The Temple of Lozixhil is the continuation of a storyline in my ongoing campaign, and a followup to The Lost Tower of the Mad Mage of Nesme (not yet published), and several other adventures along the way. Since I decided to start writing up and designing my own maps, I decided that spending some time to prep this to be reusable by others would be worthwhile. As usual, you can find the full resolution maps here, and download a copy.
The Temple of Lozixhil
Near the centre of the city there is a small unassuming temple, the Ebon Kindness, dedicated to those who worship Nepenthe, the eater of sorrows. In addition to providing healing and blessings, the followers of Nepenthe offer solace from painful memories and regret.
Nikoleta, the leader of Nepenthe’s followers at this shrine is a kind, elderly human who tends to and cultivates the sweet smelling flowers that give the temple it’s name. By sharing a tea, the draught of final remembrance, made with these flowers, the followers of Nepenthe seek to erase the pain brought into this world by helping those suffering forget their sorrows.
After the first draught, most people will want another, each time giving up a memory, and sleeping their time between doses. Eventually these people will consume enough to forget who they are, and when they do, Nikoleta will comfort them and offer them a path to find new meaining, showing them the Temple to Lozoxihl below.
In reality, Nikoleta is an acolyte of Lozoxihl, but not a very powerful one. She is a faithful servant who seeks to help others, through her ministrations as a healer, but for those who are… troubled… by their memories she offers first an escape, by sharing the tea, and then for those who are left empty by repeatedly taking the tea, something to fill the void, by inducting them into the service of Lozoxihl.
There are many ways to consider getting the party to visit the Ebon Kindness, some may involve having the party come to think of Nikoleta and the Shrine to Nepenthes be an ally
- The party seeks healing or help for an injured member
- The party is tracking down information that one of the slumbering people present can provide
- When researching the black flowers they have found a clue that lead them here
- One of the commoners present here is currently infected by a Slaad Tadpole, but has forgotten
The Ebon Kindness
A small temple with no windows and a stone door, this building looks more like a mausoleum than a welcoming building. On either side of the stone doors are two fenced in areas where many unusual flowering plants grow. As you approach the sweet smell of the flowers at the end of the long stemmed plants wafts as they tremble lightly as though blown by a gentle breeze even in the calm air. The black leaves and stems of the flowers are notable enough, but they are a stark contrast to the bulbs that have a soft glow, almost like a tea-light about to flicker out at the centre of it’s thorn rimmed flower. On the stone door you see a simple handcarved sign “The Ebon Kindness”, and just below that “All are welcome”.
As you open the door you can see the temple is softly illuminated by pale purple light coming from two braziers. The air is comfortably cool and you can see several rows of pews with sleeping people on them leading toward an altar with a brazier that has a kettle sitting above it. In the alcoves you can see stone sculptures that show larger versions of the plants growing outside, their thick stalks seeming to undulate in the shadows of the pale, flickering light.
You see a kind looking elderly woman working several types of dried flowers with a mortar and pestle as she briefly looks up when you enter.
“Come in, come in! Please respect the rest of those who are sleeping. I am Nikoleta, and may the peace of Nepenthe be upon you!”.
Nikoleta is a Priest 1 who will offer any who want it regular tea, and can provide basic healing services via her spell list below market rates – even free, and asks only for a small contribution to the temple in return.
She will also offer any who seek it a Draught of Final Remembrance, below, to any who seek it, and will speak freely of the effects it grants of removing memories, creating a feeling of lightness, but also tiring out those who drink it. She won’t mention the dreams of the alien citiy.
Alternatively a DC 15 insight check will reveal that Nikoleta is concealing something. She is extremely hard to provoke, but will only reveal the temple below if her life is threatened, in which case she will flee down to the basement, warning Andrianos that people are attacking the temple.
One of the tendrils of the plant to the right of the altar is a hidden lever, which when activated will cause a portion of the tiled floor to slide away revealing a staircase into the hidden basement.
The Hidden Temple
Descending down the staircase, you begin to hear a soft chanting in a strange language and as you near the bottom of the stairs you see a burst of harsh green light. If any player has been witness to Naxh’Dhritl, read the section related to that below.
