Challenging my high-lvl group (NPCs and monsters; my players shouldn't read this!)

GreyShadow

Explorer
Is there still a spell that allows you to talk to stone? If so, find an ancient rock and talk with it... in fact, I'd probably use the shield that someone carries as that ancient rock.
 

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Kaodi

Hero
Hmmm...

Since I know you have the MM2, so how about a half-earth elemental/half-elder psurlon psion (seer)... It would combine many of the ideas presented so far into a single whole. Perhaps this character seeks knowledge from psychic impressions left upon the earth itself...
Now, this psurlon would probably be the Defenders best source of information on the Worms. The problem is, they have to gather information from two or three scholars just to find out he/she exists.

Perhaps, back in the day, Psurlons existed during the time of the Worms, or were created by the Worms, or something to that effect. In order to escape destruction, they fled to the elemental plane of earth, which seemed to them to be the most natural haven, and eventually became creatures of that plane. Since the awakening of the remaining worms, several psurlons who possessed knowledge passes down at that time have decided to try and fill the gaps in their records, as well as any information on their " cousins " current activities. Only a few people have had contact with these mysterious creatures since their arrival, as the other affairs of the world don't really concern them.

Another idea is a young woman, 19-22 years of age, who is almost completely insane, except that she has an almost god-like ability to absorb and retain information. The girl who knows everything, except why she knows everything of course (maybe her almost god-like ability isn't almost at all). Other than that, she probably has some really crazy quirks, like talking about herself in the third person, constantly telling the Defenders about themselves, talking about theoretical knowledge about concepts that won't otherwise exist for thousands of years, you name it. She'll probably be frustrated about the lack of information she has been able to find on the Worms, and will then proceed to talk about them making references to texts and lectures shes never seen or heard.

I'll try to come up with some more later today.

Uh, before I go, there is also the awakened fish who became interested in the topic because worms are his favourite delicacy.
 
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Steverooo

First Post
Mysteries of the Worm:

Like layers of an onion, so are the Days of Our Tears!...

There are several good sources of info, for this:

Go Cthonic with it (your wife will LOVE you)! De Vermis Mysterious, being translated, is "Mysteries of the Worm". Any decent library of Cthulhu will have a copy (just ask Cthulhu's Librarian)! It was also referenced at the beginning of Hellboy, and is oft-mentioned by the ancient Seer Luveh-Keraph, Priest of Cryptic Bast. Surely the DoD picked up a copy in Nacreous. They could learn much of the Worms, therein, but it is similar to the Necronomicon, in that it drives characters of less than 12th level insane, and is sanity-blighting for most readers (See the 1e Deities and Demigods, under the Cthulhu mythos - have you found the Elder Sign?)

This is good for many reasons, as Elder (& Co.) have always reminded me of Lovecraft's Cthonians, burrowing through the earth, gnawing it for some, unknown, reason... They can cause earthquakes, and lay rock-like eggs which eventually hatch diminutive babies.

Perhaps they gnaw the world to change its orbit, to bring it under the right stars... Or, perhaps they gnaw it to cause it to break up, destroying all other life on the planet. Lovecraft's Dholes seem to like dead worlds...

Another source for info is the mind of our favorite Mad Monk, Rasputin Stone-Bear! That Worm was in his head for a looooooonnnggg time!... Surely it must have left SOME refuse! With his self-discipline, and the aid of a powerful Psychic, perhaps they could gain some useful clues, like a Ranger looking at critter scat... :D

And those Worms have been up to something... We don't know what, yet, but we do know that they've BOTH been up to more than just lying still... Wandering somewhere in the Underdark, madder than a hatter (who go mad because mercury was used to stiffen hat-brims, just in case you didn't know, this slowly poisoning them) is a witlessly-scared Deep Gnome, with the misfortune to have run into one of them!... He can't tell you much (even after the application of a Heal spell cast especially for the purpose of curing madness, and stopping his jibbering), but what he CAN tell the DoD is where one of them was, a short time ago (and any other info he saw, in his last, brief flashes of sanity, which he probably doesn't understand the signifigance of... Say! Didn't Priggle once say something about a Deep Gnome missing from his village?)

