Pathfinder Encounters: The Star Temple CR 7

Up in the mountains they say there is a cave entrance that hides a temple run by a mad dwarf.  He leads you into the heart of the mountain and depending on your welcome he leads you either to his center of worship and divines his God’s future, showing you the darkness that lies beneath the stars.  If it is not this room that he shows you then he takes you to the pit.  A deep dark pit with a sea water well at the bottom appears beneath your feet as he leads you along the tight twisting corridor.  As you try to clamber back to the only exit creatures from the deep claw their way out of the well and overwhelm you in the darkness, sacrificing you to the dark soul of the Dwarf’s sinister God.

The scary thing is – the mountain range is hundreds of miles from the seas.  But it is often that locals are found by the sides of trails from the mountain range, their lungs filled with sea water, drenched, on a hot steaming day…

Star Temple from above
Top down view of the whole temple

The Star Temple CR 7

In the heart of a mountain range miles from nowhere sits the Star Temple run by the mad Dwarf Horthan Pericles Crelfovat.  Turned into a stark raving mad disciple of Cthulhu in his younger years he made his home, as per prophecy, by the sleeping Old One in the centre of the World’s seas.  Portals from the deep sleepers location were formed and servants of the Great Old One came to serve the Dwarf in his crazed murderous state.

long corridor ending in Y junction
The long walk from the top of the stairs leading into the temple
Front face of the temple and cut-away
The entrance
Toward the pit
Twisting walk toward the pit

The priest enjoys showing those that find his temple either his room of worship where he performs a divination to show the worshippers the darkness between the stars or he takes them to what he calls the chamber of the faithful.  A chamber where the deep ones known as Skum flood a pit as the petitioners are tricked into falling into the pit.  This is a CR 7 Encounter.  There the Skum attempt to drag them back into the well of sea water and drown them in the pools of sea water before placing them around the mountainous trails to bring more to the worship of Cthulhu.  If taken to the pit there will be 5 Skum.  One will be the leader of the Skum and should have the Advanced Template applied to it whilst the other four are base Skum that attempt to drag their opponents to their death.  Horthan will activate his Aura of Madness as the party approaches the lip of the pit in the hope that they will walk off the edge (a 40′ drop to the bottom).

Star Temple worship chamber
Looking in to the worship section of the Star Temple
Down the pit
Looking down into the pit

If he takes them instead to the worship chamber he casts a divination (it draws a large ball of pure darkness to the center of the standing stones) and activates his Aura calling for them to convert to his great God.  If they refuse, he sacrifices them in the name of Cthulhu.  This is a CR 7 Encounter.

Horthan Pericles Crelfovat    CR 7
XP 3,200
Dwarf cleric of Cthulhu 8
CE Medium humanoid (dwarf)
Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +4
Aura aura of madness (30 ft., DC 18, 8 rounds/day)


AC 19, touch 11, flat-footed 19 (+8 armor, +2 deflection, -1 Dex)
hp 64 (8d8+24)
Fort +8, Ref +1, Will +12; +2 vs. poison, spells, and spell-like abilities
Defensive Abilities defensive training


Speed 20 ft.
Melee +1 trident +8/+3 (1d8+1)
Special Attacks channel negative energy 4/day (DC 15, 4d6), chaos blade (4 rounds, 1/day), hatred
Domain Spell-Like Abilities (CL 8th; concentration +12)
7/day—touch of chaos, vision of madness (+/-4)
Cleric Spells Prepared (CL 8th; concentration +12)
4th—aura of doomUM (DC 18), confusionD (DC 18), cure critical wounds, divination
3rd—blindness/deafness (DC 17), dispel magic, magic circle against lawD, prayer, wrathful mantleAPG (DC 17)
2nd—augury, enthrall (DC 16), hold person (DC 16), silence (DC 16), touch of idiocyD
1st—comprehend languages, lesser confusionD (DC 15), doom (DC 15), ray of sickeningUM (DC 15), sanctuary (DC 15), shield of faith
0 (at will)—detect magic, guidance, light, read magic
D Domain spell; Domains Chaos, Madness


Str 10, Dex 8, Con 14, Int 13, Wis 19, Cha 12
Base Atk +6; CMB +6; CMD 17 (21 vs. bull rush, 21 vs. trip)
Feats Combat Casting, Iron Will, Warrior PriestUM, Weapon Focus (trident)
Skills Acrobatics -5 (-9 to jump), Appraise +1 (+3 to assess nonmagical metals or gemstones), Diplomacy +12, Knowledge (religion) +12, Perception +4 (+6 to notice unusual stonework), Perform (oratory) +9; Racial Modifiers +2 Appraise to assess nonmagical metals or gemstones, +2 Perception to notice unusual stonework
Languages Celestial, Common, Dwarven
Combat Gear potion of cure moderate wounds (2); Other Gear +2 four-mirror, +1 trident, 79 pp

Special Abilities

Aura of Madness (30 ft., 8 rounds/day, DC 18) (Su) 30′ aura confuses opponents.
Chaos Blade (1/day) (Su) Touched weapon temporarily becomes anarchic.
Cleric Channel Negative Energy 4d6 (4/day, DC 15) (Su) Positive energy heals the living and harms the undead; negative has the reverse effect.
Cleric Domain (Chaos) Granted Powers: Your touch infuses life and weapons with chaos, and you revel in all things anarchic.
Cleric Domain (Madness) Granted Powers: You embrace the madness that lurks deep in your heart, and can unleash it to drive your foes insane or to sacrifice certain abilities to hone others.
Combat Casting +4 to Concentration checks to cast while on the defensive.
Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white vision only).
Defensive Training +4 Gain a dodge bonus to AC vs monsters of the Giant subtype.
Greed +2 to Appraise to determine price of nonmagic goods with precious metals or gemstones.
Hatred +1 Gain a racial bonus to attacks vs Goblinoids/Orcs.
Stonecunning +2 +2 bonus to Perception vs. unusual stonework. Free check within 10 feet.
Touch of Chaos (7/day) (Sp) With a melee touch attack, target takes the lower of 2d20 for each d20 roll for 1 round.
Vision of Madness (7/day) (Sp) With a melee touch attack, target gains +4 on attack rolls, saving throws, or skill checks and -4 on the others.
Warrior Priest +2 on concentration checks when casting defensively or grappling.

cross section of longest walk
Cross-section view of the temple main concourse
cross-section view of the pit
A cross-section view of the pit


  1. What program did you use to render this encounter? I love how simple it look.


      1. Neat! I didn’t realise it was Sketch Up, How much work did it took to build this encounter?

        Great blog by the way, I’m an avid reader since last winter.


        1. It took me around an hour give or take 20 minutes 🙂


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