As will all Patreon Adventures, this one is distributed to all Patreons as a dirty-pdf and will be part of the end of month anthology that will feature an encounter location for Patreons only.
An Adventure for 4-6 players of the 4th through 6th Level of the NEXT edition
Long ago the Gray Elves of Alfhiem went to war against the Lords of the World Tree. For centuries the two civilizations fought, bringing the realms of the multiverse to near destruction. In a last bid to end the wars the high priest of the Gray Elves, Orus, made a bargain with the Unmortals of the Outside: his soul and the soul of all he killed in exchange for the power to defeat the Lords of the World Tree. The Unmortals accepted the bargain and filled Orus with their power driving the high priest to the gates of madness and transforming him into a Lord of Death, Destruction and Insanity.
Driven by his new place and insanity Orus attempted to sacrifice the whole of the World Tree and the multiverse. Only an alliance, hastily wrought and scarcely held together, between the Lords of the World Tree and the Alfhiem were able to hold back the darkness Orus attempted to spread across the multiverse.
Years of new battle, new wars threatened to collapse the Source of all Things but Hel the Lady of Death and her Grandmother the Lady of Ravens, Frigga, were able to steam the tide of Orus and seal him within the roots of the World Tree itself.
For ages long forgotten Orus has remained sealed, but now as the world of Usarm grows dark again the Dark Lord sees his chance to slip into a new realm, a new place to once more begin his quest to annihilate the universe. The Lady of Raven’s, Frigga, has seen this coming and seeks to stop or at least delay the oncoming storm.
Deep in the Apegia mountains, long forgotten is a small building that leads into the heart of the mountain range. Once a Clan of goblins called this place home, but have now been slaughtered and raised as undead servants to the cult of Orus. The Cult searches for an artifact of the Usarm that will aid them in the release of Orus and provide him with a sacrifice that will empower him and sate his Unmortal masters.
Legends say this artifact that the Cult frantically searches for rests in the Apegia mountains waiting for the command to be spoken. What the command is no one knows, but if spoke the relic has the potential to destroy everything from the City of Nark on the coasts to Icago in the west. Hundreds of miles, thousands of lives and the death of the land itself.
Frigga has summoned her last surviving Chosen. A woman who has turned away from her faith, to stop the cult from finding this object.
Meeting on the Road
For whatever reason the players are traveling deep in the Apegia Mountains. The mining town of Rook’s Bend is three days hard travel before them and the Apegia Station a two day track behind.
Autumn has come early and the trees are aflame with color. A cool breeze, a near constant thing in the rolling Apegia mountains, rustles the leaves noisely putting the players at disadvantage to any sounds they may otherwise notice. (A DC 15 Wisdom (Perception) Check will alert the players to movement on either-side of the trail they walk). For the last several hours the players have seen no other travelers or signs of life.
As the party continues on they round a bend to find a lone woman, resplendent in midnight blue scale mail, in desperate battle against half a dozen goblins. However, these goblins seem strange with sagging skin and strange glowing eyes.
If no one succeeded the Wisdom (Perception) Check from earlier the players will be at disadvantage when a second party of six goblins ambush them from the road.
Enemies - Undead Goblins (12)
Treasure - None
After the battle the players will be approached by the woman in the midnight blue armor. If any of the party are severely injured she will attend to them first (Optional Rule: First Aid) and then thank the party as a whole for their assistance.
The woman introduces herself is Trifra, a Cleric and Chosen of Frigga. If questioned she will explain her mission to the players and warn them of the dangers present in the area. She will also attempt to gain the players support offering them a chance at glory and the Favor of Frigga.
If the players declines Trifra will nod solemnly and wish the part the best. A look of fear plays on her face as she heads off the trail and into the forests. After a week, if the players are anywhere within 700 miles of the Apegia Mountains they will die in a blaze of magnesium white light and heat.
If the players agrees Trifra will offer a short prayer of thanks to Frigga and tells the players to make ready before moving off the trail and into the forests.
The Forest are empty of any life, the only noise comes from the breeze rustling through the leaves. While traveling through the forest the players have a 17 on a roll of a d20 of encountering 2d6 Undead Golbins or 1d20 Charion Crows (Referee's Choice) every 100 yards.
Trifra leads the players up the slopes of the rolling mountains of the Apegia Mountains. As the players move closer to Trifra's goal they can feel the dread washing over them requiring a DC 18 Wisdom Saving Throw. If successful the player move forward as normal, if failed the player can only move at half speed and is at disadvantage until he or she successfully makes the save. If the entire party fails the save or an individual player fails more than three times Trifra will offer words of encourage and hope granting a +4 morale bonus to the Save.
Approaching The Wolf-Spider Clan's Den
As the forest begins to thin relieving an outcropping of rock and stone, the player can see a small gray building built into the side of the mountain. Several Undead goblins stand around the building, slumping as if held up by puppeteer strings. Quiet investigation will show that the only way into the gray building is through the gaping hole where the main door had been.
If questioned if building is the right place Trifra will say it is and begin to move forward. If questioned further she will inform the players that Frigga is actively guiding her hand.
If the players attack they have a chance of alerting the Acolytes in Area 1 who will join the fray one round after they are alerted.
Enemies – Undead Goblins (8)
Treasure – None
Wandering creatures within the Caves
While traveling through the caves connected to the small building the players have a 17 in 20 chance of encountering wandering creatures every 100 yards
Dice Roll (1d6)
2d8 Undead Goblins
This was once a common room but has been defiled by ages of Goblin habitation. Four humans in deep red robes sit around a table playing cards. If they hear fighting outside the building they will investigate.
