One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
This is a side trek I did for the player of Emyn, our party's paladin of Trithereon. He wanted a way to seek a way to restore his lost vitality (lost Constitution from a Shadow Cloaker). So, I came up with this adventure for him, from an old Dungeon Magazine, issue #22. Emyn is 8th level I think at this point.
Guardian (CG Paladin), Sworn knight protector of Hepla, Knight-Defender of the Order of the Cat, Husband of Hepla
Avenger of Trithereon
The special abilities of a guardian are:
1. Detection of evil 100'r (requires total concentration).
2. Saving throw bonuses against evil magic at +1 for each three levels the guardian possesses (+1 at 1st through 3rd level, +2 at 4th through 6th level, etc.). Evil magic includes any spells cast by evil NPCs or monsters, and any effects of magic items that are intrinsically evil or that are used by evil beings. Saving throw bonuses against lawful magic at +1 for each three levels as well. These bonuses are cumulative, thus against lawful evil magic, the Guardian would gain a +2 bonus for every three levels.
3. Hit and damage bonuses of +1 for each 4 levels of experience (+1 at 1st through 4th level, +2 at 5th through 8th level, etc.) with any weapon, due to their fierce fighting ability and devotion.
4. Defensive Stance. Guardians have the option of allocating any and all of their attack bonuses to their armor class instead.
5. Pursuit of Vengeance. Guardians may inescapably track an evildoer. This is limited to the perpetrator of one crime at a time, and the Guardian may not deviate from this mission once he embarks upon it.
6. Immunity to hold and paralysis of any kind.
7. The ability to use all holy swords (of Chaotic Good alignment) as paladins do.
8. Good welcome from any allied chaotic good church. A guardian abuses this only at the risk of deviating from his alignment.
9. Protection from devils 1/day beginning at 5th level, including all lawful evil creatures from the lower planes.*
10. Summoning Avengers: Beginning at 5th level, a Guardian may cast one Monster Summoning Spell/day, starting with Monster Summoning I. With each new level, this power increases to the next Monster Summoning Spell, though it always is limited to one use/day. At 11th level, the ability maxes out with the ability to cast one Monster Summoning VII once/day.
*Protection from Devil: This ability requires 1 full round to use. The circle of protection generated springs outwards from the Guardian in a 10' radius. No devil or other LE denizen of the lower planes protected against can penetrate the circle physically or magically or in any way, but the person(s) within can launch attacks, if otherwise possible, upon demons. The protection moves with the Guardian. Its effect lasts for 5-20 (5d4) rounds. Note that the protection radius is not on actual physical globe, and if the user forces a demon into a place from which further retreat is impossible (e.g., a corner), and then continues forward until the demon would be within the radius of the circle, the demon is not harmed, and the protection is considered voluntarily broken and disappears. There is no way in which this can be used as an offensive weapon.
Emyn was born in Verbobonc to a poor family who tried to eke out a living smithing. He learned much in his childhood, at least from a trade side but never was a fellow for books. His father, Derk Frel, was a dour man but not violent. He concentrated on his work and left the raising Emyn to his wife, Esmal. He would, at times, be gone for days at a time without warning after receiving a note from a messenger. Derk never said where he was going but sometimes, he would have wounds upon his return. Emyn thought his mother knew more but she would never tell him.
Emyn was 14 when a local group of toughs came demanding protection money from his father. When he refused, they killed his father after a vicious fight. He had never known that his father was so skilled with a weapon. However, the toughs, knowing that they would be bested, changed the game. One grabbed his mother and threw her into the forge. His father abandoned the fight in a desperate attempt to rescue her and was struck down. That was the first day that Emyn picked up a weapon in anger. He charged forward with his father’s bastard sword, which was far too large for him but his anger fueled his strength and his surprise attack killed one of the toughs and wounded another. They fled. However, it was too late to save his mother from the flames.
