basin in the floor. 

This cavern is filled with the Madon fungus which doesn’t require sunlight to grow. The Madon is famed for its use in the making of the truth serum poison. It is also used as a recreational drug. When eaten, it causes a state of euphoria that lasts for hours. Goatlings. A pair of goatlings hide at the back of the cave. They attack the heroes as soon as they see them. Teenage Revelers. There are currently eight teenage men and women in the cavern chamber. They have all been eating the Madon fungus and are in a euphoric Ch apter 2 | The Gr e at L abor s

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state: they are considered to be poisoned for the next two hours. All of them are under the sway of Demetria and are awaiting their turn to be ‘initiated’. The teenagers cannot be convinced that Demetria is anything other than a benevolent goddess who has promised her devoted followers wealth, beauty, and fame. If separated from Demetria for 24 hours, they can be persuaded of the nymph’s true intent with a successful DC 10 Charisma (Persuasion) check. The teenagers have the stats of commoners and are divided into pairs: Lysandra and Bassilus, Kleon and Heron, Irene and Draco, Callisto and Ariston. Grasping Roots. There are two roots close to the entrance to the cave. These roots will attempt to grapple anyone trying to leave the cave.

Loreus the Satyr

Making Truth Serum Heroes with proficiency in Nature will recognize the Madon fungus and realize its usefulness in making the truth serum poison (see the Game Master's Guide). Proficiency in Medicine is required to recognize that the fungus needs to be harvested in a particular way to avoid spoiling its effectiveness. Every hour spent harvesting the fungus gives enough material to make a single dose of truth serum poison. There is enough harvestable fungus for 12 doses.

Loreus the Lovestruck Loreus will stealthily follow the heroes while they remain in the Mossy Temple. If they are in danger he will use his pan pipes to put one enemy to sleep. If the heroes try to leave him behind, he will be heartbroken. In this case, Loreus will show up again in Mytros, with a random trinket as a gift for each of the heroes.

T10. Den of Lush Flowers 

This small cavern is overgrown with living roots and vines. Flowers of every shape, scent and color carpet the floor, overwhelming your senses. Several oak trees also grow, breaking upward through the partially-collapsed ceiling. A stream of water from the adjoining glade trickles through here. 

This cavern is the resting place for some of the fey who have come to visit Demetria. There are two satyrs and one dryad, who have come to plead with her to stop antagonizing the mortals. Harmless pranks are one thing, but kidnapping young mortals is dangerous. They worry about a reprisal from Estoria. Fey Diplomacy. The satyrs and dryad won’t harm the heroes, but they won’t help them either. They will simply inform the heroes that Demetria rules the temple, that her actions are her own, and that she doesn’t represent the other fey of the forest. They would be pleased if Demetria were no longer a problem in Oldwood. Encounter: Loreus the Satyr Loreus (CG satyr) is also here, and he is very interested in the heroes. He is quite talkative, and he asks many questions about their purpose in the temple. Loreus is different from most of his kind and has an intense curiosity about the settler races. 70

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Demetria's History. Loreus explains that Demetria was consumed with a desire for revenge after her sister was killed by Estor Arkelander, five hundred years ago. She sought out Lutheria and formed a dark pact with the Titan, vowing to cast a shadow over the Oldwoods, to make the mortal races remember their fear of the dark. Lovestruck Satyr. Loreas is driven by his emotions, both good and bad. If one of the heroes shows him even an ounce of kindness, he will fall in love with them. Loreus will stealthily follow his new love when they leave the cave. While Loreus doesn’t know details of the maenad initiation feast, he suspects foul play and urges the heroes to investigate the kitchens.

T11. Stone Corridor 

This torch-lit corridor descends for about one hundred paces. The walls are decorated with ancient, colorful mosaics, which depict vignettes of six-armed warriors, farmers and priests. 

This corridor is usually empty.

THE FEASTING HALLS

T12. Nursing Chamber 

This small stone chamber has been made warm and comfortable with feathered pillows and animal skins. A bronze lantern hangs from the ceiling, bathing the room with flickering golden light. Aromatic incense smoke rises from a brass censer, although this doesn’t quite disguise the smell of goats. 

The feasting halls are chambers of worked stone built by the gygans more than a millennium ago. The ceilings are 15 ft. in height, and the walls are cyclopean stonework.

T14. Kitchens 

There are two maenads present in this chamber with their goatling children. The maenads are drinking wine, eating mushrooms, and feeding their children the same. When the maenads spot the heroes, they demand to know who they are, while the goatlings will growl and hiss. If the heroes can come up with a convincing lie, a successful DC 15 Charisma (Deception) check will put the maenads back at ease. In this case, they invite the party to enjoy their wine and mushrooms. Frenzied Maenads. If the heroes don’t immediately provide a satisfactory lie, then the maenads will enter a frenzy of drunken bloodlust and attack. Baby Goatlings. The four young goatlings carry small knives for cutting mushrooms. The goatlings have AC 10 and 1 HP each. They threaten the heroes with their knives, but they are too timid to attack.

T15. Feast Hall 

This round chamber looks to be a warm and comfortable sleeping chamber with feather pillows and animal skins. Four young men and women sleep upon the skins. 

There are four teenagers sleeping in this chamber. Their names are Nikon, Markos, Theophania, and Phokas. They have the stats of commoners and behave in the same way as the teenagers from the Cavern of Fungus (T9), although they are not poisoned. Grasping Roots. There are two roots close to the entrance to the cave. These roots will attempt to grapple anyone who tries to leave the room without Demetria's permission. As with other roots, they do nothing to those who are entering the chamber.

Demetria saw the truth of things: the Dragonlords may have been saviors to their people, but they despoiled the lands of Thylea with their lust for battle and conquest. It was wise of the dryad to seek justice from the Lady of Dreams, who is gracious and good to her servants. — Chondrus, Priest of Lutheria

This feasting hall is dominated by a huge table shaped from living oak. The table has enough chairs to seat a dozen guests. Food and wine are artfully arranged on the tabletop. A beautiful silver dragon horn with gold fittings sits at the center of the table.

This is where the food is prepared. Currently the slaughtered carcasses of four teenage boys are being prepared for the feast in the feast hall. The cooks are two goatlings. They will continue with their task unless attacked by the heroes. The horrific nature of the feast is revealed with a successful DC 15 Intelligence (Investigation) check.

T13. The Sleeping Chamber 

This chamber is filled with the smell of roasting meat. It is a kitchen of sorts, with stone and wooden tables for preparing food. A large bronze oven dominates the north wall, blasting the room with heat.

This is a feasting chamber with a giant table, beautifully laid out with wine and food. Reflected light pours in from the mirrors. Demetria (CE dryad) is here with four adoring teenage girls. They are preparing for the initiation feast. Loyal Gygan. Demetria's gygan servant is nine feet tall, and he looms in the background. He has a single eye (like a cyclops), six powerful arms, and a number of weapons and shields. He’s also very clever, although he doesn’t speak much. Sydon has charged him with both protecting and watching over Demetria. Epic Paths: Meeting Demetria Demetria has information pertinent to both the Doomed One and the Haunted One. Refer to the Running the Epic Paths section for details.

The dryad invites the heroes to sit down and join the feast. She is granting her best student a special prize—a shortbow of cupidity. She will playfully accuse the heroes of spoiling a special moment for her acolytes. The Dryad's Appeal. As long as the heroes don’t initiate combat, Demetria is happy to talk. She knows Ch apter 2 | The Gr e at L abor s

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that the heroes have been chosen by the Oracle, but she dismisses their quest as an impossible one. She extolls Sydon’s strength and Lutheria’s beauty. She speaks of the cruelty of the Dragonlords, explaining that her sister lost her life to the wickedness of Estor Arkelander. She asks the heroes whether they are truly fighting for the right side in the looming conflict. She then invites them to share the meal with her and the girls. A Grisly Feast. The feast consists of the cooked bodies of the young men who were paired with the girls at the table. If the heroes are aware of this, then they can convince the girls with a successful DC 15 Persuasion check (an automatic success if Corinna is with them). If Herkus is with the heroes, he will transform into his gnome form, sniff the air, and declare that the meat smells like cooked human flesh. The Ritual is Completed Eating the human flesh has no ill effects on any of the heroes, but if they cannot dissuade the girls from partaking in the feast, then Demetria’s ritual is completed, and the girls are transformed into four maenads: 

Demetria smiles at the girls as they hungrily devour the feast. “I’m glad to see that you have such appetites! There’s nothing more delicious than a lover’s flesh, is there?” Suddenly, the girls begin to shriek in pain. Their teeth sharpen, the bones in their legs snap backwards, and horns grow from their heads. In a matter of seconds, they have all been transformed into monstrous maenads. Demetria gently pets one of her new servants. “Shush now, my sweetlings. This is a great blessing. Now, you shall have the pleasure to serve Lutheria for the rest of your lives. And you can start by slaughtering these uninvited guests!” 

T16. Demetria’s Chambers 

Treasure Demetria keeps her valuables locked in a trunk. The lock can be opened with a successful DC 15 Dexterity check with thieves' tools. Inside are trinkets and other items stolen from the teenagers she has kidnapped. This haul includes two necklaces worth 100 gp each. There are also four rings worth 50 gp each and a half dozen gems of different sorts each worth 50 gp. Ritual Tome. The most important item is a tome bound in human skin. Inside is a description written by Lutheria herself on the ritual of transformation that turns a human woman into a maenad.

The Horn of Balmytria Once the heroes have secured the Horn of Balmytria, they are expected to drink from it. They may choose to do this as soon as they recover it, or they may wait. Drinking even a small amount of wine from the horn for the first time sends the heroes into a deep sleep for 8 hours. The heroes experience vivid dreams during this sleep: 

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You are standing on the deck of a beautiful galley. A bright cerulean sea stretches out before you. You look down at a strange bronze device in your hands. It seems to reflect the constellations of the night sky, even though the sun shines brightly overhead. The oarsmen pull the ship through the water faster than you thought possible. You look down at the men on the benches. They meet your gaze with dead eyes and skeletal faces—dozens of leering corpses. You are startled awake.

The Ritual is Disrupted Revealing the true nature of the meal to the girls will infuriate them so that they attack Demetria, restraining her for three rounds. The gygan will easily kill the girls unless the heroes intervene. If the heroes attack Demetria before the ritual is completed, then the girls will scream and hide, while the gygan will defend Demetria. They fight to the death.

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Demetria spends most of her time in these chambers, enjoying the company of love-besotted teenagers. She lures them here before using them in her evil rituals.

At this point, Demetria will order everyone to attack the heroes and feast on their flesh.

Treasure Demetria carries a shortbow of cupidity. The Horn of Balmytria occupies the center of the table.

This lushly appointed bedroom is covered in rugs along the floor and silks along the wall. A beautiful bed carved from living oak dominates the center of the room.

Kyrah can interpret this dream, as can Aesop at the Dragon Shrine in Estoria, or Proteus at the Temple of the Oracle. They know that you have seen the Ultros. The Ghost Ship There is only one ghost ship known to the people of Thylea, the Ultros. This is the famous trireme constructed by the Dragonlords, five centuries ago. It was commanded by a bloodthirsty man, Estor Arkelander

Dreams tell us more about ourselves than we might like to imagine. How many of our waking hours are spent

Horn of Balmytria

retreading the paths we've walked in dreams? — Kyrah, Goddess of Music

who was responsible for starting the First War. He was later cursed to sail the seas forever as a ghost. The only person who is likely to know the location of the Ultros is King Acastus of Mytros, for he is a descendant of Estor Arkelander. The Strange Device The bronze construct from the dream may be the legendary magical compass known as the Antikythera. Supposedly, it has the power to navigate to all of the islands in the Cerulean Sea, the Forgotten Sea, and even the legendary Nether Sea. It's uncertain where this item might be found, but it's useless without the ship.

The Necropolis at Telamok Telamok is a sacred site built alongside a canyon in the Mithral Mountains. The mountain and its ruins are named after the ancient Dragonlord, Telamok. Ancient, time-worn bridges cross a vast mistshrouded chasm to cliffs where the entrances to tombs and crypts are located. This is a place of death where no living being stirs. The ruins are covered by a thin layer of snow and ice, which absorbs sound and enshrouds the area in an eerie silence. Deathly Silence When describing the journey to the Necropolis, you should emphasize the silence. The snow absorbs much of the sound. The skeletons and specters make no sound when attacking. Damon does not speak. The only creature in the entire necropolis that speaks is the minotaur Graxis.

Armaments of the Dragonlords One of the party's Great Labors requires them to recover the armaments of the Dragonlords. Xander's armaments are still located in his crypt. The Axe of Xander and the Shield of Volkan have been looted by the minotaur Graxis, while the Breastplate of Mytros is still on the corpse of Xander in his sarcophagus.

TRAVELING TO THE NECROPOLIS Encounter: Arms of Kentimane 

The History of the Necropolis The Necropolis was built to house the remains of the Dragonlords who came to Thylea five centuries ago. Xander Huorath, the first and greatest of the Dragonlords, is buried at the center of the Necropolis. In addition to the Dragonlords, the skeletal remains of Balmytria, the silver dragon, are entombed here. This 'city of the dead' is regarded as a sacred place, forbidden to anyone except other Dragonlords. It is guarded by Damon, a lich. He was Xander’s friend and the most powerful wizard of his day. Since he achieved undeath, he has seen all of his friends pass into the afterlife and now makes sure no one loots the city's treasures.

At first, your journey across the great plains of Thylea is an uneventful one. The road to the Necropolis at Telamok is well maintained but little traveled. As the Mithral Mountains drift into sight, you encounter a scene that is almost beyond comprehension. Dozens of massive stone arms reach out of the ground, dwarfing everything around you for a mile. The arms are motionless and seemingly have no purpose. This alien sight invites unnerving questions: what are the arms for? Who created them? Are they alive? 

These statues are the arms of Kentimane, the HundredHanded Titan. They cannot be damaged and they will not move against the heroes.

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The Path of the Dead 

This path leads upwards into the Mithral Mountains. It is commonly known as the Path of the Dead, because it is the only way to reach the Necropolis at Telamok. It is utterly quiet. There are no bird calls, no insects, no animal life at all. Even the sound of the wind is missing in the dead air. It grows colder as the path gains height, and a light covering of snow begins to coat the path. The path is narrow and treacherous. Just past the edge, the ground falls away for hundreds of feet. The silence is suddenly ended by a song… A song so beautiful that it makes your heart ache with desire. 

who climbs down to the valley floor is immediately swarmed by skeletons, minotaur skeletons, and specters. The initial fight is against 1d4 skeletons, but after two rounds, another 1d4 skeletons and one minotaur skeleton will join the fight. Then, after another two rounds, 1d4 skeletons and one specter. After that, 1d4 specters will join every round. Trying to climb up from the valley to the Necropolis is difficult—the sheer cliffs are 500 feet high. For the first 100 feet, anyone trying to climb will be harassed by specters.

KEY LOCATIONS X1. The Approach 

The ancient Necropolis stands before you, awe-inspiring in both size and splendor. Although ice and snow obscure the details, its magnificent pillars and statues surround a massive stone structure. Between you and the Necropolis is a vast canyon spanned by three stone bridges. Two of the bridges are apparently broken and unusable. Although the bottom of the canyon is cloaked in mist, you can see a number of bones scattered among the rocks below. The canyon is shrouded in an eerie silence. The only sound that can be heard is your feet crunching through a light layer of frost and snow on the paved path.

Partway up the mountain, three harpies begin to harass the heroes. They have nested on the cliff opposite the mountain path, and they use their luring song to ensnare hapless travelers. Dangerous Ledge. Those affected by the song will try to leap the chasm to reach the harpies’ nest. Before making the leap, an affected character can make another Wisdom saving throw to shake off the charm. Failing that, they must make a DC 15 Strength check to successfully leap from the path to the nest. Any character who fails the leap falls 50 feet to a ledge below and suffers 5d6 bludgeoning damage.

Valleys Shrouded in Mist The mountain is surrounded by deep valleys that are forever shrouded in mist. The valleys are empty of living creatures, but they are patrolled by those who died in the construction of the Necropolis. Anyone I will tell you what I know of Damon. He drank knowledge like others drank wine, and his eyes were like portals into the depths of time. He knew things that no

mortal should have the means to learn, and yet he never seemed to thrill at the acquisition of lore. In the end, when Estor took the Ultros to wage his final war upon

the Titans, I think Damon knew that it would spell the Doom of our sacred order. But with Xan der gone, who could stop him?

—Rizon Phobas, Dragonlord (47 CE)

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The approach to the ruins is a paved path, covered lightly by snow. A successful DC 15 Wisdom (Survival) check reveals tracks beneath the snow. The tracks look like they were made by a two-legged bull, and they run to and from the Necropolis. If the check is made at DC 20 or higher, then the tracker will realize that a powerful minotaur made the tracks.

X2. Damon The Lich 

A lone skeletal figure stands at the center of this bridge. A tattered cloak covers the figure's thin frame and obscures its face. Golden runes are traced along the hems of the cloak. As you draw closer, the figure holds out a skeletal hand expectantly, as if awaiting some sort of payment. 

Damon (TN lich) was a companion of the original Dragonlords who sailed across the ocean to Thylea. He lost everything in the First War, including his wife and children. He dedicated his life to the defense of the settlers, and now he defends the Necropolis to honor those who sacrificed their lives to do the same.

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He is now a lich. The Necropolis is considered to be his lair, and he would be an incredibly difficult opponent for the heroes. He may use spells such as hold person and wall of force to prevent a battle, if the heroes are stupid enough to attack him. Damon will only allow the party to pass the bridge if he is given a single burnished dragonlord coin.

THE NECROPOLIS RUINS 

Across the bridge, you can see 12 tomb entrances carved into the cliffs, each marked by four stone columns. To the north is a great white marble mausoleum, the size of a small palace. Close to the mausoleum’s entrance is a 13th tomb, much grander than the others, standing alone in a rocky outcropping away from the cliffs. You see many bodies lying upon the icy paths that wind around the ruins. Some are the desiccated, half-frozen corpses of would-be grave robbers, while others are statues of various sizes and styles. Their frozen eyes seem to be watching you.

Paying the Lich If someone tries to pass without payment, Damon will use his magic to prevent them crossing. Initially he will only use wall of force, but he will also use non-lethal spells and powers such as hold person and paralyzing touch if necessary. He will fight to the death if threatened.

Anyone who tries to fly to the Necropolis without payment will be targeted by Damon. The one creature that Damon allows to pass at will is Graxis the minotaur. Epic Paths: The Cursed One If the Cursed One is present, then Damon recognizes them and gives them a lost family heirloom—a gem of brightness. He also tells them that they must seek the Lotus Witch. Refer to the Running the Epic Paths section for details.

The Necropolis is a dangerous place and many of the threats are too great for low level characters to handle. However, curious parties may attempt to loot the tombs anyway. There are various ways to dissuade this: desiccated bodies lay outside many of the tombs, looking as if they were ripped apart by some beast. Tomb Exteriors The tombs are built into cliffs that are about 15 feet high. Most of the tombs have four marble pillars set into the cliff face. These pillars are entwined with dragons. Each tomb entrance is sealed with a chiseled marble slab measuring 5 feet wide, 5 feet tall, and 5 feet thick. Removing or resetting this stone slab requires an action and a successful DC 25 Strength check.

X4. The Tomb of Adonis

Warning Inscriptions. Each tomb inscription names the Dragonlord interred inside, along with a warning:

The inscription on the tomb reads:

“DEATH AWAITS ANY WHO WOULD desecrate the great warrior within.”

ADONIS NEURDAGON Oathsworn of Pythor Most beautiful of Dragonlords If but his sword work had been as beautiful.

Kyrah warns the heroes of the dire consequences of robbing consecrated tombs. Plundering certain tombs will subject the heroes to the curse of the graverobber.

Tomb Interiors Each tomb is the resting place of one Dragonlord. Their name, epitaph, and the warning are inscribed on the marble slab that blocks each entrance. Each tomb is a 15 x 15-foot chamber, and each contains a 5 x 8-foot rectangular marble sarcophagus. Inside each sarcophagus is a Dragonlord and the treasure that was buried with them. Early Dragonlords were buried with mithral and adamantine items but, after the Mithral Mine was closed, those ores became rare. Later Dragonlords are buried with bronze items.

The inscription on the tomb reads: TELAMOK ARKELANDER Oathsworn of Vallus

Telamok was a particularly vicious Dragonlord, known for never giving quarter in battle. He was responsible for some of the worst massacres during the First War, and was cursed to undeath as a result. Telamok's Sarcophagus. If his sarcophagus is opened, Telamok will rise as a wight. He has maximum hit points (66) and is dressed in a breastplate with a shield (AC 18). He has a Strength of 20. He will pursue anyone who breaks into his tomb for one minute. Afterwards, he will return to his tomb and reseal it. Treasure Telamok’s mithral breastplate and shield are worth 500 gp each. They are engraved with elaborate dragon motifs. This tomb is not consecrated.

You hear a snap, followed by a grinding noise from above you. A stone block falls and seals the entrance. Silver liquid gushes from the hole in the roof that held the blocking stone. The quicksilver reaches your feet and begins to fill the chamber at an alarming pace.

The inside of the crypt contains a large sarcophagus with a proud warrior engraved on its lid. Fading murals cover the walls and ceiling of the crypt. They depict the same warrior, slaughtering enemies of every kind: men, women, centaurs, satyrs, cyclopes, and more. 

Adonis was a Dragonlord who followed Xander across the oceans to Thylea. He was not particularly wellliked by his peers, but he was known for his beauty and extreme wealth. His tomb is a trap. If the sarcophagus is touched, a block of marble will seal the tomb.

X3. The Tomb of Telamok

A beautiful sarcophagus hewn from bright white marble stands in the center of the tomb. The lid is carved with the likeness of a handsome warrior wearing a suit of armor that is more ornamental than practical. Although the carvings that line the walls ostensibly depict the great battles of the First War, there is a clear emphasis on the beauty of the dragonrider rather than his prowess in combat.

Mercury Trap. From the space where the block dropped, mercury will pour into the chamber—enough to fill it entirely. It takes three rounds for the tomb to fill up, and each round, everyone inside must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or become poisoned. At the start of the fourth round, there is no more air. Use the drowning rules at this point. Heroes with the ability to breathe water will still drown in mercury. Escaping the Trap. The only way to escape is with brute force. The marble block sealing the tomb must be moved with a successful DC 30 Strength check, or it must be destroyed in some way. The marble block has 100 HP, AC 17, and a damage threshold of 5. Treasure Adonis is wearing a breastplate +1 and a short sword of quickness. This tomb is consecrated, so taking either of these items will afflict the thief with the curse of the grave robber.

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X5. The Tomb of Estor

Treasure Rizon’s mithral breastplate and shield are worth 500 gp each. She also holds a mithral kopis +1. This tomb is consecrated, so taking any of these items will afflict the thief with the curse of the grave robber.

The inscription on the tomb reads: ESTOR ARKELANDER Oathsworn of Kyrah 

Disturbing images adorn the walls of this tomb. Rather than heroic battles, the carvings largely depict a man slaughtering unarmed dryads and satyrs in gory detail. Clear pain and fear mark his victims’ faces. In one panel, his dragon companion appears to beg for mercy on behalf of a group of nearby creatures. A blood-red marble sarcophagus bearing the same man’s image sits in the center of the room. 

X7. The Tomb of Cosmo The inscription on the tomb reads: COSMO PHOBAS Son of Rizon Phobas 

Estor Arkelander was the brother of Telamok, and one of the original Dragonlords who came to Thylea five centuries ago. His body was never interred here. He still captains the doomed ghost ship, the Ultros, as the heroes will discover later in the story. Kyrah's Reaction. Kyrah reacts coldly to the tomb. She still carries centuries of guilt about the atrocities committed by Estor during the First War. She has nothing to say about the tomb, and she has no desire to linger here any longer than she has to.

Your torchlight seems unable to properly illuminate the floor, ceiling, and walls, which are covered in a slick black substance that appears to shift and quiver. The only object you can clearly make out is a gray marble sarcophagus with the features of a man. 

Cosmo was the first-born son of Rizon. He succeeded Xander as the leader of the Dragonlords. The interior walls, floor, and ceiling of the tomb are black in color and appear to be alive. This is because they are coated with five black puddings, one on each wall (but not the entrance wall) and one on the ceiling and floor. They will attack anyone who enters. Treasure Cosmo’s adamantine breastplate and shield are worth 500 gp each. This tomb is not consecrated.

Treasure Estor's sarcophagus is empty.

X6. The Tomb of Rizon

X8. The Tomb of Myrto

The inscription on the tomb reads:

The inscription on the tomb reads:

RIZON PHOBAS Oathsworn of Volkan

MYRTO THE MAGNIFICENT 

This tomb is lined with murals of grand battles. The murals feature an imposing woman riding a bronze dragon. The main panel depicts the heroic warrior triumphing over a group of formidable-looking minotaurs. Six minotaur skeletons are arranged like guardians around the sarcophagus, which has been painted with the likeness of the woman from the murals. 

Rizon, a rival of Xander, was one of the riders who came to Thylea five centuries ago. She was largely responsible for the defeat of the minotaur armies in the First War. Her tomb is guarded by 6 minotaur skeletons. They stand guard beside her sarcophagus and will attack anyone who enters the chamber.

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Two identical clay statues of a handsome man stand on either side of a gray marble sarcophagus, which is carved with the same likeness. He can also be seen throughout the tomb’s murals, which depict him as a man of immense wealth. Inlays of gold, silver, and precious stones glitter from the murals, all in sharp contrast to the fading colors that surround them.

Myrto was the grandson of Adonis. He used his family wealth to bribe the other Dragonlords, so that he would be elected leader after the death of Cosmo. The two statues of Myrto that flank his sarcophagus are clay golems that will attack anyone who enters the tomb. Treasure Myrto’s decorative breastplate and shield are useless in battle. They are forged from silver, gold, and platinum. They are worth 2,500 gp each. This tomb is not consecrated.

Over the centuries, I have watched the houses of the Dragonlords slowly fall to ruin. Taran sits behind his walls and counts his

X9. The Tomb of Isadore

money. Thericles and Acastus are the last true heirs of Rizon and

The inscription reads:

Estor, but what have they accomplished?

ISADORE HUORATH 

— Aesop, Keeper of the Dragon Shrine 

The sarcophagus of this crypt depicts an athletic woman of regal bearing. Murals in the tomb show her competing in foot races, javelin throwing, and other competitive games. Always at her side is a man in a cloak that resembles the one worn by the lich that guards the Necropolis. 

Treasure Lysis’s bronze breastplate and shield are inscribed with platinum and are worth 500 gp each. This tomb is not consecrated.

X11. The Tomb of Ochos 

Isadore was the granddaughter of Xander. Damon served as her chief advisor when she ruled the Dragonlords. After she died, Damon retreated from life in the city of Mytros and came to the Necropolis to be its guardian, and to watch over Isadore in particular. Damon's Alarm. Damon has the alarm spell cast on the tomb. If anyone opens the tomb, the alarm goes off and the sound of a bell ringing will be heard. Spellcasters will recognize the sound as the alarm spell with a successful DC 10 Intelligence (Arcana) check. A DC 15 check or higher will reveal that Damon was the likely caster. Three rounds after the alarm spell goes off, Damon will teleport in and use his full range of powers to destroy anyone still trespassing inside the tomb. Treasure Isadore wears a necklace worth 1000 gp and five rings worth 200 gp each. Beside her body lies a staff of charming. This tomb is consecrated, so taking the staff will afflict the thief with the curse of the grave robber.

The inscription on the tomb reads: OCHOS ARKELANDER 

A bronze statue of a man stands watch over this tomb. The murals on the walls of this tomb depict the man leading an army of hoplites in several clashes against the centaurs in the grasslands north of the Arkelon River. The man is shown wearing a simple bronze breastplate, and his sarcophagus is entirely unadorned. 

Ochos is another in the Arkelander family, but he was a soldier rather than a king. A bronze statue of Ochos stands behind the sarcophagus. This bronze statue is actually a golem. Although the golem is made of bronze, it has all the statistics of an iron golem except that its AC is 18 rather than 20. The golem attacks anyone who removes an item from this tomb.

X10. The Tomb of Lysis

Treasure Ochos wears a breastplate +2. He has also has a bronze short sword and a shield worth 250 gp each. This tomb is not consecrated.

The inscription on the tomb reads:

X12. The Tomb of Dorion The inscription on the tomb reads:

LYSIS ARKELANDER 

DORION NEURDAGON

The walls of the tomb display the brutal behavior of a king with a glint of madness in his eye. The main panel shows his downfall at the hands of the god, Pythor. At the center of the tomb is a black marble sarcophagus carved in the image of the mad king.

Soot darkens the floor and walls of this tomb. An ornate sarcophagus in the center of the room is carved with the likeness of a young man, and its lid has been left slightly ajar. Footprints in the soot suggest that this crypt has been visited in the recent past.

Lysis was the great grandson of Estor, and he was the last of his family to rule Estoria. The Arkelanders had ruled Estoria as kings for over a century, but Lysis proved to be a mad tyrant who stained the throne with wanton murder and torture. The god Pythor, unable to stand by and watch, overthrew him and took the throne.

Dorion Neurdagon was the last of his family to take up the mantle of Dragonlord. His tomb has been looted. The soot on the walls is from a fire-based trap that no longer works. Damon resealed the tomb long ago, but he could do nothing more. Dorion’s body is missing its head, and there is no treasure in the sarcophagus. Ch apter 2 | The Gr e at L abor s

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X13. The Tomb of Gregor

X15. The Tomb of Balmytria

The inscription reads:

GREGOR HUORATH 

This crypt is empty and has no sarcophagus. The murals and painted ceiling tell the story of a young man traversing the islands and waters of Thylea. The man, however, is absent from the final panel. This simply shows a grieving woman looking across a stormy sea from a palace balcony. 

Unlike the other tombs, this tomb does not have marble pillars. The body of Gregor of the Huorath family was never found. Although his tomb was prepared, it has always been empty.

Investigation: Tomb Interior 

The inscription on the tomb reads: NICHOLAS PHOBAS Blessed of Sydon 

This tomb is in good condition compared to most of the others. The murals are bright and the paint has not completely faded. The images adorning the walls and sarcophagus depict a man who is equal parts sailor and king. He wears a breastplate adorned with a maelstrom swirl, the symbol of Sydon.

Nicholas was the very last of the Dragonlords. He ruled and died one century ago, though the order had long been corrupted at that point. In his lifetime, Nicholas swore fealty to Sydon as a symbolic gesture of peace, earning the blessing of the Titan. The Order of Sydon modeled themselves after his example. Teleportation Trap. This sarcophagus is protected by magic, and anyone touching it must make a DC 15 Charisma saving throw or be teleported to Sydon’s Throne Room in Praxys (S28) for 1 minute. Sydon knows that whoever appears before him was desecrating the tomb of Nicholas Phobas, and he will use his full power to destroy the impudent tomb raider. If anyone survives this encounter, they are immediately teleported back to the tomb. Once activated, this trap cannot be activated again for a full year. Treasure Nicholas has a bronze breastplate and a platinum shield inscribed with the symbol of Sydon. Each is worth 1,500 gp. There is also a single mithral ingot worth 500 gp.

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Unlike most of the art in the Necropolis, the mosaics that line the walls and ceilings here are pristine, almost new in appearance. The panel closest to the entrance depicts five majestic dragons, one silver and four bronze, soaring through the heavens. A formidable human warrior is mounted on each dragon. The next mosaic is dominated by the verdant coast of Thylea. While the bronze dragons remain aloft, the silver dragon is shown making landfall on this new continent. Her rider greets a haggard-looking group of humans on the shore. Subsequent mosaics show human civilization on the continent blossoming from tiny towns to great walled cities under the leadership of the Dragonlords.

X14. The Tomb of Nicholas

This is the largest tomb in the Necropolis, as befits the burial place of a dragon. Some believe that it houses a passageway to the Underworld. 

This massive tomb dwarfs all of the others in the Necropolis. The pristine white marble mausoleum is supported by immense, serpentine pillars. As you draw closer, you realize that these pillars are actually statues that have been carved in the shapes of dragons.

A huge marble block rests at the center of the mausoleum. This is where the body of Balmytria is interred. The block is 15 feet long, 10 feet wide, and 5 feet high. The block cannot be moved except by one of the Titans or by the Five Gods, but none are willing to disturb the resting place of Balmytria.

THE TOMB OF XANDER

This is the burial tomb of Xander Hourath, the first Dragonlord. The heroes must enter this tomb to claim the armaments of the Dragonlords in order to complete one of their Great Labors. The tomb is guarded by Graxis, a powerful minotaur. He is the last of a bloodthirsty tribe that Lutheria created during the First War. After Rizon Phobas defeated them, Damon cursed the survivors to live forever as guardians of the Necropolis. Consequently, when these minotaurs die, they return as undead skeletons. Graxis refused to share the fate of his kindred. He murdered them all, just to be safe, and he continues to stalk the region, searching for fresh meat. He despises Damon, Xander, and all the Dragonlords.

Graxis the Minotaur

Graxis the Butcher Graxis is a minotaur hero who uses a shield (AC 19). He has desecrated the tomb of Xander by plundering the Axe of Xander and the Golden Shield of Volkan. The axe is dull, while the shield is dented and pieces are missing. These don’t currently have magical properties, but they can still be used as normal, non-magical items. Graxis tries to make hit and run attacks against trespassers in the tomb. He makes a charge attack and then disengages on the following round. Then he returns to his lair and eats hungrily to recover lost hit points. He needs to spend five rounds eating to recover all of his hit points. Once Xander's sarcophagus has been opened, Graxis will stop retreating and fight to the death.

X16. The Tomb Entrance 

This white marble tomb is carved into the side of the mountain and sheltered by an imposing portico of weathered columns. The entrance to the sepulcher is blocked by a heavy, chiseled slab, flanked by two statues of sitting lions. The center of the slab is fitted with an inset bronze handle. The pediment above the tomb is engraved with the name “XANDER” amidst intricate vines and laurel leaves. 

I have no sympathy for the minotaurs. True, they are not the brutish beasts that the people of Mytros would have you believe, but all it takes is one monster wearing skulls for ornaments to show the world that your kind is not to be trusted.

Xander’s tomb is sealed with a marble door that has an inset bronze handle. It can be pulled open with a successful DC 15 Strength check. Lesser Tombs. Four lesser tombs are adjacent to Xander's, for his closest companions and friends. Each one is sealed by a block of marble measuring 5 feet wide, 5 feet tall, and 5 feet thick. Removing or resetting one of these blocks requires an action and a successful DC 25 Strength check. There are three names inscribed on the tombs—Aetius, Pericles, and Eustace. The last tomb is unlabeled and empty, because it was built for Damon but never used. Inside the three tombs, the bodies of Aetius, Pericles, and Eustace are all equipped with steel breastplates, shields, and short swords. All of the items are in perfect condition, but none are magical.

— Chondrus, Priest of Lutheria

Once lit by torchlight: 

X17. The Hall of Xander 

This expansive hall is dark and wet. Stone archways hold up the ceiling, and empty torch brackets line the walls at regular intervals. The floor descends in wide steps of interlocking stone. At the rear of the hall, a stairwell leads down into the lower reaches of the tomb. Guarding the stairwell is a bronze statue of a kneeling, bull-headed minotaur. 

The walls are covered by colorful mosaics depicting ancient battles against centaurs, cyclopes, and six-armed gygans. The Dragonlord Xander is shown hewing the head from a basilisk with a mighty swing of his axe. He is shown with three warrior companions. 

This hall has mosaics that illustrate the history of Xander and the Dragonlords who came to Thylea five centuries ago. The initial mosaics show great kings and queens granting Xander and his companions the ships and money needed to embark on a great voyage of discovery. Next, they show the five dragons making an alliance with Xander. The central mosaics show the discovery of Thylea, while the final ones detail the war Ch apter 2 | The Gr e at L abor s

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X19. The Skeletal Minotaurs

of conquest against the inhabitants of Thylea, including the centaurs, minotaurs, and gygans. An inscription above the stairs reads: “Those who trespass in order to seek an audience with Xander Hourath must deal with the horned ones.”

This room has a single marble alcove with a burning torch. Stone shelves line the walls, littered with cobwebs and human skulls. The floor is covered by a thick blanket of dust. Large, yellowed bones are scattered around three heavy bronze axes in the center of the room.

X18. The Catacomb Maze 

As you descend into the yawning tunnel below the stairway, you feel a penetrating cold seep through your armor and into your bones. The air is choked with dust, and your footfalls echo through the silence. After a short distance, you come to a fork in the tunnel and you must choose which path you will take to continue onward. 

The maze is patrolled by two kinds of enemies. Skeletons. These skeletons wear breastplates and use shields, giving them AC 18. They patrol in groups of three, and they are trained in hoplite soldier tactics. Minotaur Skeletons. The minotaur skeletons patrol in pairs, with one minotaur attacking the heroes from the front while the other comes from the rear. The skeletons in Xander’s tomb are equipped differently than standard skeletons. All of them have breastplates, shields, short swords, and pikes. The skeletons fight in a phalanx formation, with the skeleton in front using its shield, and the skeletons in the back using two handed pikes. The skeletons in front using shields and short swords have an AC of 18. The skeletons in the back have AC 16 and attack using extra-long pikes. They attack with +4 to hit, reach 15 ft. and inflict 1d10+2 damage on hit.

You may choose to allow the party to try and navigate the labyrinth as if they were solving an actual maze, but this may take quite a bit of time. For a simpler approach, you might consider having the party stumble through the catacombs, discovering each area in the order that it has been presented (X19, X20, X21, etc.) For every 5 minutes of exploration, roll on the following table. As an alternative, you can roll on the table when the heroes enter a new area in the maze. Result

1–8

Nothing

9 – 12

Graxis

13 – 16

3 skeletons

17 – 20

2 minotaur skeletons

The bones in the center of the room suddenly begin to twitch. Invisible forces pull sockets back into joints, reconstituting into the forms of three towering skeletal minotaurs! 

The three minotaur skeletons are the only enemies in the room. They attack immediately, but will not leave the maze. Each carries a weathered bronze great axe.

X20. The False Tomb 

This circular chamber has a domed ceiling with an oculus that lets in some light from above. The chamber is dominated by a large stone sarcophagus engraved with gilded letters. The floor at the foot of the sarcophagus is covered by an old but beautifully-woven rug. The rug depicts Xander conquering a race of bull-headed minotaurs. One of the creatures kneels at Xander’s feet with a peace offering held above his head.

Skeletons of Ancient Hoplites

d20

After 2 rounds:

Labyrinth Encounters

The inscription on the sarcophagus is written in Draconic, and it reads: XANDER HUORATH FIRST OF HIS ORDER This room is a false tomb, and a trap for those who would loot Xander’s treasures. The sarcophagus is a mimic and the rug is an animated rug. The first person to touch the sarcophagus will become stuck to it because of the mimic’s adhesive ability. The rug and mimic will then attack with surprise. There is nothing of value here. The lever at the back resets the trap in The Trap (X23). Whenever it is pulled, there is a screeching sound of metal against metal.

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X21. Graxis’s Lair 

This room stinks of blood and offal. Animal carcasses and slabs of meat hang from the ceiling on heavy chains. Two of the hanging bodies appear to be those of human farmers. The stone floor is stained black by centuries of the minotaur’s bloody appetites. This appears to be his lair. 

This room is Graxis’ lair. He goes hunting once a month and stores his kills in here. His curse prevents him from sleeping, so there is no place for him to rest. It is possible for heroes to set up an ambush here for Graxis. Treasure Graxis keeps baubles and coins that he has taken from those he has hunted and killed. In a bag he has 600 cp, 254 sp, 115 gp, and six pieces of jewelry worth 25 gp each.

X22. The Chamber of Supplicants 

This barrel-vaulted chamber is littered with bones, discarded weapons, and rusted shields. Pillars and alcoves along the walls house marble statues of priests and supplicants. 

After 2 rounds: 

The bones and weapons that litter the floor begin to rattle and lock together, sockets clicking into joints. Within moments, six armored skeletons stand before you, slamming their swords against their shields! 

This trap triggers when more than 300 pounds of weight have gathered in the room. Bronze Doors. The bronze doors are barred from the other side and require a DC 30 Strength check to open. If the trap is triggered the doors will become unbarred, but will still be stuck and will still require a Strength check to open as discussed below. Smash Trap. The trap works over 4 rounds. Have all players roll initiative. On initiative 20 of the first round, a portcullis descends in the entrance, cutting off any retreat. The south wall then begins to push forward with a screech of metal against metal (characters who pulled the lever in The False Tomb (X20) will recognize this noise as being the same one they heard). On initiative count 10 of the second round, spikes protrude from the mouths of the wall carvings, dealing 10 (3d6) piercing damage to everyone in the room (one time only). At initiative count 1 of the fourth round, anyone who is still alive in the room takes 32 (10d6) bludgeoning damage as the wall smashes inward. Anyone reduced to 0 hit points is crushed to a paste. There are three ways to escape the trap:

• Pulling the lever in The False Tomb (X20) will stop it.

This causes the spikes and portcullis to return to their original positions, and the trap will remain inactive for a full hour. • It is also possible to force open the bronze doors. A successful DC 15 Strength (Athletics) check opens the door in 3 rounds. A check of 20+ opens the door in 2 rounds, while a check of 25+ opens them immediately. • Lifting the portcullis requires a successful DC 25 Strength (Athletics) check. Treasure Scattered amongst the skeletal remains of the victims of the trap are 112 gp and 245 sp.

X24. Tomb of Xander

The six skeletons in this room form up with three in front (to block anyone from getting past) and three behind. The front three skeletons use breastplates, shields, and shortswords, while those in the rear ranks are armed with pikes.

This large, barrel-vaulted chamber is decorated with polished bronze fittings, which flicker like gold in the dim red light of a single torch. The center of the room is dominated by a black marble sarcophagus, engraved with the likeness of Dragonlord Xander. Whispers break the silence, solemn voices from ages past, extolling the deeds of the man interred here…

X23. The Trap 

This rectangular room has a high ceiling, sculpted walls, and a flagstone floor. A mangled skeleton lies near the entryway. The walls are embellished with rows of screaming stone faces. The far end of the room features a pair of heavy bronze double doors. Two skeletons are sprawled on the floor in front of the doors. Their bones are partially crushed, and their armor is mangled. 

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Even wit h the gods on our side, we were never the same wit hout our dragons. And when Xander died, all hope of victory died wit h him. —Rizon Phobas, Dragonlord (38 CE)

The chamber is lit by a single everburning torch. The lid of the sarcophagus weighs nearly a ton. It takes a combined Strength of 22 to slide the lid off the sarcophagus. As soon as the sarcophagus is opened, if Graxis is alive, he will arrive to attack the heroes. 

The hulking form of Graxis suddenly looms in the tomb entryway. He snorts derisively. “Come to pay your respects, have you? Well, what do you think of your great hero? Xander the conqueror. Xander the murderer. I am the last of my tribe. I cannot rest. I cannot sleep. Xander slaughtered my people. He enslaved my family and bound us to this cursed place. Among your kind, he is revered for this. But I spit on his bones.” 

Without his weapon, Graxis can only use his Gore attack for the remainder of the battle. Xander is a wight with a Strength of 22 and maximum hit points (66). He wears the Breastplate of Mytros (AC 18), though the armor is badly dented. Xander's alignment is true neutral, and he will not fight unless absolutely forced to by the party. When Graxis is dead, Xander will stand up, silently remove his breastplate, and lay it on the ground in front of his sarcophagus. This done, he will silently return to his sarcophagus and drags the lid back into place. Treasure Other than Xander’s famed equipment, there is no other treasure in the room. The Shield of Volkan can be looted from Graxis's corpse.

Epic Path: The Vanished One

Graxis soon loses patience: 

The hulking minotaur hefts his great axe and bellows so loudly that the very walls of the tomb seem to quake. He charges at you! 

Xander has information concerning the location of the Vanished One's fabled armor. He will speak to this hero. He also carries two crowns of the dragonlords, which he awards to the Vanished One and the Gifted One. Refer to the Running the Epic Paths section for details.

After two rounds of combat with Graxis, read the following at the start of the third round. 

Without a sound, Xander’s desiccated corpse rises from his sarcophagus. He raises his hands towards Graxis. The minotaur’s great axe appears to jump from the beast's hands of its own volition, flying into the grasp of the undead king. Xander turns to face your party. Then, curiously, he changes his withered grip on the weapon and presents its handle to you. 

The Armaments of the Dragonlord Xander's three legendary items radiate magic and can be attuned. The items are:

• Axe of Xander • Breastplate of Mytros • Shield of Volkan

However, the axe and the shield are badly damaged, and their magical properties aren't working. These items must be taken to the Mithral Forge (F21) for repair. Volkan must use Pythor's Hammer to repair them. He can repair one item per week of work.

Xander was never one to shy away from battle, but he possessed a certain nobility of spirit that the other Dragonlords lacked. My mother believed that he would carry on fighting even in her absence, but after she ascended, he seemed to no longer care whether he survived to see the peace restored.

— Kyrah, Goddess of Music

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Chapter 3:

Summoned by the King “You may be a goddess, my queen, but you fail to understand the hearts of your subjects. I alone know what is best for my people. Do not question me.”

K

The King’s Dragonlords 

—King Acastus, to Queen Vallus, the Goddess of Wisdom

ing Acastus has learned that the Heroes of the Prophecy have completed the first of their Great Labors. He has dispatched seven of his most loyal centurions to find the heroes and bring them before his throne, and the people of the great city of Mytros eagerly await the arrival of the famed heroes. Tales of their great exploits already circulate in every tavern: it is even rumored that they travel in the company of the gods! When Should I Start This Chapter? This chapter introduces major characters and includes critical story developments. Run this part of the adventure after the heroes have completed two or three of their Great Labors. The king’s centurions might intercept the heroes on the roads of the Heartlands or in the city of Estoria.

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In the distant skies, you can make out three winged forms approaching you. The sun shimmers off their scales, and you realize that they are young copper dragons. You have heard rumors of the dragons of Mytros, but these creatures are far more splendid than you imagined. The dragons are ridden by red-cloaked knights: high ranking centurions from the city. The dragons descend and touch down several dozen yards away. Three knights with shields and swords dismount and approach you. The determined look in their eyes suggests that they have been sent here with a mission, but they clearly mean you no harm. Their leader steps forward and introduces himself, “I am Tarchon. We have come on behalf of King Acastus to escort you to his palace. He wishes an audience with you.” 

Tarchon (NG captain) is accompanied by two other captains. They are mounted on young copper dragons. He explains that the Lord of Storms has waylaid the city of Mytros with a devastating hurricane. King Acastus expects the heroes to come to the city’s aid at once.

Tarchon and his men have been ordered not to return without the heroes. However, they won’t attack the party, even if provoked. If the heroes refuse to come with him, Tarchon will appeal to the party’s sense of honor and duty. He also confesses that Acastus is not a forgiving king; if the knights return empty-handed, he will be punished. Tarchon is one of a burgeoning order of dragon-mounted soldiers commanded by the king. They call themselves Dragonlords, after the king’s ancestors. Kyrah and the other gods are dismissive of this new order, calling it an exercise in pure vanity.

bolt at the hero with the second lowest initiative. After the lightning strikes, the storm continues, but Sydon’s face can no longer be seen in the clouds.

The Great Palace Now that the heroes are in the city, Tarchon escorts them straight to the Great Palace, preventing them from stopping along the way. He explains that once the king’s dilemma has been resolved, the party will be free to wander and explore the palace and city. The Ceaseless Storms

TRAVELING TO MYTROS

At this point, you may choose to allow the heroes to explore the City of Mytros, but the storms make it difficult to do much of anything beyond visit local landmarks. Most people are locked down inside to wait out the storm, and the Great Games cannot begin until the storms end. Tarchon and his centurions will urge the heroes to come to the Great Palace as soon as possible.

Traveling to Mytros takes about one day from most of the outer reaches of the Heartlands. You may choose to run one random land encounter during this time. If Tarchon and his men are present, they will leave all the dangerous work to the heroes. They have no wish to risk harm to their dragons.

The Royal Gate

THE THRONE ROOM

This massive gate can be accessed from the paved road that snakes up the hillside. The road is wide enough to accommodate traffic moving in both directions. The towers that flank the gate are carved to represent the writhing forms of dozens of dragons. 

As you approach the city of Mytros, you are reminded of its immense scale. Its walls and temples sprawl across the foundations of Mount Volkan, and its great harbor stretches for miles across the coast. This is the jewel of Thylea: the bastion of mortal civilization. But something is wrong. Massive, swirling black clouds loom over the city, the wind battering its ships and tearing at its banners. Howling gales greet you as your draw closer to the city gates, and it becomes difficult just to put one foot in front of another. The centurions at the Royal Gate urgently beckon you into the city as torrential rain hammers down. Glancing up into the sky, you notice that something ominous has materialized within the spinning eye of the hurricane. It’s the scowling visage of Sydon, Lord of Storms. His angry eyes rove the city, until they abruptly lock onto your exact position. The titan conjures a crackling white bolt of lightning and hurls it at you. 

Have the heroes roll for initiative. Whoever rolls the lowest is immediately struck by the bolt of lightning, which hits with the same effects as a lightning bolt spell. The chosen hero still gets a saving throw versus the spell. You may choose to have Sydon throw a second

King Acastus (see appendix) can be found here during the day. The king is always protected by seven of his best centurions (LG captains). He is usually accompanied by his concubine Bella (CN noble). He frequently calls upon the services of Commander Gaius (see appendix), who represents the Order of Sydon within the city. 

Centurions escort you through marble colonnades of the palace and into the Royal Hall, where the king waits. Rain hammers loudly upon the palace roof and, as you enter the throne room, an ear-splitting crack of thunder rolls across the sky. A middle-aged man with a powerful build sits on a gilded throne opposite the entrance. On the step below him are four others: a beautiful ageless woman of regal bearing, a soldier dressed in a cerulean cloak, a tiefling wearing a black robe, and a finely-dressed young woman. Centurions stand at attention along the walls of the room. 

Acastus is certainly cunning, but it will avail us little against 

the power of the Titans. This is not an age that demands crafty politicians or charismatic kings. We need heroes and great warriors: no more, no less. —Aesop, Keeper of the Dragon Shrine Ch apter 3 | Summoned by the King

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The King’s Dilemma 

The king beams on seeing you. “Here they are—the Heroes of the Heartlands. Welcome, honored guests! You have come not a moment too soon. I am in desperate need of your counsel. As you may have noticed, our beautiful city is besieged by evil weather. We have wasted several days discussing how best to placate the Lord of Storms, but my advisors cannot seem to agree upon anything. “The Oracle’s prophecy has angered Sydon. That much is clear. You are the ones who were foretold to confront the Titans and restore balance to Thylea. Therefore, I have decided that you must be the ones to decide how we resolve this crisis.” 

The Origin of the Dragon Eggs If Acastus is ever asked about where he found the dragon eggs that have allowed him to revive the Dragonlords, he will lie. He says that he sent heroes to explore Thylea a decade ago in an attempt to find dragon eggs. His plan has finally come to fruition, for his heroes discovered a cache of dragon eggs and the lair of an adult silver named Icarus. Acastus claims that Icarus has befriended him, and the dragon wishes to help him rebuild the order.

Four Possible Solutions

King Acastus and Queen Vallus (see appendix) are accompanied by Gaius and Bella. The tiefling calls himself Chondrus (see appendix). He is an emissary from the Cult of Lutheria and the king dislikes him. He cannot be ignored, however, because he represents powerful interests within the city. King Acastus is charming but arrogant. He will introduce the other characters (including his wife, the queen) in the throne room with polite condescension. Each character present has a different opinion on how to handle the crisis, and each states their preferred course of action. The heroes are then expected to decide what should be done.

Secretly, Acastus knows that every possible course of action will be considered controversial by the people of Mytros, and he does not want to be held responsible for any consequences. He wants the heroes to make the decision, so that they will be blamed rather than him. In summary, here are the options that the heroes must choose from:

• Cast the 8th level spell control weather. • Order the destruction of the Temple of the Five. • Purchase 10,000 gp worth of livestock to sacrifice. • Convince the gods to work a miracle. Whichever solution the heroes choose, the king will order it done immediately. If the chosen action is successful, Sydon will be appeased or his magic will be countered. In either case, the storms will pass. Option 1: King Acastus First, the king wonders whether the heroes can stop the storm with magic. He has heard that there are powerful spells that may be used to alter the weather. Surely if the rumors about the heroes are true, then they should be mighty enough to command such magic? Controlling the Weather

King Acastus

Acastus refers to the 8th level spell control weather, which the heroes probably cannot cast. However, if the party has collected two sets of nymph-hair strings, then they can craft the Boreal harp at the Mithral Forge. In this case, a bard will be capable of casting the spell, but Acastus is impatient, so the harp must have been created before they answer the summons to Mytros.

When it becomes clear that the heroes cannot use magic, the king feigns disappointment. If the heroes chose not to sacrifice the great boar to Sydon earlier in the story, Acastus may also wonder aloud at their wisdom in making such a decision. Option 2: Commander Gaius Gaius angrily demands that the king dismantle the Temple of the Five and smash every stone to dust. Sydon abhors the worship of other gods, and especially worship of the Five. Gaius has argued for decades that the Temple of the Five should be destroyed, but the idea has recently gained some popular support. If Gaius is to be believed, smashing the temple is the only way to appease the Lord of Storms. Gaius is also contemptuous of both the heroes and Queen Vallus. She is, after all, one of the Five Gods and the daughter of the patron god of the city. As the commander of the Order of Sydon, Gaius believes that the city must abandon its worship of the Five, and stop putting any faith in these “puppets of the Oracle.” Destroying the Temple If the heroes choose to order the destruction of the Temple of the Five, then the gods will grudgingly accept this course of action. Vallus and Kyrah have long believed that it was inevitable that their power would wane and that the people of Mytros would lose faith, but they had hoped that it would not happen in such a fashion. However, this loss of worship still causes pain to the Five. As a result of the temple’s destruction, Kyrah, Vallus, Pythor, and Volkan will become dispirited and suffer one level of permanent exhaustion.

Option 3: Chondrus Chondrus argues that Sydon can only be placated by the intervention of Lutheria, his sister-wife. To gain her help the king should order seventy children of the city to “take the black robes” and dedicate themselves to the Cult of Lutheria. He promises that the Lady of Dreams will treat the children well—they will eat the finest of foods and drink the sweetest of wines. In fact, they will all be sacrificed in the cult’s perverse blood rituals. Everyone suspects this and hates the suggestion. Queen Vallus would have Chondrus killed before she would allow it to happen. Keeper of the Great Library Chondrus appears later in the adventure on the Island of Yonder. He hopes to convince the heroes to bargain with Lutheria. If the heroes manage to turn the king against him, he will use dimension door to escape back to his lair.

Option 4: Bella the Concubine In normal circ*mstances, Bella should have no voice in this matter, but the king indulges her. She innocently asks why the usual solution has not been tried. Normally, the priests of Sydon sacrifice dozens of animals to placate the storm god. Acastus explains that for a storm like this one, they would need to perform a hecatomb, a sacrifice of 100 oxen. This would require half the livestock in the city, and it would cost about 10,000 gp. Perhaps the heroes might pay the cost? The royal coffers cannot afford such an expense... Ch apter 3 | Summoned by the King

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Vallus wants the heroes to convince Pythor, Kyrah, and Volkan to help her work a miracle. This depends on the heroes’ ability to convince the other three gods to surrender a portion of their power to protect the city from Sydon’s magic. Working the miracle will cause the gods to suffer one level of permanent exhaustion, but it will bolster the city’s faith in the Five Gods.

Queen Vallus

Performing a Miracle If the heroes choose this course of action, then Vallus calls Kyrah, Pythor, and Volkan into the throne room. The heroes must succeed on a DC 16 Charisma (Persuasion) check. Alternatively, you can simply roleplay this encounter by having each hero make a separate plea to the gods. If the gods are convinced, then they will vow to protect the city. They thank the heroes for their wisdom and go to the Temple of the Five to seek the guidance of Mytros.

THE STORMS VANISH 

For centuries, I ruled this city alone. With the looming war, I sought to share my burden with Acastus. Even the gods may have regrets.

— Vallus, Goddess of Wisdom

Option 5: Queen Vallus 

Queen Vallus suddenly stands up from her throne and approaches you directly, ignoring the protests of the king. She radiates a sense of profound intellect and divine beauty. “Heroes of the Prophecy, I greet you. I am Vallus, of the Five Gods. For centuries, the people of Mytros have revered me as the goddess of wisdom. Mortal kings once traveled from across the Cerulean Gulf seeking my counsel but, as you can see, my husband prefers to consult with fools and concubines. “We gods are capable of saving the city. Joined together, the four of us can weave a spell to counter Sydon’s magic. Such a miracle will require a sacrifice of our power. I will do what must be done to protect my city, but the others will need to be persuaded. “I have summoned Kyrah, Pythor, and Volkan to the palace so that you might speak with them and make them see reason. You are the Oracle’s chosen. They will heed your words.” 

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Hours pass, and the storm gradually relents. Light breaks through the breaking clouds, spilling down onto the marble pediments and wet paving stones of the city. Slowly, citizens begin to emerge from their homes. Before long, the usual bustle of everyday life in Mytros resumes. King Acastus looks pleased. “Excellent work! I knew I could trust you to handle this matter. Now, let’s see about your reward…” He pulls a rolled parchment out of his cloak and hands it to you. “This map will lead you to the last known whereabouts of the Ultros. It was my ancestor’s ship, the legendary vessel of Estor Arkelander, fiercest of the Dragonlords. There was a time when I thought I might claim it for myself, but I have no need of it now.” “You should know that I am rebuilding the ancient order of the Dragonlords. In time, I will have a legion of dragon-mounted warriors under my command. Then we will have no more need of heroes and Oracles. We shall drive back the Titans with the power of the dragons, just as my forefathers did.” “In any case, this map will allow you to resume your so-called ‘Great Labors.’ I thank you for the service you have done my city. You are dismissed.” 

The king rewards the heroes with the map to the Ultros, which was last seen near the Dead Falls. Acastus encourages the heroes to leave his city as soon as possible, because their fame has begun to overshadow his own. Secretly, he will pray to Sydon that his

bloodthirsty undead ancestor will kill the heroes and put an end to their glory-hogging ways. If the heroes ask why they must recover the Ultros instead of sailing some other ship, Acastus explains, truthfully, that the wrath of Sydon makes travel beyond the coast nearly impossible. They will need a legendary ship if they are to survive the journey. The King's Motives As a descendant of the Dragonlords, Acastus feels as though he will never live up to the legends of his ancestors. The ghost of Estor Arkelander taunts the king in his dreams, promising him fame, glory, and immortality. However, the king knows that his ancestor has treacherous designs. Estor seeks to possess a living host so that he may wreak vengeance upon the Titans. Acastus is sending the heroes to the Ultros, hoping to kill two birds with one stone.

SUMMONED BY THE QUEEN

Before the heroes leave the Great Palace, Queen Vallus sends her chief stewardess, Makhaira, to intercept them as they are leaving the throne room. Makhaira escorts the heroes to see the queen in her chambers.

The Queen’s Chambers When the heroes arrive, Queen Vallus is resting on a divan across from a series of gilded mirrors. She is accompanied by many scribes and servants in white. While Acastus is off playing king, Vallus works hard behind closed doors, performing the many necessary duties of a true head of state. The Queen's Warriors The queen’s chief stewardess is Makhaila (LG amazon warrior), who commands twelve amazon warriors. Makhaira was exiled from Themis by Queen Thesilea VI and came to Mytros ten years ago. She is fiercely loyal to Queen Vallus.

The Queen’s Warning Vallus explains that her husband has not been entirely honest with the party. The map to the Ultros is accurate, but the king is almost certainly sending the heroes to their doom. She knows that Acastus has been troubled in his sleep by dreams of some kind, and she thinks that his unusual generosity is somehow connected to this. He would never give the heroes such a gift unless he believed that it would work to his advantage. Vallus insists that when the heroes have acquired the Ultros, they should return to her immediately. She

is certain that her 'stupid husband' will try to take the ship. She feels that nothing good can come of Acastus controlling both the ship and the dragons. Conflicts in the City Vallus also explains that there are deep conflicts within the city between the followers of the Five and the followers of the Titans. She has some suspicions about what the Titans want. You can decide if your players need to hear anything of the history of the Titans at this point, or whether this would only muddy the waters for them. She is desperately worried that, at the time when the Oath of Peace ends, the powers of the Five Gods will be fully spent. If Pythor or Kyrah are present, she will also be concerned for them, and will make a point of asking after the health of Volkan, her father. Quest: The Cult of Lutheria This quest is optional, depending upon whether or not you want the party to explore Mytros before they set out on their quest to recover the Ultros. Vallus asks the heroes for a favor. Sydon may have been pacified this time, but the Titans should pay a price for their cruelty and impudence. While attacking the Temple of Sydon would be too much of a provocation, the Cult of Lutheria is gaining a dangerous amount of influence in the city. Vallus asks the heroes to help the city by striking a blow against the cult. The queen suggests that the heroes should investigate the Temple of Lutheria (M20) in Stygian Row. This is not an invitation to cause chaos in the lower city— the heroes should approach this carefully and collect evidence against them if possible. The Cult is popular because it supplies the city with much of its wine. One Final Warning Before the heroes leave, Vallus repeats her warning about Acastus: the king does not need to know when the party has recovered the Ultros. The Blessing of Vallus If the heroes sacrificed the great boar to Vallus, she will reluctantly thank them but she doesn’t understands why they did so. Most such offerings are made to her mother, Mytros. She is appreciative, however, and she grants the heroes her blessing before they leave.

Encounter: The King’s Dragon The king’s dragon, Icarus (CN adult silver dragon), is loudly snoring in the main courtyard of the Great Palace, lying atop a small fortune’s worth of silver coins. The king happily allows him to sleep here. The dragon is attended by seven servants, who have been ordered to pamper him with new trinkets and freshly-slaughtered sheep each day. Ch apter 3 | Summoned by the King

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Icarus, the King's Dragon

more than the few coins he allows them, he will grow annoyed and call for guards to escort them away.

EXPLORING THE CITY

Now that the heroes have solved the king’s dilemma and learned of the whereabouts of the Ultros, they are free to explore Mytros. They can attempt to recover the Ultros, participate in the Great Games, or investigate other strange events in the city. As the heroes exit the palace, they begin to realize that their fame precedes them.

Encounter: Your Adoring Fans 

Icarus the Adolescent Although Icarus has the body of an adult dragon, he has the callow mind of a twenty year-old wyrmling. Gaius’s silver dragon, Argyn, is the same. Twenty years ago, when Acastus became King of Mytros, Lutheria gave him several dragon eggs, along with potions of aging to feed the dragons in order to accelerate their growth. Both Icarus and Argyn were hatched and raised in this way.

The heroes may talk to the dragon if they wish, but it will quickly become evident that he’s spoiled rotten and completely self-absorbed. Icarus knows little of what is happening in Thylea, and he cares even less. Treasure The dragon’s treasure pile contains 20,000 sp. He will awaken immediately if even a single coin is touched, but his first instinct is not to be angry. He likes it when people admire his treasure, and he will allow each hero to take as much as 25 sp, because he likes to feel generous and lordly. However, if the heroes attempt to take

As you leave the palace, you realize that people everywhere are watching you with great interest. You hear excited chatter among the crowds. “It’s the Oracle's chosen ones, the heroes of the Heartlands! They’ve come to Mytros to save us from the Titans!” Several merchants approach you, expressing gratitude for the work you’ve done to make the roads safer to travel. Detachments of centurions salute as you walk past. As news of your presence spreads, more and more admirers crowd around you, vying for your attention. Before long, your progress through the city streets has slowed to a crawl. 

Continuing the Story Now that the heroes have a map to the Ultros, they may choose to attempt the next Great Labor. In this case, run The Ghost Ship Ultros adventure. Or the heroes may choose to investigate strange happenings in the city, in which case, they should ask around for rumors about the Cult of the Snake. This will lead to the adventures in The Colossus of Pythor section. With the storms gone, you might decide that it’s time for a celebration in the city. Refer to The Great Games section to give the party a break from dungeon crawling.

The City of Mytros Founded five centuries ago, Mytros is named after the matriarch of the Five Gods—the Goddess of Dawn, who is also called the 'Silver Queen.' She is the patron goddess of the city, although her influence has waned somewhat in recent centuries. The city was built around a natural harbor, where trade ships arrive with goods from the distant city of Aresia. Two great bronze colossi once guarded the harbor, but only one of them is still standing. The city's silhouette is dominated by several massive temples. 92

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The hills above the harbor provide views that reach as far as the Mithral Mountains and the Oldwoods. These two hills are where the most important buildings are located. One hill is the religious and political center of the city, while the other hill is its mercantile center. Between the hills are slums known as Stygian Row. Behind the city is Mount Volkan, an extinct volcano named after the husband of Mytros. Mytros is mostly a beautiful and clean city. The streets are cleaned every night, and the citizens frown

upon those who allow their mounts to defecate in the streets. The city houses close to 50,000 people and, although the majority of the population are human, Mytros is the most diverse city in Thylea, with every race represented. Many of the greatest structures in the city are built entirely from marble, inlaid with bronze, adorned with painted tiles and beautiful mosaics. During the day, the heat of the sun can make the city seem like a mirage, as the air shimmers and the buildings glitter from the reflected sunlight. Great walls surround and protect the city, with only two major entry points—the Royal Gate and the Commerce Gate.

FACTIONS IN MYTROS

Mytros is not a united city. A number of factions compete for influence over the citizenry.

The Cult of Lutheria The Cult of Lutheria is the oldest cult in Mytros. The cultists are unabashed worshippers of the Lady of Dreams. Most people find their beliefs and rituals to be repugnant, but they are tolerated because they provide wine and entertainment for the popular wine festivals. In truth, they would have been ejected from the city a long time ago, except that they have “friends in high places”—devotees among the aristocracy.

EVENTS IN MYTROS

These are events that can occur in Mytros while the heroes are exploring the city.

Event: The Great Games 

Queen Vallus Vallus has been the queen of Mytros for centuries, but she is far removed from her people. As the goddess of wisdom, she is viewed as the natural successor to Mytros, her mother, and her right to rule is affirmed by the Temple of the Five. However, as the Oath of Peace fails, faith in the Five Gods has waned, and people are growing restless with anxiety about the Titans.

King Acastus Acastus has been the king of Mytros ever since he persuaded Vallus to marry him, some twenty years ago. He is extremely popular in the city, especially since he obtained a huge silver dragon. The blood of Estor Arkelander flows in his veins, and many view him as the successor of the ancient Dragonlords. Most believe him to be a strong and wise ruler, or else why would Vallus have married him?

The Order of Sydon The Order of Sydon are devout worshippers of the Lord of Storms. Although the Titan sent hurricanes to punish the city for its faith in the Five Gods, a surprising number of people worship him and support the Order. Commander Gaius is often seen flying over the city on his silver dragon, and he’s a popular figure with young men and women who dream of joining the Order.

The Cult of the Snake The Cult of the Snake are known for their abiding loyalty to a mysterious figure called the Lady of Coins. Those who displease the Lady are often found turned to stone, with a green snake painted on a nearby wall. The Cult of the Snake is actually a thieves’ guild, and hence its influence is covert rather than open. Most of the thieves in the city are loyal to the Lady.

You hear the sound of a runner's footsteps coming from behind you. Before you can react, the source of the noise dashes past you: a lithe young man carrying a torch. He runs for another block before handing the flame to another runner, who immediately takes off in the same direction. The first runner’s friends gather around him and congratulate him. Laughter and excited shouting fill the air. "The Great Games are beginning!" 

The Great Games begin when the pyre is lit beneath the ruins of the Colossus of Mytros (M15). Some people in the street notice the heroes looking at the torch bearer. They cheerfully explain that anyone, even great heroes, can enter the Games. If the heroes wish to enter, then refer to The Great Games section.

Event: The Funeral Sacrifice 

You stumble upon a melancholy scene. Dozens of figures dressed in black robes march somberly down the street in an orderly procession. Mourners line the street: wailing spouses, dumbstruck children, and resigned elders look on. A large bronze cage is held aloft towards the front of the procession. Inside the cage is a shackled minotaur. 

This is a funeral procession for a dozen centurions killed fighting the centaur tribes on the borders of civilization. The women wail in an ostentatious display of grief for the dead while children look on dumbstruck and slightly scared by the caged beast. The caged minotaur is for a ritual battle before the funeral. Most citizens of Mytros consider minotaurs to be murderous brutes, fit only for use in games and rituals. They are sometimes captured by slavers and forced Ch apter 3 | Summoned by the King

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into oaths of servitude. Once they've been exhausted by years of forced labor, they are entered into gladiatorial games, where most of them are eventually slaughtered. Refer to the Minotaur Market (M21) for details about this dark stain on the culture of the city. The procession stops just outside of the Royal Gate (M6), where a group of pyres has been lit for the dead soldiers. Nearby, a walled pen has been constructed for the funerary games. A group of three soldiers, family members of the deceased, will be chosen to fight the minotaur. A priest of Sydon announces that the sacrifice of the minotaur is a blessing for the dead. Ritual Combat. The soldiers fight the unarmed minotaur to the death. As long as the heroes do not interfere, one of the soldiers will be badly injured but the minotaur will be defeated and killed. Intervening on the side of the minotaur will earn the heroes sour looks and suspicious gossip among the superstitious citizenry. Optional Event: Bullbug You can replace the minotaur with Bullbug (NG minotaur hero). Bullbug easily defeats the soldiers, but he refuses to kill them. Now freed, he calls out a friendly challenge to the heroes. If one of the heroes can beat Bullbug, he will offer to join their crew.

Event: Statues of Terror 

A small group of people gathers on the road nearby. The object of their interest is easily spotted. It is an incredibly lifelike statue of a woman that has suddenly appeared in the middle of the city street. The statue has a look of abject terror on its face. 

The gathered citizens will agree that the statue is remarkably lifelike, but none of them recall having seen it before. Centurions arrive within minutes and ask everyone to clear away. The centurions explain that this looks like the work of the Lady of Coins, as though the heroes should know exactly what that means. If the heroes express interest, the centurions tell the heroes to speak with the powerful merchant, Lord Taran. He has publicly called for the Lady of Coins to be brought to justice. The centurions are mildly surprised that he is still alive. Lord Taran can be found at his villa on the Neurdagon Estate (M11).

RANDOM ENCOUNTERS

These encounters are an easy way to add color to the city. Roll on the following chart whenever you want something unusual to happen in the city.

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The City of Mytros Key M1. Temple of Sydon M2. Temple of the Five M3. Theater of the Gods M4. The Great Palace M5. The Academy M6. The Royal Gate M7. The Great Agora M8. The Vault of Thylea M9. The Courts of Mytros M10. Bathhouse of Vallus M11. Neurdagon Estate M12. The Great Gardens M13. The Commerce Gate

M14. Colossus of Pythor M15. The Ruined Colossus M16. The Dockyard M17. The Fish Market M18. The Siren’s Roost M19. The Saty’r Tail M20. Temple of Lutheria M21. The Minotaur Market M22. Mount Volkan M23. Vineyards of Mytros M24. The Soldier’s Gate M25. The Harp Bridge

Random Encounters in Mytros d20

Encounter

1–2

A lost-looking warrior monk from Aresia asks you for directions to the Colosseum. He intends to participate in the Great Games.

3–4

Two young acolytes in gray togas ask you for a donation to the Temple of the Five. A passing captain from the Order of Sydon shoves them to the ground and spits on them.

5–6

Several young children carrying wooden pikes and shields scurry up to you. "Are you Dragonlords? You don't look so tough to me!"

7–8

A band of satyrs playing harps and flutes begin to sing songs about you as you pass. The songs at first seem flattering, but you start to think they're making fun of you.

9–10

Seven cultists are roasting spitted pigs over a bronze bier. They offer free pork and wine to passersby. "Compliments of the Temple of Lutheria. All hail the Lady of Dreams!"

11–12

Suddenly, a copper coin smacks you in the forehead. You hear a bleating laugh from the rooftops. A single goatling grins down at you. "Keep the change, little starveling!"

13–14

Dozens of hoplites in bronze armor march past you. They seem to be heading for the city gates, perhaps to reinforce the outlying settlements. "For the glory of Mytros!"

15–16

A portly herald in a white toga stands on a pedestal. He speaks in a booming voice, announcing news to a crowd that has gathered to listen. (Loudly read 2-3 rumors).

17–18

A crowd of angry citizens are throwing rotten fruit at a fettered philosopher. She stands accused of slandering King Acastus. "Shame on you for besmirching the name of the king!"

19–20

A winged siren messenger glides overhead and lands nearby, singing happily. She delivers a message to an old woman, who immediately breaks down into tears at the terrible news. The siren giggles and flies away.

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RUMORS IN MYTROS

Mytros is the center of trade in Thylea, and so it is a place where rumors from all corners of the land can be heard. These rumors might be overheard on the streets, in marketplaces, or in taverns: Rumors in the City of Mytros d12 1

2

Rumor The Order of Sydon has demanded that the statues of the Five in the Great Agora be knocked down. King Acastus has refused them, for now. The Great Games will be starting soon. Aresia has sent its best team in years and might embarrass Mytros. Even stranger, the Amazons of Themis have sent a delegation to the Games.

3

Gaius, the leader of the Order of Sydon, now has more influence over King Acastus than the goddess Vallus. How can such a thing come to be?

4

King Pythor, the God of Battle, has abdicated his throne and no one knows where he has gone!

5

The petrified victims of the Lady of Coins are being found in increasing numbers. King Acastus has been unable to stop her! Perhaps the Order of Sydon will help…

6

The great chimera of the Cerulean Gulf took a dozen victims aboard a merchant ship that was just one day’s journey from Mytros.

7

Ekoh, an oread, is calling for war with Aresia again. After 500 years, she's still trying to get her betrothed back. She should really give it a rest.

8

The most powerful merchant of Mytros, Lord Stavros, was banished to the Isle of Exiles for poisoning the son of his rival!

9

The Order of Sydon grows too powerful. They have seemingly unlimited wealth. Some think their wealth comes from the lost gygan ruins on the Island of Yonder.

10

The barbarian tribes of Indigo Island have been unusually quiet as of late. There have been no raids in recent years. What are they planning?

11

Something has disturbed Kentimane. The Titan’s great arms are on the move! Many have seen it!

12

The great vortex known as Charybdis has swallowed another ship. The ship was from Aresia. It was heading to Scorpion Island, full of young warrior monks going to their final trial.

The news from Mytros is never good. Merchants in the Heartlands even have a saying: “South winds carry sirens on wings with ill tidings.” — Kyrah, Goddess of Music 96

THE TEMPLE DISTRICT

The Temple district is so named because it is home to both the ancient Temple of the Five and the newer Temple of Sydon. This is the center of religious and civic power in Mytros. It's also where the Great Palace can be found. Everything in this part of the city is impressive: the Theater of the Gods can hold crowds of thousands, while the Academy is one of the greatest centers of learning anywhere in the world.

M1. Temple of Sydon 

Before you stands an imposing structure supported by carved stone columns. A series of steps carved to resemble crashing waves leads to the temple’s entrance. Inside is an enormous central statue made of blue-green marble. It depicts a tall, wrathful man with three eyes and long gray hair. He wields an onyx black glaive. This is Sydon, the Lord of Storms. 

This temple is the primary place of worship for Sydon in all of Thylea. The temple itself is a peripteros with 48 columns. It is built on a high podium that is accessed by an imposing set of steps shaped like ocean waves. A stair at the center of the temple leads to several underground chambers where the paladins of Sydon meet to discuss the Order's many plans. The Order of Sydon are headquartered here. They are a band of zealots who revere the ocean god Sydon above all others. They seek to the end all worship of the Five. During the day, the temple is filled with citizens who come to hear the teachings of Sydon or receive blessings from the priests. During these busy periods, at least three priests of Sydon with six captains as protectors can be found within. At night, the temple proper is quiet, although the underground chambers are occupied by priests and soldiers. Gaius and His Dragon The highest-ranking member of the Order of Sydon is the paladin, Commander Gaius. During the day, he can often be found in the Great Palace (M4), but at night he is usually here. Gaius is a true believer—a zealot who knows that the Five are false gods, thieves who stole the power of the true god, Sydon. According to Gaius, the Five are useless pretenders: Pythor is a carousing drunkard; Kyrah composes terrible poetry; Vallus preens herself in an ivory tower; and Volkan is a crazy old dwarf who builds useless trinkets. Once the heroes sail into the Cerulean Gulf on the Ultros, Gaius will move to the Island of Yonder, where the Order of Sydon have a base. Gaius is able to move between Yonder and Mytros easily due to a gift given to him by Sydon: Argyn (LE young silver dragon).

