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Lagrius adventureby Gilles Leblanc
First Adventure and short campaign overview :
The PC's begin in the kingdom of Lagrius in Bellissaria in the year AY 2000 ( AC 1000 ). The date can easily be changed tough. The players should all be playing 1st-2cnd level young ( 16-24 ) Alphatian characters. This adventure should be the PCs first one. The PC's all come from farming families and know each other since childhood they are fast friends. The PC's family are pretty poor and if starting new characters, instead of using the normal method for generating equipment and money uses this one :
Give each character one of these set of items :
1 used knife
2 small belt pouches
1 foot piece of cloth
Spell components for casting each spell 3 times
30 pages Spell book
34 copper pieces
flint and steel
1 silver piece
1 week ration's
1 club or sap
Old lockpicks ( -5 % )
75 copper piece
1 small backpack
flint and steel
1 week ration's
1 melee weapon of choice
1 padded armour
1 wooden buckler
45 copper pieces
flint and steel
1 whetstone ( for sharpening )
1 week ration's
1 week ration's
flint and steel
If there is a female character Milar ( see below ) as given her a golden hairpin from is adventuring days. It has a golden butterfly on it. Unbeknownst to Milar and the PCs it is magical. If there are no female characters in the party, Milar has given it to the oldest party member so the character can give it to his wife when he gets married.
All character's who are not spellcaster are peasant's and spellcaster's although nobles because of their spellcasting come from poor families and live in Bellissaria so their condition isn't comparable to noble spellcaster's on the main land.
The PCs are often dreaming of becoming heroes and doing more exciting things then helping at their families farms. Tell them this, at that their characters would be happy for anything to happen into town.
The character all have the following acquaintance :
race : dwarf
class : fighter
level : 3
age : 80
2E alignment : Neutral Good
OD&D alignment : lawful ( or neutral with good tendencies )
str : 13
con : 15
dex : 10
int : 12
wis : 12
cha : 9
HP : 19
AC : 6 ( studded leather armour + small shield )
Attacks : Blacksmith's hammer ( treat as warhammer ) 1d4+1 / 1d4
NWPs : dwarven, Alphatian, blacksmithing(2), artistic ability ( metal working ), armourer
Description : Milar went on a few adventures ( 6 ) 35 years ago and then retired after having found a somewhat sizeable sum of money. He always wanted to be a blacksmith so when the opportunity came he bought his own shop. From Denwarf-Hurgon he went on an adventure in Lagrius and liked the quiet life and the fact that most neighbours weren't really talkative or socially inclined. When he noticed that the village of Sionel had recently lost it's blacksmith and that no one stepped up to take is place he bought the smithy shop from the village's mayor. Milar is the typical gruff dwarf, but for some reason he took interest in the party's member since their childhood, maybe because of their adventurous nature so different from the other villagers. He has developed an close relationship to the PCs, he is akin to an uncle to them. Milar often tells them tales of his old adventures. Tell them this before the adventure begins.
The adventure begins in the village of Sionel which is where the characters grew up and still live.
Population : 476, all Alphatians except 1 dwarf ( Milar )
Sionel is the typical small and tranquil Bellissarian village and it's villagers fit the Bellissarian stereotype. The DM can flesh out the village as needed during the course of the adventure. Sionel's population are mostly farmers who sell their surplus to traders who make the journey from the capital city of Blueside. These traders make a living of visiting smaller villages and buying food produces, selling items ( honey, salt, mirrors, bottles, wine, ale, weapon, etc. ) from the city to the farmers ( at a mark-up ) or trading food produces for items.
The adventure uses the Vampires in Mystara, Vampiric Bloodlines and More Vampiric Bloodlines articles.