What about the force of creation, for Spira? The gods entered after hearing the death-throes of the last living creature... Who made them? Is he/she/it dead? If not, he/she/it was a witness to the whole thing. Also, there must have been a god of death, there, too... Did he/she/it die? (That is not dead which can eternal lie; and with strange aeons, even Death may die...) And the force of Entropy? Surely it has been around, all that time... if it can be communicated with... (see below).

Any form of Immortals are also likely candidates. Also, the gods of Spira locked the Worms away, so they should have plenty of knowledge about them (at least the ones already "seated", or ascended, before that time). Perhaps not Calphas, Aeo(n)s, nor Galanna, but somebody...

Also, I find it odd that Imbindarla's portfolio hasn't been filled... Sure, the D(a/o)rk Hunger swiped the Undead portion, but the crawling things?... That obviously went somewhere ELSE! (Now I wonder who would be interested in THAT?)!! Does the phrase "The Crawling Chaos" ring any bells? Maybe... a WORM?!? :uhoh:

Also, see the 1e Melnibonean Mythos, and look up the Vulture-Lions... These were the "Creatures of Matik", who was an ancient Melnibonean Sorcerer-King. He went to Limbo, and formed them directly out of Chaos, itself. Anyone of noble Melnibonean blood is supposed to be able to command them... Where is Eve a Princess from, again? Does she speak High Melnibonean? If so, she could probably wander into Limbo (now that the Slaadi are all invading Mechanus), and find some of Matik's Creatures to question... Since Melnibone' was in the world that came before, perhaps the Creatures of Matik, who were formed there, know somewhat of the Worms that Arioch unleashed in the battles that destroyed it...

Then there are the dead gods... Ever read Godstalk, or A Rage of Rathorns? The city in the first novel had a "Feast of Dead Gods", yearly, in which dead gods got to come back, for one night. Elric also ran into Darnizhan, one of the dead gods, who was still quite capable, despite his medical condition... Maybe the DoD could find one of these sorts, for better or worse? (Where's Nolin's high Diplomacy, when you need it?) :]

Of course, the Necronomicon, the "Book of Dead Names", or "Book of the Names of the Dead" will probably have to be consulted, extensively... That's not a good thing! It's a good thing that (most of?) the DoD are above 12th level, eh? :p

So, see anything you like, yet? :confused: :uhoh:
 
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Thornir Alekeg

Albatross!
Not sure if this idea is completely feasible, some of the backstory might contradict Mara or Malachite's player or the church of Aeos' background/history...

In a village lives a former priestess of Aeos. Years ago, the priestess accompanied a group of heroes searching for [insert something appropriate here] into a set of caverns not far from where she now resides. While in the caverns, there as a collapse that sealed the heroes into the caverns and killed all but the priestess. Trapped without light, the priestess wandered aimlessly trying to find a way out. Whenever she became exhausted and lay her head upon the rocks of the cavern to sleep, she began to hear strange rumblings and whisperings in her mind; unknowingly she could "hear" some of the surface thoughts of the Worms. Weeks later, dehydrated, emaciated and not completely sane, she found her way out of the caverns. After all her time in the darkness, the light of the sun now burns her eyes, but she fears the darkness even more. She spends her days in village tavern sitting in a corner that is protected from the sunlight, but surrounded by candles to ward off the dark. She drinks most of the day so that when night falls, she can drop into a drunken sleep. Sometimes she has passes out in the streets while walking home. On those nights, with her head once again lying upon the earth, she can hear the deep rumblings of the worms. The locals fear touching her to help her home when this happens as she tends to talk strange words, full of hatred and darkness.
 

Anti-Sean

First Post
An awakened butterfly swarm that has heard a near infinite amount of secrets whispered into the wind over time. (Or perhaps a powerful psion used True Mind Switch, and this is its current body) The swarm must engulf anyone it wishes to communicate with (Poor Agar!) Is it a benign sage, or is it an Eeeeevil butterfly swarm?

