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Fool's Reward by Doyle (AD&D)

This article is Fan Fiction
The contents herein are entirely player made and in no way represent official Birthright lore or history.
The characters and events listed are of an independent nature and are applied for roleplaying purposes only.

Fool's Reward. A single session Birthright Scenario by Doyle and Co.


All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts - W.Shakespeare
Fool's Reward is written for 2nd ed. D&D and is set in southern Calrie and Bainen's Deep, Aerenwe in Spring 556 MR. Little has changed in Cerilia from the printed material outside of Aerenwe itself. Dukes Cole and Cale Alwyr have jointly ruled the country since the death (old age) of the Queen Liliene Swordwraith a year ago. A recent falling out between the brothers has seen Cale relocated (banished) to the Erebannien. The details of the argument are unknown to the general populace.
The inspiration comes from a reminiscing on a pet I had when I was in my teens and "As you like it" by William Shakespeare. My thanks to Anestis Kozakis, Michael Hill, Ebonyrose Lyons, Beth Tobin, Brendan Roberts, Miriam Staples, Michael Neiman, Pedr Gurteen and Simon Hoad for their support and assistance.


The party (for one reason or another) are avoiding the wrath of Duke Cole and have escaped to the Erebannien forest for a while. They are without coin, food or shelter and are looking for some temporary employment. Directed by some traveling players, they find (or are found by) the Erebannien Rangers and are offered work and or shelter in the camp if they can prove their worth. A task is set and the rangers leave. Sometime around here a local curse manifests itself - the Ghost of the Dalmatian. Upon reaching the site of the quest, the players realize that they cannot possibly complete the task without help. Unfortunately no-one wishes to help them. The set solution to the problem is to entice the ghost into the potential assistant to encourage assistance (but then, players can find all sorts of odd ways of solving problems). The encounter locations are generally not fixed; to allow for flexibility.


NB: the names in bold print are the names being used by the characters at the start of the scenario.
  • Rosa Alwyr - (Elf rogue 3) Daughter of Duke Cale, desperately in love with Oliver, she is currently disguised as George, a drifter, cousin to Catherine.
  • Oliver Roland - (Anuirean fighter 2) Youngest son of a wealthy though unpopular family, deeply in love with Rosa.
  • Jack Roland - (Anuirean bard 3) elder brother of Oliver, a philosopher and poet. Has a growing interest in Phebe.
  • Phebe Terres- (Anuirean ranger 2) a runaway from her father's sheep farm in Halried, has a crush on George.
  • Catherine Alwyr - (half elf / half Anuirean bard 4) daughter of Duke Cole, cousin to
  • Rosa, currently disguised as Lily, sister to George. (Possible 5th character if required, if not she runs off with the actors). She appears as a plumpish Elf.

Negligible encumbrance, no mounts, all move: 12
  • The Ghost - all Dalmatian dogs have an innate need to make people happy, but at the time of her death, this particular one felt that she hadn't done her quota. As a result she is doomed to haunt the Erebannien until she has assisted in some great deed. A gift from Aeric (the god of nature also known as Eric in the Rjurik lands and Iraikhan to the Vos) is that of healing d4+2hp of damage twice per day for any possessed person - but they've got to use their saliva (not by spitting, it must still be warm) - per a dogs habit of licking wounds to heal them. Possession can be transferred this way, 75% chance (allow automatic transfer to the first PC healed, the Vos Mage, but not the scout). If an infected character (including the Druid or Mage) is on or near the bridge, they will have a problem with vertigo, as this is where the Dalmatian fell to her death.

[top]Expected path of PC?s

1. meet druid,

2. meet Vos mage,

3. meet the Erebannien Rangers,

4. accept task,

5. take damaging encounter,

6. get healing - and ghost infection,

7. see extent of task

8. infect Vos mage

9. Vos mage completes task

10. finale including unmasking

By the end of the first hour, one of the PC?s should have taken a wound.

By the end of the second hour, the PC?s should have completed steps 3-7.

