The Weeping [spoiler]

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Slimcreeper
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Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:44 pm

The Weeping [spoiler]

Post by Slimcreeper » Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:44 pm

Actually, only a spoiler if your GM decides to run this adventure. I've run it, more or less, with 3rd edition. It's intended to have somewhat soft opposition in parts that rapidly become really dangerous - I would love some help on balancing that out, as well as the rewards. I want to run this for my first adventure in 4th when I get a group together at the beginning of January (okay, I'm busy and running behhind). It's based on a hook from the Throal book.

The Weeping


Introduction
The characters meet at the Tub of Rouge. Some may know each other, but it is not necessary. They have all arrived in Bartertown on other business that has been completed. They are responding to word that has been put out that the proprietor of the Tub of Rouge needs to hire adepts to investigate a crime.
Every Adept starts with 1-4 Corruption Points. This roll is made in secret; the character doesn’t know exactly where he stands. Each character can choose from a perk –
Not My First Rodeo – start with 500 legend points. Spin a tale of your first adventure.
Yes, My Parents Loved Me – start with 750 silver in a lockbox stored at a Money Exchange in Bartertown. They charge a 5% silver withdrawal fee. They will sell you the lockbox for 75 silver including the withdrawal fee; it weighs 15 lbs (about 7.5 lbs worth of silver). As long as it is stored at the Money Exchange, it will never be stolen (GM's word).
Not All of My Choices Have Been Pretty – Start with any one blood charm with Availability of Unusual. Know that blood charms can give a power boost, but some Name-Givers associate them with Horror taint. Make a secret willpower test against the number of blood damage points the charm causes. If you don’t make it, you gain one corruption point.
Apprentice of Garlen – Start with 500 sp worth of healing aids.
Inheritance – Start with up to 500 sp worth of common magical items with Availability of Unusual.
Family Matters – family member is moderately-highly placed in the Throalic government or a major trade family.

Bartertown is everything you dreamed, only with more mud and an undercurrent of violence that seem incongruous so close to Throal's gates. In fact, Throal's reach is only evident in the Royal Road, which runs straight through the center of town. You could walk the Road with your eyes closed and your overflowing money pouch spilling silver onto the pavement, and people would pick it up to hand back to you. Step off the road even a few blocks, and only a sharp eye and stout sword arm will keep your purse intact.
On that theme, you come to the bordello that advertised the job. At loose ends and low on cash, you can't afford to be too picky. And truth be told, you could have picked worse. The Tub of Rouge is tacky, no doubt. Low class, naturally. But the place is clean and it is clearly not the sort of place where violence is tolerated. So the question of why they needed to hire you is an interesting one.

The story:

The players are ushered into a back room by Salicia, a beautiful dwarf courtesan who is acting as the hostess. The room is a meeting room with a small but nicely appointed bar, a long table, and a mural of one of the founding mothers of Throal. The matron in the mural is commonly noted for her martial attributes, but those aren’t what are immortalized on the wall here.
The madam of the Tub of Rouge (Honey Bear) recently hired a new bouncer, an ork named Crook-tusk. He seemed to go crazy yesterday afternoon and killed three of her employees and seriously injured two others with his bare hands. He only stopped when one of her girls put a pitchfork into his face and throat. The madam needs to find out what happened. She will pay 200 per character to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Investigation

Some possible avenues of investigation:
Patrons at the Tub
Girls at the Tub
Support staff at the tub
Neighbors
Pavlek Buundavim
Shadowswift Buundavim
Clystrone Tax Collectors
Hithorn (male windling merchant/rumor broker), Arlorn (male elf warrior, face of the Eye of Throal), Pahoga Elcomi (controversial scholar/conspiracy theorist in exile).
Baber Unclestump, undertaker and local historian. The characters will meet him, one way or the other. He tends to all of the bodies, he may meet them in this way.