Argyn was bred by Sydon at his tower, Praxys (S25). The dragon has been conditioned to believe that the Five are evil and that Sydon is the one and only force for good in the world. Argyn’s presence in the city is the subject of widespread gossip and admiration, but the dragon’s very existence infuriates Queen Vallus.

M2. Temple of the Five 

This relatively humble temple has an entrance with five stone columns. While it is smaller than the Temple of Sydon, it displays a much higher level of artistry, boasting lofty architecture and beautiful statuary. Intricate carvings embellish nearly every surface, complete with gilding and inlaid precious stones throughout. 

This temple is the oldest civic building in Mytros. Elected representatives from the city districts of Mytros and the outlying villages meet in council here every new moon. However, the structure of civic life is increasingly dictated by the Order of Sydon, who believe that the Temple of the Five should be destroyed in order to appease the jealousy of the Lord of Storms. Queen Vallus often visits here. During the day, she can be found at the palace, where she runs the city's civic affairs. She comes here at night to pray to her mother, Mytros, the Goddess of Dawn. The temple is tended by five high priests (LG priests) and each high priest is attended by five acolytes. The priests provide all common temple services at no charge, including the lesser and greater restoration spells.

Test of Beauty and Wisdom Outside of the temple during the day is a gang of young men who are admirers of Vallus. They are led by a vain young man named Sulla (LN acolyte), the youngest son of the powerful merchant, Taran Neurdagon. Sulla is enamored with Vallus, and spends all of his time trying to gain an audience with the goddess or catch a glimpse of her as she leaves the temple. Vallus finds the young man obnoxious. She ignores him entirely, much to his chagrin. The last time he tried to gain her attention, Vallus told him that she would agree to have an audience with him if he brought her a single mortal of unsurpassed beauty and wisdom. Sulla has heard of the heroes’ exploits. He will single out the hero with the highest Charisma score and another with the highest Wisdom score. He begs the two heroes to accompany him to see Vallus. If the party agrees, then Sulla will take them directly to the queen. Vallus is amused by the fact that the heroes have been roped in by Sulla, but she will humor them. Sulla presents the two heroes and extolls their beauty and wisdom, hoping to impress her. Vallus remains unmoved, pointing out the heroes' various flaws. This forces Sulla into the realm of hyperbole—the heroes are the wisest, most beautiful creatures ever to grace the city! Vallus reluctantly agrees, until finally, Sulla's unrequited affections have been completely transferred from the queen to the heroes. Sulla proposes marriage to each of the heroes, offering a gold ring inset with a diamond worth 1,000 gp. Whichever hero agrees to marry the young man gets the ring. The agreement is not binding, but this entire situation greatly amuses the queen.

The Wine Festival is my most cherished childhood memory. There was little else for a young tiefling to look forward to in Stygian Row.

M5. The Academy

– Chondrus, Priest of Lutheria

M3. The Theater of the Gods 

A fine theater stands at the foot of the Temple Hill. Rows of seats built into the hillside are arranged around a polished marble stage. Behind the stage is a small building where stagehands and costumed actors come and go, carrying elaborate props. 

The theater has a marble stage that extends in front of an orchestra pit. It has a four-tiered seating area that ascends the slope of the hill. The building behind the stage has rooms for actors to prepare and storage for props and movable scenery. The Wine Festival. The theater usually stands empty, but if the Wine Festival is happening in Mytros, then it will be busy for a full week. Refer to the Wine Festival event in the City of Estoria (E1) for details.

M4. The Great Palace 

The Great Palace stands at the top of an impressive stone stairway. It is similar in appearance to the temples of the gods, except that its design emphasizes its civic function. Rather than statues to the gods, the palace is decorated with royal seals and with bronze tablets describing the legal codes of the city. 

While not nearly as grand as the city's temples, this palace is still an impressive building. The stairs lead to an expansive antechamber, which connects to the throne room in the Royal Hall. This is where King Acastus can be found during the day. The heroes are summoned here when they first arrive in the city. King Acastus is usually accompanied by his advisor, Chondrus (see appendix), his concubine Bella (CN noble), and Gaius, commander of the Order of Sydon (see appendix). Acastus is always protected by five of his best centurions (LG captains). Permission to Enter the Palace The city guards generally restrict access to the Great Palace, but the heroes are allowed entry because they have been summoned by the king. After their audience with Queen Vallus, the heroes can revisit the palace whenever they like. Refer to the Summoned by the King section for details.

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The sprawling campus grounds of the Academy bustle with activity. Over a dozen impressive marble buildings stand in rows, connected by paved, well-maintained pathways. Rich green lawns stretch between the pathways, and scholars can be seen reading, writing, and hotly debating all manner of subjects. 

The Academy is spread throughout more than a dozen buildings. This is one of the greatest centers of learning not just in Thylea but most likely in all the world. The Great Library contains scrolls detailing knowledge on the flora and fauna of Thylea as well as information on topics such as metallurgy, alchemy, medicine, cartography, and almost any other imaginable subject. The Hall of Heroes is devoted to recording the heroic exploits of Thylea’s heroes throughout the ages. Marble statues and busts of all of Thylea’s heroes can be found here as well as scrolls of their histories and songs. The Schools of the Arcane consist of eight buildings devoted to the study of the eight schools of magic, each headed by an arcane master (LN mages). The Great Orrery is a building that contains a replica of the many planes of existence, represented as celestial spheres fashioned from bronze clockwork. The Hall of Debate provides a forum where any philosophy can be discussed without repercussions, even if it veers into the theological. Some of the greatest minds in Thylea can be found debating philosophy here:

• Machaon (CG half-orc mage) • Chalcodon (LG elf noble) • Kerodotos (NG gnome priest) • Atreus (CN tiefling captain) The Academy is well protected and if anyone is foolish enough to make trouble here, they will be quickly subdued by the arcane masters. Event: The Great Debates The heroes are invited to participate in a series of philosophical debates at the Hall of Debate. Machaon, Chalcodon, Kerodotos, and Atreus all wish to test the intellectual mettle of the so-called "Saviors of Thylea." Each of the philosophers poses a paradoxical problem to the heroes and then awaits a response. There are no right answers to these puzzles: the philosophers want to see how the heroes behave in the debate. They will be impressed if the heroes take the exercise seriously. They will be disappointed if the heroes are sarcastic or silly in their responses. Machaon. The famed ship that brought the Dragonlord Adonis Neurdagon from the old lands to the lands of Thylea was the Valorous. The Valorous had sixty oars, a single mast, and a great prow. Over the

centuries, it has decayed, and the Neurdagon family removed the old oars and planks, replacing it with newer and stronger timber. They replaced the mast when it was cracked in a storm, and they replaced the prow when the ship ran aground. After five centuries, every single piece of the Valorous has been replaced. Is the Valorous now the same ship that once carried Adonis Neurdagon, or is she a different vessel? Chalcodon. Pythor is in a footrace with a tortoise. Pythor allows the tortoise a head start of 300 feet. If we suppose that each racer starts running at some constant speed (one very fast and one very slow), then after some finite time, Pythor will have run 300 feet, bringing him to the tortoise’s starting point. During this time, the tortoise has run a much shorter distance of only 30 feet. It will then take Pythor some further time to catch up to those additional 30 feet, by which time the tortoise will have moved even farther ahead. It takes more time for Pythor to reach the third point, while the tortoise continues to maintain his lead... Thus, whenever Pythor arrives somewhere the tortoise has been, he still has some distance to go before he can catch the tortoise, despite running much faster. Clearly, this means that Pythor will never catch the tortoise. How do you explain this paradox? Kerodotos. A sphinx captures the young crown prince of Mytros. His mother comes to the sphinx and pleads for the return of her son. The sphinx replies that he will only return the prince safely if the mother can guess correctly whether or not he will indeed return the boy. What is the problem here? As it turns out, there is no problem if the mother guesses that the sphinx will return him: if she is right, the boy is returned; if she is wrong, the sphinx keeps him. However, if she answers that the sphinx will not return him, we end up with a paradox: if she is right and the sphinx never intended to return her child, then the sphinx has to return him, but in doing so, he breaks his word and contradicts the mother’s answer. On the other hand, if she is wrong and the sphinx actually did intend to return the boy, then the sphinx must keep him, even though he did not intend to do so, thereby also breaking his word. Atreus. What is the nature of good and evil? Are they metaphysical properties that can be measured or changed? For example, if a man commits murder, his neighbors may call him evil. We may rightly say that he has evil properties. Hoping to atone for his act, this man may offer to pay the victim’s family gold pieces to compensate for their loss. Now, let us say that the victim’s family is satisfied by the payment, and they forgive him, saying that he is no longer evil. The man had evil properties before he made the payment, but now he does not. If properties of objects cannot be created or destroyed but merely transferred, where did the evil properties go? Are the coins now evil? Is the family evil?

Reward. For participating in the debate, the four great philosophers award the heroes signed copies of their books: Machaon’s Paradoxia, Chalcodon’s Mathematika, Dialogues of Kerodotos, and Atreus’s Metaphysika. The books are worth 1 gp each, and each takes 1 day to read. Studying all four books grants proficiency in Arcana.

M6. The Royal Gate 

This massive gate is wide enough to accommodate traffic moving in both directions. The towers that flank the gate are carved to seem as if they are made from the writhing forms of dozens of dragons 

This gate is always guarded by two captains and twenty soldiers. They are extremely disciplined and refuse to engage in conversation with passersby.

THE NOBLE DISTRICT

The Noble District is loud, crowded, and colorful. Merchants from all across Thylea come here to ply their trades at the Great Agora, and to keep their wealth in the Royal Bank. Many of the wealthiest citizens of Mytros have real estate here.

M7. The Great Agora 

The Great Agora serves as the heart of both the Noble District and Mytros itself. A multitude of vendors sell all kinds of goods from across the continent. Their stalls are protected from the elements by rows of narrow, roofed structures, supported by columns. Sprawled out beyond the Great Agora are a number of large private estates, bathhouses, and temples. 

Huge marble roofed colonnades or stoa provide shelter from the sun and the weather here. Twelve-foot-tall statues of the Five watch from the edges of the Agora. A new statue of Sydon stands at its center, and it towers higher than any of the statues of the Five. Merchants from all over Thylea gather here during the day to trade and to sell their wares. All manner of goods can be found here; from foodstuffs such as fish, meat, wine, cheese; to animals such as cows, goats, and sheep; to pottery, clothes, and bronze equipment. Grimmik's Armory 

This large shop stands in a prominent location in the Great Agora. The walls and racks are filled with many varieties of polished bronze weapons, armor, and tools. 

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This shop is run by Grimmik (NG captain), a retired centurion who sells adventuring gear and equipment. All non-magical weapons, armor, and tools from the 5th Edition Player's Book can be purchased here. He also has a single mithral ingot for sale, for 1,000 gp. Grimmik is proud to have served the city of Mytros as a soldier, and he shows off several scars he earned in battles against the centaur tribes. He purchases all of his equipment from "a small workshop" in Estoria (E9). Zorin's Concoctions

will attack everyone around them. The young centaur will seek sanctuary at the Temple of Sydon. Treasure. There is a locked chest in the shop that contains 50 pp and the Collector’s spellbook. The book contains all of the spells from the mage spell list. The chest can be opened with a successful DC 15 Dexterity check with thieves' tools.

M8. The Vault of Thylea 

This small shop is tucked away in a shady corner of the marketplace. The inside of the shop is dusty and dark, and the walls are stocked with bottles of all kinds. 

This beautiful bank doubles as a place of worship for Thylea, the Mother Goddess. The vault is sanctified by a circle of druids, who tend to a single great oak tree that grows from the central courtyard. 

The bankers are elves who have devoted themselves to the Mother Goddess (TN druids). For a monthly fee of 1 gp, anyone can entrust their money, jewelry, gems, or other treasures to the bankers, who will store them in the network of tunnels beneath the huge oak tree.

This shop is run by Zorin (TN mage), a disgruntled alchemist who washed out of the Academy (M5). He sells potions and lesser magic items. Zorin spent years perfecting his potions, but all his teachers cared about were oratory skills. Unfortunately for him, he has a habit of insulting his audience in any long conversation. He opened his shop when it became clear that he had no future as a famous philosopher. Zorin's Shop Inventory Item

Cost

potion of healing

200 gp

potion of heroism

200 gp

game of twenty squares

800 gp

necklace of adaptation

1,000 gp

periapt of health

1,000 gp

amulet, bulla talisman

2,000 gp

Law and Order in Mytros

The Great Menagerie 

This shop is set up in a large tent at one of the stoas. Inside the tent, it seems darker and colder than it should be. Dozens of cages line the walls. 

A hooded man introduces himself to the heroes as the Collector (LE mage). He travels throughout Thylea and collects exotic beasts and creatures. He offers to sell any of these creatures to interested heroes. Caged Animals. The cages hold a muzzled lion, a muzzled cheetah, a hooded co*ckatrice, a hooded harpy, a muzzled brown bear, a trussed up goatling, and a trussed up young centaur. The Collector offers to sell any of these creatures for a paltry sum of 100 gp, but he stresses that all sales are final. With the exception of the young centaur, none of the creatures are trained. If released from their bonds, they

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The laws of Mytros are primarily focused on how to punish someone who has been convicted of a crime. Jury trials determine whether a crime has been committed. Debts. If someone is delinquent in paying a debt, they have one week to pay it. After that, the debtor may be brought before the court forcibly. Unless the debtor pays the amount owed, the debtor is forced to serve the person he owes for a period of one day for every gold piece owed until the debt is paid. Capital Offenses. Murder, bribery of a court official, and treason are punishable by death by “the Dragon.” This is also the fate of anyone convicted of burning a building within the city (or on the outlying farms and settlements). Theft and assault are all punished by enslavement as an oarsman aboard a ship chosen by the courts for a period no less than one year, up to a life sentence. The guilty party may choose death by “the Dragon” instead. The Dragon. This is an ancient chimera that is kept imprisoned in a cavern below the courts. Two of its heads are muzzled, so it will only use its dragon fire on a victim tossed down to it for punishment.

M9. The Courts of Mytros 

A broad, circular, white marble building stands apart from the other structures in this district. It's divided into three floors with rows of symmetrical windows. Several large bronze tablets at the entrance of the building describe the laws of the city. 

The court building is circular and its interior has ten rows of seats that circle the entire inside circumference. At the center is a raised platform where both accused and the accuser stand. Court cases in Mytros are decided by jury, and the court can accommodate more than 300 jury members at once, if required.

M10. The Bathhouse of Vallus 

This bathhouse boasts two large baths, both the size of swimming pools. One is filled with hot water, while the other is filled with bracingly cold water. The connected buildings include two huge open air gymnasiums and dozens of smaller rooms for massages. 

There are several bathhouses located in the city of Mytros, but all of them pale in significance when compared to this one. Queen Vallus had this bathhouse constructed two centuries ago, to celebrate victory in one of the Aresian campaigns. It is a place for exercise, business agreements, courtships, gossip—and even the occasional bath. While visiting the bathhouse is ostensibly free, there are several acolytes collecting donations.

This is one of the most expensive villas in Mytros. It is home to the powerful merchant lord, Taran Neurdagon (LN noble). He is descended from the ancient Dragonlord, Adonis Neurdagon, and he has access to immense wealth, although most of it is bound up in his sizable real estate holdings. Taran doesn’t allow uninvited guests, but he is willing to make an exception for heroes who are willing to perform a specific task for him: he wants someone to track down and destroy the so-called Lady of Coins. Guardians. The entrance to the estate is guarded by two veterans. These stalwarts will turn the heroes away

This verdant garden is circled by a ring of immense, ancient oak trees. The air around you is sweet with the scents of flowers, although many of them are unrecognizable to you. You can hear loud voices down one of the many paths that wander into the green spaces.

Before you stands the most opulent villa in the city. Despite its great size, the house itself is difficult to see: the grounds are full of lush gardens, statuary, pools, fields, and a large hedge maze with what appears to be a great fountain shooting up from its center. 

Quest: The Lady of Coins When Taran eventually appears, he explains his predicament to the heroes. The Lady of Coins is a self-styled folk hero who robs from the rich and gives to the poor of Stygian Row. She has an intense hatred for the minotaur slave trade and aggressively attacks those who try to make an honest profit. Taran admits that he makes a large portion of his wealth from the minotaur slave trade, so his business suffers more than most. Taran explains that the Lady is cursed—she is a medusa who petrifies anyone who crosses her. Further, he explains that minotaurs are violent beasts with limited intelligence who revel in bloodshed, and the fact that the Lady of Coins has an affinity for them speaks volumes about her character. Taran also suspects that she is behind the Cult of the Snake, a thieves’ guild deeply involved with smuggling and murder. Reward. Taran offers the heroes 5,000 gp for the Lady’s head. He is willing to pay as much as 10,000 gp, if pressed. He advises the heroes to begin their search for the Lady in Stygian Row.

M12. The Great Gardens

M11. The Neurdagon Estate 

unless they mention the Lady of Coins, at which point, they will invite the heroes into the main courtyard to await Taran. The estate is also patrolled by two captains and twelve soldiers from the Order of Sydon. Treasure. Taran keeps 500 pp and 5,000 gp worth of gemstones, jewelry, and other trinkets in a locked chest in the study of his estate. The chest can be opened with a successful DC 20 Dexterity check with thieves' tools. The chest also contains the deeds for over 6,000 acres of land in the regions surrounding Mytros.

The Great Gardens of Mytros are held to be the most beautiful in all Thylea, boasting many paths, trees, flowers, ponds, and fountains to heal the restless spirit. The gardens are surrounded by perfectly-ordered oak trees, all of which are five centuries old. These oaks were planted when the city was founded. Vitalis (LN halfling commoner) resides here. This corpulent halfling is sometimes called “Vitalis the Fat” or “Vitalis the Fragrant” (although never to his face). Many believe him to be the wisest mortal in Mytros. Vitalis lives, sleeps, and eats in the gardens, and he is well-fed by his many admirers. However, his personal habits don’t seem particularly wise, as he never cleans himself, and he dresses in rags. Ch apter 3 | Summoned by the King

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THE HARBOR

He also flatulates, belches, and harasses everyone who passes by. Some of his favorite insults include:

• It looks like your face caught fire... and someone tried

to put it out with a hammer! • You’re so ugly that when your mother sent you out to play, they fined her for littering! • Mirrors reveal many things, but they cannot talk... and lucky for you, they can’t laugh, either! • You there! Turn around. Hmmm... I can tell that you're a centaur, but all I can see is the rear end! Seeking Advice. Despite his foul demeanor, Vitalis deserves his reputation. He gives out sound advice to anyone who pays him in fine food or wine. He devours the offerings and then answers questions in a drunken haze, one question per person who feeds him. Treat this as the equivalent of the divination spell. On subsequent or follow-up questions, he will shoo interrogators away, tell them that they must make their own mistakes if they are to learn anything, and probably pass wind from one end or the other.

The harbor of Mytros is as grand as the rest of the city. You see ships sailing in and out of the bay, while others remain tied up at docks. On one side of the harbor stands an immense bronze statue of a muscular man. It's clear that another such colossus once stood opposite this one, but it now lies in ruins. 

M14. Colossus of Pythor 

This is a sister to the Royal Gate. The road here is twice as wide as the way to the Royal Gate, because it has to accommodate mercantile traffic coming and going to the Harbor. The gate is guarded by two captains who keep an eye out for riff-raff from Stygian Row.

This bronze colossus is recognizable as a young version of Pythor, God of Battle and current King of Estoria. The statue’s head is wreathed by a crown of leaves. Despite its relaxed stance and serene gaze, the statue seems alert to anything that might threaten the city.

This gate is decorated with beautiful statuary and surrounded by lush greenery. The stairway beneath the gate leads up to a verdant plateau: the Noble District.

The harbor of Mytros is the largest in Thylea. Dozens of ships that ply the sea lanes of the Cerulean Gulf can be found anchored in the bay, while others are in dry dock, undergoing repairs.

M13. The Commerce Gate 

This colossus is one of the wonders of Thylea. The twin colossi were constructed before the First War with the aid of Volkan, God of the Forge. In times of need, the statues could be activated to defend Mytros. Refer to the Colossus of Pythor section for details.

M15. The Ruined Colossus

M17. The Fish Market

Although this bronze colossus lies in ruins, it seems that it once depicted the city’s patron goddess, Mytros. A large pyre blazes at the statue’s feet, and a small crowd has gathered around it. 

This colossus was destroyed two centuries ago, and the tale is still told with horror by the people of Mytros. The Kraken, a terrifying creature from the Forgotten Sea, attacked the city during a powerful storm. The twin colossi wrestled the creature back into the ocean, but the Colossus of Mytros was torn apart in the struggle. She returned to her guard post and collapsed into ruin.

M16. The Dockyard 

This bustling dockyard boasts dozens of galleys, each of which bristles with banks of oars. Many of the ships seem to have sustained serious damage recently. You can hear a chorus of hammering from the drydocks. 

The dockyard is always bustling during the day. Although many merchants trade and bank in the Royal District, many come dockside to work and barter. There are bargains to be had with the many ships that arrive here from across Thylea. There are also more than a dozen drydocks where ships are repaired. Sacrificial Stockyard There is a stockyard here that sells sacrificial animals for the ceremonies that are customarily performed before ships embark on ocean voyages. The heroes may purchase such animals and sacrifice them to gain favor with the gods, or to avoid confrontations at sea. Animal

Cost

Weight

Lamb

25 gp

30 lbs

Sheep

25 gp

150 lbs

Goat

30 gp

150 lbs

Pig

20 gp

200 lbs

Cow

50 gp

2000 lbs

Bull

100 gp

3000 lbs

White Oxen

500 gp

3000 lbs

1,000 gp

3000 lbs

Black Oxen

The fish market is especially crowded in the afternoon, when the fishing boats start returning from the Cerulean Gulf. Fish of every sort can be found on sale here, including unusual catches like sharks, eels, and octopuses. Quality fishing supplies can also be purchased here, including bait, tackle, and nets. The Ancient Mariner. One of the merchants here is a dwarf who has sailed Thylea's oceans for over 500 years. His name is Samuel (TN veteran), and although he's lost dozens of comrades to the treachery of the seas, he still makes sacrifices to the Lord of Storms. Samuel has lots of useful sailing advice to offer to heroes who are willing to listen to him. One of his favorite stories to tell is about a legendary city on the back of a dragonturtle that wanders the Forgotten Sea.

STYGIAN ROW 

Sacrificial Livestock for Sale

This crowded marketplace smells strongly of brine. Barrels of freshly-caught fish line every stall, many of which have just been unloaded from nearby ships. 

This low-lying district is vastly different from the rest of the city. Its clogged, stinking streets are filthy and poorly maintained. Ruffians and vagrants shout threatening words at you as you pass. Signs of drunkeness, violence, and open debauchery are everywhere. 

Stygian Row is a wretched hive of scoundrels and sellswords. This is a den of iniquity, where any vice may be freely indulged, and Lutheria is openly revered. This part of the city never sleeps, as drunken revelers parade through the streets at all hours of the night, and merchants hawk their illicit goods in broad daylight. Tiefling Enclave. The district gets its name from the word that many Thyleans use for tieflings—“Stygians.” Five hundred years ago, this district was established as an enclave where tieflings could be corralled, because they were thought to be untrustworthy spies of Lutheria. Half-Orc Enclave. Half-orcs in Thylea are not mistrusted the way they often are in other lands. When the original settlers learned that no orcs lived in Thylea, many of the half-orcs among them realized that they needed to live in close proximity to keep their bloodline alive. They decided to settle alongside the tieflings. Both half-orcs and tieflings are common in this district, though neither race is particularly villainous, especially when compared to the loathsome humans who manage the Minotaur Market (M21). Ch apter 3 | Summoned by the King

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M18. The Siren’s Roost 

Scantily-clad men and women line this building’s large windows, reclining on crushed velvet pillows, rich silks, and gilded furniture. The sign hanging above the door depicts a feathered woman in the throes of ecstasy. As you enter, a beautiful siren dressed in a scarlet toga approaches you. “Welcome to the Siren’s Roost. Here, you can taste the finest fruits of immortality. How may we serve you?” 

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Quest: Kidnapped Children Kalistor spends his time in Mytros trying to undermine the Temple of Lutheria (M20). He believes that Trellus and Septia are keeping children locked in their wine cellar for use in human sacrifices. He has no rewards to offer, but he emphasizes that if the rumors are true, then rescuing the children would be the right thing to do. Companions at the Siren's Roost

The woman is Ambrosia (NG siren noble), the owner of this tavern. She genuinely seeks to entertain her guests with fine music, wine, and “interesting” company. Unlike similar establishments, she does not discriminate against satyrs, minotaurs, or centaurs, but she does prefer to entertain rich clients and famous heroes. When engaged in longer conversations, Ambrosia makes it clear that she despises Julius, the owner of The Satyr’s Tail, who used to send thugs to collect “protection” money. Now, she employs Vorena (LN half-orc captain), a taciturn former centurion, to protect her establishment. Vorena does her job well. Each of Ambrosia's escorts claims to trace their lineage to a god or a nymph, so that clients can pick their preferred flavor of “immortality.” Son of Pythor. One of the escorts is Kalistor (CG spy), who is actually a child of Pythor. He has met his 104

father only once, and they didn’t get along. He is quick to fall in love with any hero who has 18+ Strength.

Escort

Claimed Lineage

Truth

Cost

Axios

Son of Narsus, the lost god of beauty

False

100 gp

Calypsa

Daughter of a nereid (sea nymph)

True

200 gp

Doria

Daughter of a naiad (river nymph)

True

50 gp

Eosia

Daughter of an aurae (sky nymph)

False

100 gp

Kalistor

Son of Pythor and a mortal woman

True

50 gp

Phasis

Son of Helios, the ancient sun god

False

250 gp

Strymon

Son of a nereid (sea nymph)

True

100 gp

Teygete

Daughter of an oread (mountain nymph)

False

50 gp

M19. The Satyr’s Tail 

The interior of this crowded tavern is thick with smoke and various unpleasant smells. Many of the patrons appear to be half-orcs, while others are obviously sailors. It's difficult to walk through the tavern without tripping over its many inebriated patrons. 

Temple of Lutheria (M20) sometimes drop by to deliver new wine to Julius. They are looking for mercenaries to help them track down some missing wine caravans.

M20. Temple of Lutheria 

The sailors who come to this tavern drink to forget what they’ve seen on the waters of the Cerulean Gulf. The wine here may be over-sweet and watered-down, but it’s also cheap and plentiful. The taproom is filled with smoke and smells of fish and unwashed bodies. The tavern is run by Julius (CE veteran), a nasty old man and former slave trader. He had his own galley before he ran afoul of Cerulean pirates and lost everything, including his left arm. He doesn’t like seeing his patrons bothered. If the heroes disturb his regulars, he’ll send three of his bouncers (CE thugs) to remove them from the premises. Fryxon, a satyr, befriended Julius a few years back. He provides music for the tavern. If a fight breaks out or the bouncers need help in removing someone, Fryxon will use his pan pipes to help put aggressors to sleep. The Cult of the Snake. This is one of the only places to find information about the Cult of the Snake. Fryxon loves to cause mischief, and if asked about the Cult of the Snake, he will loudly introduce the questioners to Grecos and Nero (see below). Tavern Patrons The tavern is crowded day and night by sailors, bandits, thieves, mercenaries, and other miscreants. Varkon’s Crew. One of the captains is Varkon (CN bandit captain), a half-orc, who is accompanied by a half-dozen of his sailors (CN bandits). They are a rowdy bunch, boasting about their adventures in the Cerulean Gulf. Varkon often works for the Lady of Coins, and he isn’t afraid to drop her name as a threat. He knows the route that leads to the Island of the Dragon, and the Lady of Coins uses him to deliver petrified musicians and performers to Hexia. Varkon also knows where to find the Cult of the Snake’s secret entrance into the Colossus of Pythor. Grecos and Nero. Another table is occupied by two thieves who are members of the Cult of the Snake. They always visit The Satyr’s Tail after successful robberies in order to celebrate by spending their ill-got gains. Grecos and Nero (CE spies) are brothers who love to insult the other patrons with sarcastic remarks. They are also fiercely loyal to the Lady of Coins and, if they notice the heroes investigating the Lady, they will split up. Grecos will let the Lady of Coins know that the heroes are interested; Nero will try to follow the heroes. Wine Merchants. Trellus and Septia (apparently NE commoners when they appear in public) from the

This small temple stands out from its surroundings due to the obvious wealth that has been lavished on it. The temple interior is dominated by dozens of statues of a grinning, dark-eyed woman with a scythe. Casks and painted jugs of wine are stacked along the walls. The temple is filled with a sweet fragrance. 

The temple is maintained by a family of wine merchants, keen to promote the worship of Lutheria so as to serve their business interests in the city. The high priest is Trellus (LE cult fanatic), and he is served by six cultists in black robes. His sister and lover, Septia (CE mage), secretly plots to become queen of the city. The siblings officiate in ritual kidnappings and human sacrifices, performed every full moon, although they are careful not to kill anyone who might be missed. Admirers of the Horn. If the two discover that the heroes have the Horn of Balmytria, they will offer to buy it for 5,000 gp. If the heroes refuse, then they will secretly plot to kill the party and take it. Quest: The Missing Casks Recently, several wine caravans that should have reached the temple have gone missing. The siblings believe that bandits are hiding out in the woods near the Vineyards of Mytros (M23). They offer 2,000 gp if the bandits can be delivered to them alive (for use in ritual sacrifices), or 1,000 gp for the bandits’ heads. Wine Cellar of Missing Children The wine cellar of the Temple of Lutheria is a place of horrors. Trellus and Septia currently have thirteen children (NG commoners) locked away in the cellar, which Septia keeps warded with the silence spell. The children's parents were sacrificed to Lutheria, and their bones are scattered throughout the cellar. The siblings intend to induct the children into their cult—and sacrifice those who resist. If the children are freed, they can be sent to Queen Vallus for protection.

M21. The Minotaur Market 

This marketplace is filled with bronze cages, which surround a central, raised platform. A rank barnyard odor assaults your senses. Over a dozen unwashed minotaurs have been locked within the cages. The minotaurs are physically fit but filthy, and many have fresh bruises and superficial cuts from battle. 

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In this market, minotaur slaves can be purchased for 100-250 gp each. There are usually a dozen specimens on display, all of which were recently captured. There are three separate slave houses close to the market. Each is owned by a wealthy merchant who specializes in the sale of minotaurs. The minotaurs are kept in filthy conditions—no better than cattle pens. Minotaurs In Mytros The citizens of Mytros treat minotaurs as little more than livestock, using them as opponents to be slaughtered in the funeral games held to honor the recently deceased. This practice is mirrored and multiplied in the Great Games, which often require hundreds of the creatures. Although some minotaurs used in this manner are captured from tribes in the steppes, others are captively bred for the task. These “domesticated” minotaurs live almost universally in squalid conditions unfit for sentient creatures. Queen Vallus has long sought to end this barbaric practice in the city, but King Acastus and the Order of Sydon have undermined her at every turn. There were a few centuries where minotaurs were merely outlawed from the city, but widespread smuggling and other skullduggery have ensured that the practice of slavery is alive and well. The party may seek to liberate the minotaurs in the market, but it will cause chaos in this district and infuriate the Order of Sydon. The queen would strongly approve of such actions, but most of the district's citizens are cowards who prefer to maintain the status quo.

Encounter: Bullbug the Minotaur One of the minotaurs for sale is Bullbug (NG minotaur hero), a large fellow even by minotaur standards. Bullbug calls out to the heroes, asserting that he would make an excellent addition to their party. Despite the conditions in the market, he is confident and friendly. Maximus the Merciless Maximus (LE gladiator) is the slavemaster who runs the Minotaur Market. He keeps order in the market with the aid of twelve thugs, and he heaps abuse upon the minotaurs. If any of the heroes are minotaurs and they pass through the market, he mistakes them for escaped slaves. In this case, he approaches the hero and attempts to shackle them, berating them for getting loose. Treasure. Maximus carries 750 gp in his coin purse. He also carries a permit which allows him to sell minotaurs, which was issued by Commander Gaius of the Order of Sydon. Technically, the permit allows him to transfer oaths of service to his customers, as outright slavery is officially outlawed in Mytros.

THE CITY BORDERS M22. Mount Volkan 

The black, rocky crags of Mount Volkan loom over the northern quarter of the city. At its summit, the great mountain dips into a gently-sloping basin. Although trees grow in abundance on the mountain’s slopes, the interior basin has been cleared to create flat fields. 

The Great Games are held at the peak of Mount Volkan. The proving grounds for the Games are inside the basinlike crater of the extinct volcano. The Great Games are held outside of the city walls, because they are held sacred as a neutral, non-political event. All of the Kings of Thylea send their best to compete in the Games.

M23. The Vineyards of Mytros 

You come to a vast field with row upon row of grape vines. Although there are no obvious signs of caretakers, the vines are thriving, and fruit hangs heavy. The plant life surrounding the vineyard is healthy—but nowhere near as green and lush. 

These vineyards are owned by a dozen mercantile families that live within the city. For centuries, these vineyards have been cared for by a tribe of satyrs.

Encounter: The Fey Glade 

Following the road through the vineyards, you come to a wooded pass flanked by two large marble statues of leering nymphs. Passing between the statues, you enter a foggy dell carpeted by dead leaves and wild rose bushes. In the mist ahead, you hear the sounds of musical laughter and revelry. It seems that you’ve stumbled upon a glade of fey creatures. 

they’ve broken the oath made by their ancestors. Boreas mocks the siblings, claiming that Lutheria will swallow their souls as punishment. He offers the heroes his Boreal harp if they will bring him the heads of the treacherous merchants. If the heroes comply, he will smash the harp before handing it over.

M24. The Soldier's Gate  

This is where the caravans meant for the Temple of Lutheria (M20) have gone. Satyrs have been waylaying the caravans and stockpiling wine casks in the glade. Boreas (NE satyr minstrel) is here, playing a gentle tune upon his enchanted harp. He is accompanied by his brothers, three satyrs, who are drinking wine and entertaining a dryad. Boreas has permanently charmed a water elemental, which tends to the vineyards for him. The Four Winds: Boreas Kyrah recognizes Boreas as one of The Four Winds, a troupe of fey bards who broke into the Temple of the Five and stole her divine instruments. The Boreal harp is one such instrument. Recovering it by force will be a challenge. There is a 75% chance that the harp will be destroyed in the battle, leaving behind a set of nymph-hair strings.

This heavily-trafficked gate leads northward into the Heartlands. During the day, the road is filled with centurions, pilgrims, and merchants traveling between Mytros and Estoria. At night, the road is patrolled by soldiers with torches, who rotate shifts between a series of stone guard towers. 

This gate is always guarded by two captains and twelve soldiers. They are replaced each hour by an identical squad from one of the towers along the road.

M25. The Harp Bridge 

This stone bridge is suspended from cascading rays of bright copper wire. When the wind catches the wire, it produces concordant, harp-like melodies. The songs are joined by a chorus of beautiful voices from nearby. 

Keepers of the Vineyards. Boreas claims that the wine merchants struck a bargain with him years ago, for which he and his brothers were to be compensated in wine. The terms of payment were vague, but the satyrs interpreted it as one cask per month, as long as the vineyards of Mytros remain fruitful. They claim that they were the ones who enchanted the vineyards, centuries ago, ensuring that the vines would flourish. Trellus and Septia. The merchants, Trellus and Septia, are only humans with short memories, and

This bridge is the gathering point for a flock of sirens. There are over twenty sirens in the flock, and they live in the estates to the west of the bridge. They gather here throughout the day to sing together, and their collective mood fluctuates from one day to the next. There is a 50% chance that they will be joyful and a 50% chance that they will be mournful. On days when they are joyful, commerce in the city flourishes. On days when they are mournful, the city is more superstitious.

The Colossus of Pythor The Colossus of Pythor (M14) is a hollow structure, but it is sealed and guarded. In theory, only King Acastus has the password and key to enter the Colossus but, unbeknownst to Acastus, the Lady of Coins has tunneled up from the sewers. Her servants have built a secret entrance into the interior of the great bronze statue, allowing her to use this as a base of operations.

Cult of the Snake The Cult is a thieves’ guild that operates in the city’s shadows. They have a headquarters deep within the aqueducts. The cultists have recently been breaking into

the homes of wealthy citizens, stealing everything of value, and leaving entire families literally petrified. The leader of the cult is a medusa who calls herself “the Lady of Coins.” She is the sister of Thesilea, the queen of the Amazons, but she fled the Island of Themis after a failed attempt to depose her sister. Refer to the Island of Themis in the Cerulean Gulf for details. Servants of Hexia. Moxena and her minions serve the green dragon, Hexia, and they ferry their spoils to her by ship once per year. Hexia has peculiar tastes: she allows the cultists to keep almost everything of material value, but she collects musical instruments Ch apter 3 | Summoned by the King

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C3. The Statue’s Belly

and musicians. They are transported to her in petrified form, and she releases them for entertainment at her leisure. Refer to the Island of the Dragon in the Forgotten Sea for details.

KEY LOCATIONS C1. Main Entrance (Right Leg) 

A circular door opens to reveal a small chamber with a spiral staircase reaching upwards. Both the staircase and the walls of the room are forged from bronze, but unlike the statue's exterior, this brightly-polished metal has not been weathered by the passage of time. 

The locked and guarded main entrance is in the heel of the right foot of the colossus. Two marble golems, each resembling Pythor, flank the door on the outside. If someone tries to open the door without first speaking the password, one golem’s head will turn to look at the intruder menacingly. If the intruder continues, the marble golems will attack. The door is locked with arcane lock. It can be picked with a successful DC 25 Dexterity check with thieves' tools. If the arcane lock is dispelled or suppressed with a knock spell, the DC lowers to 15. The spell can be temporarily negated by speaking the password, “ADONIS.” This password can be obtained from Vallus. Inside the leg, a spiral staircase ascends to the room in the belly of the colossus (C3).

C2. Secret Entrance (Left Leg) 

A small hole has been bored through the sole of the colossus’ foot. Inside is a room that has apparently been melted out from the solid bronze. A single thug sits at a wooden table by the hole, keeping watch. 

This entrance has been bored from the sewer system, and the room was created with the disintegrate spell. The hole is only two feet wide, and a makeshift rope ladder hangs down from the room in the belly of the colossus (C3). A thug guards the entrance. If he sees intruders, he rings a bell that hangs beside him before taking any other actions, warning his comrades that there are trespassers in the colossus.

return to ould like to sh I s, ay se d ink it One of the statue. I th e tl lit y m visit Mytros and mes. tle nely someti God of Bat must get lo — Pythor,

This circular room contains a series of coiled bronze tubes that snake around and overlap in a large knot that takes up most of the chamber. One set of pipes stretches a few feet off the ground and has four different colored valves: yellow, red, black, and green. Several minotaurs and a vicious-looking woman wearing an eye patch are keeping watch in here.

The belly of the colossus is filled with large tubes that resemble intestines. These tubes do serve an important function for the colossus, supplying the chemical biles and humors that power the automaton. The pipes transport the biles to all of its extremities. The Bile Traps. There are four different biles: red, green, black, and yellow. Some of these are poisonous to humanoids. The four valves in the chamber give access to the different types of bile. When any bile comes into contact with air, it turns into a gas and retains its coloration. Opening a valve takes an action, and the room fills with gas in the next round:

• Valve 1 (Red Bile). This odorless gas will cause fits

of hilarity. Anyone who breathes it in must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or be considered poisoned. Affected creatures are incapacitated by a fit of laughter for 10 rounds. The creature may repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns to shake off the effect on a success. • Valve 2 (Green Bile). This has a pleasant smell, but it has a slow, progressive poisoning effect. Anyone who breathes in green bile vapor must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned. One round after being poisoned, the victim will cough up mucus and take 10 (3d6) necrotic damage. On the next round, the victim will cough up blood and take 21 (6d6) necrotic damage. On the third round, the victim will go into a spasm, taking 10 (3d6) necrotic damage and become paralyzed. Each round after being poisoned, a victim can take an action to try and resist: a DC 15 Constitution saving throw stops the poisoning process. • Valve 3 (Black Bile). This vapor causes extreme sadness. Anyone who breathes it must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or become poisoned for one minute. While poisoned, they become utterly despondent, they have disadvantage on saving throws, and their speed is halved. • Valve 4 (Yellow Bile). This valve releases a harmless yellow gas that smells like rotten eggs. The foul smell lingers on clothing for one day, causing disadvantage on all Charisma checks. There are three minotaurs in here, along with the female bandit captain. They are all resistant to the

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bile vapors, granting them advantage on saving throws against the poisons. The captain tries to open the valves one at a time while the minotaurs engage intruders. The heroes can shut off one of the valves by using an action.

the minotaurs. The minotaurs have advantage as they are helping each other, but the heroes can do the same. Once the chamber has been re-opened the minotaurs will rush forward to attack.

C4. The Statue’s Torso

C5. The Statue’s Chest

This curved, oblong chamber is situated between two staircases. Small circular holes are visible throughout the walls, ceiling, and floor of the room. Round glass doors at each end separate staircases from the chamber. The western staircase leads downward, while the eastern staircase leads upward. Two minotaurs stand watch by the east door, apparently unfazed by the sharp, acidic tang that pervades the air. 

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The main feature of this room is a bizarre, top-heavy furnace that tapers to a rounded point. It hangs in the center of the chamber from a series of pipes that sprout from its top. Two thugs are busying themselves with the furnace’s operation while another two stand ready at the entrance from below. 

The torso chamber is a large cavity that resembles a stomach. The doors at either end are airtight, with small glass portholes built into them, and they are sealed shut when the heroes arrive. Pipes enter the room from both the ceiling and the floor. The Acid Trap. This chamber is where the gasses that power the colossus are made. When the colossus is active, a powerful acidic liquid is pumped into the chamber and then heated to become a gas. This process can be activated by using an emergency lever on the outside of each of the exits to the chamber. If either lever is pulled, the doors seal and acidic liquid will pour into the chamber. It takes two rounds for the chamber to fill. Anyone inside the chamber during this time takes 21 (6d6) acid damage per round. On the third round, the walls of the room heat up to turn the liquid into gas. Anyone touching the walls takes 21 (6d6) fire damage in addition to the 21 (6d6) acid damage. On the fourth round, the acid becomes gas and is then pumped out of the room. At this point, the doors open. The process can be ended at any time by pulling either lever to the off position, which immediately drains the chamber and opens the doors. When the liquid is being heated, the only other way to open the doors is to use a knock spell or to succeed at a DC 30 Strength check to force them. If the doors are opened in any way, the process ends and the room immediately drains. Two minotaurs wait on the east side of the chamber, watching for intruders. They wait until at least two visible intruders are inside the acid chamber. Then they move outside to pull the emergency lever. Anyone outside of the chamber at the west end will see the emergency lever move into the “ON” position, the doors will seal, and they can clearly see what is happening to their companions through the porthole. Heroes outside the chamber can try to pull the lever to the “OFF” position by testing their strength against

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These are four cronies of the Lady of Coins (CE thugs). Heart of the Colossus. The furnace here looks like a heart, and it helps to power the colossus. It is usually dark and cold unless the colossus is active. However, if the thugs hear any intruders below, they will power it up using a lever on the east side of the chamber. The Fire Trap. Once active, the furnace begins to rumble rhythmically, once per round. The thugs will leave the furnace door open so that every time it “beats,” a jet of fire explodes into the room. The blast of fire extends from the opening in a 5 ft. wide stream to hit the back wall. The flames do 10 (3d6) fire damage. Anything within 5 ft. of the back wall is engulfed in flames. The thugs know where the flames go, so they easily avoid the blast.

C6. The Statue’s Head 

This spherical room is clearly the head of the colossus. Two circular glass windows overlook the ocean to the south. Heavy silk curtains line the rest of the chamber. A beautiful woman wearing a platinum helmet lounges on a hammock next to three lifelike statues of a dwarf, an elf, and a gnome. A strange white orb swings gently on a bronze chain at the center of the room. 

The eyes of the colossus are windows that allow light into this chamber. Behind the curtains, the walls of the room are full length bronze mirrors, a dozen in all. A single cord can be pulled to drop all of the silk curtains and reveal the mirrors. Finding the cord requires a successful DC 15 Investigation check. The milky white orb that hangs from a bronze chain is the control mechanism for the colossus. Only someone in possession of King Acastus’s rod of rulership can activate the orb and take control of the colossus. To do this, one must touch the rod to the orb. The woman on the hammock is Moxena, the Lady of Coins—and the leader of the Cult of the Snake.

THE LADY OF COINS

Moxena, the Lady of Coins

The Lady of Coins (TN medusa) keeps her lair in the head of the Colossus of Pythor. Although few in the city know it, her true name is Moxena. Moxena commands her forces from here, using the chamber as her personal quarters. She has set up a silk hammock on one side of the chamber. She wears a ring of warmth, which she expects her followers to kiss. Statues for Hexia There are a three statues set up around the room—victims of petrification. The victims include a bard, (Xollos, an absent-minded CN dwarven bard), a poet (Sylla, a shy CG elven noble) and a musician (Gondros, LN gnomish commoner who believes he is the greatest composer of this time, and probably ever). Moxena intends to ship these entertainers to her mistress, Hexia, on the Island of the Dragon. If the heroes are able to free the victims from petrification, they are immensely grateful and swear oaths of service.

I have no patience for those who sow chaos in the name of doing good. One must always ask: who benefits?

Battling the Lady of Coins In combat, Moxena will pull the cord that drops the curtains, revealing the circle of mirrors. She has trained herself to remain focused on one target, so that she doesn’t see her own reflection. With the mirrors revealed, Moxena's petrifying gaze affects everyone in the room, except for targets who close their eyes. The party may be forced to fight with the blinded condition.

the Amazons. She offers to show the heroes the way to Themis. There they may plunder the island for its many treasures, including the legendary sword Titansbane, a powerful weapon that can be used against the Titans.

An Unlikely Ally If Moxena senses that she has no chance of victory, then she will surrender to the heroes and propose a deal: she will join them on their quest. She has been using her thieves’ guild as a means to gather resources so that she can make war on her sister Thesilea, the Queen of

Moxena's Treasure There are two chests in the room. One chest contains Moxena's personal effects, which include three random trinkets. The other chest contains the money reserves collected by the thieves’ guild, which includes 55 pp, 450 gp, and 3,400 sp.

— Vallus, Queen of Mytros

The Great Games "The Great Games have a history nearly as violent as the Aresian campaigns. It's just a bunch of bloodthirsty barbarians tearing each other apart over the smallest dispute. Naturally, I'm referring to the spectators, not the athletes." —Queen Vallus, on the Great Games The Great Games are a series of athletic competitions between the kingdoms of Thylea. They began four centuries ago—a centennial celebration of the Oath of Peace and the end of the First War. While visiting Mytros, the party has the option to engage in the competition for a chance to win great fame and live up to their calling as the greatest warriors in Thylea.

Purpose of the Games The Games are held every year to honor the Oath of Peace. Dozens of priests offer sacrifices to the Five Gods at the start of the games. The Order of Sydon have recently begun to participate in the Games also, bringing minotaur sacrifices for Sydon and Lutheria. The Games are a political tool used by various factions to demonstrate their dominance. Because of this, the Games are officiated by a neutral party—Versi, the Oracle, whose judgment is respected by all. Akimedes (TN mage), the Academy’s arcane Master of Divination attends and watches over every competition to ensure that no one cheats. He wears special bronze goggles that grant him the effects of detect magic and precise vision out to 400 feet. Cheating is penalized by permanent expulsion from the Games. Ch apter 3 | Summoned by the King

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Rewards for the Games The victors of the Game's events are awarded special medals that are crafted from precious metals. These medals hold enormous value to collectors, but selling them is frowned upon. Nevertheless, many athletes are forced to sell their medals later in life, when they are past their physical prime and coin runs short. Every event awards three medals—one for each of the top three athletes: bronze (250 gp) for third place, adamantine (500 gp) for second place, and mithral (1,000 gp) for first place. Legend has it that the Five Gods competed in the first Great Games, and “good old Pythor won every single medal.”

Joining the Competition 

Before you, Mount Volkan’s wide basin has been transformed into a grand stadium. Dozens of running tracks and courts have been set up for a wide variety of events. Rows of stone benches have been hewed into the mountainside, seating throngs of onlookers. Thunderous chanting, cheers, and celebratory music echo through the stadium. Both the athletes and the spectators hail from across Thylea, and they wear all sorts of exotic armor and colorful clothing. 

The heroes can enter and compete in the Games, but first they must pass a trial. Entering a trial costs a single silver piece. The hero must win the trial in order to compete in the official event.

The Athletes Every settlement in Thylea sends its best athletes to compete in the Great Games. Competing this year are the following athletes:

• Cy (LN warrior monk) from the kingdom of Aresia.

He is famed across Thylea for his accomplishments in previous Games. The citizens of Mytros hate him. • Egan (LG veteran) representing Estoria. He is an older competitor with more than a dozen Games under his widening belt. • Falana (CG noble) is a glamorous bard from Estoria. She brings a legion of adoring teenaged fans from the outlying settlements who cheer themselves hoarse. • Hatria (CE amazon warrior) is a warrior and the first ever Amazon to compete in any Games. She is aloof and treated coldly by the other competitors. • Jorges (LE captain) of the Order of Sydon. He is arrogant and pompous and has an intense dislike for the heroes, particularly those who join the Games. • Leyland (CG gladiator) represents Mytros and is a favorite of the home crowd. He is considered one of the greatest athletes of this generation. • Pancras (CG oread) is a nymph from the distant northern steppes. He is quite an exotic figure, and is treated with curiosity by the other athletes. • Spira (NG soldier) is an underdog who suffered an injury five years ago and is only now recovered enough to participate. The crowd loves her. She has a Strength score of 16 (+3) and Athletics of +5.

Daily Sacrifice At the start of each day, animal sacrifices are made to each of the gods. These are carried out with solemnity, after requesting a moment of silence from spectators. Minotaur Battle. Recently, the Order of Sydon has started a new tradition: a battle to the death against a minotaur. This sacrifice to the Titans requires five athletes to work together to take down one minotaur. If one of the heroes wants to be involved in a sacrificial event, they can volunteer. If a hero volunteers to fight alone against the minotaur, then the other athletes will step aside. Besting a minotaur in single combat brings great honor and attracts crowds of onlookers, but there is no reward for winning other than the fame (and the pointed disapproval of Queen Vallus).

Optional Event: Bullbug If you want, you can replace the minotaur with Bullbug (NG minotaur hero) from the Minotaur Market (M21). Bullbug calls out a challenge to the heroes to fight him. If one of the heroes can beat him in good-natured single combat, he will agree to join their crew. While this is highly unusual, Queen Vallus will overrule the protests of the Order of Sydon.

Daily Competitions These are the competitions that make up the Great Games. One competition is held each day, over a series of seven days, with celebrations every night. Partners Each contestant can choose a partner to magically augment them. This partner is allowed to use any magic available to them. Most of the lesser athletes can’t afford magical aid. Those who can afford it are aided by an acolyte (who provides the bless spell). Well-known athletes have access to a mage or priest. These spell casters prepare spells such as bless, enhance ability, longstrider, or haste. Partners who target anyone but their chosen athlete are immediately disqualified, as is the athlete that they were aiding. Magic in the Great Games Thyleans decided long ago that trying to stop magic manipulation in the Great Games was pointless, hence the ruling allowing a magical partner to augment an athlete. It also allows heroes that aren’t directly involved in a competition to be part of the action.

Jumping A hero must first succeed in a trial jumping event against four other competitors (LN guards). Only one of the other competitors will try and jump farther than the standard jump.

In the actual jumping competition, the heroes will have to compete against Spira, Leyland, Hatria and Egan. A competitor can choose to perform a standard jump, which will result in a long jump that is equivalent to the Strength score of the competitor. However, a competitor can also try to go further than the standard jump. This requires a DC 15 Athletics check. Failure means that the competitor lands 1-4 (1d4) ft. short of the standard jump distance. A success adds 1 ft., with an additional 1 ft. for every 3 points rolled above 15 (e.g. DC 18, DC 21, etc). Refer to page 182 of the 5th Edition Player's Book for rules on long jumping. Running To qualify for this event, a hero must first succeed in a trial event against four other competitors (two LN guards and two CG scouts). Competitors. In the actual event, the heroes compete against Spira, Leyland, Hatria, and Pancras. This is a 1000 ft. run divided into six race stages. All of the runners must roll for initiative at the start. Whoever wins initiative gains advantage on the first check to move into the ‘ahead’ state. This starting advantage lasts for the first three stages of the race. Pulling Ahead. At each stage of the race, each racer may choose to pull ahead. To pull ahead a runner must make a successful DC 15 Strength (Athletics) check. This DC increases by 1 at each subsequent stage (e.g. DC 16, DC 17, etc). Failure means the runner gets one level of exhaustion. A successful check means that the runner is now considered to be in the ‘ahead’ state. Once a runner has pulled ahead they must make a successful DC 15 Constitution saving throw at the end of every stage. Failure means they gain one level of exhaustion and they are no longer considered ahead. When a runner has two levels of exhaustion, they collapse and are disqualified from the race. The Final Stage. At the sixth and final stage of the race, every runner who is considered ahead has a chance for a medal. They all must make Athletics checks, with the highest check winning first place, and the next two taking second and third. If there are not enough runners who are considered ahead, then after determining the finishing order with the ahead racers, repeat this with the rest of the runners except for those who have collapsed. Javelin Throwing To qualify for this event, a hero must first succeed in a trial event against three young men (LG guards) and one woman (CN scout). Competitors. In the actual event, the heroes compete against Falana, Leyland, Hatria, and Pancras. Each competitor makes three javelin throws, and their best throw determines how they place. Calculating Throws. With each throw, a competitor rolls d20 and adds their Athletics, Acrobatics, or Ch apter 3 | Summoned by the King

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Dexterity bonus (the competitor's choice). This bonus is multiplied by 3 and added to the base javelin range of 120 ft. For example, a competitor with Dexterity 14, Athletics +2, Acrobatics +5 rolls a 15 and chooses to add the +5 from Acrobatics for a total of 20. This total is multiplied by 3 to become 60 ft. which is added to the base javelin range of 120 ft. for a total of 180 ft. Discus Throwing To qualify for this event, a hero must first succeed in a trial event against three young men (LG guards) and one woman (CN scout). In the actual competition, the heroes will compete against Falana, Leyland, Hatria, and Jorges. Each competitor has three attempts at the discus throw. The mechanics work in the same fashion as the javelin throw, but the base range of the discus is 90 ft. Wrestling This event uses the grappling rules described on pg. 195 of the 5th Edition Player's Book. To qualify for this event, a hero must prove themselves against Crusher, a drunken black bear who drinks large quantities of fermented honeywine before the match. Crusher is a crowd favorite. In order to win this event, a hero must win two grapple attempts in a row. Roll for initiative at the start. The first successful attempt means getting a hold, while the second successful attempt means getting the pin. Competitors. In the main event, the hero must wrestle against Egan (for third place), then Cy (for second place), and finally Jorges (for first place). Boxing This event uses the unarmed combat rules described on pg. 195 of the 5th Edition Player's Book. To qualify for this event, a hero must defeat Smasher, another black bear like the one from the wrestling event. Smasher is fitted with bronze-plated gloves. Competitors. In the main event, the hero must box against Spira (for third place), then Jorges (for second place) and finally Cy (for first place). Monk characters have an obvious advantage in this event. The first person to be rendered unconscious is the loser. Roll for initiative before each match.

The Great Relay The great relay is the prestige event of the Great Games. It requires teams of five to compete in a five-stage relay race. In order to compete in the Great Relay, an athlete must have placed in a previous event. Alternatively, they may be sponsored by another winning athlete. Competing Teams There are three teams; competing heroes are the fourth team. The named contestants anchor the fourth and fifth legs of the Great Relay. If the heroes are unable to 114

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assemble a full team, they can try to convince one of the other athletes to join them.

• Mytros: Spira, Leyland, and three soldiers • Estoria: Egan, Felana, and three scouts • Aresia: Jorges, Hatria, and three thugs Parts of the Race Each member of the team must be assigned to run a leg of the relay. Once selected, they must stand at the starting point of that relay. They are not allowed to start running their leg of the relay until they are tagged by the team member from the previous leg. Winning Points. At the start of each leg of the race, the athlete can choose to go at standard speed or fast. Going at standard speed earns 1 point, while going fast earns 2 points. Failing a required check for the leg at either speed results in 0 points, though the athlete still finishes the leg. These points will be totaled at the end of the relay to determine the winning team. If any single athlete is caught or reduced to 0 hit points by one of the obstacles along the way, then that team loses the entire race. First Leg: The Beach Run The athlete must make a dash over 300 ft. of sand. A standard run requires a successful DC 10 Strength (Athletics) check, while a fast sprint requires DC 15. Lions. Partway down the beach, trap-doors burst open (one for each team) spraying sand everywhere and releasing a muzzled lion. Each lion goes for one of the sprinters and uses its pounce action. An athlete knocked prone by the lion is out of the race. Lions have disadvantage on attacks against athletes who are going fast. Second Leg: The Underwater Swim Magic has been used to freeze over one of the mountain lakes. Each athlete must dive into a hole in the ice, swim underwater for 300 ft., and then resurface. A standard swim requires a successful DC 12 Strength (Athletics) check, while a fast swim requires DC 18. Anyone with swim speed on their character sheet gets advantage on this roll. Third Leg: The Cliff Climb Each athlete must climb up a sheer cliff face. A standard climb requires a successful DC 12 Strength (Athletics) check, while a fast climb requires DC 18. Anyone with a climb speed on their character sheet gets advantage on this roll. Fourth Leg: The Fire Dash The athlete must sprint across a bed of hot coals and fire snakes. A standard run requires a successful DC 10 Strength (Athletics) check, while a fast sprint requires DC 15. A standard run causes 7 (2d6) fire damage to the athlete, while a fast sprint causes no damage.

Anyone who fails either check takes 10 (3d6) fire damage. There are six fire snakes amongst the coals, and two of them will attack any runner moving at standard speed. Only one fire snake will be provoked to attack by fast runners. Anyone who fails their checks provokes all six into attacking.

King Acastus takes this opportunity to steal as much glory from the victors as he can. He is sensitive to what pleases the crowd, and the people of his city absolutely adore him. The king hands out the appropriate awards the victors. The greatest athlete is awarded the crown of laurels. There is no monetary reward for winning.

Fifth Leg: The Harpy Cages The athletes must race across 300 ft. of beach. Along the beach are three bronze cages, each with a harpy. A standard run requires a successful DC 10 Strength (Athletics) check, while a fast sprint requires DC 15. Harpy Songs. Each athlete must make three DC 11 Wisdom saving throws to resist the songs of the three harpies. Athletes can choose to cover their ears with their hands, but this adds 2 to the DC of the running check. However, it gives them advantage on their Wisdom saving throw against being charmed.

Treasure The medals are cheaply-made, but they are prized by the people of Mytros and can easily be sold to merchants in Stygian Row. The first place medal is valued at 1,000 gp, the second place medal is valued at 500 gp, and the third place medal is valued at 250 gp. Awarding Experience You should award 300 XP for participation in each of the six lesser events. Participation in the Great Relay should be rewarded with 900 XP. Participation in every event is worth a total of 2,700 XP, which is enough to bring a fresh character up to level four. If the heroes are higher than sixth level, you may double these XP awards to make participation more attractive.

Ending the Race At the end of the race, the team with the most points wins. The crowd reacts with great enthusiasm when each team finishes the race.

The Award Ceremony 

If any of the heroes were victorious, then they are approached by two tavern owners from Mytros, Ambrosia from The Siren’s Roost (M18) and Julius from The Satyr’s Tail (M19). They hate each other, but both of them want a sponsorship deal with the winner of the Great Games. Such an individual would attract a great deal of business to their taverns. The heroes can choose the offer they like best, or they can try to persuade Julius and Ambrosia to enter a bidding war. Julius initially offers 1,000 gp and free wine for life, although he can be persuaded to offer as much as 3,000 gp. Ambrosia offers 1,000 gp and a night of pleasure— on the house, naturally. She will go no higher than 2,000 gp, but she points out that Julius is a greedy fool, and associating with him will tarnish the heroes’ names.

Suddenly, there is a thunder of noise from the stands as everyone leaps to their feet and points at the sky with excitement. Descending from the clouds is a huge silver dragon. On its back rides a crowned figure, cloaked in red. The spectators cheer in unison. “It’s King Acastus! King Acastus has come to honor the victors of the Great Games!” The silver dragon touches down at the center of the colosseum, and the king dismounts with a flourish, waving to the crowd with a broad smile. He carries several shiny medals in one hand, and a crown of laurels in the other. Approaching the row of victorious athletes, he mounts a small stone platform where he can address the thousands of people in the stands. “PEOPLE OF MYTROS! My dear people, has this not been the most exciting contest in living memory? I have always loved the Great Games, and it has been my pleasure to continue sponsoring them, even in these darkest of days. Indeed, I believe that even the gods themselves are watching, and smiling upon us! I offer my sincerest congratulations to these fine men and women—the greatest athletes in all of Thylea!” The crowd thunders their approval, and hundreds of flowers are cast into the arena at the king’s feet. 

Tavern Sponsorships

There is much to be gained by winning the Great Games of Mytros. First, they were born out of training exercises devised by the Dragonlords, so they may help keep your wits and reflexes sharp. Second, they are immensely popular throughout Thylea, and the names of 

the victors will live on throughout history. Third, it is a chance to prove to yourself that you are ready for the trials that surely lie ahead.

— Kyrah, Goddess of Music 115

The Ghost Ship Ultros King Acastus has given the heroes a map to the Ultros, the legendary ship captained by his ancestor, Estor Arkelander. Acastus claims that his scouts have sighted the ship at the Dead Falls. In fact, he has long known the ship’s location, because his ancestor’s ghost haunts his dreams. Estor hopes to lure one of his mortal descendants to the Ultros so that he may possess a warrior's body and take vengeance upon the Titans. 

The time has come to complete the next of your Great Labors. King Acastus gave you a map to the last known whereabouts of the legendary Ultros, but its location seems ominous. The ship was last seen near the Dead Falls in the rocky wastelands of the eastern Heartlands. You’ve heard stories of the Ultros. It was captained by Estor Arkelander the Dragonlord, leader of a savage and bloodthirsty crew. He savaged the islands of Thylea, leaving slaughter in his wake. Sydon unleashed his full fury against the vessel, attempting to smash it with hundred-foot waves and drag it down to the bottom of the sea with terrifying whirlpools. But the magic of the Ultros was so powerful that even the Lord of Storms could not sink it. The ship and its crew went missing several years after the end of the First War. You must find it and take command of it, for you cannot brave the waters of the Forgotten Sea without it. 

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The Ghost Ship’s Crew Estor Arkelander’s ghost is captain of the Ultros. Seventy ghosts and specters are the crew under his command, all of them Estor’s thanes. The specters are crewmen who have lost their sanity and been reduced to soulless undead shades with no personality or drive. Estor has been waiting for a band of warriors to board his ship. He wants a new body, and possessing a great hero will do nicely. For years, he has tried to lure King Acastus to his ship, but his descendant is a cowardly disappointment. He knows that Acastus has sent the heroes in his place, and he plans to haunt their dreams to discover the worthiest amongst them. He will mark the worthiest hero as the warrior he intends to possess. The Ultros is usually docked in an inlet near the Dead Falls. Rarely, it ventures northward along the River Lethe. The ghostly crew of the Ultros are deathly afraid of the horrors of the Nether Sea, but they are nevertheless drawn to the chasm at the Dead Falls. The necromantic energy from the Nether Sea makes them feel almost alive again. A Pristine Vessel For a ghost ship, the Ultros is surprisingly well-maintained. The ghostly crew keep the ship in perfect condition and clean it every day, by order of the captain. Estor still takes pride in his ship. It is, perhaps, the only thing that he has ever truly loved.

TRAVELING TO THE DEAD FALLS

or be swept away and over the falls. A path leads along the edge of the rapids: it is soaking wet but otherwise safe to travel.

Traveling to the Dead Falls from Mytros or Estoria takes about two days and requires the party to wayfind through forests and rocky hills. You may choose to run 1-2 random land encounters along the way.

Encounter: The Gates of Death 

The path along the rapids twists and turns, and the sides of the canyon seem to be closing in around you. The walls are adorned with horrific carvings of what seem to be faces, both human and inhuman.

Return to The Sour Vintage Located about halfway to the Dead Falls, the Sour Vintage tavern makes a convenient place to stop for a rest. Aetala now advertises the tavern as the place where the “Heroes of the Prophecy” gathered before slaying the Great Boar. She cheerfully offers the party free accommodations, and her patrons ensure that the heroes drink for free.

As you make your way further down the path, the canyon continues to grow narrower. Cold winds assail you, howling through the canyon with a blood-curdling sound like an inhuman scream. 

Rumors of the Dead Falls The patrons of the Sour Vintage know a few tales of Dead Falls. They say it’s one of the pathways to the Underworld, the domain of Lutheria, Lady of Dreams. Strange things happen there. People say the rocks scream like harpies, and those who venture to the river’s end never return. But there is an oft-repeated mantra that the patrons use to reassure the party: "Heroes have no fear of the dead!"

THE FALLS OF THE UNDERWORLD

The king’s map points to a secret inlet at Dead Falls, located just before the River Lethe rushes into a huge chasm. The Ultros is supposedly docked at this inlet every night in the hours before dawn. Getting to the ship's mooring requires walking along the river’s rapids and passing through a narrow canyon. The heroes should arrive at midnight.

A passive Perception score of 12 or higher reveals that the cliffs are moving together, and that the wailing seems to be coming from the mouths of the faces. Heroes who notice this have one round to react. On the next round, it becomes obvious that the cliffs are moving. The cliff path pushes up against the other side of the canyon, and the water beneath vanishes under the rocks. Anyone still on the path at this time must move 80 ft. to get to safety. Failure to escape means that they will become stuck between the rocks. Escaping. A successful DC 15 Strength (Athletics) check allows a stuck hero to squeeze through to safety. Failure means that they take 20 (6d6) bludgeoning damage. Every round after that, they can make another check to escape. The damage increases by 20 (6d6) on each subsequent round. Anyone reduced to 0 hit points is instantly killed, and reduced to a meaty paste. After five rounds, the cliffs return to their original position with the gore of any unfortunate victims plastered across the cliff walls.

The Dead Falls

The Rapids 

The rapids are too dangerous to travel by boat or to swim. If someone tries to swim across, they must make a successful DC 20 Strength (Athletics) check every round

As the rapids twist and turn, you approach what appears to be a massive waterfall. The water of the river pours into a vast, shadowy chasm and vanishes. The sight is beautiful, but you find it disconcerting that such a large river could come to such a sudden end. The thundering sound that typically accompanies waterfalls is strangely absent here. It’s as if the water and the noise have been swallowed by a void.

The River Lethe descends further and faster and breaks up into frothing rapids. The water flows and gurgles at a treacherous speed. Large, sharp rocks jut from the water, making the river even more perilous. 

The path leads to a section of the rapids at the canyon’s narrowest point, with only 20 ft. between the cliff faces. Each wall at first appears to be carved with horrifying faces, but upon closer examination, it seems that they might actually be mundane rock formations.

Rumors of the Ultros Everyone knows of the Ultros. It’s Estor Arkelander’s ship from the legendary adventures of the Dragonlords! Several fishermen claim to have seen the ship sailing down the River Lethe at midnight, but no one believes them. Why would a ghost ship be sailing on a landlocked river?

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Here the River Lethe pours into a chasm, creating a waterfall that plunges for more than one vertical mile into the Underworld, which explains the strange lack of sound. Anyone who spills over the edge will fall for 20 seconds before colliding with the primordial waters of the Nether Sea, suffering 70 (20d6) bludgeoning damage. The secret inlet is shown on the king’s map, but its location is not obvious at first glance. With some trivial investigation, the heroes will discover a switchback rocky passage that leads to the inlet. The passage is flooded by water (5 ft. deep), which the heroes must wade or swim through. Investigation: The Secret Inlet 

You discover an inlet near the chasm where the river’s waters are eerily still. The canyon walls surround a small lake, protecting it from the rush of the nearby rapids. Moonlight shines down through the clouds, illuminating a beautiful ship moored alongside the rocky shore. This ship is large, and of fine workmanship, though its design is ancient. Its sails are black, and the prow is carved into the likeness of a dragon. You see no crew aboard and you hear only silence. 

The Ultros is anchored in this lake, but it’s impossible to see how it got here. It is impossible for it to fit through the passage that the party used. The heroes may freely walk along the rocky shore to the ship and board it. Nothing stands in their way.

U2. Storage Cabin

On the top deck of the ship, you feel a chill in the air. The ship appears abandoned, though it is well maintained. Listening carefully, you hear faint whispering and then sense movement around you as though from crewmen at work. For a moment, you think you can hear boisterous singing from the back of the ship but, when you turn to look, there is nothing.

U3. The Oar Deck 

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The oar deck is clean, orderly and built to house 25 oars on each side of the ship. At each oar sits a single, silent man. Upon second glance, each of them appears to be translucent and partially decomposed.

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This room is empty of crew at all times. There is no difference before or during the dream. Treasure. There is a small locked iron box that can be opened with a successful DC 15 Dexterity check using thieves' tools. Inside are six burnished dragonlord coins, 75 sp, 35 gp, and a small leatherbound journal. The journal gives a detailed account of Estor Arkelander’s role in starting the First War 500 years ago. Refer to Estor Arkelander and the First War in the Secrets and Myths appendix for details.

During this adventure, the heroes will experience a strange dream during which the ship’s ghostly crew become visible. Refer to the During the Dream sections of each ship area to determine who is present during the day or night in the dream. Refer to the Before the Dream sections when the heroes are first exploring the ship.

This small storage cabin houses all of the necessary provisions for a short journey out to sea. There is an ancient chest in the corner. It appears to be locked.

U1. The Top Deck

During the Dream There are six specters on the main deck, but they are not immediately hostile. They don’t acknowledge the heroes in any way. The Quartermaster. At the steering wheel at the rear of the ship is the ghost of the dwarf, Davos, one of Estor’s thanes. He is singing a randy song to inspire the crew as they go about their tasks (the specters are not impressed). When he notices the heroes, he will end his song and call upon the crew to slay the intruders. The specters are hesitant to come to Davos’s aid, with only one of them joining the battle each round. Once Davos is destroyed, the specters return to their duties. Davos starts off the battle by tearing the flesh from his face in order to use his horrifying visage. After that, he tries to possess one of the heroes.

KEY LOCATIONS 

Before the Dream The top deck is empty. When anyone first boards the Ultros, they will notice the cold, and anyone staying on the top deck for more than a few minutes will begin to hear whispering. They will also see the ghostly crew members out of the corners of their eyes. As soon as anyone tries to focus on the sights and sounds, they will suddenly cease, only to resume a few minutes later.

Before the Dream A fully-crewed ship like the Ultros should have had 150 men. The remaining oarsmen are strong enough to man

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one oar each, which means that there are 56 specters on this deck. They have lost their sanity, and their souls have withered, so they are all silent and do not interact with anyone. If attacked, an oarsman specter will cower but will not actively defend itself or attack. The Undead Drummer. At the rear of the oar deck is an undead woman sitting by a drum. Her skin is white as bone and her eyes are missing. She has the statistics of a revenant, but she does not have a focus for vengeance. She is not hostile, but she will defend herself if attacked. If destroyed, she will return within 24 hours, rising out of the river or the ocean to resume her place. The drum-beater will ask one simple question in a whispering voice: “Are you ready to travel to Mytros?” She won’t communicate in any other way. If the heroes say yes, she will begin to beat her drum. The specters will begin to row. Once this happens, read the following: 

The Ultros raises anchor and smoothly sets sail toward the canyon wall. The cliff looms closer and closer as the ship picks up speed, as if preparing to smash through the rocks. Just when it seems like the ship must collide with the wall, it suddenly dives underwater. The decks of the Ultros flood with water as it submerges, and you are forced to hold your breath. The ship travels at a terrific speed, rushing past large aquatic creatures and shadowy rock formations. Your lungs ache with the effort of holding your breath but, finally, the ship surfaces. You find yourself surrounded on all sides by the gentle waters of the Cerulean Gulf. 

A ghostly figure rises out of the floor and speaks: “Estor sends you to destroy me. You are fools to trust him!” The ghost calls for his sword and armor: “Ebony, Azurescale—arise and slay these intruders!” 

Skathon was a powerful warrior in life. He possessed a set of magical scale mail and a magical sword. These items hang on the wall at the back of the cabin. The sword will rise into the air and attack as an animated sword, while the armor will attack as animated armor. Once the fight has started, Skathon will leave the ethereal plane and try to possess a hero. Treasure. Azurescale is a set of scale mail mariner’s armor, and Ebony is a +1 mithral makhaira.

You enter a large room with six hammocks gently swaying with the ship. The room is otherwise bare, but there is a strange, ornate box sitting in one corner.

U4. The Captain’s Cabin 

This cabin is more luxurious than the rest of the ship. The bedding is made of finely-spun silk, as are the curtains at the window. The wallpaper is textured with gold filigree. The wooden floor and furniture has been recently cleaned and waxed, and the room has a fresh, clean smell. There is a desk at the rear of the room with scattered papers and a journal.

Before the Dream The leatherbound journal contains several entries. It is written in the hand of Estor Arkelander, and it recounts the history of the Ultros. Refer to Estor Arkelander and the Curse in the Secrets and Myths appendix.

The Dream Begins The ship now begins its journey to Mytros, but something strange is afoot. Refer to the Visions of the Past section below to determine what happens next.

U5. The Thanes’ Quarters

During the Dream The First Mate. In this cabin is the ghost of one of Estor’s thanes, Skathon. Skathon is deep in the ethereal plane most of the time. Anyone who enters the room feels cold and is assaulted by strange feelings of anger and guilt. Skathon appears before them, still in the border ethereal (and thus immune to attack). Read the following.

Before the Dream The ornate box is attached to the floor and secured with an arcane lock. It can be opened with a successful DC 25 Dexterity check using thieves' tools. If the arcane lock is dispelled or suppressed with a knock spell, then the DC is lowered to 15. Treasure. Inside the box are 16 onyx gemstones. If the gems are removed from the box, each transforms into a specter after one round (see the During the Dream section below for more details). The specters immediately attack the hero who took them from the box. The spectral onyxes have no value, as they are not true gems. Any specters killed before the dream will not be able to serve Metron later (see below). During the Dream The Navigator. The ghost of Metron the thane is in here. One of the hammocks obviously sags more than the others when the heroes enter and then, a round later, Metron will fade into sight, though he will remain in the border of the ethereal plane. He claims to be from a lost undersea kingdom, but he’s forgotten its name. He served as navigator aboard the Ultros, charting new paths across Thylea’s oceans. Ch apter 3 | Summoned by the King

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The Vengeful Spirits. Metron will tell the heroes that the captain was a cruel man, one who was responsible for untold thousands of deaths. Many of those unfortunate souls have traveled from the underworld in search of vengeance, and Metron has sealed them away in a box. He asks if the heroes would be kind enough to help dispose of the troublesome spirits. With a flick of his hand, the ornate box opens, and vengeful spirits swarm out of it over the next four rounds. Each spirit is a specter that attacks the heroes relentlessly. The horrifying forms that they take do not affect their statistics:

The storage deck is accessible via a stairway that descends from the Thane’s Quarters (U5). The chests and crates here are remarkably well preserved and usable, but they are all empty.