[top]Path (A) The end of the beginning

Introduction to this point is covered in each characters sheet as each differs slightly, however a brief explanation of the game-world is in order if any one of the players is not familiar with it, including divine right, bloodline, the human/ elf wars and the basic races.

A brief explanation of the current political situation - Aerenwe is a kingdom that was ruled by the Noble Queen Liliene Swordwraith. On her death about a year ago, her long time advisers (the half-sidhe twins Cole and Cale Alwyr), assumed the joint regency of Aerenwe. Within a season that fell apart and Duke Cale has not been seen since, some say banished. Times are much less prosperous than they were in Liliene's time.

Today (Taelin), has been reasonably pleasant, though somewhat overcast. The market that you have each wandered across here at the crossing of paths has been a plain affair. Mostly it has consisted of farmers trading their food in barter for cloth and similar probably to avoid the recent tax on monetary based transactions. Towards late afternoon as the farmers are packing up, and the entertainment troupe that had been putting on puppet shows for the kids announces that it is putting on a play. A warm breeze has picked up and you find yourselves seated on the ground (or rocks, or leaning against trees, etc) with about thirty others in front of a makeshift stage / caravan of Brecht origin as the play unfolds.

The stage is a converted (currently unfolded) Brecht caravan, set up one side of a crossroads at the Border of the Erebannien.

"The end of one thing is generally the beginning of another" declares a gaudily clad actor to the applause of an over-enthusiastic stagehand. Gaudy is a word that could be used a lot around this production, The actors clothing, the set props, the fold out caravan that serves as the stage - even the play that so far has included soliloquies about kings and heroics as stammered out by some emaciated, beardless youth, songs by the tone deaf and acrobatics by the dexterity challenged. It has at least grown quiet.

With a start you realize the actors have been holding their poses quietly for the last five minutes or so - apparently the last quote was the punch line and end to the play.

Paraphrase the following, allowing for the PC's reactions and questions

Try as they might, the PC's cannot recall how the last line could have ended the play, but then it didn't make any sense any way. Looking around they see that they five are the only audience remaining, the other few that were with them seem to have snuck off rather than be bored by the tragedy that the play promised to be from the start. Indeed, if the PC's weren't so tired by their travels, they might have done the same.

The actors will hold their pose for another five minutes before one breaks down and start crying. The other actors will gather around the first in a comforting way while escorting him off stage, glaring at the unappreciative audience and packing up the caravan and leave shortly after.
Should even one of the PC's applaud before they start packing up, the actors will react as if it were a standing ovation, and will be appropriately pleased with themselves. Unfortunately, Billy will also ask for coin after the bows have finished and the stage is packed up. (If the GM is not familiar with traveling players of the period, see either "Hamlet" or "Rosencrantz & Gildenstern are dead").

The players are Billy (Int:14, Wis:12, Level:2, HP:8 weapon proficiency in club and dagger, specialized - fancy maneuvers only - in stage weapons), Terry (Str:14), Sally (Chr:14), Bluey (Con:14, Wis:7), Harry, Caddie, Dory and Gammy. All are Anuirean 0 level bards (in the making) with HP:4, proficient in stage weapons only and average statistics unless noted otherwise above. Billy is the only one to be drawn into conversation, and makes himself available for such. The others could communicate, but are under instructions to practice mime when not on stage, so communication could quickly become irritating to PC's, though an interesting diversion.

Billy ran away from home at the age of 15 to follow a similar group with dreams of becoming a world famous actor. Thirty years later, the dreams are still the same, but he's beginning to realise that he's chasing a lost dream. The PC's can gather the following information about the area from Billy; - NB, if missed some of these rumors can be picked up from other NPCs.

  • A crotchety Vos Mage has set up camp about an hour or two North of here, just where the swamp road forks. See below for a description of the mage, when the actors happened upon him, he was about to place a "wall of stone" in it's allotted space, and not wanting to waste the spell to bring up an offensive one, he simply placed the wall between himself and the actors, hoping that he could later incorporate the wall into his design.

