Eclipse d20 – The Silver Tree Lodge

The players in the Allwellia game have decided that they want a base of their own – a place built to accommodate them and enhance their abilities, to provide some focus for their adventuring, and to house their retinues. For good or ill, however, none of them have any points to spare save for the Mystic Gunfighter / Lovecraftian Invoker, who is more than happy to spend a little of his power (and quite a chunk of the group treasury) accommodating their desires. And that is why they are currently getting the…

Silver Tree Lodge (6 CP, 248,676 GP).

Or about 300,000 GP without the Allwellian “Abundant Magic” x.8 modifier.

High above the ground in the branches of a mighty, banyon-like multi-trunked tree, surrounded by the rustling silvery leaves and cooling breezes of the upper air, the numerous platforms and structures of the Silver Tree Lodge glow faintly with the mingled radiance of the moon and stars. Winds softened by the rippling foliage carry gentle mists and rains coiling about the verdant tree, drifting softly down from the Skydocks further up, where the Fairy Sail and the Phantom Voyager are moored when the (unfortunately-named) Reckless Voyagers of Abyssal Meddling – the Company of Shadows – are in residence. Along the branches, sparkling through fountains and cascading in tiny waterfalls from branch to branch, flow streams of water, rivulets supplied by the perpetual fountain and reserves of water in the upper levels. As the cascades pass through strings of vine and patter upon chimes and drumheads of resonant jade and living wood, the deeper tones complement the sounds of birdsong – and of the bells, woodwinds, and strings ringing with the plucking winds of the upper levels in am ever-varying symphony – beauty concealing an array of terrible powers torn from the beating heart of creation by elder magics.

The characters will undoubtedly have to deal with other would-be claimants, the Empire wishing to garrison the place (after all, it’s a new settlement – and empires tend to object to competition, to major power nexi and possible threats outside their control, and to stuff they don’t own as is the general nature of empires). Secondarily, of course, this is a completely over-the-top design, a mystical place of power of terrifying potency. Leaving something like this purely in the characters hands would be completely insane even if half of said characters weren’t insane themselves.

As with most strongholds, this one is built around money and a single basic ability – Sanctum, the ability to claim a place and gain enhanced power while there. Usually those are fairly private and – while not easily mobile – can be moved given time and effort. Not in this case!

  • Sanctum, Specialized for Increased Effect / The power invested in the Silver Lodge cannot be transferred to a new location without the use of three Wishes (to prepare the new site, to set up a transfer link to it, and to initiate the transfer), the sanctum is an obvious place of power that will attract various creatures and official attention. (6 CP, provides 48 CP to work with). The Lodge is a nexus of unearthly power, a connection between what IS and what MIGHT BE, and thus a beacon to what is beyond.

So let us build a Sanctum!

Sanctum Powers:

  • Mystic Link with Power Link (The original creator, Specialized / only to maintain the functions of the lodge and provide the creator with basic awareness of what is going on in it, the creator may not draw on the Sanctum’s powers remotely, 3 CP): The lodge will remain functional, whether or not it’s creator is there – or is even still among the living, for the bond of it’s creation extends beyond death.
    • In other words… the Sanctum is a fairly permanent thing.
  • The Angles Of R’yleh: Cloaking, Specialized for Reduced Cost/Divinations about the sanctum will reveal general information about the place – whether people are in residence, are the servants busy, is the garrison up to strength, etc – but never anything precise enough to put to use about the activities or location of anyone important. There shall be no scry-and-die tactics here (3 CP).
    • It’s a bit of an oddity to apply this to a location rather than to a character, but as variant powers go, that seems pretty reasonable.
  • Cyclopean Craftsman: Mystic Artist/Architecture with Seeking, Specialized and Corrupted for Reduced Cost/the user may only create one structure (The Silver Tree Lodge) and cannot later change the effects going into it (4 CP). This, of course, uses Harmonize to provide two functions.
    • From Water Does All Life Begin (Heroism, Skill 30): All Residents/Defenders gain +4 Positive Levels (+4 BAB, Saves, and AC, +24 CP):
      • The residents 24 CP go to… Double Enthusiast, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect/Only for Innate Enchantment (Up to 5500 GP Value, 6 CP), Immunity/the XP cost of up to 5500 GP worth of Innate Enchantment (Common (since they will be changing regularly), Minor, Trivial, 2 CP), Damage Reduction 2/-, Specialized in Physical Damage for Double Effect (4/-) (3 CP), Grant Of Aid (6 CP), Speak Serpentine (still a language that doesn’t properly exist. They’ll speak it anyway) (1 CP), Occult Sense/Attacks (always gain two rounds to prepare and a +1 Insight bonus to AC and Saves, 6 CP).
    • Echoes Of Deep Time – (Serenity, Skill 18): When this music plays (up to twice per week), all Residents/Defenders gain the equivalent of a nights rest – eliminating fatigue, regaining hit points, attribute points, restoring uses-per-day powers, being able to prepare spells, and so on, in an instant.
  • The Song Of Creation – Occult Construction Methods: Action Hero/Crafting, Specialized and Corrupted / only for construction, expansion, and repair of the sanctum (2 CP). Taken at effective level nine, by level ten this provides a total of 23 AP to work with – enough to complete the construction of the Silver Tree Lodge through whatever inexplicable means the user prefers.
  • Lost Caracosa Ritual Chamber – Occult Ritual (6 CP): With the aid of the lodge’s occult library, runic arrays, and heaps of components, this chamber can be used for many feats of Ritual Magic (Atherian Variant, using appropriate knowledge skills).
  • The Gates Of The Silver Key – Privilege (3 CP). The lodge is a nexus of Genesis Magic – the primal power of Creation and Transformation. Creatures born there can have any of several different Birthrights, fertility is heightened, and childbirth is eased. So are other acts of creation – an effect purchased as:
    • Dominion (Specialized and Corrupted/only as a prerequisite, 2 CP), Path Of The Pharaoh; Manipulation (Specialized and Corrupted/only as a prerequisite, 2 CP), and Path Of The Pharaoh; Sphere Of Influence (Genesis)/Specialized for Reduced Cost and Corrupted for Increased Effect (Genesis-related spells are cast as if one level lower for casting purposes only, +10 unnamed bonus to acts of creation undertaken at the lodge, including alchemy and crafting)/does not provide information, cannot grant spells, bonus cannot be transmitted beyond the lodge (3 CP)
  • Gift Of Gla’aki, The Dreaming Lands – Leadership with Exotic Followers (Traps, Constructs, and Wards), Specialized for Increased Effect (Ward may be of Rank (ECL -4), but never Epic and only covers the tree and lodge and it’s immediate vicinity) and Corrupted for Reduced Cost (6 CP) / Ward Only, Ward does not generally bother to discriminate between inhabitants and people who have been around for more than a few hours (“all mortals look alike to me!”), powers are mostly determined by the Genesis Nexus and the standard City Ward effects of the setting.  The Ward powers – which affect every resident of the lodge – are as follows,
    • Minor Powers:
      • Industry: Mundane Productivity is multiplied by a factor of seven within the Ward.
      • Longevity: Natural Aging within the Ward is reduced to 1/10’th of the normal rate.
      • Non-Euclidean: The area has numerous dimensional distortions, pockets, and local gates. It can be very confusing to outsiders. It also makes it even harder to scry on than the Angles Of R’yleh already do.
      • True Dreaming: Residents may adventure in the Dreamlands while the sleep, can keep track of those distant but dear to them through clairsentient dreams, and may occasionally receive visions from mysterious sources.
