Thursday, September 19, 2013
Vord's Familiar ~ an introduction to Clear Meadows
Back to swords and sorcery!
For those of you who don't know, Liberation of the Demon Slayer is an old school fantasy adventure I'm self-publishing. PDF and print versions should be available shortly. Tentatively, I'll say the release date is 9/23/13. So, in anticipation of that, I'm offering a brief micro-adventure which can be used as an intro to the LotDS adventure.
This collection of scenes revolves around a Stygian Imp, also known as a Night Imp because they're dark as night, as well as, being nocturnal. This particular Stygian Imp, Mobo, is the familiar to a powerful Demon named Vord who lives far below the surface. A fortnight ago, Vord became enraged about some conflict within "his" dungeon, and threw Mobo across the room. Feeling hurt and dejected, Mobo escaped up to the surface. Now, the Imp is causing trouble in the town of Clear Meadows.
Mobo can become invisible 3 times / night; he's devious, crafty, and mischievous. There are several places in Clear Meadows where he's been and continues to cause trouble. Some of these places might be where starting zero-level PCs work or spend time. Giving them a specific role in Clear Meadows should give PCs a feeling of belonging, so they'll help the town during the tough times ahead. The GM might want to run this mini-scenario right after the hour or two (depending on what system you're using) of character creation.
The object of this micro-adventure is to discover why things are going wrong in the town by finding and confronting Vord's familiar. Initially, the townsfolk suspect an apprentice, patron, or employee who has a bone to pick. A PC or two might find themselves accused - giving them even more reason to unmask the real culprit. The piece ends with a particularly horrifying nightmare which foreshadows LotDS's multi-level dungeon.
1 - 4 ...The Rampant Lion is the largest and most frequented tavern in Clear Meadows. Mobo likes removing chairs (while invisible) just before patrons sit down, urinating in the wine, and using a home-made slingshot to break full, foamy mugs of mead.
5 - 6 ...A nameless, three-man thieves' guild that occasionally takes on a street urchin or two. It's led by Staffol, a one-eyed thief of advanced years who wears an eye patch. Mobo has painted an exaggeratedly silly eye over Staffol's eye patch.
7 -8 ...The Pungent Pearl is a seafood shack on the edge of town. Mobo occasionally refreshes himself with messy night feedings of shrimp and other undersea crustaceans. He also likes to pour ice all over the floor.
9 - 11 ...Valstead the enigmatic wizard usually has a half dozen apprentices assisting him in his leaning, moss-covered citadel. Mobo might imbibe a polymorph into dragon potion when PCs are around. Just last night, he cut all the stars out of Valstead's periwinkle wizard robes.
12 - 14 ...The town guard. Mobo likes breaking spears in half, dulling blades, and greasing the stone steps leading up to the guard tower.
15 - 17 ...Lord Barok owns most of the fields in Clear Meadows. Of course, he needs a lot of farmers to till the soil and work the land. The Imp has dismantled the plow and continues to feed sleeping pills to the horses. His next jape will be spreading manure all over the barn cat named Sassie.
18 - 20 ...The clerics of Clear Meadows serve the town as best they can. Mobo can't resist adding a gelatin thickener to the holy water and discoloring the crotch area of a priest's white frock.
Eventually, the PCs will see a short, frail, night-black Demon prancing around the town, committing shenanigans, and generally being a nuisance. Capturing Mobo will prove difficult, as he is slippery and has invisibility at his disposal. When apprehended, the Imp tells the PCs that his name is Mobo, he's the familiar of a powerful Demon named Vord who lives somewhere beneath the town, and, yes, he's been causing all the mischief. The Stygian Imp doesn't know much at all about the Nether Realms, nor anything in particular about dungeoneering.
Before concluding the session, the GM tells the PCs about a dream they each have...
"You're walking through town until you come to a doorway. Going through it, you suddenly find yourself in the forest at night. Up ahead is a bonfire. Drawn to it, you walk up to the edge of a camp where cackling winged serpents fly above sinister robed humanoids. The robed humanoids hold meat cleavers above their heads, bringing them down, cutting into several torsos, legs, arms, and various gore-drenched body parts strewn before them. The spectacle sickens you. Before you can turn away from the grisly scene, the dark red visage of a Demon Lord appears in the midnight sky. He has a smug expression upon his face, arrogantly gesturing at something behind you. Still unable to move, you feel the sensation of worms - hundreds of them - crawling upon your legs and working their way up. The Demon disappears as it utters the following disembodied words, "M'zathrinah Vordes'torvik ak qxon fsirie e'visht."
Well, that's it. Thanks for reading. Can't wait for you guys to experience Liberation of the Demon Slayer. Soon...