The Blackguard's Tomb

THE BLACKGUARD’S TOMB

KNOWLEDGE (THE PLANES) DC: 22

She bore him away To the darkest of places And laid him to rest

-Excerpt from the epic poem “Conscelero Moribundus”, author unknown

This small demiplane is buried deep within the void of the Negative Energy Plane. Surrounded on all sides by the Negative Energy Plane, whose substance forms the demiplane’s impervious border, visitors to the Tomb report a constant, slow draining of vitality as long as they remain in this demiplane.

A single trapdoor beneath a platform that floats in the center of the tomb is the sole entrance and exit to the demiplane. Magic torches on the walls of the tomb burn dully, creating an atmosphere akin to twilight throughout the demiplane.

This small demiplane came into existence when the favored blackguard of an Evil deity fell in battle against the forces of Good. So enamored had the deity been with her servant that she attempted to raise him back to life to be her consort. However, intervening celestial forces stripped the blackguard’s soul from its

mortal body and locked it within some secret, hidden prison far from her ken.

So angered and hurt by the destruction of her beloved was the deity that she placed the blackguard’s remains in a tomb she forged from the whirling mists of the Negative Energy Plane itself. And so the body remains within its lonely tomb, waiting for the day when the deity will free the soul of the blackguard from its prison and raise him up by her side.

TRAITS OF THE TOMB

The traits of the Blackguard’s Tomb are:

• Normal Gravity. • Normal Time. • Finite Size: This fully enclosed demiplane is perfectly square, measuring 40 feet on a side with a roof 15 feet above the floor. The demiplane’s border is formed from the substance of the Negative Energy Plane itself, which takes 17

the blackguard’s tomb

the form of dark obsidian slabs that absorb all light shed upon them.

A floating obsidian platform in the exact center of the room holds the decayed remains of a humanoid figure. A trapdoor, the tomb’s sole entrance and exit, is located directly beneath this platform.

• Alterable Morphic: In the tomb, objects remain where they are (and what they are) unless affected by physical force or magic. The Tomb’s internal environment can be changed as a result of tangible effort. • Minor Negative-Dominant: The Blackguard’s Tomb, surrounded on all sides by the Negative Energy Plane, is a terrible place for the living. While on this demiplane all living creatures take 1d6 points of damage per round. At 0 hit points or lower, living creatures crumble into ash and are blown away by unseen winds of the void, their bodies forever destroyed and their souls lost to the Negative Energy Plane. Any creature so destroyed cannot be brought back from the dead by any known means. • Strongly Evil-Aligned: When in the tomb, creatures of Good alignment suffer a –2 penalty on all Charisma, Intelligence, and Wisdom-based checks. • Enhanced and Impeded Magic: Inside the tomb, spells and spell-like abilities that use negative energy are maximized as if they had the metamagic feat Maximize Spell applied to them; spells so maximized are still cast at their unmodified level. Spells and spell-like abilities that are already maximized are unaffected by this benefit. Class abilities, feats, and skills that use negative energy, such as rebuking undead, gain a +10 bonus to their roll. Conversely, spells and spell-like abilities that use positive energy cast within the Tomb, including cure spells, are impeded. To cast an impeded spell, the caster must make a Spellcraft check (DC 20 + the level of the spell). If the check fails, the spell does not function but is still lost as a prepared spell or spell slot. If the check succeeds, the spell functions normally. Class abilities,

feats, and skills that make use of positive energy, such as turning undead, receive a -10 penalty to their roll. In addition, while on this plane creatures take a –10 penalty on Fortitude saving throws made to remove negative levels bestowed by an energy drain attack.

LINKS TO AND FROM THE TOMB

Travelers that encounter the Tomb in the void of the Negative Energy Plane see a large obsidian vault with a lone wooden trapdoor and may will themselves inside the Tomb, entering through the trapdoor with a successful Will save (DC 30).

A second entrance to the Tomb can be found in an evil metropolis on a Material Plane world. There, in the great temple of the evil deity that created this Tomb, is a doorway that when opened reveals this demiplane. The priests of the temple guard this doorway with all their powers and will die to keep anyone from gaining access to the Tomb in this manner.

Exiting through the trapdoor, whether one entered from the Negative Energy Plane itself or via the doorway in the great temple, does not require a Will save and dumps the visitor in a random cemetery on a random Material Plane world.

On some very rare occasions, exiting this demiplane deposits the traveler in the strongly evil Infernum plane. Known by many names – Hell, the Pit, the Abyss – Infernum is the last location a planar traveler wants to visit. For complete information on Infernum see the Book of the Planes.

FEATURES OF THE TOMB

As a single small room, there are few unusual features not already described. The aura that prevents the body of the slain blackguard from being moved, referred to by most as the Aura of Restriction, is the only important detail yet to be explained.

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the blackguard’s tomb

THE BLACKGUARD RETURNS!

Although the blackguard is currently beyond even a deity’s ability to bring back to life, this does not mean that he will not return to the living (or otherwise) at some point in the future.

It is entirely possible that the deity, or one of her many agents, manages to track down a free the blackguard’s soul (this could even be done by unwitting PCs) to return and bring life to his body.

Alternately, the deity could decide that the recovery of the soul is beyond even her powers and not wishing to be without her beloved any further reanimates the blackguard as a powerful undead warrior.

A further interesting possibility is to have the blackguard’s cast-off spirit appear in one or more PCs dreams, afflicting them with a geas/quest and/or great promises of wealth and power to free his soul.

In any case, should the blackguard be brought back to life, he rises as one of the most powerful champions of Evil in the multiverse and takes his place at his deity’s side, inflicting his malice on those she deems worthy (including unwitting PCs that brought him back to life).

Aura of Restriction

This invisible field of reactive force envelops the decayed remains of the blackguard held within this demiplane. The blackguard’s remains are covered in a simple black shift; the blackguard’s arms and armor were seized at the time of his death by the celestial forces that defeated him.

The field radiates out two feet from the platform and anyone save the Tomb’s creator that enters the field, willingly or by force, must make a DC 25 Will save. On a failed check, the interloper is cast back and slammed against the nearest wall of the demiplane. Such an individual suffers 6d6 points of damage and is stunned for 1d4 rounds. If the check is successful the character is forced out of the field and stunned for 1 round.

Furthermore, the aura acts as an anti-magic field, preventing even necromantic spells from affecting the blackguard’s remains.

INHABITANTS OF THE TOMB

There are no permanent inhabitants of this demiplane. Very rarely, planar thieves stumble across the tomb only to find that someone else has already robbed the demiplane of all it held that had value.

Foolish necromancers, in pursuit of their arcane studies, sometimes attempt to remove the remains of the blackguard, only to fall victim to the Aura of Restriction that prevents the body from being moved or reanimated (see Features of the Tomb, above).

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