conversion systems | monsters
throne of orcus (part one) | blessings
UPDATED 14th May 2007: To add link to wikipedia for monster stats.
Throne of Orcus (Monsters Stats)...special thanks to Fieari. ;-)
UPDATED 28th February 2007: To take into account new discoveries about Encounter Levels.
Reference to 'Throne of Bloodstone' here is not done in the course of trade and is not intended as a challenge to any trademarks.
Throne of Orcus
(An Adventure For Character Levels 90-110)
Part One: Castle Perilous
To differentiate this case study from the original Throne of Bloodstone material I have decided to call this refit Throne of Orcus, which ties into the new backstory as you'll see below.
Overview: Orcus has gained control of the two most powerful artifacts in the Abyss. The Throne of the Gods and the Eye of Deception and with those mighty magic items he has conquered the Abyss, becoming a greater power in the process. Demogorgon, the ancient enemy, was the first to feel his wrath, Orcus ripped him in half. Graz'zt, seeing the inevitable, fled to Pandemonium where he commands the Demonic Resistance. Other demon rulers, such as Fraz-Urb'luu and Pazuzu bent knee to the new Emperor of the Abyss, or were crushed. His position seemingly solidified in the Abyss, Orcus turned his gaze towards the prime material worlds. Sending forces to conquer and kill. One such world is Toril, where Zhenghi, the Left Hand of Orcus, rules without mercy or compassion...
Orcus: (Now a Greater Power for the purposes of this adventure at least), Orcus meteoric rise in power has meant similar waxing for his servants. Chief amongst these are the Azazel (The Right Hand of Orcus); who oversees Orcus demonic forces and Zhenghi (The Left Hand of Orcus); who presides over the undead forces of Orcus. Orcus tries to play both sides against each other to distract them from plotting against him. Beneath them are the Ten Fingers of Orcus. The Five Fingers of Death (Undead Lieutenants) and the Five Fingers of Doom (Demonic Lieutenants). A third and more secret faction of Orcus forces involves the Visages (a terrible marriage of demon and undead).
Five Fingers of Death
These individuals are technically led by Zhenghi, although Quah-Namog is generally found within Orcus realm.
Five Fingers of Doom
These individuals are technically led by Azazel, although Klavikus is generally found on Toril.
Orcus newfound power has caused all manner of problems.
The heroes have been tasked with stopping this menace. But first they have to get to the Abyss. Orcus has cordoned off the entire plane, making planeshift impossible or even worse, lead to some of the more unsavoury locales within the Abyss itself. The only safe access to Orcus realm is through a succession of six permanent gates, all heavily guarded and warded. The first of these is on Toril in the Dungeons of Castle Perilous under the charge of Zhenghi, the Left Hand of Orcus.
Likely Order of Events
Once the PCs have been spotted, almost certainly when they pass through the dead magic shell, Zhenghi will initiate his plan to destroy them.
List of Encounters*
*NB. Unfinished, I am still considering how best to use the Necromongrel and Winter Wights.So those two encounters (tentatively #6 and #7) still need fleshing out.
Map Area 21: Encounter #1: Arctigis (Ancient White Dragon)...converts to Arctigis (Ancient Polychromatic Dragon, 74 HD), ridden by a Xixecal.
Map Area 1: Encounter #2: Purple Worm...converts to thirty-three Flesh Colossi with Nightcrawler symbionts. Once the heroes breach the dead magic shell they will be attacked by one Flesh Colossus, with two more arriving each subsequent round. The Colossi are spread out around the perimeter.
Map Area 2: Encounter #3: Originally No Encounter...converted to the "Legion of the Damned", 1000 Deathbringers (50 HD each).
Map Area 21: Encounter #4: 4 Perytons...converts to 4 Murder Mists (CR 50 each; think Ragewind only bigger and badder).
Map Area 16 (previously area 20) - Encounter #5: 20 Salamanders...converts to 20 Nightwalkers (31 HD Nightwalkers, each 17th-level Blackguards) led by Nisshoku (Egregori, 39th-level Blackguard).
Map Area 19 - Encounter #8a: 5 Rust Monsters...converts to 5 Rust Revenants (CR Variable, but created to be CR 40 each).
Map Area 18 - Encounter #8b: 100 Green Slimes...converts to Juiblex: Demon Lord of Oozes (44 HD Demon Lord, Integrated 22nd-level Sorcerer, Lesser Deity).
