Online Character Manager
7Hex Dragons: Current CampaignAdventure 2 in the Borderlands Campaign.
7 Hex Dragon: Delpan, To the Wizard's Mansion
To the Wizard's Mansion is designed for four or five 34-35 point characters (a fifth will be provided as an NPC half-elven scout if there are only 4). As a group they may have a simple magic item or two and/or a entry-level fine weapon or two between them. Adventure 1, Crosshaven, the Troll Raids, was a hack-and-slay designed to introduce inexperienced players to the basic combat options. In this adventure they are not expected to hack-and-slay their way through, and will likely get killed doing so. Many of their opponents will be too powerful and they must proceed with extreme caution. This is a recon/recovery adventure, not a storm the castle adventure. Warn them of this if they are new players and likely to attack on first sight. If you want to turn this into a more advanced adventure for 40-50 point characters by having the (much later) explosion of Winged Shadow Demons happen in the recent past. That way the adventurers can be harrased by Winged Shadow Demons on the way to Delpan and they will have to be stealthy indeed in Delpan itself. You can beef up the Vampires, Orc Warlord and the Shaman, too.
The two groups I have taken through the first adventure of this series, Crosshaven, The Troll Raids ended up with 2 fine weapons (+1DX) and 2 basic magic items: a belt that gives two points armour for 5 turns for 1ST cost and a staff that reduces the initial cost of summoning any one-hex creature to 1ST (the Wizard must already know the spell, and the wizard has to pay the full continuing cost).
At the end of Adventure 1, Crosshaven, the Troll Raids, we found a wizard who was under the control of a Demon Imp. The Duchy Captain that was staying at the Cup and Unicorn meets with Baron Kirgon and the adventurers. They can even go out to the Troll cave and see for themselves. They recognize this Wizard and want to find out what happened to him. He was from the town of Delpan, but it was very recently sacked by Hymenopteran as part of the "Conflict in the South". The mirror is from Gleremere, but the local wizards do not recognize how it works as it is was broken when the demon imp crept out.
Things the players can know:
So far there have been raids by Trolls, Vampires and Night-Gaunts, but the bulk have been Orcs and Hymenopteran (though not working together). Several small feudal estates have been sacked, Delpan, caravans traveling the easter route from Naroth and even some coastal raids have been reported. The Centaurs report increased activity in the Wildwood and they have had to pull troop so cover their southern flank. The elves also report creatures slipping outof the Wood to the north along the Gargoyle mountains.
Ranged on the our side are recruits from the various borderland baronies (including Baron Kirgon from Crosshaven). The Centaur and Elf rangers send advisors and train troops headed to the Conflict. The Duchy of Mt. Bronar has also sent a contingent and a high ranking officer, and there are of course town mercinaries from several cities closer to the IS border. A few Orc mercenaries are being put to use in the Hymenopteran areas. The Imperial Sorcerers have agreed to send in a few platoons to harry the orcs in the south and to show good faith (and start to extend their reach into these borderland baronies). They are also doing some mapping and recon along the coast to get more intelligence and follow up reports of increased activity out of the ruins of Gleremere. A few Enforcer Necromancers are around looking into the odd report of zombies, Night-Gaunts and vampires. So far these troops have burned out 2 Hymenopteran hives, harried orc tribes and pushed them south east, but were defeated (though able to retreat in an orderly fashin) by a surprise attack of Hymenopteran, Night Gaunts and Vampires. Combat Necromancers from Mt. Bronar, Girsallar and Thur have travelled to the area to investigate the undead appearances. The Captain in Crosshaven is just come from that battle and is transmitting mesages to the Duke and waiting for reply when our adventurers are chosen to take out the Trolls to the north.