Leads and rumors

The bouncer was a tax collector who was fired for drunkenness. That implies some pretty serious drunkenness. He was hungover at the time of the incident (girls, support staff).
One of the Tub's recent regulars claims to have seen a ghost in the brothel (patron). Untrue.
A similar killing occurred on the same night, on the first of Riag at a dish merchant's stall at the other end of Pavlak's territory, on the border with Clystrone's. Witnesses saw eerie blue lights on the roof the night before (Pavlek/Clystrone Buundavim).
Various unnamed cultists can be found in Barsaive – horror cults, dragon-worshiping cults, cults dedicated to the Mad Passions, and others dedicated to more esoteric legends (Anyone).
The greatest Local Historian and Cult Lore Expert is Baber Unclestump, a local undertaker. Another character will direct the characters to speak with him, even if everything else fails. He has the information about the Rememberers and the Weeping, but will conceal his connection to the Rememberers (Anyone will suggest they talk to him).
One cult that has been more active is the Rememberers, because of the Weeper's month (Unclestump). They are the decendants of the people who were denied entrance to Throal as the Scourge was starting, because there wasn’t room and there wasn’t a reliable way to test for horror taint. Every year there are some hauntings and disappearances. When Unclestump speaks of it, he conceals his anger fairly well, but an Insight test that scores at least 1 extra success will detect it.
The roof of Crook-tusk’s flop house and the dish merchant’s stall show signs of ritual magic. This can only be discovered through investigation.

Killing, day 2

The neighbor, a human blacksmith with no other connection to the Tub, has her house targeted by the Rememberers. If the ritual is not interrupted, she smashes a customer in the face with a hammer in the middle of the day and goes on a rampage. The characters must stop her; she will not stop until he is unconscious. She will use aggressive attack options; she will ignore the effects of all wounds.
If the blacksmith is kept alive, she will awaken racked with sobs. She will have no memory of the event. Just a deep, terrible pain in her heart and soul. Not physical, but as though she had undergone a terrible emotional or psychological blow.
Defenses: 6. Wound/KD Thresh: 6/12. Unconscious/Death Ratings: 30/36
Attack: 6. Damage: 9. (hammer)
Armor Phys./Mystic: 2 (blacksmith leathers)/1
Investigation of her house will show that a magical ritual took place on the roof.
Last edited by Slimcreeper on Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:36 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Slimcreeper
Posts: 662
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:44 pm

Re: The Weeping [spolier]

