Divine Golem Expedition Plot in Niorath | World Anvil

Divine Golem Expedition

This oneshot will be converted to another system but is currently set to 5e

Adventure background

  This oneshot can be made as long as you needed and easily be converted into several sessions. This article will discuss the basic events of the plot but will also give options for additional encounters and travel through the dangerous region.  
Silent Forest
The Silent Forest is believed to have been the site of an ancient battle which went terribly wrong. Today it is a haunted place filled with petrified trees, permanent mist and according to survivors untold horrors.
  During the adventure the group will travel through a dangerous region affected by Chaos Corruption known as the Silent Forest. Many brave adventurers have tried to find riches in the Silent Forest but few return.   A rich benefactor recently came in the possession of an ancient text that contained the possible location of the Divine Golem, an ancient giant construct of great power. The group is tasked with verifying the location mentioned in the texts before a much larger force would be send in to retrieve it. Will the group succeed when so many before them have failed.  

Kavaldri

  The group will start there journey from Kavaldri, a frontier settlement that houses the troops who defend the eastern edge of the Silent Forest. Given that the settlement is well supplied the group can start their journey will all the food and gear they need. The estimated duration of the expedition is two weeks but the group takes additional supplies for 6 days with them. After getting a permit to enter the forest they are free to depart.   When the group decides to leave they will reach the border of the forest after about 3 hours. The guards along the various watch towers will stop them to see if everything is in order. Afterwards the group is reminded that they are not allowed to take Chaos Falls with them on the way back if they don't want to be imprisoned.  

Travel

  After passing the edge of the Silent Forest it will not take long for the group to see why it was given this name. The Chaos Tempests start appearing and get more extreme the further they walk but the storm produces no sound. Besides the sound they make themselves the forest is completely silent.  
An additional problem in the forest is the inability to determine the time thanks to the Chaos Tempests. It is always feels like it is night although the frequent purple lightning enables normal sight. However, due to these environmental factor it is difficult for humanoids without darkvision to aim.   Example
When a creature without darkvision tries to hit something with a ranged attack the AC becomes AC+2
  The forest itself is quite dangerous but there are some rumors which are said to originate from the few survivors that returned from the forest. Below you can find a table that contains a few of these rumors and whether they are true or not. Let each player roll to see what they heard but keep the fact if they are true or not to yourself.  
Roll Rumor True/False
1 Magic surges can occur which cause temporary weird effects in an area True
2 Being hit by a lightning strike from the Chaos Tempest above can cause chaos corruption False
3 It is common to encounter humanoids affected by chaos corruption. They have lost all sense of their former selves. True
4 Sometimes the chaos tempest grows stronger and a heavy fog descends. You need to take shelter when this happens as prolonged exposure can kill you. True
5 Ancient constructs of the Gnomes are said to still roam near their old settlements. False
6 Some of the large Chaos crystals in the region are actually dangerous entities from which more creatures can spawn. True
 

Corrupted

  On the second day of travel the group encounters several corrupted humanoids who seem to have appeared out of nothing. Read the following.  
For the entire day you don't hear any sound besides your own and those of the people around you. As far as you can see there are only petrified trees and rocks visible only due to the frequent lightning strikes. To your surprise a group of strange humanoids appears from behind a large rock outcropping seemingly out of nowhere. Although they resemble humanoids you quickly notice that they are covered in purple crystals. These are Corrupted.
 
by Kefkejaco with midjourney
  A fight ensues as these Corrupted turn violent upon noticing the group. You are free to decide the amount of Corrupted they encounter which will likely depend on the level of the characters. For a group of 5 lvl 10 characters assume there are 4 Corrupted for this fight.   Corrupted

Corrupted CR: 4

Medium aberration,
Armor Class: 15
Hit Points: 60(8d8+24)
Speed: 30 ft.

STR

16 +3

DEX

14 +2

CON

16 +3

INT

6 -2

WIS

6 -2

CHA

6 -2

Skills: Perception +3, Stealth +4
Damage Resistances: bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons, psychic, necrotic
Condition Immunities: exhaustion, poisoned, charmed
Senses: Darkvision 60ft
Challenge Rating: 4

Sunlight Sensitivity While in sunlight, the wight has disadvantage on attack rolls, as well as on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.

