Okay! Now that I've got some names I can plug in, let me finish up the 16th level chapter I outlined earlier. This is a bit long, 1,600 words rather than 1,500, but I can trim it up a bit when I ensure it's connected to the 15th level adventure that comes before it and the 17th level adventure that comes after it, which I already know is going to be an urban adventure culminating against the pit fiend Balzzevarian, which I set up here.

Chapter 16: Monastery of Frozen Stone (16th level)

The heroes have learned of the infestation of devils in the Northfells is orchestrated by a pit fiend known as Red Crown. The heroes have dealt with cultists of Red Crown before, but they now know it’s a specific devil and that he can be found somewhere in the Northfells. Learning his true name will allow the heroes to find him and permanently defeat him. The scholarly elves of the Monastery of Frozen Stone, high in the ice-covered northern mountains, is likely to have this lore, but the elves died out long ago. The heroes must travel to the monastery in the hopes that this lore remains behind. 


Part 1: The Mountain Trek

The heroes must make the long trek to the northern mountains. The environment is extreme cold, but 16th-level heroes likely have several options to deal with the temperature. The path to the monastery is old and has crumbled away in parts, but the heroes can still follow it.

Encounter 1a (Moderate 16)

A few hours before they reach the monastery, the heroes find a dead storm giant in the path in front of them. Before they can examine the giant, they are beset by four uthuls. After these threats are dispatched, the heroes can see that the storm giant was killed by the uthuls. The giant wears a heavy iron collar and broken manacles, and has a stone bullettucked in a pocket.

Encounter 1b 

rune giantnamed Harlasho arrives on the scene moments later, but Harlasho doesn't want to fight. He’s looking for an escaped storm giant slave. Harlasho has three elite storm giantslaves with him. While this group will defend themselves if attacked, Harlasho would rather parley. He openly offers that he represents Chravaxun, a dragon who lives in the area and is mortal enemies with an ice linnorm in the area named Rimecurse, and asks what the heroes are doing here. This question is mostly rhetorical; Harlasho knows that the only thing likely to bring lowlanders here is the abandoned monastery, but he knows its entrance is trapped and heavily guarded. Harlasho contacts Chravaxun with sendingand happily reports that Chravaxun knows a secret way into the monastery. Chravaxun will share this knowledge if the heroes defeat Chravaxun’s enemy, Rimecurse. Harlasho isn't lying, but Chravaxun has lied to him; the dragon has no intention of providing any help to the heroes (and, in fact, knows of no secret way into the monastery). 

From here, the heroes can venture to the linnorm's crevasse in Part 2, or simply ignore Harlasho's offer and press on to the monastery in Part 3.


Part 2: The Linnorm's Crevasse 

Rimecurse dwells in an icy mountain pass. The ground throughout is incredibly slick; it is difficult terrain and uneven ground, with an Acrobatics DC to Balance of 35. Fierce winds howling across the mountains above the pass prevent flying creatures from entering it. Rimecurse lives deep in this pass with her cruel and long-suffering younger sister, whom Rimecurse calls Icewhelp.

Encounter 2a (Moderate 16)

keketarprotean and an uthulwait at the entrance to the pass and attack intruders. The keketar has come seeking Rimecurse’s aid in a distant war, and has been frustrated by being left at the linnorm’s doorstep for many days awaiting an audience. One of Rimecurse’s uthuls has been assigned to see how long the keketar will wait. When the heroes arrive, the keketar seizes upon an opportunity to prove its usefulness to Rimecurse and finally gain an audience.

Encounter 2b (Moderate 16)

The open area of the pass is the realm of the ice linnormIcewhelp and Rimecurse’s noisy uthuls; only a single uthulis here with her now. Icewhelp fights intruders ferociously, but surrenders and offers information in exchange for her life if reduced to fewer than 80 Hit Points. Her most direct information is the way to Rimecurse’s lair in the pass; Icewhelp hopes the heroes can defeat her bullying older sister. If the heroes succeed at a DC 37 Diplomacy or Intimidation check, Icewhelp also says that their dragon enemy, Chravaxun, has claimed the area near the monastery's entrance. Icewhelp knows Chravaxun can't get into the monastery himself, but he keeps everyone else from trying out of spite. This is a clue that the dragon was lying to the heroes.

Encounter 2c (Moderate 16)

An ice-encrusted passage off the pass leads to the lair of Rimecurse, an elite ice linnorm. She is enraged at having intruders in her home and attacks, fighting to the death. Rimecurse’s lair also includes her hoard, which contains a high-grade adamantine maul, ghost dust, a major cognitive mutagen, and 8,988 gp in coins and gems.


