Keepers of the Fevered Mount
((Notice: Again, if you are from my Dying Ember campaign, stay out! ;) ))
Two thousand, three hundred and fifty eight circlings of the bloated sun, Døende Aske, before the Years of Frost (YoF), the Winterhaunt of Iborighu called forth a fracturing in the ice of a frozen sea. These powerful clerics, long since consumed and transformed into being of pure frost by their chill god, opened a rift, a mere fingerhold into the world from his bitter realm. But a finger was all that was required for Iborighu to manipulate the forces of nature.
For eight hundreds of years they had waited for the coming of the wandering star to approach. The star that flew with frozen dew upon its plumage. The feathery ghostliness it left behind it was the streaming of a cosmic blizzard and not flame, they were assured. This star was colder than the deepest ice of Hearth. And so with intricate measuring they awaited its closest passing and so began their ritual. With but a nudge the power of Iborighu altered the comet's direction and it streaked down towards the great frozen ocean of the south. There lived Hleid, and so she was struck and shattered like a snowflake on stone.
The impact was so great that not only did it pierce the ocean, but it delved deep into the crust itself. A great wave of ice, soil and water lifted up and froze, forming a mountain that reached past the clouds. The center of the peak sloped within itself straight down for miles. At the bottom lay a vast portal that connected the Plane of Cold with that of Hearth. From this portal erupted Iborighu. His worshippers rejoiced while the rest of the world reacted with terror.
The impact caused flooding for hundreds of miles past their original boundaries and dust and water vapor within several weeks completely surrounded the planet. Blocked from sight was the view of the great red sun for years to come.
The victory of the followers of Iborighu was not complete however, the greatest of the druids from all corners of the globe came together. With their combined efforts the stone below the feet of much of the world was shifted, and heat allowed to flow nearer the surface. Volcanoes were reborn, hot springs bubbled, and guysers erupted.
These druids came to be known as the Keepers of the Fevered Mount, their task to fight against the encroaching chill that threatened to destroy the planet and to adapt its population to the biting enviroment.
There is an area within the chill ocean known as the Greenbreeze. A hundred miles if not two from one end to the other, its true dimensions have never been fully mapped, but it is vast. It is over waters so choked with aquatic plants that no ship has been able to go more than a few miles before becoming hopelessly entangled. It is also home to innumberable aquatic creatures, most famously massive predatory horrors that are said to swallow whole many a mired vessel. Along with the impassibility, the region is constantly beset by constant thunderstorms if not outright hurricanes that makes even approaching the green hazardous.
In the center of this profusion of sealife is a large island dominated by a single large volcano which is impossible to see by normal metheds as continuous fog and steam keep it from being seen. Because of this it was named the 'Fevered Mount'.
The Fevered Mount is a once extinct volcano that was awoken to partial life. It has been filled with rainwater to form an expansive lake within. The heat from below has brought the water's temperature up to temperatures rarely found anywhere on the frigid planet. Islands covered in semi-tropical plant-life spot the surface of this large lake. Two large, five small, and at least sixteen tiny isles all told. And all are filled with animal life no longer found anywhere else in the world. The steam from the waters completely block the lake and islands from view, and upon the islands fog and steam are ever present.
The Fevered Mount is one of the Druid most strongly guarded secrets. For when they discovered despite their efforts many species would die, the heat from far below the volcano was brought closer to heat its waters. Animals seen nowhere else on Hearth reside here, kept alive by the warmth and the great forests of otherwise rare or completely extinct flora.
The warm waters wreak havoc with the much colder temperatures without, causing the great storms that plague the area. The Greenbreeze without, though already a hazard, was further encouraged to grow by the druids. Not content wih even that, nature spirits whom are close allies with the druids prowl the ground and air about the volcano. Giant serpent spirits forever guard the base against the extremely unlikely trespassers and roc spirits patrol the billowy steam of the heights.
This island is the center of the druidic circle that encompasses all of Hearth. It is here that the Great Druid resides, along with many other druids who seek his wisdom or report on the happenings of the globe. Druids make periodic pilgrimages here, some merely to emerse themselves in the prevelant life of the region. No druid ever speaks of it, nor allows others to venture near it. Even druids of good alignment are wont to take drastic measures to protect it. For if word were to get out, those of Iborighu would know best where to target their plans.
Keepers of the Fevered Mount try with much difficulty to keep from being discovered, but all keep somewhere about their person a tiny chest of ashes within which a single ember glows dimly.
Keepers of the Fevered Mount are intensely varied in race as most species upon Hearth have an interest in keeping all from freezing. Though few know it, Domovoi are the most numerous of all Keepers, seeding themselves within households all over the planet. Half-giants make up much of the remainder, living always in the warmest, most geothermally active locales as they guard it from the Frostfolk and other races who bear ill will against the enemies of Iborighu. Humans and half-elves are also common enough. Elves however are the rarest, for with the dying out of most of their beloved forests very few remain.
