Another free adventure from Dr Skull

DrSkull

Mongoose
If anyone wants a free adventure, drop me an email at

avenelso@aol.com

This one is called "The Lost Garrison" and even though it takes place in Zamora, in the Eastern mountains, and there is a lost cult, and a black stone, it is nothing like the cool new Sons of Cimmeria offering.

I've uploaded it the the d20Conan Yahoo group too, if you're a member there.
 

Yuan-Ti

Mongoose
If I was in a room with Dr. Skull and zombies burst through the doors and windows, I would take my time looking for an escape, knowing they would go for his big, tasty brain first. So, I had some time.

That is, uh, a compliment. :shock:
 

Ordovician

Mongoose
Before I send off an e-mail: what program did you use to write it in? Wanna make sure it'll open on my comp. ;)
 

DrSkull

Mongoose
The adventure text is in RFT format (or maybe MS word), the Stats for the creatures and NPC's are in Word. The two maps are BMP files, all 4 files are ZIPPED together.

By the way, I used a Robert E. Howard short-story called "The Black Stone" for inspiration. It was a modern-day Cthulhuesque horror tale, but I added a Hyborian setting, and more action-oriented plot and lots of extraneous hacking.
 

Iron_Chef

Mongoose
Why don't you just post it here as text? That would be easier for everyone, and we're all excited to see your latest work, Doc!
 

Mijoro

Mongoose
Email sent. Thanks Doc! Between you and the SoC, I wont have to think up and adventure for a long while to come...

:wink:
 

DrSkull

Mongoose
Iron_Chef said:
Why don't you just post it here as text? That would be easier for everyone, and we're all excited to see your latest work, Doc!

Hmmm, the maps wouldn't post, and the stats might come out funny, and it might be kinda long, but I'll give it a try.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks Doc! "The Black Stone" is a favorite of mine, right up there with "Pigeons From Hell".

Dark Horse just reprinted Marvel's old take on "The Black Stone" in their 3rd tradepaperback on the 70's Conan by Thomas/Smith. Definitly tame compared to the orginal

:twisted:
 
Thanks for emailing it, it is nicely done. No overblown descriptions, just enough intrigue and fighting without any railroading.

Top stuff.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
My email is sent...3 cheers for Dr. Skull.

These adventures sure help those of us who are too darn busy at the moment (life stuff) to be creative.

Ark
 

Yokiboy

Mongoose
DrSkull said:
This one is called "The Lost Garrison" and even though it takes place in Zamora, in the Eastern mountains, and there is a lost cult, and a black stone, it is nothing like the cool new Sons of Cimmeria offering.

Heh heh... I might be able to use this wholesale, my party will be on the run into the same mountains, and I was planning on them encountering a lost city. :twisted:

Thanks DrSkull,

Yokiboy
 

Iron_Chef

Mongoose
Thanks, Doc. Great adventure, and it was pretty much the same kinda thing I was thinking of writing for my group next, but you've saved me the trouble! Just a few little tweaks here and there, and presto! 8)

Summary of Changes:
Changed Man-Apes to Toad-Things (same stats as Man-Apes except replaced Crush with "hop of doom" which is a special Spring Attack (up to 20 feet away but with no additional movement) that results in a multi-attack (two hands, two feet) to everyone in a 10 ft. radius that deals 3d8 +9 bludgeoning damage. The toad-things have Improved Grapple and Multi-Attack and get a +4 bonus to bite someone they have hopped on. Toad-Things can shoot out their tongues 10 feet to grapple a single foe; the tongue has DV 15, DR 4, 10 hp. If severed, they cannot grapple with their tongue and will refrain from using their bite attack. This is only roughly thought out, but I think toad-things make more sense than Man-Apes (seeing as the main bad guy is a toad-demon), plus, they are scarier because they are new and the PCs are unfamiliar with their abilities. This change is purely for flavor, and because my party is higher level.

Toad-Thing
Large Outsider; HD 6d8+12; hp 39;
Init +7; Speed 30’, Climb 30’, Swim 30’
Defense: 15 (+2 Dex, -1 size, +4 Natural), DR 5
Saves: Fort +7 ; Ref+ 7, Will +3 ;
Str 22, Dex 15, Con 14, Int 5, Wis 12, Cha 7.
Skills: Climb +8, Jump +11, Listen +5, Spot +5, Perform (mimic) +7, Search +2
Feats: Alertness, Multiattack
Attacks: +11 Slam 1d8+6 (2 attacks), Bite +9 (1d10+3) or +11 Lesser Hop of Doom or +15 Tongue (Grapple)
Special Attack: Improved Grab, Tongue Crush (if enemy grabbed by tongue, can crush for 3d8+9 instead of 2 slams for automatic hit, gains +4 to hit when attempts bite on crushed enemy), Lesser Hop of Doom (can make a huge leap coming down, making a simultaneous slam attack against all in a 10 x10 area)
Special Ability: Normal Terror of the Unknown Check, DC 16

