These are the Adventure Pages to the THACO DRAGON Second Edition rules webpage - the Unofficial Version 2.6.
Adventures will focus on simple and easy to use plots - often without a map - in the Book of Lairs style. Some header pics may be incorporated at the top of these Adventure posts. Each story assumes the PC party to have at least 5-6 Player Characters with 2 or more NPCs at higher levels. Suggestions for altering these stories may feature at the end! Click here for THACO DRAGON ADVENTURES - if not already on the home page.
DMs may need to tweak the map scales (hopefully not) since I have been unable to play test these creations. Please leave a comment if you've run any of these adventures!
The party is asked to scout out an abandoned farmhouse after they arrive at a town under attack by supernatural forces. A short adventure for 1st level Player Characters.
Background: The characters arrive at the frontier town of Willowdale, after being hired to act as wagon guards for 1sp per day. They also earn an extra 5gp for each combat encounter the party successfully negotiates. Their employer is the rotund merchant Jarvis Fogglecoop. Jarvis wears elaborate dark red leather armour with black trimmings, a long sword at his side. He has a thick red moustache and a mass of thick red hair hidden under a pointed leather hat. He is delivering 160 iron ingots (that weigh 8lbs each) to the local blacksmith.
Attack from the Sky
After an uneventful journey the characters and Jarvis, who acts as the driver of the ox-drawn wagon, arrive at the walled frontier town of Willowdale. The settlement is situated on a prairie that is hemmed in by distant hills to the East and a narrow river to the West. The PCs cross this river via a sturdy wooden bridge that is wide enough to take wagons.
Militia Gate Guards (5), with spears, shields, steel helms, and wearing leather armour, tell the characters and merchant that the town is at war with Orcs who are known to inhabit the nearby hills. Almost all of the warriors from the surrounding areas have gone forth after a series of unnatural events blighted the town. They name the events as being a killer fog, a whirlwind that flattened a number of town buildings, a midnight attack by a large zombified bear, and the poisoning of all the town's horses.
After the guards finish their tale the party enters the town. Inside the PCs see that some of the townhouses in the small settlement have been flattened. Arriving near the blacksmith's shop Jarvis (the rotund merchant) pays the characters their share for the 5 day journey, a whole 5 silvers each.
He smiles and says they can earn the same amount on the return journey and reminds the characters that "the pay is greater on the more dangerous routes." No sooner has he said this than a large hawk with an oversized beak and claws drops upon him from the sky. Dozens more hawks drop down and viciously attack people throughout the town.
Blood Hawks (48)
AC: 7 HD: 1+1 hp: 7 THACO: 19 Attacks: 3 Damage: 1d4/1d4/1d6 (Claws, Bite) Size: 4' Mv: 1, Fl 24 Alignment: N xp: 120
Tactics: To determine if a PC is attacked roll 1d8. A roll of 1-5 means no attack, a roll of 6-8 results in a Blood Hawk attack upon a Player Character. This attack lasts 4 rounds at which point any undamaged Blood Hawks fly off. Characters can go to the assistance of others being attacked but risk wounding their comrades (20% chance) unless a credible non-damage causing strategy is employed. Town militia can be seen fighting off the killer birds on high points of the wall and inside the town. Any Blood Hawk that receives four or more points of damage flies off.
Jarvis Fogglecoop 0-level Human
AC: 8 HD: 1+4 (fat) hp: 11 THACO: 20 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d8 (Longsword) Mv: 9 Size: M (6') Alignment: N(G) xp: 25
*Equipment: Longsword in hard lacquered sheath, Red Leather Armour with black trimming, small brass key, money pouch with 15sp/20gp/6pp remaining.
*Oxen (2) and Wagon (cart). Hidden underneath the driver's bench is a locked box with 200sp/50gp/45pp and 6 gems worth 100gp each.
Jarvis is surprised in the first attack where the Blood Hawk gets a full round of actions with a +2 hit bonus. If he is still alive after this surprise attack, initiative can be rolled, for himself and the party.
Note: If Jarvis the Merchant survives the Blood Hawk attack due to the intervention of the PCs he promises to pay them double the rate on the return journey (2sp) and tips them one platinum piece each.
After the battle the PCs see fallen townsfolk and avian attackers lying among the buildings. A bald headed dark skinned warrior in silver Plate Mail rushes to the wounded and heals those that have not yet succumbed to their wounds. Eventually a large grey bearded man dressed in bronze Plate Mail, flanked by two body guards wearing grey Full Plate armour, appears. He approaches the characters.
"I am Lord Sumpter, you seem able bodied, and as you can see, we have need of warriors ... will you serve the garrison until our expeditionary forces return?" He adds, "We are critically short of defenders. My knights are away. They battle against orcs occupying the nearby hills. My hope is that the orcs will be defeated along with the wizard or shaman responsible for these unnatural events."
A Vision of Danger
If the PCs agree to join the garrison Lord Sumpter says he will pay them at the rate of two silver pieces per day. Whether the party joins or not, Sumpter then requests they perform a dangerous task in defence of the town. It is something too dangerous for militia to carry out, but a task that would be foolish for himself to engage in. It is simply to scout out an abandoned farmhouse. If necessary he can offer to pay the characters if they have not joined his garrison, but not more than a few gold pieces each, so that he can learn more about a potential threat.
The dark skinned healer, seen earlier, then approaches and Lord Sumpter introduces him. "This is Patriarch Moochacha" who responds by saying, "I am". Moochacha continues, "I've seen danger. A vision of danger. A sense that there is something amiss at an abandoned farmhouse to the North East of here. It is near a grove of three very tall poplar trees. The journey is not far, only a half day, but none of us can abandon our positions in the town. Will you go forth and spy upon this building and discover what troubles me? Return as soon as you find out. Avoid trouble. Be exceedingly cautious."
If the PCs agree, Lord Sumpter explains that they will have to go on foot since the all the town's horses have been killed (poisoned). He says that when they near the abandoned farm house, they should take cover in the undergrowth, in the long grass that has taken over the fields there.
If the characters ask why Lord Sumpter is not battling the orcs himself he explains that someone of strength is needed to defend the town and that he has extreme confidence in those doing battle out in the wilderness. His forces include some powerful allies - a Ranger and Wizard - that accompany his knights, various men-at-arms and a number of (lower level) clerics.
Journey to the Farm House
After being billeted overnight with the town's soldiers and militia, the characters wake the next day and set off on their half day journey.
Close to the town are many agricultural fields worked by farming families growing all manner of vegetable and grain crops. The party passes numerous farm houses bounded by wooden and brush fences that keep in livestock. Animals such as goats, pigs, chickens and a few dogs can be seen.
As the characters travel further they find themselves walking through unattended fields filled with tall dry thigh-high grass interspaced with various groves of trees. They pass a few abandoned buildings that had been given up as the area became more dangerous due to the presence of Orcs.
After a half day's journey along a narrow overgrown pathway the PCs come to the location of the abandoned farm. A short distance away they see three tall poplar trees that make up a small grove and sight a small stone building, with a collapsed roof, about 300 yards beyond. Although there is a doorway, no door can be seen. There is one small window hole in the wall (and another on the other side). The tall grass extends right up the building and a wooden fence surrounds the dwelling at a 50 foot distance. There's a gap where a pathway presumably intersects the fence. There is no sign of occupation.
For the DM: Sitting in the grass on either side of the gap in the fence are five Goblins. Three have square wooden shields and short swords while two are armed with short bows. If the Goblins stand up their shoulders, and part of their upper chests can be seen along with their helmeted heads. The Goblins have purple coloured skin and wear leather armour. They listen for the approach of intruders rather than watch. They can vaguely see people coming along the path when they come within 20 feet. Noisy PCs walking into this range are immediately hit by missile fire from the archers. The sound of combat alerts the other monsters hiding in the farm house. The building dimensions are 15x35 feet, that form a single room. There is a doorway and two windowless windows along its length.
AC: 6 HD: 1-1 hp: 5 THACO: 20 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d6 Size: S (4') Mv: 6 Alignment: LE xp: 15
*Infravision 60 feet.
*Penalty of -1 to hit in daylight.
Equipment: Short Swords (5), knives (5), Leather Armour, metal Round Helms, Short Bows 2, Arrows (24 total), waterskins (5), 29cp total.
Tactics: The goblins here swap shifts with those inside the building every 4 or 5 hours. One goblin will appear in the doorway and clap his hands three times whereupon the goblins on guard all stand up while the other shift takes its place. This event occurs one hour after the PCs arrive at the nearby grove of trees. If players wait another 3 hours after the changing of guards two orc scouts arrive at their location (see The Return Journey for details) and either initiate combat with missile fire or circle around the PC's location to warn their comrades.
The DM should notify players that if they wish to sneak up to the farmhouse, or the goblins (that are seen after one hour), they can crawl in the long grass. It takes 30 minutes to crawl 300 yards. PCs wearing metal armour and carrying shields and weapons have an intermittent noise radius of more than 20 yards that alerts the goblins hiding near the fence line gap. PCs wearing leather may sneak successfully in these outdoor conditions without alerting the goblins. If attempting a backstab one move silently check with a +40% bonus should be made or the goblin turns (a surprise check should still be rolled for the monster).
Inside the farmhouse is a second watch of goblins and their orcish leader. If the fighting goes poorly the orc uses the Flying Potion to escape. There are eleven satchels with iron rations placed along one wall.
AC: 6 HD: 1-1 hp: 5 THACO: 20 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d6 Size: S (4') Mv: 6 Alignment: LE xp: 15
*Infravision 60 feet.
*Penalty of -1 to hit in daylight.
Equipment: Short Swords (5), knives (5), Leather Armour, metal Round Helms, Short Bows 2, Arrows (24 total), waterskins (5), 34cp/2sp total.
AC: 8 HD 2 hp: 15 THACO: 18 (Str17) Attacks: 1 (Sword) Damage: 1d6+2 (Str17) Size: M (5'11) MV: 9 xp: 65
*Infravision 60 feet.
*Penalty of -1 to hit in daylight.
Equipment: Falchion Sword (1d6+1), Leather Armour, knife, waterskin, 12cp/2sp.
Treasure: (Witches') Flying Potion with 4 doses.
If captured the monsters here can reveal that they've been sent by their chieftain, to spy on the town (for a period of one week). Charmed characters can reveal there are two orcs acting as forward scouts near Willowdale. Their tribe is known as the Blood Red Hand and their leader is known as Chief Corkus. The tribe knows that their chief in league with a witch but none have seen her.
The Return Journey
Early in the return journey along the overgrown pathway the PCs (unexpectedly) encounter two grass covered figures walking their way. When in range the orcs fire their bows.
Orc Scouts (2)
AC: 8 HD 1 hp: 6 THACO: 19 Attacks: 1 (Sword) Damage: 1d6+1 Size: M MV: 9 xp: 35
*Infravision 60 feet.
*Penalty of -1 to hit in daylight.
Equipment: Falchion Sword (1d6+1), Short Bow, Arrows (8), Leather Armour, satchel with iron rations, waterskins, 19cp/1sp total.
