Tuesday, August 3, 2010

[Labyrinth Lord] 4 Swords for Revenge: An Ashford Valley Adventure

I published this one last month for the latest issue of my Switching to Guns 'zine. Who doesn't like a revenge tale?

4 Swords for Revenge: A Get Ready, Get Set, Go! Labyrinth Lord adventure set in the Ashford Valley

Get Ready:
Ten years ago, four men murdered a young boy's family. They used four old short swords to do it then dumped them into a pit. The young boy survived the attack and disappeared. The case was never solved and the four men became rich from the loot they stole. They are now pillars of the community. The boy became a wizard and found the swords that killed his family. He's moved back to town and he'll get his revenge.

Get Set:
The PCs are in town when a grisly mass murder is reported. A prominent member of the town and his wife and children have been hacked to death in his house. No one knows who killed them and the police have no clues. This is the second instance. Over a week ago, another pillar of the community, along with his wife, were killed in the same manner. The rich and prosperous believe that they could be next, so they are hiring guards at double, triple, and more, of the usual rate.

The PCs hear about the murders when a wealthy merchant comes to see them to offer them a job guarding him and his family.

Alden the mage spends time in one of the local dive bars. While there, he drinks with some of the patrons and finds a group of them, specifically looking for four, to spend time with. Using his Ring of Spell Storing, which he has pre-filled with four Charm Person spells, he charms each of them and gets them to carouse without getting more drunk. They sing songs together, declare their undying friendship and talk about the troubles that beset the town, including one which Alden introduces: the problem with Orcs infiltrating the town.

After a few hours of this, Alden convinces his friends, in conspiratorial whispers, that a group of Orcs is living in the town, right under the noses of the authorities (and maybe with their tacit approval). The group leaves the bar and wanders around town, each time they pass a street, Alden uses his Charm influence to mention the street is something different, a street on the other side of town, and his friends all agree with him. He wants them so confused so they don't remember where they were when they do the deed.

Alden takes the group to an alley and tells them that a house nearby has those Orcs and they need to do something about it. He convinces them that the Orcs have disguises and bad ones at that but they should be able to see them fairly well. He gives each of them a short sword and a set of canvas overalls to put over their clothes, admonishing them that they need to bring the swords back to him as they are very precious. Then he takes them to the house, uses his Knock spell to open the door and sends them in to do the crime - butchering the human family within.

After the deed is done, Alden takes the swords and overalls and leads the group around again, to confuse them yet again, and tells them that they've done an action that will improve their town. And the corrupt authorities probably will cover-up the Orc killings with something else, maybe by murdering someone else. They need to watch for this. And, being such great friends, they believe him.

He's done this twice so far and it seems to be working out pretty well. He's only got two more on his list, then he'll skip town, never to return. He's used the same four men for the first two crimes and so far there are no problems, however, one or two of them are having nightmares as a result of their activities and that will come to a head. In the event that even one of these dupes starts given Alden a problem, he'll take each of them aside separately or use his Sleep spell on the lot and murder them. This may lead the PCs in his direction (due to his association).

Notable NPCs:
Alden the Mage; No. Encountered: 1; Alignment: Neutral; Armor Class: 9; Hit Dice: 3d4; Hit Points: 9; Attacks: dagger (1d4), staff (1d6); Save: MU3; morale: 9; Special abilities: Ring of Spell Storing (with Charm Person (minimum 1, maximum 4), 2 Sleep and 1 Knock spells), Spells: Charm Person, Sleep, Knock.

Charmed Townsmen; No. Encountered: 4; Alignment: Neutral; Armor Class: 8; Hit Dice: 1d6; Hit Points: 5, 4, 4, 3; Attacks: short sword (1d6); Save: NM1; morale: 10; Special abilities: immune to charm.

Alden only wants revenge. If the PCs stop him and he escapes, he may show up later to get revenge on them. Whether he fits into the Necromancer plot is up to you but being thwarted could push him over the edge to Chaotic.

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