The Flickering of the Eternal Flame

The peaceful village Eutheria near the ancient temple of warriors faces a dire threat when the temple is attacked by bandits and a sinister necromancer. The necromancer seeks to complete a dark ritual that would raise an army of undead warriors from the temple’s ossuary. The bandit leader, desperate to revive his fallen brother, has reluctantly allied with the necromancer. Players will start in the village, where they encounter a bloodied priest fleeing from pursuing bandits. After assisting the priest, they are asked to help clear the temple and stop the necromancer’s ritual before it’s too late.

Contents

Starting Adventure

We created this adventure to serve as your introduction to Elysium’s Door and possibly to TTRPGs as a whole.

This is a level 1 or 2 adventure suitable for any number of players. It should take approximately 2 to 4 hours to complete, though the duration can vary from group to group.

Consider this adventure a guide; feel free to modify it as you see fit. You can use it as a standalone adventure (also known as a ‘one-shot’ in TTRPG terminology) or incorporate it into a larger story.

Key NPCs:

  • Erebus the Corpsecaller (Necromancer): Ambitious and power-hungry, seeks to control an undead army and rule the region.

  • Iros (Bandit Leader): Motivated by the promise of reviving his deceased brother, reluctantly working with the necromancer.

  • Demetrius (Priest): A scared but faithful individual who seeks the players’ aid.

Locations:

  • Village Eutheria: The players’ starting point, a peaceful village near the temple.

  • Temple of Callista, the Martyr of Eternal Flame: The primary setting where most of the adventure unfolds, filled with traps, undead guardians, and bandit foes.

  • Ossuary under the temple: The underground chamber where the necromancer conducts the ritual.

Possible Enemies:

Summary

In the lands near the coast, the village of Eutheria lies near the foot of the abandoned Temple of Callista, the Martyr of Eternal Flame. The temple is a monument dedicated to warriors who once served the gods.

When bandits and a necromancer threaten the peace of Eutheria and the sanctity of the temple, a group of heroes must rise to defend the village and thwart the nefarious plans to raise an undead army.

Act I - The Village of Eutheria:

The adventure begins as the players arrive in Eutheria during the weekly market. The mood is interrupted when a bloodied Priest, Demetrius, stumbles into the village square, screaming about an attack on the temple. Pursuing bandits arrive, and the players must fend them off.

Once the bandits are defeated, Priest Demetrius pleads with the heroes to help save the temple. He provides information about the bandits, their leader, and the dark necromancer.

Act II - The Temple’s Desecration:

As the party draws near to the Temple of Callista, known as the Martyr of the Eternal Flame, they are faced with several choices for their next move: they can confront the bandit-guarded main entrance, navigate the alternative passage defended by the dead guardians of the Eternal Flame, or attempt to discover the elusive secret entrance that Priest Demetrius vaguely heard about, but is unsure of it.

Act III - The Fight for the Flame

Descending into the temple’s depths, players find the ossuary where the necromancer, Erebus the Corpsecaller, finishing the foul ritual. The bandit leader, Iros, watches with a mixture of hope and fear. Once the players confront them, chaos ensues.

Conclusion:

Once Erebus and Iros are defeated, the ritual fails, and the temple is restored. The grateful villagers of Eutheria shower the players with rewards, which include coins, items retrieved from the temple, and the undying gratitude of Priest Demetrius.

If the players fail, the ritual is complete and Erebus gains a small army of undead, which he will use to conquer the region.

Content Download

Here you can find the downloadable content:

Act I: A Day in Eutheria

Description: A Serene Village

The village of Eutheria, nestled a short distance from the tranquil sea, offers a blend of timeless charm. Simple mudbrick buildings, each painted in different colors, grace the landscape. Surrounded by picturesque landscapes, serene villagers go about their daily routines.

Starting the Adventure

Once you describe the village, you should introduce the characters, allowing the players to describe their characters’ appearances and mannerisms.