Delpan is southeast of Crosshaven just off the trade routes and has a long history for this fairly under-populated part of the world. 500 years ago the area had been populated by a tribal group of fairly civilized orcs, the Graknon, who turned from attacking and plundering the caravans, to simply imposing the "orc tax" on them, to actually building a fortified enclosure to protect the caravans from competing orc raids (for a price of course). When the dwarves showed up, there was general strife as the dwarves hunted down the scattered orc tribes to guarantee trade routes, but seemed to make grudging friends with the Graknon, using them for intelligence, trading with them for food and occasionally retreating to the enclosure. The dwarves did this enough they started using their skills to help improve the Enclosure. They also would defend it when the scattered tribes came together to wipe out the enclosure and the hated Graknon. After the dwarves had essentially broken the resistance of the nomadic orc tribes, the Graknon prospered greatly, getting useful tools, weapons and gadgets from the dwarves in exchange for gold and food supplies. They were able to build some crude mansions with Dwarven aid and their culture flourished after their own style with a group of warlords keeping the peace (er, between quick outbreaks of bloody street battles). In the southwest corner of the Enclosure the Dwarves put several residences to house their masons who were building the simple mansions, called the Dwarf Quarter. This also protected them from any intercene street battles.
The Graknon fostered a powerful line of shamans. The shamans allied with various warlords and they quickly fell to bickering and striving against each other. They briefly unified to drive the dwarves out and sack some of their small outposts to the west and northwest. The dwarves, by that time, had already started to leave the area and return to their strongholds further south of the Steppe and could not offer any large scale resistance, so tended to fortify their dwellings and trade with newly arriving humans from the outskirts of the IS for food (in addition to trading with the IS itself).
That was 400 years ago. 215 year ago there was bloody schism in the ranks of the shamans and the town was suddenly deserted with rumors of plague, possesion, undead roamings and curses. The town lay deserted for over 100 years when a group of half-orcs and refugee humans from the IS came upon it. They resettled and tore down the shrines to Orcish deities. The caravans started coming back that way and a smaller town emerged. It was renamed Delpan in honor of the first elected head of the town, the wise half-orc Delpan. The mansion that our Wizard friend took over was home to one of the old warlords allied with one of the strongest shamans groups. The warlord would provide troops which the unpopular shamans often did not have. Our Wizard friend was a refugee from the IS.
Four months ago, Delpan was totally sacked by a sudden and well planned attack by Hymenopteran. The Hymenopteran dug under the north wall and collapsed it in the wee hours of the morning (Hymenopteran do not generally do this, they spent a long time doing this for not much return. Those residents not killed in battle were hauled off for food except for a few refugees that were able to escape, including our unnamed Wizard friend who teleported until he fell unconscious. Last intelligence seems to indicate it is still deserted (minus the odd plunderer), but that was 2 months ago.
The Captain will send a Half-elven Ranger named Lawdon to guide the adventurers to Delpan if there are 4 or less adventurers. The mission is to find the mansion and recover any papers, magic items or other goodies that would explain his behavior over the last several years, and above all see what his connection with the Demon Imp is. It is more important to bring back information than to try to storm the city if it has been occupied by hostile forces.
Info for the GM to run the Adventure:
They will cross over hilly plains with some scrub and a scattering of trees. After 12 days travel they will get into increasingly barren hills and war torn spots. There are raiding orc tribes in the area taking advantage of the general chaos. And again, the Hymenopteran are seemingly being driven by odd forces to greatern acts of pillage than they would even in drought (some Vampire Prince is the best guess as there have been reports of Vampires and Night-Gaunts in the wake of the Hymenopteran, though that is only half the story of course).
Random encounters will include Orcs, Hymenopteran scouts and possibly a Vampire with mercinaries/Night-gaunts who will flee if the battle looks like it will not be easily won.
