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Temple of Stars Free 40×30 Multi-Level Battlemap & Adventure

Temple of Stars Free 40x30 Multi-Level Battlemap & Adventure
Temple of Stars Free 40x30 Multi-Level Battlemap & Adventure
The Temple of Stars Free 40×30 Multi-Level Battlemap & Adventure, featuring fulfilling a Spelljammer-inspired prophecy. VTT ready!

Temple of Stars Free 40×30 Multi-Level Battlemap & Adventure

The Star Seers

During a resupply visit at a large city, you’re contacted by a dour servant who treats you condescendingly, handing you a letter sealed with the emblem of a formidable old nobleman with a reputation for being an incredibly wealthy recluse. The servant waits expectantly for you to read it, insisting that he must bring your response back to his lord.

The letter contains a seemingly misplaced ramble, addressing you as an old friend—which you’re not—and sharing banal details about how the man’s boring life is going. Should you ask the servant whether or not the letter was actually intended for you, the man raises an arch eyebrow and asks that you are in fact you by name. Should you answer that you are, the man suggests that you take a closer look, perhaps by a candle to assist your… failing vision.

When you look at the letter by firelight, invisible ink shows up. The true message is an invitation to the lord’s manor, explaining that he has heard of your work through various informants. He writes that there is an insidious order of religious charlatans calling themselves the Star Seers, who survive like a bloated insect on the donations of the naive. He invites you to visit him, so that together you may see this order disbanded once and for all. There is good gold in it for you, should you be willing to stamp out the charlatans.

After reading the letter, the servant asks whether or not you’d like to stop in and visit your “old friend”. If you are, he’ll lead you directly to the manor, or give you instructions on how to get there later on your on, giving you a passphrase to tell the guards (they’ll ask “when the raven calls at night”, to which the response is “the stars reveal the light”).

Once inside, the servant guides you up to a sumptuous drawing room to meet with the old nobleman, named Andreas. The room is filled with rare, unusual collectors items and lots of expensive-looking scrolls behind locked glass display cabinets. The scrolls have the emblem of a star on the timber ends.

Andreas has intelligent eyes and sharp features, and is in remarkably good physical health for his age. He explains in a raspy voice that he is glad to see you’ve taken him up on his offer, saying there’s a small planetoid with a village on it located at the foot of the charlatan’s temple. The Star Seers claim to be prophets, and the whole village believes in their deceit.

The peasants there are not a wealthy people to begin with, and the charlatan’s strip them of what excess possessions and wealth they have, leaving them with little more than the clothes on their backs and barely-full bellies. The locals don’t have the gall to stand up and do something about it because they believe their filth, so Andreas will. He’s a tired man, and has seen too much hardship and injustice in his day. Now that he’s old and has money to do something about it, he won’t stand by and watch that kind of injustice any longer.

If you ask what makes the Star Seers charlatans, he explains their prophecies are all lies, worded so vaguely as to be applicable to almost anything!

Should you agree on the amount of gold as your reward, he gives you instructions for how to get to the temple. Before you go, he remarks nonchalantly—as if remembering something last minute—that there is a scroll he needs you to acquire from the temple, and bring to him. It contains information on the so-called Star Seer’s future plans or corrupt connections, which he’ll need to fully root out the remains of their influence. It should be kept by the temple leader.

After an uneventful sail to the planetoid through the dark sea, you arrive at the village and find the buildings and inhabitants are quite poor like Andreas described. The town sits in a small valley, and at the top overlooking it, built into a cliff, is a stone temple with its walls inlaid with silver circles and patterns depicting the stars.

Should you talk to any of the villagers, they are humble and relatively happy. They seem to believe what the Star Seers do is essential and holy work, albeit beyond their comprehension, and as such they are glad to donate what little they have to their cause.

When you go inside the temple, you are immediately beset upon by priests and priestesses wearing black togas with silver trim, intricately embroidered with silver threads marking the constellations, as well as circles symbolic of the orbits of planets. The women wear headbands of silver, elaborate earrings, and small diamonds pinned in their hair symbolizing stars, while the men wear silver bands on their wrists and forearms that have been etched with planets and suns. Silver chain belts tie their togas; the lavish ornaments a stark contrast to the poor village below.

The Star Seers refuse to negotiate, pulling out small daggers or using martial arts to attack you on sight. When you fight them, you get the uncanny impression they know what you’re going to do before you do it. They dodge seemingly effortlessly away from any attack, even ranged ones—until suddenly, one by one, they don’t; dying via clean kills, almost as if it were their intent.

Once you’ve fought your way to the upper level of the temple, you find the High Priestess standing with her back to you, her hands hidden in front of her, looking out at the stars. There are two silver star-wheel pistols at her belt.

