14-MAR-2008

posted Mar 14, 2008, 8:34 AM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak   [ updated Mar 14, 2008, 10:38 PM ]
The ghouls are no more, you are rolling in treasure, Alric's sister Alora survived the fall of Walton and Manty was in Rebelton about a month and a half ago.

Manty was apparently swept away again.

The wizard in the tower might be interesting to converse with some more.  There is not a lot to buy in Rebelton, so you probably ought to take your money elsewhere.

Decisions, decisions, decisions...

Adventure IV – The Regressing Wizard

Plot

Aurmax the Astounding never died and never had any heir. He has been secluded enough in his tower that no one noticed that he has actually been aging in reverse since the beginning of the new cycle. Having been 139 years old at the time of the cataclysm, he now appears to be ten years old.

The cataclysm had an unexpected effect on his lich's phylactery that he had completed the moment the cataclysm occurred. Instead of maintaining his spirit, it has been reversing his age ever since. This has not diminished his powers, but it is now making it difficult for him to do his research and live within his tower.

Characters

Antagonist(s)

Quasit

Protagonist(s)

Aurmax the Astounding, Male human wizard 19/archmage 5

Setting

Aurmax's Tower, Rebelton

Plot Complication

Aurmax has been absorbed in his research for so long that he only just realized what is happening. The visit by Alric and Hurley was a revelation to him as he stared at the portrait that had been stolen from his parlor. He is concerned that he will start forgetting things because his brain will become less developed as he grows younger and younger.

It quickly dawns on him that his phylactery is causing this phenomenon, but he does not know if destroying it or even interfering with it will have damaging consequences. He thought his phylactery was sustaining him even though he did not die and become a lich. He put in place such powerful and unusual protections for his phylactery that he cannot physically approach it any more. Furthermore, he cannot even mention it to anyone else both because of the magic and out of embarrassment.

The maintenance of his tower has been neglected for so long now that internal magical effects are starting to fail and he is starting to be harassed by demons escaping from a rift that has opened up in his summoning circle. This is making it difficult to impossible to affect repairs.

He finally resolves to get help.

Rising Action

To dramatic effect, Aurmax requests assistance from Rebelton by activating the projection he once used to address the town. Unfortunately, the part of town that this functions in has been abandoned because the population has declined since the time he was governor.

Those in town believe a ghost now haunts the old theater when they hear Aurmax call out for their attention.

Climax

When help finally arrives at Aurmax's Tower, he has been incapacitated by a quasit that has escaped the rift.

Quasit CR 2

CE Tiny outsider (chaotic, extraplanar, evil); LA +5 (cohort, improved familiar)

Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Listen +7, Spot +6

Languages Abyssal, Celestial, Draconic

AC 18 (+2 size, +3 Dex, +3 natural), touch 15, flat-footed 15

hp 13 (3 HD); fast healing 2; DR 5/cold iron or good

Immune poison

Resist fire 10

Fort +3, Ref +6, Will +4

Speed 20 ft. (4 squares), fly 50 ft. (perfect)

Melee 2 claws +8/+8 (1d3-1 plus poison) and bite +3 (1d4-1)

Space 2½ ft.; Reach 0 ft.

Base Atk +3; Grp -6

Atk Options poison

Spell-Like Abilities (CL 6th)

at will—detect good, detect magic, invisibility (self only)

1/day—cause fear (as the spell, except that its area is a 30-foot radius from the quasit, save DC 11)

1/week—commune (6 questions, CL 12th)

Abilities Str 8, Dex 17, Con 10, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 10

SQ alternate form

Feats Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse

Skills Bluff +6, Diplomacy +2, Disguise +0 (+2 acting), Hide +17, Intimidate +2, Knowledge (The Planes) +6, Listen +7, Move Silently +9, Search +6, Spellcraft +6, Spot +6

Poison (Ex) Injury, Fortitude DC 13, initial damage 1d4 Dex, secondary damage 2d4 Dex.

Alternate Form (Su) A quasit can assume other forms at will as a standard action. This ability functions as a polymorph spell cast on itself (caster level 12th), except that a quasit does not regain hit points for changing form, and any individual quasit can assume only one or two forms no larger than Medium. Common forms include bat, monstrous centipede, toad, and wolf. A quasit in alternate form loses its poison attack.


There are other demons attempting to squeeze through the rift. Aurmax has a scroll with two copies of a spell specifically designed to close this rift, but he is unable to cast the spell due to being paralyzed by the quasit's poison. The spell is 7th level.

Dénouement

Once the rift is closed and Aurmax has recovered, with the help of some potions, he explains his theories as to what has happened. He has several ideas about how to deal with his phylactery, but they all need to be researched and he needs help from other wizards that lived through the 5th Wizards' Cataclysm of the last cycle. These include two of the three Deity Kings, The Mage of Miserablé and the Wizard-King of Genesee.

Before any of this can happen, he needs help accessing his fortune. It is secured in a special vault that he can help one of the characters safely enter. Then they can retrieve the funds and treasures to restore the tower and equip the group for his and Zenda's quests. Aurmax knew Manitowoc and he owed Zenda a favor.

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