This mini-campaign puts the PC's into conflict with Mistrel, the leader of the Thonian vampires and his plots destroy Alphatian civilisation on Bellissaria. Mistrel has found information on the Outer Beings and plans to use their power to achieve his goals. Here is the review of Mistrel :
General Mistrel is the oldest surviving member of the Thonian bloodline and is the only one which was created directly by Serge, the line's progenitor. Mistrel, although not a part of the Thonian army anymore likes to be addressed as a general. He controls the line with an iron grip and goes to great length to destroy any vampire of is line which defy him or his order. Few Thonian vampires are beyond his reach and control and most of these are in hiding. He still loathes the Aphidian and eventually wishes kill them or drive them off Mystery. This has no longer anything to do with Thonian expansion has he as lost interest in the realms of the living and is now only motivated by millennia old hatred. Mistrel works with care and takes great pains not to let people learn of his existence or motives for he knows Alphatians are very powerful sorcerers and that he could not stand against several of them. He is currently residing in Bellissaria where he is plotting to wreak havoc on the Alphatians.
Master Thonian Bloodline Vampire
Full HP per hit die
Vampire Familiar : Stinger a very old looking stirge but powerful stirge
Mistrel always dresses in deep blue and wears loose fitting silk garment with a suede cape. He wears a broad hat with a purple feather. He has a silver rapier +1, +3 against vampires which he calls Redemption. He has used Redemption to kill many rogue Thonian vampires. He knows no magic apart from the one his vampiric powers fire magic and illusionist gives him. He was a fighter in life.
The Adventure Begins :
The adventure begins on a calm summer morning. The PCs are lazily passing time under a big tree which stands in the middle of town. They are imagining that they are leading interesting adventuring careers in foreign lands. At some point a middle aged man walks into town, is skin is pale and is hair is blond, he wears a long grey cloak under which gleams a chain mail and has a long sword in a scabbard. When the stranger arrives in town he causes quite a stir. Bellisarians don't like strangers, they don't like strangers not of Alphatian descent walking into town unannounced bearing a weapon and armour in such a small village.
Stranger : Klass, fighter lvl 8, hp 54, str 16, con 15, dex 14, wis 14, int 16, cha 15, AC 5, ATT long sword + 2 ( 1d8 + 3, 1d12 + 3, specialist +1 to hit, 1d8 + 5, 1d12 + 5 ), #ATT 2/1, AL NE
Klass works for the Thonian bloodline vampires headed by Mistrel, he works directly for Solace, a captain in Mistrel's "army". Mistrel's army uses human servants who obey them through fear, coercion, magic, money or promises of power. Klass dreams of being a vampire, he is very dedicated to his work believing that if he excels at his job, Solace will want to make him a vampire to better serve the organisation, which would make him immortal ( not in the deity sense of course ). He was sent to the village of Sionel to find the dwarf Milar and bring him back to a cave where serves as a hideout for Mistrel's army.
When Klass walks into town he ignores everyone including the PCs. He will not respond to questions, taunts, etc. He walks towards the blacksmith. While doing so, two farmers who were talking on the side of a fence intercept Klass verbally. The PCs know the two farmers, in fact they know everyone in the village. The two farmers Ruckus and Brett intercept the stranger : "Hey stranger, I don't know where you think you are but here in Sionel you present yourself to people before entering the village. I wouldn't hurt to be polite also." says Brett. Ruckus adds : "We don't want no foreigners stirring up trouble or worst stirring up the young'uns". Klass ignores them and after a while the two farmers continue to talk about their expected crop yields this year.
The PCs can do anything they like, but anything except fighting will not stop Klass. If they are very persistent he will simply state : " I am here to see a dwarven blacksmith, Milar, I know where to find him and don't need assistance. He's an old acquaintance. " Everything apart from the acquaintance part is true and it is a well known fact that Milar was an adventurer in his younger years. Milar sometimes receives friends from his adventures every few years, to the great discomfort of the whole village ( except the PCs ).
If the PCs fight Milar they should find him a capable fighter. He will attack every characters once expecting them to stop fighting. He will start with obvious spell casters. If this does not work he will continue hitting each character once until they are unconscious or all to weak to continue fighting. He will not finish them or pursue them, they are simple farmer's children and he has no time to waste on them. You should Jinx his saving throws for all spells which to PCs cast that allow save. If the PCs are winning then Klass uses a sleep sphere. If the PCs defeat Klass, a party of 16 zombies created by Thonian vampires will attack town 4 nights after that to rescue Klass if he is still alive and render Milar unconscious and drag him back to the cave. If the PCs defeat them, then 3 nights later they will send a minion Thonian vampire who will do this during the night. He will use his vampiric stealth, pass without trace and dimensional movement to achieve this without being seen.
