Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Zebulara - The Twisted Christmas Demi plane For Your Old School Science Fantasy Games

Zebulara is an Outskirt demi plane realm that has been created from the debris and remains of mankind's dreams and memories of Christmas's past lost to the collective unconsciousness of humanity's memory from the Nineteen Hundreds through the present seen through the eyes of a Holiday Christmas special from classic television. At least in the beginning of a visit. This demi plane actively hunts and sucks in adventurers as well as heroes from across time and space. A strange candy can colored vortex is often the first and only warning of  Zebulara's dimensional trap springing upon PC's. The dimensional vortex opens near the PC's and Dex checks are needed just to avoid the debris and what not that will try to knock characters out. They will awaken upon Zebulara.

The realm takes the form of a small town achingly familiar to hearts and minds who view it for the first time. A realm that seems like home from every holiday special, Christmas morning, and dream of Christmas past. And this is part of its insidious Fey glamour. Zebulara is a lost realm originally a small pocket universe left over as a battle ground between the good and evil fairy races long, long, ago. The realm was picked up and dusted off by the Almadora or the 'Murder elves' as their called. A twisted tribe of psychopathic fey who collect, steal, and create every plastic memory and dream of Christmas they can get their grubby little hands on. The Almordora are no longer the only powers that control the plane, dark forces from across the fey realms. This suits the Almordora just fine.
Zebulara has a very long Christmas night that last's almost eighteen hours. The wintry realm is always blanked by snow and ice as the sun sets and people hurriedly flee into their homes. Its always a commercially laden Christmas here driven by large toy manufacturing corporations. These corporations are responsible for creating incredibly expensive and dangerous toys. These corporate entities are always controlled by an undead or lich overlord selected by the dark fey Immortals of the realm. Often evil 'Gnome' barons are in charge of some of the manufacturing base. As folks toil away all year to afford the 'gifts', the psychic energies released by the rush and bustle help to grease the maintenance of this plane. The small town USA nature of the plane is indicative of the Nineteen Thirties through Fifties of television specials, movies, etc. but which ones can't be identified.
Christmas night is divided into phases and many dangerous horrors are released upon the plane to hunt, kill, and murder during the darkest hours. Many of these horrors come especially for the violence and mayhem that the plane provides and are summoned by deep & dangerous small town cults across the plane. They are released into the land to do their worst. Most bolt and lock their doors at this time but many residents are magically unaware of the mayhem taking place right under their collective noses.
Many travelers from post apocalyptic wastelands,D&D style worlds, and many others are snared by this demi plane. The illusions and glamours of its Fey forces can be very disconcerting and dangerous. Memories, dreams, and wishes are the dross of these 'dark forces' which help to fuel the plane.
PC's caught within Zebulara often learn very quickly to blend in as best they can. Spells, etc. all function as normal but leaving is very tricky as the plane's 'dark forces' often trick, use illusions, and create glamours to force PC's to stay on in the plane. Their terror,frustrations, fear, etc. all adds more fuel for the place like a furnace taking in coal. Illusionists will find their spells have a much longer duration here and saves against such things are -1 on all saves. Many illusionists are seduced by the 'fey immortals' into staying and becoming part of the machinery of this demi plane. They are often inducted into lodges called 'workshops' where they are taught the inner dark secrets of the demi plane.