Hearing of this tragedy, Prince Thrommel paid a visit and soon the boy was training as an Avenger of Trithereon, intent on raining justice on those who would use their position or power to harm others. He recently took part in the fight at the Temple of Elemental Evil, killing many humanoids in the process. He is now pursues evil across Oerth and hopes someday to find those who escaped the battle at the forge and bring vengeance upon them and those for whom they worked.
He spent his early adventuring years near the Shield Lands, fighting humanoids from the Horned Society and even accompanied raids into those evil lands, destroying his foes.
Having taken up with a band of adventurers, he has sworn to protect Hepla, Isilme and Vadarra as Knight Defender of the Order of the Cat and her personal Knight Protector, though the habit of his protectees to sneak off on their own without telling him does give him fits at times. He is in love with Hepla and will do anything for her. She and Emyn are now married.
He recently fought a black-green dragon named Caustichlorinus who left him with terrible scars all over his body due to the use of its acidic breath weapon. All were removed except one on the inside of his left wrist to act as a reminder of his foolishness.
Emyn is now working to establish a Church to Trithereon in Nulb with the permission of Berenn and his church. To date he has provided 36K gold to this purpose.
Emyn was rescued from death by Pyaray, master of the Chaos Fleet. The party had a full year to return the Soul Gem to the Chaos God or Emyn will join his fleet for all eternity. Luckily, the party was able to secure the soul gem and the chaos god's quest was fulfilled. Emyn was badly hurt in the process (Lost 4 points of COn permanently) and is now trying to adjust to his newfound weakness. Emyn considers that he has a life debt to each member of the party for saving him from eternal torment.
Emyn and Hepla are now wed and she is with child following Emyn's choice to use a wish to restore her fertility.
Tomb It May Concern
This is a Side Trek adventure JUST for Emyn. Emyn stayed behind in Verbobonc, at the bequest of the High Priest, Cornelius Arx. That's all that anyone really knows. You will NOT be allowed to scry him or anything either. In fact, I do not want ANYBODY except Goldie to post here. So, NOBODY post here except for Goldie. Anyone breaking this rule will be docked 10,000 EXP and draw the especial ire of the DM. If you want to post comments, do it in the Welcome Wench. Do NOT give Emyn ideas of any kind though. This is his adventure, in which Emyn will be alone, so let him work things out.
The darksome statesman, hung with weights and woe,
Like a thick midnight-fog, mov'd there so slow,
He did nor stay, nor go ;
Condemning thoughts—like sad eclipses—scowl
Upon his soul,
And clouds of crying witnesses without
Pursued him with one shout.
Yet digg'd the mole, and lest his ways be found,
Work'd under ground,
Where he did clutch his prey ; but one did see
That policy :
Churches and altars fed him ; perjuries
Were gnats and flies ;
It rain'd about him blood and tears, but he
Drank them as free.
Emyn awakens lying on his back near the center of the northern wall of this chamber. His torch lies on the ground, burning nearby towards the center of the room and illuminating it in its flickering light. He remembers entering this room and can recall a poem from somewhere, a dream? A name comes to his mind, Elrae? He's not sure who that is, but something tells him he would like it.
The room is a large, dusty, empty room. There is a collapsed tunnel in the western wall. [btw, just roll with these dimensions. They aren't necessarily correct, but they are map orientations.] There is also a man-sized hole in the ceiling above, about 12' up. He cannot reach it though. It is dark above, and he cannot make out anything. In the eastern wall is a large, iron-bound, wooden double door. It looks very stout.
So, each square is 10'. You should be able to see the room clearly enough. The rubble-filled tunnel is to the west. A hole in the middle of the floor is actually the hole in the ceiling. Double doors to the east. Emyn's actually on the west wall. No biggie. His torch lies in the center of the room.
Emyn slowly gets to his feet, stiff from lying on the hard stone.
"Where am I? How did I get here?" he ponders aloud as he walks over the pick up the torch. He investigates the room further, shining the torchlight upward into the hole in the ceiling to look in there, finally stopping at the double doors to see if there is anything to read on them. If there is not, he will listen at the doors (and at the collapsed tunnel) to see if there is something he can figure out. If there isn't he will strap his shield across his back and set the torch back on the floor. He will then open the door.
