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The Khan and the Duchessby Glen Welch from Threshold Magazine issue 23
The information contained in this module is for the Dungeon Master. If you wish to fully enjoy this module as a player read no further.
The year is 1005 AC. Far to the north from the court of Duke Stefan lies the steppes of Ethengar. There Moglai Khan rules over the nomadic tribes that owe fealty to him. At the Golden Court his second oldest son, Subatai, has committed a great injustice against Clan Yakka by starting an affair with the khan's daughter. To appease the Yakka Moglai has little choice but to banish his son from the court.
Subatai is made ambassador to Karameikos, the furthest nation Moglai could think of that wasn't openly hostile to Ethengar. While it's presented as a great honor, the Ethengar know its a thinly veiled appeasement to the Yakka. Accompanied by his personal bodyguard Damotai, the actual ambassador appointed by the Khan, Subatai will arrive in Karameikos in a matter of weeks.
Inside of Karameikos new threats are emerging to threaten the Duke and his family. Ludwig Von Hendricks, the Black Eagle Baron, has sent his daughter Amalie to serve as his eyes in the Ducal Palace. Recently arrived with the rest of her family from their native Hattias in Thyatis, Amalie is intelligent, charming and utterly loyal to her father. While she is not trusted by the Karameikos family, she is nobility and her natural charm endears her to court life.
Outside the city, the Iron Ring waits to strike a blow against the hated Karameikos family. The slavers have been a thorn in the Duke's side for too long and he has dispatched patrols to wipe them out when they can be found. The Iron Ring has turned to Von Hendricks for support, though little do they know he plans to betray them. The Iron Ring is desperate.
Inside the Ducal Court, Adriana Karameikos bristles under the rules and control her parents place on her. She spent her shearing as a guard in Thyatis, and now as the heir apparent in Karameikos, she finds herself with less freedom than she likes. She yearns for the adventure she had as a free woman, tired of courtly restrictions.
Now all the parties are coming together to either open up relations between two distant nations or create an international incident because of cultural misunderstandings. Between the exiled Ethengar khan, the duplicitous Von Hendricks, desperate Iron Ring slavers and bored Adriana Karameikos, the setting is ripe for adventure.
Notes for the Dungeon Master This module is designed for 4-8 players from levels 1-3. The module uses the rules in the Rules Cyclopedia, a copy of that book is necessary to play. A copy of Grand Duchy of Karameikos is not necessary but highly recommended. If the party does not have enough characters to run properly you can provide the players with NPCs from the caravan guards, Silver Dragons or Ducal Guard to help them in their adventure. The Ducal Guard will be an elf, while the Silver Dragon will be a fighter or rogue. If the party needs a cleric you can assign them a cleric of Petra if necessary.
The Khan and the Duchess differs from other modules in that is takes place largely in the wilderness of Karameikos and in the city of Specularum, including the ducal palace. The party will not have much in the way of equipment, only the weapons and armor they are provided when they are tasked with finding Adriana and Subatai. Most dungeoneering equipment will not be necessary, but don't refuse reasonable requests like thieves tools, rope or a light source.
Please read through the module before you play, there are several plots in motion during the module that you will need to keep track of. Keeping track of Adriana and Subatai's location is important in relation to the whereabouts of the party.
Whenever nonplayer character (NPC) or monsters are used, their abilities are used this way:
Name (number appearing): Armor class; Hit Dice or character class and level; hit points; Movement per turn (per round); THAC0; Number of Attacks per turn; Damage per Attack; Save as Class/Level; Morale; Alignment; Other Abilities (where appropriate) Spells (listed by level) Weapons and Equipment (where appropriate)
The module is set in the city of Specularum (or Mirros if you prefer the 2nd edition name). It is best if players have no connection inside of the city, but if a character is from Specularum or has connections remember this adventure takes place over a single night, there is no time to get help from sources other than those present at the start of the module. If a player needs healing they can be healed at a Lawful temple for free if they present the ducal signet they will be given after the Duke's party.
