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Chapel of Resounding Justice

Southeast of Archenbridge in Sembia is a small fortified chapel to Tyr, built in the middle of an open field in an otherwise unremarkable area. It is a lesser-known pilgrimage site for those of the Tyrran faith, especially paladins, and for those who believe their lives are a worthy price to pay to maintain justice. Measuring 60 feet on a side and just under 20 feet tall from the ground to its parapet walls, the chapel is simple mortar and stone, with an iron plaque of Tyr's hammer-and-scales holy symbol above the double-door entrance on the south face. During the day a flagpole holds a Tyrran flag in blue and white.

The remarkable feature of this chapel is a statue in the courtyard of a large winged humanoid carved out of white marble veined with gold. She stands with muscles tensed, greatsword held high in one hand, her other hand pointing down toward the earth, as if issuing a command or making a stern vow. This statue is actually the petrified remains of Resounding Justice, a noble planetar in service to Tyr who gave her life to defeat Krysus Vaant, a blackguard of Gargauth, and his pit-fiend ally known as Tenflames. The site thrums with the power of Tyr, radiating outward from the statue to just beyond the outer corners of the chapel.

Like any place holy to Tyr, the chapel's keepers offer sanctuary and aid to Tyrrans in need, though they are a small garrison and prefer that military assistance from the church come from one of the larger temples in the nearby cities. Any follower of Tyr is welcome to stay in the chapel for one night; the keepers welcome offers to help guard or improve the site from those skilled in war or craft.

History

In 1295 DR, a young Sembian noble of a minor house inherited his family's estate after an unfortunate boating accident. This noble, Sterth Zelgarik, quickly squandered his family's money on lavish parties and expensive courtesans. Faced with dwindling coffers and the prospect of actually having to work for a living, he became desperate, and when a clever follower of Gargauth approached him about a special business deal guaranteed to make him rich again, he accepted. This sly priest led him by the nose through one misfortune after another, getting him to promise more and more to the outcast devil-god until Sterth owed Gargauth body and soul. The deity reshaped him and gave him a new name, Krysus Vaant, and used him to terrorize political enemies and prick at the heels of good officials who refused to deal with his agents. After dozens of offenses and blasphemies against the church of Tyr, the most powerful Tyrran priest in Saerloon petitioned his god to send a champion to defeat the vile blackguard.

Tyr sent Resounding Justice, a young planetar of auspicious lineage, to deal with Krysus Vaant. The planetar found the Sembian noble outside of Archenbridge and harried him southward over the course of several days, as the blackguard used vile magic to speed his way or leave terrible casualties behind him that the angel was obligated to stop to help. Eventually Resounding Justice managed to hold him in place with a spell and swooped in to put the man to the sword, but the blackguard had a blood pact with the pit fiend known as Tenflames, who appeared just as the planetar was about to smite the mortal. Angel and devil battled and the pit fiend wore away at Resounding Justice. Realizing she couldn't defeat her enemy with conventional means and knowing that Krysus Vaant would soon shake free of her spell, the planetar stood tall in the fading sunlight, pointed her sword at heaven, and sacrificed her own soul to power an incredible blast of white holy energy that engulfed the pit fiend and the blackguard, consuming them until nothing was left but a foul cloud of smoke that drifted away in the breeze (some in Sembia believe the smoke cloud still exists, bearing the minds of the pit fiend and blackguard, whispering dark secrets to those who listen in exchange for binding oaths).

Resounding Justice's supernatural flesh transformed to white marble veined with gold, and when members of her church found her a few days later by following the blackguard's path of destruction, they began to build a shrine at the site, praising her sacrifice in the name of Tyr and justice.

Game Effects

The statue radiates magic and gentle holy power. Its effects fill a sphere just larger than the outermost corners of the chapel walls, though enemies of the chapel's defenders rarely see the benefit of its powers.

At night the statue gently glows with a blue-white light equivalent to a torch.

While in this temple, clerics of Tyr can prepare spells from the Good domain as if they had that domain. Tyr's clerics who already have the Good domain can use nondomain spell slots to prepare spells from the Good domain. Noncleric divine spellcasters can prepare spells from this domain as if they were on their spell list at the equivalent level of the Good domain (so a paladin could prepare holy smite using a 4th-level paladin spell slot). These prepared spells remain prepared even after the caster leaves the chapel.

Anyone dying within the area automatically stabilizes without needing to make a stabilization check. This ability does not prevent creatures from dying outright (such as from a wound bringing them to -10 or fewer hit points) or from other lethal effects such as poison or disease.

Any creature that rests here regains hit points as if it were under the long-term care of someone with the Heal skill.

Keyed Locations

Refer to the accompanying map for each of the following points of interest within the clearing.

1. ENTRANCE

This heavy door is reinforced with iron and has a bar on the inside. It is normally kept closed but not barred.

2. COURTYARD

This area holds the statue form of Resounding Justice. Those who touch the statue say they can still feel her angelic presence, and some believe she is actually alive in some kind of stasis, waiting for the right time to awaken and serve Tyr again. Some Tyrrans propose finding a way to restore her to life, but traditionalists believe that would undermine the message of her sacrifice and possibly undo the magic that destroyed her enemies.

3. BARRACKS

This simple barracks holds two double bunk beds for the chapel's normal contingent of guards (human or half-elf fighter 2). They are armed with longswords and shortbows and wear chainmail and large steel shields when on duty. Other than their armaments they carry little, seeing no need to drag material goods to this site where they lead simple lives serving Tyr in an honorable duty.

4. CAPTAIN'S QUARTERS

Traditionally the captain of the chapel is a paladin of Tyr. In recent years the captain has been Randal Whytstone (LG male aasimar paladin 4 of Tyr), raised as a foundling by the Tyrran temple in Selgaunt.

5. SHRINE

While residents and visitors often pray at the feet of the statue, actual worship and giving of offerings takes place in this small room set aside as a shrine to the god of justice.

6. PRIEST'S QUARTERS

The chapel normally has a cleric on duty for religious services and magical support. The current resident priest is Miri Buckman (LG female human cleric 4 of Tyr), whose parents fled Tethyr during the Interregnum.

7. STORAGE

This room holds enough dry goods to support the six permanent residents for several weeks, and enough water for a week.

8. ARMORY

Just in case they need to arm an influx of defenders against a siege, this armor holds a dozen suits of chainmail, large wooden shields, shortbows, longswords, maces, and about two hundred arrows. Since the inhabitants of the chapel bring their own gear, this room is usually kept closed and is only inspected and inventoried once a tenday.

9. ROOFTOP VANTAGE

Because the ceilings of the rooms underneath these four points are 15 feet tall, the chest-high (to a human) parapet walls here are almost 20 feet from the ground. The parapets only circle the outside walls, allowing easy viewing to anywhere within the open area of the chapel. The parapets continue along the narrow walkways connecting the corner landings.

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