Emyn doesn't hear anything, except maybe the sound of wind from above. When he picks up his torch, he sees a gathering of snow on the ground around it, falling through the hole in the ceiling. As for the collapse, it's pretty complete. Moving over the doors, he finds they open rather easily.
It seems that these doors open into a north/south hallway with alcoves. You can only see a little bit right now, with the torch back on the floor. In each alcove is a statue of a small elf-halfling creature, maybe 2' tall or so.
Emyn picks up his torch [you didn't say this, but it's obvious, since otherwise you won't be able to see!] and enters the hallway. The torch only illuminates 30', and as far as you can see to the north and south, the hallway is identical. When he takes a closer look at them, he finds that they are not statues at all. Rather, they are mummified bodies, mostly skeletal, though with some kind of ancient leather armor on. They have tiny swords as well.
He notices the symbols on his gear, but he has no memory of what they mean.
"Disturbing the dead is bad business," he mutters to himself as he fingers a wedding ring on his hand, puzzled by just why it is there. "Blasted brain, why can't I remember anything? Only this Elrae name. I know I am a warrior...maybe he is my god? OH Elrae the great and powerful," he cries out. "Come to me in this hour of need!""
When he gets no result, he shrugs and walks southward down the hallway, keeping an eye on those mummified midgets.
[DM OOC: Now THAT's funny! Praying to the party's bard!]
OK, just posting the full map. My progress map constantly updated as we played, so I'm just posting the final one here. You all will have to just follow Emyn's progress from it.
When he gets 30' down the hallway, the skeletons suddenly spring to life. However, since he was watching them, they do not surprise him at all. The hallway continues out of sight.
Emyn will draw the morning star and prepare to defend himself. He will fight his way back to the doors if possible to avoid being encircled. He backs up to the doorway where he first entered, slamming the first mini-skeleton that approaches him and shattering it. However, they are so small (only 2') that he can't keep them from flowing through the other door. He is attacked by about 10 tiny swords, but they all miss, clanging lightly off his armor.
"Oh mighty Elrae," cries Emyn, "give me the strength to defeat these many foes!"
Emyn destroys two more skeletons the next round, while taking two scratches [1 and 2; total 3]. More slip into the chamber, and he is surrounded.
He backs up, fighting defensively, and turns around, getting his back to a wall. He avoids all the skeleton attacks, and realizes that he is very skilled at fighting defensively.
[DM OOC: He has remembered the Defensive Stance ability.]
Fighting defensively, it takes him a bit longer, but he is able to avoid the skeleton attacks and eventually destroy them all.
"Strange," Emyn mutters. "Why would I be better at defensive fighting than offensive. Am I a guard of some sort?" Not knowing the answer, he moves back into the skeleton hallway to further explore.
The hallway continues for another 40' more than when he stopped last time. There is a door in a niche on the east wall, and just below that a 10' hallway continues east another 100' or so. There is a door on the north wall, towards the end of that hallway, as well as a door at the end. He walks back north, until the large passage turns to the east. He can see down it about 30'. It continues into the darkness. About 20' down are a couple of mummified centaurs, and about 10' beyond, just on the edge of the light, are two more. A dead body lies in the center of the floor between the 2nd pair of centaurs. He cannot tell what kind of body it is.
Emyn will cave in the skull of a dead centaur with his morning star. One swift blow shatters the skull of the centaur, and the whole thing crumbles to dust. Unfortunately, the others immediately animate. Emyn has the distinct impression that an elf woman is shaking her head somewhere.....
The three there move forward, kicking and biting at him. He takes a blow from a hoof  which knocks him backwards.
Emyn will enter defensive stance using the morning star. He will shout, "For the honour of Elrae!" as he continues in full defensive stance against his foes.
