Wow – been a while since I previewed old Phlegethon here. I’m actually now working on Malebolge (not to be confused to Male Bulge, a truly frightening demi-plane of male underwear models), and have my eye on Cocytus. I’m nearly through with Hell!!!
So, here’s four nasty little surprises lurking in Phlegethon …
46.62. Misty Cave: Water from the boiling river flows into a misty cave. One must wade into the cave – the water reaches their waist – and if they do they discover that it is clad in ice. The cave is 200 feet long and quite rugged and twisting. The water in the cave is tepid at first, then chilly and finally slushy at the back wall. In the colder portions of the cave, one sees several corpses (ice wights) embedded in the walls. The back of the cave is solid ice, and within it one sees the leering face of Lucifer. The face gives off a low, rumbling laugh and then a wall of ice forms about 20 feet behind the adventurers. The ice wights break from their confinement and attack the party, attempting to wrest from them their weapons, shields – anything they can get – and then merge back into the icy walls.
ICE WIGHT: HD 8; AC 0 ; Atk 1 claw (1d6 + level drain); Move 9; Save 14; CL/XP 10/1400; Special: Drain 1 level with hit, +1 or better weapon to hit, immune to cold, merge with ice.
50.66 Tower Keep: A grand tower keep dominates the badlands here. It looks to have suffered little damage over the eons from wandering Vandals, and this is because permanent walls of force screen it from the landscape.
The fortress is composed of the reddish stone of the badlands, set haphazardly with purple moss growing between the cracks. Trickles of reddish water seep from the high, barred windows and form little streams that collect within the area contained by the walls of force, making a reddish moat that is hot to the touch (1d4 points of damage per round).
The fortress has double doors for entry, the doors being made of strips of cold iron bolted to a backing of 10-inch thick black oak. The doors are always kept locked, and murder holes above the doors permit the devils inside to pour boiling red water on those who bother them.
Within the doors, the fortress takes on the aspect of an Escher painting (treat its navigation as a maze, except for the inhabitants). It is the home of Galiffiet, a night hag of tremendous power and cunning. Under her command is a company of giant spiders and a “harem” of six chaotic androsphinxes, the largest and most dominant of them being called Rekur.
Gallifiet seeks her lost lover, Zenrukh, the balor demon who now leads the resistance of “fallen devils” in Hell. Whether she wishes to help or destroy him is unknown.
Gallifiet holds a treasure of 790 sp, 11,110 gp, 320 pp, ten pounds of silver ingots (worth 100 gp), a brass candelabra (worth 4,000 gp) that casts the illusion of the angel of death hanging over one person within its light, a silver pendant (worth 4,800 gp, a gift from Zenrukh) and a golden crown that, when tapped against various materials, summons various evil lords and ladies (15th level each) that must serve their summoner for 1 day.
MATERIAL / CLASS
Base Metal / Thief
Copper / Magic-User
Gemstone / Monk
Gold / Cleric
Iron/Steel / Fighter
Platinum / Antipaladin
Silver / Illusionist
Stone / Ranger
Wood / Druid
55.39 Adamant Fountain: An adamant fountain is hidden away in a deep cave, magenta-colored water pouring from the fountain, through the cave and out into the badlands.
The fountain features a hollow adamant statue of a marilith holding six adamant swords. If struck by a metal object, the sound waves cause the water to drain from the fountain and the bottom descends, permitting folk to enter a strange subterranean prison. When a person approaches the fountain they are attacked by black tentacles (per the spell), which last for 10 minutes.
The prison is a vast labyrinth of corridors an alcoves, the alcoves filled with force cages. The cages contain various powerful undead (corporeal), demons, devils, daemons and demodands.
57.40 Black Avengers: A company of 20 wicked avengers occupies an ancient castle of blue-grey stone. The avengers (Ftr 5; 20 hp each) dress in black cloaks and coats of blackened mail and arm themselves with longswords and longbows. Their leader is a fallen ranger, Nrogara of the Long Stride (Ftr 16; 68 hp), who was bewitched by Amduscias through a strange, cloudy crystal ball he discovered in a wizard’s tower.
The avengers have a treasure of 1,260 sp and 350 gp in a grand, heavily ornamented gold urn (worth 7,000 gp). They also have 8 casks of fine burgundy (12 gallons each, 100 lb each, worth 600 gp each).
|This guy has nothing to do with Nrogara of the Long Stride. Absolutely nothing.|
60.38 Forgotten Sea God: On the banks of the boiling river, amidst the weeping pines, there is an ancient abbey of pocked, gray stone and roofs of sparkling aquamarines. Within the abbey there is an idol of a forgotten sea titan, muscular and pale, a cloak of silvery fish scales thrown over his shoulder. No priests now throng the idol or drown victims in the sacrificial pool at his feet, and the idol’s missing head and symbol of Dagon engraved in its chest tells the tale as to why. Still, the god’s pool is still inhabited by the souls of the departed, and when the living approach too close, they begin to rise from the waters as brine zombies (1d4 per round for 10 rounds), seeking new souls to join them in the abyss.
The pool leads to a pocket dimension of a wine-dark, salty sea populated by brinze zombies and shadow sharks. At the heart of this seemingly infinite plane there is kept a relic called the Orb of Elemental Water, an orb capable of casting any water-based spell at will and controlling water elemental creatures en masse. It is a powerful artifact, and it is guarded by a monstrously huge hydra whose heads are those of the high priests who once served the forgotten god (his name even escapes them now), each one capable of casting spells as a 12th level anti-cleric.
(Yeah, there are other Orbs in Phlegethon – one of those things that wasn’t planned)