Post by Slimcreeper » Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:46 pm

Confrontation with The Rememberers

The only way for the adventure to move forward is for the party to confront a band of cultists mid-ritual by staking out the roofs of Bartertown.
The two ways to the roof:
Through house – The adults in the house are drugged by the power of the ritual magic.
There is a little boy that is sound asleep. Hopefully the characters are quiet. He makes a step 4 Perception test. If the characters are trying to be sneaky, he makes it against the highest Dex step in the party. If not, he makes it against the lowest. If he wakes, he will come up to the roof 2 rounds after the combat starts.
The door to roof at top of stairs is trapped. It is cracked open with a bucket of heavy iron stuff perched on top. Detection DN: 7. Disarm DN: 7. Initiative: 7/d12. Trigger: Opening door. Effect: step 6 dmg and loud noise. If not detected and disarmed, cultists are alerted to heros' approach. Also, the child will come to the roof to investigate 2 rounds later.
Scale walls – DN 12, Dmg 10 if fail. May surprise cultists with this route, but if the characters fall, the cultists are alerted. All cultists not involved in the ritual will rush over and throw darts at the fallen character.
They speak Weepers, an archaic dialect of Throalic, as well as standard Throalic. There is no light on the roof except for the blue light of the ritual. Characters with normal vision and no other lights are in partial darkness (-2 to all tests involving sight). There are 3 cultists + 1 for every hero. 3 cultist will maintain the ritual. 2 will defend them, using the Guard Duty and Defensive combat option. The remaining cultists will attack. The Weeping Ritual requires 3 successes vs. DN 6. When they have achieved them, the cultists will cast the ritual summoning the spirits by slaughtering a puppy (told you they were evil!) and direct it to possess one of the characters. It has Possess at Step 10. It will possess the character on round 2 and cause him to attack the other heroes. The possessed character will use aggressive attack and ignore the effects of all wounds. Once the ritual is complete, all cultists attack aggressively.
At the end of the battle, they look out and see 2 other rituals going on in the distance, one to the north, and one to the southwest.
If they interrogate one of the cultists, he is a perfumer named Hols Sweetknuckle. Even under torture, he will not give up any other names. If captured, he will say,
“They will all suffer, everyone in this town of hypocrites and murderers and cowards! They left our people to fend for ourselves for the dark years of the Scourge, left us as an offering, a sacrifice to the Horrors. Our forefathers lived as food-on-the-hoof for Horrors, tortured and insane. The Scourge has ended, they say? Not for us! Not for the tortured spirits of our ancestors! Capturing me won't stop our revenge. I am only a single tooth in the saw that will cut off this abomination!”
One of the cultists has paper with directions detailing the location of a cave in the mountains. Or, more accurately, it shows the location of a flat rock on which it says a map has been drawn with a special paint. The map can only be seen in the moonlight when empowered with blood magic. A character must slice his arm with an iron (not steel, taking 1 point of strain, making a secret Will test, if you get 1 then add 1 corruption point) and let the blood drip on the stone. The paint will shine with silvery light.
If they choose to use Tracking to find the cave, then the DN is 7 to follow Thinker’s tracks, or 15 to follow the older cultist’s tracks.
    Thinker’s tracks:
    Cross 15 yard Ravine on fallen tree: Climbing DN 5. Falling 10 yards into rapids step 15 damage. Swim test 7 (strong but shallow) or swept 10 yards downstream. Drowning on 1, can hold breath for Tough Step Rounds, then Step 4 damage +2 each round. Climbing walls of ravine: DN 9. Walking on slick rocks at bottom: Dex or Climbing 4 or fall in the water and make swim test.
      Cultist’s tracks:
        Pit of Vipers Trap: the trail skirts the edge of a crumbling sinkhole that leads to a den of vipers. Det: 7 Disarm: NA Init: 10/2d8 Trig: Step too close to the edge Effect: Fall 6 yards 10/2d8 dmg, Knocked Down. Climb Wall: 9. 1 viper per Characters in the party minus 2. Minimum 1 viper. p 338. Wilderness Survival can also be used to detect the trap.
        If the characters don’t make at least the tracking DN, they deal with Crossing the Ravine and the Pit of Vipers, and then are ambushed.
        If the characters do not find the map or otherwise fail to locate the cultists, Hols Sweetknuckle will give them a tip, offering to lead them to the Rememberers’ hideout. He claims one of his clients tried to recruit him. Use the ambush with advantage Climatic Battle.

        Climatic Battle

        Unclestump has Thinker keep an eye on the map. He hides nearby (Stealthy Stride 11). When they light it up or if the characters discover him, Thinker runs to warn the cultists. They will set up an ambush. If the characters try to return to Bartertown, the cultists attack the party on their way back. If they camp in the mountains, the cultists attack at night. If they try to attack at once, the ambush is on the way to the cave.

        Ambush with Advantage

        The characters are ambushed as they cross the fallen tree. Cross 15 yard ravine on fallen tree: Climbing DN 5. Falling 10 yards into rapids step 15 damage. Swim test 7 (strong but shallow) or swept 10 yards downstream. Drowning on 1, can hold breath for Tough Step Rounds, then Step 4 damage +2 each round. Climbing walls of ravine: DN 9. Walking on slick rocks at bottom: Dex or Climbing 4 or fall in the water and make swim test. The cultists will wait until at least 1 character is across, then attack another that is on the log. Any character that takes damage on the log must make an additional climbing test or fall in the drink. Unclestump and Thinker will charge the character that made it across. If the other characters try to flee, Unclestump and Thinker will make a Trick Riding Test (7+karma vs 7) to cross and give chase.

