Typhon, Father of Monsters, is chained beneath a lone mountain by the powers of good. Typhon desires escape, but thus far, no known power can free him.
The Children of Typhon are the cult that worships the Father of Monsters. They seek untapped knowledge and power in their attempts to free him.
While their toil has yet to succeed, they have developed new spells and items to strengthen the cult. Behold a sampling of the fruits of their labors, given to NPC cultists as you see fit.
These hooks introduce the Children of Typhon and get PCs on their bad side.
- A remote village suffers from monster attacks. A wandering wisewoman recently arrived, promising salvation if the villagers agree to a blood sacrifice. Right about this time, a caravan rolls into the village, with the PCs in tow. One of the PCs (or a sympathetic NPC) is designated by the wisewoman (a lamia in disguise) as the proper sacrifice. The PCs must deal with angry, desperate villagers and save the victim. Can they resolve this without unnecessary bloodshed? Meanwhile, the lamia takes advantage of the chaos to abduct a sage traveling with the caravan, her true target, and escape before anyone realizes what has occurred.
- A booming mining town on the frontier also suffers from monster attacks. Death dog attacks have been on the rise; such animals aren’t uncommon in this dry terrain, but they’ve been happening with greater frequency. However, other monsters have been encountered that aren’t typical for this area: cockatrices, harpies, ahuizotl (see Creature Codex) and others, not usuallyseen in the environment or sharing territory. They are brought in from further into the wilds, emerging from a portal to Typhon’s realm in the Abyss. A nearby cave used by the cultists holds the creatures until the cultists release them to wreak havoc on the locals. This might be a test of strategy, or an attempt to lure specialists into the area to capture them.
These hooks reveal more of the cult’s organization and goals.
- Evidence surfaces that the Children of Typhon are operating in a rocky, desert area beyond the kingdom’s borders. (This may be a continuation of the last hook, with PCs finding a map in the cave. Or authorities may have already dealt with the problem, and are sending adventurers to the source to stop the cult.) The locale is occupied by members of the Iron Keepers sect, including a researcher and several keepers (see the minions installment of this series) along with whatever Monstrosities or Oozes you want kept there. Most importantly, an active gate leads to Tarkoros, the abyssal layer ruled by Typhon. PCs might try to close it or leap through to discover what is happening on the other side.
- The PCs are hired to track and recover a renowned sage, an expert in abjuration magic and protective wards teaching at an arcane academy. She was abducted by a lamia, disguised as a human woman, during his travels. (If the PCs were involved in the first hook on the list, this could be a follow-up adventure.) The sage was taken by the True Daughters. This particular group consists of a matriarch serpentine lamia (see Creature Codex), her lamia assistant, and several other serpentine lamias (see Creature Codex). Infiltrating the lair, locating the sage, and bringing her back to the academy seems straightforward enough, but what if they are bringing an indoctrinated agent back, one that may corrupt others or work towards the cult’s ends in a place full of knowledge and magical utility?
These hooks reveal the cult’s activities in the larger world.
- The city is in an uproar as monsters stalk the streets at night. A sundown curfew is in effect, though no one but the monsters enforces it, as even the watch stays indoors. For those that slay the monsters become monsters themselves, becoming corrupt in body and soul. The True Daughters have infiltrated the capital, and summoned up several transmogrification demons (see Transmogrification Demon). The demons have been unleashed on the populace. One was slain, and the guards that managed the deed, as well as their captain (use stats for a knight,) were mutated by the fiend’s death throes, and pose their own threat to the citizenry, roaming the night in a deadly patrol and dealing with curfew violators in their own sinister way.
- One of the Wise, the leaders of the Iron Keepers, has a vendetta against those that have attacked his cell of the cult. He has concocted a magical poison from the blood of a transmogrification demon and is testing it on local water supplies. Now there are livestock and pets turning into violent monsters. People are killed and injured as their docile cows and loyal dogs transform into monstrous versions of themselves and attack. The heroes will have to discover the source of these terrible transformations, then track them to their source. This will bring them into conflict with the cultists, as well as their leader. Depending on the level of the PCs, the leader could be a blood mage (see Creature Codex) or even an archmage if they are 9th level PCs.