Actions

Multiattack The crystal zombie makes two attacks with it's claws. It can use its Crystal Splinters in place of one claw attack.   Crystal Splinters Melee Weapon Attack:+5, Reach 5 ft., one creature, Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) psychic damage   The crystal zombie infuses the target with crystal splinters that attack the nervous system.The target must succeed on a DC 13 Charisma saving throw or its hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the damage taken. This reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0. A humanoid slain by this attack rises 24 hours later as a crystal zombie, unless the humanoid is restored to life or its body is destroyed.   Claw Melee Weapon Attack:+5, Reach 5 ft., one target, Hit: 8 (1d10 + 3) slashing damage   Crystal Blast The crystals on the crystal zombie's back start shining and vibrating until the zombie releases a blast in a 15ft cone in front of it. Every creature in the area must make a DC15 Dexterity saving throw or suffer 14(force) damage. On a succesful save the target takes half that damage.

 

Heavy Storm

  During at least one of the days of travel the storm above grows heavier and a thick fog starts to descend. The party will need to take shelter or will suffer some consequences.  
For every 3 minutes that no decent shelter has been found every member of the group needs to make a DC 13 constitution saving throw. On a fail they suffer 2d6 necrotic damage. Finding shelter in the strange forest is not easy and will likely require some survival checks. In any case it will be very unlikely that the group finds shelter within the first 3 minutes of the storm.
  This event can happen multiple times and is more likely to occur the further the group travels into the forest.  

No Gravity

  During one of the travel days of your choosing a sudden magic surge occurs. Gravity stops working as it normally does and all the creatures in the area start floating 2 meter above the ground. On top of that it seems that everyone is moving further upwards at a small but noticeable pace.   The group will need to find ways to move out of the area as they don't have access to the ground to push themselves away. Luckily once they have found a way to propel themselves forward they can keep moving for a short while.   Example solution
The other members of the group could try to push one character away from them towards a tree while holding a rope. The rest could then use this rope to move themselves forward.
  If the group does not move out of the area they will waste 1 day before gravity in the area returns to normal. If they also did not prevent themselves from going up they will suddenly fall getting 5d6 damage.  

Fake River

  At some point the party will come across a river that looks very clear and easy to cross. However this river is an illusion. In reality the illusion covers a crevasse that at some points is quite deep. If a person tries to cross the river without checking it they will fall into the crevasse and get 3d6 damage. On top of that they will now need to find a way out of it. To any person outside the illusion it will look like the character disappeared.   It is quite easy to check if the river is real by using magic to reveal its nature or by throwing someting in and see that it does not generate a splash.  

The Vortex

 

The Ruins

  After about 7 days of travel the group will reach the ruins which, according to their patron, are near the final location of the Divine Golem. From a distance the group can easily see the large amount of corrupted that in the ruined settlement.   The group needs to be on the west side of the settlement and can easily sneak around it. If the party is enticed to visit the settlement at some point you expand the adventure by returning here at some point.  

The Crater

  When they reach the other side of the settlement it does not take them long to notice a very large crater surrounded by a large amount of skeletons. If your patron is to be believed this was the sight of a very large battle between the Gnome Draconid Alliance and the Selefer.   After reaching the edge of the crater the group can see a gigantic metallic construct in the middle of it. This vaguely humanoid construct is stuck in the ground from the waist down but still has one arm exposed. From afar they can already see that this arm is fitted with what looks like a gigantic cannon.   If the group comes closer the construct seem to awaken and starts to charge this weapon. Luckily for the group the construct in its current state is rather bad at aiming and shoots a bit in random directions. Whether they approach the Divine Golem or not one of the nearby large Chaos Crystals changes shape to become a big blubbery mass. It then quickly moves behind them and blocks their path. The group stands in front of a Chaos Vortex, a dangerous creature only a few have heard about.   Chaos Vortex

Chaos Vortex CR: 17

Huge aberration, chaotic evil
Armor Class: 20
Hit Points: 215 (17d12 +105)
Speed: 20 ft. , hover: 35 ft.

