- 1 Never-ending Trickery
- 2 Where to Add This Adventure
- 3 Adventuring Hooks
- 4 Prologue: Fraz's Plan
- 5 Act 1: Free Me
- 6 Creature Information
- 7 Cursed Battle
- 8 Curse of the Hollow Heart
- 9 Removing the Curse
- 10 Act 2: Chasing Demons
- 11 The Clone's Tasks
- 12 Investigating
- 13 Elnoa Hazor
- 14 Confrontation
- 15 Defeating the Clone
- 16 Act 3: Hollow Heart's Mansion
- 17 A World of Illusions
- 18 Long-Awaited Deal
- 19 Lifting the Curse in the Mansion
- 20 First Floor
- 21 Basement
- 22 Second Floor
- 23 Conclusion
- 24 If the Black Jewel is destroyed…
- 25 If Vilhara breaks the Curse…
- 26 If the Curse just escalates…
- 27 If someone accepts the deal…
- 28 Similar Guides
Hello! I just wanted to share the first mini-adventure I wrote up. You can access the full document through this link:
All the important parts of the adventure are in this post. Parts of the original document have been cut due to the character limit. I added suggestions on what to replace them with if this link dies. Maps and helpful side-commends are in the document as well.
Fraz-urb'luu's life energy was trapped in a black jewel. It was, soon, destroyed, and its pieces were moved into the 176th layer of the abyss. After some time, Fraz-urb'luu (Fraz) was able to coax some demons into reforming the jewel, allowing him to slowly regain his lost power. In no time, Fraz was, once again, able to shape the white sand's of his home, creating a mansion in the center of an illusory oasis. With his lair rebuilt, Fraz begins to work on a new plan filled with lies and deceit. Will adventurers learn the trickery of the Prince of Deception?
Where to Add This Adventure
This served as the start to the NatChaos Channel's Alpaz: the First Ascension campaign. Although the party went through this adventure when they were in levels 4-6, they had plenty of support in terms of items and special abilities. However, the adventure is truly for 5th to 7th level characters and is optimized for four characters with an average party level (APL) of 6.
This part is available in the document. If the document link is dead, make the party discover a portal to the abyss.
Prologue: Fraz's Plan
As the Prince of Deception, Fraz's true intentions can be hidden in many layers of secrecy. For this reason, as DMs go through the adventure, Fraz's plan may not be extremely clear. Hence, this section has been written up just to make things clearer.
Fraz's True Plan
Fraz wants to be released from his black jewel prison. To achieve this, he needs to perform an hour-long ritual with a willing good creature who can house the powers of the demon lord. Of course, no good creature who learns of the effects of the ritual will be willing to participate. Hence, he must trick a creature into performing the ritual.
Fraz has the ability to curse a creature, slowly turning them into a demon. His hope is that, by the time the curse is basically irreversible, Fraz will be able to make a deal with the cursed creature, making them the sacrifice to the ritual he planned. The issue, however, is that the curse needs some time to develop before it comes close to being irreversible. Thus, he needs a distraction and a way to deliver the curse.
Fraz has created a clone of himself using the white sands that fill his layer in the Abyss. The clone will curse a creature and then make it appear as if someone has just set a Demon Lord free into the Prime Material plane. Using this, Fraz will place the curse and distract the creature until it develops.
Why not just abduct a creature? Most creatures considered "good" will probably just sacrifice themselves for the good of the world. In addition, characters who are powerful enough to house the power of Fraz will probably have a way to just escape in the middle of the ritual.
Why not just threaten to kill the loved-one of a character? Most deaths are reversible. A character may simply let their loved-one die and find someone who knows how to cast the True Resurrection spell. This and other spells, however, cannot reverse demonic transformation. Why not use some spells from the school of enchantment? Spells like Suggestion and Dominate Person all require concentration. There is a high risk that the spell will end while performing the ritual.
Why not just let the character transform into a demon? This is probably the biggest flaw of Fraz's plan. His hope is that the creature he lures into his trap will have people who would not let this happen. Otherwise, he simply has to rely on his deception. For example, Fraz may say that the cursed character will actually turn into Fraz himself and that he will only return to the Abyss if the others agree to terms that will help him achieve his True Plan.