"We requested of the gentleman if he would care for some entertainment and without a word that we could hear, he raised an earthen wall betwixt us! Damnedest trick I've ever seen, I could use something like that in a play..."

{The best means to solve the test set by the Erebannien Rangers would be to convince (infect) the Vos mage to make him provide assistance. Note that if Billy does not get the opportunity to mention the Vos Mage, the druid may mention him, as he is very worried about the effect his tower may have on the environment, or the Erebannien Rangers may mention it for similar reasons.}

  • The forest is haunted by a Priest of Aeric [a druid], many woodsmen have disappeared over the years. Billy's troupe all got the feeling they were being watched all throughout the time they have been near the Erebannien {mostly false, there are some ghosts but its a group of Rangers that keep the forest safe that have perpetuated this myth by keeping an eye on groups passing through the forest}.

  • The headless bodies of a goblin scouting party were found only the other week {true they had been hunting for trophies, the rangers sent the heads back to the tribe as a warning}.

  • The town 2 days ride along the Northern road is very friendly but poor {not really friendly, just desperate for entertainment}.

  • There is said to be an entire Elfin kingdom within the bounds of this forest, but you could walk within 10 feet of it and never see a soul {true, though the only part of that monarchy nearby is Duke Cale and his small band of followers, though this does include some of the Erebannien Rangers}

  • The game is said to be plentiful deep within the forest, but you never see any trappers working here, certainly the only ones at the market were farmers with rabbit and possum from their fields {the Rangers again}.

Visible in the now evening light is a path North/ Northeast (to the Vos Mage camp), the path West that they traveled to get here, the lights of a tavern to the South, and numerous paths Eastwards into the forest. If asked about the weather, the air is becoming humid and storm-clouds are gathering. The best visible shelter for the night is either the tavern or the forest.

[top]Path (B) Roadside Tavern

The only nearby visible location is the roadside tavern 200 yards from the forest. Any of the PCs who have read their character sheets will recognize this as a potential trap, especially if they look into either the stables or through a tavern window.

"Travelers Rest" is the name on the sign of this rather average-looking roadside inn, from it's far side, you can hear the snort and whinny of horses in the stable, from within, you can hear the clink of glasses and loud conversation. The air has the still quality as before a storm.

The horses are reacting to the oncoming thunderstorm. If the PC's glance into the stables (going past the tavern), they will note that eight of the ten horses stabled here have the livery of the Aerenwen Guard (Light Cavalry), on closer inspection, one of the remaining has the brand of the Terres stables (Phebe's uncle Ivan's horse - if Phebe's player asks the question, she remembers her uncle as a family proud, but rather violent man). If the PC's wish to steal a horse, it will take one round to quietly get a saddle on the horse, one to lead it out of the stall and a third to get it out of the stable - two rounds total if the PC is not worried about noise. Note that if none of the player characters have either animal handling nor riding NWP skills, a wisdom check at -5 will also be required to get the animal saddled, and riding into / out of combat (as it may well be by then) is a wisdom check at -1, -3 if they didn't bother with the saddle. None of the stock characters have the necessary skills...

If the players enter the tavern (or paraphrase if they listen at the door / look long enough through the window set in the door);

The heavy oak door opens into a large warm room, the smell of a good mutton stew wafts over you. To the right a table of a dozen armed men in Aerenwen tabards are eating noisily. To the left, a large man is arguing loudly the price of ale with the barkeep - he seems to be overly angry with such a small matter. His voice is very familiar to Phebe - it's your uncle - Ivan the ugly!

{A brief opportunity for the PCs to back out before being seen}
At the boom of thunder from the incoming storm, both barkeep and Ivan look towards the door and the party. Ivan's face becomes crimson as his anger escalates several notches. "You ungrateful little...", he stomps towards the group sweeping chairs and in fact, tables out of his way, "your father is gonna give you such a whuppin' when I drag you to him, but not half as much as the one I'm give you now."

Off to one side, one of the armed men is pointing at either Oliver or Jack and talking hurriedly to his captain. At a word from the latter, they stop eating and rise facing you.

