The occultist Bran Beauphraine has dipped his toes into rituals that are far beyond his power and understanding. While attempting to summon a soul from beyond to play a board game with (the old masters are much better strategists than those he can normally find in town) some chalk lines got crossed, his silver sulfate and silver nitrate got confused, and one or two incantations were read with too thick an accent. Any one of these mistakes might have been forgiven by the mystical forces that form the veil between this world and the twisting ether beyond, but these compounded errors have spelled misfortune for poor Bran.
Instead of calling forth the spirit of a chess master from beyond the grave, Bran has inadvertently summoned something far greater and more powerful. Barely held in check by the poorly crafted magic circle, any of the following creatures are bound, slowly working at the bars of their magical cage in an effort to become free and rampage through the world.
Below are three different beings that may be trapped within Bran’s magic circle. Each is willing to offer boons in exchange for help getting free. Disrupting the circle can be as easy or as complicated as you wish, from a simple Arcana ability check to a dungeon romp through Bran’s plane shifted basement.
The boons the entities offer are not balanced, so consider how they may affect your game and strike out options you dislike before handing them out freely. In general, Marsau’s boons are less powerful and could be appropriate for a Tier 1 or 2 group, while Sathomon’s are more powerful and would be more appropriate for a Tier 3 or 4 group. None of the entities have stat blocks, but if you require, consider each of these creatures to be a significant campaign level threat to your PC’s should they cross them.
Marsau the Gold, a Treachery Demon (Chaotic Evil)
Sitting glumly in the center of a tangled network of trails of silver dust and arcane sigils is a man with brown and grey hair and goatee, a blue robe, and a bracelet with a heavy green crystal dangling from it. On the wall behind him is a massive splash of blood and gore that has splattered across a table of spread with books, game pieces, and half empty jars of magical spell components. The man turns to you with an expression of relief and hope on his face, “Oh thank the spirits! You have to help me!”
Marsau appears in the guise of Bran Beauphraine, guessing that whoever happens across the magic circle may be looking for the occultist. Marsau pleads, attempting first to appeal to the Player Character’s kindness to free him from the magical mishap, and will escalate to bargaining, offering magical boons in exchange for freedom. The splatter of gore behind him is the real, poor Bran Beauphraine, who exploded when Marsau shouted at him to be released, and can be identified by remaining scraps of his robe, and his crystal spell focus. Marsau will keep up the ruse until the players confront him about killing and replacing Bran.
If set free, Marsau is excited by the prospect of these corruptible adventurers and seeks to further guide them down a path of darkness, tempting them to betray their morals, principles and friends. Marsau secretly follows the group and takes opportunities to disguise himself as other NPCs that the party makes connections with so as to sow discord and mistrust.
|Roll a d8||Marsau’s Boons|
|1||The player character grows black, twisting and forking horns from their head (or their existing horns grow more sinister looking and so large as to be cumbersome). They gain a melee Gore attack, 1d6 + Str damage. (If they already had a Gore attack, increase the damage die of their attack by one step.). Their tongue becomes forked, giving them advantage on perception checks involving scent, and they become able to speak to and understand animals. They begin to attract snakes and other serpents, and have advantage on handle animal ability checks to train or coerce such animals.|
|2||The player character’s eyes turn totally black. They can see into the ethereal plane, seeing wisps of the past from time to time as well as ethereal haunts and creatures that go between the physical world and the outer planes. As a 1 hour ritual, the player character can cast etherealness. There is a 1% chance when they cast the spell they are instead transported to the Abyss, and the chance of this failure increases by 2 every time the spell is cast.|
|3||The character’s voice becomes gravelly and frightening, or screechy and shrill, mismatched from their appearance. They can speak and understand Abyssal. Once a day they can shout to cast destructive wave, dealing necrotic damage. Whenever the spell is cast, roll a d10. On a 1, the spell fails, the boon ends, and they cough out a vargouille named Croek who immediately joins initiative and is hostile against the player character she emerged from.|
|4||The player character gains a familiar named Sgrug (use stats for abyssal chicken with an intelligence of 10, speaks Common and Abyssal). The gross, malevolent caterpillar creature with a gnome face drools acidic slime constantly and makes cruel jokes about the player character’s flaw. Sgrug is greedy, and will follow the player character’s orders provided they compensate him regularly. He is saving up to buy a soul-powered war machine. (We recommend he reach his savings goal in 3 or 4 sessions and use the war machine to do something wholly evil that disrupts the player character’s plans. See “Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus” for example machines)|
|5||The player character becomes bloated and sluggish. Their speed is reduced by 10 feet. They grow a sticky pseudopod appendage from their torso or neck that can be used as a melee natural attack that deals 1d8 bludgeoning damage. On a critical hit, the pseudopod pulls the target 10 feet closer to the player character. On a natural 1, the pseudopod becomes stuck to the target and both characters become restrained.|
|6||The player character sprouts slick, shiny wings resembling those of a beetle. They gain a fly speed of 40 feet. If the player character takes fire damage while flying, roll a d6. On a 1 their wings are damaged by the flames, causing them to careen out of control and fall. Once so damaged, they cannot fly again until they receive magical healing.|
|7||The player character ceases to age, becoming more physically attractive over time. If they are already old, they become young, healthy and beautiful. One NPC or character they care about begins to age rapidly, become infirm and decrepit within 2d10 days. Neither can die of old age so long as the other lives. If the character cursed with old age dies by any non-natural means, the curse transfers to another loved one or ally.|
|8||The player character’s form becomes twisted and demonic, sprouting fanged teeth, pustules, spines and spikes. As an action, they can change their size up to one size category smaller or larger, becoming more emaciated and gaunt when they grow, and fatter and distended when they shrink. When enlarged, they add an additional d4 to melee and ranged damage rolls. When shrunk, they add an additional d4 to ability checks to hide, sneak or thieve.|
Fg’nah’thant, Aberrant Godling (True Neutral)
The room reverberates with a tense energy and your hair stands on end. As you come through the door you are taken aback by the sight of something that looks like a cross between a tree, an elephant, a man, and a 12 foot tall mound of fluttering papery fungus. Some slick and shiny surface distorts and reflects the light from the dying candles. Vomit rises to your throat at the smell. Suddenly, a faint voice reverberates through your mind, like a memory that itches.