VISIONS OF THE PAST

Once the heroes have spoken to the undead drummer on the oar deck of the Ultros, they will begin their journey across the Cerulean Gulf towards Mytros. On the first night of this voyage, the party becomes trapped in a waking dream: 

Specters in Metron's Box Round

Number of Specters

1

Three

Armless gygan warriors

2

Four

Eyeless Amazon warriors

3

Four

Headless centaurs

4

Five

Gutted minotaurs

Spectral Form

If someone closes the box, then the specters will stop appearing. Once the box has been closed or the specters have been vanquished, Metron leaves the ethereal plane and attempts to possess one of the heroes. He prefers a hero with strong arms and legs for swimming. 

U6. The Storage Hold 

Stepping onto the hold, you’re struck by the number of empty crates and boxes strewn about. Clearly this deck once housed many stores for the ship. 

You fall asleep to the gentle rocking of the ship and the sound of waves lapping against the hull. Your sleep takes you on a journey to a distant time, sailing on a distant sea. The sky above is strange and otherworldly. You stand on the deck of the Ultros, surrounded by dozens of men and women with grim faces and ancient weapons. You are part of the ship's crew, and you know that you have served the captain in countless battles. Standing at the prow of the ship is a tall man with long, gray dreadlocks. His engraved bronze pauldrons mark him as one of the legendary Dragonlords. This is Estor Arkelander. He calls his entire crew to the deck.

The Ultros is sailing on a strange expanse of foggy, gray ocean. All the doors on the ship are now unlocked, and all rooms and their contents can be searched. The ghost of Estor Arkelander now stands near the ship’s mast, gazing out into the void. He has called upon the strange magic of the ship to create this dream. 

Estor speaks in a deep, rasping voice. “I have summoned you here for a grave purpose. Tomorrow I walk into the fires of Typhon and become like a god. Thenceforth I shall be immortal, perhaps even as powerful as Kentimane, the Hundred-Handed. But I shall no longer call myself captain of this ship. “It has been a great honor to fight alongside you in the war against the Gygans. We have toppled their wretched cities, and flooded the oceans with their blood. But now, it is time for me to choose a worthy successor: a new captain for the Ultros. “I will choose the new captain from among my loyal thanes. Each of you swore a blood oath to serve me. I call upon you to swear that same oath upon the Ultros. Only then will she follow your commands as she has done mine.”

Estor Arkelander

Estor identifies the heroes as his new thanes, and he asks each of them to swear the following oath.

“I swear upon my life’s blood that I shall captain the Ultros with honor. Even should we sail into the maw of the Nether Sea, my fate shall be bound to hers.” 

Estor's curse prevents him from taking possession of a hero without their consent. This bargain is a trap and, if anyone accepts his offer, Estor immediately takes possession of that hero for the next hour.

Players may excuse themselves from consideration to be captain if they want to avoid swearing the oath. However, the Ultros will only heed the commands of heroes who have sworn the oath.

Estor's Bargain Accepting the bargain means that the hero’s personality immediately changes: they become dangerously cruel and obsessed with achieving immortality, and their alignment shifts to neutral evil. Estor speaks constantly in their mind, always encouraging the pursuit of power at any cost. His goal is to wear down the hero’s willpower so that he can eventually take permanent control. Once per day, Estor’s spirit can take control of the hero for one round without a chance to save. Eventually, Estor's control over the hero may become permanent (which forces the character to retire as an NPC), but this should only happen if the player's behavior has become too disruptive to the rest of the party.

Quest: The Traitorous Thanes After oaths are sworn, Estor announces that there are three traitors among his crew. He tasks the heroes with finding the traitorous ghosts and destroying them. He refuses to release the heroes from the dream until this has been accomplished. He explains that whoever performs most admirably will take his place as the new captain of the ship. Estor's Deception. Estor does not plan to relinquish control of the ship. Rather than choosing a successor, he hopes to possess the body of the hero who proves to be the strongest during the following trial.

If no one accepts Estor’s bargain, then he is confined to the captain’s quarters, and he becomes absolutely furious at the party. Anyone who swore the oath to the ship may command it. One hero should be elected or chosen to serve as the ship’s captain.

The Traitorous Thanes Estor Arkelander was originally served by three traitorous thanes, Davos, Metron, and Skathon, and they now haunt the Ultros as ghosts. The three ghosts will appear in different sections of the Ultros.

RETURN TO MYTROS

The ship returns to Mytros, where the heroes are received by a crowd of onlookers. News of the arrival of the Ultros has spread through the city like wildfire. The king and queen have also come to meet the heroes.

• Davos, the Quartermaster. He is a dwarven ghost who can be found on the top deck (U1).

• Metron, the Navigator. He is a lazy ghost who can be found in the thane’s quarters (U5).

• Skathon, the First Mate. He is a powerful warrior

When you arrive back in Mytros, Queen Vallus is waiting for you at the docks, accompanied by her retinue. But before she can greet you, a silver dragon descends from the heavens toward the Ultros. It passes overhead and lands on the docks ahead. King Acastus slides off of the back of the dragon to stand gracefully beside it. “You are great warriors indeed, to have taken command of my ancestor’s ship... but the Ultros is a relic from bygone days. To stand up to the power of the Titans, we will need dragons—not ancient ships.”

who can be found in the captain’s cabin (U4).

The Traitors are Destroyed When the ghost of the last traitorous thane has been destroyed, the fog surrounding the Ultros lifts, and the heroes awaken from the dream. Any heroes who were killed during the dream wake with two levels of exhaustion, but they are otherwise fine. The New Captain The ghost of Estor Arkelander awaits the heroes in the captain’s quarters. He is now satisfied that the heroes are stronger than his previous thanes. He chooses the hero who performed most admirably during the trial and appoints them captain. If they refuse the bargain, he grumpily offers it to someone else. 

“You have all proven yourselves worthy to command this ship. But one of you in particular has shown that you are worthy to be captain. I offer you the honor of being my successor. You will know power beyond anything you could possibly imagine. Do you accept?” 

King Acastus has come to upstage the party. He is secretly furious that the heroes were not killed by the ghost of his ancestor. He coldly congratulates them on their success and introduces his splendid dragon, Icarus. He emphasizes that the Ultros is an ancient relic—hardly as impressive as his dragons. Queen Vallus brushes her husband aside and proclaims that the city of Mytros needs the heroes now more than ever. She frowns and wonders how the Ultros made it to Mytros with no crew. It appears that all of the specters that haunted the ship have vanished. Ch apter 3 | Summoned by the King

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Chapter 4:

Voyage of the Ultros "The merchants of Mytros and Aresia often make the trip across the Cerulean Gulf, dangerous though it may be. But to sail into the Forgotten Sea for any reason is to go willingly into the jaws of death."

N

The King and Queen 

—Telorian, dockmaster of Mytros ow that the heroes have recovered the Ultros, they must spend some time preparing for their journey. This time may be spent in any of the following ways:

• Resting at one of the city's inns. • Seeking the services of the temples. • Purchasing provisions and sacrificial animals. • Purchasing wine for the ship’s consecration.

THE EMBARKATION

As soon as the heroes arrive back in Mytros, Kyrah will urge them to set sail as soon as possible. Time is of the essence, and King Acastus may be plotting against the party. He hates that the party's fame is beginning to eclipse his own, and he wants them gone as soon as possible. It would be wise to move on quickly. 124

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Word of your imminent departure has spread quickly: the provisioning of your legendary ship did not go unnoticed. A sizable crowd of onlookers has gathered to see you off, and two figures of note have also come to speak with you: the king and queen of the city. King Acastus is mounted on the back of his silver dragon, watching you with narrowed eyes. "I wish you well on your journey. Take care that you do not invite new troubles upon my city.” With that, the king spurs his dragon and flies away toward the palace. Queen Vallus arrives in her chariot. She climbs down and glides toward you with divine poise, while her attendants run before her, laying several baskets at your feet. “Heroes of the Prophecy, I bring you gifts from the people of Mytros. And I have come to give you my blessing. But I must speak with you privately before you embark.” 

Gifts from Citizens Vallus has brought many gifts from the people of Mytros. These include four goats and two white cows from some of Mytros’s most respected farmers; a quiver

Legendary Crew

of ten +1 arrows from the city's centurions; and six potions of healing, four potions of climbing, and four potions of resistance from the Academy.

Vallus tells the heroes that she sent out a call for those who would be willing to travel on the Ultros, and many have responded. She introduces them to the heroes:

The Antikythera The greatest gift that Vallus gives to the heroes is the Antikythera. This is a legendary magical device that will allow the heroes to navigate through the islands of the Cerulean Gulf and the Forgotten Sea. 

The Goddess of Wisdom hands you a strange device. “As you know, the Cerulean Gulf and the Forgotten Sea are vast and harbor many dangers. Some of your destinations may even vanish and shift by the workings of capricious primal powers. The Antikythera is a cunning device. It utilizes both magic and mechanical ingenuity to chart a safe path across the oceans.” “Every island is attuned with a particular constellation in the night sky. By selecting a constellation on the device, you may chart a course to its associated island. “Unfortunately, it seems that someone has stolen a gear from the device. Until the gear is replaced, you will not be able to navigate into the Forgotten Sea. “I suspect that the Order of Sydon is responsible for this theft—in which case, Gaius almost certainly has the piece. He departed yesterday for the Order’s headquarters on the island of Yonder.” 

Pythor, God of Battle Pythor has abdicated his throne in Estoria and handed power to his daughter Anora, so that he can join the heroes on their voyage. Despite his desire to help them in their quest, he has been drinking non-stop and is quite obviously hung over. Versi, the Oracle Versi has decided to defy her father and help the heroes on their quest. She has witnessed dark futures in her visions, and she will do anything to prevent these coming true. She also wishes to continue doting on her beautiful pet mortals—her 'Chosen Ones.' Epic Paths: Versi's Vision 

Epic Paths: The Wisdom of Vallus Vallus has special advice to offer both the Gifted One and the Lost One before they set sail in the Ultros. Refer to the Running the Epic Paths section for details.

The Antikythera

Kyrah, Goddess of Music Kyrah expresses her desire to continue traveling with the heroes, in order to record their epic journey for posterity. She will be gently amused if the heroes hadn’t realized her identity before this point.

Versi is particularly possessive of the Vanished One and cannot bear the thought of being parted from them. She has also had a vision concerning the location of a dragon egg that the Vanished One might claim. Refer to the Running the Epic Paths section for details.

Loreus, the Satyr Loreus will step forward if the heroes previously met him at the Mossy Temple. He has been following the heroes’ exploits and wants to be a part of their quest. He will present one hero (the one that he loves) with a garland of white flowers, and pledge himself to him or her with an oath of protection. The Ghost of Estor The ghost of Estor Arkelander still haunts the ship at night. Once the journey is underway, he may appear from time to time to offer bitter advice to the heroes. Epic Paths: Estor's Bargain If the Lost One is aboard the ship, Estor will eventually reveal the location of the lost treasure of the Dragonlords. Refer to the Running the Epic Paths section for details.

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When you cross the oceans wit h an army, surrounded on all sides by deat h, wit h no end to your journey in sight, you soon learn the value of loyalty.

“You have but two short months before the Oath of Peace comes to an end: sixty days to confront Sydon in his tower at Praxys, and Lutheria on her throne in the Nether Sea. If you cannot renew the Oath of Peace in that time, then I fear to think of what will befall this city. The armies of the Titans will slaughter the people of Mytros and soak the land in blood.” “The Titans are weaker now than they were in the First War. You would be wise to gather what power you can on your journey. With the right weapons and knowledge, perhaps you could even challenge the Titans directly, and destroy them for good.”

—Rizon Phobas, Dragonlord (63 CE)

100 intrepid sailors One hundred brave Mytrosians and Estorians (CG pirates), fiercely loyal men and women, have volunteered to join the heroes. They may not be demi-gods, or even great warriors—but they are honest and true. Fifty of them at least will be needed to row the ship. Additional Crew The heroes may have befriended the minotaur, Bullbug, or made a deal with Moxena, the Lady of Coins. If so, then they will be ready to join as crew members. Roleplaying the Crew The NPC crew of the Ultros are not additional party members. They generally remain on the ship. Between islands, the NPCs provide roleplaying opportunities and information. They can teach about the history of Thylea, or describe the constellations associated with each island. For certain adventures, it might make sense to have an NPC tag along. For example, Moxena wishes to accompany the heroes on to the island of Themis. If the heroes are wiped out in a combat encounter, several NPCs might band together and rescue them.

The Dragon Egg Before the heroes set sail Vallus speaks privately with Kyrah, her sister. She gives Kyrah a locked bronze casket, carved with protective magical runes. The contents of this casket should remain secret until Kyrah decides the heroes need to be told. It contains a single dragon egg—the last of the eggs that Sydon gave to Acastus. Vallus has entrusted this last dragon egg to her sister, hoping to keep it out of the hands of any who would use the egg for evil purposes.

Time is Running Out Finally, Vallus warns the heroes that the Oath of Peace is truly coming to an end. The five-hundred year-old oath will remain in effect for another sixty days, but no longer. After that, the Titans will be free to wage war upon the mortals of Thylea once more. It’s impossible to say what will happen after that, so the heroes must make haste: 126

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You will need to keep track of how much time passes during the voyage of the Ultros. Traveling between islands usually takes 3 days, and the players may spend any number of days on each island. When the 60 days have passed, the Oath of Peace will end, and the Titans will make their move. At that point, refer to the Battle of Mytros chapter to determine what happens next.

Departing Mytros Once the heroes have finished making their preparations, they can board the ship and set sail into the Cerulean Gulf. The First Constellation From the mainland, the Antikythera can be used to navigate to any of the islands in the Cerulean Gulf. The heroes should choose one of the first 9 constellations and calibrate the Anitkythera for their destination. It's not immediately clear which constellations lead to which islands, so it may require the heroes to guess. However, there are a few well-known islands that the sailors are familiar with and can identify the constellation that is associated with it. Some player backgrounds are also familiar with certain islands and should be able to identify the constellation that is associated with that island. Refer to the Table of Constellations for details. Islands of Thylea 1. Yonder 2. Fire Island 3. The Golden Heart 4. Chimera Island 5. Island of the Fates 6. Island of the Exiles 7. Island of the Scorpion 8. Indigo Island 9. Themis

10. Titan's Folly 11. Island of the Dragon 12. Aerie of the Roc 13. Typhon 14. Garden of Helios 15. Island of Time 16. Tower of Praxys 17. Charybdis

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As you raise the sail of the Ultros and begin to leave the harbor of Mytros, you are saluted by a roar of excited cheers from the gathered crowd. From the docks, admirers attempt to throw flowers and small trinkets onto the deck of your ship, all tokens of good luck. As you sail past the Colossus of Pythor and onward towards the horizon, a gentle breeze carries the sound of music from the city as songs of great deeds are sung and heartfelt prayers for the Heroes of the Prophecy are chanted. Your voyage has begun. 

Hail to the Oracle's Chosen Ones! As the keeper of the Dragon Shrine, I have a favor to ask of you. Many believe that all the dragons of Balmytria's brood were killed alongside her in the First War, five hundred years ago. However, my research indicates that the other four dragons may have been captured by the Titans. If this is true, then they must be found and rescued. I beg you to be watchful on your journey. As the Oracle's chosen few, I believe that these dragons would serve you, so long as you hold to the ideals of their former masters. May the Fates guide you,

The Letter from Estoria Aesop, the keeper of the Dragon Shrine (E7), has sent a siren messenger from Estoria. Within the first week of the party's departure, a siren lands on the deck of the Ultros and delivers a letter which reads:

—Aesop, Keeper of the Dragon Shrine 

Navigating the Oceans The Cerulean Gulf and the Forgotten Sea are the domains of Sydon, Lord of Storms. He churns the oceans with his magic, making the waters treacherous for mortal sailors. Magical means are required to navigate these vast bodies of water. Powerful ocean currents prevent ships from approaching the islands without knowing their exact whereabouts. This is why most merchant ships remain close to the coast. The only way to successfully navigate the oceans is to use the magical compass that Vallus gave to the party: the Antikythera.

The Antikythera This enchanted machine is a complex construct that serves as a magical compass. It attunes itself to the constellations in the night sky in order to provide accurate directions to the islands scattered around Thylea. Choosing Destinations. The Antikythera must be used on dry land to determine a destination, as the constant movement of the ocean makes it impossible to calibrate the device properly. Every island is associated with a specific constellation. When the Antikythera is calibrated to the proper constellation, it will show the precise path that can be used to reach the island associated with that constellation. Missing Gearwheel There is a gear missing from the Antikythera that can be found in the Great Library (Y17) on the Island of Yonder. When this gear has been returned to the device, the islands in the Forgotten Sea will become available.

Travel Times and Encounters The winds and waters of Thylea are strange and unpredictable. Once the party chooses a destination with the Antikythera, it takes 3 days of sailing to get there. The standard travel time between any two islands is always 3 days, no matter how close they appear on the map. Returning to the mainland also requires 3 days. Faster Travel Travel times can be shortened by one day through by using a control weather spell, or by sacrificing 100 gp worth of livestock to Sydon to ensure strong, favorable winds. Gust of wind can also be used for this purpose, but the caster must maintain the spell for an entire day and this causes one level of exhaustion. Travel times cannot be reduced to less than 2 days. Fifty Oarsmen The Ultros requires at least fifty oarsmen to move at its normal pace. If the crew roster of the ship falls below fifty oarsmen, then the travel time between landmasses is increased by one day. Sea Encounters Each time the party sets sail for a new island, roll on the random sea encounter table in the Encounters appendix. Once an encounter has been resolved, the heroes should have smooth sailing until they arrive at the next island. Sea encounters should not be repeated.

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Commanding the Ultros You should give your players printed maps of the upper and lower decks of the Ultros for reference.

attacked by something truly terrifying, the ballista may require one of the heroes to be amongst the crew in order to keep the other sailors from fleeing.

Ultros Statistics The Ultros has the following statistics.

Ballistae Ballista Bolt. Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit (+7 if one of the heroes is manning the ballista), range 120/480 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (3d10) piercing damage.

The Ultros Legendary trireme

Speed 5 mph Crew Capacity 100 souls Cargo Capacity 150 tons

Armor Class 16 Hit Points 1,000 Damage Threshold 20

Equipment: Four Ballistae The ship features two ballistae on its fore and two on its aft. Firing a ballita requires three actions; one action to load, one action to aim, and one action to fire. Since the ballistae are operated by three crew members, they can be fired once per turn. If the ship is being

Equipment: Two Row Boats These have the following statistics:

Row Boat Ultros equipment

Speed 2 mph Crew Capacity 8 souls Cargo Capacity 1 ton

Armor Class 11 Hit Points 100 Damage Threshold —

The Constellations There are seventeen major constellations that are visible on most clear nights in Thylea. Each of these constellations serves as a guide to one of the islands in the Cerulean Gulf and the Forgotten Sea.

Stories of the Stars Every island has narration text that describes its associated constellation. Whenever the heroes choose one of the constellations with the Antikythera, Kyrah delivers the appropriate narration. If Kyrah is not present, then the narration should come from another character who is familiar with Thylean lore.

Gears of the Antikythera Each of the constellations has an associated numeral on the Antikythera. To navigate using a constellation, one of the heroes must calibrate the device and align its gears to the appropriate numeral.

Table of Constellations Use the table on the following page to determine which constellations are associated with each island.

0. Constellation of the Bear This constellation leads to the mainland of Thylea. On clear nights it is always visible. 

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“See the Great Bear? She is always there in the sky, hunting to feed her cubs. Unlike the other stars, she never touches the ocean. “At the dawn of time, the Titans created many birds and beasts to live in the lands of Thylea but all the waters of the oceans remained empty. Only the Great Bear swam in the rivers and lakes. The Mother Goddess came to her and said, ‘Great Bear, you are the wisest of the land-walkers, so I will grant you a boon. I will fill the oceans with creatures, strange and colorful, and you will have dominion over them. Would this please you?’ “The Great Bear was quiet for some time until the Goddess prompted her to speak. Finally, the Bear said, ‘Mother Goddess, I am humbled by your generosity. The creatures you speak of sound marvelous, but I love the lands and rivers and lakes too much to leave them for the seas.’ “The Mother Goddess understood. She smiled, and with a wave of her hands, all the rivers and lakes of Thylea were filled with glittering fish, so that the Great Bear would never want for food. To this day, she loves to swim the rivers, catching fish. But she has never touched the ocean.” 

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Constellations and Destinations Chosen Destination

Requires Constellation of…

Region

Requires missing gear?

Island is familiar to…

Mainland

0. The Bear

Island of Yonder

I. The Gygan

Cerulean Gulf

No

Fire Island

II. The Prisoner

Cerulean Gulf

No

Sailors

The Golden Heart

III. The Heart

Cerulean Gulf

No

Chimera Island

IV. The Trickster

Cerulean Gulf

No

Sailors

Island of the Fates

V. The Bard

Cerulean Gulf

No

Island of the Exiles

VI. The Warrior

Cerulean Gulf

No

Scorpion Island

VII. The Centaur

Cerulean Gulf

No

Monk class

Indigo Island

VIII. The Queen

Cerulean Gulf

No

Barbarian class

Island of Themis

IX. The Twins

Cerulean Gulf

No

Barbarian class, Moxena

Titan’s Folly

X. The Ant

Cerulean Gulf

No

Island of the Dragon

XI. The Dragon

Forgotten Sea

Yes

Aerie of the Roc

XII. The Nymph

Forgotten Sea

Yes

Typhon

XIII. The Spear

Forgotten Sea

Yes

Garden of Helios

XIV. The Chariot

Forgotten Sea

Yes

Island of Time

XV. The Blacksmith

Forgotten Sea

Yes

Praxys

XVI. The Titan

Forgotten Sea

Yes

Charybdis

XVII. The Dreamer

Forgotten Sea

Yes

I. Constellation of The Gygan

II. Constellation of The Prisoner

This constellation leads to the Island of Yonder in the Cerulean Gulf. 

“In the stars to the east you can see the figure of a sixarmed, one-eyed giant: the Gygan. “When the Dragonlords first arrived, there was much strife between the newcomers and the native races of Thylea. Blood was spilled, but none reveled in the slaughter of warfare as much as Estor Arkelander, who was the general of the Dragonlord armies. In one brutal battle, he wiped out every gygan warrior to the last. “After the massacre, the children of the gygans prayed to Sydon and Lutheria for protection. Moved by their plight, the great Titans rallied the centaurs, the nymphs, all the native races. They attacked the settlements of the Dragonlords across the islands in retaliation for Estor Arkelander’s crimes. The First War had begun.” 

This constellation leads to Fire Island in the Cerulean Gulf. 

“Chalcia, the Goddess of Swiftness, was the only god to escape when her siblings, Sydon and Lutheria, decided to destroy their brothers and sisters.She escaped to an island of fire, pursued by Sydon’s storm of wrath. She hid deep in the island and waited for the storm to abate. You can see her cowering in those seven bright stars. “But Sydon and Lutheria did not leave. Instead, the Twins reached deep into the roots of the island, shifting rock and stone to trap their sister in a tiny chamber at the island’s fiery heart. Look! You can see the red star beneath Chalcia. It represents the everlasting torment she suffers, trapped at the island’s center.”  

III. Constellation of The Heart

V. Constellation of The Bard

This constellation leads to The Golden Heart in the Cerulean Gulf.

This constellation leads to the Island of the Fates in the Cerulean Gulf.

“The brightest star in the night sky is called the Golden Heart. You can see it high above us on any clear night. It represents the tree that sprang up when Thylea, the Great Mother, sacrificed herself to create our land. If you look closely, you can see a cluster of fainter stars scattered around the Golden Heart; these represent all the islands that sprung up from her roots. “And if you look slightly to the west, you’ll notice a single red star watching over the Golden Heart and the islands: Kentimane, Thylea’s husband, who honors his vow to protect his lover with an endless vigil.” 

IV. Constellation of The Trickster This constellation leads to the Island of the Chimera in the Cerulean Gulf. 

“See those stars that are shaped like a flower? That's the constellation of the Trickster. There once was a nobleman who took great pride in the vast rose gardens that bloomed on his estate. Eventually, these roses attracted the attention of the great trickster goddess, whose name has been forgotten. “The goddess admired the nobleman’s beautiful flowers, but she mocked his boasts: it was his servants who deserved the credit, for they tended his gardens. So the nobleman made the goddess a wager—if he could grow a field of red roses without the aid of his servants, then she must agree to marry him. “She agreed, and for a year the nobleman tended a plot in his garden with his own two hands: planting the seeds, cultivating the soil, watering and weeding every day. It was humbling, back-breaking work for the vain nobleman, but the seeds eventually took root and grew. But when the bushes finally flowered, the petals were not red, but white—the goddess had switched the seeds to teach the braggart a lesson!” 

“During the First War, Pellenia, a famous bard, was captured by Lutheria, the Goddess of Dreams and Death. Terrified as to her fate, Pellenia sang songs of dark humor that made light of the First War’s atrocities, won Lutheria over, and so won her freedom. “But as she departed, Pellenia grew overbold and tried to steal Lutheria’s treasures. She was captured again and taken to the Island of Oathbreakers. There, Lutheria made her an offer: if Pellenia could make her laugh with one last song, then all would be forgiven. Before Pellenia could take up her lute, Lutheria reached out with her claws and ripped out the bard’s tongue, forever silencing her beautiful voice. “The five stars in the constellation of the Bard remind us of Pellenia’s tale. The two brightest are the singer herself; the next two symbolize her lute; the small, flickering star between them all is her severed tongue.” 

VI. Constellation of The Warrior This constellation leads to the Island of the Exiles in the Cerulean Gulf. 

“You see that cluster of stars to the south? That’s the Warrior, which the people of Mytros call ‘Pythor, the God of Conquest.’ In this case, his conquests came in the bedroom rather than the battlefield. One night, he is said to have entertained five beautiful sisters, one after the other—and then all of them at once! “Tales of this legendary deed reached the ears of the green dragon Hexia, a former lover that Pythor had abandoned. Fueled by her jealousy, Hexia captured the sisters, turned them to stone, and placed the statues on her island as a warning of what would happen to any of Pythor’s future conquests. “Each of the stars is one of the sisters, a reminder of Hexia's jealousy. Even so, Pythor still seeks out new romantic conquests. Perhaps he seeks to add new stars to his constellation.”

VII. Constellation of The Centaur

IX. Constellation of The Twins This constellation leads to the Island of Themis in the Cerulean Gulf.

This constellation leads to Scorpion Island in the Cerulean Gulf. 

“These two groups of stars are sometimes called the Centaur and the Scorpion, after a very old tale. “A centaur came across a scorpion stuck in a puddle of mud. The scorpion begged for help, but the centaur was afraid of getting stung, and so he trotted away and left her to die. “A gust of wind blew a branch into the puddle, and the scorpion was able to scramble along it and escape. She then followed the centaur’s hoof prints, seeking revenge on the selfish beast that had refused to help her. She found the centaur sleeping in a shady glen and stung him in the throat. “As the lethal venom coursed through his veins, the centaur thrashed about until one of his hooves landed on the scorpion, crushing her. ‘If you hadn’t sought revenge, we’d both be alive!’ the centaur lamented with his dying breath. ‘If you had helped me, I wouldn’t have sought revenge!’ the scorpion replied.” 

VIII. Constellation of The Queen This constellation leads to Indigo Island in the Cerulean Gulf. 

X. Constellation of The Ant This constellation leads to Titan’s Folly in the Cerulean Gulf. 

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“If you use your imagination, you can see how the stars of Titan's Folly resemble an ant. This is a reminder of the punishment of Talieus, first-born child of Thylea and Kentimane. Talieus was the God of Crafting, vain and prideful. In the end, hubris— overwhelming pride—was his downfall. He created something which has been lost to time, something that cannot be named. “For this terrible crime, Kentimane stripped his eldest son of all his power and gave it to his brother Sydon, while Talieus himself was enslaved by his sister Lutheria. She severed his arms, blinded him, and sewed his lips shut. She forced him to pull her throne across the endless waters of the Nether Sea, with a great chain wrapped around his neck. He toiled endlessly, blindly, for the benefit of his queen, just like an ant…”

“That circle of stars? It’s the constellation of the Queen, Mytros, the Goddess of Dawn. Some say those stars form a crown, signifying her status as Queen of the Five Gods. Others believe the stars represent the walls of a fortress, or the outline of a shield, for Mytros protects us from the ravages of the Titans. “It was said she first appeared to the original settlers in their hour of need as a pale woman with kind eyes and silver hair. Soft-spoken, kind-hearted, she fought valiantly to protect them during the founding of the great city that proudly bears her name. She heralded the dawn of civilization on these shores, and that is why she is the Goddess of Dawn. “But it has been many centuries since anyone other than her priests have seen her. Though she is silent, she has not abandoned us. She watches over us still, and that is what the stars truly signify: not a crown, or a shield, but the eternal vigil of the silent goddess.”

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“The two stars directly above us are the Twins, named for Sydon and Lutheria. One day, the Great Tree (from which all Thylea was born) blossomed with seven shimmering fruits. Seeing this luscious bounty, Kentimane reached from the ocean and devoured the fruit, casting the spike-covered pits aside. “The pits floated on the water, taunting Kentimane. In his anger, he smashed them to the bottom of the sea, pricking his hands on the thorns and leaving a wash of blood in the waves. The next morning the seven pits floated back to the surface and split open, and the Titans, the children of Kentimane and Thylea, burst forth, fully formed. “But one of the seven pits gave birth to a pair of Titans, Sydon and Lutheria. The youngest of Kentimane’s children, they would eventually overthrow their siblings and conquer all of Thylea in their lust for power.”

XI. Constellation of The Dragon This constellation leads to the Island of the Dragon in the Forgotten Sea. 

“The greatest constellation in the night sky is the group of bright stars called the Dragon. “In the beginning, this land was populated only by the fey creatures: nymphs, centaurs, gygans, and satyrs. The first of the civilized races to arrive on Thylea’s shores were refugees and castaways, survivors of ships buffeted by the storms and whirlpools that protect these islands. They carved out a meager existence, living in tiny villages on the coast while the children of the Titans dominated the rest of the realm. “But then everything changed. The Dragonlords, astride their legendary winged mounts, discovered this land. With the power of the dragons, the native races were pushed back into the forests and steppes, and Thylea was claimed for the mortal settlers. “The constellation of the Dragon is a tribute to the victories of the Dragonlords, and a reminder that we are living in Thylea’s Golden Age.” 

XII. Constellation of The Nymph This constellation leads to the Aerie of the Roc in the Forgotten Sea. 

“See those stars that look like a tree? That’s the Nymph, and her story is tragic. While out on a hunt, King Lacanus of Pythoria stumbled upon a small grove with a single silver tree growing in the center. There he found the most beautiful creature he had ever seen—a dryad with silver eyes. He instantly fell in love. “The dryad was smitten with Lacanus as well, and she agreed to marry him, even though it meant leaving her birth tree behind. But on the long journey to his palace, she grew feverish and ill. Within a week, she withered and died. “Heartbroken, Lacanus ordered his soldiers to chop down the silver tree so it could be used to build a suitable coffin. As the first axe struck its trunk, Lacanus screamed out in pain and fell dead. By marrying the dryad, he had bound his spirit to her birth tree—and so by felling the tree, he joined his wife in death.” 

XIII. Constellation of The Spear This constellation leads to Typhon in the Forgotten Sea. 

“In the western sky at dusk you can see the Spear of Sydon. It reminds me of the tale of Galimus, a soldier who broke his oath to serve the King of Estoria. “Galimus was a lazy, brutish coward who preyed upon the weak. Recognizing this, his officers banished him from the army. Bitter and resentful, Galimus prayed to Sydon. If the Lord of Storms would transform him into the greatest warrior in Thylea, then he would kill the very king that he had vowed to serve. “In answer to his prayer, Galimus was transformed into a powerful minotaur. Reckless with power, he rampaged throughout the king’s palace, trampling and killing all who crossed his path. Eventually the king rallied his men against the monster. They stabbed him a thousand times with their spears until he lay dead. “Because of Galimus, the people of Estoria and Mytros regard minotaurs as untrustworthy brutes, even to this day—but Galimus was a monster long before he became a minotaur.”

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XIV. Constellation of The Chariot

XVI. Constellation of The Titan This constellation leads to Praxys, the Tower of Sydon in the Forgotten Sea.

This constellation leads to the Garden of Helios in the Forgotten Sea. 

“Look at those stars, scattered across the zenith of the sky. That’s the constellation of the Chariot, which represents Vallus, the Goddess of Wisdom. “There was once a young priest who travelled all the lands of Thylea, seeking out tomes and texts to bring back to the great library in the Temple of the Five in the city of Mytros. He spent decades on his quest until, on one of his journeys, he met a beautiful sorceress. “The sorceress made him an offer: marry her, and she would use her power to summon every book ever written onto the shelves of his library. The young man refused her. The journey to obtain knowledge, he said, was just as important as the knowledge itself. “The sorceress revealed herself as Vallus. She placed her hands upon the priest’s eyes, and forever afterwards, he could read books in every language—even those long forgotten. This was a most beautiful gift from the goddess to her most loyal servant.” 

XVII. Constellation of The Dreamer

This constellation leads to the Island of Time in the Forgotten Sea.

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“That black patch of sky... don’t stare at it for too long. “There was once a beautiful wheel of stars there, but they were swallowed by the ravening mouth of the Dreamer. You can see her just below, cresting the horizon. She sleepwalks through all the sky, harvesting the other stars one by one, in preparation for the Great Feast at the end of time. “There have always been two kinds of sailors in Thylea. Some who grow old and wise, and some who sail toward the Dreamer. I would not advise going that way, unless we have no other choice.”

“Look! The Blacksmith. It represents Volkan, the God of the Forge. See how the constellation is shaped like a hammer? There’s a legend that tells of an old blacksmith who, in his prime, had been the master of his craft. In all his long years, he never found a worthy apprentice and, fearing all his knowledge and expertise would be lost, he prayed to Volkan for help. “The God of the Forge took pity on the old man, and in his own forge he created a golem, a lifeless figure of iron that would follow the old smith’s every command perfectly. Volkan then transferred the spirit of the smith into the empty golem, and whisked it away to his secret workshop beneath the mountains of Thylea. “They say the old smith works there still, whistling and hammering away, joyfully crafting tributes to the Forge God, his skills untarnished by time.” 

This constellation leads to the great whirlpool of Charybdis in the Forgotten Sea.

XV. Constellation of The Blacksmith

“That line of stars to the west is called the Tower of Praxys. This constellation brings to mind the Titan Hergeron, and his unfortunate fate. Once the Lord of Battle, Hergeron challenged Sydon, the Lord of Storms, to a duel. Sydon had stolen his power from their eldest brother Talieus, and Hergeron sought revenge. “But though Hergeron was unmatched in strength and valor, he had no mind for strategy. He greatly underestimated his younger sibling's newfound strength, and Sydon dealt him a crushing defeat. “As punishment for his failure, Hergeron was cast down and imprisoned in the foundations of Sydon’s newly-erected stronghold—the Tower of Praxys. Hergeron carries the full weight of the tower on his shoulders, and he will continue to do so for all eternity.”

Chapter 5:

The Cerulean Gulf "The beauty of Thylea is easy to appreciate from the vantage of a ship deck. Speckled white shores and crystal clear water as far as the eye can see... it's almost enough to make this bitter old sailor nostalgic for his glory days."

T

—Estor Arkelander, Dragonlord captain

he Cerulean Gulf is home to ten major islands that the heroes may explore. Only one of these islands has a critical objective that is necessary to advance the plot: the missing gear to the Antikythera. The other islands offer chances for additional treasure and the opportunity to complete various heroic tasks for the party's epic paths.

Running the Adventure The party should probably spend a maximum of about one month exploring the Cerulean Gulf, remembering that it takes 2-3 days to sail between islands. Before the heroes can sail into the Forgotten Sea, they will need to recover the missing gear from the Antikythera. The missing gear is in the possession of Chondrus on the Island of Yonder (Y17).

Encounters Between Islands Don't forget to make things interesting in the time between the islands. Refer to the Sea Encounters section of the appendix for ideas. Try to balance the party's time between roleplaying and combat. You should also run the Lord of Storms and the Corruption of Lutheria events at some point during this part of the adventure. Refer to Playing the Villains in the Introduction chapter for details.

Making Landfall When the heroes arrive at an island, they can put down anchor—or beach their ship at a safe spot on shore. Some islands don’t have anywhere to beach a ship, while other islands don’t have suitable anchorages. If the text doesn't specify either, then you may allow your players to leave the ship wherever you feel is appropriate.

Island Handouts Illustrated maps are provided for many of the islands in this region. These maps are intended to be handed out to players when they reach the islands. The maps give a sense of the geography of the island—they don't reveal any information that needs to be kept hidden.

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The Golden Heart Easy Hunting

Read the following as the heroes approach the island: 

Your ship glides through the shallow waters of this paradise and you make landfall on its pristine white beach without incident. The forests that stand before you are crowded with immense oak trees. There is a noticeable lack of anything man made in sight. A small herd of deer, curious and unafraid, make their way towards your vessel from the forest’s edge. 

Hunting the Golden Beasts Anyone using the Wisdom (Survival) skill to hunt for food has advantage on such checks. If the heroes decide that they want to hunt some of the divine creatures on the island, they may use their Survival skill to track them. Survival rolls of 15+ reveal the tracks of a great boar. Rolls of 20+ reveal the tracks of a golden lion and his pride. Rolls of 25+ reveal the tracks of the golden ram. Tracking one of these animals requires 1d4+1 hours, at which point the tracker establishes line of sight.

This island has been legendary for as long as there have been settlers in Thylea. Some of the Dragonlords landed on this island and came back with stories of animals that were almost divine in stature. These creatures were more beautiful and noble than any others of their kind. That didn’t stop the Dragonlords from hunting them: one golden lion was caught and killed, and its hide was used to make a fabulous magical cloak. While such magnificent beasts have been found on Thylea’s mainland, they have never been seen in the numbers that are reputed to be on this island. For centuries, sailors have sought out the island in hopes of taking the hide of a divine beast and selling it for a king’s ransom in Mytros.

Garden of the Mother Goddess 

This island has unparalleled natural beauty. It appears to be covered in dense forest, most of which are ancient oak and fir trees that loom to great heights. The dense forest is broken occasionally by clearings covered in tall, golden grass. At the very center of the island stands an enormous oak tree that towers more than two hundred feet into the air. 

The tree at the center of the island is the Heart of Thylea. It is here that mortals and gods can speak with the Mother Goddess, Thylea herself. If someone is foolish enough to damage the tree, then two Hands of Kentimane will erupt from the earth and attack them. If the hands are defeated, then Kentimane himself will appear and annihilate all trespassers. Communing with Thylea. To commune with Thylea, someone must place their hand on the bark of the tree. If the goddess feels that the person is worthy, she will answer a single question. This works the same way as the divination spell.

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Animals of all kinds are abundant on the island: tropical birds; large mammals such as deer, boar, sheep; and smaller creatures such as rabbits, beavers, possums and raccoons. Hunting is easy since none of the animals on the island have learned to fear humans or humanoids.

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Eternal Apples The fruit trees on the island bear delicious apples that remain eternally fresh until eaten. Eating one of these apples has the same effect as a potion of healing. If several barrels of apples are taken from the island, all but one barrel (containing 20 apples) will immediately ferment into cider. While delicious, the cider has no special healing effects.

Blessed Olive Oil The olive trees here have been blessed by the Mother Goddess. The olives may be harvested and pressed into blessed olive oil. This process requires three heroes to perform a full day of work on the island.

Encounter: The Pegasus 

Somewhere in the sky above, you hear a horse’s whinny. Glancing upward, you see a white-winged creature gliding through the clouds. A flying horse—of all things—gracefully alights on a tall rock and watches you cautiously from a distance. You’ve heard stories of this creature. It’s called a pegasus. 

This pegasus is proud and pure of heart. It can only be approached by good-aligned heroes. If anyone of an evil alignment approaches the pegasus, it snorts contemptuously and flies away. Even a good-aligned character may provoke this reaction if they have ever performed an evil deed. In such a case, the character experiences a vision, a demanding memory of their past evil deed, just as the pegasus flies away.

If one hero proves worthy enough to approach the pegasus, then it may be bonded to that hero with a pegasus bridle. Such a bridle may be crafted at the Mithral Forge. Once tamed, the pegasus will join the heroes on the Ultros. Its favorite food is the perpetually fresh eternal apples that can be collected on this island.

This chase serves the purpose of bringing the heroes to the point where they can commune with Thylea, the Mother Goddess. The golden ram knows that all worthy heroes should be brought to this place.

Event: Hunted by Lions

Event: The Golden Ram If the heroes explore the jungle, they will find no signs of civilization. Within one hour of landfall, they will encounter their first sign of one of the golden beasts— the golden ram. The ram runs from the party using its full movement speed, making its way to the center of the island. It climbs the hill where the great oak tree of Thylea stands. Once it gets to the top, it uses its ability to fly to easily outdistance pursuers and hide in the forest.

Within six hours of the heroes making landfall, a pride of eight female lions led by a golden lion will begin to hunt them. At first, the heroes will only hear the roar of lions in the distance. Within a few minutes, anyone with a passive Perception score of 15 or higher will notice that they are being hunted. The lions are good hunters, and they will wait to pounce until the heroes are in a vulnerable position. For example, they might attack just before the party gets back to the Ultros. The lions have advantage on all of their Dexterity (Stealth) checks.

Island of the Chimera 

Your ship approaches a curved island that wraps around a wide blue lagoon. A small, craggy mountain marks the island’s high point. Despite the lagoon’s calm waters, a number of abandoned ships dot the shore. Most are intact, but some have obviously begun to succumb to age and rot. No other signs of civilization can be seen within the natural harbor of the lagoon, only the hulks. Suddenly, a winged monstrosity appears above the island, flying in the direction of your ship. The creature appears to have three ferocious-looking heads, each of which is entirely different from the others. 

that is now legendary among sailors. King Acastus has offered a 1,000 gp bounty for the beast’s death.

Event: Attack of the Chimera

This island is the crater rim of an extinct volcano. It is shaped like a crescent moon, and the interior lagoon has beautiful, calm turquoise water. Anchor can be dropped anywhere in the lagoon, and the ship can also be run ashore on many of the beaches. An unusually aggressive chimera (maximum HP) lives on this island. It has preyed upon Thylean merchant ships for nearly five decades, and has a treasure trove

When the heroes approach the island, the chimera will fly down to attack. It will remain at a distance and use its breath weapon. As soon as it is reduced to half of its hit points, it will retreat, using its full move and taking the Dodge action. It will return to its lair to lick its wounds and return to full health. The small island is a crescent with a small mountain marking the center of the curved ridgeline. Near the top of the mountain is the chimera’s cave lair. The cave is filled with hundreds of bones, all that remains of sailors that the monstrosity has taken over the years. The chimera will fight to the death in its lair. Treasure At the back of the cave is a pile of rotting crates, chests and small boats mingled with thousands of copper, silver and gold pieces. In total there are 11,000 cp, 7,600 sp and 2,300 gp. There are 25 gems worth 100 gp each, 3 gem-studded necklaces worth 500 gp each, and 7 platinum rings worth 150 gp each.

Many stories are told of the islands in the Cerulean Gulf. Although the Forgotten Sea is more distant and dangerous, the Gulf is often crossed by mortal sailors traveling between Mytros and Aresia. Shipwrecks are common, as are sightings of mythical beasts, forgotten gods, and even dragons. Many of those who travel into the heart of the sea are never seen again, and for this reason, mortal sailors customarily hug the coastlines in their ships.

— Kyrah, Goddess of Music 139

Island of the Fates 

The island before you is a bleak, rocky place. Wind and rain batter your ship and the shore alike. Sparse vegetation interrupts the monotony of the gray stone, sea and overcast sky. Rocky cliffs surround almost the entire coastline of the island, but there is a small bay where landfall might be possible. Apart from the occasional call of a sea bird, the tumultuous waves are the only sounds that reverberate through the area. 

frogs, and toads live in the murky pools, while sea gulls cry out ceaselessly from the cliffs. A coven of hags make their lair in the cave system at the center of the island. These hags are in fact the ancient beings known throughout Thylea as the Fates.

KEY LOCATIONS 1. The Fetid Pond  

This island is surrounded by rocky cliffs, which are pitted by constant rain and wind. There is only one small bay where a ship can make anchor. The island is bleak. It features little more than rocks and shallow ponds. The skies are always overcast, and rainfall is almost constant. Plant life consists mostly of moss and some stunted, twisted trees. Small lizards,

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At the center of the island is a pit with a narrow path that winds down to the bottom. At the very bottom of the pit is a fetid, shallow pond. Humanoid skeletons reach out from the pond in several places. Around the edge of the pond is a single large cave entrance, flanked by three smaller tunnels. 

The largest cave leads to the Lair of the Hags. This entrance is guarded by a lamia who was once an Amazon warrior. She bargained with the Fates long ago, but she failed to fulfill her contract. As punishment, they transformed her into a monster. She greets the heroes stoically and guides them to the hags. The Fates protect themselves through the services of cursed mortals who have broken their contracts with the coven. In addition to the lamia, the caves are watched by two other monsters. All three of these servants are vigilant and protect the Fates with their lives.

• A medusa, once a beautiful nymph named Irisa. • A shambling mound, once an elven explorer. The Hideous Fates The Fates have lived on this island for millennia, and they have always been willing to make dark deals with those willing to pay their price. They have bargained with great beings such as Sydon and Lutheria, but they have also made deals with lesser powers such as nymphs and even mortal heroes. The coven is led by a night hag named Granny Morta. The other two members of the coven are Morta's revolting daughters, Nona and Decima.

• Granny Morta (NE night hag) is doting and ribald.

She cheerfully snips at the hags' loom with a pair of rusty scissors as she speaks, cackling frequently. • Nona (CE green hag) is resentful and angry. She drools as she watches visitors, clearly imagining how they would taste between her wicked teeth. • Decima (LE green hag) is dutiful and bashful. She attends to her mother faithfully, and she flirts with the heroes as she attends to the hags' loom. Epic Paths: Consulting the Fates Several of the Epic Paths need to consult with the Fates in order to learn more about the events that forever changed their lives: the Doomed One, the Haunted One, and the Dragonslayer. The Doomed One also needs to use the hags' loom to craft their greater artifact. Refer to the Running the Epic Paths section for details.

2. Lair of the Hags 

This expansive cave smells strongly of rotten eggs. A large pit in the center of the cave is filled with bubbling yellow ichor. Swimming around in the ichor are dozens of worm-like larvae with mortal faces. Scattered around the cave are heaps of filthy linens. In the far corner of the room, three hideous women stand around an imposing loom which seems to have been carved from the bones of a gigantic creature. 

The hags are almost always found here, working on the loom or cackling to each other about the gruesome deaths of past heroes. They might also be carving up a squealing larva and eating it alive. The hags are not hostile: they will instead wait to see if the heroes have come to negotiate for some boon or magical item. If the heroes are hostile toward the hags, then the coven will use their full power to destroy the intruders. Horrifying Larvae. These hideous creatures are worms the size of dogs and have the faces of humans, elves, dwarves, and other mortals. They are evil souls who have been “rewarded” for their past deeds. They will be used as food for fiends—or as spell components in the hags' dark rituals. Loom of the Fates. The loom was crafted from the bones of a metallic dragon. This is the hag’s loom, a powerful magical item. The loom currently supports a beautiful tapestry that is being woven by the hags. The tapestry’s image shows everything that has happened to the heroes over the course of the last week, including their arrival at the hags' cave. The Hag Coven The coven has a shared pool of spells. Refer to the Hag Covens side bar in the 5th Edition bestiary book. The medusa, Irisa, possesses the coven’s hag eye. The night hag, Morta, has a heartstone and a soul bag, both of which she keeps on her person at all times. For information on the hag eye, heartstone and soul bag refer to the Hags section in the 5th Edition bestiary book. Granny Morta is an ancient hag who claims to have lived for more than ten thousand years. She has maximum hit points (165) and a special lair action. She can take her lair action on initiative count 20. One creature that she can see must succeed at a DC 15 Charisma saving throw or be banished to the plane of Hades. As long as Morta concentrates on the banishment, the creature remains trapped in Hades. If she decides to use the lair action again, or her concentration is disrupted, the creature reappears in the space it left or in the nearest unoccupied space. If Morta manages to concentrate on a creature’s banishment for 10 consecutive rounds, then the target is permanently banished to Hades. However, while in Hades the creature can make a successful DC 20 Wisdom (Survival) check to find the path that the hag coven uses to travel between the mortal realm and the plane of Hades.

Dragon’s Egg The hags’ most valuable item is a copper dragon egg. Lutheria gave the egg to them so that it could be corrupted and then delivered to Sydon. The hag coven has been responsible for corrupting all of the metallic dragon eggs that have come into possession of Sydon Ch apter 5 | The Cerule a n Gulf

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The Fates are wicked creatures, in spite of their hallowed place and Lutheria. Even with the magic that the hags use on the eggs, the dragons are not born evil, but they are made susceptible to evil’s influence.

among the Great Powers of Thylea. They play with mortal lives as if they were toys, and their hearts are rotten to the core. Truly, not even the Titans trust them.

Treasure The hags have a strange collection of jewelry, artwork, and magic items. This collection includes:

• A strange necklace made from the teeth of yugoloth

that have been dipped in gold. It is worth 2,000 gp to the right buyer. • A silver wyrmling’s skull that has been coated in platinum. The eye sockets have sapphires. It is worth 5,000 gp to the right buyer. • Two potions of greater healing. Bargaining with the Fates The heroes can negotiate a deal with the hag coven if they wish. The hags will assume that is the reason why the heroes have come to their island and won’t attack until they know better. The heroes can ask for something specific, or the hags can suggest some of the options listed below. Only one hero needs to make a deal with the hags. Boons of the Fates These are the services that the hags can provide to the heroes in exchange for tasks:

• Divination. The hags can describe up to three islands

in the Cerulean Gulf and the Forgotten Sea in detail, including any treasure that might interest in the heroes. • Raise Dead. The hags can use the spell raise dead to bring any number of corpses back to life. • Bestow Experience. The hags can make the heroes stronger. They narrate one of the Myths of Thylea, and every hero immediately gains 5,000 XP. • Loom Crafting. The hags can use their loom to craft a magic item. They require the necessary ingredients. The Oracle is also able to use the hag’s loom to make magic items, but the hags will not reveal this. Tasks of the Fates These are the tasks that the hags will demand in exchange for their services. These tasks always come with a time limit, and they count as evil deeds that stain the reputation of the party when carried out.

• Kill the Oracle within two weeks. • Bring a baby girl to the coven within one week. • Bring a living nymph to the coven within one week. The hags hate the Oracle and have always wished her dead. The baby girl would be twisted and corrupted to create a new hag. The nymph would be tortured and devoured as a delectable snack. Breaking the Deal. The hags will afflict those who break the deal with the curse of the medusa. For more information about this curse, refer to The Mortal Curses in the Introduction chapter.

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— Vallus, Goddess of Wisdom Tunnels to the Underworld The other three tunnels that flank the main cave entrance lead deep beneath the earth. It takes explorers 1d4 hours to traverse more than a mile down one of the tunnels in order to discover anything. First Tunnel. The first tunnel leads to the Underdark, and it is beyond the scope of this adventure. The party might encounter giant mushroom forests, dark elven raiders, or some other strange denizen of that place. Second Tunnel. The second tunnel breaks through the ceiling above the Nether Sea. The sea is a half-mile drop from the ceiling, and a fall from this height causes 70 (20d6) falling damage. The Nether Sea is deadly without a ship. Refer to the Nether Sea chapter for details. Third Tunnel. The third and final tunnel also continues for a mile before opening onto a blasted wasteland: this is the plane of Hades. A company of a dozen mezzoloths led by a nycaloth watch over this portal between worlds and are currently raising two cerberus hounds for the hag coven. The hags sometimes come down here to check on the hounds’ progress or to bargain with the yugoloths for more larvae. The yugoloth and the cerberus hounds will attack anyone other than a hag who emerges from the tunnel.

3. Cave of Manticores This cave is at the highest point on the island. 

High up, near the top of the mountain, you come across a cave. Bones, animal and humanoid, litter the ground near the cave mouth. Most are cracked or shattered into pieces, lining the path into the dark with a sort of macabre gravel. Although the cave is cloaked in shadow, there is a glint of light shining inside. 

The cave is the den for a family of manticores. This mated pair and their offspring have served the hags for decades and are well fed and groomed. They are larger than typical manticores (98 hit points each). They have a brood of four smaller manticores. These siblings hate each other, and only return to the cave occasionally. You can add them to the encounter if you wish to increase the danger and tension. Treasure Over the years the manticores have gathered treasure from passing ships. Scattered amongst the bones are 1,100 sp, 650 gp, two matched platinum goblets worth 400 gp each, and a necklace of sapphires worth 1,500 gp.

4. Ruined tower 

This crumbling tower is built to a scale far larger than normal human proportions. The civilization that built it must have been giants. The skeletal remains of the former inhabitants are scattered throughout the ruins. In addition to their great size, these skeletons all have skulls with a single central eye socket and six arms. 

This ruin was once a lighthouse and fort for the Gygan Empire, and it was brought down by the Dragonlords five centuries ago. The skeletons of six-armed cyclopes can be found around and within the ruins of the tower itself. Treasure Inside the tower is a bronze chest that has been broken open. It has obviously been looted at some point in the past, but it still contains a number of large scroll cases. The scrolls detail the history of the war between the Dragonlords and the Gygan Empire. This account paints the Dragonlords as brutal oppressors who wiped out the Gygans without a shred of mercy.

Island of the Exiles 

Although the sea is calm, finding a safe place to come ashore on this rocky island is a difficult task. There is one obvious place to make landfall: a stone dock on the island's only beach. A lone figure stands upon the dock, watching warily as your ship approaches. Vegetation grows by the shore, but there are no trees. 

1. The dock The only safe way to gain access to the island by ship is to use the stone dock located on the south of the island. Idylla is watching the docks when the heroes arrive. She sends another exile to alert the village. Idylla immediately realizes that the Ultros is not a prison ship from Mytros. She wants to introduce herself

“Hail, strangers, and well met. Do my eyes deceive me or is that the Ultros? You must be great warriors to command such a ship. Welcome to the Island of Exiles. I am called Idylla. Perhaps you have heard of my son—King Acastus of Mytros?”

For more than a century, this island has served as a prison colony for exiles. There are several small fishing boats tied up at the stone dock. One of the exiles is always on watch at the dock to alert the community when new arrivals make landfall. Criminals from Mytros accused of heinous crimes (such as murder) are sometimes exiled to this island for the rest of their lives. Mytrosian justice also allows for powerful citizens to be exiled by popular consent. When this happens, the exiles are ferried to the island, where they must remain for at least a decade. The sailing route to the island is a well-kept secret known only to King Acastus and his closest advisors. This is not a secret that Acastus shares with the heroes, as too many of his personal enemies are on the rocky island. The island has no large trees for good reason: no trees mean no wood for boat building. The island is mostly covered in bushes and small fig trees which are entirely unsuitable for any nautical purposes.

KEY LOCATIONS

to the party before her rivals in the village have a chance to meet them. She welcomes them to the island and does everything she can to ingratiate herself.

2. The Village The exiles and criminals have learned to co-exist, and have built a simple community near the center of the island. It consists of a dozen stone houses and a plain temple to the Five Gods. A well provides fresh water, and several small gardens provide vegetables. The Exiles The inhabitants of the island are an eclectic group who have learned to live together. Every year they vote for a new “king.” This king is a moderator for disputes. He decides how to punish those who transgress against the small community’s rules. There are 25 men (CE, NE and LN commoners) and three women (NE nobles) in the community. The most important members of the community are:

• King Stavros (LE noble). One of the newer exiles,

Stavros has been voted king for the past two years. A charismatic man, Stavros was one of the most successful wine merchants in all of Thylea. He claims to have been exiled by popular vote, but in reality, he was sent to the island for poisoning a rival. Stavros is paranoid that a new prisoner or exile will reveal his lie, but so far, no one has shown up on the island who knows the truth about his past. Ch apter 5 | The Cerule a n Gulf

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• Tadd (CE bandit). A recluse, Tadd is one of the

strangest inhabitants of the island. He has a penchant for talking to himself, randomly screaming obscenities at the gods, and defecating in the middle of conversations. His obvious “eccentricities” are overlooked because he is the island’s best woodworker, stone mason, and architect. He was sent to the island for murdering six women in Stygian Row. Idylla and the other women of the island hate and fear him for obvious reasons. • Keelan (CN gladiator). A skilled warrior and thoughtful philosopher from a respected family in Mytros, Keelan has a fiery temper. He feels that he deserves his fate on the island as he killed his brother in a fit of anger while arguing over a woman. Keelan is well respected by the other exiles, but this is not reciprocal. He detests everyone on the island, but he is careful not to let it show. He will urge the heroes not to free anyone from the island, because they all deserve to be here—or much worse. • Tyrone (CE bandit). A self-righteous and angry man, Tyrone is perpetually plotting to escape the island. Tyrone was a loud-mouthed demagogue in Mytros, and his rabble-rousing ways eventually got him exiled. Six of the younger exiles are besotted by his words, but he has yet to be elected king, because everyone else knows that he's a small-minded blowhard. Tyrone will constantly badger the heroes to let him and his followers accompany them on their voyage. If he is rebuffed, he becomes angry, but he is too much of a coward to do anything about it. • Idylla (LE noble). Idylla is one of the few women on the island. She boasts considerable influence and excellent political instincts. Idylla was exiled from Mytros because she is Acastus’s mother, and many citizens felt that she was abusing her influence over the king in the early years of his reign. The nobility banded together to have her exiled. Acastus was outwardly distraught, but secretly, he was glad to be rid of his overbearing mother. Idylla is regarded as the most beautiful woman on the island. Many of the men vie for her favor, but she has been careful not to play favorites. If Idylla senses that she can convince a hero to take her off of the island, she will use her considerable charm to seduce them. She dotes on Acastus, but she has no loyalty to him, and she has no qualms betraying him if it means escaping the island. Event: Murder Investigation King Stavros attempts to greet the heroes as soon as they arrive on the island. He approaches them with six other exiles, including Idylla and Keelan. He introduces himself and explains the nature of the island. He is quite open about their status as exiles and “criminals” in Mytros. He questions the heroes as to their purpose, but

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he will quickly steer the conversation to the problem he needs solved—a problem that is causing much distress to the island's makeshift community. Someone is murdering the other exiles. Four men have already been killed, all with their throats neatly cut. Idylla thinks it must be the recluse Tadd, while Stavros suspects that Tyrone is trying to supplant him. Keelan feels that jumping to conclusions doesn’t help anything, as the murderer could be anyone, including one of the three of them. Stavros and Idylla want the heroes to investigate the murders—since they've just arrived, everyone agrees that they are neutral in the dispute. If the heroes agree, then they will find that everyone is tight-lipped about the murders, and all four bodies have been burned, leaving no remains. Unless some means of talking to the spirits of the murdered people can be found, solid evidence is difficult to find. However, if the party can come up with a convincing case against someone on the island, Stavros and Idylla will be satisfied. Keelan will not be happy with any explanation. There are three possible explanations for the murders. You can choose any of the following to be true: Idylla's Theory. Idylla believes that the most likely murderer is Tadd. He's a strange man, and he can offer no coherent account of his whereabouts over any period of time. He could easily kill someone and then instantly forget that he did it. He's also a monster. Tyrone's Fanatics. Tyrone is not the killer, but two of his men could be responsible. He has no idea whether they actually did it, but it would flatter him if they did. They've assaulted people who have spoken out against him in the past. Murder would be the natural next step, and his detractors deserve it, in any case. Keelan's Hatred. Keelan has the necessary skills to kill people and cover it up. He loathes everyone on the island, but no one suspects him of murder, because everyone just assumes that he's as genial as his placid exterior suggests. If accused of the murder, Keelan might simply confess—he's just glad to finally talk about how much he hates everyone. Rewards If the heroes solve the murder, then the exiles reward the party with a white ox worth 500 gp. The ox can be used as sacrificial livestock aboard the Ultros. Additional Crew. If the party solves the murder, they earn the respect of the exiles. The party may choose to take up to 25 of them on as crew for the Ultros, to replenish any crew who have been lost at sea. If the party doesn't solve the murder, then the exiles are unwilling to join their crew. The thought of being confined on a ship with a potential murderer is more terrifying than remaining on the island.

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Scorpion Island 

Bonding Scorpion Tribe Centaurs

You sail towards an island edged by sandy beaches and calm waters. The land is largely flat, and grasslands stretch out across the island, interrupted only by shrubs and small trees. The solitary structure visible from your ship is an ominous black stone tower at the island’s center. 

The Scorpion Tribe centaurs are the only NPC centaurs in Thylea who allow themselves to be used as mounts. Centaur mounts act independently in combat, making them an exceptional addition to any party. Centaur heroes may still bond one of the centaurs from the Scorpion Tribe. In this case, they obviously cannot use them as a mount—instead, the bond must be true love.

It’s easy to find a place to anchor or beach a ship here. The island is relatively flat and storms keep the foliage sparse and low to the ground. The Scorpion Tribe This island is famed for the “Scorpion Tribe,” a lineage of cursed centaurs who have lived here for centuries. The centaurs of this tribe are doomed to transform into monstrous giant scorpions when they reach adulthood. The only way to overcome the curse is to bond with a mortal rider and leave the island forever. Scorpions of every size and color live on the island, including the giant scorpions that used to be centaurs. The curse is the work of the Lotus Witch, a powerful gynosphinx that lives in the tower at the center of the island. The sphinx keeps to herself. Those foolish enough to approach her tower never return. The centaurs here are all young and impetuous. There are no elders to temper their youth with wisdom, because the adults all leave the island or transform into scorpions. The knowledge that so many are doomed by the curse makes the centaurs wild, as they know that life can be very short. They band together into groups of twelve—racing, drinking, hunting, and frolicking. They avoid the giant scorpions.

Aresian Proving Grounds This island is also a holy place of initiation for the warriors of Aresia. Aresians who wish to be considered true warriors make a pilgrimage to the island and test themselves against the scorpions. This doubles as a funeral rite for the centaurs that were transformed. It is a great honor, and a sign of a great destiny, if a young Aresian is able to find and bond with one of the young centaurs of the Scorpion Tribe. There are usually a dozen young Aresians (LN warrior monks) undergoing their trials on the island. They are expected to work together to trap and kill one of the giant scorpions. Three of their masters await on the shore of the island to see who amongst them will survive their trial. Encounter: Aresian Warriors 

As you come ashore, you encounter three athletic humans wearing scarlet red cloaks and bronze bracers. You recognize them as Aresian warriors. 

Constitution checks until one character wins.

These three warrior monks are meditating, exercising, and debating the nature of the universe. They are annoyed to see outsiders on their sacred island. They firmly ask that the heroes not disturb the trials of the younger monks on the island. If the heroes are respectful, then the monks are willing to explain their customs and the history of the Scorpion Tribe. They don't know much about the Lotus Witch, except that she dwells in the tower and that she's the one who cursed the centaurs.

(Athletics) checks until one character wins.

KEY LOCATIONS

opposed Charisma (Performance) checks.

1. Band of Centaurs

The Bonding Ritual When a band of centaurs of the Scorpion Tribe encounter visiting mortals, they may decide to initiate the “bonding ritual.” The ritual involves twelve centaurs and the entire party engaging in the following activities:

• Drinking Contest. Everyone makes opposed

• Wrestling Contest. Everyone present makes Strength • Storytelling Contest. Everyone present makes • Stargazing Contest. Everyone present makes opposed Wisdom (Perception) checks.

This clearing is dominated by three giant scorpions, each the size of a horse. Surrounding the scorpions are six young Aresian warriors brandishing spears and clad in brilliant red cloaks. The warriors seem badly outmatched—one of them is mortally wounded.

Use each contest as an opportunity to roleplay. Ask the winning player how they won the contest. At the end of the ritual festivities, the centaurs may choose one or more heroes to bond with, based on their performance. 

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The six Aresians (LN warrior monks) successfully tracked down a single giant scorpion to kill for their trials, but unfortunately, they were immediately ambushed by two more. Unless the party comes to their aid within two rounds, they will all be killed, and then the scorpions will turn on the party. After four rounds, a band of twelve centaurs arrives to join the fight against the scorpions. Normally, the centaurs avoid the giant scorpions, but this band is led by Nessa (see appendix). Nessa is seeking someone to bond with, and she thinks it's a terrible waste to allow so many mortal warriors be slaughtered for no reason. Once the fighting is done, Nessa proposes a feast under the stars with the survivors. She's willing to bond with any hero who impresses her during the bonding ritual. Others in her band of twelve may also choose to bond with the heroes—use your discretion, as centaur mounts make very powerful allies. Pholon the Brotherly

once had a great library, a collection of knowledge carved into the trees of the island’s forest. But the island's centaurs, who had long been charged with protecting the forest, chopped it down for firewood. As punishment for this reckless destruction of knowledge, the Lotus Witch cursed the centaurs—and they became known as the Scorpion Tribe. Approaching the Tower There is no way to enter the tower from the air. Those who try to enter the tower by flying will meet sudden cross-winds, and storm clouds will appear in the sky where there were none before. Every round, a lightning bolt will strike any flyers for 28 (8d6) lightning damage. A successful DC 15 Dexterity saving throw will halve this damage. The bolts will not stop until a flyer lands or turns away and retreats to more than 1,000 ft. from the tower. The tower is immune to all magical spells and no teleportation magic can access its interior. Walking Through the Flowers Only walking into the fields of flowers will reveal the tower’s entrance. Read the following:

If your players have not yet encountered Pholon (see appendix), then you may choose to have them encounter him here on Scorpion Isle. You may use the event described in the Encounters appendix. Pholon and Nessa are old friends.

2. Tower of the Lotus Witch 

As you approach the center of the island, the sun shines down from a clear, cloudless sky. Before you, a huge black stone obelisk reaches more than 200 feet into the heavens. Entry into this strange tower seems impossible, as there are no doors or windows to be seen. Stretching between you and the tower is a field of vibrant yellow wildflowers. 

This tower is the lair of the Lotus Witch, the island’s true mistress. The sphinx is an exile from the Island of Time. None but she know why she was exiled. She came to this island seeking knowledge—the centaurs

As you enter the field of wildflowers, the sun zips across the sky and sinks into the eastern horizon. The sky darkens until it is decorated with twinkling stars. After a few moments, the sun rises from the west and sets again in the east. This day-night cycle repeats over and over, until your surroundings become a blur. Suddenly, the night sky comes back into focus and you find yourselves before a previously unseen doorway leading into the tower. The pathetic cries of small children and infants drifts from the entrance. 

No time has actually passed for the heroes as a result of walking through the wildflowers. One-Way Door. The doorway into the tower is a one-way door. No one will notice this until they decide to leave: only then will they see that the doorway has vanished. Anyone still outside can still see the doorway and is able to enter freely. Inside the Tower 

This room is filled with over a dozen children. Some are infants, barely able to toddle, while others are a few years old. Most of them clutch yellow flowers in their hands. Some are human and elves, while others are minotaurs and centaurs. Piled in the corners of the room are heaps of clothing and equipment that might have belonged to adult versions of these children. 

These children are all victims of the sphinx. They are former adventurers, Aresian hopefuls, and centaurs who dared enter the tower and failed the sphinx’s tests. She reduced them all to a youthful state and comes down every few years to keep them young. Some of the children are chronologically centuries old, but they have lived almost all of those years as children. The children collect the lotus flowers outside and press them into oils to be used by the sphinx. The most helpful child is a five-year-old boy named Leander (NG commoner). Leander tells the heroes that they are in danger and that they shouldn’t have come. He tells them that the Lotus Witch will be angry with them, and that they must now go see her and then beg for forgiveness. If asked where to find the Lotus Witch, the boy points upwards and tell them that she is at the top of the tower. The Windowed Staircase There is a spiral staircase that ascends upwards for hundreds of feet: 

The spiraling stone staircase that ascends the Lotus Witch’s tower seems to go on forever. Time within the tower seems to take on the same strange quality you experienced outside: some windows are flooded with intense sunlight, while others allow in gentle beams of moonlight. Climbing the staircase is disorienting, and it leaves you feeling slightly nauseated. 

The staircase is 200 feet in height, there are seven windows along its length. Each window looks into another plane of existence. The windows are only a foot in diameter, though a creature of Small size could squeeze through with a successful DC 15 Dexterity (Acrobatics) check. Tiny creatures can crawl through the windows with no difficulty. It is impossible to use magic to teleport through them. Exploring the Windows. Anyone who gets to the other side of a window will fall about 100 ft. to the ground for 35 (10d6) bludgeoning damage. If they survive, they will be free to explore whichever world they have entered. After one hour, they will hear a lion roar, and they will be instantly transported to the top of the tower—standing in front of the sphinx. The Seven Windows • Elysium. This window looks out into the beautiful, expansive vistas of the plane, Elysium. • Tartarus. This window looks out into the horrifying hellscapes of the prison plane, Tartarus. • Astral. This window looks out into an empty expanse of stars and nebulae—the Astral Plane. • Hades. This window looks out into the dismal plane of Hades. An army of thousands of insect men can be

seen marching in perfect formation across the burning wastelands of Hades. This is an army of yugoloths. Anyone going through the window will be approached by a detachment of six mezzoloths and a nycaloth. • Earth. This window looks out into Earth in the 10th century BC during the battle for Troy, and the duel between Hector and Achilles. A battle line of Achaeans watches from one side, while the Trojans look down from the walls of Troy. Hector and Achilles fight for 10 rounds before Achilles prevails. If the heroes somehow become involved, treat the two famed warriors as gladiators (165 HP). • Thylea. This window looks out into Thylea from 10 miles above Scorpion Island, and it is the only window to be sealed by a glass cover (10 HP). If the glass is broken, the difference in air pressure between the tower’s interior and 10 miles altitude means that air begins to rush through the window. Anyone within 10 feet of the window must make a DC 10 Strength saving throw or be sucked into the window; creatures of Small size (or smaller) will pass through. Larger creatures take 3 (1d6) bludgeoning damage as they slam against the wall around the window. Anyone who is sucked through will fall 10 miles back to Scorpion Island for 70 (20d6) bludgeoning damage. • Another World. This window looks out into another world. Choose any fantasy world you feel comfortable describing to your players. For example, it might be a famous battle from The Lord of the Rings. The Sphinx’s Lair The sphinx's lair is at the top of the spiral staircase: 

The twisting stair opens into a stone room at the top of the tower. The floor, walls, and ceiling are covered in etched hieroglyphics. A closer look reveals that the markings are roughly made, as if they were scratched into the rock with primitive tools. A majestic winged lion with the face of a regal woman sits in the center of the room. Behind her, a wide window shows the island below bathed in daylight. Upon seeing you, she demands “Why have you disturbed my contemplations?” 

The Lotus Witch (TN gynosphinx) listens to the party for a while, but eventually, she interrupts and asks the heroes whether they are aware of the history of Thylea. She explains that it is important to know history, or one will be doomed to repeat history’s mistakes. Those who are oblivious to history are no better than infants—and they should be treated as such. She wonders whether the party deserves to be transformed into infants like the former adventurers downstairs—her “children.” Ch apter 5 | The Cerule a n Gulf

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sphinx will not fight to kill—only to incapacitate. If she is reduced to half hit points, she will use her lair action to shift all of the combatant heroes and herself to one of the realms on the other side of the stairwell windows. You can choose which one. If the party kills the sphinx, they will be transported back to the tower (if they are in another plane). If the sphinx defeats the entire party, she will reduce them all to infants and children and they will join the other children downstairs. If you want the campaign to continue, Pythor or another one of the gods will come to negotiate the heroes’ release and restoration. Treasure. The sphinx has 15 assorted gems worth 500 gp each. Of more practical value are the half-dozen spell books that the Lotus Witch has collected over the centuries. She took these from various wizards who invaded her tower and, together, the spell books include 5 random spells from each level up to 6th level (30 total).

Epic Paths: The Cursed One

If the Cursed One is present, then the Lotus Witch reveals that their curse originates on the island of Typhon, and only there can the curse be broken. If they can answer her riddles, then she will give them a protective artifact. Refer to the Running the Epic Paths section for details.

The Lotus Witch asks the party four questions about the history of Thylea. Feel free to choose simple questions that you know your party can easily answer. If you need ideas, here are some examples:

• Who created the Myrmekes race? (Talieus) • Who was the first of the Dragonlords? (Xander) • Who was the cruelest of the Dragonlords? (Estor) • What happened to the City of the Sirens? (It sank.) • When Thylea bore fruit, which two Titans sprang from a single pit? (Sydon and Lutheria)

The sphinx will be satisfied if the heroes can answer three of the questions correctly. If this is the case, she will answer any five questions the heroes ask of her: she knows everything there is to know about Thylea and its history. After answering any questions she will send the heroes on their way; they will reappear outside of the tower and will be unable to gain entry ever again.

The Missing Dragons

Fighting the Lotus Witch If the heroes attack the Lotus Witch or fail to answer her questions, she attacks them. The tower is considered her lair, so she has access to all of her lair actions. The

This is an excellent opportunity for players to learn more about the dragons that went missing during the First War. The Lotus Witch knows what happened to the dragons, but she is forbidden to reveal it due to the Oath of Peace. The most she can say is that the dragons may reveal themselves to the heroes when the Oath has ended. If the party has not yet received Aesop's letter, they should probably receive it before visiting the Lotus Witch. Refer to the Voyage of the Ultros for details.

Indigo Island 

Your ship glides through clear blue waters towards a rocky and verdant shore. A crescent archipelago to the south creates a lagoon between the sea and main island. Through the clear green water of the lagoon, you can see jagged rocks and coral reefs that must be carefully avoided. Fishing boats dot the coastline of the island, each dragging several large nets. 

This island is heavily forested, and it has many beaches that make excellent landings. The waters around the island are dangerous, with many reefs and sharp rocks. This is the home of the seafaring Indigo barbarians. The humans, elves, dwarves, and others in the Indigo Tribes inhabited the Cerulean Gulf islands long before the coming of the Dragonlords.

History of the Indigo Tribes More than a thousand years ago, hundreds of survivors from a series of shipwrecks washed ashore on the Gulf ’s 150

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islands. They were helped by the native races, including the nymphs and satyrs, and they were eventually able to build a fleet of small ships to sail the Cerulean Gulf. They discovered Indigo Island and settled here, calling themselves the Indigo Tribes, after the fields of dark blue flowers that carpet the island. When the Dragonlords came, the Indigo Tribes fought on the side of the Thylean natives as a naval force. They scored several significant victories, but they went back into hiding after the end of the First War. They have remained here for the past five centuries. Although the island’s forests are plentiful with deer and boar, the tribes mostly depend upon fishing and raiding.

Barbarian Raiders Civilized, mainland Thyleans dismiss the Indigo Tribes as uncultured barbarians, worthy only of scorn. However, their fearlessness and naval prowess also inspire respect: the barbarians frequently raid settlements along the Cerulean Gulf.

The Indigo barbarians are the best navigators in all of Thylea. They observe flocks of birds and track the movements of stars to travel the Cerulean Gulf. They consider their navigation skills to be sacred and would never share their techniques with an outsider. Some travel to Mytros and Estoria to experience the decadent lifestyle of the “mainlanders,” but all of them eventually return to their island home. The Indigo Tribes dress lightly and wield unusual steel weapons, which have been handed down from their ancestors, or forged by dwarves of the Whale tribe, rather than the common bronze weapons used on the mainland. They are tanned by wind and sun from time at sea. The most exotic part of their appearance are the spiraling patterns of blue tattoos that cover their bodies. Indigo barbarians wear tattoos to mark every significant event in their lives. There are several tribes on the island, each including several hundred members. The tribes are divided along racial lines, but they are united in their reverence of Thylea, the Great Mother. Each tribe is ruled by a chief

and two or three thanes (CN barbarian warriors). The tribes are defended by a core group of fearless warriors (CN berserkers), but all of the men and women in the tribe are able to fight (CN tribal warriors).

Tribe of the Shark The largest tribe is made up of humans, half-elves, tieflings, and half-orcs. It is ruled by Gorac, an exceedingly tall and slender half-elf (CN barbarian warrior).

