An Adventure for BL 1-3 Warriors
This adventure is a slightly less serious one that is designed to amuse and frustrate the warriors in equal proportions. It isn't too different from an ordinary dungeon.
|The Heart of Olga public house, inn and hostility was
never a very busy establishment, and consequently never generated much
noise. The proprietor, Henel Vurgun liked it that way, which was why he
was initially annoyed when the door swung wide, one Thursday morning,
and in stepped four figures from legend. Or rather, four figures who
were soon to be legends. The first was the stooped, aged shaman from the
far off cold lands. He had relocated south after a plague wiped out most
of his tribe, but rather than settle into retirement, he had taken up
with the group, the second member of which was a dwarf. Gallik Gallstone
grinned up at his human friend, then pushed past him to plop down (or
rather, jump up) onto a barstool. He introduced himself with a flourish,
and slammed a tankard on the waxed surface, tapping it meaningfully,
before gesturing to his friends, hanging in the doorway.
"Ysamma! Shirok! Get in here you two, and drag that idle halfling with you!"
Ysamma straightened, leaning on his totem staff and reached through the door to pull a protesting halfling all the way into the inn by his glossy curly hair. The halfling's large hands failed to conceal an ornamental iron bootscraper, so he hastily dropped it outside, out of the view of the flummoxed barkeep. Unfortunately for the poor man's nerves, an ear-splitting shriek followed, as an angry wizard, Shirok, barged in, and hopped around, swearing and grabbing his foot. The dwarf let out a laugh, leaning over the counter to deliver a stage whisper to the proprietor. "Yon halfling's always got on bad with the wizard, since he had one too many magic potions. Speaking of which"- He drained his mug, tapped it again, and continued- "It wouldn't surprise me if he aimed that bootscraper so it hit his foot"
The wizard finished what the barkeep had assumed to be a dance of welcome, rubbing his foot and staring daggers at the innocent-looking halfling. Before they could begin squabbling, the shaman stepped forward and looked Vurgun in the eye.
"Greetings, friend. My companions and I require beds and drinks- see to it! But first- tell us of the tale of the Sleeping Curse"
The man looked between the adventurers, beginning to understand. He saw past the comic infighting to the hard edge in each warrior's face- even the diminutive halfling (who was taking a bit too much of an interest in the stuffed fish on the mantelpiece). And slowly, as if in a dream, he began to recount the tale of the Sleeping Curse.
The warriors have come to the sleepy hamlet of Haresbrook in the height of summer. The region is not known for its monsters and dungeons, and consequently warriors are rare. However, the warriors have heard a rumour of an old castle, wherein lies a great treasure, waiting to be claimed by skilful and brave heroes. They arrive and quiz the locals, and the story is explained…
Many years ago a local lord and his wife finally had a child, after many years of prayer and pilgrimage. The babe was a beautiful child, and her parents were justly proud. The lord invited local dignitaries and representatives from all of the local villages, including the elvish woods nearby. And, duly, these people arrived, dressed in their best and ready for feasting, fun and a good meal.
The elves made the biggest impression, bringing remarkable presents, which were decorative, symbolic and useful. They also brought blessings from their tribe, giving the baby beauty, wisdom, a sense of justice and so on. This was marred by one of their number. An old elf stepped forward, shoving through the rank and file, until she stood before the crib.
"This child", she proclaimed, her cracked ancient voice filling the room "will atone for the sins of her ancestors! Yea, I prophesy that she be struck dead on the very day of her coming-of-age. With her death, this 'noble' family of usurpers will die out! Their hall of stone will be supplanted by the wood, as they tried to replace the wood with their new ways!"
Before anyone could do anything, the old crone waved a twig thrice around the
crib and struck the baby on the head with it. With a flash of smoke she
disappeared, leaving only a mad laughter in the air.
This killed the festivities somewhat, and many of the guests left, fearful of the curse. In the end, only the elven ambassadors remained. They spoke to the Lord, assuring him that they would do all they could to modify and reduce the curse.
