INTRODUCTION


These are the Adventure Pages to the THACO DRAGON Second Edition rules webpage - the Unofficial Version 2.6.

Adventures will focus on simple and easy to use plots - often without a map - in the Book of Lairs style. Some header pics may be incorporated at the top of these Adventure posts. Suggestions for expanding the story may feature at the end!  Click here for THACO DRAGON ADVENTURES - if not already on the home page.

DMs may need to tweek the map scales (hopefully not) since I have been unable to play test these creations. Please leave a comment if you've run any of these stories!

Raid on the Temple of the Shoulai Monks


The characters are tasked by the local magistrate with arresting a fugitive hiding within the Shoulai Temple. This Oriental Adventure, set within the Shou Lung Empire, is intended for a strong party of 5th level Player Characters.

Prologue:

Whilst in the town of Lianchong the characters observe a scuffle in a back ally. Four white robed monks have cornered a young lady who appears in distress. One monk pushes her violently against the side of a town house. If the PCs approach they overhear this monk demanding money. "You still owe us five ch'ien". The frightened lady timidly replies, "It's too much, I already paid you three ... Please give me more time".

If the characters try to intervene both the monks and lady tell them to "butt out", and "you will only get yourselves in trouble." If the PCs act aggressively, they are told that intervention will bring the wrath of the Shoulai. At all times the monks behave arrogantly and aggressively towards the party. If fighting does break out, the monks flee after two fall in combat. The lady in trouble flees once fighting begins. The characters can resolve this encounter peacefully if they pay the 5 ch'ien.

Liling Sun 0-level Human (dressmaker)
AC: 10 HD: 1 hp: 6 THACO: 20 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1 (Hand) Mv: 12 Alignment: N
Equipment: Blue cotton dress, silk sash, carved lacquered hairpin, cloth slippers, 5 fen/2 tael.

Shoulai Monk Chaoxiang (leader)
AC: 6 (Dex 16) HD: 3 hp: 20 THACO: 17 (unarmed) Attacks: 3/2 Damage: 1d3+3 (Fist) or 1d6+3 (Foot) Mv: 12 Alignment: N(E) xp: 150
*Special Benefits: Foot attack vs armed opponents suffers no penalties, Iron Skin martial arts ability.
*Minimum Stats: Str 14 Wis 12 Dex 14
Equipment: White Robes, slippers, money pouch 23 fen/12 yuan/13 tael.

Shoulai Monks (3)
AC: 7 (Dex 14) HD: 2 hp: 14 THACO: 18 (unarmed) Attacks: 3/2 Damage: 1d3+3 (Fist) or 1d6+3 (Foot) Mv: 12 Alignment: N(E) xp: 100
*Special Benefits: Foot attack vs armed opponents suffers no penalties, Iron Skin martial arts ability.
*Minimum Stats: Str 14 Wis 12 Dex 14
Equipment: White Robes, slippers.

If this incident is resolved without fighting, the lady quickly thanks the party, saying "you know of course, that I can never repay your generosity, I'm sorry you ended up in this mess" and runs off. If caught, and forced to explain what happened (Liling will never do so willingly), the lady tells the PCs that she promised to pay eight ch'ien to the Shoulai to discourage a bullying suitor (he was beaten unconscious). Whatever the outcome, this encounter is overheard by a resident (from inside a town house), who reports what happened to one of the town constables.


The Magistrate's Edict

A few hours after the incident in town, the party is approached by constable Chu Long. He politely interrupts, "Excuse me, but I am here to inform you that you have been summoned to see the Magistrate. Word has spread that you dealt well with those Shoulai ruffians. I am Chu Long, Senior Constable."

Chu Long explains to the characters that the Shoulai are fighting monks that commonly perform martial acts - dispensing 'true justice', in exchange for money. They often overstep their bounds, but little is done because of feared reprisals. It is rumoured that supernatural beings inhabit their Temple, and that these evil spirits will target the families of their enemies if anyone dares act against them. He does not explain further, asking that the characters wait until they see the Magistrate.

Chu Long Senior Constable
AC: 7 (Dex 15/M.Arts/Single wpn style) HD: 3 hp: 21 THACO: 17 Attacks: 3/2 (Jo specialised) Damage: 1d6+2 Alignment: LG
*Martial Arts proficiency of Weapon Use retains unarmed AC benefit.
Equipment: Black jacket, trousers, and shoes, Jo Stick (not currently equipped), leather ties.

The party is lead through town to a tall three-storey stone building featuring round red-framed windows and a faded orange-tiled roof. A stone stairway intersects the structure at its midpoint. The doorway at the top, flanked by red columns, is open. Half a dozen Imperial Soldiers (1HD), armed with Jian (Straight Swords) and dressed in black padded armour with red trim, whose sole duty is to protect the building, mill about lazily.

Entering through the doorway the characters immediately find themselves in a large room with a polished-wood floor that is interspaced with square polished-wood columns. Various couches, chairs and pedestals are set against the walls. One seat is centred in the middle of the room. Upon the pedestals lining the walls are various carved statuettes; a dragon, lion, tiger, a horse, a fish, a turtle, and an elephant. They are sculpted from ivory, jade, and black lacquered wood. Upon the walls hang various landscape paintings, of steep hills and bamboo forests.

As the PCs enter, the doors on the far side of the room swing open and an animated old man clutching a long handled fan, dressed in black robes and black winged (wushamao) hat shuffles forward. He speaks as he moves toward the chair situated in the room's centre, "I saw you approach, please help yourselves to some of the chairs." Chu Long, an awkward expression on his face, speaks, "I present, Magistrate Xiao Fang."

Once seated, the Magistrate tells the characters that he has had a long running problem with the Shoulai Monks. Although they have not killed anyone, many people have been severely beaten. The monks say these are 'personal disputes' and no one will talk. His Constables are too fearful to challenge them, and the Imperial Soldiers stationed here will do nothing because it is not within their range of duties - which is to protect Imperial property and defend territory from outsider attack. Issuing punishment for the Shoulai, such as imprisonment or fines, is pointless.

However recently, one transgression has occurred that cannot be ignored. An outsider, a known criminal, from Kozakura, arrived in town, and took refuge in the Shoulai Temple. This fugitive, a dangerous warrior who is wanted for a number of unjustified killings, escaped arrest after killing a Constable and wounding a number of others. The Shoulai allowed the fugitive shelter since they offer this to anyone who pays them large sums of money. Despite what happened none of the Constables are willing to challenge the Shoulai on this matter.

Magistrate Xiao is prepared to pay the party 100 Ch'ien if they will bring back the fugitive, known as Bakiro, to face punishment. If Bakiro is killed during the arrest then his body is to be delivered forthwith.

He issues an Edict (pre-written upon a scroll hidden within his robes) which says that; any obstruction of the characters in their official duties will be considered a crime that can legally be met with escalating levels of force; that the party is authorised to enter the Shoulai Temple to apprehend the fugitive Bakiro; and that the discovery of any evil spirits inside the Temple will be seen as proof the Shoulai are a danger to society and that they should be taken into custody to face punishment.

Magistrate Xiao Fang 0-level Human (scholar)
AC: 10 HD: 1+5 hp: 10 THACO: 19 Attacks: 1 (Stiletto Blade + poison) Damage: 1d4+Poison (0/20) Alignment: LN
Equipment: Black wushamao hat, Black robes, black slippers, Long Handled fan with hidden (poisoned) blade, rolled scroll (Edict for the arrest of the fugitive Bakiro).

After this meeting the PCs may take their time to prepare themselves. Constable Chu Long says that the Shoulai Temple is not more than half a day's journey from town and that there is no immediate rush to act. He regretfully tells the party that he will not be going since he has a very real fear of reprisal upon his family. He describes the route - starting from the little used East Gate, wherefrom the party will need to travel for about two hours along the main road, until encountering the first large man-sized boulder, and then turn northwards onto an intersecting path that runs through the bamboo forest.


The Temple of the Shoulai

After less than half a day's journey, the party finds that the bamboo forest they entered becomes sparse. A steep range of hills rises directly before them. Cut into the rocky, almost vertical face of the hillside is the Shoulai Temple. It appears as a dark rectangle right at the end of the path. An overhanging red-tiled awning extends over the recessed Temple's entrance (that is 20 feet wide, with the entrance extending 15 feet into the hillside). There are eight wood carved columns in two rows of four along the front, black in colour (depicting dragons), and also four large incense holding pots filled with sand against the far wall. A dark red lacquered door is featured in the middle of the wall.

A monk in white robes lounges in a large wicker chair directly underneath the mid-point of the awning, a conical straw hat covering his head. Next to him stands a small bronze coloured gong set within a dull green metal frame. If the PCs have taken no precautions to conceal their approach the monk notices the party at the same time they see him (at 300 yards). He moves to stretch himself and then relaxes back into his chair - an action in which he taps the Gong with an outstretched arm.

Shoulai Monk (1) Hu Kang
AC: 6 (Dex 16) HD: 4 hp: 21 THACO: 15 (unarmed) Attacks: 3/2 Damage: 1d3+4 (Fist/Str) or 1d6+4 (Foot/Str) Mv: 12 Alignment: N(E) xp: 200
*Special Benefits: Foot attack vs armed opponents suffers no penalties, Iron Skin, All Around Sight martial arts abilities.
*Minimum Stats: Str 14 Wis 12 Dex 14
Equipment: White Robes, slippers, door key, Silent Gong of Warning.

Tactics: Hu Kang, if he notices the party, taps the Silent Gong of Warning to warn the Bugbears stationed behind the front door (that is bolted from the inside). Another Gong inside the Temple magically rings alerting the monsters - the Gong outside remains quiet. The Bugbears then spy though an eye hole set into the front door. If fighting breaks out they rush outside and join the fight. The door has 50hp where edged weapons, other than axes, only do half damage.

Hu Kang expects the party to approach and make some sort of request or threat. If the PCs employ deceptive tactics and say they want shelter, Hu Kang, seeing they are a group of warriors, becomes suspicious and asks them to wait while he goes inside to find a survivor of the characters' initial town encounter (a survivor looks through the front door eye hole and recommends the characters should be turned away *or attacked* after recognising them). Hu Kang comes back out, but stays near the doorway. He rejects any requests for shelter no matter how much money is offered. If the party demands the fugitive Bakiro or reads the Magistrate's Edict the monk issues threats, saying that the characters are putting their families at risk. He tells the party to leave or there will be trouble. Hu Kang does not initiate the fight, but if player characters force their way forward and approach the Temple's door the three Bugbears spying on the other side rush out and attack. (This attacks reveals to the players that the Shoulai Monks are in league with evil monsters.)

Bugbears (3) Honghe, Gahko & Pengshu
AC: 7 (Studded Leather Armour) HD: 3+1 hp: 22 THACO: 17 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d8+2/1d10+2 (Guan Dao + Str) or 1d6+2 (Hand Axe + Str) Size: L 7' Mv: 9 Alignment: CE xp:120
Special Abilities: Infravision 60', Superior hearing.
Equipment: Guan Dao (3), Hand Axes (3), 24 fen/10 yuan total.

