A Weird West Adventure
A Weird West Adventure
The PCs were promised an absurd sum by a shipping magnate to serve as protection aboard a solar sail ship shipping a herd of Maiasaur. Especially strange since so many of the beasts already roam the West.
Out of nowhere, pirates attack! While the main body armed with six-shooters, repeating rifles, and sabers distracts, the pirate captain severs the mast with his laser sword and an elite band raid the dinosaur hold. When they return carrying a small wrapped bundle, all the pirates immediately withdraw to their nuclear turbine steamship and sail away.
Out of nowhere, a huge rogue wave hits and its all the PCs can do to keep aboard the ship and keep it intact until the ship's driven onto a beach.
The shipwrecked PCs and sailors find and cut down a tree to replace their mast. Wild beasts, hostile natives, poisonous plants and animals plus limited tools to aid in the task increase the challenge.
In the distance, the pirate steamship lies reefed. If any PCs take the time to investigate, they find all the crew dead, many from laser slash burns, their slagged sabers and wet, non-functional guns strewn about the broken deck. The ship's steam-turbine life raft is gone. If the PCs don't investigate, they see the life raft drop free and chug away.
While the mast is being cut, dragged ship-wards, and erect, the ship's captain reveals the herd of Maiasaur was merely cover for the Lithovorisaur egg in the hold. The bizarre, ultra-rare rock-munching beasts lay eggs whose shells contain veins of pure gold. The eggs alone are worth small fortune, a living Lithovorisaur worth a large one.
Chasing after the life raft, the PCs find it beached near a small herd of saddled Maiasuar, several sets of tracks heading inland. Mounting up, they soon see the pirate captain riding on the distant horizon with several spare mounts.
The pirate captain is wily and cunning, leading the PCs through a maze of sharp rocks, narrow defiles, and steep cliffs. Falling rock, rattlesnakes, and a flash flood complicate the pursuit.
If they catch up to the captain, he finds high ground, slays all but one of his beasts for extra cover, and tries to force them into laser sword range. If losing the ensuing fight, he leaps onto his last mount and rides it to death if need be to make his lair.
After the close-range fight, the PCs recognize him as notorious bandit leader Burncut McSlash. This must have been a brief jaunt into piracy upon somehow gaining word of the Lithovorisaur.
The approaches to the lair contain quicksand, dynamite traps, rusty barbed-wire triplines, and the like. Inside the lair, Burncut lets loose with his Gatling gun until it runs out of ammo, then takes the fight into the narrow, dark, twisting tunnels full of dead-ends and pitfalls which he knows intimately.
When defeated, Burncut's dying action is to cut the Lithovorisaur egg open to deny it to the PCs. The suddenly-hatched Lithovorisaur - in spite of it's sudden transition to the real world - is fully functional, mean, hungry, tiny, fragile, crazy-hard to catch, and can bite through almost anything.
The attempts to catch it without killing it in the depths of the dark, wet, sprawling, unstable, trap-laced bandit cave will likely become a mini-adventure on its own.
PCs have several options afterwards in addition to selling the still-valuable broken egg.
- Raise Lithovorisaur, an extremely challenging and dangerous task on its own compounded by attacks, thefts, and raids by bandits, Lithovorisaur magnates hostile to new competition, and the like.
- Sell the baby Lithovorisaur to the magnate for the promised payment plus a bonus round of hazard pay.
- Sell the baby Lithovorisaur on the open market - if they can keep it alive, contained, and not stolen until then