I cannot hold the demon anymore. Great Ord, have mercy on my soul! May the little one survive this ordeal. Deliver us from the fiery onslaught of the abyss!
The miller, a peasant man named Vance, turned out to have a knack for magecraft. The town’s wizard took him under his wing and taught him some simple spells and basic arcane knowledge. Vance grew bored of the menial spells and his progress has languished over the years. However, since he learned to detect magic auras from afar, he noticed one coming from a spot near the watermill. Vance dug up a leather-bound tome that contained spells unlike anything the wizard ever taught him; forbidden magic.
Vance viciously devoured the book’s contents and learned magic beyond his capabilities to control. The apprentice, seeking to become stronger, summoned forth a demon to imbibe its power. The demon refused his attempts and possessed Vance’s younger daughter Ilya. Possessed Ilya assassinated her family before Priestess Alana arrived to contain the demon. The priestess has waged a battle with Ilya for 2 days and is soon to falter.
Exorcism. Bishop Ordalla knows that Alana is in danger. He offers a bounty on behalf of Ord’s church for aiding the priestess at the watermill (40 gp, 3 XP).
Demon-Hunters. A mage named Garlondth offers a reward for binding a demonic abomination on a magic bottle. The demon is at the local mill (50 gp, 4 XP).
Missing Cargo. Shipments from the watermill have stopped; people sent to inquire have disappeared. The bailiff hires the characters to investigate (25 gp, 2 XP).
|1||The miller is a mage apprentice on the side. He has shown off prestidigitation tricks in the past few months.|
|2||A strange, leather-bound tome was found buried near the mill. Vance, the miller, has grown reclusive since.|
|3||Vance, is married to Tara and has three children. The two sons are old enough to work at the mill.|
|4||Neighbors have seen strange, pulsing, green and red lights at night coming from the mill’s top story.|
|5||Tara asked the local priest for help a fortnight ago. She claimed he had grown ‘strange’ but found no solution.|
|6||Legend has it that an ancient necromancer once ruled this region with terrible magecraft and an iron fist.|
Level 5 Adventure
- Danger. Risky. Check for a random event every 2 crawling rounds and after loud noises (3-in-6 chance).
- Lights. Inside, some rooms have torches, there are few windows; the rest are dark. Demons are dark-adapted.
- Shrieks. The possessed child in area 11 utters gruesome, skin-crawling howls as if under severe pain every few minutes. They are heard within 50 feet of the mill.
- Unhallowed Ground. A detect magic spell reveals a strong flux of arcane energies coming from the mill’s top floor. The aura is similar to that of teleportation spells. This rift is responsible for the demons lurking around.
|RANDOM EVENTS d6||Details|
|1||A vrock swoops down from the darkened skies. It uses its screech attack to incapacitate its prey.|
|2||The floor cracks open and six dretches ooze out of the reality-bending opening. The rift closes moments after.|
|3||A sudden, magical pulse from area 11 puts out all fires and light-sources, magical or not, in a 2-mile radius.|
|4||Four acolytes of Gede arrive at the watermill to track down the demonic apparition. They offer to help.|
|5||3d10 peasants arrive at the mill to demand prompter shipments. They leave in a panic if they see a demon.|
|6||An angel (seraph) materializes and warns the characters of the incoming danger. It offers to help in the next fight.|
1. The Surroundings
The three-story watermill stands by a once mighty river. It is now barely strong enough to power the enormous wooden wheel. The only opening on the higher floors is the winch window on the north side.
- The River. The meager flow is caused by a natural deviation of the river upstream (DC 13 INT). It is due for an artificial re-routing of the water to fix the mill’s capacity.
- The Winch. Normally used to lift grain sacks to the third floor, the characters can use the rope of the winch to easily access the building from area 10 (DC 12 STR).
- The Tracks. Inspecting the area for 1 crawling round reveals many people have entered the mill recently but none came out. Conversely, there are strange, varied-sized, deep-clawed footprints from the demons.
2. Entrance Hall
Wooden crates and barrels are stacked against the walls of this mostly empty chamber. A dire, bubbling sound comes from the southeast corner door.
- The Containers. Most contain wheat flour ready for shipping. One barrel is half filled with sulfur salts. They are a key ingredient in summoning spells (DC 15 INT).
