Tower of the Mad Hermit

The Slaadi have sent a raiding party. They’re able to somehow bypass the Wall of M’Drone and sneak in a half dozen or soo raiders into the realm of six circles. The Slaadi are ferocious and never let themselves be taken alive by the monks.. But the PC’s will not be recognized as anything more than a random threat. The slaadi may think they are a random encounter and there may be an opportunity to take a captive there. Use the chamber of circles to transport yourself and find them.

> Explanation of the six guardians
The PC’s will be told an overview that within each of the six realms is a guardian of knowledge. They look over the realm, and keep the passage from one end to another clear. Each realm has a unique guardian. Those entering the realms via the chamber of circles will, through magic, inform the guardian immediately that they have arrived, and the guardian will not bopther them or their mission. May help them. All guardians can see out of the eyes of many of the statues found in the 6 lands.

Mind Fortress of Denovias the Seer
A renegade monk named Gaerth Myre (gayerth my-ray) stole from the reliquary a device that created a massive tower from a toy of the same look. He believed that he alone understood the purpose of the cosmos… that it was all just one big wager, one throw of the dice, nothing more than luck – a great heresy to his faith and people. He could not leave, the others would not allow his heresy to spread, and so he sought out a magical item in the reliquary that would give him the power to keep the rest at bay. He found a cube of Daerens Instant Fortress, and found the limestone caverns where the dream [purple] wurm once tunneled to be the perfect spot to raise the tower. Since then he has shut himself away, stealing meagre amounts from the gardens outside the monastery. So far, he has bucked the odds and managed to survive for over a hundred years. He accepts visitors – other monks who wish to explore his heresy of “luck”. He has made no other converts.

False History of the Mind Fortress
What is told to strangers: A creature came a hundred years ago and raised a fortified tower where a series of tunnels came up and out of the “dead” lands where a great dream worm once dwelled near the gardens in the valley behind the monastery the monks killed a long time ago. He sent an entourage as Denovias the Seer, a seeker of knowledge and sold himself as someone who could add to their knowledge, more than they could add to his. He has turned out to be a charlatan… but one of no consequence. He has stolen a few baubles at one point, when the monks had become complacent in their vigilance of him. Since then, there is always an automaton watching at the least. He is now bordering on madness, he goes by other names, but the monks remember Denovias.
His tower sits over the dream caverns, a place where strange fumes came from across the gulfs of time and space. Many used to seek extraordinary meditation there, hoping to meet a great worm in their dreams that would impart insight and wisdom to the answers they sought. His placement of this instant tower-fortress was no accident; he has gained power from it to hold back several attempts to capture and eject him. The dream worm would be a powerful ally in defending Escalon and so finding a way to do this would be deeply appreciated.

What is planted in strangers thoughts:
They should seek him out and try and pry him out of his seemingly impenetrable fortress.
That the knowledge of them returning home a safer way is locked into a set of keys that the mad hermit Denovias…. This will be “hinted” at in casual conversation (Insight) or spoon fed by direct asking (Investigation) for more information about the tower. – DC 5
He has stolen something of great power. – DC 9
He believes not in the bulwark of reason and discipline of tests, but in luck and chance (it is a heresy!) – DC 15 check; if a major result then there is something more personal here than it appears on the surface as a difference of opinion.
His experiments from the fungus field have yielded strange and powerful results.Even the monks see him sometimes in their own dreams. – DC 13
Although most are not true, the last two are. Strange and powerful they are, but also dangerous. And the monks cannot help themselves but speak ill of a once-fellow monk.

What is not told to strangers: Although suspicious over time, they tolerated his efforts to get something for nothing in return. Thwarted for a hundred years he was, until he decided to steal. Knowledge stolen from the monastery has made him dangerous and he has too much knowledge of the six seals. What he does not realize until too late is that any structure which is added to the demiplane becomes part of it – so he lost his prized magical item. After his theft, the monks set automatons to watch him, to ensure he was not going to move on the wizard. They used psychic powers to cause tremors around the tower so that the defender is scared.
The worm is a purple worm, come from some dimensional rift and transformed by the fumes. If it were made material again, havoc would break loose. Killing the dream worm though would also release eons of dreams, assailing even the impregnable tower of Gaerth Myre.

Ending the Truce of the Mind Fortress
The monks will tell the party that he needs to warned or even better, destroyed.
“Hes has even taken, by magical means, our form. He tries to be one of us. But he is dangerous. Even if we leave him to die, he may steal some secrets and items better left blasted than in the hands of our enemies and he might have a way out that he has been saving all these years. Perhaps that was always his plan, perhaps he is even responsible for the recent attention we have received from your place of origin. Regardless, he IS dangerous. Whatever he may have in the way of stolen items, we have replaced. If you can achieve victory, whatever he has is yours.”
DC 15 Insight to detect some falsehood in their tale. They will not admit to it, saying only that this is what they know, although others in the ranks had their suspicions of other things over the years… but they have all passed. This is true, but they did pass on the belief that this may have been their own demise they brought on themselves – that for something to last as long as the monastery, some aberration had to come about as a result.

