The Unusual Predicament of Sophie De Murtas

Creating game materials? Monsters, spells, classes, adventures? This is the place!
Post Reply
User avatar
PapersAndPaychecks
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:56 pm

The Unusual Predicament of Sophie De Murtas

Post Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:52 pm

EDIT by Solomoriah: I've added the PDF and ODT versions of this adventure to this post.

------------------------------------

An adventure for character levels 7-10.

Preamble

As written this adventure is set in Vallerin in Enterone in the World of Glain. It is easily adapted to your own game world, as virtually any city will work for this setup; it will need wealthy people with bored teenage/young adult offspring. In my version Sophie De Murtas and her friends are the descendants of nobles.

Background

A few months ago a young man by the name of Chauncey Lafayette arrived in the city. He was a storyteller by trade, but unlike the cheerful and moralistic fables told by more wholesome raconteurs, Lafayette's stories were always strange, grim and violent. Lafayette's patron (the person who paid Lafayette for the story) always appeared in it by name, and in the story the patron died ---- in some horrible, gruesome fashion. Lafayette described to a lot of people their own bloody, eviscerated or disembowelled corpse. And then he would never accept that person as a patron again. If someone asked him for a second story, he would refuse, and tell them, "You're already dead."

Within a few weeks Lafayette was immensely popular with the dilettante crowd ---- the offspring of nobles. Most evenings, he would be invited to some fashionable house in town, where he would tell a spine-chilling tale to the assembled company. His patron would pay him his fee (he always asked for two gold pieces), and the dilettantes would shower him with praise and, often, substantial gratuities.

The next Walpurgisnacht, when the moon was gibbous, Lafayette disappeared. He has not been seen in the city since. And his stories began to come true. One by one, in the order that they had asked him for a tale, each of Lafayette's patrons began to die. In exactly the way he had specified in their story.

The nobles, of course, took various measures to protect their children ---- and quickly learned that nothing worked. The effect was not removable by dispel magic or remove curse. There didn't seem to be any defence. Locked in a cell with no sharp objects anywhere within, and a dozen guards outside, the young nobles still got ripped open. Blessed and anointed with holy water, watched over by a dozen priestesses constantly praying for their souls, they would nevertheless be gutted by invisible claws.

In desperation, the family of one Sophie De Murtas tries to engage the services of a certain adventuring party. "Surely there must be something you can do."
Attachments
The-Unusual-Predicament-of-Sophie-De-Murtas-r9.pdf
(1.24 MiB) Downloaded 11 times
The-Unusual-Predicament-of-Sophie-De-Murtas-r9.odt
(1.97 MiB) Downloaded 5 times
User avatar
PapersAndPaychecks
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:56 pm

Re: The Unusual Predicament of Sophie De Murtas

Post Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:53 pm

(Point of order: Does Glain have a Walpurgisnacht? If not, what does it have?)
User avatar
PapersAndPaychecks
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:56 pm

Re: The Unusual Predicament of Sophie De Murtas

Post Sun Aug 14, 2016 3:03 pm

The party's questions

The GM shouldn't hand the following details to the players unless they ask, but by asking the De Murtas family the right questions, they can ascertain the following additional details without difficulty:-

1) The dilettantes are dying at the same rate the stories were told. Some careful calculation shows that the deaths take place twenty-two days, four hours and twelve minutes after Lafayette predicted them.

2) As from the start of the scenario, Sophie has almost exactly nine days to live.

3) Nothing connects the young people who are dying except that they engaged Lafayette.

4) Lafayette was last seen in a tavern on the north side of town about six days before the scenario begins.
User avatar
PapersAndPaychecks
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:56 pm

Re: The Unusual Predicament of Sophie De Murtas

Post Sun Aug 14, 2016 3:21 pm

The Inn Between

If the party goes in search of Lafayette, they may make their way to the Inn Between, so-called because it is nestled between the Courts of Justice and the main army barracks. Directly outside the Courts of Justice is the gibbet, and Lafayette rented a room with an excellent view over it. His room is still let to him ---- he paid the rent for another month. If the party goes up to look at the room, they will find the top-floor window has been jimmied open from the outside, and all his possessions and personal effects have been taken.

The next victim

The next person due to be gutted is Willard Devereux. He has about twelve hours left at the start of the scenario. If the party visits him, then his theory is that the killer is some kind of insanity, perhaps a being of pure thought, that causes the victims to kill themselves. He intends to put himself into a strait-jacket, chain himself to the wall and then have a servant hold goblets of strong drink to his lips until he has drunk himself insensible. (GM note: this will not work.)

