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Wednesday, 25th December, 2002, 04:32 AM #81
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Wednesday, 25th December, 2002, 08:15 AM #82
An adventure synopsis that would probably be suitable for development for a 1st through 3rd level party. This adventure focuses on more role-playing than combat, providing an overview for the DM. Development is needed to fully get the most out of this “mystery.”
Order of Pictures: They are set up in order of presentation, one through four, and correlate with the encounter.
Encounter 1 (with pic 1)
It’s been a cold, miserable evening, and the adventurers have begun looking for a place to make camp before the storm arrives. As they come to an ample clearing with a canopy of growth giving them a rudimentary shelter, a shadow flits through the dark foliage. She approaches the edge of the camp and smiles demurely at the party, with an obtrusive glance at their weapons, as she is unarmed.
“A cold night to be out in the woods,” She says. “Come with me. You will be welcome at my hearth. There are evil things that roam at night. It is best to be away.”
As she says this, thunder rumbles over the mountains as the storm approaches. The wind rises, threatening to pull her cloak back, and she wraps it about herself to chase off the chill. Somewhere off in the night, the howl of a lone wolf is heard. The ululation holds for five seconds and dies, returning to the sole sound of the moaning of the wind.
“Quickly, if you wish for shelter tonight.” With that she turns and leaves.
Encounter 1 overview: The adventurers are met by a strange-cloaked woman, who finds them before the onslaught of a storm. She leads them through the verdant forest, but her steps always keep her just ahead of the party, regardless of the speed of their fastest member. If any try to overtake her, she disappears behind a tree and is gone. However, as the party reaches the spot where they last saw her, the forest opens up, revealing a modest castle across a small meadow. The glow of a warm fire can be seen through the windows, and is very inviting as the storm blows in, fast and furious. The strange woman can no longer be seen.
The party is greeted by a man in waiting, who ushers the party in, out of the cold. He tells them that the lady Milanni is the woman who guided them here, but she is now a ghost, forever cursed to wander her estates until someone can learn the cause of her death.
The castle is decorated heavily with wolf imagery. Tapestries hung throughout the castle depict wolves. There are tapestries of packs, of hunting and stalking, etc. Vases, mirror sketching, statuary, all bear the images of wolves.
The Baron Supul is the owner of the land, and Milanni’s widower. After hearing that his wife led the party here, he is most gracious and extends his hospitality to the party. He does not know the cause of her death, only that one day she disappeared. He is most forward in extending to the party full privileges on his estates to discover the death of his wife, who disappeared over four years ago.
The castle holds no threats, and the DM may fill with whatever NPC’s he feels necessary.
Encounter 2 (with pic 2)
Encounter 2 Overview: The following morning the storm has lifted, and the party hears the sound of an arrow striking a target. Glancing outside, there is another individual not present from the night before. Inquiries reveal him to be the Baron’s son from his first marriage.
The party may either approach him, or he will eventually seek them out. His name is Supul II. “The baron murders his wives,” the son explains. “There are secret dungeons, no one has access, but all of his wives have one by one discovered them and never returned.” The son explains that he is a coward, and will not enter them. Someone else will have to, collect the evidence so that the Baron may face justice. He tells them how to find the secret entrance. There is a decorative knocker hung by the back stairwell of the castle, leading to the main sleeping chamber of the Baron. Pulling on the knocker opens a secret door to the dungeons.
If the Baron is approached about the multiple disappearing wives, he admits he has lost two wives, both mysteriously. He does not know anything about their disappearances, but does not consider them tied together. He denies knowing anything about a secret door. He plans on going hunting, and leaves the party with the castle, to continue the investigation. He does not want to be present for any of their searching.
Encounter 3 (with pic 3)
Encounter 3 Overview: The party finds the knocker. It is a decorative wolf head, keeping with the theme of the castle. When one of the party pulls the knocker, the stone grates, but moves. It is not sealed too tightly. A dark passageway stretches out before them, leading down beneath the castle, down a twisting stairway, to the dungeons proper.
There are no prisoners within the dungeon. Each cell is empty; that is until the party reaches the final door. From beyond the door, they hear a gravelly voice say, “Who pays a visit to old Briar? Come closer, I do not smell as well as I used to…”
DM Notes: Traps may be incorporated into this scene, particularly the knocker and the cell to Briar’s cell door.
