Before my Shadows of Asteron campaign, my group played in a casual campaign with rotating DMs and a rotating cast of player characters. The campaign trailed off part-way through a 2-part adventure where the PCs got transported into the heart of Nessus. It was a shame, as I thought the adventure was pretty solid (despite my struggle with DMing epic tier play). However, the allure of a shiny new low-level game was too much for me and I abandoned it. I thought I would share a brief synopsis of this adventure and pictures of what I believe to be my best (looking) encounter to date - The Infernal Gate Room.
Early in the campaign, the PCs were awarded stewardship of a castle. Viewing the stewardship more as a liability than a reward, it wasn't until the PCs reached epic level that they even bothered to check the place out. Well, it turned out that a nasty little Asmodeus cult was operating within the castle walls. Interacting with the locals and navigating a web of intrigue, the PCs were the guests of honour at a feast to hail their arrival (with various NPCs attempting to ingratiate themselves to the new lords). During this RP-heavy session, the party rogue decided to sneak away from the party and snoop around the keep's temple. Through sheer luck, he managed to stumble into the midst of the cult conspiracy.
Thus, instead of delving through ancient Dwarven defenses in the heart of the dungeon below their keep, the PCs fought the cultists and used their tunnel to access what the keep had originally been constructed to protect: a direct portal to the heart of Nessus! They found the cult leader in the middle of performing a sacrifice to bring his hellish master and his army to the mortal world.
The fight in the infernal gateroom was a hard one, but the PCs eventually prevailed. The gate was destroyed but they were flung through the cosmos to wake up in Nessus... it was one hell of a hangover!
The Infernal Gateroom under Castle Greywood
The setup, including my Mike Shea-inspired portal prop. Jay is mesmerized by its infernal call!
Unfortunately we never took this adventure much farther than their arrival in Nessus. Perhaps with my better eye toward epic play now, it deserves coming back to?
Next time I'll show you some of my maps from the Prison-realm of Nessus, Tyr Shadaar!