Entrance Hall: The first section inside of the temple (20' by 40') is clad with black lacquered wood panels, has four very large canvas cots against the walls, it is dark, and normally occupied by three Bugbears and their leader (who is not present). The Bugbears are armed with Guan Dao (a broad bladed naginata-type weapon). There is small gong, matching the one positioned outside, standing near one of the cots. A wide heavy locked double door (same hp stats as the front door) is situated in the far wall.

The Pool Room: Opening the door reveals a ten foot wide, brightly lit (via magic), white stone corridor that extends 100' from the entrance hall to a large round room (40' in diameter) with a clear shallow pool centred in the middle. The corridor then appears to continue past this room on the opposite side of the pool. However, the characters vision, beyond the pool room, is blocked by a brown hessian curtain. [For the DM:] The ankle deep pool is strongly Acidic. Any character stepping into it receives 1d3hp damage and is slowed to half speed, with a -1 penalty to the dexterity AC bonus, for each round in the pool. Magical healing will restore the movement rate.

If the party enters this pool room and moves to the halfway point the hessian curtain is drawn back, and the words, "Stop right where you are" are spoken. Eight monks move in to oppose the PCs, a tall heavy set one at the back, sporting a goatee, continues to talk. He appears to be the leader. He says  "you are trespassing and are not welcome." 

Monk Leader Shen Zhou
AC: 3/-1 (Dex 17/Invisible) HD: 8 hp: 55 THACO: 9 (unarmed) Attacks: 2 Damage: 1d4+6 (Fist) or 1d6+6 (Foot) Mv: 12 Alignment: NE xp: 750
*Special Benefits: Foot attack vs armed opponents suffers no penalties, Iron Skin, All Around Sight, Ch'i (able to hit +1) martial arts abilities, automatically stabilises when hit points drop below 0.
*MS 63% (Dex17) See THACO DRAGON non-weapon proficiency rules.
Str 18 Int 13 Wis 14 Dex 17 Con 16 Cha 15
Equipment: White Robes, slippers, door key, small box key, Amulet of Protection +2, Dust of Disappearance (2 packets).

Shoulai Monks (7)
AC: 7 (Dex 15) HD: 3 hp: 18 THACO: 17 (unarmed) Attacks: 3/2 Damage: 1d3+3 (Fist/Str) or 1d6+3 (Foot/Str) Mv: 12 Alignment: N(E) xp: 150
*Special Benefits: Foot attack vs armed opponents suffers no penalties, Iron Skin martial arts ability.
*Minimum Stats: Str 14 Wis 12 Dex 14
Equipment: White Robes, slippers.

Tactics: If the characters tell the leader they seek Bakiro, Shen Zhou reveals this 'guest' has paid enough to allow an indefinite stay at their temple and that they are not prepared to give him up - regardless of whatever acts he has committed. If the PCs at any stage point out that the Shoulai are in league with evil monsters, the Bugbears, and that this is criminal, then Shen Zhou responds by initiating combat. He simply says "Attack".  In the first round Shen Zhou applies Dust of Disappearance that confers Improved Invisibility for 2d10 turns. If the monks look to be losing the fight, with five of them falling, the leader calls for a truce (while invisible) and says he will not obstruct the PCs from continuing, but that that he will not submit to arrest nor help them in any way. If the PCs refuse this compromise he will Move Silently (63% plus add a +20 bonus due to the condition of the floor) and flee before his Dust of Disappearance expires. The other monks, when they realise their leader has taken flight make a run for it. If a truce is called the leader urges his monks to tend the wounded (if any), and then they leave, because they know the PCs will be walking into the fire elemental trap. After the PCs leave the Temple upon completing the adventure, Shen Zhou returns to collect whatever of value remains and then flees to a far off province.

The Fire Room: The corridor continues from the pool room for another 80' and into a square 40' room, also brightly lit, which has a copper brazier full of  hot coals standing in the centre (a hole in the ceiling acts as a chimney to draw the smoke up and away). Those that do not speak the word 'XiaHo' as they enter cause the fire to erupt into the form of a Lesser Fire Elemental. The elemental will fight for 7 rounds before returning to the brazier. The monster will pursue PCs but not move into  the pool room.

Lesser Fire Elemental (1)
AC: 4 HD: 6 hp: 60 THACO: 15 Attacks: 1 Damage: 2d10 (Flame Tongue, range 3 feet) Mv: 15 (Fl A) Size: M (6') xp: 950
*Requires +1 weapons to hit.
*Sets on fire objects hit (1d6 damage on subsequent round for struck PCs).

Barracks Area: There is a single unlocked door leading from the fire room that opens directly into a darkened barracks area featuring plain wood panelled walls, round tables, and bunk beds set against the walls. Hanging from the ceiling is a single shuttered lantern made of bronze. The room is 25' wide by 50' long. The contrast between the previous light filled area and this darkened room stops party members from identifying objects and dangers within until they enter. The lead character coming through entranceway to this area is immediately attacked via thrown hand axes. Those entering are engaged in melee by the surviving monks from the first town encounter and an especially large Bugbear. At the end of the battle, Bakiro, who is in the training hall, attacks the party (see details appearing below).

First Encounter survivors:
Shoulai Monk Chaoxiang (3HD) & up to three Shoulai Monks (2HD)

Bugbear Champion (1) Zhu Wa
AC: 5 (Studded Leather Armour/Dex) HD: 5+2 hp: 46 THACO: 14 Attacks: 3/2 or 2 Damage: 1d8+3/1d10+3 (Guan Dao/Str) or 1d6+3 (Hand Axe/Str) Size: L 7' Mv: 9 Alignment: CE xp: 420
Special Abilities: Infravision 60', Superior hearing.
Equipment: Guan Dao (1), Hand Axes (7), 10 fen/3 yuan/13 tael.

Three unlocked doors lead from this room that open into a latrine area, a kitchen-larder area, and a training hall. [The DM is left to make up features and dimensions for the latrine and kitchen.] A search for valuables in the Barracks reveals a total of 2 Hand Axes, 2 Light Crossbows and 17 bolts, 14 knives, 20' rope, 7 small jade animal figurines (worth 10 tael each), 260 fen/65 yuan/30 tael.
The shuttered lantern in the ceiling contains a magically burning light which is revealed if the characters open it.

The Training Hall: One of the doors opens up to reveal a large training hall with the same dimensions as the barracks (25' by 50'). Down one end of the hall is a wooden training dummy with stunted arms and long open box on the floor beside it (inside of which are twelve 8' poles). There is a narrow doorway near this equipment. If there have been no sounds of battle, meditating inside the hall, 20 feet from the door, is the Kensai, Bakiro.

Bakiro 5th level Kensai
AC: 2 (padded armour) HD: 5 hp: 34 (Con14) THACO: 12 or 14 Attacks: 2 (plus 1 shuriken) Damage: 1d12+5 (Katana Mastery/Str) or 1d3+1 (Shuriken/Str) Mv: 12 Alignment: NE xp: 750
*Deflect 2 attacks per round on a roll of 9 or less using Katana.
*All Around Sight martial arts ability.
*Optional Weapon Mastery damage rules.
Str 16 Int 11 Wis 15 Dex 18 Con 14 Cha 11
Equipment: Katana +1, Brown Padded Armour, Shuriken (16), Tanto+1, Gems: Opals (4) worth 1000 tael each, 11 Pearls worth 200 tael each, plus 5 fen/6 yuan/10 tael.

Tactics: If fighting occurs within the Barracks Area, Bakiro moves to the door and observes the battle. Seeing the danger, and understanding that there is no escape, the Kensai waits for an opportunity to attack the party when they have dropped their guard (when party members have their backs to the door or after the battle when they are preparing to heal injured PCs without keeping watch). He attempts to surprise the party, flinging the door open and rushing to attack the nearest PC in melee, while throwing one shuriken at a spellcaster (targeting Wu Jen first). He then performs a fighting retreat back to the training hall door so that only one (or two) characters may engage him in melee at a time.

If there are no sounds of battle, Bakiro is in mediation inside the hall. Anyone opening the door, that are not Shoulai, alert him. Initiative is triggered immediately. If he wins, the Kensai's first action is to draw his Katana and block the doorway to restrict the number of melee opponents. If PCs try to push past, treat the move as triggering an opportunity attack (a free attack) and, due to the close proximity, make this similar to an unarmed attack versus armed attack but with only +2 to hit and damage. If the intruding character specifically uses a large shield to block, and foregoes all other attacks, no bonuses to the opportunity attack should be given. The DM must warn any player wanting to push their way through. Note: Bakiro, if he has not yet attacked, could attack using the opportunity trigger and use some or all of his attacks on a PC trying to push past. During the fight in the doorway Bakiro, using his free hand, also throws shuriken 1d3+1 (Str16) at any PC spellcasters standing behind his melee opponent. Only one shuriken per round may be thrown in this situation. If characters close the door and prepare spells, or step back to use missile fire, Bakiro moves to the side of the entranceway and waits. If the fight goes badly for him and/or there is an opportunity to escape, he will attempt to flee. Otherwise he will not surrender, preferring combat over public execution.

Shen Zhou's Room: Attached to the training hall is Shen Zhou's private room which is 10' by 15'. Inside is a single bed, a side table, and a chair. Upon the table there is rice paper, a brush, an inkstone and inkstick, all of which look unused. There is also a paperweight jade-carved statuette of a dragon (worth 200 tael). Under the bed is a packed 2' long lacquered box, that is locked and trapped. If not disarmed upon unlocking (there is a safety switch trigger plate in the front), anyone opening the box triggers the trap that releases poison gas in a 10' diameter cloud. The gas causes 4d4 points of damage and reduces dexterity and constitution scores to half which return at one point per hour. Saving throws halve the damage and negate the other penalties. The box contains 30 fen/180 yuan/120 tael/ 7 ch'ien, a scroll with the Shukenja spells Cure Critical Wounds, Polymorph Self, Neutralise Poison, a black silk scarf with a gold dragon design worth 100 tael, an Opal worth 1000 tael and a Wand of Green Fireballs (only useable by Wu Jen/Wizards, that does 5d6 damage with 4 charges left).


Resolution

When the PCs return to town with Bakiro (or his body) they are met outside the Magistrate's building by Chu Long and 10 other (1HD) constables. They all carry wooden Jo Sticks and have rope. If Bakiro is alive Chu Long and 3 other constables move in with the rope and restrain him further (assuming the PCs have already done so). Chu Long then thanks the characters and says they will be paid in short order. A few moments later a wooden box with rope handles is carried forth by two attendants dressed in brown robes. Chu Long tells the party that there is a total of 100 ch'ien contained within, with 20 in silver ch'ien bars and the remainder in paper ch'ao form to the value of 800 tael (800 ch'ao). If the PCs have driven off the Shoulai Monks an extra 100 ch'ien (a 1000 ch'ao paper) is forthcoming. This will take two days to be officially confirmed after the constables visit the Temple themselves. The fate of Bakiro, if he survived battle and was captured alive, is left to the DM.