Act 1: Free Me
The clone of Fraz-Urb'luu looks exactly like Fraz-Urb'luu and acts precisely as the Prince of Deception wishes. The clone will act as if it were the Demon Lord.
What does the clone want?
The clone wants to curse a creature and distract anyone from noticing the curse as it develops.
What does the clone know?
The clone knows that Fraz is still trapped in the black jewel. He also knows that his goal is to curse a creature.
The First Lie.
The clone, still trying to get used to its role, says "Free Me!", accidentally referring to how Fraz needs to be freed. It will cover this mistake up, saying something along the lines of "Don't chase me, and let me destroy this cursed city." The party can attempt to make a Wisdom (Insight) check, but they must roll against the clone's deception to which it gets a +10 bonus.
The clone will attempt to converse with the party, gauging if anyone would be willing to help Fraz's endeavor. If it does not find one, it will investigate who would be best to curse. The clone will not release this information to the party, still acting under the guise of needing to destroy the surrounding city. The party can gain this information if they succeed on DC15 Wisdom (Insight) or Charisma (Persuasion or Intimidation) check.
Once the clone has had enough of the conversation, it will attack the party. When it has discretely cursed a creature using the Phantasmal Killer, it will stop attacking the unconscious creature and flee the scene.
If needed, the clone can also call on several imps to aid it. They will quickly come through the portal to the Abyss.
Statblock for the clone of Fraz-Urb’luu are available in the document. If the document link is dead, make a CR12 version of Fraz-Urb’luu from MTF.
Curse of the Hollow Heart
This curse is created by Fraz-Urb'luu, not the clone but the demon lord himself. Once contracted, the cursed creature will feel a nagging sensation. Their mind begins to fill with negativity, and their self-esteem begins to drop. A DC10 Intelligence (Investigation) or Wisdom (Medicine) check on the cursed creature will reveal that it was caused by Fraz-Urb'luu. A DC13 Intelligence (Arcana) check will reveal that the curse slowly escalates, causing worse and worse effects.
More curse details are available in the document. If the document link is dead, just make the curse fully develop after 4 days.
Removing the Curse
The curse is a potent curse and cannot be cured through normal means. A Remove Curse spell may thwart the escalation of the curse, preventing it from worsening. A cleric or priest may know that Remove Curse spells can include several rare materials that could reverse the effects of the curse, but these materials are not readily available.
There are other ways to remove the curse. Through research, either by consulting a church or library, the party may learn that the curse will be lifted if they have experienced Fraz-Urb'luu's emotions which stem from being tricked by Vilhara, his human witch lover. Having killed someone you loved or being betrayed by someone you loved could be grounds for getting the curse lifted. Knowing this would require a DC20 Intelligence (History) check from any creature. Killing the creature that made the curse can also lift it. Of course, since the one who made the curse of Fraz-Urb'luu, this means that the black jewel in the abyss needs to be destroyed.
Fraz-Urb'luu and Vilhara
This story is available in the document. If the document link is dead, it basically tells the story of their life as a couple.
Curse statistics and descriptions are taken from or inspired by Grim Hollow's Campaign Guide.
Act 2: Chasing Demons
The Clone's Tasks
The clone can never leave the town in which the portal is. Once the party leaves the location of the portal, the clone will cast Mirage Arcane around the location of the portal to hide its location, making it appear as a tree, a floor tile, or any other surrounding object. If the creatures return to the location of the portal, a DC 19 Investigation check will reveal the location of the portal.
Once the clone has hidden the portal, it will use Alter Self to blend in with the rest of the town. Its hope is to not alert the local authorities and getting chased down by an army, so it will disguise itself instead of attacking creatures. However, it will stalk the party at all times. Any party member can make a Wisdom (Perception or Survival) or Intelligence (Investigation) check in order to detect the disguised clone following them. However, they must beat the clone's stealth check. If ever the clone is caught, it will assume a different form and use Mislead to escape.
The clone will only reveal its location if the party makes significant progress into lifting the curse or if they try to enter the portal. When this occurs, the clone will fight the party to the death while keeping the cursed creature alive.