An elven prince called Téigh, and the High Druid of the druidic circle, is the 'leader' of the Keepers of the Fevered Mount, being one of the few still living members of those who brough forth the heat from below two thousands years ago. The Fevered Mount was his own task however and it was he who brought it back to partial life and surrounded it with the mass of green.
It is this place that sustains him and allows his extended life. Keepers continuously come and go, reporting on the condition of the world and on the advances of the Winterhaunt. Though Téigh's wisdom is great he does little more than give advice for such an effort as theirs cannot be lead by a single man.
Despite its far reaching numbers the Keepers of the Fevered Mount possess no great wealth, though their influence is almost coin unto itself. With domovoi in households of the richest they learn much and many are privately very wealthy unto themselves from what they hear and pass on to one another and the masters of the house.
Keepers of the Fevered Mount are generally taught by others of the organization. If they prove to be of a trustworthy nature and display a true love for the land and those that live upon it they are given a special ember lit by their master's own. This ember must be taken to the Fevered Mount and kept alive all this time, as it is a symbol of the world and its people. With their very life it must remain lit, across forest and mount, river and ocean. The ember is then placed within a mighty pit of fire within a sacred locale set in a cave of the volcano's side. The special light of this ember is a sign to the spirits guarding the island to leave the newcomer be.
If the fire of the ember is the same as when it begun then it momentarily flares up and adds to the bulk of the inferno within. If the ember is a fake however it explodes violently, searing the untrustworthy fake.
Keepers of the Fevered Mount Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (history), Knowledge (nature), and Knowledge (geography) can learn more about keepers of the fevered mount. When a character makes a successful skill check, the following lore is revealed, including the information from lower DCs.
DC 15 - Far out upon the Ochine Ocean it is said there is a place of constant storms where only the most skilled or foolhardy mariner will venture. This result reveals which body of water the Fevered Mount can be found.
DC 20 - Amongst these great storms is a nearly impassable morass of aquatic growth; great forests of kelp and sprawling sea bladders. It is said that the grow extends for at least a hundred miles in all directions.
DC 25 - A map was once found, showing the position of this green in the far southwestern reaches, 500 miles north of a Darfellan colony. This gives a rough direction to begin a search.
DC 30 - You have heard tell that a log of a journal upon a shipwreck that gives exact longitude and latitude of this growth and believe you know where these coordinates can be found.
DC 35 - A mountain surrounded by mists is rumored to be found within the center of the green.
DC 5 - Some 2000 years ago a great comet struck the planet and brought the cold to the world.
DC 15 - By the combined effort of a sect of powerful druids and the worshippers of Pelor somehow this cold was lessened though the world now rumbles from below more than it once was.
DC 20 - Most of the elves disapeared or died out as their homes were overcome by frost.
DC 25 - Until the great cold no werefolk or shifters inhabited the planet.
DC 30 - Werefolk, shifters, pelts, and many other species came into existence within several decades of the cold.
DC 10 - The world is unnaturally cold with many of its species ill suited for the bitter temperatures.
DC 20 - Much of the geological activity about the world does not seem to have formed naturally, being strangely stable and grouped in convenient locales.
DC 25 - Druidic peoples and others with ties to the lands seem overly protective of these locales. It is said they are concerned with keeping the world from growing colder.
DC 30 - Supposedly these people can be found about the world with many dedicated to adapting existing peoples and locations to better deal with the spreading chill.
DC 35 - This group is called the Keepers of the Fevered Mount.
DC 40 - Keepers of the Fevered Mount was founded by an elf that is said to still be alive today called Téigh.
Breath of Heaven
Summoning (healing) Level: Sanctified 4 Components: V, S, M, DF Casting Time: 1 standard action Range: Touch Target: Dead creature touched Duration: Instantaneous Saving Throw: None; see text Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)
This spell opens a rift to one of the tropical locales of the Upper Planes, bringing a warm, humid breeze full of heady scents. You can raise a creature that has been dead for no longer than one round per caster level that was killed by cold or frostburn damage. The being at this point has not truley died, but straddles the grey area between life and death in a coma so deep from the cold that even standard healing magic is unable to help them.
This functions like the raise dead spell, except that the affected creature receives no level loss, no Constitution loss, and no loss of spells.
The creature has -1 hit points (but is stable) after being restored to life and all ability damage caused by frostburn is healed.
1d4 points of dexterity damage.
Deepwarmth Transmutation [Earth, Fire and Water] Level: Clr 9, Drd 9 Components: F, M, S Casting Time: 10 minutes and see text Range: Long (400 ft. + 40 ft./level) Area: 200-ft. radius spread Duration: Permanent
When you cast Deepwarmth, you feel a rumble of conflicting forces deep beneath your feet. Over the course of a day the ground deep below rearranges itself to bring up heat and water, forming a stable locale of geothermal activity. 1d6 hotsprings, 1d4 mudpots, and a gesyer form within the spell's radius. If a water source, such as a lake or pond already exists it becomes superheated to the boiling point in the range of the spell. This consequently raises the temperature by 2 temperature bands within 200 feet, and one band for 100 feet more.
