Poch'Agoura, the Dread Walker
Spoken only in legends and even then in hushed whispers, PochÃƒÂ¢??Agoura is a name that sends children scurrying into their parents beds. Most people do not believe the old legends that the Dread Walker once subjected the entire world to an endless dark, a mindless machine of destruction that corrupted all in his path. But you see there is always a little fact in legends and myths and this is no different.
This is a new idea for an adventure and creature. I am not sure really where to go with it, so I wanted to toss it out and see what happens with it.
Poch'Agora, the Dread Walker
The old stories of a walking mountain that left destruction and evil wherever it tread is unbelievable for most, but the story is true, more so than most would ever want to realize. Poch' Agora, literally 'Calamity Mountain' in an ancient dwarven tongue, is a creature that will awaken not by the alignment of stars or by the passing of time. He will awaken when the hearts and minds of evil creatures outweigh the ones of good. He will awaken and begin the Dread Walk or 'Hara' alumbara' meaning Long Walk of the End in the elven tongue.
Most sages believe that Poch' Agoura is a mindless machine, bent on the destruction of the world. They are right for the most part but he has no quest or mission, it is attracted to what is good in the world and seeks to destroy it. There is no intelligence. There is no thought; other than the instinct to move toward what is good and trample it.
Poch' Agora is a mountain that shifts and moves once awoken. It is filled with caves and even an ancient abandoned dwarven fortress. Parts of this fortress protrude like a crown atop the mountain, giving the mountain a definite head like protrusion at the peak. The mountain is vaguely humanoid; it appears to have arms although they are misshapen and not symmetrical to each other. It has no legs and when moving just appears to be a mass of giant rolling boulders and rock. When needed Poch' Agora can assimilate rock and earth into itself to recover lost material and in some cases more limbs, Poch' Agora may have more arms than one, but the arms serve no other purpose other than transportation for the evil creatures that reside within the moving mountain.
Looking upon the giant moving mountain for the first time one would see the giant form moving, its base covered in the dust clouds of a constant lands slide. A few hundred feet above the ground - should one be able to notice - they would see cave entrances and platforms and trellis carved into the mountain, the artists could be no other than ancient dwarves (that have long lost their home).
Poch' Agora will not appear unless the world has become a corrupt place. If the hearts and souls of living sentient creatures are evil in the majority he will awaken, this process takes nearly a year and is preceded by heavy earthquakes.
Once awake the Dread Walker will begin moving toward the anything it senses is good. It is able to sense good from thousands of miles and will move toward the strongest collective area of good. Poch' Agora has only one objective, to destroy all that is good. Evil creatures he will smash should they be in his way and at times he will lower evil creatures from the various dungeons within his body to the ground. This is more of a mechanical reaction when these evil creatures gather at what would be more or less staging areas.
STOPPING THE DREAD WALKER
Within the vast caves and dungeons of the mountain lies a large protected crystal. Usually guarded by earth elementals, this is essentially the magical heart that powers this evil creature. Only if this heart is destroyed will Poch' Agora slowly settle back into the earth. This heart even if destroyed completely will begin to regenerate as the evil of sentient creatures remains stronger than that of good. He will reawaken within a year if the world remains more evil than good.
The dungeons within the mountain are completely indestructible, as is the main portion of the mountain itself. While the trees may die the main parts of the rock will remain.
OTHER NOTES ON THE DREAD WALKER
Poch' Agora is also completely able to sustain a civilization within its body. There are a couple springs also. The dungeons are always filled with creatures of evil and they tend to prefer a location near the heart of the mountain.
EVIL ADVENTURE IDEAS
Dark Hearts: The characters are underground dwellers within the mountain and a creature that seeks to awaken the mountain sends them on a journey to try and corrupt good men. Specifically, clergy of a specific deity. They become assassins of morality. But, in the end they should realize that this creature they serve is only a self-made servant of the heart of the mountain. The characters might realize too late that Pox'Agora's goals are not there own and create an evil vs. evil type of campaign at the end to destroy the heart of the mountain.