You can start them in the middle of the market, in a tavern, or on the road, just as they are arriving at the village, for example.

The characters may or may not know each other; this will be up to you and the players. The important part is that all of them are introduced before the events of the game start.

Scene 1: A Desperate Arrival

The peace is abruptly disturbed when a bloodied figure, Priest Demetrius, rushes into the village square, gasping for breath. He urgently speaks of an attack on the temple and the threat of bandits and a sinister necromancer. Villagers gather, and tension fills the air as Demetrius pleads for help.

Scene 2: Bandits Descend

Before the players have a chance to respond, a group of ruthless bandits storms into the village square, intent on capturing Priest Demetrius. Combat ignites as the players defend Demetrius and the villagers from the bandit incursion.

Describe the bandits’ aggression and their relentless pursuit of Demetrius.

Scene 3: A Cry for Assistance

With the bandits defeated, Priest Demetrius, though still shaken, implores the heroes to aid in saving the temple.

He provides vital information about the bandits, their leader (Iros), and the malevolent necromancer (Erebus). Demetrius emphasizes the temple’s sacred significance and the catastrophic consequences of its desecration. He passionately urges the heroes to embark on this perilous quest, expressing the gratitude of the villagers.

Priest Demetrius will tell the players about the entrances to the temple: the main entrance, an alternative passage defended by the dead guardians of the Eternal Flame, and a secret passage he vaguely heard about.

Demetrius will also recommend checking the village’s tavern, which his daughter Petra owns. He says she could provide them with some supplies to help in the upcoming fight.

art by @victhelion

Observation:

The players can gather information from villagers about the temple, bandits, and the history of the region. Roleplaying opportunities during interactions with villagers allow players to build connections with NPCs and gather rumors.

Express to the players the rewards for doing the quest:

Reputation Points with the village and Demetrius, coins and items they find during the quest.

Important Notes

  • The owner of the tavern, Petra, is willing to help the players by giving them a Minor Healing Potion. If the players succeed on a Bargain Check (DC 10), they can gain 2 more additional Minor Healing Potions.

  • Players with a Passive Perception of 12 or higher will hear some villagers talking rumors about the bandits, it seems like that a few weeks ago they resided on the abandoned mill north from the village. (This information can be given before the bandits arrive).

  • Players with a Passive Insight of 14 will notice an old woman named Rhea that is more disturbed than anyone else. If they ask her, they will learn that she is the mother of the bandit captain Iros and she will tell them about his deceased brother Timos. (They then gain advantage on Checks to influence the Bandit Captain Iros in the future.)

  • An old and blind veteran soldier lives in the village. His name is Osias, the old Owl, if the players convince him with a Persuasion Check (DC 10), he can give them a Sturdy Pommel Weapon (Common Weapon) as a gift.

  • If the players ask for more help from the Priest Demetrius, he will refuse to enter the temple out of fear. However, he will give the players a Blessed Talisman (Common Accessory) to compensate.

  • The Smith of the village, Anva Shortfuse is a proud dwarf that is willing to bargain for a Metal Helmet (Common Helmet). If the players succeed a Bargain Check (DC 10), they can get the Helmet for free in exchange for something inside the temple or more information about it.

Act II - The Temple's Desecration

Description: A Forgotten Bastion

As you approach, the Temple of the Warriors of the Eternal Flame looms before you like a haunting relic of a bygone era. Its once-majestic pillars, adorned with intricate carvings of divine beings, now bear the weight of time and abandonment.

The aged bronze doors creak open with a reluctant groan, revealing an expansive atrium where the soft glow of eternal flames dances in rusted sconces. A fading scent of incense lingers in the air, whispering tales of forgotten valor and setting the stage for the epic quest that awaits you within.

art by @victhelion

Background Description:

During the era of the Dark Honeymoon, the Temple of Callista, the Martyr of Eternal Flame was a beacon of bravery and protection. Today, it stands as a haunting shadow of its once magnificent past.

