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Episode 50 - In the Temple of Madness

General Summary

  • The Guardians of Golarion found themselves inside the temple of the mad god Tharzduun.
  • The walls were injected with powerful enchantments called mythals used to protect the location where it was anchored. These were great feats of magic and required regular maintenance and upkeep lest their protections begin to unravel as they lost potency. Such was the case here, coupled with the presence of the rare and magical Chronomantic energies.
  • A heartbeat-like thump echoed through the temple. The lights flickered in time with the beats, trembled in the floor.
  • Further north were cells that held old skeletons with tiny holes in them.
  • Continued north, found some kind of catalog room filled with books of necromantic energy.
  • Attacked by a Haunt that wanted to feed off the Guardians' fears. Some were drained by the experience, fatigued.
  • In the east was a room with a stairwell. The heroes also found a pale humanoid with tentacles coming out of his mouth and nose feeding on the skull of a dying drow woman. The party drove the creature, a Voidcaller, away from the woman and it disappeared. The drow woman had a small worm burrowing into her brain. They recognized her as Lady Charlindra Ah’norzza, member of the Twilight Empire and soon-to-be vessel for Empress Ardura.
  • The Guardians decided to keep her as a prisoner, so they tied her up and killed the mind worm in her skull. When she recovered, she confessed to being a member of the true Twilight Empire - a few small kingdoms, the capital Nighthold covered in clouds. She told them she was a member of the Twilight Council with a few others - drow and human alike.
  • The Lady mentioned that Lasdolon and Zalatas simply manipulated the council but no longer sat on it. They do not seem to care.
  • She suspected Lasdolon was insane and does not believe that what he planned was for the benefit of the drow, or the Empire. As far as she knew, he planned to blot out the sun using the earthfall runes. The exact plans were known only to Lasdolon and Zalatas.
  • Lady Charlindra had been sent to the temple because Zalatas suspected one of the soul stones that held him prisoner was here. She had come with about a dozen members of the Circle of Shadows. They were ambushed by the Voidcallers. Some of her men were killed, some were captured. Some appeared to be under the thrall of the Voidcallers. She came to the temple hoping Zalatas was wrong. She now feared he was right.
  • Zalatas and Lasdolon need her for part of their plan so she is not too concerned for her safety should she betray them, but as more time passes the less sure she is of her safety.
  • Lasdolon and Zalatas were on another task, something about them looking for something. It must be important if they sent her to retrieve the soul shard crystal rather than coming themselves.
  • Lady Charlindra was a blood descendant of Ardura.
  • She does not believe there is any of Nolveniss left. He calls himself Zalatas but wears the skin of Nolveniss. He is younger, stronger, and has a disturbing aura about him.
  • Lady Charlindra admitted that the only reason she was telling them all of this was that she felt they may be the only ones who could stop Lasdolon. She knew that Lasdolon believed that, in the end, the Guardians would help him complete his final plan. She wanted to save her people, much like the Guardians wanted to save theirs. Common goals.
  • In the south, the Guardians found another cataloging room. Rooker discovered an ancient book of rituals, the wording hinted that these spellcasters had formerly used 10th-level magic and these rituals were likely related to that. They could potentially be incredibly dangerous should they be released to the outside world. Rooker pocketed the book.
  • There was a massive tome on the massive southern pedestal. It was titled Principae Antiquus (The Old Leaders) and was made of thinly hammered brass and silver, bound by covers made of magically-reinforced stone. Each page was three feet wide by five feet high. The tome was massive, and when closed was nearly four feet thick, weighing well over 500 pounds. The tome was currently open, and when Fjord, Hugo, and Reh read the symbols they were overtaken by the powers of the book. They began chanting and everything faded to blackness.
  • Visions of the creation of everything, the birth of Ihys and Asmodeus. The start of the god war over the fate of mortals. The betrayal of Ihys by Asmodeus, and the creation of the chains of binding by Asmodeus. Ihys being thrown into the Abyss, assaulted by demons as he fell from layer to layer. Discovery by the Qlippoth, which immediately drove the weakened god mad.
  • It then changed to Algolon facing Zalatas. Zalatas, who was actually the Herald of Tharzduun, was the brother of Algolon. Algolon used an Ioun Stone with a Wish embedded in it to trap Zalatas within a Soul Stone of Imprisonment, split the crystal into three pieces, and all three pieces disappeared. The power illuminated Algolon, and when the light disappeared only star-like nodes remained. They rose into the sky and the darkness faded.
  • The heartbeat echoed again, three times this time.
  • Quickly continued to the West, found another stairwell as well as bodies of members of the Circle of Shadows. The thumping sounds seemed to be coming from up the stairs.
  • A forty-minute walk up the stairs led to a platform at the top (bottom?) of the pyramid. Clouds of necrotic energy from overhead.
  • A set of double doors bulging toward the platform. Beyond the door, dozens of humanoid figures were arrayed in a loose circle around a massive crystalline pillar, and inside could be seen a thick fleshy mass that flailed against the side. Each impact caused a tremendous shuddering “thump” to tear through the temple. The figures were deep in a chant and appeared to be focused on their task.
  • The ground between the newly-opened doors and the crystalline pillar was a living carpet of tentacles. Green, brown, black, and altogether slimy and slick with gore, these creatures seemed to pulse and undulate in time with the thumping of the creature trapped in the crystal.
  • A group of Voidcallers turned to face the Guardians, their hoods pulled up and over their faces. Many of them suddenly vanished, leaving six to continue chanting around the crystal. One of the surviving Circle of Shadow assassins attacked the party.
  • During combat with the Voidcallers and the Assassin, the crystal became damaged. A huge arm, far bigger than the crystal itself, broke through the side of the crystal and reached for the party. This was an imprisoned aspect of Zalatas that the Voidcallers were trying to free.
  • The Voidcallers were killed and the Assassin came to Lady Charlindra, confused. Rooker and Fjord were able to repair the crystal after the aspect of Zalatas was driven back.

Rewards Granted

Loot

 
  • Six magical daggers carried by the Voidcallers
  • Six magical symbols of Tharzduun.
  •  

    XP

      81,401 + 12,800 = 94,201 XP!

    Missions/Quests Completed

    • Zalatas and Algolon were brothers. Zalatas was the Herald of Tharzduun.
    • The Vision revealed two Vestiges of Tharzduun - the Eye of the Abyss, and the Claw of Tharzduun (Sword of Zalatas).
    • Zalatas can sense the general location of a Soul Stone shard. Lady Charlindra Ah’norzza and the Circle of Shadows tracked down the precise location, but Zalatas was rather precise in his directions. Lady Charlindra felt that Zalatas had been to the temple, or very close to it, sometime in the past.
    • Originally a Temple to Tharzduun, Voidcaller cultists turned it into more of a laboratory when they discovered the Soul Stone. They ran methodical tests on it, trying to find a way to weaponize its power. Once they discovered the truth of what it was, they began working on a way to free it.
    • Around the base of the Soul Stone was a stone ring. At three separate positions in the ring were pieces that the Guardians had seen before - fragments of the Cypher Gate that they were using as part of their ritual.
    • Most of the Drow seem unfamiliar with the history of Lasdolon. He just showed up years ago and instantly positioned himself within the most powerful family in the Darklands as their adopted son. He and Nolveniss grew close, and Nolveniss seemed to be the only one Lasdolon ever truly trusted.
    Campaign
    Second Darkness
    Protagonists
    Hugo
    Reh
    Telith Nordhof
    Sir Godric
    Rooker Shango
    Report Date
    24 Jan 2020
    Primary Location

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