Arcane Material Component: A pinch of sulphur mixed into a small cauldron of alchemical silver worth 2,000 gp and heated till it boils over.
Werefell Transmutation Level: Druid 7 Component: S, M Casting Time: One minute Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels) Area: 1 mile radius/2 levels Duration: Permanent Saving Throw: None Spell Resistance: None
You put a special type of enchantment over an area of arctic land to aid with the survival of its inhabitants. This enchantment causes any child conceived or born within its boundaries to have a 20% chance of contacting a type of lycanthropy. If so affected, there is a 50% chance the child becomes a shifter, a 40% chance of contracting natural lycanthropy, and a 10% chance of losing its humanity and becoming an animalistic Pelt.
What type of lycanthrope it becomes is determined by the nearest suitable animal at time of birth.
Material Component: Lock of fur or hair from an albino lycanthrope thrown into a chill wind.
Pelts derive from druidic spells cast over arctic lands where little life exists to convert those whom come to live there to produce offspring that can better survive the dangerous temperatures. Generally these spells cause natural lycanthropy, or sometimes even shifters, furred creatures able to adapt to the cold. However, some offspring of these creatures are literally nothing more than animals. Every hungry beasts with a feral deviousness, but no true sentience.
They always appear as much more lithe versions of their race with a furry pelt and mane whoes color makes it difficult to spot in its enviroment. Their arms are somewhat longer, their legs shorter, and their back stooped, allowing them to run on all fours for brief periods, though they tend to keep to their hind legs. They tend to vaguely resemble certain arctic creatures such as wolverine, bears or wolf, whatever the original druid intended for that region.
Sometimes packs will form and migrate with herds of grazers, or roam into civilized lands and terrorize travelers. Though not evil they are almost always on the verge of starvation, and though can survive on a diet of mosses and lichens alone, prefer meat.
Some are sickened by the thought, but many a wandering hunter wears a thick coat from a pelt human or has butchered one for his meals.
Sample Pelt Pelt Bugbear Medium Animal
Hit Dice: 3d8+9 (22 hp)
Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares)
Armor Class: 18 (+1 Dex, +7 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 17
Base Attack/Grapple: +2/+4
Attack: Bite +5 melee (1d6+3)
Full Attack: Bite +5 melee (1d6+3)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Rage
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, natural camouflage, scent, uncanny dodge
Saves: Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +3
Abilities: Str 15, Dex 14, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 7
Skills: Climb +4, Hide *+8, Listen +8, Move Silently +10, Spot +8
Feats: Alertness, Cold Endurance, Endurance, Weapon Focus (bite)
Environment: Any cold or temperate land
Organization: Solitary, or pack (6-40)
Challenge Rating: 3
Alignment: Always Neutral
Advancement: 1-20 HD (size remains unchanged)
Level Adjustment: -
This hulking brute appears much as a bugbear, but its unclothed form is leaner, more predatory. It is covered in a thick matt of, long, dense fur the color of fallen snow. Its face is more beastial, and a muzzle of sharp teeth gape hungrily.
Pelt bugbears are sneaky beasts who stalk their prey, moving with quiet grace and leaping upon their prey before they can react.
Natural Camouflage (Ex):
* A bugbear pelt's fur changes color depending on the season, granting it a +6 racial bonus to Hide checks in natural settings. During winter or in areas of continuous snow a pelt's fur turns a brilliant white. In warmer seasons or in areas devoid of heavy snowfall its fur takes on a variety of shades of dark brown and grey.
Rage (Ex): A bugbear pelt that takes damage in combat flies into a berserk rage on its next turn, clawing and biting madly until either it or its opponent is dead. It gains +4 to Strength, +4 to Constitution, and –2 to Armor Class. The pelt cannot end its rage voluntarily.
A bugbear pelt can detect opponents within 30 feet by smell alone. The exact location is not revealed unless the creature is within 5 feet.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex): A bugbear pelt retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If a pelt already has uncanny dodge as a race feature, he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge.
Skills: A bugbear pelt has a +4 racial on Listen and Spot checks, and a +8 racial bonus on Move Silently checks.
Creating A Pelt
Pelt is an inherited template that can be added to any non-mindless humanoid. It loses all subtypes. A pelt uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Size and Type: Pelts become animals. Recalculate base attack bonus, saves, and skill points. Size is unchanged. Hit Dice: Change all current and future Hit Dice to d8s. Land Speed: A pelt's base land speed increases by 10 feet. Armor Class: The creature's natural armor increases by 4 points. Attack: A pelt retains all the natural attacks of the base creature. A pelt based on a creature that has no natural attack gains two claw or one bite attack as shown below (but not both).
