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Tower of the

ascendants

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© 2012 Dr. Davy Jones

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Tower of the ascendants The Triumvirate Golgothan, ravager of the


A ten-part, fourthcore megadungeon Once great crusaders seeking death and crypt
designed to take a party of 4-6 players from glory like the ascendants (the players) Spheres of Influence: God of undeath,
level 1 to level 10. themselves, the Triumvirate are the three fertility, lust, desire, and violation.
god-tyrants who have ruled all realms since Symbol: An obelisk of stitched, undead
Dungeon Oracle deposing the Ancients. The Triumvirate rules flesh, standing in a pool of blood.
© 2012 Dr. Davy Jones in blood, death, and slavery. Their names Manifestation: A tall, muscular, nude man,
dungeonoracle.com are spoken only in fearful whispers, lest drenched in blood, with black-feathered
naming them aloud should arouse their wings.
wrath. It is said that none who looks upon Servants: Undead, especially vampires,
their true manifestation can live. All the revenants, and succubae.
Campaign Background Conflict: Covetous of Myrris, who delights in
ascendants know of the Triumvirate are their
The Voice of All spoke three times before
names and their spheres of influence. All twisting his desires.
falling into silence. The first time to give
other information can only be discovered
shape to the Ancients. The second to give
them the world as their domain. The third to
through rumors and exploration of the Myrris the inverse
TOWER itself. Spheres of Influence: Goddess of reflection,
build the TOWER for the war that was to
come. perversion, distortion, inversion, and mirrors.
Ka’aire, the breath of ruin Symbol: A human body inscribed in a
And war did come. The Ancients, primordial Spheres of Influence: God of ruin, decay, circle, inside-out and upside-down.
warriors charged with protecting the world, disease, pestilence, and the inevitability of Manifestation: A skinless rakshasa
were subverted by three great crusaders, death. shapeshifter, wielding 7 vorpal scimitars.
vindictive and powerful. The Ancients were Symbol: A crumbling, obsidian pyramid. Servants: Changelings, shapeshifters,
stripped of immortality and cast from the Manifestation: A towering, bipedal, clones, and shifters.
heavens to serve and suffer with the rest of petrified skeletal dragon. Conflict: Infuriated by Ka’aire, who seeks to
humanity. The crusaders claimed new Servants: Tieflings, dragonborn, mages, the destroy rather than distort.
bodies for themselves, and became the diseased, and members of ruined races.
Triumvirate, god-tyrants of all realms. Conflict: Despises Golgothan, who restores Dungeon layout
layout
ruined mortal bodies to a form of life and The ascendants know that the TOWER rises
The long line of descendants of the Ancients who challenges dominion over destroyed ten levels up into the very presence of the
is dwindling, along with humanity’s last bodies. foul gods that they must destroy at the
hope. What few remain have gathered to highest bower. They know also that each of
enter the TOWER OF THE ASCENDANTS. the gods has claimed personal dominion
Crumbling stone tablets of ages forgotten over three consecutive levels of the TOWER,
say that a mortal who ascends the TOWER though which god dwells in which levels
that pierces the heavens and slays the gods none can know until the doors of the TOWER
who dwell in its highest bower will reclaim have been opened.
lost immortality.

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Rules of the tower Treasures and relics make a pact to face the TOWER in hell
TOWER OF THE ASCENDANTS has the In addition to gaining levels, the ascendants mode. Hell mode features additional and
following special rules that differentiate it can become more powerful by uncovering deadlier traps and monsters, extra abilities
from other campaigns. Be sure to share all the many treasures and relics that lie within for monsters, and extra damage
of these special rules with the players before the TOWER. When the ascendants find a throughout. Additionally, the campaign
beginning the campaign. treasure cache, each player may draw a begins with a total of only 80 ascendants.
random treasure card from the treasure Should they all perish, the players lose the
Leveling up deck. Players may trade treasures with one entire campaign. In the next campaign, the
another. Whenever an ascendant dies, all Triumvirate begins to invade the campaign
The ascendants do not gain levels in the
of his treasures as well as his mundane items world.
typical fashion. Instead, levels can be
gained in two ways. First, ascendants gain a are destroyed. All destroyed treasures are
shuffled back into the treasure deck. The If, however, the ascendants reach the final
level whenever they reach a new level of
longer an ascendant survives in the TOWER, level and slay the Triumvirate before the last
the TOWER. Levels gained in this way cannot
the more treasures he will acquire, and the ascendant dies, the ascendants consume
be lost through Death. (In other words, if the
more powerful he will become. the slain bodies of the Triumvirate and gain
ascendants are in the third level of the
omniscience. Each surviving player makes 1
TOWER, they cannot be reduced below
Relics are unique items that can be found at wish that will help shape the next campaign
level 3.) Ascendants can gain additional
particular locations in the TOWER. Some world.
levels by obtaining shards of true power
hidden and protected throughout the relics are puzzle items, some are wondrous
TOWER. Whenever the ascendants obtain a items with unusual properties, and a small Rumors
shard, they immediately gain 1 level, regain few are weapons of plane-shaking power. Throughout the ages of tyranny, many
all lost HP, and regain 2 healing surges. Keep relic cards separate from the treasure ascendants have entered the TOWER. And
deck, and distribute them only when though none have reached the highest
death instructed to do so. Relics are not destroyed level, a few have reemerged, forced to
upon the death of the ascendant carrying accept defeat or driven mad by the horrors
Whenever an ascendant dies in the TOWER,
them. Any relics carried by a dead within. The stories change with each
a blaring of trumpets is heard, and a three-
ascendant pass to the player to the left. retelling.
headed, faceless angel of death arrives to
bear the ascendant’s soul into the abyss,
where there is great wailing and gnashing of
rituals At the beginning of the each level of the
teeth. When an ascendant dies, she loses all The ascendants may cast each ritual that TOWER, each ascendant rolls a d8 and
treasures and items she carries, though she they know once per day as a minor action. learns the rumor of the rolled number. On a
does not lose any relics she carries (see Components, reagents, and money are not duplicate result, reroll. The ascendant also
“Treasures and Relics” below). The player tracked. learns whether or not the rumor is reliable.
may spawn a new ascendant, reduced by Three of the four reliable rumors are true.
1 level, who joins the party in 15 minutes of Hell MODE One of the four unreliable rumors is true.
real time, or at the end of the current If the ascendants are especially arrogant in Make the players aware of the odds of truth
combat encounter. their defiance of the Triumvirate, they may or falsity.

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TOWER LEVEL 1:
CATHEDRAL OF PLAGUES

Dungeon Environment
Unless otherwise noted, the Cathedral of
Plagues has the following features:
Walls: Gothic cathedral arches, decorated
with wrought iron sconces shaped as
withered arms (Athletics DC 12 to climb).
Doors: Crumbling stone, carved with
indistinct and weathered faces, unlocked.
Floors: Rough-hewn triangular obsidian
plates.
Illumination: Dimly illuminated by torches
that glow with a sickly light. Flesh that
approaches the light appears diseased.

RELIABLE RUMORS
1: Golgothan, who rules the undead, has
become the sworn enemy of Ka’aire.
5: In the shrine of the skull, one of the
petrified figures is false.
6: The room of the slime-covered horned
skulls stands over a teleportation circle.
8: If freed, the two-headed efreet will serve
as a powerful ally when most needed.

UNRELIABLE RUMORS
2: The drink of the gods can be made by
mixing gold dust, rose petals, and honey.
3: The black ooze in the disintegrating
pyramid is rendered inert by holy water.
4: The gold door, opened with a corroded
key, reveals the body of a dead god.
7: One of the diamond medusa heads lies in
the stomach of the Thing in the pool of bile.

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The ancient plague 1. Triumvirate vestibule EXPLORATION


As the ascendants will soon learn, the first A representative of the Triumvirate cordially Archways
three levels of the TOWER are dominated by welcomes the ascendants to the TOWER •Each of the archways is identical to the
Ka’aire, the Breath of Ruin. Many of the that will serve as their eternal tomb. others.
traps and monsters in these first three levels •Those who draw close to the blank faces
are infected with an ancient plague, which of the graven images of the angels can
leveled entire empires in the first days of the hear a faint whispering. Though the
Triumvirate. The ancient plague works like language is a profane mixture of abyssal
other diseases with the following exceptions. and supernal, those who listen can
The ancient plague is fast-acting, meaning understand the words: “CHOOSE THE PATH
that diseased ascendants must make TO THE GODS AND DEATH.”
Endurance checks at the end of each rest •The halls of the entryways are bricked with
rather than just extended rests. Second, for the cracked bones of humans. When the
each point of infection that an ascendant ascendants walk through, a number of skulls
receives, she moves one stage further in the fall from the wall, wailing warnings as they
disease’s progression. fall. If touched, the bones dissolve into a
swarm of locusts that fly out of the TOWER.
•Perception or Dungeoneering (DC 17) or
Ancient Plague
close inspection of the holes left by the
Disease
skulls: In the recess left by one of the skulls is
Improve Endurance DC 18 or better a crackling parchment scroll. It reads, “YOU
Worsen Endurance DC 13 or less ARE WATCHED EVEN NOW. YOUR ACTIONS
Fast Acting HAVE BEEN INSCRIBED IN HIGH PLACES.”
•Take note of which of the archways each
A creature affected by this disease must ascendant enters through. This will
make an Endurance check at the end of FEATURES OF THE ROOM determine which door the ascendant may
each short and extended rest. •Three open stone archways, flanked by the safely open in Room 3. Ascendants may exit
graven images of faceless angels, lead into and reenter the TOWER to reset which door
Stages
the first level of the TOWER. may be safely opened in Room 3.
Stage 0: REMISSION. The host is cured. •The room is circumnavigated by a harsh,
Stage 1: INCUBATION. The host permanently slanted script of an unknown language.
loses 2 healing surges when first infected. Script of Unknown Language
•Facing the center of the chamber, three •When an ascendant makes a check on
Stage 2: FEVER. The host is weakened.
grotesque statues of priests hold iron boxes. the script or attempts to read it, he takes a
Stage 3: TRANSMISION. Additionally, when the
•A crumbling sword of brimstone thrusts point of infection.
host becomes bloodied or rolls a natural 1,
adjacent allies must make a saving throw to through the chest of one of the statues. •Religion or History (DC 17) or inspection by
avoid taking a point of infection. •Three closed doors lead out of the an ascendant who speaks draconic: The
Stage 4: NECROSIS. Additionally, the host loses chamber. script is an ancient form of draconic.
all resistances and cannot regain HP.
Stage 5: DEATH. The host dies. All adjacent
allies automatically take a point of infection.

