An excerpt from The Indomitable Fire Forest of Innenotdar, by EN Publishing
Kazyk’s Offer (EL 5)
This encounter needs to occur before the heroes reach the fey village on Lake Seela. Most
likely Kazyk will speak to the party while they are on the river headed north.
Kazyk the bearded devil has been called from his home plane to prevent the heroes’ group from leaving the Innenotdar Fire Forest alive, and to retrieve the case. While the obvious solution is to kill the entire party, there is also another solution – to destroy the fire forest. If there is no longer a fire forest, Kazyk will technically have prevented them
from leaving it, or so is his logic. Also, he figures that his superiors will not mind him opening up a new roadway which they can use to conquer Dassen to the south.
Kazyk has been contacted by Indomitability as well, and after that meeting he returned to his master and asked for information on the fire forest’s history, which let him come up with a plan. He figures that the quickest way to destroy the forest is to free the entity, which means killing the fey who are binding it. If things go wrong, he knows he isn’t
strong enough to tackle Indomitability alone, and he suspects the fey keeping the creature trapped would not be receptive to his infernal charms, so he approaches the party, hoping to recruit them for their common goal: to leave the forest.
To do so, he meets them as peaceably as he is able, teleporting to where the party is and appearing in another dramatic, almost floral, bloom of fire. Keeping his distance, Kazyk hails the heroes, laying his glaive at his feet. He greets them boisterously, pretending to be friends.
“Hail, champions! It is sad that we meet in such a vile place, and under such cruel conditions. You flee Gate Pass, under the descending fist of the Ragesian Empire, toward a temporary safety. You and I both know Ragesia won’t let you escape as easy as that, but we don’t have to have this come to blows.”
He points to his neck with a gnarled, green finger, showing off an iron collar.
“Indeed, I am one of their dogs, leashed and collared by one of their inquisitors. I am bound to their letter, but I bear them no respect. You, though, you have my respect. You fight well, I’ve seen. I have no desire to throw more lives than is necessary, particularly not my own, and I share with you the desire to escape this place as soon as possible.
“I think we can work together, to find a way out of this fiery wood. As nice as it is for me, I
do not think you like it so much. Well, do I have your ear? Are you interested in alliance?”
Kazyk, like any proper devil, is being mostly honest, leaving out only the minor detail that his plan will cause the death of every seela in the forest. If the heroes are willing to talk, Kazyk presents his plan. To fulfill the conditions of his summoning and free both him and the party, they must go to the lake and silence the song of the “wicked, twisted fey” who
live here. He makes sure to paint the seela as horrible beings, driven to violent madness by the pain of the forest’s burning. Kazyk pledges to help their fight, and to let them go peacefully once Indomitability is free and the forest has burned itself out. He says
they should be safe in the lake bed for the day it will take for the fires to die.
Also – he adds like it is an afterthought – Kazyk needs to take the case they stole back to his superiors. “A trifling price to pay for freedom,” as he puts it.
While accepting this “deal with a devil” would certainly violate a paladin’s code, it is not itself an evil act. Kazyk’s plan will, in fact, get the party out of the fire, and in many ways it is the safest option. However, Kazyk will guide the group to perform expediently, not mercifully, and the heroes may quickly find themselves in a moral quandary. The devil has no interest in helping the party save the seela, and will break an alliance with them if they want him to help with such goodly activities. If the party declines Kazyk’s offer or attacks him, he’ll pick up his glaive, shake his head regretfully, and teleport away. He will hereafter shadow the heroes and wait until they are weak, possibly injured from some other encounter, and then will attack and finish them off. If he gets no other chances, he will face the heroes before they leave the forest, perhaps even teaming up with Indomitability or Deception to fight them. Finally, even if the heroes work with him and follow through on the plan, he will still claim the case from them by any means necessary.
Kazyk, bearded devil (CR 5): hp 45, page 12.
Ad-Hoc Experience: If the heroes ally with Kazyk and fulfill the alliance, reward them for a CR 5 encounter.