If Shen Zhou has escaped he moves to another province twice removed from the present one since he realises he is a wanted man.

Each player character should receive a bonus of 1000 experience points for the successful completion of this adventure.

The Terror of Half Moon Bay



The King's Constables have not returned from the remote headland at Half Moon Bay. A rumoured reward of gold coin and magical items is offered for anyone brave enough to find evidence of their fate. An Adventure for PCs of 4th to 5th level who possess silver and/or magical weapons.

The Set Up

The player characters are passing through the outlying territory of a large kingdom when they come across two peasants (Madjack and Raddick), in either a tavern or working to fix a wooden fence. They call out to the PCs saying that the King's Constables, visiting the Hamlet on the headland at Half Moon Bay, have gone missing and a reward has been offered. They further state that the beast terrorising the headland has taken them. The peasants relate this tale to the characters, expecting the warriors would be willing to take up such a challenge.

The peasants' story is a mistaken account of the real situation and originated from a talkative cheese merchant arriving back from visiting the Hamlet (known for its cheese production). The merchant just recently witnessed the King's agents travel out into the headland in pursuit of a fugitive outlaw. This merchant believed they'd be taken by the Beast that randomly terrorises Half Moon Bay, a creature that kills the occasional dairy cow and is thought responsible for past human disappearances - where visiting adventuring types have failed to return from their journeys out onto the headland. The merchant speculated that a King's Ransom would be needed to find anyone willing to recover the Constables' remains.

The peasants know little except that the merchant said the number of 'the missing' was two, and that one was a Knight, a man, and the other was a warrior woman.

The Hamlet on the headland at Half Moon Bay is only 2 days travel away, the PCs having already ventured so far into this outlying territory. The  journey, on a seldom used roadway, is uneventful.

The Hamlet of Half Moon Bay

After two days travel, through a landscape dotted with groves of windswept trees and rolling green hills, the characters come to an elevated coastal area bounded by 40 foot cliffs. The party can see chimney smoke rising from a small stockade-walled Hamlet. It is situated on the border of the headland of Half Moon Bay. There are a number of cows scattered in outlying fields (that are brought in at night). The wooden gates stand open.

No guards can be seen as the characters make their way inside.

The first building to the left of the gates is a two storey tavern - behind this building are various town houses. To the right are stables and then a row of cow sheds. Behind these are vegetable gardens where the characters can see a number of townsfolk at work. Just as the characters are passing through the gateway the door to the tavern flies open and a dark haired lady, dressed in crimson padded armour runs out and, with a look of surprise upon seeing the party, heads directly to the leading character. She says:

"Please help me. Two shapeshifting monsters are after me. They killed my companion, Jon Steel. They took our weapons, and I only just escaped." She turns her head as the tavern door flies open and an armoured Knight, welding a Longsword minus his helm, plus an exact copy of the lady standing before the party, but carrying a Quarter Staff, come rushing out.

The two characters from the tavern immediately spot the party. They look somewhat surprised, then slowly approach. The Knight yells out: "You had better step away from the Lady, she's not what she seems." As this occurs the characters see a number of townsfolk at various locations standing and watching, a fat balding man emerges from the tavern (the Tavern keeper).

[For the DM] The character before the PCs is the escaped fugitive sought by the King's Constables. The creature is a Doppelganger, and has taken the form of the Lady Monk, 'Emma Zest'.

Doppelganger (mod)
AC: 5 HD: 4 hp: 14 (26) THACO: 17 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d6+1 (fist) or weapon Alignment: N Size 5'8 (M) Mv: 9 xp: 420
*ESP with 90% accuracy of victim
*Immune to Sleep and Charm
*Saves as 10th level fighter which is also applied to alignment detection spells.

Emma Zestari 11th level Monk
AC: -1 HD: 8d8+6 hp: 74 THACO: 11 or 13 Attacks: 3/2 or 5/2 Damage: 1d6+6 (Quarterstaff+2) or 1d6+4 (Tonfa) Mv: 15 Alignment: LG
*Deflect 2 melee or missile attacks, or 4 missile-only attacks on roll of 9 (Save vs Breath+Dex)
*Unarmed THACO: 6 Attacks: 5/2 or 1 Damage: 1d6+6 (M.Arts) or 1+6 (Wrestling). Penalties apply for fighting vs weapons bigger than a dagger.
*Monk Thieving Skills: Unlisted.
*Martial Arts Skills: Meditation, All Round Sight, Mental Resistance (+4), Chi Power, Blind Fighting, Iron Skin.
*Monk Powers: Speak with Animals, Mind over body, Immune to Disease, Hold, Slow; Heal 1d4+6hp to self only, can Save vs Spells that do not allow saves; Feign Death; immune to poisons/environment, takes half damage from magical attacks, quarter damage if save is made; can become Invisible for 11 rounds.
 *Proficient in Cleaving/Crushing wpns (3), Dagger (1), Shortbow (2), Spear (1), Two Wpn Style (1)
Equipment: Quarterstaff +2, Tonfa (2), Padded Armour, Ring of Protection +4, Keoghtom's Ointment (heals 1d4+8 hp, plus any poison or disease), Cure Serious Wounds potion (2d8+1), 10pp/10gp/18sp/12cp.
Str 15 Int 16 Wis 16 Dex 17 Con 17 Cha 17

Jon Steel 10th level Knight
AC: -4 HD: 11 hp: 109 THACO: 4 (Longsword+4, Specialised, Str) Attacks: 2/1 Damage: 1d8+7 Mv: 12 Alignment: LG
*Unarmed THACO: 7 Attacks: 5/2 Damage +3 (Punching). Penalties apply for fighting against any armed opponents.
Equipment: Longsword +4, Platemail +2, Dagger +1, Ring of Protection +2, Ring of Mind Shielding, Cure Serious Wounds potion (2d8+1), Murlund's Spoon, 20pp/12gp/10sp.
*Proficiencies: Longsword Specialisation (1), Quarterstaff (1), Longbow (2), Short bow (1), All Blades (3), Single weapon style (2).
Str 17 Int 16 Wis 15 Dex 16 Con 19 Cha 15

Tactics: The Doppelganger 'Emma Zest' will warn the party that shapeshifters are powerful beings, and encourage the PCs not to let their guard down. On the other hand, the two special constables of the King will approach slowly with Jon Steel stating that "we can sort this out without fighting."
The Doppelganger Emma will reply that these creatures operate in groups, if you drop your guard, they will have the advantage. It says, "You better be good with those weapons of yours." The Doppelganger knows it cannot outrun the real Emma who has a much higher natural movement rate than itself. The monster tells the party that if they will not fight, then "at least give me time to take a horse from the stables and warn the King." The constables speak out and say that this is not a good idea because they are letting the real criminal escape. Steel says to the characters "What do you suggest? We're not in a hurry to go anywhere for the time being."

If questions are asked the Doppelganger has a 90% chance to accurately recall the right information. And will claim that any 'mistakes' are not mistakes because Jon is lying (acting as any Doppelganger might do to protect its fellow kin.)

The real Emma eventually suggests tests that show off her unique Monk abilities - to show that, at the very least, she is not an impostor - while asking the same feats be mimicked by the monster (which it cannot do). She says any real Monk can commune with animals, and will do so with a PC horse if they have any. Emma will also try a recently developed skill, to become invisible to others. Through extreme concentration Emma somehow fades out of view (after 1d4 rounds of effort).

The Doppelganger will reply that these are the tricks of a magical creature, that "there is no way I can do something like that." In other tests any Martial Arts combat skill can be copied, with the creature's physical prowess doing similar amounts of unarmed damage. However, Emma is also immune to poisons where she eventually offers a test where the imposer will likely fall dead. She assures the PCs that this is not a trick of a magical creature. If steps are taken in this direction the impostor will make the same accusations as before, but will try to escape given the first opportunity.

Whatever happens, the constables will try to avoid combat. If the PCs are willing to fight, to allow the duplicate Emma time to escape, then they will back off. If their prisoner escapes Jon and Emma continue to plead their case, offering the characters a chance to meet the King if necessary. The court has access to magic that will reveal the nature of any shapeshifter. They guarantee that the escaped Emma will never head to the King.

The Constables' full explanation: After renting a room in the Tavern they headed across the headland towards a hideout a day's journey from the Hamlet, (seen thanks to scrying, not of their own). They were to apprehend an escaped Bandit Leader, Thadius Rotterdan. After observing his camp for a full day they acted. They've only just returned from the headland with this prisoner. Little did they know this individual was a Doppelganger impostor. Upon arriving back at the Tavern their prisoner promptly escaped.

Whatever happens, the constables leave the Hamlet immediately, collecting their equipment and horses. If they have their prisoner the Doppelganger's hands are tied together, even if that is a relatively futile gesture, and it is forced to walk in front of their mounts.


Heroes are Still Needed

The large balding man from the Tavern, who watched the recent exchange, approaches the PCs. He introduces himself as Adi Amma, the Tavern Keeper. He says that the Hamlet still faces a threat and that the constables told him they would return to deal with it after apprehending the escaped Bandit Leader. Originally it was thought that the constables arrived to deal with the beast that occasionally menaces their livestock. Adi Amma now does not expect the constables to return for many weeks and asks if the PCs could put an immediate end to the menace they call the Terror of Half Moon Bay.

Adi tells the PCs that whatever lives on the headland killed a number of cows over the course of the last year, ripping huge chunks out of the beasts. Recently the monster came very close to the town in order to do this.

The Tavern Keeper says that in searching for the beast the PCs might need to cover the entire headland. Few dare venture there, and those that have almost never return. It is known that it takes two to three days to cross from one end of the headland to the other, and halfway across there is a wide marsh that slows progress. The headland is bounded by 40' cliffs on all sides (like the rest of the coastline), with Half Moon Bay beach at the bottom on the eastern side. The Hamlet is poor and cannot offer a suitable reward, except for free meals and lodgings.

If the characters agree, Adi Amma shakes their hands. He says "When you find the beast just slay it and come back. Please don't stay out on the headland. It's not a place for trying one's luck."


Journey Across Half Moon Bay Headland

The characters travel across the bleak headland. It is a flat desolate place punctuated by windswept groves of trees, much like the countryside the PCs have already traversed.

A short distance from the Hamlet the PCs see the signs of a ruined building amongst one of the groves of trees. The ruined cottage (10x20) has a missing roof.  [For the DM:] High up among the leaves of the closest tree, directly over the ruins, hidden in shadow, is a Giant Spider that leaps upon anyone investigating the inside of the ruin.

Giant Spider (mod)
AC: 3 HD: 4+4 hp: 30 THACO: 15 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d8 + Poison (0/8d4) Size: L (10') Mv: 9 Alignment: CE xp: 650

From this point onwards the characters can choose to; walk in a straight line until they encounter the marsh (after one day of walking), then cross the marsh (another day of wading), and continue onward to reach the end of the headland (another day's walk); OR they can spend two days walking west or east around the marsh. All movement on marshy ground is half normal.