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•Religion or History (DC 19, must know random limb (1d10/2) begins to rot. If the •Correct answers include disease,
draconic) or comprehend language ritual: head begins to rot, the ascendant dies. If plague, illness, germ, virus, and the like. If
The script reads: “OUT OF THE EAST RODE THE another limb begins to rot, it must be the correct answer is provided, the
HORSEMEN OF PLAGUE, THE GLORIOUS RUIN amputated within 60 seconds, or the rot Emissary produces a corroded copper
OF THE EMPIRES OF THE NORTH. GLORY WILL spreads to the rest of the body and the key which it provides to the ascendants.
ONCE AGAIN RIDE FROM THE EAST.” ascendant dies. The result of the •If an incorrect answer is provided, or if
amputation is at the DM’s discretion. the ascendants attack the Emissary, one
Priest Grotesques •An ascendant pulls the chain of the random ascendant must make a saving
•The grotesques depict three different skeletal dragonborn priest: A small, throw or be reduced to 1 healing surge.
priests, each holding a small iron box: octagonal puzzlebox materializes on top of
1. A rakshasa priest, weeping tears of the iron box. A glass eye is set into the top of HELL MODE
water. Painted on the box it holds is a the puzzlebox. It can only be opened in Instead, all ascendants must make the saving
symbol of a human body inscribed in a Room 6D. throw, and with a -2 penalty.
circle, inside-out and upside-down.
2. A skeletal dragonborn priest, weeping The Emissary •After an answer is provided, after it is
tears of acid. Painted on the box it holds •When an ascendant moves adjacent to attacked, or after 5 minutes have
is a symbol of a crumbling, obsidian one of the doors for the first time, a column passed, the Emissary fades to
pyramid. of thick red smoke forms in the center of the nothingness.
3. A succubus priestess, weeping tears of three grotesques. A shadowy, three-headed
blood. Painted on the box it holds is a figure stands within the cloud.
symbol of an obelisk of stitched, undead •Speaking in three distinct voices, the figure
flesh, standing in a pool of blood. A in the smoke identifies itself as the Emissary
sword of crumbling brimstone has been to the Triumvirate. The Emissary is polite and
thrust through this statue’s chest. The welcoming, but it is ever the servant of the
sword, when touched, crumbles to god-tyrants who want nothing more than to
pieces. utterly destroy the ascendants. Veiled
•The iron boxes measure 10 inches per side. threats and oblique references to the hell
They have no lid, and cannot be opened. that awaits the ascendants define the
•Arcana (DC 17): Indistinct magic radiates Emissary’s speech.
from each of the boxes. •After “pleasantries” are exchanged, the
•An ascendant who inspects the underside Emissary offers a riddle at the command of
of the boxes discovers that they have no the Triumvirate: “I AM A DEADLY FOE THAT
bottom. Hanging from the top of each box CAN NEVER BE SEEN. I RESPECT NO BORDER,
on the inside is a rusted chain. NOR FLAG, NOR ALLEGIANCE. A KISS OF
•Perception (DC 19) or Dungeoneering (DC PEACE OR A CLASPING OF HANDS IN
17): The chain can be pulled down. FRIENDSHIP MAY INCUR MY MORTAL SKILL.
•An ascendant pulls the chain of the WHO AM I?”
rakshasa priest or succubus priestess: A

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2. Mute monolith writhes against the nail pinning it to the attacked by a piston spear trap concealed
A partially living visage of a long-dead king stone floor. behind the gem.
carries the plague that destroyed his
kingdom—and a secret to surviving the EXPLORATION Piston Spear Trap
TOWER’s first level. Gigantic Living Tongue Attack: Triggering ascendant; +6 vs. Reflex.
•The tongue is covered with oozing cysts Hit: 1d6+7 damage and the ascendant must
and a thin white film. The stench of disease make a saving throw to avoid falling on the
rolls off of it like fog from a polluted river. gigantic living tongue. Falling on the tongue
•Ascendants that move adjacent to the causes the hero to take a point of infection,
tongue must make a saving throw to avoid and the wound inflicted by the spear
taking a point of infection. becomes unhealable.
•Ascendants that touch the tongue or the
spike take an automatic point of infection. The Monolith’s Message
•Perception (DC 17): The spike pinning the If the ascendants use the power of the rod
tongue to the stone floor is etched with of magnetic control to remove the metal
runes. spike from the gigantic living tongue, the
•Arcana (DC 19): The spike is imbued with a tongue wriggles free and the entire monolith
powerful magic anchoring it to the floor. face animates.
•Attempts to remove the spike
automatically fail unless the ascendants use In a voice as ancient as dust, the monolith
the rod of magnetic control (see “The thanks the ascendants for loosening his
Monolith’s Message” below). tongue. The monolith explains that he was
once the King of the Iron Hall, ruler of the
Monolithic Stone Face empires of the north. He was betrayed by his
•History or Insight (DC 17): The monolith own queen, who became the lover of
FEATURES OF THE ROOM depicts the King of the Iron Hall, a figure of Ka’aire and who serves the dark god still.
legend who united the empires of the north The queen, who once boasted a legendary
•The air in this chamber is warm and thick
before ultimately falling to the Triumvirate. beauty to rival the manifestations of Myrris,
with moisture. A stench akin to a freshly
Much of the tragedy has been lost to time. has become a vessel of plague. In her
opened corpse threatens to overwhelm the
•Arcana (DC 19): The rubies that form the vanity, she hid the foundry that can forge a
ascendants.
monolith’s eyes radiate a faint teleportation magic mirror that can be used to show her
•The far wall is filled with the monolithic
magic. what she has become and will ultimately
stone face of a king crowned with a many-
•Perception or Dungeoneering (DC 21): A destroy her.
pointed diadem. His eyes are two great
glint of metal can barely be discerned
rubies, and his mouth is open.
behind the jeweled eyes. In thanks for removing the iron spike from his
•Emerging from the open mouth is a
•Thievery (DC 19): The ascendant safely tongue, the monolith conjures a shard of
gigantic living tongue, nailed to the floor
removes a ruby. If the check fails, the true power, which he bestows to the
with a metal spike. The tongue wriggles and
ascendant still removes the ruby, but is ascendants.

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3. Passage of Three in any particular location discover that the 3B.


The ascendants must choose which of three chant grows slightly louder near the FEATURES OF THE ROOM
doors to open, and the wrong choice may southernmost door. •A wide staircase ascends to an upper
prove costly. landing in this small chamber. The wall at
Rotting Wooden Doors the top of the landing is covered in a
•The 3 doors are identical to one another. tattered, mold-covered tapestry.
•Scraps of rotten flesh and viscera are •Dully painted murals of the diseased faces
splayed across the door, its frame, and the of lepers cover the nearby walls. The faces
surrounding floor. animate and chant silently in unison.
•Perception (DC 19): A faint skittering can •At the base of the stairs stands one stone
be heard within the door. pedestal for each of the ascendants.
•Arcana (DC 19): Each of the doors is Resting on each pedestal is a clockwork
partially warded. mosquito the size of a fist.
•Nature (DC 21): The sound within the door •Large cracks in the stone walls form vents
and the gore surrounding the area are near the ceiling.
indicative of sacred flesh maggots.
•A door may be safely opened only by an EXPLORATION
ascendant who entered the TOWER through
Murals of Lepers
the corresponding archway in Room 1. (For
•Insight (DC 19) or if the ascendants
example, the leftmost door may only be
succeeded at the Perception check to hear
3a. safely opened by an ascendant who
the words of the chant in 3A: The lepers
FEATURES OF THE ROOM entered the TOWER through the leftmost
silently chant the words, “BLOOD IS A
•A corridor dripping with cold moisture archway.)
SACRED VESSEL OF CONTAGION.”
opens onto 3 branching passages. •If an ascendant opens an unsafe door,
•Each of the 3 passages ends in a thick, that ascendant must make a saving throw.
Clockwork Mosquitos
rotting wooden door. On a failure, a swarm of sacred flesh
•The clockwork mosquitos rest motionless on
•A low, droning chant of many voices, maggots emerges from the door and
the pedestals.
barely audible, emanates from the damp messily devours the ascendant in a matter
•The mosquitos’ bodies are made from
stone of the walls. of moments, leaving a skeleton that stands
hollow glass. Several gears whir within.
momentarily before crumbling to the stone
•If an ascendant presents their flesh to the
floor.
EXPLORATION proboscis of one of the mosquitos, it stirs to
Walls life, draws some of the ascendant’s blood,
HELL MODE
•Perception (DC 17): The voices chant the then escapes through a vent near the
Instead of triggering when the door is
words, “BLOOD IS A SACRED VESSEL OF opened, the swarm of sacred flesh maggots is ceiling. (The ascendant’s blood will be used
CONTAGION.” triggered when any ascendant passes in Level 2 of the TOWER.)
•An ascendant listening closely to the words through an unsafe doorway.
and attempting to discern if they are louder

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Stairs 4. Shrine of the Skull diseased organs, candles of green flame,


•The stairs are covered in a thick layer of Two high priests of Ka’aire offer worship to a and censers burning with pungent incense.
dust. A pair of footsteps lead up to the first likeness of the draconic god of plagues. •An unlit brazier of tarnished brass rests in a
stair, then stop abruptly. Petrified victims stand as eternal witness to niche at the far side of the chamber.
•Arcana (DC 21): The stairs are imbued with the corrupting power of the Breath of Ruin.
a teleportation ritual trap. EXPLORATION
•If an ascendant steps onto the stairs Petrified Ascendants
without offering her blood to one of the •The figures of former ascendants, weapons
mosquitos, she is instantly teleported to the drawn and turned completely to black
center of the death chamber in Room 6C. stone, stand as if in battle throughout the
chamber.
Tapestry •Dungeoneering or Nature (DC 17):
•Though now in ruin, the tapestry depicts a Identifies the material of a petrified
beautiful woman in the embrace of a ascendant. All are made from obsidian
skeletal dragon. Thousands of plague-ridden except for the one in the northeast corner,
corpses are splayed about the pair as if in which is made from black slate.
worship. •Arcana (DC 19): The obsidian statues are
•If the tapestry is torn down, an inscription in imbued with an enchantment of
the common tongue is discovered on the indestructibility. They cannot be damaged
wall, which reads: or moved.
IN THE BEGINNING THE BODY IS UNMARKED, •The black slate petrified ascendant is false,
AWAITING ITS FIRST TASTE OF INFIRMITY. IN THIS and in fact is a hollow reliquary containing a
FIRST STAGE, THE BODY IS MOST CURSED,
rod of magnetic control. The reliquary faintly
KNOWING NOTHING OF THE BREATH OF RUIN,
YET THIS IS THE FIRST NECESSARY STAGE OF THE attracts metallic objects and sounds hollow
GLORIOUS DISEASE. THE SECOND STAGE IS if struck with an object. The reliquary can be
INCUBATION, AND THE DISEASE KISSES THE broken open with a standard action.
BODY. THE THIRD STAGE IS FEVER, WHICH •One of the petrified ascendants blocks the
BRINGS TRUE VISION. THE FOURTH STAGE IS passage to Room 5. The way can be
TRANSMISSION, AND THE BODY IS MOST unblocked by using the scroll of reverse
FEATURES OF THE ROOM
BLESSED, BECOMING A VESSEL FOR THE petrify to release the petrified ascendant,
SCRIPTURE OF RUIN. THE FIFTH STAGE IS •An unholy shrine is dimly illuminated by
great red torches set into glass columns an Elf Noble Guard (Monster Vault) named
NECROSIS, AS THE BODY BEGINS TO
filled with swirling green gas. Moraga the Gilded, who serves at the
UNDERSTAND ITS OWN INSIGNIFICANCE. THE
FINAL STAGE IS DEATH, AND THE BODY IS •The blazing hellish light of the torches command of the ascendant who used the
GIVEN OVER WHOLLY TO KA’AIRE. illuminates petrified figures of black stone scroll.
scattered about the chamber.
•An enormous petrified dragon’s skull with 4
horns levitates in a shrine adorned with

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Torches Petrified Dragon’s Skull Encounter


•When the ascendants draw near the red •The four horns of the skull are made of solid Starting the Encounter:
flames of the torches, they take on the whitestone and are etched with glowing The encounter begins when an ascendant
appearance of charred skeletons. ancient draconic runes that burn like the last first removes a red torch or when an
•Arcana or Heal (DC 19): The torches burn embers of a great bonfire. ascendant first moves into the range of the
with enervating fire, which disintegrates •The eye sockets of the skull are filled with dragon skull of petrification’s gaze.
living matter upon contact. three-headed king cobras.
•The red torches can be removed from their •When an ascendant moves into the path Threats:
sconces. If the encounter has not already of the skull’s gaze (shaded red on the map), Two decomposing priests of plague
begun, removing a torch begins the the encounter begins if it has not already assemble from the detritus behind the
encounter (see “Encounter” below). (see “Encounter” below). columns and move to infect the ascendants
•The torches can be used to kill the three- and force them into the deadly gaze of the
headed king cobras and to light the brass Brass Brazier dragon skull of petrification, which spawns
brazier (see “Encounter” below). •The brass brazier is filled with green saplings venomous three-headed cobras from its
•The torches snuff out if removed from the covered in sacred oil. hollow eye sockets.
shrine. •Ascendants who draw near to the brass
brazier hear the buzzing of a great swarm of Ending the Encounter:
Columns insects. The encounter ends when the dragon skull
•Arcana (DC 19): Epic tier magic radiates •If the brass brazier is lit by a red torch, the of petrification is disabled or destroyed. The
from inside the columns. green gas that fills the glass columns priests of plague dissolve to transparent
•Athletics (DC 17): A glass column is dissipates, revealing a vorpal dagger slime when the dragon skull has been
cracked open. If the green gas has not levitating in each of the columns. Vorpal disabled or destroyed. The priests do not
been dispelled by lighting the brass brazier, daggers removed from the chamber pursue the ascendants if they leave the
the gas sprays out and makes the following evaporate in a puff of red smoke. room.
attack:
Dragon Skull of Petrification
Cloud of Flesh Transmutation
Dragon Skull of Petrification
Attack: Living creatures in a close burst 2; +6 Level 2 Solo Blaster Trap
vs. Fortitude. HP 120 Bloodied 60
Hit: The target’s flesh turns into a swarm of Initiative +5
insects, arachnids, or parasites of the target’s AC 18, Fort 18, Reflex 12, Will 14
choice. Immune disease, necrotic, conditions

•Once the green gas has been dispelled by TRAITS


lighting the brazier, visible in each of the 4
Cobra-Filled Eye Sockets
columns is a levitating vorpal dagger, which
can be used to disable the dragon skull of At the beginning of the dragon skull of
petrification (see “Encounter” below). petrification’s turn, 2 three-headed king
cobras spawn in adjacent squares (but see
countermeasures).