      • Warcraft: Residents gain +2 BAB, +1d10 HD, and proficiency with shields, medium armor, simple, and martial weapons, as long as they are within the Ward.
    • Major Powers:
      • Empowerment. Allwellia features cheap items for non-adventurers that only work within a Cities Ward. Such items will work in the lodge as well.
      • Mystic Herbs. In conjunction with The Gates Of The Silver Key, the Silver Tree produces fruits and mystical herbs that allow the creation of 1d6 mystical potions or works of alchemy every day without other costs. Such things are suitable catalysts and components for almost any form of Middle Alchemy.
      • Mystic Walls: The Ward can surround itself – in part or whole with a deadly Cloudkill mist at will.
  • Mantic Engineering: Siddhisyoga, Specialized for Increased Effect (effects are purchased at their normal cost) / all powers are invested in the sanctum, and can be moved only via the aforementioned Wishes (6 CP). Items purchased through Mantic Engineering include:
    • Fruit Of The Sepheroth The Silver Tree grows marvelous alchemical fruit, containing portions of the five Alchemical Catalysts – Philosophical Sulfur, “Red” Mercury, Alchemical Salts, True Jade, and Orichalcum Powder (these are generic alchemical materials, used as raw materials for other crafting projects. They count as Trade Goods,worth 100 GP/Ounce. The trees fruits produce some 1000 GP worth per day. This is a variant of the Dragonscale Supply Pouch, 13,000 GP after the Abundant Magic modifier.
    • Roots Of The Earth: The Lodge is empowered by the magic of the world itself, and is effectively indestructible (Lyre Of Building, x5 for Unlimited Use of a daily ability (rendering structures invulnerable), x.5 for eliminating the Building function = 26.000 GP after the Abundant Magic modifier).
    • The Celeano Manuscripts: As per a Mask Of A Thousand Tomes, but consists of several hundred massive volumes (basically immobile, x .5), requiring a DC 20 Decipher Script check (x.8) and at least 1d4 hours of intense study and concentration in a suitable library to use (x.8) x.8 (Abundant Magic) = 2560 GP. If you have the time to use the Manuscripts they provide a +10 competence bonus to any Knowledge skill check.
    • The Springs Of R’lyeh: Perpetual Fountain II (2400 GP with the Abundant Magic modifier). At 45,000 gallons per hour, this provides more than enough waterflow for fountains, waterfalls, running water, and turning waterwheels to provide power for the other facilities.
    • Sigils Of The Elder Ones: Greater Marvelous Tattoo Parlor (38,400 GP after the Abundant Magic modifier). This means that the lodge owners can each have their quota of three mystic tattoos – and most of their entourages can have one each.
    • Fane Of The Black Pharaoh: Shrine Of War (28,800 GP after Abundant Magic, maintains up to 1200 +5 Weapons (50 Ammo counts as one weapon). The residents of the lodge tend to be quite heavily armed.
    • Shrine Of The Pallid Mask: Monument Of The Enduring Warrior (16,000 GP after Abundant Magic, maintains up to 1200 pieces of +5 Armor). With +5 Armor and Shields, the residents of the lodge can put up considerable resistance to attackers.
    • Boundless Gifts Of Yog-Sothoth (Provides 750 GP worth of supplies per day, pulling them from other universes where they are no longer needed, City Stores, 7250 GP after the Abundant Magic modifier). The lodge never runs short of food, rope, cloth, and other basic supplies – although expensive raw materials for major projects will still need to be brought in.
    • Eye Of Cthughu: Dark Rampart (5200 GP after the Abundant Magic modifier). Undead cannot be created within several miles of the burning eye of creation – preventing spawning undead from simply taking over.
    • Pillar Of Ithaqua (Wind Tower (The Practical Enchanter), 23,200 GP after the Abundant Magic modifier). There may be storms in the evening, but they are purely for drama, enjoyment, and watering the area. The weather around the lodge is always ideal.
    • Phantom Mill: (The Practical Enchanter, 2000 GP, 1600 GP with Abundant Magic). Basically a swarm of unseen servants takes care of cleaning, laundry, butchering, canning, picking fruit, letting the pets in and out, closing the windows when it rains, powering the elevators, minor repairs, serving meals, grinding grain, sawing lumber, heating water for baths, scrubbing your back in said baths, watering and fertilizing plants, weeding, and similar minor household tasks throughout the lodge.
    • Mystic Massages (8000 GP after the Abundant Magic modifier). A full-service spa and massage parlor which can also supply the occasional Remove Disease, Remove Curse, Remove Blindness/Deafness, and Cure Serious Wounds effect.
    • Universal Foundry: Greater Invocation (any “Enchant Tools” effect of up to Level Three, L4) x Caster Level Seven x 2000 GP Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .5 (Immobile) x .8 (Only works with installed Artisian’s Workshops = 22,400 GP (20,000 GP after the Abundant Magic Modifier). This provides those working in relevant shops with a +4 Circumstance Bonus to their Craft or Profession skill checks and provides a x4 multiplier on the amount of work they can accomplish.
