While pursuing the masks Baron Ganth has been building a hidden mountain stronghold to lead his new empire from. This is also where the binding spell will be completed, away from prying eyes and interruptions. Unfortunately he does not realize it will be Xoth’s new empire, not his. Xoth has almost complete control of the Baron’s mind at this point. With just a word Xoth can make the Baron do exactly what he wishes.
After attaining the masks Baron Ganth makes haste for his secret stronghold taking only a couple private guards with him and leaving the army behind. Upon his arrival he disposes of all remaining workers at the site leaving no witnesses, or apparently so. Xoth knows with his new powers he can complete the fortress on his own. The time has come to finish the binding spell, become whole, and recreate his lost empire.
The binding spell itself is very particular. It was created this way to make sure bringing back Xoth would be very difficult. The spell has to be performed within certain days of the month when the god of rebirth and magic are favored in the sky. For the campaign the time frame is 2 weeks away. Charilus knows this.
The PCs now have to find Xoth before he completes the binding spell. In most cases they will assume Ganth traveled with the army back home. To their surprise they will find Ganth is no where to be found. As a DM you must keep track of time. The PCs have 14 days to stop the Baron from completing the binding ritual. They must find information as to his whereabouts. Below are the ways PCs can find Xoth.
1. Using the Mask of Divination the PCs can find the general area of the stronghold which will lead them to Xoth.
2. Various divination spells will yield a clue to what Ganth is up to. Discretion is left up to the DM. Suggestions are to lead the PCs to information about how to find Ganth not the stronghold itself.
3. The PCs can pursue the army and gain information from them. Some of Xoth’s closer henchmen learned of the fortress and know its location lies in a mountain range within the kingdom. It is up to the PCs to get the information.
4. Workers from the fortress that escaped Ganth’s spells. They know the exact location of the fortress. These NPCs could be found closer to the fortress near death leaving the area. At most have 2 NPC workers escape Ganth’s wrath.
5. Going back to the main city in the Baron’s kingdom will yield information as to which companies were used to recruit workers to build the stronghold. A general direction can be given as to which way the workers left. Also what type of equipment was taken. Any dwarf or PC with masonry will identify some of the tools as used to dig out rocks, thus mountains excavation.
6. Tracking is possible but its needs to be a very good roll to determine the exact direction.
If Baron Ganth has all the masks: If the PCs do not find Ganth in time then Ganth will complete the binding spell and become Xoth. All semblance of Baron Ganth and now destroyed, only Xoth remains at his full previous level. He will bascially ignore the PCs from this point on and continue his plans. If the PCs arrive at the stronghold after the time has expired do not hold Xoth back, but do keep in mind his personality.
If the PCs find Ganth then the time passed will dictate the strength of the Baron’s forces at the fortress. If more time has passed more forces will be at the fortress to stop the PCs. Adjust the final location’s creatures as the DM sees fit.
If Baron Ganth has all the masks except the Mask of Divination: He will assume that the PCs will still go after him and wait at the stronghold for them. He will send Blackthorn to lead the PCs to the secret stronghold to destroy them, this will be a trap. The longer the PCs take to find Ganth the tougher the final encounter will be as Ganth has time to build up. But if by the 4th week no sign of the PCs are found Ganth will get impatient and pursue the PCs himself. He will not hesistate to kill the PCs if they are found.