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Author: Eric R. Noah
System: D&D Planescape
Requirements: Four 4th level characters.
The PCs travel from Sigil to the gate town of Fortitude to find a portal leading to the land of Zakhara on the Prime Material world of Toril, and discover that the portal is guarded by a mysterious and malevolent force.
Note: One thing I always try to do with these Planescape
adventures is to make it inconvenient to get from plane to plane. After all, in an infinite number of infinitely
large universes, the chance that there's a portal to your favorite destination right around the corner is next
to zilch. This was kind of a transitional adventure -- taking PCs from the Outer Planes to the Prime Material
world of Toril, where they spent several months on adventures like "Vira's
Test." This adventure worked well for a group of about four 4th level characters.
Summary: The PCs travel from Sigil to the gate town of Fortitude to find a portal leading to the
land of Zakhara on the Prime Material world of Toril, and discover that the portal is guarded by a mysterious and
1. A F(r)iend Indeed. The PCs get a note indicating that Akin the Friendly Fiend would like
to hire them to travel to the Prime Material Plane to acquire a unique magical item called The Cyclone of the
Four Quarters, a genie-slaying sword from Zakhara [the sword is detailed in the Cities of Bone boxed
set for the Al-Qadim setting]. Akin doesn't know that's what it is, though -- he just knows it's a
If PCs meet with Akin, he offers to trade a short sword of the planes, a rod of resurrection (12
charges), a +3 dagger (forged on the Astral) and a periapt of proof against poison in return for
the Cyclone. The only information Akin has is that the sword was owned by a Zakharan named Shaddad
al-Ad. PCs will have to do a lot of legwork and investigation in order to carry off this mission.
2. In Pursuit of Portals. PCs will have to do some investigating at the Hall of Information
at a cost of 200 gp in order to find a reference to a portal that ends up in the Land of Fate. There isn't
one directly from Sigil, but there is one in Fortitude.
There are a number of portals to the Outlands in Sigil, most of them fairly easy to find. Finding a specific
one that opens up near Fortitude is pretty easy. The portal is located in Zero, a tavern frequented by Bleak
Cabalists. As PCs pass through the opening, one must make up a haiku dedicated to nothingness.
3. The Outlands. PCs find themselves crawling out of a rotten old tree trunk in a shrub-rimmed
ravine. The weather is gorgeous -- the best Outlands weather all year. PCs are able to spot the Spire
off in the distance. A dusty trail leads up out of the ravine into a green glen, and from there the city
of Fortitude can be seen several miles away.
Almost immediately the party is attacked by 5 kruels and their pet giant goats. The kruels pelt PCs with
fiery stones from concealed locations in bushes while the goats attack.
Kruels (5): INT Very; AL CE (N); AC 4 (2 in the bushes); MV 15; HD 1+8; hp 15, 15, 15, 15, 15; THAC0
19; #AT 2; Dmg d4 (dagger) / d4+4 (flame blade) or 1-4 (burning stones, R 40y, +2 to hit); SA burning stones,
flame blade, cantrip, alter self; SD magic resistance, evade blows (if they win the initiative, each has
a 30% chance to dodge any blow that would normally hit), resistant to fire; SW none; MR 10%; SZ M; ML 11; XP 270
each; Equip: each has a dagger and a pouch full of normal stones. One has a ring of animal friendship
(8 charges, 2 charges are used to get the goats to attack), while another has a sack full of gems (500 gp spinel,
100 gp amber, 50 gp moon stone, 2 50 gp rock crystals, 50 gp smoky quartz, 10 gp blue quartz, 10 gp banded agate)
and a potion of extra healing. The kruels look like sharp-featured, feral elves with hideous bird
legs and talons. They wear gaudy vests and hats. [Kruels are a monster introduced in DRAGON Magazine.]
Giant Goats (2): INT animal; AL N; AC 7; MV 24; HD 5; hp 30, 32; THAC0 15; #AT 1; Dmg 1-8 (bite) or 2-12
(charging butt); SA charge; SZ L (8' at the head); ML special; XP 175 each. Their first attack is a charging
head-butt, which is at +2 to hit, but -2 initiative.
Any kruel that gets hurt will need to make a morale check or flee, using his alter self spell to take
on the appearance of a local farmer. The goats also flee if the kruels flee.
In the bushes nearby are the remains of a human and a tiefling -- travellers from Sigil, who were ambushed here
several days ago. Their valuables are gone.
4. Fortitude. This lawful city is the home base of the Harmonium. PCs should see key
features. Chaotic and neutral PCs will be royally hastled by guards and inkeepers about not being Lawful
(since every petitioner citizen can know alignment at will), and will need a special pass to enter the city.
These travelers are pointed to Three Green Fields, a less-desirable but still very nice inn.
5. The Zakhara Portal. The portal to the Land of Fate is located in the attic of one wing
of the Oghma Library. The wing was dedicated to military history and geneaology. Unfortunately for
PCs, the wing is currently closed due to unexplained noises caused by a vengeful animator spirit (see Ravenloft
MC Appendix III). PCs can convince the librarians to let them in if they promise to deal with the unexplained
All wings of the library have a peculiar protection against patrons using magic to charm the librarians,
to steal books, etc. Each floor of each wing has one stained glass window that will magically rearrange its
abstract colored shapes of glass to form a warrior who will attack anyone who uses magic. A not-very-prominent
sign posted on a table on each floor says, "Absolutely No Magic!" If PCs leave the wing, the golem
stops attacking, and security guards escort PCs to jail for the night.
