|Quests Run in this Series||Summary of Action|
|The Fall of the House of Delacourte||The party discovered the oncoming threat of the Pyramid of Darkness|
Quests in this series are largely intended for higher levels.
Please contact Gideon Kalve Jarvis if your characters want to do additional research.
In a recent quest several high-level adventurers, some of the great heroes of Therafim, set out to discover why the sun had been blotted out for two whole days over the entire world. This proved to be the work of a rather powerful but somewhat limited ritual to create a small Pyramid of Darkness.
A Pyramid of Darkness can be made in one of two ways: a small pyramid, or a large one. Small pyramids can be created anywhere by specially constructing a place of vile evil and filling it with various special rituals. Small Pyramids of Darkness can last for up to one week at most before they simply cease working, unable to maintain their power any longer. These rituals do not have to be exactly the same as the ones encountered by the party as they worked to reach Urian Delacourte and Retisculi (the glabrezu who was possessing Urian) - that ritual was apparently also designed to awaken the tarrasque that lies beneath Avalon City and then to bind it into service, in addition to calling out a small pyramid of darkness to create sufficient panic and unrest to keep the city's forces from rallying against the monster in time. It would have been, essentially, a massive blood sacrifice that would likely be sufficient in power and impact to rip a hole in the fabric of dimensions, allowing a full-scale invasion, even more massive than the one before. Thankfully this attempt failed.
Large pyramids of Darkness are a lot harder to make, and there have only been two others in the full course of Therafim's history, but also a lot more dangerous. In order to create a large pyramid of darkness, five sites must be carefully selected more-or-less equidistant from one another, forming a large pyramid over the world if they were to be connected by invisible lines. On each of these sites, a sizable pyramid of dark stone must be constructed, or else constructed elsewhere and then moved into position. The pyramids are about Huge size, if compared to monster sizes, and several tons in weight, making their movement difficult and slow, though not impossible by any means. One of the five pyramids must be placed either at the north or south pole of Therafim, as the focus for the whole effort. The smaller pyramids do not respond to scrying magic, so their actual locations must be discovered through mundane means. Once a full-sized Pyramid of Darkness has been activated, then it can only be turned off at the will of its controller(s) or by destroying all five of the smaller pyramids.
When activated, a Pyramid of Darkness causes a bridge between the two halves of Therafim - its dominant, "light" side, where most of the action takes place, and the "dark" side of Therafim, its obfuscated sister side, a parallel dimension from which evil seeps into the world. Normally good also seeps into the dark side from Therafim, so neither side is completely one way or the other, forming a duality, yin and yang. However, when a Pyramid of Darkness ritual is completed, the light of Therafim is dampened, first quite literally, and then, gradually, metaphorically as well, as goodness slowly dims in the hearts of all but the stoutest, most dedicated of souls (essentially, non-PCs of Neutral alignment - the majority of the population - become more mean-spirited and less friendly or willing to help each other, and everybody starts becoming more isolationist). This allows the forces of evil to increase in power while the rest of the world's nations become more cold and isolated, disrupting the usual balance of power.
The smaller pyramids are always well-defended, not only by whoever makes them, but also by their own "natural" defenses - they are able to cast bolts of deadly power like a warlock, and summon tainted Inevitables to act as guardians. This only happens once they have been activated, though. For each of the smaller pyramids that is destroyed, the others grow a little bit weaker, and are not able to maintain as many Inevitable defenders, requiring more protection from the ones who created and activated them in the first place to make up for the lack. Once they are all destroyed, then the entire Pyramid of Darkness ritual will fail. Since these rituals call up such a massive amount of power, however, even when they are stopped, there is a strong chance that gateways between the light and dark sides of Therafim will be formed across the world as the barriers between these parallel worlds thanks to the weakening by the ritual of the Pyramid of Darkness. These portals will then allow more free interchange between the parallel worlds of Therafim until they heal up again, as they have in times past, unless they are made permanent by additional rituals.
Among the many documents found on the Delacourte estate were also discovered unsigned correspondence indicating a much larger conspiracy at work. There are powerful forces that have allied themselves together as part of a worldwide effort to create a full-sized Pyramid of Darkness! The nature of these allied forces of evil is not yet known, not the sites that they will choose for their venture, but this much is known: if they succeed, Therafim as we know it will never be the same.