The mysteries and unknown await exploration in Secrets of Sarlona. Take a few moments to look at some excerpts, which reveal a few things about Sarlona, such as a couple of adventure sites, some interesting people, new feats you can use, and a new item called emotional armor. Then, when you crave to learn more, go find a copy of Secrets of Sarlona and start learning even more about this part of Eberron.
Adventure Site: Ahdryatmin
Manifest Zone; Temperate Forest, Dense; Temperate Hills, Rugged; Temperate Mountains, Rugged
A valley of fertile soil and abundant life exists at the heart of Adar, covering about 400 square miles. Adarans call this place Ahdryatmin or "Mountainsoul." A huge manifest zone tied to Lamannia (all druid spells are extended within Ahdryatmin's boundaries), Ahdryatmin is an ancient holy site to most Adarans. Few live there despite the land's richness, for dangers lurk among its lushness.
All forms of life known to Lamannia can be found in Mountainsoul's trees, hills, and waterways. These creatures attack anyone who wantonly abuses the land. Rare and potent herbs and elements can be found as well, along with exotic foes and mysterious hermits. The secrets of Mountainsoul are many.
Would-be Haztaratains must visit Mountainsoul as Haztaratai did in the kalashtar's early days. They seek the center of Ahdryatmin, wherein dwells a creature from which the place draws its name. This elemental fey, a spirit of the land (60 HD; MM2 189), is usually found only on Lamannia or Thelanis. The spirit Ahdryatmin is as old as Adar, and many believe it to be close to the draconic Prophecy. It often tests those who visit it, invisibly controlling the weather and the ground, and sending denizens of the manifest zone to meet and foil travelers. Those Haztaratains who leave Mountainsoul alive are seen as the chosen of Ahdryatmin.
Characters who have ranks in Knowledge (local) might know something about Ahdryatmin, as might those who have ranks in Knowledge (geography). When a character makes a skill check, the following lore is revealed, including the information from lower DCs.
DC 10: Ahdryatmin is a valley full of natural wonder in the heart of Adar.
DC 15: It is a place tied to Lamannia, the Twilight Forest, and mostly wild creatures inhabit it. Animals roam there, but so do fierce elementals and full-blooded lycanthropes. Brave and reclusive druids also make their homes in the valley.
DC 20: Mountainsoul gets its name from an ancient spirit that inhabits the center of the valley. It is as old as Adar, and it knows many forgotten truths.
Ahdryatmin is a huge, wild place. No matter what the PCs do, they're likely to run across exotic beasts and horrors from Lamannia. Most people cross Ahdryatmin to get to somewhere else, but a few have reason to go to the center of the place. The spirit in the center of Mountainsoul might have essential information about an object the characters must acquire or a quest the PCs need to complete.
Characters on the move have a 30% chance of running across an encounter every hour they spend in Mountainsoul. Those who are resting have a 10% chance of an encounter each hour. In addition to what appears on the Ahdryatmin Encounters table, feel free to create encounters involving any sort of animal and vermin -- normal, dire, celestial, or fiendish. Also, lycanthropes often travel with normal animals of their type.
|| Spirit of the air (Fiend Folio 160)
|| Bebilith (demon)
|| 1d2 legendary animals(MM2 136)
|| Huge air or earth elemental
|| Dust wight (MM3 47)
|| 1d2 weretigers
|| 1d3+1 wereboars and 1d4 boars
|| 1d3+1 air, dust, earth, or salt mephitis
|| 1d2 avalanchers (MM3 13)
|| Large earth or air elemental
|| 1d3+2 spitting felldrakes (MM2 97)
|| 1d2 horned felldrakes (MM2 97)
|| 1d2 yeth hounds
|| 1d3+2 crested felldrakes (MM2 97)
|| 1d3 wizened elders (MM4 180)
|| 1d2+3 3rd-level druids (human)
|| 1d3+1 werebears
|| Abominable yeti (Frostburn 163)
|| 1d4+2 wood woads (MM3 196)
|| 1d4+1 blood apes (MM2 32)
|| Avoral guardinal
|| Leonal guardinal
Ahdryatmin's inhabitants aren't organized, so the PCs often have a chance to hide and rest between encounters, but the wonder and danger of Mountainsoul can rise up at any time. Punctuate a few hostile encounters with the reserved ferocity of a group of felldrakes or the inherent goodness of werebears. Keep the good creatures in mind as the party faces evil or hostile neutral ones. An avoral guardinal serves well as a dramatic rescuer than a set piece. Of course, you can always have the characters encounter a battle of good against evil.
Items that are scarce in the outside world can be found in relative abundance in Ahdryatmin by those who know where to look. Reward adventurous PCs with rare elements, exotic herbs, and unusual spell components. Many such objects might be valuable in the various keeps of Adar. The intelligent inhabitants of Mountainsoul won't have coins, but they should have gems, art objects, and even magic items.
