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    Postfest VI: Hired Help
    Posted on Sat, March 18, 2006 by Dongul
    gord writes "This is an adventure I wrote for a 1st edition campaign that never got underway. Well, hopefully someone might be able to integrate it to their own individual campaigns.

    The party receives a mysterious sending from a magic-user...a token with the wizard's sigil (the number 10) containing a magic mouth spell that voices in rich deep baritone: "I've need of an intelligent and capable band to perform a service unto I, Aronis Tenspells. You will be adequetley compensated with gold orbs, essential provisions and my esteemed gratitude for completion of said mission" the rest of the message will leave instructions and directions to get to (insert city/town of your chosing) the instructions say to enter a tavern and order three shots of whiskey, leave the first and third shot-glasses downward with the middle one raised. Once done, the bartender will give the party the address to the wizard's abode.



    Hired Help
    By: gord

    A side-adventure for a party of 2nd-3rd level pc's

    VIA THE ROAD:

    IF THE PARTY GOES THROUGH THE WOODS:

    Encounter A:

    Zombie, Yellow Musk: (2) AC: 5 each (elvish chain), HP: 9, 14, thac0: 19, #att: 1, dmg: d8 (elvish sword), AL: NE, : 2 Elves with strangely yellow skin and sullen pupiless eyes are actually victims of the dreaded Yellow Musk creeper, which resides in a shadowy glen some distance away (within a mile) these two mindless zombies who are alerted to the party's passage hide behind some foliage along a trail, then will attempt to ambush and grab a lone PC and drag him or her back to the foul tree that has broken them to its will. The zombies groan and wail with a horrid sound of constant agony and torment. They are not true undead so they cannot be turned, yet like undead are impervious to such spells as charm, hold person, illusions, sleep, and the like. The yellow musk zombies may be healed/cured by death of its master plant and by casting of a nuetralize poison spell upon them. Intelligence checks should yield to party members that these elves seem to have gone insane and that there is something suspicious concerning these seeming zombies (i.e. their flesh is intact, they wield weapons unlike normal zombies, their yellow skin) These two elves were out hunting for a successful local brigand who's exploits of late have been growing much bolder and audacious. The said bandit is the sole survivor of a band that the elves had waylaid and put down several weeks ago, who gave these elves the slip and every since has been staging small petty raids and acts of con artistry upon good travelers. The bandit-mage had lulled the two elves into a trap by having them follow an illusion of himself through the forest and into a glen where a Yellow Musk creeper dwelt, one that he has nurtured and placed there himself to safeguard some of his effects.

    ENCOUNTER A1: this happens in Twighlight Glen and a ranger or someone skilled in tracking would be able to track the area the zombies had come from to here.

    A brigand magic-user planted this evil plant to safeguard a small cache of treasure that he hid here for safe-keeping. The plant shouldn't be easilly identifiable, and only rangers/Druids/elves or others skilled in woodcraft would be keen to spotting it above any others...(if found it's much too easy to destroy)

    Yellow Musk Creeper: AC: 7, HP: 22, #ATT: 2, DMG: special, thac0 17, AL: N, INT: non, When approached within IO', the creeper will 'attack', the flowers swaying in a hypnotic way before the face of the victim. A successful 'hit' indicates that one of the flowers has puffed a smelling of musk, into the victim's face. The victim must then make a saving throw against magic or be entranced and walk the mass of the plant, resisting any attempt to restrain him and taking the remainder of the melee round to do so. Once in the heart of the plant, the roots attach themselves to the victims skull (no 'to hit' required) and begin to devour the victims brain at a rate of 1-4 INT points per round, when it reaches 1-2 points the victim becomes a Yellow musk zombie, if it reaches 0 they die instantly, a bud flowers and a new bud appears. (Fiend Folio pg 98) The only way to truly slay this plant-monster is to stab at its bulbous root which lies 1' deep below the surface underneath it.