The Confrontation :
Milar's smithy is a large 40' x 30' stone house with a flat wooden roof. Two chimneys bellow smoke from the roof top. The anvil and part of the forge is exterior, shielded from rain by an over-hanging roof. The dwarf is currently there finishing a shovel. When in front of Milar, Klass will say : "Your coming with me !" and throw he glass sphere on the ground. This is a sleep sphere, the dwarf will fail his saving throw and fall asleep. If the PCs are still following him he will also throw them a sleep sphere and then a second one. He will then fight his way out of any opposition ( the PCs as the villagers won't give him any ) and drag Milar back to the outskirts of town where he has a mule hidden. The mule will carry the dwarf back to the cave.
If they are still PCs standing they can attack him, track him or stay in the village. Use your judgement to best cover those situations. Continue to the next section only when the PCs wake up or recover from unconsciousness the next day.
New Magical Item : Sleep Sphere : These thick glass sphere are actually more or less magical, while some magic goes into their making, they also rely heavily on alchemy for their creation. They are strong enough not to break easily, but brittle enough to break automatically when thrown strongly at the ground. They release their contents a purplish gases who dissipate in 2 rounds and which cover a 5'x5'x5' area. All in this area must save versus breath-weapons at -2 or fall asleep for 1d4 hours. These people are not magically asleep and can be woken up normally by other people.
Consternation in the village :
When the PCs recover/wake up/return from tracking Klass or whatever, about 200 villagers crowd into the 60'x20' village longhouse. The longhouse is the traditional meeting place where decisions are taken in Sionel, the PCs families are going and they urge the PCs to come along. Along the way they reprimand the PCs saying they should not have intervened or followed the stranger and that bad things happen to people like Milar, popple who go on adventures and take risks. In the village longhouse everyone is talking, the crowd is outraged by the stranger's actions, worried about having no blacksmith and that the stranger could come again. The village elder, Tonnas, an old ( 67 years old ) man sits on a raised chair at the end of the house. He has no real power on the villagers but they listen to his counsel often nonetheless. After a while he calms the crowd he ask Ruckus and Brett to describe what happened. If the PCs did anything Ruckus is sure to insist on that, which will result in Tonnas the elder saying the PCs should be more careful and acts in a less outlandish manner. Some people make various propositions in the meeting, some say villagers should form a militia and acts as guards, another says a party should be sent to secure a new blacksmith from Blueside. The PCs can propose anything but propositions to launch a rescue party or anything risky like this will get the PCs more in trouble with the village than anything else.
The PCs can take any course of action they want, train as militia, go fetch a blacksmith, launch a rescue party secretly or publicly but against their family's wishes ( although people are not opposed to saving Milar, they are opposed to villagers taking risks to do so, and fear that if some villagers start adventuring things could get a lot less tranquil in and around Sionel ). But whatever they do, have them find tracks left by Klass and his mule. They are stay clear and easy to follow. It has not rained since then. On the ground near the tracks they find a strange gold coin ( Thonian ), the like of which they have never seen. The coin bear a large walled city on one face and stranger writing on the other. Klass inadvertently dropped it while loading Milar on the mule. It's only function is to pique the interest of the PCs.
If the PCs do nothing, you could have 3 or 4 days later a group of 8 zombies who during the night search Milar's shop. These have been sent by a Thonian vampire and will try to retreat back to the cave if spotted by the PCs. Continue with such events until the village decides things are only going to get worse unless they do something.
While travelling to the cave :
Travelling to the cave will take 2 days for the PCs. Here are some encounters planned for the trip :
Day 1, 4PM : The PCs encounter 23 wild goats
Day 1, 7PM : The PCs encounter 3 travelling merchants on a small wagon drawn by two horses. The merchants are armed with short swords, daggers, whips and darts.
Day 1, 11 PM : A group of 6 kobold marauders attack the party.
Day 2, 10 AM : The PCs are ambushed by 2 orcs armed with short swords and spears
Day 2, 6 PM : The PCs encounter 2 zombies servants of the Thonian vampires, the zombies are unarmed but hostile. The PCs see them when they are 140 feet away. These zombies are on patrol around the cave.