As the characters step down the last stair the passage opens to a large chamber where you see a tall, thin, impossibly old man (Master Andrianos, a Warlock of the Great Old One 2) wearing dark robes standing before a great hole in space that fills an arch along the northern wall. “Lozixhil the many, we beseech you to grant our brethren your blessing and find them worthy! Accept our sacrifice that we may be serve and be spared when Naxh’dhritl ends his slumber and consumes all the worlds.”, and a great beast (The Presence of Lozoxihl) with many eyes, and flayed, nearly human hands reaches through the portal.
As the dark robed man finishes his prayer, the brown robed acolyte kneeling before the many-eyed horror reaching through the portal stands and walks toward the grasping hands – “I give myself willingly Lozixhil, the sacrifice is worth your blessing!”, and there is a green flare as a tentacle reaches through the portal, dragging the acolyte through the gate. Another acolyte hesitantly rises from the benches and begins walking to the same spot, when he looks, and catches your eye — “Master, I thought the ritual couldn’t be interrupted?”
At this point Master Andrianos looks to the party and is briefly outraged, but composes himself and invites the party to join the trials. If any players choose to, they may perform the Trial of Worthiness. If they decline, or start asking questions that reveal that they are not “empty vessels” created by over use of the draught of final remembrance, he will become enraged and attack. In this battle, The Presence of Lozoxihl will attack anyone in range, but will focus on whatever attracts it’s attention.
Among the pews are seven Empty Vessel minions, and two Cultists who will help Master Adrianos to overcome the party. Neither the Empty Vessels or the Cultists realize that Lozixhil will attack or consume them if they get too close. Proceed to The Presence of Lozixhil.
The Trial of Worthiness
If one of the players decides to take the Trial of Worthiness, they must complete the following challenges to survive.
As the tentacles of The Presence of Lozoxihl wrap around you, it’s presence invades your mind, scouring it of memories that could be a danger to it’s master.
Trial of Scholars Make a DC 15 Intelligence save to preserve your memories. If you fail this save, any memories of Lozoxihl or Naxh’dritl are erased from your mind. If you succeed on this saving throw, you may increase your Intelligence by one, to a maximum of 20.
Trial of Sense Make a DC 15 Wisdom save to preserve your sense of right and wrong. If you fail this save, your alignment shifts one step toward Chaotic on the law/chaos spectrum, and one step toward Neutral on the good/evil spectrum. If you succeed this saving throw, you may increase your Wisdom by one, to a maximum of 20.
Trial of Self Make a DC 15 Charisma save to preserve your personality. If you fail this saving throw, you become obsessed with feeding Lozoxihl to survive the coming doom, and gain an Indefinite Madness3 (“Achieving my goal is the only thing of interest to me, and I’ll ignore everything else to pursue it.”). If you succeed you may increase your Charisma by, one to a maximum of 20.
Once the trials are complete, you gain immunity to the draught of final remembrance. If you succeed on two of these saving throws, Lozoxihl will accept you as a Warlock of the Old One, scouring away your past level of experience, and converting it to Warlock (if you are already a Warlock, you lose your current Patron, and Lozoxihl becomes your Patron). If you refuse this gift, or fail more than one saving throw, the Presence of Lozoxihl drags you into the Mouth of Naxh’dhritl.
The Presence of Lozixhil
The great Beast making it’s way through the portal is merely a facet of Lozoxihl, who seeks to drag prey into the Mouth of Naxh’dhritl. The Presence is immobile, but it’s tentacles can reach anywhere into the main chamber that Lozixhil is in. Each round it will make two tentacle attacks, and if it successfully grabs a target, it will drag it into the Mouth. Cultists in the Mouth will become confused (per the confusion spell). This cannot be dispelled or cured, and cultists that enter the mouth will continue to act under that spell until they die; nothing can help them recover short of a Wish spell.
If Master Andrianos is killed, Lozoxihl will recede into the portal, allowing others to pass through it. The portal will remain open for an hour, until the strange fuel that feeds the purple fires burns down. If The Presence of Lozoxihl is defeated, it will slouch backwards through the portal, allowing passage through the portal from either direction.
