The thing that makes high level adventures so tough is that you have to take high level magic into account. Why walk into a dungeon when you can teleport in? Well the solution for the high level adventure writer is to make the dungeon so it can only be teleported into. But even then, sometimes high level players need a unique magic item or artifact to help them out of particularly difficult challenges. It can’t just be your run of the mill scroll or staff. For it to be memorable at this level, such a powerful item has to be massively unique.
The Deadly Delves: 9 Lives for Petane adventure—masterfully written by Christen N. Sowards of Lost Spheres Publishing—has one such high level magic item. In this adventure, you are looking for the remains of someone, but you have no idea which remains are the right ones, and there are lots of remains and the fact that the cult of the demon lord Zeraghal has been using the tomb as their own personal nercromantic playground does not help matters. So this level 12 adventure is going to require more than a single casting of a spell to bring someone back to life, and those high value diamonds add up fast.
Enter the Amulet of Nine Lives. This powerful item can bring just about anyone back from the dead, but there is a catch. Read the artifacts description and see if you can figure it out. (Spoiler Alert: I bolded a section of the description that should catch your eye.)
The Amulet of Nine Lives
Aura overwhelming conjuration (healing); CL 25th
Slot neck; Weight 2 lbs.
This artifact, known formally as the nine lives’ amulet of Heshatta, was crafted in the ancient city-state of Khys by the high priests of the goddess Heshatta, known among her faithful as the Voices. The Tomb Dancer’s magics were forbidden in the extreme and involved the sacrifice of many of her own worshippers to fuel the amulet’s dark powers. Eventually human barbarians heard of the amulet and assaulted the city-state, overwhelming its keepers. In a final vengeful act, the High Voice of Heshatta cried out for a miracle from his mistress.
He laid a curse on the amulet as it was taken so that those who fell defending it would rise to reclaim it from its thieves. Thus, when the powers of resurrection are called upon by anyone using the amulet, they are also joined by rebirthed catfolk defenders of Khys who are sworn to slay anyone near the amulet and return it to their homeland. Each of the amulet’s nine ruby jewels contains the power to restore a life as per true resurrection (CL 20th). The jewels darken as the powers of the amulet are used. For each month that passes during which the amulet is not used, one ruby regains its ability to restore life. In order to activate the amulet, it must be placed around the neck of the corpse to be resurrected; the activating creature must then touch the cat-face of the amulet and whisper in Daemonic “Dance back from death.”
The amulet can resurrect any creature that has been dead for less than 300 years.
When the amulet is activated by a non-catfolk who does not worship Heshatta, the miracle of her High Voice is enacted and vengeful warriors are called forth to battle those who possess the amulet, and to return it to Khys if possible.
To destroy the amulet of nine lives, it must be depleted of all remaining charges, all summoned guardians must be defeated, and it must be returned to the ruins of Khys. Once in Khys, the
body of the High Voice who cursed the artifact must be adorned with the amulet, and a true resurrection spell must be cast on it beneath a new moon.
Deadly Delves: 9 Lives for Petane is an adventure for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and is designed for a group of four-to-five 12th-level characters and will be released tomorrow. You can download this adventures at the JBE Shop. You can also find them at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store.