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STANDARD ACTIONS Runescribed Horns Hypnotic Gaze (gaze) – At-Will


Bite in Half – At-Will A vorpal dagger can be used to sever one of Attack: Ranged 10 (one creature), +7 vs. Will.
the dragon skull’s 4 horns as a minor action. Hit: Slides the target 3 squares and the target
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature), +7 vs. AC. is dazed (save ends). If the target is already
Doing so destroys both the horn and dagger.
Hit: The target loses half its current HP, dazed, it takes 10 psychic damage.
If a vorpal dagger is used on the skull itself, the
rounded up.
dagger deals 10 damage and shatters as
Special: On a critical hit, the target is bit in Hurl Contagious Flesh – At-Will
though it were made from sandstone.
half (dead).
HELL MODE—the vorpal daggers deal no Attack: Ranged 10 (one creature), +7 vs.
Petrifying Gaze (gaze) – At-Will damage to the skull and the ricocheting Fortitude.
shards deal 10 damage to the attacker. Hit: 1d6+4 damage and the target makes a
Attack: Close blast 21 (enemies in shaded
region), +7 vs. Fortitude. saving throw to avoid taking a point of
Hit: The target is slowed (save ends). First infection.
Priests of plague
failed save: The target is petrified (save ends). TRIGGERED ACTIONS
Second failed save: The target is petrified (no Priest of Plague (P)
save). Level 2 Controller Reincorporation – At-Will
HELL MODE—total petrification occurs after
Medium natural animate (undead)
Trigger: The priest is reduced to 0 or fewer HP.
the first failed save. HP 32 Bloodied 16 Effect: The priest rises at full HP at the end of its
MINOR ACTIONS Initiative acts after dragon skull of petrification next turn.
Perception +3, darkvision
Obsidian Shard Breath – At-Will AC 12, Fort 16, Reflex 14, Will 16
Speed 6 Three-
Three-headed king cobras
Attack: Close blast 2 (enemies in blast), +7 vs.
Immune fear, disease, poison Three-Headed King Cobra
Reflex.
Hit: 3d6+3 damage Level 1 Minion Soldier
TRAITS
HELL MODE—6d6 damage, and the attack Tiny natural beast
creates a cloud of shards that attacks Infectious Fumes – Aura 1
HP 1; missed attacks never damage minions.
again at the start of each target’s turn. Initiative acts after priests of plague
Enemies that enter the aura or start their turn
Doom Gaze (gaze) – At-Will in the aura must make a saving throw to Perception +2
avoid taking a point of infection. AC 13, Fort 14, Reflex 17, Will 11
Attack: Ranged 10 (one creature), +7 vs. Will. Speed 4
Hit: 5 psychic damage, and the target grants Vorpal Weakness
combat advantage until the end of the STANDARD ACTIONS
dragon skull’s next turn. If struck by a vorpal dagger, the priest takes
15 damage and is dazed until the end of its Triple Bite – At-Will
COUNTERMEASURES next turn. Attack: Melee 1 (one creature), +7 vs.
Put Out the Eyes STANDARD ACTIONS Fortitude.
Hit: 3d4 poison damage. At the end of the
Thrusting one of the red torches into one of Cobra Staff – At-Will encounter, the ascendant must make a
the dragon skull’s eyes kills all cobras in that saving throw or die (does not stack).
eye. Attack: Melee 1 (one creature), +7 vs. AC.
HELL MODE—the ascendant instead makes
Hit: 5 poison damage and ongoing 5 poison
the saving throw immediately.
damage (save ends).

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5. Audience
Audience Chamber •The wide hall is lined with shelves filled with YOUR…LONG LIFE. YOU MUST MIX AND
The Emissary challenges the ascendants to vials containing various alchemical CONSUME THE DRAUGHT OF THE GODS.” The
concoct the drink of the gods. components. emissary gives the ascendants the ivory
•The hall ends with a massive throne of chalice.
black glass—the Emissary sits draped across
the throne, an ivory chalice held delicately As the image on the chalice hints, the drink
by a tendril of its red mist. must be made by mixing 3 vials. Drinking a
mixture of more or less than 3 vials causes
EXPLORATION death by desiccation. Each ascendant may
Green Smog mix a drink, but the Emissary explains that
•Though mildly noxious and mystic in nature, each ascendant must use a different
the green smog has no substantial affect. combination of substances. To determine
the effects of a mixture of 3 substances,
Vials of Alchemical Components refer to the following list:
•Though thousands of small vials fill the Ash: +6
shelves, only 20 different substances fill the Gold Dust: -9
individually labeled vials. Pus: -7
•The substances are: ash, gold dust, pus, Mud: -1
mud, blood, rose petals, oil, bile, sand, Blood: +9
quicksilver, ink, wine, spores, water, honey, Rose Petals: -10
venom, crushed bone, saliva, acid, and Oil: +5
clay. Bile: -2
Sand: +3
Ivory Chalice Quicksilver: +7
•Sculpted delicately into the chalice is the Ink: -5
image of three skeletons stirring a cauldron. Wine: -4
•Arcana (DC 19): The chalice is imbued with Spores: +1
a transmutation spell. Water: +8
Honey: -8
Encounter Venom: -6
Mixing the Draught of the Gods Crushed Bone: +2
FEATURES OF THE ROOM The encounter begins when the ascendants Saliva: -3
•Faint green smog hangs in this long hall. round the corner and first glimpse the Acid: +10
The noxious fumes emit from the triple eyes Emissary sitting upon the throne. The Clay: +4
of redstone skulls sculpted into walls near Emissary beckons them forward, speaking in Add the values of the 3 chosen substances
the ceiling. its tripartite voice: “YOU HAVE DONE WELL. and compare the sum to the following
THE TRIUMVIRATE WISHES TO DRINK TO page.

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1 to 3: Draught of the Stone Golem -8 to -12: Draught of Shared Fate Skull king Demilich Construct
Effect: You become a stone golem. Your AC Effect: Choose an ally. When that ally suffers a Skull King Demilich Construct
increases by 2 and you do not need to eat, condition, you also suffer that condition. Level 2 Solo Artillery
drink, sleep, or breathe. Small construct animate (undead)
-13 to -18: Draught of Black Death
HP 140 Bloodied 70
4 to 7: Draught of Telepathy Effect: You take 3 points of infection. Initiative +8
Effect: You and an ally of your choice gain Perception +2, soulvision
-19 to -26: Draught of Utter Enfeeblement
telepathy 100. AC 15, Fort 11, Reflex 16, Will 18
Effect: You become a minion. Speed fly 5 (hover), teleport 5
8 to 12: Draught of Protection Immune charm, disease, poison
-27: Draught of Supreme Evil Saving Throws +5; Action Points 2
Effect: Choose any 3 damage types. You gain
resist 5 to each of those damage types. Effect: You become a skull king demilich TRAITS
construct and attack the party (see below).
13 to 18: Draught of True Power Soul-Draining Presence – Aura 2
Effect: You gain a level. Enemies that start their turns in the aura lose a
(Note that the Draught of the Gods is made healing surge. Enemies reduced to 0 or fewer
19 to 26: Draught of Command from the three kinds of tears wept by the healing surges or HP by the demilich construct
priest grotesques in Room 1.) When an are destroyed, reduced to a fine gray
Effect: You become the king or queen of your ascendant drinks a mixture, announce the powder, and the demilich gains an action
realm. Whenever you kill a minion enemy, it
score and name of the draught as well as its point.
rises in your service (maximum 2). When you
die, your minions die.
effects. The Emissary vanishes once all have STANDARD ACTIONS
drunk or if threatened.
27: Draught of the Gods Triple Eye Rays – At-Will

Effect: You gain an extra life. The next time Attack: Ranged 10 (one, two, or three
you would die, you are instead treated as enemies), +7 vs. Reflex.
though you had just taken an extended rest. Hit: 1d8+3 necrotic damage.
Additionally, the seat of the throne opens on Vortex of Souls – Recharge 4 5 6
hinges, revealing a 333-foot shaft, at the
bottom of which rests an indestructible Effect: Each enemy in a close burst 3 must
gauntlet of protection. make saving throws equal to the number of
her remaining healing surges. If she fails all of
-1 to -3: Draught of Contagion those saving throws, she loses all remaining
Effect: You take a point of infection. healing surges.
MINOR ACTIONS
-4 to -7: Draught of Oblivion
Consume Essence – At-Will (1/round)
Effect: You lose all knowledge of rituals and
languages you know. You cannot make Attack: Ranged 10 (one enemy), +5 vs.
knowledge checks. Fortitude.
Hit: The target loses 1d4 healing surges and
the demilich gains 10 temporary HP.

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6. Path of plagues EXPLORATION •If the ascendant opens the book to any
A grim passage through the cathedral Motes of Ghoul Light other page, the book steals all knowledge
features a number of puzzles, secret areas, •Drawing near the motes of light fills the and memories from the ascendant, who
and traps. ascendants with dread. In the traces of light becomes a skill-less, powerless shell of his
left by the motes of light, the ascendants former self (count as death). The book then
see the faces of lost loved ones. slams shut, but remains on the chest.
•The stone chest’s lid can be pushed off.
HELL MODE Inside are 6 large 6-sided pip dice made of
Ascendants who enter the field of glowing corroded metal and measuring 3 inches on
motes must describe their lost loved one’s a side.
face and recount the tragedy of their demise.
Then make a despair attack: +7 vs. Will. 6B.
Hit: The target takes a penalty based on the
death of their loved one. FEATURES OF THE ROOM
Battle: The target takes a permanent -2 •Six stone statues of crusaders holding
penalty to attack and damage rolls. swords and shields stand in arched alcoves.
5 2 Disease: The target takes a point of •A rusted iron skull adorns the top of each
infection. arch.
Murder: You gain vulnerable 5 all.
4 1 Suicide: When you roll a natural 1 on an
attack, you score a critical hit on yourself.
EXPLORATION
6 3 Betrayal: You are not considered an ally Crusader Statues
to the other ascendants for the purposes •Each of the statues depicts a crusader in
of powers and abilities and vice versa. the same general stance and in the same
Other: Improvise. armor, but each in a varying state. From top
left to bottom right, the statues appear as
follows:
Stone Chest and Book -Chunks of flesh falling away.
•The book is coated in a thick layer of dust. -Hunched over, holding sword loosely.
It has no title and is well over a thousand -Covered in pus-oozing boils around the
pages. face and hands.
6A. •If an ascendant attempts to open the -Young and hale.
FEATURES OF THE ROOM book, ask him which page he is opening the -Skeletal.
book to. If the ascendant opens the book to -Sweating, eyes rolled back in the head.
•Atop a stone chest at the end of a short
page 333, he immediately learns the •Each statue features a 3-inch slot in the
hall is a massive tome, bound in the leathery
comprehend language ritual and one other center of its chest.
snakeskin of a medusa’s scalp.
ritual of level 5 or lower of his choice. (333 is
•Motes of ghoulish green light drift around
the sacred number of the Triumvirate, as
the chest.
demonstrated by its occurrence in Rooms 5
and 11.) The book then vanishes.