The years went on, and the baby grew, exhibiting the qualities the elves had foretold. Her bizarre Blessing Service was forgotten by most, and before long other landed gentry were considering her as a future wife for their own son. Then came the dreadful events of her coming of age. The curse cruelly struck through the first present she had been given, an elf-crafted spinning wheel. The keep was cut off from the rest of the world as a powerful spell of sleeping fell on all of the inhabitants. The bushes and trees around it grew at a monumental pace, until the whole keep was covered in a mass of rock-hard spikes and thorns.
At this time the elves visited the main village, explaining that the situation would stay until someone of noble birth came to free the heiress- and the area- of the enchantment. Many tried to do just this, bringing ancient blood, magic weapons and whatever else they thought could get them through, but none prevailed. One even brought an early-model cannon. Most failed to pass the thorns, and the few that did generally ran away at the monsters that had come into residence within. So it stayed, for many years, until the warriors turn up.
The warriors have the problem of trying to break the enchantment. As well as the good it will do the area to have a functioning noble family, there is reputedly large amounts of valuable treasure scattered around that was left by retreating nobles. However, the warriors must first try and get through the barrier. If they try, they will find that only blessed or magical weapons cut the thorns, and they tend to grow back quickly. Even warriors like the Imperial Noble and Elf Ranger, with all their ancient blood, will have only minor effect. This is because of the enchantment the elves placed on the wood. Rather than it engulfing the keep (and the villages, and villagers!) it was modified to create a barrier. The elves had a somewhat romantic bent of mind, and stipulated that only those of noble birth may pass through, and none of the warriors comes under the category of 'noble' for the purpose of the enchantment. Even those not wanting to break the enchantment are stopped, even if it's just an innocent bit of pillage they were after.
Before the warriors set off they must find someone to pass the barrier. This means local nobility. The individual gamesmaster may mess the players about as long as you like; getting them to traipse about in the wake of a hunt or try and get the attention of a minor noble surrounded by sycophants. The warriors will encounter the following character, played by the GM.
Special Rules:Noblesse Oblige; Parry 5+; Berserk 6+; Armed with Broadsword; Harmonica
This governs the way the noble acts in combat. He will not be treated as a warrior for the purposes of assigning monsters. Instead, share them out between the warriors equally. Any others will be given to the noble if there is room beside him. The noble will only attack monsters attacking him, believing that the warriors are able to deal with their own. In addition, years of sheltered life have made him entirely without fear, and he is immune to this psychology (terror as usual).
This weapon gives him +3 Strength and is magical. In addition, his armour is also magical, but has no specific effects other than +1 Toughness.
Justin has equipped himself with a Harmonica, believing himself something of
a musician. If he ever is in a battle, cannot move, and cannot attack, he will
play a tune. Roll 1D3;
1 The playing causes headaches in the warriors. All of their to hit rolls in the next turn only succeed on a natural roll of 6
2 The playing has no effect.
3 The playing soothes the warriors and monsters alike. Roll 1D6. For each model on the board with Initiative below or equal to this (including Justin!) roll another 1D6 and add Initiative. If it is 7+ there is no effect, otherwise the model is entranced and may not make any actions in its next phase (or this one if it has yet to move)
Justin is not a very good fighter, but he has the noble blood required, and
some nice antique armour. He is not quite clever enough to figure out the
financial purpose of the mission, being in it for the adventure, freeing a
damsel etc. That said, he is brave, and if attacked will retaliate as best he
can. The GM should play him as an incompetent who the warriors need. He would
undoubtedly be quickly killed without them, but is unaware of this, and will be
'modest' about his fighting skills, believing that he won the battle but being
too nice to make the warriors aware of it.
He shouldn't really be killed, if he is the warriors will be trapped inside the enchanted keep. It's worth telling them that, if only so they don't do away with him and steal his sword once inside.
1 Justin will not take treasure or gold, and does not generate extra
monsters. This is counterbalanced by his ineptitude in combat.