Notes: Tongue DV 15, DR 5, hp 10 –- if severed, cannot perform tongue crush or bite attack

Toad God of Stencovar
Gargantuan Outsider; HD 7d12+28; hp 85;
Init +6; Speed 60’, Climb 60’, Swim 60’
Defense: 12 (-4 size, +6 natural), DR 5
Saves: Fort +6; Ref+ 6, Will +6;
Str 30, Dex 10, Con 18, Int 5, Wis 18, Cha 22.
Skills: Climb +8, Jump +20, Listen +5, Spot +5, Perform (mimic) +7, Search +2
Feats: Alertness, Multiattack, Weapon Focus (Slam)
Attacks: +13 Slam 2d8+10 (2 attacks)
Special Attack: Improved Grab, Tongue Crush (if enemy grabbed by tongue, can crush for 3d8+9 instead of 2 slams for automatic hit, gains +4 to hit when attempts bite on crushed enemy), Hop of Doom, can make a huge leap coming down, making a simultaneous slam attack against all in a 20 x20 area
Special Ability: Normal Terror of the Unknown Check, DC 17


Changed Turanians to Kothians. IMC, the southeastern baronies of Koth are at each other's throats (divided between those loyal to the throne and those against). Plus, this version of the adventure takes place nowhere near the Turanian border. This change is solely to fit it into my game.

Changed some NPC levels as my PCs are all around 5th level.


The Lost Garrison
By David L. Nelson, as TWEAKED by Iron_Chef for his campaign

A Conan RPG adventure for 1st-2nd level characters
Loosely Inspired by “The Black Stone” by Robert E. Howard

GM Note: it is advisable to allow players to use a Fate Point to overcome the swooning effect of the Terror of the Unknown throughout this adventure, if they so desire.

Background:
The characters are a squad of mercenary swordsmen secretly in the employ of the Turanian Ambassador to Zamora. They have been ordered to head out to the Barony of Vyst in southeastern Koth to kidnap Vyhonen, the son of the Baron, as a hostage in some political scheme Turan is playing out in southeastern Koth vs. King Strabonus. The characters just retrieved the noble son and are on their way back to Arenjun to rendezvous with the Turanians to get their reward. However, they find the main route back to the border blocked by large numbers of enemy Kothian troops. They have one possible hope: To get to a small Zamoran garrison in the mountainous border region and make their way home from there. The garrison is at a village called Stencovar.

The Truth (Do not let players see this or hear this!!!)
The village of Stencovar is at the center of what was a huge fortress of unimaginable size built by an inhuman lost civilization. The current inhabitants are not Zamorans at all but are of a degenerate race that has non-human blood in it. The Zamoran garrison was recently wiped out by the villagers led by their priestess Hunda, both as sacrifices to the obscene toad god they worship, and to keep them from finding the truth. Hunda and the villagers are preparing a major ritual to summon their god and break the barriers of time and space.

Encounter 1: Die You Turanian Jackals!
The players have gone up the road from Koth, and turned onto the goat path toward Stencovar. Ahead they see a patrol of Kothian horsemen riding in their direction. Make the number of Kothians equal to 1 and ½ times the number of PC’s, this should be a heavy fight if they take it on. One of the riders will be a noble, one will be a fourth level soldier with a White-Wolf banner, and the rest will be second level fighters.
Option 1: FIGHT! Play out the fight; the Kothians aren’t interested in taking prisoners or pursuing fugitives. So if anyone dies, paying a Fate point and being left for dead can be tended by their teammates. If the entire party is wiped out, then those with a Fate point to spend will wake up in the Inn at Stencovar, being tended by the Innkeeper.
Option 2: TALK: the Kothian squad is led by Lord Gravik, a snot-nosed scion of a noble house who will be very rude. He will demand that the PC’s hand over the Baron’s son as their prisoner or face the wrath of their Baron’s army.
If Gravik is at some point captured and questioned, or the PC’s make a favorable impression somehow, they will find out that the border villages of Koth nearby have been stealthily raided and people, goods and livestock have been carried off in surprising amounts. Gravik’s father, Baron Lar, believes it to be the work of rebel Kothians in opposition to his father’s rule, but the boy is convinced that they are coming down from the mountains and the Zamorans are to blame.