Its façade, marked by stone pillars adorned with intricate carvings of divine beings, now wear the scars of ages. The once majestic bronze doors reveal an atrium where the glow of eternal flames barely persists, a faint scent of incense as the sole reminder of its storied legacy.

Exploring inside the temple:

The heart of the temple’s atrium is the grand altar room, where the marble altar, though worn, holds sacred etchings. A painted mural stands as a testament to the valiant last stand of the Martyr Callista and her warriors against an enveloping darkness. On the sides of the atrium there are four corridors that lead to the temple’s interior, holding secrets and tales lost to time.

Archways lead to dark chambers with blown out torches, each narrating tales of valor through fading statues and frescoes. And in the two corridors furthest from the main door there are stairs leading to the levels below.

Current Inhabitants and Quest:

This once sacred haven has now been claimed by bandits and undead skeletons, its guardians shifted from noble warriors to restless undead lurking below. As adventurers delve into this eerie sanctum, they will confront not only its rich history but the encroaching darkness that threatens it.

On reaching the temple’s entrance, a crucial choice lies ahead, presenting three distinct paths that will dictate the course of their epic journey.

Main Entrance Standoff:

The main entrance stands guarded by the bandits, a formidable challenge for those who favor a direct approach. Battle-hardened foes await, and the clash of steel and sorcery may be inevitable.

Combat: Use Bandits (Tier 1) with Challenge Points equal to the combined player’s level.

Player’s can attempt to sneak by with a Group Stealth Check (DC 12). If they succeed, they can pass through them, listen to their conversation and ambush them. The conversation shows that they are unsettled, and don’t like being inside the temple and freaks them out.

However, bandits will patrol inside the temple. They must then succeed on a Stealth Check (DC 12) to avoid them again. If the player’s defeat the bandits on the entrance, then there is no patrol left.

Ossuary Entrance:

An alternative passage beckons, revealing an eerie path through the temple’s catacombs, guarded by the ancient skeletal protectors known as the Skeletons of the Eternal Flame. The path ahead is narrow and guarded by the undead, but is a shortcut to the Ossuary below the temple, where the ritual is happening.

Combat: Use Skeletons (Tier 1) with Challenge Points equal to the combined player’s level.

Player’s can attempt to sneak by with a Group Stealth Check (DC 14). If they succeed, they can pass through them, or ambush them. However, the players have disadvantage on this Stealth Check, since it’s a narrow path ahead.

Seeking the Fabled Entrance:

With only the cryptic mention of a hidden ingress by Priest Demetrius, the players can embark on a quest to uncover the elusive secret entrance, shrouded in rumor and legend. Infiltration and exploration become their allies as they venture into the temple’s mysteries, piecing together fragmented tales of its concealed path.

Skill Challenge: To find the secret entrance, the players will need to make a Skill Challenge with 4 successes (DC 12), before 3 fails. On a success, they find the secret passage. On a fail, they alert the Skeletons.

Important Notes

  • A player can attempt to make 1 Memory Check (DC 13) to remember the story of the last stand of Callista and her warriors that fought for the Eternal Flame. They then discover that this is one of the many sparks of the flame that Prometheus gave to the mortals.

  • Regardless from where they entered, the players can explore the temple. If they succeed on an Investigation (DC 15) to find a secret room, which contains a Talisman of Guardians (Uncommon Accessory) and 1 Aries’ Kykeon (Magical Potion).

  • A player can attempt to pray for Martyr Callista. If they succeed on a Religion Check (DC 15), one of them becomes affected by the Bless (Level 0 Spell) while inside the temple, without needing to use Concentration. Only 1 player can attempt this.

Act III - The Fight for the Flame

Description: Confronting Shadows and Restoring Hope

Upon descending the stairs, adventurers are met with a corridor echoing with the tormented screams of undead skeletons. The walls are adorned with depictions of epic battles centered around the protection of the eternal flame. The pillars, ceiling, and ornaments are crafted from the skulls and bones of fallen warriors. These once-honorable warriors, now restless, have their bones and skulls animated and screaming, tainted by the necromancer’s sinister ritual.