STR

21 +5

DEX

11 +0

CON

25 +7

INT

20 +5

WIS

12 +1

CHA

18 +4

Damage Immunities: bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons, psychic, poison, acid
Condition Immunities: charmed, exhaustion, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, unconscious
Senses: truesight 240 ft.
Challenge Rating: 17

Attack on the mind All melee attacks by the Chaos Vortex are considered magical. In addition to the regular damage they also deal psychic damage as victims are affected by short bouts of insanity.   Immutable Form The Chaos Vortex is immune to any spell or effect that would alter its form.   Legendary Resistance (2/Day) If the vortex fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.   Living Chaos Portal (3/Day) The Chaos Vortex opens a portal to the Primal Chaos and can summon up to 3 chaos creatures per day with a combined CR of 8. This can be either one creature or several. Every summoned creature counts as one use. If the max CR is reached no more creatures can be summoned.  

Actions

MultiattackThe Chaos Vortex can make three protrusion attacks. One of these can be exchanged for an engulf attack on a hit of a protrusion attack.   Protrusion. Melee Weapon Attack:+11, Reach 30ft, one target Hit: 18 (2d10+5) bludgeoning damage and 6(1d10) psychic damage.   EngulfThe target is engulfed by the Chaos Vortex and is considered grappled (DC 18). When a creature begins its turn while engulfed it needs to make an intelligence saving throw (DC 18) or suffer 11(2d10) psychic damage or half as much on a success. A total of three creatures can be engulfed by the Chaos Vortex. Trying to free a creature requires a (DC 19) strength check.   Chaos Mind (Recharge 5-6) Each creature within a 20 ft radius needs to make an intelligence saving throw (DC 18) as the Chaos Vortex invades the mind. The victims see chaotic images in their mind causing short term insanity. The creatures take 4d10 psychic damage or half as much on a success. Those that fail have disadvantage on attack rolls for the next turn.

Legendary Actions

Protrusion The Chaos Vortex makes one protrusion attack.   Corruption (costs 2 actions) The Chaos Vortex unleashed a wave of Chaos energy. Each creature within 10 ft. takes 5 (1d8) necrotic damage and each creature must make a (DC 10) Constitution saving throw or be affected with Chaos Corruption. If this is not healed with Greater Healing in the first hour the disease can progress further.

 
During the fight there will be some additional challenges. The Divine Golem keeps firing at random. Roll a d6 each round, on a 5 or a 6 the blast will go off near one of the characters. This character needs to make a DC14 dexterity saving throw or take 2d6 damage or half as much on a success.   In addition to that the Chaos Vortex will use its Living Chaos Portal ability to summon at least 1 crystal hound. If you want to ramp up the challenge this could be more.
  Crystal Hound

Crystal Hound CR: 3

Medium aberration,
Armor Class: 15
Hit Points: 45 (7d8+14)
Speed: 50 ft.

STR

17 +3

DEX

12 +1

CON

14 +2

INT

6 -2

WIS

13 +1

CHA

6 -2

Skills: Perception +5
Damage Immunities: Fire
Senses: Darkvision 60 Ft., passive Perception 15
Languages: Understands Infernal but can't speak it
Challenge Rating: 3

Keen Hearing and Smell The hound has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing or smell.   Pack Tactics The hound has advantage on an attack roll against a creature if at least one of the hound's allies is within 5 ft. of the creature and the ally isn't incapacitated.

Actions

Bite Melee Weapon Attack:+5, Reach 5 ft., one target, Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) piercing damage plus 7 (2d6) radiant damage   Force Blast (Recharge 5-6) The hound's crystal begin to shine and release a blast in all directions. Each creature within 10 ft of the hound must make a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw, taking 21 (6d6) force damage on a failed save and falling prone, or half as much damage on a successful one.

  The Chaos Vortex will only fight until it has 75 hitpoints left. When this occurs it will suddenly expand rapidly and engulf the entire party. Several minutes go by during which the party see all kinds of psychedelic images pass by. Each party member takes 1d6 psychic damage after which the suddenly fall on the hard forest floor. Both the Vortex and the Divine Golem are nowhere to be seen.  

Conclusion

 

Return

  The group suddenly finds themselves near the edge of the forest not too far from where they first entered. As they verified the location of the Divine Golem they are now free to return to their patron.   If you want to increase the lenght of this adventure you could allow them to return to the ruins or even let them explore different areas of the forest. However, it will still be a good idea to get new supplies.  