They are covered with grasses and are returning from closely observing the town and its reaction to the latest (Blood Hawk) attack. In battle they fire their arrows first before closing in.
When the characters return they should report their findings to Lord Sumpter. The Lord thanks them for their deed. He has one of his retainers pay the party for their day's work - which comes to 2sp as promised (or more). If Jarvis the Merchant still lives he offers to match the Lord's pay for the return journey to Knight's Bridge Keep, from whence they came.
Success in this short adventure grants each character 150xp on top of that earned in combat.
A witch named Zirella is the cause of the supernatural events. She is 9th level and can cast 1st-5th level Wizard spells 4/3/3/2/1 (+cantrips) and Druid Spells 3/2/-/1 (Animal Summoning I). Her motive here is revenge upon the townsfolk for shunning her as a (demon worshipping) heretic. This occurred at a time before Lord Sumpter took control of the settlement. After she was banished, Zirella engaged in all manner of destructive adventures and has only recently returned to the region.
The eventual outcome of this fight is that the Blood Red Hand orcs are routed in a battle near their settlement. Their leader Corkus is slain and the survivors flee, moving the entire tribe hundreds of miles eastward into more mountainous terrain - into cave systems they can exploit. Zirella abandons her attacks when confronted by the wizard, who almost kills her. She flees southwards and does not return.
Shipwrecked sailors are stranded on a rocky shoreline that is inhabited by monstrously sized creatures. An Al-Qadim/Ylaruam Adventure for a strong party of 7th to 8th level characters. The starting point for the adventure is Port Shaleef situated on a large island that is located near an arid and hostile mainland. PCs in this adventure will have to dress accordingly for the hot conditions:
Heat rule - No heavy metal Armour can be worn - only Leather, Ringmail, or covered fine Chainmail (elfin chain). Too many items of armour results in eventual heatstroke. PCs wanting to wear their standard metal armour will suffer heatstroke after 1d4 hours (+1 hour for each Constitution bonus given to hit points) or after 4 rounds of combat (+1 round for each Constitution bonus given to hit points). Heatstroke results in light-headedness and deliriousness resulting in the loss of 1/2 the PC's physical ability scores with continued activity of any sort resulting in the loss of 1 point of Constitution per hour. Only rest, shade and water can stabilize the individual restoring 1 point of Constitution per day. Other scores are fully recovered after 2 days.
The characters are wandering the docks of Port Shaleef during the morning, perhaps buying seafood from fishermen, when they notice a group of Ruffians subtly shaking down a number of merchants (roll passive perception check -4). The few scimitar-armed Guards, dressed in white robes, who also wander the docks, don't seem to notice or care. No one complains to them either (because everyone knows the guards get a cut of the extortion money). Furthermore, the victims don't want the PCs help because they fear reprisals. The victims, all merchants, are named Zaid el-Salman, Sadoon el-Malak, Taaj el-Amini, and Umar el-Hafeez.
The party should take action on the second, third or the four victim, where the perceptive character notices successive incidents of extortion. He or she witnesses the arrogant look of the Ruffian Leader's face and the expressions of the dejected merchants who hand over small sacks (with 10 Silvers). This incident happens each month, and similar extortion events happen throughout the city.
If the characters talk to the Guards they tell the PCs they've seen nothing wrong. They further say they will only act if someone makes a complaint. The Guards warn the characters about starting any kind of trouble (they will arrest the PCs and not the Ruffian gang). If the PCs attempt to Charm or pressure any of these merchants into making a complaint, and/or ask them to reveal why they don't want help, one will say they don't want to end up like their friend Abdallah Khan. Even Charmed merchants will refuse to complain (only a Suggestion spell will work.) If pushed further the merchant will say that Abdallah Khan ended up face down in the harbour.
Rasheed (Ruffian Leader) 3rd level Thief
AC: 8 (Dex16) HD: 3 hp: 13 THACO: 19 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d4+1 (Str15) Mv: 12 Alignment: NE xp: 35
Backstab (x2 damage/x3 with dagger)
Equipment: Jewelled Curved dagger, Brown Robes, sandals, 12gp/4sp/4cp plus 1d4 sacks of 10sp.
Ruffians (4) 0-level Humans
AC: 10 HD: 1 hp: 6 THACO: 20 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d4 Mv: 12 Alignment: NE xp: 10
Equipment: Curved dagger, Brown Robes, sandals, 50cp/14sp/4gp total.
Kameel el-Akhtar 3rd level Fighter
AC: 8 (Cloth Armour, Shield) HD: 3 hp: 24 THACO: 16 (Specialised) Attacks: 3/2 (Scimitar) Damage: 1d8+3 (Str15) Alignment: N xp: 65
Equipment: Scimitar, Curved Dagger, Oval Shield, White Cloth Armour, White Turban, sandals,15gp/11sp/8cp.
Port Shaleef Guards (7) 1st level Fighters
AC: 8 (Cloth Armour, Shield) HD: 1 hp: 7 THACO: 19 (Specialised) Attacks: 3/2 (Scimitar or Short Bow) Damage: 1d8+2 or 1d6 Alignment: N xp: 25
Equipment: Scimitars (7), Oval Shields (5), White Cloth Armour, White Turban, sandals, Composite Short Bows (2) for the two who do not carry shields, Arrows (16 in each quiver), leather ties, 89cp/99sp/29gp total.
Tactics: The scenario invites the PCs to stop the Ruffians in a subtle manner. Rasheed, their leader, if confronted, warns the PCs to "Mind your own business. What's happening here doesn't concern you. My friends over there [he points to the guards] will not approve of your meddling." If a character charms Rasheed they will need a convincing story to stop him from threatening the Merchants. When the Charm wears off Rasheed will resume collecting 'protection' money.
If a player character casts Charm on the Guard Leader, Kameel, and asks him to arrest the Ruffians he will consider the idea and 'play along with it'. He'll tell Rasheed that he's causing too much of a distraction and to stop for today. Kameel, although friendly to the PC, will think humorously of the request, considering it a bit of joke. He won't arrest Rasheed who supplements his income.
If the PCs engage in combat with the Ruffians they all draw daggers expecting the Guards to rush in and break up the fight (that happens right after the second round). The two Guard archers stay at a 20 foot distance with arrows drawn looking to target spell casters. Guards with melee weapons drawn step between the two groups but do not immediately attack.
If the PCs kill or seriously injure the Ruffians before the Guards intervene they are arrested and will face a local Qadi (magistrate). If the Guards are attacked and the fight goes badly for them Kameel (Wis16) signals one of his men to get help. The Guards will try to flee from the PCs if they are severely overmatched. If this occurs more than thirty Guards return to the docks within one turn led by an 8th level Fighter (Captain Hariri) who is accompanied by a 7th level lieutenant (Zaki el-Hadi) and a 9th level Wizard (the Vizier Sezani, who has Stoneskin cast and is equipped with a Rope of Entanglement that can trap 8 man-sized creatures). There are also two fifth level sub-lieutenants that round out the group.
Just as the characters resolve the problem with the Ruffians (the DM may rule that their interactions are interrupted), a commotion out in the harbour attracts the attention of those on the waterfront ...
A sailing Dhow arrives, expertly swinging close to the docks with trimmed sail. A deck hand on the bow waves his hands and yells to get the attention of the entire dock area "Aieeeeee, Aiieeee, Aiiiieeeeee !!" As the Dhow swings by the Captain, dressed flamboyantly in Red and Purple Robes, calls out to the shore:
"People of Port Shaleef ... I, Captain Samir of the Arabis, seek brave warriors to rescue lost comrades who are shipwrecked not far from here. If nothing is done the monsters that rule those shores will surely finish them off. Who among you will come with me and fight to save their lives? I offer adventure, fame and one hundred gold pieces. Brave warriors, let yourselves be known!"
The Arabis comes to rest against a stone quayside, with crewmen jumping ashore trailing ropes to secure the vessel. If the player characters agree to the adventure then Captain Samir tells them that the shipwrecked sailors were lost on a rocky promontory to the south known as The Giant's Shoreline. It's not far from Port Shaleef, barely a day's journey if the wind is strong (which it is).
Captain Samir explains that he discovered the wreck of Sahib, another sailing dhow, on rocks not far from the shoreline yesterday afternoon. Sahib had sailed a day before his own ship and was also destined for Port Shaleef (Both were on a 5 day journey from the Port of Tarsis). Samir is hopeful since he saw Sahib's dingy upon the beach, although there were no indications of the crew. Further investigation could not be attempted because of the nearby Terror Birds, flightless monsters that are often, but not always seen along the shoreline.
Captain Samir knows he has no hope of rescuing the lost crew by himself. Apart from the Terror Birds that roam the beachfront some have also seen huge one-eyed Giants. A large armed party is his best hope. If asked, Captain Samir can explain the terrain that will be encountered, that the rocks and the wreck are less than a hundred yards offshore from a long beach. Behind the beach is a rise of loose dry sand, interspaced with clumps of dried grass, leading up to a rocky sandstone cliff face that blocks vision inland. The cliffs are at least 50 feet high.
Samir intends to sail immediately, hoping to return before any of the shipwrecked crew are eaten by the giant animals and humanoids that live on the promontory. The Arabis is expected to reach the promontory before sunset. He assumes the crew of Sahib left the beach to escape the Terror Birds, hence the abandoned dingy, and guessed the birds only arrived after they had landed. He wonders aloud to the PCs "And why did they go ashore knowing the dangers of the coastline? Sahib was sunk only up to its deck. They could have stayed there, for the seas were calm. It is very strange that they didn't stay with their ship and wait for rescue." Samir also mentions that although there was no sign of the crew yesterday, even after calling out to them, he thinks it's possible they moved further inland to escape whatever threats were present.
Captain Samir el-Dar Dual Class 2nd level Fighter/6th level Thief (former class)
AC: 8 (Dex16) HD 6 hp: 31 THACO: 17 or 16 Attacks: 2 Damage: 1d8+1 (Scimitar) and 1d4+2 (Dagger+1) Alignment: NG
Equipment: Scimitar, Jewelled Curved Dagger +1, Composite Short Bow (stowed), Spyglass, Compass: 120cp/330sp/120gp/10ep/6pp.
Str 16 Int 13 Wis 14 Dex 16 Con 12 Cha 14
Crew (7) 0-level Humans
AC: 10 HD: 1 hp: 6 THACO: 20 Attacks: 1 Damage: by weapon type (stowed)
Equipment: Beige pants and open sleeveless shirts, 93cp/72sp/5gp total.
Arabis (Cargo Dhow)
Dimensions: 60'x20' Mast: 20 feet from the bow. Sail: Triangular on a long diagonal boom. Stone Anchor (50 lbs) and heavy rope (200'). Gunwale level: 5 feet from the waterline. Deck: There is a deck house to the stern and quarters below deck. There's a large square hatchway in the middle of the deck with a wooden door that can be sealed to keep out water. Rudder: Centred on stern with rudder bar steerage. Rowing dingy, upturned on the foredeck (seats 4) with two oars stowed below.
