Cocytus, Hell’s Frozen Heart – Preview 1

Finally. The last of the nine circles. Here are a few previews of the things to see in the final bit of the Hellcrawl, due for publishing in a couple weeks. It includes two of the key components to this circle – the elder titans imprisoned here after the titanomachy and gigantomachy, and one of the four angelic watchtowers meant to provide a last bit of help for those who wish to escape Hell and return to the surface of Nod.

57.52 Hunters: A pack of 13 winter wolves patrol this hex constantly in search of a golden elk that roams Cocytus, a glimmer of hope in an otherwise hopeless place. Adventurers can try their luck as well – the elk is capable of casting the following spells, each once per day: Heal, cure disease, neutralize poison and restoration. The wolves are encountered on a roll of 1-4 on 1d6.

58.50 Clytius: Clytius, the elder titan, was immolated by torches conjured Hecate, and he burns to this day. He is chained to the walls of Cocytus here with adamant links, sending flickering shadows over the frozen hills and moaning in agony. Salamanders caper about him, basking in the warmth and sampling the flesh of the shades roasting in his fires while skewered on pikes. Magical shields and armor tempered in Clytius’ flames grant their wielders immunity to fire for a temporary amount of time. Each day, there is a 1 in 20 chance that the armor or shield loses this new magical property.

CLYTIUS: HD 35 (180 hp); AC -8 [27]; Atk 2 slams (3d6 + 1d12 fire); Move 15; Save 3; CL/XP 40/10400; Special: Flaming aura (60 ft. radius, 1d6 points of damage per round), immune to fire damage, spells as 20th level magic-user and cleric plus at will—change self, commune with nature, cure serious wounds, eyebite, free action, fly, fog cloud, monster summoning VI, produce flame, protection from fire, read magic, remove curse, speak with animals, soften earth and stone, speak with plants, teleport without error, wind wall; 3/day—antilife shell, astral projection, contact other plane, dispel magic, invisibility purge, plane shift.

60.53 Watchtower of the West: Though Cocytus is the very heart of Hell, it is not without angelic influence. The gods of Law, cognizant that the only way for mortals to escape Hell is by being of a non-Chaotic alignment, and knowing how they do the way Hell can prey on a person’s soul and by degrees turn them from the path of Law (or even Neutrality), they established four watchtowers staffed by powerful champions of Law. These angels are in Hell to provide atonement and succor to Lawful and Neutral souls in Hell.

The watchtower is composed of brilliant white quartz and takes the form of a grand tower keep, about 100 feet tall, with pearescent battlements and golden spires that give off a warm, inviting glow. The battlements are guarded by three companies of luminous aasimar, who wear white tunics (no armor) and carry white heavy crossbows, silver glaive-guisarmes and daggers and quivers of twenty +1 crossbow bolts.

Araqiel is the angel of judgment for clerics, and this is his watchtower. Here, Chaotic clerics can turn from the path of wickedness and atone for their past sins, and neutral druids can prepare themselves for the ordeals ahead. Clerics in need of atonement must fast for one week and cast aside their armor, relying until they escape Hell on nothing but their spells.

One thought on “Cocytus, Hell’s Frozen Heart – Preview 1

  1. This hell crawl is great – I never had a party that was strong enough to venture into hell by the rigidly doctrinaire standards of my 12 year old D&D buddies. Of course our hell would have lacked the detail and creativity while still clearly referencing Dante and other classic sources. See that's what's impressive, you seem to have built a “plausible” hell that is both detailed and true to the source material. I think I'm in a gushy mood tonight, but really it's a great read and I would love to drag the dual classed 12 lvl fighter/18 level mutated, shadow summoning cleric of the scorpion god that I played back in 1991 into your hell and see if he could hack it.

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