The Air Temple
What you need to know:
An artifact/spirit of a deity from the plane of air is powering up and taking its first breath.
In doing so the air in the surrounding region form a local area to across a nation has been thinning. The winds have stopped, storms have ceased and breathing has grown difficult.
The artifact/spirit is hidden within an ancient air temple and has been traveling the astral till now where it has appeared within a set of clouds.
How it begins:
As the players travel through the region, they notice the winds have stopped and it becomes hard to breathe.
Note: Any physical activity requires a CON check to complete and all CON related skills are now harder by 2.
Upon further investigation, the players discover the effect is spreading and has been happening for days weeks or months. Shipping lines have closed due to the lack of trade winds, crops are failing with lack of rain and the air permanently hot, dry, still and thin. The locals will complain about chores being difficult and farms, lumberyards, mines, etc. will often go unattended as people find it to difficult to work a full day; always out of breath. The elderly and children have become bedridden.
The players can research the source and if you choose, they can discover legends and stories about an ancient air temple that when appears turns the world in its lungs as it breaths for the first time. They can read or see pictures or hear tales of the great vacuums of its inhales followed by terrible storm in the exhale.
Note: This is a chance to unnerve the players giving them a sense of what could be at stake.
It’s not important the players find the source right away, you can even throw in a few side quests to slow them down with of course the CON related penalties still applying - What would a bandit attack be like? Can the player scale the cliff to the ogre den? Etc.
When you feel it’s time, the players will notice or hear about a large spherical cloud in the sky floating over a city/town or village. When the players go to investigate, with a proper roll the players can see within the cloud white marble peeking out; the signs of a structure.
Getting the players to the cloud can be done several different ways.
- 1-traditional flying or levitation items or spells
- 2-winged mounts
- 3-hiring someone who has flying/levitation/winged mounts
- 4-the clouds form a staircase the players can walk on.
- 5-the spirit/artifact has influence over the region granting everything in a radius the ability to fly as if unbound by gravity. Animals and anchored items begin to float, children drift away and players suffer all the effects as if in space. This can add an extra challenge of the players trying to keep order below while dealing with the temple above.
–THE AIR TEMPLE–
Within the fog of the clouds is a white marble structure shaped and sculpted to appear as a tornado hovering in the sky. Howling winds circulate around the structure, making it difficult to approach the front gate of white marble.
- -A- Any player passing through
the winds must roll a DEX based save or be caught in massive
downdraft and hurled to the ground below for X D6 damage.
Note 1: Even players with flying and levitation must roll.
Note 2: The best way for the player to bypass the wall of wind is either teleport/gate or have someone brave the wind then anchor themselves down and offer the rest of the party rope to climb their way through. Climbing the rope will of course require a check to succeed or at the very least to hold on.
–THE TEMPLE GATE–
At the base of the fortress is the door made of white marble. Across its surface are 5 metal rods shaped to look like the tips of large horns.
- -A- If a player blows into a rod, the loud sounds of a horn will blast overhead.
- Each subsequent blow will double the effect.
- Playing all 5 at once will cause the
structure to crack and break open the gate leading to part 1.
Note: You can have players roll a save or become deaf. Plus, roll an additional save to avoid falling debris from the temple dealing X D6 damage upon impact.
The players enter into a white marble circular chamber. There is a hole in the ceiling leading to part 2. Over the walls, sculptures of hairless humanoids sitting upon thrones of clouds are depicted blowing winds over the world.
- -A- The room has no traps/treasure of any kind and is safe for the players to pass through.
The players enter into a white marble circular chamber larger than room 1. There is a hole in the ceiling leading to part 3.
- -A- Ignoring the curves of the room, break the chamber down into a grid, 2-4 layers deep.
- Within the grids create a maze of
passable squares and impassible squares blocked by wall of
Note: There should only be one path to the exit - the hole in the ceiling.
- Players must find their way through this room as if it were an invisible maze.