Tribe of the Dolphin This tribe of elves is the most xenophobic of the islanders, and they are the masters of building the catamaran-style boats used by the Indigo barbarians to travel the Gulf. The boats are built so that they can be easily dismantled and hidden. They even have masts that can be used as a rain-catcher for fresh water on long voyages. The tribe is ruled by Dolphin, an elven woman (CN wild druid). This name is taken by anyone who becomes chieftain. Ch apter 5 | The Cerule a n Gulf

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Tribe of the Whale This tribe of dwarves keeps to the central forest on the island. They run a mining operation that works a small iron deposit, the only one known in all of Thylea. The iron ore is difficult to mine due to its scarcity even here, so the steel weapons made by the dwarves are valued by all the tribes. They are led by Delg (CG gladiator). He dresses in the armor of his forebears: adamantine half plate and shield (giving him AC 19).

Tribe of the Eel This tribe of halflings and gnomes lives close to the beaches, and they are the best fishermen on the island. They are also the most gregarious and welcoming of the tribes. Their leader, Loopywoopy (CG barbarian warrior), a female gnome, is famed for her ability to stretch even the most mundane story into an epic, sprawling myth for all the ages!

of her victims. The cave also has the small hoard that she has begun to accumulate. Treasure The dragon’s hoard contains 100 pp and 5,000 gp. The coins are piled around a pedestal on which rests a single glowing orb of star metal.

Event: Proving The tribe of the Eel has decided to prove itself against the heroes, whom they call “outsiders.” Chief Loopywoopy takes one of her thanes and leads a dozen berserkers in an attack against the party. Loopywoopy announces beforehand that this battle is a ritual and not to the death. Her twelve barbarians (CG barbarian warriors) will not use lethal force unless the heroes use it against them. Read the following: 

Twelve short tattooed humanoids approach your party. Though their tiny faces contort themselves in expressions meant to convey menace, their weapons remain sheathed. A middle-aged gnome approaches you with a confident stride. She wears an ornate headdress that nearly swallows her features. “I, Chief Loopywoopy of the great Tribe of the Eel, wish to welcome you to Indigo Island! Do you outsiders care to prove your might against my people’s greatest warriors? Stow your weapons! Testing your mettle requires no bloodshed.”

1. The Dragon A few months ago, an evil metallic dragon came to the island and claimed it as hunting territory. Ventis (CE adult copper dragon) came from Praxys. Sydon hatched and raised her at his tower, and he's released her to hunt and grow stronger before his war begins. Ventis has taken to hunting the barbarians as food. Unlike most of her kind, Ventis is chaotic evil, as she has been raised from birth to hate any outsider race that settled in Thylea. Ventis lives in a cave near the center of the forest, her presence shown by the bones 152

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If the heroes are able to defeat the band, they are asked to a great feast in their honor. At the feast, satyrs play music, nymphs dance in the moonlight, and the gnomes and halflings drink copious amounts of liquor. The drink is a sweet-tasting rum made from sugarcane found deep in the island interior. Read the following: 

Part way through the feast, Ventis the copper dragon attacks. She uses her acid breath and then starts killing indiscriminately. Read the following: 

The festivities are cut short by a most unwelcome guest. The triangular silhouette of a copper dragon glides in front of the full moon and swoops down to attack the party. Firelight reflects from her glimmering metallic scales. She spews a stream of acid that singes the edge of Chief Loopywoopy’s headdress.

The full moon hangs in the clear night sky, providing a picturesque backdrop for the feast. Satyrs serenade you with their pipes while nymphs, halflings, and gnomes dance around the flickering fire. You never quite finish your sweet, potent drink, as your hosts are quick to fill your cup back up to its brim. The air is thick with the smell of alcohol, smoked fish, and fresh sweat. 

As soon as Ventis takes more than 20 damage, she uses her slowing breath and retreats back to her lair. Chief Loopwoopy will try to convince the heroes to go after her. Loopwoopy explains that the dragon has been collecting a hoard of treasure from the surrounding islands.

Titan’s Folly This strange island consists of three perfectly molded green hills surrounded by an impossible glass dome that rises out of the Cerulean Gulf. The glass dome encompasses the entire island. The wall is impervious to damage, but it can easily be bypassed by teleportation magic such as teleport or dimension door. Anchoring at the glass wall is trivial. Most natives of Thylea know of the legend of the island and will share it with the heroes. Any crewmen on the Ultros will almost certainly know that this is Titan’s Folly. They are quite sure that this a place that must be avoided at all costs. While the island is rumored to be home to Thylea’s greatest treasures, it was sealed away by Kentimane the Hundred Handed. His reasons for doing this are a complete mystery, even to the other gods. Legend suggests that the original war among the Titans was a direct result of whatever happened here. Thylean natives among the crew will warn the heroes to turn away and forget they ever saw this place.

Wall of Dreams Anyone who sees the wall will have strange dreams the following night. They might dream of fantastic magic items or something that they desire above all else. For example, paladins may dream of a holy avenger, wizards may dream of a staff of the magi, and rogues may dream of a cloak of invisibility. In the dream, ants carry the desired item from a miniature version of the island and drop it at the feet of the hero.

Titan's Folly! Now there's it's full of glittering gold and glorious battles! But that we are never to go

a mystery, eh? I bet and beautiful nymphs my sister Vallus says there. Ah well.

— Pythor, God of Battle

If the heroes bypass the wall, read the following: 

Once you have bypassed the curious glass dome, you continue toward the island. The most striking aspect of the place is its perfect geometric uniformity. The land consists of three identical green hills clumped together. Thick tropical grass grows in rows around each hill, interrupted only by rows of oak trees halfway to each hill’s summit. Such a perfect land formation can only be the handiwork of the Mother Goddess, Thylea. 

The three hills are entirely covered in perfectly arranged fields of sugarcane. Each hill has a ring of ancient oak trees that circles the hill at the midpoint of the slope. Under the oak trees are entrances to a network of caves and tunnels. The Titan Kentimane sealed this island away five millennia ago. It hasn’t had a single visitor from the outside world in all that time. Inside the barrier, on this strange island, lives a race of creatures that don’t exist anywhere else in the multiverse: the myrmekes. The myrmekes are a race of hyper-intelligent insectlike humanoids that were created by one of Thylea’s children at the dawn of time. There are around 3,000 myrmekes on the island, and they live in the caves beneath the oaks, where they store their food, raise their young and protect their queen. Meeting the Myrmekes When they are met initially, the myrmekes can only communicate with clicks and by waving their antenna. They provoke no hostility. They bring out sumptuous offerings of food and drink. The food tastes like a form of delicious meat, while the drink is a sweet wine. Ch apter 5 | The Cerule a n Gulf

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Warm Greetings. Within a few hours on interacting with the heroes they will begin to communicate using the language that the heroes use. They are extremely social creatures who will warmly greet strangers to the island. They are also extremely curious. They ask the heroes many questions—about their deeds, hopes, desires, and goals: anything and everything will provoke the myrmekes into asking a question. The myrmekes are very accommodating, and can be light-hearted and funny. They won’t stop the heroes from leaving early, and they will not restrict the party's movements on the island. If the heroes attack the myrmekes, they will defend themselves but will not retaliate. They will wait until the heroes exhaust themselves and then ask them, somewhat regretfully, to leave. Explaining the Dome. If the myrmekes are asked about the dome, they will claim that it was erected to trap them, as a punishment for insulting a powerful god, thousands of years ago. They will dispute the notion that Thylea imprisoned them, as she was their creator. If they are asked about powerful magical items, they will claim to have no ideas about such things. The truth is that the myrmekes’ powerful hive mind is able to influence the unconscious minds of nearby humanoids.

Event: A World of Dirt The myrmekes study everything that the heroes do and everything that they bring with them. Magic spells are especially interesting to them, as they have very little experience with magic. Once the heroes have left the island, the myrmekes will begin to plan their escape from the island. They will copy whatever method the heroes used to bypass the wall. For example, if the heroes used the dimension door spell, then the myrmekes now know how to use it. At this point the myrmekes will begin working toward what they feel is their destiny: making the multiverse a reflection of their perfect society and people.

They will then send boats to the mainland where they will capture Thyleans and learn everything they can from them. This happens very quickly while the heroes are busy with their own affairs. Within a few weeks, the heroes might have the following encounter: 

A fine galley ship sails towards your party. As it approaches, you find that the vessel is crewed and captained by a group of humanoid insects, the curious myrmekes you encountered not long ago. Despite the short amount of time that has passed, the myrmekes have changed considerably. They now wear bronze armor and wield bronze weapons. They are no longer the friendly and inquisitive creatures of Titan's Folly. As these myrmekes approach, they look positively defiant and warlike. 

The ship is crewed by 30 myrmekes warriors. The myrmekes will attack the party's ship using tactics that would impress even the most jaded Aresian warrior monk. Six myrmekes warriors bombard the heroes with rays of frost as a disciplined phalanx of ten myrmekes warriors attempts to board the ship. If the heroes are able to survive this encounter, they begin to hear rumors of armies of insect men conquering outlying towns and villages. Initially the stories describe armies of hundreds of myrmekes, but after one month, the rumors describe an unstoppable army of more than a thousand myrmekes with advanced magic and siege weapons. The myrmekes grow more advanced with each passing month, and the size of their army doubles just as quickly. If they aren't stopped, they will conquer all of Thylea and convert it into one giant ant colony. Then they will seek out new lands to conquer. These events are beyond the scope of this book, but they might form the basis of a future campaign.

Fire Island 

Crystal clear blue water and a handful of smaller islands surround the landmass you are approaching. Dense tropical foliage covers the islands, and you can hear the cacophonous sounds of abundant wildlife. An impressive black mountain rises from the jungle at the center of the main island, and the smell of smoke and brimstone hangs in the air. 

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Fire Island is almost completely surrounded by a coral reef, although careful seamanship can find a channel through the shoal waters. Beyond the coral reef, the waters are calm and a ship can easily anchor. As its name suggests, Fire Island is formed around an active volcano, which occasionally belches ash and fiery embers into the air, making it dangerous to approach. Currently, the volcano is quiet, with just a thin trail of smoke snaking into the sky above the caldera.

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Lizardfolk Tribes Fire Island is inhabited by several tribes of lizardfolk, who are engaged in endless, brutal wars against one other. The strongest tribe boasts 350 warriors. They are called the Firewalkers, because they control the land around the central volcano. The Firewalkers The Firewalkers are led by Jankor (NE lizard king), who is served by three lizardfolk shamans and a pair of cyclopes. A flock of pteranodons that have been domesticated by the tribe can be seen flying during the day, hunting or spying on the other lizardfolk tribes. The Lesser Tribes Three lesser tribes, comprising several hundred warriors each, control the outer parts of the island. Each of these tribes is led by a lizard queen with a lizardfolk shaman as an advisor. The Nameless God All the lizardfolk of Fire Island, regardless of tribal loyalty, worship a nameless deity that they believe sleeps deep below the Cerulean Gulf. Firewalker shamans regularly sacrifice captives taken in battle, whether lizardfolk or outsiders, by hurling them into a volcanic fissure to feed their sleeping god.

Creatures of Fire Island Other than lizardfolk, the island has bountiful animal life, including boar, deer, and other smaller mammals. The streams and ponds of the island are often hunting grounds for crocodiles or constrictor snakes. Giant lizards are also plentiful on the island and have been domesticated by all of the tribes as beasts of burden.

Sydon's Chosen Tribe Vytha explains that the Firewalkers have been chosen by Sydon to dominate Fire Island. The Lord of Storms gave Jankor a powerful magical artifact and two cyclopes as servants. In exchange, Jankor gave the Titan one of the three brass dragon eggs that were hidden on the island. Vytha believes that the other two eggs may be located somewhere on in the volcano village. Sydon's Interest in Fire Island Tribes of lizardfolk wouldn't normally warrant the attention of the Lord of Storms. Sydon has intervened here because his sister Chalcia is sealed away beneath the volcano, and he wishes to keep it that way. She is the 'sleeping god' worshipped by the lizardfolk. The Firewalkers' daily sacrifices to the volcano ensure that this magical seal remains intact.

The Celebratory Feast If the heroes agree to assist her, Queen Vytha will hold a great feast in their honor. She proudly explains that her son is to be sacrificed and served as the celebratory meal. The heroes can turn down this “honorable banquet," but in this case, Vytha will be insulted. She believes that they are greedily demanding that she sacrifice one of her older, larger sons instead.

KEY LOCATIONS

The Brass Dragon Centuries ago, the island was also home to an adult brass dragon. However, it was killed by the Kraken during one of its hunts over the nearby coral reefs. The lizardfolk still tell stories of the battle between the two creatures. The dragon left behind three dragon eggs, which the lizardfolk have long sought after.

The Firewalkers dwell in a large wooden fort over the mouth of the volcano. Jankor rules from here and makes regular sacrifices by tossing victims into the fiery pit. The fort is constructed from sturdy wood, bamboo, and thick vines. Some exotic materials have also been used, including the shells of young dragon turtles and the skeletal vertebrae from an enormous worm of some kind. The main platform is level with the lip of the caldera, while other platforms step down into the volcano. Many of the platforms are level with caves and tunnels that have been dug into the wall of the caldera.

The Lizard Queen

Secret Path

When the heroes first land, they will be approached by a lizardfolk shaman who is escorted by six lizardfolk. They will ask the heroes to accompany them to see their queen, who lives on the outskirts of the jungle. Vytha (NE lizard queen) will implore the heroes to aid her in defeating her mortal enemy, Jankor, the king of the Firewalkers. She describes how Jankor has corrupted the lizardfolk by turning away from the god in the volcano and making sacrifices to Sydon instead.

A secret path provides another way into the fort. Vytha knows the location of this path and will tell the heroes to search for it on the north end of the caldera.

Platforms All of the platforms in the fort are built on pillars of bamboo and wood. Each is at least 10 ft. above the surface of the caldera. It is possible to climb from the caldera surface to a platform using the pillars, but this requires a successful DC 15 Strength (Athletics) check.

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V1. Main Entrance 

The spine of some massive creature serves as a bridge to the lizard king's fort. Ash darkens the crevices of the otherwise bleached white bone. Even as the hot sun beats down from a cloudless sky, you can sense an even more oppressive heat radiating up from below. 

The bridge leads from the caldera lip to the topmost platform of the fort. It is guarded by four lizardfolk and two salamanders. They will fight to the death. The bridge was made from the vertebrae of a purple worm, which came to the surface decades ago and died. This happened on the same day that Jankor hatched, and it was taken as a sign of his divine right to rule.

V2. Stables 

V4. Secret Entrance 

This large platform is where the giant lizard mounts used by the lizardfolk are kept. Six giant lizards are tethered to three stakes, and four lizardfolk keep watch and care for the mounts. If the lizardfolk spot any intruders, they will free the giant lizards and order them to attack. The giant lizards are docile unless commanded to attack by one of the lizardfolk.

V3. Throne Room 

The lizard king's throne room is located within what appears to be an immense hollow turtle shell. Inside, the king lounges upon his throne on a raised platform in the center of the room. He is listening intently to his advisor and drumming his clawed fingers against an ornately-carved staff. A fiery reptilian creature stands to one side of the king. It has a muscular, humanoid upper body that snakes down into a coiling tail. Even so, the most striking member of the king's party is a tiny, copper-colored dragon that snores fitfully at his feet. 

The throne room is built inside the enormous shell of a dragon turtle. Jankor, the chosen mouthpiece of the great god Sydon, claims to have killed the dragon turtle with the help of the Lord of Storms. The truth is that its corpse washed ashore after the creature died of old age. Ch apter 5 | The Cerule a n Gulf

Carefully hidden from prying eyes, a narrow stairway has been carved into the cliff side. Below, a faint orange glow shines through cracks in the volcano’s dark crust, betraying the inferno beneath.

You come to a platform with a tethered group of horse-sized monitor lizards that are being tended to by lizardfolk. Despite their monstrous bulk and appearance, the large reptiles are docile. They occasionally flick their tongues and grunt at their handlers.

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Jankor (NE lizard king) has 120 hit points and carries a staff of thunder and lightning. This staff was a gift from Sydon, and it is the symbol of Jankor's right to rule. Jankor is always accompanied by a loyal salamander and a bloodthirsty lizardfolk shaman. The brass dragon wyrmling curled around his feet hatched one year ago, and it is completely loyal to him. Jankor is not immediately hostile to intruders, but he will interrogate them and demand to know for what purpose they have trespassed in his territory. In battle, Jankor will use his staff to send out lightning strikes against his foes. When reduced to 60 hit points, he will use the thunder and lightning ability even if that means hurting his own people. He will then try to retreat to his chambers (V12).

A narrow path carved into the volcano winds down to the egg chambers. This treacherous and narrow path is not marked and requires a successful DC 12 Wisdom (Perception) check to find it. In two places, the path has been deliberately weakened, and someone not aware of these passive traps must make a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw when they step on the weakened section. Spotting the weakened sections requires a DC 16 Wisdom (Perception) check. When stepped upon, the ground will crumble away, and a failed saving throw causes one to plummet into the caldera below. The drop will break through the crust into the magma, causing 55 (10d10) fire damage to the unfortunate creature that fell.

V5. Egg chambers 

These chambers are relatively bare, except for the large stone bowls scattered around the room that have been gently packed with eggs and straw. Bright orangeand-red frilled snakes the size of men curl motionless around each bowl. Two lizardfolk elders tend the bowls, gingerly turning the eggs inside.  

This cave is where the lizardfolk eggs are kept. The eggs are kept warm, and guarded, by a half-dozen fire snakes. Two lizardfolk shamans tend to the fire snakes and the eggs. Both the shamans and fire snakes will attack trespassers who enter the cave.

V6. Sleeping Chambers 

V8. Chamber of worship 

The chamber has three pairs of poles stuck into the base of the platform. Sturdy nets and sheets have been tied between these poles a few feet from the floor to make hammocks. Three small wooden chests sit underneath these structures. 

These platforms are where the lizardfolk sleep. At night, there are always at least two lizardfolk asleep on the hammocks. They make soft hissing sounds. Treasure. There are three chests in the chamber. Each chest contains 2d6 assorted gemstones worth 10 gp each. Some of the gems are covered in dried blood.

V7. Wooden Walkways 

Unlike the other walkways that connect the platforms of the fort, this walkway has a pair of bronze stakes on either end that holds it in place. The walkway is thick and appears quite sturdy. A formidable-looking lizardfolk with a large curved horn hanging at its waist stands watch at the other end of the walkway. 

You come to a large platform built upon half of an enormous turtle shell. At the center of this space, two lizardfolk shamans pray to a carved wooden statue of an imposing man wielding a black glaive. The altar beneath the statue has been carved with patterns resembling waves and stained green-blue. Green gems glitter from the statue’s three eye sockets. 

This is the second largest platform in the complex and is the other side of the enormous shell of a dragon turtle. The chamber’s central feature is a 10 ft. tall wooden statue of Sydon. During the day there are always two lizardfolk shamans in this room, along with the king's consort, a lazy lizard queen. These three will attack intruders and fight to the death. Treasure. The three eyes of the statue of Sydon are emeralds worth 500 gp each. When the heroes touch the statue, they hear a peal of thunder from the sky above.

V9. Cyclops Cave  

Each of the marked walkways is guarded by a lizardfolk. Each of these lizardfolk has a horn, and if they see enemies approaching, they will blow a fanfare to summon four pteranodons from their roosts. It takes the pteranodons one round to arrive and attack. The Walkway Traps The walkways are sturdy, but the lizardfolk have built them so that they can be easily destroyed in the event of an invasion. On each side of the walkways are two bronze stakes. Pulling out a stake requires a successful DC 10 Strength check. Pulling out a single stake makes a walkway bridge unstable, and anyone on it must make a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw or be thrown into the caldera below. Anyone who does so will break through the crust into the magma and take 55 (10d10) fire damage. Pulling both stakes out makes the bridge collapse, and anyone less than 10 feet from one end can attempt a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw to leap to safety. Those who are close to the center of the walkway must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw to make the leap. Failure means falling into the magma. The King's Escape. When under attack, the lizardfolk guards will wait until there is at least one enemy on the walkway before removing a stake. However, if the lizard king is fleeing from a pursuit by the heroes, he will order his warriors to pull out one pin after he has safely passed. They will wait until the heroes are crossing the walkway to pull out the other stake.

Although a modest forge has been built into one side of this cave, it is noticeably cooler in here than in the rest of the fort. The cave’s sole resident, a 9-foot-tall cyclops, sits at a stone table at the center of the room. He wears a monocle over his eye, and he has remarkably nimble, ten-fingered hands. He is tinkering with what appears to be a half-finished mechanical goat. Other clockwork animals fill niches that have been carved into the cavern wall opposite the forge. 

The smith is Steros (see appendix). He is a jancan, a rare breed of cyclops born with ten fingers on each hand and ten toes on each foot. Jancan are natural blacksmiths, although Steros is unusual in that he is somewhat of a runt when compared to most of his kind. Steros is not immediately hostile, and will try to make conversation with anyone who enters his forge. He will, however, use the power of his monocle to gain the upper hand in any conversation or battle that takes place. Steros the Jancan Sydon sent Steros to serve the Firewalkers after their previous jancan was captured in a raid by the Amazons of Themis. The previous jancan was named Bront, and he was Steros's father. Since his arrival, Steros has built himself a small forge that he keeps heated with the help of a pair of fire snakes. Using this forge, he builds weapons for the Firewalkers, a task that he considers to be beneath his considerable skills. He spends most of his time tinkering Ch apter 5 | The Cerule a n Gulf

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Steros the Jancan

The Jancan's Request Steros will switch to his blue lens in an attempt to charm one of the heroes and convince them to find his missing father. If they are willing to help him find Bront, then he will build the heroes a mechanical animal of their choice. However, the heroes must allow him to accompany them on their ship. If he is threatened, Steros will release the fire snakes as a bonus action, command any charmed heroes to summon Firewalker reinforcements, and use the three lenses to blast his enemies. The Jancan's Contraptions Steros's contraptions are mechanical versions of the animals created by figurines of wondrous power. The owl and the dog in this room work exactly like a serpentine owl and an onyx dog. However, they will break down after every six uses, or if they are reduced to 0 hit points. The only way to repair them is to use tinker’s tools, and the repairer must be proficient with them. If the heroes agree to help Steros, then he will build them their own mechanical beast. This will take him a week of work aboard the Ultros. He can build a mechanical version of a golden lion, ivory goat of traveling, serpentine owl, silver raven, or onyx dog. The jancan's monocle is built for someone Large-sized with the same poor eyesight as Steros. It cannot be used except by someone with the same unique anatomy.

V10. Sacrificial Promontory The Jancan have always fascinated me. How can such brilliant smiths be born to common cyclopes, who barely possess the power of speech? They are a rarity, to be sure, but the best of them rival even my father, Volkan. — Vallus, Goddess of Wisdom

with new and strange contraptions to amuse himself. These mechanical contraptions are arranged in niches carved into the cave. There are many creatures in the niches, some of them unfinished, others smashed. Steros’ most prized possession is the monocle that he wears at all times. This has several lenses that can be used, by swinging them into place inside the short frame:

• Red lens acts as eyes of the eagle. • Blue lens acts as eyes of charming. • Green lens acts as eyes of minute seeing. • All three lenses together act as a circlet of blasting that

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This huge piece of obsidian juts out of the volcano wall over the lava. This is where Jankor performs his sacrifices to the sleeping god. It is currently empty. Sacrificial Offerings. If the Firewalkers capture the heroes, they will bind their hands with ropes and take them here to hold a ceremony that lasts 1 hour. Afterwards, they will kick the heroes into the caldera.

V11. Prison platform 

A dozen rough wooden cages are on this platform. Three of the cages contain sullen lizardfolk prisoners. The rest are empty. The prisoners’ sparse clothing and decorations are very different from those of the two guards keeping watch.

can be used every round.

He always keeps the red lens in place, so that he has advantage on all of his Wisdom (Perception) checks (passive Perception 14), and because they aid his work.

A large shining black rock juts out from the cliff over the caldera. Its surface is smooth, creating a natural platform that is linked to the rest of the fort with two wooden walkways. A third walkway juts out towards the center and ends abruptly above the lava.

This is where Jankor's prisoners are kept before they are sacrificed. The prison platform is always guarded by two lizardfolk. Currently the cages are occupied by three lizardfolk from Vytha's tribe. They are to be sacrificed, one at a time, over the next three days. They will be suitably grateful if rescued, and will accompany the heroes and even fight for them if they are given any weapons. Otherwise, they will flee to their home settlements.

he will show the heroes where Jankor has hidden a powerful magical weapon. If he wins, then he will eat one of them. This seems like a fair deal to him. Arm Wrestling. Because of the size difference, Polyphorus will allow his opponent to use both arms in the competition. The competition consists of three opposed Strength checks. In theory, whoever wins two of the checks will win the challenge. In practice, Polyphorus will use the final check to try to devour his opponent. He was lying about the weapon.

V12. King's Chambers 

An obsidian entranceway leads into an artificial cave dug into the side of the cliff. The furnishings within this chamber are considerably more opulent than anywhere else in the fort, with vivid silks, gilded furniture, and voluminous pillows. At the chamber’s center, steam rises from a stone vessel filled with crystalline liquid. Four large, brightly colored snakes slither around the vessel, pressing their bodies against it. 

V14. The Volcano 

The entrance to the king's chambers is built on another obsidian promontory in the volcano’s side. The cave has been dug into the wall of the caldera. It includes a bath which is heated by four fire snakes. Jankor will make his final stand here after he has retreated from the throne room. He will order the fire snakes to attack. Treasure. Jankor keeps his valuables in a pit sealed with a locked bronze lid. Inside are 400 gp, 1,100 sp, two emeralds worth 500 gp, and a sapphire worth 1,000 gp.

V15. Salamander Cave 

Two black and orange creatures inhabit this largely empty cavern. Each has a muscular humanoid torso that tapers into an equally impressive serpent tail. To one side of the cave is a clutch of large eggs sitting in a stone nest. Some of the eggs are cracked open.

Inside this dark cave, an elderly, 15-foot-tall cyclops sits on the ground. He appears to be in deep thought, although his single eye is unfocused. He seems to have been a powerful warrior in the past, but his once-muscular frame is now shrunken and bony with age.

The volcano basin is active and magma often bubbles through the crust. Fire snakes swim below in the magma, and they can sense movement. Each round that someone walks across the crust, there is a 10% chance that a fire snake will attack from below. The fire snake’s target must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or fall into the lava. Walking across the crust inflicts 3 (1d6) fire damage per round, while falling into magma inflicts 55 (10d10) fire damage per round.

V13. The Blind Elder 

A thick crust of cooled volcanic rock covers most of the caldera floor. Magma bubbles through in some places, and the surface is covered in a network of glowing cracks. An overwhelming smell of sulfur and smoke hangs in the air.

This cave is the home of Polyphorus, a blind cyclops, and the chief advisor of King Jankor. Blindness has made him different from other cyclopes. He is wiser (Wisdom 12) because of the time he spends lost in his own thoughts, and he won’t attack immediately. Polyphorus has a keen sense of smell, giving him advantage on any Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely upon smell (passive Perception 13). He has grown tired of the food that the Firewalkers bring him, and he has a powerful craving for mortal flesh. When Polyphorus is alerted to intruders, he will sniff the air and ask them to identify themselves. Once his curiosity is satisfied, he will challenge one of the heroes to an arm-wrestling match. He explains that if he loses,

A mated pair of salamanders dwell in this cave. These salamanders are loyal to whichever of the lizardfolk controls the volcano fort. They routinely give their young fire snakes to King Jankor as tribute. There are two freshly hatched fire snakes and a half-dozen other eggs in the chamber. Dragon Egg. One of the eggs in the salamander's nest is different than the others. This is a brass dragon egg that was left behind by the dragon that once laired on Fire Island. The salamanders recently discovered the egg and have been trying to hatch it. Epic Paths: The Vanished One The Oracle had a vision that the Vanished One would find this egg and claim it as their own. Refer to the Running the Epic Paths section for details.

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I have often studied the lizardfolk of Fire

V16. Pteranodon Roost 

A series of shallow caves, little more than ledges, have been cut into the cliff side. These house dozens of human-sized creatures that resemble scaly, featherless birds with membranous wings. Their seagull-like squawking drowns out all other noises. 

Island, for in spite of their wicked natures, they venerate the dragons. They still tell legends of the Dragonlords, who are said to have attended a great feast at the volcano before

the outbreak of the First War. Unlike the

cyclopes, the lizardfolk tribes immediately

dragons as the rightful rulers of Thylea.

Two dozen pteranodons roost here. They have been trained to obey the orders of the lizard king and fly down when summoned by the horns of the lizardfolk guards.

centaurs and recognized the

—Aesop, Keeper of the Dragon Shrine

Island of Yonder This rocky island is surrounded by shallows and other dangers, which makes finding a place to anchor very difficult. However, there is one small cove where a ship can be anchored safely. From there, a narrow path leads up to the island proper.

the lives of his men in a piecemeal fashion, and he will not order them to fight to the death unless he has no other choice. He is a dangerous man. For as long as the heroes are on this island, they should feel the pressure of Gaius and his forces breathing down their neck. Chondrus, the master of the Great Library, is also here. He is not loyal to Gaius, but he provides assistance to the Order when called for. Both Gaius and Chondrus were present when the heroes were called before King Acastus, and they remember the heroes well.

Island Handout: Yonder When the party arrives at Yonder, give your players a copy of the Island of Yonder map.

History of Yonder 

As your ship approaches this rocky island, a shallow cove appears to be the best spot to lay anchor. Stained and charred white marble and concrete ruins dot the shore, and you can clearly see the bones of giant humanoids. The relatively intact structures have doorways that are unusually tall and wide. A tower near the cove is the only complete building in sight. Although recently built, its foundations are clearly much older and similar to the nearby ruins. From a window in the tower, a six-armed cyclops looks out at the sea, your ship, and you. 

The Order of Sydon The Island of Yonder has been taken over by the Order of Sydon, a faction of zealots who are fiercely devoted to Sydon, the Lord of Storms. The Order intends to destroy the heroes. They are an effective, organized force. Unlike some other groups in the Cerulean Gulf, the Order of Sydon are highly coordinated and prepared for interlopers. This makes them far more difficult to deal with than most of the dangers that the heroes have encountered so far. Gaius, the commander of the Order, is a very clever leader and a cunning strategist. He will not throw away 162

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This island was the ancient capital of the Gygan Empire that once dominated much of Thylea. The gygans were already in decline when the Dragonlords arrived, but most of those that remained were wiped out in the First War. The gygan communities and forts on Yonder were razed by the Dragonlords in the last days of the struggle. In the last decade, the Order of Sydon has made the island their main base of operations. The few gygans who still lived on the island were eager to work with the Order and thereby gain favor with Sydon. They believe that this, perhaps, is a chance to return to the glory of ages past. Structures and Ruins Two buildings have been mostly reconstructed by the Order and the gygans. One is a small tower close to the cove that allows landfall. The other is a magnificent library near the center of the island. The rest of the island is covered in ruins from the ancient gygan civilization. There are a half-dozen sites that show broken marble pillars and slabs of concrete, some of which are partially charred by dragon fire. The skeletal remains of gygans are everywhere in these ruins. The few living gygans avoided the ruins out of superstitious fear of the long dead. There are animals on the island, but they are mostly seagulls and small animals such as rats and shrews.

Ancient Grievances The many ruins across the island have been mostly picked clean by the Order of Sydon. All that remains are the bones of the gygans who died five centuries ago. The gygans who still live on Yonder leave these bones in the open as a reminder of the evils that the Dragonlords visited upon their people. Because of the atrocities of Estor Arkelander, the Ultros is a ship that the gygans have never forgotten, and anyone who comes to the island aboard the legendary ship will be an immediate target of the gygans' wrath.

in the tower unless ordered otherwise by Gaius or Chondrus. However, if the Ultros makes anchor within visible range of the tower, Marcion will be unable to stop the two gygans in his garrison from going down to try and kill anyone coming to shore. Encounter: Confrontation If Gaius learns that the heroes have made landfall, he will send a war party to confront them. 

An armored man riding a bull approaches you. His steed is completely encased in metallic scales. He wears a cerulean cape and a breastplate that has been engraved with a red eye, the symbol of Sydon. A group of soldiers and a six-armed cyclops march behind him. As soon as they see your party, the monstrous bulls charge toward you with a thunderous roar!

1. Garrison of Soldiers This tower’s main purpose is to house a small garrison of soldiers who protect the island and the Library. The tower is guarded by a detachment of 16 soldiers from the Order of Sydon and 2 gygans led by Marcion (LE captain). One of the gygans is always on watch and will alert the tower if he sees a ship approaching. Once Marcion becomes aware of the heroes, he will send one of his men to inform Gaius at the library. Marcion will try to ensure that the garrison remains

Gaius has sent one of his captains mounted on a gorgon, along with one gygan and six soldiers.

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2. Ancient Library The ancient library, now rebuilt, is in the middle of a ruined gygan city. It is both the headquarters of the Order’s supreme commander and the location of the Order’s most important project. The path here from the cove is easy to spot, as it is frequently used. Sydon is obsessed with arcane lore and the Order are gathering such knowledge from as many unique sources as possible. They have been using three main methods:

• Gathering scrolls and tomes from across Thylea. • Capturing shipwrecked sailors from the outer world. • Using all sorts of magic to learn forbidden secrets. Most of the Order think that the library is somehow giving them information through such spells as contact other plane and legend lore, but this is not all that has been happening. Chondrus, the master of the library, has been making deals with the yugoloths of Hades. The library also has a half-dozen scholars (LE nobles) to tend to the books and scrolls, along with four acolytes who study arcane lore, conduct magical experiments, and use divination magic to look beyond Thylea. Finally, the library is also home to soldiers and gygans under command of Gaius, the supreme commander of the Order of Sydon. Cliffs The cliffs surrounding the library are 200 ft. in height. The cliffs are steep and require a successful DC 15 Strength (Athletics) check to scale. The Order of Sydon doesn’t patrol the cliffs, so it’s a dangerous but effective way to stealthily gain entry to the library. Doors The doors of the library are all built for Large-sized humanoids. Medium and smaller creatures need to use an action to open the doors here. Rousing the garrison While Gaius may have learned that strangers have made landfall on Yonder, he is confident that sending out one of his captains should deal with the threat. The garrison at the library will not become alert until intruders are seen approaching the gates—or until a fight breaks out inside the walls. If the library is alerted to intruders, all of the soldiers in both barracks will be roused. The walls and towers at the front gate will be reinforced, and a warband will be dispatched to intercept the heroes. The warband includes six soldiers, one gygan, and a captain with orders to kill the heroes. Commander Gaius If the library hasn't been alerted, then Gaius can be encountered in his quarters. However, if Gaius is alerted to intruders, he will summon his mount, Argyn (LE young silver dragon), and wait for her before engaging in battle. Gaius can summon Argyn by blowing a whistle that hangs around his neck. 164

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Argyn is usually hunting dolphins and whales in the waters close to the island, and it will take her about ten minutes to return. If the heroes leave the library before Argyn arrives, then Gaius will mount up and search for their ship from the air. Once he finds the ship, he will attempt to kill everyone onboard. If the heroes have not yet encountered Sydon's fleet, then he may summon them to his aid.

KEY LOCATIONS Y1. Main Entrance 

This road leads to a ruined city, which stands at the top of a plateau. At the center of the ruined city is a massive structure which appears to have been built by giants. Color variations in the masonry suggest that this is an ancient building that has recently been restored. The massive bronze doors at the entrance stand closed. They are engraved with images depicting six-armed cyclopes. Despite the pristine condition of the building itself, the statuary and carvings that surround it are crumbling. The most prominent statue is a six-armed figure with a bronze cage where its head should be. 

This is the entrance to the library, and the building is in excellent condition. The statuary is mostly in ruins, because none of the gygans on the island are artisans capable of repairing such stonework. The two massive bronze doors are always kept closed, but they are not locked. The bronze doors are embossed with images from the ancient gygan civilization, including scenes of the gygans building their cities, worshipping the Titans, and sailing the seas of Thylea. Alarm Golem. The headless gygan statue is a stone golem. Even though it has six arms, it still only gets two slam attacks from its multiattack action. The stone golem has a movement of 0, but the cage on its head contains a pair of harpies. When the harpies spot intruders, they use their luring song to get them to approach the golem, which then smashes anyone who comes close enough. Thanks to the cage, the harpies have the benefit of three-quarters cover.

Y2. Tower Three soldiers stand atop this tower and keep watch day and night. If any of the soldiers spot intruders, one of them will run to the library to alert Gaius.

Y3. Tower and Wall This tower and wall are left unguarded. However, if the library is alerted to intruders, all of the soldiers from the barracks to the north will rush out and take positions at the top of the tower and along the wall.

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Y4. Central Courtyard 

The library’s courtyard is an impressive open space. At its center is another six armed statue with its head covered by a heavy cloth. Next to the statue is an ornate fountain that has seen better days. The mechanism that filled it has long since broken down, and the basin has run dry. 

This is where all the captains and the human soldiers have their quarters. There is always a captain and six soldiers present. At night, most of the garrison sleeps here—a total of two captains and 24 soldiers. Treasure. There are three chests in this room that contain the personal items of the soldiers. In total, there are 224 gp and 640 sp in the chests.

Y7. Gygan Barracks 

This is the focal point of the library. The area serves as a meeting place and a gymnasium. During the day, the courtyard is always busy, with a captain, six soldiers, and one gygan exercising, eating and socializing. Occasionally, scholars pass through, moving between research assignments. If the library is alerted, all of the soldiers will remain in the courtyard and join any battle that breaks out at the gates or the stables. Alarm Golem. The gygan statue is another stone golem, arranged exactly as the one outside (Y1). In a similar fashion, there are two harpies in a bronze cage beneath the cloth. The cage is kept covered by the cloth during the day, and the harpies sleep. At night, the cloth is removed, and the harpies act as an alarm system. Their singing will alert the library of intruders.

Y8. The Stables 

The high ceiling of this chamber is supported by many rows of fluted marble pillars. At the back of the chamber is a massive statue of Sydon. The statue is fifteen feet in height, even though it sits upon a throne. 

The temple is forbidden to everyone except Gaius, Chondrus, and the acolytes. Any of these individuals can communicate directly with Sydon by saying a prayer while kneeling before the statue. There is a 50% chance that Sydon will respond to such prayer, and the head of the statue will animate. Calling upon Sydon. If the library is attacked and the battle is going poorly for the Order of Sydon, then Gaius may come here to request advice or reinforcements. Sydon will instruct Gaius to find his dragon Argyn and then hunt down the intruders from the air once they think they are safely away on their ship. If the heroes have not yet battled against Sydon's fleet, then the Titan may send the fleet after them at this point.

This room is sparsely furnished with a dozen bunk beds lined up in two neat rows. Locked wooden chests sit under several of the bunks. 

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Sydon gifted several gorgons to be used as mounts by Gaius and his captains. Two are currently kept in the stables. One sickly gorgon is currently being tended by two soldiers. The sickly gorgon has rust in his joints that the soldiers are trying to polish out. As soon as they notice intruders, the soldiers will attack with the sickly gorgon (90 HP). The other gorgon will sit quietly in its stall unless the sickly gorgon is killed. Berserk Gorgon. The death wail of the sickly gorgon makes the other gorgon go berserk, and it will try to break out of its pen. Breaking out of its pen requires a successful DC 20 Strength (Athletics) check, but it has advantage due to its enraged state.

Y9. Entrance Hall 

This pillared entrance hall has had frescoes recently painted upon the ceiling. The frescoes portray a great fleet of ships approaching a city that bears an uncanny resemblance to Mytros. Flags bearing the symbol of Sydon fly from the masts of the ships.

Y6. Barracks 

These stables are modest but well-maintained. They house what appear to be two bulls covered in metallic scales. One of the creatures is thinner than the other, and its joints are covered in a deep red rust. Two blueclad soldiers are moving rags across the bull’s rusted ankles in forceful circular motions. 

This is where all of the gygans have their quarters. During the day, there is only one gygan sleeping here, but at night, there are three sleeping in the barracks.

Y5. Temple of Sydon 

The furniture in this room has been built to accommodate humanoids much larger than the average man. Its furnishings are limited to a row of six bunk beds.

The hall is empty. Gaius had his men paint the scene in anticipation of Sydon’s planned invasion. Written across the top of the mural are the following words in Thylean: GLORY TO SYDON THE OATH OF PEACE IS ENDING

Y10. Mess Hall 

In the center of this room, a long wooden table is covered in plates, mugs, and utensils of various sizes. Some are human-sized, while others are sized for giants. 

Mikhael has revealed many magical secrets under interrogation, but he has never revealed his origins. He is a shadow of his former self, and years of torture have nearly broken him. If he is freed, he will quickly return to the vigorous and vainglorious man he was once, years before his capture. He strongly believes that the engine of his airship can be salvaged and that he can probably retrofit it to the Ultros or another ship. Unless you want the heroes to have such a device, Mikhael will be disappointed if he ever finds the wreck of his ship, as the engine has been removed. It is lost somewhere in the depths of the Cerulean Gulf.

Y12. Commander’s Quarters 

These two small rooms are largely bare, save for a single bed, a wooden chest, and a writing desk. One of the rooms has a small statue of a bearded man with three eyes. The figure has been carved in a style that differs significantly from the crumbling statuary you have encountered on the island thus far.

This room is empty of anything of value. If more than a minute is spent in the room, there is a 25% chance that a pair of gygans will arrive with plates of steaming food.

Y11. Prison Cells 

 

This narrow hallway is lined with locked wooden doors. Two soldiers stand guard. Although you cannot see into the rooms beyond the doors, you can hear a man's voice babbling incoherently from behind one of them. You also notice a heavy keyring hanging from the belt of one of the soldiers standing guard. 

These cells contain prisoners from shipwrecked expeditions from the outer world. The cells are locked and require a successful DC 20 Dexterity check using thieves’ tools to open. Two soldiers are always present here as guards. The keys to the cells are carried by one of the guards. Prisoner: The Old Man A crazed, white-haired older man sits in his cell and babbles endlessly. He no longer knows his name and bears many scars from torture. If a greater restoration spell is used on him, he will return to his senses. He will call himself “Enigma” (CN mage) and he will help the heroes confront Chondrus if they can return his spellbook to him. He believes that his spellbook should be located in the Great Library (Y14), but it is actually located in the Sleeping Quarters (Y15).

The room with the statue is where Gaius (see appendix) sleeps and works. The other room is for visiting guests. Letters from Gaius. Many letters are scattered on the writing desk in Gaius’ room. Mostly these letters are communications between him and members of the Order of Sydon in Mytros. Reading through the letters reveals that Gaius is fanatical in his devotion to Sydon. He believes that the Five must be stamped out and that Sydon and his new pantheon will herald a golden age in Thylea. He dreams of a time when the people of Thylea can strike out into the rest of the world and conquer it. Gaius also writes about his love for his dragon, Argyn. He recently purchased a gift for her—a sapphire, her favorite gemstone. She cannot take human form yet, and she has been indifferent to most of his overtures. Treasure. A small chest in the room contains 240 gp and a brilliant blue sapphire worth 1,000 gp. Letter to Sydon. Among the letters is one addressed to the Lord of Storms himself. It reads: 

Divine Sydon, Lord of All— We have received thy orders, and we seek to execute them faithfully. We are overjoyed to hear that thy fleets have been readied for the invasion. Little time remains to the accursed Oath, and the simpering masses of Mytros will soon prostrate themselves at thy glorious feet, as is right and proper. We have but one concern, and that is the continued presence of the horned mage, Lutheria's pet. He does not participate in our daily sacrifices, and my men do not trust him. Can he not be dismissed?

Prisoner: The Outsider Mikhael (LG veteran) is the last survivor of an outsider expedition that met its end in the Cerulean Gulf. He is possibly the most valuable prisoner that the Order has ever captured, because unlike other expeditions from the outer world, Mikhael arrived in an airship. He and his crew made it past the dangers of the Forgotten Sea, but eventually, Sydon sent rocs to destroy the airship and take its captain for interrogation.

—Thy eternal servant, Gaius 

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Y13. Library Entrance 

Two enormous bronze doors stand open, revealing the main library building beyond. The library is a magnificent building with a broad set of stairs leading up to its entrance. Its tall roof is supported by rows of fluted marble pillars. 

The walls of this enormous room are lined with shelves of books and scrolls that almost reach its staggeringly high ceiling. A number of ladders also lean against the walls, allowing access to even the highest tomes. Six robed humans are busy studying and cleaning the library’s contents while two gygans stand guard.

Y16. Laboratory 

This room contains the greatest collection of knowledge in all of Thylea. There are thousands of scrolls and hundreds of books that detail everything from history, religion, poetry, heroic epics, geology, medicine, etc. There is also a section devoted to magical knowledge including the nature of magic, famous magicians, planar lore, and other topics. Six scholars (LE acolytes) tend to the books in this vast library during the day. Two gygans guard the library at all times.

The Great Library contains several volumes about the dragons that disappeared at the end of the First War. Balmytria is known to be dead, because her body is interred in her tomb at Telamok. The other four dragons were last seen in the vicinity of The Golden Heart. One book speculates that the dragons were captured by the Titans, but Chondrus has written notes in the margin suggesting that he knows this to be false. He believes that they were not captured but rather transformed into something else.

There are a half-dozen bunk beds in this room. This is where the scholars sleep. Enigma's Spellbook. Enigma’s spellbook is lying open on one of the desks here. Use the mage spell list.

Stone tables take up most of this room. They are covered in glassware of various sizes and shapes, arcane tools, and strange artifacts. Two humans are at one table, where they are intently mixing ingredients into beakers. Two others sit on the stone floor with their eyes closed. One of the shelves is filled with glass vials that contain rows of colorful liquids.

The Missing Dragons

You enter a room containing six bunk beds. These quarters are tidier and more comfortable than the soldiers’ barracks, with desks and shelves of books.

Y14. The Great Library

Y15. Sleeping Quarters 

The bronze doors are covered in depictions of the once-great Gygan Empire. The figures shown here are engaged in reading, writing, and learned conversation. Scrolls, quills, and bound books have been carved into the surrounding stonework.

it safely would be very difficult. The ten most valuable books are worth 1,000 gp each. Research. Spending 1d6 hours researching in the library is the equivalent of asking the Oracle one question about Thylea. If you choose, the information gained from research can be misleading and out of date, thanks to the great age of many of the books and scrolls.

This chamber is where the acolytes spend their time in magical studies, gathering knowledge by contacting other planes. Chondrus has ordered them to work day and night, in rotating shifts. There are two acolytes in deep meditation. They are oblivious to their surroundings unless they are shaken by someone. The two standing acolytes are mixing alchemical concoctions. They are so intent on their work that they will ignore anyone who enters the room for at least 1d6 rounds, unless they are interrupted. Treasure. There are many potions in this room. The shelf contains two potions of clairvoyance, a potion of mind reading, a potion of superior healing, a potion of longevity and a potion of heroism.

Y17. Chondrus’s Apartments Treasure The library contains a wealth of books and information that the heroes may find useful. Mythology. Every myth except for the Game of the Gods can be found and read here. Refer to the Secrets and Myths appendix for details. Valuable Books. The entire collection of books in the library is worth around 100,000 gp, but transporting 168

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These lavish quarters are a stark contrast to the austere furnishings found throughout the rest of the library complex. The room has silk curtains, ornate rugs, and chairs and tables carved from fine wood. A gilded chest sits by a large four-poster bed. A bronze bowl stands atop a pillar of stone at the center of the room. 

Chondrus (see appendix) is the arcane master who runs the great library. As a high priest of Lutheria, he is viewed with suspicion by the soldiers and gygans, but Gaius has commanded them to follow the mage's orders. Servant of Lutheria. Chondrus was once a part of Lutheria's personal harem in Hypnos. She grew bored of him and cast him out. Now, he seeks any way back into her good graces. In desperation, he has contacted one of the denizens of Hades, forming a pact with a powerful arcanoloth. The arcanoloth has provided Chondrus with magical secrets and information about the heroes. He surrenders most of this knowledge to Sydon, but he has kept some of it for his own purposes. Confronting Chondrus Unless Chondrus has been alerted, he can always be found here communing with the arcanoloth, using the bronze bowl in the middle of the room. His mezzoloth servant stands in a corner, awaiting instructions. Chondrus wields a dagger of defense. If he is alerted to the presence of intruders, he will cast the invisibility spell on himself and then lead the mezzoloth to search for the heroes. His goal is to speak with them first. Chondrus's Bargain. Chondrus realizes that nothing will win him more favor than delivering the heroes directly to Lutheria. He will offer to join the party and lead them to Hypnos, where he will plead their case before the Lady of Dreams. In truth, he will do everything possible to sabotage them in the Nether Sea and deliver them to Lutheria helpless. Epic Paths: The Dragonslayer If the Dragonslayer is in the party, then Chondrus carries the hero's greater artifact. In this case, he will offer the item as part of his bargain.

The Bowl and the Missing Gear The Bronze Bowl. If the heroes look into the bowl, they will see the sly face of the arcanoloth staring back at them. It will communicate with them telepathically and try to convince the heroes to make a deal with it. It offers extensive information about the Nether Sea in exchange for an oath of service. The Gilded Chest. The gilded chest in this room holds the missing gear to the Antikythera device. It is carefully wrapped in a white cloth. The chest also contains Chondrus's spellbook, along with three rings worth 250 gp each and 450 pp in coin. The Antikythera's Missing Gear The missing gear to the Antikythera device is required for the heroes to navigate the Forgotten Sea. It's very important that the heroes don't miss this item.

Letter to Lutheria. On his desk, Chondrus has written a letter to Lutheria in Infernal. It reads: 

Divine Lutheria, Mistress of Death— The demon in the bowl has told me much about the creatures imprisoned in the cubes of the Nether Sea. This knowledge will be useful to thee, I am certain. Seeking always to satisfy thy desire, I have faithfully rendered seven years of service to thy insipid husband and his sycophantic followers. What more must I do to once again earn my place at thy rapturous feet? —Thy eternal servant, Chondrus 

Y18. Sacrificial Altar 

A large stone altar sits out in the open. Piles of ashes and charred wood sit atop the altar. 

This is where offerings are given to Sydon. Searching through the charred wood and ashes will reveal animal bones mixed in with a few human bones.

Chrondus the Arcane Master

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Island of Themis Themis is the largest island in the Cerulean Gulf and consists of relatively flat grassland with small copses of trees. There is one deep, safe bay on the western edge of the island that is an ideal anchorage. Another deep bay on the eastern edge of the island is too dangerous for ships to enter due to jagged rocks that break the surface. 

Amazon Lifemates Amazonian lifemates fight side-by-side with deadly coordination. In the event that an Amazon witnesses the death of her lifemate, she will enter a berserk state where she gains advantage on all melee attacks. Enemies gain advantage on attacks made against her in this state. 

Your ship nears a large isle made up of flat grassland only occasionally broken by small copses. From your ship, you can see a herd of strange, speckled creatures similar in appearance to horses but with ridiculously long necks that can reach to the top of tall trees. 

Themis has different fauna from the rest of Thylea, including tropical animals such as antelopes, giraffes, lions, hyenas, and rhinoceroses. Tales of these creatures are told far and wide, but what truly makes the island famous are its legendary denizens: the Amazons. Island Handout: Themis When the party arrives at Themis, give your players a copy of the Island of Themis map.

Queen Thesilea

The Amazons of Themis are currently led by Queen Thesilea VI, the sixth of her name and "first amongst equals." Despite this title, Thesilea VI and her two sisters rule the Amazons with absolute power, backed by the authority of Lutheria. There has been no equality among the Amazons for over a decade. The three sisters wear sacred platinum helmets that signify obedience to Lutheria and elevate them above the rest of the sisterhood. The helmets also conceal a dangerous truth: Thesilea and her sisters are actually medusae who murdered the previous queen thirteen years ago and replaced her. None of the other Amazons on the island suspect this terrifying truth, and few would believe it without damning evidence.

Death Cult of Lutheria

THE AMAZONS

Centuries ago, the Amazons of Themis were counted among the diverse warrior-tribes of Indigo Island. But during the First War, their forces were entirely shattered by the armies of the Titans. Blaming their losses on the frailty of the men who surrounded them, they sought to isolate themselves from the rest of Thylea and create a stronger society: a society dominated by female warriors. Accordingly, they retreated to the remote island of Themis and established an isolated kingdom, unspoiled by the weakness of men. The Amazons are as racially diverse as the tribes of Indigo Island, including elves, dwarves, gnomes, and even native races such as sirens and minotaurs. The Amazons define themselves as a sacred band of warriors who always stand together as a sisterhood. They train for combat from an early age, and once they come of age, they form into pairs of sister-warriors: lifemates. There are only a few thousand Amazons on Themis, but they are among the most feared warriors in all of Thylea—brutal berserkers with no mercy. They have been known to take prisoners for breeding purposes, but most of them are executed.

When the imposter queen came to power thirteen years ago, she converted all the shrines on the island and enforced the worship of Lutheria. There was initial resistance to this change, but it was soon quashed by a campaign of fear and public execution. Those who survived are grudgingly loyal to the throne. Some of Lutheria’s servants dwell among the Amazons to watch over them and ensure their loyalty. There is a small band of maenads who rove across the island, accompanied by their children (goatlings) and some leering men (cultists). These are the only surviving men on the island who are older than eighteen. Every night, the band celebrates with a wild bacchanal that includes drinking and sometimes bloodshed.

Creatures of Themis The Amazons have domesticated some of the beasts on Themis. They use rhinoceroses as mounts, and they have trained the native basilisks to act as hounds. Most Amazon warriors keep clockwork birds, called stimfay, as loyal companions and scouts.

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Encounter: Maenads

Men of Themis

If the heroes travel by night, they may encounter the roving band of maenads.

Men are tolerated on the island only for the purposes of procreation—they have no voice in civic affairs or in the raising of children. Amazons disdain men as a rule, but there are some who have a sympathetic opinion of the weaker sex. Such women might love a man the way they love a faithful dog—anything more would be taboo. Men who are captured on the island may be thrown into prison and evaluated for suitability as breeding stock. Queen Thesilea keeps a small selection of young men for this purpose at an underwater temple on a small island off the coast of Themis. These men have been raised since they were children to believe that they are the favored sons of Lutheria. But on their eighteenth birthdays, they are escorted out of the temple and turned to stone.

The Amazons don’t build any permanent structures on the island except for their prison. Instead, they travel across the island and make temporary camps, usually of 10-20 Amazons and rhino mounts. Each camp is prepared for surprise raids and skirmishes with the other camps. This perpetual “great game of war” is considered essential to the Amazonian way of life.

Event: Amazon War Party

ENCOUNTERS

Once the Amazons know that there are outsiders on Themis, they will dispatch a war band to capture them.

Encounter: Amazon hunting party

When the heroes first arrive on the island, they may encounter a group of Amazons and basilisk “hounds” hunting antelope.

Unless the heroes are all women, the four Amazon warriors will attack on sight, declaring the party to be trespassers and spies. Each of the Amazons is mounted on a rhinoceros, and they will be aided in the fight by the four basilisks. If the heroes are all women, then the Amazons will surround them and insist that they must be taken to their queen, Thesilea.

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You hear something rush over your head, carried on a strong gust of wind. Six fierce-looking women hang from mechanical birds that rapidly glide towards your party. Once close to the ground, the women drop down, tumble, and stand before you with their weapons drawn. The avian constructs wheel and continue their descent towards your party.

A small herd of delicate antelope crosses your path. Four suddenly stop. One looks back and immediately turns to stone. The reason for its petrification quickly becomes apparent as four eight-legged reptiles the size of bulls burst into view. The creatures have been fitted with harnesses that are held by a group of athletic women riding strange beasts not far behind. The mounts are just as strange as the hounds: they are large, hairless animals with leathery gray hides and horns protruding from their snouts. 

The band consists of six maenads, a dozen goatlings, and five leering men (NE cultists). They are all drunk and engaged in fornication, drinking, gambling, dancing, and singing. If the heroes investigate, the men invite them to join the party. They explain that this land is now the domain of Lutheria, the Lady of Dreams, but the Amazons are too proud to join their celebrations. The maenads will attack the heroes if they refuse to join in the revelry. The cultists have the poisoned condition due to their inebriated state.

War Camps and Skirmishes

Wild music, celebratory shouting, and primal grunting fill the night air. You stumble into a hedonistic scene lit by firelight. Some revelers dance and sing, while others throw dice on the ground. By far the largest contingent is the tangle of bodies rutting in the grass. The group consists of six horned women, a dozen creatures with the legs of goats, and five adult human men. Though all of them appear to be drunk, the men are particularly slow and awkward.

The six Amazon warriors drop down to attack the heroes while their stimfay attack from the air. The Amazon warriors are all lifemated pairs: when one of them dies, their lifemate enters a berserker frenzy. If the heroes are captured, they will be stripped of their gear and taken to The Prisons (P7) in the Sacred Temple. Once there, they will be imprisoned and later questioned by Leah, one of Queen Thesilea’s sisters.

THE SACRED TEMPLE

The sacred temple of the Amazons is located on an island in an eastern bay of Themis. This well-defended complex is constructed entirely underground, and it doubles as both a prison and a place of worship. The Amazons who guard this temple are those who were

cruel and self-interested enough to embrace the worship of Lutheria when Queen Thesilea came to power. They scorn the rest of the Amazons as weaklings. The main entrance to the temple is on the small rocky outcrop of the island, above the high tide line. There are two secret entrances located underwater which can be used by someone who is willing to confront a hydra or squeeze through a pipe. All of the Amazons know of the two underwater entrances. The only way for the party to learn about them is to interrogate one of the Amazons that they encounter on the island.

The bronze doors are unlocked. This area is under guard at all times by two Amazon warriors who will fight to the death. They are lifemates, and if one dies, the other goes into a berserker frenzy. If a fight breaks out, it may be heard by Nura in the Basilisk Pens (P3), and she will release her creatures to join the fight.

P3. Basilisk Pens 

Ceilings The ceilings throughout the temple are 10 feet high unless otherwise noted.

Illumination All of the rooms and hallways have a single brazier hanging from the ceiling with a continual flame spell providing light.

KEY LOCATIONS P1. Island of Statues 

A forest of life-sized human statues stands on the island. The vast majority of these marble statues are beautiful, naked young men. A handful are different, belonging to one of two distinct groups. The first set is a motley assortment of fit but average-looking men of all ages. Some of these are engraved with tattoos or scars, while others are missing one or more limbs. 

This is a stable for the basilisks that the Amazons raise as hounds. The pieces of rubble are taken from the statues outside and broken up into food for the basilisks. There are four basilisks in the pens. Nura, a dwarven Amazon warrior, acts as their keeper. She has raised basilisks all of her life and loves the creatures more than she loves any of her sisters. She enters a berserker frenzy when one of them dies, as if it were her lifemate. Nura will release the basilisks if she hears any combat occurring in the Entry Chamber (P2). It takes her two rounds to unlock the cages and come to the aid of her embattled sisters.

You continue into the underground complex by way of a well-constructed tunnel. A honeycomb-like structure of large holes runs along one of the tunnel’s walls. Occasional splashing and dripping noises reverberate from these smaller tunnels. The atmosphere is humid and smells of stagnant water.

By order of Queen Thesilea, when an Amazon male reaches the age of 18, he is brought here and turned to stone. These are the young male statues. Mixed in with the hundreds of youthful males are older men, most of whom were unfortunate sailors who had the bad luck to shipwreck on Themis. Guardian Golems. At the very center of the island is a grand marble staircase that leads down to the prison of the Amazons. The four statues at the entrance are not petrified men but four marble golems, gifts to the Amazonian queen from Lutheria. These golems will attack anyone who is not an Amazon woman.

P2. Entry Chamber 

The entrance to the underground complex beyond is barred by a set of imposing bronze doors. Two women sit at a table in front of the great doors. Both are armed with swords and bows. 

P4. Hydra Tunnels 

This chamber has a set of pens constructed from bronze, each able to hold an animal the size of a large horse. Piles of white stone rubble lie just outside each pen. Many of the shattered pieces are in the shapes of human limbs and faces. The pens hold eight-legged reptiles, and one of them makes a contented rumbling noise as a stocky, muscular woman scratches the underside of its chin.

The holes along the wall lead to the Hydra Lair (P5). Small creatures, such as halflings, can crawl into the holes, which are 2 ft. wide, and traverse the tunnels. Hydra Trap. The hydra in the adjacent chamber uses the holes to attack anyone who tries to traverse this hallway without saying the proper command words. The command words are “By the Grace of Lutheria.” Every Amazon in the temple complex knows these words. Portcullis Trap. There is a trap trigger plate at the center of the hall that releases three portcullises if someone steps on it. The trigger plate can be spotted with a successful DC 18 Wisdom (Perception) check. When activated, the portcullises will trap anyone in Ch apter 5 | The Cerule a n Gulf

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the hallway. Lifting one of them requires a combined Strength of 30. The trap can be reset by pulling a lever in the Amazon Barracks (P6).

P6. Amazon Barracks

Hydra Heads The Amazons have transformed this hydra into a monstrous and powerful guardian. A hydra can have a practical maximum of thirteen heads; beyond that count the heads start to become more of a hindrance than a help, and a hydra with more than thirteen heads will eat the extra heads when it gets hungry. Each extra head after the fifth one adds 10 HP to a hydra’s hit point total to a maximum of 252 HP. When a hydra gains more than thirteen heads, it stops gaining extra hit points and becomes unbalanced. The 14+ headed hydra’s heads have disadvantage on their attacks. For each head after the thirteenth, the hydra's walk and swim speed are reduced by 5 feet. A hydra with 19 heads is therefore completely immobile. The hydra in the Sacred Temple has ten heads (222 HP). The hydra is able to attack each 5 ft. square of the hallway with two of its heads. If it is reduced to less than five heads, it will retreat back to its lair.

Treasure There are six chests in the room. They contain the personal possessions of the guards: each has an adamantine dagger, 10d4 pp, and 1d6 gems (50 gp per gem).

P7. The Prisons

Treasure The hydra messily devours anyone who enters its lair, and many of its victims' items are still lodged within its

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You come to a hallway lined with locked prison doors of heavy oak. The only view of the cramped quarters beyond is a small barred window in the center each door. Two of the cells are occupied by lizardfolk, who scratch at the door and plead with you in hissing voices. The last cell houses a young woman with a scar across her face. She is strangely quiet.

A large reptilian creature paces in the cave’s center. Ten heads sprout from narrow snakelike necks, snapping occasionally at each other. The creature moves unsteadily on its four limbs, which seem a little inadequate for the task of propelling its own awkwardly distributed weight. An array of identical two-foot-wide holes have been bored into the cavern’s north wall. To the south, a pool laps against the rocky subterranean shore.

This cavern is the lair of a hydra. There is a bronze circular portal set into the floor that leads to the Temple of Lutheria (P11). The pool of water gives the hydra access to the outside, where it goes fishing when hungry. The ceiling in this cavern is 20 feet high. The Monstrous Gift. This hydra was a gift from Lutheria to Queen Thesilea. She and her sister have modified the hydra by cutting its heads off and allowing more to regrow. While the Amazons have trained the hydra to not attack the hallway when the correct words are spoken, the monstrosity will always attack anyone who enters its lair. It remembers its suffering at the hands of the Amazons and is still angry.

This is where the temple guards sleep and eat. There are usually two Amazon warriors here—cruel prison wardens who spend their time playing dice. There is a lever on the north wall that can be used to raise and lower the portcullises in the hallway outside (P4).

Sets of bunk beds line the walls of this modest room. Aside from the wooden chests that rest at the foot of each bunk, the only other furniture of note is a large circular table with a set of matching chairs around it.

P5. Hydra Lair 

stomach. If the hydra is cut open, there are two emerald rings worth 1,000 gp each and a star sapphire medallion worth 2,500 gp. The legendary sword, Titansbane, can also be found within the hydra's stomach.

This prison houses anyone who is captured by the Amazons. Currently, there are two lizardfolk who were captured in a recent raid on Fire Island. These lizardfolk are loyal to Vytha, the deposed lizard queen, and they will work with any potential rescuers to escape. They promise great rewards for the heroes if they agree to rescue Bront, the jancan from the Forge Room (P13), and bring him back to Fire Island to serve their queen. Darien, The Silent Prisoner One of the cells holds Darien (NG Amazon warrior) who seems to be incapable of speaking. This is because her prison cell has been permanently enchanted with the silence spell. She is visited once every few days by her loyal stimfay, who brings her news of the outside world, including exciting tales of the party's exploits. Darien is the rightful heir to the throne of the Amazons, but she has been captive here for thirteen

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years—ever since she was five years old. Thesilea murdered her mother, the former queen, but not before swearing an oath that she would allow Darien to come of age unharmed. Accordingly, the girl was kept silent and out of sight, while an imposter assumed the throne. The Rightful Queen. If the heroes release Darien from her cell, then she begins to speak, haltingly. She explains that the Amazons have been corrupted by Lutheria. Thesilea and her sisters were once trusted advisors to the throne—until something changed. They cornered Darien's mother in her chambers and revealed themselves to be inhuman monsters with snakes for hair. They had been transformed into medusae and granted dark powers by the Lady of Dreams. The truth about Queen Thesilea is a secret known only to Darien. She is eager to join with the heroes and exact revenge upon the monsters who killed her mother. She has spent her entire life training in her cell so that she can one day reclaim the throne and banish all worship of Lutheria from Themis, restoring the Amazons to a sisterhood of equals.

Darien the Silent Prisoner

P8. The Stockroom 

The walls of this room are lined with bunk beds. Fine rugs line the floor and its residents—four unarmed men—recline in chairs cushioned with velvet pillows. The young men appear to be angry and confused at your sudden intrusion into their reverie. 

This is where the breeding stock of men are kept until they come of age. There are usually four young men in the room (CN commoners), with the rest in the Breeding Chambers (P10). They have been raised since birth to be absolutely loyal to the Amazons. They will not attack intruders, but they won’t help them either. If given a chance, the men will try to raise the alarm. Attempts to convince them of their cruel situation will fall upon deaf ears. They believe that they are the blessed sons of Lutheria and that they will become immortal when they are transformed into stone. The heroes can shatter the beliefs of one of the men with a successful DC 20 Charisma (Persuasion) check. He will not be of much help, however, as his knowledge is limited to the rooms on this level.

P9. Hall of Honors 

This finely-appointed room stands empty except for several bunk beds and a table. Lining the walls are dozens of commemorative bronze medallions. Hanging along the back wall is a large scroll with writing on it. 

This chamber is used by the Amazons to reward the victors of the great game of war that is played out across the island each year. It is currently empty. The scroll on the back wall bears the ancient code of the Amazons. A SISTERHOOD OF EQUALS, OUR STRENGTH FORGED IN BATTLE. DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR!

P10. Breeding Chambers 

The centerpieces of this luxurious room are its two large beds, which are equipped with soft silks and pillows in vibrant shades of red. In one bed, two women and three young men lie contorted around each other in ecstasy. In the other bed, two scrawny goat-like creatures perform acts that are slightly more profane. 

This is where Thesilea's favored warriors breed with their male stock. It is usually done in a religious fervor, aided by the consumption of the Madon fungus. Usually there are two Amazon warriors and three men (CN commoners) in the room. In addition, there are two goatling tricksters here enjoying themselves. None of them have weapons, and they will only attack if they are disturbed.

P11. Temple of Lutheria 

Treasure. There is a small bronze chest under the bed. Inside is a sending stone. The other stone is in the possession of Moxena, the Lady of Coins from the Colossus of Pythor (C6). Moxena is the sister of Leah and Thesilea, but she has been away from Themis for more than a decade. The chest also contains 100 gp and 75 pp, and the key to Bront’s shackles.

P13. Forge Room 

Cushions and chairs line the walls of this great, highceilinged, oblong room. At the opposite end of the chamber stands a white marble statue of a horned woman wielding a crystal scythe. The woman's eyes are inlaid with black onyx, and her unearthly gaze seems to follow you around the room. 

This is not only a place of worship, but also where Amazons are taken to give birth. Statue of Lutheria. Anyone who touches the statue must make a DC 20 Wisdom saving throw. On a failure, they are rendered catatonic for 1 hour, during which they experience horrifying visions of the Nether Sea.

P12. The Queen’s Chambers 

These living quarters have been furnished by someone with an eye for beauty and luxury. A woman and a young man are making love on the room’s only bed. Although otherwise completely naked, the woman is still wearing the platinum helmet that symbolizes her station as a ruler of the Amazons. A horned woman serenades the couple with her pan flute, though her music does little to silence the infant cries coming from a cradle at the corner of the room. 

This grand room is flanked by two elements: along one wall, fires blaze within a massive forge; along the opposite wall there is a pool of cold, clear water. An anvil stands halfway between the two walls, and a pile of bronze rubbish next to it reflects the light of the fire. Upon closer inspection, the heap of bronze is half-finished mechanical birds the size of men. The room’s only occupant is a male cyclops with strange hands. He has ten fingers on each! One of his legs is chained to a ring in the floor.

This is where the blacksmith, Bront (TN jancan), forges weapons, armor and other constructs for the Amazons. He is a prisoner here, having been captured during a raid upon Fire Island. His ankle is shackled to the floor by adamantine chain links. He has enough chain to move about the room, but no more. The key to this chain is held by Leah, the medusa, among her treasures. Bront is scared and lonely. He wants to talk to anyone who enters. Most of all, he wants to escape and return to Fire Island, where he served Jankor, the lizardfolk king. He might have been heartless and demanding, but he was fair and treated him with a degree of respect. If the heroes ask about the whereabouts of Titansbane, the legendary sword, he will explain that Thesilea grew annoyed with it and fed it to the hydra.

The doors to this room are always locked, as the chamber is used by Queen Thesilea or her sisters when they are visiting the temple. The lock requires a DC 15 Dexterity check with thieves' tools to open. Leah (CE medusa) is currently here, although she is preoccupied by the company of one of the men from the Stockroom (P8), while a maenad plays music for the lovers. The cradle in a corner of the room holds two goatling tricksters disguised as human infants. Leah is the honored sister of Queen Thesilea. She will not immediately remove her helmet in a fight. She will wait until more than one of the heroes has engaged in melee with her before doing so, to maximize the shock value of her true powers. The young man will cower beneath the sheets and avoid battle.

The Son of Bront If Steros the Jancan is present with the party, he will expect and then demand that his father be rescued. Bront will be surprised to see Steros, as the last time the two of them spoke was at Praxys. Bront was previously unaware that his son replaced him on Fire Island.

Treasure Hanging on the wall is a shield +1 with the symbol of Lutheria is emblazoned upon it. The shield is a present intended for Queen Thesilea at her next birthday. There are several other finely-crafted weapons and pieces of armor hanging on the walls, including two adamantine shortswords, an adamantine breastplate, and a coat of mithral chain mail. Ch apter 5 | The Cerule a n Gulf

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P14. Cooling Pipe

The Queen's War Party

This pipe feeds water into the pool in the Forge Room (P13). Bront uses the water to quench heated metal that he's working. The pipe is large enough for a Mediumsized creature (or smaller) to swim through.

If the heroes raid the Sacred Temple and escape, Queen Thesilea will ride out and confront them when they try to make their way back to their ship. 

CONFRONTING QUEEN THESILEA

There are two ways for the heroes to encounter and confront Queen Thesilea. They may encounter her in the Sacred Temple complex, or they may encounter her on the way back to their ship. Moxena's Secret Plot If Moxena, the Lady of Coins, is present during this part of the adventure, she will actively seek revenge upon her sister, Thesilea. She will demand to accompany the heroes when they land on Themis, and she will use disguise self to appear human until her goals are achieved. When she meets Thesilea or Leah, she will start a battle no matter what the heroes desire. Once her sisters have been killed, Moxena will seize control of the Sacred Temple and declare herself the new Queen of the Amazons. Depending upon how the party has treated her, she may allow the heroes to leave in peace. If the party has been respectful towards Moxena, then she will reward each hero with 500 gp in precious gemstones. However, if they have been disrespectful, then she will order them all killed. Moxena will do everything possible to undermine Darien, who is the rightful queen. She wants only to reclaim the power and position that her sisters denied her. She has no interest in the Amazon code.

Inside the Temple Within the Temple complex Queen Thesilea (NE medusa) is always accompanied by her personal guard, five fanatical Amazon warriors who are as cruel as she is. They are willing to die for their queen, even if her true nature is revealed. They go berserk if she is killed. If Leah is still alive when the heroes meet Thesilea, then she will immediately join the battle alongside her sister. She and her sister will reveal their true natures during the battle, in order to make use of their powers. If the heroes are fighting alongside Darien, Thesilea's guards consider her to be no more than an escaped prisoner. Darien cannot claim the throne until Thesilea has been defeated in battle. Moreover, Darien came of age several months ago, so Thesilea is no longer oathbound—she is free to order Darien's execution.

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As you make your way across the island, a thunder of animals can be heard in the distance, growing louder over time. Soon, you make out the figures of six female warriors riding towards you on stocky, horned creatures. Each looks your way and begins nocking an arrow. Their leader, a particularly regal figure, wears a platinum helmet. In the sky above, six more warrior women hang from large clockwork birds, which fly in your direction. 

The queen and her five riders (Amazon warriors) will keep their distance and attack with bows. Six additional Amazon warriors arrive with their stimfay, dropping down to attack the heroes in close combat. The queen and her warriors fight to the death.

The Death of the Queen Once Thesilea and her sister have been killed, Amazon tribes from across the island will arrive at the Sacred Temple to arrest the remaining forces who were loyal to the medusae. They grudgingly thank the heroes for their assistance (preferring female heroes if possible). At this point, the heroes may recommend Darien or Moxena as the new queen, if either of them are present. Alternatively, if one of the heroes is an Amazonian woman, they may claim the throne for themselves. The Rightful Queen Once Thesilea has been dealt with, the heroes may present Darien as the rightful queen of the Amazons. She can secure her claim by reciting a secret royal phrase in the Temple of Lutheria (P11), which causes the statue of Lutheria to crumble into dust.

The Queen's Treasure Queen Thesilea carries a golden, gem-studded holy symbol of Lutheria worth 1,000 gp. The platinum helmets worn by Thesilea and her sisters are worth 800 gp each, but they are relics that have belonged to the true queens of the Amazons for centuries. Epic Paths: The Amazon Queen If the Haunted One is in the party, then Queen Thesilea also carries the greater family artifact that they seek. Refer to the Running the Epic Paths section for details.

Chapter 6:

The Forgotten Sea "The Forgotten Sea comprises thousands of miles of ocean churned by storms, whirlpools, and elemental magic. The waters are home to massive creatures, cyclopean ruins, and the tower of the ocean god himself. You cannot conquer the Forgotten Sea—you can only survive it."

T

—Vallus, Goddess of Wisdom

he Forgotten Sea is the endless expanse of ocean that stretches beyond the Cerulean Gulf. This is the indisputable domain of Sydon, the Lord of Storms. The sailors of Mytros and Aresia know better than to cross through the narrow straits of the Barrier Islands, because the Titan does not suffer trespassers to live. Death awaits any mortal who ventures into the territory of the ocean god. There are hundreds of islands in the Forgotten Sea. This chapter details those that are most significant to the story of this book, but just about any adventure set on a remote island could take place here. Feel free to include encounters that would be unusual in the rest of Thylea. Sydon may have recruited powerful outside forces into his armies—or perhaps his storms have simply shipwrecked them here.

Running the Adventure The party's primary goal in the Forgotten Sea is to find and confront the Titans. Sydon can be found in his tower at Praxys, but Kyrah recommends confronting Lutheria first. Both Titans are extremely dangerous, but Sydon is protected by an entire army. Lutheria can be found by seeking out an entrance to the Nether Sea, but Kyrah doesn't know where to find one. The party should eventually stumble into the massive whirlpool, Charybdis, which will take them there.

Dangerous Waters Sailing the Forgotten Sea should feel more dangerous than the Cerulean Gulf. Storms and encounters are more frequent here, and the ocean is always rough, pushing the crew of the Ultros to its limits. 

