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Koskatep Level 10: Intitepetl, Gem of the Sunby Francesco Defferrari from Threshold Magazine issue 12
Intitepetl, Gem of the Sun
Secrets of Koskatep, Level 10
by Francesco Defferrari (Sturm)
The Gem of the Sun, the most beautiful city, it was so named because it was built over the ruins of the Gem of the Mountains, the ancient city sacred to Inti. The area was purified from the taint of beastmen and evil. For as long as 125 suns the beautiful city lived in the light, until the Sunset people came to defile it, and then the Night people came to cast it into the utter dark. The chosen of the Sun many times tried to take the Gem back, because the Sun cannot be quenched. Many times more they will try again, until the return of the light. Remember, the Sun has just gone under the earth but, as in every morning, it will come back.
Codex of Ancient Intua, approximately 1750 BC1.
Koskatep, Level 10
This level can be reached going down from the closed and trapped hatch of area 10 on Level 9 or even through the chasm in area 6 on Level 9 (Krystallac, published in Issue 11 of Threshold magazine). The PCs will find themselves on Level 10, Intitepetl, once a city of the ancient Realm of Intua, now under the Last One’s control.
The text below repeats the original description of this level in issue 1 of Threshold Magazine (Mirror of Eternal Night article). Read on to discover more on this level of Koskatep!
Level TEN, GEM OF THE SUN
This level was the Inti city 3500 years ago. Not much is left of that time except for some decorations of the sun that have been defiled by The Last One. He found some Inti mummies on this level and animated them. The mummies were priests of Ixion and so despise him so much that they are slowly breaking away from his control, and one day soon they will be able to rebel.
The secrets: Quehuar, the most ancient mummy and shaman, has a useful weapon hidden in a secret compartment in his old sepulchral room, the Gem of the Sun, an enchanted item that can turn undead as a 36th level Lawful Cleric. Once he gains his freedom from The Last One’s control, he will use it.
After the Darkers take control, The Last One hides here, commanding the Inti mummies to hide as well, and casting a powerful illusion to make this level look empty. The Darkers fall for it, but sooner or later they will make plans to use this level and The Last One will be forced to fight them again. To prepare himself he is arranging the summoning of several demons and vampires faithful to the Most Dark One.
What he does not know is that Quehuar is planning his revolt, and when the time is right he will receive huge support from the thirteenth level. Once Ixion’s followers have destroyed The Last One and his minions, they will destroy Nyx’s followers as well. After that, Ixion’s plan is to bring Koskatep into the world as his most important temple, making it a centre of learning for his clerics, fully integrated in the young nation of Karameikos. He now believes it is worthless to try to keep it a secret any longer.
5.100 BC: Precious and semi-precious gems are found in the area and the local people, ancestors of the Azcans, build mines nearby. Slowly the temple becomes a town, and later a city, that falls under the influence of the Oltec empire and is named Koskatepetl, the Gem of the Mountains.
3.525 BC: The Azcan empire is formed and Koskatepetl becomes not only a source of gems but also of metals, to build new lethal weapons for the war.
3.057 BC: The Azcan emperor declares that the underground, secret temple of Ixion has to be opened to share its secret with the people. The priests refuse and destroy the city to seal the temple. A revolt of the Church of Ixion throws the empire into civil war and chaos; the site of Koskatepetl is abandoned and for several years infested by bandits and monsters that try in vain to occupy the place.
2.998 BC: Human refugees hide from the Great Rain of Fire in the ruins of Koskatepetl, but are soon slaughtered by a group of beastmen that take residence among the ruins. The inner temple survives the cataclysm and the invasions unscathed.
2504 BC: The Inti, led by the church of Ixion, occupy the ruins and rebuild the city of Koskatepetl. As is common use among the Inti, priests and important personalities are mummified and kept inside the city, to be contacted if necessary.
2379 BC: The Troll Queen of Grondheim conquers the city, renaming it Krystallac. The living Inti leave and only the mummies remain. The fairy folk leave their tombs alone. Just a few years later sidhe priests discover the existence of the inner temple and begin a century long negotiation with the Sollux and the Brutemen below to gain access to the artifact. The Troll Queen also creates the Crystal Lake, a permanent gate to the Border, the area between the Dreamlands and the Nightmare dimension.