Part 3: The Duplicitous Dragon

In this part, the heroes come to the area near the monastery’s only entrance. The dragon Chravaxun lairs in a series of three connected icy caves overlooking the monastery’s imposing stone entrance. If the heroes come here right after meeting Harlasho, Chravaxun and his giants are hostile. If they come after defeating Rimecurse, the giants escort the heroes directly to Chravaxun, who explains there must have been some misunderstanding because the monastery entrance is entirely safe. This is a lie; Chravaxun knows its trapped and doesn’t want to risk himself or his giants in triggering it. Chravaxun is a terrible liar, but heroes who believe him might try the door in Encounter 4a. If caught in his lie, Chravaxun attacks. 

Encounter 3a (Moderate 16)

The lowest cave is where Chravaxun’s slavekeeper, the rune giantHarlasho, lairs. The heroes have already met Harlasho and his entourage, three elite storm giants, but Harlasho has thoroughly twisted his slaves’ minds and now they obediently follow his orders and fight at his side. Harlasho is currently plotting how to acquire more storm giant slaves, as Rimecurse’s uthuls recently killed one. Harlasho lets the heroes pass if they’re falling for Chravaxun’s ruse; otherwise, he attacks, urging his slaves into melee while he fights at a distance.

Encounter 3b (Moderate 16)

The central cave is where Chravaxun’s two rune gianthunters live. They plainly dislike the heroes’ presence and only restrain themselves if Chravaxun is working to dupe the heroes. If not, these giants attack.

Encounter 3c (Moderate 16)

The highest cave, and the one with a view of the monastery, is the lair of the elite ancient white dragonChravaxun and his rune giantbodyguard. So long as he doesn’t think the heroes will be useful to him in fighting Rimecurse or triggering the trap on the monastery door, Chravaxun attacks them. His hoard includes a belt of giant strength+3 greater striking handwraps of mighty blows, a truesight potion, greater bravo's brew, and 8,105 gp in gold and gems.


Part 4: Monastery of the Dead

The monastery is now old, ice-covered stone, but its former elegance is evident. The carvings indicate that the inhabitants studied all manner of outer planar creatures, from angels and azatas to demons and devils. The elves who once studied here have been dead for centuries and the only ones remaining are banshees tethered to this world. A map of an old, stone building works best for the monastery, preferably one with a large room to serve as the monastery’s expansive library.

Encounter 4a (Moderate 16)

The monastery’s front door is locked with an amazing lock whose key is long lost. Worse, a banshee's symphony hazardis on the monastery door. If the heroes trigger this trap and Chravaxun still lives, the dragon swoops down from his lair to immediately attack. His rune giants also rush to join the fight, but it takes them 6 rounds to arrive. 

Encounter 4b (Severe 16)

The entry to the monastery is guarded by two banshees. They warn the heroes out of the monastery, and wail if their orders aren’t immediately followed. 

Encounter 4c (Moderate 16)

The monastery’s infirmary has several corpses preserved by the cold, a testament to some great disaster that sickened many of the monks in its final days. A skulltakerlurks here, slowly chipping away at the bones and adding them to its form. A true staff of healingstill stands in the infirmary’s supply cabinet, but it wasn’t sufficient to stem the disaster that befell the monks.

Encounter 4d (Moderate 16)

The chapel of the monastery is a lofty space ornamented with several stone statues of celestials and fiends. Among these are two stone golems, which attack alongside a bansheewho was once the monastery’s head priestess. The altar contains a scroll of foresightcarved on a thin stone slab and 3,050 gp in fancy adornments and jewelry.

Encounter 4e (Severe 16)

The library is a huge room, and at its center is an enormous statue of an elf’s head giving a serene gaze. Locating the information about Red Crown takes three successful DC 35 Arcana, Religion, or relevant Lore checks taken as exploration activities of six hours per check. The heroes learn that Red Crown’s true name is a Balzzevarian, and that uttering his name reveals knowledge of his current location. Doing so also alerts Balzzevarian that someone now knows his true name unless the speaker also succeeds at a DC 37 Arcana or Religion check when uttering it. Attaining this knowledge activates the library’s guardian. The elf’s head rises from the floor, shattering stone, and revealing itself to be a guthallath



When the heroes speak Balzzevarian’s name aloud, they learn he is in the city of Kensley and in the guise of a high priest named Hjalmar. They must move quickly to prevent Balzzevarian from fleeing to hide his diabolic presence somewhere else.