3. Kitchen and Larder
Most edibles in the kitchen have gone bad. Only three grain sacks remain. An iron cauldron bubbles in the fire. Demons came here earlier, ate some of the rotten food, and set up the foul, demon-summoning kettle.
- The Cauldron. An abyssal rift brews in the cauldron. When the characters approach, the cauldron boils impossibly hot and melts the iron, releasing its contents. Four dretches emerge from the boiling substance. Two more dretches come out of it after three rounds.
4. Dining Room
A table for seven is set. Several rotten dishes, fruits, and vegetables rest on the stained mantelpiece. A mound of gray dust covers one of the wooden chairs.
- The Dust. A spellcaster identifies salts and elements commonly found in living beings (DC 14 INT check). These are the remains of one of Vance’s sons; it is all that was left after possessed Ilya killed him.
5. The Main Wheels
A complex arrangement of water-powered gears and spokes takes up most of the space. Only the largest bevel gear connected to the water wheel is turning.
The machinery works as intended as the largest gear moves with the water flow. Pulling an iron lever by the central spoke lowers the horizontal, secondary bevel gear and powers the millstone mechanism above. The machinery is kept like this when not in use.
6. Second Story Landing
The landing contains two sofas and a small table with apples and a banana rotting on a plate. A mound of gray dust covers the sofa by the southern wall.
- The Dust. A spellcaster identifies the dust contents in the same manner as in area 4 (DC 14 INT check). These are the remains of Vance’s eldest son; it is all that was left after the possessed Ilya slayed him.
Vance’s three children slept here. Three beds are clearly lived-in while the north-most one appears to be a spare one. The wardrobe contains common work clothes.
- Treasure (1 XP). A hidden box under one bed (DC 16 WIS to find) contains Vance’s sons’ savings. A leather pouch contains 16 sp, 640 cp, and a small ruby (10 gp).
8. Master Bedroom
Rotten innards and dry blood are stuck to the east wall as if a creature had exploded against it. Part of the gruesome spectacle has stained the bed linens.
- The Gore. If studied for 1 crawling round, a spellcaster identifies faint hints that this was once a human being. These are the remains of Tara, Vance’s wife; all that was left after possessed Ilya cast a foul spell on her.
- The books. Several tomes on the bookshelf are about nature and simple arcane subjects. Vance’s apprentice spellbook contains five random tier-1 wizard spells.
9. The Millstone
The upper half of the machinery in area 5 powers the millstone. A chute from the third story is used to dump grain into the millstone for grounding. The central shaft, when connected by the lever in area 5, carries its torque upward to the winch clockwork mechanism above.
10. The Winch
The central shaft is connected to a series of gear wheels that power the iron and bronze apparatus by the opening in the north wall. It stands still unless the lever in area 5 is activated. The winch is used to lift grain sacks to be poured into the wooden container. The bottom of the box features a hole that leads to the chute in area 9.
11. Chamber of Summoning
A hooded woman and a young lass stand on a 3-inch-tall stone circle inscribed with a heptagram. Each struggles as they appear to have a magical duel.
- The Women. Priestess Alana and the possessed Ilya have fought for 2 days. The priestess is glad to see the characters arrive and announces that she cannot hold the demon much longer. She faints as the demon abandons the child’s body and physically manifests in the Material Plane. The glabrezu that Vance summoned is finally free to roam unimpeded. The demon attacks. If reduced to one-third of its HP, it attempts to flee. The little girl, Ilya, is unconscious but unharmed. She remembers nothing but strange dreams of the past few days.
- The Tome. The grim tome that Vance encountered rests on a stone-lined plinth. It is leather-bound and features copper clasps. The book is titled ‘On the binding of outward entities’, by Argannetrus. Knowledgeable mages know that he was once a terrible overlord and that this book has been lost for ages (DC 15 INT check). They also know that the book’s reappearance and use must have triggered some arcane alarms. Zealots and opportunists might soon come to claim the fabled tome.
- Treasure (2 XP). On the shelves, there is a leather pouch with 10 gp, 190 sp, a potion of polymorph, a potion of invisibility, and a potion of healing. Within an engraved mahogany box, there is a ring of feather falling.