[DM OOC: When you use your defensive stance, I need to tell me how many of your "to hit" bonuses you are putting to your AC. Otherwise, I will assume you use them all.]
Emyn hits one twice, destroying it as well, but more move up to attack. He fends off their blows easily, while hitting another. This goes on for a few minutes, during which he destroys two more, while taking another hoof blow .
He almost immediately takes two hooves in the mouth [3 and 4: total 7]. He finishes off another centaur. In the next round he destroys another, without taking a hit.
It takes another 5 minutes, but Emyn finishes off the centaurs. He takes one more hoof blow  in the process. He's taken . He then moves forward and checks out the passage. The end of the passage is collapsed and filled with rubble. There are two bodies, the first a man and the second a halfling. A cursory glimpse shows that the man has a shied with a symbol similar to that on Emyn's armor. The corpses are old, and there's nothing else of note except a belt pouch on the halfling. When you pick it up, it jingles with coin, and you find a smattering of coins within, as well as a few small gemstones.
Emyn will make his way to the door in the naive and listen at it after checking the centaur and midget corpses for anything of interest. He will also say a small prayer to Elrae for the souls of the fallen. You hear nothing. You think, "it'd really be nice if you could sense evil before stumbling onto it....."
Emyn gives it a shot, trying to see if there is somethinig evil behind the door as he invokes the name of Holy Elrae. Yes, he definitely senses evil on the other side of the door.
"I must be a paladin or cleric,"he says to himself. "No wonder I can remember Holy Elrae." He will check the other two doors in the same manner before proceeding. He doesn't sense anything.
Emyn will open the door at the end of the hall. It opens into a large chamber, 40' wide x 70' long. It is some kind of laboratory. It is filled with equipment like beakers, jars, funnels, hammers, etc. It reminds you of the alchemist's lab. "Alchemist? What alchemist, "you think. "Lyseious, that's his name." There are several tables, shelves, workbenches, desks, stools, chairs, etc. There are three doors, one to the west, one to the north, and one to the east. Detecting Evil again and you sense strong emanations from the east.
Emyn will look through any notes that might indicate what the evil might be if the alchemist conjured it or fell victim to it somehow. Then he will head through the north door. Most of it is no legible, or at least Emyn cannot read it. One book he finds is all about something called "lichdom."
Emyn then moves north and opens the door, revealing a short corridor. He follows it to a door at the far end, and opening that finds himself in an old armory. There are several wooden racks for stacking spears and swords, though three spears remain. There is a door to the north. It is open, and it leads to another collapsed corridor. [He's now in area 7.]
Emyn loops back around, following the southern passage to the door to area 8. He sense evil there and draws his bastard sword. It is superbly balanced and unnaturally sharp (being a +2 sword!). Emyn pauses, then goes back out to the first hallway to where the only door left that did not eminate evil was. It opens into a large chamber that seems to have been a storage room. It contains shelves and cabinets filled with all sorts of vials, bottles, and containers. Crates, barrels, and jugs fill the rest of the room. [area 5]
Searching around, he finds a concealed door in the west wall. You don't find anything that interests you, but you are pretty sure Hepla would like some of the dried herbs you find.
"Wait, who's Hepla?" he thinks. You look at your ring, and then remember she's your wife!
Emyn thinks about Hepla for a moment, wondering if they have children or not. For the first time since he arrived, he smiles. He sheathes his sword and grabs one of his javelins, planning to throw it as soon as he sees something bad. Opening the door, he see the inside is an old crypt. [area 4] Inside are two large sarcophagi, one opened. Standing in the room, looking at the other door, but turning back to you as you open the concealed one, is a wight.
Emyn throws the javelin at the thing, hitting it squarely in the chest. It is blasted backwards, as a lightning bolt blows a large hole right through it. It lies on the ground, a smoking ruin. [Emyn now remember that his javelins are magical Javelins of Lightning!]
Emyn examines the room, but finds nothing. The wight was actually a woman, long ago. The other sarcophagi is closed, and he senses no evil. Opening it reveals it to be empty.
