Last Hopers

High adventure by Zoom, from the Faerûn to the Dragon Empire to the Lands of Rûl. D&D 5th Edition (Wizards of the Coast), 13th Age (Pelgrane Press), Shadow of the Demon Lord (Schwalb Entertainment)

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nemarsde
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Last Hopers

Post by nemarsde »

An 0th-level adventure for Shadow of the Demon Lord using the official module Dark Deeds in Last Hope.

Who will play? Who will survive?
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nemarsde
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Posts: 355
Joined: 20 Jul 2007, 20:04
Location: UK
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Lunch Rush at The Ribald Reeve

Post by nemarsde »

The Ribald Reeve is Sister Hope's only tavern, run by hard-nosed, cigar-chewing landlady, Mercurial Blanche. Although the original establishment was founded around the time of the Imperial invasion, it has been rebuilt many times over the centuries. Its name now conjures images of a jolly, red-nosed civil servant, but its name may have originally been spelt Reave not Reeve. As in "joyous raping and pillaging".*

Lunch hour is always a busy time at the tavern. Who are some of the regular lunch-time patrons?

Gob of Lij
Goblin Ratcatcher
Often found squirming around under floors, in wall cavities and lofts throughout Sister Hope. Gob is always dressed in the same fancy, baroque clothes, that are covered in rats droppings, sawdust and worse. He may even be infested with rodents himself. He finds regular work at the town's only tavern.

Inge
Jotun Healer
Rents a room in the stables behind the tavern, the only place with a ceiling high enough for a jotun. Inge's massage and joint cracking is well-regarded in the town, and the landlady takes payment in services rendered.

Tosk White
Human Jailer
An unassuming but watchful-eyed youth who works out of the stronghouse across the road, under Constable Cray. Master Whitey gets free lunches at the tavern, paid for by the town, and never misses it.

Walter Pots
Human Potter
Late-middle-aged craftsman who lives alone but supplies all of the town's pottery, including that of the tavern. As such he makes regular deliveries and will stay for a pint or six.

Fistface
Orc Maritime Guard
A somewhat wasted-looking orc, Fistface serves with the town's maritime guard and so gets free lunches at the tavern, paid for by the town. She often seems to hold her tongue but when she speaks can be surprisingly eloquent for an orc.

*Then again, Sister Hope herself is derived from Sista, a local word meaning "last".

nemarsde
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Posts: 355
Joined: 20 Jul 2007, 20:04
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Session 1

Post by nemarsde »

The usual lunch gang are at The Ribald Reeve (Gob somewhere under it), the sun already setting. Walter propping up the bar, Tosk and Fistface waiting on seal-meat casserole, Inge in the attached drying-room, drying her linen. Gob crawling around under the floorboards.

Small talk is interupted by a startled scream from outside from Margery, the baker's wife. On her way to the tavern with a bread delivery, she bumped into a deranged stranger covered in blood.

The lunch gang investigate, the stranger is a young man in fine but warmer weather clothing. He babbles about the priest at the Temple of the Holy Finger (Father Solomon) turning into a monster and attacking him. The blood is not the young man's, though he has a deep cut from his hand riding up onto the blade.

He's brought to his senses by Inge, but refuses to see the constable and has to be chased down and restrained by Tosk and Fistface.

Tosk manacles the young man and takes him to the gaol to speak to Constable Cray.

Inge and the others investigate the temple and find the vault broken into, the reliquary empty, and evidence of an altercation. The theory is that the young man broke into the vault, attempting to steal its treasure, but was surprised by Father Solomon. The blood on the floor is unearthly, neither human or rat, implying Father Solomon was stabbed and may indeed be a monster. Evidence is *cough* gathered by Walter.

Meanwhile Tosk presents the young man to Constable Cray. Cray has other strangers locked up and it transpires they're all one crew, who docked in Sister Hope a few days ago in a sorry state, and tried to force the boatwright to repair their ketch, instigating a violent affray. One of the troublemakers got away, the young man who the others call "Edgar". They all have slave brands, implying they're escaped slaves.

Tosk chains Edgar to the desk and leaves to rejoin the rest of the lunch gang at the temple. Together they follow the blood trail into the woods, stopping by the cemetary to verify that two graves have been recently uprooted.

