Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cush & Pwenet Preview 4 - Pillars, Mists and Spires

Note: No ostriches appear in this preview!
53.15 Fortress of Pillars: There is a very strange fortress in this hex. The structure is built of bluish-grey stone and is raised above the ground on pillars encusted with sea shells. It has a grand front gate of oak and iron, but no apparent way to enter it without walking on air (and this is, in fact, the way the fortress is entered by visitors – the inhabitants use the hippogriffs kept in the stable to come and go).

It is a large keep with nine towers (one is central) topped by glass bubbles aquamarine in color that, from afar, appear to be filled with water. This is a trick of the eye – each in fact holds a small garden of exotic, fragrant flowers from the jungles of Cush. The walls of the fortress are 30 feet tall, the eight outer towers about 40 feet tall and the central tower about 50 feet tall. Atop the walls, one sees 1d4 crossbow-armed goblins on watch at any given time. The walls are exceptionally slick, and one suffers a -2 penalty to climb them.

The fortress actually holds 40 goblins (ring mail, spear, light or heavy crossbow) and other monstrous guards. They work for His Most Illustrious Eminence, the Palatine Baron Devald the Daring, a displaced Tremanni warrior who made his fortune as a trader, raider and plunderer in Ende and Cush. As mentioned above, he has a stable of 10 hippogriffs, and he also has an old goblin witch-woman called Zaxa who serves as his major domo and court wizard.

54.27 Mists: This hex is thronged by enchanted mists. The hex looks clear during the day, but if adventurers spend the night here, they awake to a thick fog that makes navigation all but impossible. A ranger or druid can attempt to roll 1d12 under their level to escape the hex – others have a 1 in 20 chance per day to escape. The mists are inhabited by a company of people who lingered too long here. They now appear as misty shades. When encountered (2 in 6 chance per day; 2d8 shades) they attempt to drag people deeper into the mists. After one week in the mists, adventurers must pass a Will save each day or lose one level; any person who has all their levels drained (either by the mists or by the shades), becomes one of the people-of-the-mist and is trapped in this weird pseudo-dimension for all time.

55.35 Spires: The landscape of the savannah here is broken by large limestone spires and arches. The ground here is uneven and difficult to travel across. The soil is sandy around the spires and in the many shallow canyons, and thick with brambles and poisonous snakes. A keen-eyed elf might notice a vast murder of ravens wheeling and keening about a particularly tall spire in the distance. At the base of this spire, a female fighter called Ambang lies dying, two arrows piercing her breast. She was ambushed by seven gnolls – their bodies lie about her and already bare signs of feasting by the carrion birds. Ambang will be dead 1d10 minutes after she is found by adventurers.

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