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Free Adventure Friday: Strange Magic

The winds of magic grow unstable across the land. Common folk find themselves imbued with arcane power they don’t know how to control. Sages claim the source of this trouble may be within a shuttered temple to a forgotten god of magic.

This is a stand-alone adventure intended for you to work into your campaign if you are experiencing writer's block or if your players go somewhere unexpected. Feel free change names and other details around to best suit your world. This adventure works either as a quest given to them by a higher authority, or as a lost temple discovered during exploration of an area.

This adventure is designed for three or more level 5 characters. Creatures from the Monster Manual (abbreviated MM) are used. Many of these creatures are listed in a range of numbers. Use the largest number for groups of five or more players, the smallest number for groups of three players, and the average for groups of four.

Strange Magic

For the duration of this adventure, each player gains the use of one cantrip of their choice from any spell list. If the character does not already have a spellcasting ability, use Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma, whichever is highest.

Random Encounter

An optional “random encounters” has been included for the adventure. You may ignore this, throw it in should the game start to slow too much, or check with a d20 roll at the specified intervals.

Frequency Chance of Encounter

Every 10 minutes 1-2

During a short rest 1-10

During a long rest 1-20

5-9 brightly-colored inflated spheres float in a line toward the party (count as gas spores, MM pg. 138). The spheres almost seem drawn to the characters. They are made out of a rubbery material unknown to the characters.

1. Temple Entrance

The first chamber of the temple is very large, with stone pillars supporting a high ceiling 20 ft. high. Several wrought-iron chairs surround a cluster of very realistically-carved statues standing in a circle in the middle of the room.

Should a character get within 5 ft. of one of the chairs, it animates and attacks (as an animated armor, MM pg. 19). There are 5-7 total of these animated chairs in the room.

2. Mirrored Room

This room is painted a stark white, and the wall opposite the door from area 1 is completely featureless save for a 4 ft. by 8 ft. mirror. Images shown in the mirror seem to be reflected incorrectly; if a character raises their left hand, their reflection raises the opposite. The mirror is harmless, however, and this enchantment is placed on the room itself. If the mirror is removed, it becomes simply a large, fragile mirror worth 100 gp.

The two side doors to this room have been magically altered so that leaving through the east door leads to the western passage and vice versa. This effect is undetectable except through mapping and noticing that something is amiss.

3. Liar Liar

Two gargoyles (MM pg. 140, except these have 14 Intelligence and Charisma, and they speak Common) are perched on small stone stools and chatting. They appear friendly to visitors and each say that they speak only the truth, while the other tells only lies. In fact, both tell the truth or lie as suits them at the moment. They will try and stay consistent with their game in order to convince visitors to take the door leading to area 4. Remember that the solution to the usual version of this puzzle is to ask something similar to "Which way would the other gargoyle say is safe to go?" and then do the opposite.

4. Trapped Hallway

Anyone who enters this hallway or starts a turn in it takes 4d6 lightning damage. What appears to be a doorway at the end is a false door— a slab of wood attached to solid stone.

5. Fountain Room

A fountain in the middle of the room constantly flows with clean water, but the water itself is mundane.

A 5 ft. by 5 ft. section of the floor immediately in front of the door is inscribed with an invisible glyph. Anyone who steps on it is instantly teleported to the middle of area 3.

6. Treasury

There is a large treasure chest on the floor, guarded by a mad flameskull (MM pg. 134). Four paintings of landscapes hang on the walls, protected by glass cases. The chest contains 2,500 cp; 2,000 sp; and 200 gp.

2-4 of the glass cases are actually mimics (MM pg. 220). They will attack any who approach them to try and get at the paintings beneath. The paintings are each worth 75 gp.

7. Magical Statue

A large magical stone statue in the center of this room glows with energy. Destroying it ends all of the special abilities (see Strange Powers, above). It has an Armor Class of 17 and 90 Hit Points. While the statue stands, anyone who casts a spell within 30 ft. of it must immediately roll on the Wild Magic Surge chart (Player's Handbook pg. 104). After its destruction, 800 lbs. of material remain. These could be sold to someone interested in arcane artifacts for 1 gp per pound.

The statue is guarded by several amorphous beings made of magical smoke that shifts across the entire color spectrum. One large being counts as an air elemental (MM pg. 124) and 1-5 small beings count as dust mephits (MM pg. 215). Destroying the statue also destroys these magical beings.

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