Building the Clock Adventure: Part 4 Antagonists and Plot

It has been a few weeks again I am afraid since I have done any work with this and I do apologise.  I got some time off from my “real” job and everything suffered as I found out what sitting back and having a relax actually meant.  But in the back of my mind I have been considering three things.  The first was details about the time god, the second was who the main protagonist is that is attacking the temple and the third is the plot, or why they are attacking the temple.  I am happy to say that I now have all three portions of the puzzle to add to this picture taking me but one step away from a finished adventure to present to the players.  This post and the two following in the next couple of days will cover these things.

The Time God

I was soooo going to do tacky here and have the Time God own a blue box that travels through space and time with a vibrating wand used to open doors and the like.  You can all breathe a sigh of relief though, I have turned aside from the dark path and have come up with my own original incarnation of the Time God.

Holy symbol of Strefolis

Strefolis, Tinkerer in Time

The God of Time is forgotten in almost all races of Golarion.  It is worshipped only by a secretive cult devoted to his work and also removing evidence of his work in the planes.  Strefolis has always existed in one form or another.  His current incarnation is that of a Gnome that is slowly replacing his body with clockwork.  Over a millennia Strefolis has managed so far to replace his legs and hips, remaining a physical gnome only from his lower abdomen up.  His body is aged and his hair white, unkempt and long.  It hangs down to just above the clockwork patch of his body and occasionally snags in the mechanisms (hence why he tries to keep it a little shorter).

Strefolis has always worked on perfecting his time mechanism which is housed inside his temple.  Spells like Timestop and the like are all loopholes that he has built into the mechanism for testing his alterations and to ensure the construction is of a high enough quality to withstand the rigours of continuing the dimension of time across the planes.

In ancient times Strefolis was once openly revered by the Azlantian’s and a myriad of even more primal cultures.  He was considered a major deity and tribute was paid across the entire lands of Golarion.  All that ended abruptly when his church was infiltrated by a group of assassins intent on bringing the lost God Ydersius back by changing history.  The group had obtained holy texts that suggested there was a way that Strefolis could in fact reverse the passage of time.  The group sought to wrest control of the mechanism that Strefolis had created and return to a time when their God was no longer decapitated and kill the hero that commits the act before she came of age.  
A biological contaminant “cleaned” by a
clock work servant
The attack was vicious and bloody but in the long run thanks to the intervention of some heroes of other faiths, unsuccessful.  Many Gods discussed the ramifications of such attacks, for surely after the first there would be more, and decided that the risks involved in allowing this to happen far outweighed the benefit of Strefolis’ worship.  They approached the God and sought his permission to remove any reference to him from their own holy texts as well as suggesting that he remove his public persona to a much more private form of worship that would require a great deal more stricture and effort from the selected worshippers.

In reality Strefolis saw there was little he could do to continue as he had.  He had almost been disabled for a significant period and had the worshippers of others to thank for the rescue.  He selected a core set of worshippers, 24 in total.  These were to be the core of the cult that he would have worship him and Strefolis removed from them the effects of time so that they could only be killed intentionally or by accident rather than by natural ageing process.  This group works hard to locate and destroy any traces of the god in the planes whilst also seeking to provide worship that the God needs to continue his work.

Strefolis sees time as a stream and he is able to travel backwards and forwards along this stream using the mechanism he has built.  But due to the vagaries and inaccuracy of some of his production processes the device is currently accurate but not to a degree that he is satisfied with.  When he has used these techniques he finds that the accuracy of travel can be out up to a tenth of the time wanting to be travelled.  He seeks one piece at a time to remake the intricate pieces of the device so that he can reign in the margin of error.
The temple contraption as a whole
The temple of Strefolis is affected by the movement of the God and his movements can be predicted by the state of the temple.  Rooms in general that he has not visited for some time appear as if the are run down, aged and non functional.  This is far from the truth but it is the appearance that the temple manifests.  The closer that you come to the God the more the rooms clear up and look functional.  When in the God’s presence the room is clear and operational.  The final quirk is if you enter rooms that the God is soon to enter you actually walk into what almost appears an alien landscape.  The rooms appear made of strange, futuristic technology, perhaps hinting of things to come for the temple.  This can be quite disconcerting for a traveller of the Temple.

Each room of the temple has walls made of clockwork that largely are in operation (see the paragraph above for appearance) and they are essential portions of the overall structure.  Damage can occur at any time and Strefolis is unable to attend to all of these issues.  Inside the walls of each room there are six clockwork servants that manage damage to the system by replacing broken parts from their own systems.  Once the problem is fixed they then move off to a crafting station and replicate the broken piece to repair themselves.  Along with the servants there are also soldiers incorporated in the wall (three per room) that emerge if the servants are harried in any way.  Some of the servants can be a little over enthusiastic and can see biological creatures as errors that need removing.  It is likely that if a creature does not openly display a symbol of Strefolis that they will be “cleaned” by a servant.  This is not a pleasant experience and can be fatal.

Knowledge and worship of Strefolis will result in a visit from one of the core worshippers of the God.  They will seek to “rectify” the problem by removing the material that references Strefolis and can at times also involve sacrificing the worshippers to the God, although this is a last resort situation.  The followers have an array of magics available to them where they first attempt to erase the memories of the forgotten God from the worshippers memory.  Each of the worshippers of Strefolis are Mythic Tiered Characters with Cleric levels ranging from 14th to 20th level.  None of them are by nature present in the temple although they know the location and have ways of travelling there instantaneously should they be contacted and requested by Strefolis to do so.  This is normally done when the God senses new worshippers and he assigns one of the 24 to deal with it.
The initial concept.
The temple itself is in actuality a part of the great device that regulates the passing of time in the planes. Different portions of the mechanism controls the flow of time in different areas of the planes.  The entire mechanism as a whole though maintains the major flow of time throughout the entire planes even though in some portions of areas time seems to pass slower than in other areas.  This is a trick of the mechanism that requires great intelligence to understand.  The mechanism itself controls time but is not time.  Strefolis is actually the embodiment of time and the stream that he sees is a manifestation of himself that he could manipulate at will.  However it seems a portion of the gnomish mind set is instilled in his form and he is driven to mechanise and tinker with a device in an effort to control the flow of time.

Tomorrow:

Part one of a series of three posts done!  Tomorrow we will look at the entity that has entered the temple and caused the trouble that the players will need to arrive and clean up.  Until then, keep rolling!

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