The Portals of Eternity
The Portals of Eternity is a one-off type adventure that can play comfortably in one night. It was written for a small group of players. While it appears to be a tough and complex in apparent plot devices, is really quite linear in its plot execution. The adventure takes place within the city of Shadow River and is intended as a quick and easy introduction adventure to get the players (and the GM) comfortable with the city as a background.
Cast of Characters
Ambassador Serena Blackthorne - Sindran Sorceress
She is the main protagonist and the villain in our story. She is politically untouchable in the role as ambassador and can call upon the town guard to protect her in the event of problems with violent people she can't handle on her own. She should be described as beautiful, graceful and intelligent. She is after all.
Prince Kaland Agamo Tonindar (The Demon) - Defender of the Iron Kingdom and the Grand Duke of Harm.
Prince Kaland is the victim of circumstance. He is a reluctant hero and used to a life of luxury and pleasure. He is a hulking (7' tall), muscle bound cross between a vampire and a gargoyle in appearance. His mannerisms are that of a sophisticated, hedonistic nobleman with an alcoholism problem. Though he is built like a wrestling superstar, he doesn't behave like one. "Gentlemen do not brawl. They hire others to do their brawling for them."
Grond - Munk's Troll Bodyguard
A huge Ogre bodyguard in the employ of Munk. He is the main foil against the players in the event of trouble. Given his size and appearance he should be easily mistaken as a monstrous foul tempered troll. Since the characters will seldom see the Grond in any situation except when he's guarding Munk, this is probably all they will know about him. Play him as big, dumb and strong.
Munk - Smuggler
A rogue and a weasel at heart, Munk will do just about anything (that isn't too dangerous) for a silver coin. He is also a coward, though when Grond is around he doesn't show it. He is also a "respected" Temphisian merchant and of course plays that role very well. He should be played as part comic relief and as a source of information later in the story.
The Cat-girl twins (Delia and Delilah).
If you've ever seen Tank Police then you know the Puma sister. That is excellent imagery to start with. These two are constantly bickering and sniping at each other's flaws. But deep down they love each other and will not allow the other to come to harm. They are a terror when they fight as a team.
Delia - Helt Cat-girl Warrior
"Come here little mouse, I'm hungry" sums up her personality when she's mad. She is an attractive, muscular combat machine with an attitude. She is constantly getting into fights because of her twin sister, whom she is constantly bailing out of jams she gets into.
Delilah - Helt Cat-girl Rogue
Party girl in a feline body is the best description for Delilah. Delilah loves a good time, is constantly poking her nose into places it shouldn't be and then running back to her sister with trouble hot on her heels. She is always chiding her twin sister Delia about her temper. "If it weren't for your temper we wouldn't be wanted for murder, mayhem, piracy, public indecency and kidnapping". Delilah is a perfect candidate for a player with the girl magnet defect. Her ability to get others in trouble will not extend just to her sister as she will have her "man" to act as her defender as well.
Lieutenant Vernon Tode - Town Guard Lieutenant
A short, frumpy looking man. He is the typical absent minded professor type of character. He is a genius and one of the most competent guard lieutenants in Shadow River. He is actually the personal secretary to the Town Watch Captain and really more of a glorified clerk than a guardsman. He takes his duties seriously and is always trying to root out the agents of evil within the Citadel and the city. He is definitely not a ladies man, but is a perfect guy magnet foil for any female players with that defect.
Svelt - Satyr & Boru Club Owner
Think Satyr mafia boss and you're on the right track. He is by appearances just another hedonistic Boru strip club owner. But in reality he runs all sorts of shady operations in his neighborhood. He is also a good source for underground information and rumour. Of course his club is also a great spot to hang out and be pleasured into the poor house.
Trog - Gargoyle
A common enough gargoyle trying to make ends meet. He is an underpaid security guard.
Generic Town Guardsmen
Red shirts, grunts and cannon fodder. They throw themselves into harms way by the dozens. Usually they come out on the worse end of any fight despite their numbers.
Act One - A Chance Encounter
Scene One (along the River Front)
The entry point for the story takes place in the Beacon District near the river front and the Necropolis.
The street is busy with pedestrians out shopping through the merchant stalls and shops. The smells of the riverfront, taverns and the restaurants blend together to assail the senses (and empty stomachs); Carts, horses and the occasional carriage all clatter their way through the avenue.
A beautiful lady crosses your view and makes her way through the shopping crowds. Her dress and bearing marks her as a noble born Sindran sorceress. As she gracefully navigates through the crowd there is a loud snap and a flash of light near her. The crowd parts quickly, a dazed cutpurse is holding his burned hand and then quickly gets to his feet and disappears down the street, a couple of guardsmen giving chase. The lady hardly glances back and continues on her journey towards an alley.
A small shifty looking man in a rumpled set of clothes follows the Sindran sorceress. He is careful to stop at the alley entrance and look down it with a pocket mirror on a stick before entering the alley.
Depending on the players actions this is what will happen if they do not interfere:
The shifty man will go to the back door of a warehouse and listen at it for a bit. Then scratching his head he will then leave the alley quickly. He will mumble something about "why is she using the back door I wonder?" as he leaves. He will then walk along the avenue towards the Guards Barracks down the street.
Scene Two (The Alley)
In the alley between the Templar Arms Inn and an Import/Export Exchange.
The Templar Arms Inn three stories towers over its neighbor across the alley, the Import/Export Warehouse. The door where the little man paused before leaving the alley is about half way down the empty alley. You can hear the sounds of raised voices coming from behind the door.