Map Area 17 - Encounter #8c: Advanced 18+18 HD Water Weird...converts to Olhydra: Princess of Elemental (Water) Evil (64 HD Water Elemental, Integrated 32nd-level Cleric, Intermediate Deity). Olhydra and Juiblex are embroiled in what can only be described as a romantic relationship. Not so much 'bump and grind' as 'slip and slosh'. Zhenghi tolerates their cavorting, even if their progeny occasionally seep down into the lower levels of the castle. Juiblex and Olhydra will be informed by Zhenghi that there are powerful intruders on the loose and in tandem with the 5 Rust Revenants will be waiting to entertain their guests.
Map Areas 10-16 - All traps - Encounter #9...Nightmare Golem (CR 60/90 special).
Map Areas 5-9 - 'Living' Quarters - Encounter #10...converted to (5 = Banak, 6 = Knellict, 7 = Timoshenko, 8 = Cat-One Eye, 9 = Klavickus). Cat One-eye will be away on other business. When the PCs reach this area Banak, Klavickus, Knellict and Timoshenko will be waiting for them, each fully prepared, buffed and kitted out for battle, each attended by their primary cohort (CR 33/ECL 50).
Map Area 3 - Encounter #11: Zhenghi (Lich, 30th-level Magic User) with 2 Guardian Daemons...converts to Zhenghi (Akalich, 75th-level Sorcerer) with the two sundered halves of Demogorgon (each sundered half is a 50 HD Demon Prince, Integrated 25th-level Sorcerer, Lesser Deity). Once Zhenghi loses a life he retreats to Area #22.
Map Area 22 (which was not included in the original map): Encounter #12: Originally No Encounter...converted to Zhenghi (Akalich, 75th-level Sorcerer) with 13 Nightwalkers (31 HD Nightwalkers, each 17th-level Blackguards). Also the floor is a Bone Ooze (60 HD) controlled by Zhenghi. Once Zhenghi loses a second life he will attempt to flee through the gate.
Zhenghi will probably escape, reporting to Orcus (who will know the heroes are on their way). Zhenghi's primary agenda will be to bring Arctigis back as a Dracolich. The death of Klavickus on Toril simply means he will rejuvenate on his home layer of the Abyss. Knellict has his phylactery well hidden, so he is also sure to reappear at some point. Cat One-eye (absent when the PCs storm Castle Perilous) and her team of assassins will now be sent to eliminate the PCs before they reach Orcus.
Part Two: The Gates of Thanatos...soon...well soonish. ;-)
Personalities - Chapter One: Castle Perilous
New Monsters - Chapter One: Castle Perilous *
*NB. Unfinished, most of these monsters are from upcoming volumes of the Epic Bestiary. The Flesh Colossi/Nightcrawler symbiont (obviously inspired by the Mohrg) I'll seek to post on the website at some time in the (hopefully) near future.
Forces of Zhenghi (CR 25 or above) - Chapter One: Castle Perilous
The Frost Fane (CR 37 each) Numbers 100, plus Grand Priest Banak
All high priests are turned into Winterwights by Banak, but still retain their clerical knowledge. Each High Priest is a Winterwight 21st-level Cleric.
The Nightwatch (CR 33 each) Numbers 33, plus Nisshoku
These are Zhenghi's elite bodyguard. Each is a Nightwalker 26th-level Blackguard. Armed with two-handed +9/+8 weapons and wearing +13/+12 heavy platemail.
Forces of Zhenghi (CR 24 or less) - Chapter One: Castle Perilous
Traits of Vaasa
By the will of Orcus, all undead spawned in Vaasa have their Hit Dice advanced to the maximum without changing their size.
e.g. A Winterwight (normally 32 HD, would be 42 HD if spawned in Vaasa. Even though the maximum advancement for a Winterwight is 55 HD, those of 43 or above are a different size category).
N.B. If Orcus had the double Entropy Portfolio the undead would have spawned at maximum HD regardless of size.
Tips for Toughening the Adventure
- I suggest forcing the PCs to go in through the top of the tower and work their way down until they reach the Throne Room of Zhenghi.
- Allow Zhenghi to cast spells on the PCs from his Throne Room and manifest them in any room of the castle's locations!
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