Encounter 4 Overview: Behind the cell door is a worg who speaks common. She has been trapped here to long by the Baron’s son, who has led people here over the years, including the two wives of the baron. However, the worg is old and not as powerful as she once was.
If the party opens the door, she attacks. If they don’t the door is triggered open by the Baron’s son, Supul II.He appears behind the party with his longbow. “Kill them, Briar,” he shouts, as he unleashes his attack, “Kill them and I’ll reunite you with your mate.”
Here’s the party’s choice. Worgs are notoriously evil, but this one has been tricked, tortured and kept as a prisoner. Odds are, the worg is going to die. She attacks the party, long ago surrendering to the abuse of the baron’s son.
After the combat is over, a spectral image steps through the wall. It appears as a ghost of a large male worg. He lopes over and stands over the corpse of Briar. Briar rises from the corpse, and the two greet each other. (Pic 4) Then the two depart for parts unknown.
Behind the Story: Supul II has seen to it that there are no other siblings to del with, and eventually has plotted the demise of his father. Supul, in fact, is about to have an encounter with one of Supul’s henchmen. That is why the ghost sought the party out, to save her beloved husband. Baron Supul survives the encounter on his own, dispatching the would-be assassin. He will be deeply grieved learning of his only son’s treachery.
Wednesday, 25th December, 2002, 08:16 AM #83
Wednesday, 25th December, 2002, 02:22 PM #84
Gallant (Lvl 3)
mirthcard vs. Buttercup
Oh This Is Bull$*!+
An introductory adventure for 4-6 characters of levels 1-4
The PCs are in the village of Teklos for the annual spring Festival of Good Cheer. As this is an introductory adventure, they may or may not know each other. Since they can spend some time buying wares, drinking, competing in contests of strength and skill, etc., they may have a chance to run into each other, but it isn't necessary. The DM can feel free to fill this idle time with side encounters or to set-up later adventures.
As the Festival draws to an end, however, everyone goes to attend the play, a tradition in these parts for over 20 years. The play recounts the story of The Herd - half-men, half-beasts who have plagued this region for as long as anyone can remember. The monsters, portrayed by actors wearing hides and a bull's skull on their shoulders (Picture #3), are shown terrorizing, kidnapping and slaughtering hundreds of innocents. Men, women and children have all fallen victim to The Herd, although a few times the beasts have been brought down as well. The story of the handful of heroes who have been lucky enough from time to time to fell one of the creatures are told with reverance and awe. However, they pale in comparison to the amount of death and destruction that The Herd has brought, which is given physical impact when a small boy pulls back a curtain on the side of the stage to reveal a huge wooden box filled with the skulls and bones of those who have fallen victim to the monsters (Picture #2).
A gasp goes through the audience when the remains of the dead are revealed and much crying is heard. The narrator has just stepped forward to deliver a moral on valuing those around you and being wary, when a older man (obviously drunk) runs up on stage, screaming "Stop this, you murderers! You will let her die! Bastards, all of you! You talk about heroes, but none of you is man enough to stand up to the beasts!" The man breaks into wracking sobs and drops to his knees on stage as he continues, "Who will save my daughter ... my beautiful Eidymia ... ?!?" A heckler calls out from the audience, "Ha! Maybe if she was beautiful!" Small chuckles ripple through the crowd. The man looks to the crowd, "I have money ... please ... If I can't appeal to greed, doesn't anyone have a heart?" The narrator comes forward and kicks at the man, saying, "Go home, Theomyn, before you embarrass yourself further." Theomyn stumbles to his feet and makes his way off the stage, muttering, "Bastards ... what good is all of my money, if I'm surrounded by bastards..." With that, he leaves and the crowd disperses.
The bait has been tossed, will the party take the hook?
What's really going on:
Theomyn is a wealthy merchant who will pay well for the return of his daughter Eidymia. She is the latest to be abducted by The Herd, a family of Minotaurs that makes its home in a group of caves and tunnels several miles from the village of Teklos. The reason that the villagers have no interest in rescuing Eidymia is that she was born with a severely disfigured face (Picture #4), and she is known to be quite the shrew. The locals feel that risking their lives over the welfare of an ugly b!+¢h is pretty much a lost cause, especially since her father is such a greedy capitalist.
