View Full Version : [Isle] Phlogistos

The Glyphstone
2008-01-14, 07:45 AM
When the average person thinks of an island, they picture it surrounded by water. The isolated and almost mythical island of Phlogistos is not – instead, it floats in the midst of a lake of fire on the Elemental Plane of Fire. Home to a hermit blacksmith of legendary skill, it can be reached from the Prime only at great difficulty and risk. But for those that accomplish the task and survive the dangers that await them, the rewards can be incalculable…the salvaged possessions of failed travelers, the ‘flawed’ and abandoned creations of Bazrid, or in the very rarest of circumstances, an item deliberately commissioned from the smith himself.

Reaching The Island

Phlogistos’s physical location lies in the middle of a great lava lake on the Elemental Plane of Fire. The island itself lies in a “bubble” of relatively cool air that makes visiting it merely unpleasant and not instantly fatal (average air temperature 100° F) like the rest of the plane, but reaching it by normal travel requires the usual measures for survival there.

For those unable to planeshift, or incapable of shielding themselves from the fiery atmosphere of the plane, there is one other way to reach Phlogistos. The oceans of the Prime are dotted with ordinary islands, many of which still carry the volcanoes responsible for their birth, and have caves tunneling into those volcanoes’ sides. Seemingly at random, these caves can spontaneously develop portals to Phlogistos, always in the form of what appears to be a waterfall of molten lava emerging from the ceiling of the cave and vanishing into the floor. There are never more than a half-dozen of these portals in existence at one time, and they are reported to last for roughly a year before sealing themselves and reappearing elsewhere. A person attempting to pass through the flow takes 2d6 fire damage, as if they had touched lava – if they survive, they find themselves in an identical cave on Phlogistos, which travelers have come to call the Lobby.

The Lobby

The Lobby is a cave just shy of a hundred feet in diameter, connected by a short tunnel to the surface of Phlogistos proper. The stone here is black obsidian, like the rest of the island, hot enough to scorch unprotected skin but otherwise harmless. Since all non-planehopping visitors to Phlogistos pass through the Lobby, there is always a 5% chance that someone will be there either arriving or leaving. However, the only permanent resident of the Lobby is an elderly and slightly crazed elf cleric named Amahra (Female Elf Cleric 5), who arrived here by accident many years ago, and has never been able to work up the courage to attempt the passage back. She does not tell any stories of how she came to be on Phlogistos, though the small camp and shrine she has set up in a corner of the Lobby shows that she still worships her gods despite having seemingly been abandoned. A cheerful greeting is given to anyone she meets appearing in the cave, though only another elf can command her attention for more than a few minutes before she wanders back to her tent, lost in her own thoughts.


The entrance of the tunnel down to the Lobby is at the foot of a massive volcano. The entire island is approximately a mile across, littered with small hills and caves around the foot of the mountain at its center. Aside from Amahra and Bazrid, Phlogistos has no permanent residents. Elementals are frequently seen wandering the area, there is often a group of salamanders scavenging for valuables or prey, and even the occasional efreet passes by the island on its way to some place or another, but all of them are careful to keep a safe distance from the spiraling path that leads to Bazrid’s forge, and something about the Lobby’s connection to the Prime prevents the native creatures from approaching down its tunnel. For the most part, the most common thing to find on Phlogistos is the remains, charred or mummified, of previous visitors who never left. The Elemental Plane of Fire has no scavengers, and even the natural process of decay is impeded by the parching heat of the island. As such, though visitors are few, bodies that fall there tend to stay in some condition or another. Most of these unfortunate pilgrims’ belongings have been stolen or destroyed, but a careful search can usually turn up something useful (10% chance per hour of discovering a treasure with value equal to ˝ the party level).

Bazrid’s Forge

The mountain is dominated by a long, steep path that spirals up around its slopes, providing a steady if slow way to reach the top, where the azer smith Bazrid Golrach (LN Azer Artificer 20*) toils endlessly at his Spellforge. Reclusive and eccentric, he hates the very site of visitors in his home, and will refuse to talk to anyone with a suitable bribe of rare ores (50 lbs. of adamantine or mithril will usually suffice – he has all the supplies he needs from the forge, but appreciates the effort of lesser creature in obtaining it). He can be convinced to craft an item for someone who has made the trip to find him specifically, though it must be worthy of his interest and attention. He gave up forging mining equipment and cheap magical weapons years ago, and only a truly grand project can stoke the fires in his heart again. Should he be persuaded, though, it is well worth the effort, for there is no creature alive or dead in recent memory whose skill would come close to matching Bazrid’s, especially when his mystical Spellforge is in operation. Around the entrance to his cavern home will be a number of magical items that the azer created and discarded, either because they did not work, or because they did not meet his standards. If Bazrid is suitably distracted (by, say, a potential customer), a greedy person can try to loot the garbage for functioning treasures. To determine the contents of the heaps, generate 2d8 magic items (no scrolls or potions) from the magic item table, though each item generated in this way has a 50% chance to be broken or otherwise useless.