[tr][td]Tiny[/td] [td]2 claw (1d2 plus Str bonus) or 1 bite (1d3 plus 1-1/2 Str bonus)[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Small[/td] [td]2 claw (1d3 plus Str bonus) or 1 bite (1d4 plus 1-1/2 Str bonus)[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Medium[/td] [td]2 claw (1d4 plus Str bonus) or 1 bite (1d6 plus 1-1/2 Str bonus)[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Large[/td] [td]2 claw (1d6 plus Str bonus) or 1 bite (2d6 plus 1-1/2 Str bonus)[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Huge[/td] [td]2 claw (2d6 plus Str bonus) or 1 bite (3d6 plus 1-1/2 Str bonus)[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Gargantuan[/td] [td]2 claw (3d6 plus Str bonus) or 1 bite (4d6 plus 1-1/2 Str bonus)[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Colossal[/td] [td]2 claw (4d6 plus Str bonus) or 1 bite (5d6 plus 1-1/2 Str bonus)[/td][/tr]
Special Attacks: A pelt loses all the supernatural special attacks and spell-like abilities of the base creature. It retains its extraordinary attacks. In addition a pelt gains one of the following special attacks chosen from below:
Ferocity (Ex): A pelt continues to fight without penalty even while disabled or dying. Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a pelt must hit with a natural attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. Pounce (Ex): If a pelt charges a foe, it can make a full attack in the same round. Rage (Ex): A pelt that takes damage in combat flies into a berserk rage on its next turn, clawing and biting madly until either it or its opponent is dead. It gains +4 to Strength, +4 to Constitution, and –2 to Armor Class. The pelt cannot end its rage voluntarily. Sprint (Ex): Once per hour, the Pelt can move ten times its normal speed (500 feet) when it makes a charge. Trip (Ex): A pelt that hits with a bite attack (assuming it has one) can attempt to trip the opponent (+1 check modifier) as a free action without making a touch attack or provoking an attack of opportunity. If the attempt fails, the opponent cannot react to trip the pelt.
Special Qualities: A pelt loses all magical special qualities and darkvision of the base creature, but retains its extraordinary special qualities. It also gains the special abilities qualities mentioned below: Low-Light Vision (Ex): A pelt can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. It retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions. Natural Camouflage (Ex): A pelt's fur changes color depending on the season, granting it a +6 racial bonus to Hide checks in natural settings. During winter or in areas of continuous snow a pelt's fur turns a brilliant white. In warmer seasons or in areas devoid of heavy snowfall its fur takes on a variety of shades of dark brown and grey. Scent (Ex): A pelt can detect opponents within 30 feet by smell alone. The exact location is not revealed unless the creature is within 5 feet. Uncanny Dodge (Ex): A pelt retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If a pelt already has uncanny dodge as a race feature, he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge.
Abilities: Adjust from the base creature as follows: Int (reduced to 2), Dex +2, Con +4, Wis +2, Cha -2. Skills: A pelt gains a +4 racial on Listen, Move Silently, and Spot checks. This stacks with any racial bonuses the base creature possesses. Feats: A pelt retains all the non-magical/psionic feats of the base creature and gains Cold Endurance and Endurance. Any weapon-based feats become Weapon Focus (bite or claw, as appropriate) even if the pelt doesn't qualify for it. Enviroment: Any cold or temperate land Organization: Solitary, or pack (6-40) Challenge Rating: +1 Treasure: None Alignment: Always neutral Advancement: 1-20 HD (size remains unchanged) Level Adjustment: -
Last edited by The Vorpal Tribble : 03-15-2010 at 04:43 PM.
[SIZE="5"]Chill Winds of Time (CR 14)[/size]
Though the plans of Iborighu have so far been thwarted for millenia an ambitious idea has been proposed and seized by the Keepers of the Fevered Mount to weaken the chill deity's hold on the land.
The portal opened by the impact of the ancient comet could theoretically be blocked off by collapsing the mountain around it. However, it rises from amidst the frozen southern sea patrolled by enemy ships and the famous Ice Razer, a mobile city atop a massive iceberg. And even if one were to make it to the base one could very well spend years reaching the many mile high top of the mount with no shelter, no food, and eventually no air. It is also said a mighty shivhad (Frostburn, p. 152) guards the summit, blessed by Iborighu to need no air nor food so that it may be constantly vigilant.
The rule of that deity is strong here so that none may transport and none that fly have ever returned. Thus a way through the skies must be found. It has been suggested that the Kureshimm might give aid, a strange, ancient race whoes population rarely touches the ground, living within cities beneath massive balloons. As expected however they charge a price for visiters to enter their cities, as they charge for all information they possess. Such a sum is beyond that of the combined kings of the world however, for the kureshimm treasure their knowledge of flight and if visiters were to come and gain the secret of their dirigibles the powers of the world would suffer great change.
It is sometime after this conundrum is thought to be hopeless that the player characters begin having strange visions of a half-orc and a foggy mountain. The dreams finally lead them to the Fevered Mount, the guardians remaining strangely docile at their presence. Here they find they have been expected, a great leader and visionary of the half-orc peoples named Harkatottom having arrived several days before. He has dreamed of these characters in turn and called them here. Forseen by he is these characters have been chosen by the 'ancestors' to be the solution for the crushing of Iborighu's power. He then leaves them with a feather he unbraids from his hair, saying that it would direct them to the holy place of his dreams that they must visit. This place is said to 'wander' he claims, so that it is never where it once was. They are led by the floating feather to a deep fjord in the midst of the howling wilderness of a chain of southern arctic mountains.
