Lore Dump- The Temple of Io is an incredibly holy site for dragons, and dragon-kin. It is located in an extremely remote location, and reachable only via flight. As a titan, Io requires no worship from its children. However, many dragons and dragon-kin come to this temple to seek the blessings of the priests that dwell there. (Io's priests are all ancient dragons who seek enlightenment. They are various colors.)
Most precious to Io are the lives of dragons. It is abhorrent to Io for one of its children to take the life of another. This applies equally to chromatic and metallic dragons. There are ten champions buried within a crypt below the temple; they have been venerated by Dragonkind as the among the very best of The Children. Their spirits guard the innermost chamber; an immense vault that contains the amassed treasure that has been offered to Io throughout the centuries.
Also located in the Temple of Io is the grave of Velen (VEE-len).
Velen is the third, and most powerful child of Io. While Bahamut and Tiamat were made as the separate ideals of chaos and order that were within Io’s heart, Velen was made to be the mediator between the rivalrous twins.
However, the childlike and innocent Velen was slain by Tiamat in a fit of jealousy. Velen’s spirit lingers near this temple, awaiting the day when a dragon born of Tiamat and Bahamut, and embodying the perfect ideals of inner-harmony, becomes a vessel for its soul.
(Velen is never stated to be male or female.)
Velen appears as a nondescript young child of whatever race the observer is. Velen speaks every language fluently. Velen is inquisitive, and generally benevolent, especially to dragon-kin. However, s/he will act swiftly and vengefully at any desecration of its grave.
In order to proceed to the lower levels of the temple, the players must appease Velen’s spirit. They will have to offer up substantially valuable items to be added to the hoard within the inner vault.
Any items placed upon the altar within the temple will be immediately teleported into the vault.
If the players appease Velen, s/he will allow them to proceed to the lower level, where they will face the ten trials of Io’s champions. If the players survive, and reach the vault, they will be allowed to select a single item from within the vault.
OPTIONAL- Velen warns the players against falling asleep inside the crypt. Elias (see Silver Dragon Room) will attempt to feed upon anyone who falls asleep or takes a long rest.
The players descend a down an elaborate spiral staircase into a round, marble chamber. As soon as the last player steps off of the stairs, they will retreat into the ceiling.
The marble chamber has 10 immense doors with elaborate decorations. Each door depicts a dragon of its respective color, done in appropriate gemstones or precious metals. Each dragon is depicted with an outstretched claw, and a seemingly missing “medallion”.
Upon defeating each room, the players will find a medallion that they can place in the door.
This room is a black void with absolutely nothing visible. (A minor inconvenience to my players.) Once the players figure out how to see, they will realize that they are in a crypt deep within the earth. There will be 26 sarcophagi, of varying size, scattered about the room. Each sarcophagus, except one, has a weird sigil on it.
A large, obsidian plinth in the middle of the room will have 25 sigils on it (one for each sarcophagus). They will need to touch the sigils, in a specific order, to get the 26th sarcophagus open. Doing it wrong will cause all sorts of undead and ghosts to pour out of the sarcophagi and attack them. (I used braille for this.)
This is a sunny forest glade with a wide, clear stream running through it. A dozen stone statues are placed through the stream; two of them have toppled over, and have moss growing on them. A large green dragon is seated at a banquet table across the stream, and she beckons the heroes to come and dine with her.
She presents each hero with a choice of ornate goblets, and bids them to "drink as she has".
The trick is that she doesn't have a goblet, and that she'll just go and drink straight from the stream. Any hero who drinks from any of the goblets will turn to stone... A stone hero can be turned back to flesh by anointing him with water from the stream, poured out of the goblet she drank from.
The players will suddenly find themselves inside an active volcano. They are on a thin ledge, and must make their way down a narrow path, to a statue of a red dragon on a wide precipice below. At some point, they will come to a narrow bridge carved out of the rock. Both sides of the bridge are lined with statues of dragons, with their eyes and mouths closed. (About 8 - 12 statues).
Immediately before the beginning of the bridge is a small pillar in draconic;
“Only those who are blameless before Io may proceed safely.”
Anyone who has killed a dragon, or dragon-kin, will awaken the statues when he walks past them. Use stats for gargoyles.
Once the players reach the statue of the red dragon, it will awaken. The floor will begin to melt into lava, and the players will be forced to fight a lava-proof, non-flying red dragon.
Optional- Give the “gargoyles” laser eyes that cause burning damage.
Optional- The guardians of this temple are dragonkin!!!
They enter this room, and it looks like an abandoned steampunk laboratory. There is a metal "bed", with wrist and leg clamps. There is also a large, dotted pattern on the floor that looks like this...
