Thursday, March 21, 2013

To Catch A Fallen Star: Players' Information & Rumors

For this week's DCC Donnerstag, here's the Players' Information for tonight's brand new funnel adventure, To Catch A Fallen Star.

Players' Information

The miles through the swamp from Mustertown have not been kind. The muck and mire of the trackless swamp that runs up to the walls of Ur-Hadad and swallowed her sister, now known only as the Sunken City, have been hard going these last six hours, but at last you reach the small stretch of dry land that marks your destination.

"It should come as no surprise, friends," said Vane Barbute last night at the Soiled Dove tavern, hunkering close to you over the long festhall table, "that my cohort Clave and I have, on several occasions, had brushes with death. Isn't that right, Clave?" Clave finished emptying his tankard before clearing his hair from his eyes and barking a terse "Yep."

The large one-time blacksmith continued, "Only so many times a man can stare ol' Death in the face before it starts taking a toll on him, is the thing." Vane leaned in conspiratorially, his voice on the verge of whisper. "It ain't the healthiest thing, that's for sure, is it, Clave?" Clave took his next mug from the serving girl and as he lowered it to his lips, his clumsy "Nope" was muffled by its clay interior.

Barbute, a mountain of a man arrayed in mail forged from dragon scale all the colors of the sea, roiled backward, levying an accusing finger across the table at you. "Don't you think that means you can take us, chumps! I might have developed a slight limp and Clave here has that hacking cough that won't quit, but we'll wipe the floor with you and every scum-sucking villager who looks like you! And that's before Clave decides it's time to break out the Imapler, Demonspear of Khal-Thuzas, that you see strapped to his back there! Am I right, Clave?" As the next empty mug found its way to the table from Clave's hand, the syllable "Yep" rode a belch from deep within Clave's gullet.

"And I've got that achy joint thing, and Clave's got, well, Clave probably doesn't want me to talk about that other thing, do you, Clave?" Reaching for his next mug of ale, Clave glowered at Vane, nearly hiding behind the mug's rim, and shook his head narrowly. His "Nope" was nearly inaudible.

"Bah!" cried Vane, lurching back towards you as close as he could come without actually crossing the table. He grabbed the shoulder of one of you, as much for effect as to keep himself from falling forward, and looked into your eyes, "Were there but some cure for the price we paid to keep out of Ahriman's grasp, why I'd gladly pay more than this shit hole is worth for it. And what with being a charter member of the Divine Order of the Purple Tentacle, I might even see to sponsoring the membership for whoever brought it to me, wouldn't you, Clave?" Another finished mug, and another burbled "Yep" issued forth from Vane's companion.

Seizing on the opportunity that was so busy presenting itself, you immediately trekked out into the swamp, looking for that scion of wisdom and enlightenment, the filthy bog witch who all carefully refer to as "the Lady." Though the Lady herself had no restorative draughts to loan you, after long thought and a pipefull of noxious swamp weed, she set you on your current course.

"It were two hunnerd year ago," she creaked in her ancient, hag-ly croon, "that them Gromovs died off. A line of Barons and Baronesses, goin' all the way back to the first Pascha, they was. Folk held queer thoughts about 'em, sayin' that they lived longer than they should. I heared one of 'em was suppost to be old as a dwarf's granddad. They was suppost to have fought back ev'ry disease and plague what killt off so many over the centuries. Now that sounds like sum'in' magic to me. If I was thinking about some sort of health elixir, I might could start thinking real hard about making that big ol' trip through the swamp to where their manor used to be. Might still be some secret worth something to them big ol' Tentacle lummoxes up in there. Yep, that's what I'd do."

The precious few moments you've tarried here have allowed you to dry your feet and fish the leeches from your trousers, even the hard-to-reach leeches. The ruined husk of Kaj Gromsk, seat of the Gromovs' Barony, looms on a dead hill not five miles to the east. A meager meal passes between you as you plan what to do next.

Rumors

Each player may roll once for rumors his characters have picked up (1d12):

1 - Them Gromov's never died, actually. They just torched their own castle and moved off to start a new life in Skall or somewhere like that.

2 - Spiders! I'm scared of 'em! You'll never catch me out in that swamp! Full of spiders!

3 - I heard that a band of vermen from Borderlands have been harrying the farmlands not far from Gromsk. If I were to bet, I'd wager they're looking to make a go of proper banditry.

4 - They says that the hill the Gromovs built Kaj Gromsk on top of really ain't no hill at all, but a sleeping demon baby. I heard that if it ever wakes up, it'll grow to full size and start off eating people's souls... and cows... and chicken coops.

5 - The last of the Gromovs was a powerful sorcerer who tricked eighteen virgins into his bed all at the same time for some sort of sacrifice. Lucky bastard, I say, even if he is long-dead. No, both boys and girls. Why do you ask?

6 - A legend talks of a Gromov noble who found a holy warrior fresh from the Schism War in the south. In return for healing his leprosy, the paladin vowed to protect the Gromov family even in death.

7 - Them vermen that stole ol' Gert's prize goat ain't been seen in the past two weeks. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad they're gone, but it makes you wonder, don't it?

8 - A bog witch once cursed a Gromov's favorite horse for spitting on her. I'm pretty sure that's why all of them died horrible, grizzly deaths when their castle burned down.

9 - Isn't it odd that Gromsk is the one bit of rocky land in this whole part of the swamp? I wonder why that is.

10 - When I was young, I thought I might make a go of prospecting out at Gromsk. Only thing I ever found that was worth more than a bucket of nightsoil was these odd chunks of rock that were shaped like huge bugs or lobsters or something. I sold them to a wizard for enough gold to carouse my way to level two. Whatever that means. Stupid wizard never explained that part.

11 - Vermen come in all shapes and sizes. All of the shapes are grotesque, all of the sizes are too big to not be terrifying.

12 - A huge beast guards the ruins of Kaj Gromsk and eats everyone who's dumb enough to stray too close.