        Attack on the way to the cave

        In a gully at the mouth of the cave. The gully is 100 yards long, ending at the mouth of the cave. Unclestump uses tactics to improve his troops attacks (+1 to attack/success vs highest Social Defense of PCs). 1 Kuntry Kultist per adept attack with slings from above, Stealthy Stride 7. Thinker is the first to attack. He uses Silent Stride (11) to gain surprise, then uses Ambush (+5 to attack and damage) with 2 claw strikes and Pounce (use xtra attack success to force KD check vs attack result), targeting the last person in the party. Unclestump follows up with a Battle Shout and a reverse strike from his longspear. On his next turn Thinker leaps out of the gully. If he doesn’t make his trick riding, he uses climb to find a perch half-way up. Climbing the sides of the gully is DN 9, and they are 3 yards high. The walls provide partial cover (+2) to the Kultists. Characters climbing the walls are vulnerable to blindside attacks by characters from the other side. Falling into the gully causes step 5 damage, only padded armor protects.The gully is 5 yards across.

        Attack on the way to Bartertown

        On a slope leading down to the path. The slope is fairly steep and lightly wooded, providing partial cover to characters that are uphill. Movement up the hill is reduced by 2 yards per round. Long range missle/thrown weapon attacks require an extra success. Unclestump uses tactics to improve his troops' attacks, then uses an all-out charging attack targeting a magician or archer. After this (hopefully) devestating attack, he’ll peal off and the other will attack with bows from cover. There are 2 tripline traps in front of the archers. Detection DN: 7. Disarm DN: 2. Initiative: 7/d12. Trigger: Moving over it. Effect: step 8 knockdown test.
        Night Ambush
        Same deal as with the attack on the way to Bartertown, except that Unclestump will target the character on watch.

        Slimcreeper
        Posts: 662
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        Re: The Weeping [spolier]

        Post by Slimcreeper » Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:49 pm

        Denouement

        Loot the cavern!

        In Unclestump’s journal there is a reference to ‘the protective Amulet of Dirac’ and ‘will Brenula of Haven be any more help?’ There are also details about the ritual, including the fact that it is centered on the bell. The Name of the bell is the Weeper’s Toll. An appropriate knowledge test (7) indicates that Dispel Magic is in order. There are 2 extra dwarf swords, and 7 daggers. There are two casks of good dwarven ale worth bringing back down – about 50 sp each. There is a chest with 3d4 * 25 silver, and 2d6 gold. The gold is covered with a contact poison, Keesra.
        Keesra Type: Paralysis (see text) Effect Step: 8 Onset Time: Instant Interval: 4/1 round Duration: 8 hours
        There is a large dormatory filled with 25 non-combatants – elderly, children, wounded, and pregnant women. They consider the 'heros' as war criminals and theives. They will try to flee into the woods.
        The characters must use Dispel Magic (DN 16) on the bell, or the Weeper Spirits will continue to summon more and to possess civilians.
        Payment, Gratitude.
        OR – failure, and Bartertown becomes basically inhabitable until a more capable team of heroes comes along.

        Legend points:
          1st Session:
          Session Goal: defeating the cultists on rooftop – 75 LP.
          Defeating opponents – 50 LP.
          Magical Treasure: iron sacrificial puppy alter. A partially melted bell dating from the depredations of the closing of Throal. – 50 LP per hero. Minor pattern item for Bartertown. Has historical but no aesthetic or material value. Named the Weeper’s Toll.
          Individual deeds, Roleplaying: subduing all possessed victims without harming them: 50 per hero. Capturing Hols Sweetknuckle: 25 per hero
            2nd Session:
            Session Goal: defeating the cultists and dispelling the ritual– 150 LP each
            Magical Treasure: 50 for journal.
            Defeating opponents – 75 (50 if Unclestump escapes)
            Individual deeds, Roleplaying 0-25
            Dealing with the Rememberers Civilians – 0-50 LP per hero.

            Behind the Scenes

            The Ritual

            The ritual requires at least 3 living that have been trained by Baber Unclestump and either a pattern item for Bartertown or a Weeper spirit as a focus. Alternately, 4 Weeper spirits can conduct the ritual by possessing 3 innocents and focusing the power through the 4th. There are 18 total cultists, and in general they will only perform 2 rituals, although after being ambushed they get desperate they will try to perform as many as possible, even if it means spreading their numbers thin. The only way to banish all of the spirits is to cast Dispel Magic on the bell, Named the Weeper’s Toll.

