There was a 750 word Pathfinder adventure scenario contest and my entry didn't make the cut. Not too surprised, I've written/designed much better. Here is the entry (format and length via their rules)
Title: The Watchers from Below
Many thousands of years ago, the aboleth considered their dominion of the entire world to be complete. The few sages that study those ancient creatures agree that the main impetus behind the aboleth desire to dominate other races was their inability to trust other creatures, almost to a level of paranoia. The world under the waters was at tentacle’s reach and the aboleth could easily be reassured that the watery ancient world was always under control and not a threat. The surface world could be scryed upon by arcane magic, but the aboleth also relied upon humanoid and monstrous agents to supplement their magical reconnaissance and to shape the actions of the surface world to the desired result. Further inland, aboleth agents would have less access to the resources of their masters, so the aboleth established small hidden bases far inland at locations linked to the ocean by waterway. One such location was the in the land nearby Falcon's Hallow.
The aboleth base nearby what would eventually become Falcon's Hallow was the center of all operations in and around the area for hundreds of miles, until the Dwarven quest for sky worried the aboleth masters. The tunnels and underground exploration of the dwarves would come too close to their base so it was abandoned just a few years before the dwarves saw their first sunrise.
In the area, the ruins of past dwarven settlements has predominated Pathfinder activity. That is why it the discovery of a large rune covered stone is so enticing, as the dwarven family that finds the runes points out that none of the runes are dwarven, and the stone was cut and and runes carved with magic before the dwarves finished their first settlements on the surface world.
In this adventure, the pathfinders explore the ruins of an ancient underground aboleth base used by aboleth inland servants thousands of years ago. A sect of cloakers still loyal to the aboleth have beaten the pathfinders to the ruin, though a 1-2 tier group will only encounter lesser agents of the cloakers. The pathfinders will be able to deduce the nature of the ruin by either interrogating the cloaker agents or decrypting some of the ancient runes. Either method of information gathering will realize that this ruin once housed a powerful scrying crystal that amplified divination magic and stored previous scrying sessions for reviewing. The lure of totally new ruins that are not supposed to be in the area, combined with a great ancient magic device that may still have the stored divinations of 10,000 years ago should be too much for any pathfinder to refuse!
Pre-ruins at the dwarven farmstead-
1) Calm the frightened daughter of the dwarf who found the stone on his land. Her father has been missing since yesterday and the daughter is the best way for the PCs to find the rune covered stone.
At the aboleth underground ruins-
2) This room was designed to quickly fill with water to allow for both the comfort of amphibious creatures and to aid in long-distance magical communication with the aboleth. It was not designed to be a trap, but functions well as one. If they survive or avoid the "trap", they have the chance to interrogate one of the cloaker agents that was left for dead. This is an OPTIONAL encounter.
The Chambers beyond take on the subjective gravity trait-
3) An ambush in the central room (Lizard men/Skum/Cloaker mix per tier). The scrying crystal is here, but will not move from the center of the room. Triggering switches in other rooms will lower the crystal with one switch already triggered in the left most room.
4) The room above contains Lizard men, Skum or a Cloaker mix per tier. The room is enveloped in an ancient silence effect and contains a switch. The Dwarven father/captive can also be rescued here.
5) In the noxious gas filled chamber to the right there is an ancient protector (a construct appropriate to tier), plus a switch.
7) The chamber below is full of water and a water elemental protector appropriate to tier, plus a switch.
8) The mechanism that magically lowers the crystal has failed and "drops" the crystal, cracking it and summoning an ancient Aboleth creation, an advanced fiendish (templates) version of a creature faced in the tier appropriate mix.
A Brief Conclusion:
Should the servants of the Aboleth retrieve the crystal, they will gain access to its stored divinations of the Falcon's Hallow region over past 10,000 years. The dwarven child will see strange creatures carry a large crystal across her farm and into the river, but she will never see her father again.
If the PCs suceed, the historic treasure the crystal can reveal is priceless... if anyone can ever get the cracked crystal to work. They have also made a great friend in the dwarven father, who was once a pathfinder himself and can be a valuable ally in the future.
Faction goals would focus on variations of discovering the nature of the ruins, helping the dwarven family and retrieving the crystal.
1 week ago