      • Artisan’s Workshops (count as Masterwork Tools, provide +2 Circumstance Bonuses on relevant Craft/Profession checks, provides sufficient workspace for up to three workers, x10 (x.5, Does not provide “downtime” income = 1800 GP. Sadly, this is not really magic, so the Abundant Magic modifier does not apply): Current shops include: Alchemy/Chemistry, Arts and Crafts, Books/Scrolls/Paper/Illumination/Etc, Food/Drink, Metal, Wood/Plastics, Glass and Ceramics, Fiber (Tailoring/Weaving/Sewing/Spinning), Stone/Gems/Crystal, and Mechanics/Constructs.
      • One Master’s Badge (The Practical Enchanter) for each Workshop (x.5 Immobile x.8 Abundant Magic = 8000 GP). These provide a +4 Assistance Bonus to anyone working in the shops and another x4 multiplier (x7 in total) to the amount of work accomplished.
      • At a net cost of some 34,200 GP (or 27,720 GP on Allwellia) the Universal Foundry provides a bonus to crafting of +2 (Masterwork Tools) +4 (Circumstance) +4 (Assistance) = +10 on relevant Craft and Profession checks, as well as allowing the user a x7 multiplier on the amount of work done – allowing a weeks worth of work to be done in a day. (a +20 bonus and two weeks worth of work per day after the effects of the Genesis Nexus and the Industry effect of the Ward are added in). While that sounds like a lot… the difference between working with a bag of portable tools and an automated industrial facility set up to suit your needs would arguably be larger than that.
        • Admittedly, d20 is focused on adventurers running around on quests, but you’d think that there would be SOME benefits to actually setting up a fully-equipped workshop or factory. Unfortunately, the rules really don’t cover much of anything beyond plunking down 55 GP for a set of “Masterwork Tools” (or 250 GP for a “Traveler’s Any-Tool”) unless you count Pathfinder’s “Amazing Tools Of Manufacture” – which are over-expensive, limited to specific skills, designed for use on adventures when you want something urgently, and are limited so as to make it very hard to actually make a profit. You’re generally better off with a Fabricate spell.
    • Whispers Of The Neverborn: Advanced Blessing, Specialized and Corrupted / only to allow characters at the lodge (other than it’s creator) to tap into it’s creative enhancements (Song Of Creation, Lost Caracosa, Gates Of The Silver Key, Mantic Engineering (only to add functions), and Invocation Of The Elder Ones) (4 CP). Unlike a normal sanctum, where most special powers only work for the creator, quite a few of the lodges functions can be accessed by anyone there who makes an effort.
    • Basic Facilities: The costs for these are drawn from Pathfinder’s “Downtime” rules. The base costs are as listed, but the overall total is going to be halved by a x.5 “Provides no downtime income or other services” modifier. Basic aids and services are taken to be three-“person” “Teams” (generally L2-3, averaging +8 in relevant skills / providing a +4 assistance bonus to relevant checks. This is normally 300 GP, but as magical spirits who ONLY do their specific thing and generate no downtime income, they too will wind up being half cost).
      • Forest Carillon (Bell Tower (450 GP) plus Masterwork Great Harp, Pipe Organ, Drums (400 GP), plus the area around it counts as a Ballroom (+2 to Perform), plus three-“person” “Musician Team” (300 GP, base skill +8, +2 masterwork instruments, +4 assistance +2 Ballroom = +16 base (more than enough for a truly masterful performance), although these are actually spirits of music rather than people). This provides the background music of the lodge, but isn’t really associated with a particular location so much as the entire structure. The wind, birds, and falling waters throughout the lodge and the silver tree it stands in provide the music; this is just how it’s purchased. Given that the music of a Bell Tower can be heard up to a mile away at full volume, this can get interesting if a musician with Mystic Artist decides to sit in.
      • Airship Dock: High in the upper branches, this complex of catwalks, loading cranes, and basic elevators draws power from the waterwheels below to provide docking and facilities for the parties various air vehicles (320 GP) plus two maintenance/supply crews (+4 assistance bonus to relevant checks, 600 GP).
      • Lair (Animal Habitat (790 GP) plus Hatchery (170 GP) and pet-care specialist team (300 GP). A series of cozy, rounded, chambers within the mighty limbs of the silver tree, the Lair serves as a home for the groups (numerous) pets, familiars, and any of the werewolves who feel like curling up in a den for a while instead of just using their lodgings. Also handles basic veterinary work when the characters don’t just use spells.
