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You awaken from a deep sleep to find yourself in the middle of a large chamber with vaulted ceilings. There are windows high up that reveal a strange purple-hued sky with glittering stars, suggesting you’re in some kind of otherworldly realm. You are fully dressed and all of your equipment is present. Around you are people with serious expressions wearing conservative, even stuffy clothing, sitting at large, polished wooden tables that make this appear like some sort of trial.
At the end of the hall sits a tall man with a pale, stone-like complexion who wears a white toga and a golden laurel wreath around his head. He looks at you sternly, then turns to his left where a wild-haired old man sits in the dock. He’s wearing a wizard’s robe, a crumpled hat on his head, and he looks at you with excitement.
“Ah, there you are!” he beams. “You may remember me as Ellett Green, a wizard of time and space, and you have been brought here, to The Place Between, as a witness in my trial. These people think I’ve done something that will lead to the end of the universe itself, but the accusation is false, I tell you!”
“Enough,” the tall pale man intones, thumping a gavel onto the podium before him. “Mortal,” he continues, addressing you, “you have been brought here due to your dealings with this Caretaker known as Ellett Green in the past, or possibly the future. He is known to meddle in affairs that he shouldn’t touch, and his chaotic ways have now led to the contamination of our timeline. If not addressed, this chaos will unravel our reality and lead to the End Times, where chaos reigns and the fabric of space and time crumbles.”
“I am Caretaker Servius Annalis, the foremost of our ranks who are dedicated to ensuring that events happen as they should, without meddling from unscrupulous types who care not for the consequences of their actions.”
“Unscrupulous? Really!” Ellett sputters. “Why, my calculations are so precise that I can slip in and out of time and space with barely a ripple in the surrounding reality! This whole charge is nonsense, I tell you. I was framed!”
Should you inquire as to what on earth is going on here, Annalis speaks, giving you an explanation. “We Caretakers are appointed to safeguard time and space and thus must operate on strict rules so as not to distort the timeline unduly. Even minute alterations can cause unforeseen effects far in the future, and it is the charge of this court that Ellett Green has exploited loopholes and shirked our laws and responsibilities with breathtaking impertinence!”
“Only the Caretaker who has altered events can mend those same events,” Ellett shoots back. “You say we are on course for disaster? I cannot help because I am not the one who created the paradox in the first place! Only the true villain here can fix what is broken. But if you cannot see that, then I must act for the good of the universe!”
You notice a circular portal form right beneath him, and Ellett immediately falls through it, much to the chagrin of the assembled councilors! Moments later, you see a similar portal form right beneath you, and within a heartbeat you find yourself standing before a beautiful temple with robed monks wandering about in quiet contemplation. Next to you appears Ellett, who adjusts his robe indignantly then leans on his staff.
“So rude to their elders!” he mutters. “Sorry to drag you into this, but whoever is behind it must be stopped, and I can’t do it alone. The Place Between sits among the various timelines without really touching them, so travel in and out can be a little scattershot unless you’re an old hand at it, like me. But they’ll be after us shortly, so we have to act fast.
“The evidence they revealed earlier in the proceedings showed something at this place, known as the Wayfarer’s Temple. I don’t think the monks here will bother us, so let’s head inside and take a look around. Keep an eye out for anything that doesn’t belong here.”
You can wander around the temple for a while, which all seems to be neat and orderly. If you’re insightful, you might suspect the monks are wandering around aimlessly, not really working at anything, which is a little strange.
If you’re perceptive, you might find a small note on a table in the center of the temple, just south of the circular library. The note is torn and half of the words are missing, but what remains speaks of a need to keep strangers out of the basement.
“Well, isn’t that interesting,” Ellett remarks as he tugs his beard thoughtfully. “We should investigate immediately —”
His words are cut off as the monks in the halls near you throw off their brown robes, revealing robes of black with a strange circular symbol on them! They attack, using a combination of fists and feet, as well as a little magic to try and end your threat! Ellett assists you by teleporting a monk out of the room, sending him fifty feet into the air above the temple, only to end his screaming descent with a loud THUD on the roof!
Should you survive the monk assault, Ellett bids you to follow him to the basement. If you follow, you soon find yourselves descending a spiral staircase to the chambers below. Here, you find a corridor that leads to a large, square chamber, in which dark cultists are chanting.
“Good heavens!” Ellett cries. “They’re summoning some kind of extra-dimensional entity! We must stop them!” The monks turn to fight you, with one of their number imbued with an eerie red glow, as if infused with dark, entropic energies from beyond!
Should you defeat the monks, Ellett tells you to look around for anything out of the ordinary. It is when you enter a natural chamber with a pentagram etched onto the floor that you find a strange relic, shaped like a staff but made of stone, pulsating with magical energy.
“That shouldn’t be here!” Elllett remarks. “It’s from far into the future, yet it appears to be have been wedged into the stone around it for thousands of years. And this energy it is emitting, it’s very peculiar. Something is terribly wrong here, but to find answers, we must go into the distant past! When I open this portal, be sure to go through it at least eight point eight miles an hour. So basically, run through it, if you could!” Ellett opens a rift and if you step through it, you find yourself in a different time, but the same place!
Discover how the story for this Ruined Temple of the Vast Beyond free map & adventure ends by taking your players to The Place Between which this was written for, as well as 16+ locations in our early access Game Master’s Adventurer’s Guide Bundle, which has over 300 pages of content. You’ll get 74 battlemaps with system-agnostic adventures written just for them, maps of the towns, locations, faction lists, important NPCs (portraits included), more adventure seeds, plus digital item cards with loot your players can find! That’s at least 74 easy sessions of fun for only $28, take a better look here.
Inventor of the SabreRPG system (which we love), Steve's the wonderful GM who hosted many fantastic campaigns for the Seafoot family. He's been writing, illustrating, and publishing his own books for over a decade, and is best known for The Aielund Saga. We're so glad to have him on our team writing these fantastic adventure modules, as well as Adventurer's Guides. His experience as both writer and GM makes him incredible at what he does, and we think you'll agree when you read his work!