The Rise of Karzoug
The Runewell of Wrath
Below Sandpoint are Thassalonian ruins known as the catacombs of wrath, built for the Runelord of Wrath. In exploring these ruins, the party discovered a magical well that seemed to be the center of worship in a shrine dedicated to Lamashtu. In the time since discovering the well, the party has learned the following (careful research for at least a month allows taking 20 on Knowledge Arcana to understand the item). Brodert Quink has been able to discover the following with his +13 Knowledge Arcana.
0: The “well” appears to be a stone pool well 15 feet wide and 30 feet deep. The edge of the pool is lipped by raised stone which bear softly glowing red runes. The water in the pool is unnaturally cold, so much so that any creature entering the pool will take 2d6 cold damage.
15: The runes are associated with Thassalonian “sin magic” and radiate overwhelmingly strong necromancy and evocation. Physical proximity to the pool provokes feelings of anger in most people (dc 10 will to resist). Removal of water from the pool is difficult, once removed from the pool any water vanishes, only to reappear back in the pool.
20: The pool is some sort of repository of magical power, one of its primary functions is the storage and focusing of magical energy (presumably evocation and/or necromancy, but the mechanics aren’t clear). The “water” in the pool isn’t really water at all, but a visual representation of the quantity of energy stored by the pool. The only way to empty the pool is to drain out the stored energy.
25: The energy is closely associated with wrath as understood by Thassalonian rune magic. The pool seems to absorb energy from the souls of angry beings by unknown means. That energy is incredibly useful in fueling evocation magic, but could be put to a number of uses (although it isn’t clear how one gets power out of the pool).
30: The pool is capable of creating sin spawn, unnatural creatures of living wrath made out of people’s worst violent and aggressive urges. Any sufficiently wrathful creature who dies near the pool will add to the stored power. The range is unclear, but is likely measured in tens of miles. The recent battle which saw the deaths of more than one hundred goblins significantly increased the power stored in the pool as well as its apparent depth.
Quink believes that if the runewell had been collecting wrathful souls for 10,000 years it should be teeming with power, but it isn’t. He has various theories about why that might be. 1) Perhaps the well has a maximum capacity and was all but drained by the Quasit to create the Sinspawn the party fought. 2) Perhaps the well is much younger than 10,000 years old. 3) Perhaps the well is 10,000 years old but was inactive and incapable of storing power for most of that period. If so, when did it reactivate and why? 4) Perhaps the power stored by the well is periodically drained and directed elsewhere. If so, where and by whom?
One way to test these theories would be to create a Sin Spawn, see how much energy it takes, and get a better idea of how much energy the Quasit used up. Even Quink isn’t reckless enough to do that…
35: Quink’s theories 1, 2, and 4 are false. Theory 3 is true.
The Runewell has been active for approximately five years, coming to life around the time of the late unpleasantness. The Runewell may be called upon to restore spent evocation spellslots. The well can release a pulse of necromantic energy if desired.
40: There is more to be learned, but no one locally has a +20 or better Knowledge Arcana. It is not clear how the well could be destroyed or what would happen to the stored power if it did.