The Mouth of Naxh’dhritl
This is a terrible space that is within one of the many mouths of Naxh’dhritl. Within each the countless mouths of Naxh’dhritl resides an aspect of Lozixhil, that waits to flay the body and soul of it’s prey to feed it’s great master.
While the Presence of Lozixhil is alive, the portal is sealed by a part of Lozixhil bulk, and creatures within cannot escape. Once the Presence of Lozixhil is defeated on the other side of the portal, or Lozixhil is defeated on this side of the portal, it is possible to move freely through it until the ritual powering the portal concludes. Any creature in the Mouth when the portal closes is consumed body and soul by Naxh’dhritl, and is lost forever.
This horrific environment is a demiplane that appears to follow all of the normal rules of physics, but anyone within the Mouth will take 1d4 acid damage at the start of their turn.
When either the Presence of Lozixhil is defeated the portal will begin to collapse, when the ritual fires burn out if just the Presence is defeated, or within 1d10+5 turns if Lozixhil, The Harvester is defeated. If either happens, the cultists – including Master Andrianos and Nikoleta, remaining in the temple will fight to the death, their only sense of purpose lost to them. Any abberations spawned from the Mouth of Naxh’dhritl will immediately flee from the temple, and take any steps necessary to escape or evade combat – their goal is to spread the will of Naxh’dhritl, not to fight the party or attack townspeople!
In the private quarters to the south east, detailed instructions for preparing the draught of final remembrance
can be found, as well as ancient texts written in Deep Speech that detail the rituals needed to open a portal to a mouth of Lozixhil.
A book titled The Hunger of Dreams details what the wizard Agelmar Margaster had learned of Lozixhil and Naxh’dhritl, and their unending hunger and desire to devour everything that lives. Among the pages are notes and missives from The Cult of Lozixhil and the Church of Nepenthes that indicate a loose, cell based structure of organizations that worship these horrific and otherworldly creatures. Clues to the next steps include
- Two missives, one from Waterdeep, requesting Nepenthe seeds from someone named Valmarin, who seeks to start a new temple. The second is from a place called Stormreach, written by Hupnam the Servitor, stating that the experiment was successful and he was able to be both consumed by Lozixhil and transfer himself to his new form.
- A packet of Nepenthe seeds with instructions to care for them, and strict instructions not to touch the thorns.
- A strange nut that looks much like an acorn but has shadowy tendrils that are growing from it. It is contained in a small glass jar, with a very cryptic label containing only a question mark. This is a seed that when planted on the Prime Material plane will grow over 8 hours into one of the twisted portals of The Ways. It emanates powerful conjuration and necromancy magic, and is felt by anyone sensitive to evil or aberrations.
In addition to the details above, the earnings of the temple are contained within a lockbox underneath the bed, 400 gp, 250 cp, and two potions of superior healing, a wand of secrets, a small forked metal rod, and a scroll of Plane Shift.
Witness to Naxh’dhritl
If one of the characters present has borne witness to Naxh’dhritl, read the following as they enter the room:
You step into the chamber you catch a glimpse of the many eyed beast reaching through the brilliant viridescent portal, and a memory consumes you:
As you gaze through the aperture of the portal, your eye catches on the strange texture of the ground that appears far beneath you. The mottled purple and grey terrain trembles, and a large crevasse slowly forms across the surface – what you first think are tears in the turf bridging the gaps quickly form into tendrils of viscous liquid as the ground separates.
Revealed in the depths of that crevasse is a golden and glassy surface that quickly expands revealing a massive black smear across, which you quickly realize is a pupil as it shifts to centre on you. As the pupil focuses, it reshapes into an indescribable form that tugs at the deepest recesses of your mind, and the golden surface suddenly erupts into dozens of enormous tendrils reaching and striving toward you. It is only then that you realize the vastness of the scale of the eye that is gazing at you through the portal.