Ship Inventory: Ship light; One lantern with Continual Light. Weapons: Composite Short bows (8), arrows (320), long handled clubs (6), handaxes (4), scimitars (8), Quarterstaff poles (4). Provisions: Dried Food and Water for 3 weeks (10 persons) including 4 water barrels, 300' Rope, Spare Sail, 1 Canvas Deck Cover, 5 Wooden planks (5), Twine, Wood Working Tools, Lamp Oil (16), small hand held Oil Lamps (4), Sealed Tar Bucket, Corking Cloth, 2 Gang Planks, 3 Buckets, 2 Wicker Baskets, 8 String Hammocks, wooden bowls, cups, small knives, empty waterskins (8).
Cargo (not offloaded): 140 Bolts of Cotton Cloth, 100 bundles of bamboo poles, 280 bags of 20lb sacks of wheat grain plus 12 small wooden crates of scented soap bars.
Journey to the Giant's Shoreline
The Arabis sets sail in a southerly direction into open ocean away from the port and out of sight of land. Captain Samir steers his ship toward an unseen mainland, looking downwards into a compass that he holds in his other hand. Some of the crew make adjustments to the sail from time to time, all the while looking extremely nervous.
The journey, as expected, takes slightly less than a day. With the Sun getting low in the sky the party sights a coastline. A barren rocky shoreline comes into view. Low cliffs rise up behind a long beach that stretches out towards a rocky promontory. Wandering along the beach, occasionally striking the wash with their beaks, are numerous large flightless birds, the fabled Terror Birds. It looks like there are a couple of dozen of these blue-black feathered monsters scattered along this part of the coast.
In the water before the promontory is the mast and top deck of a half sunken dhow that is around a 100 yards from the beach. As they get closer the party can see a rowing dingy pulled far up on the beach away from the water. Captain Samir speaks, explaining that the coastline is treacherous with a rocky reef skirting the land; "This is not the first time trading ships have run aground here." Samir suggests that the best course of action is to set anchor another 100 yards or so away from the wreck and then use the dingy to either search the ship or go ashore (it looks like Sahib is abandoned because water is up to the deck and there is no sign of anyone aboard). During this time Captain Samir pulls out his Spyglass and checks the shoreline, seeing nothing except what has already been described.
Note: The ship's dingy can only take 4 people per trip, with five or six overloaded (making it very unstable). Two of the crew can expertly row party members ashore leaving between two to four characters available as passengers. PCs could use magic to get their whole party ashore.
Waiting underwater near the wreck of Sahib is a Giant Octopus, a monster that took Captain Fareem (see the description later in the adventure). The beast frightened the crew when their captain was taken, forcing them ashore. The wrecked dhow contains terracotta roof tiles. If the party does not investigate the sunken ship the DM can have the Giant Octopus attack Arabis at any point in the adventure. The Octopus doesn't immediately go after those in the dingy.
AC: 7 HD: 8 hp: 54 THACO: 13 Attacks: 7 Damage: 1d4 (Tentacle Slap)/ 2d6 (Bite) + Constriction (2d4 per round) Mv 3/Sw 12 Size: L (12' across) Alignment: N Xp: 2000, half xp if driven off.
Tactics: The Octopus draws itself up around the half sunken Dhow and reaches out to attack characters that explore the wreck. The Monstrous Manual provides details for combat:
[A giant octopus generally attacks with six of its eight tentacles, using two to anchor itself. Each striking tentacle causes 1d4 points of damage, but unless the member is loosened or severed, it constricts for 2d4 points of damage every round after striking. If a victim is dragged close enough to the beak, the monster can bite for 2d6 points of damage. Any victim under 8 feet tall or long can be struck by only one tentacle at a time, and the chance that both upper limbs are pinned on a successful strike is 25%, while the chance that both upper limbs are free is also 25%. When both upper limbs are held, the victim has no attack; if only one limb is held the victim attacks with a -3 penalty to its attack roll; if both limbs are free (i.e., the tentacle is wrapped around the victim’s body) then the victim attacks with a -1 penalty to its attack roll. Tentacles grip with a Strength of 18/20. Any creature with a Strength equal to or greater than 18/20 can grasp the tentacle and negate its constriction. This does not free the victim, and the octopus will immediately seek to drag the victim to its mouth to eat it. To break free, a tentacle must be severed; this requires 8 points of damage. (These hit points are in addition to those the octopus gains from its 8 Hit Dice.) Once three or more tentacles are severed, it is 90% probable that the octopus will retreat, ejecting a cloud of black ink 40 feet high by 60 feet wide by 60 feet long.]On the Beach
Player Characters landing on the beach are immediately swarmed by the large flightless Terror Birds. They have dark blue, almost black, feathers and pale yellow wrinkly legs with beaks of a similar colour. The Birds approach as the party lands so that they attack in waves of ten, a new wave arriving per round with the last eight arriving on the fourth round of combat. The birds attack relentlessly and cannot be driven off except by fire (greater than a torch). Flaming attacks, like Fireball or Burning Hands, that kill of more half their number, drive them away temporarily (for 1d2 hours).
Terror Birds, Aepyornis, Giant Flightless Birds (38) new monster
AC: 7 HD: 3+3 THACO: 17 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d8 or 1d4+1 (Bite or Talon rake, 50% chance) Size: L (8') Mv: 24 Alignment: Non xp: 165
If the PCs investigate the abandoned dingy they immediately notice something disturbing. On the ground are weapons; daggers (8), scimitars (3), plus a long pole and a shield. Also seen are huge indentations in the sand. Footprints. Except these are almost 4 feet long! Inside the dingy are some dried rations, waterskins (9), various lengths of rope, two oars, and a torn sail cloth (big enough to rig the dingy for sailing using the pole lying on the ground). Note: The dingy here is the same size as the one from Arabis.
From where they are on the dry sandy portion of the beach the party can see there is a large dark opening in the cliff nearby - a cave that might hide the missing crew, or Giants? The cave entrance is about 20 feet up the cliff side, easily accessed by a wide pathway that cuts across the cliff face. Giant sized prints head in that direction. If the party heads that way they are confronted by huge one eyed skeletons that erupt from the sands in front of them. Their chests contain burning fire. Note: These guardians never attacked the sailors since they were captured by the Cyclops.
Giant Cyclops Skeletons (5)
AC: 4 HD: 6+4 hp: 42 THACO: 13 Attacks: 1 Damage: 2d6 (Giant Club) or 8d6 (Fireball) Size: L (18' tall) Mv: 12 Alignment: N Xp: 1075
Special Attack: Once per hour may reach into their flaming chest and hurl a Fireball.
Special Defence: Immune to Fire, and mind influencing Spells, half damage from Cold, full damage from electricity. Holy Water does 2d6 (mod). Turned as Mummy
Tactics: These Giant Skeletons attack any creatures that head towards the cliff on the way up to the Cyclops lair. They will not pursue individuals on the wet sand and do not attack those who flee from them without fighting. If characters snipe at the skeletons from the beach they will immediately hurl their Fireballs. After 2d10 rounds they rebury themselves in the sands.
To the Cave
After the battle with the skeletons the party can advance. Less than 100 yards away are rocky sandstone cliffs rising more than 70' feet in height. At the base are a few scattered and dried out scrub bushes. A wide path leads upwards 20 feet toward a single large cave entrance that is 20' in height. (The natural cave here was expanded by the Cyclops.)
The sounds of battle will alert the Hell Hounds and Giants within this cave lair. At the start of the skeleton battle one Cyclops will briefly peak out to see what is happening. They decide to wait out this fight and keep the Hell Hounds from rushing forward. The Cyclops are surprised that any human would fight the Giant Skeletons. They take turns peaking out every now and again to see if the PCs are still alive. If any PCs approach to within 50 yards of the cave entrance one of the giants, Clancus, will step out from the shadows and cast a net over the party. The DM should make an impression in describing the 18' tall size of the Cyclops as he emerges from the shadows of the cave whilst simultaneously casting his net.
If the characters call out to parley, before getting within 50 yards of the entrance, the Cyclops will respond in a 'reasonable' manner. The leader, Ortus will reveal himself. Understanding that the characters are skilled warriors, he will ask what they want, while being ready to shift inside the cave to avoid danger. If the characters ask for the sailors he will say that; "I don't have them and you don't have a right to them anyway". Such a response should raise PC suspicions. If the characters ask about the 'right to them' (the sailors) Ortus states that anything found on the beach belongs to himself, and that they are presently trespassing upon his lands. If the characters ask where the sailors are Ortus says that it's none of their business and they should leave in peace. He refuses to elaborate on where the sailors are (some are in their cave while the majority were sold as slaves). If the PCs act aggressively and threaten to fight, Ortus takes cover inside the cave and releases the Hell Hounds (see tactics below). If the PCs offer more than 500 gold for each shipwrecked sailor the Cyclops will change their minds. Ordinarily they (stubbornly) would not trade with humans but such an offer is too good to refuse.
Hell Hounds (5)
AC: 4 HD: 6 hp: 42 THACO: 15 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d10 (Bite) + Special Size: M (6' long) Mv: 12 Alignment: LE Xp: 975
*Can see invisible 50% of the time.
Special Attacks: Breath Fire for 6 hp damage at 10 feet (Save for half Damage). On attack roll of 20 bites and breaths fire at the same time. Can charge where a successful bite attack is normal (1d10) but the victim must also make a strength or dexterity check (whatever is highest) to avoid being knocked over for an extra 1d6 damage. Success means an extra 1d4 damage is still taken but the PC remains standing and is only pushed backward.
Special Defence: Immune to Fire.
Cyclops (4) Ortus, Clancus, Velgris, Gobbris
AC: 2 HD: 13 hp: 102, 88, 90, 94, , THACO 7 Attacks: 1 Damage: 6d6 or 4d10 (Fist or thrown Rock/150yards) or Net* (20x20 area/50 yards range) Size: H (20') Mv: 15 Alignment: CE xp: 4000
Equipment: Fur clothing, huge leather belts, large sacks with 5 rocks, nets (5 hanging inside the cave entrance).
*A successful hit with a Net will cause the character to be entangled for 20 rounds minus the character’s dexterity score. Entangled characters may not fight except with a thrusting weapon such as a spear (and then at a -2 on chances to hit); their armor class is also reduced by two and they lose dexterity bonuses. During this time the Cyclops may pull on the net to trip characters (Save vs Breath weapon -2 penalty).
**They all speak the common tongue of humans in area, along with the Cyclops dialect.
Tactics: If the PCs approach to under 50 yards from the cave entrance without calling out to parley then Clancus steps out suddenly and throws a net over them. If they parley with Ortus and talks break down he steps back into the cave out of sight and lets loose the five Hell Hounds who charge at the party. As this happens Ortus and Clancus will both step out at either side of the cave, with Velgris in the entrance and all will throw large rocks at the party members. If any of the Cyclops are reduced to less than half their hit points they switch inside the cave and are replaced by Gobbris. If any of the Cyclops fall during the fight AND if the leader has less than 25 hit points, AND if the PC party is still standing strong, they attempt to surrender, and offer up the captured sailors, with Ortus (or another Cyclops) calling out to the characters during the battle. If pressured he will tell the party that he sold (for 25gp each) five of his captives to the Verbeeg that trade fruit and wine for Terror Bird feathers, and for other material they collect. He says there is a trading post out on the plain not far from the coast (less than a day's journey).
