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Doc Livingstone I Presume?by Bruce Heard
Tales of a mysterious Rakasta cleric have reached the royal palace of Bellayne. This cleric, no doubt a talented healer and a sage, has gone off to the strange lands of Davania in search of discoveries and especially medecinal herbs that may be useful for an endemic plague in the Savage Coast. Signs have led the cleric to believe the plague is about to strike again, thus his journey.
Seeking glory and adventure, a famous Bellaynese bard leaves discover the cleric and bring proof of his existence. He hires a group of PCs to accompany him in his expedition. You take it from there. Where does the expedition take them, and what do the PCs discover on their way? How do they get around the travel limitations imposed by the Savage Coast's curse? (How did the mysterious cleric survive in this regards?) Have fun!
It wouldn't surprise me if they have been running tests on the Red Curse and Cinnabryl. Perhaps there is a special Cinnabryl talisman that has concentrated Red Curse, making it safe for travel outside of Cursed Lands.
Hey, what a coincidence!!! Our mysterious rakasta cleric (a notorious healer and sage -- yeah, yeah, we know) found that a few rakastas had been stalking him ever since he left Leominster. His stalkers are a couple of Myoshiman ninjas who are convinced his departure to Davania to seek out medicinal herbs is only a front for another attempt to dig out ancient rakasta fossils. They also suspect the fossils are a fraud, which remains to be proven, depending on where you want your campaign to go.
Instead Monsignor Purringstone (I just couldn't call him Livingstone, couldn't I?) stumbled upon a strange clerical spell in his prayers. The spell provides the ability to duplicate the effects of the curse for several weeks, but only individually. In other words, he can now leave the Cursed regions for an extended period of time, taking with him a five-foot radius piece of the curse. As long as he doesn't run out of cinnabryl, he may go on with his normal life. The spell came from his Immortal patron who decided to come on his side, either to discover the medicinal herbs to fight an upcoming plage, or to help uncover even more clues about the ancient sabretoothed rakastas, as appropriate to your campaign.
Meanwhile, angry Myoshimans order the Theeds river poisoned, *to teach a lesson to these impudent Bellaynese*. The effects of the poison are similar to he plague, naturally. Meanwhile, your PCs step into this little story. I hope they'll enjoy the ramifications! :)
More about Monsignor Purringstone...
While looking for healing herbs or fossils, he could accidentally run into a set of very ancient bones (perhaps that of a prehistorical sabretoothed rakasta of the wokani-demi-lich persuasion), at an abandoned grave. Purringstone could have been attracted to the location by local rumors about these ancient bones and allusions to the very large fangs reported by an earlier explorer. Several knights from that new order created at the tip of the Arm of Immortals (let's call them Brethrens of the Holy Bone) would have accompanied Purringstone on his journey, as body-guards. By the time the PCs arrive with the subsequent expedition, Purringstone and his knights could have already become the victims of the demi-lich *rakastodon*, so could the Myoshiman ninjas stalking them. It has now become their job to defeat the ancient wokan, recover his precious bones, free Purringstone & co. and somehow deal with the ninjas without personally getting in trouble with their distant masters. Sheesh, what a life! :)
*Doc* Purringstone at last leaves Davania, putting behind him and his companions the rakastodon fossils and the Myoshiman ninjas (at least he'd wish to think so), and moves on to the mysterious land of the Wallara. There, following odd rumors about ancient remains, he begins to dig the earth hoping to unveil yet more clues on the origins of ancient Rakastakind. Instead he discovers the petrified bones of a man-sized creature, part reptilian and part human. Aha! He thinks, ancient lizardman... But wait, his tomes say that these creatures were the result of Herathian experiments. These remains are much older than this, he observes. And it has wings, graceful wings that seem to blend away at their edges. Thoughtful, he sits on the edge of the excavation site, studying the bones while the morning sun begins to drench these ancient remains with its purifying rays. Suddenly, the light seems to dim as the unearthed bones tremble. Alarmed, Doc Purringstone quickly throws a blanket over the bones. The trembling stops. The sunlight regains its brightness. What could this creature be?
New race: wyrtle/tortagon
Doc Purringstone is at it again. This time he snuck into the Herathian inner sanctum -- the Forest of the Magus. There, he dug under a strange mound and uneathed yet unknown remains. The earth there must once have been a bog, and the blackened corpse survived the through centuries almost intact. It looks like a spider with the upper body of a human. A small rope remains around its neck, tightly secured, while the arms of the creature are tied in its back. What could this be?