Monday, July 11, 2011

Little Encounters - The Crown of the Ascended Monk (Aeon, Theletos)

Here is the last Aeon encounter for the Pathfinder Bestiary 2. I’m really tempted to skip the alphabetical order, otherwise I must prepare myself to do some serious brainstorm because the next entry are Agathions (it’s hard to write encounters for good outsiders).


The Crown of the Ascended Monk (CR 7+)
This encounters starts with what appears to be just another magic item: a delicate magic crown. Actually more a diadem than a crown, this jewelry is made of finally interlaced mitral trends adorned at the center by a beautiful piece of diamond shinning with kaleidoscopic colors. This item has a powerful divination and conjuration aura and caster level 12th. The magical propriety of this item is simple but powerful: it allows its wielder to roll twice any check (except damage rolls) and pick the best result.

Any character with Knowledge (History) can roll to discover more about it after a DC 20 check. The item is known as the “Crown of the Ascended Monk”, because of an ancient and saintly monk responsible for leading a rebellion or for overthrowing a local tyrant (pick the best option for you campaign). Legends claim that this monk could assume an “avatar-form” with red skin, extra arms and a “holy crystalline aureole”. The tales affirm that the monk ascended to the Outer Planes after his good deeds. If the character succeeds at the History check by 5+ he remember the name “Theletos” associated with the legend. If any character asks for a Knowledge (Planes) he can discover that that is the name of a type of Aeon. Finally, if a character succeeds at the History check by 10+, he remembers a far older tale about a cruel slaver called named “The Lord of the Crystal Crown” who also weared the magic item.

The Crown is actually a cursed magic item, for its crystal is the extraplanar prison of a type of Aeon devoted to the duality of freedom and slavery, fate and free-will, called a theletos. This particular theletos, who calls himself “Harmonious Balance”, always searches for powerful individuals to use as tools on its manipulations across the Material Plane. To reach this goal, Harmonious Balance allow itself to be trapped in the Crown in first place; because through it the Aeon can use its spell-like and supernatural abilities agaisnt the Crown-bearer without making attack rolls (and all saves made by the victim suffer a -2 penalty). Usually Harmonious Balance attempts to bind its wearer with a lesser geas and force him to champion either the cause of freedom or of tyranny – it all depends on which force is weaker at the time. Harmonious Balance also deeply despises diviners and oracles, constantly sending to the Crown-wearer visions of doom and potential calamitous futures created by these fortune-tellers. While motivating its victim to fight for freedom or tyranny, Harmonious Balance also sends constantly images of the possible consequences of the character’s inaction (sometimes, the Aeon may even be right). If the Crown-wearer helps the Aeon he'll also benefit of the outsider magical abilities (Harmonious Balance can cast spell-like abilities like bestow curse, remove curse or dispel magic at enemies or allies of the Crown-wearer). If the character at some point decide to destroy the Crown, Harmonious Balance will manifest and strike against them.