Thursday, June 7, 2012

Iron Reforged: Secrets of the Green Pt 2: An Arrival by Sea

A second installment of Iron Reforged, Containing travel by sea, a port of call, and new adventure seeds.

Links to Pt. 1
For this second installment I have included the path if the PCs decide to take the seaside route.  Hope you enjoy it... As always leave comments or email me.  Without further ado...

An Arrival By Sea:

The way by sea to Fiddler’s Crown suffers from the strange phenomena surrounding the coast near Widow’s Walk Cliff.  This year’s tourney has proven to have even worse weather than before to greet the parties seeking the tourney.  If the players have their own ship they are in for a high amount of danger; the coastline and seas in a 40 mile cone centered on Rockston/Seafinger are affected by supernatural weather.  This phenomenon, known as Mischievous Winds of Rockston, is a danger to merchants, sailors and raftsmen who ply the boat trade.  Coming into Rockston from the sea, the party’s ship has a 25% chance per day of encountering the Mischievious Winds.   Treat them as Rogue Zephyrs from Donjon’s great Fantasy Weather Generator:

Courtesy Donjon

Rogue Zephyr: Rogue zephyrs are gentle but magical breezes which undo simple (those of DC 20 or less) knots, locks, bolts, manacles, shackles, and similar impediments.

A rogue zephyr has a 50% chance of extinguishing candles, torches, and similar unprotected flames.

Due to the danger of knots being undone, the party must make an additional Profession (Sailor) check of DC 18 (+2 per days spent under the Mischievous Wind) or find their ship becalmed as sails are unraveled from their lines and blow into the wind.

Captains who regularly travel the route to Rockston and Seafinger know of the Mischievous Wind, and carry dogs aboard.  The Winds fear dogs, and must make a Morale Check (roll above 11) if two dogs are aboard, as their howls and barking scare away the wind’s animating spirits.

When the Wind comes, it brings bad tidings and danger.  The sails of the ship blow away into the wind… Only to stop mid-blow and to come back towards the party, the laughter of high-pitched children accompanying the winds, and laughter when the sail turns into a manta ray.  The party also hears rumblings under the decks, as their unattended clothing and other items turn rogue, seeking to make merry and cause trouble.

Encounter: A Rogue Wind and Bastard’s Cloth:

Huge Animated Object (Combined Sails in the form of a flying manta ray-like creature), speed: 10 + 5 for every smaller sail, Constricting.  Any creature constricted is released on the next round with a Small Animated Object spawned out of the sail in the form of a child-sized cutout, attempting to grapple and blind the character.
Tatterderanimals (2 per crew member).
Common Raggamoffyn (1 per 3 crew members)
(For Tatterderanimals and Raggamoffyn see MM2 p. 107-11)

The creatures swarm the crew and party, looking to control the crewmembers into dancing and playing with them.  When defeated, the winds will cry about the fairness of play, and a single sheet-child will fly away.

The sail can be patched with 1d4 hours and a Profession (Sailor) check of DC: 22, as the entire crew gets together to spend time sewing patches, running lines, and making a tattered sail (-2 to Profession (Sailor) checks for sailing the ship).  A second check if failed will finish the patch, and the spirits will leave the party alone.

The Hulk of Maiden Fair, and Captain Gulfeather.

The party is six hours from Seafinger when they pass by a ship whose sails have been struck and decks are smoldering from a recent fire.  A Perception/Listen/Spot check (DC: 15) will draw attention to a lump of a man tied to the mizzenmast, hoarsely shouting for help.  As the party comes closer, the man will scream loud enough to be heard:

Hey! Hey! Where in the Hells are you going!  Man mutinied!  Help me you damned dogs! I’ll pay your damn weight in silver for a hand and a compass to find the whoresons who struck my ship!

Gulfeather and Young Smith
This embattled fool is Captain Julian Gulfeather, former Piscean and current captain of the Maiden Fair.  The Mischievous Winds caught his ship, and his men were offered passage on another vessel heading out of port if they brought his load of pearls and Goldsteel shells aboard.  He offers a bounty for the head of Steely Jon Hardtack, the pirate who took advantage of the magic winds in his vessel Devil’s Darlin’.

A Knowledge (Local) check will expose the following:

DC 15: Steely Jon Hardtack is a famous pirate of the seas around the Seafinger, and his crew is known as the Bellringers for the small silver bells Hardtack hands out for each kill of a merchant guard.
DC 20: Steely Jon Hardtack seems to be at the right place at the right time, his bewitched ship leading him to places of plunder and promise.
DC 25: Hardtack started his life as Sir Jon Hawksegg, a forgotten whelp of the old Lord Hawken.  Sent to the Queen’s service as a naval officer, he is said to have been a messenger who used enchanted birds to scout for his Commanders through their eyes.

The hunt for Jon Hardtack is going to be a whole ‘nother module, but it may be good to seed the ideas of chasing after him here if you decide to continue on to A Case of Crabs and Daggers.  A skilled weatherworker druid trained by a hermit living in Widow’s Walk Cliffs, Jon Hardtack will make a great villain for the players once they learn what he has taken…

Once Gulfeather is let down a small lad comes out of hiding in a barrel.  Young Smith, the cabin boy of Maiden Fair, hid himself during the mutiny, and apologizes to the adventurers that the Captain does not have much, but he did steal away something from the sailors before they went.  He presents the player’s with Calm Eye, a masterwork dagger whose hilt is shaped into a two-tone whistle.  If examined the hilt itself seems to radiate magic, while the blade is just simple steel.