PCs that head west find that the marsh extends to the cliffs and slowly drains over the side on a broad front. Characters will still have to cross the marsh encountering Killer Frogs (see details below). PCs that head east find the marsh stops two hundred of yards short of the cliffs. As they approach the characters cannot fail to see a black Stone Obelisk, tens of feet in height, situated midway along the dry ground (see details below).

Heading Straight through the Swamp (1 day journey)

If the PCs choose this route they see before them water-saturated ground with numerous pools of scummy water with many reeds, and no obvious pathway across it. The depth of the pools and marsh ranges from ankle deep to 4 feet in the bigger pools. Directly in front, perhaps a quarter mile ahead, the characters can make out the forms of two dead trees, the only sign of larger vegetation in the immediate area. If the characters aim for the trees after one half hour they eventually arrive to a nasty surprise:

Animated Dead Trees (2)
AC: 0 HD: 12 hp: 91 THACO: 9 Attacks: 2 Damage: 4d6 (Heavy Branches) Size: H (18') Mv: 3 Alignment: Nil xp: 8000
*No movement rate penalty in the swamp.

Tactics: The animated trees wait until the PCs pass by and then swing to attack when the last party member has his or her back turned to them. If the PCs decide to attack the trees before this happens (target practice) the trees animate and attack.

Continuing in a straight line across the swamp, at the end of the day, the PCs pass by a small lake that conceals a large Hydra - it dug this for ambush purposes. The Hydra hides in the watery depression and then leaps up to attack party members from the flank. Soon after this encounter the PCs make dry land as the sun sets.

Hydra, Seven Headed
AC: 5 HD: 7HD hp: 56 (8 per head) THACO: 13 Attacks: 7 Damage: 1d8 (Bite) Size: G (25') Mv: 9 Alignment: N xp: 2000
*No movement rate penalty in the swamp.

Heading East Around the Swamp (1 day's journey to the Obelisk)

After a day's travel skirting the marsh, at twilight, the characters see that the swampy ground dries up a few hundred yards short of the cliff edge where they observe a black Stone Obelisk in the near distance. As they approach, the PCs notice numerous bones and bits of clothing scattered about. A search reveals 14sp/3cp, five iron arrow heads, bits of rotted wood, a rusted short sword and a belt buckle. Nearing the Stone Obelisk PCs see that it is 2' wide and 10' tall.

The PCs should arrive here at the end of the day where the DM can point out they will need to camp. Characters that approach to within 30 feet of the Obelisk at night carrying a light source, or in moonlight, find that their shadows become animated and attack. This occurs after 10 rounds in moonlight or after 3 rounds in torch light. The shadows remain active within 200 yards of this monument and disappear during daylight hours. They automatically reappear each night for a week unless slain.

Shadows (1 per character)
AC: 7 HD: 3+3 hp: 20 THACO: 17 Attacks: 1 Damage 1d4+1 (Chill Touch + Strength Drain) Size: Same as targeted PC Mv: 12 Alignment: CE xp: 450
*Immune less than +1 weapons
*Touch drains 1 point of Str that returns after 2d4 turns

The Obelisk is extremely hard, is magically welded into the ground, has 200 hp, and only receives 1 point of damage if stuck by edged metal weapons and 1d2 from blunt metal weapons. Magical weapons add their plus bonuses to the damage. PCs can automatically hit the monument as many times as they can attack per round. However, for each blow the Obelisk rolls a saving throw and if successful (on a roll of 10 or better) will remain undamaged. Metal weapons that strike the Obelisk must save vs crushing blow (7 or above) or shatter for each time they hit. Magical weapons less than +2 need roll only above 4 to avoid shattering. Weapons of +2 or better enchantment will not shatter.

Apart from conjuring Shadow monsters during the night, an evil priest or wizard can use the monument to create level-draining undead from living victims that are sacrificed against this pillar.

Heading West Around the Swamp (1 day's journey to the cliff edge)

The marsh extends the entire way across the west side of the headland such that it will have to be crossed in any event. Crossing the marsh closer to the cliff side lessens the crossing time to half a day. PCs that cross the marsh at any point on the west side are attacked by 1d4+1 groups of Killer Frogs that spring out from ambush positions in the watery pools. They come from every direction.

Killer Frogs (1d8+4 per group)
AC: 8 HD: 1+4 hp: 10 THACO: 18 Attacks: 3 Damage: 1d2/1d2/1d4+1 (Claws/Bite) Size: S (3') Mv: 6 Sw: 12 Alignment: Nil xp: 35


The Terror of Half Moon Bay

After crossing the marsh, or going fully around it (travelling a day out and then back), the characters will find that the sun is setting. After making camp the PCs soon notice firelight from (a few miles) further ahead. They should be reminded that the headland is supposed to be uninhabited, except by the beast. Before they can investigate they are attacked by muscular and very mangy black-haired Wolfen creature. Characters will notice that the claws of this beast are long and monstrous, unlike a normal wolf.

Werewolf  (Mod) Rodeck
AC: 5 HD 4+3 hp: 32 THACO: 15 Attacks: 1 Damage: 2d4 or 1d6+3 (Alternating Bite/Claw) Size: M (6') Mv: 15 Alignment: CE xp: 420
*On a successful hit with a roll of 18 or greater the monster may make a second attack roll at +4 to hit.
*Immune to normal weapons, magical weapons do half damage (2.6 rules)
*Silver weapons do double damage
*Immune to Ghoul paralysis

Tactics: The Werewolf here is reckless and attacks the party with wild abandon, expecting it cannot be seriously injured and that the PCs have little chance of escape back through the marshlands. If injured the creature becomes enraged and continues to attack, until it has half its hit points (16) and then flees back to the lair. If the Werewolf is killed it reverts to human form - a twisted middle aged man with rough black hair.

Lair of the Beast(s)

PCs that investigate the light find, after a few miles, the landscape rises slightly, where a low ridge line obstructs a cave entrance that is cut into a low hill. A lantern at the end of a rope hangs high at the midpoint of the cave, the rope running through an iron ring fastened into stone.

The low ridge is deceptively steep, walking up the embankment causes PCs to use their hands to scale it. The stink of rotting flesh is in the air. Characters that walk the long way around, to avoid the steepest part of the ridge, find a gully running up against the hillside with the cave entrance further along.

If the PCs attempt to directly scale the ridge they are attacked by a pack of Ghouls that leap from a raised position on the other side of the bank. PCs moving around the sides are confronted by the same pack. The only way these Ghouls will not be alert to the PCs presence is if the Werewolf was killed in the first encounter and if the PCs approach stealthily. If the characters take precautions they will find these Ghouls in the shadow of the cave entrance (except late into the night when they wander). If no precautions are taken the Ghouls will hear them approach.

Ghouls (5)
AC: 6 HD: 2 hp: 12 THACO: 19 Attacks: 3 Damage: 1d3/1d3/1d6 (Claws/Bite) Mv: 9 S 6' tall Alignment: CE xp: 175
*Save vs Paralysis for each claw hit, lasts 2+1d6 rounds
*Immune to Sleep and Charm
*Holy Water does 2d6 damage (ver 2.6 rules)

Outside the cave entrance is a carpet of bone chips (mostly made up of unidentifiable Killer Frog bones). Bits of faded cloth can also be seen in the dirt. Just inside the cave is the remains of a large open fire pit, seen in the lantern light. The cave itself has a smooth earthen floor 30x30' with rough hewn walls cut into the rock. Old furniture consisting of 5 stools, 2 benches, and a cupboard pushed against the far wall (to the left), with a raised bedding area (consisting of many old blankets situated to the right), fills the cave. Pinned to the west wall by chains are two pale human figures, a man and a woman, dressed in rags, with hessian bags over their heads.

Making their way out of the shadows, from the back of the cave, come a dishevelled man and woman. They are unarmed. The sandy haired man is dressed in ragged clothing, an old blue shirt and brown trousers, the woman, with short dark hair, wears a faded red dress made from heavy cloth. Both are barefoot. They timidly look around. The man speaks softly "We're being held here by a wolf man and his undead minions. Are you here to rescue us?"

Werewolves (2 to 3) Moksar & Grilla (plus Rodeck if he survived)
AC: 5 HD 4+3 hp: 30/33 THACO: 15 Attacks: 1 Damage: 2d4 or 1d6+3 (Alternating Bite/Claw) Size: M (6') Mv: 15 Alignment: CE xp: 420
*On a successful hit with a roll of 18 or greater the monster may make a second attack roll at +4 to hit.
*Immune to normal weapons, magical weapons do half damage (2.6 rules)
*Silver weapons do double damage
*Immune to Ghoul paralysis

Tactics: If Rodeck survived the first battle with the PCs he waits out of sight on the hillside and listens for the sounds of conversation before rushing to attack the PCs from behind. The DM should allow for a very short conversation between Moskar, Grilla and the PCs. If asked about the shackled figures on the west wall the woman simply says "There are iron pins in the floor that you can pull to release the chains". She says she does not know who they are and that they do not speak.

The DM can explain that the shackled individuals are kept pinned to the wall by chains that run through iron rings and that this is anchored to the floor via iron pins. At this point Rodeck should attack the PCs. When this happens the other two jump back into the shadows of the cave saying "oh no, save us!" as they transform into Wolf form - taking one round to do so. The Werewolves will attack ferociously to the death.

If Rodeck did not survive, the two Werewolves encourage the PCs to release the Wights that immediately attack the party. At this point the lycanthropes drop back saying "oh no, save us!", and transform into their Wolf forms, attacking the PCs from behind. If the PCs are suspicious and remove the hessian bags from the Wights, the Werewolves will feign ignorance. PCs can then make a passive perception check (roll less that the average between wis/int) with a -2 penalty, to become actively suspicious of the two former 'prisoners' - if players have not already come to this determination.

Wights (2) shackled to the cave wall.
AC: 5 HD: 4+3 hp: 25 THACO: 15 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d4 (Claw + Energy Drain) Size: M (5') Mv: 12 Alignment: LE xp: 1400 (only 50xp if killed while still chained to the wall)
*Only hit by silver or magical weapons
*Immune to Sleep, Charm or Cold based spells
*Energy drained levels return at the rate of one per month (2.6 rules)
*Holy Water does 2d6 damage (ver 2.6 rules)

A search of the cave reveals the following items stashed in the cupboard. Numerous (6) Iron spikes -two with iron rings added to the ends, an iron headed mallet, 3 flasks of lamp oil, 10 empty flasks, wooden cups (4), small knives (4), an iron ladle, large hessian sacks (4), a wooden box packed with dried grass with a flint and steel placed on top, a wooden 6 sided dice, leather thongs (thin strips) 2 foot long (8), clay pots with pepper, salt, honey (4), a large iron cooking pot on the bottom shelf.

Under the bedding is a stash of coins, 244cp/39gp/18pp and 8 gems; one azurite worth 10gp, three turquoise worth 10gp each, a citrine worth 50gp, two onyx worth 50gp each, an amethyst worth 100gp.

