Welcome to another end of week writeup where this week we follow our players as they enter Into the Lair of the Lómipilu.
As always portraits are created in Artbreeder and the normal wonderful tools like Kobold-fight-Club and D&D Beyond are used frequently.
How to Catch a shadow
Darkness was the first sensation that the party felt when they walked through the portal that had literally ripped open. The bright light from the room that they came from seemed to force the portal open but even then the tendrils of darkness were trying to knit the wound closed. As they stepped in colour seemed to fade as well where only things immediately in front of their face held the slightest trace of what it used to be. The further they looked ahead the more coloured seemed to disappear until just ten feet way their vision failed. Even those with darkvision struggled to see in a place devoid of all light.
Lighting torches didn’t do much and only brought back the smallest flicker of colour and light in this world and even the warmth from the fire was taken away before it could push back the numbing feeling from their fingers.
“You must be very brave or very dumb to come into my lair. Your corpses will entertain my pets for days to come and your bones will be sewn into my walls” a voice mocked from behind them. Whirling around there was nothing there but the burst of light that was suddenly too bright. Turning around the party started to stride into the dark. The pocket of shadow was oppressive and the flickering light of the torch failed to push past fifteen feet and what it did touch summoned phantoms of nightmares from their darkest dreams.
“Run!” a voice said from somewhere in the dark. “Run from here!” the same voice called out. “Tell Takeo that the shadow gathers at obsidian peak!” a shriek of pain followed the warning and then silence.
Looking amongst each other the party pushed back fear as shapes in the murky shadow twisted into forms and voices from their past and present spoke to them from just outside the torchlight.
The creature stalked the maze like halls that it had constructed with but a thought the moment it created a rift to its lair. Melding and knitting shadow and reality together to create something of its own was childs play and these foolish mortals were stepping into a realm that they had no hope of contending with the power it had here.
But as the light flooded from the previous room and the tendrils of shadow struggled to knit the opening back together the Lómipilu felt a trickle of fear for the first time in centuries. Soon the creatures moved into the dark interior of the dimension it had created, a little pocket of shadow and the Lómipilu’s fear quickly began to disappear. Soon a plan began to form in the mind of the creature as he released its hands from the old man and summoned forth dense shackles that bound his mouth and limbs so he could not speak or move.
Stalking one of the many halls the creature climbed higher into the dimension it had created and watched a the party one by one drifted further apart from each other as the dimension they found themselves in constantly folded out before them forcing them to loop around until they were back in the starting room that they entered. The creature smiled and watched the creatures looked baffled at what had happened. In fact the creature was so amused by the wonderment of the adventurers that it giggled. It knew these halls better than any and that the only path forward as the least obvious, all others led to confusion and death.
The creature lay on its stomach and watched the adventurers move around and start discussing their predicament – each one of them not aware that those they were talking to were not what they seemed to be.
As the party member move around the corner they find a familiar set of faces looking back at them. “What happened to you? Where did you go? You were with us a second ago and then you disappeared and we heard noises from behind us…” the look on the party members in front turned to concern and fear. “There is something behind you…”
Turning around the party turned to see shadowy blurred faces that looked very much like the party members who stood behind them. They reached out, pointing and shouting at the party members behind them telling the person to get away from them, that they were dangerous. However it was too late as The Doppelganger had already weaved itself into the minds of all those involved and was playing its part perfectly.
As chaos broke out in the mind of that party member the doppelganger was busy in creating similar chaos elsewhere.
The rest of the group could not find where their party member had gone – they had disappeared but a minute ago as a gust of shadow like gas had gushed from the wall. Racing through it to try and find their missing member they found a dreadful scene where the finishing blow was given to a creature of bone and flesh by their party member.
“Thank the gods you showed up. There were more of these creatures. Several more. They live in the walls and emerge in a puff of smoke and attack without warning.” The party member leant over and breathed heavily with exhaustion. “We will have to be careful moving forward..” he said as another gust of shadow infused smoke erupted from the wall and the party scattered into the surrounding rooms to avoid the gas.
Behind the gas the Lómipilu made its move and changed the rooms that they were in, creating new passages, new rooms and changing the perspective of the players in an instance. One moment they were facing what would be due north, the next they were looking south west at a new door opening into a different hallway. Separated from the rest of the party, well those who were not already taken over by its created doppelgangers.
As the party members began to descend into chaos it made its move, slashing out in violence and the first drops of mortal blood were dropped onto its lightless glass floors and shadowy walls.
