“Come friends and pull up a chair…. you look fresh from the treck over the Titans. Have an ale and i will regale you with a tale of barbarians, peril and the bravery of a dashing hero….”
“After a night of debauchery, in a number of the fine taverns in New Beretor, I awoke, prisoner of the guileful Vajvod clan. In our revelry my companions and I had, in our intoxicated state, wandered into the barbarian lands. My troupe and I were given a choice, we obtain a relic for the clan or face a grisly demise. In an act of pure selflessness, I thought of the many hearts across Ambria which would be shattered with my loss, I therefore valiantly accepted the task….”
The players are led under armed guard to where the Davokar forest meets the Raven mountains. Rising out the centre of deep grey ravine, like a crooked bony finger, is a huge spire of stone. Standing on the cliff edge with a deep drop between them and the spire the players are told by their barbarian guards that they must make their way into the spire, find their way to the peak and obtain a relic called the ‘Violing Mask’.
-if asked the barbarians will not reveal much more other than (i) the players will be tested (ii) the Vajvod clan are barred from entering the spire
Part 1 –
• Between the players and the spire is a roughly 5 meter gap. Below them is a deep 30 metre ravine ending in jagged rocks. Directly across from the players on the spire there is a 3ft ledge which extends around the circumference. On the ledge there are small shrubs and tough gnarled trees clinging to the bare grey rock.
Players will need to make their way across the gap from the cliff edge to the spire, then shimmy around the spire. (Grappling hook, rope arrow). If players have no equipment they can use, the barbarians will give them a rope and grappling hook.
Players given free reign on how to get across the gap. For example players could roll accurate to throw a grappling hook to the ledge (or fire a grappling hook arrow) then roll strong to hold rope/climb.
Once across roll quick (+3) to shimmy around ledge. If the player fails roll, give another player who succeed a chance to help with a strength or quick test (+2 if they can provide a good description how they help).
-if player still fails they fall to their death-
Shimmying around the opposite side of the spire there is a doorway cut into the rock.
Part 2 –
• Going through the doorway the players see a small dusty stone room, not much more than 3 metres by 3 metres. Directly ahead is a closed stone door with no visible way to open it. To the left and the right are massive 7ft statues of birds (Violings) carved out of the spire stone. Both statues appear old and worn by weather and time. The birds stand hunched over, wings folded. Both birds face towards the entrance.
• Written on the floor there are words carved into the stone. The writing is very old and in places, the letters are removed entirely through weathering
– in elvish (loremaster or cunning -2) ‘This temple is dedicated to the Violings of the Davokar forest. A creature of the forest which foretells bloodshed and violence. Those who pass this door must be prepared (Missing damaged words). If you seek to be tested (Missing damaged words) to see the way ahead. Remember the first step is the most dangerous on any journey’
If no players can read the writing hint they could use Vigilant (-2) on the statues to see that there is a very slight seam between the heads and the bodies of the statues.
The key being ‘see the way ahead’ Players must twist the bird heads towards the locked door. When they do the stone door ahead slowly grinds open.
Part 3 –
• The players enter a Large 15 by 15 meter Cylindrical chamber (20 meters high) carved out of the stone of the spire. Six lit torches around the room give the room a gentle glow.
• The walls are expertly painted to mirror a dark glade in the Davokar forest. Huge dark trees tower over the players and stretch up to the stone ceiling. Painted in the tree branches are hundreds of pairs of red eyes peering at the players through the darkness.
• On the stone floor of the chamber there is a large black mosaic of a Violing, its wings spread wide and its talons reaching out towards where the players enter the room.
Traps- in the mosaic the where the Violing talons are depicted there are two traps. Vigilant -2 to spot, accurate -1 to disarm and strong -1 to get free 1d8 damage
As the players move through the room three barbarian warriors (hidden in small crevices) try to ambush the players. Lithe figures their exposed torsos and faces and arms painted in a thick blue and black paint. They wear light capes of black feathers which flow around the warriors as they somersault and spin around the room
• Spire warriors
Race Human, Barbarian
Accurate 13 (-3) Cunning 10 (0) Discreet 13 (-3) Persuasive 7 (+3) Quick 15 (-5) Resolute 9 (+1) Strong 11 (-1) Vigilant 11 (-1)
Abilities Acrobatics (Adept) Steel Throw (Novice)
Weapons Crows Beak 1d8+1 (Deep impact), Throwing wing 1d6 (returning)
Toughness 11 Pain Threshold 6
Shadow Blooming green (Corruption 0)
Tactics: The warriors will come out of small hidden compartments in the walls and try to hit and run players, attacking with throwing weapons or striking with wickedly sharp weapons before using acrobatics to disengage. One holds the key to the door.
• Unlocking the door there is a winding stone staircase leading the players up.
First step is trapped with an alchemical mine (elvish writing warned about the step)
Vigilant -2 to spot, accurate -1 to disarm – explodes 6 fire damage.
• As the players ascend, the temperature drops and the wind begins to whistle down the staircase. Finally, the players make their way to the top. As their eyes adjust to the sunlight the players step out onto the top of the spire. Cold wind whips over the top of the spire, chilling the players to the bone. Looking around there is a small platform surrounded by a sheer drop, down in to the rocky ravine below.
• There is a craggy oval area roughly 10 meters wide and 15 meters long. At the far end there is a raised platform on which is a large throne like chair. Behind the throne, carved out of the rock of the spire there is a spectacular 10 meter tall statue of a Violing, its wings sheltering the throne from the worst of the wind.
• Sat on the throne is a tall thin individual wearing a black Violing mask and a cloak made of black feathers.
Individual (temple priest) stands – as he does, first one then a other and another Violing lands on the statue until there are hundreds of silent birds staring at the players.
• Deep clear voice the priest speaks– “you have witnessed pain, you have witnessed death. You have ascended the spire and now your worthiness will be tested”
• The priest throws his hands into the air and as one all the Violings take off into the cold blue sky.
• In perfect precision the flock begins to murmur. The flock swirls around the spire then in unison let out a blood curdling scream before darting towards the players.
Violings (1 flock per player) p225 core rulebook. Flocks intended to harass the players with hit and run attacks. If combat sways against players, flocks can go back to circling the spire
Race Human, Barbarian
Accurate 10 (0) Cunning 15 (-5) Discreet 7 (+3) Persuasive 10 (0) Quick 10 (0) Resolute 15 (-5) Strong 5 (+5) Vigilant 11 (-1)
Abilities Witchcraft (Master) Entangling Vines (Master) Curse (Adept) Acrobatics (Adept)
Weapons Crows Beak 1d8+1 (Deep impact)
Armour 3 leather armour and silk/woven feather cloak
Toughness 10 Pain Threshold 5
Shadow swirling green like leaves in the wind(Corruption 0)
Tactics- Priest will cast spells entangle player if attacked direct will use acrobatics to get away.
• End – Rather than dying, as the players inflict the last blow, priest turns into a Violing and flies away. Left on the throne is a carpet of black feathers and the relic, the Violing mask