This is adventure 21 of 25 that is roughly designed to take characters from level 1 to 25 that I will be sharing over the month of September. These posts are a part of Asshat Paladin's OSR Short Adventure Challenge, and utilize his Get Ready, Get Set, Go! format.
Breaking the World
A Get Ready, Get Set, Go! Classic D+D adventure set in the Mountainous Wilderness
The Mate of the Dragon is out for revenge against the whole world. He has stolen the Orb of Magic from the immortals and is using it to shred the wall between the worlds.
Various divinations will reveal that the Mate can now be found above the mountains near the Dragon’s lair. Upon returning to the mountains a great swirling storm rages. Flying through the hurricane force winds and around bolts of lightning is a flock of vicious gryphons. High above, on top of the clouds is a huge castle. Standing on the top of the highest tower, hundreds of feet above the top of the clouds, is a Giant, bigger than any the PCs ever seen before. With him is a swirling crystal orb that he manipulates, causing waves of distortion to flow outward.
The Mate isn’t actually evil, he’s just grieving. He will recognize the PCs as the Dragon’s killers, and will rage against them. He knows that she was corrupted, but he loved her anyway. It may be possible to calm him, but difficult. Whether the PCs can resolve the encounter peacefully or by violence, the Orb is out of the Mate’s control.
Magic has become wildly unpredictable. For spells: 1-2 Random Spell, 3-4 normal, 5-8 more powerful, 9 powerful+ backlash, 10 random spell effect + backlash, roll every time a spell is cast. Potions all become poison, charged items use 1d3-1 charges per use – yes, sometimes they’ll use no charge! Items with a flat bonus all become one step more powerful; +3 becomes +4.
If the Mate is killed the Orb will pulse with a greater and greater frequency until the waves flowing off it are almost constant. The barrier between worlds will collapse, and the fay realm will merge with the mortal world, and doorways between this realm and others (including hell) will open wide.
If the Mate is subdued or talked down (aka not killed), the Orb will still begin to pulse more rapidly (after a short while as he will exert some control upon the Orb). When it becomes too much to control he will grab the Orb, and leap from the castle down into the volcano below. The resulting explosion will send the castle careening down towards the mountain.
The Gryphons are unaffected by the winds!
Gryphons (AC 3, HD 7, Fly: 360’ (120’), Attacks: 2 Claw (1d8) 1 Bite (2d8), Morale 10)
Mate (AC 0, HD 20, Attacks: 1 Ax (5d10) or Magical Blast (3d10+Level Drain), Morale 11)