The plot is mostly linear except there are variations at certain encounters depending on which of the NPCs at the Ducal event the party takes the advice of. Keep track of the party's interactions with the NPCs they meet as they could come into play in future adventures. If the party is defeated or has to retreat then one of the other groups following them will complete the mission. If the party has done well in finding the missing royals but is having a hard time defeating the Iron Ring you can have either the Silver Dragons or the Ducal Guard's search team show up to provide the party with extra help.
The gnomish caravan
Caravan Day! The most important day in the small gnomish kingdom of Highforge is here! The promise of good pay for a simple tenday's work has brought you from all over the continent to this small city that calls itself a kingdom. The gnomes always send out their most creative inventions on Caravan Day, as well as ores, crafts and all the crops they can sell. They hire guards from all walks of life to protect their wagons, paying handsomely when the caravans finally reached Specularum, the capital of the surrounding Grand Duchy of Karameikos.
This is your first caravan and it shows. The gnomes have hired three hulking Northlanders to handle guard duties, and already you've gotten on their bad sides, assuming they have good sides. Ulric Bearson, the lead caravan guard has been assigned you to the second wagon so he can watch over you personally because of your rookie status. The lead scout, a graying Ostlander who answers only to the name Norse, was supposed to inform you of any hazards you might expect. You haven't gotten anything out of him other than instructions to stay out of his way. Only Sioned Weafdottir, a rust haired priestess of Freya has shown you any attention, making sure you were ready to go. But even then the healer's attentions are divided between the needs of the mile-long caravan.
You spend the day dodging gnomes packing wagons with last minute goods, as well as being press-ganged into lifting boxes or holding livestock still while yokes are put in place. It's exhausting work, and it's only your first day. The fact it hasn't stopped raining in the last week makes it that much harder.
The flurry of workers finally comes to a halt as the last wagon is loaded. The caravan master, Baltus Primbus, stands on the first wagon to make his announcement. He pauses before speaking to shoot some gnomes that keep working despite his signal to stop a death glare. “Our beloved King Dorfus Hilltopper will now personally address the caravan and give us his blessing and wishes for a profitable season!”
There is a long uncomfortable pause as nothing happens. Several minutes pass and the king does not appear. Finally, a gnomish woman runs over to where the king was supposed to emerge and pokes her head in the doorway. Finally, she turns around and screams:
“He says get on with it!”
With that, a whip cracks and the caravan begins to trundle forward with a lurch. Primbus falls back into his seat and numerous gnomes run to catch up with their wagons. You are finally underway.
The caravan travels for two days without incident. The party can make contacts among the guards, drovers, and scouts but there shouldn’t be any conflicts. They are fed by the caravan, they don’t need to expend any supplies. On the afternoon of day 3 one of the scouts orders the caravan to stop in a wooded area north of Specularum, and orders everyone to be alert and draw weapons.
A minute later the caravan is rushed by hundreds of goblins. The party is ordered to guard one side of their wagon, with other guards protecting the other side. Thirty goblins rush the party, with ten goblins running straight at the wagon to grab supplies. Ten engaging the party and the remainder acting as a reserve to replace any that fall. The combat last for 5 rounds, then all goblins flee with any goods they have acquired. Starting at the 2nd round and each round thereafter 1d6 goblins at random are killed by arrows fired by other guards further down the caravan. The goblins strike to incapacitate, any players reduced to 0 hit points are knocked unconscious instead of being killed. The goblins will try to drag anyone knocked out back to their camp, taking two goblins to drag a dwarf or larger sized creature, one goblin to drag a halfling or smaller, and creatures larger than human like centaurs will be left behind.
