"The Purification of Birchmont I" - April 27th, 2002
"The Purification of Birchmont II" - May 18, 2002
Read Interlude 15, and the Other Between Game Postings!
The Background Story
(This background story was for the DM's use, and was revealed piece by piece by different NPCs and sources of
Brother Simms - Betrayed his order. Seduced by the "Demoness."
Brother Olas Wormius - Wrote the Book of Purity (the White Book), lost his arm after escaping Birchmont. He actually placed the outermost seal…the Seal of Light. The source of the Hand of Wormius.
Father Glanvil - Led the Priest in sealing off the Temple to Hieroneous. He placed the most powerful final seal…the Seal of Glanvil.
The Temple of Birchmont was an important location in the Azure Kingdom. More than 500 years ago…prior to the beginning of the Long Winter, the Temple fell to hellish powers. In truth it fell to very organized devils…Lawful Evil in nature.
A somewhat isolated and not-very-smart brother named Brother Simms was seduced by She Who Suckles the Hoards of Hell…the Red Beast of Nimlador…She Who Shall Bring the End of All Things. Love given to her is limitless, and whatever you give is never enough. Brother Simms allowed She' to enter our world…and to bring with her all her devil children. No one is sure what happened to Brother Simms.
Many priest died before they even realized what was happening. A Father Glanvil was the first to tak action. He organized his fellow priests, and a series of seals were placed to block the path into our world that had been created by Brother Simms. Father Glanvil placed the most powerful inner seal with his own blood, and expired before leaving Birchmont.
Brother Olas Wormius and only a few other priest made it out of Birchmont. Many of them wandered off mad from the experience. But Brother Olas Wormius went on to write about what had happened in the White Book…the Book of Purity. His arm was infected and tainted with evil…and he was forced to chop it from his own body. It is said to be a powerful weapon for good…dedicated to that cause by Brother Wormius' sacrifice.
The devils were trapped between the Seal of Glanvil and the Seal of Light…without even their Devil Queen to lead them. They fell back on old habits, and established an organization and structure to their situation. Every devil had his place…and they wait for either She that Suckles to break through from Hell…or for some unsuspecting party of adventurers to let them loose upon the world….
The GAME OUTLINE
0. QUIZ, questions, hit points, AC, etc.
1. Summarize what has gone on to some degree…then the MEETING OF IMPORTANT PEOPLE, in a camp in the dripping wilds of the Azure Kingdom's spring. Father Tunder is present, as well as Phineous Thorn. Thorn has brought with him 10 of his best men, as well as 50 elite paladins. Thorn's real goal is Tunis…for RoseHill is under direct attack by brigands that he feels are under the control of Quincy the Quick. He has agreed to come and pray, and help contain the evil in case something bad happens…that was his payment to Jeremiah for the information regarding the location of Tunis.
The Hooded Mage is also present, but he seems extremely distracted. He will at some point stand and leave, with very little explanation. He never promised to go to Birchmont, and he has pressing matters of his own to attend to. In truth, he has recently received information that Gorin Zachian is being brought back from his banishment…somewhere in the Azure Kingdom…some time soon possibly!!!! (Connections between Hooded Mage and Gorin EDITED OUT for this posting.)
USE THIS MEETING TO EXPLAIN THE LEGEND OF BIRCHMONT…GIVE SOME MORE BACKGROUND INFORMATION.
Thorn will be completely AGAINST burning the White Book (following Grinval's advice that was given to Kit). Commune or other divinations (spirits) will suggest that Grinval's advice is correct.
2. ATTACK BY THE ORDER OF GLANVIL - A group of shadow priests who have lived all these years in the area of Birchmont with the intention of keeping the evil contained. They wear white robes with a black-out-lined white hand on the chest. The fight with two short swords each, and they speak very little, if at all….Make there be tons of them…because Thorn's men are present…and all the paladins. Make is a bloody, bloody fight!
3. Birchmont itself is contained in the SEAL OF LIGHT…a dome of white light that encompasses the entire complex of buildings. Show the players a map of the Temple…with the done of light in pencil. The Seal of Light is impossible to pass without a successful Turning Check by a priest of 10th level or above. The White Book also allows one to pass, by dropping the Seal of Light, altogether...though this will lead to disaster!
Thorn will encircle the Temple with his men…and says he will keep anything from escaping….HA...HA!!!
4. The SOUL SWITCHERS - A horrible chittering and screaming is heard…that seems to come from all directions. The sound of a hundred death-rattles.
Charging across the withered and blackened grounds of the Temple come a hoard of charred crispy creatures…their faces burnt into perpetual toothy smiles, their noses and ears melted away…pink painful flesh visible through the cracks in their black smoking flesh….!!!!