As for the minotaurs, although they are (or were) the villains that the play purports them to be, what the townsfolk don't know is that their numbers are dwindling. In fact, there are only two of the family left - the ancient Mettallax and his young son Orexykos. Mettallax is an ancient and evil force to be reckoned with and the DM should feel free to scale him in power according to the total levels of the party. Giving him a few levels in barbarian would be good way of doing this if the party is all 4th level, for instance. Orexykos, on the other hand, is young and inexperienced, but still as tough as any normal minotaur.
Although Eidymia has been gone for several weeks, she is not dead. The PCs may think so, and they may try to convince Theomyn of it, but he will not believe them and will gladly pay the PCs beforehand, if they are willing to search for her, more if they rescue her. He isn't the calculating businessman everyone believes him to be. He knows that his daughter isn't ever going to be married, so he was simply trying to make sure her life would be as secure as possible after he was gone. Now that she is gone, his is willing to give all of that wealth up if he gets her back.
The true twist to this scenario, and the only reason that Eidymia is not dead, is that she and Orexykos have fallen in love.
You see, Orexykos, unlike his father, is actually a kind-hearted soul. He hates Mettallax for never loving him and the divide between them has grown in the last five years since Orexykos' mother died. They even live in completely separate parts of their cave complex. Mettallax knows that his son is soft and he bullied Orexykos into kidnapping a human in hopes that the young calf would either be killed or grow up. Although he would never admit it to himself, the old bull knows he is getting up there in years and had also hoped that the villagers would mount an assault on him and he could go out in a blaze of glory. Since neither of those things has happened, Mettallax doesn't know what to do. He is at the point now that he is ready to kill both Orexykos and Eidymia himself.
As for Eidymia, she is not the cold-hearted wench that the townsfolk believe her to be. That mean exterior was only there to hide her true beauty inside from being hurt by the stares and insults of her insensitive and ignorant neighbors. Once Orexykos kidnapped her, he found that he couldn't bring himself to kill her and in the few weeks that they spent together, Eidymia has come to realize that she has finally found someone he isn't repulsed by her. They are plotting their elopement and their escape from Mettallax. The only catch is that Eidymia loves her father Theomyn deeply, and doesn't wish to leave him all alone (her mother has died as well, providing another connection with Orexykos), but she can't see how he would approve of her love. What will the young couple do when their daddies just can't get along?
The Main Event:
When the party takes on Theomyn's cause, he will hire a guide (Picture #1) to take near the cave area where The Herd is believed to reside. Once there, they have to figure out the family politics involved in the situation. Orexykos is probably the first encounter they will have. He will try to defend Eidymia from the party, while she will be screaming and trying to explain and bring peace to the situation. Mettallax will wait to see how his son handles it before becoming involved. If the party takes on Orexykos, then Mettallax will stay out of the fight. If a peace is negotiated, the old bull will charge into battle, infuriated by his son's ineptitude and weak will (raging if he has Barbarian levels). The party could see this as an ambush and begin attacking both minotaurs. If they don't, Orexykos will join them in trying to defeat his father. If they do, then all heck will break loose as Eidymia jumps into the fray as well, trying to save her lover. Regardless, Mettallax will try his best to kill everyone.
The adventure could come to several conclusions:
---Mettallax and Orexykos are dead. The party are praised as the heroes of all heroes who have eliminated The Herd. If Eidymia has been killed as well, then her father will become a very powerful and weathy enemy. If she has not been killed, then she will once she has inherited her father's wealth.
---Mettallax is dead, but Orexykos isn't. If Eidymia has been killed, then Orexykos will turn on them. If she hasn't, then the heroes have the complex problem of how to deal with a peaceful minotaur in a culture that reviles him. If they want the rest of the substantial reward, they will have to convince Theomyn to accept his daughter's new love - a near-impossible task.
---Mettallax is alive, but nearly everyone else is dead. The remaining members of the party barely make their escape alive. If they get away with Eidymia, Theomyn will pay them well, if they don't, he won't. Everything returns to the status quo, although the town may start up a mob to hunt down Mettallax if they know that he is the last remaining member of The Herd.
OOC: Happy Holidays, everybody!!!!!
Ceramic DM I & II -- http://www.enworld.org/showthread.php?t=98651
Wednesday, 25th December, 2002, 04:08 PM #85
Wednesday, 25th December, 2002, 04:21 PM #86
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
Should I be feeling stupid for choosing the short fiction? Maybe I misunderstood the contest... I thought it was supposed to be different than regular ol' Iron DM.
