The Porphyrite Lord

The Porphyrite Lord

I’ve got an adventure hook today that can be used anywhere in the wide world of Porphyra, and I think it would make for some interesting dynamics later – down the line. A bit of warning though, as a dungeon master I tend to craft elaborate plans for my heroes – after all this isn’t Call of Cthulhu, being a hero means something more than staving off the cold loneliness of the real world. (As a brief aside, I love CoC and you should too, but that’s a topic for a different day, and a different place.)

Porphyrite: Porphyrite is a luminous purple stone that first appeared on Porphyra during the New-God Wars. Porphyrite is used to hold the newly reformed world of Porphyra together, to restrict the movement of some forces, and to act as a deterrent to elementals.

Najim: When The Calling was issued, the galactic being known as Najim came to the call, eager to impart the greedy knowledge of the Dark Tapestry. The god was ambushed, however… attacked, rent from Its source of power, Najim was buried deep beneath Purple Mountain, a comatose shell of a god, inhabited within by weird creatures drawn to its alien energies.

The Setup: A wizard gone mad, he has been tunneling into a dark lonely mountain rich with porphyrite, and here he has found a vein rich with something beyond his wildest nightmares. Madness.

This particular vein of porphyrite glows a deep red, the color of blood and pulses with insane energies. These crystals have somehow been exposed to the dark tapestry through The Starfallen Najim.

The wizard has been greedily studying these crystals and has found a unique use for them. He’s found a way to infuse them further with unstable arcane energies and they have grown tremendously explosive. He has been mining the crystals ever since, crafting explosives (including golems, see below) to increase his power and wreak havoc upon his enemies. His ultimate goal, however, is to take the crystals to the Purple Mountain and free Najim from his prison.

This would be disastrous for everyone – worshippers of the new gods and the elementalists alike.

Hooks: Aside from the obvious desire to stop Najim from being freed, the heroes could be contacted by a concerned populace which has noticed the red pulses of arcane energy and this Dark Porphyrite in the night. Strange mutations could be happening to local flora and fauna, or even weird alien beings twisted by the Dark Tapestry could be roaming the area, leading the PCs to a strange workshop.

This should be a high-level adventure but it should be fun, and feel free to get crazy, we’ve got unstable magic, a lost god, and the Dark Tapestry!

Unstable Porphyrite Golem: Same as Porphyrite Golem with the following ability (+1 CR):

Unstable Porphyrite (Ex) When this creature is reduced to 25% of its hit points or suffers a single physical blow which deals 30 or more damage to the creature it erupts in a conflagration of unstable magical energy. Roll a d12 and consult the table below, adding 1 for each additional 10 damage the blow dealt.

1-2: The creature seethes with painful magical energy. It is now under the effects of the Fire Shield spell until it is healed or destroyed. The damage dealt is of the force type, as magic missile.

3-5: The creature explodes dealing 8d6 damage to itself and everything in a 20’ radius. Reflex save DC 22 for half. The golem does not get a save.

6-8: The unstable energies wrap themselves around the golem healing it. The golem gains fast healing 4 until it is fully healed or destroyed.

9-11: The energy takes on a gaseous form spewing forth a Cloudkill from the creature. The effective CL of this spell is 7+ the modifier applied to the d12.

12: The golem emits a confusion spell, CL 7+ the modifier applied to the d12.

13+: The creature explodes with unstable energy casting Reverse Gravity in the process. CL 9+ the modifier applied to the d12.

Only one effect may be active at a time – a new effect will replace an older one. Only one effect may occur each round.

This modification to the golem makes it much more dangerous, and adds a bit of whimsy to the game, which I often find missing in Pathfinder. Wizards of the Coast took a much harder, colder, and more numerical approach to D&D and Paizo followed suite. This is a bit of a throw back to second edition and TSR, back when the worlds were new, and the stars burned hot – and you had no idea what you were getting yourself into. I hope you find it as fun as I do.