As you sail into the Forgotten Sea, dark storm clouds spread across the horizon and powerful waves crash against the hull of your ship. Saltwater frequently rains down upon the deck, drenching the crew. You suddenly realize that sailing through these angry waters will someday be counted among your many Great Labors. 

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Aerie of the Roc 

Your ship approaches an island dominated by a single massive mountain surrounded by steep cliffs. The island is ringed by coral reefs and jagged rocks. Any attempts to navigate a large ship near this island’s rocky shores are likely to end in disaster. 

This mountainous island soars 500 ft. into the air, has no natural bays, and is surrounded by dangerous reefs and rocky shallows. Approaching the island requires the use of a rowboat. Navigating the rocks and reefs in the rowboat requires a successful DC 15 Wisdom (Survival) check. Magical transportation would also work. The craggy island is the nesting place for a mated pair of rocs who have produced a clutch of young—a once per decade event. The rocs have been hunting aggressively to feed their voracious young. Normally, rocs have enormous, world-spanning hunting grounds, but this pair have confined themselves to the waters around Thylea, in order to remain close to their nest. The rocs are protective of their nest, making them more aggressive than they would typically be.

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Climbing to the Nest There are no easy paths up to the rocs’ nest. Climbing requires three successful DC 18 Strength (Athletics) checks. The party can make the climb easier by using ropes and pitons. Falling from any height results in 30 (10d6) bludgeoning damage. Other flying scavengers nest on the lower parts of the island, eating whatever scraps that the rocs leave behind. Amongst these scavengers are a half dozen perytons nesting in a cave half way up the cliffs. The perytons are hungry and thus very aggressive.

The Rocs' Nest 

This massive nest is constructed from splintered tree trunks and ship masts. The nest is splattered with heaps of bird droppings, some of which seem to hide salvage from destroyed ships. Six towering fledglings with hooked beaks gaze at you hungrily. 

Six fledgling rocs (use giant vulture statistics) live in the nest. They won't leave the nest, but they will attack anything that comes within pecking distance. Whenever they reduce a target to zero hit points, they tear it apart and devour it hungrily. Treasure Amid the droppings of the fledgling rocs are spoils from the wreckage of many Thylean ships. Each hour spent

searching the nest turns up random treasure. Roll once on the CR 5-10 treasure hoard table in the 5th Edition Game Master's Guide for each hour. After three hours of searching, everything has been discovered. For each hour that the heroes spend searching, there is a 20% cumulative chance of the two adult rocs returning to the nest (20% in the first hour, 40% in the second, 60% in the third).

The Garden of Helios 

The island ahead is completely shrouded in fog. When you sail close enough to properly see through this haze, you find that rocky cliffs have formed a natural plateau, elevating the island's landscape far above the water. You can see shrubs and other plants spilling over the top of the cliffs, and you hear the strange, trumpeting calls of exotic beasts from farther inland. 

This island is surrounded by enormous cliffs and perpetually surrounded by clouds and mist. There are a couple of anchorages, but anyone landing faces a long climb up to the island’s plateau-like top. Most of the island consists of shrubs and grasslands, but there is a sizeable forest in the center. A cyclops clan has lived here for many centuries, and around 100 of the giants still live on the island. There are 80 male and female adults with 20 young (use ogre statistics for the young cyclopes). The cyclopes spend their lives raising large herds of elephants as cattle.

The Sun God The island is ruled by a radiant, golden-haired man named Helios (NE polymorphed adult gold dragon), hence its name. He claims to be the sun god who was once revered by all the mortal and giant races of Thylea, long before the coming of the Dragonlords. False God It's true that Helios was once revered as a sun god, but he never possessed any true divine power. He is merely a dragon who masquerades as a god by dazzling his worshippers with his polymorphed form. Helios came here as a wyrmling 600 years ago, blown off course while flying between continents. He makes infrequent visits to mainland Thylea, mostly to check on various ancient shrines that were constructed to honor him, centuries ago. He is still revered by many small tribes of native creatures, including cyclopes, nymphs, centaurs, and satyrs.

Paranoid Dragon Helios is suspicious of anyone who comes to his island. Sydon warned him long ago that Thyleans would send heroes to kill and flay him for his beautiful golden skin. There is, indeed, an almost forgotten legend that the skin of “the Sun God” grants immortality to any who wear it, and one of the Ultros’ crew will mention it if Helios is discussed when the heroes are aboard. In spite of his understandably suspicious nature, Helios is always pleased by the prospect of visitors. The company of cyclopes leaves much to be desired as they are crude, often violent folk. Helios also seeks knowledge about current events in Thylea. He will not reveal his dragon form to visitors until he has decided whether or not to devour them, or they directly attack him. The heroes will be on the menu if he decides they represent a threat to his domain, or to Sydon.

The Cyclops Army Centuries ago, Helios swore an oath of service to Sydon in order to protect his island. He has been training his cyclopes to wear armor and to wield mauls, in preparation for the Titan’s forthcoming battle against the mortals of Thylea. However, Helios cares for his cyclopes as if they were his children, and he dislikes the idea of sending them to war. Cyclopean Ruins. The cyclopes live in ancient stone buildings that were built by the gygans a thousand years ago. The buildings are now partial ruins, as the cyclopes have not taken care of them. The creatures live simple, but contented, lives tending to their herds and competing in games of strength. When he’s not training the cyclopes, Helios spends his time on a small island just off the coast of the main island. It is forested and rather beautiful. He lives in a shallow lake at the center. Armored Cyclopes Each adult cyclops on the island has AC 16. Their multiattack action allows them to make two maul attacks. Maul: Melee Weapon Attack, +9 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 29 (6d6 + 6) bludgeoning damage. Ch apter 6 | The Forgotten Se a

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The Feast Helios awaits the party on the small island where he makes his home. He takes his polymorphed form and uses the full effect of his charm, his beauty, and his radiant golden jewelry to give the impression of a gracious and generous “Sun God.”

Helios the Sun God

You arrive at the prepared feast, set on a pristine sandy beach that borders a crystal-clear pool at the center of the small island. An elderly cyclops with a milky white eye sets out plates of enormous cuts of roasted meat on the ornate dining table before you. Your host stands at the opposite end of the table. Helios is an incredibly handsome man, made more splendid by radiant jewelry and skin that nearly glows with divine vigor. Sunlight glints from his golden hair, which matches the burnished color of his eyes. 

As the feast begins, Helios dismisses his guards, leaving only Tolyphemus, an elderly and blind cyclops, to serve the main dish of elephant meat. Tolyphemus serves as the sun god’s chef and steward. He dislikes mortals—human sailors blinded him years ago. Helios politely converses with the heroes for a little while. He asks about their heroic exploits and appears duly impressed if they describe their deeds. Epic Path: The Dragonslayer Helios has long anticipated the arrival of the Dragonslayer. He was told by the Fates that someone from their family or village would one day kill him. Consequently, he rained fire down upon their village, but he could never confirm whether the Dragonslayer survived. Now, he hopes to rectify his past failure. Refer to the Running the Epic Paths section for details.

of the ancient Indeed, I have heard tales be radiant with sun god, Helios. He is said to surely he gold, blinding to look upon. But

self. cannot be as handsome as my — Pythor, God of Battle

Battling Helios Eventually, Helios grows bored with the heroes (particularly if they are boastful and arrogant) and decides that they are to become the next course in his meal.

The Invitation

Helios sends a band of six cyclopes to greet visitors and bring them into his presence. The cyclopes are quite stupid, but they have been ordered to be gracious and accommodating with guests. They speak of their master with open reverence and invite the heroes to a feast: 

“Great Sun God Helios welcome you to island. He send warm greetings and invite you to feast! Thanks be to Great Sun God. He is kind and generous master!” 

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Helios sighs heavily and stretches his arms. “You seemed like such interesting guests, but this party has grown dreadfully tedious. Fortunately, such accomplished heroes as yourselves should make for a truly delectable dessert.” As he speaks, Helios begins to transform. Claws grow from his hands, and his teeth multiply, spreading into a broad, draconic grin. He towers over you now, a massive dragon with lustrous golden scales. 

Anger of the Furies Since Helios has broken the law of guest friendship by deciding to eat the heroes, he is subject to the curse of the treacherous. If the battle starts to go very badly for the heroes, you can choose to have an erinyes show up to try and capture Helios. The erinyes will fly out of the sky and begin to rain arrows down upon the gold dragon. If this happens, read the following: 

Treasure of the Sun God Helios’s lair contains a massive hoard of 40,000 gp in coins and precious jewels. The pride and joy of his hoard is a beautiful golden chariot of dawn. Helios once used this chariot to fly around Thylea, inspiring awe in the primitive mortals who lived on the continent before the coming of the Dragonlords. This was the origin of his claim to be the Sun God. 

A piercing scream from the sky interrupts the battle. A woman dressed in heavy black armor, borne aloft by a pair of red feathered wings, swoops towards Helios. Her face is contorted in unbridled rage as she strikes at the dragon with her longsword! 

When Helios is reduced to 50 hit points or less, he transforms back into his human form and begs for forgiveness. The erinyes will ignore his pleas and use her rope of entanglement to restrain him. She will then teleport away with Helios to the Island of Oathbreakers in the Nether Sea (N5). If the heroes haven’t visited the Island of Oathbreakers, you might want to make a note that Helios is imprisoned there for when they do visit.

Epic Path: The Gifted One The Gifted One discovers the instant fortress in this treasure hoard. This is the Fortress of the Dragonlords. Refer to the Running the Epic Paths section for details. 

t I fear more There is only one power in Thylea tha aera and than the Lady of Dreams: the Furies. Meg . Those who her sisters are not to be trifled with n this. disrespect the laws of Thylea soon lear — Chondrus, PriEst of Lutheria Ch apter 6 | The Forgotten Se a

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Island of the Dragon 

You approach what appears to be a tropical paradise, an island surrounded by calm, clear waters with pink sandy beaches that make for easy landfalls. A mountain stands above the dense jungle at the island’s center, and many idyllic waterfalls cascade down from this impressive central rock formation. 

This island has several lagoons that make excellent harbors, as well as beautiful inlets where a ship can be beached. It is easy to make landing at almost any spot on the island’s coastline. Hexia, an adult green dragon, lives here. Her foul influence has leached into the landscape, causing the jungles to grow unnaturally thick with trees, vines, and underbrush. After landing at the beach, it's difficult to move through the interior of the island. All of the animal life on the island, large and small, act as Hexia’s eyes and ears. Like a jealous goddess, she is aware of everything that happens on her island, which serves as her personal hunting ground. She eats the deer and boar that thrive in the jungles, but each month on the full moon, she goes hunting for sweeter meat. Hexia's Secret History Hexia has lived in Thylea for over five centuries. She is the adopted sister of Kyrah, Pythor, and Vallus, and was raised by the dragons Volkan and Balmytria. Hexia’s mother, an ancient green, had been terrorizing some long-forgotten country in the Old World, and the Dragonlords slew her. Volkan took her under his wing, quite literally. Hexia always sought Pythor’s affections, and the two of them were eventually married. It did not work out. She never forgave him for giving up his dragon form when he became the God of Battle. She became intensely jealous of his many consorts, seeing them as rivals for the love that should rightly be hers. This bitterness has eaten away all the goodness that Hexia's adoptive parents instilled in her. She is evil now, and utterly without mercy. She has taken revenge upon numerous mortal men and women who have been Pythor's consorts over the last several centuries.

Hexia the Green Dragon

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Elves of the Island The island is stocked with elves—Hexia's favorite prey. Several hundred elves live on the island, forced to live like savages under constant threat of death. Whenever they try to build homes or anything else, like a ship or raft, Hexia arrives and tears it apart. The few times the elves have managed to launch an escape, Hexia has brought them back to the island, always making sure to eat an escapee or two to maintain her reign of terror. Causing fear and dread is part of her regular hunting pattern, as she harries the elves during the night before finally devouring one. Eating elves isn’t enough to keep Hexia properly fed, of course; she does it because she loves to torment them. The tribes consists of several hundred elves (CG tribal warriors) along with several dozen children. They are led by six elves from warlike cultures—four Aresian LN warrior monks and two NE Amazon warriors. The Aresians are determined to survive, hoping that salvation will eventually arrive. The Amazons want to go out in a blaze of glory and attack the green dragon in her lair, even though they know that there would be no real chance of success.

Event: Meeting the Elves Hexia will not reveal herself when the heroes arrive. She will allow them onto the island and to make contact with the elves. Within an hour of arriving on the island

the heroes will be met by two elf warriors (LN warrior monk and NE amazon warrior) leading a band of a dozen elves (CG tribal warriors): 

As you move through the jungle, you begin to feel that you are being watched by many dozens of eyes. You suddenly find yourself surrounded. Twelve camouflaged elves emerge from the foliage around you. Despite their apparent unease, they keep their weapons stowed. Two of them step forward to speak. 

The two elves introduce themselves as Darok (LN warrior monk) and Patrea (NE Amazon warrior). They ask why the heroes have come to Hexia's island. They have had no news of the mainland for centuries and are very much in the dark about the prophecy. Eventually, the elven leaders resolve that the heroes have been sent by the gods. They interpret the party's arrival as a sign that the dragon must be confronted, once and for all. Their situation is desperate, and they have lived in fear for too long.

The elves ask the party to join them in seeking out Hexia's lair at the center of the island. If Hexia can be defeated, then the heroes are welcome to the dragon's treasure hoard—the elves have no use for it. Two of the Aresians will remain behind to defend the tribe.

Event: Hunted by Hexia

Hexia will almost certainly be aware of the arrival of intruders. She views the heroes as interesting prey and will play a game of cat and mouse with them. Dragon's Lair Effects. Hexia has access to all of the lair actions of an adult green dragon, and the entire island is subject to the regional effects of a green dragon. As the heroes get close to Hexia’s lair, they will find themselves in a labyrinth of thorny thickets. Hexia will launch a few hit-and-run attacks from stealth and then lay in wait for them in her lair. Kidnapping Pythor. If Pythor is aboard the Ultros, then Hexia will kidnap him while the heroes are away from the ship. She will keep him in her lair and ignore the approach of the heroes. If they invade her lair, she will fly into a jealous rage and fight to the death. Ch apter 6 | The Forgotten Se a

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1. Hexia’s Lair

2. Lair of the Kraken

Hexia lives in a grove at the center of the island, halfway up the mountain. There are no trails leading to this grove. Climbing the cliffs above and below it requires a successful DC 15 Strength (Athletics) check.

Hexia is not the only powerful creature that lairs on the island. The following encounter is entirely optional and is a challenge beyond the power of most heroes. Whether the elves or Hexia have discovered the existence of the Kraken is entirely up to you.

This beautiful grove surrounds a crystal-clear pool, which is fed by a single waterfall. The trees here are decorated with the bones of elves and animals, which have been arranged into flower-like shapes. Massive piles of glittering coins, gemstones, and artifacts are scattered throughout the pool. 

Standing on this sandy pink beach, you notice a jagged rock formation, not far from shore. A strange symbol has been carved into the rock facing the main island. It looks like a bulbous creature with eight snake-like arms.  

Epic Path: The Demi-god The Demi-god's mother, Ophea, has been held captive here for decades. She has survived by flattering the dragon with a new story about Pythor each full moon, casting the god as a fickle lover who secretly loves Hexia. Refer to the Running the Epic Paths section for more information.

Treasure Hoard The crystal-clear pool is lined with 50,000 gold coins and 50,000 silver coins. Buried throughout the silver and gold coins are artifacts from Thylea’s history. The most valuable artifacts are a gold crown that was worn by one of the queens of Mytros (7,500 gp); a platinum cup inset with emeralds with the images of the Five (10,000 gp); and a gold dragon comb (3,000 gp). There are also two dozen less valuable objects, including bracelets, cups, rings, necklaces, and musical instruments (each worth 250 gp), and 80 pale green chrysoberyl gemstones (100 gp each), 20 dark green alexandrites (500 gp each), and 12 emeralds (1,000 gp each). Finally, there is a single adamantine ingot.

The jagged rock island is several hundred feet from shore. This is actually the tip of an underwater mountain that is the lair of the Kraken, perhaps the single most dangerous creature in all of Thylea. The Kraken serves only itself. It is the enemy of every other living creature in Thylea, including the Titans. It bears a strong hatred for Sydon, who has foiled many of its schemes to wrest away control of the oceans. The Kraken spends about a fifth of its time in its lair and the rest of its time travelling. It roams the oceans around Thylea and travels to other planes of existence using a cubic gate. This means that there is a 20% chance that the Kraken will be home when the heroes visit. The Kraken's Silver Sphere The Kraken’s lair is in the dark, crushing depths—nearly a mile beneath the ocean. It is accessed by an underwater tunnel that emerges into a perfect, silver-coated sphere 250 ft. in diameter. The Sphere. Depictions of every god in the world are inscribed into its silver surface. If it could be mined, the silver would be the equivalent of 10 million sp. The chamber is always guarded by a nycaloth that is bound in service to the Kraken. It is desperate in defense of the lair. It has sworn an oath of service to the Kraken, and failure to destroy trespassers would subject it to horrifying punishments on the plane of Hades. The Kraken's Treasure The Kraken possess two powerful magical artifacts that it uses for its own fell purposes. It possesses a cubic gate that it uses to travel the planes, and it keeps this item close at all times. But the “crown jewel” in the Kraken's collection is an orb of dragonkind. The Dragon Orb. This orb rests on a gold pillar at the bottom of the sphere. How the Kraken obtained this orb is a mystery, but it must have involved pacts with denizens of the Abyss, Hades, or Gehenna. The Kraken intends to use the orb to battle against the Five Gods, once they've resumed their dragon forms. Junk Pit. Most of the items that the Kraken takes from destroyed ships are of no use to it, so it throws them into a refuse pit outside of its spherical lair. This pit is now filled with gold, silver, copper, chests, jewelry,

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Diving into the Depths Volkan can construct dive suits for the party. This is the only realistic possibility for getting down into the lair of the Kraken without using powerful magic. Each dive suit takes Volkan one week to construct and resembles an unwieldy suit of plate armor with an oversized helmet. The suit is entirely airtight. Fighting or casting spells in the dive suit is impossible. Reaching the Lair. Using a dive suit, it takes one hour to reach the Kraken's lair. For each hour spent in the lair, there is a 20% chance that the Kraken will return.

and gems. For every hour spent searching the pile, roll on the Treasure Hoard Table in the 5th Edition Game Master's Guide for challenge rating 11-16. After twelve rolls, the hoard is exhausted of all recoverable items. The Crushing Depths The pressure of the ocean at this depth is deadly to any creature that is not explicitly immune to such damage. The pressure deals out 3 (1d6) bludgeoning damage every round. Spells or abilities with water breathing effects do not protect against this damage.

Typhon, the Maw 

The sea grows rough as a massive volcanic island comes into view. Its central peak belches thick black smoke and white-hot lava. Although you can see black sand beaches on the shore, choppy waters and the ring of jagged rocks protruding from the sea make a safe landfall challenging. 

The waters around this island are always rough. There are a couple of black, sandy beaches where landings can be made, but navigating through the rocks that surround the island requires a successful DC 15 Wisdom (Survival) check. On a failure, the ship takes 250 damage to its hull that must be repaired. This island is called Typhon, but it has several other names: the “Island of Horror,” the “Island of the Maw,”

and the “Father of Monsters.” At the center of the island is a scar in the fabric of reality, a gaping pit that connects the mortal world to the plane of Hades. Legend has it that many of the warped monstrosities that haunt the world came from here—hence its name. Throughout history, many individuals have come here seeking power, but no one leaves the island without being twisted in some unexpected way. Terrible creatures such as the chimera and the manticore are thought to have first spawned upon this island. The island is an active volcano that towers nearly a mile into the sky, with flaming rivers of molten rocks running down the sides and boiling into the ocean. There is no easy way up its slopes, but for those willing to make the journey, there are three different cave entrances that lead into the Maw.

The Cave of Excess 

The Cave of Vulgarity 

Immediately upon entering this cave, you are struck by the rank odor of feces, stale sweat, and rotting meat. Half-eaten fish fins, cracked bones, and humanoid appendages litter the floor before you. Farther into the cave, you find a grotesquely bloated man with a canine head lying back in a pile of filth. The disgusting creature fixes a hungry gaze on you. 

The creature is an arcanaloth that uses this cave as a lair. Unlike most of its kind, it is immensely fat and spends much of its time wallowing in a pit of its own filth. It no longer has a fly speed, and its walk speed is only 15 ft. It summons mezzoloths to fish in the ocean and bring it back fresh food. It prefers dolphins, mermen, and occasionally, trespassing mortals. Its appetites change by the moment. Its cave is scattered with half-eaten corpses of all of those creatures. The arcanaloth doesn’t attack immediately. It calls itself“Hunger,” and it demands food from the party. It will allow a hero to pass through its cave into the Maw if given a proper sacrifice of food. Livestock totaling 500 pounds or more will satisfy it. If a fight breaks out, there is a 25% chance that 1d4 mezzoloths will return with food for the arcanaloth within 1d6 rounds. They will fight to the death.

The Cave of Vanity 

The halls of this cave are lined with extremely lifelike marble statues, some broken. Each depicts a beautiful woman with a face showing abject fear. A slithering noise deeper inside the cavern draws your attention to the mistress of this cave: a towering woman with scaly skin, a muscular serpentine lower body, and a swarm of writhing snakes in place of hair. 

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The incubus who lives in this cave generally takes on the appearance of a male satyr. He possesses a rod of rulership, which he activates at sunset each day to take control of all of his captives. It amuses him to transform his captives into mindless revelers every night. At dawn, he forces them into a bronze cage and leaves the cave to hunt for fresh meat on the island. The incubus’s captives include two satyrs, one male oread, and one female aurae nymph. There are also sailors from across Thylea, including an Aresian warrior (LN warrior monk), two Amazons (NE amazon warriors), and a Mytrosian soldier (LG captain). When under the influence of the rod of rulership, these mind-controlled captives are unabashed pleasure-seekers who defend their master to the death. During the daytime, the captives hunger for freedom and revenge against the incubus. They will help the heroes in any way they can. Unlocking the cages requires a successful DC 20 Dexterity check with thieves' tools. The incubus returns at sunset.

The Maw

A eurayle medusa lives in this cave. She has an arrangement with Moxena, the Lady of Coins, who delivers beautiful women to the medusa in exchange for abyssal secrets from the Maw. The eurayle likes to toy with her victims before turning them to stone, so she will attempt to pick off the heroes individually. She hides in the shadows and creates distracting sounds to encourage the party to split up and investigate. She has an intimate knowledge of the cave layout. She strikes suddenly and without warning. Treasure. One of the petrified heroes in the room carries a mace of smiting. It cannot be removed from his grip without curing his petrification or shattering the hand that wields the mace. 188

Moans and screams can be heard from within this cave mouth, growing louder as you move inside. After a few minutes of walking, you come to a large, dimly-lit cavern. There, a man with the legs of a goat and great black curved horns reclines on a rocky throne. In his hands he holds an ornate gold scepter, which he fondles as he gazes at the spectacle at his feet: a wine-soaked bacchanal of revelers indulging their carnal passions.

The Maw is the central cone of the volcano. It is filled with a fiery maelstrom of magma that slowly circles the black pit at its center. The magma empties into this pit of blackness and thus keeps the volcano relatively stable—the island never grows larger. Falling into the pit means almost certain death. The magma inflicts 55 (10d10) fire damage per round. Anyone who survives is sucked into the black vortex, which leads to the plane of Hades. Hades is a barren place, leached of all color and bleak with despair. Ash constantly rains from the sky, spewed forth by volcanic peaks that stick out of the blasted wasteland. The fate of anyone who remains too long in this realm of wickedness is to be transformed into a writhing larva, a slug-like creature. Tempting Whispers Anyone who looks into the Maw can hear two whispering voices. One voice makes promises of great rewards for any brave enough to enter the Maw, while the other

voice threatens dire consequences for not plunging into the pit. Anyone who listens to the whispers risks madness and worse, but there is also the possibility of gaining great power. For each round that a hero spends listening to the whispers in the Maw, roll on the Effects of the Maw table and consult the Gift column. Add +10% to the roll for each round spent listening after the first. If the listener accepts the gift, then roll on the Curse column of the table, using the same bonus that was used for the Gift roll. If the listener becomes afflicted with the curse of the harpy or the curse of the medusa, then refer to Introduction: The Laws of Thylea for details. Do not tell the player that they have been afflicted by a curse at this point. They will discover the curse over the days to come.

madness which includes a permanent fear of the Island of the Maw. They will want to leave the island by the quickest possible route. This fear of the island and the indefinite madness are permanent unless cured by greater restoration. If the madness is cured, then the voices will never speak to the listener again. Effects of the Maw d100

Gift

Curse

1-25

Charm of Darkvision

none

26-50

Benefits of the heroes feast spell for 24 hours

none

51-60

Benefits of the foresight spell for 24 hours

none

The Cursed One must leap into the Maw in order to discover the truth about their curse. If they have the protective artifact from the Lotus Witch, then they suffer no ill effects from the Maw, although they do hear the whispers. The Cursed Ancestor. Inside the Maw, the Cursed One is transported to the plane of Hades, where their cursed ancestor awaits them, guarded by a fully-grown cerberus. Refer to the Running the Epic Paths section for details.

61-70

Charm of Vitality

none

71-80

Charm of Heroism

none

81-90

Blessing of Wound Closure

Afflicted by a blinding sickness contagion spell for 7 days with no save

91-93

Blessing of Protection

Afflicted by a flesh rot contagion spell for 7 days with no save

Madness of the Maw The first round spent listening doesn’t inflict any madness on the listener. The second round requires a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or short-term madness is the result. The third round requires a DC 20 Wisdom saving throw or long-term madness results. On the fourth round, the listener automatically gains an indefinite

94-96

Blessing of Understanding

Afflicted by a slimy doom contagion spell for 7 days with no save

97-98

Blessing of Health

curse of the harpy

Blessing of Magic Resistance

curse of the medusa

Epic Path: The Cursed One

99-100+

Island of Time This island appears unremarkable until the heroes sail within a mile of the shore. Read the following: 

Your ship approaches another island. Its shoreline is obscured by a strange shimmering in the air. As you sail closer, you feel the ocean currents strengthening below the keel, pulling your vessel into a powerful wind that propels you to an impossible speed. In a matter of moments, the ship sails three times around the island. The sun falls toward the horizon and rapidly sets. The sky soon darkens. As the stars circle above your head, you are overcome with waves of crippling nausea. 

On the last journey around the island, each hero must make three DC 15 Constitution saving throws or else they fall unconscious for one minute. Whether the heroes are conscious or not, the ship abruptly slows and floats into a tranquil bay. An ancient crumbling dock made from obsidian juts out into the water of the bay. The sky above is filled with more stars than the heroes have ever seen before; heroes with a passive Perception score of 15 or higher will notice that stars occasionally wink out of existence or abruptly transform into bright clouds of light. It is always night on the Island of Time. The inhabitants of the island are enigmatic sphinxes. The motivations of these entities is hidden, but they are known to possess great knowledge—it's possible that they know Ch apter 6 | The Forgotten Se a

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more than any other beings in the world. They also guard strange artifacts on the island. Almost all the land is covered in dozens of ruins, consisting of strange buildings made from obsidian, adamantine, and various unknown minerals. The buildings look nothing like those built by human hands: some are shaped like pyramids, while others are obelisks with strange runes and symbols inscribed on every surface. Who or what constructed this place is unknown to anyone—even the gods know nothing of it.

Event: Riddles and Tests When the heroes make landfall, they are greeted by a gynosphinx. She appears next to the party suddenly, but it seems as if she's always been there. It's possible that she's been waiting for the party since the dawn of time. 

Exploring the Island Because of the strange nature of time on this island, it is difficult to explore it in a logical fashion, the way the party might explore a dungeon. Instead, the party experiences the island as a series of montages, losing track of time and space while traveling between each area. The Passage of Time This island has an ethereal, dream-like quality to it. The heroes may come to believe that they are dreaming rather than awake. As the GM, you should make a show of keeping meticulous track of time on the island. Every minute that passes is counted by the sphinxes and factors into the encounters that trigger.

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A creature with a woman’s face, a feline body, and great feathered wings appears next to you. “I bear your kind no ill will, and I hope you find the knowledge and treasures you seek here,” she says to you in a calm and assuring voice. It's almost like she's continuing a conversation that you forgot you were part of, answering a question you forgot you asked. “But know this: He is coming. If He finds you, He will devour your flesh, your soul, and your very history. Nothing shall remain. Three roars announce His arrival. Three, and no more. This is the time that He has alotted you. Use it wisely.” When you look again, the sphinx has vanished. Perhaps she was never there at all. 

She refers to an androsphinx, the lord of the island. The roars are his way of forcing the heroes to choose only two locations to explore out of the three available. If the

party explores all three locations, they will summon the wrath of the androsphinx. Exploring the Island. The heroes find that they 'remember' three locations on the island that can be explored. They must choose from the following: The Stone Table, The Overlook, and The Pit of Stars. The Androsphinx's Roar. After exploring each location, the heroes hear the androsphinx's roar echo across the island. The third time he roars, he appears in front of the party and attacks. When that happens, refer to the Confronting the Androsphinx section for details.

1. The Stone Table 

At the highest point of this strange island, you come upon a bizarre dinner party. A massive stone table with a dozen matching chairs stands out in the open. An ogre-sized man sits at the head of the table, fast asleep. His four human-sized guests are much too small for the chairs that they sit in. The humanoids are also asleep. They are almost completely hidden by their hair, which has grown extremely long and unkempt. 

buildings are richer and on a grander scale. Statues of the heroes stand in many plazas. • The third viewing show Mytros a thousand years into the future. The city is under siege by a vast fleet of vessels from the outer world beyond Thylea. Anyone from outside Thylea will recognize some of the flags, but some of the details seem wrong. • The fourth viewing shows Mytros 10,000 years into the future. The city lies in ruins. Strange, ogre-sized humanoids work in the dust, digging up artifacts from the ruins. The artifacts are corroded shards of the statues of the heroes, unrecognizable with age. • The fifth viewing shows something indescribable and alien, 100,000 years into the future. The viewer gains one indefinite madness. • A sixth viewing shows nothing. The telescope has gone completely dark and never functions again.

3. The Pit of Stars 

The ogre-sized man is dressed in fine weapons and armor. The table is perfectly proportioned for him. None of the sleepers can be awakened by the heroes alone. Refer to Riddles of the Androsphinx for details.

2. The Overlook 

You come to the north shore of the island, an area covered in strange green metal. The metal extends into an outcropping that forms a platform over a steep cliff. On the far edge of the platform is a large telescope. 

This overlook stands at the top of a 1,000 ft. cliff with jagged rocks below it. The telescope is 20 ft. long, and it is fashioned from bronze. Anyone who looks into it sees the distant city of Mytros. The first time someone looks through this telescope, they see Mytros in the present day. 

• The second viewing shows Mytros a century into

the future. The city looks similar, but the walls and

When the sphinx is slain, its body rots away rapidly and then disintegrates into dust. You hear a whisper on the wind. “We shall meet again, in time...” 

Looking through the telescope, you see the great city of Mytros. The bronze colossus of Pythor stands watch over the bay, which is bustling with merchant ships. Marble and bronze buildings line the city’s many busy streets, in the shadow of Mount Volkan.

If the viewer looks away, or someone else looks into the telescope, the image of Mytros changes:

Looking into the void for more than one round requires a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or else the viewer will gain a short-term madness. Anyone who falls or jumps into the pit is apparently lost in the void forever. Heroes lost in this way will return to the party during the battle with the androsphinx who rules the island. The narrow stone stairway leads down to the lair of a hierocosphinx. The hierocosphinx guards a sealed circular door made from adamantine. Beyond that door lies a treasure vault. The sphinx smiles when the heroes arrive and asks if they have come for a taste of the treasures of the ages. Regardless of the party's answer, the sphinx attacks and fights to the death.

You come to the edge of a vast pit that engulfs the center of the island. Beyond the edge of the pit, you can see a black void full of bright stars. A narrow stone stairway winds its way down along the edge of the pit, leading to a door-sized opening in the rock.

The adamantine vault door opens easily, revealing the treasure at the center of the island. The treasure seems to materialize into existence as soon as the vault door is opened—almost as if reacting to the party's needs. Treasure. The vault contains a Quiver of Ehlonna. Within the quiver are twenty arrows of empyrean slaying. These arrows are very effective against the Titans—Sydon, Lutheria, and their young empyrean children. Ch apter 6 | The Forgotten Se a

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Confronting the Androsphinx When the androsphinx roars for the third time, he suddenly appears in front of the party, ready for battle. The androsphinx uses all of his powers to defeat the party, including his lair actions. He starts by using a lair action to make the heroes younger. His next lair action takes the heroes to the Far Realm. 

Riddles of the Androsphinx If the heroes are defeated by the sphinx, they have one more chance to survive. The androsphinx asks the party a series of riddles. Each correctly-answered riddle means that at least one hero is spared. You may choose to spare more than one hero for each correct answer. The sphinx devours any hero who refuses to answer.

You find yourselves transported to an alien world. Overhead, the sky is black and starless. The ground is a mosaic of your own horrified faces. It looks as if you were all buried in the earth, your heads thrown back, your faces locked together in a grotesque pattern. An obsidian moon hangs low in the sky, and blood drips from its craters, splashing to the ground where disembodied faces lap at it greedily. The blood pools at your feet and begins to take hideous form—gigantic floating brains, which snap their cruel, bird-like beaks, reaching toward you with hideous tentacles. 

These creatures are grell. There is one for each hero, and they fight to the death. After three rounds of combat in this horrific landscape, the sphinx summons the party back to the Island of Time. Any hero who disappeared into the Pit of Stars will reappear at this point, but they return with one random indefinite madness. Now, the sphinx attacks the party directly, without holding back.

Riddle Me This... These riddles are examples. Use any riddle that you like.

• Riddle: The first part of Nestor, The last part of Orion, The first part of nothing, And the final part of man. ›› Answer: The letter ‘N’.

• Riddle: I never was, am always to be,

No one ever saw me, nor ever will; And yet I am the confidence of all, To live and breathe upon midnight's call. ›› Answer: Tomorrow.

• Riddle: What can you catch but not throw? ›› Answer: Sickness or disease. • Riddle: We are not flesh, feather, scales nor bone; Yet we still have fingers and thumbs of our own. ›› Answer: Gloves.

Feast of the Androsphinx If the party satisfies the androsphinx with their answers, then he will invite them to a feast. If they accept, he summons them to The Stone Table. The scene at The Stone Table is slightly altered from before: any hero who has disappeared or been devoured on the island is asleep in one of the oversized chairs, and their hair has grown ridiculously long. Waking the Sleepers. Anyone asleep at the table, with the exception of the armored ogre, can be awakened by shaking them. The sleepers—including any “eaten” heroes—now have a random long-term madness. They cannot remember their names or how they got to the table. They babble about being trapped on the island for an eternity, watching as the cycle of the multiverse repeated before their eyes, over and over again. The Heroes' Feast. The table is covered by a heroes' feast. Anyone who eats this feast gains its benefits for an entire week rather than 24 hours. They also immediately fall asleep. The androsphinx will wait until everyone

has eaten. If anyone does not he will breathe on them and cause them to fall asleep anyway. When the heroes awaken, they are back on their ship in the middle of the ocean. The Island of Time disappears forever. Sleepers at the Stone Table The sleepers are all powerful warriors from some point in the history of Thylea. One of them might even be a hero from Earth's history or mythology, but that individual will remember events happening differently than what has been recorded. A great victory might have been a defeat in their memory, or they might remember that one of the gods was a demon lord… Feel free to be as inventive as you like. None of them are willing to leave, as they are all waiting for “a friend” to arrive, though they are unable to remember their friend's identity. None of these sleepers are equipped or have prepared spells but, in the unlikely event that the party does battle with them, you may use the following NPC statistics: archmage, assassin, gladiator and mage.

Charybdis, The Ravening Mouth 

Your ship is suddenly slammed by a storm gale. Violent waves crash over the deck, and the ship is sucked into a powerful current, leaving your oarsmen helpless. Lightning flashes, illuminating a massive whirlpool just ahead of you. As your ship draws closer, you can see two massive stone hands reaching out of the maelstrom, beckoning you into a broad funnel of water, which leads down into the deepest fathoms of the sea. 

This is Charybdis, an infamous whirlpool known to all Thylean sailors. It is a portal to the Nether Sea that is kept open by two of Kentimane’s hands, and it is legendary for swallowing entire ships. By the time the heroes can see Charybdis, the ocean's powerful

currents have already started to drag their ship toward the whirlpool. Spells such as gust of wind, wind wall, or a conjured air elemental will allow the character’s ship to skirt the whirlpool and avoid it. If magic is not used, then someone must steer the ship with a successful DC 20 Wisdom (Survival) check. If that fails, then the ship will be sucked into the whirlpool and transported to the Nether Sea. Refer to the Nether Sea chapter to continue the adventure. 

Rather than sucking your ship down to the ocean floor, the whirlpool has apparently transported you to a dark, abyssal sea. The waters that now surround you are black and expansive, stretching in all directions under a claustrophobic sky, which is full of strange lights. 

Praxys, Tower of Sydon Praxys is the dwelling place of Sydon, the Lord of Storms. It is a great tower of stone, which stands atop a headland of limestone. Sydon’s tower projects a piercing ray of light which can be seen from miles away as it sweeps the ocean, searching for trespassers.

Praxys is located in the Forgotten Sea, but it is much too grand to be detailed here. If the party sets a course for the constellation of the Titan (XVI), then refer to the Praxys, Tower of Sydon chapter to continue the adventure. Reaching the tower should be very difficult.

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Chapter 7:

The Nether Sea “My sojourn into the Nether Sea was a time of joyful awakening. The Lady of Dreams dotes on her most loyal servants like a jealous mother, but she relentlessly tortures those who defy her. Surrounded on all sides by such death and darkness, one cannot help but feel alive.”

T

—Chondrus, Servant of Lutheria

he Nether Sea is dark and dangerous. Its inky waters are all that remain of the raw material that the gods used to fashion the world at the dawn of time. This sea of cosmic matter continues to exist for reasons that are hidden even from the gods. The sea is littered with rocky islands and rapids, and the islands are covered in strange, twisted trees and colossal forms. Although the Nether Sea is located within a vast underground cavern, the sky above is filled with colorful stars and galaxies. The cavern roof above the Nether Sea is almost a half-mile above the water. It is lined with vast lodes of silver and mithral. These deposits reflect the light that emanates from the stars, which are actually magical rifts connected to the Astral Plane.

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The Nether Sea is a vast prison vault where the gods have hidden ancient weapons and powerful creatures that have no place in the world above. It is also the domain of the Titan Lutheria, the Lady of Dreams. She travels the Nether Sea on her throne ship, a great bronze vessel called Hypnos, which is harnessed and pulled by Talieus, one of her ancient siblings. Connected to the Underdark The Nether Sea is connected to the vast network of tunnels and caverns that makes up the world’s Underdark. Sometimes creatures from the Underdark will stumble into the realm of the Nether Sea, but without a powerful ship like the Ultros, they are unable to make it very far before succumbing to the chaos of its primordial waters.

Traveling to the Nether Sea There are two ways to get to the Nether Sea. Neither of these methods are well known, even among the gods. They must be discovered through research or by seeking out extremely wise creatures, such as sphinxes. The Dead Falls The River Lethe empties into a huge rift called The Dead Falls, which descends all the way to the Nether Sea. This

method is extremely dangerous, as the mile-long drop is enough to kill most creatures and shatter most ships. Estor Arkelander's ghost is aware of this method, but he refuses to share it with the party unless they have agreed to his bargain.

Effects of the Primordial Waters

Charybdis, The Ravening Maw The great whirlpool known as Charybdis in the Forgotten Sea can transport a ship to the Nether Sea. Very few ships have ever returned from this journey. This is because the dark waters of the Nether Sea quickly eat away the wooden hulls of most ships.

Arriving in the Nether Sea When the heroes first arrive in the Nether Sea, read the following narrationt text: 

After a few moments of disorientation, you assess your new surroundings. Monotonous black waves and alien skies stretch for as far as the eye can see. The stars are strange and unrecognizable. In stark contrast to the roiling oceans above, everything here is deathly silent. The smell of briney seawater has been replaced with a pervasive metallic odor. You can hear something sizzling against the hull of your ship. 

If the heroes arrived here by sailing through the massive whirlpool of Charybdis, then they appear several miles in a random direction from the whirlpool's location in the Nether Sea (N1).

Primordial Waters The Nether Sea is dangerous for many reasons, but the water itself is the most immediate risk. For one thing, the waters are acidic, and each day, they inflict 30 damage to the ship's hull. The Ultros has been magically protected from the waters of the Nether Sea, so it only takes 5 acid damage per day. Primordial Whales. Massive, whale-like creatures sometimes surface in the Nether Sea. Ships that draw too close to them risk capsizing in their wake. These gargantuan beasts don’t react to attacks unless they take more than 100 damage, and then they simply submerge beneath the waters once more. The whale creatures have AC 22 and are immune to most conditions: blinded, charmed, frightened, paralyzed, and poisoned. They have unlimited uses of legendary resistance. Drinking the Water. Anyone who drinks the seawater or submerges themselves are immediately affected by the warping effects of the cosmic matter. The first time someone interacts with the water, the effects wear off after one hour. The second time they touch the water, the effects last one day. The third time, the effects become permanent. Re-roll the effect each time.

d100

Effect

1-25

The character’s race changes. Use the table from the reincarnate spell.

26-50

The character is polymorphed into another creature of CR 9 or less.

51-60

The character is polymorphed into an elemental. Roll 1d4 to determine which type. 1: Fire, 2: Earth, 3: Air, 4: Water

61-70

The character is polymorphed into a tree. They have the statistics of a treant without the animate trees ability.

71-80

The character is polymorphed into water. They have to be gathered up into some sort of container or they will flow away.

81-90

The character is polymorphed into a mineral. They become a statue of adamantine.

91-93

The character is polymorphed into a gas. The character will dissipate unless magic is used to keep them in a coherent form.

94-96

The character's size increases by one, as if affected by enlarge/reduce.

97-98

The character can change their race and class to anything of their choice.

99-100

All of the character’s ability scores are increased by 2 points.

Leaving the Nether Sea Leaving the Nether Sea is easier than getting here. The Charybdis whirlpool is the most obvious way to leave. Ships that sail into Charybdis from the Nether Sea will defy physics and sail upwards to the roof of the enormous cavern. The ship emerges a few miles from the whirlpool on the surface of the Cerulean Gulf. Control Water. The control water spell can also be used to leave the Nether Sea. If cast upon the primordial waters, the effects will be much different than if it had been cast on the surface. Instead of creating a whirlpool, the spell will create a massive spout of water. Effectively, the spell can be used to create a temporary Charybdis at any location in the Nether Sea.

KEY LOCATIONS N1. Charybdis 

Just ahead, the Nether Sea breaks into a churning maelstrom of incomprehensible height. Primordial waters churn and gush thousands of feet into the air, vanishing into the darkness of the sky above. 

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• Lutheria has a warped sense of humor. She likes to

This is an inverted whirlpool known as Charybdis. Sailing into it will deposit a ship on the surface of the Forgotten Sea, a few miles away from the gargantuan whirlpool. There is, however, a 5% chance that any ship entering Charybdis will be utterly annihilated by the cosmic forces that power it. In this case, the crew will find themselves clinging to wreckage in the Cerulean Gulf. Depending on their actions as the ship is swept upwards, they may be able to salvage their equipment.

N2. The River Lethe 

Your vessel drifts towards what appears to be a heavy rain storm. Strangely, no strong winds can be felt and the nearby waves remain calm. The “storm” does not seem to move. It remains in one place and seems to be confined to a narrow area. The falling rain smells fresh, and lacks the acidic odor of the surrounding waters. 

The River Lethe falls from the ceiling of the Nether Sea cavern above, starting from the Dead Falls. By this point, it is like torrential freshwater rain. Lutheria sails into this constant rainstorm every day so that she can keep her gardens properly watered. Therefore, staying close to the River Lethe’s falls is an excellent way to find and confront Lutheria. See Lutheria's Barge at the end of this section for details.

tell jokes. She sews your mouth shut if you don't laugh at her jokes. It's always better to laugh at her jokes. • Lutheria loves to play games. She especially loves the Royal Game (the game of twenty squares). Challenging her to the game can put her in a better mood, but you should always let her win. • Lutheria roams the Nether Sea. Lutheria's barge is almost impossible to find unless she chooses to reveal herself to you. However, she takes an interest in any threat to her domain. For example, the Gargantuan Cubes (N6) are prisons for powerful weapons. If the heroes can awaken one of the imprisoned weapons, the noise would echo across the entire Nether Sea and summon Lutheria to them. The Titan knows the word that unlocks The Prison Cube. He will whisper this almost unpronounceable primordial word to anyone who asks him for it. Whoever hears the word gains a random short-term madness (see the Game Master's Guide), but they cannot say the word until they stand before the locked entrance. The word remains in their mind until they speak it, and then they will forget it. • The waters of the Nether Sea are strange. One must be cautious with the waters here. Spells that manipulate water, such as control water, may have unpredictable effects. The Forgotten Titans For more information about the lost siblings of Sydon and Lutheria, refer to the War of the Titans in the Secrets and Myths appendix.

N3. Titan Island 

Your ship approaches a small craggy island dominated by gray mountains and black, rocky beaches. Among the mountains stand three incredibly lifelike statues which are similar in scale to the great colossi of Mytros. Each depicts a muscular man in a pose suggesting shock, their faces revealing a combination of fear and rage. Iron chains bind their immobile limbs and are anchored in the surrounding landscape. 

N4. The Mirror Prison 

• Lutheria is insane. Sydon once tried to cure his sister by forging weapons from the psychic energy of her madness (Hall of Armaments, H6). These weapons may be especially effective against her.

196

Dim lights dance upon the horizon. As your ship moves closer, you discover their source: an immense, partially submerged crystalline structure reflects the strange light of this strange place. Countless flat panels connect at strange angles, creating a vaguely pyramid shape. Near the waterline is a gaping hole large enough to allow passage by the Ultros. Jagged edges suggest that this entryway was made by force rather than being an original feature of this odd structure.

Three ancient Titans are petrified on this island. They are siblings of Sydon and Lutheria, and all three tower to 50 feet in height. Two of them are entirely inert, but one still has the ability to speak. If this statue is approached, its eyes open and its head turns slightly toward whoever has come near. Dust rains down as it strains against the magic that petrifies its body. The speaking titan is quite mad and doesn’t even remember its name, although it knows that it was betrayed and trapped by Sydon and Lutheria. It also knows a few secrets that could be used against Sydon or Lutheria:

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This huge crystal structure rises out of the Nether Sea. The Kraken was once imprisoned here, but it escaped and now dwells in the Forgotten Sea. A gaping hole near the water line allows access into the interior of the mirror prison. A ship such as the Ultros can sail into this hole to the interior of the crystal structure. The walls and ceiling of the interior are covered in hundreds of square mirrors, each 6 feet to a side. These mirrors reflect whoever enters the prison, and each

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mirror shows a warped version of the viewer. At the rear of the crystal structure’s interior is a small island made from broken mirrors. Gold, silver, and gemstones are piled on the island in a large hoard. The Dragon's Lair This island is the lair of an adult brass dragon named Hezzebal. Hezzebal was the mount of a Dragonlord who explored the Nether Sea five centuries ago, scouting for a location to hide the treasures of the Dragonlords. Hezzebal broke into the Mirror Prison and accidentally released the Kraken in the process. The Kraken sealed the dragon inside the prison and then tormented him by slowly and messily devouring his bonded Dragonlord. Over centuries, the mirrors warped Hezzebal so that his wings became twisted, and his alignment has changed to evil. Hezzebal now lairs in the broken prison, occasionally going out into the Nether Sea to hunt. Hezzebal usually lurks beneath the water, having become immune to the effects of the Nether Sea. He will surface to converse with intruders if they start to loot his dragon hoard. He will reveal his history to gain sympathy and will inquire about the party's purpose here. Epic Paths: The Forgotten Dragon If the Vanished One is present, then Hezzebal recognizes them as one of the ancient Dragonlords and blames them for his long imprisonment. He believes that the Dragonlords deliberately left him here—that they only ever saw the dragons as tools to be used and discarded. Refer to the Running the Epic Paths section for details.

If the heroes reveal that they are enemies of Lutheria, then he explains that she is a vain creature. She visits the River Lethe with some frequency, in order to water her gardens. He has always kept his distance from her. Eventually, Hezzebal will grow bored of talking and will try to devour the heroes. Battling Hezzebal. Hezzebal cannot fly. He has a swim speed of 80 feet, he is immune to the effects of the Nether Sea, and he has water breathing. His madness can be cured with a greater restoration spell, but it must be cast three times, and he will interpret it as a hostile action. If his madness is cured, his alignment reverts to good, but he has three permanent levels of exhaustion. The Mirrors Use the table below to randomly determine what someone sees upon looking into a mirror. Once someone has looked into a mirror, it may be removed from the wall and taken away for use elsewhere, but doing so requires a successful DC 20 Dexterity check. Otherwise the mirror will shatter when it is taken down. Mirror's Effects d12 Viewer...

Game Effect

1

Appears heavier

Double weight, -4 to Dexterity

2

Appears skinnier

Half weight, -2 to Strength

3

Has tiny head

-6 to Intelligence

4

Has spindly legs

-4 to Dexterity

5

Has stumpy legs

Half movement speed.

6

Grows gills

Permanent water breathing. Swim speed equal to walk or fly speed. Immunity to the Nether Sea's waters.

7

Appears tiny

One size smaller. -4 to Strength

8

Appears hideous

Charisma score is halved, rounded down.

9

Appears warped

Loses all bone structure, incapacitated.

10

Appears angelic

Alignment becomes good.

11

Appears devilish

Alignment becomes evil.

12

Appears petrified

Paralyzed and slowly petrified.

If someone looks at one of the mirrors for an entire round, they must succeed on a DC 20 Wisdom saving throw or be transformed into the form of their reflection. This can be reversed with a greater restoration spell.

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The Dragon’s Hoard The dragon’s hoard consists of 30,000 sp, 5,000 gp, and a single adamantine ingot. Additionally, there is a xiphos of slaughter hidden beneath the coins.

ultroloth became the warden of the prisoners brought to the Island of the Oathbreakers. When an erinyes arrives with an oathbreaker, the ultroloth chains the offender to the central column and threatens torture as punishment for attempting to escape.

Epic Paths: The Dragonlords' Treasure If the Lost One is present, then the fabled treasures of the Dragonlords are among the dragon's hoard. Estor will demand to claim one item first, but he will not specify his choice until the party agrees to his demand. He chooses the xiphos of slaughter. The Lost One should choose the items that they want from the list of possible rewards for their epic path. The other items from the list are not present. Refer to the Running the Epic Paths section for details.

The Oathbreakers The island is surrounded by an entropic field which sustains prisoners, eliminating the need for them to eat or drink, although they are perpetually hungry and thirsty. There are hundreds of mortals still alive on the island and thousands of corpses, some centuries dead. Every one of these prisoners is chained to the central column that rises from the center of the island.

N5. Island of the Oathbreakers 

A small, rocky island rises from the inky black sea. From a distance, its surface appears to be covered by a forest of twisted, leafless trees that begins near the waterline. Closer inspection reveals that the trees are petrified, made from the same dark gray stone as the rest of the island. A great column of the same stone rises high above their tallest branches at the forest’s center. 

This island is where all oathbreakers from Thylea are brought by Lutheria’s erinyes. It is a place of punishment for any who break solemnly-sworn oaths, and rightly held to be a terrible place by all mortals. Many centuries ago, when mortals first began to arrive on the shores of Thylea, Lutheria made a deal with an ultroloth from the bleak plane of Hades. This

As you approach the center of the island, you are able to make out the thousands of individual chains anchored in the great stone pillar. Held fast by the chains are the skeletal remains of many mortals. Some appear to be centuries old. Although there are some living prisoners, they ignore you. Most of them seem to have had their mouths sewn shut. 

The ultroloth keeps the prisoners alive until they perish of natural causes. He is served by four mezzoloths who watch the prisoners intently and occasionally torment them for their own amusem*nt. Lutheria's Punishment. The vast majority of the prisoners here have had their mouths sewn shut. However, this is not the ultroloth's handiwork. Every year, Lutheria Ch apter 7 | The Nether Se a

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visits the island and tells jokes to the prisoners, making a note of those who do not laugh loudly enough. Then, she personally sews their mouths shut as punishment.

top face. The bottom of the cube just touches the water of the Nether Sea. There are runes inscribed into the iron cube, and these can be used as handholds if anyone tries to climb the walls. The top face of the iron cube is flat except for a small entryway in one corner (B1). The cube that hangs closest to Titan Island (N3) is the only cube that the heroes are able to gain access to. They must have learned the primordial word from the living Titan on that island in order to enter it.

The Wisest Prisoner The most helpful prisoner on the island is a woman named Oresteia (NE mage). Oresteia is one of very few prisoners who can speak, because she's wise enough to flatter the Lady of Dreams during her annual visits. Oresteia has two pieces of advice for the heroes:

• Always laugh at Lutheria's jokes. • Challenge Lutheria to the Royal Game.

Hanging Prison Cubes

Oresteia has earned preferential treatment from the Lady of Dreams for decades by following this advice. She keeps the Titan entertained by humoring her jokes and devising surprising new strategies for the Royal Game. Lutheria has even ordered the ultroloth to keep the mage in some measure of comfort, bringing her wine and stale bread from time to time. Oresteia warns the heroes that Lutheria will always win the game of twenty squares, because she's devised some way to cheat. The Titan loves winning almost as much as she hates losing. However, the magic she uses to cheat at the game also seems to drain her energy. The mage has never pushed her luck enough to try and win the game, but it's possible that Lutheria will be more vulnerable after a particularly rousing game.

Hanging from the ceiling of the Nether Sea there are several other cubes that contain other weapons of the gods. These weapons are unfathomably dangerous creatures, just as terrible as a tarrasque or kraken. These prisons cannot be opened just yet, but they will come into play later. Refer to the Apokalypsis chapter for details.

Lutheria's Barge 

N6. Gargantuan Cubes 

Your vessel sails towards an island that seems strangely square-shaped. It soon becomes clear that the island is actually a gargantuan iron cube. Runes have been deeply etched into each of the faces you can see. The bottom face is level with the surface of the sea; the top face, some hundred feet above, hangs from five massive chains. The chains disappear into the fathomless heavens of the Nether Sea. A disturbing noise echoes from within the structure, alternating between a low rumble and a high whistle. 

A movement on the horizon breaks the gloomy monotony of the Nether Sea. A pair of immense shapes come into view: the first is the upper body of a colossal male humanoid wading through the waves. Rags obscure much of his face, but it is clear that his lips have been sealed shut. Scars cover his muscular body as he trudges slowly onward, gripping onto a great length of chain. He pulls a massive, impressive bronze barge. Lush green plants spill over the top of the barge—a verdant garden in a lifeless expanse of black ocean. 

A huge iron cube, 100 feet on each edge, hangs from five massive chains: four chains attach to the top corners of the cube, and the last attaches to the center of the cube’s

This barge is Hypnos, the dwelling place of Lutheria. This massive bronze vessel is pulled by Talieus (LN empyrean), a 200-foot-tall Titan who has been blinded and broken by his malevolent sister. He wades through the Nether Sea, eternally pulling Lutheria’s barge. Lutheria's barge is a hanging garden that features lush plants, vines, and trees. Fantastical flowers grow in the garden, of almost every kind imaginable, and their perfume almost drowns out the acidic smell of the Nether Sea. If the heroes approach Lutheria’s barge, refer to the Hypnos, Throne of Dreams section.

We know that the Titans possess powers that have yet to be revealed. My mother forced them into a stalemate before they ever became desperate enough to unleash such horrors. But the time may yet come when we learn what was locked away at the dawn of time. — Vallus, Goddess of Wisdom

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The Prison Cube This gargantuan iron cube, 100 feet on each edge, hangs from five massive chains. The center chain has a strange contraption attached to it: an hourglass made from transparent adamantine. About two thirds of the sand inside is in the bottom half of the hourglass, while the rest pours slowly down. Inside the cube is one of the weapons of the gods, a tarrasque. There are also primordial golems that have existed since the creation of the cube. These undying constructs are there to protect the workings of the cube and make sure that the tarrasque is fed.

to speak the primordial word of power that was used to create the cube. This word can be learned from the living Titan on Titan Island (N3). The legend lore spell can also be used to reveal it. The primordial word is pretty much unpronounceable by mortals. It will appear in a hero’s mind, be used once to open the portal, and then vanish. The players don’t actually need to know or speak the word. They only need to know that it exists in one hero’s mind. The Hourglass. A successful DC 20 Intelligence (Arcana) check reveals that it will take three centuries for all the sand to run into the bottom of the hourglass. This is some sort of timing mechanism. Eventually, the creature imprisoned inside will awaken and return to the surface: this happens once every thousand years.

History of the Cube While Lutheria was originally ordered by her father Kentimane to watch over the weapons of the gods, she has tricked an ancient ultroloth to do the work instead. Lutheria deceived the creature by promising him dominion over an eternal kingdom in the Nether Sea. The ultroloth is bound to the cube until Lutheria dies, or until she releases him from his oath.

B2. Entry Chamber 

Primordial Golems Primordial golems are unfinished creatures that the gods left behind to guard their weapons. They look like featureless humanoids and they have the same statistics as clay golems except that they are Medium instead of Large-sized. In battle, they will attack the same target until it is dead. Whenever they reduce the hit point maximum of their current target with their slam attack, they will take on the appearance of that target. For example, if their target is a dwarf, then they will grow shorter and stockier after the first hit. Next round, they will grow a beard. A primordial golem will look identical to its chosen target by the time it has reduced the target’s hit point maximum by 40 or more.

General Features of the Cube The inside of the cube is strangely cold and alien.

• The ceilings are 15 ft. high, unless otherwise noted. • All of the doors are made from iron. • All of the rooms are unlit.

B3. Chamber of Worms 

B1. Entrance

The door at the corner of the iron cube is the entrance. It is a circular hatchway made from adamantine, and it is invulnerable to damage. The only way to open it is

The floor of this chamber is filled with huge, writhing worms that wriggle and squirm over each other. The effect is quite disturbing. A narrow bridge crosses to the other side of the room, some five feet above the hideous, writhing worms. A featureless humanoid golem stands guard in the middle of the bridge.

At the very top of the gargantuan iron cube, there is a complex contraption like a massive hourglass that stands more than 30 feet tall. Sand empties from the top half of the hourglass into the bottom half, with aching slowness. Drilled into one corner of the cube's surface, there is a circular portal of black metal. 

A spiral stair leads down into this room. It is guarded by two primordial golems. They will not move to attack until an intruder steps onto the floor of the chamber. They fight until destroyed.

KEY LOCATIONS 

As you descend the spiral staircase and enter the chamber below, you are met by dark, gloomy surroundings. A sense of dread fills the air. You feel a strange presence before noticing two featureless humanoid statues, standing motionless in the corner of the room.

The floor is covered with hundreds of juvenile purple worms. These are the tarrasque’s food supply. Each of the purple worms has the statistics of a giant poisonous snake. If someone enters the pit, they will be attacked by 2d6 worms each round. The primordial golem will try to knock intruders from the bridge into the vat of Ch apter 7 | The Nether Se a

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purple worms. The worms will not attack the primordial golem, because it doesn't appear to be food. Area damage spells such as fireball can kill most (but not all) of the worms. Some worms will always survive, hidden beneath the corpses. No more than 5,000 XP can be earned here from slaughtering the worms.

B4. Breeding Chamber 

This must be some sort of breeding chamber for the worms. Two giant purple colored worms, more than thirty feet in length, are chained and entwined with one another in the center of the room. Featureless humanoid golems work on the worms, paying little attention to anything else in front of them. 

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This is the breeding chamber for the tarrasque’s food. Purple worms breed in a manner similar to earth worms. The two purple worms join together and pass genetic material to one another. This is stored in sacs and then a cocoon forms on the body of each worm, with each cocoon holding 1d6 wormlings. Once these worm-filled cocoons are large enough, they are taken to the Chamber of Worms (B3) and emptied. The purple worms here can also be milked for their poison. The two adult purple worms in the room are restrained by adamantine chains. Three primordial golems are currently collecting poison from one of the purple worms. They will, however, immediately stop work and attack any intruders. Even while restrained, the purple worms are not completely harmless. Anyone who comes within 10 feet of a worm’s head will be the target of a bite attack. Anyone who comes within 10 feet of the other end of the worm will be targeted by a stinger attack. Treat these as readied actions. Note that the purple worms will not attack the golems.

B5. Feeding Chute 

B7. Poison Chamber 

In this room, the walls and floors are covered in a thick, mucous slime that almost seems alive. The floor is marked by strange engravings that look like a grid. On opposite sides of the room are levers on the walls: one lever is shaped like a worm, while the other is hornshaped. A shapeless humanoid figure stands in the chamber next to the worm-shaped lever. 

This is where the purple worm poison is kept until it is needed. The Dumping Hall (B6) describes the effects of being immersed in the poison.

B8. Chamber of the Guardian 

This is where the purple worms are brought before being dumped on the tarrasque as fodder. The wormshaped lever on the wall releases a dozen small purple worms into this room. The other lever, shaped like a horn, opens a trap door in the floor, which dumps the worms into the tarrasque’s chamber below. One primordial golem waits in the room. When the party reaches the room, the golem pulls the worm lever to dump a dozen purple wormlings (same statistics as giant poisonous snakes) onto the floor. The golem then waits until someone enters the room. At this point, it will move to pull the other lever and open the trap door. Anyone standing on the trap door when it opens must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or fall into the tarrasque pit below.

B6. Dumping Hall 

This long hall has a strange floor. The floor appears to have dozens of small holes, each with an iron covering. At the far end of the hall, there is a circular metal door with a small lever located beside it. 

This strange room is the mechanism for waking the tarrasque. When the tarrasque needs to be awakened, a primordial golem opens the circular door. When the circular door is opened, the entrance door slams shut and locks. This causes the hall to fill with purple worm venom in three rounds. The circular door automatically closes and locks after three rounds. All of the locks require a successful DC 20 Dexterity check using thieves' tools to open. The lever beside the door can be used to open up the small holes in the floor. The poison drains through the holes onto the tarrasque below and awakens the gargantuan beast. Anyone in the room when it is filling with poison will take 1d6 poison damage per round. Anyone who drinks or breathes in the poison (for example, with water breathing) takes the full damage from purple worm poison (12d6). Anyone with fewer than 75% of their hit points remaining takes full damage from the second round onwards, as the poison seeps into their wounds.

This chamber is dominated by an unearthly table with several goblets on it, each filled with a purple liquid. Sitting at the table is a faceless humanoid dressed in a flowing cloak, and beside him are three bronze constructs that are designed with his likeness. The humanoid has a strange-looking talisman around its neck. 

This room is where the caretaker of the prison, an ultroloth, can be found. Initially, he will not be hostile to the heroes. Instead, one of his bronze automatons will be used as a mouthpiece to communicate with the heroes. The ultroloth is intelligent, and he understands why the heroes have broken into the prison. He seeks to be released from his bargain with Lutheria, so he is very open about his desire to assist the heroes. He is willing to tell the heroes how to awaken the tarrasque but, in return, they must swear an oath to kill Lutheria and bring her crystal scythe back to him. This oath is a serious matter, and it will be enforced by the erinyes of the Island of the Oathbreakers. If the heroes are unwilling to swear the oath, then the ultroloth expresses his profound disappointment in them. He attacks with the help of his three bronze automatons. The strange goblets are filled with purple worm poison. The ultroloth has acquired a taste for the substance, and he is resistant to its effects. He won’t stop anyone from trying a drink for themselves, because he would find it amusing to watch. The bronze automatons are Sydon’s gifts to him; the Titan wished to curry favor with the ultroloth in case he ever needed to use one of the weapons of the gods. Treasure The ultroloth wears a talisman of the sphere around his neck. He uses this to control the sphere of annihilation in the Chamber of Execution (B11).

B9. Golem Storage 

Featureless humanoid golems stand silent and still in a sad crowd at the center of this room. There are a dozen of them. Some have missing arms, while a couple have missing heads. 

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B11. Chamber of Execution

This is where damaged golems are repaired by the ultroloth. None of them are operational, but the heroes don’t need to be told that they are broken. As far as the party is concerned, the golems are merely unresponsive.

B10. Locking Chamber

This room is colder than the rest of the complex. There are four huge floating spheres marked by ancient runes. The walls are also covered in the same runes. 

The tarrasque can only be released from this room. Each of the floating spheres has an ancient legend about the tarrasque inscribed on it in the Primordial tongue. All the stories are terrifying to anyone who can read them. To open the cube, someone wearing the ultroloth’s talisman of the sphere (B8) must control the sphere of annihilation (B11) so that it sits at the very center of the room. The wearer of the talisman must then read aloud the texts from each sphere. This causes them to spin. Once all of the spheres are spinning, the bottom of the cube will open, hundreds of feet below. The tarrasque will be dumped into the Nether Sea, and the ancient beast will then make its way to the surface of Thylea and begin to wreak untold damage. Releasing the Tarrasque Releasing the tarrasque at this point in the adventure is very unlikely. The ultroloth is the only creature who knows the proper ritual, and he is unwilling to share this secret.

Lutheria despised her role as caretaker of the iron cubes. I think she took pity on the creatures locked within. Perhaps one day she will release them. — Chondrus, Priest of Lutheria

A large, two-foot wide black sphere floats at the very center of this room. The sphere seems to absorb light. 

The sphere at the center of the room is a sphere of annihilation. The sphere is part of the ritual required to open the Locking Chamber (B10) and release the tarrasque. Killing the Tarrasque. The sphere also allows the ultroloth to kill the tarrasque if needed. The ultroloth must move the sphere to the top of the sleeping tarrasque’s head and then send it through the creature’s brain. If the tarrasque is awake, this form of execution is no longer possible, as the tarrasque will simply dodge out of the way of the sphere.

B12. The Pit 

A large pit looks down into a vast chamber that makes up most of the iron cube’s interior. Inside, a gargantuan nightmarish creature slumbers. A thick, spiny brown carapace covers the back of the immense reptile, which resembles a predatory lizard with clawed forelimbs slightly smaller than its legs. If the monster has eyes, they are not clearly visible from your current position. 

The tarrasque will remain sleeping unless it takes damage or it is fed with purple worms. If awakened, it will attack and attempt to consume anything in its pit. If there is nothing to eat when it awakens, then the tarrasque will angrily smash itself against the walls of its prison. The resulting noise echoes across the entire Nether Sea and attracts the attention of Lutheria. In this case, she will sail to investigate the prison in her throne ship, Hypnos. Only after 24 hours of angry activity will the tarrasque grow tired of battering itself against the walls of its prison and return to its slumber.

Hypnos, Throne of Dreams Hypnos is the domain of Lutheria, who is called the Lady of Dreams and the Mistress of Death. Her throne ship is a massive bronze ceremonial floating palace that is pulled across the Nether Sea by her ancient sibling, Talieus (LN empyrean). The enslaved Titan has been blinded and his mouth has been sewn shut. The only clean parts of his face are where tears have trickled down from his ruined eye sockets. He now trudges on, without rest or thanks, through the Nether Sea. Lutheria's barge is a hanging garden that features lush plants, vines, and trees. Fantastical flowers grow in the garden, of almost every kind imaginable, and their 204

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perfume almost drowns out the acidic smell of the Nether Sea. Lutheria spends much of her time in her garden. Beneath the garden is a network of tunnels and rooms inhabited by Lutheria’s servants. These spaces are lined with tens of thousands of mortal skulls. Lutheria’s servants include lamias. These half-woman/half-lion monstrosities are maenads that Lutheria has twisted into a more powerful form. The lamias are served by jackalwere, who were once male priests of Lutheria. Their loyalty has been rewarded by being summoned to the Lady's garden, where they are transformed into creatures who can serve her better.

The Throne of Dreams Events in Hypnos should have an otherworldly and dream-like quality. Ideally, the heroes should feel a kind of unease and distrust of everything that they experience in Hypnos. They should never be quite sure whether they are awake or in some sort of lucid dream or nightmare. Things in Lutheria's domain are not always quite what they seem. Her servants may behave in irrational, dreamlike ways. Distances between parts of the vessel need not always be consistent. For example, walking across the ship's deck may seem like an endless journey of days through a densely overgrown jungle.

General Features • The ceilings are 15 ft. high unless otherwise noted. • The doors are wooden unless otherwise noted. • All of the rooms are lit by a permanent light spell.

KEY LOCATIONS H1. Dreamer’s Dock 

You notice a small platform jutting from the side of the bronze barge, just above the waterline. The structure appears to be used as a dock, and may be out of view from the main deck. Behind the platform is the very faint outline of what might be a door into the vessel. 

The opening mechanism for the secret entrance can be detected with a successful DC 15 Wisdom (Perception) check. Behind the door is a small chamber. This is the lair of a lamia and five jackalwere. They are lounging in the small boats that float in the water of the chamber. The lamia has used disguise self, and she looks like a beautiful woman. The lamia will greet intruders by kissing their hands. Anyone who allows this to happen Ch apter 7 | The Nether Se a

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comes under the lamia’s curse, and for the next hour, they will have disadvantage on Wisdom saving throws. The jackalwere are polymorphed into beautiful men and women, and are currently smoking pipes of black lotus. They invite anyone who enters the room to join them for a smoke. The jackalwere will try to wait until a majority of intruders have been cursed by the lamia. At this point, they will use their sleep gaze and claim that the party is drowsy from the effects of the lotus. The jackalwere and lamia will defend themselves if attacked. If they are able to put the entire party to sleep, then they take them to The Kitchens (H8).

This is the home of the erinyes who are sent out to capture oathbreakers in Thylea. There are usually two erinyes here at any time, waiting to be called upon. They are not hostile, but they will defend themselves. The room has furniture from many worlds and times. Treasure. The furnishings of this room are worth about 10,000 gp in total, but attempting to remove even a single piece will provoke the ire of the erinyes.

H4. Hall of Trinkets 

H2. Dreamer’s Halls 

Underneath the lush greenery of the ship’s deck, you find yourselves in a series of long, dark hallways. The walls and floor are lined with countless humanoid skulls. The skulls stare at you with dead eyes. 

The halls are empty. Whenever the heroes move between rooms, the skulls appear to silently laugh at them. Traversing the halls seems to take much longer than the distances on the map would suggest. Each minute spent in the hallways feels like hours.

H3. The Erinyes 

This room is lavishly appointed. Each individual piece of decor is breathtaking in its artistry, and the styles are so varied that they combine to create an overall impression of discordant opulence. Two women with red-feathered wings are in the room. One polishes a suit of heavy black armor while the other examines the bowstring of a great longbow. 

A doorway opens into a wide room lined with tall marble plinths, each displaying a unique object. Although many of the items are beautiful and unusual, some appear quite mundane. The nearest item is a writing quill with a brilliant orange plume that smolders like an ember. The next plinth supports a bright, silver-colored mask, depicting the face of an elven woman of unparalleled beauty. Two small girls tend to this odd collection. One dusts an ivory box while the other polishes a simple platinum coin. The two girls possess unnaturally symmetrical features. They move with a feline grace.

This gallery hall is where Lutheria stores some of the magical trinkets that she has collected over the ages. She doesn’t collect items for their power or utility, but rather because the items amuse her. All of the items rest on marble plinths:

• A carved ivory music box. When this is opened, a

small turntable begins to move and the sounds of wailing and screaming fill the air. The box holds the souls of thousands of people from another world. Their rulers made a pact with Powers from the Nine Hells that their nation would rule the world for a thousand years. Aftewards, all the native souls would be the property of an archdevil. When the thousand years ended, the nation’s most powerful wizards tried to protect the souls by binding them within the box, and the souls have remained there for millennia, without physical form and driven to madness. • An apple-sized dodecahedron forged from adamantine with strange, unreadable runes inscribed upon it. This is the only remaining object from a world that was swallowed by its sun. • A mithral mask of a beautiful elven woman. The wearer sees everything in the world in the most beautiful way imaginable, regardless of its reality. • A platinum coin with the head of a dragon stamped on one side and a dragon’s tail on the other. The coin doesn’t radiate any magical aura, but it can be attuned. Once attuned, the coin will always land on the face that its owner wishes when it is flipped.

• A phoenix-feather writing quill. The quill was used

to write the Codex of the Infinite Planes. Anyone writing with this quill always produces beautiful handwriting, and the writer can write in any language, even languages they cannot speak or understand.

Two lamias guard this room, but they appear to be young girls, and they claim to be sisters. They introduce trespassers to their “toys,” happily describing each item to those who are curious. They drag visitors to each plinth excitedly, but they warn against touching anything, because it makes Lutheria mad. The lamia try to touch as many heroes as possible, holding their hands and pulling them around like excited children. Anyone who is touched by the lamia is affected by their intoxicating touch for 1 hour. If any of the items are touched or taken, the two girls will begin to shriek. Any jackalwere below deck will come running and attack the intruders. When this happens, the lamia revert to their true forms and attack.

H5. Room of Nightmares 

Although similar in size to most of the ship's other chambers, the emptiness of this room makes it appear much larger. There is a beautiful golden chair at the center of the room. You have a feeling that sitting in this chair will make your wildest dreams come true. 

This room is used to break prisoners by bringing their worst nightmares to life. Anyone sitting in the chair activates the room’s magic. The door vanishes and the person in the chair becomes incapacitated for one minute. During that time, a nightmare becomes manifest. The only way to stop the manifestation is to reduce the dreamer’s hit points to zero. Roll on the Table of Nightmares, or have the player whose character is in the chair choose which nightmare is the worst from the list below. Do not tell them the consequences before they make the choice.

This room appears to be an armory. It is guarded by four wild-eyed men who ignore your arrival, muttering incomprehensibly to themselves. Four items hang from skeletal hands that emerge from the walls: a greataxe, a greatsword, a shield, and a set of plate armor.

Four jackalwere guard this room, disguised as gibbering madmen. They leave intruders alone unless someone touches the weapons or armor on display. Whenever an item is touched, the jackalwere grow

Result

1–2

Nightmare of a shrinking room. The room begins to shrink, and after five rounds, the room is so small that it crushes everyone inside. Each creature takes 1d6 bludgeoning damage per round for every other creature in the room. For example: if there are five creature in the room, then each creature takes 4d6 damage per round.

3–4

Nightmare of falling. The room and chair vanish, and everyone inside the room begins to fall. After 10 rounds they hit the room's floor for 20d6 bludgeoning damage, and the nightmare ends.

5–6

Nightmare of being naked. At the end of every round, a non-magical item vanishes from each hero. At the end of 10 rounds, all remaining non-magical items vanish forever. If the nightmare ends early, then all of the vanished items return.

7–8

Nightmare of teeth falling out. At the end of every round, a tooth falls from the mouth of the dreamer. Each tooth instantly transforms into a monster that attacks and tries to eat the party. The tooth-monsters appear in this order:

9–10 Nightmare of drowning. Blood gushes from the mouth of the dreamer and fills the room in two rounds. Use the drowning rules. Water breathing does not work, because the liquid is blood.

quiet and stare at whoever touched it, using sleep gaze to render the offender unconscious. Anyone who has been touched by a lamia will have disadvantage on their saving throw.

H6. Hall of Armaments

d10

1. Skeleton, 2. Griffon, 3. Minotaur, 4. Gorgon, 5. Mezzoloth, 6. Salamander, 7. Cyclops, 8. Chimera, 9. Grick Alpha, 10. Nycaloth

Table of Nightmares

Weapons of Madness The weapons and armor displayed in this room contain portions of Lutheria’s ancient madness. Sydon once attempted to cure his sister's insanity by drawing it out like a poison. He forged this psychic energy into the magic items in this room. They are: plate mail of vulnerability, berserker greataxe, shield of missile attraction, and a greatsword of vengeance. Anyone touching one of these cursed items for the first time must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or contract a short-term madness (see Madness in the 5th Edition Game Master's Guide). Heroes that succeed on this saving throw are immune to the effects from that point forward. Using the Weapons. Lutheria has disadvantage on attack rolls versus characters who are wielding one of these items. If an attack from one of these weapons hits Lutheria, or if she hits someone wearing the armor with her scythe, then the cursed item is destroyed, and Ch apter 7 | The Nether Se a

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H8. The Kitchens

she is immediately overwhelmed by the ancient madness that was bound within the item. Whenever this happens, Lutheria suffers the effects of the confusion spell until the end of her next turn.

