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Previous Message: The Library Scenario
Next Message: Library 1/6
Month Index: October, 1994


From:     RJPugh@???.com
Date:     Fri, 28 Oct 1994 17:27:58 -0400
Subject:  Re: Library 4/6
Tasks:

1) Enthrall the demon so that the circles can be prepared
        A CHA-check is needed.

2) Draw the symbolic circles
        With a successful DEX-3 check (or using the Artist-
proficiency)
        If the first roll is failed the ethereal fiend attacks the
speaker, moving so wildly that it cannot be contained within a
circle. If the second roll is failed the beast retains its mobility,
attacking the exorcist as he comes closer for the ceremony's end.

3) Force the demon out of the Prime Plane
        A power struggle erupts, on a round by round basis, both
combatants roll d10 every round, counting the totals. Once either
combatant has a margin of 30 points, he is deemed to be the victor.
        High ability (int, wis, cha) scores give bonuses to
exorcism (15-16 = +1, 17 = +2, 18 = +3), these points are the
starting score for the exorcist - if the PC already has a real
Tanar'ri-craft NWP (do increase the demon's score in this case too)
he has a +5 to his score, the knowledge the PC has gleaned from the
Therioton in a few days isn't much when compared to real training.
        Detachment from the combat is tough, during the round the
character doesn't roll anything and the opponent gains +2 to his own
roll.

        If the PC loses the struggle, he's possessed by the fiend
and proceeds to attack the other PCs as best as he can (even without
any regard to his own safety - like launching a fireball at zero
distance). The possessed character has to be exorcised in a way
similar to the above, but a success merely removes the fiend's
spirit from the body. The character's own spirit is pushed back to
the subconscious during the possession and it takes a few days to
re-adjust to the world.

        On the other hand, should the PC emerge victorious, the
transparent figure begins to ripple and twist in the center of the
ring - and seems to be finally turning inside out, when with a
whistling noise it is sucked away to thin air.

II) Burning down Therioton

The book burns with a flickering greenish flame, only the metallic
covers and the four impossibly thin metallic sigils remain. This has
the effect that the PC has a +1 to his rolls explained in the
previous section as a powerful source of vileness from which the
fiend was able to draw some of his power has been destroyed.

III) Burning down the Library

This is a viable option, and appeals to any pyromaniacs among the
gamers. If they explain their attempts well enough they may succeed.
Perhaps this can be run as a freeform session without any mechanics
- apart from the Thlach's attacks of course. Perhaps this action
dispells the demon back to the Abyss right away, perhaps it just
grants PCs a bonus in future exorcism attempts.

IV) Destroying the body

This will stop the fiend from regenerating fast (now it regenerates
only 1 hp / turn), but this is just a small victory, since it's not
possible to "kill" the demon in normal combat. It gives a +1 bonus
to the exorcist's rolls as explained above, if the body is destroyed
in some imaginative way during the spiritual combat itself, the PC
gains a +2 bonus to one roll.

V) Divine intervention

The real deus ex machina option - how this is handled (if the PCs
are even able to attempt this) is entirely up to you. If the PCs
collect every book on the Celestian religion (or whichever you
consider the main "enemy" for the fiend) and place them around the
circle it might be worth a small bonus.

VI) Exorcism / Dispel Evil / All that Jazz

The spells....

Grande Finale:

PCs, laps filled with the most promising-looking books scramble out
of the collapsing tower, while the entire library spontaneously
begins to burn.


The Rewards:

>From seekers
XPs
Material rewards

Further adventures within context:

The Search for Si-Pok : Who grabbed this lad - Waese rivals who hope
to use him for ransom or gnomes who have a penchant for kabuki.
Foreshadowing for the Venetian Schism when these two oriental
nations clash in space ?

Evil never dies : Can the PCs hold on to the evil book. And more
importantly, can they get it back from someone who took it. How is a
sentient book best destroyed ? How close to a sun can they go before
their ship begins to suffer ?

An Auction : The PCs more than likely bring back a holdful of rare
books - are these given back to the seekers or will the PCs sell the
books individually to best bidders. What if someone isn't very
interested in paying for the books ?