- -B- This chamber has no
breathable air and therefore any players who enter suffer the effects
of drowning. Leaving the chamber negates the effect.
Note: Breathing under water spells will not help as it would still require the player to breathe.
The players enter into a white marble circular chamber larger than room 2. There is a hole in the ceiling leading to part 4. The floor drops 15-20 meters and the ceiling is 15-20 meters in height and upon both are layers of sharp marble white spikes.
- -A- Ignoring the curves of the room, break the chamber down into a grid 1 layer deep.
- Label the squares within the grid safe, up/down draft, timed and random.
- Safe square are as they say safe to pass through.
- Up/down draft are constantly blasting air in the direction and entering one forces a player to roll a save or be dashed against the spikes for X D6 damage. The player must then roll again or be pinned by the wind currents.
- Timed are drafts that occur on a regular timed intervals, every other round, every third round, etc.
- Random have drafts needing a percentile
roll to occur. Some can be almost every round with 95% to almost
always safe 5%. For the best effect use a mix of highs, averages and
Note 1: Outside the squares the drafts will be unnoticeable, but placing objects or limbs into the square will reveal the effect. This allows the players to test the squares before they enter, giving them some chance to pass unharmed.
Note 2: Do not create a safe path for players to cross instead have their way be barred by timed and randoms, forcing the players to find patterns and get lucky.
The players enter into a white marble circular chamber larger than room 3. There is a hole in the ceiling leading to part 5. Dozens to 100s of bubbles float about the chamber colliding off walls and each other. Within each is a slumbering air memphit.
- -A- Any player who enters the chamber must roll a DEX based save every round to not touch or be touched by the bubble.
- If a player fails the number of bubbles touched is equal to the number of points they failed their save by.
- Every bubble touched pops and results
in the memphit awaking.
Note 1: Any active air memphits must also roll a save to not be touched by a bubble.
Note 2: Any memphit may skip their turn to pop D4 bubbles.
Note 3: This room is to have a chain reaction effect, so don’t worry if all hell breaks loose after a few rounds.
- If air memphits are too hard, consider something weaker like using kobold stats or even something weaker like rats.
The players enter into a white marble circular chamber larger then room 4. Within alcoves throughout the room are air elementals in stasis going from smallest to largest. Around the walls of the chamber are several white vases sealed closed with wax.
- -A- Once the players have entered the chamber the stasis drops 1 by 1 every X rounds.
- Start with the smallest elemental and increase to the largest, slowly overwhelming your players.
- The air elementals have all the stats as per the monster manual.
- -B- The vases contain the ancient wealth of the wizards or clerics who created this place and should reflect that.
- Wizards will have magic items, tomes and notes about the plain of air.
- Clerics will have golden ideals, prayer books and gold coins, gatherings from offerings, bearing inscriptions of far away lands.
- Both will have potions and magic items pertaining to fly and levitation.
Once the final elemental is destroyed their remains, yes they are air, whip around into a massive funnel and form into the artifact or an orb containing the spirit of the God.
You have several options for ending this quest.
- Smashing the orb or artifact on the ground. The item is destroyed, the fortress returns to the astral and all is well.
- Finding other items to destroy the artifact or orb - an artifact is needed to destroy an artifact.
- The artifact or orb can only be destroyed at a certain location like dropping it in a volcano. This will of course bring all the issues of the artifact with them, like the air thinning.
- The players keep the item and try to discover more about it before it awakens, therefore continuing its effects, bringing it to a church or wizard tower.
- If the item you choose is the spirit of a God, the players try to contact it and convince it to leave.
The real end:
Even if the players do manage to deal with the artifact/spirit in the ways above, who’s to say that is truly the end?
Maybe the creators are angered the item has been stolen or destroyed and hunt the players down.
Maybe when the item is dealt with, it releases all the air it has sucked in at once, creating an intense storm making the players responsible for destroying countless villages and towns.
Maybe the temple returns to the astral with the players still inside and now they must find their way home.
Either way have fun and hope to see you again.