Depending on the players locations will dictate their view of what happens. Anyone going to the door will hear what sounds like an enchantment or ritual being spoken then a woman yelling "be careful with that you fool!" and the sound of something falling and breaking, followed by a loud bang, a flash of light and the door exploding from its hinges.
Any players who are listening at the door need to make a DCV check, modified by their acrobatic skill, to avoid being caught in the blast. If they fail then they are hurled into the wall of the Inn and then slammed into by some large mass of leathery flesh - they take 20 points of damage from the blast and collision. Those that succeed manage to dive to one side and witness the large form of a daemon come flying out of the blasted doorway. There is a moment of smoke and silence, then the sound of the Sindran yelling "Don't let it get away!"
Followed by Munk coming into the doorway and yelling for Grond to "go get it"
This is a good point for some good old anime comic relief. Have Munk turn to run from the alley only to run into Grond (who is far too big for this doorway) who is trying to get out. At this point the demon will look at any PC in the alley with it, belch a stale beer belch and mumble something about a "helluva a hang over" and introduce himself as Prince Kaland. His next question of "where am I?" should be cut short by Grond bashing an ogre sized hole into the wall and stepping out into the alley. The demon will look at the PC and tell him/her "I hope you can handle that. I need a drink." and move as quickly as his not-so-sober legs will take him down the alley.
A large crowd at the other entrance will shriek at the sight of the demon rising from the smoke and call for the guard. That leaves just one exit from the alley for the players and the prince.
Hopefully the PCs will not decide to fight in the alley and will just make a break for it after the "demon". Prince Kaland should be portrayed as dazed, drunk and friendly, gentlemanly in fact. He is after all a royal and expected to behave accordingly. Under no circumstances will Kaland "brawl" with the ogre. Such behavior is beneath his station.
Munk is a comic relief character in the villains tow. The sorceress is too busy right now handling her cargo to get involved in the initial chase, but there is always the next scene.
Scene Three (Broken Goblet Tavern )
This scene takes place in a tavern not far from the Import/Export Exchange.
The Broken Goblet Tavern is a two story building with a large common bar room with tables and booths. The sight of the "demon" entering the hall will cause the patrons to back away in fear. The tavern empties out quickly save for the Tavern Keeper and a barmaid who is too frightened to move at the moment.
This is an opportunity to introduce some more characters into your story depending on your desires. The prince will gladly share in a drink with any PCs that have decided to be curious about him and try to explain himself as best he can. The last thing he remembers is being at a party with his harem and watching a hack magician doing tricks very badly. His last trick was to make a member of the audience disappear. The Prince had volunteered his Vizier for the trick. The magician waves his staff and poof Kaland was sitting in the alley with a nasty hangover and some monstrous brute trying to pummel him. The prince will offer to hire any male players as his "varlet".
Enter Delia and Delilah: A woman's voice will be heard calling out "Delia! Heeeelllllppp!!!" and a bundle of soft cat-girl will come springing through the window into a (male) player's lap. Out of breath her first words will be "Oh- hi there." followed by a seductive smile. She is carrying a bundle of clothes and jewelry in her arms. Delia will come down the tavern's stairs dressed only in a towel, still wet from her afternoon bath and carrying two katanas.
Delia (the one with the swords): "What did you steal this time?"
Delilah (sitting in lap): "Nothing, there was a loud bang and these things landed on me. I didn't steal them I found them in the street."
Delia: "Then why are the town guards chasing you."
Delilah: "It's all a misunderstanding I tell you. I stood up and then this guy started yelling about me being a thief. I just ran."
Munk (he has just arrived with a group of guards) points at Delia (the one with the swords) and calls her a thief. The guards attack, Munk retreats when he sees the "demon". Delilah slinks under the table to hide during the fight.
When the players finish with the guardsmen, Delilah will get up and look out the window and then yell "look out, fireball!" and dive back under the table. The tavern should suddenly explode in a fiery blast. If the players make a dive for cover then they will be unharmed, don't even bother rolling dice. The wall of the tavern is now blasted open and we now get to see our Sorceress and the Ogre arrayed with the town guard outside.
There are two options. Fight or run. Both will work. Keep the fight short and after a few rounds have a large reinforcement column of guards arrive. Make it clear it's time to run. The prince will not fight in this scene either. But he will pick up any unconscious players and fly up to the roof tops to escape. Delia and Delilah can both jump onto the rooftops. Any others will be helped up with a rope that Delia always carries for emergencies. Delilah will not fight in this scene.
This is an opportunity to throw a bunch of guardsmen into a fight with the characters. Don't beat up on the players a whole lot. In fact they should beat the guardsmen and force them to retreat outside. No matter how tempting it may be, Delia shouldn't lose her towel during the fight. Any player trying to take it is going to get thumped by an un-amused cat-girl.
Act Two - The plight of a Prince
Scene One (The Royal Necropolis on a Mausoleum Rooftop)
Picture a scene with your players, two cat girls and one large demonic gargoyle brooding on a mausoleum rooftop and watching the town guard go about the city looking for them. A couple of real gargoyles will watch nervously from a distance on other convenient perches. They will eventually fly away without approaching. Delia has changed into the clothes her sister rescued from their room in the tavern during the fight.
This is a role-playing opportunity. This is the time to play out Prince Kalund's civil manners and his unhappiness with being ripped from his comfortable household, not to mention "needing another drink" and having the twins snipe at each other about whose fault it is that they are wanted in yet another city.
Delilah: "That temper of yours is always getting us into trouble."
Delia: "My TEMPER!!! If you would keep your hands off other people's belongings then
I wouldn't have to defend you."
