Friday, September 30, 2011

[osr Challenge] Foul Bal(rog)

Foul Bal(rog): A Get Ready, Get Set, Go! Labyrinth Lord adventure set in the Ashford Valley.

Get Ready:
The PCs race to prevent an evil summoning atop a stone circle in the Rolling Hils!

Get Set:
The PCs get warning that strange events are occurring on the Summoner's Hill in the Rolling Hils. If they check around Tradetown, they find several people who know more about the hill than they do.

Summoner's Hill is a small hill with a circle of standing stones (larger runestones). Within the circle are five runestones that form a pentagram. In days past, it was possible to create a circle of protection from the pentagram runestones and summon other-worldy creatures. No one has known how to do this act since the Ashford Valley was colonized over three centuries ago. That skill was lost with the makers of the runestones, into the mists of time.

This episode heralds the return of Bartleby the Wizard, a chaotic mage with evil plans. He's figured out how to operate the pentagram runestones to summon evil from beyond, in this case a Balrog named The Lord of Fire, Famine and Fury (name stolen shamelessly from Sons of Kryos podcast, episode 19). He plans on trapping the Balrog and making a pact - one that could have bad results for the valley.

The sky is filled with purple lightning (never a good sign) when the PCs leave Tradetown.

When the PCs arrive, the summoning has already occurred. The Balrog is trapped within the circle of protection and Bartleby has already made his pact - three country girls, charmed by Bartleby, are trapped within the circle with the Balrog. The evil creature had his wanton way with them and, as a result, two are dead (due to his "tenderness") while the third is impregnated with his terrible seed and catatonic from the horror of the experience.

Bartleby has his own crew, a bunch of fey Red Caps, to defend the stone circles and will fight if necessary. He will spend most of his time maintaining the circle of protection, knowing that the beast only has an hour before it will be recalled (~35 minutes remain) and knows too well his fate if the demon breaks loose (the only way to do that would be to destroy one of the runestones - an elf or wizard will know this fact, 1-3 chance on 1d6, and know this action is a very, very bad idea).

The fight should be between the wizard with his Red Caps against the PCs. Bartleby is only concerned with escaping with the demon-impregnated girl, or, at the least, will escape and come for the girl later (assuming the PCs take her).

The Balrog will taunt the PCs in order for them to free it (including lying to them, promising them supreme power if they serve him or questioning their goodness and manhoods) and will definitely note their names and faces, for future dealings. If any PC is foolish enough to release the Balrog, then they deserve their fate, as the Balrog will kill them all.

What the PCs do with the poor girl afterwards is a problem: if the pregnancy comes to term, a half-demon/half-human beast is loosed upon the world and cannot be banished (the girl, however, will die in the delivery). Do they mercy-kill the girl? She won't recover from her ordeal, that's for sure. Do they keep her alive (with Bartleby after them), hoping to kill the issue? That's their pickle to figure out.

Notable NPCs:
Bartleby the Wizard; Human; Magic-User, Level 4; Alignment: Chaotic; Abilities: Strength 9, Dexterity 13,  Constitution 10, Intelligence 15, Wisdom 11, Charisma 12. Armor Class: 6 (-1 Dex, magic ring); Hit Dice: 4d4, Hit  Points: 13. Attacks: dagger (1d4) or +1 staff (1d6+1). Languages: Common, Elvish; Special Abilities: Spells (Magic  Missile, Charm, Web, Invisibility prepared), +2 Ring of Protection, Ring of Spell Storing (with one each of Charm Person, Sleep, Shield, Knock, Web, and Mirror Image spells)

Red Cap (small Fey); No. Encountered: 2d6; Alignment: Chaotic; Armor Class: 5; Hit Dice: 1d6+1, Hit Points: 7, 6, 6,  6, 5, 5, 4, 4, 3, 3, 2, 2; Attacks: short sword (1d6 + special), javelin (1d4 + special); Save: F1; morale: 8;  Special abilities: thief skills (including backstab), 60 feet darkvision, black venom poison (target must make save  v. poison or take 1d6 CON damage for two rounds).

The Lord of  Fire, Famine and Fury (Balrog); No. Encountered: 1; Alignment: Chaotic; Armor Class: 2; Hit Dice: 10d8, Hit Points: 56; Attacks: +1 sword  (1d8+4) and +1 whip (1d6+4 + special); Save: F10; morale: 12; Special abilities: flight, 90 feet darkvision,  Strength 18, immune to non-magical weapons but silver weapons do half-damage, immune to sleep, charm or hold spells, drag attack (if the whip attack is  successful, the Balrog drags the target against its flaming body, inflicting an additional 3d6 damage).

1 comment:

  1. Nasty twist at the end, though I do like how the PC’s are too late to stop the summoning. I am curious as to why Bartlby needs to maintain the circle of protection if it’s the runestones that are keeping the demon trapped?


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