I'm trying lately to dedicate more time to my "little encounters". I have to at least end the aeons before the end of the month (you know, this phrase sounded really strange ...)
Bottled Emotions (CR 2)
This encounter could happen inside any dungeon, complex or structure – the base description presupposes the classic wizard’s laboratory. The place was recently invaded, maybe by bandits, thieves or humanoids hunted by the player characters (in an urban setting); or wandering monsters (in a wilderness adventure). Describe the room as in complete disarray, with broken vials, spilled potions, torn books and tomes (if properly searched, it’s possible to recover a magic missile and blue concentrate spells).
The most interesting bit about the chamber is a small glass done with a strange occupant – a radiant cluster of dancing lights, orbited by flying crystals and gemstone-like polyhedra. The “living lights” (actually a paracletus) reacts to inquiring questions with pulses and strange sounds and try to impart that it was “trapped” by the invaders (as it doesn’t truly speaks, it’ll be hard for any adventurer to use Sense Motive to fathom its real intentions).
Once freed, the little aeon will follow the party, initially guiding them to a hidden cache of treasure (10 beautiful green turquoises, each unfortunately worth just 10 GP) in an attempt to gain the party’s trust. The aeon will even guide the party to a safe resting place and act as an ally – until the first combat encounter.
At the first sight of battle, the paracletus will attempt to determine whichever member of the group is, respectively, the most coward and the most courageous. Against the first, it will use its emotion aura to motivate him to fight and do bravely deeds (if necessary the aeon will use envisaging ability to show scenes of valor). Against the second, the aeon will use its calm emotion ability to damper it’s will to fight.
The little neutral outsider actually trapped himself inside the glass dome to draw potential “subjects” for its experiments. It’s attempting to exactly measure the balance between bravery and cowardice in each mortal.
If the player characters can put up with the strange aeon (or doesn’t notice that it is the cause of “weird” emotions they’ve been feeling lately), the paracletus will reward them with commune effect once per week. If attacked, the outsider will simply attempt to flee, to find some new “specimen” (it’s even possible that the party will meet in the future with placid orcs or insanely fearless halflings – all victims “brainwashed” by the aeon’s constant meddling).