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Chapter Five – Leaving the Enclave
Having left the Hospital, the PCs are now free to explore the Enclave as they see fit. In order to leave, they must re-activate the power station found somewhere in the darkness before gaining access to the Library and the tunnel within.
Unlike the other chapters, this one leaves a lot open to the GM’s discretion and gives them the ability to insert their own scenes and encounters as desired. The Enclave is full of Undead (using the Walking Dead profile provided in the Fantasy AGE book) and should be used in groups of no more the 2:1. The Enclave is intended to provide atmospheric exploration, not a series of increasingly difficult challenges. The following is intended as a framework to be built upon, any adventure using the Enclave SHOULD include the following scenes in addition to any the GM creates.
Scene One – Exploration
Having left the Hospital, presumably with both the map of the Enclave and the goodwill of the survivors trapped there, the PCs are now in the Vorakis Enclave proper. This part of Vorakis was magically buried during the Chaos Wars as a refuge for the inhabitants of Vorakis and its environs. As such, it is laid out like any other city with the standard buildings and facilities. Due to its age, some of the Enclave has fallen to disrepair and decay, but it is in surprisingly good shape for how long it has lain undisturbed.
This is in part due to a natural, low level magical field that any mage can detect with a successful TN 11 Intelligence (Arcana) test. This field acts similarly to the restorative magic within the hospital and, unknown to the PCs, is slowly reversing the curse that befell the Enclave.
Being as undisturbed as it is, the Enclave is almost silent. Despite the advanced technology, hailing as it does from the Chaos Wars, the Enclave has remained a ghost town for one very good reason: a Curse of Undeath. Placed upon the Enclave by the Prophet herself, the curse slowly corrupts the living (including the PCs) until they become an extension of the Prophet’s will. Any PC who falls to 2 or less health automatically gains the Touched by Chaos condition. Any PC with this condition gains the Corrupted condition. This field also provides a low level of illumination.
The inhabitants of the Enclave, as was explained to the PCs in the previous chapter, are all Undead (with the exception of those in the Hospital) and start off in a trance-like state, reacting only to nearby sound and movement. Any attempt to move past an Undead member of the Enclave requires a successful TN 11 Dexterity (Stealth) test. In order to simplify matters, if the GM wishes, the group should periodically make Stealth tests. If the number of success is greater than the number of failures, all is good. If the number of failures is greater than the number of successes, a group of Undead is alerted to the presence of the PCs.
Exploring the Enclave is a tense, atmospheric process, but without doing so, the PCs will be unable to find their way to the power station. Obstacles in their way could include; collapsed buildings, flooded areas, wild animals or blocked/ruined pathways.
Regardless of how they get there, when the PCs arrive at the power station, read the following aloud:
You can hear the rushing water before you see it. Something has kept the Undead out of this area of the Enclave and you make swift progress, rounding the last corner before you know it. In front of you is a wide river, the water swift and dark. The luminescence that shines from the air around you reveals the pilings of a long rotted bridge sunk into the bank ahead of you and five yards away, in the middle of the underground river, is a squat building.
The map tells you that you have reached the power station, its water wheel pulled from the river and its windows dark.
Any PCs searching the bank near the rotted bridge can find a rusty chain with a successful TN 13 Perception (Seeing) test. Pulling on this chain (for long enough) reveals a small ferry, big enough for five people. The ferry itself is attached to both banks with a chain but is moved with oars that have stood the test of time.
Should the PCs devise another way of crossing the river, reward creativity and plausible plans.
Scene Two – Exploration
Read the following:
Upon arriving on the island, you are confronted immediately with the old remains of an extremely large funeral pyre. Blackened, skeletal body parts lie scattered around the edge of it. Further up the bank, towards the big main door of the power station, is a skeleton of gigantic proportions. Whilst ostensibly that of a man, its bones are far longer and thicker than a normal man’s, almost as if something had magically changed them at some point.
Opening the door of the power station reveals a cold, dark tunnel leading further into the silent complex.
Exploring the island around the power station reveals nothing further of note. The water wheel has been lifted from the water by some unknown piece of technology. Curiously, there is no evidence of Undead on the island. The skeleton itself, if searched, has a handful of coins scattered about its bones, as well as a ring on a necklace and a jewelled pocket-watch monogrammed with the initials ‘J.R.’
Upon entering the power station, the PCs should be informed that the air is still and dry, and that a thick layer of dust covers every surface. The rooms and contents within are left to the GM’s discretion, however any adversaries that the PCs encounter cannot be Undead (the giant man killed all of them before burning their bodies) and must be able to cross the river somehow. As before, this building is intended to create an atmosphere of tension whilst it is explored.
When the PCs have explored to their satisfaction, they stumble across the main control room. This room has been partially converted into a bedsit, with a bed and basic cooking equipment (all of it oversized) crammed against one wall. The main console seems to be in working order, with the exception of the chair which is a buckled mess of metal on the floor. The console is covered with dials, lights and levers, one of which is labelled ‘Wheel Control’. Also of note on the console is a large, leather-bound book with the initials ‘J.R.’ crudely gouged into the cover (see Handout Two).
Moving the ‘Wheel Control’ lever into its opposite position returns power to the power station, as well as the rest of the Enclave.
Restarting the power station has a series of unintended side effects. The first the PCs will know if they read the journal in the main control room. The lights and sounds of the machinery found throughout the city agitate the Undead, meaning all Stealth tests are now at TN 15.