Make it obvious that the thing to do here is turn tail and run. The edge of the wood is only two hundred yards from here and the guard are all weighed down by armor. If the players feel the need to fight their way out, give them every opportunity to escape for the first couple of rounds, as the soldiers grab helmets and swords, some going out the back way as Ivan blocks the front door for a short while with his bulk. Players can slam the door hard enough to jam it, or throw something at Ivan's legs, toppling him at the doorway, giving them another round to run as the other soldiers come around from the back.

Aerenwe Light Cavalry(12): Anuirean Fighters level 1, hp:5 each; AC:4 (half plate); MV:9; ThAC0: 20; #at:1; damage by weapon: Longsword d8, short bow d6; size: M(5?6?-6?); ML: 14; AL: LN(G). Unit Captain: Anuirean Fighter level 3, hp:17; AC:2 (half plate, Dex); MV:9; ThAC0: 18; #at:1; damage by weapon: Longsword d8, short bow d6; size: M(6?); ML: 16; AL: LN. Ivan "the Ugly" Terres Anuirean Rogue level 3, hp:12; AC:10, MV:9; ThAC0: 18; #at:1; damage by weapon: Cosh d4+2 (Str); size: M(6'4"); ML: 10; AL: N.

[top]Path (C) - Dubious help

The happy druid - once a grumpy hermit with only a Dalmatian dog for company, Harold was distraught when he found the dog killed in a rock-slide. He quickly got over his grief, and decided that to lessen the grief of others, he would be a little more like his late companion, happy and helpful. Unbeknownst to the druid, only part of this decision was made of his own free will, the rest being helped along by possession by the dog's ghost. It's been a long time since the druid was the happy helpful sort, so the effect appears a little overboard, as if he'd been sampling some of his own "medicinal" herbs, an assumption that will work well as a red herring with the PCs.

When he comes to the rescue of a party member, he will use the healing ability discreetly, but the PC to be healed will notice Harold generously lick the hand he uses to apply his herbs (herbs add 2hp to the normal healing - see "The Ghost"). If Harold first encounters the party by the bridge, he will have the vertigo problem of any of the possessed. If he has passed on the ghost, he will become a little sad and point down the ravine, saying "I buried a friend down there somewhere last week". He is, of course referring to the Dalmatians cairn.

Harold: Rjurik druid, level 3, S:8, Co:15, D:9, I:11, W:13, Ch:12, carries a quarterstaff and a golden sickle, will refuse to enter combat however, nor are any of his spells useful for re-building a bridge. As a priest of Aeric, he has access to the spheres - all, animal, divination, elemental, healing, plant, protection, summoning, travelers and weather - three of 1st level and one of 2nd level per day.

[top]Path (D) - That which does not kill us...

The injury - the need for assistance from the infected druid is required for the plot to continue. Use one of the following per the needs of the PCs. These encounters can also be used to stretch out the session if the party solve their problem way too early.

[top]1) Let no good deed...

If the PCs offer to help the troubadours, they accept and will be mortified when a piece of stage machinery (sand bag) drops on the PC, pinning him / her for a couple of rounds and causing 5hp of damage.

[top]2) Hunters trap

Located at edge of forest, this device will clamp the foot of the lead PC (except the ranger - Phebe, who will not step where she cannot see her feet), twisting their ankle and causing 6hp of damage, Until healed, the character can only hobble, running will cause 1hp damage per 50 yards crossed.

[top]3) Goblin attack

Located on the road by the forest, deep within the forest, at the damaged bridge site or at the site of the slain goblins from Billy's helpful hints (2) if the PCs insist on looking for it. There are 3 goblins with a cart attempting to retrieve the bodies of their dead tribesmen. The Erebannien Rangers know that they are there, but see no need to interfere. Of course they will not stop anyone else from interfering. Goblin, common (3); HD:1-1; hp:3,4,7; AC:7; MV:6; ThAC0: 20; #at:1; damage by weapon: d6; size: S(4'); ML: Average (10); AL: LE. For the purpose of minimum damage, as a first attack, before the PCs kill them all off one of the goblins throws a knife, hitting the player that would have been last into combat for 4hp damage.

