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Pre-Temple Adventures

Pre-Temple Adventures

The RttToEE starts at level 4. However, I like the players to start at first level. It gives the players time to develop the personalities of the PCs. The pre-level adventures are pretty-much self-contained missions. “Go here, do this” type of scenarios. Good adventures to allow the players to get used to the PCs, and the for the PCs personality to develop. Below is the thinking behind the first adventures.

Caravan

The PCs are part of a large caravan. Trolls attack (the caravan handles). Goblins snatch female elves for some nefarious scheme. The PCs kill the goblins and rescue some of the elves.

The goals of this adventure are: 1. Quick action—get the group in a battle to start the flow of the campaign. 2. Start the tenuous links between House Darga and the Chalarstaukh (the goblins). They will also be seen again in the next adventure.Very astude players may notice that a patrol was recently through here. In reality, they ordered off the trolls and goblins to attack. 3. Illustrate how dangerous the Silver Marches can be. Show off Trolls and Wizards—this needs to be descriptive. Just need to make an isolated battle for the PCs to endure. 4. Get the PCs in good with family Lanark. Part of the encounter will be them saving a Lanark family friend (elf).

Result: It went well, and the party has a bit of a mystery hanging in the air (why did the goblins want elven females?).

NewKeep

On house Lanark’s commission, they travel to a small town and deal with their problems.

Part 1: The Birthing Grounds:

The goals of this adventure are: 1. First part is to kill the goblins. I was able to use an introductory adventure I made for Christine for most of this. 2. As they explore, they discover this is part of the elven female kidnapping issue. Someone is breeding the elves with a demon to create Demonfey. 3. A preview of the Banewarrens – part of the complex is Nethernese (I have the Nethernese creating the Banewarrens). The same key that is used to access the Demon’s chamber also opens the doors in the Banewarrens. The PCs get a quick glimpse of Navanna Draga (Vladaam in the Banewarrens material) in her nature form (I used a succubus fig due to the wings and such – I have made House Draga be Demonfey).

Result: They rescue the girls and kill the goblins. There are 3 pregnant elves, one ready to give birth (gestation period is one month). They get here back to Everlund, where a nasty beast erupts from her womb (a “failure” from House Draga’s point of view). Use the Chaos creature fig to great effect.

The Ettin’s Riddle

The PCs are not done with Newkeep, as an ettin is raiding the area. I used The Ettin’s Riddle free module of the same name. Basically, the ettin is a cleric of justice that has been turned into an Ettin. Since he went overboard a few times on administering his justice (slipping more to the vengeance side of things), his god would not let him pray for the spell that would free him from this form. There was a riddle that he had to understand (with the PC’s help) in order to be realize the error of his ways.

The goals of this adventure are: 1. Change of pace – a problem-solving adventure (riddle) 2. More role-playing. Needed to interact with the town and the ettin to figure out what is going on.

Overall, this worked well. The players were quick to understand what was going on. One of the players complemented the change of pace.

An interesting point of view by the players – they are unsure of House Lanark’s intention. The cleric/ettin had been sent by House Lanark up to Newkeep several years before to deal with an evil wizard that resided in the keep that was over the Birthing Grounds complex. The players think the house is up to something. In reality, they are just a trading family that protects its interests and did not know of the other complex.

Predators in Everwoods in the City of Everlund

House Lanark is in an embarrassing situation. They illegally imported a pair of Velociraptors from Chuult. Whilst in transport in the city (Everlund), they escaped their cages. They have settled into Everwoods, a small wood in the eastern part of town. They are preparing to nest, so they are especially territorial. They have killed any who use the woods as a shortcut and have even ventured out to hunt the streets at night.

Although it is high caravan season, there is reaction by the city to the plea for help from the residents. Over the next day or two, the city has ordered some of the guard from the elven quarter (all elves and 1/2 elves) to hunt the monsters down. Also, the nearby Temple of Helm (Keep of Vigilance) is making a foray into Everwoods to help protect the citizenry. Finally, two bands of local thugs have decided to go after the critters, as there is a 500 gp reward offered by the local merchants (some of the city’s finest jewelers are in this part of the city—the reward is frowned upon by the city as it may put the citizenry in harms way). Note that one set of the body parts found is one of these gangs.

House Lanark wants desperately to recover the Raptors alive and unharmed. They also want them recovered without anyone knowing where the creatures came from or went to. They were unable to track the beasts down before they set up a hunting territory and started killing the locals. They offer the PCs 1,000 gps for the pair (but only 200 if they only get one back). Their discretion is a must.

