After months or years of conflict, wars eventually come to an end. Although sometimes the toll to pay is too high and despite the combats and violence being over, kingdoms still suffer the aftermath of such battles. Besides lives, an empire’s losses are varied. Wealth, power, weaponry, and even territory. Drastic measures must be taken when war ravishes the land.
The Kingdom of Oebor came out victorious twenty years ago. But some of the war’s secondary effects still scar the realm now. Deep wounds are still palpable in Oebor’s economy. King Oebor has cut all unnecessary expenses for two decades and still, the nobles struggle to live with the luxury they feel entitled to. One of the areas that received the most cuts was the rebuilding of destroyed homes and structures. Only the most crucial buildings and homes were restored. The peasantry was left to fend for themselves. Several military structures outside the city walls such as outposts, lookouts, and several towers in a state of disrepair were abandoned. One of them was Charity Tower.
After the war, the city struggled to maintain its population well-nourished and fed. Farming communities around the capital did not provide enough food for everyone. King Oebor called for help and requested assistance from neighbor kingdoms. His call was answered, and carts of food and supplies arrived. One of the abandoned outposts near a border was still in good shape and it served as a warehouse for the cargo. This tower was located near a small village called Prado.
Prado would not have made it if it weren’t for the supplies that King Oebor’s allies sent. The abandoned tower is next to the only road that leads to Prado, about half a mile away. So, the few villagers started to call the place Charity Tower. They were so grateful that the name stuck and they kept using it. Some Prado farmers even placed a wooden sign on the road that marks the direction to Charity Tower. The people adopted such an affection for this place that they believe the tower is full of kindred spirits. The elderly come to make peace with their inner demons and accept their next step in the law of life. Pregnant women come to pray the gods for a healthy baby. Prado’s people love Charity Tower in unison, that is clear.
Sir Vellard, who is charged with the welfare of Oebor’s farming communities and villages, has received disturbing reports from Prado, which is located an hour away from the city gates. He knows he needs to handle this in a clever way. Pradovians are not happy with the guard since they found them drinking and partying in Charity Tower two months ago. Elder Fikalus clearly stated that the guard was no longer welcome in Charity Tower, ever. Trying to make amends with the villagers without angering more, Sir Vellard decides to hire some outsiders.
The reports Sir Vellard received describe strange lights coming from Charity Tower. Greenish glows with tendrils of light in blue hues travel the night. Some complained about the weird blots of black goo in the water. The well in Prado and the underground stream are the only sources of clean water in the village, and the farms depend on them too. Elder Fikalus believes there are underground springs near Charity Tower which feed the well. But now that the water is tainted, half a dozen villagers were brought to the doctor in the past couple of days. Sir Vellard doesn’t want to mess it up and harm the guard’s reputation with Prado even more, so he offers 100 gold pieces to each of the adventurers that accepts the job. He states that he is also paying to be left alone and make all questions necessary in Prado. He only expects a full report of what happened and how they solved everything.
Elder Fikalus welcomes any adventurers who identify themselves as friends and want to help. He offers his humble home as a place to stay and, if they wish to eat, his wife serves potato soup and mouton. He explains to the adventurers the importance of Charity Tower to Prado while telling them its history. He confirms Sir Vellard’s reports and emphasizes the importance to bring the water back to normal. He assures the heroes that Prado shall reward them for their services, regardless of any contract they have with the city guard.
The Visitor, Trex’eos
Eons away from the Material Plane, where the fabrics of the planes clash against themselves in an eternal fight for existence, there is a plane of chaos. The habitat of otherworldly creatures and incomprehensible beings made of energy and light. Trex’eos, an extraplanar individual from the Far Realm, had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. A massive energy discharge at the clash of two opposite waves of chaos magic stroke Trex’eos directly and sent him to the Material Plane.
Trex’eos finds itself trapped in a place that doesn’t even allow its existence. The extraplanar couldn’t control being moved from one plane to another, much less decide where to land. Its misfortune placed it in Charity Tower. The physical laws of the Material Plane couldn’t handle the complex shape and nature that Trex’eos represented. The only way Trex’eos could manifest within the laws of this plane was in the form of abstract discharges of energy and light. Trex’eos’s present body extends from the base to the top of the tower. The extraplanar entity is somewhat crippled with half of its physical body trapped in a dimensional limbo.