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Rusted Iron Skulls stage of the disease), leads to a treasure •An ascendant that passes in whole or in
•Perception (DC 21) or Dungeoneering (DC chamber in Room 7. part through the center square of the
17): The rusted iron skulls can be pressed into chamber is completely dissolved and her
a recess. If any other skull is pressed in, another magic items are disenchanted, leaving a
•Pressing a skull in before the puzzle is solved pathogenic cloud is exhaled by the rusted pile of clothes and common items and
has no effect (but see “Solving the Puzzle” iron skulls. The ascendants may try again. gear.
below).
6C. 6D.
Solving the puzzle FEATURES OF THE ROOM FEATURES OF THE ROOM
The corroded metal pip dice from the stone •Down the tight, darkened secret passage •Sculpted into the floor of this angled
chest in Room 6A must be inserted in the lies an octagonal chamber. On each of the hallway is a multitude of slithering snakes.
cubic slots of the statues so that the proper 4 diagonal walls are three-horned skulls •The stink of decay wafts up in
number is displayed facing out. The proper coated in yellow slime, their eyes filled with overwhelming waves from the floor.
numbers are given on the map on the a smoldering green flame. •Soft, plaintive wailing hangs on the air.
previous page. The key to solving the puzzle •A pile of clothes, weapons, and basic
is to chronologically order the progression of adventuring gear lies in a puddled pile in EXPLORATION
the ancient plague (as detailed in the the center of the small chamber. Floor
inscription on the wall in 3B). •The snakes sculpted on the floor seem to
EXPLORATION wriggle when glanced in peripheral.
If the pip dice are inserted in an incorrect Pile of Clothes and Gear •Perception or Insight (DC 19): The pained
order, the rusted iron skulls exhale a •If an ascendant was teleported here from wailing seems to emanate from the floor.
pathogenic cloud. Every ascendant in Room 3B, her clothing and items appear in •Perception or Thievery (DC 21): The outline
Room 6 must make 3 saving throws, taking 1 the center of the chamber. Otherwise, it is of a trapdoor is nearly invisible in the floor.
point of infection for every failed save. The the clothing and gear of a previous •If an ascendant steps on one of the 3
dice may be removed and the ascendants ascendant who died in the TOWER in a trapdoors marked on the map, he is
may try again if they wish. bygone age. attacked +7 vs. Reflex. On a hit, he falls
•Arcana (DC 17): None of the items or down a 30-foot pit lined with wooden spikes
Once the dice are inserted in the correct weapons are magical. (3d10+8 damage and a point of infection).
order, the eyes of the rusted iron skulls glow At the bottom of each pit, impaled on the
with green flame. In unison, they open their Slime-Covered Horned Skulls spikes is a former ascendant who has
mouths and say, “CHOOSE.” If the skull over •Dungeoneering or Nature (DC 19): The become an eternal vessel of plague, and
statue 1 or 4 is pressed in, the statue melts yellow slime on the skulls is the residue left in has nearly forgotten his or her former life.
away and the secret door behind it opens. the wake of an ochre jelly. The ascendants may interact with each of
The secret door behind statue 1 (the “most •Arcana or Religion (DC 23): Two of the these former ascendants in an effort to gain
cursed” stage of the disease), leads to a skulls are enchanted with a disintegrate more information about the dungeon (see
death chamber in Room 6C. The secret living spell. The other two are enchanted “Encounter” below).
door behind statue 4 (the “most blessed” with a disenchant magic item spell.

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Encounter Pit 2. Loch-Mar, the Silver Knight Pit 3. Omoch, the Seeing Eye
Speaking with the Damned
Target DC: 19 Target DC: 21
Each of the 3 pit traps houses a former
Appearance: Wears tarnished silver armor Appearance: Wears a golden helm encrusted
ascendant who has become an eternal with cracked mystic jewels, one eye made of
emblazoned with the templar’s cross, broken
vessel of plague by Ka’aire. While they are fragments of a great sword lie at bottom of glass.
beyond salvation, they may yet be pit. Advantage: Magic-users get a +2 to checks
reminded of their former lives and aid the Advantage: Ascendants of the martial power made in speaking with Yago.
ascendants. The ascendants must make 3 source get a +2 to checks made in speaking Disadvantage: If an ascendant boasts greater
successful skill checks (or trumps) before a with Loch-Mar. mystic knowledge than Omoch, all future
single failure in their interaction with the Disadvantage: If any ascendant threatens checks on Omoch take a -2 penalty.
fallen ascendant. If they succeed, the fallen Loch-Mar or draws a weapon, all future Trump: Presenting Omoch with the octagonal
checks on Loch-Mar take a -2 penalty. puzzlebox from Room 1 earns 2 automatic
ascendant provides an additional rumor to
Trump: A successful History check recounting successes. Additionally, when the puzzlebox is
the ascendants. If they fail, one random presented to Omoch, he opens it, granting
the victories of Loch-Mar in battle earns an
ascendant must make a saving throw to extra success. the ascendants the solid residuum key stored
avoid taking a point of infection. inside.

HELL MODE
Instead, all ascendants must make the saving
throw.

Pit 1. Yago Elfbane, Master Thief


Target DC: 17
Appearance: Wears an ebony mask, a set of
thief’s tools, and a ring with a signet.
Advantage: Thieves and assassins get a +2 to
checks made in speaking with Yago.
Disadvantage: Elven races take a -2 to
checks made in speaking with Yago.
Trump: A successful Streetwise check
presenting the sign of Yago’s former thief’s
guild earns an extra success.

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7. Entropic Hoard FEATURES OF THE ROOM HELL MODE


There is treasure for the taking scattered •At the end of a narrow passage overgrown The ascendant loses 1d6 healing surges
with rotting vines is a wider square chamber. instead.
about a mysterious black pyramid, but the
greatest treasure in the room lies inside. •The chamber is dominated by a large
obsidian pyramid, which crumbles to dust If, however, the ascendant’s race is either
and then reconstructs in an endless cycle. tiefling or dragonborn, he finds favor with
•Visible inside the pyramid when it crumbles the manifestation of Ka’aire, who instead
is a basin filled with a translucent black says: “YOU ARE ONE OF THE BLESSED RUINED.
ooze. A metal flask rests at the bottom of DEMONSTRATE YOUR FAITH.” If the
the basin. ascendant makes a proper display of faith
•The stone door at the other side of the to Ka’aire, he receives a bonus treasure.
room is marked with the weathered symbol Otherwise, he is punished as above.
of 2 pyramids on top of one another.
•Treasures lie scattered about the base of Basin and Metal Flask
the pyramid. •Dungeoneering (DC 19): The flask is made
of indestructible adamantine.
TREASURE CACHE •Arcana or Dungeoneering (DC 21): The
Each ascendant receives a random treasure black ooze filling the basin is made from the
(see Treasure Table, p32). distilled blood of a half-balor tarrasque
mummy (SVD Press).
EXPLORATION •Any non-indestructible object (including
Obsidian Pyramid the ascendants) that touches the black
•The dissolution and reconstruction of the ooze is instantly destroyed.
pyramid occurs regularly. The entire cycle •The ascendants can use an indestructible
takes one minute before restarting. object to safely remove the flask from the
•Ascendants who enter the pyramid in an pedestal. Once removed from the confines
effort to be inside when it closes receive a of the pyramid, the black ooze evaporates
vision of a great, bipedal, petrified skeletal from the indestructible adamantine flask,
dragon, sitting upon a thrown of plague- making it safe to use.
ridden corpses. The skeletal dragon speaks:
“WILLING OR NOT, ALL SHALL BE VESSELS OF Stone Doors
THE SACRED SCRIPTURE OF CONTAGION. TO •If the ascendants make a point of opening
DEFY ME IS TO DEFY YOUR OWN NATURE. the stone doors when the pyramid is at the
YOU MUST BE INSTRUCTED.” When the moment that it is fully formed, the pyramid in
ascendant emerges, he has aged 10 years Room 12 remains closed for the entire final
and has lost a healing surge. The ascendant battle of the level, permanently trapping
dies of old age if reduced to 0 surges. the giant amoeboid.

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8. Donjon •Three pools of dark liquid cover long Walls


Those who cannot pass a trial of unholy faith expanses of the corridor. •The smeared bodily fluids on the walls
are trapped and tortured endlessly in a •Hidden along the winding curves of the depict a number of gruesome scenes,
winding donjon, which conceals one of the corridor is a magic circle made from unlit including a siege of three armies against a
entrances to the Font of Plagues. wax candles atop cracked skulls. castle atop a mountain, a once-great
•At the very end of the corridor are three capitol burning with bodies piled high in the
alcoves that house statues of monsters in streets, and masked men and women in a
metal shackles. forest raising their hands to the sky.
•History or Religion (DC 17): The siege on the
EXPLORATION castle depicts the armies of the crusaders
Ceiling who became the Triumvirate against the
•Amid the unending screams of the naked ancients. The capitol is one of the few
prisoners above can be heard a phrase in remaining free cities that resist the influence
draconic, whispered over and over: “GIVE of the Triumvirate. Young crusaders, killed by
UP YOUR SECRETS, GIVE UP YOUR FLESH.” plague, are piled like cordwood.
•Some chains dangle down from above, •Heal (DC 17): The celebrating, masked
moving restlessly as though in a strong wind, figures are lepers, banished from the capitol
though the air is perfectly still in the donjon. to prevent the spread of disease.
•If an ascendant touches one of the
dangling chains, she is subjected to the Pools of liquid
following attack: •There are 3 successive pools of liquid in the
donjon, increasing in size deeper into the
Animate Chains
corridor. The first is of melted flesh, the
second is a purple slime, and the third is
Attack: Triggering creature; +4 vs. Reflex. acid. When an ascendant moves within 1
Hit: The target is hauled up into the donjon’s square of a pool, a human face appears in
FEATURES OF THE ROOM upper torture chambers, never to return the surface of the pool and makes a
•The torches that adorn the entire (dead).
demand of the ascendants. If they satisfy
Cathedral of Plagues are extinguished here, Miss: The target may make a DC 17 Athletics
or Acrobatics check to swing 2 squares
the demand, the pool evaporates and the
as is all torchlight. ascendants can pass safely. If not, however,
forward or to drop a dead human body from
•Lashed by chains to the ceiling high above they must find another way to traverse the
above.
this dank, narrow corridor are hundreds of pool (see “Encounter” below).
wailing, emaciated humans, globs of
•When an ascendant attempts to jump
melting flesh dripping warmly from above.
across one of the pools of liquid, he must
•Painted with various bodily fluids on the
make a DC 15 Acrobatics check to avoid
walls are a number of historic scenes of
being attacked by the animate chains.
battles, cities wracked with plague, and
funeral pyres.