Encounter Two: The Vale of Stencovar
The entrance to the valley is “guarded” by a ruined fort. This ruined fort is clearly not the Zamoran garrison, but is a millennium old. South of the ruin are two steep peaks, through which one must pass to get into the village.
As the players ride into the valley of Stencovar itself, they’ll notice that the valley is surrounded by steep mountains in a square pattern, with 4 very large peaks marking the corners. The village, moreover, is surrounded by a circle of small, rounded hills.
The Madman: as the players ride into the dank valley they will run across a gibbering madman. He is a Zamoran thief, dressed only in a red loincloth. He is utterly mad and raving and will give no useful information.

If the players search the valley itself, they’ll find two other features:
Black Stone: this ancient monolith is worn down and covered with illegible inscriptions. Anyone who gets within 10 feet of the monolith must make a terror of the unknown check DC 15 for usual results. Anyone who touches the monolith during the day must make a DC 20 will save or flee for 10 minutes and refuse to come near every after. Anyone who touches the stone at night must make a Will Save DC 20 or go stark, raving mad permanently, until he spends a Fate point and at least 6 hours have passed.
Chasm: the chasm belches strange, swamp-like odors and bizarre emerald fumes. If they attempt to enter the chasm, they will notice a cave in the wall side about 50 feet down. It is inhabited by a pair of vicious toad-things (man-apes, except they use hop of doom in a 10 ft. radius instead of rend). (GM should consider reducing number of toad-things to 1 if party is not a very large one)

Encounter Three: The Newt’s Eye Inn
The Innkeeper is called “Smiling Jack” by the patrons, but calls himself Jacomo of Shadizar. He bought the inn six months ago from its former owner, both men wanting a change of scene for different reasons. He is short, with a bushy black beard; he never smiles or laughs. If questioned about the garrison, he will say they were good customers and he liked them. They never mentioned going anywhere, and were only really interested in skimming their share of the customs dues.
The Smugglers: a band of smugglers uses this inn as one of their bases. The leader is Berenike, a female Zamoran thief, level 2, her second in command is Ashanti, a Shemite nomad level 2, and a group of Zamoran thieves level 1 (in numbers approximate to the PC’s) round out the group. These guys will be extremely suspicious and hostile to the PC’s (never tell cops nothing). If however, they are won over they can say that there haven’t been any Kothians in the area for quite some time, the villagers of Stencovar are likely to be stealing people and goods from the Kothians. The smugglers themselves only steal coin, if they steal at all; they mostly just smuggle goods to avoid the high tolls, and occasionally retrieve enslaved Zamorans from the Kothians for a price. The smugglers will claim to be “prospectors”. If they are attacked they will flee, and will fight if they cannot. If they are harassed for any amount of time, they will attempt to flee the village the next evening.
Hunda the Drudge: a non-descript villager named Hunda does the cleaning around the inn. She is in fact the high priestess of the local evil cult, and the secret leader of the villagers. While at the inn, she plays it stupid. She seems a competent drudge, and mildly shag-worthy, after you’ve had 5-6 beers. She will answer all questions with “let me go get Jacomo, he’ll know.”

Encounter 4: The Temple of the Spider God
The local temple is the newest building in the village. It is a small brick building with an effigy of the national god of Zamora. The priest, Drellic (scholar 3) arrived about 6 months ago after the last priest died in his sleep. He and the sacred temple Dancer Julia (scholar 1), run the temple alone. Drellic finds his duty distasteful. The villagers are dolts, the area overrun with smugglers and feuding Kothians, Kothian slavers could appear at any moment and drag them all away. If asked, he is of the firm opinion that Berenike’s smugglers killed the garrison in an ambush. It’s been his suspicion, and some of the villagers agree. The girl Julia is terrified. She won’t comment in front of the priest, but if questioned away from him will say that the villagers don’t really worship the Spider God as they ought, but hold secret nighttime rituals at the stone monolith south of town. She suspects that the villagers killed the last priest, drove out the old innkeeper and murdered the garrison. The players will see Drellic only once or perhaps twice, then they will get word from a terrified Julia that the priest has vanished.

