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Adventures in Alphatia - Ambur

by Alex Benson

Ambur- Ambur is fairly tame. I see it as a small version of Darokin. The stand out notions are the theatre and astrology. I admit to not doing much adventuring there. In fact, I used it as a stopping place to relax and spend some of that loot. The party that did go there stayed only a short period as it became boring.

To give some examples of adventures for Ambur, I gave a call to an old gaming friend. Between the two of us, we came up with a couple of ideas. All of which are pre-WotI.

Adventure #1 based on a real adventure

A few months back, the Thieves Guild was approached by an actress who wishes to acquire the amulet. Her reasons are exactly what they appear to be; to keep the art clean. The Thieves Guilds in most parts of Alphatia are handicapped in their pursuits by the surplus of magic. The Guild in Ambur share this burden. To compensate and survive they have turned their attentions to smuggling, loansharking, and "the entertainment field". The amulet job was excepted to save face.

As expected, the Guild is too rusty to gain the amulet. Since the real employer has already paid them half of the money up front, they are compelled to continue. They cannot return the money as most of it has been "invested" in other ventures.

With each failed attempt the Guild has became more desperate. In this state, they have hired the PCs to retrieve the amulet. They will give the party the balance of the money owed them by the real employer. The Guild gets one of its own to act as the real employer. He is an actor by trade. His parents are of the Guild. The Guild has often used him to interact between the Guild and the Alphatian Mages. He is well cultured and a formidable magist in his own right. He also has some fairly good contacts with the mages as well as his ties with the Guild. He will tell his reasons for wanting the amulet as the same as the reasons the real employer has given. The real employer is an Alphatian Mage that is an active patron of the performing arts. She is quite sincere at her attempts to keep her beloved theatre clean of posers. She discovered the truth behind the actor's skill some time ago. As a high standing member of Alphatian society, she will not soil her hands with the matter. She prefers to pay others to do the task for her. She is getting impatient with the lack of response from the Guild. She has already sent word of her concerns and hinted at seeking others to do the job.

The PCs could discover that the supposed employer is of the Guild and that the promised payment is half of what could be achieved by working directly for the real employer. The Guild will obviously take offence at this and will be hard pressed to refund the forwarded money to the employer. As such, they will be quite displeased with the PCs.

The target is a minor mage and a fair actor. The main strength of this NPC comes from the multitude of admirers that flaunt their praise and money upon him. The amulet as well as several other enchanted items fill out the inventory. BTW the amulet and items were presents from a patron that the actor has long since done away with. The Amulet gives the wearer a +4 to the Acting Skill. It also affords the wearer a +2 to Charisma. The actor has a big performance coming soon. The real employer wishes to have the amulet in hand prior to this in order to expose him as a fraud in front of everyone. As you might guess, the actor not getting harmed by the PCs is highly stressed. If the real employer wanted the poser killed, she would have done so herself. She sees exposing him as the best option. Whatever happens, the PCs will gain some prestige if their involvement in the matter is known. The Guild doesn't really want the attention but also doesn't want the fact that they had to go outside the Guild to get the job done to get out. The are even willing to up the ante to buy this secrecy. If any of the Guild gains any attention then it will be the pseudo employer and he will distance himself from the Guild. An increase of prestige on his part will only aid the Guild in the long run.

Adventure #2 rough idea

A crisis has befallen StarReach. Its up to the DM but anything will suffice. A lich, a vampire, or even a reappearing villain of the PCs could all set up shop in the capital. The baddies are playing things smart and acting like good upstanding citizens. All the while, they are continuing in their certain expertise of evil.

The PCs see them for what they are and go about trying vanquish the city of the threat. They are hampered by a sense of disbelief and disinterest by the Alphatian mages. The DM should utilise the Law to handicap the PCs. Also a great opportunity to show the frivolous nature of the Alphatians. The PCs must find evidence and more importantly find NPCs they can count on to show this evidence to. Once this has been done, the PCs will be able to do as they please concerning the threat. They may even have the blessing of the Ambur elite. But don't forget a strong warning by them to not make a mess in the process.

Depending on the threat and the evidence, the threat may be out of the range of the PCs. Aid from the Alphatians is feasible.

Adventure #3 based upon an actual adventure An Alphatian astrologer has sighted a strange occurrence while studying the Mystaran moon Matera. Using Detect spells and such, he has noticed influxes of powerful magics coming from the surface. Presenting his findings to his fellows, he has been joined and supported in sending an expedition there to investigate.

The PCs are hired to supplement the contingent of adventurers and crew aboard a skyship capable of travel through the Void. The influx is the gateway to the Immortal City of Pandius. On the moon, the party will encounter all manner of beasts, some unknown to Mystara proper. Eventually, they will come to the gateway. What happens from there is up to the DM.

The PCs and NPCs could enter the Immortal City. The reception may vary from experiences the players have had with Immortals in the past. Either way, any visit no matter how long can be balanced out game wise as the Immortals erase all memory of it from their minds.

Adventure #4 based on a under construction campaign. An Alphatian Astrologer discovers some alarming predictions while reading the astral bodies. He sees the fore telling of the events described in the Wrath of the Immortals and resulting sinking of Alphatia. None of his contemporaries believe him, so he is forced to act on his own. He hires the PCs to thwart the demise of Alphatia be confronting the foretold threats. The DM is urged to make the predictions vague. And I would suggest keeping away from the Immortal's Fury. Instead focus on events the PCs could not address.

The main reason for this adventure is to give another facet to the Great War. Who knows, maybe the PCs on this adventure could meet up with those playing the Immortal's Fury. Could be interesting. I am sure the other Immortals inspired followers to act on their and their side's behalf. Well here is that chance. Just imagine pro Alphatian PCs trying to stop Thincol from joining the Glantri cause. Or pro Alphatian PCs getting the elf spy out of Glantri before Brannart can "fit him with cement shoes". Have fun with it. Fill in some of those spots that you may of felt were omitted from WotI.

Don't get me wrong. I am not trying to alter the entire events as described in WotI. PCs don't always succeed in their adventures. Point them in directions where they seem to succeed yet circumstances beyond their control cause the given canon chain of events to basically happen.