"Maybe this crazy alchemist had a wife..." he ponders. He says a prayer to Elrae for her soul. Emyn will move to the door in the rear hallway and open it.
It opens into a large chamber. You can't see the other sides of it, but it seems to have been a large tomb. There are rotting tapestries on the walls, and only an old rickety wooden throne left on the far eastern wall. Sitting on the throne is another large, wight-like creature with glowing red eyes. It stands as you reach the center of the chamber.
Upon seeing the undead thing, Emyn whispers, Trithereon protect me. He then remembers everything.
He was sent to seek this tomb by High Priest Arx, for it supposedly held something which could help Emyn recover his lost strength. He set off into the Gnarley Forest, near to the lair of Caustichlorinus in fact, where he finally found the tomb. He remembers going inside when there was a large explosion. He set off some kind of trap, which knocked him out and for a time made him lose his memory. Now it all comes flooding back. He knows who and what he is and what he must now do.....
Emyn says to the creature, "I seek to treat with thee, fearsome one. Your rest need not be disturbed and I will make my way from here is you can but provide me with an item I seek. Something that restores vitality to the body."
The thing surges forward, faster than Emyn would have thought possible, slamming him with its undead fist . Emyn tries to summon help from the Great and Powerful Elrae. Then remembers he should be calling on Trithereon. As expected, nothing happens. [DM OOC: That'll teach you to worship false gods!]
He attacks it, cutting it . Emyn takes another blow , then hits the thing twice more, killing it. It collapses at his feet, and he could swear he sees relief in its twice dead eyes as it falls.
Emyn says a short prayer to Trithereon for the souls that were lost here.
"This place is like a prison for these unfortunates. Something must have gone very wrong when this alchemist tried to become a lich."
He will search the corpse to see if there is anything he can learn or find out about this place or how things came to be this way and whether there is a way to set things right. He finds a large ring hanging from a necklace, from which hang seven keys. He will take the keys and then search the room in general as well as the throne and tapestry in particular to see if anything can be found or learned.
He finds nothing within, though there is a concealed door beyond the northern tapestry. It reveals a corridor leading away and winding. He moves into it a ways, and then it branches around. He quickly finds himself lost in a maze. He eventually finds his way through, and the maze ends in a door. It is not locked. He senses no evil beyond. Opening the door reveals a small chamber. Along the walls are seven chests. You have found the treasury. However, standing in the center is a large undead minotaur!
Emyn throws another Javelin, which misses and hits a chest, exploding and totally destroying the trunk. The zombie minotaur charges him, butting him for  and knocking him backwards and on his ****! Emyn now has only 14 hit points left!
Emyn rolls away from the minotaur as it slams its great axe into the ground, shattering the stone floor on impact. As it readies its axe again, Emyn continues to roll away and stands, prepared for the worst.
The minotaur attacks again, slamming its axe into Emyn's torch. It blasts the torch into pieces, sending burning embers flying around. They settle around the chamber, where they lie smoldering, glowing islands in a sea of darkness. Emyn must now fall back on his blind fighting ability, as the chamber is nearly pitch black!
He avoids the minotaur, using Defensive Stance while attempting to summon aid from Trithereon. He isn't successful. Remain in defensive stance using the bastard sword double handed. He will be 75% defense 25% offense, attempting to kill it while avoiding harm.
"Trithereon, why have you forsaken me!" he demands.
[DM OOC: Maybe you should pray to the Great and Powerful Elrae! BTW, you get +6 "to hit" total, which of course doesn't divide equally. I will go with +2 to hit and +4 to AC.]
Emyn continues his fight, slashing into the darkness and hitting the creature . He also avoids being hit again, though he feels the near miss as the thing's great axe cleaves the air right by Emyn's ear!
Emyn will pray silently to Trithereon as he continues to fight placinf half in def and half in attack.
