Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Divine Wight Part 1 - Intro and Rumors



In my recent review of Tomb of Annihilation I mentioned that I'd started work some time ago on a jungle adventure and included some bits of it.  Some people seem to have enjoyed the small parts of the unfinished work that I shared, so I'll do some editing and maybe put up bits and piece in more or less sequential order here until I run out.

THE DIVINE WIGHT

An ancient deity rots on a distant jungle shore, and promises immortality and wealth to those who are unafraid of meddling in the Gods’ cruel games.
A legend popular among those who find both present regimes and their opposition oppressive, especially those dusty secret cabals that claim long memories, is that of the Hated Pretender.  The story is that of a cruel ‘false’ emperor in a time before the current powers of earth and heavens who battled even the primal deities of his age, and who in defeat still spited his enemies among the gods. Once the great Demesne of the Pretender stood supreme among nations, its glory tainted by the obscene cruelty that its hated master used to shore up its power, build its magnificent works and spread its influence.  The Pretender’s foes were many, and many fell before his numberless armies and his ever more powerful champions. Only those who joined the Demesne as lesser lords survived.  Alone, the Theocracy of the Beaked God didn’t break, and in the end the Pretender’s frontiers crumbled before the paladins and interventions of their avian deity.  Knowing defeat was imminent The Pretender sought revenge and sent his greatest divisions, led by a cadre of most powerful champions, to penetrate the heart of the Beaked God’s realm, his holy city, where they were to ascend to his throne in the firmament and assassinate the God. As the Pretender’s allies turned against him below, his cities burnt, and his armies fell one after another, the heroes of his cause succeeded above and from the crumbling towers of his scourged capital the Pretender watched the blue comet of the Beaked God’s fall.

Few now know of that holy city’s existence, and fewer its location in the hungry vastness of the Jungles of Midnight, but it is still there, the remains of its shattered god nearby, immortal but ravaged and trapped in a nightmare of pain and insanity.  The ancient city and divine flesh offer many reasons to travel there for those brave, well equipped and foolish enough to do so. The most obvious is treasure - both in the form of the city’s golden decorations and the divine flesh of the Beaked God - a magical panacea. Other motives include retrieving the weapons used by the Pretender’s agents, which are likely some of the few in existence capable of harming the divine, or even resurrecting the Beaked God on behalf of his diminished and secret cult. Conversely there are still deities that remember the primitive Beaked God, but wish what is left of him destroyed as they hope to absorb the morsel of power that remains in the Beaked God’s shattered form, and are willing to risk mortal pawns like clerics or paladins to do so.

The Rumors below will provide an interested party of fortune hunters with a rare means to locate the fallen god.

SETTING NOTES:
This adventure may be used as a companion to previous works regarding the ‘Hated Pretender’, his empire and the ‘Beaked God’.  However, it does not directly follow or relate to either “Prison of the Hated Pretender” or “Dread Machine”.  While not level specific, this adventure might be most suitable for characters of 5th to 7th level, as the enemies and puzzles within are potentially deadly, and the adventure’s principle antagonists are potent enough that characters without significant magical resources may be unable to prosper

RUMORS OF THE FALLEN GOD:
Each of the rumors below can act as a gentle hook, and should supply the players with a vague bit of information and most importantly, the rare direction to the Fallen God’s location.
D10
Rumors and Mentions in Civilized Lands
Rumormonger
1
So great was the Beaked God that he had a city below his throne, clad in gold and blue gems inhabited only by his animal followers.
An ancient scroll, obviously and badly scribed from an even more ancient source.  The writing is crabbed and largely incomprehensible.  A bad map is included.
2
For an eon a god has died slow in the depths of the Midnight Jungle, his time is soon and his final convulsions will rupture the world.
A mystic, body shaved and starved in ritual asceticism, eyes wide and tongue thick with strange vision drugs.  The mystic’s dreams slowly reveal the path to the god.
3
There is a city in the Midnight Jungle, upriver from Ib, that is filled with gold and jewels, but guarded by a great bird.
Drunken and near hysterical deep water pirate, claiming to have abandoned his trade he hides a tattooed map on his belly.
4
In an antique, overgrown land there is a wounded god, its heart pierced by a lance of great power.  The god protects itself, but if someone could remove the lance it would live again and bring a new age.
A dolorous spirit clad in broken armor with a helm in the form of a crow’s head.  It appears at dusk, pleads, whispers, promising great wealth to any who will take up its burden.  It can tell the way to the city.
5
Blue Monks, loyal to a dead God inhabit a ruined city in the Jungle of Midnight, they raise vile avian abominations and seek to return their God to life. If they aren’t stopped, they will soon succeed.
Inscriptions on a local basalt road marker known as the ‘fortunate stone’. If uprooted the stone floats in water and points like a compass to the Fallen God and the holy city.
6
There is a Lost God in the Jungle of Midnight, a true God that can be reborn to restore justice to the world if the evil thorn is removed from his heart.
A flock of blue birds, with impossibly long tail feathers, and jewel like green eyes sing a song of the holy city’s location that only murderers can understand.
7
The flesh of Gods grants those who eat it long life and cures ills, it may be burnt in arcane flame to purify it into a fine light oil for transport.
A lost and feverish man from a far land, his skin is a bright blue and his eyes glow like lamps.  He is dying but his ramblings tell a tale and his journey from the jungle.
8
The Jungle of Midnight is full of blue cockatrices, those that hear their hissing calls will turn to glass as will any who touch their living flesh.
Dreams of mist shrouded green black jungle, pyramids topped in gold, something screams in pain in the distance.  The way there is clear in the morning.

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