Resolution

The return journey across the headland is uneventful - unless the party crosses the marshland on the western side, which results in further encounters with 1d4 groups of Killer Frogs. This time there are only six (1d6) monsters per group.

On returning to the Hamlet the characters can inform Adi Amma and other folk of their deeds. Naturally celebrations, centred on the Tavern, commence.

A week later Jon Steel and Emma Zest return with a group of 1st level Knights (2HD each). If the PC party did not destroy the Stone Obelisk, upon hearing the tales told by the towns folk, they head there with borrowed sledge hammers (2) in order to shatter the monument. If (when) the hammers break some of the group return to collect every other hammer (another 4), wooden poles and spare iron hammer heads (8) from the blacksmith, plus garden hoes (5) and other heavy farming implements - picks, iron bars (8). Once the Obelisk is destroyed the Constables' Party will continue to the Werewolves lair where they remove all the contents and then burn them. They will stay out of the marsh and return via the Eastern route to the Hamlet and then back to the King's castle.

All characters that complete the adventure receive a bonus 800 experience points.

The Crypt Keeper's Secret


Strange happenings at the Woodend graveyard lead the characters to investigate the residence of the local Crypt Keeper. A challenging adventure for a large party of 1st level characters or a smaller group of 2nd level.

Prologue:

Either as caravan guards or residents, the Player Characters find themselves in the walled town of Woodend, a settlement situated at the edge of a great forest. Walking along a laneway near one of the town gates the characters are met with cries for help: "A boar, a boar ! Help ! It's eating my apples !"

The PCs, being the closest to the commotion, round the next bend to find an already agitated Wild Boar next to an overturned bucket of apples. It is not more that 30 feet away. Townsfolk can be seen peering from their doorways or from open windows. The presence of this Boar, loose inside the town walls, is a clear danger to the people. If the characters approach to less than 20 feet the beast charges.

Wild Boar (mod)
AC: 7 HD: 3+3 hp: 15 THACO: 17 Attacks: 1 Damage: 2d4 (tusks) Mv: 15 Size: S (2' at shoulder) xp: 175
*Does additional 1d2 when charging from more than 10 feet.
*Continues to fight until -7 hp.

If the PCs defeat the boar they are greeted by a cheer and are surrounded by a dozen onlookers. One man, a woodcutter named Otis, declares there will be a feast tonight, and that he'll prepare a fire and spit roast for all comers ! The feast will be held just inside town gate. Hundreds of people attend, many of whom have no idea as to the reason for the celebration. During the night numerous people come up and pat the characters on the back, including caravan guards and the few militia who are on the night watch shift.

Investigators Wanted

The next morning the PCs are approached by a solid, sandy haired middle aged woman who introduces herself as Mrs Kraty, owner of the 'famous' Woodend Soup Kitchen. She assumes the characters are of heroic disposition, and asks them to do a bit of investigating on her behalf. She relates the tale that a few nights previously, whilst picking herbs near the graveyard, she found a glass vial containing a clear liquid. The liquid she says is an antidote for a 'common' poison that can be made from a certain thistle - "it can easily be made if you have the right combination of ingredients."

Mrs Kraty passes off her knowledge as something 'any experienced cook' might know, whereas only a trained herbalist or alchemist would know of such matters. She says she was "both surprised and unsurprised" to find it in the graveyard. She wants the PCs to search the reclusive Crypt Keeper's cottage while he is, fortuitously, away visiting his sister.

Mrs Kraty 0-level Human (Alchemist)
AC: 10 HD: 1+6 hp: 12 (Bonus hp,Con16) THACO: 20 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d3 (small knife) Mv: 9 Alignment: NG Size: M xp: NA
*May cast 2 cantrip spells per day (Flame Dart in combat)
*Glass Vial with Antidote, 3 doses. (Cures 0/10 poison encountered later in adventure).
*See rules for 0-level humans for an explanation of the hit points.

Mrs Kraty tells the characters that over the last few months she has been concerned about strange activities going on at the graveyard. Various people have been seen moving around in the company of the Crypt Keeper during the night (she saw them with her own eyes) and no one is sure who these individuals are. She would like the characters to search the Crypt Keeper's cottage during the day, pretending to be curious good-intentioned travellers, and look for any unusual signs.

If the PCs agree to snoop around Mrs Kraty gives them the Antidote vial. She explains that it can be drunk in three parts to counter a specific plant Poison, if they encounter it. [DM - The Poison only lasts 1 week once made. It does 0/10 damage with an onset time of 2 rounds. The Antidote, in the flask, remains preserved for many months.]

Mrs Kraty will not travel with the PCs since she has a kitchen to run. She is too afraid to go into the Crypt Keeper's cottage - having bad feelings about the man. She suspects he is practitioner of evil arts. The Crypt Keeper's name is Oklar Olsen and he's away, apparently visiting his sister, who lives in the town from which he originally came 4 years ago [He has no sister, he is actually doing historical research].     


Woodend Graveyard and the Crypt Keeper's Cottage

The graveyard is 20 minutes walk from the town. It is situated upon the grassy and slightly undulating hillside that runs near the edge of the wood. The characters can make out numerous gravestones and large markers on the higher ground as they advance along the road. The path twists and rises until the characters are among numerous headstones and areas of barren rocky earth. Directly ahead they see what looks to be a two room stone-built cottage 50 feet distant with a detached small-sized wooden shed.

The cottage, featuring a chimney, has very small windows on each wall. Along one outside wall are three large water-catching clay cisterns, with wooden taps near the bottom. There is also a pile of firewood. The wooden front door is closed. PCs approaching the door see that it is held closed by a simple iron lock (+30% to OL checks).

Inside, the main room (20x20') is a solidly built round table, four heavy wooden stools, a food preparation bench, a fireplace with iron pots hung on the stonework, and a cupboard filled with clay pots that have wooden lids containing; wheat grains, onions, dried fruit, some common spices, and salt. Other items inside the cupboard include a mortar and pestle, some wooden cups, plates, various utensils, 4 flasks of oil, a clay oil lamp, 6 spare lamp wicks, and 4 large candles. A coarse straw mat covers half the floor under the stools and table making them difficult to slide about.

There is a curtain covered archway leading into the smaller (10x10') second room. Inside the smaller room is a sleeping cot, a small bedside table with an oil lamp, and clothing heaped upon the floor (trousers and shirts).

Outside, in the 15x10' shed, the PCs will see there are two picks and two shovels, a wheelbarrow, two buckets, one large open and empty barrel, plus 3 simple wooden coffins.

If the PCs search under the straw mat in the main room of the cottage they find a solid iron-bound trap door that is bolted from the inside. The PCs will need to destroy the door (40hp using heavy axes and maces, lighter swords only do 1/4 damage) to gain access, or somehow slide the bolt (via a Knock spell).


The Crypt Keeper's Secret (Basement)

Stone stairs descend downwards into a dark 20x20' room (PCs will require a light source to see adequately) that is dominated by a large table upon which are stacked a number of leather bound books and a candelabra. In front of the table is a high-backed chair over which hang four surcoats (3 small and one large bearing the symbol of a ram). Other items on the table are two empty glass vials with cork stoppers, an ink well and quill, a small knife, a clay oil lamp, and a stack of parchment paper. Lined up against the walls are 16 small barrels containing coloured sand (red, white, blue, yellow, orange, black, green), salt, charcoal, dried straw, dried thistles, dried fungi, black pebbles, white pebbles, the bones of various animals (frogs, chicken, goats, pig, rats, bats), and 50' of silk rope.

If the PCs search during the day time there will be 3 Goblins sleeping here upon the floor. Smashing the trap door will awaken them and cause the group to hide under the large table, and partly inside a 3' round escape tunnel (hidden under the table) that runs 150' towards a patch of hillside scrub. If the PCs have alerted the occupants, and they advance more than halfway across the room, the Goblins fling the chair to one side and rush out wielding curved (and poisoned) swords.


Goblins (3) Noklar, Vlak, Powgee
AC: 7 HD: 1-1 hp: 6 THACO: 20 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d8 (Scimitar) Size: S (4' tall) Mv: 6 Alignment: LE xp: 15
*Infravision 60'
*Daylight penalty -1 to hit
Equipment: Poisoned Scimitars (only if alerted), Leather Armour, Poison Vial (onset time 2 rounds: Damage 0/10).
Two carry antidote vials, 15cp/10sp/3gp total.

If two of the Goblins are slain the last one will attempt to flee via the escape tunnel. All of these Goblins are familiar with the ritual needed to enter the tomb described later in the adventure. None of them will willingly offer up this information, unless they have been Charmed and convinced it is a good idea. They are fearful of the Crypt Keeper's wrath.

If the PCs examine the books they find: 1 book on the anatomy of small animals, 1 encoded book (on plant based poisons and antidotes), 2 books on the theories of magic, 1 book on the netherworld, 1 book on laboratory equipment, 1 book of formal notes on reading ancient script, 1 poetry book written in ancient script, and 2 note books - one containing research on an ancient Order of Demon Worshipping Knights, known as The Rammez, and another on the graveyard, that includes tombstone sketches. This second note book details the author's search for a hidden tomb bearing the sign of a ram. The first note book contain a lot of text transcribed from other books not present here.

The notes describing The Rammez reveal the Knights, whose symbol is that of a Ram, once ruled a wide area from Three Keeps, and that they went into hiding after suffering a catastrophic defeat delivered by a neighbouring kingdom. The survivors eventually sacrificed themselves to their Deity, rather than being killed off by their pursuers, on the promise they would be risen from the dead and return to conquer the land.

The notes reveal the Knights are buried in a tomb hidden in this very graveyard. Transcribed warnings state that anyone entering this tomb, who does not honour power of The Rammez, faces certain death. Only those that are followers of The Rammez can safely enter. The author writes that the use of symbols and phrases, known only to the Knights, will be needed. The next page of the book is missing, having been torn out (it had information on the procedure for formally addressing a Knight and had sketches of Ram's heads).

The final page reads: "My research hast succeeded. The power to raise up the dead is right here yet remains hidden! The Clerist is not as hoped. I must think more on how to win his favour. Decisions. I will travel back to the monastery to see what more can be found out about these resurrections."


The Crypt

Players searching the Graveyard will require tracking skills, knowledgeable Goblin hostages, or hours of time to find evidence of a disturbed tomb. Every hour each PC (preferably searching in separate locations) should roll 1d6, with a roll of 1 indicating success. If no characters roll a 1 then another hour is spent searching, and another roll is made. Rangers or those with the tracking proficiency will, on a successful check, be able to determine tracks in the rocky ground among the headstones that lead to a tomb door set in the hill side.

The tomb is one of many except that the interior is of very large proportions. The successful character notices the tomb door is caked with newly applied semi-dried mud. Six large broken slabs of stone litter the ground to the side. Characters putting these slabs back together find that it is rectangular, in the shape of a door. It features a faded sun symbol. If PCs remove the dried mud from the presently standing door (set in the hillside) they find it is carved with the symbol of a Ram.