To prevent such a confrontation, the clone will cause several distractions throughout the town. Every day, the clone will randomly cause one of the distractions below.
|1||The clone casts Dream on a party member, giving it nightmares and telling them that they are doing the wrong thing, regardless of the truth.|
|2||The clone creates a programmed illusion of what appears to be Fraz-Urb'luu, scaring travelers away from the forest.|
|3||The clone will use Confusion on the party, causing them to turn against each other.|
|4||The clone uses mirage arcane to turn the town hall into one giant boulder. None can get in or out.|
|5||The clone uses Seeming on a family of 5, turning them into an assortment of demons|
|6||The clone calls on the aid of 5 imps which ravage the local inn|
When the party comes to these distractions, they will notice white sand in the surrounding area. A DC15 Arcana check will reveal that it can be controlled using ancient magic. After attending to these distractions several times, a DC10 Nature or Survival check reveals that similar markings appear near the white sand sightings.
The party can consult libraries, churches, doctors, and the like in order to learn that one of their party members is cursed. However, without knowing who they are dealing with, they are unable to forecast how the curse escalates or how to remove it. Nonetheless, they can highlight several odd behaviors of the clone which will hopefully lead the party into realizing that the demon they encountered is not here to destroy the town. These insights can include the following:
- The demon only makes its presence known in this town.
- The demon has not really attacked anyone.
- The demon is in hiding and not attracting public attention.
Once the party knows that the demon is Fraz-Urb'luu, they can learn everything about the curse from priests or clerics.
There is, however, one human who can identify the demon. Her name is Elnoa Hazor. She is a consort who seems to have an other-worldly air about her. Elnoa usually wears flashy, revealing clothes and too much makeup. She has tan skin and blue eyes as well as medium-length straight black hair. She is serenely even-tempered, but she becomes quite defensive towards the subject of her daughter, Vilhara Hazor.
What does Elnoa want?
Elnoa lost her daughter to a demonic entity. She hopes to have at least one last conversation with her although other methods have proven futile since her daughter's soul is trapped in the Abyss. She hopes to enter the Abyss someday and find her daughter.
What does Elnoa know?
Elnoa knows what Fraz-Urb'luu looks like and would be able to tell the party any information about the history of the Prince of Deception, including her relationship with Vilhara. If the party recounts the odd behavior of the demon, she will mention that the demon is probably an illusion or a clone of some sort. If the party asks about the curse, she will mention that the best way to lift the curse is to kill the creature that made it, but it must be done fast. If the party brings up both of these, she will speculate that the "Fraz" the party has faced wants the curse to escalate and that it is hiding to wait it out.
An Unusual Request
Once Elnoa learns of the demon, she will offer help. She believes she can lure the demon out using one of the methods below:
- If she doesn't know about the curse, she will suggest that they evacuate the town.
- If she knows about the curse, she will suggest pretending to have found materials needed for a Remove Curse.
- If she knows about the portal, she will suggest finding the portal and attempting to enter it. In exchange for her help, she asks that the party take her to where they first found the clone. If asked for a reason, she will mention that her daughter is trapped in the Abyss and that she hopes to enter the 176th layer. However, she will not mention her name.
Once the party carries out any of Elnoa's suggestion, the clone will attack the party. If they go with a different plan, they must make a Charisma (Performance or Deception) check against the clone's Intelligence (Investigation) check. On a success, the clone will attack the party. When the clone decides to attack the party, it will use Programmed Illusion to create an illusory copy of itself somewhere the party currently cannot see. The clone will, then, use Mislead to make a copy of itself as a distraction as the clone approaches the party. If undetected, the clone will cast Mislead again to make yet another copy of itself once it is right in front of the party. Read the following:
The party has set the trap. As the sun begins to set, the faint noise of flapping wings can be heard. It's so quiet. The noise could have been from a bird a kilometer away. An uneasy atmosphere fills the room. "It's here," Elnoa whispers. The party looks around, thinking "Where?" In a moment, the hulking beast appears right in front of them.