If the party watches him, then all they will see is Devereux dying horribly ---- filleted, in strict point of fact. There is no visible cause, even if the party can somehow see beings of pure thought or beings on other planes. This is not the right place to look.
User avatar
PapersAndPaychecks
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:56 pm

Re: The Unusual Predicament of Sophie De Murtas

Post Sun Aug 14, 2016 3:38 pm

Locating Lafayette

If the party has some magical means of locating Lafayette, they will discover that he is at the bottom of an abandoned well in the city's poorest quarter. The body is naked. Imbedded in its right eye is a small crossbow quarrel with a willow shaft and hummingbird-feather fletchings, which is the signature weapon of a small and rather expensive troupe of assassins called the Rag Dancers.

There is no non-magical way to find him.

The Rag Dancers were, of course, hired by one of the noble families who hoped that killing Lafayette would save their daughter. None of the families will admit to hiring assassins and the party cannot contact the Rag Dancers themselves. (The assassins only work for people who they're sure they can, if need be, kill. The party's reputation precedes them.)

Spells such as speak with dead will conjure up Lafayette's very tortured soul. It will scream:- "Send me back! Send me back! I sold my soul to Demogorgon and now it's getting his personal attention. You've opened a window that he can look through! Send me back!"

If the caster ends the spell immediately, there will be no further ill effects. If the caster tries to continue the discussion, such as by asking Lafayette a question, then he will begin to answer and then an enormous claw grabs the soul and drags it back into the Abyss. 1d3 vrocks (see the Field Guide) or 1d2 hezrou (see the Field Guide 2) will then appear through the gate, each round, until the caster ends the spell.

If the spell isn't ended, then the vrocks and hezrou will eventually overcome the party, start rounding up everyone in the area and dragging them back through the window into the Abyss.

Locating Lafayette's gear

The Thieves' Guild has Lafayette's gear, and they are preparing to auction it off to the highest bidder. If the scenario is working as intended, then the party will think of the Thieves' Guild when they figure out that Lafayette's room has been burgled. They should then devise some way of getting it back ---- bribery, infiltration, various forms of magic, all will work. If for some reason the party does not figure this out, or if they're going off on wild goose chases as parties so often do, then the GM should have the Thieves' Guild make contact with the De Murtas family asking them for their best offer for Lafayette's stuff.

Lafayette's journal should fall into party hands. It's full of references to the Tomb of Eight, and contains a map of how to get there.
Last edited by PapersAndPaychecks on Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
PapersAndPaychecks
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:56 pm

Re: The Unusual Predicament of Sophie De Murtas

Post Sun Aug 14, 2016 3:42 pm

Journey to the Tomb of Eight

The Tomb of Eight is about three days' ride away, in a range of low foothills near the shores of Lake Dyasa. (If for some weird reason the party does not have horses, then the De Murtas family are willing to supply horses for the journey.) The party may, of course, have access to magical means of getting there faster. They could also go by boat, but the currents and winds are not favourable, and any reputable ship's captain will advise the party that horses will be faster. If they do insist on taking ship, then the journey takes 1d3+3 days.

This adventure makes no provision for encounters on the way. Unless the GM wishes to insert some, the party gets there without event.

The Tomb of Eight

This is CC-BY v4.00 from Dyson Logos. If re-printing or anthologising please include a link to this page. The actual map is here:-

Image
Last edited by PapersAndPaychecks on Wed Aug 17, 2016 1:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
Solomoriah
Site Admin
Posts: 6942
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 8:15 pm
Location: LaBelle, Missouri
Contact:

Re: The Unusual Predicament of Sophie De Murtas

Post Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:24 pm

PapersAndPaychecks wrote:(Point of order: Does Glain have a Walpurgisnacht? If not, what does it have?)
I had to look that one up, actually.

I've never spent much time on the holidays of Glain, other than the typical festival at the turning of the year. Glain has a clockwork calendar, 364 days long, broken into repeating calendar groups of 3 months. Thus it has 4 Friday the 13ths, every year, and they are considered days of ill omen.

Dude, I am so looking forward to this one. Do whatever you want, and I'll deal with it.
My personal site: www.gonnerman.org
User avatar
SmootRK
Posts: 3536
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:03 am
Location: Colorado Springs, CO

Re: The Unusual Predicament of Sophie De Murtas

Post Tue Aug 16, 2016 7:40 am

PapersAndPaychecks wrote:(Point of order: Does Glain have a Walpurgisnacht? If not, what does it have?)
I had to look this up as well... nice! Night of Witches. Considering Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, this one is definitely getting added to the mix. A grim holiday in the spring season... perfect. :shock:

I also am looking forward to this getting fleshed out!
User avatar
PapersAndPaychecks
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:56 pm

Re: The Unusual Predicament of Sophie De Murtas

Post Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:15 pm

Encounters in the Tomb of Eight

The Tomb of Eight is too small to contain any random encounters. It has Venomax instead.