                                                                   [Scale 1 square = 5 feet]

Room 1 Outside

There is nothing here except broken door slabs, featuring a faded Sun symbol, scattered on the ground. The current door covering the entrance is/was covered by mud, which if removed reveals the symbol of a Ram's head. Sliding open the door requires a strength of 17 or the assistance of another individual. The Goblins found in the basement normally assisted in opening the door. Upon opening, characters are hit by the smell of rotting flesh.

Room 2 Entryway and Stairs

The Crypt is unlit. Stone stairs lead downward into the darkness. The walls of the tomb are cut out of hard yellow-coloured earth with the ceilings just over 7 feet high. The stink of death is all about.
DM note: In the walls of each room are smalls niches that hold clay lamps that have long since run dry. This room has two lamps on either side of the stair. The DM should add appropriate numbers to each room or corridor of the complex as desired.

Room 3 Main Burial Chamber

There are six (6) large stone sarcophagi, with a carved Ram's head symbol on each lid [although only one can be presently seen]. Lying atop each of these sarcophagi, except for the closest to the entrance, are five (5) corpses in varying states of decay. One of the bodies is of a middle aged labourer from town, while the others are waylaid travellers (a merchant and 3 guards). They have been brought into the tomb by the Crypt Keeper and animated as Zombies, by the Knight Clerist, using the power of the Statue (in Room 9).

If the PCs enter this room and perform a short ritual, the Zombies will not attack. Those entering must display the Symbol of the Ram, while declaring their submission to The Rammez - spoken in the ancient tongue. They must also pay tribute via a monetary offering (of any amount), by throwing coin to the floor.

If the characters do not perform the ritual, the Zombies rise up as soon as the PCs come within 5 feet of any of the stone coffins. Inside the coffins are six Skeletal Knights dressed in Chainmail armour. They do not animate, even if there is battle with the Zombies, but they will attack if a PC opens the caskets (regardless of whether the correct ritual has been performed).

PCs touching the pivoting stone door to Room 4 without having first performed the submission ritual activates the Skeletons, which is likely to happen after the Zombies are dispatched. It takes 1 round for these skeletons to push away the stone lids to their coffins before they leap out and attack.

Zombies (5)
AC: 8 HD: 2 hp: 12 THACO: 19 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d8 (Fist) Alignment: N(E) Size: M xp: 65
*Immune to sleep, charm, hold, death magic, poisons, and cold-based spells.
*Holy water inflicts 4d4 per vial (ver 2.6 rules).
*Automatically loses initiative, due to stiffness.

Skeletal Knights (6)
Mv: 12 AC: 4 (Chainmail and Sheild) HD: 1 hp 8 THACO: 19 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d6 (Rusted Longswords) Size: M xp: 65
*Immune to charm, sleep, hold and cold. Edged and piercing weapons do half damage. Holy Water causes 2d6.
*Equipment: Longswords (2 each), Chainmail, Kite Shield.

Room 4 Inner Burial Chamber

The door to this room is a crude stone slab that pivots inwards. If the characters have avoided combat thus far, by performing the correct ritual, then they find this room relatively undisturbed. However, the floor has been disturbed enough so that it is impossible to determine the location of the secret doors present in the West and North walls. As before, if the lids to the sarcophagi are opened the Skeletons animate. Furthermore, this action activates the other undead in Room 3 that enter battle (two per round) via the doorway if they had previously lain undisturbed. If combat has already taken place with the other Knights, these Knights have animated, pushed aside their coffin lids, and now lie in wait for the characters to enter the room before leaping to attack (not necessarily when all characters have entered).

Skeletal Knights (4)
Mv: 12 AC: 4 (Chainmail and Sheild) HD: 1 hp 8 THACO: 19 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d6 (Rusted Longswords) Size: M xp: 65
*Immune to charm, sleep, hold and cold. Edged and piercing weapons do half damage. Holy Water causes 2d6.
*Equipment: Longswords (2), Chainmail, Kite Shield.

Room 5 Tomb of the Knight Clerist

The stone door to this room pivots as the earlier one did. Inside the room is a large stone coffin, its lid shifted to one side. Upon the floor is a rusted but functional mace (1d6+1). There are no other signs of life here, although the room seems to have been recently disturbed - as there is no accumulation of dust. On the inside of the sarcophagus lid is a carved map of the entire tomb system revealing the location of the secret doors. If characters search the room they must specifically state how they are examining the stone coffin to find this map. Those looking inside the sarcophagus, will immediately notice a hole hacked through the base.

The occupant of this room - a Ghoul, formerly the Knight Clerist responsible for the creation of the complex - is absent, having taken to Room 7. The Ghoul will only make his way here if the PCs cause a commotion, specifically a noise that can be construed as a destructive sound (perhaps dropping the sarcophagus lid to the floor). Normal sounds cause no reaction.

If the PCs remain here and the Clerist is alerted, he makes his way down the tunnel and stops just short of the hole. He calls out in a rasping voice from the darkness, speaking in a ancient dialect, for those above to sound their allegiance to The Rammez. If the characters do not respond correctly the Ghoul flies into a rage and launches itself out of the hole in a frenzied attack. Unless standing alert and ready for such an attack, the PCs must roll for surprise with a -2 penalty.

If the Clerist is satisfied then he emerges slowly to stand before the party in Chainmail and tattered white robes, appearing in a very dehydrated state. In ancient he asks "Is it time?" If the characters speak a language other than ancient the monster angrily demands (in the ancient dialect) that they all repeat their allegiance to The Rammez. Failure to do so leads to combat. If a character does speak ancient, and says 'no' then the Clerist asks "then what do you seek that you should disturb my rest?" Previously the Crypt Keeper had asked the Clerist to raise the dead, whereupon the Clerist said to bring him the body and come back on the morrow. If the characters request nothing then the Ghoul returns to his lair in Room 7, stating that, "when it is time I shall return." The same process repeats itself each time a character or NPC encounters the Clerist in this way.

If the PCs respond to the Ghoul's initial question and say it is time, the Clerist responds saying that "the enemy is finally at bay, we shall plan our conquest." If the Player Characters continue with this course of action the creature will want to raise an army of undead. The monster here is a twisted shadow of its former self and is no longer mentally competent. It will not recognise the PCs for who they are - good aligned adventurers.  If asked too many questions, the Ghoul will often respond by saying that it cannot remember. It vaguely remembers that it is known as the The Knight Clerist of Cazzaro Keep.

If the PCs leave the tomb complex or are killed before they can defeat the Clerist, then this Ghoul will (1) take the remains of any fallen Knights to Room 9 where they will reform and (2) throw the bodies of the PCs into Room 14 if they have been slain.

Room 6 Trapped Tunnel

The tunnel here is rough hewn, with a diameter of 6 feet. Halfway down is a deadfall trap that drops heavy stones (2d4 damage) onto the victim. The trigger is a small pressure plate that has a 50% chance of being triggered (stepped on) by anyone travelling past.

If the trap is set off, the Ghoul in Room 7 leaps into the hole and immediately attacks. The monster will stop if a party member speaks ancient and swears their allegiance to The Rammez.

Room 7 Ghoul Lair

The entrance to this room is in the floor. PCs must pull, or boost, themselves up so that they can climb into the room. Inside are four (4) stone panels with carved reliefs showing Knights on campaign who are burning villages, laying siege to castles, and worshipping in front of a large humanoid figure with the head of a Ram.

If the PCs have approached here relatively stealthily, and regardless of whether they have engaged in combat or have not spoken the ritual words, they see a Chainmail clad figure with tattered white robes, sitting on the floor with his back to the entryway. The Ghoul only attacks if attacked, otherwise it simply turns to the PCs and points to the hole. It will only react if the ancient tongue is spoken, asking "is it time?" and then follows the description outlined in Room 5. This is the monster's 'meditation' sanctuary where it behaves with much less aggression.

If the party avoided the deadfall trap but made no serious effort to diminish their noise levels in the tunnel (ie they are noisy), the Ghoul hides in the space behind the south-western panel and observes the characters. It remains still and does not attack unless discovered, even if the characters speak in their normal tongues. The Ghoul can only be seen if a PC looks behind the panel which is large and almost reaches to the ceiling. If found the Ghoul becomes angry and attacks.

If undiscovered the Ghoul waits for the party to depart, following them from a distance (and can only be detected via a successful Hear Noise check). The monster will attempt to rally any remaining Knights, the Skeleton Guards from Room 10 or the Minotaur Skeleton from Room 14 - choosing areas not searched by the PCs and leaving open the secret doors.

Ghoul (modified, semi-mummified)
AC: 5 (Chainmail) HD: 2 hp: 14 THACO: 19 Attacks: 3 Damage: 1d3/1d3 (Claws+Paralysis) + 1d4 (Bite) Mv: 9 S 6' tall Alignment: CE xp: 175
Equipment: Chainmail, Ram's Head Holy Symbol tucked under clothing.
*Paralysis lasts 2 +1d6 rounds
*Those struck have a +4 bonus to Saves due to the mummified nature of the Ghoul
*Holy water does 2d6


Room 8 Trapped Corridor

There is a deadfall trap (2d4) here that has a 50% chance of being triggered by people walking down the corridor. At the end of the corridor is an ancient wooden door. It has no lock, and opens on squeaky brass hinges.

Room 9 Animation Room with Ram-headed Statue

If the PCs have avoided setting off the skeletal and zombie guardians by performing the necessary actions, and make it into this statue room, they are confronted with a strong presence of evil. All good aligned characters are temporarily drained of 1d4 points of strength - that return at the rate of one point per hour.

Entering the room the PCs immediately see a featureless black stone table. To the south is a grey statue of a Ram-Headed humanoid clutching a longsword (also made of stone).

The black table does not raise the dead, but animates them as undead. The Knight Clerist is the only one able to activate the process. The recent appearance of the Crypt Keeper has led to a fresh corpses and resulted in their animation by the Clerist. The Clerist has agreed each time "If it supports our cause then I shall. They will be slaves to the Rammez".  The pre-animated bodies were left by the Crypt Keeper in the Main Burial chamber (Room 3) and dragged here by the Clerist. The Crypt Keeper never witnessed what happened. The resulting animated bodies then were then taken back to reside in the Main Tomb area. As slaves, and not Skeletal Knights, they will obey the orders of those bearing the symbol of the Ram.

Smashing the Ram-headed stone statue destroys both the animation powers of the room and the strength-sapping field. PCs engaged in this activity are granted 100xp each.

There is a secret door to the North.

Room 10 Guard Room

This room is empty save for a number of animated skeletons wearing tattered white robes. They are former followers of the Knight Clerist and have been put on guard duty. There is an ancient wooden door to the north.

Skeleton Guards (2)
Mv: 12 AC: 7 (tattered robes, no armour) HD: 1 hp 8 THACO: 19 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d6 (Rusted Mace) Size: M xp: 65
*Immune to charm, sleep, hold and cold. Edged and piercing weapons do half damage. Holy Water causes 2d6.

Room 11 Storage Room

This room contains Lamp Oil in large clay pots and two smaller pouring jugs, that would be used to light the complex. A much smaller clay jar in the corner contains a number of spare lamp wicks.

