You find yourselves standing in a large chamber, a single door on each wall. In the center of the room stands a pedestal with four distinct holes where an item can be placed. Suspended in the air by those same silvery strands of aether is a large crystal, light blue in color – or is green? Purple maybe? It changes as you shift your eyes. There is little else of interest in this room.
There are four doors out of this room, each one leading to a chamber containing one of four crystals necessary to activate the pylon. Feel free to present these rooms in whichever order you would like, or to continue with the randomness of the astral plane, roll a D4 to see which room they enter first. If the party attempts to discern the magical nature of the room, both the pedestal and the crystal and wrapped in a great deal of magic, as well as a dweomer making it very difficult to discern its true nature.
Chamber of Order: After proceeding down a hall you find yourself looking at another door with that strange magical writing circling it. As you enter the chamber you find yourself face to face with a most horrifying carrion-fed insect looking withered cadaver. Around its neck, like a collar, a swirling blue light prevents the creature from flying.
This chamber contains a Bone Devil, who is incapable of flight and cannot summon another of its kind. A radiant crystal sits discarded in the corner, obviously of little interest to the demon. The demon is kept here as an additional guard.
Chamber of Howling: The chamber off of this hallway has a pair of strong double doors. The sound of panting can be heard within. An inscription sits above the door, which reveals itself in your native tongue. Anchor’s Away.
This chamber contains one Cerberi plus one for each PC. They have been starved and attack the PCs on sight. There is a small pond in the far end of the chamber, and with sits a golden anchor, 50ft down. Inside the anchor sits a magical crystal which fits into the pedestal. The golden anchor, while functionally useless, is worth 5000gp and weighs 500 pounds.
Chamber of Color: Each wall of this room, the ceiling, and the floor are a different color. The east wall is red, the north wall is green, the west wall is black and the ceiling is white. The floor consists of large blue tiles. The south wall is gray and a small ledge has a sealed multihued stone chest set upon a sill. Around the door are painted five creatures – two on the left, two on the right and one above the door. Each creature has a single empty eye socket, about 1” in diameter. One the ceiling is the following inscription, which appears in your native tongue. Black does not look up to Red. White rests not on the right. Red lies not on the left. Red and Blue reside higher than Green. Black resides near, but not at the top. Five colored gems rest in slots near the chest one blue, one black, one red, one green, and one white.
The chest is immune to magic and brute force.
The Answer: · Top, Kraken, Blue · Manticore, upper left, Black · Dragon, upper right, red · Wolf, lower left, white · Basilisk, lower right, green
If each gem is correctly socketed nothing bad happens and when all five are placed the chest opens revealing another gem for the main rooms pedestal. If the incorrect gem is socketed the follow effects occur:
- Kraken: Resolve the spell Black Tentacles at CL9
- Manticore: 2d6 Spikes shoot out of the wall, each dealing 1d6+5. Assign targets randomly
- Dragon: The room fills with fire dealing 5d6 fire damage, Ref save for half, DC 17
- Wolf: The room fills with ice dealing 5d6 cold damage, Ref save for half, DC 17
- Basilisk: Resolve the spell Poisonous Cloud at CL7
After the treasure chest opens the gems may be recovered and each is worth 2500gp.
Chamber of Salvation: This chamber is smaller than all the rest and contains two pedestals. One holds a familiar looking magic bowl, the other a chest which seems as though it cannot be opened by any other means. The back wall has the following words inscribed in magical script which appears to you in your native tongue; Suffer as you have made others suffer. Feel what they feel.
This vessel functions much as the previous only this one is fueled by constitution damage. The basin accepts blood and can only be sated once d4+1 per PC is sacrificed to it. When this is done the chest opens revealing the final crystal necessary to operate the pedestal.
When each of the four crystals are placed into the pedestal a vast arcane burst occurs, focused on the crystal in the top of the chamber, the crystal resonates with potent energies and suddenly it shatters. In a brilliant flash of light a creature resembling a tengu, save for its eyes’ golden glow appears, its immaculate white robes contrast starkly with its black feathers, and its willow staff sheds a pale light. Only the golden eyes quickly turn red, black twisted veins pulsing with darkness. As suddenly as it appeared it attacks. The pedestal is now glowing with a soft blue light.
This is Harahel the Fallen, a Preceptor Archon who has been locked away in this prison for millennia, until a group of unwitting heroes let it free. He has gone mad in isolation, his dark powers no less potent. Treat him as any archon only he is no longer good, and as such replace all good descriptors with evil.
Harahel wants nothing more than to escape, but unfortunately the way out is not clear yet. This room is affected by dimensional anchor. Every two rounds one of the crystals should no longer glow, and after eight rounds a portal to the prime material plane should appear (Conveniently to wherever the PCs need to go). If you would like to extend this into a longer adventure allowing Harahel to escape is an excellent way to generate a future Big Bad Evil Guy.
If the heroes slay Harahel or look around after he flees, they can claim the four crystals in the pedestal, each one worth 2500 gp.
I hope you enjoyed this foray into the Astral Plane, and as always,