Dragon Peak: Trial Of Fire (Level 4)

Trial of Fire Level Map
The stairs up from the Trial of Air end at a sizeable landing with white onyx inlaid in the floor spelling out "Trial Of Fire" in Draconic. The archway exposes a spacious cavern with white and red dragons flying in the distance. A twenty foot tall pillar of fire swirls on the right, and a matching blizzard swirls on the left. Between the two lies a Taijitu (Yin Yang) made of fire red and ice blue stones inlaid into the floor, with the small circles of the opposite element in the heart of each teardrop shape. Opposing devil armies assemble for war, Stygia's frozen legions on the left, and fire devils on the right.

A conflict between fire and ice looks ready to erupt, and detritus of lava and snow lies scattered around the chamber. Occasional missiles and dragon breath weapons streak across the chamber, threatening to singe or freeze anyone entering. The elemental pillars swirl and throw out bolts of fire and ice, seemingly at random.

Anyone entering through the arch will immediately suffer attacks from both pillars simultaneously (+7 to hit for each attack, causing 2d8 of the appropriate damage type on a hit). The pillars always attack the closest character to them once per round, and they always attack simultaneously at the same instant. Random other attacks (1-3 per round randomly targeting characters in the chamber) use the same numbers to cause either ice or fire damage.

Attacking a pillar or a section of the Taijitu will cause that element to shrink and the opposite element to grow. Causing damage of the opposing element type will have a much greater effect than normal weapons, and causing damage with the matching element type will bolster that element and cause that pillar to grow at the expense of the other.

Balance overcomes this trial. Targeting each pillar with its opposing element will end the trial and suppress the illusion masking the walls and exit archway. Alternately, a character could stand on the Taijitu and dodge when the pillars attack, allowing each to damage the other and end the trial.

When the illusion fades, the two pillar bases remain visible on the floor, as does the inlaid Taijitu. The exit archway appears, and the stairs beyond beckon upward toward the next trial.

My original notes for this chamber:

Cave interior with two swirling pillars 20’ apart: fire on the right, and ice on the left. White and red dragons circle, breathing fire and ice into both chambers as devils march to war. Simultaneously target each pillar with the opposite element to end the trial.

Things that evolved during play:

  • This one was pretty straightforward in play, with the relative power levels between the two elements immediately apparent since nobody even bothered causing anything except fire and ice damage. The dragonborn sorcerer sprinted for the Taijitu, then spent sorcery points to Transmute one of her scorching rays into ice and did simultaneous damage to both pillars.

Part of T.W.Wombat's Lore 24 project, detailing the world around Fellport.
For all city posts, see the Fellport Index. For posts about the wider world, see the Beneterra Index.

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