One of the players will have to willingly allow himself to be strapped/clamped into the metallic bed. As soon as he does this, the floor will light up and it will be a game of 3x3 "lights out".
Every time the players make a move, the person in the "bed" will get electrocuted and take 2d6 lightning damage. The person cannot become untied, until the puzzle is solved. If he dies, the puzzle will be reset. (I downloaded an app on my phone so the players could play lights out.)
Optional- The person in the metal bed will be electrocuted every X seconds if the players start taking too long.
The players will enter this hallway, and it will become very cold. The wind will begin to blow. As they progress out of a cavern, they will make a CON check.
DC-14 constitution checks to continue into the cold. If they fail, they take 1 point of exhaustion.
The find themselves in a strange place, where the wind is howling and snow is blowing hard into their faces. They will have a brief glimpse of a white dragon statue before another gust of wind obscures their vision.
DC-17 perception checks to stay together in the snow.
They will hear screeching and howling in their ears as though a monster were hot on their heels. Players that quicken their pace must make DC15 Athletics or Endurance checks to do so. Every IRL minute that the players are in this room, roll on the following chart…
1 – The wind howls. (Conchecks to continue through the snow.)
2- Spectral White Wargs attack random player
3- Difficult endurance check on random player
4- A wendigo attacks a random player
5- A random player finds another random player
6- The wind halts for a few seconds
This room is a large, but peaceful fountain. The item they need to progress is in the deepest part of the fountain (about 40 feet underwater).
At the 25-foot mark, the water becomes boiling hot. The players will have to climb up a sheer pipe and find a way to turn the massive valve to shut off the boiling water below the surface.
The players are on a small, thin precipice. They can see the immense copper statue on the other side of a 200-foot wide gorge. The bottom of the gorge cannot be seen. Wailing and crying sounds can be heard coming up from the gorge.
DC- 15 perception check on the way in reveals the following in Draconic…
“Those who see as Children do will know the way forward.”
This is a twisting, checkerboard-colored hallway with a variety of traps all over the place. The tiles on the floor are patterned in every dragon color.
If the players look behind them, they will see a large boulder, poised to roll down the hallway.
DC-12 perception check will reveal the arrow-holes at chest height.
The tiles are 3ftx3ft. If a player steps on any non-bronze tiles, then roll on the following trap table.
This room will be a comfortable parlor, where a silver half-dragon is lounging and reading a book. He will offer the players food and drink, which will invigorate them and restore their hitpoints and hit dice.
He will chat with them for a while, DC-13 Wisdom save to resist falling asleep. This will increase to 18, if the players have eaten or drunk anything.
If the whole party should fall asleep, each player may make an endurance check to wake back up. If they wake up, they will find that the silver half-dragon is a vampire who is feeding upon one or more of the sleeping party members (His name is Elias the Eternal). Elias will never feed upon a fellow dragon-kin.
This room will be empty, except for a large, gilded mirror. Each of the PCs will look into the mirror. After they have dealt with what is inside the mirror, a golden statue of a dragon will materialize; the medallion is in his hand.
This should be personalized to your players! I have included the scripts I used for my players...
Gabriel- His reflection warps and dissolves into the shape of a very large, golden dragon. Several dead and dying dragonborn lie at his feet. The living are bleeding from their mouths, eyes and cloacas. Their scales slough off to reveal rotting muscle underneath. The scene pans out over a large valley, filled with thousands more who are afflicted by the dragonblight. Three silver dragons fall out of the sky with blood beginning to flow from their eyes.
Voice of Bahamut- “The legions of your brethren that you have slain this day have testified against you! I condemned my own sister to Hell for less! What shall be done with you, Gabriel?”
Voice of Bahamut- It is only by the maker’s mercy that your soul is spared, Gabriel. You will live and die a mortal until you have lived and died once for every life you destroyed this day!”
Voice of Golden Half-Dragon Paladin-“The weight of the greatest sin is heavy upon your shoulders. However, the fury of our father will not last, as it has against his sister. Persevere golden child of Io.”
Arenborn- His reflection swirls away and when the turbulence clears, he sees himself the day that he left his village. A young boy is holding back tears and begging him not to go. Arenborn reassures the boy that he will return soon. As Arenborn walks off into the sunset, the boy begins to swiftly grow up. Tattoos cover his body, and his muscles begin to bulge. He looks just like Re-Amakk, and as his beard begins to gray, he charges, weapon drawn, at a lithe, male half-elf.