Into the deep woods. Night-time, midwinter, snow falls heavier by the minute. They find the local woodcutter, Aengus, murdered and stripped, and Father Solomon's vestments disgarded. The monster has changed identity.

Then, the gang come across a hide in the woods, probably built for hunting but now with attached awnings. As they enter the hide, Tosk is attacked by an animated corpse that springs up from under the snow. Inge fells it with her axe.

In the hide they find books on necromancy, a grimoire of spells, and a ritual circle. The books are stamped by the Wizard's Guild of Freeport. Walter mars the circle and *cough* gathers evidence. Gob finds more body parts outside, from two long-decayed corpses, and from Father Solomon (a few weeks old).

The Mayor's son, Adelmar Clemp was recently sighted by Fistface aboard a ship bound for Sister Hope, in the company of a lovely young lady. He was supposed to be studying magic in Freeport. He must have returned and hidden out in the woods, practicing necromancy.

The blood trail continues on into the wilderness. The lunch gang follow, Gob acting as lookout from what shall henceforth be known as the rat's nest (Inge's shoulders).

Getting cold. A figure is sighted ahead in the trees. A lovely young lady in the woodcutter's clothing.

And from behind a stand of trees, wild, obscene, animalistic noises and firelight.

Scouting ahead, Tosk and Gob see a bonfire surrounded by sheep-headed beastmen in a homo-bestial orgy. Adelmar Clemp is trussed up and hanging from the bough of a tree, being milked by a beastman.

In the meantime, Fistface, Inge and Walter are approached by Mayor Clemp, dressed in woodcutter's clothing, who begs them to help rescue Adelmar. They see through the ruse and the shapechanger confesses...

She met Adelmar at the Wizard's Guild in Freeport, they became tight. When Adelmar found a necromantic grimoire in the library, he believed he could abandoned his studies, return to Sister Hope and master the magic in his own time. She accompanied Adelmar, murdered Father Solomon and stole his identity so she could come and go from the cemetary without suspicion, digging up bodies for Adelmar's practice.

Earlier that day, the shapechanger disturbed Edgar as he was rifling the temple and he attacked her. Fearing she'd been discovered, she fled the scene and sought out Adelmar. Adelmar was consorting with beastmen though, trying to make a breakthrough in his studies.


The shapechanger calls herself "Mock" and is unaffected by iron.

The lunch gang agree to undertake a rescue, getting Gob and Tosk into position with ranged weapons before Inge leads a charge with Walter, Fistface and Mock.

It's a brutal fight, the beastmen hold their own at first but succumb to fomorian panic. Their horned chief then charges out of the darkness, smiting Fistface with his iron spear and revealing her to be a changeling, made of soot and charcoal. Mock demonstrates teleportation magic, and the gang finally prevails, surrounding and slaying the chief.

Adelmar is freed and embraces Mock. Inge and Fistface are hurt but will survive, though struggles to regain her orc form. Her real name is Rook.

Town is in uproar when they return. Edgar and his crew broke out of goal, killing Constable Cray before invading the home of the boatwright and brutally murdering the entire family. They then stole a ship and fled out to sea. The maritime guard led by the Serjeant-at-Arms, want to launch a pursuit but Mayor Clemp has heard the rumours about his son being in town and wants to form a search party.

This is resolved when the lunch gang hand over traumatised Adelmar, with a story that leaves out necromantic practice. Mock disappears into the night. The maritime guard set out after Edgar's crew; Rook assumes a new identity. The Mayor must appoint a new constable and Tosk puts himself forward. A message is sent to the jotun jarldoms that beastmen have wandered into Blötland.
  • Just what breakthrough was Adelmar trying to make?
  • What is Mock and why is she so interested in Adelmar?
  • Is it aught to do with the spell grimoire now kept secret and safe by Walter?
  • Will Tosk be appointed as the next constable of Sister Hope?
  • Will Rook get away with assuming a new identity?
  • Will Inge have to shave her head to get rid of the rodents left behind by Gob!?
  • Can Edgar and his crew be brought to justice and the town's stolen relic returned?
Find out next time in... Shadow of the Demon Lord

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