If the party decides to interact with the illusion, it will respond in the way the clone would. As the conversation occurs, the clone will move around the party until it is behind them. Once the party figures out that the creature they are talking with is an illusion or when the clone is in place, the clone will begin attacking the party, starting with the weakest of the party. However, the clone will actively avoid attacking the cursed creature. If it attempts to run away, the party may encounter the Programmed Illusion planted by the clone earlier.
Defeating the Clone
With Elnoa's help, the party should be able to outsmart the clone and destroy it. When they do, the body of the clone will dissipate into white sand. However, the cursed creature will not feel any better. Once the party realizes this, Elnoa will mention that Fraz is not dead. If the party has ever recounted the odd behaviors of the demon, Elnoa will conclude that the creature they just faced is a clone and that Fraz is still in his mansion. Otherwise, Elnoa will conclude that Fraz will still be able to reform and that his soul is in some form of phylactery like a box stored in his mansion.
In both cases, Elnoa will realize that a portal to the 176th layer of the Abyss is open. She will beg the party to take her there if she doesn't know its location yet.
Once she is at the portal, she will reveal to the party that her daughter is Vilhara. If she hasn't told them about the story, she will recount the relationship between Vilhara and Fraz-Urb'luu. Upon doing so, she will ask the party to help her find her daughter in Hollow Heart's Mansion.
Elnoa’s Statblock is available in the document. She is basically a 12th-level sorcerer.
Act 3: Hollow Heart's Mansion
A World of Illusions
Much like the clone, the mansion is made of the abundant white sands of the 176th layer of the abyss. All of it is controlled by Fraz-Urb'luu from his black jewel. Now that the adventurers are in his territory, he can finally execute the final stage of his plan.
When the party enters the Abyss, the potency of the curse increases causing it to escalate at dawn. Once they enter the mansion, Fraz will use white sands to cover the location of the portal. In addition, the Demon Lord will have also used the white sands to make a fake army in a perimeter outside the greenery. A DC23 Intelligence (Investigation) check is required to see through any of these pseudo-illusions.
Once the party realizes both the missing portal and the awaiting army, the party will basically feel trapped in the Abyss with a ticking time-bomb. At least, that is Fraz's hope. Now, all he has to do is wait for someone to ask for mercy. Of course, he'll wait to be asked several times before responding to make it look like he has nothing to gain from giving the party mercy. In fact, Charisma skill checks asking or forcing Fraz to simply lift the curse will cause him to propose a deal. A similar thing occurs when a party member asks for mercy.
At the ripe time, Fraz will offer a deal. He will ask the creature he is making a deal with to willingly participate in a ritual that will allow his soul to leave the black jewel and gain a body once more. He will not mention the fact that the body of the creature making the deal with him will be consumed, but he will mention that the person who participates in the ritual must be of any good alignment.
If he is making the deal with the cursed creature, he will offer the safety of the rest of the party in exchange. If he is making the deal with a non-cursed creature, he will offer the safety of the rest of the party as well as the lifting of the curse in exchange. If needed, he will bring up the fact that he has an army of demons under his command. Of course, this is a lie since his army has been obliterated in the past, but he will try to convince the cursed creature using the mirage he had previously set. Learning that this is a lie requires a successful Intelligence (Investigation) check contested by Fraz's deception which has a +14 bonus.
When anyone accepts the deal, a chained imp appears with Fraz's name engraved into it in Abyssal. The creature accepting the deal must sign their name onto the imp using any way they wish. Once they do, the imp is stored somewhere in the Abyss.
Lifting the Curse in the Mansion
At this point, the party should be at their wit’s end trying to figure a way to lift the curse. Hopefully, at all costs, they would be avoiding Fraz's deal until the very last minute. In fact, Fraz may offer other ridiculous deals before making his true request. Again, the party should probably be avoiding those. A good help would be Elnoa who is confident that there is a different way to lift the curse.
Elnoa knows that this is a sure way to lift the curse. She may be looking for the black jewel or any form of phylactery to destroy. Of course, these can only be destroyed in certain conditions, namely by getting eaten by the demon on the top floor of the mansion.