Ahdryatmin can serve as a strange valley in Xen'drik. On a smaller scale, Mountainsoul is not unlike Greenheart in the Eldeen Reaches. Encounters in the Towering Wood should emphasize druids more, felldrakes and lycanthropes less.
Spheres of Korrandar
Draconic Site; Temperate Mountain, Forbidding
Korrandar is a frigid and merciless mountain covered by storms and inhabited by dragons. A set of ancient and hidden halls -- round, domed chambers built according to the draconic Prophecy -- lie under the mountain's clouds, glaciers, and rocks. The Storm Guardians call these halls "spheres." Unobservant explorers are often fooled into entering caverns under the spheres instead of the spheres themselves. Within the spheres are trials of worthiness, and ancient creatures bound to enforce these tests. Each test is tied to the nature of a dragon god, and art on the walls and/or ceiling of each chamber shows the constellation representing the appropriate deity and the symbol of that entity (Knowledge [religion] DC 20). No passages exist between the rooms -- bound earth elementals open the walls between tests once they are passed. These walls are at least 5 feet of magically treated hewn stone (DMG 60), and breaching them draws the ire of powerful earth elementals.
Personalize these tests so it seems as if the PCs were predestined to come to the spheres. The Encounter Level of most encounters here should be 2 or more higher than the party level.
Test of the Messenger: A key found in a ruined dragon hold elsewhere in Adar fits into a stand shaped like a dragon head made of brass and set with turquoise. The keyhole is set inside a golden star. This is the test of Aasterinian, Messenger of Io. If the key is placed in the stand, a secret door on the far side of the cavern opens immediately. Without the key, the secret door must be found (Search DC 35) and opened by force or otherwise breached. Regardless, the door is 20 feet up the far wall, across a 20-foot-deep pit leading into caves beneath the halls.
Test of Fate: Here, through a gossamer wall of violet energy, is the test of Chronepsis. A shades effect calls forth duplicates of the PCs as they might have been if they had chosen darker life paths and worldviews. Under the unblinking eye of Chronepsis in the ceiling, the characters must face their sinister selves.
Test of Wealth: Set in the center of this place is a pool shaped like a sun and swirling with purple energy. Knowledgeable explorers might recognize the pool as a symbol of Astilabor, the Hoard Mistress (Knowledge [religion] DC 20). Eight golden statues of noble and winged kobolds pour violet streams into the pool, and something sparkles deep within. Those who give generously by casting wealth into the pool might find their wealth increased tenfold in the form of a desired magic item. Those who steal are punished when the statues animate.
Test of the North Wind: This room's domed ceiling sparkles as a night sky, the constellation of Bahamut shining most brightly. Those who look into the stars see the depredations of an evil dragon or some spawn of Tiamat, and those who want to do so can be carried as if by a cold wind to the wicked wyrm's lair. Slaying the beast returns the questers here and the evil one's hoard to the Teeth of the Three.
Test of Death: The massive skull of a black dragon rests in the center of this chamber, signifying the baleful majesty of Falazure. Its eyes flash red as anyone enters, calling forth heinous undead to harry good folk. Evil beings might find a boon here instead, such as the secret of becoming one of the free-willed undead, if they are willing to risk death to acquire it.
Test of Tales: The ghost of a very old copper dragon sleeps here upon a golden book (the symbol of Hlal), waiting for someone who can spin a tale to rouse her heart and free her from her duty. A Perform check result of 30 or higher is enough to satisfy her, but a clever bluffer or a skilled diplomat can also rouse the jaded spirit. She then imparts some important knowledge in the form of a long-winded tale before sending the adventurers on their way. Those who want to can read the golden book for a special boon. Of course, the spirit can also be slain.
Test of Justice: A magic golden longsword stands in the center of this room, balanced on a tiny platinum needle and flanked by stone dragons (two drakestone golems, Draconomicon 164, or marut inevitables, MM 159). This is the test of Lendys. Spirits within the dragons judge each passer for some misdeed, possibly causing the guardians to attack if the defense is inadequate. Victorious characters are purified through this trial by ordeal. Death claims the guilty. A paragon of law might be able to take the sword and the needle from this room.
Test of the Firelord: Those who manage to make it through the previous halls come to a volcanic shaft that has cool lava at the bottom. A wide spire of rock stands in the middle, red and glistening. An observant character might notice (Spot DC 25) roughly carved symbols of Garyx, the All-Destroyer, on the outside of the archway leading into the shaft. Across the tube is a platform that apparently allows access to another part of the complex -- but this platform is higher in the shaft than the entry point and obscured by the spire. Further, a decoy cave opens in the northern wall near the lava.
The moment anyone enters the volcanic tube, it springs to life as if erupting, forcing the characters to make a mad dash for the other side. Run this event as if each party member faced some danger each round from flying debris, dangerous gases, or hot magma. Add fire elementals and other fire creatures if you prefer combat to a furious rush or carefully plotted escape. The fires settle down as the characters exit the shaft, almost as if it were all an illusion. Monsters do not pursue those who make it to the platform, but they might follow those who enter the caverns.