These hooks put the cult in action, bringing the fight back to the PCs.
- A rash of thefts and kidnappings has broken out. The targets are individuals that deal in magic, whether practitioners, instructors, or merchants of magical goods. A prominent wizard has divined he is a likely target and hires the PCs as security. The PCs must mount a defense against the Children of Typhon, who look to bypass the wizard’s security with greater knock and phase walk spells and gelatinous elixirs (see Spells and Magic Items in this series). The cultists work strategically, using part of their forces to keep the PCs busy while the rest capture the wizard.
- In a twist on the first hook, the PCs themselves have something the Children of Typhon want. Perhaps one of the spellcasting PCs has developed a new spell that interests them, or one of the PCs has acquired a useful magic item. More simply, they may have already clashed with the cult in the past, and the Children of Typhon are attempting to reclaim something the PCs took from them. This puts the PCs on the defensive, having to react to a planned attack by the enemy.
These hooks bring the PCs to face off against a major cult leader.
- An NPC friend of the PCs recently received an appointment to a professorship at a prestigious academy of magic. Some time later, the PCs receive a hastily scribbled missive from the NPC mentioning strange happenings and that people are not who they seem to be. If they investigate, the NPC meets with them on the academy grounds, apologizing for the poor joke, saying they thought of it while drunk and it was too late to retrieve the letter once they’d sobered up. They seem fine, but observant PCs note that many of the faculty are within hearing of the conversation, and keep a watchful eye on them while they are on the grounds. The NPC is actually a doppelganger working for the Children of Typhon, having replaced the NPC, who is now working under duress for the cult. Many of the faculty face the same fate, having been replaced by other doppelgangers or lamias, who are prepared to defend their secret against discovery. The heroes’ friend, along with other key members of the faculty, are being held in secret chambers beneath the campus, coerced into working on magical research for the cult.
- The PCs track down the location of one of the Wise, the lieutenants of the Iron Keepers that run the cult under the leadership of Demos Arkhotas. Unfortunately for them, this one is a master of transmutation magics, and adept at mutating monsters into more potent forms. His lair is protected by mutated spider drakes and a mutated deathweaver (see Creations of the Iron Keepers for details) or any mutated creatures you want to pit against the characters. (If using the former, consider giving this particular cultist his own mutations; moving easily through the webbing his monsters generate, for example.) While taking down this important member of the cult is a great achievement, even better is the information to be gleaned from taking him prisoner (or going through his records if not captured). As a high-ranking member, he is privy to a huge breakthrough by the cult’s researchers. They have hit on a ritual that may allow them to free Typhon!
The cultists have found a way to free Typhon, and the PCs face the demon lord in person!
- The Children of Typhon have made a breakthrough in freeing their Father from his prison. The two sects have joined forces to complete the ritual to free the demon lord. The PCs attempt to stop this, whether they have been in an ongoing campaign fighting against the cult, or are simply heroes warned by the divine forces of good about the impending catastrophe, and must delve into the Abyss to confront the combined might of the cult. In addition to the various NPCs and monsters associated with the cult, the heroes may also need to face various demons, as aberrations, dragons, monstrosities, and oozes spawned in Typhon’s shadow. Only by defeating the terrible beasts guarding the cultists will the heroes succeed. Once that vanguard is crushed, they can defeat the cult’s leaders, who take any knowledge of the ritual with them into death. (However, those souls are dedicated to Typhon, so while the knowledge is lost to the cult, the demon lord himself may gain knowledge of the ritual, and attempt to escape himself at a later date.)
- While the heroes may defeat the cultists, they might not be able to stop the effects of the ritual, which allow Typhon to attempt to free himself. They must face the demon lord in combat. During the period of abyssal flux caused by the ritual’s effect on Typhon’s mountain, defeating Typhon in his lair does not kill him. However, it does allow time for the magical prison to reassert itself, keeping the demon lord bound.
Looking for more monsters to fill out your Tyhpon adventures? Tome of Beasts 3 contains over 400 new, horrible things to trouble your characters!
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