2282 BC: As the Queen grows impatient about the unwillingness of Ixion to compromise, she sends her best troops to open the temple. Inti troops soon attack the place, and Taymora intervenes shortly thereafter. This is the beginning of the War of the Empires, or the Twilight Wars, or the War of Southern Grondheim, that will last decades and will devastate the region. Mogreth intervenes as well a few years later. Some Inti mummies are awakened, but soon defeated or destroyed by minions of the Troll Queen.
2170 BC: Some fairies of Krystallac turn to the Unseelie, and decide to tell Elienor about Ashira’s tomb. The Troll Queen discovers them and exiles them, and manages to scatter the essence of Elienor after a terrible magical battle near the Crystal Lake. But she is gravely wounded by Elienor’s magic, and will never be able to recover. The Crystal lake is also damaged and its capacity as a portal greatly reduced.
2080 BC: In a time of crisis in Grondheim due to the Troll Queen’s malady Taymora and Intua, lizardmen and troglodytes, escaped from the Mogreth, occupy Krystallac and keep it for a hundred years. As the lizardmen cannot locate all the portals left by the fairies in Level 9, they try to seal it completely, and likewise they ignore Intitepetl and its mummies.
1976 BC: After a long siege Taymora conquers Krystallac and renames it Kosmoteiros. Nyx knows about Ixion’s artifact but rather than try to steal or destroy it she decides to exploit the magical aura of the place to build her own strongest artifact that will bring fulfillment of her Dream. The followers of Nyx leave alone the levels below.
1777 BC: To prevent Kosmoteiros from falling into the hands of Thanatos, the priests of Nyx destroy the city with a terrible earthquake. Thousands die and the place is abandoned for many years as seismic activity increases in the area. The earthquake damages Level 10 too, stirring the Inti mummies.
1664 BC: After the destruction of Taymora fairies of the Unseelie court, former exiles of Krystallac, take possession of the place and try to use the Starlake, but do not discover Ashira’s burial and are not able to reach Elienor until much later. The dark fairies of Kundrak do not reach Level 10.
1597 BC: Lord Keiros, a Tal nosferatu and follower of Nyx, conquers Koskatep from the dark fairies. Vampiric followers of Thanatos attack several times but are defeated. Lord Keiros briefly explores Level 10, but does not use it.
1412 BC: Hutaakans conquer the site for Ixion and Pflarr, a seriously wounded Lord Keiros is forced to hide, and his followers are exterminated. The hutaakans slowly explore the levels below, reaching Intitepetl and its mummies, and succeed in communing with them.
1021 BC: Orcs sack Koskatep, some hutaakan priests survive hiding in the lower levels, and will become more guardians for the hidden temple of Ixion. Some hutaakans stop in Level 10, to tend the ancient Inti mummies.
954 BC: After several battles a dwarven army defeats the orcs and conquers Koskatep, but they are soon in constant warfare with the gnolls that rule over the region. They do not explore the lower levels.
912 BC: The dwarves are finally defeated by the gnolls, who build their own city over the ruins. Shamans of Ranivorus and Thanatos begin to study the Starlake. The Gnolls do not reach Level 10.
841 BC: Followers of Nyx, aided by ogres and giants, attack Koskatep but are unable to conquer it from the gnolls. Yet they succeed in killing the most powerful shamans of Thanatos and burning their notes.
603 BC: The ogre king Kulfan conquers Koskatep in the name of Nyx and ogres rule over the area for centuries. Human priests of the Lady of the Night live in the city along with them. They have some contacts with Level 8 and 9 and reach Level 10, but do not use it.
95 AC: The Darkers almost complete the ritual to use the Starlake and bring forth the Eternal Night, but are stopped at the last moment by priests of Ixion, who drive out the ogres and occupy Koskatep for years. The priests of Ixion occupy all the levels down to the 10th, where they contact the Inti mummies and establish an outpost.