Goblins (30): AC6; MV 30’; HD 1-1; hp 4; #AT 1; D 1-6; Save NM; ML 7; AL C XP 5
There’s an ominous silence after the goblins retreat. The howls of the wounded can be heard down the caravan, as well as the shrill voice of goblins begging for mercy from guards that have bloody revenge on their mind. One by one the goblin voices end with a sharp crack. The lead scout Norse calls for a head count, and Ulric responds by shouts out for everyone in the caravan to announce themselves. (Wait for the players to shout out if they are okay). Once the head count is complete the caravan guards huddle together to discuss what’s next. Several crates of goods are missing, along with half a dozen caravan personnel.
IF THE PLAYERS DID WELL
Norse glances over at you and shouts “You, you’re halfway competent. Track down where they are taking our people and get them back along with any cargo. Our people come first though.”
IF THE PLAYERS DID POORLY
The head scout Norse walks up to you and sneers “You were hired because you were supposed to be competent. I’m not seeing it. You want to get paid you’d better earn your keep. Track down our missing people and get them back along with any cargo. But our people come first.”
If the players are injured they are given an hour to get back on their feet. The goblins were only striking to knock out, none of their damage is permanent. After an hour they fully recover all lost hit points.
The goblin camp
The goblins have scattered in numerous directions, the attack being comprised of multiple tribes that gathered for this one attack. It’s easy to identify where the captives were taken, the Iron Ring has ordered the goblins to take any prisoners to one location so they can collect them later. Tracking the goblins and the prisoners is simple, the goblins did not make any effort to hide their tracks. Much of the cargo was taken by other goblin tribes, the caravan leaders have dispatched other guards to track down the other tribes.
The goblin camp is located approximately five miles away. There are 20 goblins present along with six captives. If the party pursued the goblins immediately after the attack, 10 are up and standing and 10 are resting. It takes two rounds for a goblin to get ready and join the fight. If the party waited an hour to recover, 15 are ready and 5 are resting. Make a morale test for the goblins for every five casualties. The goblins that are standing are located by the fire or the tents. Resting goblins are on the pallets.
Goblins (20): AC6; MV 30’; HD 1-1; hp 4; #AT 1; D 1-6; Save NM; ML 7; AL C
The prisoners are wounded but can move on their own. There are three dozen crates here that were stolen from the caravan, far more than the party can carry. The caravan will send an armed group to recover the missing cargo. When the party returns they will be hailed by the gnomes, and even Norse will give them an approving nod. The prisoners will have their wounds treated and the party will be greeted by Primbus himself.
“Well done! Well done indeed! Not only did you save our people and recover a good deal of our lost cargo, but you’ve also helped me make a decision that I need to make before we arrived at Specularum. I need an escort to the Duchal Ball celebrating our arrival and I think you’ve earned the right to accompany me. Of course, we’ll have to get you cleaned up but don’t worry about that. I’ve got a tailor waiting for us when we arrive. Won’t take any time at all to get you fancied up and presentable. Just follow my lead and you’ll do fine.”
Primbus motions for you to go back to your duties as the caravan starts to move again. Norse comes up to your wagon and tosses each of you a bag of gold, giving you a stern nod of approval.
“A bonus. From Primbus.”
Each player gets a bonus of 100 GP. In addition to normal XP give each player a bonus of 100 XP for surviving the ambush.
The Ball in Specularum
The rest of the trip is uneventful and the caravan arrives in Specularum in two days. The Duke’s ball is the night afterward so the party has time to buy clothing appropriate to the event. Proper clothing will cost 20 GP, and an outfit costing 50 GP will earn the wearer a -2 bonus on all persuasion checks at the party.
Give the players half a day to shop, remind them they won’t be wearing armor or weapons to the Duke’s party. They will be under the watchful eye of a gnome from the caravan and accompanied by other members of the caravan, they won’t be allowed to leave the group. Give them a chance to see what Specularum looks like during the day, allow them to get a bite to eat and buy any supplies they might need later.