Visions of the Mountain: Characters receive visions that end up driving them to evil as young adults. They are to become the harbingers of the doom that will follow, their goal is to wreak havoc wherever they go so that hearts turn evil.
(I normally never run games like this, but I have found them to be fun when the players have well made characters that and are really into role-playing them. I hate groups that want to rape every peasant girl (or any for that matter). I detest that stuff. What I do like is characters that think of ways to be destructive and move on, like turning a town against the guards or lord. Starting coups then disappearing in the night, leaving no one to protect the town because they locked the guards in the garrison barracks and lit it aflame after setting barrels of lamp oil inside. Creative evil.)
GOOD ADVENTURE IDEAS
Chosen Ones: The characters have heard rumors of a mountain far to the east, destroying all in its path. They all have had dreams of the same thing. This is more of an adventure path/chain. Characters must go to X to get Y to destroy the mountain. It doesn't need to be epic in nature at all as far as levels go, these characters must get onto the walking mountain, traverse a difficult dungeon built for their level, and then fight some elemental versions of themselves of something and then destroy the heart. This is a good way to start a group of characters into a game, get them some XP and let them tackle something great but by fighting things that are their level. Basically, it is the Star Wars Syndrome (as I like to call it). Characters are the bright future for a world locked in darkness.
A Stout Heart: The characters have heard of a cult that has recently been attacking family members of clergy. Their symbol; a clenched stone fist dripping in blood. The PC's find that this cult is trying to bring forth a prophecy to raise a god called Agora, who will bring about the eradication of good, allowing those who serve him to rule in the new world. The cult is small and of course know not who they truly worship, a creature that is mindless and rewards no one.
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? Responses (9)-9
What would happen if an army of Good vanquished the walking mountian and took it over? Would that inflame it over time?
Well, considering the fact that the mountain would continue to destroy all that was good, good characters would want to destroy the heart and in doing so would bring the creature down.
Also, I might add that inside he can spawn earth elementals or even create some of the creatures that act as his immune system. Yeah, I think I will go with that... I will look up how different cells in our body react in reality and make the creatures from that pattern.
This I really like - the visual painted is awesome!
What happens when _all_ goodness is wiped out? I assume that it would then move on to the 'less' evil folk. Eventually only the most dastardly evil would remain, perhaps hiding within the mountain itself. There they would be in perpetual combat with it's elemental 'immune system'.
Though I suppose it could go for a dip in the ocean to wash itself out.
Now, perhaps some evil power would seek to 'advance the timetable' by prematurely invoking the mountain. That would be a worthy quest to stop!
Or if alternate worlds exist in your campaign, there could be a world where evil is ascendant and this mountain is constantly on the move, crushing what little good remains. When the mostly good PCs arrive on the world seeking knowlege, a McGuffen or what have you, they will draw the mountain to them, makeing them even more unpopular with the locals.
Sorry! Rambling! So many ideas :)
An interesting idea, I like the crystal bit and Agora being a nexus of evil, but I'm not sure I like the idea of it being a quasi-living entity that births monsters and such in it's dungeon-bowels. Parasites, squatters, and hangers-on, I've no problem with, but as I read through some parts I saw images of grotesque stone eggs hatching into orcs, goblins, and trolls to spill out of the mountain.
Definitely not. I don't at all see orcs and trolls as something that hatch from stone eggs at all. In the time before the mountain comes awake the internal dungeons will have become occupied perhaps though. Maybe for thousands of years, literally to the point that dungeons from deeper than the mountains could connect with entrances to Pox'Agora. When he awakens parts of his internal network might be protected but if the other creatures could survive then sure they could still exist there. I would see it as a horde of orcs just waiting for a chance to pillage and loot after Pox'Agora passes, they just get let off... it is a natural instinct to let evil creatures off his body. The elementals inside just serve as his 'immune system' against deep intruders.
An interesting idea for an evil creature.
An interesting idea, very creative. I wish there was something about how the creature was originally created.