Inside the Cyclops Cave it's 100' long and 20 to 30 feet high, having been partially excavated out. Hanging just inside the entrance are large throwing nets (there are iron hooks, 5 in total). On the ground are 16 more throwing rocks. Further inside are much larger rocks that serve as seats and a table. Two large knives the size of scimitars can be found on the table. Scattered around are many bones, mostly of Terror Birds, although there are also long whale bones lined up against one wall. Coils of rope and netting material are hung on the other wall (attached to iron spikes). There are numerous huge clay urns, some bowls and three large water cisterns. One of the urns is filled with gems and coins:
There are twenty eight onyx (50gp each), ten Bloodstone (50gp), sixteen Amber (80gp), nine Jade (70gp), six Amethyst (100gp), fourteen pearls (500gp), and coins of 2590cp/1450sp/230gp/48pp.
There is a very large and tall (5' high) empty basket with a few blue-black feathers stuck within the wicker (having recently been emptied - the contents were traded with the Verbeeg for wine).
In the back of the cave is a larder in which there are 11 large bags filled with dried fruit, 20 large ceramic bottles of wine lined against the walls, and, hanging from the ceiling are eight plucked Terror Bird carcasses. In this same area, in a 15 foot deep pit partly filled with bird and fish bones, are three Sailors from Sahib (0-level Humans).
One sailor, Omar, tells the characters that five of the crew were taken away by another group of giants - lanky two eyed brutes with long drawn faces and wide jaws (Verbeeg). This happened shortly after they were captured two days ago. They say that their dhow ran aground in fog on the rocks offshore. The vessel was already in poor condition and started taking on water. Knowing that going ashore was too dangerous, they opted to stay on the half sunken Sahib and prepared to rig the dingy with sail to reach Port Shaleef. However, before anything could be organised they were attacked by a Giant Octopus that took Captain Fareem. With no way of taking all the crew in the dingy, thereby escaping in one trip, they were forced to put some of their number ashore.
At this time, during two nerve wracking trips from ship to shore, there were none of the usually sighted Terror Birds. Planning to leave some of crew behind, hiding in the cliffs, they prepared the dingy for sail but were caught by the Cyclops who threw nets over them and imprisoned them in their lair. Shortly thereafter some of their number were traded, along with bundles of Terror Bird feathers, for wine, bags of dried fruit and gold coins (25gp for the slaves). The three sailors that remained were taunted by the Cyclops who said that those traded away were the "lucky ones" who were headed to a new home out on the plain. The sailors kept as prisoners were to be eaten within the next day or so.
To the Trading Post
With the sun setting the party will need to continue with the rescue out on the desert plain above the cave. They should inform Captain Samir of their plans and have the rescued sailors taken aboard Arabis. When the PCs (hopefully) tell Samir that they will need to journey across the plain he offers up his Spyglass saying "Borrow this, it might be useful to you. And fill some of the extra waterskins we're carrying. There's at least half a dozen in the galley." He tells the PCs that he'll wait offshore for six days, and if they do not return he'll draw near the coast at least once a week and look out for them. Omar, one of the rescued sailors reminds the party that the dingy from Sahib has material to rig it for sailing (the torn sailcloth and the wooden pole). If they rescue the remaining sailors at least some could flee using the boat.
A narrow trail leads from the Cyclops lair further up to the cliff tops. Reaching the summit 50 feet above, the party looks westward to see a hard desert expanse stretching away before them. All around is flat barren land stretching as far as the eye can see with distant mountains visible far away on the horizon. An indistinct path leads off into the distance towards a distant rock formation appearing as an island some miles away. If the party marches into the night they have a 50% chance per hour of losing the trail unless one of the characters has infravision. If the trail is lost they can still aim for the formation that can be seen in the clear night (the path leads there). The party reaches the rock formation an hour or so before midnight.
Hiding in the rock formation, is a huge grey-coloured lizard with a red underside. It does not attack giant sized creatures. When the party approaches it will rush out to attack from its position behind a toppled oblong boulder. If the party keeps more than 200 yards away at all times they will avoid this encounter.
Fire Lizard (mod)
AC: 3 HD: 10 hp: 80 THACO: 11 Attacks: 3 + tail slap Damage: 1d8/1d8 (Claws), 2d8 (Bite) + 2d4 (tail vs rear or side attackers only) Mv: 9 Size: G (30' Long) Alignment: N Xp: 3000
Note: Characters who have not slept during the course of the journey take an accumulated penalty to their attack rolls which begins around three o'clock in the morning where they incur a -1 penalty that doubles every 4 hours until rest of at least three hours is undertaken. After the battle with the lizard the DM should warn PCs that they are beginning to feel fatigued.
After reaching the rock formation the characters see signs of a settlement further away. Some lights can be seen out on the plain towards the mountains.
The Trading Post
Whether or not the party decides to rest for a few hours or continue their journey throughout the night, they are likely to encounter the trading post during the morning. The distinct shapes of buildings can be seen from a number of miles away. The PCs approach from the East, heading westwards in the direction of the mountains. [Note: If the buildings are approached at night each is lit by torchlight coming through the small rectangular windows.]
When the characters draw near, to within a mile, they see the buildings are of mud brick construction with small square windows, and straw thatching. The occasional brown cloaked figure can be seen walking around these structures.
After a more prolonged inspection the characters will notice there is an oasis pool in front of the buildings, that there are wide wooden walkways between these structures (made of shipwreck material), and there is a large bamboo cage enclosure, with a number of humanoid figures housed within (a few of the figures are standing but most are sitting in a group in the centre of the cage). If the party has Samir's Spyglass they can determine the races of the prisoners (see below). All the buildings are quite large, having been built to suit Verbeeg that are 9' tall. Building 4 is 20 feet square and the walkways are 10 feet wide.
If the PCs keep their distance, staying a mile away, and stop to observe for an hour, they eventually see a few large dogs walking around near the slave pen, recognising them as the same beasts kept by the Cyclops (Hell Hounds). The Verbeeg themselves are tall and thin with broad shoulders and drawn facial features. They are dressed in canvas cloaks with brown hemp cloth trousers and sandals. Some can be seen carrying spears. When not under attack only five will be carrying weapons - those near the slave pen, with one acting as a wandering guard moving around the perimeter of the entire settlement. This guard does the rounds once every half an hour and spends most of his time with the other guards near the slave pen. The rest of the Verbeeg company remain inside, out of the sun, until after midday (see below for more details). The Hell Hounds always loiter in random positions close to the buildings facing the slave pens.
A note to the DM: Experienced characters will see that this approach to the settlement, from the East, is exposed. If invisibility is used then they will have to contend with the Hell Hounds when they draw near to the oasis pool (50% chance of detection). They can continue forward and be spotted, or circle around at a distance, until the buildings cover their approach and the Hell Hounds are out of sight. A fight among the confines of the buildings may prove beneficial compared to being surrounded on an open desert plain. The PCs cannot outrun any of the Giants, so if battle breaks out there will be no easy escape (unless via magic). The party can wait and observe the Trading Post for as long as they want.
If the party continues their (non-invisible) approach from the East, when they move to under a mile from the trading post, they will be spotted by the perimeter guard, who automatically assumes the party isn't hostile (they are coming from the territory of the Cyclops). The PCs will be allowed to approach until a few hundred yards where after they are recognised as non-giants, causing an alarm to be raised (via word of mouth). This mobilises almost all the occupants who assemble in line formation, just in front of the water pool, facing the approaching party. If that happens the Verbeeg leader, Captain Akrog, who has a two handed sword strapped to his back, moves to the front and speaks. Either side of Akrog will be Gorbala the Shaman and Krizzak (see below). The Hell Hounds stay behind the line.
Akrog challenges the party and asks what they want. If the party says they want the captured sailors they are told they are needed and not for sale, especially not to puny 'humanish' creatures. Regardless of how the party reacts, Akrog, thinking on his feet, then encourages the party to draw near to his line in the hope he can capture them to use as slaves. He says, "Noble warriors, if you really want to free your kin make me a good offer. Show me what you'll be willing trade for them. Something of high worth." He takes one step forward gesturing with one arm. Whatever the characters offer, Captain Akrog will want to inspect it. "Come closer so I may see better." If the party approaches within arms length he reaches out with both arms to overbear the PC, saying "Grab them!!", causing his entire band to rush forward (they have a high 18' movement speed). Gorbala and Krizzak rush forward to help Akrog. If the closest PC has let his or her guard down, surprise may need to be rolled. Initiative will be needed for the rest of the party (if they are still at some distance) as the Verbeeg troop rushes the gap.
The Verbeeg will run up to the PCs, with four tackling each character. These attackers drop their weapons as they close to grab the characters. The remaining monsters rush up still holding their weapons (spears and shields). With overbearing, a +4 bonus to the attack roll is added for each difference in size. For each extra overbearing helper there is an additional +1 to the rolls. In this case the Verbeeg will have +7 to the overbearing roll, using the attack roll of the monster in the group with the worst THACO. Akrog will have a +4 bonus in the first round, while in the second his group of three (including Gorbala and Krizzak), will have a +6 to their roll. Defending characters with weapons drawn are allowed first strike on the unarmed attackers with a +4 to hit and +4 damage. Once the PCs are taken down they are disarmed, their armour removed and tied up. Obvious spellcasters are gaged (with torn strips off their own clothes). Any caught spellcasters will remain gagged and hung by their arms in Room 13, the kitchen, under guard of two Verbeeg.
If the party keeps its distance and combat breaks out, there will be no overbearing. The Verbeeg warriors throw a spear first before CHARGING.
In either scenario, after 2 rounds of fighting, the Fire Giants, who have been resting in Room 13, having arrived at the trading post earlier in the night after a long walk from the mountains, arise and strap on their armour just outside the doorway. They 'juggle' their giant two handed swords as they do so. It takes 3 rounds to hastily prepare themselves.
If the party approaches the settlement in the afternoon, or observes it up until that time, they will see the heads and upper bodies of 18 foot tall reddish skinned, black haired giants among the buildings. These giants wake around midday. They wear heavy Banded Mail armour and carry huge two handed swords. The party will then see all the prisoners (19) taken out of the slave pen, loaded up with backpacks (full of food and waterskins) and herded Westward, escorted by a sizable number of Verbeeg - twenty six (26) in total. The armoured (Fire) Giants travel with them along with four Hell Hounds, leaving one hound behind at the Trading Post. The party notices three unique Verbeeg - one wearing a green cape with a warhammer, and two with black capes. One of these two has a two handed sword and the other carries a bundle of spears over his shoulder. The other Verbeeg warriors all have round shields and spears. If using the Spyglass half their number (12) are seen also carrying torches tied to their belts (The torches have fractured rock crystals mounted in them that light up in darkness. There are a total of 24 of these torches at the settlement - see Room 10 for details).