[top]4) Gheallie Sidhe youths

Located within the deep forest, these three have just caught a hobgoblin separated from his goblin tribe and wish to take him back to the Sielwode. If a full-scale combat occurs, the goblin will side with the PC's unless it's clear they'll kill him anyway at the end, otherwise he'll run away while attention is diverted.

Goblin, Huge; HD:3+1; hp:16; AC:3; MV:6, ThAC0:17; #at:1; damage: d4+1 (will wrestle or box if given the option, may grab a branch and use it as a club otherwise); size: L(7'6"); ML: elite (14); AL: LN(E).

Ghaellie Sidhe - Elves(3); HD:1,1,3; hp:4,5,16; AC: 4,4(chain mail & dex15), 2(improved mail & dex16), MV:12; , ThAC0:20,20,16; #at:1; damage by weapon: d8 (short bow) or d6+1 (rapier); size: M(5'6"); ML: champion(16); AL: NE.

Phebe, you are just about to comment that this part of the forest is oddly quiet when an arrow lands between the feet of both [lead and tail characters]. A voice dripping with malice from the left calls out in sidhelien "Did you know that an elf that brings the plague-ape into the forest is executed in the better Sidhe lands?" "Really?" calls another elf now standing on the path in front of you. "But this land is already infected with the plague-ape, perhaps we just ask them to prove that they could be some use against the evil of this land?" The latter turn to face George, "keeper of apes, we'll let you all pass by in peace if... he pauses here as if he is making up a challenge on the spot. ...If one of your number entertains us by fighting a goblin, now that doesn't sound too hard does it?"

While they want to cause some hurt, they know they are not capable of taking on the entire party without sustaining substantial damage themselves. If the PCs out-bluff them on strength, they'll back down and escape with their catch. If the PC's taunt them, one will eventually fly into anger and they'll fight until severe wounding (50%hp loss). If the PCs accept the challenge, the elves will cheer on the victor, but will allow the fight to stop when the goblin is at 5hp or less (assuming the PC concerned allows it to surrender at that point). If the party is taking a severe pounding, the Erebannien Rangers will turn up and the three youths will simply flee.

Keep this encounters fairly short as it really only involves one of the PCs.

[top]5) The Crotchety Mage

If the players encounter the mage (described fully further below) before one of the players is infected, he is still annoyed at wasting an earthen wall spell at the "actors" and has memorized a couple of magic missile spells to ward off unwanted visitors. As he is short sighted, he will probably be startled when the PCs make their presence known and will fire off one of these spells (9hp damage) before ducking behind a wall and yelling at them to go away. As the PCs don't need him yet, they should have no problem bowing out.

[top]6) Young Tiger

One of the few large, non-monster predators in the forest and it has sprung one of the scouts looking for the PCs. The first the PCs become aware is a short scream for help, as the scout is hit by the tiger, taking enough damage to fall unconscious. Fortunately for the PCs, the tiger is only young and took a hit from the soldier's sword before he passed out - but it's still a formidable opponent.

Once the tiger is defeated, the scout can be brought round. He will recognize Phebe, Oliver and Jack and can let them know that they are now outlaws. He is a member of the Aerenwen Scouts assigned to the militia as one of four trackers. The other three are miles from here, but there is a group of 20 light cavalry of the militia patrolling the border of the forest nearby. He asks if the PC's will let him go and in return he will lead the unit he is assigned to further South, away from the party.

NB: if the infected character attempts to heal the scout, the ghost does not pass on here.
Scout: Taelin Algon: Anuirean Ranger Lvl:2; AC: 6 (studded leather & dexterity bonus); MV:12; , ThAC0:18; #at:1; damage by weapon: d8 (short bow) or d8 (longsword); size: M(5'2"); ML: champion(16); AL: CG.