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Encounter Pool 2. Pool of Purple Slime solid residuum key to unlock). If 3 or more
Donjon Interrogation creatures teleport into the vault before the
Challenge: “Present a tribute acceptable to door has been opened, all inside are
Each of the pools of liquid, when
the Breath of Ruin.”
approached, challenge the ascendants to crushed to death.
Answer: A body part, a significant portion of
demonstrate their knowledge and faith in bodily fluid, or something that has been •If the circle of candles is disturbed before
Ka’aire. If the ascendants provide an ruined or destroyed is acceptable. Treasure the circle is stepped into, creatures stepping
acceptable answer, the pool evaporates, and magic items are unacceptable. into the circle are teleported half into the
and the ascendants can pass safely. If not, Penalty: The slime can replicate itself. walls of the donjon, killed instantly.
however, the face in the pool speaks, Attempts to disturb it, siphon it, disenchant it,
HELL MODE
saying, “YOUR KNOWLEDGE IS INCOMPLETE. etc. cause it to extend 1 square.
There is a 50% chance that the creature will
Touching the Pool: One random magic item
YOU WILL BETTER SERVE THE BREATH OF RUIN be teleported into another ascendant, killing
or treasure possessed by the triggering
IN OBLIVION.” The ascendants must find both instantly.
creature is disenchanted. If the target has no
another way to traverse the pool, and each magic items or treasures, one random item is
pool has its own unique dangers. destroyed.
Monster Statues
Additionally, if the ascendants fail 2 •On three raised daises at the end of the
Pool 3. Pool of Acid
challenges, the chains holding up the donjon are three statues of monsters: a
masses of human bodies being to loosen, Challenge: “Name the great usurper of medusa, a rust golem, and a two-headed
and the ascendants must retreat quickly or Ka’aire’s domain.” efreet. The hands of each are bounded by
be crushed to death by the mountain of Answer: Golgothan or Ravager of the Crypt. a set of metal shackles.
bodies. No other answer is acceptable. •Thievery or Dungeoneering (DC 19): The
Penalty: The acid rapidly eats away objects shackles are one solid piece—there is no
Pool 1. Pool of Melted Flesh used to bridge it.
keyhole in any of them.
Touching the Pool: 2d6+3 unhealable acid
Challenge: “In Ka’aire’s final war, who will be damage for each square entered.
•Arcana or Religion (DC 19): The shackles
wiped away in the purge, and who will be are imbued with a ritual of unknown
exalted?” purpose or power.
Answer: The young, the healthy, and the Further EXPLORATION •If the solid residuum key is brought near the
strong will be wiped away by the old, the Circle of Candles shackles, a keyhole appears. The key can
infirm and the weak. Other flavorful or •Attempts to light the candles fail. be used to unlock one set of shackles,
creative answers in tune with Ka’aire’s dogma releasing the corresponding monster in
•Arcana or Religion (DC 17): The circle is a
are acceptable.
teleportation circle. Room 12, which may aid the ascendants
Penalty: Mortal flesh is inherently weak.
•Arcana or Religion (DC 21): Disturbing the (the two-headed efreet being the most
Athletics and Acrobatics checks used to cross
the pool take a -2 penalty. arrangement of the skulls will change the powerful possible ally). When the key is
Touching the Pool: The pool of flesh saps the destination of teleportation. used, all of the statues and shackles
triggering creature’s strength. The target is •Stepping into the circle teleports the disappear. Announce that “A MONSTER HAS
permanently weakened. triggering creature to the 1-square chamber BEEN FREED IN THE FONT OF PLAGUES.”
adjoining Room 12, a tiny rusted steel vault.
The door there is locked (Thievery DC 19 or

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9. tRIBULATORY •The sub-chamber to the northwest is threatening to cut the legs out from
This interconnected chamber complex is closed off by two sets of double doors. The under the ascendants.
filled with traps, puzzles, and secrets. Those southern doors are framed in gold. The •The vorpal wheels break against the
who survive the gauntlet and gather the eastern doors are framed in brass. mystic urn of swarms at the end of the
four true symbols of Ka’aire may yet find the •A ten-foot wide, narrow slit, fashioned as a passage, which cracks and releases
key to surviving the Cathedral. great sword lined with teeth, is set low on swarms of spectral winged tarantulas.
the west wall past the statues. •A hot tar weeping monolith immobilizes
•A vast stone woman’s face, striking in its ascendants in place while searing their
beauty, is sculpted in the center southern flesh.
sub-chamber. •A zone of slow time impedes progress
•The air in the southeastern sub-chamber out of the passage.
undulates as though filled with a heat-wave. •A field of levitating magic daggers
Barely visible through the haze on the other protects the magic circle.
6 side is a large urn. •The four horsemen carry gems of
•Four statues of skeletal horsemen holding obliteration in their censers.
7 up censers that glow with a brilliant green
light stand in the center northern sub- Ending the Encounter:
chamber. Double stone-doors sculpted in The encounter ends once three of the soul
the likeness of a disease-ridden marilith fill gems of obliteration have been placed in
2 3 the northern wall. northernmost wall, which shuts down all
•The northeastern sub-chamber is filled with active traps; or when the ascendants
1 4 5 floating knives flashing with light. A magic escape the room and slay all swarms of
circle surrounds an empty pedestal. spectral winged tarantulas pursuing them.

Encounter Traps
Starting the Encounter: 1. Deadfall Crusher
There is no time for exploration. The moment Level 2 Minion Lurker Trap
the ascendants cross the first set of skeletal
Detect: The ceiling above is fashioned as a
FEATURES OF THE ROOM dragonborn statues, the encounter begins. massive, clenched, skeletal fist.
•Four statues of skeletal dragonborn Dungeoneering or Thievery (DC 19) to detect.
wearing amulets bearing the black symbol Threats: Immune: Attacks.
of the crumbling pyramid mark the entry to •A deadfall crusher threatens to crush
any ascendants who linger at the entry TRIGGERED ACTIONS
a series of interconnected chambers.
•The ceiling looms 100 feet over head and is to the tribulatory. Deadfall – Encounter
lined with the sharpened fangs of dragons. •A vorpal wind-and-fire wheel dispenser
Trigger: The second round of combat ends.
Drops of green, glowing liquid drip down fires whirling circular magic blades
Attack: Shaded blue area (creatures in area),
from them. across the southern half of the chamber,
+6 vs. Reflex.
Hit: 20 damage and the target is immobilized
and takes ongoing 5 damage until it escapes
or is rescued.
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Miss: The target moves to a safe square Jam COUNTERMEASURES


adjacent to the area.
An ascendant may jam the dispenser with an Seal
Effect: The blue area on the map becomes
difficult terrain until the end of the encounter. object and a DC 19 Athletics check. On a
An ascendant may use the hot tar from the
failed attempt, the next vorpal wheel misfires,
weeping monolith to coat the mystic urn. The
COUNTERMEASURES ricocheting about the chamber and
tar solidifies and prevents the urn from
attacking the 2 nearest ascendants. On a
Escape cracking.
success, the trap is disabled.
HELL MODE—the successfully jammed
A trapped ascendant may escape the pile of
rubble from the destroyed trap, or another dispenser explodes from the backfire of its
next attack, dealing 20 fire damage to 4. Hot Tar Weeping Monolith
ascendant may pull him out with a DC 17 Level 2 Blaster Trap
Athletics check. creatures in a close blast 4.
Detect: Dungeoneering (DC 19).
Immune: Attacks.
2. Vorpal Wind-and-Fire Wheel Dispenser 3. Mystic Urn of Swarms STANDARD ACTIONS
Level 2 Blaster Trap Level 2 Hazard
Weep Hot Tar
Detect: Dungeoneering (DC 19). Detect: Arcana or Nature (DC 19).
Immune: Attacks. HP 40 Bloodied 20 Special: This effect begins after an enemy
Initiative +5 moves into the sub-chamber of the monolith.
TRAITS AC 15, Fort 15, Reflex 0, Will - Effect: Hot tar pours from the hollow eye
Immune attacks vs. Will sockets of the monolith, filling the center four
Searing Death
TRIGGERED ACTIONS squares of the sub-chamber. Enemies that
The vorpal wind-and-fire wheel dispenser enter the area or start their turn in the area
scores a critical hit against slowed and Release Spectral Swarm take 5 fire damage and must make a saving
immobilized targets on a roll of 16-20. throw to avoid becoming immobilized until
Trigger: A vorpal wind-and-fire wheel fires
the start of their next turn. Using this effect
STANDARD ACTIONS down the tribulatory without ricocheting.
again causes the area to extend 1 square in
Effect: The wheel strikes the urn, cracking it
all directions.
Dispense Vorpal Wheel – At-Will and dealing 10 damage to it. A spectral
swarm of flying tarantulas is released into an COUNTERMEASURES
Attack: Shaded red area (enemies in area),
adjacent square.
+6 vs. Reflex. Block Eye Hollows
Hit: 2d6+6 damage and the target gains Shatter
vulnerable 5 all (save ends). Using cloth or some other reasonable object
Special: On a critical hit, the target’s legs are Trigger: The urn is reduced to 0 or fewer HP. to block the eye hollows stuns the monolith for
severed. Effect: 3 additional spectral swarms of flying 1 round.
tarantulas are released. An ascendant sifting
COUNTERMEASURES Replace Gem Eyes
through the shattered pieces of the urn find
Timed Jump an obsidian symbol of Ka’aire. Placing the two great rubies from Room 2 into
the eye hollows deactivates the trap. Grates
An ascendant may ready an action to make in the floor open, draining the hot tar. The
a DC 17 Acrobatics check to leap over the monolith’s mouth opens revealing an obsidian
next dispense vorpal wheel attack. symbol of Ka’aire.

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5. Zone of Slow Time Field of Blades 7. Four Horsemen


Level 2 Hazard Level 4 Blaster Trap
Enemies that move through 1 or more of the
Detect: Perception (DC 19). purple shaded squares must make a DC 17 Detect: Arcana (DC 19).
Immune: Attacks. Acrobatics check to avoid 1d6+2 damage. Immune: Attacks.

TRAITS TRIGGERED ACTIONS TRAITS


Slow Time Carriers of Plague
Whirling Blades – At-Will
The green shaded squares are difficult terrain. Enemies that start their turn adjacent to one
Trigger: An enemy disfigures an incorrect rune.
Ranged attacks and actions made from the of the horsemen must make a saving throw to
Attack: Shaded purple area (creatures in
zone are delayed 1 turn. Enemies in the zone avoid taking a point of infection.
area), +6 vs. Reflex.
are dazed and Action Points cannot be spent Hit: 3d6 damage.
in the zone. STANDARD ACTIONS
Miss: Half damage.
Soul Gems of Obliteration – At-Will
COUNTERMEASURES COUNTERMEASURES
Requirement: An enemy must be in the sub-
Disenchant Disfigure the Runes chamber of the four horsemen.
Two successful DC 19 Arcana checks disable In the center of the chamber is an empty Attack: Ranged 5 (four attacks), +7 vs. Reflex.
the hazard. pedestal surrounded by a rune circle. The Hit: 1d6+3 radiant damage and ongoing 5
HELL MODE—failing by 5 or more on a check runes are Abyssal, and can be interpreted radiant damage.
causes the ascendant making the check with the comprehend language ritual or with Special: If 3 or more attacks hit a single target,
and all ascendants in the zone to become a DC 21 History or Religion check. The the target is vaporized in a brilliant flash of
permanently slowed. characters loosely correspond with the light.
Common letters E, T, A, I, K, R, and G. If the HELL MODE—when an enemy is vaporized in
silver daggers are used to disfigure T and G this way, the four horsemen may use soul
(the only letters absent from the name gems of obliteration again as a free action.
6. Field of Levitating Daggers
Ka’aire), the trap is disabled and an obsidian TRIGGERED ACTIONS
Level 2 Warder Trap
symbol of Ka’aire is conjured atop the
Detect: Arcana (DC 19) pedestal. Drain Soul – At-Will
Immune: Attacks.
Trigger: An enemy fails a check to remove a
TRAITS soul gem or places a false symbol of Ka’aire
onto one of the horsemen.
Hidden Daggers Attack: Ranged 5 (triggering enemy), +7 vs.
Will.
Though most of the levitating daggers are
Hit: The target’s soul is removed from its body
made of polished steel, careful inspection or
(save ends).
a DC 19 Perception check reveals that 2 of
the daggers are made of pure silver. These
COUNTERMEASURES
silver daggers can be used to disfigure the
runes. Remove Gem
A DC 21 Thievery check removes one of the
soul gems and disables that statue.