H7. Scrying Room 

Two strange women sit in this room, with their backs to the door. Both women have the lower bodies of lions. Each of these creatures stares intently into a looking glass. The mirrors display apparently random scenes from all over Thylea. The images flicker through too quickly for you to take in specific details. 

Several scrawny dog-like men scurry about this kitchen, preparing sumptuous foods. They are ordered around by a monstrous woman with the lower body of a lion. You can smell something delicious cooking, but many of the meat dishes include shanks of suspiciously humanoid body parts. 

The women are two lamias. They use the mirrors to watch all the lands of Thylea, and they make daily reports to Lutheria. They are proud of this task, and they are happy to explain it to the heroes. The lamias attempt to touch the heroes during their explanation. They may try to show the heroes something disturbing, such as King Acastus plotting against them—or the massive fleet that Sydon has gathered. Once they have touched the heroes, the lamias summon all the remaining jackalwere on this deck and attack the party. Each of the mirrors is attuned to a lamia, and they will not work when anyone else attempts to use them.

This is where feasts are prepared for Lutheria and her guests. A single lamia supervises the work of three jackalwere. None of them have the time to disguise their true forms, as they are always busy preparing the next meal. When meals are ready, they are taken up to Lutheria's Garden (H10) and served. Captured Heroes. Heroes who have been captured by the jackalwere's sleep ability will awaken here, trussed up and ready for the oven. Spellcasters will have an apple shoved into their mouths.

H9. Sleeping Chamber 

This chamber is dimly lit by a single torch. There are five beds here, each occupied by a sleeping form. 

This chamber is where Lutheria's servants sleep. Two male dryads and three female satyrs are asleep here. They are consorts to the jackalwere. If awakened, they will be frightened, but they will not fight.

H10. Lutheria’s Garden 

This entire vessel is covered with lush greenery that obscures details of its deck and hides any crew who might be on board. This strange garden’s vibrant colors stand out in stark contrast against the murky grays of the Nether Sea. A chaotic mix of scents— pleasant, revolting, and exotic—drift from the abundant flora. 

This garden is full of exotic plants from all over the multiverse, and Lutheria has carefully chosen ones that are beautiful, produce intoxicating scents, or that bear fruits that can be used for wines or narcotics. Many of these plants seem revolting to the eyes and to the nose, but Lutheria’s sensibilities and tastes are unlike those of common mortals. Any hero who eats fruit or deliberately takes in the flowers’ scents may be overcome in some way, as shown on the table opposite.

Flora in Lutheria's Garden d10

Flower or Fruit

Effect

d10

Flower or Fruit

Effect

1

White tree with blue fruits

Eating the fruits gives the effects of a potion of heroism.

6

Black roots with white flowers

Smelling these flowers has no unusual effect.

2

Yellow star flower

Smelling the flower has the effect of a haste spell for 10 rounds, then a slow spell for an hour.

7

Squirming black slug tubers

Eating slug tubers reduces Constitution by 5, but increases Strength by 5.

3

Flower with a large mouth

When touched, the shrieker alerts everyone in the garden.

8

Violet fungus

The fungus will attack any creature that touches it.

4

Purple Weeds

The weeds are the same as a potion of water breathing and give immunity to the Nether Sea’s waters.

9

Black lotus flower Smelling the lotus puts a hero into a deep sleep for 8 hours unless a DC 15 Constitution saving throw is made.

5

Small tree with red flowers

Smelling the flowers causes hallucinations. Heroes see the things they most fear. Heroes must make a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or they gain a long-term madness.

10

Pomegranates

The Lady of Dreams When Lutheria is not traveling the world and meddling in the affairs of mortals, she spends her time here, sitting on the throne in her garden. To entertain herself, she throws bacchanals—parties of drunken

Eating this fruit causes instant paralysis followed by horrifying nightmares. The greater restoration spell is required to remove this effect.

excess—for her most devoted servants. Lutheria does not immediately attack those who trespass in her garden. She will first satisfy her curiosity and seek to entertain herself by telling jokes, playing games, and toying with her prey.

Confronting Lutheria Read the following when the heroes meet Lutheria: 

Lutheria

This courtyard is filled with goatlings and fey creatures engaged in drunken revelry. At the center of the crowd, a beautiful giant-sized woman lounges on an ornate throne. Most of the revelers are so intoxicated that they fail to notice your presence, but the black-eyed woman immediately locks eyes with you. “Ah, the heroes of the prophecy. I suppose you have come to kill me. That would be very boring. Wouldn't you prefer to join the festivities?" Despite the cup of wine in her hand, the woman’s voice remains sober, but her eyes brim with madness. 

There are many ways that the encounter with Lutheria can play out, depending upon the actions of the heroes.

The Bacchanal The garden is filled with Lutheria's servants, all of whom are engaged in debauchery and drunken revelry. The participants include two lamias, two satyr minstrels, and seven goatlings. All but Lutheria are drunk (they have the poisoned condition). Lutheria's servants urge the heroes to join in the revelry, forcing drinks into their hands and trying to entice Ch apter 7 | The Nether Se a

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them with sensual words. But joining the revelry is, in effect, a death sentence by poisoning. Heroes who drink the wine must succeed on a DC 16 Constitution saving throw or else they become poisoned and abandon their senses. While participating in the revelry, they take 1d6 psychic damage each round. In order to regain control of themselves, the heroes must make a successful DC 15 Wisdom saving throw. Refusing to join in has no immediate consequences. Lutheria turns a withering gaze upon each person in the heroes’ party, then tosses back her drink and ignores them. Your players should feel uneasy about their refusal to join—it's not wise to spoil Lutheria's fun. Attacking Lutheria will cause all her servants to abandon their revelry and rush to her defense, even though they are drunk and effectively poisoned.

The Royal Game The heroes may challenge Lutheria to the game of twenty squares. Lutheria loves the game, but she rarely gets to play it, because she has a habit of killing anyone who beats her at it. 

Lutheria's Joke Lutheria is unwilling to discuss anything until she's had a chance to test the heroes. 

"Wait—before we discuss business, allow me to break the ice. Although you are shameless trespassers, I feel obligated to entertain you." 

Lutheria deadpans the following jokes. With each joke, the entire entourage bursts into a chorus of laughter. Lutheria does not laugh. She watches the heroes intently, gauging their reaction.

• What is the most disgusting thing imaginable? ››A bag full of dead mortal children.

• And what is more disgusting than that? ››One at the bottom is still wriggling.

• What’s the difference between an onion and an innocent mortal child? ››I cry when I chop up an onion.

It should be clear to your players that they are actually expected to laugh out loud at these jokes. If anyone refuses to laugh, Lutheria becomes irate. She points at each hero who failed to laugh and berates them. 

Lutheria's points at you accusingly, and her eyes burn into the back of your skull. "You there. Why didn't you laugh? Are you bored? Am I boring to you? Answer me!" 

On the other hand, if the heroes humor Lutheria by laughing at her jokes, then she applauds their sense of humor. This puts her in a better mood to bargain.

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Lutheria's eyes light up, and she makes a gesture with her hand. The deck in front of her throne shimmers and becomes a board of twenty black-and-white squares. "It has been much too long since someone has had the courage to challenge me to the Royal Game! But what shall we wager? Oh, I know!" With another wave of her hand, Lutheria summons seven goatlings to stand in the board's starting row. Then she waves her hand again, and seven of your comrades from the Ultros appear opposite them. They stand completely still, as if paralyzed. "We shall wager the lives of our servants." The goddess grins and strokes her crystal scythe. 

Before the game begins, three winged forms set down on the deck to watch the game. These are the Furies from the Room of Far Sight (S33). They have come to enforce the rules of the game and prevent anyone from backing out prematurely. This annoys Lutheria, but she has no choice but to accept it. If the players become hostile or uncooperative, the Furies summon seven erinyes for backup and banish the heroes to the Island of the Oathbreakers (N5). Playing the Game. Refer to the game of twenty squares entry in the Treasures appendix for details about the rules of the game. Lutheria uses an ancient rule that has been forgotten by mortals: since the heroes challenged her to the game, she has the right to determine the wager. The Furies agree to this. Lutheria's Strategy. Lutheria loves the game almost as much as she hates losing. Over the centuries, she has devised a way of cheating without detection. When she fails one of the opposed skill rolls, she may spend one of her uses of legendary resistance to automatically win the roll instead. All of Lutheria's rolls should be hidden behind the GM screen. Heroes with high passive Perception scores may notice her cheating, but the Furies are incapable of detecting it. Lutheria is unsportsmanlike during the game. She gloats when she wins a round and sulks when she loses. She becomes increasingly agitated when she's losing. She may go so far as to expend all three uses of legendary resistance in order to ensure her own victory. Lutheria Loses. If the heroes win the match, then Lutheria loses her temper. She slaughters all seven of the goatlings that served as her pieces. The goddess is now in a terrible mood and may attack unprovoked. Lutheria Wins. If the heroes lose the match, then Lutheria is absolutely delighted. She slaughters all seven

of the Ultros crew that served as their pieces. The Furies ensure that the wager is honored before departing. The goddess is now in an excellent mood and is willing to grant each of the heroes a boon.

Renewing the Oath If the heroes ask Lutheria to renew her commitment to the Oath of Peace, then she will agree to do so under one condition: the entire party must swear an indefinite oath of service to her. The heroes would be required to do essentially anything she asks for the rest of their lives, as if under the effects of an unbreakable geas spell. Terms of the Oath. Lutheria agrees not to harm any of the mortal cities of Thylea. Her temples would remain standing, and she would still require sacrifices, but things would continue much as they have been. Lutheria has no interest in her husband's schemes. The heroes would still be free to assail Praxys and battle Sydon or negotiate with him separately. She will not interfere with these tasks. She agrees not to demand anything of the players until after they have dealt with her husband (after the Battle of Mytros).

Attacking Lutheria

Epic Paths: Confronting Lutheria If the Doomed One is present, Lutheria spends the first round in combat laughing uncontrollably at the lifetime of misfortune that she inflicted on them. If the Haunted One is present, Lutheria realizes that she's made a mistake and concentrates all her efforts on killing them. The Haunted One needs to destroy Lutheria's scythe in order to release the souls of their lost family. Refer to the Running the Epic Paths section for details.

Defeating Lutheria

If the heroes provoke a battle with Lutheria, whether by attacking her or by annoying her too much, read the following: 

The heroes are immediately attacked by all of the creatures participating in the bacchanal. Lutheria joins the battle after one round, gleefully inflicting as much damage as she can with her scythe. She loudly orders her minions to torture and crucify the heroes. This battle should be very difficult, and it should force the heroes to expend all of their resources. You might need to bring in reinforcements from elsewhere in Hypnos in order to increase the challenge. You may also choose to have Lutheria summon undead servants, such as wights and ghosts, to assist in the battle.

If the heroes fight and defeat Lutheria read the following: 

Lutheria collapses to her knees, grasping at the air in front of you. She unleashes a screeching wail of anguish, refusing to believe that a band of mere mortals has defeated her. Her body slowly transforms into a strange, twisting light. The light explodes into a storm of cosmic matter—and then she vanishes.

"You mortals always disappoint me." The Lady of Dreams appears affected by a deep sadness. Black tears roll down her face. The garden wilts, and all of her servants begin to weep and wail. Minutes pass, and the mournful scene continues. You feel a chill run down your spine. Finally, Lutheria ostentatiously dries her eyes. Her face breaks into a wicked smile. “Well. I need some cheering up. Let’s start by tearing your pathetic little bodies apart, limb from limb.” 

Lutheria's Scythe

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Chapter 8:

Praxys, Tower of Sydon “When first we sailed into Thylea from the Old World, we did not know that we were trespassers. But then we saw the great Tower, its red light glaring at us from miles away. And we knew that we had stumbled into the realm of the gods.”

T

—Yoshua, from the Annals of the Settlers

he tower of Praxys is the oldest and tallest structure in Thylea. It is one of the few remaining landmarks from the time when gods walked among mortals, and the dragons and giants fought for primacy. Praxys serves as the throne of Sydon, the Lord of Storms. He uses it as a guard tower to watch for incursions from the outer world. The Titan has modified and rebuilt the tower over many centuries, and thousands of cyclopes and gygan workers have died to fashion his “palace.” Sydon is often found at Praxys, surrounded by his sons and daughters. Although Sydon and Lutheria have come to hate one another in recent centuries, the twins bore these young empyrean children together in anticipation of the end of the Oath of Peace. Sydon has trained them to reclaim the powers of the Five Gods.

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Traveling to the Tower Traveling to Praxys should be an ordeal. If the party has not yet encountered Sydon's Fleet, then they should do so on the voyage here. Otherwise, you may choose to run 1-2 random sea encounters during the voyage. Read the following when the party arrives: 

After days of sailing into the far reaches of the ocean, the weather turns rough. Powerful storm waves threaten to overturn your ship, rocking it from side to side, and a thick blanket of fog obscures the sea around you. The wreckage of broken ships drifts past your prow, and you begin to wonder whether you will share the fates of their unfortunate crews. Eventually, you notice a beam of light, which seems to sweep the surrounding seas from an immense height. Massive rocks emerge from the fog: the foundations of a gargantuan stone tower. Your ship suddenly feels very exposed—tiny and vulnerable next to the impossible size of the structure which now looms above you. This can only be the Tower of Sydon. 

THE TOWER

Praxys is a great tower of stone, which breaks upward through a headland of limestone. It is massive in size, beyond any human scale, towering more than 1,500 feet into the air. It was carved from a small mountain that rose out of the ocean. The tower is 200 feet across, and its interior is filled with vast empty spaces that serve as storage chambers and prisons. Only three floors are designed to be habitable by mortal creatures, and each of these floors have ceilings that are 30 ft. in height, in order to accommodate Titans and giants. Across many miles of ocean, Sydon’s tower projects a piercing ray of silver light, which searches for trespassers. This light radiates from the heart of a star that Sydon has imprisoned at the pinnacle of the tower. A huge stone dock juts out to the south. It was built for ships manned by gygans or cyclopes, not for human vessels. The dock is protected by a dozen ballista crewed by gygans. Each gygan can load, aim and fire its ballista in a single round due to their size and six arms. Defensive Ballistae Ballista Bolt. Ranged Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, range: 120/480 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (3d10 + 2) piercing damage.

This massive stone tower must be at least 1,500 feet tall. There is a large stone dock on the south side of the tower, which appears to be incredibly ancient, possibly thousands of years old. It stands strong against the abuses of the waves and weather, and a foreboding air surrounds the place. Birds wheel around the heights of the tower but, as the scale of the place hits home, you realize that they are not seagulls. The “birds” are distant griffons, each the size of a horse. The massive double doors at the base of the tower appear nigh-impenetrable. 

The double adamantine doors are 40 ft. tall and cannot be damaged. They are barred from the other side. They can be forced open by characters with a combined Strength of 200 or more; no check is necessary if the group are strong enough, but no more than a dozen humans can attempt the task at once. If the heroes lack the combined strength, they will have to find another way in—through the flooded basem*nt. The griffons flying around the tower nest in many places on ledges and in window openings. They are aggressive towards anyone who tries to approach the tower by air. Someone using flight will be swarmed by 7

Gaining Entry to the Tower There are three obvious ways to gain entry to the tower.

• The Front Gate. A direct assault on the main dock

and gate is probably the most difficult. The gygans fire their ballistae as soon as approaching ships come within range. Once the gygans are dealt with, the main doors must somehow be opened. A direct assault almost certainly puts the tower on alert status. • From the Sky. Approaching from the air is difficult due to the griffons. But if the heroes are able to make it past the griffons, then they will have easy access to areas S9 and S26. All other windows in the tower are permanent walls of force. • Underwater. The easiest approach is underwater. Anyone sailing around the tower will notice pipes located just below the water level. These pipes are large enough for Medium-sized creatures to make their way into the tower. The pipes provide access to areas S5, S10, S19, and S22.

Traveling Through the Tower

Arrival at the Tower 

(2d6) griffons. In addition, the Fallen Star (S37) illuminates any flying creatures trying to gain access. If the first group of griffons are defeated, the light summons another swarm after 2d6 rounds.

There are many different methods to travel up and down within the tower. At its center is a spiral staircase that climbs from ground level all the way to the tower’s summit. The staircase was built for giants, so a humansized creature will find the constant climbing rather exhausting. Some levels are connected by a cleverly constructed elevator that was built when Sydon still possessed the divine power of artifice. Bronze Pipes. Huge bronze pipes run from the underwater basem*nt and feed water to all of the floors, and sometimes aquatic creatures use these pipes. They swim with the current in the pipes to move about the tower. Griffon Mounts. The griffons that roost on the window ledges of the tower could potentially be used as mounts by anyone intrepid enough to figure out how to tame them. Although the griffons are monstrosities, they can be targeted with animal friendship and other spells that target beasts. Mounting a charmed griffon requires someone in the party to make a successful DC 18 Wisdom (Animal Handling) check.

General Features of Praxys The ceilings are 30 ft. high unless otherwise noted. Bronze Doors. The doors are bronze unless otherwise noted. There are three types of doors. The small doors are 5 ft. wide and 10 ft. high. The large doors are 10 ft. wide and 25 ft. high. The double doors are each 5 ft. wide and 25 ft. high. Opening a large or double door is easy for large creatures. Medium and smaller creatures Ch apter 8 | Pr a x ys, Tower of Sy don

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Inhabitants of Praxys ID

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Area

Creatures

Behavior When Tower is Alert

Sewage Expulsion (Basem*nt)

6 gibbering mouthers

They remain at the seaward end of the outflow pipe.

Water Pumps (Basem*nt)

8 merrows

They remain in their chamber operating the pumps.

The Bowl (Basem*nt)

1 sea hag

She remains in her lair and hides from immediate dangers.

Entrance Level

6 gygans, 1 gygan hero, 1 giant shark

They remain on guard in the main entrance.

Chamber Level 1

Hergeron

Hergeron remains chained in his chamber.

Chamber Level 3

36 harpies

The harpies remain in the prison chamber.

S1

The Forge

Garzoon, 12 mermekes

They remain at work in the forge, and immediately attack intruders.

S3

Mermekes Den

12 mermekes

They remain in the den, but will immediately attack any intruders without waiting to see if they are hostile.

S4

The Bronze Pipes

6 water weirds

Remain in the pipes, unaware that any alert has been sounded.

S5

The Water Wheels

2 blemys

Remain in their chamber.

S6

The Elevator

1 gygan, 12 harpies

Remain on guard in the lift.

S9

The Bronze Molds

2 gygans, 9 myrmekes, 2 gorgons

A gygan will ride one of the gorgons and head to The Forge (S1). The other gygan and gorgon remain here with the myrmekes.

S10

Golem Workshop

1 gygans, 9 myrmekes, 4 bronze automatons

The gygan will order the automatons to accompany him and begin to patrol the forge level. Use them as reinforcements if you want to increase the challenge of one battle on this floor.

S11

Myrmekes Queen

Myrmekes queen, 2 blemys

The queen remains imprisoned. The blemys will immediately attack the queen if the door is opened, without waiting for intruders to enter.

S12

Gygan Barracks

4 gygans

The gygans will immediately ready themselves for combat, but remain in the barrack room.

S13

The Kitchen

Ramsus the Satyr, 4 goatling tricksters

The kitchen workers make a barricade in the kitchen and get ready to defend themselves as best they can.

S15

Sparring Chamber

2 minotaur heroes, 2 gygan heroes

They remain at the sparring chamber and wait for the other inhabitants to arrive.

S16

Central Corridor

4 minotaur heroes

The minotaur heroes will remain in the corridor to try and slow down any intruders who appear.

S18

Fields of Elysium

Various

All the creatures in the demiplane remain there, unaware and uncaring that the tower alarm has sounded.

S19

The Baths

6 gygans, 5 griffons

The gygans immediately arm themselves by going to the sparring chamber, and then return to wait for intruders. The griffons take off and circle the tower, taking themselves away from any fighting.

S20

Gygan Barracks

3 gygan heroes

They arm themselves and head to the Sparring Chamber (S15).

S21

Minotaur Barracks

2 minotaur heroes

They arm themselves and head to the Sparring Chamber (S15).

S22

Waste Room

1 blemys

The giant will remain in the room, and attack anyone—even tower inhabitants—who enter his freshly cleaned chamber.

S23

Chamber of Love

Talieus, 1 aurae nymph

Talieus will make his way to the Great Arena (S26). The nymph will remain in the chamber.

S24

Chamber of Music

3 satyr minstrels, 2 gygan heroes

The gygan heroes will make their way to the Gygan Barracks (S20), and then to the Sparring Chamber (S15) before returning here if they find no threats. The satyrs remain in this chamber.

S25

Breeding Chamber

1 silver dragon, 2 gygan heroes

The gygans remain in this chamber to watch over the captive dragon.

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Inhabitants of Praxys (Continued...) ID

Area

Creatures

Behavior When Tower is Alert

S26

Great Arena

Normally empty

Talieus, son of Sydon, will make his way here when the tower is alerted, accompanied by 6 goatling tricksters.

S27

Dragon Stables

1 young copper dragon, 1 young bronze dragon, 1 young silver dragon

The dragons are released into the Great Arena (S26) to attack prisoners and the heroes.

S28

Throne Room

Normally empty

Sydon travels here if he senses that there are intruders on the floor.

S29

Main Hall

2 iron golems

The golems patrol the area without having to be specifically activated.

S30

The Vault Entrance

1 cerberus

The cerberus remains in this room.

S32

Hall of Fallen Heroes

1 euryale medusa

The medusa remains in this room.

S33

Room of Far Sight

Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone

The three Furies remain in this room.

must use an action, and opening the doors requires a successful DC 10 Strength (Athletics) check. Driftglobes. All of the rooms are lit by a single driftglobe that emanates light using the light spell. Unlike the standard light spell, this light lasts for 8 hours before ending. All of the inhabitants of Praxys know the command word for the driftglobes. If the driftglobes are taken from the tower, they cease to be magical. Deafening Forge. The sound of distant furnaces, hammering, and machinery can be heard throughout the tower. On the Forge level these sounds are loudest, but on the other levels it can still be heard as ambient background noise. The sound makes it difficult for tower inhabitants to hear the sounds of battle in rooms that are close by. The DC for all Perception checks to listen are also increased by 5. Forbiddance. Each floor of the tower is protected by a permanent forbiddance spell. The forbiddance for one

floor can be cancelled by a dispel magic at DC 19. The forbiddance makes teleporting into the tower or using magical gates or ethereal travel to gain entry impossible. Sydon, his children, and any yugoloth in the tower know the password to ignore the forbiddance.

The Inhabitants of Praxys Many creatures live within the Tower. Some spend their entire lives inside and never actually bother with the outside world. The tower inhabitants go about their daily activities as described in each room or chamber description, unless the tower is alerted. Alerting the Tower. When they are attacked, gygans, minotaurs, and centaurs will send one of their number to the central stair to alert the tower. If the horn on the central stair is sounded, the tower moves to an alert status. At this point, creatures will take the actions described in the Inhabitants of Praxys table.

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Event: March of the Titans At any time, you may choose to have Sydon deploy a full detachment of his army from the Heavens down to the docks. Sydon has been sending his soldiers down each day to join his gathering war fleet. The full detachment consists of 240 gygans, 10 gygan heroes, 24 minotaurs, and 8 minotaur heroes—all armed for war. The detachment marches down the stairs, stopping at each level to rest and give prayer to Sydon. It takes four

hours for them to reach the lowest level. They will only stop if they are directly attacked. Otherwise, they ignore what is happening on the levels—they know that Sydon and his children will deal with intruders. You can use this event to close off the main stairway in order to force the heroes to find another route to the upper levels. You can also use it to foreshadow the looming conflict in the Battle of Mytros.

The Basem*nt Water Pumps

This underwater complex is where water is pumped into the rest of the tower. Sewage and waste is also disposed of through here. Spotting the inlet and outlet pipes from the deck of the Ultros is a trivial task. Anyone who briefly searches the shoreline will see them in the water.

Water Intakes 

Bronze pipes draw water from the ocean directly into the tower. Each pipe is five feet in diameter and is located just below the water level. 

This pipe is where water is drawn from the ocean into the Water Pumps chamber (see below). The current is gentle and constant, making this an easy pathway into the tower. The heroes only need to hold their breath to be drawn through, and the pipes are large enough to allow a centaur-sized creature to pass.

Sewage expulsion 

Murky water surrounds several bronze pipes at the base of the tower. These pipes spew a constant stream of sewage into the ocean. 

This is where sewage is expelled from the tower. It is possible to enter the tower through this outflow, but as the pumped water is flowing outward, it is not ideal. A successful DC 15 Strength check is necessary to battle through the artificial current. In addition, the pipes are fouled by centuries of filth, and are now home to a half-dozen gibbering mouthers who occupy the seaward end of the pipe, feeding on everything that flushes through it. These hideous creatures will attack anything that enters their lair. Traveling all the way up these pipes leads to the Waste Room (S22).

The bronze pipe leads into a large circular chamber dominated by an intricate system of machinery that pumps water into two large pipes that extend down from the ceiling. The machines are operated by several one-eyed aquatic humanoids.

The chamber is 40 ft. in diameter with a 10 ft. ceiling. A doorway on the opposite side of the room leads to a sea hag’s lair (The Bowl). This room is where water is pumped up into the higher floors of the structure—no trivial job, given the height of the tower. The machinery is also imbued with some ancient magic that removes most of the salt from seawater. Bronze Pipes. There are two bronze pipes in the ceiling, each 5 ft. in diameter. The first pipe pumps water to rooms S5 and S10 of the tower. The second pipe pumps water to room S19 of the tower. These pipes are large enough to allow Medium-sized creatures to swim through them. Swimming through them becomes more difficult if the pumps fail, but it's still possible. Merrow Tribe. A tribe of one-eyed merrow operate the pumps, and all have the poor depth perception trait typical of cyclopes, because they only have one eye. The merrow have disadvantage on any attack roll against a target more than 30 feet away. There are eight of them in this chamber, but they are too busy to worry about trespassers. However, they will defend themselves if attacked, and they will answer the sea hag's call, if she summons them to The Bowl.

The Bowl 

Beyond the pump room is a bowl-shaped chamber. Aquatic weeds hang from the ceiling, blocking your view. The floor is flooded with bitterly-cold water. 

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This room is 30 feet in diameter. A bowl of water elemental control is embedded in the floor in the center of this room. An ancient sea hag lives here, and the entire basem*nt is considered to be her lair. Once the hag is aware of intruders, she uses a lair action to create illusory simulacrums of the heroes out of weed and refuse. She will use these simulacrums to distract and tease the heroes, but she won’t openly attack. The hag is a lonely coward, and if the heroes threaten her, she quickly surrenders. If questioned, she explains how the bronze pipes can be used to traverse the tower and reach the higher floors. If she is attacked, she will use the water elemental

from the bowl to defend herself, and she will summon the eight merrow from the Water Pumps chamber. Lair Actions. On initiative count 20, the sea hag can take a lair action to cause one of the following effects:

• The sea hag can create a simulacrum out of weed and

refuse. The simulacrum can be of any creature currently in her lair. The simulacrum lasts for one minute and obeys every command of the hag. She can only have one simulacrum at a time. • The sea hag can cast the mislead spell. If the hag’s illusion is the target of a spell or attack, it melts into a puddle of oily black residue.

Entrance Level The main entrance to the tower is protected by adamantine gates, powerful spell wards, and an entire detachment of gygan soldiers. However, if the main doors can be opened by force, then the party can enter the tower through this massive antechamber. 

Once the doors are forced open, you enter a vast, open space with ceilings reaching 100 feet high. You stand on a wide stone bridge that leads to a massive stairwell at the center of the chamber. Below the bridge, the chamber is filled with a lake of dark, murky water. 

A 20 ft. wide bridge leads to the central staircase that ascends all the way to the top level of the tower. The staircase was built for huge creatures, and even gygans

treat the stairs as difficult terrain. Fifty feet below the bridge, the central shaft disappears beneath the water. Three huge bronze pipes run upward along the walls. Six gygans and one gygan hero guard the entrance chamber. They can see outside through a one-foot diameter bronze spyhole in the door, which can be opened and closed. The gygans will only open the doors for gygans who know the password (“Hergeron”)—or for Sydon or one of his empyrean children. The water is home to a giant shark. The gygans feed the shark once a day with a chum bucket (which may be a clue for the heroes that something lurks in the pool). In combat the gygans will use their grapple ability and try to toss injured enemies into the water, to be eaten by the shark. Due to the murkiness of the water, the shark gains advantage against anyone who doesn’t have blindsight.

The Chamber Levels Between the main levels of the tower, there are three chamber levels. The chamber levels have 100 ft. ceilings and they are mostly empty. The central staircase passes through the middle of each of these chambers, and adamantine chains anchor the stair at regular intervals. Bronze piping runs vertically through the chambers, connecting the Water Pumps to the upper floors.

Chamber Level 1: The Titan 

The walls around the staircase seem like nothing you’ve ever encountered—a firm but supple material. Touching the fleshy walls provokes a feeling of unease. Worse than that is the smell: a putrid aroma fills the air. 

Sydon thinks he's so great and powerful, living at the top of his giant tower. What do you

think he's compensating for, eh? Pythor needs no such tower! Anyway, I bet my little statue in Mytros could smash that place to rubble.

—Pythor, God of Battle

218

This is where Hergeron (CN elder empyrean), the Titan, has been imprisoned by Sydon. Unlike the other chambers, this one is only 10 feet in height. Hergeron lies naked and twisted in a half circle around the stairs. His legs are pinned to the floor by adamantine spikes that run from the floor to the ceiling. The empyrean is now completely insane, and this can only be cured by a wish spell. He is also trapped by powerful magic, and only another wish spell can free him.

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Gygans. Every day, a party of six gygans arrives at dawn, noon, and dusk to collect food for The Kitchens (S13). They attack trespassers without hesitation.

If the party speaks to him, Hergeron is almost entirely incomprehensible and obviously in great pain. However, it's clear that he's trying to communicate something of great importance to the party. Some of the intelligible phrases that he speaks are like riddles:

Chamber Level 3: The Prisons

• Take the flame from the silver star and lure its dying,

forgotten love away from the celestial sea! • Sydon has twisted the dragons into something wretched—the silver mother will not forgive him!

Your senses are assaulted as you enter this huge chamber. All around you are prison cages hanging from chains. The prisoners inside are tormented by the wailing songs of harpies that nest in the walls of this vast room. Between the sound and smell of the harpies and the pitiful whimpering of the prisoners, this prison is a nightmarish place. The central stairway continues upward for 100 feet, vanishing into the ceiling.

If someone casts a 3rd level or higher healing spell on Hergeron, it will take away his pain and calm him for a few minutes. In this case, he is coherent enough to answer questions. He has a vast memory, and he knows much about what is happening in the tower. Asking him questions is equivalent to casting a commune spell.

This prison for Sydon’s captives echoes with the hopeless cries of prisoners, and the melodious, seductive singing of harpies. There are ten cube-shaped cages hanging from the ceiling at various heights. You may choose which prisoners to put in the cages. Here are some suggestions:

Hergeron's Cryptic Words Hergeron's riddles refer to the Fallen Star (S37), and the clone of Balmytria in the Dragon's Chamber (S25). If his pain can be eased, then he will explain the riddles.

• Any NPC from the Dramatis Personae appendix that the heroes have yet to meet on their travels.

Chamber Level 2: The Freezer 

• Crew members from the Ultros who have been taken 

Your breath freezes and your teeth chatter as you enter this chamber. A thick layer of ice coats everything in sight. The central stair continues upwards, but this is clearly where food is stored to keep it from spoiling. 

This is a freezer for perishable foods. Everything in this 100-foot-tall chamber is coated in ice. Bare skin instantly sticks to objects in this room, so the party should be careful touching things or walking barefoot. Peeling away stuck hands or feet requires an action and causes 1d4 cold damage. Storage Platforms. The adamantine chains connected to the central stair are coated in ice. The tops of the icy chains have been smoothed and can be used as paths to reach the walls. Platforms have been carved into the ice walls and are stacked with barrels, slabs of meats and fish, casks of wine, crates of grain, and many other foodstuffs. Ladders have been carved into the ice to allow the tower’s inhabitants to climb up and down to different platforms to reach the stores.

There was a time when Lutheria shared the throne of Praxys with her husband, and the tower was said to be a place of great beauty. But eventually, the Lady of Dreams grew bored with her insipid twin and began to play practical jokes on him. Sydon once demanded a chorus of voices be raised to celebrate the forging of his glaive. Lutheria captured hundreds of sirens and brought them before the throne...

prisoner by Sydon’s children and servants while the heroes have been busy exploring the tower. • A selection of Amazon warriors, Mytrosian sailors, and long-neglected dead prisoners.

Terrifying Nest of Harpies Three dozen harpies have been encouraged to nest along the walls. They torment the living prisoners with songs, but they ignore anyone traveling up the central stairway. If someone tries to interfere with the harpies or their prisoners, then the harpies will attack. They have significant advantages due to their numbers. The harpies use their luring song on trespassers, and each trespasser will be targeted by 1d6 harpies. Each hero must make a saving throw against each song at disadvantage. The harpies fly close to the ceiling, so that if someone throws themselves from the stairs to reach them due to the luring song, that creature will fall and take 35 (10d6) bludgeoning damage. Anyone who falls will be attacked by a dozen harpies with advantage on their claw and bite attacks. If half of the harpies are killed, then the surviving harpies will flee through a small hole in the wall and roost outside the tower.

...demanding that they sing for her husb and. They sang for days on end, until their voices wer e raw. When at last their voices gave out, they began to transform into hideous harpies. Sydon has never forg iven his sister for infesting his tower with the loathsome creatures, but Lutheria still laughs about it to this day. — Chondrus, Priest of Lutheria

The Forge The forge is used by cyclopes and gygans to build weapons, armor, automatons, and golems for Sydon’s coming war against the mortals of Thylea.

The Forge Key S1. The Forge Room S2. Garzoon’s Chambers S3. Myrmekes Den S4. The Bronze Pipes S5. The Water Wheels S6. The Elevator S7. The Iron Saddle

Wandering Monsters The heroes may randomly encounter 1d4 blemys or gygans in the halls of the Forge. Use these creatures as reinforcements to challenge the party.

S1. The Forge Room 

This room seems to be an ancient forge. The air is stiflingly hot from the hearth, and heavy iron tools are scattered around. A cyclops and several strange insectmen are hunched over the hearth, hard at work. 

Garzoon (CE jancan mage) works at the forge, building weapons, golems, and constructs. He has gone slightly mad from centuries of overwork, but he's still one of the finest smiths in all of Thylea. He has enough of his wits remaining to trade the password to The Treasury (S14) in the event that this life is threatened. Garzoon is assisted by twelve advanced myrmekes; they are effective servants due to their intellect and ability to learn quickly. They are also utterly loyal, because Sydon keeps their queen as a prisoner. Garzoon attacks trespassers in his forge, and the myrmekes assist him. If Garzoon is defeated, the myrmekes will immediately stop attacking and then ask the heroes to free their queen. They speak telepathically, but their minds are so alien that no other thoughts can be understood. The myrmekes will not aid the heroes in any way, even by giving out information about the tower, because they fear Sydon’s potential retaliation on their queen. The Bronze Trap. At the center of the room is a giant-sized lever that can be pulled to trigger the trap in the Iron Saddle (S7), if it hasn’t yet been triggered. If the trap has been triggered already, then the lever can be pulled to unblock the door by raising the adamantine block via a pulley system in the ceiling. Pulling the lever requires a combined Strength of 20. The Windows. The windows in this room are permanent walls of force which cannot be dispelled.

S2. Garzoon’s Chambers 

This room is dominated by a giant-sized bed, a chest, dresser, and nightstand. The room is neat and orderly, and very unlike the living chambers of most cyclopes. Everything seems to be precisely arranged. 

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S8. The Central Stair S9. The Bronze Molds S10. Golem Workshop S11. Myrmekes Queen S12. Gygan Barracks S13. The Kitchens S14. The Treasury

This is where Garzoon the cyclops sleeps and lives. He keeps his clothes and money in here, but his most prized possessions are in The Treasury (S14). His room is neat and tidy so that he can immediately tell if anyone has touched his things—a sign of his madness. He believes that he is being watched all the time—by everyone! Garzoon's Journal. On the nightstand is the giantsized journal where Garzoon records his thoughts (in the Giant language). Anyone reading the journal will quickly realize that Garzoon is paranoid and slightly insane. He trusts no one, and he hints at a secret treasury that no one knows about—not even Sydon. The journal makes it obvious that Sydon is pushing Garzoon hard to prepare an army to conquer the people of Mytros. Garzoon loves to forge weapons and armor, but he's a perfectionist who hates to be rushed. His journal includes fantasy scenarios where he quits and Sydon is forced to beg him to come back. Treasure The chest at the foot of the bed contains 15,000 sp and 3,000 gp. Many of the coins are very ancient and depict six-armed cyclopes wearing laurel crowns.

S3. Myrmekes Den 

There is a dark, inhuman feel to this room. Large slimy egg-things are arranged along the walls, almost like beds. Inside these strange pods, twelve strange, winged insect-men are apparently resting. 

This chamber is the lair of the advanced myrmekes. There are usually a dozen myrmekes resting up at any given time. They are not hostile unless provoked, and they will communicate telepathically with anyone who enters their lair peacefully. A certain caution on the part of visitors is acceptable; open aggression is not. The myrmekes explain that they are Sydon’s unwilling servants, because their queen is being held prisoner. The myrmekes will beg the heroes to free their queen and help them regain their freedom. Once the queen is safe, the myrmekes are quite clear that they will do anything possible to assist the heroes.

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S4. The Bronze Pipes 

S6. The Elevator 

These cramped bronze pipes transfer water from level to level. Swimming through them is a cramped and unpleasant experience. 

The bronze pipes provide water to all but the top most tower levels. Six water weirds patrol the pipes to keep them clean. For every 10 minutes spent in the pipes by any group of heroes, there is a 25% chance of being attacked by two of the water weirds. The party needs some form of waterbreathing in order to traverse the pipes without drowning. The pipes take water to The Water Wheels (S5) and to the Golem Workshop (S10). A tiny-sized creature can access a pipe leading to the Kitchens (S13). The pipes also carry water further up the tower, and the heroes can use them to reach The Baths (S19).

S5. The Water Wheels 

Large bronze pipes gush water onto the wheels that power various pieces of machinery in here. The contents of this room are squeezed in tightly, leaving little room for the two groaning, headless giants who apparently maintain the machinery. 

The huge water wheels power much of the machinery on this tower level. The two blemys do the necessary work to keep the machinery running. They have very little room to move about the cramped chamber, but they fight to the death anyway. Bronze Pipes. This room can be accessed via the network of bronze pipes that runs through the tower (see The Bronze Pipes, S4). Anyone entering the room through the pipes must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or take 7 (2d6) bludgeoning damage from the wheels. The pipes can be entered with a successful DC 20 Strength check to fight through the current of outflowing water. The water drains at the bottom of the wheel, but there is only enough room for a creature of tiny size to squeeze through. The drains lead to the sewage pipes and eventually the ocean. Secret Door. The entrance leading to The Treasury (S14) is concealed in the southern wall by dirt and oil. It can be detected with a passive Perception check of 15, or by an active search (no check required).

Praxys is truly a marvel of ingenuity. The tower must be thousands of years old, and yet we have nothing like it in Mytros or Estoria. I'm sure that my father would love to have a chance to examine the interior... 224

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—Kyrah, Goddess of Music

This magnificent bronze elevator is large enough for a giant, and it offers plenty of room for human-sized creatures to stand comfortably. The bronze etchings on the walls and floor are intricate and beautiful. 

The bronze elevator is a moving room that can take anyone up to the next level of the tower. It is guarded and operated by one gygan who will attack anyone who doesn’t look like an inhabitant of the tower. The elevator can be used to access The Heavens (S17). Activating the Elevator. A bell hangs down from a large hook and is obviously meant to be struck to start the chamber’s movement. It is not, however, a mechanical device—it is actually powered by a flock of twelve harpies. They nest along the elevator shaft, and when the bell is wrung, they fly down and grab hooks in the top of the chamber. The harpies are strong enough to move the elevator upwards by one level, and then they must rest for 1 hour. The elevator descends via gravity, and its speed is slowed by a system of gears. The harpies are mostly harmless since they can’t get at anyone in the elevator. However, if they are annoyed by whoever is using the elevator, they will use their luring song and laugh as anyone inside the elevator futilely tries to reach them through the bronze lattice work.

S7. The Iron Saddle 

This chamber is entirely covered in iron—walls, ceiling and floor—almost like a prison cell. A huge iron statue of a snake-like medusa stands in the center of the room on a raised dais. On the medusa's back is a saddle that is large enough to seat several humanoids. On the opposite wall is an adamantine door with an iron door knocker. 

This entrance hall to the Forge Room is trapped, thanks to Garzoon’s creative insanity and hard work. The double doors leading into the Forge are made of adamantine and barred from the other side. If the knocker is used, a small viewing window will open in the door and one of the myrmekes will ask for the proper password (“Noozrag”). Garzoon activates the trap from the Forge Room (S1) after three failed attempts. The Magma Trap. The entrance door seals thanks to an adamantine block some 5 feet thick. Two holes open in the ceiling and magma pours into the chamber. The flow covers the floor within one round. Anyone in contact with the magma takes 55 (10d10) fire damage. The air of the room becomes superheated by the 4th round, and anyone in the air takes 21 (6d6) fire damage.

The Medusa Statue. The one apparently safe place in the chamber is the statue. It remains cool, as does the air within 5 feet of it. Its saddle can hold six Medium-sized creatures. However, one round after someone sits in the saddle, the statue will begin to buck. To stay in the saddle, a creature must make a successful DC 10 Dexterity (Acrobatics) or Strength (Athletics) check. On a failure, they are flung 10 feet in a random direction into the magma. The DC of the check increases by 1 every round. Someone sitting in front or behind a creature who loses their grasp in this way can use their reaction to make a DC 15 Athletics check to grab them and keep them safely on the saddle. After five rounds, the magma drains into a chamber below. One round later, the statue stops rocking, and a myrmekes will open the adamantine door in order to investigate. Garzoon’s trap cannot be reset.

S8. The Central Stair 

These stairs are of a scale to suit giants, cyclopes, and other huge creatures. A few steps up the stairway, a large bronze horn is suspended from the ceiling, perhaps intended for guards to sound an alarm. 

S10. Golem Workshop 

S9. The Bronze Molds 

This room is a casting workshop of some kind. An oversized mold of a bull hangs from the ceiling, glowing red from the liquid metal inside. Six-armed gygans and winged insect men work side by side, assembling various parts into massive bronze bulls. Two completed bulls stand along one wall. 

This molding room is where the gorgons for the coming war effort are constructed. There are two gygans directing nine advanced myrmekes to put the creatures together from molded parts. There are two gorgons in here that are already operational. The gygans and gorgons attack trespassers on sight. The myrmekes will stand aside as a group and watch the battle with cold curiosity. They will only fight to defend

Stone slabs overflow with bronze and iron parts. A massive iron press looms in the center of the room, and there is a pipe-fed water trough on the south wall. Gygans supervise insect men as they piece together human-looking constructs of some kind.

The central stair is not designed with humans in mind. Any creature smaller than a cyclops must treat the stairs as difficult terrain. On each floor, there is a large horn. It takes an action to blow a horn. When a horn is blown, the sound carries all the way to the top of the tower. The tower’s inhabitants immediately move to “alert” status when the horn is sounded. See the table in The Inhabitants of Praxys section, above, for the various effects this can have on the tower's denizens.

themselves if attacked. Once the gygans and gorgons are dead, the myrmekes will try to convince the heroes to free their queen. The Portcullis. As a bonus action, one gygan can pull a lever close to the forge. The lever seals the main door with an adamantine portcullis. The portcullis requires a combined Strength of 30 to lift. At your discretion, the sound of the portcullis may be loud enough to attract the attention of the blemys in The Water Wheels (S5). The blemys arrive as reinforcements 2 rounds later. The Molten Trap. As an action, any Large-sized creature can pull a lever on the gorgon bull mold that hangs from the ceiling, causing the floor to flood with molten metal. Anyone standing more than 5 feet from a wall will be hit by the molten bronze. They must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or take 36 (8d8) fire damage (half damage on a successful save). Window Ledges. There are windows in this chamber. One of the window ledges is the nest of a mated pair of griffons. The griffons are not hostile, but they are protective of their nest.

This is the assembly shop for bronze automatons that will be used in Sydon’s armies. A single gygan supervises eight advanced myrmekes that are finishing the assembly of a bronze mechanical warrior on the central iron press. The bronze construct resembles a human-sized cyclops. Assembly involves putting all of the needed pieces in their proper positions on the central iron press. The top part of the press then lowers into place and the parts are superheated. When the press opens, water flows over it, cooling the new mechanical warrior. The finished versions are bronze automatons. Four bronze automatons are currently operational and stand in a perfect parade line against the east wall. The gygans and the four bronze automatons attack intruders while the myrmekes continue working at the press. The gygan will direct some of the bronze automatons to move onto the central press, hoping that the heroes will follow them. If at least one intruder is on the press, the gygan will pull a lever to activate it. The Press. Anyone on the press must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or be crushed by the press for 55 (10d10) bludgeoning damage. Anyone who survives the damage is stuck in the machinery and must make a DC 20 Athletics check to escape. Anyone reduced to 0 Ch apter 8 | Pr a x ys, Tower of Sy don

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S12. Gygan Barracks

hit points by the damage is crushed into bloody paste. Automatons on the press are crushed when it is activated, and they don’t recognize it as a threat. Bronze Pipes. This room can be accessed via the network of bronze pipes that runs through the tower (see The Bronze Pipes, S4). The pipes supply water to the press. Anyone entering the room from the pipes will stand up in 3 ft. of water in the water trough. Re-entering the pipes is easy to do from the trough.

S11. Myrmekes Queen 

In the center of this sparse chamber is an enormous, bloated insectoid. The creature is vaguely humanoid in form, but it is giant-sized and has six legs. Each of the prisoner's legs are bound with chains, preventing it from moving. Two headless cyclopean figures stand watch over the insect creature. 

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This is where the gygans garrison lives when off duty. There are usually 4 gygans asleep in this room at any time. Smaller, human-sized guests are given space here as well. Treasure. Each chest contains the personal equipment for two gygans. Each has 4d20 gp and 8d20 sp.

S13. The Kitchens 

The door to this room is locked, and it requires a DC 20 Dexterity check with thieves’ tools to open. This is the prison where Sydon keeps the myrmekes queen locked away. By keeping her prisoner, Sydon keeps all of the myrmekes in the tower loyal. Sydon has always been interested in the possibilities of the myrmekes race, but he is very wary of the damage that they could do to the world if one of their queens were to be set loose, backed by resentful followers. The myrmekes queen imprisoned here is guarded by two blemys cyclops. They are under orders to kill the queen if anyone breaks into the chamber. They will focus their attacks on the queen until she is dead, and then turn their attacks on trespassers. The blemys are intelligent enough to turn their attacks on the party if they feel that their lives are in danger. The Queen Lives. If the myrmekes queen lives, she will try to bargain for a way out of Praxys. She summons all of the myrmekes on the level to her. Then she offers one of her advanced myrmekes as a companion to each of the heroes in exchange for a clear path to freedom. The Queen Dies. If the myrmekes queen is killed, then the rest of the myrmekes sink into a torpor and will not react to anything that happens around them, with two exceptions. Firstly, any hero who took part in killing the myrmekes queen will be marked by the scent of her death. Any myrmekes in the same area as a queenslayer will attempt to kill the offender, even at the cost of its own life. All other enemies will be ignored. Secondly, the myrmekes will still defend themselves if attacked. Letting the myrmekes queen leave the tower is a very bad idea. Refer to Titan’s Folly in The Cerulean Gulf chapter for details about the consequences. It could spell the eventual doom of all other intelligent races.

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This barracks seems normal except for the size of everything. The ten bunk beds are exactly like you’d find in army barracks anywhere—except much bigger. In front of every pair of beds is a massive chest, and along one wall are some normal-sized beds, which appear childlike in contrast to the others.

A spicy, delicious aroma fills this room, which is obviously a kitchen. Pans clatter as four goatlings scurry along, hard at work, assisting the chef in his day-to-day tasks. The chef is a satyr who leans over a large iron stove. The room bustles with activity and warmth. 

The chef is Ramsus (NE satyr) who is assisted by 4 goatling tricksters. The kitchen staff are not excited by the idea of fighting, and Ramsus has no great love for Sydon. He is willing to help the heroes, but the goatlings only want to cause mischief. Goatling Pranksters. The goatlings will hurl insults at the heroes in an attempt to enrage them. If they are threatened, they will use mislead to turn invisible and make their escape. Then they will follow the heroes and use their polymorph powers to turn the heroes’ enemies into giant crocodiles, wooly mammoths, or whatever other strange beasts they think are funny. Ramsus's Plan. If the heroes persuade Ramsus to help them, he suggests the following plan. He will hide the heroes in a feast and send it to the top level of the tower. They will hide in giant-sized loaves of bread, and the gygans—who arrive within an hour—will use the elevator to take the food directly to the Throne Room (S28). Dinner is Served. If the throne room is empty, then the heroes can wait until the gygans leave before breaking the bread and exploring. However, if the throne room is occupied by Sydon or his children, then the heroes might wish to stay hidden until the Titans leave. In this case, there is a 50% chance that one of the Titans will be hungry enough to break open the bread and reveal the heroes, much to their annoyed delight. Bronze Pipes. This room can be accessed via the network of bronze pipes that runs through the tower (see The Bronze Pipes, S4). Only creatures of Tiny size can

reach the kitchens. The pipes that feed the water into the kitchen are too small for larger creatures. The Portcullis. A lever in the kitchen activates an adamantine portcullis that seals off the room. Lifting the portcullis requires a combined Strength of 30. Ramsus will use it to divide intruders in the event of a battle.

S14. The Treasury 

A stone corridor stretches ahead of you, and two stone cyclops heads decorate the walls. The hall is lined with javelins, and it leads to a heavy adamantine door. 

This is where Garzoon (The Forge Room, S1) keeps his secret treasure stash. The entrance is hidden in the southern wall of The Water Wheels (S5). Garzoon has fashioned a deadly trap in the secret hall that leads to the room. It is activated if anyone touches the door without saying the password (“Talieus”). The two stone cyclops heads, one on the south side of the hall and one on the north, are part of the trap. The eyes in these heads watch whoever walks in. The door that leads to the treasury is made from adamantine and is locked. It requires a successful DC 20 Dexterity check using thieves' tools to open. Javelin Trap. The halls are lined with javelins: 40 in total. There is a tiny mechanical latch inside the door that triggers the hallway trap. If the door is opened slowly, a successful DC 20 Investigation check reveals the latch. A successful DC 15 Dexterity check is required to disarm the latch in time to stop the trap. If the trap is triggered, then the two cyclops heads shoot a bolt of lightning that fills the hallway. Everyone in the hall must make a DC 20 Dexterity saving throw or they take (35) 10d6 lightning damage

(half damage on a save). The lightning also electrifies all of the javelins. Next, 1d4 javelins per person per round jump from the wall and fly towards their targets. The javelins have +10 to hit and each hit inflicts 1d6 piercing damage and 4d6 lightning damage. There are 40 javelins in total, and each can attack only once. Disabling the Trap. There are ways to disable the trap before it triggers. Placing a blindfold over the cyclopes' eyes will prevent the trap from triggering. If the javelins are tied down, removed from the room, or broken, then they won't be capable of attacking. Treasure This is where Garzoon keeps everything that he's most proud of creating, including masterwork items that he refused to surrender to Sydon. The Quiver of Ehlonna hangs from one wall, and inside are three javelins of lightning. There is also a mannequin of a gygan, and each pair of its hands is wearing a different set of gloves: gloves of missile snaring, gloves of swimming and climbing, and gauntlets of ogre strength. Coins with a total value of 2,500 pp are heaped along the west wall. There are also three chests. One chest has two dozen pearls worth 100 gp each. The second chest has a dozen black pearls each worth 500 gp. Chest of Beetles. The third chest has twelve miniature mezzoloths inside. Each of the mezzoloths is 6 inches tall and looks like a large humanoid beetle. When the chest is opened, they immediately begin climbing up the sides of the chest to escape. The heroes should roll for initiative. At initiative counts 12 through 1, a single mezzoloth will reach the outside, grow to full size, and attack. Closing the chest will prevent any mezzoloths still inside from escaping. If the lid is closed, the chest rattles violently for a moment and then grows still. Reopening the chest restarts the process.

The Heavens The Heavens are where the greatest heroes of Thylea are summoned by Sydon to dwell forever. Time doesn’t move forward on this level, so anyone living here is effectively immortal. Great heroes of the centaurs, minotaurs, gygans, and other ancient races of Thylea exist on this level. Some are effectively more than a thousand years old, but for them, no time has passed since they arrived. The denizens of the Heavens are mostly oblivious to their detachment from the rest of Thylea, and they care little about the outside world. The greatest aspiration of knights in the Order of Sydon is to be granted the honor of dwelling on this level of Praxys. The northern wall of this level connects to a demi-plane of nearly endless beautiful fields, peaceful forestlands, clear streams, and picturesque mountains. Sydon is good to his most loyal servants.

Wandering Monsters The heroes may randomly encounter one gygan hero or minotaur hero in the halls of the Heavens. Use these creatures as reinforcements to challenge the heroes if they are making progress too easily.

S15. Sparring Chamber 

This large, open chamber is filled with the smell of sweat and coppery blood. A fearsome minotaur and a massive gygan warrior are fighting each other, honing their skills for battle. 

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Seductive Feeling. Heroes who enter the demiplane are overcome with a feeling of joy, and anyone who remains here for more than an hour must make a DC 10 Wisdom saving throw or else they refuse to leave. Characters who wish to stay will actively resist being removed. The party may be forced to lure them out by force or with magic. Once removed from the demiplane, the feeling of joy dissipates after 1 minute. Birds and Beasts. The plane is populated by wild animals, including dangerous species such as wolves and bears. Most of these animals are larger and more majestic than their counterparts in Thylea or the outer world. Despite the beauty and tranquility of these Elysian fields, they are dangerous for trespassers. When Sydon's warriors discover trespassers here, they immediately engage them in battle. Possible encounters include:

The Heavens Key M15. Sparring Chamber M16. Central Corridor M17. The Elevator M18. Fields of Elysium M19. The Baths M20. Gygan Barracks M21. Minotaur Barracks

M22. Waste Room M23. Chamber of Love M24. Chamber of Music M25. Dragon’s Chamber M26. The Great Arena M27. The Dragon Stables

This is where great warriors test their mettle against one other. At almost any time of the day, two minotaur heroes and two gygan heroes can be found here. One minotaur and one gygan will be sparring in the central pit while the other pair watch and pass judgement. The sparring creatures have half their hit points remaining. All of them will attack trespassers on sight.

S16. Central Corridor This central corridor connects all of the chambers and rooms on this level. It is always patrolled by four minotaur heroes who intercept trespassers. There are carefully concealed wall triggers on each corner of the central corridor. These can be spotted with a passive Perception score of 15 or higher. When one of the triggers is pushed, it activates all of the scythe blade traps along the corridor at the places marked X. Scythe Blade Traps. The minotaurs are clever enough to lure opponents into standing in these dangerous positions while their comrades activate the trap. At these points, five-foot-wide, razor-sharp, adamantine blades will shoot out at intervals of 2 feet. Anyone standing in the area when the blades deploy must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or take 54 (12d8) slashing damage (half damage on a successful save). Anyone reduced to 0 hit points is sliced into 2d4 chunks.

1. A mob of twelve centaur heroes led by one ancient centaur druid roams the plains. 2. Twelve gygan heroes compete in feats of strength. Some wrestle, while others lift large weights. 3. A pack of twelve dire wolves hunts at night; the heroes hear howling before the pack attacks them. 4. A huge mother bear (polar bear with maximum hit points) and her four cubs (brown bears) wander through the woods, searching for food. 5. A great boar crashes through the tall grass, pursued by twelve lions and a majestic golden lion. 6. A white stag runs through the woods, pursued by a hunting band of five minotaur heroes.

S19. The Baths 

Two enormous bathtubs are full of water that spills in from bronze pipes. Steam rises from one bath, whereas the other bath appears to be full of cold water. Gygans are lounging in the tubs, rinsing off sweat from a hard day’s work. You hear feminine voices from one of the adjacent changing rooms.

S17. The Elevator This elevator can be used to access the other two levels, The Forge (S6) and The Throne (S36). It is unguarded on this level. Refer to The Elevator (S17) for details about how the elevator is powered and activated.

S18. Fields of Elysium 

This room should be impossible. The walls of the tower open out onto rolling fields under beautiful blue skies. Verdant countryside stretches for miles, filled with colorful flowers and lush vegetation. Birds and beasts roam freely. What strange magic allows such an enormous space to exist within the walls of the tower? 

Four male gygan heroes are bathing, while two female gygan heroes are getting dressed. None of the gygans have weapons or armor, so their Armor Class is reduced to 14. Their multiattack, jancan shortsword, and javelin attacks are replaced by the following: Naked Gygan Attacks

Multiattack. The gygan makes five attacks: one with its grapple and four with its slam. Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d4 + 6) bludgeoning damage.

The entire wall of this room is open to the demiplane of Elysium, which spreads out for miles in every direction and is beautiful beyond words. Ch apter 8 | Pr a x ys, Tower of Sy don

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If they are attacked, the gygans will try to retrieve the weapons and armor that they stashed in the Gygan Barracks (S20). Two of them will act as rearguards so that the others have time to arm themselves. Bronze Pipes. This room can be accessed via the network of bronze pipes that runs through the tower (see The Bronze Pipes, S4). To enter the pipes from here, a successful DC 15 Strength check is required to open the valve that stops the water from flowing into the bath. The valve closes automatically unless it is propped open. If this is done, The Baths and the rest of the tower level will eventually become flooded, bringing attention to this room. Opening the valves from within the room only requires someone to rotate a large bronze wheel beside each pipe. Anyone moving through the pipe that feeds the hot bath takes 10 (3d6) fire damage from the magical heat that suffuses the last 5 ft. of the pipe. Window Ledge. The windows here provide a beautiful view of the oceans. Five griffons are perched on the window ledges at any given time. They will only attack if they are disturbed. They are accustomed to the loud noises made by the gygans during bathtime.

S20. Gygan Barracks 

The gygan barracks are richly-appointed. There are six bunk beds in the room for the gygans and six bunk beds for human-sized guests. There are usually three gygan heroes sleeping in this room. The windows provide a view into the Fields of Elysium (S18). It is possible to climb through them, but this is a one-way trip, because the windows don't exist on the other side. Heroes who climb through them arrive several miles from the usual entrance to the demiplane (area S18). Navigating back into the tower from here requires two successful DC 20 Wisdom (Survival) checks, and each attempt takes 1 hour. If the windows are viewed from the other side (from the Fields of Elysium), the interior of the gygan barracks can be seen. However, it isn’t actually a window, it is a magical effect that makes the wall appear transparent.

S21. Minotaur Barracks 

This room has large, sturdy bunk beds. The room is otherwise empty, but it smells like a barnyard. A single window looks out across lush fields and blue skies. 

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Minotaurs of Praxys The minotaurs of Praxys are from a lineage that repented the original sins of their tribe, swearing oaths of fealty to the Lord of Storms. Their bloodlines have served him for centuries, in spite of his treatment of other minotaurs.

S22. Waste Room 

This room can only be described as a giant privy. There are toilets designed for creatures of all sizes, from giants to humans. The room is kept clean by an enormous “headless” giant who is angrily scrubbing at every surface. When it looks up, you see that it has a mouth and eyes in the middle of its hairy chest. 

Six oversized bunk beds fill this room. There are several smaller, human-sized beds as well, perhaps for visitors to the tower. All of the beds are richly-decorated with soft cotton and fine silks. Windows along the north wall look out into lush green fields and blue skies. 

There are four bunk beds in the room, and usually there are 2 minotaur heroes sleeping in here. As with the Gygan Barracks (S20), the window looks out onto the demiplane of Elysium, and the same conditions apply to anyone who climbs through it.

This room smells unpleasant at best, even with the apparently tireless efforts of its caretaker. The blemys has been given the task of keeping the place clean. It is a constant struggle, and he is very angry with everyone and everything. He will happily take out that anger on any intruder who disturbs him. Flushing Toilets. The pipes from the toilets lead straight down to the waste pipe that empties into the ocean at the bottom of the tower. This is a possible escape route, but any character who attempts to use it must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or else they are too physically repulsed to enter, and they must have some kind of waterbreathing spell or item.

S23. Chamber of Love 

The lulling sounds of a beautiful song fill this chamber. Through a haze of pleasant-smelling smoke, you can see a canopied bed, a plush rug, and long, flowing curtains. The singing comes from a beautiful fey woman, who is perched on the bed, singing to a handsome giant who appears to be in a deep, restful sleep. 

This chamber is furnished for a giant-sized king. An aurae nymph is singing softly while sitting on the edge of the bed. Talieus (NE young empyrean), one of Sydon’s children, is asleep in the bed, having been relaxed by her beautiful voice. The nymph does not want to fight the heroes or awaken her companion. She is in love with Talieus and does not want to see him

harmed. With a successful DC 16 Persuasion check, the nymph can be convinced to keep him fast asleep for the next 24 hours. Awakening Talieus. If the heroes do wake Talieus, he will fight his way out of the room to sound the alarm at the stairwell. He then races to the Throne Room (S28). He will also bellow for help, attracting the attention of any nearby creatures on this level. The nymph will recklessly attack the first hero who harms Talieus. Treasure. Talieus carries a silver key around his neck that can be used to unlock Nephele's adamantine shackles in the Dragon's Chamber (S25).

S24. Chamber of Music 

This room is occupied by a trio of satyr minstrels who play a soulful melody on beautiful instruments. The room is very comfortable, and an audience of two gygans are relaxing in the room, listening intently to the music. Four marble statues of handsome naked men stand in the corners of the room. 

Outraged at the interruption of their pleasures, the two gygan heroes will immediately attack trespassers. Clever Musicians. When the gygans attack, the three satyr minstrels continue to play music as if oblivious to the battle around them. In fact, they are using their music to disguise the magical assistance that they are providing to the gygans. If someone is suspicious of the minstrels, a passive Perception of 15 reveals that they are using spells. Otherwise, they appear to be lost in their music and unaware of their surroundings. Marble Statues. The statues look like they might be marble golems, but in fact, they are ordinary statues. Treasure. The satyrs’ instruments are carved from the bones of copper and bronze dragons (Nephele's mates). The harp is worth 5,000 gp, the drums are worth 1,000 gp, and the horn is worth 7,500 gp.

S25. The Dragon's Chamber 

This large, cold room is a prison for a beautiful silver dragon. She is guarded by two gygans, who shift their weight nervously under the dragon's hateful gaze. The dragon appears to be healthy, but she is collared and shackled to the floor by multiple loops of chain.

Nephele (NE adult silver dragon) is being kept prisoner here. Her chains are adamantine, but they can be unlocked with the silver key held by Talieus in the Chamber of Love (S23). She is guarded and fed by two gygan heroes, who attack trespassers on sight.

The Will of the Gods If Kyrah or Pythor are with the party, they immediately recognize the dragon as a clone of their mother. They both wish to see the dragon freed. They explain that Nephele is an evil shadow of the ancient dragon Balmytria, but even so, they cannot bear to see her shackled.

Nephele's Shackles. The collar around the dragon’s neck is magical and nullifies Nephele's ability to change shape. The chains are adamantine and enchanted with powerful magic. They have a damage threshold of 10, AC 23, and 50 HP. They can also be unlocked with the silver key that Talieus carries around his neck (S23). Epic Path: The Gifted One

Nephele is a clone from the flesh of the silver dragon Balmytria, but she has been corrupted by the Titans. Balmytria's soul never entered her flesh, and she never learned to speak. When she came of age, Sydon gave her a pair of bronze and copper dragons to mate with, and she produced a brood of evil metallic dragons for the Titan's kennel. Her children include Icarus and Argyn, who were gifts from Sydon to Gaius and Acastus. For most of her life, Nephele was free to roam the tower. But ten years ago, she grew bold and attempted to escape into the Forgotten Sea. Sydon prevented her, and she killed dozens of gygans in retaliation. As punishment, Sydon slaughtered her two mates and bound her here in chains. She nurses a powerful hatred for the Titan and craves vengeance above all else.

If the Gifted One is present, their grandmother speaks to them through the locket, revealing that she can help the dragon. The spirit of the sorceress can enter the dragon, providing the clone with a soul. The dragon will gain the ability to speak, but her personality will be torn between arrogance and madness. Her goal is revenge upon Sydon. Refer to the Running the Epic Paths section for details.

When set free, Nephele will immediately polymorph into the form of one of the heroes, except with silver hair. She will follow the heroes, but she will not get involved in any fighting. She behaves like a stray cat, and she bonds to the first hero who offers her food. Ch apter 8 | Pr a x ys, Tower of Sy don

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The Dragon Clone As an adult silver dragon who has used her change shape ability to assume a form, Nephele still retains her hit points, legendary resistance, Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma. While she won’t be useful as a combatant, she can survive significant amounts of damage. If she is present during a battle against Sydon, then she returns to her silver dragon form and attacks the Titan relentlessly.

Talieus, Son of Sydon

Treasure There are three dragon eggs in this room. Two of the dragon eggs are cold and dead, because they have been completely neglected. However, one of the dragon eggs is healthy, and if it is properly cared for, it will hatch a silver dragon wyrmling in 1d6 days.

S26. The Great Arena 

This huge chamber is some sort of arena, filled with terrifying obstacles. To the left of you are huge double doors made from iron. To the right of you, the arena is obscured by a magical darkness. In the center is a pole where prisoners would likely be chained. From three large pits comes the sound of grinding metal. Huge iron spheres roll along paths set in the middle of the floor. When they reach the end of the path, the spheres vanish and reappear at the start. There are few places in the room that look safe. Anywhere you stand, you're likely to be in mortal peril. 

This large arena is used by Sydon and his children as entertainment. Prisoners are dumped in the arena to fight dragons for the amusem*nt of Sydon, his children, and his many gygan, centaur, and minotaur servants. The prisoners also make excellent snacks for Sydon's kennel of dragons (S27). The room has several features that look deadly but are easily avoidable. The Pit Traps. The three pits are each 10 feet wide and 30 feet deep. Scything blades constantly spin at the bottom of the pits. Creatures that fall in take 10 (3d6) bludgeoning damage and 20 (6d6) slashing damage on the first round. Creatures in the pit take 20 (6d6) slashing damage every round until they escape. The Iron Balls. There are two five-foot-wide curved paths that run from east to west, and iron balls roll along each path. One of the balls rolls east and the other rolls west. When the balls reach the end of their paths, they teleport back to their starting points. Moving across the path usually requires a DC 5 Dexterity check, but the DC is increased to 15 for creatures with a movement speed of 10 or less (or creatures affected by something like a slow spell). Failure results in 36 (8d8) bludgeoning damage from one of the rolling balls. 232

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Sydon and Lutheria bore children together several centuries ago, intending to create a new pantheon of young empyreans. The Twins disagreed on few things more than how the children should be raised. In the end, the Lord of Storms had his way. — Chondrus, Priest of Lutheria

Audience Chamber. An audience chamber on the west side of the arena allows a safe view of the action. The audience is protected by a permanent wall of force. Most of the seats are for Large-sized creatures, but the central throne is obviously made for a Huge-sized creature. The windows looking out on to the ocean in this room are also permanent walls of force. The Arena Battle If the tower is on alert, then this room has been prepared as a trap for the heroes. Otherwise, it is empty. Captured Prisoners. The arena has several naked prisoners chained to the stake in the middle of the room. These prisoners could be Ultros crewmembers or other characters who are important to the heroes, including people who should be back on the mainland. If none of those characters are appropriate, then the prisoners are

naiad nymphs who have displeased Sydon. The stakes and manacles are made of adamantine. Springing the Trap. The door that leads to the audience chamber is locked and barred with arcane lock. The audience chamber is covered in a darkness spell and a curtain as well (which blocks the view for those who can see through magical darkness). Inside the audience chamber is Sydon’s son, Talieus, (CE young empyrean), and a half-dozen goatlings tricksters. Talieus waits until some of the heroes have entered the arena, and then he drops an adamantine portcullis and a wall of force at each of the doors in the hallway outside the room entrance. The portcullis over the entrance is a ruse—it's only there for decoration. The darkness spell vanishes, the curtain falls, and the audience is revealed, laughing and joking about the doom that awaits everyone trapped inside the arena. 

Suddenly, the darkened portion of the arena lights up. It's a seated audience of laughing goatlings and a handsome titan reclining upon a huge throne. The titan bellows, “Let the match begin!” Before you can get your bearings, the doors on the far side of the arena open and three dragons claw their way out, roaring, to cheers of appreciation from the audience. You face three hungry dragons—one bronze, one silver, and one copper. 

that he will make the heroes suffer for killing his pets. He continues to make threats as he puts on the ornate armor hanging on the wall. This takes 1d6 rounds, giving the heroes some time to recover from the dragon fight. When Talieus is ready, he pulls the lever that returns the room to its original state and turns off the wall of force that separates the arena from the viewing room. He fights to the death. Epic Paths: Confronting Talieus If the Dragonslayer is present, then Talieus is aware of their reputation and concentrates his mockery on them. The dragons focus their attacks on the Dragonslayer. Refer to the Running the Epic Paths section for details.

S27. The Dragon Stables 

These stables are warm and pleasant. Hay and wood chips crunch below your feet. The size of the room and all of the food, equipment, and facilities suggest that these stables are not for normal beasts. 

The young bronze, silver and copper dragons try to kill everyone in the arena. The bronze dragon uses its repulsion breath to force victims into the pits. The copper dragon uses its slowing breath on creatures to make the iron balls more dangerous. Any creature paralyzed by the silver dragon's breath attack can be pushed into a pit—or into the path of one of the rolling balls. Talieus and the chorus of goatlings laugh mercilessly during the fight, mocking the heroes whenever anything bad happens to them. Surviving the Arena. If the heroes manage to defeat the dragons, Talieus flies into a rage and kills several of the goatlings in the viewing chamber. He then proclaims

A young bronze dragon, young silver dragon, and young copper dragon are kept here. They are hostile to everyone except their gygan keepers and the empyreans. The stables are empty if the heroes have already battled the dragons in The Great Arena (S26). The two double doors that connect to The Dragon's Chamber (S25) are made from adamantine and are both locked. They can be opened with a successful DC 25 Dexterity check using thieves' tools. Smash Trap. A pressure plate between the two double doors triggers a trap (DC 20 passive Perception to notice the plates). The trap is a massive 10 ft. cube stone block that drops between the doors and blocks access. Anyone under the stone block must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or they take 35 (10d6) bludgeoning damage (half damage on save). Anyone reduced to 0 hit points by this damage is reduced to a bloody paste. Otherwise they are shoved into one of the adjoining rooms.

The Throne The Throne level of Praxys is the dwelling place of Sydon, Lord of Storms. From this level he watches over faraway places and even other planes of existence using magical scrying pools, telescopes, and other instruments. The children of Sydon and Lutheria spend most of their time on this level, learning from Sydon and preparing to take on the mantles of godhood from the Five. The children are named after the brothers and sisters that Sydon and Lutheria betrayed millennia ago:

Talieus, Hergeron, Chalcia, Goloron and Yala. All of their children are young empyreans. The whole level is also a museum and gallery. Sydon keeps trophies from his triumphs here—a measure of his vainglorious love for himself—and artifacts of great power. This self-aggrandizement continues with the many statues of Sydon, showing him in all kinds of flattering ways: as a warrior, a judge, a philosopher, a father, a king, a giver of wisdom, a singer of songs, and Ch apter 8 | Pr a x ys, Tower of Sy don

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a mighty hunter. Beautiful murals depict the history of Sydon and Lutheria in the most flattering light possible. Sydon is a boastful creature who has no qualms celebrating his own greatness.

The Throne Key S28. Throne Room S29. Main Hall S30. The Vault Entrance S31. The Vault S32. Hall of Fallen Heroes

S28. Throne Room 

S33. Room of Far Sight S34. Hall of Travel S35. Chamber of Sydon S36. Elevator S37. The Fallen Star

This lavish, massive chamber is a throne room built for Titans. It is dominated by six majestic thrones arranged in a semicircle. The center of the room is dominated by a perfect representation of the continent of Thylea, which is painted on the floor. The painting is stunningly real—clouds drift and ocean waves ripple. 

Sydon's favored daughter Chalcia (NE young empyrean) is usually here, attending to matters in her father's absence. Sydon has spoiled her quite badly. She is easily bored and has no interest in the heroes, even if the tower is on high alert. She is attended by a harem of twelve beautiful men (NE nobles) who desperately try to entertain her. If the heroes explore this room before

Chalcia, Daughter of Sydon

Sydon returns, then she may engage them in conversation out of idle curiosity, but she won't attack them unprovoked unless ordered to do so by her father. The World Map. The map on the floor is more than just a perfect representation of the continent of Thylea. Sydon can use it to teleport to any location on the continent, and anyone with a teleport spell can use the map in the same manner. If you wish, this can be Sydon’s escape route if he is losing a battle against the heroes, especially if you want him to appear in the Battle of Mytros. The Windows. The windows in this room are permanent walls of force which cannot be dispelled.

S29. Main Hall This hall runs along the eastern, western, and northern sides of the level. On the east and the west are a pair of nooks, holding iron statues of Sydon. These two iron golems are usually inactive, but they animate when commanded by Sydon or one of his children. They also activate if the alert is sounded in the tower, or when someone exits the Elevator (S36) without using the proper pass phrase.

S30. The Vault Entrance 

This large chamber is suffused with an overwhelming stench. A massive three-headed hound stands in the middle of the room. His filth and excrement are everywhere. Behind the hound stands a set of heavy double doors made from adamantine. The hound growls at you, daring you to take even one step further. 

The two sets of adamantine double doors that lead into this room are locked. Picking the lock requires a successful DC 25 Dexterity check with thieves’ tools. Without tools or the knock spell, it is almost impossible to open these indestructible doors. This chamber is guarded by a fully-grown cerberus; treat this area as its lair. The creature attacks anyone who steps into the chamber—but not before taunting them with promises of the treasures hidden within the vault, which it takes great pride in protecting.

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S31. The Vault 

The heavy doors open into a treasure gallery. There are six pillars in the room, and each pillar supports a shimmering glass case. The items within the cases are: a black helmet, a huge dragon skull, an enormous ruby, an ancient scroll, a huge bronze gauntlet, and a sword and shield. 

S33. Room of Far Sight 

centuries ago and fitted for a giant-sized creature. However, it automatically shrinks or expands to fit anyone who attunes to it. • Balmytria's Skull. This massive, impressive dragon skull is missing one of its horns. It has no inherent value, but the gods grant a wish spell to anyone who treats the skull with proper reverence by immolating it in a funeral pyre or by returning it to its rightful tomb. • Ruby Gate. This is a huge, magically-imbued ruby that works in the same fashion as a cubic gate. • Scroll of the Pact. This scroll documents the original pact forged between Mytros, Sydon, and Lutheria. Libraries and scholars across Thylea would give anything in exchange for a chance to study the scroll. • Gauntlet of Power. Sydon tried to use this item and broke it in frustration when it didn’t work for him. The four gems embedded in it are a sapphire, a ruby, a diamond, and an emerald, and each is worth 5,000 gp. • Holy Sword and Shield. This beautifully-forged pair of items includes a holy avenger short sword and a spell guard shield made for a human-sized warrior.

S32. Hall of Fallen Heroes 

This long hall is filled with dozens of statues. Most are depictions of human, elven, and dwarven warriors. Others depict cyclopes, centaurs, and minotaurs. All of them are fantastically lifelike in appearance, even down to the horrified expressions on their faces. 