This group of slaves and giants is headed to a nearby rock crystal mine, a 200 yards long open pit about half a mile away, where they work until late into the night. Normally, when visitors are not present, only one Verbeeg leader, the spear thrower Krizzak, will oversee the mine. Approaching the site the characters see a mound of spoil that looks like a low hill in the distance. Waste on this dig is high, with lots of rock piles, and flawed crystal blocks discarded in the process. (Flawless rock crystals can be carved into crystal balls, figures, etc). The slaves work a full shift while 10 Verbeeg do half shifts each. The slaves are treated relatively well so as to alleviate the overall workload. Dead slaves mean more work for the Verbeeg.
Picks and shovels are left at the site, along with tin buckets. The Fire Giants are here to collect unblemished rock crystals. These crystals are kept hidden, buried under rubble, at the mine. When they arrive the Fire Giants are taken to where the good quality crystals are hidden - which they gather up, exchanging them for 50 gold nuggets. The Fire Giants stay to watch the mine in operation until the Verbeeg change shift (while the humanoids keep working), which happens in the early night, whereafter they head back to the trading post escorted by Captain Akrog and Gorbala. After a night's sleep they awake early and head off towards the mountains.
Notes for the above map: All the rooms have hard baked floor surfaces, different from the rock and sandy ground outside. The walls are all mudbrick with straw rooves and there are small rectangular window openings in each wall that face outwards at about 8 feet off the ground. The beds are made from wooden slats tied together that rest directly on the floor. Each bed has an animal hide blanket. During the day the Verbeeg not at the mine either rest, prepare food stuff in the kitchen, practice their combat skills or play games using animal bones inside the buildings (each room has a collection of bones used for various games).
Area 1: Slave Pen Occupants: Humans (5) Orcs (6) Hobgolins (8) total 19. The spokesperson for the human sailors is named Aleef, for the Orcs it is Unk, and for the Hobgoblins it is Sergeant Gambosh. They all relate similar uneventful stories about working in the nearby rock crystal mine. None of the humanoids speak the human language, although Gambosh speaks Orcish. If freed and given water this group will head for the mountains before splitting up.
Room 2: Occupants 7 Room 3: Occupants 3 Room 4: Occupants 2 Room 5: Occupants 8
Room 6: Occupants 7 Room 7: Occupants 6
Room 8: Store room with wooden planks and beams, terror bird feathers, a faded white canvas sail from a ship, a broken giant sized shield, two large smooth boulders, iron spikes and hammer, dried straw bundles.
Room 9: Occupants 1 Krizzak (there is a spare bed here)
Room 10: Akrog and Gorbala's room. There is a large shelf on the west wall with a spell book that allows a caster to create the enchanted flames used in the rock crystal torches. The enchantment lasts 10+4d10 days. Also in the shelf are Potions of Healing (2), Potions of Waterbreathing (3), Potion of Stone Giant Strength, and Sweet Water. There is a small locked chest on the lowest shelf with a difficult to open lock (-20%). Inside is 50gp, 27ep, 80pp, 12 Gold nuggets worth 10gp each, a Gold Statuette of a Pegasus worth 200gp, two large diamonds worth 2000gp each, 8 pearls worth 500gp each, an Ivory Flute with dragon carvings worth 50gp, and a small flawless rock crystal sphere worth 20gp.
Room 11: Occupants 4 (there is a spare bed here)
Room 12: Occupants 6
Room 13: Kitchen area, with two stone fire pits, used as a sleeping area for the Fire Giants. Along one side of the walls are piled numerous backpacks (used to carry food and water to the mine site).
Room 14: Occupants 3 (cooks).
Room 15: Foodstore, there is a large pit, to keep things cool, filled with sacks of dried fruit, nuts, chunks of meat, and dried fish, which are covered by two large animal hides that are secured to the ground to keep out insects (there is a spare bed here). There are spare wooden bowls here, 58 flasks of oil (10 empty), and also 30 ceramic bottles of wine, half of them empty.
Verbeeg (49 total including leaders) 3 spare beds on map. If fighting on open ground they throw a spear (at 60 yards) before charging the party with their remaining weapon which causes double damage if a hit is scored (No Shield, -1 to AC, -2 bonus to PC's initiative).
Captain Akrog Verbeeg Champion
AC: 6 (Dex, Ring+2) HD: 7+5 hp: 55 THACO: 13 Attacks: 2 Damage: 1d10+7 (Two Handed Sword/Str18/00) or 1d6+6 (Spear) Mv: 18 Size: L (9' Tall) Alignment: NE Xp: 670
*Extra 60 yards to spear throws.
*Speaks common tongue of humans in area.
Equipment: Two Handed Sword, Ring of Protection+2, Black Leather cape, Black leather trousers, sandals, waterskin, copper bowl, iron key to chest, 12cp/10sp/23gp/45pp.
Gorbala 5th level Priest Shaman
AC: 5 HD: 5+5 hp: 32 THACO: 15 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d8+3 (Large Warhammer/Str18/52) Mv: 18 Size: L (9' Tall) Alignment: NE Xp: 570
*Extra 30 yards to spear throws
*Speaks common tongue of humans in area.
Spells 5/3/1 (Wis14): Cure Light Wounds (3), Light, Detect Magic, Hold Person, Silence, Striking (adds 1d6+1 to damage).
Equipment: Oversized Warhammer, Round Shield, Ringmail Armour, Green Leather Cape, leather trousers, sandals, waterskin, wooden bowl, Holy Symbol, Potion of Healing 2d4+2 (2), Potion of Neutralise Poison (2), 8ep/10gp/3sp/4cp.
Krizzak Spear Throwing Champion
AC: 7 HD: 6+5 hp: 47 THACO: 14 or 13 (thrown) Attacks: 2 Damage: 1d6+5 (Spear/Str18/94) Mv: 18 Size: L (9' Tall) Alignment: NE Xp: 470
*Extra 50 yards to spear throws
Equipment: Spears (8), Black Leather cape, leather trousers, sandals, waterskin, wooden bowl, 3gp/15cp.
AC: 6 HD: 5+5 hp: 37 THACO: 15 Attacks: 2 Damage: 1d6+4 (Spear/Str18/78) Mv: 18 Size: L (9' Tall) Alignment: NE Xp: 270
*Extra 40 yards to spear throws
Equipment: Spears (2), Round Shield, Canvas cape, hemp cloth trousers, sandals, waterskin, wooden bowl, two dozen (24) magical torches with enchanted rock crystals that give off light in darkness equal to a torch that last 10+4d10 days, 29gp/210sp/59cp total.
AC: 4 HD: 6 hp: 42 THACO: 15 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d10 (Bite) + Special Size: M (6' long) Mv: 12 Alignment: LE Xp: 975
*Can see invisible 50% of the time.
Special Attacks: Breath Fire for 6 hp damage at 10 feet (Save for half Damage). On attack roll of 20 bites and breaths fire at the same time.
Special Defence: Immune to Fire.
Fire Giants (3) Sarza, Fra'zash, Hozvoll,
AC: -1 (AC 7 unarmoured) HD: 15 hp: 107, 112, 123 THACO: 5 Attacks: 1 Damage: 2d10+12 (Two Handed Sword +2) Size: H (18' Tall) Mv: 12 Alignment: LE XP: 8000
Equipment: Giant Two Handed Swords +2, Black Banded Mail (3), Round Helms (3), Large Rocks (9 total), Iran bowls (3), Huge sacks (8), with whole dried lizards, two large six-sided dice made of iron, 50 gold nuggets worth 500gp total, 6 emeralds worth 1000gp each. Some of the sacks (4) are empty and will be filled with rock crystals from the mine. They will trade all their gold nuggets for the uncut crystal.
Special Attacks: Hurl Rocks for 2d10 damage to 200 yards.
Special Defence: Immune to fire and heat and Dragon Breath. -1 per die for magical fire attacks.
If the party returns to the beach with the rescued crew from the Trading Post, and Arabis remains moored offshore, they are immediately seen by the crew who all cheer their arrival. The dingy is launched and the party is ferried on board.
If the party have not fought the Giant Octopus it will attack both the dingy and Arabis as the crew members and PCs climb aboard on the second trip. If three or more tentacles are severed during this attack there is a 90% chance the creature will retreat. At this point in time the PCs may have acquired Potions of Waterbreathing from the Verbeeg settlement.
Captain Samir is overjoyed at the success of the rescue mission. He gladly offers up his reward of a hundred Gold pieces. Lawful Good characters might decline such an offer if they collected treasure from either the Cyclops lair or the Trading Post. Some of the treasure loot could even be distributed to the surviving crew of both vessels by good aligned PCs.
On arrival back at Port Shaleef there is a commotion when the crew of Sahib are sighted on the deck of Arabis. Word quickly spreads of the heroic rescue. A large crowd gathers around the docked ship where Captain Samir and the PCs are held up and forced to hold court and relate the tale of what happened. At this time food and drink is supplied to them and the crew. Captain Hariri, of the city guard, eventually intervenes and has the crew escorted the Fortress Palace where they are hosted by the Emir, Baha al Salah. All of them are made honorary Guard Captains of Port Shaleef.
Characters successfully completing the adventure receive a bonus of 5000xp each.
Suggestions to convert the story to a Temperate Setting
The city's name is changed to Port Halson
The ruffians use straight bladed daggers and the leader, Rasheed, is changed to Farbar 'the Fiend'.
The Guard leader Kameel is changed to Dareck Stonesun and the guards are armed with Long Swords, Studded Leather. Three have Light Crossbows with sheaf quarrels (1d4+1 damage).
Captain Hariri is changed to a Platemail armoured female warrior called Captain Tamara who wears a Ring of Waterbreathing.
The Dhow Arabis becomes a Cog of similar dimensions called Seafire and Captain Samir is changed to Captain Westdrum. The crew arm themselves with Short Swords and Clubs.
The half sunken Dhow is also a Cog and is called Grace. Captain Fareem, who was lost, is referred to as Captain Fraeder. Omar the sailor in the Cyclops lair is changed to Moby.
The Peninsula comprises of a rocky promontory with caves and a flat grassland extending inland.
The first beach encounter is changed from Flightless Birds to Giant Crabs, otherwise all other encounters remain the same. The Cyclops trade in crab meat and beach shells, not feathers and bird meat:
Giant Crabs (34)
AC: 3 HD: 3 hp: THACO: 17 Attacks: 2 Damage: 2d4/2d4 (Pincers) Size: L (10' diameter) Mv: 9 Alignment: N Xp: 65
The human sailor Aleef is changed to Gareth while the other humanoid prisoner names remain the same.
The Fire Lizard encounter is changed to two Stone Golem guardians that fight anyone that does not utter a password - known to the Giants of the area ("Hotep"). They are somewhat damaged from past battle.
Stone Golems (2)
AC: 5 HD: 14 hp: 41,45 THACO: 7 Attacks: 1 Damage: 3d8 (Fist) Size: L (9' Tall) Mv: 6 Alignment: N Xp: 8000
Special Attacks: Cast Slow on any individual within 10 feet once every two rounds.