Some encounters: 1) varying fog if go in the morning 2) body parts from a) elves b) thugs c) Watchers of Helm 3) Screams (ala #2) 4) Raptors, head on attack 5) Raptors, wolfpack (one front, one back) 6) Raptors, pounce from ridges 7) The nest (no eggs yet) 8) Innocent that was dumb enough to wander into the area even after the killings

The goals of this adventure are: 1. One of the last “go here, do this” type adventures. 2. Risk of running afoul of the authorities (Helm, Elves) 3. An interesting twist – how do you avoid all these folks and capture the Raptors (tough critters) unharmed? 4. An interesting setting – nasty monsters in the city 5. Needed something on the fly to fill in to get them near 4th level.

My original idea was to have a young girl from House Lanark fall in with a Goth-like crowd. It would be a club that was ultimately owned by the Vampire Thrommel. She, plus a few others, would be a Thrall. Unfortunately, the CR would be too high. Ah well, something to keep in the old back pocket.

Result: The PCs eventually run into an ambush with the local thugs in the woods. They kill a couple of them, and a few flee. The leader, Shep, joins up with the group and agrees to share the reward by the merchants. They do capture the Raptors, but the female is badly injured. Upon delivery to House Lanark, they only get 500gp due to the damaged goods. Kobella, the ranger, is very upset and vows never to work for the House again. At first they try to screw Shep out of his share, but they eventually pay him.

H2. Final Sendoff for Hommlet

A final tavern scene in Everlund moves them on their way. The PCs eventually come under suspicion as the one who killed the thugs in woods (keep in mind that in most cities, law and order is there to keep the peace, not to render true justice). Enter Trenton Steele.

Interesting development - Steele is an amateur performer. He gets a bard to write the Ballad of Shep, which basically tells the story with Shep as the hero. He gets a few of the Knights of the Cord to go around the city, singing the Ballad. They have the description of the group, and are looking to find them by either (1) the PCs step forward to set the story straight or (2) they notice the PCs not joining in with the crowd (singing the refrain, laughing, oohing and ahhing, etc). Steele happens to choose the Nymph and Satyr based on a tip (Poses as Don Fernando - Lover, Swordsman, and Balladeer!). He Takes 10 (result 15) and does a pretty decent job of performing. (Check that, actually had Don Fernando do the story, and Steele in the crowd.

If the PCs get involved to correct the story, of-hand mention that he pulls out a sheet of paper and starts to make the corrections in common (the story is in elven, which he can read—it indicates that he did not do the work himself).

Key points he raises: 1. Shep (and his band of reknown) did the deed, 2. Tommy Johns is the reason they went in (heard his scream) 3. Lefty and Gar were slain in the noble battle 4. No mention of the PCs 5. Refrain: “Lets all remember, Shep our Savior, as bold as he can be ‘Cause there is no one braver, than Shep our Savior, the only hero for me!”

Once in conversation with the PCs: 1. “The only thing worse than an incorrect tale is no tale at all!” 2. “I want to understand my heros and villians” – why where the PCs there 3. If he really wants to get there goat, he claims the Merchants will pay the 500gp since there has not been an attack in a week.

There are several of the Knights of the Chord in the audience. He will arrest the party if he gets enough information. If not, he will come back in an official capacity the next day for more questioning.

For the trial itself (if it gets that far), resolve it in one of two ways:

1) If they fight it through court - have the PCs state their case - do a bit of cross examine, focusing on them entering a secured area, walking in armed, that they are adventurers (stronger self-defense requirements), that they had weapons in hand (so others could preceive they are out to kill others), etc. The trial will take 30 days (not all in court, but total length)

The end result is that they are convicted with interfering with fleeing the scene of a crime, trespassing (they area was officially sealed), and obstruction of justice (if any). They are charged the following:

Fee for Pleader: 30 gps (1/day retainer) Zone of Truth Casting (since they are convicted, even of a lessor crime): 150gp (scroll market price) Fleeing Scene: 10 gp each Trespassing: 10 gp each Obstruction of Justice: 20 gp each Boarding (poor inn rates): 3 sp per day per person = 9 gp each = 54 total Total: (354 gp / 474gp)

If cannot pay, in dungeon (very poor accomodations/food) at the rate of one week per gold. Note: these rates are based on what they think the adventures can pay.

2) Terridian comes and sees the PCs with a deal - He has found out the PCs were on the way to Hommlet. The Lanarks are a very distant cousin to the local potter in town (Sumone Hann - see {HM22 – Potter} ). He would like for the PCs to “discourage” Sumone’s competition in a discretionary manner. If the PCs agree, they can walk free within the hour.

In the end, the PCs play it coy and hint at correcting the story. Steele is suspicious, but not enough evidence. The PCs also meet up with the Terrible Trio of Torm – Xaod and his 2 brothers (the brothers will eventually die unheroic deaths, sending Xaod into his drinking binge).

The PCs join up with the Trio to journey to Hommlet. The murder investigation will smolder in the background until the PCs return.

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