Fantasy AGE, TitansGrave, TitansGrave: The Ashes of Valkana Adventure Series and all associated logos are trademarks of Green Ronin Publishling LLC.
TitansGrave: The Ashes of Valkana and its associated logo is a trademark of Geek and Sundry.
This is a fan-made product and not intended to infringe on any copyrights or trademarks. I am not planning to make money off this product. If there is any problem with any part of this product or any missing information from this crediting section, I will update accordingly.
Chapter One: Leaving the Tomb of the Prophet
Before getting into the nitty-gritty of this chapter, it is important to note two things. The first is that this chapter is purely intended for player characters who have completed The Ashes of Valkana. As such, if your player characters have not done so, or if this adventure takes place after the player characters have already left the Tomb of the Prophet, feel free to skip ahead to Chapter Two, they won’t really miss out on anything.
The second thing is that because this chapter is optional in terms of the adventure, if you still want to run it, feel free to run as much or as little of it as you wish. You may even have your own ideas about what player characters might find in the Tomb of the Prophet. The only really important scene in this Chapter is the last one, as long as you include that, and as long as you and your players have fun, you may modify this chapter in any way you wish.
No PC may gain the Touched by Chaos condition more than once in the following chapter, being given it therefore has no effect. Whilst the Touched by Chaos condition doesn’t feature often in this adventure, it becomes more significant towards the end of it so keeping track of which PC or PCs are Touched by Chaos is important.
All TNs in this, and subsequent, chapters are merely suggestions, as are hostile NPC numbers. If you want to change them (either to make checks/combats easier or harder), feel free to.
Scene One – Exploration, Combat (optional)
Read the following the players:
The laughter of the Prophet echoes around the room as her shade dissipates. The torches burning around you flicker, go out and then re-ignite, brighter than before. A cool breeze plays over your skin for a few seconds and the atmosphere clears, the constant buzz in your head, unnoticed until now, fading completely.
For the first time since you arrived in this warped demi-plane, you don’t feel like you are being watched and your thoughts are untainted by whispers and darkness. As you relax, enjoying the peace and serenity that begins to flow through you, the ground trembles.
What begins as a minor tremor, barely felt, becomes an abrupt and violent earthquake within the blink of an eye. Around you, torches fall over, the windows of the tomb break with a loud crash and the door splits, one half falling out into the plaza with an ear-shattering thump.
After the players have had a chance to collect themselves, discuss what has just happened and begin trying to find their way back, the trail of blue flames once again appears in front of the bearer of the Staff of Forlorn Hope. The flames lead them deeper into the Tomb of the Prophet itself, through a previously hidden doorway. The flames will now lead them back to the teleportation portal by the swiftest, and only, route. Unbeknownst to the players, this is the route the PCs’ ancestors took to leave the Tomb after depositing the Prophet within it. The flames will lead the players to the first room before disappearing.
Whilst it is unimportant how many rooms and puzzles the PCs face (it is during this section of the chapter that you are invited to add your own puzzles, trials and encounters), they SHOULD encounter the following three rooms in any order:
The Brazier Room
As the PCs approach the door into this room, the Staff of Forlorn Hope begins to vibrate violently in the bearer’s hands. The bearer, and any party members nearby, must pass a TN 11 Dexterity (Acrobatics) check. Anyone who fails suffers 1d6 damage. This damage is caused by a minor magical explosion that tears the Staff of Forlorn Hope apart, causing it to fall to the ground in pieces. There are an equal number of pieces to the number of players. Ideally, the players will pick the pieces up and carry them with them. If they do this, the benefits of the Staff are conferred upon the player carrying the crystal that formed the head of the Staff.
The room beyond the doors contains 15 braziers arranged in a 5 feet by 3 feet grid with each brazier in the centre of a square. The braziers themselves are roughly 2 feet tall and 1 foot across, all seemingly identical. Should a player succeed on a TN 13 Perception (Seeing) check, they notice one of the nearby braziers has their ancestor’s name written upon it. Following this revelation, the other players may make a TN 11 Perception (Seeing) check to discover that all of the braziers in the room are undecorated apart from a select number inscribed with the names of the heroes of the Chaos Wars.