An advanced kraken with Druid/Warlock gestalt levels and an army of sahuagin worshippers. or sahuagin enemies... The sea holds many secrets.

An ancient temple full of Monk/Bard/Loremasters lost all of their historical texts ages ago in a great fire. Since then, they have tattooed all of the information they receive onto the bodies of the acolytes. But how do they store and retrieve that information after a monk dies? Is there a gigantic mausoleum that needs to be searched through? Do they animate their dead? Gather Information checks at this temple are not for the prude or squeamish :)

A homonculus who mysteriously survived its masters death and has continued its research over the years, or a group of gargoyles who started reading the ancient tomes in their tower out of boredom, and began research of their own after it sparked their interest.

As far as Ioun's empire goes, the orbiting stones reminded me of valences from high school chemistry classes ages ago. I was all excited about how nice Valencia would sound as the name of his empire, until I remembered the city/region of Spain with the same name... drat!
 

ConnorSB

First Post
So the gods arrived upon hearing the scream of the last living thing that the worms killed, right? Why not make the party have to contact that individual- the last living thing that died might have some interesting things to say about how it all went down. This contact of course smacks of impossibility as that creature was not just prehistoric, but effectively pre-divine.

Contact with such a being would require forces so primal that comprenhending them is nigh-impossible, as they are forces that in as sense came before the idea of comprension. Sanity checks?

That said, one sort of Meta way you could get across how impossibly old this being is is to use not 3.5 edition rules, not 3rd or 2nd or 1st edition rules, but perhaps Chainmail (Gygax's origional wargame, not the new collectable WotC thing) rules to play out the scenario.

An NPC so old he's not even from the same game!
 

Raging Epistaxis

First Post
Some cool ideas so far!

All I can come up with is something along the lines of the Lost Library of Alexandria - A huge repository of ancient knowledge that was destroyed/lost in eons past. It would be difficult to discover the location of it, then challenges to overcome in finding the information - different languages, guardians, method of storage etc.

For some reason I keep having the image of the Knight of the Cruciform Sword from Indiana Jones and the last crusade - he's been guarding the resting place of the Grail for how many hundreds of years, waiting for his replacement. The good guys get there at the same time/just before the bad guys, there is a test to overcome, etc etc.

When I first saw your request for ideas a day or two ago I thought these might be worthy basis for ideas, but they are far outclassed by other suggestions here. still, it's what comes to mind.

R E
 

Knight Otu

First Post
Seule said:
Now, being mostly immobile, ...
If a fly speed of 180 ft (perfect), along with five rounds of haste per day, and the caster ability of an at least 21th level character is "mostly immobile", I don't want to see what a truly mobile character is capable of. ;)

Stone Tell still exists, a level 6 Druid spell.
Hmm, is the seal that keeps the worms at bay stone? I can't remember...
 


Kaodi

Hero
More Ideas

The half-fiend son of a noblewoman of Corsai is a scholar of ancient history and pre-history. His father, a unique devil, is the guardian of a cache of artifacts in Baator (mostly the archaeological kind, but maybe one or two of the magical kind as well) from before the Worms destroyed everything. The half-fiend has been denied his human birthrights be the church of Aeos and the government of Corsai, but the father wants these things returned to him as the price of a *chance* to negotiate entry into the vault. The sons knowledge is not insignificant though, and he might be persuaded to sell his knowledge for a different price, such as the Defenders helping him convince the daughter of a prominent government figure to marry him. Despite his parentage and appearance, he isn't really any more evil than your average unscupulous merchant or aristocrat. The father however, is thoroughly evil and sinister.

And then there is the guy who unknowingly swiped an important book from a massive library, and has it at his own residence in a rougher section of a city, where it could be stolen.

And how about a monk/sorcerer vampire that was the previous beneficiary of Elder's guidance...

And also, perhaps the younger sister of an elven queen came across some piecemeal information in the days of her youth, when she was forced to study history thoroughly in preparation of the chance she might one day be needed to ascend the throne.
 
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