Delilah: "Oh sure you always blame me. If it weren't for your temper we wouldn't be wanted for murder, mayhem, piracy, public indecency and kidnapping".
Delia: "You started the mayhem. I was taking a bath and how was I to know that monsters have rights in Birah anyway?"
Delilah: "You booked the pirate ship so we could escape!"
Delia: "You stole the princess's carriage with the princess still in it!"
Delilah: "Well she didn't seem to mind being kidnapped at the time and we did have a lot of fun shopping at least until the Royal Guards showed up."
And they will both start to giggle.
Ultimately Prince Kaland will ask the players to find him a suitable house and invite them to stay with him. He will produce a few gems from out of no where for them to use as payment for the house. Conveniently there is such a house available in the next scene.
Scene Two (The "haunted" Mansion)
The manor is located in the Beacon District in an older neighborhood complete with the overgrown yard and wrought iron fence. It hasn't been lived in for as it is supposedly haunted. A Necromancer tried to clear the house and even he fled in terror after just one night in the house. Or so the rumours go-..
The manor is a multistory house with many guest rooms and large windows. It is completely devoid of furnishings other than an old chair near the fireplace.
This is another role-playing opportunity. Prince Kalund will be slightly put off by the lack of care the old house has received and produce more gems for the players to procure furniture, food, and dancing girls. He wouldn't mind a harem if they could procure one of those as well.
The twins aren't so pleased with the place. It gives them the creeps (they can sense spirits) and they're sure it's haunted. Though once a fire is going in the large fireplace they will happily rest in the warmth and stop complaining.
Basically just set up the market scene which follows. The players will need to see to a lot of things which can be brushed over quickly. The important thing is to get them to the market and hopefully into Svelt's club.
Scene Three (In the Market)
The market is crowded with shoppers and merchants. The noise of conversation and the raised voices of the bartering sessions make communication very difficult.
It is not hard to arrange the delivery of furniture and other goods to the "prince's" residence. Rumour will quickly spread about the players being agents for a rich foreign prince and they will all clamor for their attention.
Notices are being posted everywhere around the square.
"A reward of 100 silver pieces for any information leading to the arrest and capture of an evil demon and the demonologists who summoned it. They are wanted for assaulting the Duke's guards and destroying property. They were last seen fleeing from the vicinity of the Broken Goblin Tavern. All reports are to be given to the Citadel. By order of Guard Captain Queevish"
People will talk about the current state of affairs and how the world is becoming a more dangerous place to live.
A man will attempt to get the players attentions and mention that he can provide them with anything their master might want, anything at all, for a price of course. He will tell them of a club where any pleasure can be bought and for a few copper coins he will gladly take them there.
This is a good chance to give the players some more information about what is going on in the city. They will know that there is a reward out for them even though they aren't responsible for Prince Kalund's arrival on Uresia. Such is the fate of heroes. Hopefully they will get the bright idea to try and clear up this mess themselves and go to the Citadel. In the mean time following the man to the Boru club (Scene four) will get them some other information they won't otherwise get a chance to hear.
Scene Four (The Boru Club)
The club has two very large Minotaur guards at the door that check weapons and make sure any undesirables stay out. There is also a cover charge of a few copper coins to pay, but that's cheap. The club is lavishly decorated with fabrics and jewel coloured lanterns. The place has an intoxicating aroma that makes the senses start to swim. The scantily clad men and women serving drinks and delicacies only add to the heady feeling.
The players are shown to a table where food, drink and entertainers will soon start to circulate.
After a suitable amount of time for the players to have spent some money in his club has passed, a well dressed satyr named Svelt will arrive at the players table. He will tell them that he has heard that they are in the market for some exotic pleasures for their lord and he is only too willing to assist in their quest to procure those things for him. After all he must be tired from his journey to Shadow River and will need his rest and relaxation before attending the secret council meeting this Friday.
Have each player make a Soul check when they enter, note the failures. If any of the players failed their soul check they will not be able to refuse the services and will quickly go through any money they have on their person buying drinks, food and renting dancers.
Svelt is also fishing for information. He has heard of a secret council meeting at the Citadel, but knows no particulars. He also is smart enough not to push matters and just stick to business. He can be trusted to live up to his end in procuring dancers and exotic foodstuffs for Prince Kalund.
Play out the scene as far and as long as you and your players want to go. Just remember the longer they spend in here the poorer they will become, especially the ones that can't say no.
Act Three - Into the Lions Mouth
Scene One (Citadel Gates)
The Citadel is well described in the Uresia book. Add in the ornate gates where the guardsmen stand at attention and you have the scene.
This is another role-playing opportunity with some possibility of conflict if your players are rash. The guards are very uncooperative about letting anyone into the Citadel. They are very suspicious and much more dangerous than the rabble that patrols the city. If the players produce one of the notices and/or claim to know the whereabouts of the demon and his accomplices then they will be told to wait in a nearby room in the gatehouse.
During the initial encounter with the guards at the gate have one of them be an opposite gender of any of your players with the wanted defect. Have the guard stare at the player intently and the player notice a wanted faded and worn poster with their likeness on it, half hanging on the wall next to the guard. Let them sweat it out for a bit before having the guard smile and wink at them. If your player doesn't get the hint, then have the guard ask quietly if they have a boyfriend (for female players) or a girlfriend (for male players).
It's an opportunity to add suspense and levity in one sweep.
Scene Two (Bored Desk Sergeant)
The players are escorted to a room with lots of other people in it. They will be called one at a time and are sent into another room. No one comes out of the room after they go in. After what seems like an eternity (well as far as eternities go in anime anyway) the players will be called in to the room.
