ARCADIAN SYMBOLS

Arcadia is a mountainous region of ancient Greece, traditionally known for thecontented pastoral innocence of its people. These Arcadian symbols would make great runes for puzzles in role-playing games. 

 

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THE ELDER SIGN

The Elder Sign is an icon, symbol, or rune in the Cthulhu Mythos, whose stories describe it as a form of protection against evil forces. Although not described in Lovecraft’s work, he illustrated it in correspondence as a line with five branches.

Lovecraft described the Elder Sign only once in his writings, as given by the aged alcoholic Zadok Allen in “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” (1936): “In some places they was little stones strewed about — like charms — with somethin’ on ’em like what ye call a swastika nowadays. Prob’ly them was the Old Ones’ signs.” In this story, the sign is used as a defense against Deep Ones; apparently, the Deep Ones cannot harm someone protected by an Elder Sign. However, Lovecraft is known to have drawn it in at least one of his correspondences as a single line with 5 shorter lines branching off. Mythos writer August Derleth described the Sign as a warped, five-pointed star with a flaming pillar (or eye) in its center, and it is this interpretation which has become the most popular in subsequent Mythos literature.

 

DRACOBEELZEBUFO

 

The Dracobeelzebufo is the undead version of the huge dinosaur-eating froghemoth species found in Chult named Beelzebufo.  It is a form of dracolich because the Beelzebufo is believed to be tied to a draconic bloodline, specifically a blue dragon bloodline. Creating this strange dracolich requires the magical tome called THE TOME OF THIAM which contains the spells and rituals needed to create the undead horror.

Huge undead, neutral evil

Armor Class 21 (natural)

Hit Points 225 (18d12+108)

Speed 40 ft.

Standing Leap (Movement: The monster’s long jump is up to 20 ft. and its high jump is up to 10 ft., with or without a running start.

Phasing (Movement)  The creature can move through solid obstacles (walls, terrain) as long as its movement can end in an unoccupied space.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
25 (+7) 10 (0) 23 (+6) 16 (+3) 15 (+2) 19 (+4)

Saving Throws Dex +5, Con +11, Wis +7, Cha +9

Skills Perception +12, Stealth +5

Damage Resistances necrotic

Damage Immunities lightning, poison

Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, poisoned

Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 120 ft.

Languages Common

Challenge 17 (18,000 XP)

Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If the monster fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.

Magic Resistance. The monster has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

ACTIONS

Multiattack. The monster can use its Frightful Presence. It then makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws.

Jagged Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (2d10 + 7) piercing damage plus 5 (1d10) lightning damage.

Swallow Whole. On a successful Jagged Bite Action, the victim must succeed at a DC 15 or be swallowed. The victim tumbled down through the creature’s boney throat into its ribcage. The rib cage bones are sharp and jagged, doing 2d6+2 damage on the first round. Every round afterwards when the victim moves within the ribcage, the sharp bones inflict another 2d4 damage as they tear and rend flesh. The swallowed victim is Grappled (escape DC 13). Until this grapple ends, the target is Restrained, and the toad can’t bite another target. Succeeding a the DC 13 Grapple allows the victim to slip out of the ribcage gaps, escaping the boney prison.
Flipper Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d6 + 7)  damage.

Frightful Presence. Each creature of the monster’s choice that is within 120 feet of the monster and aware of it must succeed on a DC 18 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the monster’s Frightful Presence for the next 24 hours.

Lightning Breath (Recharge 5-6). The monster exhales lightning in a 90-foot line that is 5 feet wide. Each creature in that line must make a DC 20 Dexterity saving throw, taking 66 (12d10) lightning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Legendary Actions

The monster can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time, and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The adult blue dracolich regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

Detect. The monster makes a Wisdom (Perception) check. This allows it to determine which enemy has the lowest AC.

Grappling Bite: Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d10 + 2) piercing damage plus 5 (1d10) poison damage, and the target is Grappled (escape DC 13). Until this grapple ends, the target is Restrained, and the toad can’t bite another target.

Fetid Cloud: A 10-foot radius of disgusting green gas extends out from the creature. The gas spreads around corners, and its area is lightly obscured. It lasts for 1 minute or until a strong wind disperses it. Any creature that starts its turn in that area must succeed on a DC 11 Constitution saving throw or be Poisoned until the start of its next turn. While Poisoned in this way, the target can take either an action or a Bonus Action on its turn, not both, and can’t take reactions.

THE SEVEN SACRED PAINTINGS

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Loral Mezzaleereryie discovered seven paintings in the  Pesheour Cache on the second level of Castle Adikos. The set of seven paintings depict seven unknown and forgotten gods. Each is signed by the renown bard and sage named  Tvash Prull. Each is valued at 5000 gold. Rather than taking them for himself, Loral chose to study them and make sketches of each in his journal.

Loral’s study reveals that these seven paintings depict ancient primal gods from Chult’s past. There was once a fabulous Chult city known as Omu. The people worshipped a god named UBATAO, but in time the god became displeased with the people of Omu and turned away from them. Long ago, the god Ubtao hardened his heart and vowed to weep for the people of Omu no longer. The rains stopped, the jungle withered and died, and death swept through Omu. With Ubtao gone, primal spirits arose from the rainforest to bewitch the few remaining Omuans. They disguised themselves as jungle creatures and promised great power in return for devotion. Desperate for redemption, the Omuans tore down their temple to Ubtao and raised shrines to these new gods.