Calm Eye's Hilt
Calm Eye has three possible pitches, each usable once a day.  When blown with both holes covered the tone calms winds, allowing for a crosswind to not beleaguer a ship’s progress.  When blown with the top hole covered the whistle calls up a quick burst of gale, producing favorable wind for one hour.  The last use, the bottom whistle, makes the item a boon for smugglers, allowing the user to use disguise ship.  The item is situational but very useful, and could fetch a fine price or be held onto for further seafaring.

An Arrival at Rockston and a Meeting of Limbless Men.

The port of Rockston is small, but the marina is filled with adventurers.  Due to this marina’s small size and the laws of supply and demand, the Keeper of Lines charges the party 100 GP to drop anchor and come onto the docks.  A Successful Intimidate or Diplomacy Check (DC: 20) will stir the collector’s heart, and he will charge only 10 GP for the favor of docking.  The villages of Rockston and Seafinger have plenty of rooms, but the current influx has tripled all prices for food, services, and lodging.

If the adventurers seek out good accommodations they can do no better than the Puffin and Boar.  A favorite haunt for captains who need a few days of R&R, the inn is known for the puffins who tweet whenever anyone enters the house and the house mistress.  Pia of the Sandstones is a portly but extremely abusive owner, cursing and lewdly discussing her clientele with a smile and a slap for any man who tries to woo her.  Her husband, the Whale of Sandstones, is a captain of an enormous merchant ship.  If he is currently at dock the players will see a man seven feet tall sitting in an enormous plush chair, using the Boar that gives the inn its name as a footrest and holding court.

Knowledge Local (Pia or The Whale)

DC 15: Before you stands (Pia or the Whale) of Sandstones.  A village destroyed by a hurricane brought them along with their spouse to Rockston, where they make a living selling goods across the sea, hosting travelers, and as the sponsors of the pearl-divers of Seafinger.

Knowledge (Arcana)/Nobility:

DC 20: The Whale’s flagship, Seacow, was built by the Queen’s artisans themselves.  It is said that it is the fastest merchant ship on the coast due to a unique binding of elementals of wind into the very sails.

Gather Information:

DC 18: Pia/The Whale have placed a bounty on the heads of three sailors who stole a crate of value from their stronghouse near the Docks.  The crate must be worth quite a pretty penny, as The Whale himself has promised the secrets of his sails and a hundred pounds of gold to the men who bring him news of the traitor’s location.

DC 23: The Whale is rumored to need the crate back because it contains a very important shipment.

Knowledge (Religion):

DC 15: The symbol above the bar of the Puffin and Boar is an ancient form of the holy symbol of the God of Travel.

If the players seek information on any gossip they have heard regarding Seafinger, Rockston, or Fiddler’s Crown Pia would be happy to talk for the price of a few gold pieces.  She has an 80% chance of speaking truthfully on any rumor, but 10% of the time she is completely stumped and the other 10% of the time her gossip is diametrically opposed to the truth of the rumor.
The tavern’s far corner is populated by a group of men who seem to have more steel and wood than flesh.  The life of a sailor is difficult, but these men seem to surpass the simplicity of hooks and artifice.  Brasslegged Eric sits among these folk, drinking and dicing while coming to collect those who are to make the trip up to the Crown.

Eric knows the party as adventurers from their appearance as they come in and invites them over for drinks and food when they are not occupied.  He has information on the Crown and its inhabitants, the tale of the Four Knights of Green-Cup, and legends of a spirit who wanders the forests around the Crown tricking travelers and drawing them astray.  He offers to take them along with him on his way up the Root Bridge to Fiddler’s Crown.

The Trek and Eric’s Poor Luck Strike Again

The climb up from Rockston upon the Root Bridge is slow and arduous.   The route up is formed of root and stone and moxie, and the overall climb up takes eight hours.  Brasslegs escorts the players with his usual charm and black humor.  Areas of the Root require climbing (DC: 10-15), and a small campsite sits about halfway across the eight hour trek up the difficult terrain.

It is in the last hour that the route gets more difficult.  The bridge over the dip known as Beggar’s Bridge is a 10*100 bridge that is rickety at its best, and a winter of icy rot has caused the spring bridge to be more treacherous than before.  Using Balance, Jump, or ropes to get across is recommended, but if a magical form of flight or transportation is attempted the trap is sprung for poor Eric.  Stretching, his brass legs squealing, he asks the players if they would help him to carry his pack as his legs are running out of juice and he needs every bit of energy to get home.

Eric has learned a juicy secret in his time in Rockston, and he is seeking to give that information to Lady Ruivo.  Someone doesn’t want this information to get out, and the monitor on Eric is triggered by magic being used around him.  The creature which has been waiting on him takes this time to use its talent, looking to dispatch Eric and tie up loose ends with the adventurers.

Encounter: The Curious Incident on Beggar’s Bridge.

Opponents (1): Enchanted Invisible Stalker.
Save: Brasslegged Eric (HP: 45)

The creature targets Eric alone, hoping to bull rush him off the Bridge.  The creature has been enchanted with Protection from Arrows and Energy (Fire/Lightning) absorbing the first 96 damage on both energy types.  If knocked over the Beggar’s Bridge Eric may be saved by Feather Fall, though the creature will go down and attempt to kill Eric.

If saved, Eric rushes on to Fiddler’s Crown with his satchel to give his message.  If he is near death and able to speak, he asks the adventurers to abandon his body and get his satchel to Lady Ruivo.

The message is simple rhyme:

Bird, Bear, Hare, and Fish
Give My Heart Its Fondest Wish.