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This room is the sanctuary of the Furies, but their presence is not immediately obvious. They stand utterly still, gazing out of the western window. Heroes with a passive Perception score of 16 or higher notice them first. Eventually, they reveal themselves.

• Shadowy Helm. This helmet of darkness was forged

This chamber is dominated by two massive contraptions. The first is a mithral orrery, a model of the solar system that shows the relative positions and motions of the planets around the Sun. The second item is a gilded bronze telescope, some 20 feet long and apparently designed for use by a giant.

The two sets of adamantine double doors that lead into the vault are also locked. Picking the lock requires a successful DC 25 Dexterity check with thieves' tools. Otherwise, the knock spell must be used on each door. Sydon’s greatest treasures are on display here, although the only creature normally allowed inside is the Titan himself. Each artifact rests inside a glass case on top of a marble pillar. There are no traps, tricks, or secrets here, because Sydon does not believe anyone could possibly reach them. Reaching the objects is as simple as opening each case, but you do not need to tell your players that—let them worry a little.

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The statues are the petrified remains of those who have displeased Sydon, all carefully lined up in ranks. They are, in effect, another of Sydon’s trophy galleries. A euryale medusa guards the statues. She remains hidden and ambushes trespassers in her lair, unless she is summoned to the Throne Room (S28) by Chalcia.

The Furies Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone (LN erinyes) are called “the Furies,” and they are the queens of the erinyes. They gather in this chamber to discuss how vengeance should be exacted in accordance with the customs and laws of Thylea. As long as the heroes have not broken an oath or violate the rules of guest-friendship, the Furies treat

Megaera, the Fury

them with a politeness verging on indifference. They are not particularly interested in the heroes, but they do not wish them any harm. Oathbreakers. If any of the heroes is an oathbreaker, the Furies will be enraged by their presence. Any character who has suffered the curse of the treacherous is an affront to them, and becomes an instant target. The Furies will attack relentlessly, ignoring everyone else until the offender is unconscious. Unlike their daughters, the Furies do not attempt to capture oathbreakers. They simply nail them to the tower walls and let harpies and griffons tear them apart. Wisdom of the Furies. The Furies have no love for Sydon, and they have no loyalty to him. They are willing to advise anyone who asks for help in defeating the Titan. All they ask in return is fair payment, such as a magical item. The item must be rare or better. If suitably paid, the Furies will reveal several useful bits of information to the heroes:

• "Jamming the gears that move the planets will grant those nearby valuable time."

• "The ancient red star is only minutes from death, but

time doesn’t pass in the astral sea. The star can be lured to the mortal world to destroy the tower with the light of its younger love." • "Sydon has made a mockery of both dragons and gods. Nephele should be allowed to have her vengeance." The Telescope The huge magical telescope allows anyone using it to see any faraway place, even other worlds and other planes of existence. All the viewer needs to do is think of a place that they have already visited (or a person that they know). The telescope will act as a scrying spell, immediately showing them that person or place. Unlike a scrying spell, the telescope can see beyond the Prime Material Plane, into other planes of existence. It is used by the Furies to spy upon all of mortal kind; the Furies have been everywhere in the multiverse, and there are no limits to what they can see. The Orrery This artifact was made by Sydon and the sphinxes from the Island of Time. It is a perfect representation of all the worlds in the solar system with the sun at the very center. The mechanism has a clever arrangement of gears and pivots that moves the planets around the sun, moves the moons around the planets, and spins all of the planetary bodies on their axes. The orrery shows exactly where all of the planets and moons are in the solar system at the present moment in time. Sydon intended to use the machine to travel through time, but it never worked as intended. As far as he is concerned, it's just a magnificent toy. Stopping Time. Jamming the gears of the orrery produces an effect similar to a time stop spell. The time stop allows anyone within 10 ft. of the orrery to act as

normal, as if they were the caster of the time stop spell. Once the time stop ends, the orrery breaks down and can only be repaired with the aid of a sphinx. To jam the orrery, a magical weapon must be used. Anything non-magical just breaks when thrusted into the gears. The Windows. The windows in this room are permanent walls of force which cannot be dispelled.

S34. Hall of Travel 

This room is filled with soft light and calming silence. Light spills from a pool in the floor that is filled with a strange, silvery liquid. The liquid is perfectly still and glitters with the reflections of countless stars. It's like looking through a window into a cosmic vista. 

The pool is a gateway that allows anyone who steps into it to travel to the Astral Plane. Any creature who walks into the pool will be swallowed by the liquid. Once submerged, they will find themselves in a vast ocean of silver lights, with the pool's surface overhead. The lights are millions of stars. One can easily return to the tower by “swimming” up to the pool’s surface. The Dying Star Floating nearby is a radiant crimson sphere, an ancient star, a few hours—or perhaps minutes—from death. It radiates a faint heat, like a warm breeze against the skin. Sydon keeps this star on the Astral Plane, where time does not pass. He suspects that allowing the star to die will unleash a burst of primordial magic, and he seeks to keep the star in stasis until he understands how to harness such immense power. The star is intelligent, but it is an utterly alien and incomprehensible lifeform. Luring the Star. The star can be lured out of the Astral Plane. A torch lit from the fires of the Fallen Star (S37) will attract the star. It follows anyone who carries such a torch out of the Astral Plane and into the tower. Despite apparent problems with its size, the red star passes through the pool without issue. If the party needs a clue for this puzzle, you may choose to have one hero experience a vision of a torch being held aloft from the highest point of Praxys. The Star's Death. Once on the material plane, the star lives for 1d10 minutes before dying. As it does so, it shrinks, grows dimmer, and explodes into blinding light. Anyone within 10 feet of the star when it explodes receives the benefit of the foresight spell for 8 hours, thanks to the star's primordial magic. If the heroes are rash enough to travel further into the Astral Plane, they must make a DC 10 Wisdom (Surival) check every other round or lose track of where the pool is located. The Astral Plane is beyond the scope of this book, but any character lost on the plane does not age and could be rescued much later in the campaign. Ch apter 8 | Pr a x ys, Tower of Sy don

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Sydon, Lord of Storms Sydon's Journal Sydon keeps records of his proudest achievements in a huge, leatherbound journal that rests on a lectern in his chamber. Some notable entries include: Talieus. “My son Talieus is a fool and a braggart. He's much too proud of his own accomplishments, and they are few indeed. He is unfit for the throne.” Hergeron. “My son Hergeron is unlike his namesake. He is cunning and clever and good with numbers. I shall need his sharp mind to manage my armies.” Goloron. “My son Goloron bears a strong resemblance to his mother. He seems to have inherited her madness. I shall have to keep a close watch on him.” Versi. “My daughter Versi infuriates me! She is always disobedient, and she loves her mortal pets too much. But I am pleased that she bears the gift of prophecy.” Yala. “My daughter Yala is the strongest warrior among my children. She fights at the head of my armies. Mortals shall flee in terror before her wrathful temper.” Chalcia. “My daughter Chalcia is blessed with all of my greatest qualities. She is headstrong and stubborn, but I believe that she will make a worthy successor.”

S37. The Fallen Star 

S35. Chamber of Sydon 

 

This is a massive, luxurious bedroom that has clearly been designed for a Titan. Every surface is painted with murals or decorated with mosaics that glorify the Lord of Storms. The room does not appear to see much use. 

Other than a few trinkets worth 1,000 gp in total, there is little of interest here. Sydon delights in the attention and worship of his servants. He sees little reason to spend time on his own.

S36. Elevator The elevator doors on this floor are locked and cannot be opened except by magic. A single knock spell will weaken the age-old magic that seals the doors. Three knock spells in a row will allow the doors to be opened. Pass Phrase. The doors will open if Sydon or one of his children wishes to use the elevator—or if the correct pass phrase is spoken. The phrase must be spoken in the giant tongue. The phrase is: “THERE IS ONE TRUE GOD, and his name is SYDON.” 238

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A massive, radiant sphere floats at the very top of the tower, although nothing appears to hold it in place. It shines too brightly to look at directly, and it pulses very slowly, almost as if it were breathing.

At the very top of his tower, Sydon has imprisoned his most valued treasure—a star that fell from the heavens ages ago. The star is the source of the roving light at the peak of the tower. It radiates an intense heat, and anything coming within 10 feet of it will catch fire. Creatures that come too close take 6d6 fire damage per round as long as they remain near. It is possible to ignite a torch using this heat, but the person who does so will take 1d6 damage in the process. The star’s “flames” are silver and radiate magic. The star is, like its companion on the Astral Plane, utterly alien and incomprehensible. It was bound to the tower by ancient magic. Sydon has forgottten how this was accomplished, but he knows that a wish spell will free it from its long imprisonment. Freeing the Star. Freeing the star causes the tower to shake and collapse. The process is irrevocable once started, and the amount of time it takes is up to you as the GM. The heroes should feel that they are in imminent danger as they try to escape, and they should make regular saving throws as they dash or fly to safety. However, the star will protect the party as the tower collapses: gratitude is a universal concept. In this case, the heroes may have to battle Sydon or Chalcia in the collapsed ruins of his Throne Room (S28).

Confronting Sydon Sydon is not currently in his tower. Instead, he is checking on the progress of the fleet that he has assembled to send against the city of Mytros. He only returns when he senses that there are intruders on this floor. Sydon senses intruders in the following events:

Despite Sydon’s demands, he is willing to negotiate. But in order to satisfy Sydon completely, the heroes must swear an indefinite oath of service to him. Rewards from the Vault. Sydon will sweeten his offer with magical items from The Vault (S31). However, he cannot resist some mischief-making, so he will only offer enough magical items for half the heroes at best. It would greatly amuse him to see the heroes fight amongst themselves for the rewards. Kings and Queens. Sydon will offer to make the heroes kings and queens of Thylea. They can take whichever cities they please, and the armies of the Titans will ensure the sanctity of their thrones. However, the heroes must agree to build and maintain temples to his new pantheon at their own expense.

• The heroes kill the cerberus (S30) • The heroes open the final door to The Vault (S31) • The heroes release the dying star (S34) It takes Sydon 1d6 minutes to return to the tower, and he does so by emerging from the magical map on the floor of the Throne Room (S28). Once he returns, he orders his daughter, Chalcia (LE young empyrean) to accompany him as he hunts down the intruders. When he finds the heroes, read out the following: 

Sydon turns to face you, and his voice booms out. “You have impressed me. It requires strength, wisdom, and courage to carve a path into my domain. Your valor will not go unheeded. "However, you must now make a choice. You may join me and forge a new Oath of Peace… or you may refuse my offer—in which case, I will destroy you.” 

• The Fallen Star. Helping the fallen star escape from 

The heroes have two options: forge a new oath, or fight. Epic Path: The Gifted One If the Gifted One is present, Sydon will recognize them as his grandchild and size them up with some interest, but he is disappointed that his progeny could be so small and weak. Refer to the Running the Epic Paths section for details.

Swearing Fealty to Sydon If the heroes listen to Sydon’s proposal, read the following: 

Sydon takes a deep breath and makes his offer. “If my daughter’s prophecy holds true, then the Mother Goddess has chosen your small band of warriors to forge a new Oath of Peace. But I am not willing to negotiate. You must either accept my terms or meet me on the field of battle. “This is what I propose: You will swear oaths of service to me and proclaim me King of the Gods. The Five imposter gods must return the power that they stole from us. My children will take their place and be revered as the new pantheon. “In exchange for your oaths, I shall spare the city of Mytros. You should know that I am generous to those who prove loyal to me. You will be the new Lords of Thylea—great kings of the mortal races." He smirks. “Now, take a moment to think carefully on your next words and deeds.” 

Fighting Sydon Fighting Sydon will be difficult. One of his few weaknesses is his supreme confidence that he can defeat them alone. The party may have gained several advantages in their fight against Sydon: the Hall of Travel (S34). If the heroes freed the star, then they should have the benefit of the foresight spell. • The Balmytria Clone. Freeing Nephele, the Balmytria clone, from the Dragon's Chamber (S25) and bringing her to the fight. The silver dragon will immediately attack Sydon and fight to the death. • The Furies. The heroes might be able to forge a pact with the Furies in The Room of Far Sight (S33). Having done that, they could lure Sydon into that chamber and use the Orrery to gain an advantage. Sydon does not know that the Orrery has the power of time stop, and he will pursue heroes if they retreat here. Sydon's Retreat. Sydon has no desire to fight to the death at this point. His fleet is already gathering for an attack on Mytros, and there is no reason for him to remain here bickering with mortals. If you want the Lord of Storms to participate in the Battle of Mytros, then he should escape through the magical map when he is at 100 hit points or less. In this case, Sydon orders his daughter to prove that she is worthy to be queen. Chalcia fights to the death. Death of the Storm Titan If the heroes manage to kill Sydon, read the following: 

With utter amazement, Sydon realizes he is dying. He cannot comprehend defeat. Rage overwhelms his features as life leaves his body. At the very last second, he screams, and his body is consumed by lightning as a massive storm rages overhead. When the lightning stops, the Titan’s body is gone, leaving behind the scent of fresh rain, which blows away on the wind.  

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Chapter 9:

The Battle of Mytros “This was the inevitable outcome of the Oath of Peace. Five centuries of scheming, followed by one battle to end all battles. Our mother gave this land a second chance for peace, but neither gods nor mortals seem to truly desire it.”

W

—Vallus, Goddess of Wisdom

hen the heroes left Mytros on their sea voyage, they had sixty days to confront the Titans and complete their quest. When this time expires, the peace that has reigned for five hundred years will come to an end, and the Titans will be free to make war upon all the mortals of Thylea. Sydon has spent centuries preparing his army for this occasion, and Lutheria gleefully anticipates harvesting the souls of the countless mortals who will die in the ensuing battle.

On the 50th day of the voyage, Kyrah warns the party that they have only ten days remaining until the Oath of Peace comes to an end. She grows distant and agitated— concerned for the future. She strongly suggests that the party make haste to confront Sydon and Lutheria, or else make plans to return to Mytros. The city needs strong defenses against the coming storm, and she has no faith in King Acastus.

The End of the Oath When the Oath of Peace ends, a wave of change spreads across the lands of Thylea. 

The Final Days Kyrah frequently reminds the party of the time they have remaining before the Oath of Peace ends. She serves as a grim harbinger of doom, counting down the number of days until the Titans unleash hell. 

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As the sun dawns on the sixtieth day of your voyage, you realize that something has changed. A strange wind blows from the southeast, driving black storm clouds across the heavens, and the sky itself darkens to a menacing red. You feel deep within your bones that the Oath of Peace has come to an end. Now, it seems, the lands and seas and sky of Thylea are filled with anger. Kyrah and Pythor call you to the deck of the Ultros. They stand at the prow, gazing off towards the horizon, and their eyes shine like burnished gold. “The Oath has ended, and we are no longer gods.” 

The Dragons Revealed 

The End of the Oath 

The two gods begin to change, slowly at first. Their skin changes, transforming into metallic scales, and great wings unfurl from their backs. Their faces transform into something draconic, as sharp teeth protrude from their mouths. They grow in size, becoming huge. The deck of the ship can no longer quite accommodate the bulk of their massive forms. Kyrah looms up as Pythor takes flight. Both are now bronze dragons, terrifying, magnificent and dangerous creatures. Somehow, you understand that they have always been dragons, but they were held in the guise of immortals for 500 years by the power of the Oath. 

One of the conditions of the Oath of Peace was that the Five Gods would eventually surrender their power. Now, that time has come, and they are no longer gods. Kyrah, Pythor, Volkan, and Vallus are still capable of polymorphing into their mortal guises, but they no longer possess the divine powers that were stolen from the Titans. Mytros herself has gone completely silent, although priestly magic continues to work. The Forgotten Dragons

Kyrah explains that long ago, she and her family were the dragon mounts of the Dragonlords. During the First War, her mother, Balmytria, tricked the Titans into surrendering much of their divine power. Consequently, Balmytria and her brood were transformed into the Five Gods. The full story is revealed in the Game of the Gods section of the Secrets and Myths appendix. Balmytria became known as Mytros, and she ascended to the outer planes as a true goddess. Kyrah, Pythor, Volkan, and Vallus remained behind to finish the First War. The armies of the Titans were destroyed, and the Dragonlords were killed. In the end, the new gods and the ancient Titans swore to the Oath of Peace.

From now on, Kyrah, Pythor, Volkan, and Vallus use the statistics of young bronze dragons, rather than their previous “immortal” statistics. Their personalities are the same, but they are no longer gods. Despite the fact that they use the statistics of young dragons, they are the size of adults, and they retain the ability to polymorph into their mortal guises.

The New Dragonlords The heroes are now given an opportunity to bond with the four dragons. Each hero has an opportunity to choose which dragon they would prefer to bond with and, if the dragon agrees, the hero should follow the convention and tradition of Thylea by swearing the Oath of the Dragonlord which can be found in the Dragonlords appendix. This requires each hero to sacrifice a magic item and speak the words of the oath aloud.

Return to Mytros Once the heroes have bonded with the four metallic dragons, they may take flight and return to Mytros. When the party arrives, they discover a cataclysm: Mytros is consumed by chaos, and King Acastus has only worsened the many dangers that threaten the city. 

epic conflicts should occur. The conflicts should be run in sequential order as presented below. Table of Epic Conflicts

The city of Mytros looms on the horizon, shadowed beneath storm clouds. Rays of golden sunlight stream down from the sky, illuminating a cityscape of smoke, fire, shattered temples, and screaming mobs of citizens. The city is besieged. The great powers of Thylea have finally gathered their strength—to end the Age of Mortals. 

Epic Conflict…

Happens if…

1. The King’s Dragon

The king’s silver dragon, Icarus, still lives.

2. The False Dragonlord King Acastus still lives.

The Battle of Mytros The Battle of Mytros unfolds as a series of epic conflicts, each of which may be triggered if certain conditions have been satisfied. Before you start this part of the adventure, check the table below to determine which

3. The Armies of Sydon

Sydon still lives, and the heroes have not sworn an oath of service to him.

4. The Great Feast

Lutheria still lives, and the heroes have not sworn an oath of service to her.

5. Kentimane Awakens

Either Sydon or Lutheria has been killed.

There is no pause between each of these epic conflicts. Events are now spinning out of anyone’s control. The heroes will not have a chance to short rest between encounters. At most, they have a few minutes to use Ch apter 9 | The Battle of My tros

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healing potions and spells before the next major threat begins to unfold. This sequence of events should completely exhaust the heroes, and it should require them to expend just about every resource that they’ve accumulated so far in the adventure. Fighting Alongside Dragons The players should be given control of their bonded dragons. To keep battles moving quickly, have each dragon act on the same initiative as the hero riding it. Sydon, Lutheria, and Kentimane should target the dragons first. This is a climactic battle that heralds a new age for Thylea—you should allow for the possibility that one or more of the dragons may be killed during these events.

occur with increasing severity. Kentimane’s approach should be terrifying, as his footsteps shake the world. Rescuing Citizens Kyrah, Pythor, Volkan, and Vallus are torn between loyalty to the heroes and their desire to protect the city and its people. Each time the players undertake one of the conflicts, two of the dragons will ask to go to the aid of the people of the city. If the dragons go rescue citizens, the heroes will not have their services in the next conflict. However, in exchange for this show of mercy and bravery, the goddess Mytros will grant blessings to the heroes that last for the duration of this part of the adventure. Any dragons that have been sent away will return before the next conflict begins. Table of Heroic Blessings

Epic Conflict Foreshadowing Epic Conflict

Signs of the Conflict

1. The King’s Dragon

Gargantuan silver dragon attacking the harbor.

2. The Mad King

Young copper dragons flying circles around the colosseum.

3. The Armies of Sydon

Centaurs, gygans, and cyclopes slaughtering and burning everything.

4. The Great Feast

Hundreds of citizens are transformed into goats, cows, and pigs.

5. Kentimane Awakens

Brief earthquakes shake the city once per minute.

Epic Conflict

Citizens Rescued

Blessing from Mytros

1. The King’s Dragon

1,000

Blessing of Magic Resistance

2. The Mad King

1,000

Blessing of Protection

3. The Armies of Sydon

1,000

Blessing of Valhalla

4. The Great Feast

1,000

Blessing of Health

5. Kentimane Awakens

5,000

n/a

Splitting the Party Depending on your heroes’ abilities, and your own comfort in running two separate events at the same time, you may allow your players to split the party and tackle two conflicts at once. For example, half the party might take two dragons to confront Acastus (in The False Dragonlord) while the other half of the party takes two dragons to confront Sydon (in The Armies of Sydon). Splitting the party like this counts as rescuing citizens in both conflicts; therefore the party should be rewarded with both of the associated blessings from Mytros.

Signs of Conflict Once the heroes reach Mytros, they witness signs of multiple active conflicts and events. Use the following signs and events to create a sense of constant pressure throughout this series of encounters. For example, if Kentimane is coming, then you should tease the arrival of the Titan by having earthquakes

The King’s Dragon 

Towering over the city harbor is a gargantuan silver dragon. His roar thunders across the ocean, shaking your very bones and sending a chill down your spine. The dragon crushes several buildings beneath his massive claws and snaps his jaws at a crowd of fleeing citizens. Many are crushed by his fearsome jaws. Kyrah grits her teeth. “It is the king’s dragon, Icarus. He has gone mad with power.” 

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As the heroes arrive in Mytros, the harbor is already under attack by an ancient silver dragon. Kyrah will recognize him as Icarus, the king’s own dragon. Acastus has apparently fed him all the remaining doses of his potion of aging, presumably in the hope of protecting the city from the wrath of the Titans. Rather than protecting the city, the dragon has been driven mad by the cumulative effects of the potion—and his newfound power. Icarus will destroy the city unless he can be stopped. The heroes will stand a much better chance of surviving this encounter if they battle the gargantuan dragon while mounted on the backs of the four metallic dragons that they have recently bonded.

Powerful but Clumsy. Icarus is not used to his size or his power, so he will stumble and misjudge his abilities during the fight. Every other round, he suffers from disadvantage, because his mind has not fully adjusted to his new size. If he wishes to use one of his abilities or powers, roll d20: on 11 or higher, he may do so to full effect, otherwise it has half its normal effect either in terms of damage inflicted, duration, and/or range. Collateral Damage. You might choose to measure the heroes’ success against Icarus in terms of the amount of collateral damage that they prevent. Icarus has the mind of a very young dragon, and he gives no

thought to the citizens crushed beneath his claws or frozen by his breath attacks during the battle. He will not deliberately target bystanders, but he gives no thought to them when making attacks. During any combat round that the heroes do not attack Icarus, he will kill d10x10 (roll a d10 and multiply by 10) citizens with his trashing about and clumsy attempts to wreck the city. During any round that he is engaged in combat, he will only kill 1d10 citizens. The heroes cannot save everyone, but you can ramp up the pressure on the party to save as many as possible.

The Mad King King Acastus, stricken by guilt and unable to bear watching his beloved city being destroyed, has retreated to the colosseum. There, he has been joined by his seven Dragonlord captains, including Tarchon. The captains are circling overhead, mounted on young copper dragons. The king is pacing nervously at the center of the colosseum, next to his adult copper dragon mount. The heroes can easily see the dragons circling above the colosseum from anywhere in the city. Volkan will mention that the rod of rulership in the king’s possession could be a powerful weapon against the Titans. He doesn’t understand why the rod hasn’t been used: Acastus knows how the rod works, but for some reason, the king hasn’t used it to defend the city. When the heroes arrive at the colosseum, Acastus stops pacing and greets them coldly. 

“So you have returned from your long journey. And what have you to show for it? Dragons? More dragons. We have dragons enough in Mytros. Stupid, stupid beasts!” He kicks his mount viciously. “My ancestors were fools to fight against the power of the Titans. We should… we must… we have no choice but to bow to them! Perhaps then they will spare… some of us.” The king watches you with a mad gleam in his eyes. “They will demand sacrifices. That is only fair. Fair recompense for the damage that you’ve done to them. But many such sacrifices must be made in the pursuit of greatness. Yes, I think they will spare me—and my city—if we offer them your heads.” 

city. With his last strength, he will hand his rod of rulership to the closest hero and reveal that it is the key to controlling the Colossus of Pythor. Treasure King Acastus carries the rod of rulership. This rod allows its wielder to take command of the Colossus of Pythor, which stands guard over the city harbor. Acastus wields a nine lives stealer and a +1 breastplate.

The Colossus Awakened Once the heroes have the rod of rulership, they should fly to the head of the Colossus of Pythor. Here, they can take control of the gargantuan construct and use it in the upcoming battles against the Titans. Only one of the heroes can take control of the colossus, and that hero is too distracted to control a dragon mount at the same time. This may sound obvious, but one of your players will absolutely try to do it! Give the elected player the statistic block for the colossus. They control the construct in the final battles. 

Acastus and his “Dragonlords” will attack the heroes and fight to the death. Count the number of rounds in this battle. The Titans have this number of rounds to wreak havoc in the city while the heroes are preoccupied. Sanity Restored. When Acastus is reduced to 0 hit points, his selfishness is overcome by his love for his

You inspect the control sphere at the center of the colossus’s head. There is a slot that seems made for the rod of rulership. As you insert the rod into the sphere, you feel the platform beneath you thrum with power. The gargantuan construct creaks and groans as it shudders and comes to life. Somewhere deep inside, you can feel the pulse of mighty pumps and the clatter of gigantic gears clashing together. The colossus takes one hesitant step from its platform, straightens itself, and then flexes its magical muscles. The citizens of besieged Mytros erupt into joyous cheers. “The colossus has awakened! The god of battle has come to save the city!” 

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The Armies of Sydon 

Gazing toward the harbor, you watch as giant ships plow through trading vessels, leaving nothing but splintered ruins in their wakes. Cyclopes and gygans leap from the vessels and run rampant across the city, tearing down houses as if they were children’s toys. Centaurs gallop through the streets, launching volleys of pitch-soaked flaming arrows. Ash and smoke choke the air, and you can see fires burning across the city. 

Sydon and two of his children (most likely Yala and Hergeron) have landed in the city harbor with ships full of gygans, cyclopes, and centaurs. Their plan is simple: they intend to reduce the city to a ruin, and any survivors left among the rubble will be forced to kneel and worship the Lord of Storms. The Titan can be found at the Royal Gate (M6), accompanied by two of his children (NE young empyreans). Joining the Titans as honor guards are a centaur hero, a minotaur hero, and a gygan hero, all three of which are fitted with brilliant mithral plate armor (AC 18). 

Fighting Alongside Lutheria

The armies of Sydon have torn a path through the city that leads to the Royal Gate. The walls of the palace compound are almost entirely ruined, having suffered repeated blows from the hammers wielded by Sydon’s terrifying children. The Lord of Storms himself looms over the walls, loudly praising his children’s work. As you approach, Sydon’s keen eye catches sight of you. “Aha! The Heroes of the Prophecy. You have shown impressive valor for mortals, but the time has come to face the truth. You are outmatched! “Look around you: the city of Mytros cannot withstand the power of the Titans. Kneel before me, and I shall endeavor to find a place for you as servants in my new kingdom. Otherwise, I can only promise you a warrior’s death.” 

If the heroes choose to bow before the Titan, Sydon will make a series of humiliating demands: cast down your weapons, shrug off your armor, kiss the ground, offer praises to his name. He does not intend to spare the heroes—he just wants to see them humbled before he

executes them. He expects the same groveling obedience and worship from the dragons. Siezing the Initiative. If the heroes play along with Sydon and declare to you that they are doing so, then they automatically have advantage on the first round of attacks they make. Sydon is a vain creature who believes that his magnificence inspires obedience in mortals. It takes him a moment to gather his wits—how could the heroes, who are so obviously defeated, dare to choose defiance instead of cringing obedience? Sydon's Tactics. Sydon and his entire entourage fight to the death. No dirty trick or underhanded tactic is beneath them. Sydon concentrates his attacks on the dragons first, but he always switches his focus to the creature that damaged him most recently. He takes every attack personally, growing angrier each round. Lesser creatures should fall to the ground and worship him—to attack him is an unforgivable outrage!

If Lutheria has allied with the heroes for any reason, Sydon declares that she’s betrayed him one too many times. He becomes enraged and focuses all of his attacks on her, while his entourage attacks the heroes. Lutheria retreats after three rounds, before the battle is resolved, but this weakens Sydon and temporarily separates him from his allies.

Sydon's Victory. If Sydon wins this battle, then the adventure ends at this point. The heroes will forever be remembered in fables as the doltish mortals who challenged a Titan and were punished accordingly. The party's failure is absolute. If you would like to give the party a second try, then it must come at a terrible cost— they may be revived by Mytros or the Fates, but none of the dragons should survive the ensuing battle. Sydon's Defeat. If Sydon is defeated, a shockwave of power bursts from him. The sky darkens, and a powerful storm rages overhead. Tremendous winds tear through the streets of Mytros, and rain lashes down, soaking everything. The rain extinguishes all of the fires in the city, and it lasts for 1d6 weeks. Treasure. Sydon carries the Glaive of Sydon. Each of his children carries a mithral greatsword.

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The Great Feast 

Lutheria glides through the streets of Mytros, leaving chaos and debauchery in her wake. She cackles as she transforms citizens into goats, cows, and pigs. Those around her seem to go mad—falling into fits of hysterical laughter or engaging in unspeakable acts with whatever livestock happens to be nearby. Eventually, the Titan discovers you. Gazing down at you from her full height, she grins malevolently. “Have you come to join the Great Feast? I promise you’ll not go hungry.” She offers you a spit-roasted pig and smiles broadly. “Go on—eat, drink, be merry! What could you possibly stand to lose?” 

Lutheria has reduced about half of the surviving population of Mytros to a bestial state. They are either transformed into farm livestock, mindlessly engaging in profane revelry, or both. She shows no sign of stopping

her nightmarish progress through the city. If the heroes fail to stop Lutheria, then the people of Mytros will begin the “Great Feast.” They roast each other alive and devour their own families. Lutheria giggles and explains this to the heroes—it's the greatest practical joke in the history of Thylea! She repeatedly licks the spit-roasted pig and offers it to the heroes, struggling to contain her laughter. Eventually, Lutheria tires of telling her jokes. As long as the heroes engage her in worthwhile conversation, she holds her temper in check. Once she grows bored, her mood turns icy cold, and she attacks. She is immediately joined by an aurae nymph and an erinyes. Lutheria and her servants fight to the death. Treasure. Lutheria carries the Scythe of Lutheria. Her pockets are full of exotic seasonings, which she has used liberally on the citizens who have been transformed into livestock. One of the spice vials contains salt that has been dried from her tears of laughter.

Kentimane Awakens If either Sydon or Lutheria has been killed, then Kentimane of the Hundred Hands awakens to wreak vengeance upon the city. This battle should be incredibly difficult and may result in deaths among the heroes. If you want to be generous, you can let your heroes have a short rest before this battle begins to allow a limited time for recovery. The heroes will need to utilize the full power of both the dragons and the colossus, if possible. Kentimane specifically targets the heroes, which means that the heroes may choose to lure him away from the city and fight him at sea. Sacrifice of the Five Gods. If it seems like the city might be completely destroyed, then Vallus or Kyrah will sacrifice themselves to drive the titan back. If it seems like one of the heroes might be killed, then Volkan or Pythor will intervene at the last moment and intercept the killing blow, dying in the process.

my strength Long have I desired to test One! The Titan of against the Hundred Handed Mother Goddess, Destruction lives to protect the world if he so but he could probably end the even the slightest desired. We must not show him hint of weakness.

— Pythor, God of Battle

In the aftermath of the battle, the city falls into an unnatural silence. It seems for a moment that the danger has passed. But then, the earth starts shaking. The effect is subtle at first: pebbles clattering on the pavement. The tremors continue every few seconds and slowly build into bone-rattling earthquakes—the echoes of gigantic footsteps. Suddenly, four tremendous arms emerge from behind Mount Volkan and grasp the summit, dragging behind them a gargantuan form. It's Kentimane, the Hundred Handed Titan! Kentimane roars and assaults the city with brute force. The ancient titan is over 100 feet tall and every bit as terrifying as described in legends. Massive arms erupt from the ground, opening a path of death and destruction. Dozens of arms and small heads protrude from his body, hideous echoes of primordial chaos. He lumbers forward—directly toward you. 

Whatever happens, the result of this encounter should have an element of tragedy. Use the table below to describe the collateral damage suffered during each round of the battle. The dragons will be deeply dismayed by the damage inflicted by Kentimane, and once the death toll reaches into the thousands, they may even become too distracted to fight.

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Kentimane's Collateral Damage Rounds Active

Collateral Damage

Cumulative Death Toll

1

Vineyards of Mytros destroyed

200

2

The Great Agora destroyed

400

3

The Noble Estates destroyed

800

4

Temple of Sydon destroyed

1,000

5

The King’s Palace destroyed

2,000

6

The Academy destroyed

4,000

7

Temple of the Five destroyed

6,000

8

The Great Gardens destroyed

8,000

9

Stygian Row destroyed

10,000

10

The city is in total ruin

12,000

Kentimane fights to the bitter end. He will not rest until all the heroes are dead, and he will continue to fight regardless of the damage that he suffers. If the party manages to defeat him, then you may choose to have him melt back into the earth, where he can regenerate and reappear after 1,000 years have passed. Alternatively, you may choose to have him disintegrate into cosmic dust, never to rise again. Treasure. Buried within Kentimane's body is a large orb of star metal from a meteorite that fell to the earth at the dawn of time. This star metal has unique properties. If Volkan still lives, then he can use this orb to craft almost any legendary magic weapon or armor at the Mithral Forge. The crafting process takes 1 year.

CONCLUSION

You can use the accumulated dead from collateral damage to determine how the people of Mytros react to the battle in the following months. High numbers of casualties result in a long period of mourning, whereas low numbers of casualties result in great festivities. If the party sent the dragons to rescue citizens, then just subtract the number of rescued citizens from the final cumulative death toll. Mortals who have been transformed into beasts revert back after 8 hours.

The Fates are cruel. With the end of the Oath, death and bloodshed were inevitable. But with such heroes leading us, we can build a brighter future. —Aesop, Keeper of the Dragon Shrine

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High Casualties (8,000 or more). The survivors are grateful to be alive, but they cannot possibly celebrate the heroes as saviors of the city—what exactly did they save? They may have even contributed to the destruction. The city spends months memorializing the dead and years rebuilding. Good-aligned characters should feel remorseful for not saving more lives. Medium Casualties (2,000 to 8,000). The city spends several months in mourning, punctuated by great feasts. Many of the feasts are in the heroes honor. Major characters who died in the battle are memorialized with grand eulogies and funeral games. Everyone looks to the heroes for leadership—what comes next for Thylea? Low Casualties (2,000 or less). The heroes are catapulted to impossible levels of fame. They are living legends, worthy to be anointed as kings and queens— perhaps they should even be revered as gods!

Kings and Queens With the fall of Acastus, the city of Mytros has lost its king. The Titans have fallen, and the gods are no longer gods. It's time for a new order to reign in Thylea. The heroes should now be at an exceptional level of fame, with shrines or temples across the land venerating their names. The time has come for the heroes to ascend to their rightful place as the new rulers of Thylea.

Chapter 10:

The New Pantheon “The Aresians have made fools of us for centuries. They hide behind their walls, laughing at our spineless lack of resolve. We have the power to crush them. They took what is rightfully mine, and I will have it back... I will have it back.”

been dormant in the time since the battle. Consequently, the citizens of Mytros have had time to regroup, and life in Thylea is just now returning to normal. At this point, the heroes are perhaps the most influential mortals in all of Thylea. Their time has been occupied with a number of important activities.

— Ekoh, Ancient Oread

Building Settlements The devastation wrought by the Titans has left large sections of Mytros in ruins, and many people were without homes. The heroes inspired many of the refugees to set out into the world and build new homes. These refugees founded new settlements, and each new settlement chose one of the heroes as its patron. Each new settlement is named after its patron hero. For example, a hero named Tiberius might inspire the settlement of “Tiberia.” Temples and shrines have been built in the hero's honor, and festivals are held to celebrate when the hero visits. This is a great opportunity to make maximum use of the Table of Fame Rewards. These new settlements can be located anywhere on the world map of Thylea, but there are a number of places that make the most geographical sense. Refer to the revised world map in the Apokalypsis chapter, which includes markers for seven new settlements.

T

his chapter marks the beginning of a new phase in the story. With the Titans defeated and the gods transformed, Thylea suffers from a power vacuum. Many divine portfolios—battle, music, wisdom, and more—must be filled by new gods, or else chaos will rule. The souls of the dead are adrift, and the storms and seas of Thylea no longer heed a master. Who will don these mantles of power and ascend to become the new pantheon?

Break Between Adventures The next part of the adventure works best if there has been a break in the story after the Battle of Mytros. This break can last several months or even several years. During this time, the heroes have lived through an extended recovery period in the wake of their quest. Even if one or more of the Titans survived, they have

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Aftermath of the Epic Conflicts You might choose to run several roleplaying sessions where players work through the aftermath of the Battle of Mytros and the founding of the new settlements. Alternatively, you can ask each player to write you a letter describing what their character has been doing during the break.

These heroes are now co-rulers of some of the most prominent cities in all of Thylea. New Cities. Additionally, if they have the necessary funds, each hero may choose to dedicate 25,000 gp to the settlement that they patronize. In this case, the settlement has already grown into a bustling city, and the hero is the king or queen of that city.

Running the Adventure The New Dragonlords The heroes are the leaders of a new organization of Dragonlords. As the leaders of such a prestigious order, they are entrusted as the new “peacekeepers of Thylea.” They are expected to mediate when kingdoms threaten to go to war and strike against those who would do harm to the people of Thylea. In addition, they must create a legacy for the Order of Dragonlords that will stand the test of time. They must search for worthy new candidates to join the order and track down rare dragon eggs that can be raised as mounts for new recruits. Kings and Queens of Thylea One of the heroes may have married Queen Vallus to become the new king or queen of Mytros. Another may have become the consort to Queen Anora of Estoria.

In this next phase of the adventure, the heroes must rescue Narsus, the lost god of beauty, from the city of Aresia—and prevent the legendary Divine Artifacts from falling into the wrong hands. The City of Aresia. The party may siege the city with an army, or they can choose to infiltrate it. Either way, this is an opportunity for the heroes to demonstrate leadership qualities and prove that they are worthy of the mantle of Dragonlords. The city also provides the party with a chance to explore and roleplay. Tomb of Karpathos. The party must recover one of the Divine Artifacts, the Caduceus, from this tomb. Karpathos is an ancient vampire lord from Aresia. Prison Fort of Zakroth. The party must recover one of the Divine Artifacts, the Ambrosia, from this fortress. Zakroth is a mad warlord who seeks to become a god.

Rescuing the Captive God The heroes receive a plea to help Narsus, the lost god of beauty. Narsus is the lost brother of Kyrah, Pythor, and Vallus. They rarely speak of him, because he is self-absorbed and selfish—obsessed with the incomparable beauty that he attained when he was transformed from a dragon into a god. Narsus refused to aid the settlers during the First War, and his family consequently disowned him. After the end of the First War, Narsus staged a competition to choose a woman worthy of being his wife. His suitors were to bring him the silver antlers of an elusive white stag. Many of the most powerful and influential women in the world participated in the contest, but the victor was an oread huntress named Ekoh. Tragically, she was never able to claim her prize. Queen Calliope of Aresia became obsessed with Narsus—she took him captive and fled back to her city. Narsus has been held in Aresia for 500 years, and the city of Mytros has launched many campaigns to recover the god of beauty without success. The two cities now have a long history of grievances which have eclipsed the original conflict. But with the return of the Dragonlords, Ekoh wishes to siege Aresia and take back her husband once and for all.

Ekoh's Call to Arms Ekoh meets with the heroes in Mytros and pleads her case. Knowing that the heroes are unlikely to start a war between Thylea’s two greatest cities over such an ancient dispute, Ekoh tempts them with a more powerful incentive: her lost love has learned the path that mortals must walk to become gods. With the end of the Oath of Peace, Narsus returned to his dragon form. In the time that has passed, he has researched a means to reclaim the beautiful form that was lost to him. He now seeks to share these secrets with any mortals who come to his aid—anyone who rescues him from the clutches of the Aresian queen. Narsus proposes to create a new pantheon, with the heroes as his fellow gods and goddesses.

Ah, Narsus, You were never much good in a fight, even as a dragon. I am not certain whether it was a cruelty or a kindness when fate awarded you the divine power of Beauty, but one thing's for certain: it went to your head and made you insufferable. — Kyrah, Goddess of Music

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MEETING WITH EKOH

reminds them that Aresia is effectively a rogue kingdom that should be unified with Mytros by the authority of the Dragonlords. There are a sizable number of soldiers in the city who would gladly join a new campaign to settle the age-old rivalry between the two cities.

The adventure begins when the heroes are brought together to hear the petition of a famous nymph named Ekoh. She claims to know the secrets of divinity and wishes to share the knowledge with the heroes. Each of the heroes receives the following letter: 

The Truth about Narsus 

Greetings [Name]— I have an urgent matter that demands the attention of the Dragonlords. I humbly request your presence at the Theater of the Gods in Mytros. I swear upon my honor that you will find this matter greatly to your interest as Thylea's new peacekeepers. —Ekoh 

After listening to Ekoh’s proposal, the party will have much to discuss. If possible, they should consult with one of the Five Gods. Otherwise, they can consult with the Oracle—or Aesop from the Dragon Shrine (E7). Whoever they consult, read the following: 

The Theater of the Gods Ekoh (CN oread) meets the heroes in the Theater of the Gods in Mytros (M3). Ekoh has a curious verbal tic that causes her to repeat the last phrase of every sentence. 

You find a beautiful woman waiting to meet with you in the empty theater. “Thank you for answering my summons. I am called Ekoh.” From her appearance, it's clear that she is an oread—a mountain nymph. Her skin is like polished obsidian, while her hair is like freshly-fallen snow. She stands tall and proud, with sharply defined features that give her a striking and commanding presence. “Five hundred years ago, my betrothed—Narsus, the God of Beauty—was stolen away from me by the queen of Aresia. For half a millennium, her descendants have kept Narsus imprisoned in the dungeons of their foul city. Many wars have been fought to free him—but the Aresian campaigns have amounted to nothing.” “Recently, my beloved Narsus learned of a secret ritual that transforms mortals into gods. He now seeks to build a new pantheon. Join with me to rescue him, and he will share the secrets with you. Moreover, we cannot let this knowledge fall into the hands of the Aresians—think of the consequences!” 

Ekoh is vague on the details, she is absolutely confident that Narsus has the ability to elevate the heroes to true godhood. The 'divine path' is a well-studied concept at the Academy in Mytros, but it's mostly a collection of myths and legends. If such a ritual actually exists, then who better but a god to discover it? Ekoh presses the heroes to gather the armies of Mytros and Estoria to lay siege to Aresia so they can force Queen Helen to hand over her betrothed. She

“What Ekoh says is true: Narsus is the God of Beauty, and he is a lost sibling of the Five. But there is much that she did not tell you. “Narsus was self-absorbed, selfish, and obsessed with the beauty that he attained when he was transformed from a dragon into a god. In his vanity, he lost his way. He refused to aid the mortals during the First War. For this betrayal, the other gods disowned him. And when he was taken by Aresia, it was deemed justice. “But if Narsus has truly learned the secrets of godhood, then we must take action. That much power is dangerous in the hands of a rival kingdom. You must rescue Narsus. You can attempt to infiltrate the city of Aresia on your own, or you can summon the strength of the armies of Mytros to aid you.” 

Versi—or whoever advises the party—admits that Narsus is not clever enough to lie about knowing the secrets of godhood. And despite his vanity, he would almost certainly share his knowledge with whoever rescues him from captivity. Moreover, it is the duty of the Dragonlords to recover such knowledge. Queen Helen has no formal diplomatic relationship with Mytros, and she does not recognize the authority of the Dragonlords. The only way to treat with her directly would be through a show of force. Some advisors may believe that this is a chance to settle the age old rivalry between the cities of Aresia and Mytros—and to cement the Dragonlords as the new sovereigns of Thylea. 

RESCUING NARSUS

The heroes can come up with their own plan for rescuing Narsus, but the party's advisor suggests the following possibilities: 1. The heroes may break into the city of Aresia by stealth and rescue Narsus. Refer to Infiltrating Aresia for details on how this might play out. 2. The only sure way to treat with Queen Helen will be through a show of force—the city must be sieged. Refer to Sieging the City for details. Ch apter 10 | The New Pa ntheon

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The walls of Aresia have never been breached in all the campaigns we've waged against them. The magic of the Palladium is powerful indeed. But I wonder whether some weakness does not eat away at the heart of such a

The Siege 

city after so long a respite. — Vallus, Goddess of Wisdom

If the heroes want to negotiate with Queen Helen for the release of Narsus, then both Ekoh and any other advisors will suggest that it is a waste of time without the added pressure of a siege. These are only two possible ways for the heroes to reach Narsus. Whatever plan they end up using, it should end with them reaching the Chamber of Beauty (A6). At that point, refer to the Audience with Narsus.

INFILTRATING ARESIA

Infiltrating the city of Aresia should be easy for the heroes. Once they do so, they might spend some time exploring the city and asking around to determine where Narsus is being held. Refer to the City of Aresia for ideas. Here are some suggestions:

• The party is approached by the Shadowmaster from

the Temple of the Shadow (A8), who wishes to depose Queen Helen. Refer to her subsection for details. • The party is approached by the most famous portraitist in Aresia, Pelegon (A20), who wishes to paint a portrait of Narsus. He can lead the party to Narsus, but he demands to accompany them.

In order to gather an army, the heroes can use any direct political power that they might have, especially if they are kings and queens. As Dragonlords, the heroes can call upon volunteers to join their cause. They might call in favors or promise great wealth. The age-old rivalry between Mytros and Aresia means that volunteers are plentiful. Feel free to roleplay this process—or simply ask your players to describe how they want to contribute in gathering the army. Preparing the Ships. Once the army is gathered, the party can launch up to one thousand ships from Mytros to lay siege to Aresia. Each ship costs 200 gp to outfit and carries 200 soldiers. The party will need at least 10,000 soldiers to siege the city (a minimum of 50 ships, which costs 10,000 gp). The costs can be defrayed by increasing taxes in the city of Mytros, but this will cost the entire party 1 point of Fame.

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The armies of the heroes are arrayed outside of Aresia's western gate. Aresia is protected from sieges by the power of an artifact called the Palladium, which makes a direct assault extremely dangerous. Every attempt to siege the city during the Aresian campaigns failed because of this artifact—not to mention the city's ancient protector: a bronze colossus.

The Colossus 

The ground suddenly begins to shake at regular intervals, accompanied by the sound of massive footfalls. Flocks of birds flee in panic from the nearby forest as a gargantuan bronze warrior emerges from the canopy, looming over your war camp. “Ho there! Come to hassle my little city, have you? Not on my watch! I am called Talos, and I am the guardian of this place. What is your business here?”

SIEGING THE CITY Gathering the Armies

With thousands of soldiers under your command, you march on Aresia. In the face of your overwhelming numbers, the citizens of Aresia and its surrounding region flee en masse as your army approaches, seeking shelter behind the city’s famous 100-foot-high walls. Dispersing your troops through the woodlands that encircle the city, your set up massive blockades at every road and gate leading into it. You station soldiers and siege engines on the banks of the river to sink any ship that tries to run the blockade. With every entrance and exit sealed off by your army, no one can get in or out. The city's walls bristle with soldiers. The Siege of Aresia has begun.

Talos is a sentient bronze colossus (Intelligence 12) who has long protected Aresia. His origins are unknown, but he has patrolled the forests of the Aresian peninsula for thousands of years. He protects the city because it pleases him to do so—he is a gentle giant. Talos politely asks the party to withdraw their army and return to Mytros. He hates squishing mortals beneath his boots, and he'd rather not fight unless forced to. He strongly encourages the party to find a diplomatic solution. If the party agrees to try, then Talos happily sits down next to the war camp and waits for events to proceed peacefully. Attacking the Colossus. If the heroes attack Talos or make threats against the city, then the colossus retaliates and fights until he is destroyed. The warriors on the city walls will support Talos with volleys of javelins that target the heroes and their dragons. In the event that the colossus is destroyed, Volkan is capable of repairing him, but it's a very slow process.

The Siren Messenger Queen Helen sends a siren messenger to meet with the party. She explains that the queen wishes to parley with the heroes in order to avoid bloodshed. Ekoh urges the heroes to ignore the messenger and storm the city—this is clearly a trap! The party's advisors explain that a direct attack on the city would result in thousands of needless deaths unless the Palladium can be removed. They suggest that the heroes should infiltrate the city and find the Palladium. They might even stumble across the location of Narsus.

The Shadowmaster Later that night, Ekoh introduces the heroes to someone who can help make an assault much more likely to succeed. It is a mysterious woman known only as the Shadowmaster—one of the queen's spies who wishes to switch sides. She introduces herself as a loyal servant of the ancient Dragonlords. The Shadowmaster knows all of the secret tunnels that lead in and out of the city. She is willing to lead the heroes into the city, but she also reveals the location of the Palladium—it's in the basem*nt of the Queen's Palace (A2). If the heroes follow her advice and steal the Palladium, then storming the city will be much easier. However, the Shadowmaster has her own secret agenda. Refer to the Temple of the Shadow (A8) for details. The Final Decision The party must decide their next course of action.

• Storm the City. If the party decides to proceed with

the attack on the city, then refer to Storming the City. • Meet the Queen. If the party agrees to a parley with the queen, then refer to Audience with the Queen. • Infiltrate the City. If the party decides to infiltrate the city, then refer to Infiltrating Aresia.

STORMING THE CITY

A direct assault on the city can be planned and executed in many different ways. Make sure that you are familiar with the City of Aresia section as the heroes plan their assault. If you want to make an assault easier to run, you can use the following two encounters as flashpoints that decide the outcome of the larger battle.

Battle at the Gates The heroes are at the forefront of the attack on the main gates, and they must face off against Aresia's most famous warriors. If the heroes win, then the gates are breached and their armies flood the western section of the city. If the heroes lose, then the gates hold and attacking army is demoralized. Failure would force the party to negotiate or use stealth. The defenders at the gate are Leandros, Halcyon, and Laertes (martial masters). They are the commanders of some of Aresia's greatest fighting forces (A2, A6, A7). They are supported by another three martial masters, twelve warrior monks, and three mages. The battle is easier if the heroes have stolen the Palladium or if they've allied with the surrounding centaur tribes (refer to Zakroth's Prison Fort). Without the Palladium, the mages are diverted from the battle as they try to keep the walls from crumbling. If the centaur tribes are helping, then they sweep away the warrior monks and the additional three martial masters.

Battle at the Bridge Once the gates are breached, the heroes lead the armies through the street of Aresia toward the palace. To reach the palace, they must cross one of the bridges. This is where Aresia’s last stand takes place. If the party wins this battle, then the city falls, Queen Helen is taken Ch apter 10 | The New Pa ntheon

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prisoner, and Narsus is freed. If the battle is lost, then the attacking army is routed. The defenders at the bridge are Taureus (minotaur berserker), General Niobe (gladiator), and Hiero (veteran). They are perhaps the fiercest warriors in Aresia (A9, A10, A11). They are aided by twelve warrior monks and six martial masters. If the centaur tribes are helping the party with the assault, then they sweep away the warrior monks and the martial masters.

AUDIENCE WITH THE QUEEN

Helen reveals that Zakroth can be found at a prison fort deep in the surrounding forest. She orders Pyrrha to guide the heroes to its location. The queen is true to her word, and if the heroes bring back the Ambrosia, she will immediately escort them to the Chamber of Beauty (A6) for an audience with Narsus.

AUDIENCE WITH NARSUS Once the heroes are finally able to meet with Narsus, read the following: 

The heroes can approach Aresia without an army and demand an audience with Queen Helen, or they can agree to an audience if she requests one during a siege.

Talking to the Queen 

You gather at the massive western gate of the city, waiting for your audience with Queen Helen of Aresia. A small iron grate built into the massive wooden door eventually swings open—it forms a passageway just large enough for you to enter single file. Beyond the gate, you are met by the queen, who is flanked on either side by three royal guards in splendid red capes. An additional phalanx of fifty soldiers stand a hundred yards away, watching the proceedings. Queen Helen is shorter than you expected—small and delicate. But her bearing is one of confidence and her voice is authoritative as she addresses you. “Thank you for agreeing to this parley. While I cannot allow Narsus to go free at this time, I will grant you leave to speak with him in person... but first, we have an urgent matter to attend to. “The mad warlord, Zakroth, has somehow come into possession of one of the Divine Artifacts. Unless he is stopped, he will raise an army to rival the Titans—he could even become a god. Destroy him, and I will acknowledge your sovereignty as Dragonlords.” 

You make your way down into the underground levels of the Temple of the Shield. As you descend, you hear a beautiful, ethereal voice drifting from below. When you finally reach the bottom, you discover a massive chamber filled with mirrors of all shapes and sizes: hundreds of reflecting surfaces in ornate frames of gold and silver. The floor is layered with a rainbow of shimmering mosaics. In the center of the room, a bronze dragon is curled up on the floor, staring woefully into a large mirror. Seated beside him is a beautiful siren, who pets him gently and sings soft, mournful melodies. As you enter, the dragon lifts his head. Noticing you, he scrambles to his feet, eager and excited. He lifts his head and extends his wings, preening and posing. “Welcome to the Chamber of Beauty, my friends! I am called Narsus. We have much to discuss!” 

Queen Helen and her Entourage

Queen Helen explains that Zakroth has somehow unified dozens of centaur tribes into a single army— something that only Sydon could have done in days past. Zakroth's forces are already raiding settlements across the peninsula, wantonly slaughtering everyone. Queen Helen reveals that Zakroth has somehow come into possession of the Ambrosia: one of the Divine Artifacts. She knows that the artifact can be used to become a god, but she doesn't know the details. She also knows that Narsus desires an audience with the heroes, and that the Ambrosia is one of the items that he requires for his ritual. She wants to assist Narsus, as long as the heroes promise not to steal him away.

Narsus behaves the same way no matter how the heroes manage to gain an audience—he's like a proud puppy, ignorant of all the death and destruction required to obtain this audience. Although he is initially depressed, he brightens noticeably at the party's arrival. He's heard stories of the heroes, and he is excited that they've come. But he has no real interest in being rescued. Narsus doesn’t care about Aresia or Mytros. He likes Queen Helen, because she attends to his every need. He's mostly forgotten about Ekoh. Narsus really only cares about himself. He wants to become a god again, so that he can regain his legendary beauty. He can still polymorph into his human guise, but he's lost the divine luster that he once possessed. Narsus explains that he's spent the last few years communing with his mother, and he's discovered the secret to becoming a god. He will gladly help the heroes become gods too, if they will only assist him.

The Divine Artifacts Narsus needs three powerful items to perform the ritual: the Caduceus, the Ambrosia, and the Promethean Fire. He suggests that the heroes start by retrieving the Caduceus and the Ambrosia. If pressed, he will also tell them what he knows about the Promethean Fire and give the heroes a map that shows the location of the sunken city.

• The Caduceus. The Caduceus is buried in the tomb

of Karpathos, the first king of Aresia. Unfortunately, Karpathos is a vampire lord, which makes retrieving this item an extremely dangerous task. Refer to the Tomb of Karpathos for details. • The Ambrosia. The Ambrosia is in possession of a dangerous minotaur warlord. The minotaur has used the Ambrosia to become a charismatic, god-like figure. He is gathering tribes of centaurs, gigantes, and minotaurs into his own personal army. Refer to Zakroth's Prison Fort for details. • The Promethean Fire. The Promethean Fire is somewhere at the bottom of the Cerulean Gulf, hidden within the legendary sunken City of the Sirens. Refer to Chapter 11: The Sunken Kingdom for details. Finding the Artifacts The heroes can track down each of these artifacts in any order that they want. However, traveling to the sunken city is the most dangerous of the tasks. When the heroes return to Narsus with the Caduceus, the Ambrosia, and the Promethean Fire, he will perform a ritual. While the ritual doesn’t turn the heroes into gods, it does unlock the divine path. Narsus regains his godhood at this point, and he shares what the heroes must accomplish before they are able to join him. Refer to the Divine Path appendix for details.

City of Aresia The city of Aresia is the largest settlement in the Aresian peninsula. It’s famed for its martial arts temples, impressive walls, and hanging gardens. Located in the midst of a dense forest of spruce trees, the city is accessible from the Cerulean Gulf via the Thrake river. The city’s walls are the pride of its citizens. They reach 100 ft. in height, so that the ramparts overlook the forest canopy. The river cuts through the center of the city via a system of gates that can be raised and lowered. The gates are wide enough to accommodate one fullsized trireme at a time. Aresia does not have a navy, so there are rarely many ships within the city except for the traders who ferry goods between Aresia and Mytros. The city is home to the famed Aresian warrior monks, who wear red cloaks and bronze helmets, fighting with spears and shields. They have a centuries-long grudge against the armies of Mytros, with open warfare breaking out between the two cities every few decades. The most beautiful feature of the city is its hanging gardens. The gardens are watered by a system of channels that carry water from the Thrake river. At the top of the gardens is the palace where the queen lives. Centuries ago, the first queen of Aresia captured Narsus, the god of beauty, and her successors have held him prisoner there ever since.

ARESIAN FACTIONS

Aresian society is centered around the ruling queen, who also serves as high priestess of the Temple of Narsus. Aresian entertainment revolves around competitions between the city's martial monasteries.

The Queen of Aresia For the past 500 years, a queen has ruled Aresia. The Founding Queen was named Calliope, and she is famous for bringing Narsus to Aresia. She lured him here under false pretenses, but he has never truly been a prisoner, like the stories in Mytros suggest. Narsus is a lazy and vain god, so he isn’t in any hurry to leave. The current queen is Helen. She closely monitors the affairs of her palace and the Temple of Narsus, and she makes the final judgements concerning the city's future. However, she leaves most of the tiresome governing to her council of advisors. There was only ever one King of Aresia—Karpathos, the father of Calliope. His history was carefully buried. From Calliope’s reign onward, there was never another male monarch. The queens take male consorts, but no queen would suffer a king to be revered above Narsus.

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The City of Aresia Key A1. The Hanging Gardens A2. The Queen's Palace A3. Temple of Narsus A4. The Gymnasium A5. The Sanctuary A6. Temple of the Shield A7. Temple of Tranquility A8. Temple of the Shadow A9. Temple of Elements A10. The Wind Shrine A11. Temple of the Sword

A12. The Market A13. City Gates A14. South River Gate A15. Gate, Lion's Gate A16. Gate, Boar's Gate A17. Gate, Ram's Gate A18. Noble District A19. The Red Lotus A20. Gallery of Paintings A21. Merchant Coalition

The Queen’s Guards The palace is full of the Queen’s Guards, a legion of 100 warrior monks who are hand-selected by the queen. While they wear cloaks in the traditional Aresian crimson, the Queen’s Guard cloaks are made of rich velvet, trimmed in shimmering gold. By order of the queen, all of the guards are male. While they are formidable fighters, rumor has it that the queen prioritizes their physical beauty over their skills in combat. Each guard must swear an oath of loyalty, and they are not allowed to marry or have romantic relationships, under penalty of death. They serve for ten years, and they are recruited at the age of 17. The Queen’s Guards are headquartered in the barracks—two long houses in the northeastern corner of the palace grounds. In keeping with the Aresian culture, which prizes austerity, the most senior guards are stationed in the sparsely-decorated underground rooms. The junior members reside on the lavishly-decorated upper floors, giving them expansive views of the guards’ training grounds and surrounding gardens. Commander Leandros The oldest member of the Queen’s Guards, Leandros (LN martial master), is nearly 20 years older than the men under his command. He is not particularly handsome—in fact, there is a long scar running from his eyebrow to his jaw. Leandros has never lost a tournament match, though he no longer formally competes. He has served the queen faithfully for over two decades. It is widely speculated that he bears an unrequited love for the queen, for no one else has ever demonstrated such extraordinary patience with her capricious demands.

Monastic Temples Each of the temples has its own culture and tenets. The temples constantly vie for supremacy in weekly martial arts tournaments, which the Temple of the Shield has dominated for years. Aresians have a deep passion for their favorite temples, as many were raised under one particular philosophy. When the monks are not at war, they keep in top form by competing in tournaments.

ARESIAN HISTORY

Aresia was founded before the First War. There is a long history of tension between Mytros and Aresia.

Royal House History The royal house of Aresia was founded by King Karpathos and Queen Nemosyne, five hundred years ago. Together, they swore an oath to fight for Lutheria in the First War. However, they failed to appear when she needed them most, and she named them oathbreakers. As punishment, Lutheria cursed the king and queen to undeath, transforming them into vampires. The entire royal family was consumed by the curse, with the exception of one daughter, named Calliope. Karpathos and his wife made their lair in a tomb near Aresia, hunting by night and preying on the people of the city. Calliope rallied her warriors and trapped her parents and their vampire spawn in the tomb. Thereafter, Calliope took the mantle of queen and sought peace with Mytros to atone for her parents’ treachery. But then, during one of her diplomatic visits, she became enamored with Narsus and absconded with him, causing a permanent rift between the two cities.

The Aresian Campaigns In the past 500 years, there have been at least twelve wars between Aresia and Mytros. This number varies depending on which historian one consults: each city claims victory in at least seven of the wars. The Aresians frequently boast that no siege has ever successfully breached their walls—and this is true, but they have often been crushed on the battlefield by the phalanxes of Mytros. On the other hand, Mytros boasts that their armies are unstoppable on the battlefield—but the warrior monks of Aresia have repeatedly razed entire districts of Mytros to the ground. In spite of this long-standing rivalry, the two cities depend on trade with one another, and fleets of merchant ships regularly carry goods from one city to the other, even during times of war.

Narsus, God of Beauty Narsus is revered by the city as the God of Beauty. He is egotistical, lazy, and arrogant. Long ago, he abandoned his siblings and sought an easy life among mortals. Almost every woman he met wanted to marry him, so he decided to make a game out of it. He proposed a contest to kill a white stag, offering his hand to whoever succeeded at the seemingly-impossible task. Most contenders gave up the hunt after the first year, but the oread huntress, Ekoh, was obsessed with Narsus. She spent years searching for the stag and finally killed it. Triumphant, she returned to Mytros to claim the god's hand in marriage —but she was too late. Queen Calliope of Aresia had seduced Narsus, luring him away to Aresia, where he’s been kept ever since. Ch apter 10 | The New Pa ntheon

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Ekoh is furious that Calliope violated the rules of the contest, and she has been trying for centuries to reclaim him. This is why Narsus must be kept hidden—and why the walls of Aresia grew to 100 feet in height. Calliope established the Temple of Narsus to attend to his every need, knowing that he would be too lazy to leave. Calliope tricked Ekoh into cutting her hair during the hunt, and her priestesses use this lock of this hair for scrying spells, so that they can watch her from afar and prevent her from assassinating the queen.

RUMORS IN ARESIA

These are the latest rumors that are passing through the taverns of the city. Rumors in Aresia d20

Rumor

1–2

There’s an enchanted painting in the city's famous gallery that is worth at least 20,000 gp.

3–4

After 500 years, the Grandmaster of Tranquility is still searching for the perfect olive. Everyone thinks he's crazy.

5–6

The ancient Order of Dragonlords has been restored! They have hundreds of dragons!

7–8

The shield in the tavern was once owned by Stolos, a great hero of Aresian history. He was the unbeatable warrior who established the Temple of the Shield.

9–10

The shield monks have won the armed combat event every week for an entire a year. People are starting to wonder if it’s rigged.

This is a random encounter table with interesting events that help bring the city alive.

11–12

Narsus is no longer making his monthly public appearances. Queen Helen has offered no explanation for his absence.

Random Encounters in Aresia

13–14

There is idle speculation about the identity of the Grandmaster of the Shadow. It is one of the greatest mysteries in Aresia.

THE CITY WALLS

The city walls are constantly patrolled by hundreds of soldiers and warrior monks, who rotate between the different gates throughout the day. The walls are 100 feet high and contructed with heavily-fortified stone masonry that has been painted white. To reach the top of the walls, guards must climb spiraling stairways accessed from the interior side of each gate.

RANDOM ENCOUNTERS

d20

Encounter

1–2

The heroes are approached on the street by an extremely persistent olive merchant.

15–16

3–4

A group of middle-aged merchant women recognize you as the bumbling oafs who are the punchlines of satirical plays in Aresia.

There’s a rumor that there are tunnels beneath the city that connect the palace to each of the temples.

17–18

A proud Aresian warrior monk singles out the most powerful-looking hero and challenges them to a hand-to-hand duel.

An army of centaurs and gigantes have been gathering in the forest. They have been called together by the mad warlord Zakroth.

19–20

The queen's servants say that the treasury in the palace is haunted by an ancient ghost.

5–6

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7–8

A young street urchin pickpockets a magic item from one of the heroes and tries to sell it back to them.

9–10

Two Aresian warrior monks ask the heroes to oil up their bodies; they are heading to the gymnasium and need to oil up first.

11–12

An aspiring young portraitist asks the most beautiful hero to pose for a painting.

13–14

A man with an annoying voice stands on a street corner, trying to convert anyone within earshot to worship the Five.

15–16

A crowd of citizens runs away screaming from a puzzled female oread. “Ekoh the huntress has come to destroy us and steal our god!”

17–18

A portly merchant offers to ferry the heroes down the river on his party barge. Two naiads lounge on the barge, urging them on.

19–20

An elaborately-dressed woman runs screaming down the street, chased by an aggressive peaco*ck that escaped from the Gardens.

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KEY LOCATIONS A1. Hanging Gardens 

Located on a hill resting just below the palace, these gardens spill over a huge, terraced green space. You can hear the calls of peaco*cks from halfway across the city. The garden offers a tranquil space for meditation. The gentle sound of rushing water rises from irrigation canals that are carefully hidden throughout the garden. 

The gardens are visible from almost anywhere in the city, and many upper class Aresians pass long hours beneath the lush, exotic vegetation. Enchanted Olive Grove. The olives here can be harvested daily. Each olive begins the day as a fresh green fruit, but it ripens to a rich purple near sunset. Legend

has it that these unique olive trees were gifted to the Aresian settlers by centaur druids before the First War, and they are sacred trees of the Mother Goddess. The Gardeners. The gardeners are led by a handsome stoic named Diocletes (NG centaur druid). He and his team are forbidden to speak on the job. This is a rule long enforced by the nobility, who wish for a quiet place to gather and gossip. Diocletes stands a full head above his team, and the queen often admires him from her palace balcony on clear days.

A2. The Queen's Palace 

The Queen's Palace sits at the highest point in Aresia, overlooking the hanging gardens. The architecture is elegant and free of ornamentation. Beautiful green ivy climbs up the white limestone walls. The top floors are open-air passages, where you can often see flickers of crimson cloaks, as royal guards patrol the palace. 

the queen takes many lovers, often her own guards and servants, though she tires of them quickly and never lets any of them sleep in her bed. The queen is often the only woman in the palace. She surrounds herself with handsome men, hoping to make Narsus jealous. Leandros (LN martial master) is the commander of the royal guard. He is usually found beside the queen at formal functions or keeping a watchful eye on the guards at the training yard. Due to a series of recent break-ins at the palace, he’s looking for someone to help him investigate. Nothing has been stolen—yet. If the party investigates, they discover that acolytes from the Temple of the Shadow (A8) have been sneaking into the palace through secret tunnels at night. They are seeking some way to steal the Palladium. The Palace Treasury 

The grounds include several buildings: the main palace, the bathhouse, and the surrounding guard towers. Near the rear of the grounds are the guards’ barracks and the servants’ quarters. The barracks house the queen's legion of royal guards (warrior monks), who wear distinctive crimson velvet cloaks trimmed in gold. Queen Helen (NG noble) serves as ruler of the city and high priestess of the Temple of Narsus. She can be found in her throne room during formal functions, and her personal chambers when off-duty. The queen is never seen in public without an entourage of her young, handsome guards. She is in love with Narsus, who hasn’t made a public appearance in decades. In spite of this,

This marble chamber in the basem*nt of the palace houses a small golden orb that rests on a velvet pillow. The room is guarded by twenty crimson-cloaked warriors. The room is lit by seven oil lamps. 

The treasury houses a magical artifact called the Palladium. So long as it is housed within the palace, all siege weapons defending the city have advantage on attacks, and the walls of the city have resistance to damage. This artifact is the reason why the armies of Mytros have never breached the walls of Aresia. The Palace Ghost. This ghost appears only at night. He once served under the ancient king, Karpathos, but has forgotten his own name. He refers to the heroes as “Warriors from Mytros” and offers them the chance to dethrone the queen. He wants the party to escort Ch apter 10 | The New Pa ntheon

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Karpathos into the palace through the secret tunnels at night and restore him to the throne. He claims that his master is generous and will reward them handsomely. Treasure. In addition to the Palladium, the treasury contains twenty gem-studded masks crafted from various precious metals, worth 1,000 gp each. There is also a locked adamantine chest that contains 25,000 gp. Opening the chest requires a successful DC 25 Dexterity check using thieves' tools.

A3. Temple of Narsus 

This temple is located at the center of the palace grounds. In stark contrast to the simple elegance of Aresian design, the building is covered with ornate engravings and golden statuary. 

This temple is full of mirrors, and it has ceilings covered in gold leaf. Despite its name, Narsus rarely comes here. The temple primarily serves as a convent for his priestesses. The priestesses of the temple (LG acolytes) are selected at age 12 for their loyalty to the queen, and they serve for twelve years, retiring at the age of 24. They wear silky gowns and scarves wrapped to conceal everything except their eyes—the queen brooks no competition for the affection of the God of Beauty. The people of Aresia believe that Narsus loves their city and blesses them with his presence. Accordingly, the servants attend to his every need, day and night.

A4. The Gymnasium 

The gymnasium is a massive, imposing structure that stands several stories high. From within can be heard the echoes of warriors hard at work: heavy grunting, clangs of dulled weapons, and energetic shouts as they move through various demonstrations. 

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Events • Armed Combat. The most popular and competitive event by far, armed combat is dominated by warriors from the Temple of the Shield. Most events showcase their expertise in the shield-and-spear techniques. Tournament regulations require spears and other weapons to be blunted to minimize injuries, but events are often bloody regardless. There are also champions from other disciplines, including the Temple of the Sword. Warriors from the Temple of Tranquility are famous for taking down armed opponents with simple weapons, such as slings. • Boxing. The Temple of Tranquility often dominates this event, which rewards speed and solid footwork. Competitors wrap their fists with linens and compete to knock each other out. The event uses a raised boxing ring, and this is the only event where spectators are allowed on the sands. • Wrestling. This event focuses on unarmed techniques. Fought on mats, competitors follow strict rules while trying to force their opponents to the ground to surrender. During this event, warriors develop colorful personas and complex storylines, much to the delight of children in the city. • Shot Put. The least popular of all the events, shot put competitors throw heavy stones and occasionally hammers. The goal is to launch them as far as possible. In the past, the Temple of the Elements won too many trophies in this event using secret techniques, so they are currently banned from participating.

A5. The Sanctuary 

The interior of this large domed building is humid from steam baths, which have been infused with salts to ease injuries. Lush vegetation and trickling water dampens the noise from the nearby gymnasium.

This is one of the most famous structures in Aresia— and the most highly trafficked. It contains rows of stands for thousands of spectators, and an open central arena covered in sand. During the week, warriors come here to train on weightlifting equipment, but it gets cleared away on weekends for events and tournaments. Aresian Tournaments. The biggest tournament happens each week on seventhday, when most of the city shuts down and fills the stands. There are also attached facilities for bathing and grooming, and warriors in the arena take great care to oil their bodies and display their muscles to perfection. Daily Demonstrations. While the secrets of each martial discipline are confined to their temples, the gymnasium is where warriors train when they wish to be

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seen. Even on training days, there are delighted onlookers in the stands, whether aspiring young warriors or older Aresians admiring the beauty of the human form.

This sanctuary is attached to the Gymnasium (A4). It includes a small shrine for praying to the gods and an infirmary where warriors can recover from injuries. The shrine is the domed building attached to the gymnasium to the southeast, and the infirmary includes the buildings to the north and east. The Infirmary. Many warriors need healing after events and tournaments at the Gymnasium. The head priest here, Lennicus (NE dwarf priest), gambles on the events, and is it rumored that he makes a tidy profit. He goes by the name “Lenny,” and he considers it his job to patch up competitors—rather than coddle them — so they can get back into the fight as quickly as possible.

Shrine of Luck. This shrine offers services including healing and other priestly spells. It houses statues of each of the Gods and Titans—competitors come here to pray “for luck.” However, it is clear which gods are favored, as Thylea’s statue is draped with garlands, and Pythor’s is caked with red paint. Narsus’s statue is the most elegant of all, shimmering in gold leaf and surrounded by flowers. Kyrah’s statue has some offerings (including small paintings and music scrolls), but the statues of Mytros and Vallus are falling into disrepair.

Siren Attendant. Pyrrha is a siren who sings day and night for Narsus. Queen Helen is intensely jealous of her, and has attempted many schemes to get her sent away. However, Narsus is soothed by her singing voice, and refuses to let her leave. Pyrrha is deeply in love with Narsus, but all he’s ever said in return is how much he loves her songs. There are whispers that Pyrrha possesses a map to the long lost kingdom of the sirens. Meeting Narsus. Whenever the party meets Narsus for the first time, refer to the Audience with Narsus section for narration text and details.

A6. Temple of the Shield 

This temple sits high on a hill just north of the palace, in close proximity to the city's seat of power. Warriors march through this area in disciplined formations, wearing brilliant red cloaks and heavy shields polished to perfection. 

Chamber of Beauty Located beneath the temple, there is a winding series of caverns concealed within the depths of the hill. This is where Narsus (CN young bronze dragon) resides, attended to by his priestesses and Pyrrha (CG siren mage). The outer chambers are guarded by twenty shield monks (warrior monks), but they are never permitted to enter his chambers. Few besides the priestesses have laid eyes on Narsus in recent years, and the warriors posted here consider it a kind of punishment.

This temple stands at the top of a long, steep path that winds its way around a forested mountain in the south part of the city. The temple courtyard is decorated with white sand gardens and bamboo fountains. There is little sound except the shuffling of feet and the soft rustling of wind through the trees.

This temple teaches the legendary Aresian fighting style, the Way of the Shield. This is the most prestigious martial arts temple in the city, and masters here teach techniques that have long challenged the fearsome phalanxes of Mytros. The school’s reputation is well-earned; this is a highly regimented and organized temple where everything is polished to a spit-shine. As the strictest of the Aresian temples, discipline here is a top priority. In order to maintain the image of the temple, those perceived as soft and slovenly are routinely culled, no matter how impressive their past achievements may be. The temple’s proximity to the queen is a symbol of its importance, as their warriors guard the chamber of Narsus himself, located deep within the hill beneath their temple. Grandmaster of the Shield Halcyon (LG human martial master) reigns as Grandmaster of the Shield. She is hyper-competitive, and extremely tough on her students. She expects the absolute best at all times—from others and herself. She has mothered many sons and daughters who are now elite warriors at the Temple of the Shield. Halcyon has been hard on them, and several of them are resentful. But she wants her warriors to make the queen proud— many are eventually selected to join the royal guard.

A7. Temple of Tranquility

This temple teaches both the Tranquility and Open Hand monastic traditions. Reaching the temple requires a strenuous hike, but the master here claims that this long walk facilitates contemplation. Younger monks who train at this temple are expected to spend years gathering olives before they are taught any martial techniques. There is a joke among the younger monks that the real lesson of the school is patience, as the master only seems to train those who have turned gray and wrinkled with age. It is no surprise, then, why this school has the highest drop-out rate of any temple in Aresia. Grandmaster of Tranqulity Laertes (NG human martial master) has served as Grandmaster of Tranquility for longer than anyone can remember. He is a wizened old man with a seemingly impossible number of wrinkles and a long, braided white beard. While he never states his age, there is speculation that he is at least 500 years old. Laertes famously subsists on a single olive per day, and most of his day is an elaborately-constructed ritual around this single olive. Most of the monks-in-training spend hours walking across the city to the enchanted olive grove, where they pick a single ripe olive at dusk. They must then walk all the way back to present their olives before Laertes, who goes through a lengthy ritual to select a single olive to eat. Laertes rarely speaks, but the monks closest to him believe that he is on the quest to find the perfect olive, and he refuses to die until he’s enjoyed it. Many aspiring monks leave the school in frustration, but veteran students profess the wisdom of Laertes: that patience is the key to enlightenment.