Wild Tiger (modified): HD:3+3; hp:16 (currently 6); AC:6; MV:12, ThAC0:17; #at:3; d4+1/d4+1/d10 -claw/claw/bite; SA: Rear claws 2d4ea; size: L(6' long); ML: average (8); AL: N. The tiger is hungry and wants to eat what it has caught, but if the PCs look formidable enough it may flee to rest its wound (morale check at start of combat).

[top]Path (E) - The Erebannien Rangers

The Erebannien Rangers should arrive late in the first hour of the game. They can be rescuing the party from one of the above-mentioned dangers or simply reacting to the group making a campfire within the wood. There are twenty in this particular group, three are human (two Anuirean, one Khinasi) and the rest are elves. Erebannien Rangers(20); Lvl:4; AC: 4-2 (chain mail & dexterity bonus); MV:12; , ThAC0:16; #at:1; damage by weapon: d8 (longbow) or d6+1 (rapier); size: M(5'-6'); ML: champion(16); AL: N(G). They are attired almost stereotypically - green / brown shirt over the chain mail, green hose, brown boots, and a green peaked cap.

The Erebannien Rangers could give them much information about the forest and its denizens, but only if the party seem the 'friendly to the forest' sort. If questioned about Duke Cale, the elves will pause before saying that they don't know of his present location - they know and answer directly to him, but are not about to give his location away to possible spies of Cole. About the druid (or what healing help can be found) they refer to Harold as "that old coot" and his companion as the "spotted dam-nation". Until told, they are unaware of the dog's demise. One thing they will mention is the living arrangements for Humans within the Erebannien.

"The human is not a natural forest dwelling creature, and so to live within it, must counteract his negative effect with some positive deed. You will have until the next sundown to prove the deed, or leave the forest. [Looking at George] a city bred sidhe counts as a human for that definition."

The spokesman steps back to allow you time to consider this. Most of the other rangers are taking advantage of the break, smoking from pipes, drinking from flasks, generally chatting amongst one another. You vaguely hear that some of the conversations are about you.

  • "We could get them to do something about that magi",
  • "nah, he's not settling in the forest",
  • "we don't know if he poses a threat",
  • "how about pick us armloads of truffles for the feast... OW! I do not only think with my stomach!",
  • "hey, what about that eroded bridge, they look like a bit of hard work wouldn't go astray".

Seeing that you've overheard the last bit, the original spokesman gets up and strolls over. "There's an option that shouldn't be too hard. [He points] along that path there, is a natural bridge that is the only crossing for much of the wildlife for a several miles in either direction. Time has taken its toll and the crossing has become too eroded for any of the larger animals to cross. Strengthen it; use fallen logs or whatever to widen it and that should buy you a few weeks stay here."

At this point an odd birdcall is heard. All the rangers stop and listen for a moment and then put away pipes, flasks, etc. The spokesman says "we'll see you by sundown next" and they all set off at a run. Within a minute there is no sign that they were ever there but for the faint smell of burnt cinnamon and possibly cloves.

Regardless of where the party has encountered, it is another 2 hours travel to the bridge. From there it is 4 hours in a direct line to the Vos camp or 5 hours if Phebe does not lead them.

[top]Path (F) - The task

The forest seems to be thinning a little ahead, and the breeze a little fresher. You [the person in the lead] notice that the path has become more solid underneath. Looking down, you see that you have taken the first step onto a rock formation that spans an 18' fissure that extends left and right as far as you can see. The drop is sixty or so feet and the rocks look really sharp down there. The formation is 2' wide at this point, thins to 6" in the next couple of steps.

The elves of the Erebannien Rangers usually don't cross here, so they are unaware of just how dangerous the recent Spring rains have made this bridge become. Any attempt to cross or repair the bridge will cause it to collapse, most (12') of the center dropping to the rocks below. If the attempt to cross is made, ask for a dexterity check, audibly roll some dice yourself and say that they have managed to grab some blackberry briars (2hp damage) and can be easily hauled up to safety.