            Timeline

            Riag, Day 1 - Overnight Rememberers use melted bell to in ritual to summon Weeper Spirit, which possesses Crook-tusk. The spirit is not killed with Crook-tusk, and can be used in rituals to summon more.
            Day 2 - Crook-tusk attacks. Remembers summon 2 more spirits overnight. to 3 total.
            Day 3 - Heros are hired. Rememberers and cultists summon 2 overnight, to 5 total. The ritual is now self-sustaining, as long as there are at least 4 spirits and the bell has not had Dispel Magic cast on it.
            Day 4 - Heros investigate. Rememberers hold 3 rituals. Hopefully, the heros stake out the roofs and recover the bell.
            Day 5 - Heros investigate. Rememberers summon as many spirits as they can.
            Day 6 - Heros hopefully travel to defeat Unclestump and the Kuntry Cultists

            Villians

            Cultist
            D: 5 S: 6 T: 5 P: 5 W: 5 C: 5
            Attacks
            Dwarf Sword (Attack 7/Dmg 9), Dart (Attack 7/Dmg 7)
            Physical Defense/Armor: 6/2 Mystic Defense/Armor: 6/0 Social Defense: 6
            Death Rating: 26 Uncon Rating: 18 Wound Thresh: 7 Rec. Tests: 2
            Skills: Scourge History 2, Profession 2, Melee/throwing 2, Weeping Ritual 3
            Special: Dwarf heat sight -
            Loot: 2d6 silver, 2d8-2 sp worth jewelry

            Kuntry Kultist
            D: 5 S: 6 T: 6 P: 5 W: 5 C: 4
            Attacks
            Dwarf Sword (Attack 8/Dmg 9), Sling (Attack 8/Dmg 8/Rng 20/40)
            Physical Defense/Armor: 7/4 Mystic Defense/Armor: 7/0 Social Defense: 6
            Death Rating: 35 Uncon Rating: 27 Wound Thresh: 9 Rec. Tests: 2
            Skills: Scourge History 2, Wilderness Survival 2, Melee/Ranged 3, Stealthy Stride 2, Weeping Ritual 5
            Special: Dwarf heat sight -
            Loot: 1d8 Silver,

            Baber Unclestump
            Undertaker, Calvaryman 2nd Circle, leader of the Rememberers
            Unclestump is a direct descendent of those unhappy folk who were trapped outside of Throal during the Scourge. He was taught by his grandfather to hate Throalites and Bartertownites, but also to conceal that hatred. He is the ritualkeeper for the Rememberers, teaching them how to summon Weeper spirits. His troajin, Thinker, lives in the foothills outside of Bartertown, near the Rememberer's cave. He doesn't talk about being a calvaryman. He used his abilities to defend his home village before moving to Bartertown to direct the cult.

            DEX: 5 Initiative: 5 (1) Unconsciousness: 30 (44) -2 BM
            STR: 7 Physical Defense: 7 (+3) Death Rating: 36 (52) -2 BM
            TOU: 6 Mystic Defense: 7 Wound Threshold: 10
            PER: 5 Social Defense: 9 Knockdown: 6
            WIL: 6 Physical Armor: 1 (8) Recovery Tests: 2
            CHA: 6 Mystic Armor: 3 Karma: d6/4*2=8
            Movement: 10
            Armor: Chain Mail, Rider's Shield (not in town)
            Attacks: Long Spear (8, dmg 12), Dwarf Sword (Attack 8/Dmg 11), darts*6 (Attack 8/dmg 8, rng: 18/36); only has dwarf sword in town.
            Loot: 3d6 silver, Amulet of Dirac.
            Skills: Std Lang, Art Tattooing 1, kn: Rememberers 4, Wilderness Survival 1, Kn: Bartertown history 2, Throwing 2, Tactics 3, kn: Summoning Rituals 4, Weeping Ritual 7
            Talents: Animal Bond (2), Charge (2), Melee (3), Rider Weaving (2), Trick Riding (2), Battle Shout (2, rng 10yds, -2/success all tests until end of next rnd; +5 to DN each use vs same target), First Impression (2, +1Attitude, +2 if 3+ successes)
            Special: Dwarf Heat sight. Bonded to Troajin. Astral Sensitive Eye (covered with patch in town), Str1, astral sight +1). Amulet of Dirac (Rnk 3 threads, +1 phys armor, +1 mys armor, 1/day acts as healing potion [heals 1 wound, +8 to next recovery test])
            Other Equipment: Riding tackle, saddle bags, adventurer's kit