The actual entry into the party is anti-climatic, the party is held back from the caravan leadership until they are announced, then the party is allowed to enter the room to the side to rejoin the leadership. They don’t even get to hear the leaders being announced. The party is in a large ball room with about two hundred people mingling. Along the edge of the room are the Ducal Guard, which the party will notice that is comprised entirely of elves.
Primpus walks over with drink in hand and motions for you to gather round.
“Real quick let me give you a primer on who’s present and who you can talk to. Any of the guards or retainers is fair game, the social etiquette of Thyatian nobility doesn’t care about the hired hands. The Duke is off limits, you won’t be able to get close to him so don’t bother trying. Probably the Duchess as well. They will have Adriana and Justin doing the rounds instead. There’s a few ministers walking around but they’re going to be busy talking to various power players. We’ve got ambassadors from Thyatis, Glantri, the Shires, Alfheim, Ierendi, Minrothad and Darokin. They will be more likely to talk to you. There’s a few barons here as well, avoid talking to them as they are going to be busy, but their retainers and family are fair game. Enjoy yourselves, don’t embarrass me and make some new contacts if you can.
Give the players a few minutes to mingle and introduce a few of the ambassadors, and especially Amalie Von Hendricks as well as Mezlo. Then interrupt their conversation by noticing a murmur spreading in the crowd. The players can only catch a few snippets about an unexpected arrival and how it is highly unusual. One of the Ducal guard quietly slides up to the Duke to inform of what’s happening. The party can’t hear what’s being said but the duke motions for his guards to clear the center of the ballroom.
The hall goes silent as the Archduke motions for silence. With a blare of trumpets, the giant doors to the grand hall open and Khan Subatai Murkit of Ethengar enters, followed by two columns of his ambassadors, merchants, and guards. The Ethengari are in clad in the finest multicolored silk clothing, and the guards are armed with elaborate ceremonial sabers and short bows. The entourage stops three-quarters of the way down the hall, and the Khan approaches the Archduke alone, stopping at the steps leading to the throne. He greets Archduke Stefan in accented Traladaran, obviously a prepared statement the Khan heavily practiced on his journey to Specularum.
“Greeting Archduke Stefan Karameikos I of Karameikos. I am Subatai Murkit, second born of the Golden Khan Moglai, lord of the steppes, uniter of the clans and ruler of the Great Grass Sea. He sends warming tidings and wishes our two nations welcome each other as equals in trade. To show our willingness to entreat with you, the Golden Khan has brought samples of our wares. Crafts from all our clans, the finest cavalry saber our smiths could forge, and from the Golden Khan's personal herd, the choicest pony from a championship bloodline. We request you accept these gifts as a token of our new found friendship.”
As Subatai announces each of the gifts, an Ethengar brings forward first a chest of various goods, a sword that gleams brightly even in the torchlight, and to the amusement of the crowd a pure white pony that is obviously less than thrilled of its location.
Archduke Stefan smiles and nods at the Ethengar delegation, and finally laughs and claps his hands in approval.
“Greets Khan Subatai of Ethengar, I, Archduke Stefan I of Karameikos formally greet you and your followers and welcome you to my court as honored guests. The talk of trade and commerce can come later, for now I wish you join myself and my family and court to a banquet in your honor.”
Subatai and his entourage after the speech join with Duke Stefan while his retinue begins to mingle and his guards take up places at the edge of the room to be unobtrusive. The players are free to talk with anyone though the ducal guards and Silver Dragons won’t be talkative, indeed the Silver Dragons mostly don’t speak common.
NPCs of note at the party:
Mezlo (Male Elf, ducal guard, 180) The leader of the Elvenguard at the ball, Mezlo is a Callarii elf that is approachable by the party. He is a no nonsense guard, not shirking his duties but under orders to get to know the people at the party. He will fill in anyone who asks about the history of the Elvenguard, his clan and the Duke though he speaks matter of factly rather than naturally showing he’s memorized his information.