If a player gets to the bottom, he finds a small cairn, the grave of the druid's Dalmatian.
The PCs could spend the next day-and-a-half collecting logs, using the engineering NWP to construct a replacement, but that would be really boring. If one or two of the damaging encounters are placed in their path, reducing time and characters capable of assisting. The best solution is to convince the mage to use his stone shape spells.

[top]Path (G) - The Magi

Croquite {Vos Transmuter Level:10; HP:20 AC:8 (dexterity 16); MV:12; , ThAC0:17; #at:1; damage by weapon: d6 (staff); size: M(5'6"); Bloodline: Vo; minor; 25; ML: champion(16); AL: N}.

Spellbook: (memorized spells in italics, alteration spells underlined) 1st; Affect normal fires, Burning hands, Cantrip, Feather fall, Magic Missile x2, Hypnotism, Identify, Light, Wizard mark, 2nd; Alter self, Glitter dust, Invisibility, Magic mouth, Mirror image, Maxamillions? earthen grasp, Shatter, Wizard lock, 3rd; Alamir?s fundamental breakdown, Explosive runes, Far reaching I, Fly, Haste, Hold Person, Maxamillions? stony grasp, Squaring the Circle, Wind wall, 4th; Dig, Far reaching II, Fire Shield, Hallucinatory terrain, Turn pebble to boulder (modified), Wizard eye, 5th; Stone Shape, Wall of Stone x2, Telekinesis. Blood abilities: Heightened ability (minor) - Wisdom has been raised from 14 to 15 and Resistance (major) - 50% immunity to wizard spells of the invocation / evocation school and any damage from these attacks is halved as applicable.

Croquite speaks Vos, low Brecht and heavily accented Anuirean.

Croquite gave up competing with the back-stabbing priests and Tsarevos in his homeland of Vosgaard and came to Anuire seeking an undeveloped source to develop and protect him from other people. On arriving in Aerenwe he found what he was looking for at the edge of the Erbannien and started building a keep to protect the source and to draw energy from his hidden sources in his new home (ley lines), using his various stone wall and shape spells. He has drawn a plan for what he thinks he needs and has transferred that in limestone powder to the ground, but it's not structurally sound - something that a successful engineering check could tell a PC.

That same check could also tell a PC that the way the building material is stacked is also unstable and could topple if nudged the wrong way. Unfortunately Croquite has gotten so used to his telekinesis that he forgets about the weight involved.

The general distrust and dislike of magic and magic users in Vosgaard has led Croquite to become quite xenophobic, he takes the assumption that anyone that has turned up to speak to him is there to either arrest or kill him. As a result he tends to react with a warning shot into the lead speaker and then threaten with nastier spells until he is left alone. He doesn't like killing, but he believes in an aggressive defense.

The players may encounter Croquite before one of them is infected with the ghost, hence they will have no hope in getting the mage to help them. He will be either putting up a wall or shaping a doorway during the day (giving the PCs a broad clue as to the fixing of the bridge) or making tea outside his yurt (a large Vos tent). The butter he has been mixing with his tea has gone a bit rancid, making him a little off colour and more crotchety than normal. As soon as he sees the PCs, he fires a magic missile into the closest, shouts at them to leave him alone (in Vos) and allows them to drag any wounded away.

Croquite repeats this process until the PCs are in retreat, using burning hands, his second magic missile and then telekinesis to hurl a shower of rocks at the party until they get the hint. While re-learning spells he usually has invisibility cast so as not to be caught defenseless. If the party takes serious damage, the Druid can turn up to take them to safety and for healing, ghost transfer happens at the last PC healed.

If the party encounter the mage after at least one of them has been infected AND at it is at least the second half of the game, then they arrive to find the campsite quiet. The mage has managed to knock a pile of stones onto himself causing 12hp damage and knocking himself out. This is the prime opportunity to heal Croquite and get his help (or raid the camp for the materials to fix the bridge). Assuming the players take the option a little more in keeping with their alignments, after a short while recovering, the mage will offer them tea and whatever other hospitality he can. If a PC does not request the tea black, then the mage puts in the butter, and a successful saving throw against poison is required to avoid "a sick feeling" and -2 on to hit and all checks for the next 24 hours (effectively the remainder of the game).