Extra Encounters

  If you want to make the one shot itself a bit longer you could add this additional encounter on one of the nights during the journey.   When one of the characters is keeping watch a sudden howl can be heard quite clearly which is likely to wake the rest of the group as well. Not soon after the party is attacked by several Chaos Beast that look similar to large dogs but are all warped in special ways. For a party of 5 lvl 10 characters there should be 4-6 of these hounds.   Storm Hound
coming soon
Corrupted Hound
coming soon

Adventure Summary

  This oneshot stands well on its own but could be added to another campaign where there is a dangerous corrupted forest. In this case it will probably be best to change the goal of the expedtion to something important in your world.   The adventure takes the group on a long journey throug the dangerous Silent Forest. They are send there to verify the location of the Divine Golem, an ancient powerful construct. Along the way the will encounter strange events and many corrupted creatures.  
This oneshot could later easily be expanded into a longer story as there are still many areas left in the Silent Forest to explore. They are sure to find powerful items or ancient technolgy if they manage to survive.

Adventure Background

 

Silent Forest

  The Silent Forest is believed to have been warped by an ancient battle that went terribly wrong. Today it is a haunted place filled with petrified trees, permanent storms, and according to surviving adventurers, untold horrors. Although there is constant stormy weather there is an almost complete lack of sound except for the sounds made by those in one's proximity. Because of this weird phenomenom it has received this name.   As the region was home to an ancient and powerful Gnome civilization many adventurers travel here to find riches in the ruins. Only few return however.  
Silent Forest
Geographic Location | Jul 24, 2022
 

Corruption

  Chaos corruption is the one of the most feared things in the world of Niorath. No one is spared from it, no plant, no creature and not even the very soil remains unaffected. Once the corruption has run its course it is sometimes even impossible to see what a creature was before it. These mutations can have all sorts of effects and it is best to not attempt to challenge an affected creature unless one is well prepared.   Most of the corruption starts from the use of forbidden Chaos Magic. The bad part is that the effects of this use can remain in an area for ages without showing any decline.  
Chaos Corruption
Condition | May 21, 2022
 

Divine Golem

  The Divine Golem is a well known myth from the Ilbon Pantheon also known as Tanajin's Juggernaut to those of other faiths. It was a construct of unparalled proportions said to dwarf even the largest buildings.   This weapon of destruction was used in a war against the Selefer. According to some the final battle took place in the current Silent Forest which would also make it the last resting place of the Divine Golem.  
Divine Golem
Myth | Dec 25, 2022
 

Chaos Tempests

  The chaos tempests are manifestations of the Primal Chaos and are therefore mostly found around places that were previously affected by chaos magic.   A chaos tempest can be distinguished from a regular thunderstorm from afar by the purple tint. Once one is above it becomes very clear how different it is. Whereas a normal thunderstorm would have typically have lightning going from the cloud to the ground, a chaos tempest does not have the same limit. The lightning strikes are more frequent and purple in color. But the strangest thing is perhaps that they do not always touch the ground. Lightning in a chaos tempest is alive and actually seems to fly around.   If chaos tempest remain in a region it can quickly become corrupted by chaos. The entire environment becomes warped in strange ways and the creatures living there receive the same fate.  
Chaos Tempests
Physical / Metaphysical Law | Jul 6, 2023
 

Chaos Vortex

  Within areas affected by Chaos Corruption there is a variety of monstrosities that one can encounter. The worst of all is perhaps the Chaos Vortex. It is still shrouded in mystery as there are only few who encounter it and live to tell the tale.   But from what the few accounts that do reach the civilised world we know a few things. That it is without a defined form and that it can spawn various chaos monstrosities. This is why it is generally assumed that it has a form of connection to the Primal Chaos itself.  
Chaos Vortex
Species | Jul 27, 2022

Cover image: by Kefkejaco with midjourney

Comments

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20 Apr, 2023 22:50

Have you considered making part of the sidebar "sticky" so it slides? like with articletoc that can take the gm to the part of the article they need with a single click?

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23 Apr, 2023 22:17

I love your adventure, the story, the them and mood of it! I love the detail in maps, stat blocks and sidebar as well. Great job.


   
28 Apr, 2023 07:23

This looks awesome, the art stunning and very creative, as always great work and just a joy to read

4 May, 2023 03:34

As always a wonderful article with beautiful maps and artwork. Keep up the amazing work Kefke.