227 AC: The priests of Ixion have repelled several attempts by ogres, giants and followers of Nyx trying to reclaim the ruins, but are destroyed at last by a very powerful and ancient vampire sent by Thanatos, The Last One. Some priests of Ixion escape to the lowest level and become defenders of the inner temple. The Last One occupies Level 10 and awakens all the mummies, taking control of them. In the following centuries ogres, giants, followers of Nyx and even adventurers sent by Ixion try to reclaim Koskatep, but The Last One destroys them all. He however fails to control completely Level 9, and so Quehuar and the other mummies of Level 10, left mostly alone, soon begin to plan their rebellion.
912 AC: Traladaran freedom fighters hide in the ruins for some time, but are destroyed by the Thyatian army. The Thyatians soon leave the place.
998 AC (or later if the DM prefers): Lady Sonya, the Grand Daughter of the Night, a powerful priestess of Nyx, and her followers, are able to defeat The Last One and reclaim Koskatep. The Last One is not destroyed, but escapes to Level 10 with some faithful followers, to plan his revenge. Quehuar has however his own plan to stab The Last One in the back and destroy the Darkers too, with the aid of the followers of Ixion in Level 13.
1031 AC: The next alignment. On this date the Starlake could be used to bring forth The Eternal Night.
The Random Critters table and the Wandering Parties table of level 2B (in issue #3 of Threshold magazine, pages 207 and 208) may apply here if the DM so wishes. In this case there is a 1% chance in each room that a Wandering Party will be encountered.
The Followers of The Last One encounter table of level 1 (in issue #2 of Threshold magazine, page 122), can also still be used here if the DM so wishes. One such follower could try to join the PCs to explore this level, with the final purpose of bringing them in the presence of The Last One himself (in Level 7). After the Darkers take control (see issue 1) Followers of The Last One will be numerous and strong on this level and will quickly obtain reinforcements. Quehuar and his followers however may be able to help the party.
Spells that provide magical transportation, such as teleport, passwall, dimensional door, magic door, travel, gate and spells such as clairvoyance and find the path do not work on this level as on Levels 5-9 due to powerful wards placed by The Last One and others before him. The DM could decide to apply the same rule to the levels above the 5th, at least from Level 2 and below, particularly if the PCs are of a high level.
In addition, Quehuar will immediately perceive any spell cast here and will likely try to invisibly follow the PCs to discern their motivations. After the Darkers take control The Last One too will be able to do the same, and his agents may be sent to capture the PCs, unless Quehuar reaches them and helps.
The map and the inhabitants of this Level
The area in dark grey on the map is solid stone, very difficult to dig, even though it may contain small tunnels dug by critters and wandering monsters. The area in light grey is partially clear, but full of rubble, rocks and collapsed structures which cannot be recognized anymore.
The area in the west of the city, light grey and black, has partially collapsed, creating a maze of natural caverns and hidden passages.
The black “scar” in the middle of the map is the Chasm opened by the Kosmoteiros earthquake of 1777 BC, which goes all the way down to Level 12.
The structures in yellow are the original constructions of Intitepetl at its height.
This level appears empty but has its hidden undead inhabitants.
The DM could decide that the PCs will be able to cross this level without encountering anyone, particularly if Quehuar thinks they are aligned with Nyx. In fact, he will not hinder enemies of The Last One, but neither he will be willing to help followers of the Lady of the Night, as he is still loyal to the Sun god.
Map of Intitepetl, Level 10
The Levels of Koskatep]
1 - The passage from Level 9 and the tunnels
This is the only passage to and from Level 9, bolted and trapped (See area 10 of Level 9). It leads to a series of tunnels which were once the part of the city with the palace and the temples. Now it’s all collapsed, with many impassable areas and dead ends. Critters could be numerous in this area (see above).
1 - A lot of treasures, from gems to magical items, are still here, buried among the rubble. To uncover them, it would be necessary to dig and search for hours to obtain just a 2% chance of discovering something. If someone has the time to dig and search for a week, the chance to find something valuable may be increased to 12%.
