Date: Fri, 28 Apr 2000 20:13:10 -0400
Reply-To: The GREYtalk Discussion List
Here is an interesting way to create a sensible sequence of events that explains the disappearance of the Machine of Lum the Mad from Oerth?..and how to work it into the Vortex of Madness adventure.
The Wizard Karoolck, having been recently deposed of his power due to the absence of Overking, has now been devising a way to re-establish his power base. Having suffered losses in the Holocaust of Rauxes, the magical battle between the nobility of the kingdom, in their vie for the malachite throne, Karoolck has been looking for a means of advancing his position in the new Kingdoms of Aerdy. Together with his Baatezu ally Baalzephon, they have manipulated the Diviner Anaranth into researching the Machine of Lum the Mad. The machine has not been actively used since Xaene experimented with its powers and Karoolck knows that it will be the key to future successes in Rauxes and other parts of the former Great Kingdom. Due to the intense fear Karoolck has of his former master Xaene, the archmage seeks the secrets of
the Machine slowly and carefully. Sensing traps and other maladies, the archmage combs the Machine meticulously to ensure that it power will not consume him.
Recent events, as described in the adventure, The Vortex of Madness, have caused the Machine to be thrown from Oerth, or perhaps it may have been caused by the presence of the Crook of Rao or the Mace of Saint Cuthbert. In any case, it currently resides in the Outer Planes and has been reunited with its former master?
Faced with defeat before his plans have a chance to manifest, Karoolck decides to rely on the forces of good to retrieve the Machine from its extra planar lair. Deep with the bowels of Rifter Castle, Anaranth studies the mystery of the Machines disappearance and passes this information to Karoolck.
Now Karoolck has a golden opportunity. He must devise a scheme to lure his enemies to Rifter Castle. In inviting them to his keep, Karoolck, the Elite Imperial Regulars, the Fiend Knights of Doom, and the Companion Guard will have an opportunity to slaughter as many would-be goodly adventurers that would dare storm Rifter Castle, the refuge of Ivid III.
The archmage will flood fake documents and a false story into Nyrond, Furyondy, Veluna, Celene, Ratik, that a warlord of the Former Great Kingdom is about to unleash the powers of an ancient Artifact upon the forces of good. The story will discuss how this artifact has been harnessing energies of the lower planes to fuel the destructive power of the artifact. This should surely lure the forces of good into action.
After depopulating the land of as many adventurers as possible, he will leave the battle during a time when a promising group of adventurers comes along. If they appear to be gaining ground or wining the conflict, Karoolck will give order to the Imperial Regulars and the Companion guard to fall back and strategically retreat to other portions of the keep. In a well staged effort to give an adventuring group access to Rifter Castle, the guard will put up token resistance to the progression of the adventuring party. In their defeat of the castle guard, they will eventually gain access to the lower levels of the castle. Here they will face the Fiend
Knights and either defeat them or be destroyed. In the chance that the party is successful, they will eventually penetrate the lab where a disguised Karoolck and Anaranth are working.
The final room will be a cross between a diviners research library and an artificers lab. In the middle of the opposing wall will be an unstable swirling color pool (that leads to Limbo). In this room will be the two Archmages (Karoolck and Anaranth) and the party of adventurers. The mages will claim to have arrived recently to stop the madman and his crazy artifact, but in a magical duel, the warlord mad mad escaped through a portal he made with the machine. The mages will have used some illusionary magic to create some battle damage upon their persons The mages will relate that his final words were seemingly incoherent ramblings about the deaths of kings and the oppression of all that is good. ?We think he may use the
transportation magic of the artifact to enter Chedl or Rel Mord and unleash
?If you are able to return the artifact to us, we know the proper incantations and rituals to render it inert. You would doing us all a favor by retrieving the out of control item and ending the inconvenience of the madman Warlord.
The party has to enter the portal and arrive in Limbo.
When the party returns through the portal (or however individual DMs want to do this) Karoolck and his companion will attack the party in full force with the remaining guard in an effort to force the retreat of the party and retain control of the Machine of Lum the Mad.
Forces of Rifter Castle
Elite Imperial Regulars (200)
AC 0; MV 12; F4; HP 50; Thaco 14; #AT 3/2; Dam by weapon type +6; SA nil; SD nil;
Equipment: Bastard sword, body shield, heavy dagger, flail, pike
Superiorly trained soldiers, many whom are veterans from the Greyhawk Wars, wear fine chainmail, carry a variety of superior quality Oeridan weaponry, and brandish the symbol of the Great Kingdom on their shields. The symbol is a yellow spiral sun on a blue background.
Companion Guard (20)
AC ?4 (platemail+2, shield proficiency, dex 16); MV 12; F7; HP 80; #AT 2; Dam 2d4+8 (bastard sword+2), d6+9 (mace); d6 +5 (shield), 2d4+8 (flail) SA nil; SD nil; MR 15%; Equipment potions of extra-healing, fire-breath, flying, speed
The elite shock troopers and cavalry of the former Great Kingdom. They also brandish the old symbol of heraldry on their shields. These are the most well trained legions of the Flanaess.
Companion Guard Captains (2)
AC ?4 (fiend-plate +1, shield proficiency, dex 18): MV 12; F13; HP 120; #AT 3;
Dam d10+8 longsword, d8+ 6 Body Shield, 2d4+8 Flail, d4+10 heavy daggers; SA grand mastery, critical hits on rolls of 16; SD immune to fire, poison, iron, and suffer half damage from gas and cold; MR 45%
Fiend Knights (15)
AC ?7 (shield proficiency, Plate-mail +3, dex 18); MV 12; F9; HP 115; Thaco 6; #AT 2; Dam d10+10 (two-handed sword+3, mastery); SA critical hits on a roll of 16; SD +3 or better weapon to hit, immune to sleep, charm, hold, and illusion/phantasm spells 4th level or less; MR 20%