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Friday, 31st May, 2002, 10:12 PM #31
i'm good whenever.--ninjajester
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Friday, 31st May, 2002, 10:30 PM #32
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Well, it's almost midnight here and I'm going to sleep. I will be here in about ten hours!
Saturday, 1st June, 2002, 08:28 AM #33
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
I'm ready at any time.
Saturday, 1st June, 2002, 01:27 PM #34
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
“Not your little brother’s Shamu”
“Not your little brother’s Shamu”
For a four characters of roughly 5th - 6th level.
The characters are sent to investigate the apparent disappearance of a cleric of Pelor named Azure Primavoir. More specifically, they have been asked to recover an ancient tome from Azure and return it to the cleric who has hired the party. Azure was the caretaker of an important holy site, where many of Pelor’s faithful make pilgrimages, on a coastal island called Damure Key. The area has a reputation for being dangerous, but the holy site and its attendant temple are important in the faith of Pelor.
To reach the island the PCs travel over by ship, a short sail of less than an hour most days, depending upon the winds. On board the ship they hear a few rumors about the town and the local waters – for the most part, the captain and crew dismiss concerns about the reputed dangers of the local area, but some of the other passengers have heard stories about all sorts of sea monsters breaking ships apart and sending all aboard to the deep. Of priestess Azure, the one thing everyone who has met her can agree on is her great beauty. Some seem to resent her sermons, others are more accepting, but most would concede that most of the people in the primarily male fishing village of Damure attend her services to watch her, and if they get a little religion in the process, so what?
In town they find much the same as they did on the boat. Those who make their living on the waves dismiss the dangers of the deep, while those who live and work ashore are a bit more leery about it, having heard terrible tales. The sailors all claim that ships that are lost – fairly frequently – in the area, are lost because the captains are too cheap to pay for a local pilot to guide them through the rocks and reefs. A few landlubbers may reveal to perceptive or persistent characters that there are a group of “fishermen” in town who are actually wreckers, luring unsuspecting ships onto the reef, where they sink, then they kill the crew and steal the cargo.
The Temple and shrine of Pelor in town is behind a great wall and a locked gate. There is a warning inscribed on the gate – The gates will only open for Azure or the bearer of her key, and all those who step on the grounds in absence will be killed. Naturally enough some roguish types have tried in the past, but were killed quickly when the holy ground itself seemed to rise up and crush them (Greater Earth Elementals). Should the party choose to try to invade the temple grounds without the key they will be driven off by the Elementals (elementals destroyed are replaced by new Greater Earth Elementals in 1-4 rounds).
Further investigations in town will reveal several bits of information:
1. The Shrine is believed to be the location of a great battle, where the bones and relics of a group of Saints are kept. The local thieves would very much like to get in there and see what goodies are in the Shrine, but no one has survived entry.
2. Azure has been in Damure for five years, and the faith of Pelor has gained a lot of ground in the town in those five years as she has worked hard, through sermons and deeds to shift the community’s alignment from Neutral with evil tendencies to Neutral with good tendencies.
3. Azure locked up the shrine about a month ago to go on a mission with some of her more faithful followers to investigate reports of a skeletal whale that was attacking ships in the area. Some of the fishermen claim to have actually seen it, flapping it’s great flukes and even breaching like a live whale, but slipping much more easily into the sea (with only bone, no flesh, it makes eerily small splashes despite it’s great size). Some locals have even gone missing, a detail that many seem reluctant to reveal.
4. There is indeed a thieves guild in the village that primarily operates as wreckers. Those who go out and raid and loot are told by their guild master, a one-eyed veteran named Narit, where they will find the ship to raid. No one but Narit seems to know how he knows, although some of the rogues will have caught a glimpse of the great skeletal whale, with the same details as the fishermen. Although the rogues will talk tough at first about great battles with the crews of the ships, if pressed or interrogated by an authority they will claim that there are never crews of passengers on the wrecks by the time they get there. Most have no idea where the bodies end up, and don’t really care. They’ve been making an easy living on the wrecks. Narit has grown resentful of Azure’s efforts to clean up the town, and has a very strong desire to get the key himself and use it to raid the Shrine.