Voice of Golden Half-Dragon Paladin-“You are a commendable mortal; you are loyal to your kin, and you wield your rage like a weapon in battle. Though you have slain many of our maker’s children, you have not committed The Sin, because you are not born of my maker’s flesh. Be wary of rage; it may yet undo your family.”
Rex XIX- His face melts into the image of Tiamat (in her red form) and Bahamut (in his gold form), fighting brutally. Each of them draws blood from the other. Their fight rips its way through a continent, leveling mountains and causing great rivers of blood. Though both are heavily wounded, neither can seem to gain the edge over the other. The fight finally stops at the appearance of Io, who begins to scold the two children for fighting and causing a war. As Io’s chastising of the children continues, all three begin to change.
Io transforms into a kind-looking silver dragonborn female, with a large crown on her head (The Empress). Tiamat begins to look like a very young Prince Chrysaetos, while Bahamut takes on the appearance of Rex.
Voice of Golden Half-Dragon Paladin-“My son, your zeal to serve our father is commendable, but you should temper that zeal with caution and wisdom. Not everyone is the ally that they claim to be, and not everyone is the enemy that they seem.”
D’Jon- Gabe sees himself literally sitting atop a pile of treasure. He is adorned with every manner of jewels, and expensive clothing. Around his neck, he wears a jewel that appears to be every color at once. He looks sleepless, sitting vigilantly atop a growing pile of money and jewels. As the pile swells, it begins to move like a large body of water. D’Jon struggles to stay “afloat”, but he begins to choke on inhaled gold coins, and he is eventually lost beneath the waves of money.
Voice of Golden Half-Dragon Paladin-“You are sinless before Io, but your greed is what drives you forward, child of Larethian. Think of what you may make of your life if your greed were to be sated.”
Kraken- He fights a dark-mirror version of himself. (This player was not a very well-fleshed character; he lived for combat... So I made him fight himself.)
Voice of Golden Half-Dragon Paladin- “Your own rash nature works against you. Like your companion, you make a tool of your rage. However, you do not yet have his mastery of it. Be even more wary, son of Gruumsh.”
Once all ten rooms have been defeated, and the ten medallions are placed, a spiral staircase will lower down to the floor below.
There are 10 sarcofagi in this hallway. Each one is decorated with a different precious gem or metal. Each one has a statuette of the champion interred within.
At the end of the hallway is an immense door, depicting a young dragon seemingly made of stars (Velen). Upon approaching the door, Velen will appear and tell the players to choose their final test.
Assume all dragons/half dragons have lair effects pertaining to their color. This is supposed to be a very difficult fight.
White Sarcophagus- A white half-dragon/lich named Draugr. He has thick fur in between his scales, and he commands four white wolves (“Frosty” Hell Hounds). He wields a frozen hatchet. The fight takes place in a snowy plain.
Green Sarcophagus - Morganwyrrh. The green dragoness they met in the green room. This is a regular fight against a green dragon, except that it takes place in a mushroom forest. Disturbance of the mushrooms causes spores to fall down; see MM page on mushroom people.
Blue Sarcophagus - Saphyr. A half-dragon lich who wields two daggers. When she hits with them, she channels electricity into her target.
Red Sarcophagus - Sulfon. Already fought in the red room. Double his stats.
Black Sarcophagus - Skirgaus. A true dracolich in skeletal form. This fight will take place in a swamp. Failure on a fear saving throw results in a player slowly sinking into the mire.
Copper Sarcophagus- Kyrrhenos. An arcane trickster rogue that uses illusions to disorient the players. Turns into a copper dragon when health is low.
Brass Sarcophagus- Tyrath. A wizard/lich with properties like a brass dragon.
Bronze Sarcophagus - Nimue. A paladin/eldritch knight. She has a serrated sword called “Blade of the Seas” that she wields in human form. This fight takes place on a very small spit of rock, surrounded by water. She can breathe and fight underwater. When health is low, she turns into a bronze dragon.
Silver Sarcophagus - Elias. The vampire dragon from the silver room. He wields no physical weapons, this fight takes place in a completely dark tomb.
Gold Sarcophagus - Reman Heliaca. A gold half-dragon. He is a half-dragon paladin with stats and abilities comparable to a particularly fast, intelligent and strong ancient dragon. He wields a flaming sword called “Valor”. (For those paying attention, he is the son of Saint Aquila, and a grandson of Bahamut. He founded my Dragonborn Empire.)
After defeating the champion, the final door will open and the players will see the extremely vast hoard of Velen’s crypt. They will also be able to see Velen’s immense bones.
Velen will not tolerate any desecration of its bones, or anyone who takes more than a fair share of treasure.