      • Personal Quarters (Six sets): Bedroom (300 GP), Bath, Sauna, and Lavatory (+2 versus Disease, 250 GP), Lodgings (for up to twenty servants / followers / whatever, 860 GP), Office (120 GP), Sitting Room (+1 bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Knowledge (local), and Perform checks to influence or learn about guests, 480 GP), Storage Area(s) (120 GP), Nursery (250 GP), and Common Area(s) (200 GP). These are basically mini-mansions – personalized luxurious homes set up with plenty of space for servants, concubines/paramours, and attendants. Cooking, however, is usually handled in the Foundry, to take advantage of it’s ridiculous boost. With a net cost of 2580 GP (plus a share of the general “luxury” expense below) these should probably be considered equivalent to luxury penthouse suites.
      • Training Area: Dojo (310 GP), Armory (x2, 780 GP), Infirmary/Surgery (+2 to Heal, 370 GP), plus Medical Team (+4 Assistance to Heal, 300 GP), Gym (360 GP, and War Room (+2 to Attacks and Morale Checks for twenty-four hours if used to plan or direct combat or an adventure, 300 GP),
      • Tabernacle Of Apeiron, Shrine Of The Dark Tapestry: Statues x 4 (Azathoth The Blind Chaos, Yog-Sothoth The Key And The Gate, Nyarlathotep The Phantom Of Truth, and Shub-Nigguruth Mother Of Life, 240 GP), Labyrinth (The ever-shifting Logrus, the Yellow Sign, laid out on the floor, 370 GP. It’s burning center is the Eye Of Cthughu, above. The Logrus is also a Power Amplification Circle (Applied Spellcraft, The Practical Enchanter): Reduces effective level of spell drawing upon the Elder Ones for casting purposes by two within it (DC 35, Base Check +29 Base +10 Take 10 = 39, Time Requirement: One Week base, Four Hours in the lodge, Pigment and Binder Materials (100 GP). Transmutation Spell (L2, Paint to Inlay)), Observation Dome (+2 bonus on Knowledge (geography), Knowledge (nature), and Knowledge (planes), 440 GP), Summoning Chamber (+3 bonus on Knowledge (planes) checks relating to a creature being called/summoned, +3 bonus on Charisma checks, Diplomacy checks, and Intimidate checks to influence or bargain with a creature called or summoned here. 1040 GP) and Altar (210 GP).
      • Invocation Of The Elder Ones: The Tabernacle is also the focus for Enormous Favors (The Elder Ones), Specialized and Corrupted / Only usable once per month, always involves significant offerings to the Elder Ones during a major ritual, tend to have assorted unforseen side effects (4 CP).
      • The Withered Moon Heart: Once per week, after a half-hour long ritual, a powerful spellcaster drawing on the Elder Ones can store one or more spells in the altar of the Tabernacle. Sadly, no more than three such spells can be stored in total and doing so requires a +15 or more in Spellcraft. Greater Spellbind (SL 9 x CL 17 x .1 (Once per Week) x .5 (Immobile) x 500 GP (Unlimited Use Spell Completion) x.9 (Requires Spellcraft +15 or more to use) x.6 (Only for storing magic derived from the Elder Ones) x.8 (Spell limit is in total, not per user) = 28,091 GP.
        • Allwellia has lots of faiths, and lots of local gods, and competing philosophies – including the militant atheists who insist that the various “god” lack “true divinity” (Whatever that is. Some of the “gods” seem inclined to agree) and “The Society Of The Invisible Tree” who seem to be into cabbalistic notions and hallucinogens – but much of the population does acknowledge the power of the Elder Ones. Rather like the Titans of Greek Myth, the Elder Ones are not generally concerned with people. They’re out there, they control fundamental aspects of existence… and they do what they do. They don’t get a lot of worship except from eccentric sages who want to study the foundations of reality and crazed cultists who don’t CARE that what their gods want is completely incomprehensible. Naturally enough, the creator of the Silver Lodge is one of the eccentric mages.
      • Recreation Area: Bar (+2 to Gather Information, 250 GP), Game Room (300 GP), Common Area (200 GP), Grotto (at the base of the trunks, 500 GP), Classroom (250 GP), Storage (120 GP), Trophy Room (250 GP), The Escape Route (actually a waterslide, although there is an option to get off halfway down so you can simply take the elevator back up, 360 GP). For reasons that most of the characters do not care to think about, this is also where two sets of Cells (360 GP) and an oddly-equipped “Torture Chamber” (330 GP) wound up. Presumably it is so that the sounds of other people having a party to which those locked up are not invited will annoy them.
      • Courtyard(s) (x2, 360 GP). The courtyards/platforms connecting the various sub-facilities of the lodge are mossy, comfortable, and well-maintained – but not especially remarkable. The planters around the edges do, however, serve as a Mystic Greenhouse (890 GP) and there is a pleasant pavilion (Common Area, 200 GP) and swimming pool (“waterhole”, 200 GP) available.
      • The Gatehouse is more of a section of hollow trunk, a few features protecting the stairs going up to through a hollow trunk to the main lodge, but the general invulnerability of the lodge makes even a simple closed and barred door a formidable obstacle to any ground-based assault. Gatehouse (with Gauntlet, and “Tower”, protecting the stairs up, 710 GP).
      • General Luxuries (12,000 GP): The lodge is well supplied with fine furniture, objects de art, fine wine, silk sheets, comfortable mattresses, and so on.
        .Net unmodified total of 40,910 GP, effective total of 20,455 GP