As they travel down this fissure the land ahead suddenly rises with a rumbling underfoot. A creature with bulky, streamlined body of slick, icy grey stone pushes itself up.
Gargantuan Elemental (earth)
Hit Dice: 16d8+128 (200 hp)
Speed: 50 ft. (10 squares), climb 50 ft.
Armor Class: 29 (-3 dex, +26 natural, -4 size), touch 3, flat-footed 29
Base Attack/Grapple: +12/+38
Attack: 1 pierce +23 melee (3d8+21/19-20/x2)
Full attack: 1 pierce +23 melee (3d8+21/19-20/x2)
Space/Reach: 25 ft./20 ft.
Special Attacks: Hard bite, rumbling quake
Special Qualities: Damage reduction 20/-, darkvision 60 ft., elemental traits, immunity to cold, sure-footed, tremorsense 240 ft.
Saves: Fort +20, Ref +2, Will +9
Abilities: Str 39, Dex 5, Con 26, Int 4, Wis 18, Cha 14
Skills: Climb +28, Spot +6
Feats: Great Fortitude, Improved Critical (pierce), Improved Overrun, Improved Sunder, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (pierce)
Environment: Cold mountains
Challenge Rating: 14
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 16-28 HD (Gargantuan), 29-54 HD (Colossal)
Level Adjustment: --
A froutmooth is a horrifying beast of frigid mountain valleys and glacier trails. Many consider them spirits of such places for they may rest motionless, leaning against the rocky slopes for days on end, or rise up from the snow or ice that has formed over them to chase off intruders who violate their territory.
They appear very vaguely walrus-like, with bulky, streamlined bodies of slick, icy grey stone, and four simple protrusions with which it pushes itself forward upon its belly. A thick neck, nearly as wide as the body, rises up and forward with a comparatively small head-like protrusion atop. It is eyeless and earless, but has a frightening, haphazard assortment of spine-like blades of all sizes splaying from where its mouth would normally be. They all glint metalically and come to needle-sharp points.
Froutmooths are birthed from the ice-cracked fissures of the frozen fjords carved by the passage of glaciers. It guards the frozen valley that it calls home with near eternal patience, relishing the feel of frozen rains and howling winds that meld with the slow, steady pulse of the gelid lands.
Froutmooths stand about thirty feet tall and weigh many, many tons. They speak Terran.
Froutmooths are territorial creatures that are almost always found guarding entire valleys, though against what is often difficult to determine, if anything. They prefer to rise up from their gravel or icy beds they carve and simply hulk, hoping their mere presence is enough to frighten away intruders. If this is unsuccessful it rushes forward and slams the ground repeatedly. Lastly, if all else fails, it resorts to its deadly spikes.
Hard Bite (Ex):
A froutmooth's natual attack ignores hardness less than 20. If it scores a critical hit on a creature Large or smaller, the victim is impaled upon its many spikes and must make a successful fortitude save (DC 32) or die from the shock to the body. If the victim survives he is considered helpless and the froutmooth may continue to attack as normal. The next round he may attempt a strength check to pull himself off (DC = damage dealt). Everytime the froutmooth makes another attack there is a 50% chance that those trapped on its spines are dislodged, taking an additional 2d8 damage. The save DC is Strength-based.
Up to 4 large, 8 medium, or 16 small creatures may be impaled before the Frouthmooth may no longer make its pierce attack.
Rumbling Quake (Ex):
A froutmouth can stomp strongly as a full round action, or even momentarily lift its body up off the ground and slam down, shaking the land all about. Anyone within 60 feet of a froutmouth must make a DC 32 reflex save or fall prone. The save DC is Strength-based.
Froutmooths ignore all movement penalties associated with ice or snow on the ground, and the presence of such covering on any surface it climbs does not increase the DC.
The frouthmooth commands them to leave in Terran and attacks them if they refuse, though will not attack immediately, blocking their passage or shaking the ground till they cannot move. If attacked or it sees them getting past it it will finally attack. If the players defeat this creature, through battle or circumvention, they finally come to a great glacier. The feather flies towards it and lands upon a bit of stone that protrudes from the ice. For some odd reason every 1d6 rounds the players repeat any action they just took, going back in time a round or suddenly acting as if hasted for two rounds.
If the players try to investigate the stone they must chip out or melt a good deal of the ice around it. Doing so summons a massive Entombed (Frostburn, p. 128 ) that lies within the glacier. The features of a giant man with a resemblance to both that of orc and human is hidden within its icy covering (the creature within can be identified as a neanderthal with a DC 30 History check. Unlike most entombed its alignment is Lawful Good). It rushes at the players but then suddenly halts when it sees who awakened it. The creature then solemnly bows to them and disapears back within the glacier. After melting most of the ice all around the stone they find an archway with inscribings that are shockingly written in modern day common... the names of the players themselves.