Room 12 Trapped Corridor

In the floor of the corridor, at the halfway point, is a stone trigger plate that has a 50% chance of being stepped upon. Like the other traps this triggers a rockfall delivering 2d4 points of damage to the victim. There is a secret door to a treasure room at the west end of the corridor. At the east end is an ancient wooden door that rests on squeaky brass hinges. It has no lock.

Room 13 Treasure Room

The room here contains the last of the token offerings made by those who pledged allegiance to the Rammez. The majority of the treasures possessed by the Knights were lost when they were driven from their strongholds. There are the remains of seven wicker baskets littering the floor, mostly fallen apart, that contain 2234cp, 155sp, and 12gp.

Room 14 Slave Master's Room

PCs entering the room see a carpet of human and humanoid bones, with numerous skulls littered about. One large skull appears to be that of a bull. This room contains the bones of the slaves used to build this complex. The Slave Master, an ally of the Rammez, was a Minotaur, and his bones instantly animate as a Monstrous Skeleton that pursues the characters throughout the lair.

Minotaur Skeleton
AC: 6 HD: 6 hp: 36 THACO: 15 Attacks:1 Damage: 1d8 (Oversized Mace) Mv: 12 Size: L (7') xp: 550


Resolution

If the party successfully defeats the Rammez they should be awarded a bonus of 100xp each.

If the PCs report what they encountered to Mrs Kraty she acts surprised and then mentions that the Crypt Keeper, Mr Olsen, will return soon and that he must be stopped from committing further evil acts. They should report what happened to Woodend's militia captain - Eric Xaver (6th level Fighter, broadsword specialist, platemail, round Shield+2, club). Wagon trains come into town once a week. The characters will have to camp out on the road for the Crypt Keeper's return.


Epilogue

The PCs wait 3 days for the next wagon train to arrive. There are 2 wagons, a number of guards and merchants, plus the Crypt Keeper Olsen. The militia leader, if told, will be waiting with the PCs (and 2 militia members: 0-level, leather, shortswords, clubs -used as missile weapons if necessary.).

Oklar Olsen  0-level Human (Senior Alchemist)
Str 14 Int 15 Wis 16 Dex 14 Con 17 Cha 10
AC: 7 (Iron skin, Dex14) HD: 2+6 (Con17) hp: 22 THACO: 19 Attacks: 3 (Darts) or 1 (Dagger)Damage: 1d3+1 poison (0/10) or 1d4+1 + poison 0/10 (Str14) Size: M 6' Alignment: NE xp: 275

Equipment: Dagger, Barbed Darts (5), Spell Book (see below), Small stone-carved Holy Symbol of a Ram's Head, Leather Satchel, Poison vials (2), Poison Antidote vial, two leather bags - a small one containing twenty thorns taken from various plant types, the larger bag containing various herbs and thistle for making poison, a small mortar and pestle, scroll case with notes on the Rammez, ink well, quill, waterskin.

Spells: 1st level spells (3): Thorny Dart x2 (acts as a magic missile but does 1d3 damage and 1d2 when removed, spell components are thorns that enlarge and fly out at targets), Cure Light Wounds. Cantrips (8): Deathly Bolt - a negative energy version of Flame Dart (thaco roll, 1d2 damage) that can hit creatures only hit by magical weapons. Unmemorised spells: Light, Mending, Protection from Good.
Unholy Powers: Vitality (+1 HD, Constitution bonus), Iron skin, as per Martial Art proficiency (+2AC).

Tactics: Oklar is suspicious as soon as he sees PCs (and militia) waiting. He will recognise the threat from a distance of about 200 yards, if the waiting party is large (6+ individuals). For groups less than this size the recognition distance drops 30 yards for each person (5 people = 170 yards).

Oklar always poisons his weapons before travelling so is ready for combat. He will keep his distance and walks away from both the PCs and the caravan with its guards - so that he can use ranged spells and weapons if necessary. He heads across the grassy fields to the side of the road towards the Graveyard. If the characters race after Oklar he turns to attack them at range using his Thorny Dart spell, before throwing poisoned Darts at any attempting to close for melee combat. He will not surrender, understanding there will be little mercy for one of his kind.

The scroll written notes on the Rammez state that separate research into their Demon-deity found that such a beast cannot grant the power of resurrection but only Undeath, and that the Knights had never understood this limitation.

Menace of the Slime Cultists



The characters find themselves at the seaside town of Shoalhaven where the daughter of a councilman has run off to join a local cult. The PCs must seek out the cult's hideout located in a sandstone cliff-face situated part way along a beach front. This adventure is intended for 5th level Player Characters.


Prologue:

The player characters find themselves just arrived at the sleepy seaside town of Shoalhaven, situated well inside human controlled lands. There is not even a defensive ditch surrounding the settlement. Orchards, some grain fields and fishing provide the main source of activity for the townsfolk. The characters can stay in a large rectangular two storey inn, The Beacon, that overlooks the wide beach. This establishment features upstairs private rooms for merchants and a large common room on the ground floor, and some out-buildings, for caravan guards. The coastline to either side of the town is made of crumbling sandstone cliffs that are not more than 30 feet high. Otherwise the topography of the land is fairly flat, with modest hills and groves of wind swept trees.

The present operators of The Beacon Inn are a semi-retired Barbarian Fighter named Ored Jak - a tall sandy haired man - and the widow of the former owner, a dark haired woman named Valda (0-level human). The former owner was killed a few years previously in an attack from Crabmen that raided the town.

Ored Jak (Innkeeper) 3rd level Barbarian Fighter
AC: 7 (Shield Specialist, Dex14) HD: 3 hp: 27 (Con 17) THACO: 16 (Str17, Axe Specialisation) Attacks: 3/2 Damage: 1d8+3 Size: M (6'4") Alignment: LN xp: NA
Equipment: Battle Axe (under the bar-room counter), Round Shield (on the wall).

The private rooms are 3sp per night with the common room rate being 4cp per night. Ored casually mentions that the town has an alarm bell that hangs under a wooden framed structure situated at the edge of the beach. The bell is rung to summon the town guards and other able bodied individuals to drive off intruders approaching from the sea.

Some time later in the night, just as the PCs reach their rooms, they hear the sound of a bell ringing outside. Running out the door and onto the beach the characters will see a dozen hulking figures emerging from the waves and find Ored at the ready. He tells the PCs that "There are too many of the beasts this time, more than I've ever seen before. My plan was to delay the creatures until the council Guards arrive, but I do not think that will be a wise move unless you have other ideas."  In previous attacks only 2 to 3 crabmen have ever appeared and have retreated when any one of them fell to less than half their original hit points.

Crabmen (12)
AC: 4 HD: 3 hp: 24 THACO: 17 Attacks: 2 Damage: 1d8/1d6 (Claws) Mv: 9 Sw: 6 Alignment: N Size: L (7-10' tall) xp: 95

Tactics: By the time the PCs join Ored, the Crabmen are but one round away. The monsters will fight, dragging fallen PCs into the sea, until they have lost 4 of their number before withdrawing. They believe the townfolk are responsible for the loss of 3 of their kin and have come to vent their anger. The lost Crabmen, from a previous raiding party, were actually attacked and killed by a pack of Giant Sharks before they made the shore one week ago.

After 4 rounds of battle the Town Council Guards arrive by which time the PCs should have driven off the attackers. If necessary the guards fire off their heavy crossbows before throwing them to the ground and engaging in melee.

Guard Captain Marius Rastus 4th level Fighter
AC: 6 (Gold Tinted Scalemail) HD: 4 hp: 30 THACO: 16 Attacks: 3/2 Damage: 1d8/1d12+3(Longsword, Str15, Specialisation) or 1d8/1d6 (Heavy Crossbow Bolt) Mv: 12 Size: M Alignment: LN xp: NA

Town Council Guards (8) Elite 1st level Fighters
AC: 6 (Gold Tinted Scalemail) HD: 1 hp: 9 THACO: 19 Attacks: 3/2 (Specialisation) Damage: 1d8/1d12+2 (Longsword) or 1d8/1d6 (Heavy Crossbow Bolt) Mv: 12 Size: M Alignment: LN xp: NA.
Equipment: Gold Tinted Scalemail & Helm, Longsword, Heavy Crossbow, Heavy Crossbow Bolts (3).

If the PCs defeat the Crabmen, the townsfolk come out onto the beach and celebrate the victory. The PCs are mobbed and free drinks and offerings of food come their way.


Heroes Wanted

The next day members of the party are approached by a short middle aged man who is garbed in extravagant red, yellow and purple coloured robes. The man introduces himself as Councilman Batava. He owns the largest plantation of fruit trees (oranges) in the orchard growing area and he is desperate for help. He tells the PCs that his only daughter, Sylvia, has run off with a group of cultists that are based further along the shoreline. The warrior folk of Shoalhaven have said that his daughter's decision to run off was her choice. The other council members believe this is a personal matter and won't act. They have said that being 20 years of age Sylvia is responsible for her own decisions. Captain Rastus has refused to go on any rescue mission after having suffered 'insults' from her some months ago. Batava is worried that the cultists have bewitched his daughter and would like the characters to go and bring her back. He will pay all he has (854gp in coins and gems) for her return.

If the PCs ask for details about the cult Batava only says that they keep to themselves, never venturing into town. They are very threatening towards anyone that goes near their camp so few head in that direction. People who have run into members of the cult say their eyes have turned black. Batava insists they are evil and are up to no good, although he has no clear evidence of their intent. If the PCs accept his request, Batava says that it should not take more than two hours journey along the shoreline until encountering the cultists lair.

Councilman Batava 0-level human
AC: 10 HD: 1 hp: 7 THACO: 20 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d4 Mv: 12 Size: M (5'3" tall) Alignment: NG xp: NA.
Equipment: Red, Yellow and Purple Coloured Robes, Dagger.

Immediately after Batava departs, whether or not a deal has been struck, the party's Priest or Wizard is approached by an exceedingly polite young man, Paz, and woman, Lucia, who are orchard workers, asking him or her to examine an item they discovered - a holy relic they think is from the 'Crab People'. These two individuals act very meekly calling the relevant character 'sir', or 'lady.' They describe the relic as a golden clam featuring strange markings upon its surface. They say the artefact is in the back room of their townhouse and that the PC is the first person they've told of their find.

Paz and Lucia (Slime Cultist Spies) 0-level humans
AC: 10 HD: 1 hp: 7 and 6 THACO: 20 or 18 (Attack from rear +2) Damage: 1d3 (Knives) Size: M Alignment: LE xp: 10

Paz and Lucia are actually Slime Cult spies who will attempt to assassinate any individuals that may pose a threat to the Cult. They do not work on Batava's orchard, but on another plot, and have been told to spare his life at the request of his daughter who is a cultist.