It’s saying, “This/Here/Now not Where/When/What I/We belong. You/This/It must/command help/free I/We.”
You have flashes, more snippets of memory, of a vast and impregnable starfield. A massive form, both loving and deadly, hungry and dispassionate, crushes planets as it flows past. You have the distinct sense that you’re only seeing a fraction of what this being truly is.
Fg’nah’thant is a creature from beyond time and space, and the binding tethering it to this world is a major annoyance. While Fg’nah’thant does not have any express ill intent for the player characters or this world, it is the most likely out of these three entities to escape its bounds independently and wreak havoc across the world in retaliation. With the ability to shift between time and space freely, there is no telling what an angry cosmic godling might do to the fabric of existence.
If freed, Fg’nah’thant imparts its boons on any that desired them and then winks out of existence, one cross-section at a time.
|Roll a d8||Fg’nah’thant’s Boons|
|1||The player character’s head and neck swell, becoming engorged and bulbous. Five giant blinking eyes peel open around the neck, staring unsettlingly at anyone nearby. As an action, the PC can activate an eye to fire a 30 foot ray that affects anyone hit with one of the following effects (refer to the beholder’s eye rays for specifics – Save DC 16). Once an eye has been activated, it bursts, splattering with a foul smelling fluid. |
– Blue eye – sleep ray
– Red eye – fear ray
– Purple eye – slowing ray
– Yellow eye – telekinetic ray
– Green eye – disintegration ray
|2||The player character’s jaw shifts and enlarges. They gain a massive underbite and the ability to unhinge their jaw and swallow large objects. They can safely swallow and carry 25 pounds of material easily without discomfort or impacting their encumbrance. As a bonus action, they can regurgitate a swallowed object of their choice.|
|3||The player character becomes unhinged from real space, with an identical copy of the player character occupying two spaces at once. Only one copy can make an action, cast a spell, or use other abilities on a turn; they share hit points, spell slots and all other resources. They always move together and must always be adjacent. If subjected to an effect that allows a saving throw to take only half damage, they take no damage on a success and only half damage if they fail. Attack rolls can be made against either copy, and a spell that affects one, affects both (such as grease, imprisonment, etc.)|
|4||The player character begins to experience space and time in a distorted way, occasionally perceiving two locations at once. Once a day, as an action, they can create a temporal duplicate of themselves that they can control psychically for 1 hour. This duplicate has identical statistics to the player character and can use all of their spells, abilities and actions. While the duplicate exists, the player character is paralyzed and unconscious. If the player character is woken from unconsciousness, damaged, or killed, the duplicate immediately ceases to exist.|
|5||The chaos of the cosmos begins to infect and grow within the player character’s mind. They gain telepathy to 100feet, becoming able to communicate silently with any creature in range that they share a language with. Once a day they can either: cast the spell dream (but must select themselves as the messenger), or summon an aberration as if casting the spell conjure celestial at 7th level. After the first time using either spell, the player character becomes infected by the chaos phage disease (refer to blue slaad).|
|6||The light and energy of the cosmos flows through the player character, energizing them and overflowing from every pore. Once per short rest, as a reaction when damaged by a piercing or slashing attack, the player character emits a prismatic blast from their wounds, affecting everyone in a 10 foot burst as per the spell prismatic spray. Each time this ability triggers, note which effects are rolled on the d8. Any results of 1-7 can only ever be rolled once (unless as a consequence of an 8), and once 7 creatures have been hit by the blast, this boon ends, but the PC’s body turns the colour of an ever shifting rainbow.|
|7||The player character’s mind becomes open to the cosmos, comprehending the universe in a way unlike any other creature on the material plane. They gain resistance to psychic damage. If targeted with a mind-affecting or psychic effect that allows a save but doesn’t deal damage, they deal 3d6 psychic damage to the source of the effect if they successfully save.|
|8||The player character’s mind becomes inextricably linked to another intelligent being. They add that creature’s bonds and flaw to their own and vice versa. They are under the effect of a permanent telepathic bond spell, except they can only communicate with each other using emotions and feelings, not language.If more than one player character in the party rolls this boon, they become empathically linked to each other, rather than to a non-player character.|
Sathomon, Archangel of Law (Lawful Good)
You enter the brightly lit room to discover the source of the warm and inviting light, a 9 foot tall creature with massive glowing blue and yellow wings and molten gold skin that reflects the room around it like a mirror. A luminescent halo of orange flame dances around the angel’s head like a comet. It levels it’s gaze at you and a soothing, melodic voice ushers you in. “Hello, mortals. Come, fear not. I require your assistance. As you can see, I am trapped.”