Delpan has been sacked, but is not deserted. Decendents of some of the shamans of old have been plotting to come back, but lacked the organization and resources to do it. Once the Hymenopterans did the dirty work and left, the Racknash tribe has moved in. The head shaman also wants the same mansion that our Wizard wanted. Unknown to our adventureres, the old shamans of Delpan were so consumed in fighting each other they dabbled in greater and greater magics until they were summoning demons to out compete each other. More and more reckless they became until the demons took notice of all the impudent summonings through the same channel. A few very powerful demons slipped through and became de facto deities to the various shaman groups. It was just a few years later that the demons came into conflict directly and the town fled after witnessing the 3 Demon Lords fighting in the streets. The only survivors that witnessed that terrible confict were some apprentice shamans. One of the Demon Lords was destroyed and another was gravely wounded. He instructed the shaman to entomb him deep underground so he could go into hibernation to heal. They did that under the vaults of the mansion that seems to cause so many problems. The Orc shaman started in the Mansion next door (which was occupied by a Vampire Prince after he left), but has moved here. He is not certain that the Demon is here. He has a neclace that will help him find the demon, but only has some clues on how to awaken him.
The scattered orc tribes are being reunited by the Orc Shaman. He has been having dreams of a return of the Demon (who they treat as a minor deity). The Graknon are a tribe who themselves go back to the Kirean Kingdom and were servants of the last Hand of God on Earth. They carry with them, unknown to any outside of a small number of tribe leaders, a Kirean Stone Dagger. This will play in later adventures.
The decendents have passed down some artifacts from those old
shamans and vowed to go back to find their Demon deity, recovering
their fallen state to the old grandeur. The artifacts include an iron
key to the vault were the demon lord is entombed, a necklace that if
dangled will gently pull towards the resting place of the Demon Lord
and a small chunk of oddly colored, vary hard stone, roughly
half-spherical in shape, that was set between the three horns on the
Demon Lord's head, but knocked loose in the battle. It has small
powers to protect the one who holds it or curse his enemies. It's
power is hard to detect and somewhat unpredictable to the point that
many in the tribe don't believe it has any powers at all. If placed
back on the Demon's head, it will aid in his reawakening, though that
still is several years off (several months if the stone is put back
in). The stone will react to the holder's mental state if carried on
his person, and when in distress relating to combat or danger type
situations it will, once per combat situation/fight (i.e. one
adreneline rush, there must be about 10 minutes between fights for the
adreneline to subside and to get another chance for the stone to
The mansion seems to attract curse and disaster, the most recent wizard as proof. It is now crawling with orcs trying to uncover the tomb of their Demon Lord.
Adventurers can go as far as they like and if it gets too difficult in the mansion can and should retreat to either rest for a few days and try again, or if they have enough info, to report on what is going on. Remember their mission is not to retake the mansion or the city but to report on activity there and gather any of the Wizard's notes and books.
The adventurers will be sent in with two 5-point healing potions each and a trained pack llama/mule if they like (i.e. it won't panic in a combat situation, but may be targeted by Hymenopteran for food if left unattended).
Lawdon Half-Elf Ranger: ST 10 DX 14 AdjDX 13 (16 with bow). IQ
13. MA 12. Cloth Armour, Elf Horse Bow (1+1 2x/turn), Fine
Day Encounter - 1 in 6 chance, 2 times per day: morning, afternoon
Night Encounter - roll once per night
Orc raiders: ST 11 IQ 8 DX 11(9) Leather, Short Bows, cutlass, daggers
Traveling Orc Band:
One Vampire (ST 15 IQ 12 DX 12) Invisibility, control
animal, summon wolf and can fly. Talents: Sword, Charisma, Courtly Graces, Warrior
Outskirts of city, is surrounded by a few small buildings: an empty stable, a few merchants kiosks (abandoned and already plundered) and two almost completely destroyed guard shack 50 yards out from each of the East and West gates. Otherwise the city is rural and is surrounded by farms and some cattle/sheep ranching to the East. These have all been abandoned and plundered. You can roll for a plains encounter, but only Orc raiders will be encountered (i.e. if a random encounter is rolled, then just assume Orc Raiders).