After the Darkers arrive and defeat The Last One in Level 7 (see Threshold issue #9), The Last One himself will hide in this level. He will then leave at least 10 powerful undead guards in this area (from wraiths to mummies). If intruders arrive the guards will attack only if they think they can destroy them, otherwise they will just secretly follow them, while some will go to The Last One’s hideout in area 9. Agents of Quehuar may also be able to intercept and warn them.
2 - The Isolated Caves
These caves, created by the collapse of a large part of the city, are apparently abandoned and there is no visible means to reach them, so PCs could easily be unable to find them. In truth, there is a secret tunnel from Area 1 very difficult to find (only a 5% chance to spot it even passing near to the entrance, 10% for dwarves and thieves). In the isolated caves, there are many Critters (see above), but they have all been gathered by several Inti Mummies (2d20+2 Special mummies with spellcasting abilities as Clerics of levels 3-9) who will try to hide unless the PCs show some clear sign of allegiance to Ixion. If the mummies believe the PCs to be intruders, they will send the critters to drive them away.
2 - The Inti mummies are a group hidden here by Quehuar to strike against The Last One, who doesn’t know of their existence. The mummies have also gathered some magical objects to be more effective when the time comes. Unless they believe the PCs to be minions of the Last One, they will try to avoid them or drive them away with critters. They will not give away their items without a fight, not even to potential allies, but may be persuaded to follow PCs who are clearly followers of Ixion (whom they call Iqaru).
After the arrival of the Darkers the minions of The Last One will probably not discover these hidden caves, unless they are very lucky. The mummies here mean to attack The Last One and his minions from their hiding place once The Last One decides to strike back against the Darkers.
3 - The collapsed Palace
Here was the ancient great Palace of Intitepetl, now partially collapsed. Quehuar (as Mummy but with Clerical powers as C18) waits normally here along with several Inti Mummies (all also Clerics level 3-12) and 2 hutaakans (as Nosferatu, and Clerics levels 7 and 9). Quehuar was not the high priest of the city at the time of the Troll Queen’s conquest, as that man and his clerics were killed or driven away, but he was his predecessor. He died of natural causes in 2483 BC, 21 years after the creation of Intitepetl, and was mummified in the basement of the temple (see Area 4). He was awakened by the earthquake of 1777 BC. The other mummies are all priests who died for various reasons, mostly natural reasons, before the Grondheim conquest. The hutaakans are instead part of a group who arrived here after the orc conquest of 1021 BC and became willing undead to aid Quehuar and the other mummies. The exact number of Quehuar’s followers may be decided by the DM. Quehuar and his followers will not raise unintelligent undead, as they consider them abominations in the eyes of Iqaru (Ixion), but may use their clerical powers to control or destroy existing undead. It’s more probable they will use magic to create or control normal animals.
3 - Quehuar and his followers have a treasure trove of magical objects dating back to the times of Intua. Many of these items are sacred to Ixion and would be harmful to followers of rival Immortals. Also if a PC who is not a follower of Ixion takes one of these objects, eventually the Church may be able to track him and demand the return of the item. If Quehuar and his followers take control of Koskatep defeating the Last One and the Darkers, he would be interested in meeting the descendants of his people, the Atruaghin clans. He will not be happy to learn that most of them are no longer faithful to Iqaru and follow instead other Immortals. He could consider Atruaghin a possible ally, but will probably consider Atzanteotl an enemy.
The Darkers probably will not have the chance to speak with Quehuar, as after their arrival The Last One will come to Level 10, commanding Quehuar to be ready to strike against the Darkers. Quehuar would rather strike against The Last One, and he will be interested in finding allies to do that. Should the Last One be defeated, Quehuar probably will not try to parley with the Darkers, but will try to destroy or drive them away too, unless the PCs are able to establish a truce between him and the Darkers. Such a truce can only be temporary, as Quehuar wants Koskatep for the Church of Ixion, and will not stop until this happens, or he is destroyed.
4 - The Great Temple
Here was and still is the Temple of Ixion, or at least most of it. The Troll Queen left the temple alone when she conquered Intitepetl in 2379 BC, and further explorers did not destroy it. What damages the temple has sustained were mostly due to the earthquake of 1777 BC. When the Last One came down here he tried to desecrate the temple, but failed. Distracted by more pressing concerns, he then forgot about it. From time to time Quehuar and his mummies come here to silently worship their god. A statue of the Sun god, partially damaged by collapses, still stands in the middle of the temple.