Special Defences: Only hit by +2 weapons or better, immune to spells except Rock to Mud or Flesh to Stone [see here for details].
The Verbeeg encounter remains the same except that the settlement is situated among grassland.
A wizard requires a Gold Lion Statuette that is the prize in a melee competition. An adventure for a large, or strong, group of Player Characters of 4th or 5th level. Dungeon Masters should familiarise themselves with the numerous non-player characters before running this story.
In the town of Vizengall the characters are approached by a young lad (Yali) who says he has been instructed by the Wizard, Galdrak, to find brave warriors to fight in a local melee competition. The boy says that the wizard wants to hire them. He does not know how much is being offered.
If the characters agree then Yali leads them through the streets to the Artisans' quarter. The houses here all have frontages that are elaborately decorated with carvings and painted exteriors. The Wizard's dwelling is a freestanding wooden cottage with a varnished exterior featuring round windows, a rounded door, and a slate tiled roof. Hanging under the roof overhang are numerous wicker balls of varying sizes and shades.
The boy looks at the characters and then at the door for a few minutes and then back to the characters, repeating the process. He says nothing unless the PCs ask what should be done. Yali, looking to the character asking the question replies "Oh, I guess we just have to wait". A few seconds later the boy sits down on the ground, cross legged. Regardless of the party's actions a few minutes later the door opens and short balding fat man, with a grey handlebar moustache, wearing a grey robe, steps forth. Without a word he flips the boy a silver coin and Yali takes off.
"Hello My Friends!" he says. "I am Galdrak. I suppose you wouldn't have come if you didn't entertain the idea of fighting in the melee tournament. I'll get to the point since we don't have much time. I want the Gold Lion Statuette that Lord Tethyss is offering as the winning prize in his local Foot List tournament. I will pay you a total of 400 gold pieces if you come back with this statuette. If you are unsuccessful I will still pay you 100 gold for your trouble. Are you willing to give it a try?"
Note: Galdrak has already cast Detect Evil to help determine whether he can trust the characters.
If the characters agree, or want more information, Galdrak explains that in 3 days there will be a Foot List tournament in the nearby town of Aramoor. The rules are pretty straightforward. Competitors fight in a mass melee using wooden weapons and are only allowed to wear leather aprons and caps for protection. The last person left standing is declared the Champion. Lord Tethyss offers a different prize every time the competition is held - at 3 year intervals - and these are usually made from gold or silver. Galdrak says that "This year I have need for a high quality animal totem and Tethyss coincidentally has just the sort of one I am looking for."
Galdrak 6th level Wizard
AC: 4 (Robe of the Archmagi/Dex 14) HD: 6 hp: 24 (Con14) THACO: 18 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d4+1 (Dagger+1) Alignment: CG
*Cantrips: 21 (Flame Dart,1d2 Dam, THACO 18, ROF 1, Range 10/20/30)
*Spells (4/2/2): Magic Missile (2), Charm Person, Shield, Web, Detect Evil*, Fly, Fireball
Equipment: Dagger +1, Robe of the Archmagi (MR5%)
If the party agrees Galdrak says that time is running out. He says the cost of entering the tournament is 2 gold pieces in order to keep entrant numbers to a minimum and to stop the non-committed. Those wanting to compete pay the two gold at dawn on the morning of the tournament (or pay via a proxy) and that fighting begins at midday. The payment is made to the representative of Lord Tethyss who will wait on the common for one hour before departing. He says there is usually a small crowd and there will be a scribe to take their names and titles.
Galdrak says that he cannot make the journey himself to observe what occurs since he's banned from Aramoor under the threat of arrest for a previous infraction (the 'accidental' burning down of a tavern). If the PCs refuse the offer he tries to Charm one of the warriors.
Galdrak explains that the journey to Aramoor usually takes 4 days along a roadway that weaves around the sparsely wooded hills of the surrounding countryside. However, there is a shorter route that cuts through these hills. This short cut eliminates one day from the journey but it is highly dangerous. A dozen years ago the farmsteads situated in and around the Drakenwood Hills, as they are known, were abandoned. Strange beasts and the dead are now rumoured to roam the countryside. It is said that the land here was cursed and now few dare travel the route. For the PCs, this is the only way they will make it to the tournament on time.
The Drakenwood Hills
The short cut road to Aramoor is partly overgrown and weaves through low grass-covered hills that are dotted with frequent groves of trees, many of them dead. Every few hours the characters pass an abandoned homestead. All have collapsed rooves and their adjoining wooden fences are in various states of disrepair. No animals, other than the occasional bird can be seen. Towards the end of the first day the characters notice scattered broken bones along the roadway. A close examination shows teeth marks.
On the first night the characters' campsite is set upon by a pack of Ghouls. The attack takes place after midnight, with the monsters rushing out of the darkness and descending upon the party.
AC: 6 HD: 2 hp: 14 THACO: 19 Attacks: 3 Damage: 1d3/1d3/1d6 (Claws+Paralysis + Bite) Mv: 9 Size: M Alignment: CE xp: 175
*Immune to sleep, charm, hold, death magic, poisons, and cold-based spells.
*Paralysis lasts for 3-8 (1d6+2) rounds
*Holy water does 2d6 damage
Just after midday, on the second day, the party is set upon by a pair of Manticores. The monsters try to decimate the party using their tail spike attack from the air. They fly in and hover at just under 120 yards (with a -2 penalty for range, giving an effective THACO of 15). They have done this many times before and only land to attack if the party seems weakened by their ranged attacks. If, at the end of this aerial attack, there are more than four party members remaining and they continue to put up strong resistance, via missile fire or spells, the Manticores fly off.
Manticores (2) Horax & Vathas
AC: 4 HD: 6+3 hp: 48, 51 THACO: 13 Attacks: 3 Damage: 1d3/1d3/1d8 (Claws/Bite) Alignment: LE Mv: 12, Fl 18 (E) Size: H (15') xp: 975
*Special Attack: Tail spikes fire 1d6 for 1d6 damage each. Four volleys per day. Max Range 180 yards as per a Light Crossbow. Targeting one PC per attack.
The second night is uneventful as is the third day of travel. At the end of the third day the party arrives at their destination where the short cut path joins onto a main road that is muddy and well worn.
The characters emerge from the hills through which they travelled, arriving in the late afternoon on the day before the tournament is set to begin. The town of Aramoor has a number of farming fields spread out before it. Some are filled with wheat crops, while others have farm animals such as sheep and cattle. The party can see the town is surrounded by a low outer stockade wall with a much taller inner stone wall beyond it. A number of chainmail clad Warriors armed with swords, spears and shields, plus archers clad in leather, guard the open gateway on the outer stockade wall.
As the party approaches, one of their number, a bushy moustached warrior wearing chainmail, steps forward with his outstretched hand. He indicates that the party should stop. "State your business" he says. If the characters say they want to compete in the Foot List they are told they should make their way to the Fat Hog Inn that is just inside the inner walls.
Characters moving through the stockade wall enter a densely populated area consisting of poorly constructed houses. Much of the dirty industry associated with a large town is situated here. There are tanneries, charcoaling, stone working areas, plus rudimentary arts and crafts. Pigs and chickens are also kept in lots in this area. The characters also pass a large two storey tavern situated among the buildings that has a sign that reads, 'The Cow and Duck'. The sign features carved heads of both animals.
Eventually the party reaches the inner stone wall. The entranceway here is guarded by a similar assortment of warriors as previously encountered except that a number of them wear Platemail armour, and some carry halberds. Five of these warriors step forward to block the party. One sporting a full beard speaks. "Hold steady and declare your intentions." If the characters repeat that they are here for the Foot List they are told to lodge themselves "right over there" - an outstretched gauntlet pointing to a large three storey stone and wood building just inside the gateway.
The Fat Hog
A pig shaped sign hangs high over the doorway that reads 'The Fat Hog'. Stepping inside, the characters see a large barroom, flanked by two huge stone fireplaces, and filled with numerous wooden tables - long ones in the centre and round ones in the corners. Many (empty) kegs are set against the walls that act as barroom stools. The stone walls are halfway clad with wooden panels upon which an assortment of decorations hang ranging from the head of a bear, one of a moose, plus numerous well worn weapons that include an axe, a spear, at least ten shields and a number of long swords. A large barroom counter runs down the far side of the room. The stuffed head of a wild boar is mounted on the wall in the middle.
In the late afternoon, when the party arrives, the bar is empty, save a tall dark-haired man wearing a white shirt, who is polishing the counter. The player characters immediately notice that he moves with a pronounced limp. Seeing the party he speaks:
"If you want boarding I can only offer you the attic room, which we use for additional storage space. There are folding wooden cots up there if you want lodgings. We are full up with competitors and spectators who've come for the Foot List ... if you are here for drink then you will have to wait until an hour after sundown before we begin serving."
If the PCs want lodgings then they are told that it will cost two silvers per night per person. The fee is similar to other inns inside the inner wall.
Alius Farsen, Barkeep (retired 3rd level Ranger, missing left leg below the knee.)
AC: 9 (Dex 15, still effective in combat, even missing his leg) HD: 3 hp: 27 THACO: 18 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d6+1 (Axe Handle Club, Str15) Mv: 3 Alignment: NG
*Alius also has weapon expertise in the Short Sword, and proficiency with the Longbow.
The attic space is very large. There are numerous low hanging roof timbers and stone chimney stacks. There is no fireplace. Against the walls are heaped numerous stools, a few round table tops and scattered upon the floorboards are many folding canvas cots - twenty four in total. At either end of the attic is a small circular window with a metal crossed frame.
Once night falls the large barroom fills with more than one hundred revellers, mostly locals and those staying at the inn. Many have come into the large common room to mingle with the Foot List competitors.
PCs wishing to know who the competitors are will need to ask fellow patrons, who have a 1 in 4 chance of identifying 1d4 of them, or they can ask Alius who has knowledge of the lodgers who intend to enter as entrants in the competition. If asked he says there are three members of a small adventuring group; there are two Dwarves, the older one with the scar, Boraad, is a former champion; and, just for this night, there are a group of three mercenaries that usually billet with the town's soldiers. [These lodgers comprise of those that are not listed as locals in the description of the competitors appearing below under the heading 'Competitors'.]
When it comes to local competitors Alius knows that Ox, a huge man, a militia member, and the town's champion brawler will enter. He further knows that the Half-Orc Fekesh has declared his intent to compete and has allowed him and his company (of three) into the inn. Alius is unaware that they are all going to enter into the competition. He notes that Father Tom, a local Cleric, will be entered into the tournament. And Alius suspects there will be a few other locals but isn't sure who they could be. They could be anyone.
Working among the patrons are five serving girls and a young lad who assists them cleaning up spills: Marcy, Ivana, Melsa, Janice, Rue and Hadrick.
Alius also tells interested characters some details about the Foot List. He says that it is held once every three years. Contestants are genuine tough guys or the fool hardy. "Every year in which the contest is held there are always a number of idiots who enter 'just to try their luck'. They somehow think they have a chance, even when they have little or no experience. It always amazes me." He can tell the characters the basic rules as outlined below - that no magic is allowed, only one weapon per fighter, only leather aprons and helms, and no teaming up.