Later that night on day 2 the PCs will see that the tracks end up in a cave small cave mouth. The cave opening is circular and roughly 5' in diameter. It is in a big rock and seems to lower rapidly into the darkness. It does not seem to be guarded. Near the cave is a small tent good for 2 people, it houses the guard during the night when they are sleeping. At night the 2 zombies move to room 2 and are the only one guarding the place. The additional protection of the guard is more needed during the day when potential vampire visitor may be sleeping in the coffins.
The cave :
1 : This is the only entry/exit point of the cave. Although the cave is a natural cave formed by erosion, small stairs seems to have been sculpted here at one time in the floor. But erosion and use has nearly worn them all away. Near the entrance the PCs can find 3 apple hearths, these were dumped here by the guards of area 5 who went to get some fresh air and eat some apples of area 3. Water drips from the ceiling.
2 : This room contains a trap, a black trip wire will spring a blade hidden on the ceiling which will swing at one character at random. Save vs. breath or take 1d4 points of damage.
3 : This room contains barrels of apples, potatoes, dried beef jerky, water and wine. The rooms smells of dampness and humidity. The PCs can see small centipedes crawling over the barrels. Hidden behind all the barrels is a small wooden box containing 100 gp. to be used to buy food for the guards at area 5.
4 : This room is lower than the rest of the cavern. The passage leading to it lowers a lot. This place is very dark. The room at the bottom is guarded at all times by 2 zombie servitors of the Thonians vampires. The room contains 4 coffins raised on a large wooden table. The coffins are all closed but empty. Their occupants ( Thonian vampires ) are not using them at the present time ( they have other coffins ). When the PCs enter the room the zombies attack. This room is sufficiently low that noise of the battle will not reach area 1, 3, 5 or 6 but will alter anyone in area 2. The room is otherwise empty. These coffins are used as a sort of way house for 4 Thonian vampires. Although no vampire will come here before a few days, you should discourage further incursion here by the PCs because this cave can house 4 vampires at a time. Also when vampires are actually present they bring more zombies to guard to place, an additional 4 zombies per vampire visiting the way house.
5 : This room is actually a cell. The entry is actually an iron bar door with a lock. Two human guards, goons of Mistrel's army are guarding the cell at all time. They are currently talking to themselves and don't expect anyone to come here since in their 5 months of service here, no one expect some Thonian vampires and Klass have come here. This is the first time they are holding a prisoner, Milar who is in the cell. Since they are talking and laughing the PCs can hear them before they see them and prepare accordingly. The guards will only hear them if the PCs are really careless.
Guards, AL LE, lvl 0, THAC0 20, weapons 1 short sword, AC 7 ( studded leather armour ), hp 4. These guards are simple goons who don't know anything. They know that their boss Klass works for a group of vampires, but beyond this, they don't know much. They each carry 5 gold pieces ( their pay ) + 1d8 copper pieces ( change ) and each one has a key.
6 : This is a small kitchenette with salt, pepper, spices a small stove used to prepare the potatoes and such.
Rescuing Milar :
Milar is very thankful to have been rescued by the party. Once rescued, he tells what happened to the party. First he didn't know of Kass or his organisation before being abducted. He says that he woke up in this cell. Klass was interrogating him about a golden hair pin he had found years ago. Milar didn't tell him that he had given it to the party years ago. Later a strange fellow came to interrogate him also, with some of the same questions. From listening to these two discuss he managed to learn that the man was named Klass and the other was named Solace and that he is a vampire. Apparently their leader needs the pin for some dark purpose. Solace was supposed to send some minions to Sionel to look for the pin. Milar says he knows a wizard who adventured with him who might be able to identify the pin and keep it safe. Milar asks for the PCs help to go to the village of Laskar to see his old friend.
If the PCs first return to the village :
It is occupied by 34 guards ( use stats from prison guards ) who occupy the town, they are holding everyone as hostages in their houses and are searching for the pin in the village. Their villages are too scared to do anything. When the party comes to the village Milar says they should get some help before attempting anything ( unless a sneaky character wants to use some stealth to get to something ).