The temple has two levels, the main worship area above and the cemetery below. The cemetery holds the remains of at least 50 Inti mummies, buried with most of their items and magical objects. These mummies are not only clerics, but also warriors, nobles and wizards of Intitepetl. They will not awake unless Quehuar or the Last One call them.
4 - By touching the statue of Iquaru/Ixion it is possible to commune both with him and with the higher priests and priestesses in Level 13 below, even if the one who is touching the statue is not a cleric. However communication can happen only if the person knows about this power of the statue. Quehuar is the only one who knows this, and he uses this power very rarely. He also knows a secret room where magical objects once part of the temple’s treasure are still hidden. He may be willing to lend some of them to worthy followers of Ixion.
The Last One will leave the temple alone after the Darkers arrival, more concerned about a way to strike back against the followers of Nyx. He will awaken all the mummies still in the temple and take control of them. Quehuar however will be able to wrest away its control of the Inti mummies once he decides to fight against the Last One. Quehuar will also come here at least one time, to use the statue of Ixion and tell the priests in Level 13 about the arrival of the Darkers. This will probably precipitate the events, as the priests will decide to open the tunnel they are digging toward Level 12 to help Quehuar and destroy the Last One, then deal with the Darkers. If for some reason Quehuar cannot speak to those on Level 13, he may still decide to strike against the Last One anyway once he is busy fighting against the Darkers.
5 - The Plaza and the Chasm
Here once was the main plaza of Intitepetl, with temples and palaces of noble houses. Now the Chasm created by the earthquake of 1777 BC occupies the eastern border of the area. The Chasm is the only way to go down to Level 11, as the Inti chose to bury completely the Beastmen city after they conquered it in 2504 BC. As said for the levels above, climbing up and down or tying a rope could be quite dangerous as the water dripping from Level 7 has random teleportation effects, see sidebar.
5 -There is the Dark Waterfall coming down from above. As the walls of the chasm are wet, it is extremely dangerous to try to reach Level 11 and below going down from here, but on this level it is also the only way.
Touching the Dark Waterfall may also cause random teleportation effects to Annwyn, particularly the areas where it borders the Carnifex prison2.
The Last One, Quehuar and the Darkers will keep on ignoring Level 11 below as they have done so far. Only when the followers of Ixion open Level 13 to come up (if called by Quehuar as detailed in Area 4) a permanent passage will probably be built from Level 10 to 11. The actions of the beastmen in the hidden parts of Level 11 will obviously come into play too (as will be explained in the next issue of Threshold).
6 - The Lake and the rivers
These waterways once went down the hill, as there is a pool which also arrives to Level 12 below. As Level 12 is contaminated, anyone drinking this water has a 50% chance (- constitution) to develop nausea and vomiting after 1d6 hours, which will last 1 full day, with minor headaches, and -3 to all rolls. The PC so affected will also feel weak for a full month hereafter, and suffer a -2 to all rolls and a 20% decrease of his/her hit points. After this month, she or he should recover fully, but there is a 5% chance they will develop a mysterious malady which will bring them to death in 1d6+2 weeks. The malady can be cured only with clerical healing of the fifth-seventh level.
6 - The Last One discovered the contamination of the waterways, and raised several electric eels3 here as undead (HD2), 10 giant catfish (HD8+3) and 1 giant sturgeon (HD10+2). They have orders to attack any living being approaching the waters.
The Last One cannot obviously use the undead fish to attack the levels above, so they will remain there until the Church of Nyx or the Church of Ixion, if victorious, destroys them. The contamination of the waters will be however much more difficult to defeat (see Level 12).