Amalie (Female Magic User, Black Eagle Barony representative, 22) The daughter of Baron Von Hendricks, Amalie is naturally friendly and open to the characters. She explains any criticism of her father as a misunderstanding explaining that his Barony is under constant threat so his harsh measures are needed to pacify the western portion of the nation. She is quite knowledgeable on affairs of court, and is more than a bit of a gossip.
Erhi (Female Thief, Silver Dragon, 24) One of the few Ethengar that speaks Thyatian, Erhi serves as a forward scout for Subatai’s party. She is curious about the Traladaran culture, and will approach the party if they look to be friendly. She knows little about Karameikos or its surrounding but she is well versed in military tactics (Military Tactics 14). She knows Subatai well, and can give the party advice on what his next move will be.
Adriana Karameikos (Female Thief, Duke’s daughter, 20) Adriana is the primary representative of her family in the hall. Her father and mother stay back so she greets the various dignitaries on behalf of her family. She is friendly with the party as many of them are closer to her age, though she is snide to Amalie if she is present. She keeps glancing at Subatai, and is indebted to anyone who introduces her.
Justin Karameikos (Male Fighter, Duke’s Son, 18) Justin is also among the delegates getting to know people, but he will not introduce himself as the Duke’s son. He watches and observes and is friendly to people who are friendly to him. If he takes a liking to a character will give honest opinions about anyone the party asks him about. He will pretend to be a merchant’s son if asked.
Subatai Khan (Male Fighter, Khan’s son, 19) Subatai will not mingle with the guests for an hour after he is introduced. He is a figurehead however, the actual ambassador is Takiz, who spends the entire gala talking with the Duke. Subatai is very talkative, though he has a pronounced accent. He continues to make eye contact with Adriana and will try to be introduced to her.
Cornel Osteric (Male, Thyatian Ambassador). Osteric is polite with the party but curt. He has little interest in talking with lowly caravan guards.
Lady Marianita Valdez (Female Magic User, Glantrian Ambassador) Valdez generally ignores the party unless a male character has a Charisma of 17 or higher, then she will flirt with him openly but nothing more.
Jenkin Flintfoot (Male hin, Shires Ambassador). Flintfoot is very no nonsense and only talks shop unless a character wants to know about the Shires then he will talk that character’s ear off.
Bolten Nordenshield (Male dwarf, Rockhome Ambassador) Nordenshield doesn’t talk much except to other dwarves. The only exception is if a character has the Profession Mining proficiency in which case he will gladly discuss the finer points of that trade all night.
Shalandar (Male elf, Alfheim Ambassador) Shalandar is genuinely friendly to anyone who approaches, not just elves. He will ask about the fight with the goblins and inquire about the skills and abilities of the characters, making sure to get their names in case he needs to hire them later.
Gunter Schonberg (Male, Ierendi Ambassador) Schonberg is easy to find but hard to talk to. He is massive (6’5, 300lbs) and spends the entire time regaling a crowd of no small size of his past adventures. Any question that is asked of him will remind him of another adventure and he will go off on another tale.
Aladan Voll (Male, Minrothad Ambassador) Voll is approachable and easy to talk to, but his only real interest is all things nautical. He will gladly talk to anyone who has experience as a sailor and swap stories all night.
Sheik Abdallah (Male, Ylaruam Ambassador) Abdallah has little time to spend with lowly caravan guards and if pressed will tell them exactly that.
Estella Whitehall (Female, Darokin Ambassador) Whitehall comes across as a professional diplomat, talking about a range of subjects but not actually saying much. She will provide instructions and information on anyone interested in either the Darokin Merchant’s Guild or Diplomatic Corps.
Lord Alexius Korrigan (Male, Ducal Seneschal) Korrigan can be found listening to Schonberg most of the night. He will take time to introduce himself to everyone who talks to him and if he learns about the party’s encounter with the goblins he will get their names for future work.