The BIG book - what methods will the seekers resort to to gain it
back. What information can they get out of it. Whose detect magic
spell picks out the enormous aura exuded by this tome.

The information on Ogres: Do the PCs dare to seek out the Gray Star
/ Locked Sphere, will they seek an audience at the court of the last
Eternal, are they able to locate the Living Crystals in the
Phlogiston, is there no end to these Capitalized Entities - all of
these plotlines simply scream for coverage.

The colony: degenerated ? insect shamans ? extinct ? bad news !

<<<<
KUVA
<<<<

New Monsters:

<<<<
KUVA
<<<<

Grubkin - low power lower plane denizens -
Grossness Index 5 (see the PCs' faces when the pus reforms /
massmorphs)
Nastiness Index 2 (white is white is white - looks don't revolt very
much)

Climate/Terrain  All
Frequency                 Very rare (naturally only in lower
planes)
Organization     Groups
Activity cycle   Any
Diet             Nil
Intelligence              Semi/Summoner's
Treasure                  Incidental
Alignment                 N
No. Appearing    1-100
Armor Class      10
Movement                  9
Hit Dice                  2
THAC0            19
No. of Attacks   1 punch or 1 weapon attack
Damage/Attack    1-2 or by weapon type
Special Attacks  Overbearing, suffocation, massmorphing
Special Defenses Reformation, immune to blunt weapons
Magic Resistance 10 %
Size             S (4' high)
Morale           Elite (15)
XP value                  Per colony


Grubkin are a "species" quite commonly found on some Lower Planes.
In their usual form they are brightly white bulbous humanoids with

large empty eyeholes and even larger toothless mouth. Their hands
have three fullyopposable thick fingers and their feet two large
toes. The creatures are unable to speak but they can emit some kinds
of whistling and chittering noises with their mouths. Grubkin are
composed purely of white pus, which tends to flow disconcertingly
from limb to limb within a tight skin.

Combat: In combat grubkin fare well only by their sheer numbers,
they are lousy fighters. They are easily hit, but only
piercing/slashing weapons are able to damage them, blunt weapons
just distribute their energy into the liquid pus without breaking
the skin. They are physically weak and thus unable to fight any
weapons larger than size S. Solitary grubkin are not dangerous to
any but the most lightly armed - in groups they tend to use their
weight to a distinct advantage by engaging in wrestling. An even
more unsettling combat tactic is their ability to shoot their
internal fluids into the faces of their assailants - this does
damage to themselves so such action is restricted only to close
combat when a direct hit is almost guaranteed.
The grubkin have got some sort of a regeneration ability - if they
are fighting on remains of previously died grubfolk they are able to
assimilate the pus on the floor (and regain 3 hp / round).
If there is a truly large amount (say, some four inches) of pus on
the floor - the entire fluid can rise as a gigantic (up to fifteen-
feet tall) grubkin. Such a monster has AC 6 (thicker skin), 8 HD,
and its fist does 1-12 points of damage, T0 11, Morale 20. This
giant form doesn't use fluid jets to attack its enemies - if its
attack roll is a 20 it has grabbed its opponent, pulled him close to
its body and swallowed him. On subsequent rounds the victim takes d6
points of damage and will suffocate normally (rules on PHB p. XX).
And as if the larger variation wasn't a tough enough opponent
already, it does regenerate at the normal rate.

Society: Grubkin are unintelligent creatures and as such have no
concept of society. While controlled by something they are acting
under the controllers orders - ome unknown, very hard gray
stone. Some symbols engraved into it and filled with black, rubbery
gunk. The meaning of some symbols can be guessed (fire, stone) - but
most of them are completely alien.
The axe is very light, and gives a +2 bonus to both attack and
damage. Against golems it works as a rod of smiting - but even that
pales in comparison to the axe's effects on elves. After two