You look down to see the angel is floating a few inches above the ground, which is painted with a dizzying array of geometric silver lines, punctuated by burning candles and crystals in iron sconces. Also at the angel’s feet lies a huge, muscley arm covered in red scales that ends in 6 inch long, razor sharp claws; it leaks blood and occasionally twitches.
Pinned to the wall by a nearly translucent blade of pure force is a blue robed man with a brown goatee. A heavy looking green crystal dangles from a chain bracelet around his wrist.
Sathomon is a terrifying divine warrior of Order and Law. They consider themselves to be one of the most unyielding and unbending forces fighting for All That Is Good. Even other angels look up to Sathomon as a paragon of moral righteousness, and Sathomon is known to take their job to a fanatical extent by more Chaotic members of the celestial order. Sathomon finds the magic circle to be a massive affront to Order across the universe. Firstly, because it was so terribly executed (“The lines aren’t even straight, has he even heard of a ruler?”), and secondly, because Sathomon was right in the middle of smiting a Pit Fiend when they were abruptly whisked away to Bran Beauphraine’s attic.
Once freed, Sathomon is dismayed by the disorderly conduct of the world, mortified by the unlawful way in which plants grow, people live and die, and even as what they view as the inconstancy of the moon’s cycle in the sky. Sathomon takes it upon themselves to set right the world’s erratic disorder… by any means necessary.
|Roll a d8||Sathomon’s Boons|
|1||A glowing blue crystal becomes embedded in the player character’s forehead. It shimmers with divine magic and can emanate light as per the spell. Once per day as a bonus action, the PC can summon forth a shimmering blue blade of force that lasts for 1 minute. The blade is a melee martial weapon that deals 2d10 force damage on a hit.|
|2||The player character gains a celestial coatl familiar named Agador. Agador is a neat freak that insists on mothering the party and aiding them with menial tasks, even though she just gets in the way.|
|3||The player character is given a glimpse of the truth and light that exists within the multiverse, learning the secret sigils for a teleportation circle on Mount Celestia in the Positive Plane. They can cast plane shift once a day in order to travel to this location with no need for a material component (they’ll have to find a different way back). Upon arriving on Mount Celestia, they and anyone brought with them immediately receive the benefits of mass heal.|
|4||The player character is surrounded by seven glowing golden motes that act as a permanent Dancing Lights spell. Once per day as an action, the PC can command the motes to transform into a golden chariot drawn by six pure white pegasi. The Chariot can carry 6 medium characters and has points to mount two lances or two heavy crossbows. The transformation lasts for 1 hour, at which point the horses and chariot turn back into glowing motes.|
|5||The player character’s skin turns golden and shiny, with intricate tiny etchings and gemstones that form images of dancing angels and animals among the clouds. The player character gains resistance to necrotic damage. Once per day, the player character can cast stoneskin, hardening their body against physical damage.|
|6||Sathomon reaches inside a fold of their wing and pulls forth a 3 foot long black shin bone. “This is St. Algier’s, use it to strike down the forces of evil and chaos.” St. Algier’s Shinbone is a legendary +3 club that requires attunement. When you hit a fiend or undead with it, that creature takes an extra 2d10 radiant damage. While you hold the shinbone drawn, it emits a resonant hum of angels singing, uplifting allies with 15 feet, granting them the benefits of the spell bless. As an action, the attuned player character can crack the shinbone over their knee, destroying it, to deal 20d10 radiant energy damage to all fiends and undead within 100 feet.|
|7||The player character’s voice becomes hauntingly beautiful and alluring to all listeners. Once a day the PC can spend 1 minute giving a speech, affecting anyone who can hear the speaker with an auditory version of hypnotic pattern. If the player character willingly allows someone under the effect of the spell to be harmed or damaged, they immediately drop to level 3 exhaustion.|
|8||Sathomon summons two devas, Elias and Padraig, binding them to the player character’s service in order to complete one task. As a 10 minute ritual, the player character can pray to a symbol of any lawful good deity to summon Elias and Padraig from the celestial plane. They carry out the player character’s orders for 8 hours, as long as they view the PC’s goals to be lawful and good. At the end of this time, if the devas consider the PC’s task and mission worthy of their efforts, they grant them a halo. The halo hovers above the player character’s head, emits daylight as per the spell in a 60 foot radius. Any healing spell cast within the radius of the halo’s light grants an extra 3d4 points of healing.|