(*If you do not have the Ebberon Campaign Setting, Bazrid is a Fighter 4/Sorcerer 6/Eldritch Knight 10. In either case, his allotted Wealth By Level is equal to a Level 20 PC, not a level 20 NPC.)

The Spellforge
The ancient, incredibly powerful artifact Bazrid calls the Spellforge was on Phlogistos when he arrived, and it will likely be there when he dies – since he would never leave it voluntarily. Where it came from, Bazrid has no idea, but it is a priceless possession to anyone of his profession. It resembles an ordinary blacksmith’s apparatus, if greatly oversized; a forge, a bellows, an attached anvil, and a cooling rack, all molded from what seems to be a single piece of odd black metal. It cannot be moved or damaged in any way. The existence of the Spellforge is Bazrid’s greatest secret and treasure, and the greatest of such on the otherwise barren island entirely, so he will go to great pains to conceal it from visitors. He keeps a second, completely mundane forge in his quarters, with the Spellforge in its separate room through a secret tunnel, and his insistence of privacy when he works gives him the opportunity to sneak though and produce the desired item from the Spellforge, maintaining his reputation for incredible speed and skill.

The powers of the Spellforge are vastly powerful, and all oriented towards smithing and crafting. None of its abilities can be activated unless the user possesses at least 23 ranks in Craft (Blacksmithing).

Its first effect is the creation of rare raw materials; up to 100 lbs. of simple ore of any kind can be shoveled in, and transmuted into adamantine, mithril, starmetal, cold iron, or anything else. The forge can also apply a layer of alchemical silver to an item. This process takes 1 hour, regardless of the amount of ore placed into it (though it cannot hold more than 100 lbs.), and effectively reduces the cost of any raw materials to simply the item’s weight in crude ore.

It grants the use of any spell in existence to its user, but only for the purposes of crafting an item that would require that spell as a prerequisite. This ability allows non-casters to still forge magical weapons, armor, and other items.

Items crafted using the Spellforge require only 1 hour per 1000GP of the base price, instead of the usual 1 day per 1000GP.

The Spellforge pays the XP cost for any item it is used to create out of its crafting pool. This pool holds 100,000XP, and will refill itself at a rate of 1,000XP per day. This XP cannot be used for any other purpose, or ever removed from the pool except to create an item.

Secrets of the Spellforge:

As is apparent, the Spellforge is a mighty artifact from the dawn of time – supposedly the site from which the greatest Dwarven god (Moradin in the default cosmology) forged the dwarves, azer, and his other first creations. This is the final power of the spellforge, only usable by someone with a minimum Divine Rank of 1 – the ability to cast the epic spell Origin of Species once per day. Like most artifacts, the Spellforge is nearly indestructible; to ruin it completely, it would need to be used to melt down Moradin’s own axe, undoing the first thing it created and consuming itself along with every item it has produced since in the process.

Potential Plot Hooks

The Spellforge is indescribably valuable, for the production of weapons and armor especially. Its only true protection is its hidden location, as Bazrid would not be able to stop anyone truly powerful with sufficient resources. This could be a demon prince, mortal warlord, or even the great Emir of the City of Brass, ruler of the efreeti. It would be up to the PC’s to undermine and foil the attacker’s plans before they managed to capture the Spellforge, whether or not the group knows of its true potential. (High Level-Epic Levels)

The PC’s are sent to Phlogistos to commission an item from a customer who knows of Bazrid’s existence and has heard of his prodigious skill. This can involve either a simple Planeshift and travelling across the Elemental Plane of Fire, or hunting for an island bearing an active portal to Phlogistos and making the trip that way. (Mid-High Levels)

The PC’s are on a sea voyage, and crash-land or otherwise find a seemingly deserted island, except for what looks like tracks leading through a pouring stream of molten lava in a cave. Should they go through and survive, the island of Phlogistos is theirs to explore. [i](Any Level)