NPCs – 237TuWiotDa
Held captive by the Lómipilu his face borrowed by the demonic creature and used to chaos Master Fukiyomo waits for his student Takeo to rescue him. But when the Party show up he is just as glad to see them.
NPC’s and faces of the Void
The NPC faces are probable the same, some real people some the Lómipilu.
Environment and running the adventure
The additional thing to remember about this lair is the extreme lack of light. Darkvision is good only to 10 feet and all sources of light, except daylight, are reduced by around a quarter. This effectively means that the party has to balance their equipment and light sources for this encounter and with the lair actions and abilities of the Lómipilu it becomes half the battle.
The idea behind the Lair of the Lómipilu is simple. Each time the party members leave a room or hallway the Lómipilu will change where they were moving and where they moved from. For this purpose I have a bunch of rooms or areas that are shrouded in darkness each with a few 1″ grid width (5ft) exits/entrances. For my implementation of this I would print out the maps (or edit them in GIMP or another image manipulation software) and roll a dice per entrance/exit per room/hall.
For simplistic play
Assign the large central room with only one exit with the number 6. Each other entrance/exit roll a 6 and assign it either a 1-2, 3-4 and 5-6.
Do this for all rooms so they have no duplicate ranges. Then try and map them out so that the portal room is somehow connected to the large room. Any entrance or exit that doesn’t have a number allocated to it and a room next to it is considered to be “lost” and you end up back on the portal room.
For complex play
Keep the dice rolled but each time they leave a room they roll a dice (effectively a d3) and they move to a random room that has that number. This becomes an issue of chance and luck rather than skill, role playing or problem solving and so could be more troublesome and it would rely on rolling well multiple times. The caveat to this system would be that they add a +1 to the roll for each room they have visited and make the end room a 7 (so they cant roll 6 then a 6 straight away and head to the final room). This rewards exploration and doesn’t feel as much of a “Game of chance” as a “after 3 rooms you have a 50% chance to get to the boss room”.
This adventure we are doing it a bit differently and incorporating lair actions into the rooms.
The Lómipilu lair is in reality a large (60ft x 60ft) pocket dimension where it the Lómipilu has brought in elements of the shadowlands (Shadowfell / Shadowplane) into the dimension. The dimension swallows dim light completely, bright light is reduced to a quarter of its normal range (torches are now only 5ft bright and a further 5ft dim) and only daylight seems to piece the veil.
Generally the Lómipilu creates illusionary structures from condensed shadow that are so real that they are physical to touch and only those who can convince their own minds that its not an illusion can see the room for what it really is.
The nature of the Dimension and thus the Lómipilu’s lair is of unbridled chaotic illusion and the creature that calls this liar home is its embodiment. On initiative 20 the Lómipilu takes a lair action to cause one of the following effects. The Lómipilu can’t take the same action 2 rounds in a row.
- The rooms shift, doors that used to lead to halls or other rooms change to a new position and the lair reforms around its central core.
- Creatures made of shadow shift in and out of existence and throw themselves at invaders of their territory at the behest of the Lómipilu. These creatures are called Lómipilu Shades (Shadowless Shades). They take the form that the Lómipilu desires, have 7ac and 1 hp and cause no damage on an attack. They also die after 1d4 rounds.
- The Shadow energy of the pocket dimension erupts forth and causes all exposed flames and non-permanent magical lights to go out.
As the creature fell writhing to the ground as the final blow struck the walls of the dimension shook and shuddered before the light from the portal could be seen pushing back all traces of shadow. A single pile of glittering treasure could be seen next to a man in the same uniform as Takeo who lay unconscious in the room as the light began to flood in.
A voice, familiar yet estranged whispered past the party “The dimension is collapsing. Hurry” as what could be seen of the pocket dimension began to distort and wobble. Rushing forwards the party manage to grab the man and some treasure before they were violently thrown backwards through the light drenched portal in a cascade of treasure, stolen goods and artefacts mainly, into the room where they cornered the Lómipilu. With a definitive tearing sound the portal between this plane and the pocket dimension tore apart and the way Into the Lair of the Lómipilu was closed.
Thanks for joining me for another end of week writeup. This week marked the tipping point of our party coming into possession of the tools that are needed to best the forces of the Shadow, but more on that this week. Don’t forget to come back this week as I add a bit more to this months adventure and, and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe
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