The ever-burning pyre, a beacon of Prometheus’s defiance, sits at the chamber’s core, casting eerie, dancing shadows that make the battles depicted on the walls seem alive. The fire’s eternal glow highlights the central figure: a necromancer, draped in shadows and blood, chanting incantations from a cursed tome and using the corpses of priests as fuel for his magic. His dark ritual sends waves of energy through the chamber, agitating the souls of the fallen and forcing their skeletal forms into frenzied unrest and agony. With every scream, the ever-burning pyre flickers.

The adventurers are faced with the challenge of confronting the malevolent necromancer and calming the restless spirits. The very essence of the ossuary urges them to restore peace and ensure the Eternal Flame remains a symbol of hope, rather than a mark of desecration.

art by @victhelion

Combat: Use Erebus the Corpsecaller (Tier 1) that is performing the ritual in the center of the Ossuary, and 1 Bandit Thug (Tier 1) for Iros, the Bandit Leader. If the combined Challenge Points are not enough to match players’ combined levels, you can add a couple of Skeletons (Tier 1), and say that they are the dead priests arising from the dead.

The player’s can try to use the Influence Free Action to make Iros to join and fight on their side. If they talk to his mother Rhea in the village and know about his brother and reasons, they gain advantage on Check to Influence him.

However, if they manage to turn Iros on their side, Erebus will then start using his Villain Action as an act of despair. Erebus can use his Villain Action earlier if you as the GM feel the combat is too easy for your players.

art by @victhelion

Important Notes

  • The temple has traps on the way to the Ossuary. Anyone with a Passive Perception of 14 or higher notices the trap. When the trap triggers, they need to succeed on a Reflex Save (DC 12), or take 1d4 fire damage and become Ignited (1d4).

  • Eberus body burns aways when he dies, and the only remain is his Black Skull (Rare Accessory).

  • Erebus wears a Robe that appears to be part of a bigger cult. If the player’s succeed a Memory Check (DC 15), they learn he was part of the cult of the Ever Night.

  • They gain 3 RP and 100 Silver coins when they come back to Village.

Epilogue

If Erebus dies: In the mere hours following the confrontation with Erebus the Corpsecaller, the village underwent a profound transformation. With the necromancer’s demise, a palpable relief spread throughout, as if a heavy burden had been lifted. The sun, setting on the horizon, bathed the village in a warm, golden hue, symbolizing the end of a dark chapter and the beginning of hope. With the necromancer dead, the haunting screams that once emanated from the temple’s depths became whispers of gratitude, fading into the annals of time.

If Erebus is defeated but escapes: In the mere hours following the confrontation with Erebus the Corpsecaller, the village was engulfed in a tense atmosphere of uncertainty. Though they had thwarted the necromancer’s immediate plans, he had eluded their grasp, escaping into the shadows from which he came. The setting sun cast long, foreboding shadows across the village, hinting at the unfinished business and the possibility of Erebus’s return. The haunting screams from the temple, instead of fading, served as a reminder of the looming threat, with whispered rumors circulating that the Corpsecaller was merely gathering strength for a more potent ritual or another assault.

If Erebus wins: In the mere hours following the confrontation with Erebus the Corpsecaller, an ominous gloom settled over the village. The necromancer’s triumph was evident, not just in the defeat of those who opposed him, but in the rising tide of the undead that began to spill from the temple’s entrance. As the sun set, casting the world into darkness, it mirrored the village’s descent into despair. The once familiar streets now teemed with a shambling horde of the undead, brought to life by Erebus’s dark magic. The haunting screams from the temple were now joined by the moans of the newly risen, solidifying the Corpsecaller’s reign of terror. Whispers of resistance were quickly silenced, as the region came under the cruel dominion of Erebus and his undead army.