What’s really been going on is that Narit has a secret partner in the raids, a Kuo-Toa Necromancer named G’parl. G’Parl leads a small tribe of Kuo-Toa that make their home in the reefs in the area. The tribe is caught between the humans on the island and a tribe of Locathah further out, and were being squeezed out before G’Parl came to power. He contacted and brokered a deal with Narit, summoned up his great Skeleton Whale Bone-mu, and began sinking ships.
When when Bone-mu sinks a ship, the crew and passengers are cast into the sea, where they are attacked by G’Parl’s other necromantic creation, Ghouls and Lacedons. Of each crew, about half are eaten and half become more spawn. This growing undead army has helped G’Parl and the Kuo-Toa push back the Sahuagin, but they also need more and more bodies to feed on, which means more and more ships. Lately the passing shipping has not been enough, and G’Parl has taken to sending Bone-mu after some of the local fishermen.
Azure went out in a small fishing boat to try to do something about Bone-mu. She never returned. Bone-mu and G’Parl killed her and her companions, and G’Parl is now in possession of her equipment, including the Key. To retrieve the key the party will have to kill G’Parl.
Should the party travel by ship to look for G’Parl, they will encounter a few eerie bits of wreckage, with no signs of survivors. Then, eventually, their ship will be attacked by Bone-mu and a big group of Lacedons and Ghouls. Bone-mu will ram the ship repeatedly from below until there are several hull breaches, and the ship begins to take on water. Then Lacedons will appear in the water surrounding the ship, scrabbling up the sides of the sinking ship to attack the crew and party members.
There is some help for the party, if they can arrange it – Narit has a stash of potions of water breathing – potions that he uses when he makes his secret meeting with G’Parl. Narit also knows the way to a secret cove, where there is a small cave with a tunnel that leads underwater to spot in the reef quite near G’Parl’s underwater fortress.
The party negotiates or forces the aid of Narit, or under their own steam, makes their way to the underwater fortress, fights the ghouls and lacedons and Kuo-Toa that try to protect G’Parl, then have their final battle with G’Parl, who rides Bone-mu into battle. G’Parl’s underwater home is a fortress made from the accumulated bones of decades of people lost at sea Bone-mu, a Gargantuan Skeleton, is especially tough for the PCs: it takes only half damage from piercing and slashing weapons, and bludgeoning weapons are very difficult to use underwater.
Enterprising parties might get some help from the tribe of Locathah, or recruit a little extra help in town.
Once G’Parl and Bone-mu are defeated, the party can recover the key and return to the Shrine and use the key to enter and make their way past the Earth Elementals, recover the tome they were searching for, and complete their mission.
Just to double check:
Bones (A skeleton whale named bone-mu, the walls of G’Parl’s underwater fortress)
Earth elemental (Guardians of the Shrine)
Ghouls (G’Parl’s army of Ghouls and Lacedons)
Magic Key (Azure’s key to enter the shrine)
Kuo-Toa (G’Parl and his followers)
Holy ground (the Shrine to Pelor)
Narit (Human Rog7)
Rogues (Human mostly, Rog1-3)
Greater Earth Elementals (CR 9)
Bone-mu (Gargantuan Skeleton-whale, CR 7)
Other Aquatic Skeletons (Sharks, swordfish, Dolphins, a mix of medium and large size Skeletons – the Sharks, of course, will be simply great big nasty animated jaws, as that’s just about all the bones there are in a Shark’s body)
G’Parl (Kuo-Toa Necromancer, CR 10)
Basic Kuo-Toa Warriors and Rogues (CR 2 or 3)
Ghouls and Lacedons (CR 1)
Just the bare bones, but there you have it.
Saturday, 1st June, 2002, 02:31 PM #35
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
I am good Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, maybe even early Wednesday... but then I have business travel till Thursday evening.
(Basically out Wednesday noon till Thursday evening).
Saturday, 1st June, 2002, 03:29 PM #36
Spellbinder (Lvl 16)
I am good till about 2 p.m. EST today (saturday) and then I won't be around much till Monday.
Saturday, 1st June, 2002, 06:48 PM #37
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
A dark and lonely coast. The natives are a mistrustful sort, shunning strangers, shutting themselves up in their houses at night, whispering of foul things that lurk in the shadows. But there is one spot of light here, a small chapel with mysterious healing powers.