I am looking forward to seeing the nemmerlesque-- err, alsihesque-- ahh, clayesque judging!
Wednesday, 25th December, 2002, 04:32 PM #87
Novice (Lvl 1)
Nemmerle vs Milo Bloom Rd 1
I apologize for the lateness of my submission. I had to write this around driving six hours to Florida fom Georgia, wrapping christmas presents andof course opening them.
that out of the way...
Ninlulim, lugal to all the people of Khianulat, gazed fiercely across the silent chamber upon his assembled council. The advisors shifted uncomfortably dreading the questions for which they had no answers.
Búlak, the ork warlord, and his horde had viciously attacked several of the smaller cities far from the capital city of Jhin Na Lai. As yet no one could determine for sure if he intended this as a prelude to an invasion or was simply acting on a random whim.
“Tell me most esteemed ones, why has Búlak chosen this time to attack our land?”
Of all his advisors only Enmansis, the astronomer was bold enough to offer what most of them were thinking. “Perhaps their dark god wishes to disrupt the ritual of Enui. If he could prevent us from invoking the magic of the divine then Ghörlug would be free to once again walk among us. We should take care and secure the iron chair that is his prison before the orks are able to find it.”
He pulled forth one of his books and opened it to a page that had a picture of a chair made from wrought iron chains. None of the advisors had to read the accompanying page to know that it was the prison Enui had trapped the demon in.
The old priest Endrah’s body tensed as if he had been physically struck by the astrologers mentioning of the artifact. He made a gesture of respect to his goddess before he began to speak.
“Enmansis if you truly believe this, then I am afraid you are chasing at shadows. The demon is securely imprisoned by the power of my mistress Enui, and no army of orks can change that. The chair is well hidden and it is doubtful that the orks will be able to find it in time to have it present at the ritual.”
Ninlulim could see the astrologer was about to respond to the priest’s statement, any further argument would only cause further problems within the council. He needed something done that would allay the fears of his subjects.
He intervened quickly. “Agreed most reverent father. In any event none of us, orks included, know the exact location where Enui’s champion defeated Ghörlug. Without that knowledge freeing the demon would be a difficult undertaking.”
“As you say honored one, I have little knowledge as to the workings of the gods. I am sorry if my comments were blasphemy in the eyes of the church. In the future I will refrain from commenting on that which I do not understand.”
“Perhaps your majesty I can make a suggestion? Perhaps we should send scouts to determine the motive of the ork attacks. It is obvious from the concentration of their attacks that they are looking for something. Even if it is not the prison of some demon, we should be wary least it be some lost ork artifact of power.”
A grizzled veteran of many conflicts, Et-Nanki was ever the tactician. Ninlulim smiled inwardly as he considered his general’s suggestion. This should both appease the revered priest and calm any fears the astrologer may have.
“A sound idea general and one I think acceptable to the council, I believe?”
The king looked deliberately at Enmansis, who stared at the table and nodded his head.
A short while later Enmansis stormed into his private residence, a large observatory overlooking the rest of Jhin Na Lai.
Astah looked up from the looking over a collection of swords and axes he had laid out on one of the worktables.
“Does something trouble you, most honored master?”
“That fool king has agreed to send army scouts to investigate the ork activities.”
“How is this bad, honored lord? It allows the king to observe the orkish activity and determine the cause of their attacks.”
“I believe the orks are looking for the key to freeing Ghörlug from his prison. If they can find this and bring it to the ritual, and then…” His voice trailed off.
“Then he will seek vengeance on the followers of Enui for his imprisonment. The orks will once again have access to divine guidance. The kingdoms of man will tumble and fall under the tide of Búlak’s horde.”
“Good, you understand the implications of these events then. We must get to the chair first and make sure the orks do not free their demon god. Only with the chair secured here in the city can we be safe from any further threats of the demon’s return.”
“Surely the council agreed that the chair should be found and removed to a safer location?”
“No they are doubtful that the demon’s followers, the orks, can successfully undo the workings of the goddess Enui. They have decided that my theory is nothing more than a paranoid old man’s musings.”
“You wish me to find this artifact for you then? I shall do so if you request it of me.”
“I think that is an excellent idea Astah. If you find the chair and return it to me then you will have repaid me the debt that is owed. Now I have studied several accounts of the events leading up to the demons imprisonment and I think I have narrowed the chair’s location based on constellations that were present in the sky.”