Somehow, on the other side of the temple where she looks, the planetoid simply falls away; as if it was sundered in two long ago. Through the windows you can see chunks of asteroids drifting aimlessly in the starry sea beyond.

Still observing the stars, but seemingly aware of your presence, the head priestess recites “In the heart of a deceiver, kind and bright, Our ancient order meets twilight. His gentle ways belie his might, As he eclipses our starry light. The old must fade, so proclaims the tide, To avert a fate we cannot hide. In the wake of change, where fears reside, Necessary is our star-crossed slide.”

Then the woman speaks normally, saying that her people have always watched the stars and motions of the planets, believing that should they perfectly calculate their next movements they can divine the future. Whether or not they write it down accurately, however, has always eaten away at her with doubt.

Turning to face you, she holds two loaded and ready silver star-wheel pistols in her hands, aimed at you. “Kill me, before I kill you,” she says, her voice trembling. “I have not the faith of my followers. I doubt in my heart whether our interpretation was correct.”

Should you seek to talk further, she closes her eyes and fires the first shot; hitting her target in a dangerous, but not lethal place, showing that she is a legitimate threat. Should you not attack right away, she fires the second, before going for the others at her hips. If you fight her, she intentionally misses and somehow steps directly into an uncannily clean death, whispering relieved as she dies that the prophecy was correct.

On her person are two scrolls of prophecy, both marked with the same star sigil as the others in Andreas’s manor. With the two scrolls is a letter addressed to you. It tells you that the first scroll, bound in red ribbon, is the one Andreas wants, but should not have lest he send the worlds into a dark future. It will, however, endow you with great riches and power in his wake. The second scroll, bound in silver, is one that, if given to him, will ensure that the future is bright, though you will be unrewarded for such kindness. Should you read either of the scrolls, you will inadvertently affect the future in disastrous ways. The letter advises that Andreas is only expecting one scroll with a prophecy, but does not know what it will contain, thereby the choice is yours. Choose wisely, the letter ends, and may dawn’s light serve as your guide.

Once you have the scrolls, the temple begins to shake, as if the very cliff on which it resides has become unstable and is about to break off into the shining sea beyond. Should you escape in time, if you look behind you as you leave the temple you see it fall off the cliff and disappear in the shadow of the planetoid below.

When you go back to Andreas (providing the passcode so the guards admit you), should you confront him about his lie in sending you to the Star Seers, who were in fact real prophets, he scoffs and explains that he told you what you wanted to hear—would you have accepted the job otherwise? Adventurer’s like you all want to play the hero, and now you have. What you did was necessary. That order gave their prophesies to just anyone asking after them, and if it had continued a terrible future would unfold.

He continues that a future that has been predicted among these very scrolls, gesturing to his collection. Thanks to you, that future will no longer come to pass, and disaster has been averted. As their protector, he will see to it that the wrong hands do not get access to such dangerous instruments of prediction. Now, have you brought him the last scroll?

If you claim not to and are lying, he’ll see right through it and have his snide servant—who is a surprisingly adept fighter—search you for it. Andreas might also fight, as he is a powerful caster, though prefers others remain unaware of that fact.

Should you hand him either of the scrolls, he’ll immediately unravel it and read it eagerly, with an expression on his face like a man who was dying of thirst drinking water. Then he’ll recurl it, and say decisively “I see,” before paying you and dismissing you to go on your way.

GM’s Notes:

For the encounter in the temple, to simulate the priests and priestess’s foreknowledge of the players attacks increase their AC score so they’re hard to hit then after one or more rounds reduce it to something much lower and easy to hit on a few select individuals so your players can pick a couple off each round. As they die, describe it as if they suddenly stop uncannily knowing what the player will do in advance as if they’re deliberately letting themselves be hit. This is because the NPCs know what their fate is, and when their time has come; following their destiny fervently.

The loot that the players pick off from the bodies of the priests and priestesses is not as luxurious as it first seemed. In reality, they are only silver plated, and the supposed hair diamonds are really just cut quartz. It seems the order recently spent the last of their savings to affect an air of wealth, in preparation for your players arrival.

Should the players hand Andreas the scroll that gives them great wealth but damns the future, Andreas will commit suicide and they will be contacted by a deceased estate manager giving the last of his wealth to them in thanks, saying it was their delivering the scroll that gave him the strength and knowledge to know what to do. Then hook into a greater campaign where disaster is unfurling. We recommend you might start with a town or NPCs your players love dying, perhaps from a new invasion of dark forces, or lovecraftian cultists rising up amongst them. If the players hand Andreas the other scroll, nothing happens to them.

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