Garden of Delights


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One of the few open areas within the City of Dis, the Garden of Delights looks extraordinarily out of place within its walls; enough so to certainly draw the interest of any travelers in the city that don't already know better. Unlike the rest of the city, the Garden is covered by a dome built from bricks of pure dao-crafted sandstone, with only a pair of well-filigreed wooden doors offering entrance. Upon a knock, the doors are opened, a pair of comely servants &mdash always of the preferred race, gender, and general appearance of the one knocking — beckon the guest within. Inside is a paradise for all senses; an idyllic garden that seems far too large for its building, the perfect temperature and perfect weather at all times. Foods and drinks of any variety, scents to beckon thoughts away from troubles, frolicking sprites and fairies bounding from tree to tree or lake to lake.

It's all false, of course. At first, it was far more basic, merely the illusion of a single efreeti seeking to entice treasures from guests. Even as basic as it was, however, it was so successful that it soon drew the eye of Dispater for its potential towards corruption. Today, an entire troupe of efreet have been paid far more than they would ever get from such a ploy to together run a far more engrossing Garden, with the aid of a half-dozen imps to add to the illusion's verisimilitude — the servants and fairies seen throughout. While focus and concentration can pierce the illusion, it is crafted specifically to break whatever focus a person can muster, and to enwrap them in an unbreakable spell of their own doing. After a minute of uninterrupted study, a DC 25 Will save can reveal the illusory nature of the Garden's contents. Even then, a DC 30 Will save is needed to raise the motivation to leave. Only one check of each can be made per day, and every day spent within the Garden adds a -1 penalty to the next attempt.

It is more than a mere trap, of course. Those who seem amenable to corruption are nudged in that direction by the Garden's imps and eventually set off with promises of future delights. Those who seem more firm in their devotion to righteousness are left to revel in the Garden, slowly starving and dehydrating themselves on the illusory food and drink that still seems to satiate them. And those that serve Dispater are simply barred from entering outright on threat of punishment, as they certainly must have better things to do with their time than revel.

Reference

  • Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells, pg.43
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