Vilhara is in fact the demon on the top floor of the mansion, also known as the Villiarun. If anyone were to say "Vilhara Hazor" with the intent of getting its attention, it will stop attacking the party in recognition of its old name. Once they tell Vilhara of the curse troubling the party, she will reveal that she has all the rare ingredients needed to cast a Remove Curse spell that's effective against the curse and that she can cast it for them. If asked about why she has these, she reveals that she had gathered them after she transformed herself, but it was too late for her.
If another creature is willing to take the place of the cursed creature, Fraz may be willing to switch the bearer of the curse. If he does, he will tell them that whoever has the curse will still turn into Fraz himself. Of course, this is a lie since they will only turn into a clone of him.
Room A – Vestibule
The vestibule is a 20 by 20 feet room. It has doors leading to rooms B, C, and D. In the center is a large bronze statue of Fraz-Urb'luu. Magic Mouth has been cast on it countless times, allowing it to answer "Yes", "No", or "I don't know" to every question in the same manner that Fraz would answer.
The statue can also tell them most information about the different rooms and what they may contain. However, it will not reveal the location of any traps. If the party asks where Fraz's black jewel or phylactery is, it will tell them that it is downstairs. Finally, if the party asks about the monstrous noise coming from upstairs, it will inform the party that it is a monster whose scream can break anything.
Room B – First Floor Hallway
The first floor hallway is a 20 by 45 feet space. It has doors leading to rooms A, C, D, E, and F. It also has stairs leading to room G in the basement and room O on the second floor. However, the stairs leading to the basement are filled with webbing. See room G for more details. Its sides are lined by several stone statues of demons. Along the middle of the hallway is a red carpet with intricate patterns. There's nothing too special about this space.
Room C – Indoor Garden
The indoor garden is a 35 by 35 feet room. It has doors that lead to rooms A and B. In the center is a fountain bordered by plants. It has stained glass windows depicting a story. A DC10 Perception check reveals a small amount of white sand surrounding the plants. Anyone who walks through the plants for any reason falls into the spike pit in room L (see room L for details). A DC15 History check reveals that the windows show the story of a woman who turns into a demon with green leathery skin and teeth where the stomach is.
Room D – Dining Room
The dining room is a 35 by 35 feet room. It has doors leading to rooms A and B. It also has a dumbwaiter leading to room N. An illusion of a dead creature who was close to someone in the party or Vilhara sits in one of the chairs. When seen, the creature invites the party member to sit down. A DC15 Investigation check reveals the room has a clockwork trap.
Anyone who sits on a chair is restrained by metal shackles (AC16 and 50hp). They can make a DC 20 Strength check or damage it enough to break it. Everyone in the room must make a DC10 Dexterity saving throw or take 1d6 piercing damage. Next round, DC increases by 2 and damage by 1d6.
Room E – Armory
The armory is a 35 by 30 feet room. It has a door leading to room B. A DC10 Survival check reveals footprints going over the chests, leading into a trap door that leads to room J. The room is filled with many illusory demons. A DC17 Investigation check reveals that only some of them are real, and are waiting for a moment to attack. To determine exactly how many demons are in the room, consult the table below.
|1-2||3 Shadow Demon|
|3-4||2 Hezrou (start with 100hp)|
Upon defeating the demons, the party can loot the room for all sorts of common weapons and armor although there would only be one copy of each at most. A DC15 Investigation check reveals that there is a Portable Hole, Goggles of Night, and a vial of Carrion Crawler Mucus.
Room F – Library
The library is a 35 by 30 feet room. It has a door leading to room B. In it is three rows of books containing knowledge from all over the plane. Several spell books about illusory magic are in here. There is also a biographical book on the life of Fraz that tells of his tragic past. The book emphasizes that Fraz is currently trapped in a black jewel and is planning on conducting a ritual to give him a physical form once again. Anyone looking for information related to these books will find them in about 30 minutes.
If any of the party members were close to a dead creature who frequents libraries or was in desperate search for information, that party member would see that dead creature roaming the library, casually taking books from the shelves.