 

The seven paintings depict the following Cult primal spirits worshipped as gods in the city of Omu:

  1. Moa the jaculi (male, Lawful Good, enemy of Wongo)
  2. Nangnang the grung (female, Neutral Evil, enemy of Shagambi)
  3. Obo’laka the zorbo (female, Lawful Neutral, enemy of I’jin)
  4. Papazotl the eblis (male, Lawful Evil, enemy of Kubazan)
  5. Shagambi the kamadan (female, Neutral Good, enemy of Nangnang)
  6. Unkh the flail snail (female, True Neutral)
  7. Wongo the su-monster (male, Chaotic Evil, enemy of Moa)

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CHAPTER ONE, SESSION FOUR

Vree’ree Everhurden, Arlan Strangeways, Loral Mezzaleereryie, and Tessa sorted through the Pesheour family cache, taking items that they desired. After the soldiers from Camp Vengence parted ways with bags of coinage and a few magical items, the rest of the party took a well deserved rest.

Afterwards, Loral decided to remain at the cache and protect it while the others entered the lower levels of the castle. They walked down the wrought iron stairway and discovered that a children’s nursery rhyme about magpies was engraved on the door in Elvish. Arlan and Vre’ree worked together to discover that the door required a Gift of Silver to deactivate the protective wards and allow entry into what they would soon find wa called “The Black Keep.”

They found that the red glow came from the bricks and flagstones of the Keep’s interior. They radiated a blood red glow that made them feel unsettled and uncomfortable. As they entered the first room, they hear a low, throbbing moan echo from somewhere beyond. Was it some monster or a horn? They couldn’t be sure.

Investigating the room they noticed two hollow stalagmites filled with fresh, bubbling spring water. They also found a menacing green-faced demon door to the West and a reinforced oak door to the North.

The Northern door opened to a shrine of some kind dominated by a large statue of a robed figure. A pile of copper and silver coins lay at the base of the statue. However, as soon as the door opened they heard a loud, monstrous scream come from somewhere ahead and out of sight. Vree’ree immediately had his Unseen Servant close the door, moving instead to push open the green demon-faced door.

The door opened to reveal a large den. Four Spawn of Kyuss lumbered forward, growling and screeching at heroes. And as soon as the worm-infested zombies were destroyed, they heard more coming from the West, somewhere out of sight in the den. They ambushed the next six Spawn who lumbered into view, only to have the North door flung open to reveal four more of the monsters. Tessa cut one down with her Sun Blade, kicking the door closed in the face of the next one allowing enough time for Vree’ree and Arlan to get into position to used their spell when the zombies forced the door open again.
Arlan called on the divine might of the Tempest, turning the Spawn of Kyuss and revealing another threat: a gigantic dracofrog otherwise known as a DracoBeelzebufo. The huge monstrosity had been lingering invisible within the den waiting to ambush the heroes.

 

The DracoBeelzebufo spasmed, a glow coming from it’s hideous ribcage, and two Spawn of Kyuss tumbled from its mouth. The zombies lumbered towards the heroes, driven by their lust to infest the living with their green brain-eating worms. Strangely enough, a voice echoed from the huge undead frog, saying: “Doomed! Doomed! We are all doomed! Why have you come to the Black Keep?!”

To the surprise of the heroes, the DracoBeelzebufo opened it wide mouth and exhaled a stream of lightning into the room, scorching the heroes. Then as they recovered from the blast, they watched in horror as the monster phased through solid wall to enter the room with them.
The DracoBeelzebufo chomped as Arlan, missing him but instead devoured Vree’ree. The Dark Elf tumbled painfully through the creature’s boney insides, torn by sharp shards of bones until finally coming to rest within its prison-like rib cage.

The battle continued, however the voice continued to speak through the frog. During the dialog, the heroes noticed tat whenever they mentioned The Death Curse, the voice would say: “Doomed! We’re all doomed! Acererak cannot be stopped!” Realizing that the voice was speaking of the legendary lich Acererak (pronounced “ah-SAIR-ak”) they decided to begin bargaining with the monster to learn more.

 

The voice offered to tell them about the Death Curse and Acererak if they would leave the Black Keep and never return. (The Black Keep, of course, being the lower levels of Castle Adikos.) Agreeing, a lich appeared near the DracoBeelzebufo to speak with the heroes.

The Lich claimed to be the mighty King Pesheour himself. The explained that Acererak came to the Black Keep and tricked him into giving him a device known as The Soulmonger, essentially a super phlactery. In exchange, Acererak gifted Peheour with arcane knowledge. However, what Pesheour didn’t know was that Acererak had created a vile and powerful atropal which the lich combined with the Soulmonger.

 

Now, according to Pesheour, Acererak has built a new tomb called The Tomb of Annihilation within the Lost City of Omu in the jungles of Chult. Acererak is using the Atropal to power The Soulmonger, trapping the souls of the newly resurrected. The Soulmonger is also trapping the souls of creatures like liches who would usually be able to safely return to their phylacteries to await resurrection. With a resurrected body being deprived of the essence of its soul, the body and mind begins to slowly wither away, resulting in what is being called The Death Curse.

Acererak might be able to be stopped if The Soulmonger’s Atropal is destroyed. However, Pesheour believes it is foolhardy because few know the location of Omu, and Acererak had unleashed horde of zombies within the Chult jungles to hary those seeking to find it. And then even if Omu is found, it would be impossible to penetrate the Tomb of Annihilation successfully to face Acererak.

“Doomed,” says Pesheour. “We are all doomed.”

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