After a few weeks of travel Astah crept through the ancient ruins of Huai Khon, pausing within what was once a small private garden. A gentle breeze washed the sweet scent of violets across the field separating him from the castle ruins.
He took a moment to reflect over his indentured state of servitude to the wizard Enmansis. Like all of his kind he was honor bound to faithfully obey his masters commands. So far the wizard had asked very little of Astah that did not serve the good of others. In that way it made the arrangement something he considered tolerable. With this quest his debt to the wizard would be discharged and he would once again be free to wander the world.
Shaking himself from his musings, he cautiously crept across the open field, warily searching for any signs of hostile entities. He detected the presence of a small party of orks camped within the castle courtyard. He cursed hoping he wasn’t to late.
Stealing himself for the fight ahead he crept over a ruined section of wall.
He was spotted almost immediately, however instead of attacking the orks withdrew to a safer distance. What appeared to be a shaman or perhaps even a priest stepped forward.
“Human, you no stay here…go back to where you came. You leave we no kill, you stay we have to kill. Do self a favor and forget you see this place, nothing here worth dying for.”
“I’m afraid I can’t just leave and forget I was here. My master has commanded me to retrieve your demon god’s chair and place it somewhere safe.”
“Then you die human. No one get chair.”
The five orks rushed forward, it was clear they did not intend to allow Astah to leave this place.
Astah reached out and summoned forth the wrath of Kjail, lord of earth. The earth shook at his call and the orks were knocked to the ground by the force of the tremors. Decades of training took hold instantly and it was over before the orks had time to finish their cries of dismay.
Once again moving through the ruins, Astah heard the faint sound of music filtered through the air around him. He readied a protective charm and drew his sword once more. He headed down one of the ruined hallways seeking the source of the music. As he rounded the corner the music’s origin changed.
“I have no time for these games, show yourself to me, I care not if you play Enui’s Courting, If you seek to stop me from reaching my goal you will die all the same.”
“Such aggression will do you little good against one such as I, spawn of Kjail. I bring you greetings from Lord Otu.” A disembodied voice mocked him.
“Of what interest are the actions of a simple warrior to one such as the Sun God, deva?”
The sound of the deva’s giggling resounded around him. He found himself confronted with a gaily-dressed woman holding a recorder.
“Lord Otu, wishes to help you in your quest to prevent the return of Ghörlug to this realm.”
“Do you plan to materialize the chair within the kings vault for me then? If lord Otu is so helpful to the offspring of the lord of earth, why wait until I reach the location of the chair to offer his generosity?”
The woman’s laugh echoed through the ruins. “Oh young cousin, I do not wish to give you the chair. I seek instead to help you with your quest of keeping those who would seek to free the demon from achieving such goals. That is what you were sent here to do isn’t it?”
Astah pondered her question for the briefest of moments. What game was the sun god playing at?
“I see my words have caused you to think a bit about why are you here. Tell my warrior why did you wizard send you here? Was it to retrieve the chair or to prevent the demon from being released.”
“To safe guard the chair from those who seek to release the demon from his prison. To do this he asked I bring the chair to the castle for safe keeping.”
“If your goal is to keep the chair safe from those who wish to use it to release the demon then you must leave it here. The chair is safely guarded from those who seek access to it by the protection of Enui. Only a descendent of one of the lords of heaven may access the chamber that holds the chair. Such is written in the church of Enui’s manuscripts on the artifact.”
“Enmansis made no mention of such protection to me. I shall return to him and inform him that the chair is safe where it is.”
“You have attained only partial understanding of your mission, warrior. The chair is safe only so long as no one gains access to it. You must prevent those forces from trying to gain access to the chair in the future. Such as they could do by deceiving one of those who can enter here into retrieving it for them.”
“I understand, messenger I shall have to make sure that such people are punished for their transgressions against the gods. If you shall excuse me, it is many miles back to Jhin Na Lai and my quest is not yet completed. My master and I have to have one final discussion regarding faith and state of my servitude to him.”
Wednesday, 25th December, 2002, 04:32 PM #88
Wednesday, 25th December, 2002, 04:33 PM #89
Novice (Lvl 1)
I did not want to include picture notations in the story itself. In order they are one per section:
and the Woman playing the recorder
hopefully Nemmerle makes his post before time runs out.
Wednesday, 25th December, 2002, 05:00 PM #90