successful hits on elves (not necessarily the same opponent) the
blade of the axe breaks apart into two moving halves (looks somewhat
like jaws from the side) - attack bonus rises to +4, and on an
attack roll of 19-20 the axe bites down on the opponent,
automatically inflicting damage on following rounds even if it is
wrested from the attacker's hand (a successful bend bars by the
victim roll detaches the axe). However, this effect subsides
instantly when the axe hits a non-elf opponent. Against ogres the
axe will refuse to do combat and stick to the hand of its wielder
making it impossible to fight effectively.
The axe can detect magic - a symbol lights up to differing shades of
blue when pointed at a magical item/aura/whatever. The symbol fails
to work perfectly in non-evil hands, and all cursed items show up as
very powerful - as do all magical constructs.
It can also detect heat, which probably won't be very useful except
on iceworlds.
When the both symbols light up there's an Ogre Mage present, a fact
that can sometimes be very useful - but actually deducing what the
lighting up of these two symbols means is not going to be easy.
The other symbols do not work, perhaps the rubbery gunk within the
carvings has lost its power.
The axe belonged to the legendary ogrish space explorer Rogn Kijarck
who perished in the last battles of the First Unhuman War. How the

PCs find the axe is up to you to decide, but once the ogres hear of
its discovery, nothing can stop them to recover it.
The axe is a semi-artifact, a gift from the ogrish gods, and as such
very hard to destroy / get rid of. If the PCs do not invent a
devious method to destroy it the axe should come back to them in the
hands of some powerful opponent.

<<<<
KUVA
<<<<

Orbus ring

Until a spelljammer puts the ring on its effects won't be
discovered. And even then only at first situation when the ship is
caught in combat the real effect will be discovered, till then the
helmsman will feel just a weird tingling while guiding the ship.
The ring increases the SR of the ship by one if worn when
spelljamming. The negative side-effect is the permanent loss of one
hit point per week (seven uses) of ring-use (non-continuous use
counts too). The effect is discovered after each loss if an INT-test
is made (a save vs. death magic means that the lost hit point will
return after an year of abstinence from ring use).
The orbus rings are crafted by capturing an Orbus' spirit and
binding it to the golden globe. The spirit has to attune to the
wearer, therefore it remains dormant a week before the powers become
evident. A habit that the beholders greatly despise - they can sense
the spirit within the ring, this might give the PCs a severe
disadvantage the next time they communicate with beholders.

<<<<
KUVA
<<<<

Tome of Enlightment

Every major Seeker establishment has one of these extremely magical
books. Though it seems not to be very thick at all - within its
covers is an uncountable number of pages, all filled with different
handwritings (when a new page is required, it just appears in the
book). The covers are thin metal, embossed with the Seeker symbol.

This book is one of the very few methods of communication across the
uncountable voids between worlds. When some text is entered into a
Tome, it appears in other Tomes across the spheres in a short time
(1-100 minutes, not dependent on distance). The communication
doesn't require any spells or magic pens, all magic is provided by
the Tome itself.

The Tomes are never found on the open markets, and most mages and
clerics believe them to be nothing but a fraud. Once a potential
buyer is convinced of the book's authenticity he will pawn his own
grandmother to get it. Or hire the seventy toughest crooks to
"persuade" the PCs to negotiate price to a more manageable level or
give it away for free. How much they can get for it depends on the
campaign, its relative value is the same as for a fully equipped
hammership with a major helm.

The information in the book isn't very useful for PCs, most of it is
just endless discussion on varying topics (the Arcane and the Neogi
are favorites). Think of it as a magical equivalent of the Usenet
news we all are familiar with. Add ".signatures" and "flaming" only
if you're certain that your players can stomach them. The book can
be considered to have a "recent history" proficiency of 15 (it takes
the reader d6 days to find out any facts).

Of Tanar'ri-craft there's precious little information in the book,
XXXX was very fond of gambling and here he frequently robbed his
colleagues or some visiting bibliophiles of their cash. In addition
to the beautiful oaken roundtable there's a darts range on the left
side of the room. It has been recently misused, the <<<<taulu<<< and
the surrounding walls are full of small holes - an adventuring
wizard tried out his Dart of the Hornet's Nest here.