They will enter into a sparsely decorated stone walled chamber with a large wooden table with a pile of paper on one end and sitting behind it is a very tired and bored looking guardsman.
The sergeant is tired of every con artist coming in with another story about how the demon has possessed their neighbor's dog and demanding the reward and isn't really listening to the player's tale either. Have him mock the tale at every opportunity with a bored and sarcastic rebuke.
However should the players ever mention the Import/Export and especially the Sindran woman then a head will pop into the doorway behind the sergeant. The frumpy little man from Act One/Scene One will come into the room and tell the sergeant that he'll handle this one. He will lead the players into an office in the City guards' headquarters within the Citadel grounds.
This encounter will require some finesse on your part. Try not to frustrate the players as they try to clear their names. Any opportunity to get Lt. Tode's attention should be taken. The sergeant just wants to go home to dinner and was roped into an overtime shift because he couldn't pay a gambling debt to a colleague and this is his way of paying back. You get the idea.
Scene Three (In the lair of Lieutenant Tode)
Tode's office is a disorganized mass of paper piles and books. You cannot see his desk which holds the majority of the piles. The walls are lined with book cases all filled to overflowing. It looks like a good sneeze would bring the whole thing crashing to the ground.
Another Role-playing opportunity. Lt. Tode will take a seat and have the players take seats as well (his office has some stools in one corner). He will grill the players for information about what happened following his leaving the scene. From time to time he will write down notes as the players speak.
He is very keen to know what the Sindran Ambassador was doing in that part of town. This should be news to the characters who don't know she's an ambassador. At which point Tode will share some information of his own.
He suspects Serena to be an enemy agent, but he doesn't know what she's up to. She claims to have done her civic duty by helping the town guard while out shopping. She even filed a complaint to the Duke regarding the poor job the guards have been doing.
He is concerned that the Captain is spending a lot of time in her company. He is away at this very moment at another party with her. He thinks she might have ensorcelled him, but can find no evidence.
The guard sergeant in the Beacon District is known to be on the take, but the Captain has protected him claiming to be working on a much bigger case that would be ruined if Tode intervened.
Munk is a suspected smuggler, but no one can ever catch him in the act. Tode doesn't know how he gets the goods in or out of the city and avoiding the tax collection fees.
Tode desperately needs unofficial agents to act on his behalf. He will use his knowledge of their wanted status (if any), their current plight (as suspected demonologists), or any other defect that he can use to try and coerce them if they are unwilling to help. If the players are amendable to a little breaking and entering than he won't resort to such measures of course.
Tode wants them to look into the Import/Export Exchange and see what they can find out. Around sunset he will tell the Beacon District Guard that he will be raiding the Exchange at midnight. This should give the players a couple hours to get inside and find out what they can. He'll meet them at their residence as it would be unsafe to discuss anything here. He will of course get their current address. He's not above having them followed if necessary.
Try to leave the impression that Tode is basically an honest man that has been forced to do something he doesn't like doing.
Act Four - In search of Trouble
Scene One (Inn behind the Import/Export)
The inn is a clean and friendly place that caters to the well-to-do traveler. The lower floor has a large dining facility for common dining for those that do not wish to travel out at night to an eatery. The proprietor is a plump Temphisian woman with a friendly smile and a sharp eye for people with money.
The Inn provides a very good place to case out the Import/Export Exchange across the alley. It stands a full floor higher than the neighboring building allowing for convenient access to the Exchanges roof with a simple leap from the window.
Anyone sitting in a window can see that security has been beefed up around the exchange. There is a guard at both ends of the alley and another at the hastily repaired rear door. The guards are well armed and appear to be very alert even if somewhat bored with the duty. The rooftop has what appears to be a trap door into the building and no apparent guards, though the guards in the alley would see any daylight attempt to jump the alley from the Inn.
After dark a gargoyle will take up his post on the exchange rooftop. Munk arranged to hire Trog for a few copper coins to keep an eye on his place from the rooftops. Trog is just a young gargoyle trying to help support his family and does odd jobs like this for the money. He isn't particularly loyal to Munk and is easily bribed to go on a break for a few minutes.
Initially Trog will act aggressively and challenge the players who decide on a rooftop entrance, but will not attack unless he is attacked first.
Scene Two (Inside the Attic Apartments)
The rooftop trapdoor leads into what appears to be a small observatory of sorts. A telescope apparatus and various notes lie strewn about the room. Nothing of any importance is in this chamber.
In the next room is an office with a desk, some chairs and more books and papers laid out neatly on the desk. The sounds of Grond humming comes from what appears to be a kitchen in the next room.
The players should keep this one covert and quiet. The observatory has no real useful notes for the players. It's just Munk's hobby, but let the players make what they want of it just the same.
The desk has two sets of books on it. One appears to be a shipping type manifest that has lots of codes written in it. The other appears to be his accounts book. Any player can attempt to decipher the basics of the codes with a Mind Check modified by as a +4 difficulty and any decryption skill they possess. Success will glean the dates of cargo shipments including the latest one which occurred on a couple of days ago, the day that Prince Kalund arrived as a matter of fact. Failure will glean them just the dates. A critical success will allow them to partially decode enough to guess that Munk is smuggling in Sky Fall artifacts, highly taxed commodity in the city.
There is nothing here other than information. Taking the books will annoy Munk to no end of course. If the players decide to investigate further they will encounter Grond in an apron, in the kitchen. An ogre with a hot frying pan is almost as dangerous as one with a club.