Test of Life: Beneath a black ceiling etched with a silver seven-pointed star, the skeleton of a couatl is reverently coiled in a funerary basin, polished bones and bright feathers showing through ornaments of gold and precious stone. Those who return this creature to life pass the test of Tamara and gain the aid of a powerful native outsider for a while. The couatl warns those who return it to life of the test of power. Creatures sitting in the basin are affected as if by a regenerate spell once per day. Any corpse laid in it is granted a constant gentle repose spell (time spent in the basin doesn't count against the time limit of raise dead). At the same time, the basin reduces the body to skeletal remains.
Test of Power: A grand idol of Tiamat stands in the center of this chamber, and the evil one suffers none to pass this chamber. The idol becomes an aspect of Tiamat -- a red dragon that has a Challenge Rating at least 3 higher than the intruders' average level, except that it can breathe the breath weapon of any evil dragon instead of just fire. It still uses its breath only once every 1d4 rounds, and it does not chase those who flee back to the test of life. If you want, you can instead use the aspect of Tiamat (Miniatures Handbook 54) as a guide to creating a more powerful aspect to serve in this room. Those who best Tiamat's aspect are rewarded with passage to the Teeth of the Three, and possibly more.
Chamber of the Teeth. This great, round chamber represents Io the Concordant, Creator of Dragonkind, and in its center is set the Teeth of the Three (page 142). The room glows in eerie colors -- the light of the Teeth reflected off polished surfaces. While anyone who returned through Korrandar's halls would have to face many of its tests again, the Chamber of the Teeth allows egress through its ceiling. This way passes through the lairs of several mighty Storm Guardians, but the dragons show those who have passed the tests through the winding caverns, letting them leave after having a short conversation and presenting a small token of remembrance.
Relevant lore about the Teeth of the Three (and this site) is included in the description of that artifact (page 142).
Korrandar's storms often prevent flight, and the Teeth of the Three and the Shroud thwart dimensional travel. The elusive Storm Guardians are usually seen only if they have business with intruders (that is, if you want them to be seen). Otherwise, the mountain is a wilderness of the most unforgiving type. Draconic creatures are more common here than elsewhere in Adar.
For adventures under Korrandar's cloud cover, use all the worst a mountain has to offer (DMG 89-90). Depending on the season, throw in a thunderstorm or snowstorm, and intermittent blizzard or tornado conditions (DMG 94). Much of the time, vision is impaired due to driving winds and precipitation, and/or thick clouds obscuring light. Severe cold (DMG 302) is a particular problem in the winter and at night, but Korrandar is covered with glaciers and snow all year. If you have access to Frostburn, use the Frostfell Mountain Terrain chart (page 22). You might also use rules for crevasses, snowfields, and whiteout. The supernatural energy surrounding the mountain could also result in sudden squalls of blood snow, death hail, and howl of the north, as well as ebony ice and rare pools and rivulets of coldfire.
Another of Adar's holy sites, Korrandar is a place few people visit. Those who do come always have a purpose. The most likely reason is either to investigate the mystery of the Teeth of the Three and possibly to use it to fortify Adar's Shroud, or to thwart the plans of some evildoer who has designs on the mountain's contents. The Storm Guardians aren't likely to interfere, especially if some element of the draconic Prophecy is unfolding before their eyes.
A character who wants to tie the Shroud to the Teeth of the Three must have seen each of Adar's eight shroud resonators. By contacting the artifact, visualizing a specific shroud resonator, making a successful DC 35 Concentration check, and taking 1d4 points of Constitution drain, such a character can tie the visualized shroud resonator to the Teeth. Failure on the check deactivates the visualized shroud resonator for a day, so taking 20 is impossible. Willing participants within 60 feet of a character performing this process can provide aid by taking the same Constitution drain. Each character who does so also grants the character in contact with the Teeth a +2 bonus on his Concentration check. Those who die in this process vanish in a flash of silvery light and cannot be raised with magic less than true resurrection coupled with a wish or miracle.
A shroud resonator tied to the Teeth of the Three no longer needs powering but otherwise functions as normal. If all of Adar's shroud resonators are tied to the Teeth, all must be shut down or destroyed for the Shroud to cease functioning. It is possible that shoring up the Shroud this way releases the spirit of Taratai from the shroud resonators.
Free to pass within their own halls, the Storm Guardians have placed riches within the mountain, gathered over millennia as the people near Korrandar and pilgrims to the mountain made offerings at shrines near the peak's base. Those who survive Korrandar and their quest for the Teeth of the Three are unlikely to be robbed of whatever they take from under the mountain -- at least by the dragons of Korrandar. The same cannot be said for those who burgle from one of the Storm Guardians.
Korrandar's halls could be relocated to Xen'drik or, radically, to Argonessen. This complex could instead be placed under the Icehorn Mountains between the Eldeen Reaches and the Demon Wastes in Khorvaire.