Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Cursed Seat of the Seer: 4th edition conversion

The Cursed Seat of the Seer (4th level encounter - 976 xp)

Dungeon Features: Secret Doors in this area are priest-doors, concealed to appear to be part of the ornately carved stone or wood they are set into, and are a DC 18 Perception check to find.

This temple is much transformed after the attack on it. It is surrounded by magical briers, and inside orcs feast on the townsfolk, who have been transformed into animals.


Surrounded by small outlying buildings, this large and stately temple is completely overgrown with gargantuan brambles, to the point where is is nearly concealed. A large double door can be glimpsed through the thorn-covered trunks of the plants.

Creatures: In order to enter the temple via the doors one must somehow pass through the patches of Brier Brambles that block the doorways. Other methods of entry include flying or climbing up and breaking through some of the stained glass windows on the east face of the temple. Either method requires navigating the brambles, which will attempt to grab the intruders. Each door and window is guarded by a pair of Offshoots. The brambles will not attack or otherwise reveal themselves until victims are within reach.

2 x Brier Bramble Offshoots (BO on map): 50 xp each

The smell of offal, greasy cooking fires and rotting flesh permeate this area. The interior of the temple is also sparsely overgrown with patches of the thorny brambles which push up through the flagstones. Several dead peasants and acolytes are caught in their branches. The stone walls are adorned with tapestries of the Seer's visions and the stories of the petitioners helped by them. Several carcases worth of bones lie upon the floor.

Through an open set of ornately carved wooden doors a large chapel stretches. A column-lined walkway is flanked with brambles burst up through the flagstones. At the far end upon a three-stepped dias is a plain stone chair. Light through the stained glass windows above is dimmed by more thorny growths.

Creatures: Nearly 100 domestic animals cower in the temple. They are the temple priests and townsfolk who had come to observe the coronation, magically transformed into sheep, pigs and dogs. More summoned Briar Brambles guard this area, along with a group of orcs and a Dust Devil that have been left behind by the vengeful family to ensure that the temple is not re-inhabited.

3 x Brier Bramble Offshoots (BO on map): 50 xp each
1 x Brier Bramble (BB on map): 200 xp
4 x Orc Drudges (Od on map): 44 xp each
1 x Orc Berserker (OB on map): 175 xp each
1 x Dust Devil (DD on map): 175 xp

Tactics: The brutes will likely be roused by anyone entering the temple and will have assembled to defend it. The orcs may attempt to push intruders into the brambles as they fight, and will mercilessly hack at anyone caught in them. The Dust Devil will attempt to disarm and harry those in the back ranks of the party. If the group is defeated, the dust devil will attempt to flee and return to the warlock to inform him that someone has reclaimed the temple. The orcs will fight to the death.

Treasure: Almost the only thing left in the temple's treasury is a scroll of Remove Affliction that the temple priest (in his form as a ram) will bring to the party if they are otherwise unable to disenchant the villagers. The orcs have coins totaling 90 gold and 200 silver on their persons.

Development: Once the giants are slain and the elemental has fled, the party should be able to return the remaining animals to their human forms, who creep cautiously up to the PCs once the violence has ended.

Once freed they will relate what happened: the new priestess was in the process of being anointed when a holy trance came upon her. Her eyes rolled up into her head and she began speaking in a strange, strained, voice. "I see... doom! The drake... he is brought low by his son..." The peasants go on to inform their rescuers that a witch and two warlocks, one young and one of middle age, suddenly appeared in a burst of flame and interrupted the anointing of the new Seer and turned them all into animals. One of the older villagers, the abbot of the temple, will angrily go on to identify the witch as the evil old witch who used to live in the village, but was driven off years ago. Some say she inhabits a farm nearby in the wild woods to the east, and the players will be given approximate directions by one of the village's hunters.

Attempts to scry upon the priestess will fail, as she is in the Dragon's lair, which is warded against scrying.

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