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Holier Than Thou

by Joaquin Menchaca

Here's a reprint of an adventure I posted earlier. This is about hobgoblins (or insert your favourite humanoid) that were converted to the light. I will probably insert my humanoid favourite of ogres. The selected Church will be the Church of Traladara. The Church of Karameikos has too much political pull, and can exert their influence amongst the Thyatian elite.

However, Traladarans in general don't have the same influence amongst the elite, and are often victims of Thyatians. Also, the reasoning is that most of the party is Traladaran, and their are sick of the Thyatian bigotry, so this might be a change. One PC is a cleric of Halav, but he is always the background sort of PC.

Here's the reprint:

On the Hobgoblin issue, I have an idea...

Have some religious order, convert a band of hobgoblins to their benevolent religion. The Hobgoblins see the light, and are truly sincere, humble, and compassionate. Though, the villagers always wrongly suspect the true nature of the Hobgoblins.

Some incident happens where some villagers are killed, and some of the hobgoblins were on the scene. The only survivors, were a/some Hobgoblin(s) and one boy's pet. The villagers demand the death of the hobgoblins. The PCs are sent into investigate and bring the hobgoblins to justice. The town will want the hobgoblins captured, brought to trial, and then publicly executed. Though the PCs have full discretion and can smite them if they encounter resistance.

However, in actuality, the hobgoblins are really innocent, and they are indeed kind. They may have been framed by a diabolical Baron that scapegoats the gentle hobgoblins for his own nefarious and ambitious plans.

If the PCs attack the Hobgoblins and kill them outright, they will undoubtedly make enemies of the church. The Church has a lot of credibility, and have managed to keep the hobgoblins from being slayed out right. The knights (and/or paladins) will defend them, but upon a signed/stamped writ from the Baron (naturally :), will have to release the Hobgoblins into the hands of the PCs.

The PCs can do as they wish. They could arrange an accident during transportation of the Hobgoblins. However, in any event, the Hobgoblins will refuse to defend themselves, as they are complete pacifists. They will always be humble and perhaps even grovel and pray for penance. If a crafty GM role-plays the Hobgoblins out well, the PCs might even feel guilty. The PCs at their discretion can do a thorough investigation, or not do one at all. The villagers will be all to happy and entertained to see the Hobgoblins executed.

If the Hobgoblins are imprisoned, awaiting their quick trial and execution, many villagers visit the Hobgoblins, curse at them, throw food at them. The guards might even let some villagers in to beat the crap out of the Hobgoblins. At some point, a loan boy somehow gets in the cell, and the Hobgoblin does nothing to harm the boy, and actually plays with the boy and bounces him in the air. The dog that was at the scene is totally peaceful around the Hobgoblin. When the Baron visits the Hobgoblin, the dog barks viciously at the Baron, and his guards. The dog has to be subdued, and taken outside when the Baron comes around. The villagers don't bother to notice, but the PCs should almost certainly will.

This can be a whole contest of good/evil. Though, the alignment does not need to be specified. The Baron is obviously evil, while the Hobgoblins are good. The villagers, well, just do what simple villagers do best. :-) When the villagers think about the Hobgoblin, they have "evil" thoughts, detectable by a Paladin. Otherwise, they do not have evil thoughts. The Baron always has "evil" thoughts, and when the Hobgoblins see the Baron, they might also have "evil" thoughts; though they won't act upon it, for they have been well tutored by the priests.


If the Hobgoblins are eliminated, and the Baron goes unchecked, he'll will become ruthless. He'll try to arrange for accidents for the paladins, knights, and priests. The PCs could be asked to stick around, as other hobgoblins could be nearby. The player's will notice the absurd accidents befall on noble priests and knights.

Later the Baron will try to abduct various virgin girls that are coming of age for his own pleasures. He will over tax the peasants, and commit daily atrocities.

If the Hobgoblins are still alive, they will not participate in any violence, unless under extreme duress where the life of an innocent is jeopardised.

If the PCs become too meddlesome, some accidents can be arranged for the party. The party should have a good chance to escape or survive ambushes and planned accidents. Some traps can be triggered before PC may trigger it. A villager swipes the PCs drink, drinks down in a gulp, and soon collapses as the drink was poisoned. The PCs can get the point (pun intended) that someone is after them. Though they can go against the Baron without proof, or they'll be branded as criminals.

Further thought....

I was contemplating about the first incident. Why did the Baron attack that family? Reason, that peasant saw the Baron committing wrongful acts and was noticed (perhaps selling some peasants to the Iron Ring, or having his way with a peasant woman). He ran, but the Baron's men saw him. This time, the Baron paid this person a visit, murdered the family, and set the house ablaze. Fortunately for him, the ogres (or insert your favourite humanoid) were present. One of the ogres tried to go into the house as save anyone there, but there was only a trapped dog. The Baron's men returned to check up on their handy work, and saw the ogres. The sergeant seeing an opportunity, attacked the ogres, and used the incident to cast blame on the ogres, as the one's starting the fire and murdering the peasants. They attacked. One ogre whimpered, screamed and cried as he was being killed, while the other ogres taking the hint, bolted. The player characters arrive at the scene, and seeing ogres running past them. If the party attempts to catch them, have them be successful in capturing one of them. This ogre should appear totally harmless, and in fact will let out a pathetic scream and cry as the PCs attack or hit him in any fashion (even for sub-dual damage). In any event, the ogre will not attack, despite it's massive strength.

When the PCs enter the village, a mob is gathering around the house. Many are trying to put out a fire, where the others are wanting to hunt down the ogres. During this event, a lone dog will approach a PC (especially if one is a ranger or druid).

The baron arrives shortly, and calms the crowd. His guards surround the crowd. He wants them to know whose in control. He will invite the PCs to his manor for the evening. The dog will dark madly at the Baron, and can only be quieted by the PC the dog befriended. If the Baron approaches, the dog will hide behind the PCs legs.

At the manor, the Baron will try to impress the PCs with his wealth, showing him his prized possessions and trophies. He'll hint that he is generous and that the PCs could enjoy this wealth, should they join him. He wants to hire the PCs to hunt down these vile ogres. He at least invite the PCs for a feast and drink, and do so in their honour if one PC slayed a captured ogre. During the feast, the baron will display obvious malice toward the Traladaran peasant workers, perhaps even slapping one across the face, or kicking one, for any little mistake. The peasants have an obvious look of fear across their face.

The baron will notice the dogs reaction, and will want this mutt dealt with. The baron will insist that the dog be taking care of by some servants, and will not allow any animals inside. He'll arrange for an accident to happen to the animal, and later dispose of the body. The animal is rather crafty, and feigned death, and will get up and sprint away as servants are digging its grave.