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 â€œgo here, do thisâ€ type adventures. 2. Risk of running afoul of the authorities (Helm, Elves) 3. An interesting twist â€“ how do you avoid all these folks and capture the Raptors (tough critters) unharmed? 4. An interesting setting â€“ 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.