The visitor doesn’t understand what happened. It is using all its strength and energy to try to return home. Its efforts are paying off but they are slow. It knows it is going in the right direction, but it shall take time. Trex’eos’s attempts to return home translate into beams of light, glowing tendrils of energy, and black oozy goo coming out at the bottom section of the tower. The cellar holds a part of Trex’eos that can perceive other living subjects around it. It can communicate via telepathy and it hopes this foreign plane’s dwellers notice its presence and come to its aid. Trex’eos ignores that its presence pollutes the water around it. It does not even know what water is.
Chaotic good human (age 81)
Fikalus is a tiny man whose presence makes up for his small stature. There is an aura around this old, frail man that can freeze the most skilled fighters. People in Prado say Elder Fikalus used to have the physique of a bull, a real stud. He used to be a wrestler in his youth and it is said that he never lost a battle.
When he speaks with the adventurers, he talks about the well in Prado. He believes that it draws its water from an underground river near the tower. He has a hunch that whatever is creating those strange lights, has something to do with the water pollution.
Personality Trait. “I kick the butt of anybody that judges me by my size.”
Ideal. “Anyone can change their destiny, it is a matter of will.”
Bond. “Charity Tower means everything to Prado, and Prado means everything to me.”
Flaw. “I tend to act as if I wasn’t my age”
The following descriptions of areas 1 through 6 correspond to the different levels in Charity Tower.
Terrain. Charity Tower has been destroyed and abandoned for two decades. Its upper level shows the most damage from deterioration and erosion. The walls from the second and third levels haven’t held the inclemency of time but the stone flooring in every level till remains.
Doors. None of the wooden doors from inside the tower remains. The marble door at the entrance can be opened with a successful DC 13 Strength (Athletics) check.
Light. Charity Tower once had sconces to place torches but none of them remain. However, Trex’eos’s presence causes each level of the tower to glow in a blue tint with greenish hues.
Smells and Sounds. Trex’eos produces a faint humming sound that can be perceived from the cellar (area 4). A putrid smell comes from the water, tainted by Trex’eos’s oozy discharges.
1. Main Entrance
The 10-feet-wide marble door isn’t opened often. People in Prado don’t enter Charity Tower, they just stand and kneel outside it. Only Elder Fikalus has been inside it. He opened the door himself when he was 62.
2. Main Hall
The six statues that once adorned this hall have eroded beyond repair. A mockery of the fancy red carpet still holds its shambles on the ground. The main sculpture on top of the dais is a large stone throne, the military symbol of the Oebor family. To the east and west of the hall, two sets of stairs lead to the cellar (area 4) and the second level of the tower (area 5). The center of the room has a twirl of green and blue light beams that comes from the floor and exists through a hole on the ceiling. The light feels warm to the touch but it is otherwise harmless.
Trex’eos can feel the presence of living creatures near its body. It sends a telepathic message to any creature in the main hall. It greets them and expresses its joy to have been found at last. It urges them to descend to the lower section of the tower, where a physical part of its body lies. It states it requires help, and that it is lost.
The southeast section of the floor collapsed downward (area 4). It is a 15-feet-deep fall. A successful DC 13 Strength (Athletics) check allows a character to climb down without harm. On a failed check, the character falls on the boulders in the cellar, taking 7 (2d6) bludgeoning damage.
Helping Trex’eos. If the adventurers spoke with Trex’eos and decided to help it, they must start from the top of the tower (see area 4). If it is the right moment to address this section of Trex’eos’s body, the adventurers witness how a portal to the Nine Hells opens and spits three bearded devils. The evil creatures laugh maniacally and attack all mortals around. When the devils die, Trex’eos’s body in this section of the tower disappears and returns home.
Attacking Trex’eos. If the adventurers strike Trex’eos with magic or weapons, the beams of light twirl and move frenetically. The six statues (animated armor) in the main hall come to life and attack the adventurers.
3. Underground Tunnel
Trex’eos’s presence has caused the temperature in the cellar to rise. An underground 40-feet-long natural tunnel leads to the river. The fauna and fungi in the tunnel, plus the humidity brought by Trex’eos caused the plants to release water and combine with Trex’eos’s oozy black discharges. The extraplanar’s energy accumulated and turned the black goo into living beings. Two black puddings roam in the tunnel, polluting the water. After the puddings are dealt with, the water recovers its normal quality in a matter of days. A purify food and water spell accelerates the process and cleans the water immediately.
The cellar has been empty for a long time. After a few years of receiving help, King Oebor ordered to empty all those buildings that were to be left abandoned. The only thing left in the cellar is the yellow statue next to the north wall. Like other statues in the tower, this one is missing parts, and chunks of it are scattered on the floor.