The City itself: see enclosure wall with major breach on north wall, orc groups are roaming. Mostly interested in pillaging and theft. If the players play it right they can sneak through the enclosure fairly easily. Otherwise they may have to try to scale a wall and rouse the dis-organized orcs and will probably have to retreat several miles. The good news is the orcs will probably only think the party are bandits and will only half-heartedly chase them and then step up patrols to watch out for them coming back.
Once over/in the enclosure, they will have to travel to the Wizard's Mansion. Between the breach and the Wizard's mansion is the Vampire mansion. In the Mansion lives a Vampire Prince who has taken up residence in the basement/dungeon, attracted by the same power in the Wizard's mansion that brought the Wizard there. He is under control of the Vampire Lord Dranyon in Gleremere who has sensed things happening in the Wildwood and feels a connection with a power here. The prince has several vampire spawn and henchman with him in that mansion. The orcs give him a wide birth as he presents no immediate problem, but is watched. If the players cause too big a ruckus there, they are likely to meet slightly more organized resistance at the wizard's old mansion since the orcs will report it. Plus the Vampire Prince has a watch on the Mansion and if the adventurers look like they are attacking, he will hang back, pick off any straggler orcs and await the outcome. If either side wins but is sorely injured, he will attack them. If the adventurers soundly defeat the orcs he will wait and ambush them if they leave with huge troves, otherwise he will wait up to 2 days before venturing in himself.
The orcs know of the Vampires but feel they are not a huge threat, will not generally feed on orcs and act as additional scouts. They will turn on the vampires on a moments notice if they think it necessary.
Orc Patrol at any break in the enclosure, consists of one leader
and 1d6 orcs (minimum 2). Should be easy to ambush
City Encounters - roll 2 in 6 per intersection, adventurers
can often avoid these if they are very careful. Though there is a 1 in
6 chance the monsters below have been following the adventurers and
will surprise them.
Wolf and Keeper, main job is to find intruders and sound alarm, not fight.
Random Building - will contain:1-3 nothing
5 Orc scouts and warriors
6 Vampire Prince's followers
Bandits 1+1 bandits.
Vampire Mansion - the neighboring mansion to the north
(between the breach in the wall and the Wizard's Mansino) is the
recent residence of a Vampire Prince. This Vampire Prince is allied
with the Vampire Lord in Gleremere and is
doing advanced scouting for him. Vampire will be in the basement in
his coffin during the day in all probability and during the night will
be in the mansion coordinating scouting expeditions around Delpan (but
particularly the Wizard's Mansion) (1-5), or will be in the Wizard's
Mansion (invisible in all probability):
The basement is the main working area of the mansion now. The windows have been covered in bricks from broken houses. The 2nd and 3rd floors are all but deserted (maybe an occasional Spawn trying to find magic items to help him break free of his master.
The Vampire Prince has scrolls laid out in the basement and is also trying to figure out the location of the demon. He has spies on the orc warlord and shaman. He does not want to risk open conflict as he has fewer followers and has too little evidence of what he is sensing. He, and his Lord, have a connection with the Hymenopteran and helped to subtly attack the city. He sensed that they were already motivated to attack, he does not know why but was happy to help them along by suggesting the tunneling trick.
Wizard's Mansion - the mansion was home of a warlord, who was initially part of the ruling clique, but not a dominant member. When he switched allegiance to the shaman early his fortunes increased. Unbenknownst to him the shaman who moved in with him was summoning demons and pulled one of the three great ones that destroyed the town. He was injured an interred in the basement in a vault constructed for other purposes. The shaman will flee with the key and the necklace so the characters will not see the demon. There will be copious notes scattered around the mansion about demons and notes about a demon interred in Delpan, somewhere. Depending how far they get in the house (the orcs are clustered on the first floor and basement), they can get histories of Delpan and other goodies to fill out the picture. This mansion is a great sneak around, quiet and out. If they get caught on the third floor it could get ugly as the orcs will have time to call in reinforcements before the adventurers can fight their way down the stairs and out the door (maybe they could hide in the Vampire mansion!). There are 30 or so rooms, a few trapped, mostly empty, a few magic items of minimal quality. There will be the occassional orc looking for quick booty and they must kill them quickly.