Teldon (Male, Guildmaster of the Magician’s Guild) Teldon acts like an old fool unless somebody asks him about magic in which case he will gladly talk about the finer points of spells and wizardy all night, even asking for any magic users to see him later to continue their talk.
The party has about two hours to mix and mingle in the gala. Some time before this Adriana and Subatai will sneak away from the party, making an excuse to take their leave from the party if talking to them. Because of the number of people present at the gala they will not be noticed for some time.
After the allotted time has passed Mezlo will approach the party discretely and inform them that Lord Korrigan has asked for their presence personally. The guard will take the party to a back room where Korrigan is standing with several guards both ducal guards and Silver Dragons as well as a few ministers and Amalie Von Hendricks. None look happy. Korrigan forces a smile at the party’s arrival.
“Good, you’re here. I need someone discreet and you came highly recommended on the word of a few of our guests. We have a bit of a problem we need handled quietly. The duke’s daughter has snuck off with Subatai to get away privately. We’re sure this is just youthful indiscretion, but we need them back to the gala post haste. They haven’t been gone long, I’ll get you directions to the nearest tavern. We don’t want this to go public so we need someone not associated with either of the two. Do this and I’ll get you an audience with the duke as well as a bonus from both the nations of Karameikos and Ethengar.”
The party will be escorted by Mezlo through a secret side door that goes through a secret passage outside the castle, he mentions that this is the same passage the missing nobles took. The door is one way, they will not be able to get back in once they are out. The end of the passage leads to a ladder that goes up into a safe house. There is no armor available but there is a selection of weapons the party can arm themselves with. If asked Mezlo explains this is a stash house used in case of emergency, and swears the party to secrecy.
The Gilded Lily
The party arrives at the tavern to find the tavern keeper, one Sergi Valek, busily trying to move a body to a pile of half a dozen bodies on one side of his tavern. The tavern is busted up with tables and chairs knocked over everywhere, and blood spattered across the walls and furniture. Only the tavern keeper is present. When he notices the party he immediately drops the body and tries to straighten up his clothing.
“It’s not what it looks like. They attacked two of my customers, guess they didn’t know who they were attacking.”
If interrogated Sergi cooperates fully, no rolls are needed. He knows the following:
They were both young, the woman wore a hood but he could tell she had red hair.
The man had yellowish skin with a shaved head. He spoke broken Thyatian.
There were eight attackers, the leader ran off when the fight turned against him.
The dead attackers had nothing on them but their weapons and a tattoo of a chain on their wrist.
The entire tavern emptied out when the fighting started.
The attackers never spoke except for the leader ordering them to take the couple alive.
The woman fought with a broadsword and dagger, the man used a saber, though he also had a short bow he didn’t use.
The couple fled after the fight, taking a horse that was tied up outside. He didn’t know where they went.
The couple is obviously Adriana and Subatai. The party can make a Knowledge: Streetwise roll to know the tattoo is that of the Iron Ring slaver’s guild. Thieves get a +4 bonus to the roll. The party has no way of tracking the couple, and will have to go back to Korrigan to give him the information so he can calculate their next move.
The Iron Ring attacks
On the way back to the palace have the party members make Danger Sense checks, if any of them score a success they spot the Iron Ring hounds waiting in ambush for them. If any of them succeed on the check by 5 or more they gain surprise on the hounds. If all of them fail the hounds gain surprise on the party.
The ambush takes place in a four way intersection, though none of the buildings are of any interest. The hounds are located behind barrels and a wagon. There are a number of hounds equal to the party +2. They are fanatical and will not surrender or flee. They know nothing other than what was ordered of them.