The party are not the only ones who have read Lafayette's journal. Contrary to the guildmaster's strict instructions, an enterprising thief made three copies and sold them on the black market. Two of those copies are in the hands of dealers, who are holding them against the probability that their value will rise as the noble families start to run out of children. The third fell into the hands of one of Venomax's agents.

Venomax is a maggot-man (see this thread, or the Field Guide 2 when it comes out) with 5HD and the powers of an 11th level spellcaster. He is accompanied by four octobats (same thread, third page) and five wights:-

Venomax, AC 17, HD5, hp 22, #AT1, dam 1d6+rot grub, Mv 30ft, Save as M-U 11, ML 9, XPV 280 (... is what the thread says, but it's way way way too low, and needs revising --- these things only have a few hd but they have the powers of a high level spellcaster -- P&P).
]]]]] ]]]]] ]]]]] ]]]]] ]]
Spells:-
  • Level 1: Chill, Cause Fear, Stench, Stench
  • Level 2: Detect Invisibility, Locate Object, Maggot Spray (x2)
  • Level 3: Dispel Magic (x2), Speak with Dead
  • Level 4: Corpse Feast, Wall of Bones
  • Level 5: Magic Jar, Word of Recall
  • Level 6: Disintegrate
Octobats, AC16, HD8, hp 39, 36, 36, 28, #AT4, dam 1d6+acid ink, Mv 60ft flying, Save as F8, ML 10, XPV 1,200 each

]]]]] ]]]]] ]]]]] ]]]]] ]]]]] ]]]]] ]]]]] ]]]]
]]]]] ]]]]] ]]]]] ]]]]] ]]]]] ]]]]] ]]]]] ]
]]]]] ]]]]] ]]]]] ]]]]] ]]]]] ]]]]] ]]]]] ]
]]]]] ]]]]] ]]]]] ]]]]] ]]]]] ]]]

Wights, AC 15, HD 3, hp 16, 14, 13, 13, 11, #AT 1, dam drain level, Mv 30ft, Save as D3, ML 12, XPV 175 each

]]]]] ]]]]] ]]]]] ]
]]]]] ]]]]] ]]]]
]]]]] ]]]]] ]]]
]]]]] ]]]]] ]]]
]]]]] ]]]]] ]

Venomax is not carrying any treasure as such, but he has a couple of dozen small pebbles with continual darkness cast on them which he keeps in a pouch at his belt. He keeps plenty of money back at his lair. If the fight is going badly for him, e.g. he loses more than one octobat and more than two wights but the party don't seem to be dying, then he will Word of recall to escape. If for some reason this fails he will offer a ransom of 10,000gp for himself and his surviving minions to be released. He will go as high as 20,000gp, which is everything he has. Venomax will scrupulously honour the letter of any bargain he makes.

Venomax and his minions arrive at the Tomb of Eight 2d3 turns after the party does. (If this is during the hours of daylight, then he has the minions cloaked in a globe of continual darkness so they will not be affected by the sun's touch.) If the party has set a rear-guard, then the rear-guard sees Venomax long before he sees them, and will be able to warn the party, set an ambush or otherwise prepare for the encounter in whatever way they see fit. If they have not set a rear-guard, then Venomax and his minions will probably fall upon them unexpectedly from behind as they explore the tomb.
User avatar
SmootRK
Posts: 3536
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:03 am
Location: Colorado Springs, CO

Re: The Unusual Predicament of Sophie De Murtas

Post Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:34 pm

PapersAndPaychecks wrote:Venomax, AC 17, HD5, hp 22, #AT1, dam 1d6+rot grub, Mv 30ft, Save as M-U 11, ML 9, XPV 280 (... is what the thread says, but it's way way way too low, and needs revising --- these things only have a few hd but they have the powers of a high level spellcaster -- P&P).
I agree. The HD should be the equivalent MU level instead, so basically 2xHD listed should be the base XP. Just not something I put much thought into at the time. I just entered a revision to both HD as HD: 4** (a second *), and revised the XP: 1015 (from the equivalent MU level (8) with 2 asterisks).

P&P's MU11 Venomax would then be 1765 as I would calculate it. (as HD 11**)

Of course, anyone may feel free to double-check or revise those figures. XP calculations is not really my thing.
Post Reply