A DC15 Perception check reveals lines across the aisles, revealing long trap doors. A DC20 Investigation check reveals that the books have thin pieces of string connected to the back of the bookshelves indicating some form of trap. If anyone were to pull a book from any of the bookshelves, the trap doors open, dropping anyone in that aisle into the lava pit of room I. Almost instantly, the trap doors will close again.
On one of the desks is a book. If anyone understands Abyssal, they will realize that this is a journal of some worker in the mansion. The most important entry is the following:
Apparently, some illusions have passwords. I never thought that'd be important in terms of work. One of the passwords is "Deceive Me" but I don't know which illusion it's for. Why does this place have to be filled with illusions. I wonder if the dangerous stuff is safe and the safe stuff will kill you.
The "password" is actually to remove the Arcane Lock spells which are active in room G. The last line refers to room L which is a room filled with illusory spikes.
Optional: Voice in My Head
The cursed creature feels a tug which leads them to room H. It isn't strong, nor is it persistent. If Fraz chooses, he may telepathically speak into the cursed creature's mind.
This is something that accidentally occurred in the NatChaos podcast. It is useful if the party is looking for a "phylactery" to destroy even though Fraz's body is actually in the black jewel. It's a quick way for the party to realize that the demon they faced is not actually a Fraz but a clone (if they haven't realized this). Once they realize this, Vilhara will tell the party that they need to look for a black jewel.
Room G – Basement Hallway
The basement floor hallway is a 20 by 55 feet space. It is protected by Guards and Wards and has the following effects:
- The stair leading to room B on the first floor is filled with webs. These strands regrow in 10 minutes if removed.
- Doors leading to rooms I, J, K, L, M, and N are all locked as in the arcane lock spell. If anyone speaks the words "Deceive Me" with intent, then the lock will be dispelled until the door is closed.
- Fog constantly fills the hallway. If it disappears due to some effect, it will reappear in 10 minutes.
- If anyone enters the space in front of the door to room L, they must make a DC23 Wisdom save or suddenly feel the urge to search an unexplored part of the house for 1 hour. This occurs for every creature, possibly multiple times. If they have explored all parts of the house available to them, they will spend an hour outside of the house. All this is in compliance with the suggestion spell.
If a creature uses Dispel Magic or a similar effect in the hallway, they can only remove one of the above effects.
Outside room H is a door drawn onto the wall. It is not actually a door. A DC15 perception check reveals the words "password" scribbled onto the bottom of the door.
Room H – Grave Room
The grave room is a 35 by 20 feet room. There is a hidden door to room J which can be easily opened from this room. Inside the room is several sarcophagous. Each one has an unfinished clone of Fraz-Urb'luu.
Attached to the ceiling is an invisible sarcophagus. It also contains an unfinished clone. If you are using the Voice in My Head optional effect, the cursed creature will be drawn to this sarcophagus. Otherwise, a DC23 Investigation check reveals the location of the invisible sarcophagus.
The invisible sarcophagus is here out of sheer trickery by Fraz. He knows there's also a chance that the adventuring party will be looking for a phylactery of some sort instead of the black jewel which houses his soul. Hence, when the party reaches this sarcophagus, Fraz begins to speak to the party, his voice echoing through the mansion. Fraz will tell them not to destroy the box. He will begin to offer deals that aren't too appealing to the party.
If broken, an unfinished clone will fall out, revealing to the party that they have only been dealing with clones (if the party doesn’t know that yet). Then, Fraz will mock the party, telling them that they can't see through his illusions. At this point, he will offer up his deal as per Long-Awaited Deal.
Room I – Lava Pit
The lava pit is a 35 by 20 feet room. On each side is a stone ledge about 5 feet wide. The rest of the room is just lava that deals 10d10 fire damage per round while not submerged. There is a door to room G which can be opened from the inside, but it is locked from outside. There is also a tunnel going from room I to room K. Finally, there are trap doors that lead to room F but they require the creature to reach the ceiling and make a DC12 Sleight of Hand check to open.
Room J – Empty Room
This 35 by 20 feet space is empty. There is a door that leads to room G which can be opened from the inside, but it is locked from the outside. There is a trap door that leads to room E but they require the creature to reach the ceiling and make a DC12 Sleight of Hand check to open. A DC10 Perception check reveals white sands lining the wall along room H. A DC15 Investigation check reveals a part of the wall that has been filled in with white sand and made to look like a normal part of the wall. The wall has a 15AC and 100hp. Destroying it will lead the party into room H.