Hounds : AC9; MV 30’; HD 1; hp 5; #AT 1; D 1-6; Save NM; ML 7; AL C XP 10
If the combat lasts 5 rounds, at the start of the 6th round an arrow hits and kills one of the hounds as Mezlo has tracked down the party along with several other ducal guards. The remaining hounds are dealt with quickly. The hounds were waiting in ambush for anyone returning to the castle, so it is obvious Adriana and Subatai didn’t return this way. Mezlo is under orders to return the party to Korrigan if they don’t have the couple.
When the party returns they are issued into a private room with a grim faced Korrigan, Mezlo, Erhi and Amalie. Korrigan is looking over a map of Specularum with several areas marked off. The knowledge that the Iron Ring is hunting the two is a matter of great concern.
“How many of them were there?” Korrigan asks, not even looking up from the map.
(If the party doesn’t answer then Mezlo does.)
“Do we have any idea where they could be headed?” Korrigan asks again, not looking up.
“Adriana knows her way around the city, she could have any number of hideouts,” Mezlo responds earnestly.
“They aren’t looking to hide. They are looking for fun. They handled the first wave easily, they are probably out looking for trouble. You need to check the city gates to see where they went,” Amalie answers the Senechal with a sly grin.
“Then they probably went through the closest gate, we need to track them down and do it quietly,” Korrigan informs everyone.
“Should we tell the Duke?” Mezlo inquires.
“‘No, I’ll do that myself when the time comes if necessary,” Korrigan finally looks up from the map. He turns to the party, “I’ve already asked too much of you but I needed you to chase them down. I’ll get you some equipment to get you ready. I’m not sending you out unprepared again.”
The party is offered any armor up to banded mail, including shields and any non-magical weapon they need. Gear is offered but limited, items normally used for dungeon crawling isn’t offered but basic equipment like rope or lanterns are.
Korrigan leaves to make plans. All three present off their own advice to the party for tracking down the pair.
Erhi: The scout recommends speed once they know the location of the couple. The Iron Ring is going to be hot on their trail, and speed will allow them to attack before the Iron Ring is ready.
Mezlo: The Elvenguard is much more cautious, and suggests a slower approach to avoid any surprises left behind by the Iron Ring.
Amalie: The Baron’s daughter is familiar with the Iron Ring since her family has dealings with them, though she is trying to eliminate them for her own reasons. She points out the Iron Ring is driving the couple into probably a bigger ambush, so finding out where the larger ambush can turn the tables on the Iron Ring if the party attacks first.
The Northern Gate recognizes the couple when the party describes them, Ethengarians are rare in Karameikos and easily noticed. The couple left about thirty minutes ago on foot. The guards also noticed a large number of men a few minutes afterwards leaving, all with shaved heads except one, and none of them spoke. They were moving at a rapid pace.
The party was given a map of the area and horses. A proficiency: Tactics check will identify likely ambush spots both along the trail and also in an area about five miles down the road that would be a perfect ambush spot for someone coming down the road. There is another road that run parallel that is used mainly by rangers or patrols wanting to avoid the traffic of the main road.
Ambush: A mile up the main road the Iron Ring left 10 hounds behind to stop any pursuit. They are half armed with bows and half armed with short swords.
If the party takes Erhi’s advice: They ride through the ambush and the hounds with bows get only a single round to fire their bows, though at a -4 penalty for being unprepared for the party to be riding at full speed.
If the party follows Mezlo’s advice: The party will run right into the ambush but because they are looking for trouble neither side will be surprised.
If the party follows Amalie’s advice: As the party is following the lesser used road they will bypass the ambush entirely.
10 Hounds: AC9; MV 30’; HD 1; hp 5; #AT 1; D 1-6; Save NM; ML 7; AL C XP 10. 5 with shortbows, 5 with short swords.
Encountering the main Iron Ring force
If the party takes Erhi’s advice: The speed of the party will allow them to overtake the Iron Ring’s larger force, catching them by surprise for one turn.
If the party follows Mezlo’s advice: The party will be slowed down by the ambush long enough for the couple to be caught by the Iron Ring’s ambush with the pursuing force attacking from behind.
