A Savage Shaintar Adventure by Jim Davenport
GAMEMASTER’S NOTES (No Player’s Log appears to be available)
Introduce more of the religion of Shaintar (give them the hand-out, talk through it). Flesh out some of the nearby area of Ashton. Include more non-humans. Battle against a lot of weak enemies (Ratzin) and an Elite enemy who will flee for another day.
Let them come in and battle Childer, demon monsters and feel the touch of Ceynara worshippers in their area.
Our heroes head out on a routine circuit, this time heading south of Ashton. They pass some landmarks, have some mild forest encounters including an Eldakar. They reach Templeton in time to learn that there’s trouble at the Temple. They journey up, figure out how to get into the locked Temple and find a running battle of Childer (Ratzin) across the Temple grounds. They are directly quickly to the inner Shrine to help save the Relic there. Jumping into the fray, they battle Ratzin and a Minotaur as the true evil one flies away. See the aftermath of this invasion of chaos.
Travel south from Ashton roams through mixtures of grasslands and forest, dotted with the occasional farmstead or crumbling ruin of a tower. One days ride south of Ashton the road meets the Leaping River, fordable at many points but with rapids that at times send spray into the air. Overlooking the Leaping River is the ruin of Castle Desolate, an ancient Galean outpost in the Wildlands that was knocked down in some war and never rebuilt. Many of the stones from Desolate now form foundations of buildings in Ashton or even Mandelle further south.
South of Castle Desolate…
The road passes through an area of forest with great oaks and maples towering above your party. Three figures are seen walking north along the road, a tall man flanked by two shorter men. They are wearing robes and clothing of light cloth though with graceful decorations. Once they get close, they can be identified as Fae: the tallest is an Eldakar or Elder Fae (pale almost pearly skin, long golden hair plaited and adorned, a peaceful countenance with wary eyes) flanked by two Alakar bodyguards (vibrant red hair close-cropped to their heads with dark, openly wary eyes. They have White Silver Elvish longswords in ornate scabbards at their waist and White Silver chainmail.) The Eldakar is Obel-juran, counselor to King Worrel of Ciridam (a ‘petty king’ weeks north of here). He has been on a ‘personal journey’. He will ask about the Rangers and their Lodge in Ashton. Seems generally supportive of the Rangers although he warns that not all Rangers he has met are true to the cause. If asked about the other two, he will dismiss them as unimportant. They will not speak.
(Remember that Mandikar is Alakar)
Along the Trade Road north of Mandelle…
You hear a sudden crash and see a flash of light as the leaves are forced aside and reflect the sunlight. The drumming of hooves tells the tale as a stag flees the intruders to his woods.
Two days south of Ashton sits Mandelle. The town is about three times the size of Ashton and has its own stockade with a north and south gate. It boasts its own Mandellian Guard, ten “uniformed” soldiers paid by taxes to protect the town from raiders and enforce the peace. The Burgher of Mandelle commands the guard and his gang of tax collectors (trade goods and entrance to the town). Enforcement is actually spotty as the soldiers can get lax but it was made quietly clear that no Grey Ranger Lodge would be invited into the community. The Rangers are welcomed, but as visitors. Pax, one of the Mandellian Guard, is friendly to the Rangers and welcomes them like old friends at the north gate in the stockade.
South of Mandelle
The Trade Road runs southwest while a smaller track heads south. The South Road follows the Leaping River and runs for days before reaching a settlement as large as Mandelle. Forests begin to dominate along the river. The road stays within earshot of the river most times, sometimes running alongside it.
On the South Road
You see a large, uprooted tree across the trail ahead of you. The tree trunk is over twenty-five feet long, including about five feet of its root structure. As you glance over to your left, you see the spot where the tree pulled out of the ground. The ground is hard but there might there be some large footprints there???
Later that Day
You have a feeling of unease as the air seems filled with an unnatural tension. Suddenly, crashing and screeching explodes in the underbrush to your left. You can’t see what it is, but you can hear the squeals of at least a dozen small animals running away in terror. You then hear the roar of some predator. The sound is strange, not like anything you’ve heard before. You catch a quick glimpse of red as whatever it is chases after the horrified animals. You see another flash of red, and the broken body of a rabbit is tossed up into the air. Then the sound of the pursuit races off through the trees and is gone.