C) Bathroom
Luxurious - steel basin that has been sunk into the tile floor. <<<<
XXXX <<<< had one of the staff wizards (an elementalist) create the
water magically, it would be a major chore to transport it here in
buckets.
Bathing equipment, including a pot of smelly powder and two very
different bath-toys rest on a small stool. One of the toys is a
regular Rubber Duck +2, the other a hideous mummified 4" tall bear
creature (with wings and a pig's snout). It is the body of the fiend
possessing the library, he has partly forgotten about it, partly he
chuckled inside when he "hid" it beside the cute duck - it registers
strongly under a ____detect magic____ or ____detect evil____ spell.

Own library

Coordinates of hometown (hidden within really grating poetry),
coordinates of the base on Slubia,
the keys to the Tome,

<<<<

24. The Temple of Thoth

A simple shrine, containing just the deity-figure carved of whitest
marble and a crumpled figure on the floor. He is <<<< Mr. X <<<< who
finally succumbed to his wounds here, Tlach and his multitude of
servants have not been able to enter this room. All previous
investigators have chosen other areas to explore, so that the chief
librarian's body and his possessions still remain here.

The body is of the non-animated sort, not smelly at all due to the
dehydration. He's wearing traditional black garb - his material
possessions are easily discovered: 24 gp, ring of keys, ____wand of
magic detection_____ (with 43 charges left), ____Dagger +2 (with
special power: Detect Medusae (120' range))_____.


25. Room of Knowledge

The door to this room has no less than four locks - they can be
picked (two first open normally, the last two impose a -15% to the
open locks roll due to their complexity) or opened with a
_____knock_____ spell. The door cannot be forced under normal
conditions (perhaps with a girdle of giant strength, perhaps not).
The room has no windows, and its' walls have been prepared with
gorgon's blood against an other-planarly assault (no access from
border ethereal or astral planes).

<<<<
KUVA (lukko)
<<<<

<<<<
After dealing with that monstrosity of a lock you finally get the
door open. It moves inward with a teeth-grating noise, revealing a
dark room at the top of the tower. The only pieces of furniture are
a massive oaken table and a throne-like chair near it. On the table
lies open a massive book bound into black slabs of stone and a
inkwell with some weirdlooking feather pens dipped into the long
since dried ink.
<<<<

<<<<
This could be an extra helm for the PCs if you think that I've been
too stingy with treasure.
<<<<

<<<<
KUVA
<<<<
The big book is indeed a rare treasure - the non-seeker people that
have during the last decades laid their eyes upon one can be counted
with one hand's fingers. It's the Tome of Knowledge, the fastest
known method to send information across the Known Spheres. It's a
very massive book, a lot heavier than it seems to be (400 kilos in
fact) - it is very magical, showing up as a white-hot rectangle when
a _____detect magic_____ spell is used.
The book is locked with several massive clasps - the lock last to be
opened (five locks in all) contains the obligatory trap, a
traditional poison needle that can prick the skin of a careless book
thief, the trap has to be disarmed before the book can be opened
safely - this is done by pressing a stud on the engraved clasp (even
if the characters have the keys to the locks the trap remains
active). The poison is very subtle and a saving throw is rolled only
after fifteen minutes, when the venom has penetrated characters
circulatory system completely - only then its effects begin to show
up. If the roll is successful the character feels a strange numbness
in his tongue and fingers, effectively acting at -3 DEX for the next
hour and having a noticable stutter in his speech - on the other
hand, if the roll is missed the character's life functions slow down
to being unrecognizable in fifteen minutes (unless the PCs use some
sort of magical examination - ____detect life____ or somesuch, the
character appears to be dead).
Once the book is opened the characters discover that it's filled
with hundreds, perhaps even thousands of different handwritings -
most of them tiny and very tightly controlled.

<<<<
Sample entries.... Handout [8].
<<<<

The pens are indeed crafted of very rare feathers - a knowledgeable
character could recognize cockatrice, hippogriff, ki-rin and
archaeopteryx among them. They might be of some use as material
components in spells or the preparation of scrolls.

The tanar'ri has been unable to enter the room - the keys are in the
sanctum, and he didn't foresee the possibility of the room being
unaccessible from ethereal - he burnt a lot of magic to gain the
power to walk through walls, all for nothing.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<




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