If the PCs go to Laskar to see Milar's old friend :
The voyage to the village of Laskar will take 7 days ( normally it would take 3 1/2 days but Milar's slow movement rate is slowing down the party ). En route you can send random encounters at the PCs they should encounter wild animals, peasants, merchants and some weak monsters. Nothing too challenging. Laskar is a small village of about 2000 people, small but far large than Sionel. The city is walled and protected by guardsmen who will let the party enter once they know they are from Sionel and have no bad intentions. In the town the tower of Petros is easy to spot, it is the only building 4 stories tall. There Petros an old ( 59 years old ) wizard resides. He is the only other surviving member of Milar's adventuring party.
Petros, AL LG, mage lvl 8, hp 20, quarterstaff, AC 8 ( ring of protection + 2 ), str 10, con 9, dex 14, int 17, wis 16, cha 16
After Petros and Milar exchange some friendly hugs and some polite conversation, Milar introduces the situation to Petros and gives him the golden pin. Petros says he will have it identified by tomorrow. He gives 20 gold to each PCs so they can go buy any equipment they might need for the upcoming adventure ( rations, armour, shields, weapons, etc. ) and can offer cheap spell components to wizards ( all spell components for the wizard's spell which don't cost much, i.e. bird feathers, small rocks, cobwebs ) but not rare or pricey components ( eagle's eye, antler's stomach ).
During the day the PCs can shop around the village's small market square for anything they might want and can rest and recuperate in Petros's tower. The tower is not mapped but the DM should feel free to detail it.
Attack during the night :
During the night a brute vampire will attack the tower of Petros. The PCs are woken up by sounds of the fight. The vampire is attacking Petros who is defending himself with spells. Milar will encourage the PCs to go and help Petros. The fight is happening on the tower's last floor. The minion level brute concentrates all of his attacks of Petros so it gives the PCs and Milar the opportunity to hit the beast, who retreats by jumping out of the window after a round or two. No one should get killed including the vampire. Petros will be gravely wounded will live, for now. The next morning is condition will have worsened and he will ask Milar to accompany him to a temple of Alphatia, 4 days walk from here where he will be able to get magical healing. He will tell the PCs of his discovery. The golden pin is an outer-planar artifact of inconspicuous appearance. It radiates evil and most be destroyed or hidden somewhere safe because it could be used for dangerous purposes. Petros ask the PCs to go and get rid of the pin in the safest manner in exchange when he is fully recuperated he will liberated Sionel with the help of his spells and reward the PCs for their bravery. The PCs must get rid of it as soon as possible so that it does not fall into evil hands. They cannot wait for Petros to get better, since the vampires now know it was in Laskar. To get rid of the pin the PCs can try anything they wish but Petros suggest putting it in a weighted box and dropping it in the middle of lake Lagrius. The pin will not be destroyed by a simple blacksmith because of it's extra-planar nature.
Assume it will take the PCs 2 days to get to the capital city of Blueside. In this time you can continue to run them with simple random encounters as used before.
Getting rid of the pin :
The PCs get rid of the pin several ways, including the one suggested by Petros. After that they can return to Laskar where they will have to wait for Petros and Milar to return. During that time they will have the impression of being spied upon and shadowed, especially during the night, but will not be able to find anyone or anything. When Petros and Milar return they and the party can go to Sionel, the trip takes 6 days and nothing interesting happens. In Sionel, Petros ask the PCs to wait for nightfall so they can better execute their attack. He will start by casting 2 lightning bolt which will kill a total of 14 guards. The guards will not have seen him, later a group of 6 guards will spot him and approach, he will cast 2 sleep spells on the group before they approach and ask the PCs to take care of these guards. Later the party will be spotted and the remaining 14 guards will attack the party. Petros will cast a sleep spell on the 14 guards, the surviving guards will flee but Klass will stealthily arrive on the scene behind and kill Petros from behind. He will fight the party a few rounds. And then flee with the remaining guards who have fled. If he is winning the fight to badly against the PCs about 30 villages will form a mob and armed with rakes, clubs, shovels and picks will swarm Klass who will flee the scene. The PCs can defeat him in his flight or in combat or not.
Milar will tell the PCs to get some rest. The PCs should each receive about 2000 XP for this quest.