Encounter 5: The Villagers of Stencovar
Appearance of the villagers: the villagers are slightly stooped over, most have a unibrow, large, staring eyes, slack jaws, and their arms seem slightly too long (or their legs too short). Some have webbed fingers and toes and abnormally long tongues, which they use to wet their rubbery lips constantly. Their hair is black and straight, unlike the curly Zamorans (such as the Innkeeper, and Spider-priest). The majority of the tribe lives through goat herding and lives in small cottages in the village and throughout the valley. Occasionally, allow the PC’s to make a Listen Check DC 15 to catch them speaking among themselves in a language that is not recognizable to any PC.
The Goat herders: most of the goat-herders know nothing about the garrison and will either answer, “I don’t care” or “kozaks did it” or “the smugglers killed them”. In any case nothing that the players will try will get any more information out of the regular villagers. If they torture a villager, he will reveal the existence of the secret cult at the monolith on an Intimidate check DC 23.
The Leaders: the following members of the village are leaders. Some know the fate of the garrison. Each has a ready answer, as noted, but it takes a Sense Motive DC 20 to detect that it is a lie. Under torture a DC22 intimidate will reveal that they helped kill the garrison. The ones whose answer is “The Kothians killed them” are the ones who know the truth. It will take an Intimidate DC30 for any of them to reveal that Hunda is the priestess.
Ruk the Miller “leave for your own good, I have an evil feeling”
Frulic the Blacksmith “The Garrison men found treasure in the chasm and ran off with it”
Brugo the Stablemaster “Garrison killed by plague, we burned the bodies”
Imbro the Butcher “Garrison killed by Kothians”
Paez the Cobbler “Garrison killed by Kothians”
Ono the Potter “Garrison killed by Kothians”
Rax the Rope Maker: “Garrison killed by Kothians”
Unt the Baker: “Garrison killed by Kothians”

Encounter 6: The Sites in Stencovar
Old Tower: The old tower is a century out of use and filled with rubble. A Knowledge (Engineering) or Profession (Mining, Builder etc.) check DC 15 will reveal that there was recent reshuffling of the rubble. If it is dug up, the bodies of the garrison, mutilated and bled out will be discovered, along with their gear, buried underneath.
Stable: if Brugo’s horses are examined a Handle Animal or appropriate Profession roll DC 15 will reveal several have fresh brands. It is likely these are the garrison horses.
Garrison Building: all the personal items, food and weaponry of the soldiers are gone. If the players specifically search the walls for secret compartments, they will find (on a Search DC 18) several secret stashes of recent coins, totaling 125sp.
Garrison Barn: all the horses are gone, as is the grain. But, the traveling feedbags are still present.

Encounter 7: The Trap
One evening Hunda will approach the players with a note. She’ll say “Spider Priest gave this to me for you.” It says “Come to the Chasm south west of town, it’s urgent, Drellic.” If the players go out they’ll notice flashes of lightning in the distance and suddenly they’ll notice that the surrounding mountains don’t look like mountains at all, but rather like huge inhuman walls and towers. The small hills around the village look like the walls of hideous temple of enormous size. Eventually, they will get to the chasm to find a goat herder dressed in the priest’s robes, playing a creepy pipe made of a human thighbone. This pipe calls up the two toad-things (use man-apes) from the chasm below (Reduce number of toad-things to 1 for a party that is not a large one). If they haven’t already been slain, they will violently attack the party. If the goat herder is killed in the fight, he will of course fall into the chasm and his body won’t be found.

Encounter 8: Night of Destiny
On another night (or the same night if the PC’s are relatively unharmed by the toad-things), the players will hear a scream. It is Julia clawing at the front door of the place they are staying. She will rush in and say that creepy strangers have been following her all night. She will ask for some wine. When she drinks it she’ll immediately fall into a deep sleep, from which the players will not be able to be awakened. Hunda has attempted to use her sleep poison on the players to arrange for them to join the garrison. Soon, a crowd of goat herders appears to drag the players away for sacrifice: Let the Hacking Begin! The goat herders should outnumber the players at least 3 or 4 to one, are unarmored and carry some swords, spears, and bows, but mostly clubs.
Any captured goat herder will indicate big doings at the monolith when the spawn of Tsathogghua returns to Earth tonight. Once the PC’s get there they’ll see Hunda and her key assistants in the process of sacrificing a number of Kothian captives, and the Zamoran priest Drellic. Let the hacking begin! Adjust the number of key assistants to the current strength of the party. Just as Hunda is killed, she will shout out “Too Late!” and a huge toad-demon appears over the monolith, and the fortress-like nature of the valley seems to grow fixed. Just then, a squad of Kothians on horseback appears. They will join the PC’s in attacking the Toad-thing. The Toad will begin by killing several Kothians, as appropriate. Afterwards, the leader (fifth level soldier in the employ of Gravik’s noble sire) will be willing to talk to the PC’s. If they neglect to mention killing Gravik (if they did do so), agree to turn over the Baron’s son, and are sufficiently thankful, the fight is over and the remaining Kothians depart in peace, but any jerk-move ends up with a brawl among the survivors.
 

Yokiboy

Mongoose
Thanks DrSkull, I finally read the adventure, and I like it. I also enjoyed seeing Iron_Chef's take on the adventure, and like those Toad Things. It's cool to see two takes on the same adventure.

I might be able to run an adaptation of this adventure, where the party seeks refuge in the village of Stencovar. :twisted:

TTFN,

Yokiboy
 
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