The DM should note that: Ale is 3cp per mug, and 1sp per gallon. Wine is 2sp per pitcher and between 2gp to 10gp per bottle. Meals are 1sp and the food consists of Vegetable and Mutton Stew, with bread rolls. Sweets are caramel based - apple slices, and a hard sugar and nut slice. The Fat Hog is a quality establishment.
At some point early in the night a call for strong men (or women!) is made by Father Tom, a local Cleric of solid build sporting a full grey beard. Twelve contestants emerge that include four Foot List participants including Father Tom himself (Str16), Gracy (Str18/23), Berlap (Str17), and Ox (Str18/64). Details of these characters are provided later in the adventure.
Four of the NPCs have notable strengths, including two women(f), of 18/04, 17(f), 16 and 14(f). The other four are drunk (or foolish) and have unremarkable strength scores (9-12).
Players will be randomly pitted against any one of these arm wrestlers (it's up to the DM). To simplify matters for NPC contests, the DM can simply eliminate the weaker arm wrestler to avoid running a complete competition.
Use the opposed Strength check rules for unarmed combat: Opponents roll under their score and compare results. The character with the greatest difference wins. Exceptional strength scores should have +2 points afforded for each percentage group. Any draw is resolved in favour of the stronger character. To win, the contestant must win three times in a row. If the stronger arm wrestler wins a roll by more than 10 points then they slam their opponent in one move regardless of needing to win 3 consecutive times.
If the DM does not want to run the full arm wrestling competition then the tall warrior Gracy faces off against the huge Ox at the end. The DM can also rule that the drunks are all discouraged from arm wrestling to cut down on the numbers.
The dagger contest somehow organises itself. Those playing pair up and throw three daggers into a small upended tree stump that has a yellow circle painted in the centre. The yellow spot is AC 4 at a distance of 10 feet. Any miss that hits AC 7 or better still strikes the stump, but outside the centre. Those entering pay one silver piece and the eventual winner takes the lot. Any pair with the same hits to misses repeats their round until one wins.
The Foot List contestants here are the Half-Orc Fekesh (Dex13/THACO17), Jon Valeman (Dex15/Th19), Venevere (Dex17/Th17), Goku (Dex16/Th19), Chadwick (Dex12/Th20), and Berlap (Dex10/Th19). There is one other NPC, a middle aged woodcarving craftsman (0-level) called Jacob (Dex17/Th18).
*Dex modifiers to THAC0: Scores of 14-16 gain +1 to hit, 17-18 gain +2 to hit.
If the DM does not want to run the full dagger contest he or she may modify this encounter as they see fit. Contestants pair off until there is a final two. The winner takes the silver.
Drinking game "I am the King"
Later at night drinkers are enticed to a game with the mad question, "Who will be the King tonight?!!" Those involved must scull a mug of ale then stand and say "I am the King" while raising their empty mug above their head. They must then sit back down on their stool ('throne') without staggering. Each person does this in turn, often with patrons cheering. On the forth drink each contestant with a Constitution score of 12 or under must make a Constitution check (rolling under) to avoid staggering which can happen when raising their mug or slipping as they sit down (50% chance of either). Each further drink incurs a cumulative -1 penalty to the check (ie -1, -2, -3, -4). For each person with a higher Constitution score than 12, they begin to make checks on the subsequent round.
Those with scores of 13 start their checks on the fifth round of drinking, those with Con14 check on the 6th round, those with Con15 on the 7th round, those with Con16 on the 8th round, those with Con17 on the 9th round, and those with Con18 on the 10th round and so forth until one person remains.
There are 10 patrons in this game including the Footlisters: Ox (Con18), Boraad the Dwarf (Con18), Gracy (Con16), Mort (Con17), McDarren (Con10), and Hoffman (Con11). The other NPCs are a bearded woodsman called "Wolf" (Con14), a youth named Jarred (Con9), a large red faced woman known as "Mad Mary" (Con15), and a curly black haired labourer called Costa (Con13).
There are hangover penalties. For a Footlist Combatant that enters the drinking contest, their subsequent penalty 'to hit' for the next day is half the cumulative penalty incurred during the drinking game. For those with Constitution scores of 17 or higher the penalty is only one third, but never less than -1.
The Foot List
The tournament is held on the town common, in this case a flat area of grassy land just outside the stockade wall kept trimmed by horses. The area is used for town fairs or jousting tournaments, and is off limits to military formation battle training. There is a low rise of ground along one side of the common that fills with spectators during the Foot List. Nobility do not attend, except incognito, whereas they are usually out in force for jousting or archery contests.
On the morning of the Foot List, at dawn, for the period of one hour only, any character wishing to enter the fight, or a representative, must pay two Gold pieces and provide the name and title of the entrant.
At dawn the characters see a small crowd of people out on the common. As they get closer they make out three notable individuals, with one seated at a table. At closer approach they see the standing figure of a dark-skinned female warrior, with wild black hair, dressed in animal furs. She wears a curved sword on her belt. Next to her is a small page boy dressed in padded grey clothes clutching onto a golden bowl. Seated at the table is an old man, a scribe, who is similarly dressed. Upon the table is an hourglass, parchment, and ink and quill. The small crowd of townsfolk numbers about thirty individuals.
Characters approaching the table are hailed by the woman warrior. She calls out to them when they come within 20 feet: "I am Gola. If you want to fight in the Foot List Lord Tethyss demands you pay two Gold [the boy holds out the bowl] and speak your name and title. Approach and declare yourselves if you want to compete". Excessively long titles will be abbreviated. If characters say they do not have titles Gola will simply ask: "Then where are you from?"
Once this process is complete they are told to come back one hour before midday so that they can be fitted with a leather apron, helm and a weapon of their choice if they do not have one - which will be either a club or a pole. She says that magical aids of any sort are strictly forbidden.
Gola 5th level Barbarian Hero Fighter (female)
AC: 5 (SingleWpnStyle, Dex15) HD: 5d12 (hp 62)
Str16 Wis13 Int13 Dex15 Con17 Cha14
Equipment: Scimitar +2, Medallion of Protection+1, Leather and Fur Armour.
*Barbarian Special Abilities: Back Protection (25%), Detect Illusions(25%), Detect Magic (45%).
Preparing for Battle
Returning near midday the PCs see a much larger crowd has gathered. It seems there are thousands out on the common. At the centre of the crowd, in a cleared area are a group of people who look to be in charge. Gola is immediately recognised as she's overseeing the contestants - consisting of many encountered at The Fat Hog the previous night.
The table from the morning is still there. Upon it is a Gold Lion Statuette about eight to ten inches tall. Next to the table are three distinctive individuals. One is a strongly built, long haired, yet clean shaven man of middling years wearing a purple robe carrying a Golden Axe. Alongside him is a petite younger woman - a messy haired brunette in white padded armour, who has a mace in her belt. The other figure is an overweight wrinkly-faced fellow dressed in an orange-red jacket, pants and hat with Gold Trim. This last man is holding onto a bell and is certainly the town's Crier. They converse every now and again among themselves whilst observing the scene. Standing slightly away from this official party, nearer the crowd, is a group of eight Pages dressed in the same padded grey clothing as the scribe and page boy wore in the early morning. Before them are two wooden stretchers lying on the ground.
Gola is actively helping the various contestants chose leather aprons and helms which are picked from a large pile on the ground close to the table. When the PC contestants approach they are directed to remove all their armour and ensure that they carry no magical items of any sort. The leather aprons they are given are thick and confer a +1 bonus to their AC. The leather helmets are simply round coils with flaps that hang down either side and are tied under the chin. They are intended to prevent serious head injuries.
Once fitted the contestants are left to stand where they are for a few minutes while the petite lady in padded white armour steps forward in prayer and casts her eyes over the group of fighters. This individual is the Cleric Susone who has cast Detect Magic to ensure there will be no magical cheating.
Susone 3rd level Cleric (female)
AC: 8 HD: 3 (hp 16)
Str12 Wis15 Int14 Dex13 Con12 Cha14
Equipment: White Padded Armour, Mace, Goodberries(10).
Spells: (4/2) Detect Magic(1), Cure Light Wounds(3), Aid(2).
*Wis15 (1st, 1st, 2nd, bonus spells)
Lord Tethyss 10th level Fighter
AC: 3 HD: 10 (hp 104)
Str18/10 (18/76) Wis15 Int15 Dex15 Con17 Cha14 (16)
Equipment: Golden Battle Axe +3, Robe of Lordly Might (AC 4, +2 to Str/Cha)
*The Golden Battle Axe is known as Protector. It acts as a Defender type weapon, it can Detect Enemies within 100', can Detect Secret Doors within 20', it provides 35% Magic Resistance, provides immunity to all Charm based attacks, grants a +3 bonus against Poison-based attack forms, and once per week can act as the spell Word of Recall to transport the wielder, and individuals in physical contact, to a sanctuary within the Citadel of Aramoor.
Gola 5th level Barbarian Fighter (female)
See details above.
Higgins, Town Crier 0-level Human
Stretcher Bearers, 0-level Humans (8)
Spectator soldiers 800+, Spectator commoners 5000+ (a large portion of the town that numbers 7,000 total)
Susone has cast the Goodberry spell the previous night and has 10 berries that heal 1 hp per berry.
For any unconscious characters or NPCs (having fallen below 0 hp) that she assesses is suffering from more than temporary damage (25% of clubbing damage is temporary), she either uses Cure Light Wounds or Aid. She uses the Good Berries on those that have recovered using the Aid spell, since the hit points are only temporary.
Characters who have fallen below 0 hp (and would have stayed that way beyond the calculated temporary damage), who are then healed, must make a system shock check so they can then function with penalties of one third strength, dexterity and constitution, with half movement, until they have 48 hours of bed rest. Characters rapidly healed from below 0 hit points in this way can only be healed to a maximum of 2 hit points and are somewhat incoherent until complete bed rest is taken. A failed system shock check results in continued unconsciousness or delirium that lasts 1d12 hours whereafter the above penalties apply.
The Foot List Commences
At midday the Foot List competitors are arranged in a wide circle by Gola. She points to various characters and tells them to "move here". They form a circle in the order appearing below. Player characters are added randomly to the order by rolling 1d20. The character appears right after the contestant so numbered. If a 1 is rolled the PC appears between Ox and Boraad the Dwarf.
Lord Tethysss steps forward and speaks:
"I am Lord Tethyss, sponsor of this great battle. These are my rules for the fight. Follow them and win. Break them and be disqualified.
Competitors are only allowed a single wooden weapon of light weight [ie that does not do more than 1d6 damage]. No dual welding is allowed.
No magical aids are allowed. No rings, belts, or jewellery may be worn.
Only leather aprons and helms, that have been provided by myself, may be worn.
Contestants begin by standing in a wide circle and attack their nearest foe so that fighting begins in pairs. If there is an odd number of competitors the 'loose man' will begin in the centre and can then choose to randomly attack any other pair.