    The following noteworthy items from past victims can be found when the area is searched, however these items are buried beneath dirt and must be searched carefully to be unearthed:

    A crystal vial of unicorn milk: acts as a nuetralize poison & potion of extra healing. A leather pouch containing 50 electrum pieces, a longsword forged out of cold-iron (worth double the price of a ordinary longsword, affects certain undead requiring a + weapon to be damaged), a vial of water that is actually unholy water which might be identified as such by a paladin or priest using detect evil on it.

    Hidden beneath the evil plant, buried 5 deep is a metal padlocked box containing a 'fragment' of a treasure map (other fragments might be found by another quest to investigate into the matter)

    Serious XP should be granted to PC's who manage to slay the plant and heal one or both of the elves. One elf will gladly surrender a elven chainmail hauberk as a downpayment for reward, and another will grant something more interesting like a quales feather token.

    JOURNEY BACK:

    ENCOUNTER A:
    This encounter can happen either if the party opts to disagree with Sable in terms of routes or on the way back after the mission is successful at the bee-colony.

    The party is stopped dead in its tracks as a beholder emerges from behind a copse of trees alongside the road. This particular variant of eye tyrant is lesser in stature and is possibly spawned not so long ago judging by its lesser size. The monster doesn't attack but it does hover in front of the party's way, blocking progress intentionally. Being relativley young it only speaks in the tongue of its foul race and no other as of yet, thus a mage in the party will be required to cast a comprehend languages spell in order to parley with the many eyed monstrosity. Whomever speaks with the creature will be told that it demands to see the contents of their saddle bags, backpacks, etc and to deposit these effects in a pile before it. If the map was discovered in Twighlight Glen after the slaying of the Yellow Creeper, it will demand that as toll.

    WHAT'S TRULY HAPPENING
    : The Beholder is the result of a bandit-mage's improved phantasmal force spell and a ventriloquism spell working in conjuncture. He often uses this tactic to terrify others into surrendering coveted treasures and has reaped a good deal of valuables this way. The bandit is actually hidden behind a cluster of tree's and foliage nearby:

    Mortiasgus: male human, 4th level thief, 6th level illusionist; AL: LE, AC: 2, HP: 26, Mortiasgus is a rotund man in his late twenties, with a round belly only a halfling could respect and a meticulously kept goatee that is dark brown like his greasy mane of hair. His eyes are narrow and dark and have a continuous gleam set within, one that bespeaks of ambition and the desire for quick riches. He is a former flesh merchant from Stoink in the bandit kingdoms. However, a shipment of fresh slaves he had delivered to him ran afoul of smallpox and in turn he went bankrupt. Ever since he left town to join up with a band of merry highwaymen...cuthroats and out of work mercenaries to stage several successful raids along the countryside. Whilst in some nameless forest he and his mates were themselves the victims of an ambush and all were slaughtered with arrow and spells as elves decided to decimate their ill begotten ranks...only he fled, and met one other survivor in the woods who he slit the throat of and stole the dead comrades spoils from. Despite his big belly Mort is quite agile for one of his size. He is a masterful trickster extraordinaire. It is rumored that he once "sold" Castle Greyhawk to three very rich noblemen each for 300,000 GP each, though through greed and blundering had lost the money he duped from the noblemen he conned. He will not resort to melee and will readilly surrender if he cannot flee. However, if his ruse is made he will hurl a handful of caltrops behind himself then flee toward a nearby clearing where his steed awaits him and try to make off. His horse, a black coarser he names Bru, is outfitted with horseshoes of speed...which comes in great use in his line of work (brigandry) and has allowed him to evade the capture of elves, rangers, and bountyhunters in the past on more than one occassion. He carries several effects which aid him in his schemes: Lawbreaker, an invisible shortsword that can only be seen by the wielder, a girdle of femininity which he sells off as a girdle of hill giant strength (one of his MANY gifts) and a cloak of poisonous he will claim is a displacer cloak.