A messenger will arrive while the players are foraging through the office. The conversation will be muted by distance, but Munk is obviously unhappy and will come up the stairs calling for Grond. This is a good time for the players to depart as they will be coming into the office to grab the books before trying to move his other goods.
Scene Three (Cornering Munk)
The exchange becomes very busy after the messenger arrived. A cart is brought into the alley and parked by the back door. The guards are posted at both ends of the alley to prevent anyone seeing the activities. Munk supervises Grond moving crates from the exchange onto the cart. Several large crates will be put into the cart. Munk will then tell Grond to go get the guard at the end of the alley and bring him back. Grond will trundle off.
This is a perfect opportunity for the players to corner Munk and get some answers. Munk is a coward and his first reaction is to run for it. If Delilah is with your group, then three daggers will come from her position (in the window of the Inn) and pin the little man to the exchange back door.
Munk will try to bluster his way out of this situation at first. But Grond is too far away to notice the commotion at the moment. He will quickly break down and spout everything he knows.
The Sindran Sorceress commissioned him to smuggle in the two mirrors from a contact in Sindra. She calls the mirrors the Portals of Eternity.
She used a spell to activate one of the mirrors and gave it to Munk to hold. Then she activated the second. Munk admits to being startled when the sorceress reached through her mirror and her hand came out of his. He dropped the mirror and it cracked, and then exploded. The sorceress was very upset about the demon coming out and was very upset that the mirror was ruined. She was planning on using it to get access to the shipment of emeralds sitting in the Citadel vault before the committee moves them to the capital on Friday.
Keep this encounter going as long as you want, but when it's time to end it, have Grond come charging down the alley to save his friend. Smart players will leave while the going is good. Feel free to toss any warmonger players that just have to prove they can take the beast, into the next street with Grond's first good blow.
Scene Four (Meeting Lt. Tode at the Manor)
The mansion is now furnished and looks like a respectable (with slightly hedonistic overtones) home of a gentleman. Kalund will be dozing off a drunk in the large chair. The house is eerily quiet; the sound of knocking at the door will be enough to startle the twins.
Another role-playing segment, Lt. Tode will be very interested in the night's events and will grill them as usual looking for clues to what is going on. Tode will also get the courage up (wringing hat in hands) to ask any female player with the guy magnet defect out to dinner.
What Tode knows:
There is a party at the Citadel this Friday afternoon and evening.
Tode will however arrange to have the players hired as entertainers at the party. The intent being to keep an eye on the Ambassador at the party to see what is going on.
There is a couple of days of down time if you want to have the players run around doing other things and perhaps even introduce other plot hooks for the next adventures you plan to run. Or you can just compress time and move onto Act Five.
Act Five - The Party
Scene One (Palace Gardens)
The party is held in the immaculate miniature city otherwise known as the Citadel. The park like area chosen for the festivities has animal shaped hedges, sparkling fountains, marble benches and green grass. The nobles play at games of tennis, croquet and other leisurely activities. There is a feast set out upon long banquet tables covered in white table clothes. Entertainers of all sorts work to keep the social elite entertained or amazed.
The players will need to keep an eye on the ambassador and do their acts. You can either brush over this scene or draw it out with the players trying to follow the Ambassador around the party.
Example encounters include bored nobles demanding they entertain them, jealous entertainers who are upstaged by the players (or feel they have been), the players witnessing a petty thief disguised as an entertainer pocketing some of the silver, a rival musician trying to out perform a player. This a good place for nemeses, girl/guy magnets and other defects to become a full blown role-playing opportunity. Imagine the issues with a player that has a foreign princess fall for the player don't forget the accompanying guards or father either.
The more the scene comes alive and the more Non-player characters the players are trying to interact with the more likely they are to lose track of Serena at the end of this scene.
Serena would have already have raided the vault if Munk hadn't damaged one of the mirrors. Serena can go through one mirror and exit from the damaged one, but she has been unable to do the reverse. This means that she can get into the vault, but to get out again unseen she has been forced to change her plans. She is in the company of the Guard Captain who is doting upon her. Despite Tode's misgivings she hasn't ensorcelled him, she has charmed him into his current behavior. The Captain will not tolerate anyone harassing the ambassador.
Obviously any violent behavior will be quickly dealt with. Any disruptive players will find out that the Citadel guards are not as easy to handle as the town guard can be.
Serena will go back to her quarters after the party.
Scene Two (Above the Treasure Vaults)
The party is over and the guardsmen are gathering the entertainers and escorting them from the Citadel. Lt. Tode will come running up and relieve the guards of the players and tell the players to come with him. He will hurry back towards a large palatial structure in the center of the Citadel.
The vaults which contained the emeralds this morning and right after the party doesn't now! Tode has already tried to find the Ambassador but she is missing as well. He is very cross with himself for not stopping the theft and apparently the Captain is very cross with him for the ambassador's apparent kidnapping.
Lt. Tode will take the players to a chamber where nobles and guards are running about and talking excitedly. Guards move to seal off the building and the nobles go off to confront the Duke, arguing and accusing with each other. Lt. Tode will have the player wait here and he will run off to do something important.
How the final confrontation pans out really depends on your players. Serena has put the guards at the vault to sleep and is now walking up the stairs invisibly. She is carrying a large sack of emeralds and trying to be as quiet as possible. She will be annoyed to see the players again, but will walk through as quietly as possible to escape detection.
If any characters can detect magic (the twins for instance) they will get that "feeling", those with heightened senses (twins again) can make a mind check to see if they spot the carpet depressing as if someone was walking across it. If there is no way for the players to see or detect Serena, then have her drop an emerald as she gets about halfway across the room.