Room K – Resting Quarters
The resting quarters is a 35 by 20 feet room. There is a door that leads to room G which can be opened from the inside, but it is locked from the outside. There is also a tunnel going from room K to room I.
Its walls are lined with beds. In fact, it is the only room in the mansion with beds since Fraz is in no need of one. Visitors and workers alike sleep in this room. Vilhara's diary can be found in this room with a DC10 Investigation check. The most important entry is the following:
This is my last entry. Tomorrow, I shall lose control over myself and give in to Fraz's wishes. After all, there is no chance for me to leave this darned place, more so the Abyss. Even if I do, I would never be able to stand up to my mother or anyone with this hideous face. I would rather kill anyone who sees me like this than live in my shame. I should have listened to mother. If she would call me by my name, I shall surely listen.
The Black Jewel
The jewel which holds Fraz's soul was never given a name. In shape, it is similar to a perfectly cut ruby, but it is the color of the sky at midnight on a new moon.
The jewel is protected by much abjuration magic. It is undetectable by any kind of magic, and no mere creature can deal damage to it. The reason behind this is that, when Fraz-Urb'luu was imprisoned in it, his prisoners did not want anyone to find the jewel. Although one may look to it for power, the bearer of the jewel will, no doubt, be used by the Prince of Deception.
No one knows how it was initially shattered, nor how the demons were able to mend it. However, due to Fraz's connection to Vilhara, the demon on the top floor is able to deal damage to the jewel with its scream. It has 100hp.
Room L – Spike Pit
The spike pit is a 35 by 25 feet room. There is a door that leads to room G which can be opened from the inside, but it is locked from the outside. There is also an opening that leads to room C corresponding to where the plants were.
The spikes are all illusions, a miniature effect of Mirage Arcane. Because of this, if a creature falls in it, they must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw, taking 11 (3d6) piercing damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. A DC23 Investigation check will reveal the illusion, revealing how all the spikes were just piles of bricks and stone. When this occurs, a black jewel can easily be seen on the far side of the room. This is the black jewel that holds the soul of Fraz-Urb'luu.
If any party member was close to a creature that was recently deceased, they will appear in the spike pit as an illusion.
Room M – Prison Cells
The room containing the prison cells is a 20 by 10 feet room. There is a door that leads to room G which can be opened from the inside, but it is locked from the outside. In one of the prison cells is a chain devil, who appears extremely frightened. If anyone speaks Infernal, it will tell them of the demon upstairs whose screams can break flesh and objects, advising them to stay away from it.
They can free the devil by breaking the bars (AC20, 50hp). It is quite unwilling to help the party, especially if they plan on facing the monster upstairs. Hence, they can convince it to help them fight the monster with a DC17 Charisma skill check, but it must be done at disadvantage. If they speak to it in infernal, then the check is made without disadvantage.
Room N – Kitchen
The kitchen is a 35 by 25 feet room. There is a door that leads to room G which can be opened from the inside, but it is locked from the outside. There is also a dumbwaiter that leads to room D.
A DC15 Investigation check reveals the location of 1d6 health potions. When anyone enters the room, several of the utensils stored in the cupboards begin singing gibberish due to Magic Mouth. Their noise cannot be controlled.
The Last Lies
Once the party reaches the basement, Fraz knows that his plans may be foiled. If the party finds the jewel, Fraz will attempt to deceive the party and prevent the jewel from being destroyed. Fraz could jokingly tell them that this isn't the black jewel that houses his soul. If the party remains undeterred, Fraz will try another lie, telling them that destroying the jewel will actually release his soul.
Regardless of if the party believes him or not, Fraz will reveal to them that the jewel is unbreakable for good reason. He offers the party another chance, giving them the deal described in the Long-Awaited Deal section.