2 Unexpected events are always monsters- roll on the table
3 All monster events generate an item of treasure.
4 The Objective Room is the Tomb Chamber (rules below). When you discover the Objective Treasure Card, place the stairway piece before it.
5 The warriors begin inside the barrier of thorns.
|The warriors ducked and wove under the blows of the
foul orcs that had taken up residence in the old hall. One, clearly the
chief, was yelling at his men, pushing them towards the warriors. Justin
pulled himself to his feet in time to decapitate one monster with a lazy
blow of his sword, before sitting back down to watch the rest of the
Shirok the wizard swung his staff in a wild arc, luckily braining one of the orcs and not the nimbler halfling, Sollywig. The dwarf and shaman were on the other side of the room, keeping the orc archers busy, while the wizard, halfling and noble dealt with the scimitar-swinging bunch.
"Sol! Get the one on the table!"
The halfling ducked another blow and nodded at the wizard's
command. He snatched up a dropped knife and slashed at an orc, reaching
stealthily into his pouch with his other hand. Then he leapt forward,
bouncing from chair, table and orc's head, jumping towards the specified
orc, yelling his battlecry, 'Fuzziwig!' This was a reference to his
famous ancestor, Fuzziwig the Famous Four-Foot Fencer. His hand flashed
out, and the orcs fell away, coughing. His target received a triple
dose, right in the face, and collapsed - few could manage a handful of
Madam Filo's Extra Strong Powdered Spice right up the nose.
Justin smiled benignly at this marvel of co-ordination, swinging his sword up into the belly of an orc at the same time.
"It's good fun, this adventuring!"
The stairs lead up to a room where the sunlight seems to penetrate the barrier. At the end of the room you can see the heiress, lying in state exactly as her grieving (and sleepy) parents left her all those years ago. This chamber has elegant draperies untouched by the mould and damp elsewhere, and the plants pushing up through the floor are in flower, giving a fragrance to the scene.
Once the warriors are in, they should approach the bier (the tomb). Roll on the Objective Chamber Table to see what opposes the warriors.
Once the battle is over, they can explore the room. The wizard will detect a magical shield around her that stops them from approaching. There are 4 pieces of Objective Room Treasure here for the warriors, as well as an ornate but functional spinning wheel. The warriors must smash this before the shield is broken.
As soon as they have done this, the keep shivers, as the great plants coiled around it contract, then relax. Bursting out of a secret door behind the bier, an old elf-woman comes, screeching hatred at the warriors. Her servants accompany her.
The warriors must fight 1D6 Witch Elves, 1D6+3 Naggaroth Black Guards and a Dark Elf Sorceress (i.e. a Sorcerer). Justin will ignore his normal rules and move to attack the Sorceress.
The battle is over, and the curse is lifted. Justin approaches the bier with a quiet awe, lifting the veil of the beautiful woman within. In nearly a century she has aged merely a few years, making her the right age to marry Justin.
Outside the great tendrils and branches, which have held the keep in an iron grip for so long, begin to loosen and relax. Already some of the lesser branches, deprived of their magical support, are wilting in the glorious sun of the new day.
As the warriors look on, a couple comes running out of a nearby door. The lord and his lady leap up the stairs with an energy that belies their long sleep and stop, awe-struck before the noble, resplendent in his armour, with his noble bearing. Justin turns to the pair and bows, and begins to talk. He will no doubt ask for the young ladies hand in marriage. The warriors, sensing now is not the time to interrupt, turn and head down the stairs. Their reward will come soon enough, and for the meantime they can always check if the guards to the treasury have woken up yet…
As well as the objective treasures the warriors found earlier, the newly woken lord gifts them 4D6x50 gold, to be divided equally. They are also invited to the wedding of Sir Justin Trellofois Albatross Hedney III and Lady Seranna the Sweet. If they accept they can each take 1D6 Provisions from the fabulous buffet. If a Warrior Priest is included in the party, he can earn himself a piece of Dungeon Room Treasure by performing the ceremony.
Congratulate your warriors! They are now local legend (admittedly playing second fiddle to Justin, but still legend!)