The sight of a large green gemstone appearing on the carpet from nowhere should give any astute players an idea that something is wrong.
Serena will defend her self to the best of her ability; the invisibility spell will drop the first time anyone makes contact with her physically or by spell. Remember that she has already cast one sleep spell and so she is down on energy by 32 points. If she wins, then she will escape with a good selection of emeralds. If she loses (and she should) then the players will be heroes and the room will fill with guards and noblemen. Lt. Tode will ask any of the sticky fingered players (and Delilah) to return any missing stones.
Final Act - A Hero's Reward
Final Scene (Duke's Throne Room)
The Duke of Shadows sits on his throne deciding what to do with the group of players. His advisors and guards line both sides of the opulent throne chamber. Lt. Tode stands behind the group.
The Duke demands to know the events that have led up to tonight's events. He will sit and listen quietly to everything the players have to say. If the players are honest then the Duke will declare that he has decided to grant the players a minor boon of their choice. Should they prove dishonest in their tales he will dismiss them from his court with his thanks, but no rewards.
Dishonest tales doesn't mean they left out embarrassing details, just that they made things up that are obvious lies to the sorcerer advisors who are tasked with detecting any such lies.
If the plight of Prince Kalund is made known to the Duke then he will welcome the foreign prince to his city and grant him asylum.
The twins (if present) will request a pardon for themselves for any "minor infractions" they've committed in the city. After a quick whispered conference with an advisor he will grant it.
Anything that isn't unreasonable to the balance of the game will be granted. He is a Duke after all. Should any player decide that the mirrors are the key to returning Kalund to his world and ask for them, the Duke will hesitate before answering. After another whispered discussion with another advisor the Duke will grant one mirror to the players, the unbroken one. The broken one shall be placed in a safe location to prevent its use as a portal.
The players will be escorted from the Citadel and returned to the City of Shadow River as court heroes.
Ambassador Serena Blackthorne - Sindran Sorceress (40 Points)
Three time winner of the Sindran "Olympics". She has spent the last several years looking into the ancient lore of the gods. She has many theories on what has happened as well as many discoveries of ancient skyfall artifacts. The Portals of Eternity are her most recent find. Unfortunately magical her research is both expensive and draining. She plans on trying to use the Portals of Eternity to travel back to the time before the skyfall, but to do so will require a huge amount of stored energy she doesn't have. After overhearing a conversation about emerald trade and learning that Shadow River is the port where the emeralds are delivered before going onto the Capital gave her the chance to get the power she needed for the ritual. Arranging to be the ambassador to Temphis was a simple matter to arrange with her connections.
Body 3 Mind 7 Soul 9
Health Points 60, Energy Points 90, Shock Value 12, Attack Combat Value 6, Defense Combat Value 4
Skills : Artisan 1 (4 points), Cultural Arts 1 (2 points), Law 2 (4 points) ,Linguistics 2 (6 points), Seduction 1 (3 points), Writing 1 (1 point)
Attributes : Energy Bonus 1 (1 point), Dynamic Sorcery 3(Any Discipline, 12 points), Appearance 6(attractive, 6 points), Aura of Command 1 (1 point), Art of Distraction 1 (+3 levels from Appearance, 1 point)
Defects : None
Equipment : Nothing extraordinary
Game Notes : She is the perfect ideal woman (physically) for most men in Uresia or at least that's their fantasy.
Fireball - Weapon attack Level 3 (30 damage, Area Affect, Burning, Short Range, Energy 12 Points)
Force Field Level 1 (15 damage prevented, Only Protects Character, Energy 3 Points)
Lightning Bolt Weapon Attack Level 3 (30 damage, Penetrating (Armor), Energy 12 Points)
Invisibility Level 1 (Invisible to Normal Vision, Energy 5 Points)
Sleep - Weapon Attack Level 4 (60 damage, Area Affect, Stun, Extra Energy, Short Range, Energy 32 Points) +1 Modifier Soul Check on Spell.
Prince Kaland Agamo Tonindar - Defender of the Iron Kingdom and the Duke of Harm. (40 Points)
Kalund is a 7' tall well muscled cross between a gargoyle and a vampire. Though fearsome in appearance he is really quite soft-spoken and polite. He is used to a world filled with Succubae harems, lavish palaces, dancing girls, good food and wine. His only job is to procreate and fight his country's wars which are actually duels between mighty state champions. Prince Kaland and his peers are usually quite civil and culturally sophisticated when they aren't facing each other on the battlefield. The Prince's fondest desire is to return home. But in the meantime he will settle into this new world and see how he can make a difference for the better. His first project will be organizing the gargoyles and improving their pay. But that is another adventure isn't it?
Body 7 Mind 7 Soul 7
Health Points 70, Energy Points 70, Shock Value 14, Attack Combat Value 9, Defense Combat Value 7
Skills : Artisan 1 (4 Points), Biological Sciences 1 (2 Points), Business Management 1 (2 Points), Cooking 3 (3 Points), Cultural Arts 2 (4 Points), Law 1 (2 Points), Performing Arts 1 (2 Points), Writing 1 (1 Point)
Attributes : Aura of Command 2 (2 points), Combat Mastery 2 (4 Points), Extra Attacks 1 (4 Points), Massive Damage 2 (10 extra damage, 4 Points), Flight 1 (Can Hover, 4 Points), Force Field 1 (60 damage prevented, Both Directions, Uses Energy [ ], Static, Can Protect Others, 4 Points), Wealth 2 (6 Points)
Defects : Awkward Size 1 (1BP), Marked 2 (2BP), Physically Unappealing 2 (Demonic Appearance, 2BP), Attack Restriction 2 (Will only fight in duels of honour, 2BP), Easily Distracted 2 (Alcoholic, 2BP)
Equipment : None
Game Notes : Kaland can "summon" his wealth in the form of small non-magical gems. He is willing to pay for luxuries, but he is not willing to throw money away for no return.