Hargen investigated, met the Tsuri Tiger, and it left him alive. He’s looking for meaning in the encounter.
A day south of Mandelle lies the village of Templeton, under the gaze of the hilltop Temple of the Three. The village is unwalled and the buildings are almost huddled together with narrow streets. There is a community paddock/pen surrounding the village with cows, sheep, and pigs. Outside the village are the typical vegetable and grain fields worked by the villagers. The typical reception includes some excitement although there is grave concern on their faces. Wallis, the Watcher of Templeton, says they fear something is wrong at the Temple. People who have gone up there today have found it locked and silent, which is unusual. Three times a year, the Temple ‘closes’ for meditations and rituals but the next one (for Zavonis) is a month away. Templeton will offer food and to care for their horses if they don’t want to take them up to the Temple.
The Road to the Temple of the Three
Heading into the forest and then up the hill, they notice the forest gets much lusher as they rise in altitude (very unusual). The ground cover becomes thicker and the air is warmer. NOTICE checks – A Raise will realize that some nearby rustling is unusual, as if something large were moving through the bushes and plants perhaps fifty feet to their left. Another check will notice some on the right, but both are moving forward quickly, toward the temple. If the Rangers are on foot, these creatures (Ratzin) will get there first. If the Rangers are on horseback, the Ratzin will get there second and might cluster attack at the gate.
The Temple Gate
The Temple is a large stone complex with twenty foot high walls which serve as the outer walls of buildings (not freestanding walls). The walls are well constructed and rather smooth. Small watch towers adorn the wall every one hundred to two hundred feet, where the wall changes direction. The Temple is built up to the edge of a sharp cliff on the south side of the hill. Inside, the Temple can be seen to contain many large one/two story buildings. The gate is a heavy wooden door ten feet across and fifteen high, its edges and pivot points hidden behind stone. It is barred from the other side (two Raises on a Strength check to start to budge; blast it down) although it appears the wall could be climbed over (-1 for smoothness). If the Ratzin get there first, they will lie in wait for ambush. There are four of them.
MAPTOOLS: Temple Gate
Once they get into the Temple, they will see a large complex of buildings with grassy paths between them. There is an orchard and many gardens including vegetables, herbs, and some flowers. These natural spaces fall between three shrines and three monasteries, one each fo the three Ascended: Dranak (earth, Dwarf), Illiana (water, Dregordian), Zavonis (air, Aevakar). Each building is artfully adorned in the motif and holy symbols of their Ascended. Across this idyllic scene are some bodies of monks and gangs of Ratzin chasing or fighting other monks (some with weapons, some with hands).
Kell, a dwarven monk, is on one knee gathering his strength near the gate. He has seen battle, using his old skills as a soldier before he became a monk. He bears a maul covered in blood. He is saying a prayer over a dead monk (human, blue robes). He spots the heroes.
“The Ascended do provide! Please, you must secure the inner shrine from these demons! His Grace tasked us with rooting them out across the Temple.” Points them to the central building at the heart of the Temple.
Shrine of Dranak
The interior is like a cave with stalactites and stalagmites. The rocks glitter with water and embedded gemstones. The path leads to a gemstone the size of a human skill balanced perfectly on the tip of an upturned sword. There is room for perhaps three people comfortably to kneel and pray.
Monastery of Dranak
In this complex of buildings are the monk’s cells, a prayer room large enough for fifty, kitchens, storage, a smithy, a beer brewery, materials for the gardens and crops like manure, tools, all with a decorative hallway with arches all around the outside. The monks wear brown robes and count several dwarves among their number.
Shrine of Illiana
The interior is a large pool, glowing brightly from the depths. There are grasses and fish in the pool as well as a submerged altar made of pink coral. Set upon the altar is a dregordian skull with green jewels for eyes. The faithful must swim to pray at this shrine.