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Restore True Symbols STANDARD ACTIONS •The gold door, when opened, opens into
another dimension, revealing the gullet of
Each of the horsemen statues wears an Envenomed Fangs – At-Will an Eternal Wurm. The creature that opened
amulet with an empty setting. Placing one of
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature), +6 vs. the door must make a saving throw to avoid
the obsidian symbols of Ka’aire into an amulet
disables that statue and allows the soul gem
Fortitude. being pulled into the maw of the Wurm by 5
Hit: 1d6+3 poison damage, the target is lacerating tongues (dead). The door then
to be removed with a minor action and no
grabbed, and the swarm makes this attack slams closed. Failing a Thievery check on
Thievery check..
again. the brass door also opens it onto the Eternal
Acidic Web Spray – Encounter Wurm.
Swarm of Spectral Winged •If the brass door is opened with the
Attack: Close blast 3 (enemies in burst), +6 vs.
Tarantulas corroded copper key, it opens onto the
Reflex.
Hit: 2d6+3 acid damage and the target is northwestern chamber (echoing the runes in
Swarm of Spectral Winged Tarantulas
pushed to the nearest wall and restrained Room 1, “OUT OF THE EAST RODE THE
Level 2 Soldier
(save ends). HORSEMEN OF PLAGUE, THE GLORIOUS RUIN
Medium shadow beast (swarm, spider,
undead) OF THE EMPIRES OF THE NORTH. GLORY WILL
MOVE ACTIONS ONCE AGAIN RIDE FROM THE EAST.”
HP 20 Bloodied 10 Lift to the Ceiling •Inside the chamber is a foundry mold.
Perception +2 Opening the mold reveals the hollow shape
AC 16, Fort 15, Reflex 13, Will 11 Effect: The swarm flies directly up with a
of a handheld mirror inside. Pouring lava
Speed 6, fly 6 (hover), phasing grabbed creature 5 squares. Once it has
from Room 10 into the foundry creates a
Resist half damage from melee and ranged reached 20 squares, the grabbed creature is
impaled on the dragon’s fangs at the top of mirror of true reflection.
Vulnerable 5 close or area attacks
the ceiling and is killed.
TRAITS Doors of the Marilith
Bound in the Web •The body of a marilith is sculpted into the
Tricks door. Three of her diseased hands hold
Creatures grabbed by the swarm take 2 Skeletal Dragonborn Antechamber swords. The other three are empty, palms
poison damage at the start of their turn. extended.
•The 4 skeletal dragonborn statues standing
Swarm Attack – Aura 1 at the entrance of the tribulatory each wear •Placing one of the soul gems of
an amulet bearing the symbol of Ka’aire. obliteration into her hand causes it to
At the start of the swarm’s turn, it makes an •Dungeoneering (DC 17): 3 of the symbols clench. Once three of the four gems are
envenomed fangs attack against each placed into her hands, she crushes them,
are worthless black slate, while 1 is an
enemy in the aura as a free action. deactivating all traps in the room and
obsidian symbol of Ka’aire. Any of the
Swarm symbols can be removed as a minor action. dissipating all swarms of spectral winged
tarantulas. The stone doors of the marilith
The swarm can occupy the same space as
another creature, and an enemy can enter its Gold and Brass Doors open.
space, which is difficult terrain. The swarm •The gold and brass doors are locked, but •If a symbol of Ka’aire is placed in one of
cannot be pulled, pushed, or slid by melee or can be opened with the corroded copper the marilith’s hands, she crushes it and
ranged attacks. key or with DC 21 Thievery check.

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makes three coup attacks against the Statues


triggering target: +7 vs. AC. Hit: 10 damage. •The statues depict two cavaliers, a foot
soldier, a queen, and a king. All but the king
Treasure Chamber are made from basalt. The kind is made
•Behind the doors of the marilith is a square from marble.
chamber, the walls of which are made of •Clever ascendants will note the parallels
living flesh. Treasure lies scattered on the between the room and a chessboard (8x8,
floor. alternating tiles, knights, pawn, king and
queen).
TREASURE CACHE •Dungeoneering (DC19): The statues are
Each ascendant receives a random treasure ordinary.
(see Treasure Table, p32). •Perception (DC 21): Only the northernmost
cavalier statue is movable.
•Holding up one of the many torches that fill •Moving the cavalier to the green shaded
the cathedral in this chamber causes the square (which puts the white king in
flesh-covered walls to appear diseased. A checkmate), opens a secret door.
large patch deteriorates altogether, •The secret corridor behind the door leads
revealing a secret door out of the chamber to a scrying skull sitting upon a crumbling
that leads to Room 12. stone dias. The dial is surrounded by
numbers 1-10. The ascendants may rotate
the dial so that the skull faces one of the
numbers. Doing so gives the ascendants
10. Statuary EXPLORATION one random rumor from the corresponding
Lava Pit level of the TOWER and verifies the rumor’s
An ever-watching sentry stands guard over
•The pit drops eighty feet down into a pit of truth or falsity.
two secrets in this regal statuary.
churning lava.
•Any creature or object (except Floating Eye
FEATURES OF THE ROOM
indestructible items) that drops into the lava •The eye measures two feet in diameter
•A 20-foot square pit opens onto a vat of
are instantly destroyed. and is formed from pulsating light that
lava in the room’s center. The room is
•The indestructible adamantine flask can rapidly changes color.
swelteringly hot, and vision is obscured by
be lowered with the indestructible coil of •Arcana (DC 21): The eye radiates
waves of blistering heat.
mithril rope to gather up enough lava to use telekinetic magic.
•A great eye of many colors hovers over the
in the secret foundry in Room 9. Other •If an ascendant steps on one of the
center of the pit, watching the ascendant’s
methods of extracting the lava are possible, shaded squares on the map (spaces that
every movement.
but doing so without these items should be could be captured by the chess pieces),
•Standing on red and black marble tiles are
correspondingly difficult and dangerous. the eye makes an attack +7 vs. Reflex. On a
statues of warriors, poised for battle.
hit, the target is pulled into the lava pit
(dead).

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11. Submerged Treasury EXPLORATION TREASURE CACHE


Down a flight of stairs into the cold and dark Pool of Bile The southernmost chest is full of treasure. Each
of the TOWER’s very foundations, ancient •The pool reeks of acid. Ascendants starting ascendant may claim 1 random treasure from
their turn in the pool take 2 acid damage. the chest (see Treasure Table, p32).
treasures are stored in a hoard protected by
an unnamed Thing. •Perception (DC 19): Small air bubbles pop
at the surface of the pool in the southern
half of the pool. Stone Tablet
•Perception (DC 21): The lids of ornate stone •A great bloodstone tablet, 15 feet wide
chests are visible just under the surface of and 30 feet tall stands against the wall at
the pool. the end of the bridge.
•Entering the southern half of the pool •On the upper half of the tablet, etched in
awakens the Thing and begins combat foot high characters is the number “333.”
immediately (see “Encounter” below). •Three curved diamond spinal columns jut
from the lower half of the tablet. One of
Submerged Stone Chests them is topped with a diamond medusa’s
•Athletics (DC 21): An ascendant takes a head with many snakes sprouting from its
running jump from the bridge to one of the skullcap.
chests away from the bridge. •As a standard action, an ascendant may
•An ascendant feeling along a chest finds a count the number of snakes emerging from
small, octagonal indentation in the lid. the medusa’s head. The total for this head is
•The chests are locked. 37.
•Athletics or Thievery (DC 21): The lid is •Perception (DC 17): A set of stone hinges
forced open or unlocked. can be found on one side of the tablet.
FEATURES OF THE ROOM •Stone chests can be unlocked as a minor •The entire tablet is a door to a hidden vault
action with the octagonal puzzlebox from that can only be opened by affixing the
•At the bottom of a narrow, broken stair into
Room 1. correct skulls to the remaining 2 diamond
darkness, a wide bridge traverses an inky
•Three of the chests contain nothing but a spinal columns (see “Solving the Puzzle”
black pool of bile.
swarm of omnivorous rust piranhas. below).
•Stairs descend from the bridge into the
pool. A foul stench rises off its surface. Releasing them begins combat immediately
•At the end of the bridge, an enormous (see “Encounter” below).
stone tablet etched with numbers is barely
visible in the dark. HELL MODE
•Standing above the pool in 4 corners of
the room stand stone statues of medusas.
Three have heads of pure diamond, but the
one in the southeast corner has been
broken from the torso up.
Each of the three trapped chests contains 2
swarms of omnivorous rust piranhas instead.

•The southernmost chest is full of treasure.


333
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Medusa Statues secret vault behind the tablet and drains The thing in the pool of bile
•Three of the statues (all but the partially the pool of bile. Once the pool is drained, The Thing in the Pool of Bile
destroyed one) have diamond heads, and the Thing in the pool as well as the swarms Level 3 Solo Brute
each has a different number of snakes of omnivorous rust piranhas die (though any Large aberrant beast
emerging from its skullcap. living columns of cloudkill must still be slain).
•Starting with the southwest corner and HP 130 Bloodied 65
Initiative +5 (monsters act on same initiative)
moving clockwise, the diamond medusa The correct remaining diamond medusa
Perception +5
heads have 5, 4, and 3 snakes. heads both have 3 snakes. One of them is AC 16, Fort 17, Reflex 18, Will 15
•When examined up close, the partially on one of the statues, and the other is in the Speed swim 7
destroyed statue in the southeast corner is belly of the Thing (see below). Astute Resist 5 poison, acid; vulnerable 5 fire
covered in a clear, sticky acid. ascendants will note that 3 x 3 x 37 = 333. In Saving Throws +5; Action Points 2
•Nature (DC 17): The clear, sticky acid the vault are a scroll of reverse petrify and
TRAITS
coating the broken statue is the saliva of a an indestructible coil of mithril rope.
nameless half-demon aquatic monster. Lurker in the Depths
•A diamond medusa head can be Encounter
ncounter The Thing is invisible until it is spotted with a DC
removed with a minor action. Starting the Encounter: 19 Perception or Insight check.
The encounter can begin in several ways:
HELL MODE Lacerating Toothed Tentacles – Aura 3
when an ascendant disturbs the southern
Removing a diamond medusa head releases half of the pool, when an ascendant Enemies that start their turn immobilized in the
a burst of cloudkill that hangs in a close burst aura take 5 damage and are pulled 1 square
releases a swarm of omnivorous rust
1 and causes the headless statue to animate toward the Thing. Enemies that are pulled into
and attempt to grab the triggering
piranhas, or (in hell mode) if an ascendant
triggers a cloudkill trap. the Thing’s squares are automatically hit by
ascendant.
the Thing’s next swallow whole attack.
Attack: Triggering ascendant; +6 vs.
Fortitude. Threats: STANDARD ACTIONS
Hit: The target is grabbed (escape DC The ascendants can look for treasure or
Tentacle Strangle – At-Will
17). attempt to solve the puzzle while being
Living creatures starting their turn in the burst accosted by the Thing that dwells in the Attack: Melee 3 (one creature), +7 vs. AC.
must make a DC 17 Endurance check or pool as well as the swarms of omnivorous Hit: 2d6+5 damage and the target is
permanently lose 1d6 healing surges. If this immobilized (save ends).
rust piranhas.
reduces the creature to 0 or fewer surges, the
Enveloping Tentacles – At-Will
creature dissolves into the cloud, making it a
living column of cloudkill (see below). Ending the Encounter: Effect: The Thing makes 4 tentacle strangle
The encounter ends once all monsters are attacks.
killed or if the ascendants retreat back up
the stairs. Vomit Sentient Sludge – Recharge 6
Solving the puzzle Effect: Creates a zone of sentient sludge in a
Fitting the correct diamond medusa heads close blast 2. Enemies that start their turn in
to the 2 remaining diamond spinal columns the zone take 10 poison and acid damage.
jutting from the stone tablet opens the HELL MODE—the zone has a move speed of
HELL
2. Enemies that start their turn in the zone
must make a saving throw with a +2 bonus
or die.
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Recover – Encounter Swarm of Omnivorous rust MINOR ACTIONS

Effect: The Thing gains 30 temporary HP.