Zebulara is not without its light though for each Christmas morning those who survive the night go their temples of light to revel and open their 'gifts'. The magic and satisfaction of these min treasures is fleeing at best and after ten to thirty days many of these gifts are returned to the shops or discarded. Clever adventurers have often waited for this period to pass and claim some of these Fey created treasures for themselves. Often these pieces of Fey magic are found no where else among the multiverse and the incredible illusion and lust magic reacts far better on others then the some what jaded and drained inhabitants of Zebulara.
There are literally thousands of temples of light strewn across the demi plane where patrons may worship but trying to leave this place is a divine effort.
The cycle of the demi plane follows a seventy two day cycle until the night of Twisted Christmas comes. The cycle of work of the inhabitants is exhausting until the blood soaked event happens. The let down afterwards helps to fuel the next cycle of frantic activity. On Zebulara there is no reason for the season and for eons Christmas gods and saints have been trying to destroy the place. But like a troll it regenerates itself, even if all were freed from Zebulara, as long it lived on in one mind's dream it would eventually recreate itself.
Random Encounter Table For
Zebulara - The Twisted Christmas Demi plane
  1. A group of towns folk running for their lives as a troll decked out in Father Christmas finery stalks them. They don't want to drop one little bauble or gift wrapped package! There is a 10% chance of one of these fools dropping a small treasured gift. 
  2. A heavily wrapped up little man is actually a necromancer 5th level looking for victims for an upcoming event. He's armed and very dangerous. Followed by 1d4 telepathically controlled zombies dressed in Winter cloths. Armed with knives. 
  3. A man hole bursts open nearby and a group of 1d6 goblins in mini Santa Suits are looking for supper. Armed with bows and arrows. 
  4. 1d4 small cannibalistic gnome like humanoids dressed as Christmas elves armed with clevers begin hunting the PC's through the crowds on the street or in the wilderness. No one else seems to see them. 
  5. A heavily armed 2nd level warrior runs for his life as some dangerous invisible force pursues him, suddenly he is flash frozen and explodes in a shower of ice and gore. 
  6. A small fey princess buzzes by the PC's begging for help against a wizard who had held her in captivity in a nearby Christmas village. 
  7. A small cache of 1d6 evil illusionists fleecing the crowd with tricks and such. They spot your group and proceed to try and use their Christmas magic to cause issues. 
  8. A very lost adventurer from some fantasy world has just arrived or at least that's what it seems, he's actually a doppelganger plant send out by a local cult to gather sacrifices. 
  9. A gutter is filled with a candy cane colored run off from a nearby candy factory. Actually this is a 50 hit point toxic waste slime looking for prey. Run like hell. 
  10. A local pastor from the Church of Starry Wisdom is looking for converts for his choir of the damned. A 7th level necromancer dressed as a pastor from the 1900's. All smiles and kind words to those around him but he's very creepy in a Mr.Rogers sort of way. 
1d10 Random  Gifts & Treasures of Zebulara 
  1.  A small jeweled music box that when opened produces a delicate random rainbow illusion that acts as 'trance' spell for 1d6 rounds. The victim is held in a charmed state for the duration. Worth 400 gold pieces. 
  2. A small doll that has an aura of a real baby. There is a sense of helplessness about the toy and those who pick it up will not let it go easily. There is a 30% chance of the thing having a malevolent soul and being able to exercise incredible influence over those who hold it for 1d4 rounds. 200 gold pieces 
  3. A small set of wooden soldiers, hand carved that will spring to life and act out telepathically the wishes of their owners. 300 gold pieces because of the precious stone eyes of the pieces. 
  4. A toy top that creates massive illusions and telepathic dreams woven from the fabric of the locals. There is a 20% chance of the top creating a prismatic spray spell every fourth use. 500 gold pieces 
  5. A complex configuration made from brass, gold, and wood. The thing is able to cause 'fascination' when someone begins the task of trying to solve it. When no is looking it will create even more complex shapes to solve. 
  6. A set of finely created tools able to make a project go 20% faster and adds +3 to all repair rolls. Made by Snears and Reboc master Gnome tinkers. 400 gold pieces. 
  7. A jeweled ring able to create telepathic illusions and project them to life. The ring is a delicate set of complex jewels set as lens. 600 gold pieces 
  8. A jeweled snuff box able to create projected illusions from the sneezes of those who use the fairy dust snuff. 500 gold pieces for the ever full box, a bound fey is a part of the thing. 
  9. A small statue of a 'Christmas god' made from a single diamond which looks like cheap glass unless shined. 780 gold pieces or priceless to the right cult 
  10. A single list of naughty and nice children. The list belongs to the Krumptus and he wants it back. Now! 

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