Glass golem: INT non; AL N; AC 4; MV 12; HD 9; hp 40; THAC0 11; #AT 1; Dmg 1-12; SA -3 surprise bonus
on first round, prismatic spray (25' range) every third round; SD +1 or better to hit, regenerate 1 hp per round
in sunlight; SW shatter spell weakens it; SZ M; ML 20; XP 5000. It's prismatic spray is markedly weaker than
the standard wizard spell. Roll d8 and apply these effects to the selected victim:
1. Red / 5 hp fire damage
2. Orange / 10 hp heat damage
3. Yellow / blinded as if by light spell, for 10 rounds
4. Green / poisoned: takes 2 hp damage per round until dead, save reduces it to 1 hp/round
for 10 rounds
5. Blue / slowed by a ray of stunning cold -- attack only every other round, always last, for
6. Indigo / as if dispel magic was cast at 12th level: all potions and scrolls
have a 50% chance of being permanently destroyed, all other magical items are dispeled for d4 rounds, if spellcaster
is victim, unable to cast spells for d4 rounds.
7. Violet / save vs. dragon breath at -2 or go insane until cured.
8. Roll twice, two rays hit.
On the first two floors, the animator tries to harass and scare PCs by throwing books at them (1-4 hp
damage, 4 books per round). It holds closed the trap door to the attic, and on the second floor, the animator
uses its animate object spell to make two large wooden tables attack (AC 4, hp 20, THAC0 15, D 1-4).
In the attic, the unintentional creator of the animator can be found: the haunt of a man who, so embarrassed
by his crimes in life, hid in the attic and starved himself to death. The haunt attacks a male humanoid PC
until the PC is possessed, then drives the character to the center of town to confess to a very dark crime.
See the handout at the end -- give this to the PC who is possessed.
Gytor Almmer (haunt): AL LN; AC 0, MV 6 HD 5, hp 40, THAC0 15; #AT 1; Dmg DX drain; SA dexterity drain
(2 DX points per hit), possession; SD magical weapons needed to hit, weapons only do 1 point of damage plus magical
bonus, only takes 1 point of damage from normal fire; SW hold person ejects haunt from body, dispel evil
destroys it; ML 16; XP 2000; Personality: obsessively single-minded.
When Gytor succeeds in possessing a character, the PC should be given the handout and told to follow the instructions
(the PC is to go to the confessional and proclaim Gytor's crimes).
In the crowd at the Confessional, the feelings are mixed after Gytor makes his speech. Some say that since
he is not a citizen of Fortitude, he cannot be expected to hold to their high standards. Others say that
the law exists for this very reason -- to keep less perfect outsiders from messing things up. A few want
to execute him on the spot, others want to beat him and/or banish him. However, for the moment, none of the
townsfolk realize that "Gytor" is infact a haunt possessing an innocent bystander.
PCs have a few options: they can try to sway the crowd with magic or raw charisma, or they can try to
prove that the possessed PC isn't in fact Gytor. A PC could ask for a character witness -- a smith in town
knows Gytor and knows that this isn't him.
PCs who argue for banishment gain 300 XPs, PCs who get the sentence reduced to a whipping (PC loses 3/4 of his
hit points) get 100 XPs. The posessed PC gets 200-300 XPs for a good performance.
The portal is between two pillars in the attic, and can easily be found by a planar. PCs will need to
use divination magic to discover the key -- a miniature gold scimitar dipped in honey.
To the Player: You are now possessed by the spirit of Gytor Almmer, a human merchant who frequently
visited Fortitude on business. You were not well-known in Fortitude, but to those who knew you, you seemed
a model citizen -- always paying taxes, going to confessional and relating your faults. You followed laws
to the letter.
But you kept a dark secret. You were involved in illegal trade of arms -- magical weapons -- to the Baatezu
for the Blood War. To you it literally seemed harmless -- after all, the forces of law and order would triumph
over chaos and ruin, with your help.
You learned, to your horror, that a recent shipment of weapons was used to decimate the enemies of the Baatezu
-- in this case, a squadron of Harmonium soldiers and holy Archons. You were mortified. You locked
yourself in the attic of the library, refusing to come out, and you died in misery, your terrible secret taken
to your grave.
Unfortunately, death did not end your torment. For weeks, you have been tied to your untimely grave, unable
to go to your final resting place. While you yearned for someone to come to the attic so you could possess
the hapless body, some malevolent force kept scaring people away from this wing of the library. While you
spend nearly all of your time obsessing about your crime, you do have a glimmer of thought -- that some part of
you does not want anyone to come to the attic. Your guilt has created an evil spirit of some sort to keep
the living from you.
Now that you have control of a body, the evil animating spirit has departed. Your mission is to leave
the library, go to the Confessional, and deliver the following speech. The more convincing, the more mysterious
you are, the more XPs you'll get for this. When you finish the speech, you still do not leave the body until
the crowd passes judgment on you. (I'll let you know). All you do is stand and stare. You don't answer
questions or even respond to anyone until judment has been passed and your sentence carried out.
Fair citizens of Fortitude, I come to you with a confession!
I am Gytor Almmer. I am a merchant of good reputation. I have
come to your city frequently to buy and sell my goods. But I have committed an atrocious crime: I bought
magical weapons here, and illegally sold them to the Baatezu, for their efforts in holding back the tide of chaos
and ruin. I thought that, despite my breaking the law, I was doing the right thing.
Now I understand why the law exists. Recently, the Baatezu used some
of the weapons I sold to them to utterly decimate a small Harmonium patrol led by angelic Archons. Yes, I
am the cause of the deaths of these noble and good beings.
I offer no reasons, no excuses. I await your judgment.