If a group of three fighters is formed then the combatants in the group must fight it out until one remains. Two fighters that team up to defeat one opponent cannot move on and do so again without being disqualified.
Anyone wrestling or grappling may be beaten by any number of contestants.
Every effort will be made to revive or heal unconscious or critically injured contestants - although this has not always proven successful in the past.
Anyone that twice wins the competition is no longer allowed to compete. Boraad the Dwarf won a number of years ago and is here again this year. Good Luck to all."
The Town Crier now steps forward. He holds a parchment scroll in one hand and a large bronze coloured bell that he rings three times. He unrolls the scroll and then speaks:
"In ages past warriors fought for Kings, for fame, and treasure. Today these brave warriors fight for glory and treasure - to become the Aramoor Foot List Champion!
I name those that fight today as ... [and he reads out the contestants names and titles as they appear below (including that recorded for the Players.]
Brave contestants! AAAAAt the Ready ! [He rings his bell then says] BEEEEEGIN !!"
[For the DM] To keep track of hit points and the identity of NPC characters it is recommended to attach slips of paper to the miniature used (if used). Details can be written upon a scrap of paper.
Combatants (are male unless otherwise noted) and listed by name and title:
1. Ox 3rd level Human Fighter (LN) "Militia member and Aramoor bareknuckle champion"
AC: 10 (Dex7) HD 3 hp 38 (Con18) THACO: 15 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d6+3 (Club/Str18/64)
Equipment: Club, Leather Apron and Helm.
Defences: Ox is solid and is considered large-sized so that clubs only do 1d3 damage.
>[Possible Hangover penalty -1 to hit roll or more.]
Description: Giant (6'10''), overweight, thick limbed, light brown messy hair, confident.
Standard Weapons/Armour: Two Handed Sword, Chainmail shirt.
2. Boraad Ironfist 7th level Dwarven Fighter (NG) "Hero of Rockhome and Aramoor Foot List Champion"
AC: 7 (Dex14/SingleWpnStyle) HD: 7 hp: 68 (Con18) THACO: 12 Attacks: 2 1d6+3 (Club/Specialised/Str16)
>[Possible Hangover penalty -1 to hit roll or more.]
Description: Black beard, scarred right eye.
Standard Weapons/Armour: Warhammer +1, Platemail +1, Shield +2.
3. Mort 0-level Human (N) "Field hand of Aramoor"
AC: 9 HD: 1 hp:12 (Con 17) THACO: 19 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d6+1 (Club/Str16)
>[Possible Hangover penalty -1 to hit roll or more.]
Description: Brown hair, solidly built, dull witted.
Standard Weapons/Armour: None.
4. Venevere 2nd level Half Elven Fighter/Thief (CG) *** "Of the wider Realm"
AC: 5 (Dex17) HD: 2 hp: 12 THACO: 19 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d6 (Quarter Staff)
Description: Fine blonde hair, pointy ears.
Standard Weapons/Armour: Shortsword, Longbow, Dagger, Studded leather.
5. Jon Valeman 1st level Fighter (trapper) (NG) "Militia member of Aramoor and trapper"
AC: 7 (Dex15/SingleWpnStyle) HD: 1 hp: 10 THACO: 20 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d6+1 (Half Staff~JoStick/Str14)
Description: Thick brown beard, young.
Standard Weapons/Armour: Longsword, Hand Axe, Furs (equal to Padded armour).
6. Banberg 0-level Human (NE)* "Of River Creek"
AC: 9 HD: 1 hp: 9 THACO: 19 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d6+2 (Long Club/2handed/Str17)
Description: Tall (6'4''), dirty blonde hair, clean shaven, gangly physique.
Standard Weapons/Armour: Short Sword, Dagger, None.
7. Fekesh 4th level Half-Orc Fighter (LE)* "Of the swift blade"
AC: 9 HD: 4 hp: 34 THACO: 15 Attacks: 3/2 Damage: 1d6+3 (Club/Specialised/Str17)
Description: Light green skin, thick black hair, scrunched up leathery face.
Standard Weapons/Armour: Short Sword, Daggers (3), Ringmail armour, Heavy cloak.
8. Justine 3rd level Human Mystic (female) (LG) *** "Disciple of Master Lung Shao"
AC: 5 (Dex17/unarmoured) HD: 3 hp: 20 (Con14) THACO: 18 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d6+2 (Jo Stick/Str16/MysticBonuses) Mv: 15
*Deflect 1 melee or missile attack, or 2 missile-only attacks on a roll of 14 (Save vs Breath+Dex). >Not applicable once engaged in wrestling.
*Unarmed AC: 5 or 7 vs M sized weapons) THACO: 14 Attacks: 2 or 1 Damage: 1d4+4 (M.Arts*) or 1+4 (Wrestling). M.Arts>Incurs a -4 penalty on initiative against opponents with clubs, staves or small weapons (other than dagger sized) who then gain a +2 to hit/damage bonus vs the unarmed Mystic (armed vs unarmed vs mystic advantages). Other medium weapons cause Mystic to auto lose initiative with the +2 hit/damage. Justine normally fights with two Jo Sticks.
*Proficiencies: All Around Sight, Blind-fighting, two weapon style (not allowed).
Description: Brown straight hair in pony tail, strong face.
Standard Weapons/Armour: Two Jo Sticks, Light Crossbow, Padded armour (brown/old/with faded white trim).
9. Hartman 1st level Human Fighter (NG)** "Warrior of fortune"
AC: 9 HD: 1 hp: 10 THACO: 20 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d6 (Half Staff/Jo Stick)
Description: Stiff, knightly in demeanour, blonde hair, clean shaven.
Standard Weapons/Armour: Longsword, Chainmail, Shield.
10. McDarren 0-level Human (NE)* "Of the sharp blade"
AC: 9 HD: 1 hp: 7 THACO: 20 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d6 (Quarter Staff)
>[Possible Hangover penalty -1 to hit roll or more.]
Description: Red headed, clean shaven, thin, round face.
Standard Weapons/Armour: Daggers (8), None.
11. Goku 1st level Human Fighter (LG) *** "Of the Ethengarian Steppe"
AC: 7 (Dex16) HD: 1 hp: 8 THACO: 19 Attacks: 3/2 Damage 1d6+2 (Quarterstaff/Specialisation)
Description: Oriental (Ethengarian), straight black hair twisted together at various points.
Standard Weapons/Armour: Quarterstaff, Dagger, Composite Short Bow, Studded leather.
12. Chadwick 0-level Human (NE)* "Aide to Fekesh"
AC: 9 HD: 1 hp: 9 THACO: 19 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d6+1 (Club/Str17)
Description: Pointed facial features, dark hair.
Standard Weapons/Armour: Club, Dagger, None.
13. Berlap 2nd level Human Fighter (LE)** "Warrior of fortune"
AC: 9 HD: 2 hp: 19 (Con16) THACO: 18 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d6+2 (Long Club/2handed/Str17)
Description: Long wavy black hair, clean shaven, Black eyes.
Standard Weapons/Armour: Bastard Sword, Chainmail, Shield.
14. Durgarth Stonehammer 2nd level Dwarven Fighter (LG) "Defender of Rockhome, cousin of Boraad, Hero of Rockhome"
AC: 7 (Dex16) HD 2 hp: 16 THACO: 19 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d6+1 (Club/Str14)
Description: Dark brown beard, youthful.
Standard Weapons/Armour: Warhammer, Chainmail +2, Shield.
15. Taggert 0-level Human (LN) "Militia member of Aramoor"
AC: 9 HD: 1 hp: 12 (Con17) THACO: 20 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d6 (Club)
Description: Overweight, Light brown messy hair.
Standard Weapons/Armour: Longsword, Leather (militia).
16. Hoffman 0-level Human (N) "Mill hand of Aramoor"
AC: 9 HD: 1 hp: 8 THACO: 20 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d6 (Club)
>[Possible Hangover penalty -1 to hit roll or more.]
Description: Middle Aged labourer (twit), Brown hair.
Standard Weapons/Armour: None.
17. Gracy 2nd level Human Fighter (CN)** "Warrior of fortune and survivor of Balgorren"
AC: 9 HD: 2 hp: 20 (Con16) THACO: 18 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d6+3 (Club/Str18/23)
>[Possible Hangover penalty -1 to hit roll or more.]
Description: Long blonde hair (tided back), and beard, 6'3'' tall.
Standard Weapons/Armour: Spear, Chainmail, Shield.
18. Father Tom 4th level Human Cleric (NG) "A kind and goodly Preist of Aramoor"
AC: 9 HD: 4 hp: 38 (Con16) THACO: 17 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d6+1 (Club/Str16)
Description: Grey beard and hair, solid physique, friendly yet serious.
Standard Weapons/Armour: Mace, Platemail, Shield.
Spells (4/2): Cure Light Wounds(4), Aid(2)
>Wis13 (1st bonus spell) [Note: the spells memorised by Father Tom are lost if he falls below 0 hp, where the damage sustained is more than temporary].
+The rest are locals from surrounding areas, except the Dwarves.
Dexterity scores of 14-16 gain +1 reaction bonus and 17-18 gain +2 reaction bonus to initiative rolls.
At the end of the battle the Town Crier approaches the winner, and asks the character or NPC in a low voice, his name and title. "To all Ye Gathered here, it is my honour to announce, on behalf of his Lordship, Lord Tethyss, that the winner of this year's Foot List tournament is ___________(of) _________ !"
Lord Tethyss steps forward and presents the Gold Lion Statuette. "Well done" he says with a smile and a nod of the head.
The Town Crier speaks up once more "Three Cheers for the Victor! Hip Hip ... HORAY ! Hip Hip ... HORAY ! Hip Hip ... HORAY !"
A feast is held at the Fat Hog - roasted pig.
If the Players didn't win the tournament they can try to buy or steal the trophy. The DM will need to roll play this situation.
The winner will not willingly part with their prize. The Dwarves refuse all monetary offers. Other contestants may part with the Statuette for its worth of 400 gold or greater. There is an 80% chance of success with such an offer. For each additional 50gp offered the chance to sell increases 5%. To avoid this situation its recommended that multiple Player Characters compete in the tournament.
Returning to Galdrak
If the characters return to Vizengall with the Gold Lion Statuette Galdrak is delighted. He gladly pays the 400 gold pieces and wants to know all the details of their adventure. He is especially interested in the tale of the Manticores if the characters describe this part of the adventure. If the PCs ended up buying the Statuette he will compensate them and pay 100 gold above the cost price.
If they fail Galdrak has trouble hiding his disappointment. "Oh ... that's not very good ... hmmm... err ... I guess you tried ..." His mood changes if the characters describe the encounter with the Manticores. He pays them 100 gold for their trouble and considers other plans for getting hold of a high quality animal statuette.
Characters that successfully complete this adventure receive an extra 500 experience points.
Note: Adventuring Parties that require NPCs may recruit from characters found at the tournament. The DM will have to adjudicate on this matter and roleplay the circumstance. If nothing happens in this regard the Dwarves and the small Adventuring Party, featuring the Mystic Justine, join up and Ox joins them.