-Game on,

Alex Kugler

Perry has written a module about the waking of Najim, it is called Purple Mountain VII: Domain of the Hidden God.


Dastardly Desert: Siwathi Surveyors

– by Alex Kugler


If you’re like me, and you’ve been playing Dungeons & Dragons-style fantasy rpgs for what seems like forever (oh dear, I’ve already hit my gaming quarticentennial) then you’ve played every iteration of generic fantasy world, à la Middle Earth. Whether that world is Abeir-Toril, Oerth, Golarion or one that you and your buddies cooked up in the basement, odds are you started out running from town to town over rolling meadows and through the occasional dark and scary forest – before delving into a dungeon. And you loved every minute of it. But as you play and grow, gain experience, and level up as a player you hunger for new and exciting realms to explore, save… or terrorize.

Porphyra gives you plenty of options and one of those is the Siwathi Desert. With a loose backdrop hinting at Scheherazade’s One Thousand and One Nights there’s a myriad of options both for one-off adventures, as well as long-term campaigns where you can really focus on the grit of survival in a less than hospitable environment – hope you’re up to date on the environmental rules.

There’s always the standard invasion of a pyramid full of undead, warring with the local flea-bags – I mean gnolls – or a war of succession involving the ever aging Ha’roun al-Rashid but this is only the surface of the adventuring potential. Tombs full of undead, gnolls, succession wars – those could take place anywhere, but the majesty of the Siwathi is the remnants of the elemental lords, the zendiqi, and the shifting roles of each.
There are twelve elemental lords resigned to living in the darkness, worshiped only by shadowy cults and the zendiqi. Each of the elementals formally known as gods rained elemental crystals into the sterile desert when they were banished from divinity by the New Gods. Each one of the elemental stones possess a tiny bit of the malice, hate, and anger of the elementals, but some contain more darkness than others.

There are so many options to terrorize…I mean play, with your players.

For example:

In the ruins of an old temple complex stands a tower and that tower has a complex mechanism inside, gears and motors – ticking around and around, looking suspiciously like something from the far-off Clockwork Lands, though these gears continue, unmuddied by time or sand. Atop the strange ticking tower, a clock keeps time, each number on the clock, has a depression designed for a stone of power. Eleven of the twelve stones have been found and placed in their respective slots, only a powerful shard of the elemental lord Kurofu the Shadow is missing from the Ticking Tower.

What’s going to happen when the final stone is placed in the tower?

This is where the real fun can begins You, as a creative and insightful DM can take your players on a carpet ride going in any direction you want. Are they going to try and find the stone themselves? And what will they do once they have it? Are they going to run into an evil cult dedicated to the resurrection of the elemental lords or is it an ancient doomsday device the elemental lords put in motion in the final days of the war they saw themselves losing? What would you have done? I’d have made a doomsday device powered by Sphere of Annihilation but, hey, that’s me.

With all the fun of the elemental lords you also have the terribly xenophobic, territorial, and somewhat unpleasant zendiqi. Winning over difficult civilizations can be a rich and rewarding roleplaying experience for players and DMs alike. This also gives your players an opportunity to play the xenophobes, on a holy crusade to reestablish the power of their fallen Lords. If you decide to play a group zendiqi you can even follow the path of their fallen Lords attempting to restore them to their rightful place.

The Siwathi Desert gives you a lot more options than a standard generic desert, and with a bit of creativity you can run an entire campaign based around the unique aspects of the desert, or simply drop a party there for a few levels of fun.

I hope I knocked few inspirations free in that brain of yours with my musings, and feel free to let me know if you have any questions or ideas.

If you are looking for books related to this post might I suggest:

  • Elemental Lords of Porphyra by Perry Fehr which contains background on all of the fallen Elemental Lords and their war with the New Gods of Porphyra.
  • For more player and GM information  on the Desert of Siwath and its inhabitants, I would recommend Heroes of the Siwathi Desert by Perry Fehr and Josh McCrowell.