7 - The Noble Quarter
This area hosted the Nobles’ quarter at the height of the city and, just to the north east of it, the extensive warehouse of goods owned and managed by the noble houses. Now very little remains of the luxury of more than three thousand years ago. Inside one of the warehouse lie about 20 (or more, if the DM so desires) undead orcs, apparently dead, their bodies hidden among the rubble, waiting for orders by the Last One. Their level should be decided by the DM, from simple zombies (HD2) to vampires (HD10). They will not awake unless attacked, and their presence will be spotted only on a roll of 1 on 1d6 by anyone who enters the warehouse and spends at least a turn searching it.
7 - The former palaces and the warehouses do still contain some treasures from the time of Intitepetl. Such treasures includes gold, gems and magical items. For every turn spent searching a palace or a warehouse there is a 2% chance for each person searching that such a treasure may be found, buried under debris or the dust of ages.
When the Last One comes to this level after the Darkers’ victory in Level 7, he will awaken the undead orcs and use them as guards. The orcs will patrol this area and will remain awake and ready for his counterattack.
8 - The Market
Former great market of Intitepetl, this area also contained several palaces and public buildings. Now most of the palaces are ruined, but one of them, still in a good shape, contains what will appear to visitors like a menagerie. The main hall in fact has a collection of creatures, apparently dead and unmoving like stuffed animals. The collection includes a wyvern, some rock toads, a bear, some ogres, gnolls, orcs, halflings and humans, a manticore, a werewolf, a stone giant. These are all creatures who reached as far as Level 7 or even here, during the centuries, and were killed by minions of The Last One. He later preserved and hid their bodies here, to be reanimated if necessary. All these creatures could be awakened as unintelligent or intelligent undead as the DM prefers. PCs with holy water or clerical abilities may be able to destroy the bodies before The Last One can awaken them.
8 - Most of the intelligent creatures placed here still possess their equipment, with items dating back centuries. If robbed they will not awake, as only the Last One (or another powerful necromancer) will be able to call them back.
After the Darkers win in Level 7, The Last One will awake all these creatures for his counterattack. Quehuar may be able to speak with some of them, if they are raised as intelligent undead, and bring some of them to his side.
9 - The Warehouse
This former huge warehouse is completely abandoned and empty. The northern side is partially collapsed, but apparently a lot of debris has been piled up to close the wall to the outside. There are some big coffins around the walls, but they are all empty. There is nothing else in this area.
9 - Even searching the room for a long time, still nothing of value or interest can be found here.
This area was emptied by minions of the Last One to be the ultimate refuge of their master. After the arrival of the Darkers the Last One will escape here with all the followers he is able to save from the battle. The huge warehouse will still appear completely empty to anyone examining it, even with magic, due to a powerful Periapt of Concealment that the Last One will leave here. Powerful clerics or wizards (level 20 or above) can still feel an undefined sensation of discomfort if they visit this area. If the Last One is discovered before he is ready for his counterattack, he will try to kill the interlopers with all the minions he still has, calling also the creatures from area 7 and 8 and all the mummies of this level.
10 - The Artisans Quarter
This was the quarter inhabited by artisans at the height of the city, full of workshops and small stores. Items dating back to those times can still be found and recognized among the rubble of the ancient and partially collapsed streets. A lot of carrion crawlers and rust monsters dwell in this quarter.
10 - The critters are not wandering monsters, but guardians left by an organized group of Inti mummies who are hidden here. These mummies defied Quehuar centuries ago and were defeated. He believes he has destroyed them, but one survived and was eventually able to raise the others again. They belong to an ancient Intua faction called The Cult of Shadows, who would like to ally with the Church of Nyx, once they become aware of the arrival of The Darkers. They will not aid Quehuar when he rebels against the Last One, but whatever party wins, they will then intervene in support of the Darkers.
Nothing will happen here after the initial victory of the Darkers, as neither the Last One nor Quehuar are aware of the existence of the Cult of Shadows here.
THE BATTLE ON THIS LEVEL
There will be no initial battle on this level, but the Last One will come down here from his defeat on Level 7 with all his remaining minions. Here he will plan his counterattack against the Darkers, probably from six months to one year after his initial defeat.