The Orc Warlord is in the courtyard at the front of the Mansion organizing guards, scouting parties, etc. He will send all his minions to fight and will initially shield rush to engage the strongest enemy that is already engaged with another of his orcs (this will allow him to escape more easily if the tide turns). Total the Shaman and Orc control about 30 orcs in Delpan (their tribe consists of about 500 of which 150 are servicable as warriors). There are 6 as personal body guards to the Shaman and the Warlord. The other 27 are in 4 scouting parties, a few wolf keeper patrols and two couriers.
Orc Warlord will have the Stone and is in the Couryard organizing the scouting parties
If the adventurers create any kind of noise or conflict, the Orc Warlord will circle the wagons and defend the Wizard's mansion with extra-patrols and bowman from the 2nd floor. He will also send a strong patrol to do a recon of the Vampire's mansion and report back. The adventurers will have to probably retreat for a few days and hope the warlord assumes it was just a bandit raid and will relax his guard. The Shaman will not fight what will surely be percieved as a rag-tag bandit group and will do everything to help his minions quickly kill them (while stepping back) or escape if there is the slightest doubt of his personal safety. He has higher goals.
Shaman is in the Mansion resting between searches (using Reveal
spells, etc) with bodyguards. Main Orc Shaman has the Necklace and
Key. He has run into a dead end as the passage where the demon is
interred has been sealed with dwarven work and it will take awhile to
find where to break through the wall.
The Shaman will not be captured under any circumstance. He always has a look out so will not be surprised. He will retreat one hex per turn and cast in order: Summon Gargoyle, Invisibility, wait one or two turns while reatreating 3 hexes, and then Teleport up to the main mansion if things look dicey or cast an Illusion of a Gargoyle if it looks close (which could add up to three Gargoyles: his, apprentice's and his illusion). Bodyguards will surrender if both Shaman and Apprentice leave or are killed, etc. He possesses a Kirean Stone Dagger, but will keep it hidden unless put into HTH combat. All minions are told to protect the shaman and will disengage to go help him if he is attacked.
Shamen: ST 20 DX 12 IQ 15 Staff, Summon Gargoyle, Curse, Control Person, Fireball, Invisibility, Mage Sight, Reveal/Conceal, Teleport, Analyze Magic, Illusion, Summon Lesser Demon, Reverse Missiles
If the adventurers get in a fight with the shaman, things will probably not go well for them. The shaman will alert the warlord, who will recall all patrols and manage an intelligent counter attack that will first attempt to storm the basement, failing that, will wait for the adventurers to come out due to thirst.
Magic Items to be found scattered, none will be self-powered. Blur ring, dazzle necklace. Also, Fine Dagger (+1DX, +1Damage), jeweled gloves worth about 500SP,
There are a few key books in the Wizard's old room and in the basement that relate to the history of the Kirean Empire, Delpan and Hymenopteran. His scrolls are written in a language the adventurers don't understand. They should take these for translation in Mt. Bronar (Lawdon or one of the Captain's messengers). The Adventurers will then be sent to Naroth to talk to one of the Duke's Wizards (or Necromancer if using 7HexDragons House Rules. See trip to Naroth
The Captain's Scribe in Crosshaven will be able to do some rough summary of the scrolls. The Wizard was a refugee from Dar Karador where he was banished for dabbling into Necromancy outside a brotherhood and releasing a Spectre on the streets near the Sorcerer's Intelligence HQ. Later he drifts through the borderlands and continues odd researches in Spirit Magic and demonology and such. He reference the Imp about 4 years ago and goes to Delpan trying to find the source of a magic field that is near there.