The braziers themselves must be lit without magical assistance. Encourage the players to be creative with their problem solving. As long the brazier is lit by a descendant of the hero inscribed upon it and as long as the fire is lit via mundane means, it remains lit. Any other attempts result in the flames glowing red and exploding outwards, dealing 1 damage but leaving the brazier intact. The only exception to this is if a PC attempts to light the brazier of another PCs ancestor, in this case the flames merely go out.
Should the players not notice the names written upon the braziers, there a chance that they light the correct ones anyway. Each time a PC lights a brazier, roll 2d6. If the roll results in a double, the brazier remains lit and that particular PC may no longer light another brazier. Attempting to do so results in the flames glowing red and exploding outwards as described above. In addition, that particular brazier may not be lit by any other PC, any attempt to do so results merely in the flames going out.
Once all the braziers are lit, the door on the far side of the room swings open.
The Statue Room
This is a room that is completely empty save for a statue in the centre of it. The statue looks like a normal member of the Staff bearer’s race and is completely devoid of any of the mutations and weapons that the PCs have seen on the other statues in this demi-plane, save for the fact is carved out of solid stone. As they walk past it, it stirs on its pedestal and turns to face them, asking them to stop.
If they do so, the statue will climb slowly down from the pedestal, changing as it does so. By the time it reaches the ground and faces the PCs, it looks like a perfectly unremarkable specimen of the Staff bearer’s race. It introduces itself as the sibling of the Staff bearer’s ancestor and is perfectly friendly in conversation. If the PCs continue to talk to it, it will say whatever it thinks they want to hear and asks if they will help it leave the tomb. If they agree, it will follow them at a distance for the rest of the chapter.
If they say no, it will follow the PCs at a distance and will require a TN 15 Perception (Seeing) check to spot.
Should the PCs initiate combat with the statue, it goes last in the initiative order, has a Defense of 6 and 1 Health. Upon being killed, the statue shatters into 1d6+3 crystals, each of which gives off a slight magical glow and can be crushed with a TN 7 Strength (Might) check to give the bearer 1d6 MP.
Unbeknownst to the PCs, the statue is actually the power source for the Staff of Forlorn Hope. Should it be destroyed, nothing happens to the effects of the Staff, the Staff itself has completely attuned to the current bearer’s power source. Should it enter the teleportation portal, either by following the PCs with their permission or sneaking through after them, all of the bonuses conferred by the Staff are increased to: +3 on Casting Rolls, the character’s Armour Rating is now 4 and Arcane Blasts benefit from a +3 to attack rolls and deal an extra 1d6+2 damage.
The downside of this, however, is that the bearer of the Staff may not use any items other than the Staff (including potions, vials, weapons etc.) without first succeeding on a TN 15 Willpower (Self-discipline) check as the Staff exerts its influence.
The Forest Room
This room is intended to unsettle the players and highlight what Dhawan’s influence can do if she reaches the height of her powers again, play up any aspects of it that seem to have the most effect and downplay those that don’t affect your players as much.
The trees in this room cast long shadows and obscure any signs of the exit door. As the PCs cross it, they should hear whispers and see flickers of movement in the trees around them. It should soon become clear that something is wrong, there is no far wall and the PCs may be travelling in circles.
The magic in this room is woven into the air itself, confusing those who try to cross it and hiding what should be in plain sight. The trick to crossing this room is to find the three landmarks:
- Have one of the PCs see a rock cairn through a break in the trees. At a PCs touch, this cairn opens up to reveal a magically preserved Halfling seemingly entombed alive. He does not stir, but the magic that surrounds him like a force-field forms an impenetrable barrier should the PCs attempt to examine him further.
- Somewhere in the forest, the PCs can hear thunder and see flashes of lightning. As they get closer, they can see that the lightning strikes a single tree, over and over again. Each time it is struck, the tree catches fire and burns to the ground before re-growing in the space of a few heartbeats and producing a single fruit. Once it has fully regrown, the lightning strikes again minutes later. Should the PCs take the fruit, it will grant the PC who eats it 1d6 Health, but confers upon them the Touched by Chaos condition.
- Any player passing a TN 11 Perception (Hearing) check hears the soft burble of a stream nearby. Any PC capable of casting spells who drinks from this water regains all of their expended MP and gains the Touched by Chaos condition. Any other class, or a mage who has no MP missing from their pool, who drinks from the water gains the Touched by Chaos condition.