Room O – Vilhara's Rest
Vilhara's Rest is the name of the room which spans the whole of the second floor, although there is no indication of it being such. It is 90 by 65 feet in dimension. The stairs leading up to it are barricaded with metal bars and giant boulders. It will wake about an hour to clear. During this time, they will hear demonic howls and moans coming from the other side.
Once they are able to enter the room, the party will notice that the part of the room close to the stairs is the only part that's lit, albeit dimly. From their location, they can see six statues, one of which has been broken. On the ceiling are rows of ceiling banners, forming large waves or hills. Towards the far end of the room are shadows. A DC12 Perception check reveals a statue of a lady holding a staff. She stands on top of a stone block, in front of which are several bouquets of flowers.
Cowering in the corner is a large demon. Every few seconds, it would release a demonic noise. This, in fact, is a Villiarun, the demon into which Vilhara has turned into. Due to her condition before accepting her demonic state, the Villiarun will attack the party if any creature shines light on it or deals damage to it.
The Final Piece
Before facing the Villiarun, the party should have a plan. It would be great if Elnoa can help put things together in the time it takes to clear up the boulder. In addition, the party has hopefully figured out that Fraz is in the black jewel, and has never been alive. Breaking the invisible sarcophagus in room M would have revealed this.
If the party is confident that the black jewel does in fact contain Fraz's soul, then they should figure out how to get it destroyed. A clue from the statue in room A and the devil in room M should lead them to the conclusion that the howl of the creature can destroy the jewel. Planning how to achieve that in combat is important. Most probably, holding their action to put the black jewel in the line of fire is best.
If the party is more confident that the demon is Vilhara, then they should find a way to restore her humanity. A clue in her journal from room K should reveal that mentioning her name will get her attention, and make her more cooperative. However, they do still need to take a leap of faith as approaching the demon in the dark or screaming at it from afar could spell death if the demon isn't Vilhara.
The Villiarun’s statblock is available in the document. If the link is dead, use a CR19 demon.
If the Black Jewel is destroyed…
If the party successfully destroys the black jewel with the help of the Villiarun, the jewel turns into chunks of black dust. The remains of Fraz-Urb'luu are carried away by the pained screams of her lover. The dust disperses, some falling to the ground, some leaving the mansion, some joining the white dust that fills this cursed plane. Soon, the mansion and the oasis crumbles into white sands. The cursed creature feels a weight being lifted from their chest as the power of the Prince of Deception withdraws. At the same time, the Villiarun screams as it slowly transforms back into Vilhara. Outside, the portal back home is unveiled.
If Vilhara breaks the Curse…
If the party calls out to the demon, Vilhara will be able to remain in control of her body for several hours. She will use this time to prepare a Remove Curse spell that can break the Curse of the Hollow Heart. During this time, she reconnects with her mother, Elnoa, comforting her. Elnoa promises that she will return, ready to face Fraz and equipped with knowledge that will return Vilhara to normal. In an hour's time, the spell is ready and the cursed creature is cured. In an instant, Vilhara tells them to head home, giving them a scroll of True Seeing and pointing in the direction of the portal home. As the party leaves, Vilhara begins to fly away as fast as possible, making sure that the Villiarun will not harm anyone.
If the Curse just escalates…
If the cursed creature turns into a clone, it will act like it is indeed Fraz-Urb'luu. The clone will offer the party one last chance, accept his deal or forever lose their friend. If no one accepts it, Elnoa will step forward, asking that Fraz release Vilhara instead in exchange for her taking the deal. Fraz and the person who takes up his deal quickly disappear, leaving the party with a sense of dread as screams of an army of demons are heard from the distance.
If someone accepts the deal…
If someone accepts Fraz's conditions and signs the chained imp, they immediately begin to convulse on the floor as the imp disappears. No matter what the party does, the creature just won't wake up. Within the next hour, without the curse being broken, they begin to transform into the Prince of Deception himself.
- Killing my first BBEG
- Need ideas for a Divine Soul/Hexblade PC story Arc
- How much game mechanics do you (have to) explain/reveal? -> a question about cursed items
More about Dungeons & Dragons OnlinePost: "Mini-Adventure with the Prince of Deception" specifically for the game Dungeons & Dragons Online. Other useful information about this game:
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