They barely have time to acknowledge this before they hear a voice singing in a strange language none can comprehend coming from the archway. If they go nearer a mist seems to envelope them and humanoid shapes seem to be walking all about. The singing reaches its full height and volume when the mist suddenly clears and the voice stops abruptly. The players find themselves many thousands of years back in time, having fallen through one of the numerous instabilities of time and space located throughout the planet, a result of the planar shaking impact of the Winterhaunt summoned comet.
The first thing the players notice is the abrupt increase in temperature which though still cool is positively sweltering to the frigid adapted players in their many warm layers of clothing. The area about is forested mountainside full of evergreens with blackberry and sawbriar thick about their trunks. Nearby is a horrible roar and a defiant cry. A massive neanderthal (barbarian 4, ranger 3) jumps past the players, persued by a dire bear (with hit dice increased to 22 HD).
If they attempt and succeed in aiding the neanderthal in downing the creature he thanks them greatfully in his own tongue. The neanderthal also knows Sylvan and will respond in that language if he hears its use. He leads them to the 'town' of enormous bone huts and crude mud and wood leantos where he acts out his hunt and the part the players played. Though they are given great honor for saving the warrior and bringing down the bear few of the villagers know what to think of these strange little people.
It is during that night's celebratory feast (consisting of much bear meat) that the Wise Elder (CR 10 spirit shaman) notices one of the stars up above moving. It zigs and zags and grows rapidly larger and brighter. It disapears out of sight behind a mountain peak and suddenly the ground bucks beneath everyone's feet. There is then a rumble and a horrible rockslide roars down from above, rushing over the village and killing many of its people. When finally the survivors have been pulled out a party is sent to investigate the 'falling star'.
Lying all about a great crater are strangely gaunt, pale white people with three eyes, the third located within the middle of their forehead (the Kureshimm). They are surrounded by a glowing aura that dies down by the time the party approaches. Many of the neanderthals wish to kill these 'sky demons' while they are still injured, requiring the players to talk them out of it. Eventually the Kureshimm awaken to find the rest of the village of neanderthals surrounding them with both fear and anger. Several of the Kureshimm possess telepathic abilities and are able to learn the simple language of the Neanderthals shortly (though the use of spells amongst the players can allow them to become translators between the two).
The kureshimm and neanderthals eventually grow fond of one another, for the neanderthals begin to build them huts of their own and bring them meat while the kureshimm begin to slowly start to teach them the rudiments of civilization. Both are greatful to the players for their aid in bringing the two peoples together and the neanderthals begin to erect a sacred carving of stone in the location where they came to the land. For their part the kureshimm recognize the human and orc players as being the descendants of the neanderthals and understand they must be from a future time. They then hand the players a strange silvery ring of crystal and metal, saying that if at any time they have need of Kureshimm aid, show this to their people and all problems will disapear. This object is in fact the Annulus (XPH, p. 179) which the Kureshimm used to power their ship that they crashlanded in. Upon extensive questioning or use of mind-reading powers it is found out that the kureshimm do not wish certain forces outside this world to know of the existence of this artifact and by sending it into the far future all traces of its existence will disapear for millenia.
The players shortly after are summoned to a beautifully carved stone arch, within which the player's names have been carved. The neanderthals begin to sing praises for the coming of these strange small people. As the players go closer to inspect it they find themselves once more enveloped by the mist and arive back in their own chill time.
The players trek back to the Fevered Mount and a messanger in a far city contacts a party of Kureshimm about an offer 'they won't be able to refuse. A place and time is debated and the players meet with the Kureshimm whom have changed a good deal over the course of the many years from their predecessors. The kureshimm are struck speechless by the artifact, recognizing it for what it is, tales of it existence being passed down for untold generations. Having long lost the details of their coming to this world many have sought information of their people's origins all their life. For just the chance to study it the Kureshimm agree to any terms.
An entire fleet of the massive dirigibles are gather to escort their honored guests to the top of the great mountain. To their dismay however the sky for miles about are filled with the brilliant forms of thousands of herring flash swarms summoned by Iborighu.
Tiny Magical Beast (swarm)
Hit Dice: 10d10+40 (95 hp)
Speed: Fly 50 ft. (good)
Armor Class: 20 (+5 deflection, +3 dex, +2 size), touch 20, flat-footed 17
Base Attack/Grapple: +10/-
Attack: Swarm (2d6 plus herring flash)
Full attack: Swarm (2d6 plus herring flash)
Space/Reach: 20 ft./0 ft.