            Thinker troajin

            DEX: 7 Initiative: 9 Unconsciousness: 28
            STR: 7 Physical Defense: 11 Death Rating: 34
            TOU: 6 Mystic Defense: 9 Wound Threshold: 9
            PER: 5 Social Defense: 7 Knockdown: 11
            WIL: 5 Physical Armor: 3 Recovery Tests: 2
            CHA: 4 Mystic Armor: 1
            Movement: 16 Actions: 1 Claws (11/12)
            Powers: Ambush (5), Climbing (11), Enhanced Hearing (2), Low-light Vision, Great Leap (8), Stealthy Stride (11).
            Special Manuevers: Pounce (if leap, use extra success to force KD test vs attack test).

            Weeper Spirit Strength Rating: 3
            Attributes: 5/d8
            Initiative: 7 # Actions: 1
            Attack: 8 (manifested only) Effect: 7/d12 Mystic Dmg, reduced defenses by 2
            Physical Defense/Armor: 12/0 Mystic Defense/Armor: 10/3 Social Defense: 5
            Death Rating: 32 Uncon Rating: 24 Wound Thresh: 8 Rec Tests: 2 Karma Points: 5
            Powers: Possess 10 (action), Astral Sight 10 (rnk 5,)
            Weeper spirits can only manifest if summoned with the Weeper Ritual. Once manifested, it will take a round to Astral Sight to perceive each character and determine which has the lowest MD. Possessed characters typically use aggressive attacks and ignore wound penalties. Once the spirit has possessed the character, it is bonded to him or her and cannot leave the character’s space. It can be attacked physically, but there is a risk of hitting hte still gets its action as though it were manifested, though it can't move away from the character, meaning it can attack anyone the host can attack with melee. It can only manifest if summoned. If its host is knocked unconscious the spirit flees back to astral space.

            Tattered Rags
            Posts: 316
            Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:04 am

            Re: The Weeping [spolier]

            Post by Tattered Rags » Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:14 pm

            Slimcreeper wrote:It's based on a hook from the Throal book.
            Is the adventure your creation, though?
            Slimcreeper wrote:Not My First Rodeo – start with 500 legend points. Spin a tale of your first adventure.
            Is this 500 extra to be spent later or immediately?
            Adventure I'm running:
            Under the Stars

            Adventure GM post-mortem:
            Under the Stars Postmortem

            Slimcreeper
            Posts: 662
            Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:44 pm

            Re: The Weeping [spoiler]

            Post by Slimcreeper » Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:31 pm

            The adventure's mine, I just got the idea from the hook in the book.

            The LP are to be spent immediately. It's not in there but no two people can pick the same perk. The perks aren't really intended to be perfectly balanced, but I want to advance people fairly rapidly in this campaign.

            PiXeL01
            Posts: 111
            Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:53 pm

            Re: The Weeping [spoiler]

            Post by PiXeL01 » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:57 pm

            Good write up! I might even give it a go

            Slimcreeper
            Posts: 662
            Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:44 pm

            Re: The Weeping [spoiler]

            Post by Slimcreeper » Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:29 pm

            Pix, I forgot to say thank you!

            Elidis
            Posts: 6
            Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:48 pm

            Re: The Weeping [spoiler]

            Post by Elidis » Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:56 pm

            nice work,

            I'll definitly use it on the next con :D

            Many thanks for sharing
            Spoiler:
            And for my players there will be a big surprise. I have created a map using a special pen. You are only able to read the map using UV-Light :shock:
            because getting moonlight on a con will be a little hard. And if they are comming up with the right solution, I'll lend them my pen. :D

            Slimcreeper
            Posts: 662
            Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:44 pm

            Re: The Weeping [spoiler]

            Post by Slimcreeper » Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:40 pm

            Oh, that's cool,

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