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Grandmaster of the Shadow The Grandmaster here is called the Shadowmaster, and no one knows her identity—not even her own students. The Shadowmaster disguises herself as a jovial innkeeper at the tavern named Jocasta, (LE elven assassin). This plump elven woman has been the city’s spymaster for 500 years, and her loyalty to the throne is waning. She’s grown tired of the capricious, selfish queen. The Shadowmaster's Plot. If the heroes ask questions about Narsus while in Aresia, it is likely that one of Jocasta’s spies will notice this and bring them to the Shadowmaster’s attention. Jocasta will meet with the heroes and try to strike a deal. She knows where they can find Narsus, but in exchange for that information, she would like them to help her kill the Queen.

The Shadowmaster

A9. Temple of the Elements 

This temple is located near the center of the city, in the bustling heart of the market district. From inside can be heard the crunching of rocks, the crackling of fire, the splashing of water, and the rushing of wind.

Our loyalty to the Lady of Dreams does not waver, even in the event of her death. - Chondrus, Priest of Lutheria

A8. Temple of the Shadow 

This black temple is located south of the palace, on a hill overlooking the city. The building is deadly quiet and unsettlingly still. In the dark of night, it seems to swallow the light around it. 

The most secretive of all the temples, this school teaches the monastic tradition called the Way of Shadow. Their members are trained to become spies and assassins, and they often serve as secret police for the queen. They move in the shadows, and their exact numbers are unknown. It is believed that they also have agents in Mytros, to keep an eye on their rival city. Cult of Lutheria. It is a closely-guarded secret that students of this temple worship Lutheria. They keep several shrines to the Mistress of Death. At any given time, there are at least three captives here being tortured for information. The queens of Aresia have long suspected this, but they turn a blind eye to it. Secret Tunnels. There are secret passages connecting this temple to the queen’s chambers, so that she can meet directly with her spies. There is also a secret passage that leads to The Red Lotus (A19), allowing shadow monks to slip into the city inconspicuously. 260

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This temple teaches the monastic tradition called the Way of the Four Elements. They focus on elemental techniques to control air, water, earth, and fire. Unlike the other temples, the students here are less combat focused and instead help with the marketplace and city maintenance. Water and earth specialists help ensure that the marketplace runs smoothly, and assist with stocking and boat traffic. Many of the monks are tasked with management of the city’s vital utilities, including the aqueducts, the masonry, lighting and dousing the torches, and more. While elemental monks are not highly respected as warriors in Aresia, they are seen as vital to the city’s day-to-day operations. Grandmaster of the Elements An imposing presence, Taureus (NG minotaur berserker) serves as Grandmaster of the Elements. Tall and broad even by minotaur standards, Taureus is jovial but has a keen business sense. While he is trained in the Way of the Four Elements, he mostly works as a master merchant, overseeing the bazaar and keeping a watchful eye out for smugglers. Master of Ceremonies. Taureus also serves as master of ceremonies at the gymnasium, as his booming voice can be heard from even the highest seats. He specializes in earth-manipulation techniques, and his decade-long winning streak in shot put is the reason why elemental monks have been banned from the event. Proud Minotaur. Taureas has no love for the people of Mytros, because they keep his people as slaves. If he learns that one of the heroes is from Mytros, he will demand to know where they stand on the issue.

A11. Temple of the Sword

Minotaurs in Aresia

Minotaurs are not subject to the same prejudices in Aresia that they are in Mytros. Minotaurs dwell here in peace with their fellow citizens, and bulls are never offered as sacrifices to the gods, out of respect for them. The Aresians are proud of this fact and lord it over the 'barbaric' Mytrosians.

A10. The Wind Shrine 

This shrine is seated on a hill in the northwestern corner of the city. It appears to be a fortified temple that overlooks the surrounding landscape, giving a clear view for miles. As you approach, you can hear the ringing of dozens of wind chimes. 

This humble temple rests on a small hill that overlooks the northeastern gate of Aresia. It has no special ornamentation, save for the temple’s symbol, forged in iron. Warriors can be seen training in the open courtyard, moving through sword forms in slow, deliberate movements. Others are frozen in meditation.

This shrine serves as a base for the 1,000 scouts who patrol the woods beyond Aresia. The general here shares command of the scouts with the Temple of the Sword (A11). The chimes serve as an indicator of robust trade winds, and those stationed here must grow accustomed to the constant jangling of chimes. When the chimes grow quiet, it usually signals the calm before a storm. The Horn of War. The shrine houses a large bronze horn that is used to recall scouts from the wilderness. When the horn blows twice, the keepers of the aqueducts seal the river gates. When the horn blows thrice, all the warriors of Aresia scramble to their posts and line the walls with their spears. The horn was gifted to the city by Sydon, and it is held in place by a large statue of the storm titan. Sailors often visit this statue to pay their respects before setting out on long voyages. The General As commander of a thousand scouts scattered in the wilderness, General Niobe (LN gladiator) has one of the hardest jobs in the city. While she takes pride in her work, decades on the job have taken their toll on her. She is mostly deaf from years stationed in the Wind Shrine, and the one thing she looks forward to each week are the tournaments. Playing Matchmaker. Niobe has a longstanding crush on Hiero, Grandmaster of the Temple of the Sword (A11), a reserved man with whom she’s worked intimately for decades. She asks him to marry her each year, but he refuses, claiming that he cannot marry until his honor is restored. If the party is intrested in helping her, then they should speak to Hiero.

This temple is responsible for guarding the two northern gates of the city, both land and river. This is the smallest martial temple, having no formal recruitment process. The masters here emphasize self-discipline and training in total silence. They follow the stoic philosophy of showing humility before the gods, focusing on doing good work—and most importantly, not complaining or asking for more. While the shield monks enforce discipline with an iron hand, sword monks are expected to develop it naturally. The masters only draw their sword when they intend to cut the enemy. Grandmaster of the Sword Grandmaster Hiero (LG, half-elven veteran) never sought to be a leader. He earned his title after many battles against the armies of Mytros. During one such battle, Hiero won an ancient mithral honorblade, and for years he believed that he was worthy of the sword. Returning the Blade. Recently, Hiero was defeated in a duel by the mad warlord, Zakroth, who severed his right arm and claimed the honorblade as a trophy. Hiero has lived all his life as a stoic—he accepts his failure, but it has left him just a shadow of his former self. If the party returns the blade to him, then he will be deeply moved, and he will finally agree to marry Niobe (A10).

A12. The Market 

Set between the Boar’s Gate and Ram’s Gate, the market sprawls across both sides of the river. It is a crowded, bustling area filled with stalls and the shouts of vendors. You can see laborers unloading goods from ships along the river and hauling them to the shops. 

The market is open every day except for seventhday, widely known as Tournament Day. Aspiring artists are often seen on Ram’s Gate and in the street, hoping to catch the eye of wealthy merchant patrons. As the chief source of olives and olive oil, Aresia offers them at a bargain and sells many olive-themed treats and goods for tourists. Many of the imported goods come from Mytros—everything from wine to metals, cloth, and dry goods. Occasionally, the market draws Ch apter 10 | The New Pa ntheon

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protestors who claim that many Mytrosian goods are made with slave labor, but most turn a blind eye, as both cities depend on a healthy trade relationship. Zanner’s Wine Emporium 

This shop is cramped and dimly-lit. There appears to be an open cellar door in the center of the room, from which cool, dry air escapes. The racks along the walls are filled with painted clay jugs. 

For anyone seeking wine, Zanner (LG human noble) is happy to oblige. Originally from Mytros, he left his family behind to make his fortune in Aresia. Zanner is a theatrical salesman who pushes his products hard. He keeps the most expensive wines in the cellar.

• Kalamata Olives (25 gp). Considered the king of

table olives, this is the most popular and beloved olive. They are deep purple in color, with a tight, shiny skin and an elegant almond shape. Preserved in red wine, this variety offers a smoky, fruity flavor. • Agrinion Olives (50 gp). Grown near the sea, these rare olives come from some of the oldest olive trees in the world. Elie sells the light green variety, which have a fruity taste. • Aresian Olive Oil (100 gp). A staple of Aresian cuisine and lifestyle, Aresian olive oil is one of the most popular souvenirs. Pressed from the small, regal Koroneiki olives, it is golden-green in color and offers a fresh and fruity flavor. It's even rumored to possess magical properties! Making Potions with Aresian Olives

• Aresian Courage (5 gp). Considered the only true

Aresian wine, this local favorite is mildly sour and made from plums. It is favored by warriors looking to improve their luck before tournaments. • Agiorgitiko (10 gp). The most popular wine in Mytros. A lush, velvety red with black-cherry flavors. • Xinomavro (50 gp). A strong wine, popular for victory celebrations after tournaments. This red wine has floral and spice aromas, and a firm tannis. • Malagousia (100 gp). A rare wine from Mytros with notes of citrus, peach, and melon. Queen Helen orders a batch of this every week. 

This shop is prominently located next to Ram’s Gate. It is painted with colorful murals of olive trees, and it seems to be something of a local landmark, with dozens of shoppers crowding the interior. 

Renowned across Thylea, Elie’s is the destination for olives. Catering to tourists and locals alike, there is an olive here for even the most discriminating connoisseur. Elie (NG human noble) is charming and polite to tourists, but she charges them double the usual rates, unless they have performed some great service for the city. The Perfect Olive. If asked about the 'perfect olive', Elie says that the peninsula's centaur druids supposedly know the secret to cultivating the perfect olive. Agrius, the King of the Centaurs, is rumored to possess the legendary seeds of the perfect olive tree.

• Amfissa Olives (10 gp). One of the most common

olives, they are slowly brined with sea salt to bring out a mild, fruity flavor. They are prized for their soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture, and work well in recipes and as appetizers. Elie sells them in a single jar containing both black and green varieties.

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Belan's Adventuring Gear 

This crowded market stall boasts rows of bronze weapons and armor. Many of the items are marked with the names and dates of famous tournament victories. 

Elie’s Olive Emporium 

Potions created with Aresian olive oil have improved effects. Add 1 die of the same type to any roll made for such potions. For example, a potion of healing restores an additional 1d4 hit points when crafted using this olive oil.

This shop is run by Belan (NG human gladiator). He loves to recount the tale of the tournament he narrowly lost to Halcyon, when she won the Grandmaster title. He was so ashamed that he went into exile for 5 years. He also talks endlessly of Speio, the daughter he fathered with Halcyon, and he proudly watches her rise in the tournament ranks from the sidelines. Belan's Merchandise. Belan sells every kind of non-magical weapon, armor, and adventuring gear listed in the 5th Edition Player's Book. Many of the items are commemorative in nature and come with long stories. Haidee's Curiosities 

This store is surprisingly sparse. A small halfling woman reclines in a comfortable chair at the center of the room, reading from a stack of large books. 

This shop is run by Haidee (NG halfling mage), who studied at the Academy in Mytros. After hearing of Narsus’ beauty, she decided to make the journey to Aresia. However, in the time since she’s arrived, he’s never once made an appearance in public. Haidee keeps her magical goods in a bag of holding.

is manned at all times by 12 guards (NE soldiers). The guards stationed here are friendly with many merchants and wealthy individuals in the city. This makes them more susceptible to bribery.

Haidee's Magic Items Item

Cost

potion of climbing

100 gp

elixir of health

500 gp

wind fan

500 gp

dagger of warning

1,000 gp

dimensional shackles

A16. Gate, Boar’s Gate 

This gate is painted with the likeness of a boar.

2,000 gp 

A13. City Gates 

Standing 100 feet high, each of the city's entry gates is guarded by a dozen vigilant soldiers and two ballistae. The heavy wooden gates are painted white and set into solid stone. Each gate is apparently opened with a system of bronze pulleys. 

There are four routes into the city by land. These are protected by large gates, located at the northwest, northeast, southeast, and southwest corners of Aresia. The fortifications at each gate can accommodate up to 60 soldiers and warrior monks during a siege.

A17. Gate, Ram’s Gate

A18. Noble Estates 

This massive gate connects the city to the Cerulean Gulf via the Thrake River, making it the primary gate through which ships enter the city. Merchant ships are lined up at the gate, as soldiers inspect their cargo. 

These gates are heavily-fortified and guarded by two dozen warrior monks. Trading vessels must pass through here to enter the city. Customs are conducted between the double gates, which sometimes causes lineups of ships outside the gates.

This gate is just south of the tavern. Consequently, the guards here are less vigilant. People often sneak them drinks from the tavern, and the lack of administrative duties at this quiet gate often leads to laziness. The gate

This is where the Aresian nobility have their estates. In keeping with Aresian custom, they keep their servants in luxury, while they themselves apparently forgo such comforts. In practice, they are no less spoiled than the nobility of Mytros, but they are better at hiding it.

A19. The Red Lotus 

The warm interior of this tavern carries the pleasant aroma of roasting seafood and spicy smoke. The main room is dominated by a massive fireplace and filled with boisterous conversation. An ancient bronze shield decorates the wall above the hearth.

This gate is painted with the likeness of a lion.

This part of the city is dominated by wealthy estates with beautiful marble fountains and lush gardens.

A15. Gate, Lion’s Gate

This gate marks the northern end of the market. It is closed for an hour each morning so people can easily be ferried across the markets. On market days, the bridge across the gate is filled with artists and musicians. It is manned at all times by 12 guards (NG soldiers).

A14. South River Gate

This gate is painted with the likeness of a ram.

Bolt. Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 120/480 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (3d10) piercing damage. The ballista has advantage on its attacks if the Palladium is in the city.

This gate is manned by 12 warrior monks from the Temple of the Elements who take pride in the city and take their defensive duties seriously. At sundown, the monks make a patrol around the marina to light the city’s lanterns (thereby reducing their force to 6 for one hour at sundown). This gate is closed for an hour each morning so people can easily be ferried across during the prime market hour.

Defensive Ballista Attacks

This tavern hosts a lively crowd of sailors, merchants, and warriors. Centrally located just off the river, it is accessible by boat or by foot. Everyone in the city is familiar with the Red Lotus—it's the social heart of the city, and it's much less stuffy than the hanging gardens. Ch apter 10 | The New Pa ntheon

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Shield of Stolos. The shield above the hearth is etched with spiraling meander patterns. Legend suggests that this shield was once used by Stolos, the famous warrior who established the Temple of the Shield. Notable NPCs • Jocasta (LE elven assassin) is the jovial innkeeper and barkeep. She is secretly the Shadowmaster (A8). Jocasta presents herself as an empty-headed flirt, but she is perhaps the sharpest mind in the city. Jocasta takes care of her patrons, using her position to collect valuable information from the merchants and other travelers who pass through Aresia. • The Grandmaster of the Elements, Taureus (NG minotaur hero) can often be found here. As master of ceremonies for the tournaments, he enjoys boasting of the upcoming competitions. He also loves showing off his collection of shot put medals, which he just happens to carry with him at all times. • There is often a group of young students from the Temple of Tranquility, who fill a corner booth and complain loudly. They gripe endlessly about the grandmaster, who constantly sends them to fetch olives and never seems to teach them anything. • There is a small group of silent warriors with sheathed blades who appear taciturn and watchful. These seven veterans are from the Temple of the Sword. Menu at the Red Lotus • Appetizer Plate (5 gp). Dolmas, tabbouleh, and threebean salad. Served with tzatziki and pita bread. • Za’atar Shrimp (10 gp). Shrimp coated in a homemade spice blend, cooked with a white wine-olive oil sauce and peppers. Served over rice. • White Fish Ramen Bowl (10 gp). Seared white fish and vegetables in a rich, savory broth. Ask for regular or “warrior style” (no noodles). • Agiorgitiko (20 gp). The most popular wine in Mytros. A lush, velvety red with black-cherry flavors. • Celebration Feast (50 gp). One of everything, plus a shot of the sour plum wine, Aresian Courage.

A20. Gallery of Paintings 

This gallery is a square-shaped building in the northern end of the city with a distinctive dome-shaped tower. It overlooks the east side of the river, affording spectacular views from the third-floor, open air gallery. Inside is cool and quiet. Visitors speak in hushed, reverent tones, admiring the gallery's collection of hundreds of masterwork paintings. 

While sculpture and philosophy are prized in Mytros, painting is the order of the day in Aresia. This gallery is entirely dedicated to the art. Notable paintings include portraits of all the queens, famous warriors (such as 264

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Stolos), various grandmasters, and even the gods. There are also greatly romanticized landscapes of other regions in Thylea, from a time when there was less travel between the cities. Enchanted Painting. Inside the gallery, there is a well-guarded painting of the First Aresian King, Karpathos the Wolf Lord. The painting is rumored to be enchanted—the painter was so talented that he supposedly captured the king's soul. It is rumored that someone in Mytros wants to buy it for 20,000 gold. Portrait of Karpathos If the painting is destroyed, it removes Karpathos’s ability to assume gaseous form. This means that if he is ever reduced to 0 hit points, he is destroyed forever. This is valuable information that Jocasta (the Shadowmaster) will share with the heroes as a way to gain their trust.

Pelegon and the Artists’ Guild Pelegon (LG human commoner) is the most famous portraitist in Aresia. He has been perfecting his art for decades, and came to Aresia to paint Narsus. However, Narsus has refused to appear, and Pelegon has been the vocal leader of a protest, demanding to see Narsus. He has organized the Artists’ Guild, a group of the best portraitists, landscape artists, and more, who now refuse to paint for the queen until Narsus is released. Pelegon offers to paint splendid portraits of all the heroes if they agree to bring him to the Chamber of Beauty (A6).

A21. Merchant Headquarters 

This merchant headquarters is a modest building near the marina, just southeast of Lion’s Gate. Sailors seem to haul portions of their cargo here for inspection before it can be loaded onto the ships. 

This building is the headquarters for the Coalition of Merchants, an organization led by Aketa (NG tiefling merchant). Aketa was born in Mytros and raised in Aresia. She processes arriving ships and grants commissions to sailors who trade with Mytros. The Coalition represents merchants from both cities, who work together to promote trade. The constant influx of gold and goods has created long-standing stability in spite of centuries of sporadic warfare. The Sunken Kingdom. Aketa has long been obsessed with finding the legendary lost City of the Sirens. When the party obtains the map to the Sunken Kingdom, Aketa may reach out and offer to fund the expedition in exchange for a small portion (10% gold value) of the treasure. She can finance ships, crew, and other equipment. She offers the party seven scrolls of waterbreathing as a gesture of respect and good will.

Zakroth's Prison Fort This fortress was constructed recently. It was built to house hostages from many different centaur and minotaur tribes, who have gathered into a fearsome army. The army is commanded by Zakroth, an evil minotaur warlord who seeks to become a god. The prison fort is a large four-story building made from logs, dirt, and other natural substances. Plants and trees grow on the outer walls and roof of the building. It is surrounded by miles of forest in all directions.

Zakroth, Mad Warlord Zakroth is a legendary slave-warrior who fought for Mytros against Aresia in several wars. He slaughtered hundreds of Aresians, but his master refused to free him. Eventually, he turned against both cities and led a slave revolt before retreating to the Aresian Peninsula. The Ambrosia. During his travels, Zakroth came into possession of an artifact called the Ambrosia. Drinking from this amphora grants Zakroth unnatural charisma, which he uses to manipulate his followers. Zakroth knows that the Ambrosia is one of the Divine Artifacts, and he desperately seeks to obtain the other two, so that he can ascend to godhood.

The Coalition Thylea’s most powerful centaur tribes have joined together into a massive army, which is currently scattered across the Aresian Peninsula. The centaurs have been joined by hundreds of minotaurs and gigantes under Zakroth's command. Together, they intend to make war upon all the mortal settlements of Thylea, as retribution for the defeat of the Titans.

The Ambrosia

Hergeron's Chosen. Zakroth's unnatural charisma makes him a cunning liar. He has convinced the gigantes that he was chosen by the Titan Hergeron to lead the gigantes tribes. He also persuaded Agrius, the Lord of the Centaurs, to anoint him as commander of the coalition army. Zakroth has no desire to protect the outsider tribes of centaurs, gigantes, and minotaurs—he only desires more power, by any means.

The Hostages There are four centaur hostages kept in the fort. They are the sons and daughters of the chieftains of the strongest centaur tribes. Their accommodations are modest, but they have no desire to escape captivity. They know that they must remain captives in order to keep the tribes united for Zakroth's war. Dealing with the Hostages If the heroes decide to assault the fort there are several possible outcomes.

• Kill the Hostages. The heroes can kill all of the

centaur hostages. This will ruin Zakroth's plans but enrage the centaur coalition. • Capture the Hostages. The heroes can capture the centaur hostages and bring them back to Aresia. Queen Helen can use the hostages to negotiate a truce with the centaur coalition and avoid war. • Free the Hostages. The heroes can kill Zakroth and return the hostages to their tribes. In this case, the future of the centaur coalition will depend upon the hostages' opinion of the heroes.

APPROACHING THE FORT

The fort is located two days north of Aresia. It is hidden deep within the forests of the region. This is a dangerous area that is patrolled by gigantes and minotaurs. Roll on the encounter table for every day that the party spends traveling through the woods. Random Encounters in the Forest d20

Description

1–10

No encounter

11–12

A patrol of 8 minotaurs led by a minotaur hero. They immediately attack.

13–14

A patrol of 6 gigantes and 2 gigantes captains. They immediately attack.

15–16

A lone centaur who is the brother of one of the hostages. He attempts to flee.

17–18

A hungry chimera spots the heroes while hunting from the air.

19–20

Three angry blemys named Horton, Morton, and Norton stumble upon the heroes. Ch apter 10 | The New Pa ntheon

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Arrival at the Fortress

Z2. The Cattle Pen

Read the following when the party arrives: 

Through a break in the dense fir trees, an earthen mass rises above the forest canopy. At first it appears to be a natural formation, but then you notice the broad entryway at the base. The fortress stands more than one hundred feet in height, with rough openings that serve as windows. You hear the sounds of clacking hooves and the rhythmic beat of war drums from within. 

General Features of the Fortress All of the ceilings are 20 ft. in height unless otherwise noted. All of the doors are made from wood unless otherwise noted. There are two types of doors. The small doors are 5 ft. wide and 15 ft. high. The double doors consist of two doors, each 5 ft. wide and 20 ft. high. Opening a double door is trivial for a Large-sized creature, but smaller creatures must use an action. Natural Light. All of the rooms are dimly lit by natural light that shines through gaps in the wooden walls. At night, all the rooms are pitch black.

Z1. The Entrance 

The stench of death hangs heavily in the humid air of this entryway. In the dim light, you can see six rough wooden crosses laid in a haphazard pattern across the wide courtyard, with twisted, rotting corpses nailed to them. Many wear the tattered remains of crimson cloaks. Flies swarm and buzz around them.

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Very little light filters from the rafters to the central stair. This appears to be the core of the fortress. Huge wooden planks have been inserted into an enormous tree. The planks spiral upwards like a staircase, but they are spaced more than three feet high. The roof of the structure can be seen high above, indicating the stairs will reach as far as the uppermost floor. 

The central stair is guarded by Murgrat (gigantes). Murgrat is young and more curious than most of his kind. He greets the party and asks their names. Then he proudly explains that he is one of Zakroth's warriors, and Zakroth is “Hergeron's Chosen.” He and his brothers and sisters plan to eat all the mortals in Thylea, and then Hergeron the Titan will be resurrected so that he can put the finishing touches on the gigantes race. As Murgrat explains all of this, he draws closer to the party, and his poisonous saliva splashes onto the floor. Eventually, he attacks the party and tries to eat them.

Z4. The Slaughterhouse 

The smell of death and rotting meat fills the air of this room. In the center of the bloodstained floor are hunks of meat and the remains of butchered livestock. The freshest carcasses are crawling with flies, as are several large pools of sticky blood.

The crucified bodies are Aresian warriors that came too close to the gigantes fort. Most have been dead for weeks, but one of the crucified warriors still barely lives, a dwarf named Ugulat (LN warrior monk). If Ugulat is healed, he explains the situation to the party. He describes Zakroth's history, and he says that the minotaur has clearly gone mad with power. He knows that the fort is guarded by gigantes and minotaurs. He saw a single centaur arrive a few days ago. 266

The cows, sheep, and pigs kept here are used for food by the gigantes garrison. They are in a state of perpetual terror since they can hear the butchering of the other animals in the Slaughterhouse (Z4).

KEY LOCATIONS

Z3. The Central Stair

Event: Returning War party At some point during the party's time inside the fortress, a gigantes war party returns. The war party consists of 4 gigantes and 1 gigantes witch. If the heroes have left behind any evidence of their intrusion (e.g. leaving behind dead bodies), then the war party will search them out. They might arrive as reinforcements to a fight or just as an additional encounter.

The scent of manure is overpowering in this area. Gleaming eyes can be seen in the dim lights, and soft bleats and snorts are offered almost apologetically. The large space is sectioned off into uneven pens with splintered boards. Malnourished cows, sheep, and pigs cower in the corners.

This is where livestock is taken to be butchered for meat. Currently a minotaur hero is butchering the carcass of a cow. When he notices the party, the minotaur retreats to the Kitchen (Z6) to get help from the maenads there. He then fights to the death.

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Z5. The Abattoir

The carcasses of the animals are hung here to be drained of blood. The room has been infested by a flock of twenty stirges which are eagerly sucking the blood.

as a hostage. Lesia attempts to converse with the party, trying to ascertain why they have invaded the fortress. Lesia's Request. Zakroth has so far refused to allow Lesia to see her brother. She asks the party to escort her to The Prison (Z11), so that she can free him. She cautions the party that the centaurs should be treated with respect, or else her father will be very angry. Lesia has serious doubts about Zakroth's leadership, so the party can convince her that he is an enemy with a successful DC 15 Charisma (Persuasion) check. If the heroes threaten Lesia, then she will use her shapeshifting ability to transform into a snake and attempt to escape through holes in the floor.

Z6. The Kitchen

Z9. The Main Hall

The skinned bodies of a dozen pigs and cows dangle on hooks from the ceiling, their draining blood dripping like rain from above. A wide, shallow trough runs down the middle of the floor, channeling the blood into a pool where it is collected for later use. 

This kitchen is full of sharp knives, forks, and other wicked-looking utensils. Mountains of raw meat sit on crushed ice, vegetables are piled in enormous barrels, and giant tubs of water line the walls. 

This enormous hall spans almost the entire width of the tower. Savory scents fill the air. A huge table sits at the center, standing eight feet high, with a dozen oversized chairs scattered around it. Six gigantes recline in the chairs, slurping and smacking noisily as they shovel food into their mouths with their hands.

The kitchen is managed by a trio of maenads who were sent by Lutheria to assist Zakroth. They hate Zakroth, but they will do anything to serve the Mistress of Death. Message from the Dead Titan. If the heroes killed Lutheria, then the maenads taunt the party: “Wretched mortals, Lutheria is very angry with you. Did you really think you could kill the goddess of death?” Eventually, the maenads summon the minotaur hero from the Slaughterhouse (Z4) and fight to the death.

Z10. The Armory 

These chambers resonate with deep, raspy snores. The walls are lined with large woven mats and giant lumpy pillows. Two hulking forms are curled up on the largest mats—the source of the deafening snores. 

There are two gigantes asleep in this chamber at any given time. If awakened for any reason, they bellow angrily at the party and fight to the death.

Z8. The Guest Den 

There is a musty odor in the air, and dripping can be heard in a distant corner. Worn straw mats are scattered across the floor, and dirty pillows are piled in a corner. A young centaur woman rests on the bedding. 

Lesia (NG centaur druid) is the guest staying in this chamber. She has been sent by her father, Agrius, to negotiate with Zakroth. She is to replace her brother 268

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This room smells of oil and dried blood. Crooked racks are set against the wall, filled with a haphazard collection of iron weapons. Dozens of spears and axes are stored here, of various sizes and designs. Most are chipped and dented from heavy use.

This is where most of the gigantes garrison can usually be found. There are four gigantes and two gigantes witches eating messily at the table. They attack trespassers on sight. When one of the gigantes witches takes damage, the witches in The Shrine (Z12) are alerted. The two gigantes witches will arrive within 2-3 rounds, along with Zakroth and his naiad advisor.

Z7. The Sleeping Den 

The armory has dozens of spears and axes that are much too big to be used by human-sized wielders. The iron weapons were forged by gigantes, who have spent many centuries scavenging for the ore to forge them. Magnet Trap. There is a 10 ft. wide steel plate just inside the door of this room. Whenever someone steps on this plate, any metal armor they are wearing becomes ultra-magnetized, and all the iron weapons in the room hurl toward them at high speeds. Victims must make three consecutive DC 20 Dexterity saving throws or they take (in order) 3d12 slashing damage, 3d12 piercing damage, and 3d12 bludgeoning damage. This trap only functions if the victim is wearing metal armor. Treasure. One of the weapons in the armory is a bloodsoaked vicious greatclub +1. It has been etched with invocations in the Giant tongue.

Sword of the Grandmaster

Z11. The Prison 

This wide room is lit by torchlight. A hulking minotaur stands guard, with an iron key hanging from his belt. There are two portcullises on either side of the main entryway. Through each portcullis, the sharp eyes of prisoners glint in the dim light. 

I have entrusted you with the life of my youngest son, Perimedes, to secure the coalition of the tribes. As for your proposal of war, I agree. With the return of the Dragonlords, we must be united as one, or else we face extinction. —Agrius

Z12. The Shrine 

At the center of this crescent-shaped room stands an imposing statue of a titan. The area before him is littered with colorful flowers and shiny baubles—sacred offerings. The room is tidy and well kept. 

This shrine to the Titan Hergeron is maintained by the gigantes. Centaurs are disdainful of the shrine—Sydon long forbade the worship of his lesser siblings. There are usually two gigantes witches in this room praying to Hergeron. If any of the other witches in the fortress are hurt, the two witches in this room are alerted by a divine premonition. They immediately warn Zakroth and his naiad advisor, and then all four search for the intruders.

Z13. The Treasury 

Zakroth,

The prison is guarded by a single minotaur hero. He attacks trespassers and fights to the death. He carries a key chain that opens both of the cells. The Hostages. Each of the cells contains two centaur hostages (CN centaur heroes). One of the centaurs is named Perimedes. He is the son of the great centaur lord Agrius. Due to their cult-like adoration for Zakroth, the centaurs view the heroes as enemies. Lesia can persuade them to cooperate. Otherwise, the players can persuade them with a successful DC 25 Charisma (Persuasion) check. If released, the centaurs will run to the armory in order to arm themselves and then return to attack the heroes.

Z14. Commander's Quarters 

This crescent-shaped room is filled with large furniture that has been ruined by filth and neglect. An enormous canopied bed sits against the far wall. Clay jugs and wooden barrels have been stacked in the corners. 

Zakroth (CE minotaur berserker), is usually found here. He is always accompanied by his advisor, Belladona (NE naiad). Whenever they encounter the party, they first try to learn anything they can about the locations of the other two Divine Artifacts. Then they summon nearby gigantes and fight to the death. Sword of the Grandmaster. Zakroth wields a legendary mithral honorblade that he won in a duel from the grandmaster of the Temple of the Sword (A11) in Aresia. Zakroth's Statistics In addition to his normal statistics, Zakroth wears bronze plate armor (AC 18). The honorblade uses the same statistics as his battleaxe, but it destroys any non-magical shield wielded by creatures that he hits with it. Additionally, the Ambrosia has increased Zakroth's Charisma score to 20. He can use a bonus action to cast the command spell, with a spell save DC of 18.

This tiny, cramped space smells of dust, and appears to be rarely visited. There are large chests and sturdy wooden boxes shoved inside. The glittering of silver and gold can be seen in the scant patches of light. 

The door to this room is locked. It requires a successful DC 20 Dexterity check using thieves' tools to open. Treasure. The two chests in the room contain a total of 1,500 sp and 350 gp. One of the chests contains a letter from Agrius, Lord of the Centaurs:

Treasure Zakroth carries the honorblade and a bronze key that opens the door to the treasury. The Ambrosia is a painted amphora that he keeps next to his bed. Ch apter 10 | The New Pa ntheon

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THE CENTAUR LORD

Chieftan Agrius

When the heroes leave the prison fort, they are confronted by a band of centaurs led by Chieftan Agrius (NG centaur lord). Agrius is accompanied by four centaur heroes and six additional centaurs. He sent his daughter Lesia to try and negotiate for the release of his son, Perimedes. If Lesia managed to escape the fort, then she is here with her father. Agrius starts by investigating the situation and sending scouts into the fort. The encounter with Agrius can unfold in several different ways, depending on how the heroes have treated the hostages.

• Negotiation. If the heroes have taken the hostages as

prisoners, then Agrius will negotiate for their release. He is willing to swear an oath to disband his army, but he will remember how the party treats his people. • Provoking War. If the heroes have harmed his children or the other hostages, then Agrius furiously attacks the party, and all the strongest centaur tribes become sworn enemies of the Dragonlords. • Swearing Fealty. If the heroes rescued the hostages and treated them kindly, then Agrius may be willing to swear fealty to the Dragonlords to ensure a new generation of peace with the settler races.

I know I should hate the centaurs, but we have too much in common. — Pythor, God of Battle

Tomb of Karpathos This is the tomb of Karpathos, the first and only king of Aresia. Five centuries ago, Karpathos broke an oath to Lutheria. As punishment, the Mistress of Death transformed him into a vampire. Karpathos feasted on the blood of his queen, Nemosyne, and almost all of his sons, daughters, sisters, and brothers. Karpathos and his brood were the scourge of Aresia for many years until Princess Calliope, his lone surviving daughter, led a band of Aresia’s bravest warriors to the vampire tombs and sealed them up while they slept during the day. Powerful wizards and clerics cast magical wards to make sure that no one would be able to release the undead from their imprisonment. For five hundred years, the tombs have been forbidden to all and guarded by elite Aresian warriors.

The Vampires There are two full vampires in the tombs. One is the former king, Karpathos the Wolf Lord, while the other is the former Queen Nemosyne. Nemosyne and all of the vampire spawn in the tomb were created by Karpathos; they exist to serve and protect him. Unlike a normal vampire, Karpathos cannot create vampire spawn just by draining their blood. Instead, after draining them, he must use the power of the Caduceus.

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The Caduceus The Caduceus is a powerful magical staff that was buried with Karpathos. It is one of the Divine Artifacts. Karpathos used the power of the Caduceus to transform his victims into vampires. The staff is seemingly indestructible. It was buried with the vampire so that no one else could make use of its foul magic. Narsus knows the truth—the staff is imbued with the life force of one of the ancient Titans. It is not cursed, but its power of life-giving is perverted when used by undead creatures. For more information on the Caduceus refer to the Treasures appendix. Resurrecting the Gods You may choose to resurrect Sydon, Lutheria, or any of the other dead gods with the Caduceus. Servants of dead gods, such as Jocasta, desire the Caduceus above all else. In this way, old enemies can return to the story with renewed vendettas against the heroes.

Magical Wards Several powerful magical wards protect the tombs. The entire dungeon is under the effect of a permanent forbiddance spell. No one can teleport into or out of any

of the tombs. In addition, any celestial, elemental, fey, or fiend that enters the tombs for the first time takes 5d10 necrotic damage. Elves, satyrs, and other creatures with fey ancestry take half of this damage. In addition, the door that leads into the tombs is protected by a permanent antipathy/sympathy spell that makes it difficult to approach. Refer to K1 for details.

THE BARROWS

The barrows are located a few hours south of the city of Aresia, deep within the forest of the region. The barrows are in a clearing that is almost one mile in diameter. 

The dense trees give way to grassy hills. A humid fog hangs over these gently rolling hills, and crows call in the distance. There are three distinct hills, one larger than the others. Upon approaching the largest, a stone pathway can be seen, which leads down into this ancient barrow. A dozen warrior monks stand vigil, their crimson cloaks standing in stark contrast to the dull stone around them. 

The barrows are protected by an elite contingent of twelve Aresian warrior monks led by Yosfor (TN martial master). Yosfor and his band are part of a long line of warriors charged with guarding this tomb. At night, they make camp several hundred feet away from the tomb, because the noises from inside are too disturbing. Yosfor stops anyone who approaches the tomb and demands that they identify themselves. He and his band will prevent unauthorized entry by force if necessary. He can be persuaded to stand down with a successful DC 20 Charisma (Persuasion) check. If the heroes have a letter from Queen Helen, then they are allowed entry. General Features of the Tomb All of the ceilings are 8 ft. in height unless otherwise noted. Most of the rooms are dimly lit with torches. Heavy Stone Doorways. All of the doors are made from heavy stone. The doors are circular plugs that are 8 ft. in diameter. The doors can be moved with a successful DC 20 Strength (Athletics) check. Moving the door means pushing it so that it crashes onto its side. The fall makes a tremendous noise that can be heard by all creatures throughout the tombs. Shadows on the Walls Many of the rooms in the tomb have humanoid shadows animating along the walls. These shadows begin to follow the party through the tomb. Eventually, the party may have as many as fifty shadows following them. These shadows are harmless—they are the damned souls of the vampire spawn—but they should be used to create a sense of tension.

When the party finally leaves the tomb, the shadows continue following them. If the party wields the Caduceus, then they sense that they have a choice: they can use the staff to put these souls to rest, or they can use the staff to swallow the souls. Swallowing the souls adds one charge of create undead to the staff. Encounter: The Nuckle Ten minutes after the entrance of the tomb has been unsealed, a pack of four nuckle will enter. These horrifying creatures emerged from the ocean months ago and have haunted the edges of the barrows, waiting for an opportunity to enter the tombs. They are seeking out the Caduceus with the intention of using it to resurrect Lutheria. If Lutheria is still alive, then the nuckle seek it out on her behalf. The nuckle will release any vampire spawn that the heroes haven’t destroyed. These vampire spawn come under control of the nuckle and obey their commands. The vampire spawn gather in the Main Antechamber (K4) and wait to ambush anyone who passes through. This is the order in which they explore the tomb: 1. They release the vampire spawn from K3. 2. They release the vampire spawn from K4. 3. They travel down the tunnel to K5, open the door to K6 and release the vampire spawn there. 4. They wait for the heroes to confront Karpathos. 5. Once the heroes defeat Karpathos or try to leave the tomb, the nuckle will ambush them. Nuckle Tactics. When the nuckle engage the heroes in battle, they will attempt to grapple as many of them as possible. Once a nuckle has managed to successfully grapple a hero, it will use its full move to return to the Main Antechamber (K4). It takes two rounds for the nuckle to deposit its victim in this room full of vampire spawn before returning to rejoin the battle. Heroes who are dragged to this room may be required to face down as many as two dozen vampire spawn! If there are no vampire spawn for the nuckle to release, then they will track down the party and try to kill them in the most direct way possible.

KEY LOCATIONS K1. The Entrance 

A smooth stone pathway slopes gently downward, leading below ground level. Stone masonry supports this tunnel, which leads into the base of a large, grassy hill. At the end of the pathway sits a large stone archway, with intricate runes inscribed into the rock above. A triangular opening sits above the runes, and a dank, musty scent emanates from the other side. 

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The entrance tunnel has magical runes etched into it that create a permanent antipathy/sympathy spell effect. The following races are impacted by this spell: dwarf, elf, gnome, halfling, half-elf, half-orc, and human. Frightening Runes. Forbidden races must make a DC 19 Wisdom saving throw or be frightened by the runes. A creature who fails the saving throw feels a sense of dread—they are certain that if they enter the tomb, they will perish and their soul will be lost. Affected creatures must move away from the runes until they can no longer see them. When they are no longer able to see the runes, they can make another saving throw. If they fail that saving throw, they cannot make another until 24 hours have passed. Those who make their saving throw are immune to the effects for a full minute. Anyone standing inside the entrance chamber can hear scratching coming from the door leading to the Sealed Tomb (K3). If the stone doors are opened, then the antipathy/sympathy spell ceases to function.

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K2. The Ruined Tomb 

This dim chamber has dark splatters on the wall, and carries a musty odor. A sarcophagus sits open in the middle, with a broken stone slab at its side. There is nothing inside except for rocks and debris. Scattered around the sarcophagus are the shattered remnants of several six-armed skeletons. 

This tomb has been desecrated. A century ago, gygan tomb robbers were able to open the door to this chamber. They were killed by the vampire spawn inside. The vampire spawn were eventually tracked down and destroyed. The door has never been resealed.

od are the To my knowledge, Karpathos and his bro lea. only creatures of their kind in all Thy - Chondrus, Priest of Lutheria

K3. The Sealed Tomb 

This chamber is eerily still. Several sarcophagi line the edges of the room, but all are cracked open. A large stone pillar dominates the center of the room, and a heavy bronze hammer lies atop a pile of rubble nearby. Faint scratching noises can be heard from inside the pillar, as if something is trying to escape. 

K5. King's Antechamber 

K4. Main Antechamber 

Four sarcophagi line the edges of this circular room. Eight pale, shriveled bodies sit atop them, pinned down by heavy millstones. Their eyes glint, and they hiss softly in the darkness. Along the far wall, there are two passageways that lead deeper into the tombs. 

There is little inside this chamber except for rubble and the overwhelming scent of musk. It is circular, like the other chambers, but has no sarcophagi or columns. Two circular stone doors lie ahead, with no markings to indicate where they lead. The only sign of life is a co*ckroach that skitters off into the darkness.

The central pillar in this room has been sealed for centuries. A few good hits from the hammer will loosen the bricked-up pillar to a point where the creatures trapped inside are finally able to force their way out. Trapped Undead Servants. The inside of the pillar is packed with undead. There are twelve vampire spawn, all pressed together in such a way that they can hardly move. These vampire spawn were all commanders and guards of queen Nemosyne. If the bricked-up opening is broken, six of the vampire spawn fall into the room and attack the party immediately. The other six are able to claw free and join the battle one round later. Shadows on the Walls. There are twelve humanoid shadows that animate along the walls of this tomb. These shadows are incorporeal, but they begin following the party throughout the tomb. The shadows are difficult to see at first—a passive Perception score of 15 or higher is required to notice them.

The eight bodies are vampire spawn. These vampire spawn are all cousins of queen Nemosyne. The vampire spawn are unable to move and are considered paralyzed. Removing a millstone requires a successful DC 15 Strength (Athletics) check. Shadows on the Walls. There are eight humanoid shadows that animate along the walls of this room. These shadows are incorporeal, but they begin following the party throughout the tomb. Passageways. This chamber has two passageways that lead deeper into the tomb. One leads to the Sepulcher of Servants (K6) while the other leads to the Queen's Antechamber (K10). Both are 200 ft. in length.

This room is empty.

K6. Sepulcher of Servants 

Six sarcophagi are set in a circular pattern, and atop each lies a pale body dressed in faded but ornate robes. They are pinned down by enormous millstones. Two passageways are blocked by stone doors along the far wall of the sepulcher. 

The passage in this chamber runs for 200 ft. until it ends in the tomb of Nemosyne. The six bodies held down by stone millstones are vampire spawn. They are all brothers and sisters of Queen Nemosyne. A successful DC 15 History check will reveal their identities. The vampire spawn are unable to move and are considered paralyzed. Removing a millstone requires a successful DC 15 Strength (Athletics) check. Shadows on the Walls. There are six humanoid shadows that animate along the walls of this room. These shadows are incorporeal, but they begin following the party throughout the tomb.

K7. The Dread Boar 

The stench in this room is overwhelmingly pungent, made worse by the dank, humid air. It is the unmistakable foulness of death, and it emanates from a hulking, half-rotten boar that hangs from the ceiling. The boar is enormous, and it is displayed with reverence. It seems to be some sort of hunting trophy. 

This body of the sacred boar was the Wolf Lord’s most coveted trophy. It was cursed by Lutheria and is now a dread boar. If anyone enters the chamber, the dread boar will come alive after 1 minute and rip itself down from the ceiling. It fights to the death. Ch apter 10 | The New Pa ntheon

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K8. The Wolf Den

K9. Sepulcher of Karpathos

A thick layer of filth covers the floor, and the stench of refuse fills the air. Patches of grass and mud have been matted into beds by some sort of beast. Enormous piles of half-gnawed bones are scattered throughout the room, picked clean of flesh. 

This chamber is the den of Karpathos's dread wolves, but they are not currently here. Grasping Skeletons. The scattered bones are actually hundreds of skeletons that have been packed into the floor. These are ancient victims of the vampires. As the party moves across the room, the skeletons grasp at the party's ankles with their bony hands. Each hero must make a successful DC 18 Dexterity saving throw or be restrained by a skeleton. Once a skeleton has restrained a hero, it tries to drag the hero down into the bone pit. This takes 2 rounds, and it can be prevented by destroying the skeleton. If the skeleton succeeds, then the hero must hold their breath or they begin to suffocate beneath the bones.

Two enormous wolves dominate this sepulcher, and their deathly stench is palpable. A huge pillar stands in the center of the chamber, inlaid with red stone and green alabaster. An opening in the pillar has been bricked over. Near the pillar lies an adamantine hammer with a wolf's head design. 

The two dread wolves are large enough to fill most of the room. They won’t attack unless someone attacks them first, but they snarl at trespassers. Awakening the Wolf Lord Karpathos (NE warrior vampire) is sealed up in the central pillar. One hit from the adamantine hammer will break the sealed door and dissipate the magic that has kept the Wolf King imprisoned for two centuries. The sarcophagus is his resting place, and he will return here in mist form when reduced to 0 hit points. 

Inside the pillar, there is an open sarcophagus with a kingly figure resting inside. The ancient vampire lord opens his eyes and gazes at you with cold intensity. In his right hand, he carries an ancient staff with two wings and two twisting dragons.

Karpathos the Wolf Lord 

Karpathos wields the Caduceus. He can use a bonus action to touch another undead creature and cause it to regain 100 hit points. This includes undead that have been reduced to 0 hit points. He will use it to return his dread wolves to life if they have been destroyed. Family Reunion. If Karpathos is losing the battle, he will try to find Queen Nemosyne. He uses misty escape to flee to the Sepulcher of Nemosyne (K14), slipping through any sealed doors along the way. Once he finds his queen, he will free her and then all of the vampire spawn in the Chamber of Children (K12). The entire family of vampires then seeks out the party and attempts to ambush them.

K10. Queen's Antechamber 

This circular room has two stone doors, neither of which bear any markings. The chamber is scattered with rubble and many corroded bronze trinkets. 

The corroded trinkets in this room were ancient offerings buried with the original occupants of the tomb, before the vampires were locked away here. One of the items scattered in the rubble is an eversmoking bottle. Passageways. This chamber has two passageways that lead elsewhere in the tomb. One leads back to the Main

K13. Guardian Chamber

Antechamber (K4) while the other leads deeper, to the King's Antechamber (K5). Both are 200 ft. in length.

K11. The Beautiful Singers 

This room is filled with twelve golden statues, almost blindingly bright compared to the rubble and stone around them. Forged from layered plates of metal, each statue is made in the image of a different woman. They strike elegant poses, as if dancing or strumming instruments. The room smells strongly of oil. 

The golden statues are all keledone. When any living creature enters the chamber, four keledone activate. Wings will unfurl from their backs and they will use their song of pain against the intruders. The remaining keledone will not activate unless attacked. Once all of the active keledone are destroyed, intruders have an hour before the remaining keledone will become active and hunt down any living creatures that remain in the tombs. The keledone ignore undead entirely.

K14. Sepulcher of Nemosyne 

An ornately carved sarcophagus rests on a dais in the center of this room, and light filters down onto it from above. A pale, motionless figures rests inside it. She is dressed in a fine but faded crimson dress, embroidered with intricate golden designs. She would seem asleep if not for the enormous millstone on her chest. The room smells of dust and the putrid odor of rot.

Nearly two dozen child-sized sarcophagi line this room. The center of the room is dominated by a painted pillar, but its murals have long since faded. You can hear the faint sounds of pitiful crying and sniffling coming from within the pillar. 

The four bodies held down by heavy millstones are vampire spawn. They were the personal guards of the queen. The vampire spawn are unable to move and are considered paralyzed. Removing a millstone requires a successful DC 15 Strength (Athletics) check. Shadows on the Walls. There are four humanoid shadows that animate along the walls of this tomb. These shadows are incorporeal, but they begin following the party throughout the tomb.

K12. Chamber of Children 

Four stone sarcophagi are set in the center of this room, and four warriors in heavy bronze breastplates lie atop them, garbed in faded crimson cloaks. Each warrior is weighed down by a heavy millstone.

Imprisoned within the pillar are Queen Nemosyne's many young children, nephews, and nieces. They are all vampire spawn. There are twenty of them. All of them look like children from the age of six to ten. If they are released, they will pour out and attack trespassers without mercy. Five of them emerge each round. Shadows on the Walls. There are twenty child-sized shadows that animate along the walls of this tomb. These shadows are incorporeal, but they begin following the party throughout the tomb.

Queen Nemosyne is a spellcaster vampire. While the millstone sits on her chest, she is unable to move and is considered paralyzed. Removing the millstone requires a successful DC 15 Strength (Athletics) check. The sarcophagus is her resting place, and she will return here in mist form when reduced to 0 hit points. Family Reunion. When Queen Nemosyne is released, she immediately moves to the Chamber of Children (K12) and breaks open the pillar to release the vampire spawn. The twenty children will then join her as she tries to hunt down and kill the intruders. The Queen's Cape. Queen Nemosyne wears a cape of the mountebank, which allows her to cast dimension door once per day. She may use this to reach K12 as soon as the millstone is removed from her chest.

It was unthinkably brave of Queen Calliope to lock her cursed family away in the tombs. How many young warriors would have the stomach to do such a thing? The people of Mytros spit on the names of the Aresian queens, but I have great respect for Calliope, who possessed the strength of will both to save her city and to seize the god of beauty.

—Rizon Phobas, Dragonlord (62 CE) Ch apter 10 | The New Pa ntheon

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Chapter 11:

The Sunken Kingdom “The sirens have spent thousands of years singing of their lost city, but none would recognize it now, broken and shattered in the depths of the ocean. There are places there that light cannot reach—shadows where an ancient hunger sleeps.”

T

—Versi, Oracle of Thylea

his chapter begins when the party decides to seek out one of the lost Divine Artifacts—the Promethean Fire. Recovering this artifact is a major undertaking that requires the party to dive deep beneath the oceans and explore the legendary Sunken Kingdom. There they will meet forgotten gods and face primordial dangers, including the monster Scylla, bane of the ancient seas.

Running the Adventure Before traveling to the Sunken Kingdom, the party will need a map to its location. Pyrrha, a siren from Aresia, has long possessed just such a map. She attends to Narsus in the Chamber of Beauty (A6). Refer to the Audience with Narsus in Chapter 10 for details. Once the party has obtained the map, they can set out on an expedition to find the sunken city. They 276

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will need a crewed ship and some means by which to explore underwater for long periods of time. Aketa at the Merchant Headquarters (A21) in Aresia is willing to provide magic and equipment to assist with the quest. Versi, the Oracle, is also more than willing to assist, as she has long been curious about the sunken city. Here is an overview of this chapter:

• The Sunken City. The party must sail to the loca-

tion of the sunken city, anchor the ship, and dive to the ocean floor. They must speak with the merfolk in the ruins of the city to learn the location of the Promethean Fire. The merfolk are fighting a war against a terrifying merrow tribe. • The Temple District. The party must investigate this ruined district, where a pantheon of long-forgotten gods have been sealed away. They tell the party the story of Phaeros, an angelic being who carries the Promethean Fire. He and the artifact were swallowed by Scylla thousands of years ago. • The Chasm. The party must descend into the darkest fathoms of this ancient trench in order to destroy Scylla and rescue Phaeros. But Phaeros has gone mad after spending thousands of years trapped in the belly of the beast. The party must defeat him to recover the Promethean Fire.

Lost City of the Sirens The Sunken Kingdom is a city that was swallowed by the ocean, thousands of years ago. It is all that remains of one of Thylea’s most powerful and ancient civilizations. The city is the original home of the siren race, and it was once a place of great beauty. But when disaster befell the city, it sank to the floor of the Cerulean Gulf. There are many poems and songs that purport to tell the tale of the city’s destruction. The truth is known to only a few. The Legend of the Sirens If the heroes are not familiar with the legend of the sunken city, then you might have Pyrrha sing the story to them. Refer to the Legend of the Sirens in the Playable Races appendix for details.

Location of the Kingdom The Sunken Kingdom is located a few miles west of Yonder and north of Exile Island. The city stretches across a relatively shallow part of the ocean, only a few hundred feet below sea level. Sunlight filters through the water and provides light. The elegant marble architecture of the sirens has been amazingly resilient, despite centuries under the ocean. Coral has grown over many sections of the city, adding to its ethereal beauty.

The Forgotten Gods The city is no longer populated by sirens. It is now the domain of a merfolk kingdom. The merfolk worship a group of powerful godlike beings that are seemingly trapped in the ancient temple ruins of the city. While these ‘gods’ are unable to grant spells, they do perform feats of magic for the merfolk and grant them magical items as rewards. The godlike beings are singularly focused on retrieving something that was lost at the bottom of a great rift in the center of the city. This rift is known as the Chasm, and it is the domain of a terrifying creature called Scylla.

War for the Ruins In recent years, the Sunken Kingdom has been ravaged by war. A century ago, a tribe of merfolk descended into the Chasm at the request of their gods. They never returned and were presumed to have been eaten by Scylla. A few years ago, the tribe miraculously emerged from the Chasm, but in a form that was unrecognizable to the merfolk. They were now merrow: twisted, malevolent versions of merfolk. The creatures immediately went to war against the merfolk. Their motives are unclear, but they are known to throw some of the bodies of their victims into the depths of the Chasm.

UNDERSEA FACTIONS The Merfolk The merfolk kingdom is the largest underwater civilization in all of Thylea. There are thousands of merfolk that live in and amongst the ruins of the Sunken Kingdom. The city is able to support such numbers due to the vast forests of kelp and coral. Alongside the merfolk is a tribe of nereid that tend to the coral and kelp forests. They are fiercely protective of these natural wonders and often join the merfolk in battle against the merrow.

The Merrow The merrow are sad*stic predators that live to kill and cause mayhem. Unbeknownst to the merfolk, the merrow were twisted by the evil beast known as Scylla that dwells at the bottom of the Chasm. They now serve to provide her with food. For this purpose they hunt merfolk, whales, dolphins and other mammalian sea creatures. Those that they don’t devour themselves they discard into the Chasm. Several sea hag covens have come to serve the merrow warlord.

UNDERWATER EXPLORATION

As the heroes explore the Sunken Kingdom, remember the following rules for underwater exploration:

• Fire Resistance. Creatures and objects located underwater have resistance to fire damage.

• Melee Attack Penalties. When making a melee

weapon attack, a creature that doesn’t have a swimming speed (either natural or granted by magic) has disadvantage on the attack roll unless the weapon is a dagger, javelin, shortsword, spear, or trident. • Ranged Attack Penalties. Ranged weapon attacks automatically miss targets beyond the weapon’s normal range. Even against a target within normal range, the attack roll has disadvantage unless the weapon is a crossbow, a net, or a thrown weapon (javelins, spears, tridents, darts, etc.) Additional rules for deep underwater exploration are provided in The Chasm section. Expedition to the City Treat this part of the adventure like an expedition into uncharted underwater territory. The party should bring a ship and a crew, with 1 mile mithral chains for hauling up treasure. The party will need access to the water breathing spell or some other means to survive underwater for long periods of time. Magical light will also be required.

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KEY LOCATIONS

Approaching the Sunken City Read the following when the players descend into the ocean and approach the sunken city: 

L1. Merfolk Palace 

As you descend into the murky depths of the ocean, a glorious city slowly emerges through the dimly lit waters. Towers, spires, domes and other magnificent structures are spread out across the ocean floor in a sprawling metropolis, still largely intact despite centuries beneath the waves. The basic architecture of the city has been overgrown with brightly colored coral that only accentuates the sunken city’s beauty. On the south-east edge of the city, however, is a dark, gaping maw: an open chasm that extends deep into the ocean floor, swallowing up all light that enters. 

Event: Massacre! Run this event when the party first arrives in the city. 

As you near the edge of the sunken city, you come across a scene of brutal violence: a score of merfolk are under attack from a hideous war party of merrow. Wielding tridents and nets, the merfolk fight valiantly against their twisted brethren, but the merrow are bigger, stronger, and far more savage. Several of the merfolk are already badly wounded, with plumes of their blood slowly seeping into the surrounding waters. Unaware of the interlopers, one of the evil merfolk plunges a long spear into the belly of a hapless mermaid soldier, who cries out and clutches feebly at the thick shaft now protruding from her stomach. The merrow twists the weapon, then rips it free; the mermaid shudders once then goes still. 

There are 20 merfolk under attack by a war party of 10 merrow. Five of the merfolk are already dead. If the heroes come to the aid of the merfolk, they will try to convince the party to have an audience with their king. If the heroes agree to the audience, then the merfolk lead the party to the Merfolk Palace (L1).

Random Encounters For every hour that the party explores the sunken city, there is a 10% chance that one of the following groups of sea creatures will swim by in close proximity. The creatures do not necessarily attack.

• Two giant sharks • Herd of twelve hunter sharks • Swarm of twenty giant octupuses

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Rising up above the surrounding structures is a magnificent palace. The high walls and circular towers on each corner are covered with multi-colored coral, carefully groomed and tended so that it grows in a pattern that forms a peculiar symbol: a pair of crossed tridents above a giant squid. The iron gates of the palace stand open, but several heavily-armored merfolk stand guard outside to dissuade anyone from entering without invitation.

The palace is the most heavily-defended building in the kingdom. There are two dozen merfolk and a dozen nereid who garrison it at all times. The ruler of the merfolk is a powerful warrior-king named Pontus (LG merfolk gladiator with the amphibious trait and a swim speed of 40 feet). Event: Meeting the King If the heroes agree to an audience with the merfolk king, then they will be escorted into the palace. 

Escorted by six guards on either side, you enter the palace and are led to the throne room. A kingly merman sits upon a golden chair, his powerful tail curled up beneath him. A thick white beard covers his face, and a bejeweled silver crown rests upon his brow. Scattered about the throne room are more guards, as well as other members of the royal court. A young merman swims forward and calls out in a loud voice: “On behalf of the merfolk people of the Sunken Kingdom, King Pontus welcomes you!” Pontus tilts his head in your direction and fixes you with his dark, probing eyes. “It has been many years since we have had visitors from the surface world. Tell me, why are you here?”

King Pontus is grateful that the party have rescued his loyal servants. He answers any questions that the party pose to him, and he provides valuable information: The Chasm. The Chasm (L9) descends more than a mile into the depths of the ocean. It is the home of the deadliest predators in the ocean, including giant sharks and enormous sea snakes. But the deadliest thing in the Chasm is a monstrosity known as Scylla. The Lost Gods. The merfolk worship gods that have lived in the ruins of the city since before the merfolk arrived. The gods may be willing to assist the heroes with their quest. They can be found in the Temple District (L8).

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The King's Request Once the heroes have finished with their questions, the king asks for a favor. He recognizes that the heroes are powerful warriors who could strike a finishing blow against the evil merrow tribes. He begs the heroes to bring an end to the war by assaulting the Merrow Fortress (L6) and killing the warlord, Sheksis. He warns the party that she is in league with a coven of hags. If the heroes agree, the king assigns a war party of nereid to accompany them. There is one nereid per hero. Both the heroes and the nereid are given giant sea horses as mounts. The assault on the merrow fortress is something that should be quite easy for the heroes.

L2. Merfolk Village 

Many of the homes that were destroyed when the nameless city sank beneath the ocean have since been repaired and rebuilt by the current undersea denizens, creating new neighborhoods and districts. Merfolk merchants hawk their wares in corner markets while ordinary citizens swim up and down the streets, consumed by the mundane bustle of ordinary life. 

The merfolk live in large families of up to a dozen. The nereid intermingle with the merfolk, though they live in their own private abodes. The party can purchase basic supplies at the merfolk shops here. Everburning Globes. One of the items that the party can purchase are everburning globes. These are glowing red orbs that have been permanently enchanted with the light spell. The merfolk use these globes to light the city, but they could also be used to light the way when diving into the darkest fathoms of the Chasm. They can be purchased for 10 gp each.

L3. Coral Farm 

Tall, delicate towers of coral rise up from the ocean floor. Shaped and sculpted into evocative designs, the colorful growths resemble a beautiful meditative garden. 

The coral farms are guarded by six nereid. Merfolk come here to herd fish into their nets. Curious Nereid. One of the nereid here takes an interest in the party. Her name is Kaila (CG), and she wishes to visit the Temple of the Fish Queen (D4) to pay her respects. She asks whether the party will allow her to accompany them. Kaila has an intense dislike for oceanids and will strongly discourage the party from trusting them.

This tall tower is covered with a random but spectacular pattern of coral in a rainbow of hues. Schools of vibrantly colored fish circle the tower like living decorations, further adding to the towers wild, untamed beauty. 

A dozen oceanid call this tower home. Only 1d4 oceanids are here at any given time. The others are exploring the oceans or the Thylean coasts. Curious Oceanid. One of the oceanids here takes an interest in the party. His name is Vyron (CN). He has heard tales of a legendary trickster god who dwells in the Temple District (D8), and he wishes to meet him. He asks to accompany the party. In exchange, Vyron offers to guide the party to a secret shrine where all the ancient treasures of the sunken city are hidden. This is the Forbidden Shrine (L6). Vyron fails to mention that the shrine is dangerous and forbidden.

L5. Kelp Forest 

L4. Oceanid Lairs

Towering stalks of kelp rise from the dark fissures that divide the city. The thick vines and wide, flat leaves wave gently back and forth with the shifting currents, almost as if beckoning you to enter. But on closer inspection, you can see the densely packed aquatic vegetation has tangled together, forming a nearly impenetrable curtain that obscures whatever dangers may be lurking within. 

The kelp forest is a no man’s land between the merfolk settlements and the merrow territory. While the forest used to be a major source of food for the merfolk, it has become very dangerous for those who have to harvest the kelp. Violent clashes between merrow and merfolk are nearly a daily event. The kelp restricts visibility significantly. The entire forest is considered lightly obscured. There is a 20% chance per hour of being ambushed by a war party of merrow. The war party consists of twelve merrow led by a single sea hag.

We have long known of the existence of the merfolk, but we have paid them little heed. Perhaps that was a mistake. There are powers below the oceans that we have not yet begun to reckon with, and they know more of these things than we do.

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— Vallus, Goddess of Wisdom

L6. Forbidden Shrine 

L7. Merrow Fortress 

This opulent shrine is surrounded by golden statues of winged sirens. In contrast to the surrounding ruins, it appears to be in pristine condition. Standing in the entrance of the shrine, you think you can hear the faint sounds of beautiful singing coming from inside. 

This shrine is unguarded and empty. The inside of the shrine is lavishly decorated with marble statues, gemstone mosaics, and silver ornamentation. Merfolk skeletons are scattered across the floor. The Forgotten Name. Written in mosaics on the rear wall of the shrine is the forgotten name of the sunken City of the Sirens. The name has been cursed by Sydon, and attempting to read it requires the reader to make a DC 20 Wisdom saving throw. On a failure, the reader experiences a terrifying vision of the city collapsing and being swallowed by the ocean. The reader believes that they are drowning, even if they can breathe water. Use the rules for suffocation. The reader repeats the saving throw each round until they succeed or until they are reduced to 0 hit points. Succeeding on the saving throw reveals that the name of the city literally cannot be read—it has been erased from history by magic. Treasure. The shrine is filled with ancient treasure chests, which the merrow have no use for. There are twelve chests, containing a total of 24,000 sp and 12,000 gp. Scattered throughout the chests are six star rubies and six star sapphires, each worth 1,000 gp.

Near the edge of the great Chasm stands a dark and foreboding building, which rears up from the ruins on the edge of the sunken city. Though massive in size, its shape is flat and functional—there is no beauty or elegance in its construction. The gray marble façade is bereft of the coral patterns that mark the other buildings of the sunken city.

The merrow have fortified this building with marble taken from the surrounding ruins. At any given time there are 40 merrow within the fort. The merrow are ruled by a warlord named Sheksis (CE merrow, maximum HP, 18 AC). Sheksis has a coral horn that she can blow to summon 1d4 giant sharks from the depths of the chasm. She is served by a coven of three sea hags. If the merrow fortress is attacked, Sheksis will send all of the merrow out to do battle while she summons giant sharks. Five rounds into the battle against the merrow, the warlord will arrive with the coven of sea hags and any sharks that she has summoned. The King's Trident. Sheksis wields a trident of fish command, which rightfully belongs to King Pontus.

L8. The Temple District Refer to The Temple District section for details.

L9. The Chasm Refer to The Chasm section for details. Ch apter 11 | The New Pa ntheon

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The Temple District Thousands of years ago, an angel was cast out from the heavens for believing that the secrets of divinity should be given to the mortal races. His name was Phaeros (CN solar). Before he was exiled, he managed to steal the Promethean Fire. He wandered the planes for centuries before coming to the lands of Thylea. During his travels, he despised the tyranny of Sydon and Lutheria, and he decided that he would use the Promethean Fire to change the world of Thylea for the better. Phaeros sought out the greatest champion of each race and brought them to the City of the Sirens, the most beautiful city in Thylea. The sirens welcomed Phaeros, for they had fallen out of favor with the Titans and saw the angel as a messianic savior. Phaeros elevated each champion to godhood, creating a new pantheon. The sirens built great temples to each of the gods and sent missionaries out into the rest of Thylea to bring news of this new faith to the other races. But the Twin Titans saw this and called upon their father, Kentimane, to stop Phaeros. Sydon and Lutheria saw Phaeros as a foreign invader who intended to subvert everything that they had created. Kentimane released the great beast, Scylla, from its imprisonment on Typhon. Then Scylla and the Titans waged war against the new gods. This battle raged on for weeks, but finally, Phaeros was devoured by Scylla. In the aftermath of the battle, Lutheria convinced the remaining gods to return to their temples, where she would offer them redemption—a chance to atone for the sins of Phaeros. This was a trick—Lutheria used her magic to trap the gods in their temples. Kentimane then rose out of the ocean and destroyed the foundations of the city, so that the oceans swallowed it. Each of the new gods has remained trapped at the bottom of the ocean for thousands of years. They know that if they could convince someone to kill Scylla and rescue Phaeros, they could return to the surface world and rule over it again as gods.

Building the New Pantheon If approached, the gods are all willing to speak with the heroes. They explain that after being trapped for so many millennia, they wish to leave the world of Thylea and explore the many worlds that lie beyond. They want to leave Thylea in capable hands, and they feel that the heroes are the best candidates for that responsibility. Each of the gods will single out one of the heroes and flatter them, extolling their virtues. Each god selects one hero as a “worthy successor,” and grant them gifts. Quest: Destroying Scylla The gods tell the heroes that they must destroy Scylla, for she has swallowed the Promethean Fire. With the fire released, the gods will be free, and they can use the power of the Promethean Fire to grant a spark of divinity to each of the heroes. Roleplaying the Lost Pantheon The empyreans are lying to the heroes—they are entirely self-interested. They have had their minds twisted by millennia of imprisonment. They want to return to power over Thylea and punish the races that left them trapped at the bottom of the ocean. They have no intention of surrendering any portion of their divinity. Never Mention Phaeros. The gods are careful never to speak of Phaeros. If the heroes mention the many statues of the angel throughout the Sunken Kingdom, they will claim that Phaeros was nothing more than a mortal king of the siren people.

Entering the District 

The Imprisoned Pantheon Each of the gods is imprisoned in their own temple. While they can move freely within their temples, they cannot leave them, even if the walls are torn down. Each of the gods is either a young empyrean or elder empyrean. While the gods can be destroyed, they will simply reform in their temple in 1d6 days. Over the millennia, the gods have convinced several intelligent marine creatures to worship them, including the merfolk and nereid that live in the ruins of the Sunken Kingdom. The gods want these worshippers to free them from imprisonment by killing Scylla, but so far none have been up to the task. These faithful creatures are protective and jealous of their chosen god.

Scattered about this area are numerous statues of various sizes. While several different entities are represented among them, the majority depict the same figure: a tall, angelic being. He is commonly shown brandishing a flaming sword, with his broad wings outstretched. 

There are many statues to Phaeros in this part of the Sunken Kingdom. Some of the statues have his name inscribed upon the base in Thylean script. There are also statues to the other gods, but they are not as numerous or as prominently displayed. liked temples When it comes right down to it, I never n, even if much. Too solemn! I prefer a good taver the wine is watered down.

— Pythor, God of Battle

KEY LOCATIONS

ability: Invincibility of the Sky Father. Once per day, the hero can choose to reduce to 0 the damage from any one source. This magical gift lasts for one week, during which the Sky Father expects the hero to kill Scylla.

D1. Temple of the Sky Father 

The interior of this temple is decrepit and abandoned. The walls are cracked, and the stone altars are broken. In the middle of the floor is a toppled statue of a large centaur. The entire place has been overrun by thick seaweed; tall strands weave gently back and forth on the ocean currents. 

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Shockingly, the inside of this temple is filled with a large bubble of hot, oppressive air that repels seawater. Hundreds of beautifully crafted weapons and suits of armor are scattered about. In the center of the room is a heavily muscled cyclops, working at a massive forge that belches heat and smoke.

The Sky Father (LE elder empyrean) is one of the three elder siblings who rule over the other gods. As a mortal, he was a centaur. He now takes the form of a huge centaur with handsome features and a well-groomed beard. He carries a beautiful silver lance and wears silver and platinum jewelry. He is supremely arrogant to everyone he speaks to, except for the one whom he chooses as his “successor.” Ichthys Guardians. The front chambers of this temple are ruined and covered in seaweed. Hidden amongst the seaweed are three ichthys. These creatures were merfolk heroes who led a band into the Chasm to do battle against Scylla. When they failed, they returned to beg forgiveness of the Sky Father. In a rage, he cursed them to transform into ichthys. They are hateful creatures that attack everyone. The Sky Father’s Gift The Sky Father chooses a strong warrior as his successor. He will bequeath upon this hero a powerful magical

D2. Forge of the Fire King

The Fire King (NE young empyrean) doesn’t like dealing with the aquatic races, and has used his power to create a bubble of air so that they can’t approach him. He appears to be a massively-muscled cyclops with skin that has been seared by countless years working at the forge. He carries a massive hammer. He is initially surprised if someone interrupts him from his work. Once he recovers from his surprise, he becomes inquisitive and wants to know everything that the heroes can tell him about the surface world. The Fire King’s Gift The Fire King chooses someone dressed in superior armor to be his successor. He will allow that hero to choose a single weapon or suit of armor in the temple. Within 8 hours, he will transform the chosen item into a +3 magical version that the hero must attune to equip. He expects the hero to use this item to kill Scylla.

Curse of the Fire King. The enchantment on the item is permanent, but if the hero doesn’t kill Scylla within one week, the item becomes cursed. While under this curse, the hero refuses to relinquish the item. The hero attuned to the item immediately goes into a rage and attacks the closest creature. Once this creature is reduced to 0 hit points, the attuned hero switches to the next closest creature. In addition, the attuned hero regenerates 1 hit point per round while cursed, even if reduced to 0 hit points. The remove curse spell must be cast three times on the item to end the curse.

The Fish Queen (CE young empyrean) takes the form of a 16-foot-tall mermaid. She is armored with coral and wields a beautiful trident. A conch horn hangs around her neck on a cord.

D3. Tomb of the Ghost Lord 

There is an eerie sense of decay and disrepair in this abandoned temple. The woven hangings on the wall are frayed and torn, and the altars are eroded and crumbling. Dark, oily waters swirl around like black smoke, obscuring large parts of the temple from view. 

The Fish Queen’s Gift The Fish Queen chooses the hero most closely associated with the sea. She announces her successor and then blows on her conch horn to summon a giant shark. The shark is completely white in color and has a harness around its neck. The Fish Queen whispers to the shark in Aquan and then tells her chosen hero that the shark will serve as a loyal mount. The shark serves as a loyal mount for seven days, after which point it will turn on its rider and try to kill and consume them.

D5. Shrine of the Moon Maiden 

The Lord of Ghosts (NE elder empyrean) hides within the oily waters at the back of the temple. He giggles occasionally. The Lord of Ghosts is the brother of the Sky Father and the Sun Goddess. He takes the form of a 20-foot tall gygan. Despite his size, he is emaciated, and his skin is parchment white. He is dressed in black robes and carries a long spear. The Mad God. As one of the three elder siblings, the Lord of Ghosts used to rule over the other gods as part of the trinity. However, the millennia of imprisonment have driven him completely mad. He refuses to converse with anyone and instead tries to kill anyone who enters his temple. If the other gods are asked about the Lord of Ghosts, they will warn the heroes to avoid him.

D4. Temple of the Fish Queen 

This magnificent structure is made not from stone, but from coral. The walls and ceiling are bone white and emblazoned with the pattern of a million seashells. Instead of altars or statues, the interior is filled with brightly colored branches of living coral, twisting and intertwining in delicate shapes to form a wondrous garden. 

The front chambers of the temple are occupied by a sisterhood of six nereid called the Fish Speakers. These fey creatures are fanatically loyal to the Fish Queen. They want the honor of killing Scylla for their goddess, but they know that they are not ready yet. They test all visitors, refusing to allow anyone to see the Fish Queen without first besting them in combat.

The view of this room is mostly obscured by thick seaweed that has overrun the temple. Trapped in the twisted strands are broken bits of furnishings and other detritus. Floating above the tangled mess is a stunningly handsome young man. 

The entrance hall of the temple is filled with seaweed and detritus that makes the entire area partially obscured. There are six holes, 2 feet in diameter, along each of the walls of the hallway, but they are difficult to see. Noticing the holes requires a successful DC 20 Wisdom (Perception) check. Behind each hole is a merrow, waiting until given a command to act. The merrow have all fallen under the charms of an oceanid. Taron (CE oceanid) greets anyone who enters the temple. He serves the Moon Maiden and is also madly in love with her. He fantasizes about becoming her consort and is intensely jealous of any other male that tries to seek an audience with her. If any male character seeks to meet with the goddess, the oceanid will try to kill them. In this case, he gives a signal to the merrow, who attack from their concealed locations. The Moon Maiden (NE young empyrean) has the appearance of a towering, beautiful naiad nymph. She is unconcerned about the actions of her murderous oceanid steward, as she is quite used to infatuated mortals acting in such a manner. The Moon Maiden’s Gift The Moon Maiden chooses the hero with the highest Charisma score. She confers upon this hero the title of Head Consort and grants them the boon of beauty. The boon gives the recipient +4 to their Charisma score for seven days, whereupon it becomes the curse of ugliness and reduces the recipient’s Charisma score by 4 points. The curse can be removed with three casts of the remove curse spell. Ch apter 11 | The New Pa ntheon

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D6. Temple of the Great Hunter 

The walls of this large, open chamber are covered with art depicting scenes of savage battles and glorious hunts. In the center of the room, a towering man sits on a massive golden throne, glaring out angrily from his perch. At the foot of the throne are three scowling and battle-scarred storm giants. 

The Great Hunter (CE young empyrean) appears as a 20-foot-tall human man with long black hair. He sits brooding on his throne in the central chamber of the temple, fingering the blade of a giant sword. Storm Giant Servants. Three storm giants serve the Great Hunter. The storm giants don’t worship the empyrean, but they revere him as a great leader who can return giant-kind to greatness. The giants are badly scarred from a failed attempt to kill Scylla. Half of their kin were killed when they descended to the bottom of the Chasm and tried to kill the beast. Testing the Champion. The Great Hunter is in no mood to entertain guests who cannot prove themselves. He orders the storm giants to attack the intruders, but he will stop the fight before anyone can be killed. He will declare whichever hero dealt the most damage to be his champion and possible successor. The Great Hunter’s Gift The Great Hunter grants a loyal companion to his designated champion. It is a chuul that faithfully follows the champion. The chuul will defend the