piranhas Consume Magic Item – Recharge 4 5 6
Swarm of Omnivorous Rust Piranhas
MINOR ACTIONS Level 2 Soldier Attack: Melee 1 (one creature), +6 vs. AC.
Medium natural beast (swarm) Hit: The target cannot use a random magic
Pull to the Deep – At-Will item (save ends). First failed save: The magic
HP 20 Bloodied 10 item is destroyed and the swarm gains a +5
Attack: Ranged 10 (one enemy), +6 vs. Reflex. Initiative +5 (monsters act on same initiative) bonus to its next damage roll.
Hit: The target is pulled 2 squares. Perception +2
Swallow Whole – At-Will AC 14, Fort 13, Reflex 15, Will 11
Speed swim 6 Living Column of Cloudkill
Attack: Melee 1 or 0 (one creature), +6 vs. Resist half damage from melee and ranged; Living Column of Cloudkill
Fortitude. Vulnerable 5 close or area attacks Level 1 Soldier
Hit: The target is swallowed whole and takes
TRAITS Large elemental animate (living trap)
ongoing 10 damage (save ends both).
Attacks made from inside the Thing are HP 18, bloodied 9
Blood in the Water
critical hits. While inside, the target can find a Initiative +5 (monsters act on same initiative
3-snaked diamond medusa head with a DC The swarm gains a +2 to bonus to damage Perception +2
17 Perception check. rolls against bloodied enemies and continues AC 13, Fort 14, Reflex 17, Will 11
attacking enemies after they become Speed fly 5 (hover)
MOVE ACTIONS
unconscious. Resist insubstantial; Vulnerable 5 fire
Disappear to the Depths – Recharge 6
Swarm Attack – Aura 1 TRAITS
Effect: The Thing’s lurker in the depths trait
At the start of the swarm’s turn, it makes a Enveloping Cloud
resets and it moves its speed.
rusting bite attack against each enemy in the
TRIGGERED ACTIONS aura as a free action. The living column of cloudkill may occupy
enemy squares. Enemies that start their turn in
Ruptured Stomachs – Encounter Swarm the column mast make a DC 17 Endurance
check to avoid permanently losing 1d6
Trigger: The Thing is bloodied. The swarm can occupy the same space as
healing surges. Enemies reduced to 0 or fewer
Effect: Vomit sentient sludge recharges, and another creature, and an enemy can enter its
healing surges are dissolved into the cloud.
the Thing uses it as a free action. Vomit space, which is difficult terrain. The swarm
sentient sludge recharges again, and the cannot be pulled, pushed, or slid by melee or Combustible
Thing uses it as a free action again. ranged attacks.
When the living column of cloudkill takes fire
STANDARD ACTIONS damage, enemies within 1 square take
ongoing 5 fire damage (save ends).
Rusting Bite – At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature), +6 vs. AC.
Hit: 1d10+3 damage and the target takes a -1
penalty to AC (save ends). First failed save:
The penalty becomes permanent.

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12. Font of Plagues •A lithe female figure wearing a delicate Dark Bishop Statues
The lover of the Breath of Ruin stands guard gold crown and a cracked ivory mask •Careful inspection of the statues reveals
over this final chamber of the cathedral. beckons to the ascendants. Something bite marks in the flesh of the sculpted
Only by slaying her can the ascendants writhes beneath the mask. infants.
advance to the second level of the TOWER. •When a soul is removed from the font of
EXPLORATION plagues, each of the dark bishop statues
Obsidian Pyramid open their mouths and their eyes glow
•The sound of crying can be heard inside green.
the pyramid, as well as an odd squelching •An ascendant may feed a soul from the
sound. font of plagues to one of the dark bishop
•If the ascendants opened the doors in statues as a minor action. When that
Room 7 at the correct moment, the pyramid happens, roll a d20.
in this chamber remains sealed for the •If the roll is even, the ascendant
duration of combat. If the ascendants then receives a boon until the end of the
slay the rust grub lamia queen, the pyramid encounter. The northeast statue grants
opens with no trace of the giant amoeboid. the ascendant +2d10 fire to all damage
•If the ascendants did not open the doors in rolls. The southwest statue grants
Room 7 at the correct moment, the pyramid temporary hit point equal to the
in this chamber begins to crumble as soon ascendant’s bloodied value. The
as the ascendants enter. The pyramid northwest statue grants a +3 to all
completely crumbles at the end of the first defenses.
FEATURES OF THE ROOM round of combat, releasing the giant •If the roll is odd, the ascendant takes
amoeboid and revealing the font of 1d4 points of infection.
•A great dome of cracked plaster looms
nearly a hundred feet over the cathedral plagues (see below).
HELL MODE
floor. A three-foot wide hole at the dome’s
Font of Plagues Additionally, if the roll is odd, the dark bishop
apex opens onto darkness.
•Inside the pyramid is a wide baptismal font animates as a wraith (Monster Vault, p. 284).
•Directly beneath the dome is a cracked
obsidian pyramid. filled with a green liquid. The souls of infants
•A darkened stained glass window, ten feet killed by the ancient plague fade in and out
of existence in the surface of the pool. Stained Glass Window
in diameter, adorns the southeast diagonal
•Ascendants can seize one of the souls with •Perception (DC 17): A liquid trickles from
wall.
a minor action, but must make a saving the edges of the glass.
•Statues of dark bishops cradling
throw to avoid taking a point of infection. •Dungeoneering or Nature (DC 17):
emaciated infants in their arms stand in
The souls can be deposited in the dark Identifies the liquid as acidic.
passages about the main chamber.
bishop statues. •Breaking the stained glass window releases
•Three small prison cells line a short passage
•An ascendant that enters the font of a wash of acid that covers the floor of the
to the east.
plagues takes 1d10+3 necrotic damage entire room. Creatures starting their turn on
and 1 point of infection. the floor take 5 acid damage. Hidden in the

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space behind the window are 2 chalices of Rust grub lamia queen of Unleash Plagues – At-Will
the gods (see Treasure Table, p32). plagues Attack: Burst 1 within 10 (enemies in burst), +7
Rust Grub Lamia Queen of Plagues vs. Fortitude.
Encounter Level 4 Solo Controller Hit: The target contracts a random stage 1
Starting the Encounter: Medium natural magical beast (undead) disease from the following list: mummy rot,
The encounter begins when the ascendants shakes, or hellfever (Dungeon Master’s Guide,
HP 170 Bloodied 85
first lay eyes on the rust grub lamia queen. p49). Then, if the target has 4 or more
Initiative +10
diseases, the target dies and its soul is trapped
Perception +12
Threats: forever in the font of plagues.
AC 18, Fort 15, Reflex 17, Will 17
The queen wields the power of many of the Speed 6
MOVE ACTIONS
worst plagues the world has ever known. A Resist 10 poison, disease, and acid;
giant amoeboid trapped in the obsidian vulnerable 5 fire Form of the Swarm – Recharge 4 5 6
pyramid attempts to consume the Saving Throws +5; Action Points 2
Effect: The queen shifts up to 8 squares and
ascendants and protect the queen. TRAITS may move through enemy squares. Enemies
in squares the queen moves through take 5
Ending the Encounter: Rusting Touch
necrotic damage.
The encounter ends once the queen has When the queen hits with an attack against
been slain. The giant amoeboid, if in the AC, the target takes a cumulative -1 to AC MINOR ACTIONS
encounter and still alive, turns to slime and until the end of the encounter.
Dance of Daggers
dissolves. A spiral staircase ascends from the
Queen of Plagues Effect: The queen makes a diseased ritual
font of plagues, destroying the pyramid if it
hasn’t been already, and leading up All diseases inflicted by the queen are fast dagger attack against each enemy in a close
through the hole in the dome to Level 2 of acting and have an Endurance DC 18 or burst 1.
the TOWER. better to improve and DC 13 or less to worsen.
TRIGGERED ACTIONS
STANDARD ACTIONS Infestation – At-Will
Diseased Ritual Dagger – At-Will Trigger: The queen is hit with a melee attack.
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature), +9 vs. AC. Effect: The triggering creature takes ongoing
Hit: 2d6+6 necrotic damage. The target 5 necrotic damage. Each failed save: The
makes an Endurance check on all diseases it ongoing damage increases by 5.
has. Infectious Blood – Encounter
Absorb Life – Recharge 6 Trigger: The queen becomes bloodied for the
Attack: Burst 1 within 10 (enemies in burst), +7 first time.
vs. AC. Effect: The queen makes the following attack.
Hit: 1d8+5 necrotic damage and the queen Attack: Close burst 2 (enemies in burst), +7 vs.
regains hit points equal to the damage dealt. Fortitude.
Hit: The target contracts stage 1 slimy doom
(Dungeon Master’s Guide, p. 49).

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Giant Amoeboid MINOR ACTIONS Imprisoned Monsters


Giant Amoeboid In Room 8, the ascendants may have had
Flagellum Whip – At-Will
Level 4 Solo Brute the chance to unshackle one of the statues
Large natural beast (blind, ooze) Attack: Melee 2 (one creature), +7 vs. Reflex. of monsters, either a medusa, an iron golem,
Hit: The target falls prone. or a two-headed efreet.
HP 120 Bloodied 60 (see mitosis)
Initiative acts after queen TRIGGERED ACTIONS
Perception +2, blindsight 10 If the ascendants unshackled one of the
Acidic Corpus – At-Will monsters, the corresponding monster
AC 20, Fort 19, Reflex 16, Will 14
Speed 5, climb 5 Trigger: The giant amoeboid is hit by an appears randomly in one of the three prison
Immune blinded, gaze, acid, disease; attack. cells at the beginning of combat and acts
vulnerable 5 fire Effect: Enemies within 1 square take 5 acid at the behest of the ascendants (Medusa
Saving Throws +5; Action Points 2 damage. Venom Archer, p202; Iron Golem p163;
TRAITS Efreet Fireblade, p103; all can be found in
Amorphous Blob – Recharge 6
the Monster Vault).
Ooze Trigger: The giant amoeboid begins suffering
While squeezing, the giant amoeboid moves an ongoing condition. The medusa and the iron golem last a single
at full speed, takes no penalty to attack rolls, Effect: The condition ends. round before vanishing. The efreet lasts two
and doesn’t grant combat advantage. rounds before vanishing.
Mitosis – Encounter
STANDARD ACTIONS
Trigger: The giant amoeboid becomes HELL MODE
Slam – At-Will bloodied for the first time. If summoned, the medusa and the iron golem
Effect: The giant amoeboid turns into 2 size instead attack the ascendants, as Ka’aire
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature), +9 vs. AC. Medium copies of giant amoeboid. Each has claims dominion over the medusa’s poisons
Hit: 2d6+3 acid damage and ongoing 5 acid 60 hit points and lacks the mitosis power. and petrification powers and the iron golem’s
damage.
rusting, ruined hull.
Flagellate
Effect: The giant amoeboid makes 2 slam
attacks.
Engulf – At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature), +7 vs.
Fortitude.
Hit: 1d6+3 acid damage, and the target is
grabbed, occupying the same square as the
giant amoeboid (escape DC 17). Until the
grab ends, the target takes ongoing 10 acid
damage. Attacks that hit the giant amoeboid
deal half damage to the giant amoeboid
and half damage to the target.

