🔐 Korban's Memorial¶
This entire page is meant as DM information. If you're not the DM, you should probably not be reading this!
At the center of a grassy field, situated deep within the pine forest of Korban's Ruin, stands a statue atop a pedestal. Worn by centuries of weather, its features and details are long gone. You can make out the vague depiction of a figure on its knees. It looks defeated. From its back and out its chest is the remainder of what looks like a sword, skewering the figure. The grassy field is circular, forming a 100-foot radius clearing around the memorial. Judging by the wear marks on the field, it seems like people occasionally set up camp here while traveling through the area.
On closer inspection, this can be read on the pedestal in Old Common with a DC 15 History check:
On the Pedestal
Son of Bhreia.
Our nation's father: slayer of Amalchi.
His sacrifice is salvation.
On the reverse side of the memorial, a seam, detectable with a DC 17 Perception check, outlines a hidden entrance.
You spot a thin seam in the pedestal, tracing the outline of a passage. Though, there's no handle, knob, or lever visible to open it. However, faintly engraved on the stone in an uncommon combination of Elven and Old Common, you read the words "enter friend of Darvia."
This inscription is a callback to Cauldin's Sword, which bears the inscription:
To Cauldin of Leikon, Friend of Darvia. May his foes tremble before him.
If Cauldin's Sword comes within 1 foot of the door, a thin slot appears and will hold the sword in place there with an audible click. The sword can be used to swing the now-unlocked door open.
The sword's blade locks in place with an audible click, and deep within the structure, something moves to unlock the door. You try to pull the sword from the slot, but instead of removing it, the door opens, revealing a narrow staircase leading down into the earth below the memorial.
The sword is stuck in the slot until the door is closed. The pathway is wide enough for a single person to walk through. The air smells stale, and the deeper they go, the smell of methane becomes more pronounced.
Water and Fire¶
The staircase twists into a water-filled chamber stretching out a hundred feet. The chamber is 15 feet wide and at the other end is a door, visible above the water line. This room is pitch black, so the party will need to find a source of light that will not ignite the methane buildup in this room. The smell of methane seems to come from this room as the gas occasionally bubbles up from the water. Lined along the walls at 10-foot intervals are unlit sconces facing each other.
On lighting the room
The 15-foot-wide room is filled with water running towards you, making it difficult to stand in place. The water covers you up to your hips. At the end of the room, just above the waterline, an old half-rotten door provides the only exit. Lining the walls at ten-foot intervals are ten unlit sconces on each side.
A DC 15 Investigation check would reveal that a thin metal wire connects the sconces on opposing sides. A new Investigation is required for each of them to determine if a wire is present and its location. Some are below the water, some along the waterline, and others in the air. It is possible to disarm each of these traps with a DC 17 Thieves Tools check.
Triggering these traps will cause the sconce to ignite and explode the methane buildup in the room. A successful DC 18 Dexterity check will allow the party to duck below the waterline before igniting the room. On failure, the party member receives 4d6 fire damage.
🔐 Korban, the historical figure long thought to be dead, and memorialized through this monument, is still alive as a prisoner in a glass sphere.
On opening the door.
You push on the door, which breaks into rotten chunks in your hands. An odor of wet mold briefly fills the air as the door's remains crumble to the ground. When you peer into the next room, you first notice a large framed image portraying a moving landscape. You realize you're looking at a cultivated wheat field gently rippling in the breeze under a bright midday sun. Stretching out into the distance is a dark road that contrasts against the reddish soil and dried grasses surrounding it. The blue midday sky switches for a pitch-black canvas embroidered with bright stars. A voice calls out as you try to figure out what's happening.
Those who understand Elvish:
Please. Please. Is someone there?
Laying on a bed of his grown-out white hair inside a glass sphere, you see an ancient Elvish figure slowly moving to face your direction. "I hear you," he calls out. His blind eyes aimlessly search for something to see. Slowly, he lifts himself with his spindly limbs and rests his naked body against the sphere's surface. His skin is thin as rice paper, translucent, showing his squirming insides below its surface. On his chest is a large scar, healed long ago but still red and wet with inflammation. "Who visits me today?"
Korban was trapped in this sphere 872 years ago, in 2208. He only speaks Elvish and Old Common.
Why is he there? After having slain Amalchi in human form, a group of Amalchi worshippers killed Korban on his way back to Darvia as revenge for killing their incarnated deity. A group of humans named the Human Trinity claimed responsibility for the killing to drive a divide between the growing alliance between Elves and Humans.
Has anyone visited lately? Yes, though he doesn't know precisely how long ago. A man visited him, but Korban was blind by then, so he couldn't see him. He also doesn't know how much time has passed since his imprisonment. He guesses two-hundred years but is shocked to find out it is 872 instead.
On Korbantir. Korban doesn't know that the country is named after him, making him quite emotional. The kingdom was named after a brief war during the Third Age when the Western and Eastern regions combined.
What does he want? He wants to be allowed to die. Breaking the sphere will end the spell that keeps him alive. Learning about the influence of his legacy on this kingdom makes him even more inclined to die to prevent influencing policy or opinion. His opinion is that meeting your heroes leads to heartache.
Cauldin's Cursed Sword. Korban gave this sword to Cauldin to commemorate the forming of the friendship between humans and elves. Its curse is an effect to punish anyone but Cauldin from wielding it. He is happy to lift the curse by speaking the right words if they can get him out. See Cauldin's Sword.
What is the painting? It's a portal to predetermined destinations:
- Earth, a road through a wheat field somewhere.
A dark road cuts through fields of wheat growing on reddish soil. The sky is bright blue and the sun shines brightly overhead.
- The lunar colony.
A starry sky over the outlines of buildings. What vaguely resembles a sailing vessel flies overhead and takes off into the sky.
- What's left of Cauldin's Point.
The survivors' camp at Cauldin's Point. People are standing in line, waiting for food.
- Mt. Amarantos
You look down the mouth of a volcano into the hot bubbling mass below. It's hard to tell, but it looks like a large creature swims through it.
Korban says you must press the white orb attached to the platform in front of the portal to activate it. It locks in the target currently displayed and opens the portal. However, it seems that the platform was removed while Korban was blind. Perhaps by the latest visitor?
Korban has some information about each destination that the portal can reach. However, Korban's data is almost 900 years outdated.
Earth is a savage place without magic and solely inhabited by humans. They are technologically regressed compared to the people of these lands (meaning Korbantir before it was named so).
The Lunar Colony, 🔐 Reenashi, is a recent development spearheaded and named after Korban's sister, Reenash. There are two ways of getting there: by portal or by 🔐 Asterskif. The only other portal that Korban knows of is in Darvia.
Korban is surprised that they haven't heard of the lunar colony.
Cauldin's Point camp is an encampment led by his dear friend Cauldin of Leikon, who fell in love with the area while traveling through it. It is an excellent place to build a town, centrally located with plenty of fresh water and fertile soil.
Korban declines to tell more about this location.
If persuaded, he will say that the place is named Mt. Aramantos, a prison of an evil greater than Amalchi. He tells them not to go there and leave it be.
Breaking the Sphere¶
It is possible to break the sphere. However, a powerful 6th-level abjuration spell protects it. The sphere is indestructible until the spell is removed.
All damage deflects back to the dealer while the spell is still active.
If the spell is dispelled, but the sphere isn't broken, Korban will slowly suffocate to death.
If the sphere breaks after the spell ends, the falling shards of glass impale him, ending his life.