The chapel is one room, about 20 feet square, a grey, weathered wood, with a dirt floor. The floor is a couple feet below the bottom of the door, for it is the dirt itself that has the healing powers-- eating a small amount of the dirt will act as a gradual Greater Restoration, resoring one level/stat point per day, or a Regenerate that slowly takes effect over a week or so. The hermit who lives in the shrine implores the party to only take what they need, as the dirt loses potency within a few days of leaving the chapel, and warns the party against being out at night, inviting them to stay in the chapel.
As night falls, ghouls will appear and surround the chapel. The Hermit doesn't want to talk about them, but if pressed, will say there have always been a few around, but recently there have been a lot more. If the party chooses to investigate the next day, tracking the ghouls or a half-day searching the area will reveal an entrance to a partially flooded cave complex, inhabited by ghouls and a band of Kuo-toa. The ghouls will attack both the party and the Kuo-toa, although the Kuo-toa clerics will have used their turning to command as many as they can manage. The Kuo-toa will not immediately attack, but warn the party away. If questioned, they won't say much, but will let slip that they're only there temporarily.
In fact, the Kuo-toa are there to excavate and raise the gigantic evil skeleton of an ancient nameless evil. It is the presence of this skeleton which causes anyone in the caves or the land around to be raised as a ghoul d4 days after their death, just as if he were killed by a ghoul. The Kuo-toa have captured an earth elemental to speed the excavation, and in a large central room the skeleton is mostly uncovered, save for the skull and one leg. It is enormous: the rib cage alone is a good 20 by 30 feet, the bones are of strange proportions to humans, and detect as evil. The skeleton is bound in iron chains, with an arn padlock hanging down between the ribs, all of a scale with the skeleton, and unrusted, despite the age and the damp. The lock detects as good, and has a Magic Circle Against Evil effect around it, which extends up to any areas of the caves above it, and to the chapel, directly above. Kuo-toa clecics in this room can draw upon the power of the skeleton to add an extra 2d6 unholy damage to their lightning bolts against good characters.
In one of the submerged sections of the caves, in the head Kuo-toa priest's quarters, the party can find the key to the lock, as well as the vile tomes containing the rites the priest intends to use to control and bargain with the ancient evil. The tomes are bound in Kuo-toa skin, and will hit any good characters who read them with a negative level. The key is exceptionally heavy, weighing 50 pounds (-10 swim!), and will do one of those funny space-bending things if used on the lock, appearing to fit perfectly in both the lock and the hand using it.
If the party is sensible, they'll just off the Kuo-toa or steal the books and key to prevent the evil thing from coming back. They might also want to try to cover up the skeleton again-- this will return the ghoul creation to the previous, lesser rate. If they use the key without the evil rites, the skeleton will awaken, claw its way out of the caves (causing the ceiling to collapse, as the earthquake spell), and walk out into the sea. This will at least stop more ghouls from being created, though the party may want to deal with the unspeakable evil they've unleased on the world at some point. If the party wants to try the evil rites? Well. Give 'em a wish, to be carried out in the way that causes the most collateral damage, and then the thing starts giving orders, starting with sacrificing the hermit to it.
Oh: For some parties, the hermit being worried about the ghouls may not be enough of an adventure hook. I suggest having the party run into the slaughtered, eaten remnants of a group of Kuo-toa the next morning, with clues on them about the evil power below.
Props to China Mieville, the Santuario de Chimayo, and, of course, Lovecraft. Oh, and the Goonies, but not for anything direct. :)
Saturday, 1st June, 2002, 07:31 PM #38
Magsman (Lvl 14)
Just checking in. From the looks of it, Nem is out of town, Wicht is going out of town tomorrow, and I'll be relatively busy the rest of the weekend as well. So, I guess we're taking a by until Monday?
"I realize that I am generalizing here, but, as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care." Dave Barry
Saturday, 1st June, 2002, 09:30 PM #39
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
I'm still here. Will be for the next few hours. Then I'll go to bed.
But ultimately, if I have 24 hours, you can just call me at any time.
Sunday, 2nd June, 2002, 01:04 AM #40
Doesn't look like alternates will be required. Nevertheless...
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