Trex’eos most solid part of its body is here. A heart-shaped crystal organ pulses and vibrates slowly in the center of the empty cellar. Thin veins found their way to the remnants of the yellow statue and grew more roots inside them. Black goo oozes to the west of the cellar and disappears through the rock wall. The extraplanar being continues to communicate if the adventurers followed its call for aid. It explains its situation and its desire to go back home. If they agree to help it, it describes the way to do so. From the top to the bottom of the tower, they must visit each section of its body, and wait for it to try to rip the fabrics of the world. Trex’eos explains that this could alter the physical laws in the Material Plane and open rifts in space. In other words, it says that creatures from other planes might take advantage of the situation to come to the Material Plane.
Whatever path the adventurers choose, the pollution in the water remains and it must be removed manually. See area 3.
Secret Passage. A passive Perception score of 14 or higher reveals the east wall is damaged enough that it can be easily brought down to reveal a tunnel (area 3).
Helping Trex’eos. This is the final stop in the quest to help Trex’eos. The extraplanar’s last effort to go home rips time and space again. A barbed devil and three imps come out from the wormholes created. Trex’eos succeeds in returning home after the devils are dealt with. It sends a final telepathic message thanking the adventurers for risking their lives and helping a foreign creature.
Attacking Trex’eos. If the adventurers strike Trex’eos with magic or weapons, the extraplanar uses its energy to shift rock and stone around it. An earth elemental forms from the debris, the statue remnants, and all the earth around. It defends Trex’eos to the best of its ability until it dies.
5. Second Floor
This section of the tower used to have two chambers. They were soldier quarters. Nothing of value remains inside the demolished walls of these rooms. Planks and pieces of moldy wood are scattered all over the level. The south east chamber has a large hole on the floor that leads all the way down to area 4. It is a 30-feet-deep fall. A successful DC 15 Strength (Athletics) check allows a character to climb down to area 2 or 4 without harm. On a fail by 5 or more, the character falls on the boulders in the cellar, taking 10 (3d6) bludgeoning damage.
Secret Booth. A passive Perception score of 15 or higher reveals there is a hidden alcove to the southwest of this level. Pushing a brick opens a section of the wall and reveals a golden idol that has been stored there for years. It has a value of 500 gold pieces. However, it is too heavy and unwieldly for one person to carry. If Sir Vellard is informed of the existence of this idol, he demands it is delivered to the crown.
Helping Trex’eos. If the adventurers spoke with Trex’eos and decided to help it, they must start from the top of the tower (see area 4). If it is the right moment to address this section of Trex’eos’s body, the adventurers must defeat four dretches and two quasits that emerge from planar fissures in the air. When the demons die the portals close and Trex’eos’s body in this story returns home.
Attacking Trex’eos. If the adventurers strike Trex’eos with magic or weapons, the extraplanar efforts to return home and defend itself at the same time cause the energy beams to collide with the elements around. An air elemental unleashes its rage upon all creatures around.
6. Tower Top
Most of the ramparts in this level are eroded and deteriorated. The hole to the cellar starts here. It is a 45-feet-deep fall. A successful DC 18 Strength (Athletics) check allows a character to climb down to any level without harm. On a failed check, the character falls on the boulders in the cellar, taking 13 (4d6) bludgeoning damage.
Helping Trex’eos. This is the first section of Trex’eos body that the adventurers must visit. When Trex’eos makes an effort to move that section of its body out of the Material Plane, a portal to the abyss opens and six dretches benefit from the free trip to the plane of mortals. They attack any living creature at reach. Dealing with the demons closes the portal and Trex’eos’s body in this level disappears. Trex’eos explains a part of it managed to return home.
Attacking Trex’eos. If the adventurers strike Trex’eos with magic or weapons, the extraplanar’s light and energy shift in the air and turn to glowing balls of light. Four will o’ wisps attack the adventurers and fight until they drop to 0 Hit Points.
For the village of Prado, it doesn’t matter if the adventurers helped the unexpected visitor or not. They are happy to see Charity Tower back to normal, and the water as clean as ever. Elder Fikalus spoke the truth when he said the village would reward the heroes. They give the party a whole cart with two strong mules to pull it. Five crates with provisions that could last for weeks. They give them three bottles of their finest homemade wine and a leather pouch with 50 gold pieces.
However, to Trex’eos, it is important if the adventurers helped it or not. Like all demons and devils, Trex’eos is immortal in the Material Plane. The physical version of its body, as abstract as it was, was just a representation of its real self. In case it was struck down by cruel adventurers, Trex’eos’s body reforms in the Far Realm where it belongs. It shall never forget the painful return home that mere mortals bestowed upon it. A further visit to the Material Plane, this time on purpose, is Trex’eos’s next wish.