Emyn hits the thing again , but is struck again by another blow . Emyn's down to . He then slashes it again, hitting for another . Emyn has done  damage to the undead minotaur, which just continues its relentless attacks in the dark.
Emyn takes out his last javelin, and stabs it into the minotaur, blasting it nearly in two. The concussive force blows Emyn backwards as well, and he slams into the wall . The undead minotaur lies on floor, burning, but it doesn't move.
Emyn doesn't have any more torches, but he does have a lantern. He quickly lights it, and then sees without problems. He's in a treasure room with 7 chests. Well, one is destroyed, but there are still 6 more. The keys he found open the various chests. Emyn finds the following:
Chest 1: various coins of all types, mostly copper and silver
Chest 2: shattered by the lightning bolt. It contains a couple dozen vials which are all shattered, the contents spilled out everywhere.
Chest 3: another chest full of various coins of all types, again, mostly copper and silver.
Chest 4: a gold necklace, two silver broaches with small gemstones, a gold armband, a gold ring set with a large Star Sapphire, a silver and gold headband, and a small statuette of a war horse with Amethyst eyes.
Chest 5: A well-preserved tapestry of a sylvan glade
Chest 6: A book
Chest 7: Empty. A large bag with holes in it rests within, and it's tied to the lock. It looks like it was a gas trap, but it's long ruined.
[Emyn OOC: Damn! Blew up the potions.]
Emyn will search for a secret door after gathering everything in the hope of finding an exit that does not involve trying to get out of the hole in the entranceway.
"Thank you Trithereon for your protection in this dark place. I fear I am too weakened to destroy the final evil in this crypt but I shall gather the bodies of the others who fell here and given them a proper burial. One of those dedicated to you is among their number. I hope I brought vengeance in a manner that honours him and you," he says.
After a moment's consideration he also says, "I hope you will forgive me for my trespasses by invoking the name of Elrae as my god. While he is a good friend my lack of memory led me to a false conclusion. You have my abject apology and I will submit to any penance you or the Archbishop deem appropriate."
You can use the wooden throne or tables from the other room to create a ladder, or spend a few hours digging your way back out. Either way, you can get out, where your warhorse waits for you. Then you spend a few hours gathering up everything before departing. You find that you are in the edge of the Gnarley, close to the lair of Caustichlorinus, but a bit further NW. Anyway, you make it back without issue, bringing the bodies with you as well. You gain much favor for returning them; I was totally ready to penalize you for leaving them, especially the other Avenger!
Once he returns to Verbobonc, he will speak with Cornelius Arx.
"Your Holiness, I have brought what I have found the in place you sent me. There was on last source of evil that I was too weakened to vanquish. I thought it wiser to return here and bring the bodies of our fallen brother and his companion. I do not know who they are but they deserve a proper burial. I must also confess that when I entered the tomb, there was an explosion and I fell and struck my head. I lost all memory and the one name that came to me that made me feel safe and secure was that of my friend Elrae, though I knew not that he was my friend. I falsely assumed he was a warrior god, for I knew only that I was a warrior. I prayed to him for aid instead of to the Summoner. Though I was unaware of my transgression, I am still responsible for it and I submit myself to you and Trithereon for penance."
High Priest Arx blesses you, conferring any atonement that may be necessary. He also takes the chest of money for the church. The jewelry he leaves to Emyn, as his financial reward. "I believe you know somebody who is partial to Star Sapphires," he adds with a sly wink.
He then takes the warhorse statue. "Ah, wonderful. I never imagined old Sollers had an Equus." He hands it back. "If you can find its name, you will have a wonderful boon companion."
He then takes out the book. "This is your true reward. A Manual of Bodily Health. Take this, study it, and you shall regain some small measure of your sapped vitality."
Emyn is thankful for everything. He also requests a priest to consecrate the church in Nulb, which is nearing completion. He expresses his hope that teh church there can eventually become a training ground for Avengers. Emyn will then return home, where he will immediately settle down to study the manual.
He gains +1 to his Con, returning it to 15. So, all done and good job!
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