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Relic Table 1—6. Indestructible Adamantine Flask


Certain of the magic items guarded in the This item can never be damaged or
TOWER are so powerful or so key to the destroyed.
secrets of the many dungeons that they are The flask holds a half-gallon of liquid.
considered to be relics. When the
1 —7 . Indestructible Gauntlet of
ascendants find a relic, give them the
Protection
corresponding card or have them write
This item can never be damaged or
down the information provided below.
destroyed.
1—1. Corroded copper key Minor Action: Encounter.
You gain a +2 to AC until the end of your
Powers unknown.
next turn.
This finely crafted key is completely caked
with corrosion.
1—8. Indestructible Coil of Mithril
Rope
1—2. Octagonal Puzzlebox
This item can never be damaged or
Powers unknown.
destroyed.
The secret to opening the box has long
The rope measures 100 feet in length.
been forgotten.
1—9. Mirror
Mirror of True Reflection
1—3. Solid Residuum key
Standard Action: 3 charges.
Powers unknown.
Ready an action to deflect the next ranged
Many magic items were ground to dust to
attack that you are a target of. The attack is
create this shimmering key.
reflected on the attacker. If the attacker is
1—4. Rod of Magnetic Control the rust grub lamia queen of plagues, she
takes an additional 10 damage from the
Extend the reach of your metallic melee
attack.
weapons by 4.
Standard Action: 1 charge.
Standard Action: 3 charges.
Use the mirror while within 5 squares of the
An inanimate metal object within 5 squares
queen of plagues to reveal her true form to
is pulled 5 squares toward you. This
her. She becomes bloodied.
movement cannot be prevented.

1—5. Scroll of Reverse Petrify


Minor Action: 1 charge.
A petrified living being becomes unpetrified.
It still has all conditions and diseases it had
before being petrified.

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Treasure table 28. Sigil of the blind god 35. Jet Crystal Ball
When the ascendants find a treasure You gain blindsight 10 and a +5 to Minor Action: Consumable.
cache, each ascendant may draw a Perception and Insight. You smash the crystal, summoning a
treasure card or roll d% and claim the shadowy oracle that truthfully answers one
29. Seven-
Seven-league boots yes-no question you ask about the
associated treasure given below.
You gain a +7 to Speed and a +7 to dungeon.
01-- Initiative.
01--04.
--04. Elixir of prowess
36. Scroll of locate secret doors
Minor Action: Consumable.
30. Wand of Dueling Minor Action: Consumable.
Drink the elixir to gain a +10 bonus to your
No Action: 2 Charges. You learn the locations of all secret doors in
next skill check.
When an attack hits you, you may gain a +4 your line of sight.
05-- to AC. If the attack then misses you, you
05--08.
--08. orb of power
gain a +4 on your next attack roll. 37. Scroll of illusory creature
Minor Action: Consumable.
Minor Action: Consumable.
Shatter the orb to recharge an expended
31. Tome of the Fallen You create the illusion of a creature you
encounter power.
You learn another Rumor. have seen before. The creature can speak
09--
09--12.
--12. potion of healing but cannot interact with the physical world.
32. Rod of Banishment 38. scroll of view
view object
Minor Action: Consumable.
Standard Action: 2 Charges. Minor Action: Consumable.
Drink this putrid, lukewarm liquid to regain 10
Ranged 10 (one creature); level +4 vs. Will. Name or describe a specific object. You
HP.
Hit: Target vanishes until the end of your next receive a vision of that object.
13--
13--16.
--16. demonblood vial turn.
39. Scroll of Knock
Minor Action: Consumable.
33. Immovable Stone Minor Action: Consumable.
Quaff this vial of frigid demon’s blood to
You cannot fall prone or be forced to move. You magically unlock a single door, chest,
gain a +5 to your attack and damage rolls
this turn. gate, or other object.
34. Jar of Darkness
17-- Minor Action: Consumable. 40. Ageless Reliquary
17--20.
--20. EVIL IDOL
You open the jar, releasing darkness in a Minor Action: Consumable.
You gain a +2 to saving throws.
close burst 2 until the end of your next turn. You gain 2 Action Points. You may spend
21--
21--24.
--24. supernal ring Creatures within the zone gain total more than 1 Action Point this encounter.
Your current and maximum HP increase by concealment.
41. Slavedriver’s Scepter
10.
Standard Action: 2 Charges.
25--
25--27.
--27. chalice of the gods Create a minion version of yourself with no
Minor Action: Consumable. skills or powers that lasts for 5 minutes or until
Drink the holy water from the chalice to killed.
regain all lost HP.

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42. Invisibility Cloak 50. Phoenix Familiar 56. Curse-


Curse-touched bag of wishes
You gain a +5 to Stealth. No Action: Consumable. Minor Action: Encounter.
Minor Action: Encounter. The next time you would die, your phoenix Concentrate on a common object and
You become invisible until the end of your familiar dies instead, and you remain reach into the bag. Roll a d6 to determine
next turn. conscious with 1 HP. the result:
1. The wish is inverted.
43. Mask of Perversion 51. Extra-
Extra-dimensional Chest 2. The bag is empty.
All of your skills become 6. Whenever you roll Minor Action: 2 Charges. 3. Desired common object, lasts 5
a natural 1, count it as the maximum result Recover a single Treasure lost by a dead minutes.
instead. ascendant. 4. Desired common object, lasts 1 hour.
5. Desired common object, lasts
44. Madman’s Map 52. Winged Serpent Medallion indefinitely.
You may look at the dungeon map for 30 You gain a fly speed of 5 (hover). 6. Desired magic item, lasts 1 hour.
seconds.
53. Helm of Telepathy 57. Chaos Ring
45. Ring of regeneration You gain telepathy 10. Your attacks deal every damage type and
In combat, you gain regeneration 5. No Action, Daily. ignore all immunities and resistances.
You verify the truth or falsity of a single
46. Belt of Titanic Might statement or thought you just heard. 58. Catalyst of unending destruction
You gain a +15 to Athletics and a +5 to Minor Action: Consumable.
melee attack rolls. 54. Pact of Tongues A creature in your line of sight gains ongoing
Choose 2 languages. You learn them 20 damage (save ends). If the creature dies
instantly. as a result of this ongoing damage, shuffle
47. Diadem of Eyes the Catalyst back into the Treasure deck.
Enemies cannot gain combat advantage 55. solid residuum compass Aftereffect: The creature gains a Catalyst of
against you. You gain a +5 to Initiative. Minor Action: 4 Charges. Unending Destruction.
The compass points momentarily toward the
48. Ring of Malleability most powerful magic object in the current 59. Pact of Prowess
Minor Action: At-Will. level of the TOWER. Choose 3 skills. You become trained in those
Your size becomes Tiny, Small, Medium, or Minor Action: At-Will. skills.
Large The compass points north.
60. Sheaf of Lightning Bolts
49. Pact of Immunity Minor Action: 3 Charges.
Choose a condition other than ongoing Ranged 100 (1 creature or object); level +4
damage. You are immune to that condition. vs. Reflex. Hit: 3d8 lightning damage.

61. Golden Helm


You gain resist 10 untyped damage.

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62. Vessel of Time 68. Adept’s Signet 74. Symbol of the Marilith
On your turn, you may choose to take no You gain a +2 to all skills. You sprout 4 additional arms. You may take
actions. If you do, take 2 extra standard 4 minor actions per turn.
actions on your next turn. 69. Soulsplitter Standard Action: At-Will.
A duplicate of yourself appears in an Make 4 melee basic attacks.
63. Rune of Haste adjacent square. You and your duplicate
You always act first in Initiative. share a single HP total and all statistics. You 75. Cloak of Stonemelding
64. Pact of Prophetic Resurrection split your actions between yourself and your Move Action: At-Will.
Predict how you will die (mechanical trap, duplicate. You and all your possessions become part of
magical trap, natural hazard, disease, an ordinary stone wall, statue, or other basic
monster by damage, monster by failed 70. Unholy Scripture of Ka’aire stone structure. While part of the structure,
saving throw). If you predicted correctly, Once per skill challenge, you may cancel you may not take any action other than to
you resurrect with all of your gear at the the last failed skill check from any end this effect with another move action. If
beginning of your next turn. ascendant. If you do, take a point of the structure is destroyed, you die.
infection.
65. Ceremonial crystal sword 76. Vampiric Scepter
When you make an attack roll, you may 71. Unholy Scripture of Myrris Whenever you bloody a non-minion enemy,
have it target any defense of your choosing. Once per day, you may count a natural 1 you may regain HP equal to your bloodied
You must declare the defense you will be on a d20 roll by any ascendant as a natural value.
attacking before you make the roll. 20. If you do, your Speed becomes the
lowest among all ascendants. The same 77. Skeletal Armor
66. Soul Gems becomes true for your Initiative, AC, and You gain a +3 to AC and are considered to
A total of six soul gems replace your eyes maximum HP. be undead. Minions cannot attack you.
and four of your teeth. Whenever an ally
dies, his or her soul is stored in one of your 72. Unholy Scripture of Golgothan 78. Atlas of Ages
soul gems. You gain a +1 to Arcana, Once per day, you may declare yourself Free Action: Daily.
Religion, and all damage rolls for each soul immune to all attacks, damage, and A single historical fact of 25 words or less you
stored in your soul gems. You may consume conditions for 1d4 rounds. If you do, you recite from the Atlas becomes true (DM’s
a stored soul to take an extra standard become impregnated with a zombified discretion).
action on your turn. balor spawn, which you give birth to after
1d4 rests. 79. Sands of Time Reverse
67. Death Angel’s Feather No Action: Consumable.
Whenever you make a melee or ranged 73. Veil of Seduction Immediately after you trigger a trap, time
attack, you may target 1 additional You become the most physically attractive reverses until the moment before you
creature. Whenever you make a burst or member of your race. You gain a +3 to triggered it.
blast attack, increase the size of the burst or Athletics, Acrobatics, and Diplomacy.
blast by 1.

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80. Gilded Tarot 86. Archangel’s battle standard 94. Font of Restoration
Minor Action: Consumes 1 Action Point. Enemies cannot gain combat advantage Minor Action: Consumable.
You draw a card from the tarot deck, which against you or your allies. You always have You regain all lost healing surges.
offers insight into your immediate future. combat advantage against enemies.
“Death.” A trap, hazard, or monster with 95. Necromancer’s Ankh
an instant-kill effect is within 5 squares. 87. Shackles of Unrest Whenever an ally dies, you gain a decrepit
“Coins.” A treasure cache or relic is Minor Action: 3 Charges. skeleton servant (Monster Vault).
within 5 squares. You summon the ghost of someone killed
“Wands.” A ward, enchantment, or within 10 squares of your current square. You 96. Templar’s
Templar’s Cross
other similar magic is within 5 squares. cannot interact with the ghost, but you see You gain a +1 to Speed, Initiative, saving
“The Devil.” A monster is within 5 squares. how it appeared upon its death. throws, and all skills.
“The Hermit.” A secret door or hidden
area is within 5 squares. 88. Primal Totem 97. Orb of Absolute Corruption
“The TOWER.” None of the above apply. Choose a non-flying, Medium animal. As a You deal double damage.
minor action, you may take that animal’s You take double damage.
81. Winged Boots form or revert to your normal form. In animal Evildoers can sense the presence of the
You take no damage from falling and form, you gain a +3 to Speed and Nature, Orb.
always land on your feet. and you lose all powers.
98. Death Wand
82. Voodoo Doll 89. Pentarch Shield Minor Action: 3 Charges.
Minor Action: 1/Round. No Action: Daily. Ranged 10 (1 creature); level +4 vs.
An enemy you can see takes 5 damage. An attack that just hit you instead misses. Fortitude. Hit: The target dies (save ends).
Aftereffect: The target is considered to be
83. Tablet of Ancient Secrets 90.
90. Amulet of Warding undead and cannot be targeted by the
You immediately learn up to 3 rituals of your You gain a +2 to all defenses. Death Wand again.
level +1 or lower.
91. Cylix of Souls 99. Secret Cache
84. Blackfire Candle Your damage rolls have brutal 1. Whenever Draw 2 more Treasures.
The candle sheds light in a close burst 10 you kill an enemy, increase your brutal
that only you can see. count by 1. 100. Lamp of the Djinn
Minor Action: Encounter. You learn an encounter power of level 15 or
An object you shed the light on appears as 92. Portal Ring lower, you learn a ritual of level 15 or lower,
it did when new. You gain a teleportation speed equal to and you gain a magic item of level 15 or
your Speed. lower.
85. Sphinx-
Sphinx-Bone Key
Minor Action: Consumable. 93. Black Iron Cauldron
Cauldron
Crush the delicate bone key in your hand. You gain an additional use of each ritual
All secret doors in your line of sight open. you know per day.

35

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