After all three of these landmarks have been found, not necessarily interacted with, characters that have the Touched by Chaos condition become convinced that something is following them. Any character that turns directly around to look the way they have come finds the exit door is three feet away from them. If no character is Touched by Chaos, this happens to the Staff bearer instead (or the person carrying the Staff’s crystal).
When the players have completed all three of these rooms, and any others of your devising, move onto Scene Two.
Scene Two – Exploration
Read the following aloud:
As you cross the threshold of the last door, the blue flames spring into existence again, leading you away into the darkness. As you follow it, the walls around you start to glow with arcane sigils of warding and protection and the air begins to warm noticeably. The flames stop in front of an ornate metal door which swings open at your touch.
The room beyond is cavernous and swelteringly hot. Along one wall, lava falls endlessly into a chasm, lighting the room easily. The floor is constructed of some strange, mottled metal, the tiles fitted neatly together and covered in more arcane sigils. The centre of the room is dominated by a massive anvil constructed of some dark, lustrous metal. The forge next to it is cold, the large stone fire-pit empty and the bellows laying unused and torn.
If the PCs touched the cairn in the forest room, the Halfling they found within is sitting atop the anvil wearing a smith’s apron. He looks up at their approach and smiles.
This is the first room that the heroes of the Chaos War created in this demi-plane, a forge constructed solely to house the Anvil of Order upon which everything else in the demi-plane was constructed. Whilst it has lain dormant for centuries, the forge is in perfect working order, with the exception of the bellows which must be fixed if they want to repair the Staff of Forlorn Hope.
Any character investigating the forge must pass a TN 11 Intelligence (Engineering) or Dexterity (Crafting required) check to determine what the Halfling says is true. Should the Halfling not be present, a TN 13 Intelligence (Engineering) or Dexterity (Crafting required) check will reveal that the forge is perfect working order, with the exception of the bellows, and possesses all of the tools they will need to fix the Staff of Forlorn Hope.
Once in this room, the PCs cannot leave until they fix the Staff. In order to do this, they must repair the bellows, channel the lava into the forge and assemble to the components upon the Anvil.
As before, reward players for creative problem solving but if they remain stuck, offer them appropriate clues for succeeding on a TN 11 Intelligence (Engineering) or Dexterity (Crafting required) check for repairing the bellows and fixing the staff. Directing the lava requires a successful TN 11 Intelligence (Arcana Lore) check to provide clues. Each check only produces only one clue, regardless of the degrees of success.
To fix the bellows, the PCs need only find a suitable material to repair the hole and succeed on a TN 11 Dexterity (Crafting) check.
To direct the lava, the PCs should activate a certain sequence of sigils along the floor, opening channels and bridges into the lava to funnel it towards the forge. When it reaches the forge, another sequence of sigils should be activated to enhance the heat and power of the lava. Both sequences require a successful TN 13 Intelligence (Arcane Lore) check to activate. If the players devise a workable alternative to this, allow them to use it.
Fixing the staff requires a successful TN 13 Intelligence (Arcane Lore) check to assemble the pieces in the correct order and then a successful TN 13 Dexterity (Crafting) or Intelligence (Engineering) check to fix it properly with the forge. Alternatively, the Halfling is willing and able to fix the Staff as long as the PCs get the forge working properly again. Again, if the players devise a workable alternative to this, allow them to use it.
As soon as the Staff is fixed, a door appears on the far wall in a flare of blue fire. This door leads directly to the teleportation portal the PCs arrived though. The portal itself is not there and the PCs should pass a TN 11 Perception (Seeing) check to notice that two gems have fallen from the frame. Another successful TN 11 Perception (Seeing) check will reveal that the gems, knocked loose during the earthquake, have fallen to the floor. One of the gems has smashed beyond repair but the other is undamaged.
A successful TN 11 Intelligence (Arcane Lore) check will reveal that only one gem is needed to make the portal work, but it can only take them to the general area of the linked teleportation portal. Placing the gem in either of the empty spaces activates the portal and allows the PCs to enter it.
Read Chapter Two here
Any feedback is gratefully appreciated.