He will not fight in this adventure.
Grond the Ogre bodyguard (40 Points)
Grond is a huge (8 ½ feet tall, 500 Lbs) slow witted brutish figure. Though he seems like your typical monstrous killer troll he is actually pretty gentle, but he is fiercely loyal to his friend Munk. He is slow to anger personally, but is easily enraged when his friends are in danger. His greatest strength is more intimidation than brute force, but if he should hit then the target is usually smashed into many pieces. Grond doesn't speak (or think) much and does pretty much anything Munk tells him to. He acts as Munk's maid, butler, cook, bodyguard and anything else Munk tells him to do. Grond will defend Munk with his life, but will not act as an assassin.
Body 9 Mind 3 Soul 5
Health Points 110, Energy Points 40, Shock Value 22, Attack Combat Value 5, Defense Combat Value 3
Skills : Melee Attack 1 (5 points), Unarmed Attack 1 (4 points), Cooking 1 (1 point)
Attributes : Damn Healthy! Level 4 (4 points), Light Armor Level 6 (Obvious, 15 damage stopped, 6 points), Natural Weapons Level 2 (Claws & Fangs, 2 points), Super-Strength Level 2 (Entire Body, +20 points close combat damage, 6 points), Massive Damage Level 2 (10 extra damage, 4 points), Weapon Attack Level 1 (Massive Club, melee only, 45 damage, 4 points)
Defects : Awkward Size Level 1 (1BP), Not So Fast Level 1 (1 BP), Unskilled Level 1(1BP)
Equipment : Massive Club, Well worn Mail Shirt and heavy leather breaches
Game Notes : Big, Dumb, and Strong.
Massive Club ACV = 6, Damage = 75 points!
Claws ACV = 6, Damage = 35 points
Fangs ACV = 6, Damage = 32 points
Munk - Temphisian Merchant & Smuggler (20 Points)
Munk on the surface is a Temphisian merchant specializing in exotic imports and exports. His successful business is really a cover for his part of a smuggling operation, which until the players got involved was very successful and quiet.
Body 3 Mind 5 Soul 5
Health Points 40, Energy Points 50, Shock Value 8, Attack Combat Value 2, Defense Combat Value 0
Attributes : Highly Skilled 2 (2 points), Organizational Ties 1 (Moderate Power, Smuggling gang, 1 point), Divine Relationship 4 (4 points), Personal Gear 2 (2 major items, 8 minor items, 2 points)
Defects : Phobia (Combat, 1 BP), Inept Combat (2 BP), Not So Fast (1 BP), Not So Strong (1 BP), Awkward (1 BP), Skeleton in the Closet (Smuggler, 1 BP)
Equipment : Whatever you think he needs.
Game Notes : Coward.
Combat Notes: He won't fight unless he is sure he's going to die, Grond is his only defense against the players.
Delia - Helt Cat-girl Warrior (35 Points)
A beautiful Creesh female with a fiery temper. She is tiger striped and has the typical humanoid Creesh appearance, tail, claws and fangs all make for a very attractive package with a mean bite. She is constantly getting into trouble because of her twin sister Delilah. She is jealous that Delilah is prettier, more likable and gets all the good looking guys. Despite the misery her sister puts Delia through; she still loves her sister and will stand against anyone trying to hurt her. The gods won't be able to help anyone who does actually hurt her sister.
Body 6 Mind 6 Soul 6
Health Points 60, Energy Points 60, Shock Value 12, Attack Combat Value 8, Defense Combat Value 6
Skills : Melee Attack 3 (15 points), Melee Defense 2 (10 points), Unarmed Attack 1 (4 points), Acrobatics 1 (3 points), Stealth 1 (4 points), Burglary 1 (4 points)
Attributes : Features or Accessories 2 (fur, tail, cat ears, 2 points), Heightened Senses 2 (Hearing, Vision, 2 points), Jumping 1 (1 point), Natural Weapons 2 (Claws & Fangs, 2 points), Sixth Sense 2 (Detect Magic, Sense Spirits, 2 points), Special Movement 2 (Balance, Cat-like, 2 points), Speed 1 (1 point), Appearance 2 (Attractive, 2 points), Combat Mastery 2 (4 points), Highly Skilled 2 (2 points), Kensei 3 (Two Weapons, Lightning Draw , Chanbara Master, 3 points), Personal Gear 1 (1 major items, 4 minor, 1 point)
Defects : Guy Magnet (1BP), Not So Strong (1BP), Wanted (2BP), Nemesis (Twin Sister, 1BP), Marked (2 BP)
Equipment : 2 Katanas, Light Armour, 2 Dozen Silver Coins, knife.
Game Notes :
Katana ACV=11, DCV = 8, Damage = 8 (Single handed and without jumping).