These things will attack en-masse, and they are vicious, biting and clawing at the party. They will try to drag them to the ground…and they will try to switch souls with them. (WILL SAVE AT AN EVER-INCREASING DC EACH ROUND IN COMBAT) If a switch is made…the player must make a CON SAVE AT DC OF 15 OR WRITHE IN MADNESS FROM THE PAIN…AND THE "POSSESSED PLAYER CHARACTER" WILL FLEE TOWARDS THE SEAL OF LIGHT!)
Init+4, AC 14, HP 20, immune to fire attacks, mind attacks, power attacks of any sort. Attack Bite +8 (1d6+4), Claws +4 (1d4+4)
5. The Buildings of the Temple…each with its own private hell in place….Make these places horrible, and make them very very frightening…each with a custom monster. If the party does not take them all out…then these creatures will follow the party as the Seals are broken down, and choose the best moment to attack. If taken out one-by-one initially, they are so caught up in their private joys…they will not come to each other's aid!
A. The Feasting Hall - This is a cannibal's heaven! All manner of desperate creatures feast on each other here. Some tearing flesh off another creature who is tearing flesh from the first. Blood is ankle deep in here…and there are at least a 100 hungry souls here…and one big son-of-a-bitch devil they all call "Chef"! He is 12 feet tall, extremely fat and smelly, with sores on his extremely rubbery but scaled body. He is like a huge salamander type creature. His mouth is huge and lined with teeth. He is Init+ 2, AC 21, HP 75, Attack bite +16 (1d12+6), if he hits by more than 5 he gobbles up the victim with one big bite…SAVE CON DC 16 OR PARALYZED IMMEDIATELY…MAKE THIS SAVE EACH ROUND. Acid damage of 1d8+4, 1d10+4, 1d12+4, 1d20+4, and so on as long as they are in the stomach. If the big guy goes down…the hungry ones will go back to devouring each other…
B. The Pleasure House - Every carnal pleasure and pain imaginable is taking place here. About half of it is willfully done, and the other half appears violently forced. Maybe 500 bodies lie twisted and writhing this way and that here. There is no Devil-Boss here…but these 500 over-sexed creatures are lustful for anything new. ANYTHING. They will attempt to grapple the party…and have their way with them…
C. Pit of Gluttony - The wooden floor of the building has been torn out…and there are these horrible machines scattered about. Hellspawn and humans are connected to the machines in all these horrible ways…tubes, connecters, hoses, etc.) Food is being pumped into their mouths, through tubes up their nose, and through tubes piercing their torso. Shit is flowing from their asses at a hurried rate, and their eyes scream…since their mouths cannot.
The shit is about knee deep down in the pit, and the devil named Temptation supervises the activities. He is a thin little man…practically starved looking. He is gaunt, his eyes sunken, his flesh yellow and covered in sores, and his belly is swollen with malnutrition. He will point at one party member per round…"EAT!" The first party member has to WILL SAVE DC 25. The second has to WILL SAVE DC 24…an so on, as Temptation's power is strained. Effected party members will move to the machines. One round to be hooked up…and the next round…they are seriously fucked up!
Temptation has AC of 12…but 200 HP. After all Temptations can be momentarily appeased…but they are hard to outright destroy. He will not fight…but will direct his power to tempt at whoever attacks him…
D. Cellar of Screams - ECT...
E. The Quiet Room - A demon named Despair…AC 22, , MR 15, command to kill one's self
F. Hall of Boundless Joy - ECT...
G. Home of the Forgotten - ECT...
6. The Temple itself is empty…and the south wall has been swallowed by the huge pit in the ground. This pit is sealed by the SEAL OF EARTH…placed here by an unknown Brother who quickly gave his life for his efforts.
Beneath the Seal one can see that the Pit seemes to descend endlessly into the ground. Twisting and turning to a certain degree…and fire and smoke can be seen below. Horrible fire and smoke. Thousands of chains with hooks and barbs on them dangle from the walls down into the depths of the pit.
7. Behind this Seal lie the Lords and Dames of Hell. Use the following:
1 DEVILS: (PIT-FIEND) (Game details EDITED OUT for this posting.)
3 DEVILS: (KYTON) (Game details EDITED OUT for this posting.)
The Kyton are suspended by their chains…and the Pit Fiend flies…and they are some nasty bastards….let them tear the party up some…especially if they don't work together.
The party did not progress further and encounter the THE FALLEN SAINTS, the HUGE FIERY HOLE IN THE GROUND…THE HOME OF SHE WHO BECOMES or something I simply titled BOOOOM!!!