You can see the tentacles streaming toward you through the horrible void, and get a sense of the distance they are traversing to reach toward you; as they grow closer you can see the tips of the undulating arms forming massive blisters that erupt into open, tooth filled maws. You stare into the portal as though transfixed by the images you see, and as the limbs strain towards the portal, within the mouth stretching open, you see the hideous form of a many eyed beast with its twisted, nearly human hands gripping the awful interior of that mouth as it’s eager eyes lock on yours and the wicked tentacles on its back flicker toward you. The silent screams of those gaping maws echo across the void into your mind and you instinctively recoil, breaking contact with the control pillar, and the portal winks momentarily out, then re-appears, once again showing you the calm silver clouds of the Astral Sea.
The character will take 3d6 psychic damage, DC 15 Wisdom save for half. That character feels the words “I SEE YOU” slam into their mind as The Presence of Lozixhil targets them for the next round.
Draught of Final Remembrance
adventuring gear (potion)
This sweet smelling but bitter flavored tea seems to be vaguely illuminated from within. When consumed, you immediately feel drowsy and tired, and begin to slip into a deep trance that lasts 1d4+4 hours, nothing short of a lesser restoration spell will awaken you before that time passes. When you awaken you have lost all memory or recollection of a painful memory, and while you have a vague recollection of having lost something, for the next 24 hours you have advantage on Charisma based skill checks for persuasion and performance. In addition, you gain all of the benefits of a long rest, even if you have taken one in the last 24 hours. Finally, if you are suffering from any type of Madness3At the end of that 24 hours you gain a level of exhaustion. When you next awaken you have a recollection of a bizarre city with unusual geometry that seems to shift and a great cyclopean tower that seems to have been watching you.
After accruing 7 levels of exhaustion from consuming the tea, you lose all of your memories, and your will and motivation. You become an Empty Vessel, and seek guidance and instruction from whoever was providing you the tea, following their instructions.
The draught can be made into a potion, but loses it’s potency after 24 hours.
The Cult of Lozoxihl
In addition to Master Andrianos and Nikoleta, there are several cultists and servants of Lozixhil that occupy the temple.
Empty vessels are humanoids of any race or size that have drank too frequently of the draught of final remebrance. Barely concious automatons that seek only to serve and protect their master, in combat they will mob anyone attacking their master, acting as human shields. They act without regard for their own safety and are unaware of their own frailty.
Cultist of Lozixhil
Not all of the Empty Vessels are consumed, some of them pass the Trial of Worthiness and become a Warlock of Lozoxihl, serving their master in body and spirit.
In battle the Cultists will first attempt to use their Hold Person spell to ensnare their assailants, and then will either cast True Strike to help their master, or cast Eldritch Blast on opponents that are attacking them directly. If they are hit, they will use Hellish Rebuke.
The Presence of Lozixhil
A hideous beast with nearly human arms, several tentacles, and countless eyes that bubble up, focus and then rupture, the Presence of Lozixhil is blocks the portal to the Mouth until it is defeated. Note that the Tentacle attacks come from the within the portal, not from The Presence of Lozixhil.
Lozixhil, The Harvester
Lozixhil, The Harvester are the many facets of the hunger of Naxh’dhritl. Each of Naxh’dhritls mouths holds an aspect of Lozixhil, and when destroyed, that mouth will collapse in on itself (the portal closing in 1d10+5 turns). Lozixhil acts with no sense of self-preservation for it knows that its many facets will live on to consume endless souls to feed its master.
Each round Lozixhil will use it’s Corrupting Gaze to try to infect a target, then target the same target as well as another in order to create new abberations. These abberations may squeeze through the portal, allowed by Lozixhil to escape.
The Temple of Lozixhil
You can download the full resolution maps and cutouts from the gallery here.
Note that the cut out in the bottom right can be extracted using any image editor and used to reveal the secret door under the top left statue at the appropriate time! The gallery above also contains cutouts.
Credits and Inspiration
The inspiration for Draught of Final Remembrance, the flowers and the name of the Ebon Kindness, and the are taken from A Cosmology of Horrors by Shaun Hamill. The appearance of the temple and the form of Lozixhil are inspired by “Eldritch Summoning” by Lochlan Page.
Story and maps © Yvan Boily, @ygjb, https://boily.me