“Beware though – he is a deceiver, and a powerful wizard. Do not let him cast a spell over you, do not give him a chance.“
Again, DC 15 Insight… they are not aware of any specific spell powers he possesses, but are saying it to get the party to act without giving their once-brother a chance to explain himself.

Places of the Mind Fortress
You travel through the fungus gardens of the monastery, and up the strange porous hill sides that surround it. At the edge of the gardens are strange devices that seem to catch water of the air – for there is a small trickle into the gardens and atop each is what appears to be an odd, clear sail. There is only one place the porous rock slopes down… providing a natural trail 50’ up to the base of the tower. As you climb to the top of the rise, where handhold have been dug in, you are greeted by an automaton. His body faces the entrance to the tower, and his head is all the way turned around to look at you. When it sees you, its head returns to the vigil of the tower before it.
It will answer no questions, and in general ignore everyone.

As you approach the fortress, you see a few of the strange sail-like structures on the top of it. It is solid – more solid than it appears from a distance. The walls must be immensely thick. The base is made of stone, with walls 2 feet thick. Atop it is a level of what appears to be stained glass. On top of that is some sort of rose-colored crystal. The 4th level is made of a black glass, like obsidian. There appears to be only a single door and windows are not readily apparent at all. A small overhang provides shelter above the door – the only adornment on the entire structure other than the crenelations at the top.

The door is one made of dark stone, and obviously thick and probably barred. There is a massive inset lock – metal.
The door is barred from the other side. It takes 20 Strength to open it normally, 100 strength to try and break it down. It is locked as well; DC 14 lock with a trap that causes the overhang to swing down, crushing up to 3 targets in front of the large door for 4D12 bludgeon damage, Save vs. Dexterity for half. The overhang pulls back up by an automation on the other side. The latch, should the lock be picked, also has a trap DC 10 that poisons the person opening the door (CON DC 13 save or 4D4 necrotic damage and an agonizing effect (-1 on all checks, including initiative and damage) that lasts for 8 hours; save for half all effects.

The sides are smooth with no purchase. The top is crenelated, and may find purchase with a hook or catch of some sort.
> See Tower Top

Stone Level (base)
Cloak Room
Reception Room

Glass level (2nd)

Rose Quartz level (3rd)
The stairs are pained red and blue and and ascend gently and easily to a closed portal.

Work Area (research)

Obsidian Level (4th)
Stairwell (down) [This only goes down to level 3] The portal to the stairs that lead below is covered by chalk drawings. The drawings are of 3 serpents, each a different color.
Stairwell (up) [This includes a locked door, 10×10 landing and stairs to roof] Landing
Work Area (altar to chaos)
Work Area (lab)

Tower Top (5th)
Atop the tower are crenelations and 4 moisture collectors, one at each corner. A locked door is inset into the rooftop. The lock, while strong, does not look too complicated – the guardian beast probably provided the most security from here. There is a wire-wound rope coming from out of the level belong, attached to a bell on the rooftop – perhaps a signal system to the beast to not attack those coming from below.
There is a Chaos Beast guarding the roof top. The beast was summoned by Gaerth only by mixing funguses together in a dangerous mind altering ritual. This beast will use pseudopods, claws, and eye stalks to manipulate (STR 17) any ropes so that anyone climbing the tower falls from the maximum height.
The door takes a total of 40 STR to lift without using the crank mechanism below; the lock is a DC 14; it is also trapped with poison (DC 14 Constitution save, die in 2 rounds). The bell warning system works both ways, and the guardian beast would have warned those below. There is a furth trap when the door is opened, that if the bell rope is not pulled tight, it will release a dust into the air both above and below. The dust is a transmutation dust that has the same effect as the chaos beast transmutation; it explodes covering a 20’ cube centered on the door above, and the entire entry level room on obsidian level; it only affects living things, not automatons.

Basement of Basalt & Tunnels of trolls
The tunnels of the old purple worm are large and easily navigated. There are many bored through what appears to be limestone. Its now inhabited by tiny red trolls. They attack in swarms of 50-100…. Theres about 400 total in the caverns.
Assault on the Mind Fortress

Battle Plan:
Will attempt a mass psychic reality to a cold land of death.
Death {stalking skeleton in robes)
Death minions = zombies and skeletons
Death dogs
Cold wind of the Grave

He will surrender rather than die. Hes really used up almost all his cache of magic fighting the monks. He does have knowledge he can trade. Tears of Trials He says that is plan was to try and negotiate to be able to do this himself, but doubts he can use it now with the Coatl guardian.

Awakening the Dream Wurm
This is a special heresy, and it causes pain to speak it even.
The Caverns of Broken Dream:
-With the tower’s roots in this place, the mind rot of Gaerth is certain and he is doomed.
Hunting the Wurm:
> Always elusive, always seem to slip away. Requires fungus and hallucination/dreams to actively hunt.
.. > A sacrifice must be made to the Dream Wurm to make it return to material form.
… > A horrible purple worm is what awaits the PC’s if they do this.
…. > Clever PC’s may be able to lure it with a dream and trap it back in dream wurm form again; this will be bad for