If the PC, or a number of them, go to investigate they are led a short distance into a narrow wooden town house that is part of a row of dwellings near the shoreline. Paz and Lucia lead the characters into the front room (20'x15'wide) featuring two beds and through an open doorway into the backroom (which features a back door). This unlit room is 15 by 15 feet and is empty. The PC(s) are told that the clam is hidden under the stone paving in the centre of the floor. As soon as the characters enter the room they smell mustard whereupon the floor on either side, against the walls, erupts and they are attacked by two yellow sand coloured slimes that immediately release a toxic vapor. Paz and Lucia step out the back door as the two slimes attack. These monsters are very fast and will race around the PCs in order to block the exits to the building.

Mustard Jelly (2) the whole has divided into two parts
AC: 4 HD: 3+7 (7+14 normally as a whole) hp: 35ea THACO: 13 Attacks: 1 Damage 5d4 (acidic pseudopod) Size: M (5' Diameter) Mv: 18 Alignment: N (Int 8-10) xp: 2000
*Immune to non-Magical Weapons and Electricity.
*Half Damage from Cold Attacks.
*10% Magic Resistance
*Secretes vapour in 10' radius (SA vs Poison) causing lethargy, acting to slow PCs to half movement and attacks. Each round the PC is within the continually emitted cloud they must makes saves until poisoned, which lasts until they remove themselves (modified).
*Translucent until it moves.
*Magic Missile heals for same amount of damage that would be inflicted.
*Cannot Climb Walls.

A search of the town house, inside the bed matresses reveals 4 knives (1d3 dam), a shortsword, 47cp, 140sp, 10gp, and 3 gems [100gp Azurite, 100gp Zircon, 100gp Turquoise]. This attack should prompt the PCs into action if they chose not to investigate the cultists, and will certainly make them realise they face a serious danger.

Paz and Lucia disappear after this attack (unless the PCs stop them before their trap is sprung) only to rappear in the final encounter.


Journey to the Lair of the Cultists

The two hour journey along the shoreline sees the characters walking along a beach partly shadowed by low crumbling cliff faces. Occasionally the beach itself is broken by rocky ground as the shoreline snakes its way along the coast. After about one and a half hours, two figures emerge from the shadows to stand in the way of the PCs. They are not more than 100 feet away, are wearing faded purple coloured robes, and look to be holding clubs. If the PCs approach they can see these individuals have blacked out eyes and appear angry. One of them speaks "You have no business coming this way. We prefer not to fight, but if you continue you'll leave us no choice."

Slime Cult Minions (2)
AC: 6 HD: 1+6 hp: 14 THACO: 19 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d6 (Club) Mv: 12 Alignment: LE Size: M xp: 125
Equipment: Purple Robes, Clubs.
*Immune to mind control spells.
*Only take half damage from edged weapons, quarter damage from blunt weapons.

If combat breaks out the DM should describe the fact that when PCs' weapons strike these unarmoured opponents, they do not cleave as expected. The Cultists' bodies prove particularly resistant - as if they were wearing armour. Blunt weapons seem to bounce off these opponents. After the Cultists are slain, PCs examining the remains find they have the consistency of hardened blubber and that their bones are somewhat rubberised.


Lair of the Slime Cultists

Soon after this encounter the PCs arrive, after another half hour of walking, at a location where they find a circular tunnel entrance carved into the sandstone cliff-face. The entrance is 7 feet around, is darkened and, although there are clear signs of footprints, no guards can be seen.

[For the DM] A Grey Ooze hides 10 feet inside the entryway, appearing as a grey shadow or grey coloured wet sand on the floor. It acts as a guardian for the Slime Cultist Lair. It will strike out with surprise, like a snake, upon any PCs entering carelessly.

Grey Ooze Guardian (1) Modified
AC: 8 HD: 3+3 hp: 30 THACO: 17 Attacks: 1 (range 5') Damage: 2d8 (Pseudopod) + corrodes metal (Chain in 1 round, Plate in 2 rounds, plus 1 round extra for each magical bonus) Mv: 1 Alignment: N Size: L 10' diameter, 8" high xp: 270
*Characters hit by the Ooze suffer 2d8 impact damage and then must roll vs Dexterity -2 or are caught by the pseudopod appendage that then dissolves metal and causes 1d8 damage to flesh per round therafter. Strength check -2 to break free. The ooze may target another PC while squeezing its victim but cannot envelop another.
*Immune to Spells, Cold and Fire.
*Weapons and Lighting based attacks cause Full Damage.

The sand-cut tunnel is not straight and curves as it continues another 80 feet into the cliff side. The orange glow of torch light can be seen ahead. If the PCs continue for another 20 feet they run into a small 15 foot diameter guard room occupied by three Cultists. These guards stand ready as they were alerted by the sounds of battle that echoed from the entryway. Inside the room is a barrel filled with torches, a number of oil flasks, and a small table against the wall with flint, steel, ink and a quill, plus three blank scrolls.

If the PCs attempt to parlay with these Cultists the leader simply states that they will be attacked if they do not leave.

Slime Cult Minion (1) 3rd level Fighter
AC: 6 HD: 3+6 hp: 34 THACO: 17 Attacks: 3/2 Damage: 2d4+1 (Bastard Sword) Mv: 12 Alignment: LE Size: M xp: 425
Equipment: Purple Robes, Bastard Sword.
*Immune to mind control spells.
*Half damage from edged weapons, quarter damage from blunt weapons.

Slime Cult Minions (2) 0-level Humans
AC: 6 HD: 1+6 hp: 14 THACO: 19 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d6+1 (Club held two handed) Mv: 12 Alignment: LE Size: M xp: 125
Equipment: Purple Robes, Clubs.
*Immune to mind control spells.
*Half damage from edged weapons, quarter damage from blunt weapons.

The tunnel continues past the guard room for another 30 feet and opens into a large 40 foot diameter unoccupied room. There are four open barrels against a side wall filled with clubs (16), one broadsword, and a battle axe. The wall facing the PCs has a set of wide wooden stairs (4 steps only) cut into the sandy floor leading up into another room. The roof drops low to a height of only 4 feet where the stairs rise, so that tall PCs have to duck their heads as they enter the next room.

Stepping inside this second room, the characters see that it has the same 40 foot diameter dimensions as the previous one with the roof reaching to 20 feet in height. The PCs notice a rectangular hole in the centre of the floor filled with purple glowing semi-transparent slime. A tanned middle aged man with white hair and closely trimmed white beard, dressed in a white shirt and trousers, who appears normal, with no blackened eyes, rests upon a ledge cut 10 feet above the floor. He speaks: 

"So you have come for the councilman's daughter. I will give her to you but she is one of us ... of her own free will!"

Slime Cult Leader (1) Normal 0-level Human
AC: 10 HD: 1 hp: 7 THACO: 20 Attacks: 1 Damage: nil (unarmed) Mv: 12 Alignment: LE Size: M xp: 5
Equipment: Purple Robes.
*Immune to Charm and Hold
*Commune with Slimes and Oozes

[Note: If the PCs attempt to attack the Cult leader, he surrenders immediately holding up his hands. He will not fight and is unarmed.]

Out of the rectangular slime hole rises a young dark haired woman who is placed upon her feet by slimey appendages. She wears the Cult's faded purple robes, has pale swollen shiny skin, with blackened eyes. She looks around and speaks.

"No master. I will not go with them."

The man replies, "Go child. They have killed many. With your leaving the primal mass will be awakened. The guardian will protect us. They shall not leave so easily. Go and the guardian will become enraged and seek vengenge for their crimes." He turns to the PCs calmly as Sylvia, the Councilman's daughter, steps toward you. "Leave if you can. I will not stop you."

Sylvia, Slime Cult Minion (1) 0-level Human
AC: 6 HD: 1+6 hp: 14 THACO: 19 Attacks: 1 Damage: nil (unarmed) Mv: 12 Alignment: LE Size: M xp: NA.
Equipment: Purple Robes
*Immune to mind control spells.
*Half damage from edged weapons, quarter damage from blunt weapons.

If the PCs stay, then out of the rectangular slime entrance erupts a ten foot tall Crystal Ooze Elemental. If PCs run then they feel vibrations under the sand as they duck into the next room on the way back out. The Guardian Ooze burrows under the sand and bursts out in the tunnel blocking the way - trapping the PCs in the room.

Waves of energy continually ripple through the Ooze's form.

Crystal Ooze Elemental Guardian (1) New Monster
AC: 5 HD: 10 hp: 80 THACO: 13 Attacks: 1 Damage: 2d8 (Pseudopod) Mv: 12 Alignment: N Size: L 10' Tall, 5' Wide xp: 3000
Rolls of 20 indicate the elemental has grabbed, but not damaged, a man sized opponent and drawn them into the mass to suffocate. Suffocation occurs after a number of rounds equal to one quarter of the PC's constitution score rounded up. A maximum of two characters can be drawn into the guardian at one time.
*Immune to non-magical weapons
*Half Damage from magical weapons less than +2
*Immune to Magic, Fire and Acid
*Cold based attacks cause Full Damage

If the characters defeat the Guardian and wish to destroy the 'primal mass' slime, that extends beyond the rectangular portal, they must inflict over 200hp damage to this area. The mass reaches 300 feet deep and 200 feet across under the sand. The slime can only be damaged via Cold based magical attacks. Attacks by magical weapons will only break the surface whereafter the damaged portions reform. If effectively attacked the giant slime will summon the remaining twelve (12) Cultists who wait outside. It regenerates 2 hp per hour of any cold-based damage inflicted upon it.

The powers of this slimey mass are the ability to summon one Guardian Slime every 24 hours, to produce other lesser slimes, jellies and oozes at a rate of one per month when required, and to convert humanoids to become slime minions over a 72 hour period. It can also commune with any Slime Cultist. Although powerful, this entity, that has grown on the Prime Material Plane for slightly more than a year, is limited, having effective intelligence and wisdom scores of 11 and 12 respectively.


The Return Journey

Outside the lair wait a number of men and women of the Cult armed with sticks and clubs. All have blackened eyes. Also with them are Paz and Lucia from the town. [Note: If the PCs effectively attack the slime mass inside the lair the individuls here will rush to attack the characters and this encounter will not occur.]  A man with brown hair and blackened eyes walks forward and speaks. "This would be a lot easier if you just left the girl here." If the PCs refuse they all attack savagely wailing and yelling the whole time.

Slime Cult Minions (10)
AC: 6 HD: 1+6 hp: 14 THACO: 19 Attacks: 1 Damage: 1d6 (Club) or 1d3 (Heavy Stick) Mv: 12 Alignment: LE Size: M xp: 125
Equipment: Purple Robes, Clubs.
*Immune to mind control spells.
*Half damage from edged weapons, quarter damage from blunt weapons.

Paz and Lucia (2) 0-level humans

See previous entry for details.


Resolution

If the PCs return to the town, the councilman is happy that his daughter has been returned and then shocked by her condition. After paying the party the agreed reward amount he will lock Sylvia away calling on the advice of Priests (perhaps one of the PCs, to determine what can be done with her). Her condition cannot be changed except by means of a wish.

PCs successfully returning the Councilman's daughter receive 800xp for their accomplishment.

DMs may consider a further (epic) adventure in which the PCs seek out a Wizard or a Genie that can bestow a wish required to return Sylvia to her normal state.