Enemies – Orus Acolytes (4)
Treasure – 4d6 GP on Acolytes, Deck of Cards,
Several cots lay in this room with neatly folded linens. Investigation will find a small purse with gems valuing 2d4. The door to Area 3 is locked requiring a DC 15 Dexterity Check or a DC 20 Strength Check to open.
Enemies – None
Treasure – Purse of gems (2d4)
Once an office of some sort, now layers of dust and rot fill the place. There is a small chest against the left hand wall that is locked, requiring a DC 20 Dexterity Check to open. Inside is a sword of black metal with a faint magical aura. Once the chest is open a glowing orb will appear behind the old desk and attempt to attack the players while screaming “Its mine, all mine!”
Enemies – Spectator
Treasure - +1 Sword of Blight (as spell)
Several undead goblins are busy moving rubble and debris around while being overseen by two Acolytes. If unaware of the players the players gain advantage over the collected creatures.
Enemies – Undead goblins (8), Acolytes (2)
Treasure – 3d6 gp
A small rubble filled chamber unremarkable save for the Cave Worm that lives there hidden in the rocks and awaiting prey to eat.
Enemies – Cave Worm 1
Treasure – None
A large chamber with a small underground lake near its edge. Soft light dance from the waters. If the players approach a wind will pick-up from no where, blinding them for a moment before subsiding a revealing a gaunt-looking Gray Elf female standing in the waters. The hard, feral look on her face and the fact the water moves THROUGH her show that she is a Banshee.
Should the players attempt to talk pleasantly to her she will be kind (unless there is a dwarf in the party) and up for conversation. She doesn't reveal her name or know anything about the Cult except that a few explored Areas 6 and 7 before being eaten by the Giant Spiders in Area 7. If the players are rude or attempt to attack she will find this as an outrage and attempt to kill them.
Enemies – Banshee
Treasure – In the waters of the pool is a small chest containing a silver comb, 4d6 gp and a pearl necklace.
A long chamber with large, almost steel-strong silk threads. Several Giant Spiders skitter across the ceiling waiting to drop on the players.
Enemies – Giant Spiders (6)
Treasure – The rotting bodies of several Acolytes contain 2d6 gp.
Large mushrooms line the chamber giving off a sickly green light. A few undead goblins surround a huge, disgusting-looking amalgamation of various humanoid body parts in a comedy of human shape. Several Acolyte stand nearby, resiting incantations in an ancient language. As the players enter the creatures lets out a guttural scream and squishes the undead goblins. The Acolytes quickly escape to area 11 leaving the players alone with the eldritch creation.
Enemies – Flesh Golem
Treasure – None
Acolytes guard the entrance and are ready for the players when they arrive. In the room beyond several undead goblins are busily chipping away at a stone column in the center of the chamber, being driven by a voice the players cannot locate. As the party approaches the room, Trifra will break into a sprint.
It is here! I can feel it and the goddess say time is short!
Before the battle is finished with the Acolytes the goblins chipping changes to the sound of metal hitting metal and the voice tells them to stop. Trifra will break through the fighting and rush forward a moment later she screams in pain and is thrown back toward the players.
Inside the chamber are several undead goblins, and three other figures in the deep red robes of the Cult. In the center of the room where the stone pillar had been is a long, thick cylinder of metal with the letters “U.S.” on them.
The central robed figure will reveal himself and if allowed to speak will explain to the players that they will witness the glory of their god being restored and push a piece of the cylinder, revealing a glowing green console.
Long ago the False Gods of Usa'arm in their struggle against the N'zi developed a weapon that could sear the life from this world. They build four and three were used in driving the Outsiders back to their realm … however … this Little Boy, was never used. When the other weapons were slung across the world the power released woke Orus from his slumber and cracked his bonds … on more. One more and he shall be free!
After this monologue the central robed figure orders the party dead. The other robed figures shrug out of their robes, revealing Ghouls and the Undead Goblins turn and move toward the players with the pick axes held high.
Enemies – Acolytes (2), Undead Goblins (6), Ghouls (2), Wraith (1)
Treasure – None
After the battle, Trifra will attempt to seal the cylinder device but cannot. She stops moving and turns to the players.
Frigga has bargained with her sons … the caverns will collapse shortly … we should leave.
After this point the players have five minutes to evacuate the caves before they are collapsed in a massive earthquake.
Rough, natural rock form a staircase leading down into another area. Soft Chanting can be heard from that direction. There is another Cave Worm hiding in the shadows.
Enemies – Cave Worm
Treasure – None
A number of Acolytes are praying in here. Should they hear the combat in Area 10 or should events in Area 8 have happened they will be standing prepared for the players.
Enemies – Acolytes(8)
Treasure – 8d12 gp
Area 12 & 13
Concluding the Adventure
Should the Players make it out in time the earth will shake around them and great crashing sound that deafens them for 1d6 rounds overtakes the world. When the dust clears there is nothing but a large hold where the building and caves once existed. Trifra will thank the players and offer them the use of her and her husband's home for a few days to rest and recover. If they agree she will lead them back through the forest which no longer feels full of dread. While still eerily quiet Trifra assures the players that life will return and soon. At the Cabin the players enjoy several days of good food and relaxation after finding Trifra's husband well when the party arrives. Before the players leave, Trifra will give them their payment and bestow upon the party the Favor of Frigga.
The Favor of Frigga - All those who have Frigga's favor are allowed to reroll a single death saving throw
If the players reject Trifra's offer she will nod sadly and give them the money and favor as agreed. Before the players leave she will attempt to hug each of them.
In both cases the players are now aware of a danger that lurks in the world that is dead set on its destruction.
Awarding Experience Points
If Trifra survives to the end of the adventure award the players an additional 200xp to be divided equally among them.