The second is that the low level magical field permeating everything received an extremely powerful boost. Any time a 4 or 5 point stunt is rolled (i.e. when a double is rolled with a ‘4’ or ‘5’ on the Stunt die), a wave of energy cascades outwards from the PCs. This energy has the potential to lift the Curse of Undeath. When a third stunt of these point values is created, or when a Legendary stunt is rolled (by rolling triple ‘6’), a pulse of energy passes through the Enclave, breaking the Curse. A successful TN 13 Intelligence (Arcana required) test is needed to work out what happened. From the moment the Curse is broken, it takes either another three 4 or 5 point stunts to be rolled, another Legendary stunt to be rolled, or a week of in-game time before the effects of the Curse wear off. These effects include the conditions that it inflicted upon the players (players Touched by Chaos before entering the Enclave retain this condition and players with the Corrupted condition become Touched by Chaos). The PCs must remain in the Enclave for these parameters to apply to them, i.e. these conditions will not clear outside of the Enclave. Returning to the hospital clears any conditions gained during their exploration of the Enclave. In addition to this, the magical field produces a level of illumination comparable to daylight that fluctuates in an artificial day/night cycle.
The third side effect is that the PCs are now able to explore anywhere they wish within the city. The restarted power station has overridden all of the still functioning locks.
If they pass by the hospital, Methris can be found just outside the doors. He will try to return the PCs’ batteries to them, no longer needing them to power the Hospital’s generator.
Scene Three – Exploration, Combat (Optional)
The PCs should now make their way to the Library in the centre of the Enclave. Even without the map given to them by Methris in the previous chapter, the Library is not difficult to find. An imposing building situated on a spire of rock in the centre on the Enclave, it can be seen from a lot of the city now that the lights are back on.
Making their way through the city should be harder this time in accordance with the agitated Undead as described above, this makes combat likelier than it was before. As stated previously, the maximum ratio of Undead to PCs should be no greater than 2:1 but if the GM wishes, now the Undead are ‘awake’ a maximum of x-2 Undead can enter combat after every other round (where x = the number of PCs). GMs are welcome to insert their own scenes and encounters into this scene as well.
The Library itself is a solidly built building with imposing metal doors and secured shutters over every window. Gaining access to the Library is easy, the security system protecting it will open the door for any living person that attempts entry and will react with lethal force at the approach of any Undead, as evidenced by a ring of bodies scattered along the edge of the security system’s range.
In this case, attempting entry includes attempting to pick the lock on any of the shutters (causing a metallic voice to order all persons attempting entry to report to the main entrance) or pressing the intercom button next to the main, or rear, entrance. Doing either results in the door unlocking and opening before the PCs.
Upon setting foot in the Library, the PCs are directed to the atrium by a series of flashing lights set into the floor. The PCs are welcome to follow the flashing lights or explore the Library.
The Library is a repository for countless books, pieces of technology (a few of which are still functional and available for the PCs to use with profiles determined by the GM) and art, as well as having a small panic room filled with a collection of spell books (capable of granting one PC the novice rank in any Arcana talent) as well as a selection of magically preserved food and drink. There are also several small valuable items throughout the Library that can be sold at a later date.
Following the lights to the atrium leads the PCs into a large, open room with a single feature. In the exact centre of the room is a withered tree, passing a successful TN 11 Perception (Seeing) test reveals a collection of new buds growing from several of the branches. The tree covers the exit tunnel, but there are a variety of methods the PCs can use to open the tunnel.
The first is simply to ask. Mentioning the tunnel aloud at any point in the Library prompts the security system to ask if the PCs want it to open the emergency exit for them, if they answer ‘yes’ it will announce that the atrium exit has been opened.
The second is to restore life to the tree through the use of the regrowth spell from the Wood Arcana talent. This causes the tree to bloom and its roots to shift around its base and reveal a hole in the floor. This may also occur through watering the tree and using any spell from the Healing Arcana talent.
The third is to destroy the tree. Upon its destruction, the tree is consumed with a magical fire revealing the hole in the ground.
As ever, reward player creativity for their solutions to this puzzle. As long their plans could feasibly restore life to the tree or cause the tunnel to open in another manner, let them progress.
However the PCs solve this puzzle, the end result is the same. A hole appears in the floor, leading to a set of wide, well maintained stairs that plunge into the earth. This tunnel is unlit.
Entering the tunnel counts as leaving the Enclave for the purposes of clearing the Touched by Chaos and Corrupted conditions.
Found on the main console of the power station:
“The pain has ended at last, I pray to the gods that it was worth it. As far as I know, I am the last one alive in the Enclave, with the exception of the Hospital. My enhanced strength and size has proved more than up to the task of clearing the infestation from the island, hopefully when I have finished my task here, I will be able to make progress in the city and help the poor souls trapped in the Hospital.
The next few entries are degraded badly and illegible.
The bite has become infected. I fear I am not long for this world. I’ve retreated to my base in the power station and have resolved to help the best way I can. Over the last few months, I’ve noticed the Undead enter a trance-like state during the night and become agitated during the day. In theory, I should be able to channel some power to the Hospital to keep it running for a while but turn off the power to the rest of the Enclave, forcing the place into a perpetual night.
These are the last words of Joshua Ramis.
I have altered the systems of the power station to link up with the water wheel, lowering it will restore full power to the city and enhance the magic we found down here. There should be enough power in the capacitors to keep the Hospital running for a few hundred years, long enough for help to come.
If you find this and I am gone, thank you for bringing hope to the Vorakis Enclave. We have been lost for so long.”
Any feedback is gratefully appreciated.