PC actions should be instrumental in determining what will exactly happen during the second counterattack, as the possible parties go beyond the Darkers and The Last One, which also have several allies:
- The Darkes can count on the Ogres of the Cruth Hills, and may be able to bring on their side also Traladaran freedom fighters (see Level 1 in Threshold issue #2) and several undead they will meet from Level 1 to Level 9, as detailed in each level, in particular Lord Keiros in Level 5 (issue #7 of Threshold) and Kirish in Level 8 (issue #10 of Threshold).
- The Last One can count on the live orcs in Level 1, the undead gnolls in Level 3 (issue #5 of Threshold), the undead orcs in Level 5 (issue #7 of Threshold) and Akrash in Level 8. He may also be able to call allies from the outside world, like humanoids or followers of Thanatos and other entropic immortals.
- Quehuar and the Inti mummies of this level, with all the allies they could find in the above levels (I’d estimate all the characters connected to the Church of Ixion as detailed in each level, like Hasiq in Level 3 and the hutaakans in Level 8) and the allies he can call from Level 13.
- The dwarves in Level 4 (in issue #6 of Threshold) are their own faction and, as explained, they will probably join the Darkers against the Last One, but could be persuaded to join the Ixion faction later.
- The Dark Fairies of Level 6 (in issue #8 of Threshold) are again their own faction, as are the different fairy agents of Level 9 (in issue #11 of Threshold). The Dark Fairies could temporarily ally with the Darkers, while some of the fairies of Level 9 could temporarily ally with the Church of Ixion. Both will probably turn on their allies eventually, as explained in their description.
- The Beastmen in the hidden parts of Level 11 are another faction, ready to strike as soon the chaos has reached its peak.
Therefore a possible timeline of the final fight for Koskatep may be as follows, with the advice to modify it depending on the PCs actions:
- The Darkers attack and surprise the Last One as detailed in Level 7, forcing him to escape to Level 10 with all his remaining allies.
- The Darkers explore Level 8 and 9, probably gaining allies as detailed in each level.
- The Last One strikes back from Level 10 with all his might and allies.
- Quehuar and the Inti mummies stab him in the back, aided by the followers of Ixion from Level 13.
- Caught among two enemies, the Last One is defeated again and escapes, probably with a few remaining allies, to Level 12.
- The Church of Ixion and the Darkers start fighting among themselves for the control of Koskatep. The dwarves of Level 5 could change alliance at this time and the fairies of Level 6 and 9, and the lizardmen of Level 8 create further mayhem.
- Different factions could control Koskatep up to 1031 AC, when the alignment will occur and it will be possible to use the Starlake in Level 7 to open a permanent portal. If the Starlake’s corruption is not discovered in time (as detailed in area 5B of Level 7, in issue #9 of Threshold) the portal will open to the home plane of Thanatos (or to Annwyn).
- Before or after that, the Beastmen of Level 11 attack Level 13. Hel may also call more humanoids from the outside world to aid them. They will probably try to persuade the Darkers to join them. As it will be explained in Level 11 however, the Last One may be able to take control of them and strike back again.
- A final huge battle among the different factions may occur in the depth of Level 13. Mystara could be changed forever or Koskatep be destroyed by the Immortal to avoid this outcome.
1Intua was developed by John Calvin for the 2300 BC setting, for more informations see here: http://pandius.com/kworld_h.html, here: http://pandius.com/intua.html and here on the Piazza: http://www.thepiazza.org.uk/bb/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=3954
2This idea comes from RobJN here: http://thornschronicle.blogspot.it/2014/06/design-diary-time-before-years.html For more information about the Carnifex, see here: http://pandius.com/lore.html and here: http://pandius.com/carnifex.html Annwyn is the homeplane of the Dark Fairies, see also the previous level of Koskatep in Threshold issue #8 here: http://pandius.com/Threshold_8.pdf and issue #9 about the Dark Waterfall: .http://pandius.com/Threshold_9.pdf. The chance of teleportation could be very low (only 5% of the times that someone touches the waters), or much higher, depending on the DM’s preference.
3Electric eels and giant catfish are from the 1993 Creature Catalogue, while the giant sturgeon is in the BECMI boxed sets and in the Rules Cyclopedia. 3ed conversions are also available on Pandius, for example: http://pandius.com/electeel.html