Once the party has convinced Croquite to assist them, he will happily follow them to the bridge, but becomes fearful stepping out onto it to work his spells (the Dalmatian's vertigo), role-playing encouragement to the mage is the best solution to this. Time may also be a factor, as the mage must relearn his spells, one of which will be wasted if one of the players with the engineering proficiency does not help him with the construction.

[top]Path (H) - Finale

If the bridge is not completed on time, the Rangers turn up (wherever the PC?s are) and inform the PC's that "our leader wishes to see you". They will utter no other explanation, but will lead them to the Duke - go to the boxed text.

If the bridge is completed, one of the Anurean rangers walks up to and along it, commenting on how impressed he is (presuming that they have managed a good job of it), he shares some food with them while awaiting the remaining rangers. The others turn up just as the sun is setting (creating a spectacular backdrop for the bridge). Once it has set fully, the elves escort the party along a path that is now clearly seen in the light of the full moon. Continue with the boxed text.
You are led for some miles South through the forest to a natural clearing before a cliff-face.

Looking around you get the impression that decades ago perhaps a waterfall cascaded down that cliff, pooled where you are standing and then flowed off down the valley. The scene looks magical in the moonlight. A familiar figure sits upon a throne made of river-stones, feasting with about thirty others dressed in similar fashion to your ranger escorts. He turns to wave your escort to their places at the table, and then suddenly stands bolt upright. "Rosa!" he cries and then is at a loss for words.

All's well that ends well. The throned figure is of course Duke Cale, who will want to know how his daughter escaped his brother and why she's dressed as a boy, and who are these strange men she's with and so on [think the father character from the "Arms and the Man / The Chocolate Cream Soldier"].

Allow the players time to sort out who's who, while the feast returns to normal. To wrap up the session, a messenger from Duke Cole arrives saying that after having mislaid his two wards - Rosa and Catherine, he spent some time re-evaluating his position and has decided he made a much better adviser than regent and so has handed over the regency to Cale, King of Aerenwe.

[top]The Ghost (Player handout 1)

You suddenly feel the need for rest as an odd feeling starts to take hold of you, your nose starts to run, your tongue seems too big for your mouth and the color drains from your view - but damn, the forest smells so fresh and interesting, and then you feel the spring return to your step and all is as it should be and you are ready to help your friends - and remember everyone's your friend, until they have proven otherwise recently :-)

Your character have just been "infected" with / possessed by the ghost of a Dalmatian (a medium sized white dog with black spots bred to run behind carriages and for birding). As the ghost only wishes to help, it will not purposely intrude on your conscious thought, but some of the characteristics may show - mostly in a shift to be more friendly, happy and helpful.

The disadvantageous effects are color-blindness, a drop in wisdom (-2), curiosity, a need for the tongue to hang out during moments of concentration or exhaustion and the desire to help people whether they want it or not.

The advantageous effects are an enhanced sense of smell and hearing, a boost in energy (constitution +2 - though more frequent rests are preferred), and the ability to heal, healing d4+2hp of damage twice per day for any possessed person - but you've got to use your saliva (not by spitting, it must still be warm) - per a dogs habit of licking wounds to heal them. -[Remind the GM when you are wanting to use this ability].

Aside from the above, there is no outward change in the character, nor will the character feel that there has been any change at all, they've always been like this [the ghost feels that possession is way too creepy, and its denial becomes the characters denial on this point]. The PC retains all other abilities as if nothing has happened.

[top]The Dispossessed (Player handout 2)

Please return handout 1 when you get this.

Sometime during the last few minutes, your sight and sense of smell has returned to normal. You are not really conscious of the change, though if another character mentions it, you do notice you are not quite as buoyant as before. This will not stop you from noticing similar changes in other characters.

At this point, you retain the desire to be helpful if not the ability to heal. You retain full memory of your time possessed (if not the understanding of quite what happened to you, nor how it did), so if you were accurately accused during that time, you may now re-evaluate what was said.

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