Special Attacks: Blinding scales, distraction, herring flash
Special Qualities: Blindsight 60 ft., energy resistance, harmony of energy, immunity to blindness, electricity and pattern affects, resistance to fire and cold 10, resonant flight, scent, thin-gilled
Saves: Fort +7, Ref +7, Will +3
Abilities: Str 5, Dex 16, Con 19, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 9
Skills: Listen +7, Spot +8
Feats: Flyby Attack, Hover, Improved Initiative, Wingover
Environment: Any cold or temporate
Organization: Swarm, Glimmer (2-6 swarms), Aurora (10-18 swarms), Aurora Profundis (40-60 swarms)
Challenge Rating: 10
Alignment: Always neutral
Level Adjustment: -
Many tales of polar climes in both the north and south tell of the flash herring; flying fish of scintillating colors that are often mistaken for auroras. Only the occassional hurt or sick herrings ever fall, and upon dying go out quickly. In the rare instance when these herrings plummet into water, cushioning the fall, are they found still glowing, but they quickly drown, being unused to water.
Flash herring are the same shape as common herrings, but blaze with fierce, blinding colors. Swarms normally keep to the same color as their neighbors, but if one changes, so does all around until the entire cloud of herrings have adjusted. Flash herring always know when another is part of their swarm, so if another swarm approaches they may even mingle, but will not adopt the other's colors except when coincidence brings them to the same shade.
They survive many miles above the surface, and often actually mingle with true aurora, feeding off the electrically charged energy provided. These swarms appear far larger than they actually are, their light flaring out hundreds of feet past their bodies.
Flash herrings don't fight, they simply go their course and woe betide any whom get in their way. This course is erratic and everchanging, with one never knowing which direction the herring will go.
The swarm deals damage as seen under their Herring Flash ability to any creature whose space it occupies at the end of its move.
Blinding Scales (Ex):
One within 20 feet of a Flash Herring swarm with 8 HD or less are automatically blinded for 2d4 rounds (no save) at the end of which they are considered Dazzled for the entire time they are within range plus 1d4 minutes. Those with more than 8 HD are not blinded but still considered Dazzled. Flash herring can be seen from miles away, and provides illumination as a daylight spell at all times.
Distraction (Ex): Any living creature vulnerable to the herring's damage that begins its turn with the swarm in its square is nauseated for 1 round; a Fortitude save (DC 19) negates the effect. Spellcasting or concentrating on spells within the area of the swarm requires a Concentration check (DC 20 + spell level). Using skills that involve patience and concentration requires a DC 20 Concentration check.
Energy Resistance (Ex):
Such is the disruption of forces around a flash herring that a mage must make a DC 20 caster level check to overcome the force. This is similiar to spell resistance but only works on spells dealing with energy, such as fireball or lightening bolt. If unsuccessful the energy merely disipates.
Harmony of Energy (Ex):
The make of a flash herring is such that it can pass through fields of force and prismatic walls as if it was water, the force being reflected back and bending around the fish. It does daze the swarm for 1d6 rounds however as the two energies resonate with one another. Force damage does not harm a flash herring, though it does daze them as mentioned above.
Herring Flash (Su):
Flash herring's flashes of energy change in nature every 1d100 rounds. This energy is determined at random. The effect of the swarm is based on their color, as shown on the following table:
d8 Color Effect
1 Red 4d6 points of fire damage
2 Orange 4d6 points of acid damage
3 Yellow 4d6 points of sonic damage
4 Green 6d6 points of damage (as disentegrate spell; Fortitude DC 19 half)
5 Blue 4d6 points of cold damage
6 Indigo 4d6 points of negative energy damage
7 Violet 4d6 points of electricity damage
8 White 4d6 points of force damage
Resonant Flight (Ex):
Flash herrings are unmagically boyant, lifing upwards on the natural magnetic forces of their world. They can lift very little more than their own weight and so are unusable for hauling purposes. Those in the southern hemisphere of a world are charged differently than flash herrings in the north and both fall immediately upon nearing the equator.
Flash herrings do not suffer from altitude sickness, and only in areas of no air at all do they suffer from suffocation.
The kureshimm are forced to call upon a favor owed them by the Aurcachs, requiring several days to locate the pod, during which a plan is being formulated.
A low, deep rumble sounds from above and upon looking up you see a massive shape disapear into the aurora-lit clouds with the flick of a fluke...
Gargantuan Magical Beast (psionic)
Hit Dice: 14d10+86 (163 hp)
Speed: Fly 50 ft. (average)
Armor Class: 16 (–4 size, +1 Dex, +9 natural), touch 7, flat-footed 15
Base Attack/Grapple: +14/+38
Attack: Bite +22 melee (4d6+12)
Full Attack: Bite +22 melee (4d6+12) and tail slap +17 melee (1d8+6)
Space/Reach: 20 ft./15 ft.