It’s worth noting that the servants and followers all enjoy the benefits of +4 Positive Levels (+4 BAB, Saves, and AC, and +24 CP, going to Double Enthusiast, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect/Only for Innate Enchantment (Up to 5500 GP Value, 6 CP), Immunity/the XP cost of up to 5500 GP worth of Innate Enchantment (Common (since they will be changing regularly), Minor, Trivial, 2 CP), Damage Reduction 2/-, Specialized in Physical Damage for Double Effect (4/-) (3 CP), Grant Of Aid (6 CP), Speak Serpentine (still a language that doesn’t properly exist. They’ll speak it anyway) (1 CP), Occult Sense/Attacks (always gain two rounds to prepare and a +1 Insight bonus to AC and Saves, 6 CP)) as well as Warcraft (+2 BAB, +1d10 HP, and proficiency with shields, medium armor, simple, and martial weapons) as well as +5 Armor, Weapons, and Shields, cheap personal items, and access to alchemical supplies. That’s actually pretty formidable even if they are low-level followers to start with.

Overall, the Silver Tree Lodge is a place of frightening power – albeit one of less use to most adventurers than you might think. After all, it’s usually not the player characters who want to unleash the insane powers of the Elder Ones. That’s usually reserved for crazed cultists. 

2 Responses

  1. BTW, your link to “Books I’ve Written” just takes me to the main Lulu page…..

    • Bother. Thank you for letting me know; Lulu has probably rearranged their pages again. I’ll have to fix it again.

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