Mu-Pan – Encounter XV

A wizard’s tower high in the mountains …

1244. The top of a mountain has been carved, or possibly molded, into a slim tower that overlooks its surroundings for 18 miles (3 hexes). The master of this house is Zabrasha, an elementalist and sworn enemy of the men of Tsanjan. Her presence here has long been a thorn in their side, but as yet they have mounted no serious attack on her citadel.

The citadel looks like a needle of gray stone piercing the heavens. In fact, the “needle” is about 200 feet in diameter and 300 feet tall. Nestled in this massive citadel are 99 chambers, each decorated in a different color (some repeat) and each holding a small shrine to an elemental spirit. Zabrasha’s servants, about 20 kobolds with gleaming scales and five apprentices, keep incense burning at the shrines and make daily chants before them. The entrance to the tower is gained by climbing a long, winding stair about 500 feet up the side of the windy mountain. The stairs end in a 20-ft long tunnel that opens into an enclosed courtyard with three bronze doors. The side doors lead spartan quarters that the Gray Lady makes available to petitioner and travelers. These rooms contain bronze braziers for warmth, sleeping mats and pegs for hanging belongings, but nothing else. The other door is guarded by two ishidzukui-shishi (HD 5+2; 19, 16 hp).

The base of the tower’s mountain is covered in a thick woodland of stunted poplars, birches, walnuts and wild cherry trees. The area is rich in game animals (deer, mountain pigs, shaggy hares) that the kobolds trap and the apprentices prepare. Both apprentices and kobolds wear conical hats made of rabbit hide. A neglected town hides in those woodlands. It is inhabited by two dozen hunters and their families and holds only one building of note, a crumbling tower that holds an ancient altar dedicated to the Panda Emperor.

Zabrasha is an elderly woman with gray hair, gray eyes and tawny skin. She has a delicate build and a deeply creased, though still attractive face. While kindly at heart, she is always on guard for her enemies and she is a harsh mistress with her apprentices, believing that tough love will save them in the future as they attempt to deal with elementals and other extra-planar creatures of great power. An old romantic, she falls in love easily, especially with older bujin that remind her of her first husband and partner in adventuring.

Zabrasha’s treasure consists of 950 sp, 770 gp and a diamond worth 800 gp.

| Apprentice, Elementalist Lvl 1: HP 1d6; AC 9 [10]; Save 15; CL/XP B/10; Special: Command spirits (4/day), turn elementals. Equipment, grimoire, tools.

| Zabrasha, the Gray Lady, Elementalist Lvl 10: HP 27 [31]; AC 9 [10]; Save 8; CL/XP 12/2000; Special: Command spirits (8/day), turn elementals. Equipment, grimoire, tools.

Note: If you do not wish to use the elementalist class from NOD 3, substitute with the shugenja.

Image from Wizards of the Coast website.