Special Attacks: Podmind
Special Qualities: Blindsight 120 ft., darkvision 60 ft., hold breath, low-light vision, resistance to cold/5, psionics, psionic subtype
Saves: Fort +15, Ref +11, Will +9
Abilities: Str 35, Dex 14, Con 22, Int 4, Wis 20, Cha 11
Skills: Autohypnosis +10, Listen +9, Spot +9, Knowledge (Psionics) +2
Feats: Alertness, Diehard, Endurance, Improved Natural Attack (bite), Psionic Body
Environment: Any cold
Organization: Solitary or pod (6–11)
Challenge Rating: 11
Alignment: Usually neutral
Advancement: 15–20 HD (Gargantuan); 21–40 HD (Colossal)
Level Adjustment: —
It is said that whales were the first creatures pre-elans used to expirement upon, trying to bring forth their psionic potential. The results were discouraging as there seemed to be no affect. Several hundred years later however stories began to emerge from the artics of great beasts that dwelt within the clouds, feeding on the wavering rainbows of aurora. Elans have yet to make the connection, but though it took many generations their expirements were ultimately successful, if not entirely what was planned.
Aurcachs are the descendants of the sperm whales that were tested by the elans, and appear normal accept for a lack of barnacles and eyes that occassionally flicker with surpressed energy.
Mentally however they are far beyond their ancestors, having gained a slightly more than minimal sentience. They live their lives traveling with storms, relishing the moisture that keeps them hydrated and their skin from drying. They have also learned how to channel electricity into energy that they can metabolize, so many tend to venture within thunderstorms. They particularly enjoy the flashing herring when they visit low enough to be caught.
When not feeding they simply waft within the clouds singing their songs or deep in philosophical thoughts. They are extremely slow thinkers but thorough ones, possessing much wisdom.
Also known as Spirit Whales or Aurorans, these creatures can be up to 60 feet long and weigh 55,000 to 110,000 lbs. They speak their own language which consists of a complex collection of whistles, clicks and deep, reverberating moans. Combat
Aurcachs are slow to anger and even slower to combat, but if sufficiently endangered the head bull will generally set upon the offender, slamming down with its powerful flukes. If this is not sufficient they resort to teeth, and if this ultimately fails their mental essences merge into a podmind.
Blindsight (Ex): Aurcachs can “see” by emitting high-frequency sounds, inaudible to most other creatures, that allow them to locate objects and creatures within 120 feet. A silence spell negates this and forces the whale to rely on its vision, which is approximately as good as a human’s.
Hold Breath (Ex): An aurcach can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to 10 x its Constitution score.
Once a day when the entire pod is in danger of death they can combine their minds to become as one mental entity as if using metaconcert. When this occurs they may use the ultrablast ability, dealing 13d6 points of damage, plus 1d6 for each aurcach joined into the podmind after the minimal 2, to all enemies within a 60 foot radius. All wishing to join in must be within 100 feet of the 'conductor' and cannot move out of this range while joined into the podmind. The DC to resist the power raises by two per whale.
At Will/Mind Over Energy, Overland Flight, Slow Breathing. Manifester level 14. Save DC's are Wisdom-based. All powers are augmented to their maximum for their level.
The players are each given Bottles of Air (DMG, p. 250) and are then taken within the mouths of the Aurcachs to be kept safe. The aurcachs may then use their Mind Over Energy ability to forge their way through the herrings (and subsequently having a good feeding). The shivhad however is waiting for them at top and the aurcachs are forced to form a podmind to combat it as the players also aid in its destruction. Once beaten the pod then dives down within the mountain. Intense cold energies rumble as Iborighu begins to vent his wrath. Most of the pod is slain, though those nearby the pod holding the player with the Annulus are preserved through its power. When the portal is near enough so that it cannot be missed the annulus must be triggered and dropped within. The pod and players have a minute to be clear of the mountain before the destructive psychic energies reduce all within to dust.
What follows is a horrendous eruption of pure cold fire as the mountain begins to implode by the collapse of the portal, vaporizing the flash herring above and any straggling aurcachs. Though still a powerful force Iborighu and his followers no longer have the ability to continue to change the temperatures of the lands on a world-wide scale. However, they have waited millenia and one can be sure they will be plotting for the future...
Symbol: Keepers of the Fevered Mount have no symbol though all carry a tiny wooden chest of ashes within which a never dying ember lies glowing dimly.
Enemies and Allies:
The ultimate enemies of the Keepers of the Fevered Mount are the followers of Iborighu, in particular Frostfolk. There is also another far less known group known as the Dying Embers, druids and rangers whom believe the natural course is for all to succumb to the inevitable dimming of the sun as it runs its course, eventually to cast the world into heatless darkness.
Allies of the Keepers are chiefly the followers and churches of Estanna and Pelor, or any deities concerned with the warmth and welfare of others.
Have you tried lining it up in Notepad? That works great for me.
Originally Posted by GungHo, on Battletech
The Atlas is also goofy but it has that whole "Stay Puft Marshmallow Man" menacing smile thing going for it. The guy who drew that one up was obviously taken to the Nutcracker when he was a child... and he was screaming in terror the entire time.
Originally Posted by Enterti, Cogidubnus
Glyphstone, out of all the playground I think you scare me the most...
To help out, think of <tr> as an abbreviation for <table row> and <td> as an abbreviation for <table division>. You can have as many <td>s as you need in a <tr>. Just make sure you close all the tags with </tr>, </td>, and </table>.