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Month Index: October, 1994


From:     RJPugh@???.com
Date:     Fri, 28 Oct 1994 17:37:15 -0400
Subject:  Re: Library 5/6
Encounters within the Halls of Knowledge
-----------------------------------------------------------

Some of these encounters should happen only once - and you should refrain
from using too many illusions to keep the players scared.  The library patrol
encounter happens every time the PCs threaten the books.

The Dead Librarian
<<<<
As you enter this room filled with bookshelves you notice that
you're not alone. There's an old librarian lifting a fallen volume
from the floor. He hasn't noticed you - but you do notice that the
shelf is visible through him. When he has replaced the book on a
shelf he turns toward you and the first thing you spot is a large,
still bleeding gash on his transparent throat. He leaps into the air
and in a moment has flown into your midst.
<<<<

Spectre: AC: xxxxx
<<<< Statz

Ilusion of a spectre. If the party priest rolls really well on his
turning attempt the spirit does indeed react as it should, but the
Tanar'ri launches the same illusion on the PCs after some minutes

(now they have a -2 to their disbelief attempt since the spirit has
so far behaved exactly as it should).


<<<<
The source of the almost unhearable noises that have followed your
progress lately is finally revealed, a black panther with a
glittering fur coat has silently stalked you here. As it approaches,
it stretches out two long, boneridged tentacles from its back. The
light here must be playing tricks in your eyes, since it is quite
difficult to make out the creature's exact position.
<<<<
Statz:

Displacer beast illusion (-4 to disbelieve if the PCs are familiar
with the displacer beast's abilities).


If the PCs try to burn, or otherwise vandalize the collections:
<<<<
Only a fraction of a second before your torch reaches the bristling
dry pages you hear a wet sploshing sound behind a corner - and soon
a humanoid shape of living water appears and skilfully extinguishes
the torch, wetting you totally in the process.
<<<<

A small-sized Water Elemental: AC:
<<<< Statz

This isn't a combat to the death, in a couple of rounds the
elemental simply vanishes into thin air. If the PCs reattempt their
vandalism soon, more powerful elementals are sent in to counter the
threat (and they won't give up that easily). The same happens if the
PCs try to move any books from the room they're stored in.

A medium-sized Air/Ice/Water Elemental
<<<<Statz


If the going gets boring - spice the game up with some easy kills.
<<<<
More of the disgusting pasty white creatures are in this room -
unfortunately without their clothes. Your stomach turns as you watch
the group shamble to attack in unison.
<<<<

Statz:

Ten to fifteen grublings, shouldn't take too long, nor sap the PCs'
strength but minimally.


Events:

Return to Ship - all bounded up, crew slaughtered.

Discovery of the ship hold - when, why not before.

Midnight - how the clock tolls.



When the PCs have discovered the Tome of Knowledge:

<<<<
You slowly climb down the twisting steps from the darkened room and
notice that you are not alone in the library hall. There are two
intimidatingly big fire elementals here to burn you to a crisp, a
flickering figure of a human fighter (nine feet tall) and behind
these, a ghostly, semi-transparent shape of a winged bear with a
human face.
<<<<

<<<<
KUVA
<<<<

This is not the final battle of the adventure, Thlach cannot be
killed with conventional means and the characters have to exorcise
him to rid the library of him. This is a battle for the gigantic
tome from the locked room - the tanar'ri is too eager to absorb its'
considerable magics. Even if the PCs aren't carrying the book, the
fiend attacks them with all power he has got left - two summoned
elementals and a shadow magic creature.

Statz:

The elementals and the warrior figure engage the PCs immediately,
the demon circles the party seeking to carry the book away with his
telekinetical abilities. As soon as the summoned creatures are
vanquished the fiend emits a horrifying squeal and dives into a wall
- escaping the PCs.

If the PCs escape without the book and leave the door open or
abandon the book here, Thlach sucks in its' powers, becoming yet
more powerful. The power absorption is a lengthy process, so he
can't do it in the middle of combat.

Final Countdown:

When the PCs have escaped with their loot, remind them that the
adventure is not over yet - they have to take care of the demon
before their mission is finally accomplished (that is, if they wish
to have the Story Award XPs).

The fiend must be destroyed in the library - otherwise it is routed
there when an exorcism attempt is successful. Only by destroying
its' real power base can it be banished to the Abyss for 1001 years.

Let them try to fight the demon normally - it simply won't die, the
ethereal "body" reforms in the Library a couple of hours after the
fight. And the demon regains its' power fast - the disgusting pus
creatures and elementals fight alongside Thlach.

The PCs have to resort to the special FX-department, below are
detailed a few means with which to slay the fiend:

I) Fight fire with fire.

The Therioton contains masses of useful information concerning
fiends - in (21-INT) days time the reader has acquired sufficient
knowledge to lead the other PCs through a low power exorcism
attempt.

<<<<
I have always found the AD&D rules about the nonweapon proficiencies
pretty bogus (they don't even give default values for nonskilled
characters). Does the reader gain a full-fledged Tanar'ri-craft NWP
from the book is up to you.
<<<<

The PCs have to summon the demon to the room they are in, and
quickly draw a chalk-circle on the floor to contain the beast. Only
then the aspiring demonologist can safely proceed with the ceremony.

<<<<
KUVA
<<<<

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
<<<<




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