Delilah - Helt Cat-girl Rogue (35 Points)
A very sexy Creesh girl who is the splitting image of her sister, except she has all the charm, poise and moves to go with those curves. She will make a beeline for her sister anytime trouble starts and it seems to follow her no matter where she goes. Delilah often regrets going to her sister for help as it invariably means that Delia will beat up the neighborhood and gets them both into more trouble. Delilah is always trying to hook her sister up, but they always end up liking her instead. Delilah loves nothing more than a good party and fun. She however also has a weakness for pretty jewelry and clothes. If it's something nobody is likely to miss, then she'll borrow it for a while. This usually ends up with Delilah running to her sister with guards hot on her heels and trying to explain that she was just borrowing it. Delilah isn't a warrior and isn't real good at close combat situations, but she will never abandon her sister in a fight. She usually takes a perch somewhere high and provides missile support before diving in claws and teeth first.
Body 6 Mind 6 Soul 6
Health Points 50, Energy Points 60, Shock Value 10, Attack Combat Value 6, Defense Combat Value 4
Skills : Stealth 2 (4 points), Burglary 1 (4 points), Thrown Weapons 4 (16 points), Ranged Defense 1 (4 points), Unarmed Attack 1 (4 points), Unarmed Defense 2 (8 points)
Attributes : Art of Distraction 0 (+2 levels from Appearance Features or Accessories 2 (fur, tail, cat ears, 2 points), Heightened Senses 2 (Hearing, Vision, 2 points), Jumping 1 (1 point), Natural Weapons 2 (Claws & Fangs, 2 points), Sixth Sense 2 (Detect Magic, Sense Spirits, 2 points), Special Movement 2 (Balance, Cat-like, 2 points), Speed 1 (1 point), Appearance 5 (Attractive, 5 points), Highly Skilled 2 (2 points), Focused Damage 1 (Daggers, 1 point), Kensei 1 (Katana space, 1 point), Gun (knife) Bunny 3 (Lightning Draw, Two knives, Dead Eye, 3 points), Personal Gear 1 (1 major items, 4 minor, 1 point), Stealth 1 (Hearing, 1 point)
Defects : Not So Strong (-2 damage, 1 BP), Wanted (2 BP), Nemesis (Sister,1 BP), Marked (2 BP), Not So Tough (1 BP), Easily Distracted (2 BP)
Equipment : Light Armour, about a dozen daggers hidden on her person (Katana Space).
Game Notes :
Thrown Daggers ACV = 10, Damage = 10
Trog - Gargoyle (35 Points)
A typical young gargoyle who is just trying to make a living for his family in a society where he doesn't quite fit in.
Body 5 Mind 2 Soul 3
Health Points 75, Energy Points 25, Shock Value 15, Attack Combat Value 4, Defense Combat Value 2
Skills : Stealth 1 (4 points), Unarmed Attack 2 (8 points), Unarmed Defense 2 (8 points)
Attributes : Combat Mastery 1 (2 points), Damn Healthy! 4 (4points), Heavy Armor 1 (Obvious, 10 damage stopped, 4 points), Life Support 2 (2 points), Natural Weapons 3 (Claws, Fangs, Horn, 3 points), Flight 1 (4 points), Stealth 5 (Vision, 5 points), Super-Strength 2 (Entire Body, +20 points close combat damage, 6 points )
Defects : Awkward Size (1BP) Not So Fast (1BP, Marked (2BP), Physically Unappealing (1BP)
Equipment : None
Game Notes : He's a great drinking companion, but not much of a talker.
Claws ACV = 6, DCV = 4, Damage = 25
Fangs ACV = 6, DCV = 6, Damage = 22
Generic Town Guardsman (15 Points)
Your various thuggish employees of the town's guard force.
Body 4 Mind 4 Soul 4
Health Points 40, Energy Points 40, Shock Value 8, Attack Combat Value 4, Defense Combat Value 2
Skills : Melee Attack 1 (5 points), Melee Defense 1 (5 points), Military Sciences 1 (3 points), Intimidation 1 (4 points), Law 1 (2 points), Swimming 1 (1 point)
Attributes : Shield 1 (1 point), Focused Damage 1 (Broadsword, 1 point), Light Armor 3 (Obvious, 7 damage stopped, 3 points)
Defects : Owned by a Duke (1BP), Easily Distracted (Commotion, 1BP)
Equipment : Broadsword
Game Notes : None
Broadsword ACV = 5, DVC = 3 (4 with shield)
Portals of Eternity: These twin mirrors are an artifact out of myth. Supposedly a god gave one to a mortal lover so that he may always gaze upon her and they could visit each other as they willed. Some of those powers would appear to be true as you can look into one mirror and see what the other is facing. Serena was able to walk between he mirrors as well, until Munk broke one of them.
Now the broken mirror only shows a cloudy haze and cannot be used to travel through. The unbroken mirror still shows what the other mirror sees, though it appears to be through a cracked window. The unbroken mirror can still be used to walk through to the broken mirror.
However the Duke has placed the broken mirror into a darkened room deep in the legendary dungeons of the Citadel, high upon a stone wall. Beneath the mirror are placed sharp iron spikes hidden in a pool of water. The Duke doesn't want anymore uninvited guests. The players will be warned not to try and use the mirror to travel.
Serena makes for a good nemesis for any or all of the players. She will be deported as she can't be imprisoned. In time she will return to exact her revenge upon those that thwarted her rise to power.
The underworld will not take kindly to the gargoyles muscling into their turfs and will take steps to remove this upstart foreign prince from Shadow River (and perhaps Uresia).
Lt. Vernon Tode will have other clandestine missions for them to do for him on behalf of the Duke. Things a guardsman shouldn't be doing themselves of course.
If the players have one of the Portals of Eternity then Serena will definitely be back for them. She still needs at least one of the mirrors (preferably the unbroken mirror) to complete her master plan to become a god.