    Notes: Mortiasgus is truly a tricky bastard and is a very cunning foeman. He usually has some dirty plan within a plan and his secret hideout in the woods is customarilly guarded by a slew of boobytraps (i.e. spiked logs that slam into you, tripwires, spiked pits, etc)

    GIANT HONEYBEE HIVE

    The bee-hive is a cluster of adjoining caves & grottos which was once a Gnomish community until they depleted the store of ore which they so dilligently mined here. Since their departure, a colony of Giant Bee's has found it to their liking and have moved in indefinitley.

    As the party moves inside, inform them that three of the Giant bee's move toward them at a very slow rate. These are workers, who won't attack unless to defend themself and readilly provolked otherwise they ignore these intruders seeing them as no serious threat. If party members attack initially but miss, the workers won't attack outright but continue to ignore the assailants however these workers spread the message of the offence, and a soldier will be dispatched. If attacked and struck, however, a single soldier bee will move to engage the party every 3-6 turns to harass the party. Since its near impossible to differentiate the workers from soldiers, make it seem as if all bee's encountered are mere workers...then roll for suprise as a seeming 'worker' bee turns out to be a Soldier bee intent on dealing with the intruders of the hive.

    (1) SOLDIER BEE: AC: 5, HP: 26, #ATT: 1, thac0: 16, DMG: 1-8 + poison inflicts (-1 to save) 5-20+1 if save vs. poison fails.

    QUEEN BEE'S CHAMBER

    The queen bee is here with five of her drones. She is a non-combatant and will not make any hostile action toward the party, nor will her drones. However, if the party seems intent on attack and engage in hostility, she will summon 6 soldiers to defend her and her drones against molestation.

    Honey in hives or nests is of proportional quantities. Bee "bread" is excellent food and equal to iron rations. "Royal jelly," found only 20% of the time, isequal to 2-5potions of extra-healingwith a side-effect of cure
    disease for each. It also can be made into sufficient unguent to treat aging. The unguent preserves a youthful look for up to 1 year and 2-5 such preparations can be made from royal jelly. Charisma will remain unaffected by age when the unguent is used continuallywithout interruption. It is greatly prized by rich and noble women, and each unguent jar
    commands from 3000-8000 gp on the open market.


    There are the remains of a dead thief here, who apparently failed to procure the object of the party's mission. He has nothing special upon his person save for a set of thieves picks and tools and a strange type of X-bow:

    WRISTBOW: this is a wristbracer with a cunning x-bow grafted into it, and a trigger that is set off by a purposeful twitch of the hand. It fires a single dart-sized bolt that inflicts 1d3 hp dmg and is often a personal signature weapon of thieves and assassins alike, who oft fit it with specialized ammunition. This thief was kind enough to leave behind such ammunition, a leather quarrel with 20 bolts: 10 are filled with a sticky ichor that explodes once the dart strikes a target (save vs. spells or be held for 1d4 rounds) and 10 that explode in a cloud of stink (acts as a stinking cloud spell for a few rounds)

    Once the jelly has been procurred, there is a certain chance that one of the pc's may know of its inherent value (which Aronis does not particularly go out of his way to elaborate upon) roll a check versus characters INT at 1/2. A magic-user or druid/ranger would be privy to this knowledge.

    Aronis will bequeath a hundred gold unto the party and will pay the funeral expenses for any fallen comrades among the party who died in the adventure.

    I leave this open for the DM to customize to his own campaign's mileau. This is the first adventure I've ever really written so any constructive criticism is thusly greatly appreciated!
    "
     
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    Re: Hired Help (Score: 1)
    by Wolfsire on Mon, March 20, 2006
    (User Info | Send a Message | Journal)
    Gord, its cool that you have an adventure kicking around that you could post for this fest.  As far as your request for constructive criticism, I don’t have much.  There are few typos and an introduction would have been helpful to tie it all in, but it was excellent anyway.  It is easy to tell you put a lot of thought into these encounters instead of just slapping together some random one. Mortiasgus looks like he would be loads of fun as an NPC.  Unicorn milk!  I don’t even want to ask ….



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