If the party follows Amalie’s advice: The party will ambush the Iron’s Ring’s ambush, and the main force will arrive after the party takes care of the ambush.
Main force: 10 Hounds: AC9; MV 30’; HD 1; hp 5; #AT 1; D 1-6; Save NM; ML 7; AL C XP 10. 5 with shortbows, 5 with short swords.
1 Reaver: AC 4; MV 30’; HD 3, hp 15, #AT 1; D 1-8’; Save F3; ML 9, AL C XP 30. Armed with a longsword.
If the party is following Erhi’s advice the archers are closer to the party than the swordsmen. If they followed Mezlo’s advice the swordsmen are holding the road while the archers fire on Adriana and Subatai. The Reaver will always be found between them.
Reaver Ambush Force
Main force: 15 Hounds: AC9; MV 30’; HD 1; hp 5; #AT 1; D 1-6; Save NM; ML 7; AL C XP 10. 10 with shortbows, 5 with short swords.
1 Reaver: AC 4; MV 30’; HD 3, hp 15, #AT 1; D 1-8’; Save F3; ML 9, AL C XP 30. Armed with a longsword.
The ambush force is split into three groups, with the swordsmen behind a blockade in the road and the archers on either side of the road to attack Adriana and Subatai.
If the party takes Erhi’s advice: The party runs right into the battle between Adriana and Subatai and the Iron Ring. Both Adriana and Subatai have taken 1d10 damage each and they have each killed 1d4 Hounds each starting with the archers. The swordsmen will be engaged with the couple and the remaining archers will target the characters. After ten rounds the hounds from the bypassed ambush will arrive behind the players and attack.
If the party follows Mezlo’s advice: The couple will each have taken 2d10 damage each and killed 1d8 hounds from the ambush force each. The swordsmen will be trying to subdue the couple with the main force being held in reserve. The party will have to fight through the main force to get to the couple. This is the worst possible scenario.
If the party follows Amalie’s advice: The second trail will lead the party into the back of the ambushing force. They automatically surprise the Iron Ring and the archers will take two rounds to get into a position to fire at the party. At the third round Adriana and Subatai will arrive and begin attacking the Iron Ring force from behind. After ten rounds the main force of the Iron Ring will arrive and engage the party and the couple. Ten round after this the first ambush force will arrive and attack any survivors but it is possible to ambush them if there are no members of the Iron Ring left.
Adriana: AC 5; MV 40’; HD 4, hp 22, #AT 1; D 1-8+1; Save F4; ML 10, AL L
Subatai: AC 4; MV 40’; HD 4, hp 26, #AT 1; D 1-6 (shortbow) or 1-8+1 (saber); Save F4; ML 10, AL N
If the party saves the couple: Korrigan gets the two clerical magic quickly and quietly returns them to the party. The party is also healed and offered to return to the party as well. The party is sworn to secrecy no matter the result.
If one or both of the couple is slain: Korrigan has a high level cleric summoned at once to raise the dead, and dismisses the party from his service.
If one or both are captured: Korrigan is furious. The Iron Ring ransoms their captive for a high price which the Duke is forced to pay. It is suggested strongly the party leave Karameikos for a long time.
Rewards: Assuming the party returns both Amalie and Subatai alive the Duke is very grateful for avoiding an international incident. Each party member is given 500 GP as a reward. If any member of the party is from Karameikos the Duke names them a court lord making them nobility. The Ethengar delegation rewards the party by offering them a minor magic item from their trade goods. The magic item should be relevant to the player, a weapon or armor of +1 enchantment, several magic scrolls or a miscellaneous magic item. Adriana and Subatai will remember the party and the next time they decide on a misadventure will invite the party along.
Saving Adriana and Subatai: 250 xp each
Taking Amalie’s advice: 100 xp
Surviving the caravan ambush: 100 xp
Each friend made at the gala: 25 xp