Monastery of Illiana
In this complex of buildings are the monk’s cells, several natural pools, one pool large enough for fifty, kitchens, storage, the winery, wine storage, gear for loading wagons, materials for maintaining the irrigation of the various gardens and plantings, all with a decorative hallway with arches all around the outside. The monks wear deep blue robes and count some Dregordians among their number.
Shrine of Zavonis
This shrine is open to the sky with bright sunshine all over the interior. Soft and playful breezes are felt throughout the shrine. In the center, by magic one could push off of the ground and rise twenty feet in the air to a latticework of colorful crystals. A carved idol of an eagle rests within this floating altar.
Monastery of Zavonis
In this complex of buildings are the monk’s cells, several prayer halls open to the sky, one prayer hall large enough for fifty, an aviary tower, an art gallery, kitchens, storage, an herbal perfumery, and a small airship (in storage, mechanical), all with a decorative hallway with arches all around the outside. The monks wear white robes and count one of the rare Aevakar (winged Fae) among their number.
Inner Shrine of the Three
The Inner Shrine is a large, round building with a domed roof. It can be entered by one of nine openings and has stained glass windows between the arched doorways. The windows allow light to illuminate the mosaics and tapestries praising glory to the Ascended and telling the parables. There is one room in the Inner Shrine and it can only be accessed by one door. It is round as well, leaving the outer corridor 15 feet wide. The door can only be opened by one true of heart and faithful to the Three.
Several monks lie here dead, torn apart by the Ratzin or cut down by the Minotaur. The Acolyte (see picture, symbols of Ceynara the Demon Queen) stands here with a Dregordian monk as a PUPPET, trying to get the monk to open the door without success. Beside him is a Minotaur and four Ratzin. Once the Rangers are spotted, the Acolyte will instruct the monk, Minotaur, and Ratzin to attack them while he observes and flies away if it looks like they can hurt him.
The Temple has been seriously desecrated by this invasion of demonic forces. Out of 150 monks, 47 were slain. The Aevakar lies but will be healing for a long time. The High Priest is dead so matters of succession will need to be dealt with once the healing has been taken care of. The Temple will shutter its doors until the next full moon.
Hammel, the puppeted monk, is a wreck. Dregordians prize being able to control their inner natures and to be controlled like that is a terrible thing. To have attacked Rangers, well, he feels terrible, shattered. Raise on NOTICE might even think suicidal.
Lou spends time trying to show Hammel that it wasn’t his fault. She makes some headway.
The monks are very grateful for the Rangers’ intervention, though by their vows, they eschew supporting any mortal powers so as to focus the purity of their faith on the Ascended. They will, however, gift the Rangers with wine, beer, perfume, herbs, fresh produce, fruit, or any other product of the Temple they would desire.
No relation to past adventures. Introduces NPCs for the future?
- Map of Travel South from Ashton.
- Map of Templeton area.
- Map of the Temple of the Three, conceptual level.
- Battle Map of the hall outside the Inner Shrine
- Ratzin (gnolls)
- Forest (open)
- Forest/Waterfall up toward the Temple
- Temple (Long shot, B/W)
- Temple wine storage interior
- Scan Eldakar for Obel-Juran,
- Scan Alakar for the bodyguards
- Scan “Occult Slayer” for the Acolyte
- Scan Ratzin
- Scan Minotaur
- Forest – travel south
- Chant – approach to Temple.
- Conan – inside the Temple/Battle
- Pax – A Mandellian Guard who is easy going and likes the Rangers.
- Obel-juran – Eldakar (Elder Elf), counselor to King Worrel of Cirrdam, accompanied by two Alakar bodyguards.
- Wallis, Watcher of Templeton – Local authority. They have good relationship with the monks, help sell the wine and other produce. In times of danger, the town hides inside the temple.
- Michael, Guardian of the Temple and High Priest – killed by the Ratzin.
- Synthetta – Aevakar monk, wounded in battle.
- Kell – dwarven monk who first met the Gray Rangers at the gate.
- Hammel – the puppeted Dregordian monk.