Consequences – Part 4: The Rewards of Your Efforts
by Dane Leitch · Published · Updated
Below is the third of four parts of Consequences.
For best viewing, please follow this link.
The entirety of the adventure has also been pasted below.
Anyone who has taken a look at the first part of this adventure will realize that I am no mapmaker. All the maps within these adventures are “back of the napkin” level detail. A general sense of the area is provided in order to help the GM get a better idea of what is intended.
“The rewards of your efforts oft fall short, Good intentions turn to regret.
With all said and done the die have been cast, You might find it best to forget.”
Part 04: The Rewards of Your Efforts
Another week or so passes. Town Magistrate Allyss Fenrick has finished the artifact driven device and is on the cusp of her goal of protecting Fenrick’s March. It is still unclear exactly what will happen when the shield goes up. Despite all that the party has done, they are still outsiders. The consequences of their meddling begin with an emissary from the Morrowan church who has arrived to replace the beloved Reverend Betilda Atchley. Before the drama can fully settle, Cryxian raiders return to Fenrick’s March drawn by the necklace previously worn by Karyx Bloodstar. The raiders are led by, Karyx herself if she escaped, Etienne if he escaped, or a new ship captain if both were slain. After repelling the initial assault Alyss tasks the party with ensuring the threat has been ended. During this job, Alyss puts in place a memory blocking barrier generated by the previously retrieved artifacts. Fenrick’s March Disposition will ultimately determine how the story ends.
During the Quiet Century research and exploration were at their peak. One group of archaeologists led by Fenrick Storigg sought out Orgoth ruins in order to better understand the former oppressors who were quickly falling into legend. Fenrick and his allies traveled far and wide until they settled in one especially quiet corner of the Iron Kingdoms. Content to study rather than become embroiled in the mounting political chaos, Fenrick and his team enlisted the aid of Rhulic friends and built a small tower to serve as a research base for the various ruins scattered across the region. Rhulstone Tower grew and around it a town took root. Never particularly large, its people named the town Fenrick’s March. Overlooked in the battles and wars which raged in the scores of years after its founding, Fenrick’s March proved a refuge for study and research. Though Fenrick is long dead, his legacy persists.
After years of successful research and ruin looting a tragedy took place. Fenrick’s long time friend and lover Favia di Graza was killed within a particularly dangerous ruin. Broken by the loss of his heart’s desire, Fenrick ceased adventuring and locked himself in Rhulstone Tower. Despite his seclusion the village around him persisted. Merchants who had traded with Fenrick and his group migrated to the region around the tower and established outposts from which a thriving trade of Orgoth relics flowed. Almost all of the relics sold by Fenrick and his team were curiosities rather than objects of power, so the hamlet did not grow beyond a few merchant families. The need for food caused some to take to the land, and although Fenrick himself never returned to relic hunting, his compatriots used the surrounding Orgoth ruins as a source of modest wealth. For decades following the death of Fenrick’s original adventurers the town which took on the name Fenrick’s March thrived. Eventually, however, the easy to access ruins were emptied and the more financially motivated occupants moved on to greener pastures. Now, centuries later, only the children of the farmers and a few others remain.
Despite its small size, Fenrick’s March did continue to serve as a refuge for research and study often overlooked in the battles and wars which raged in the scores of years since its founding. Though Fenrick is long dead, his legacy of a thirst for knowledge about the Orgoth continues. Much like the attitude of their founder late in life, the people of Fenrick’s March prefer to keep to themselves and like the quiet.
While many in the Iron Kingdoms sought protection in urban centers, the people of Fenrick’s March trusted in their own prowess. Founded so far from civilization, these villagers learned to protect themselves. Fenrick’s March is the quintessential middle of nowhere podunk village, mostly oblivious to the outside world and dependent on little more than their own abilities and resources. In recent years their need for protection has grown. Thirty years ago a new Magistrate enacted brutal measures to maintain safety and independence. After three decades, brutality is now second nature.
The young men and women of Fenrick’s March train long and hard to protect their village from bandits, beasts, and other evils which are liable to wipe an easily forgettable copse of houses from the surface of Caen. This militia has grown more than capable of accomplishing their protective purpose. Fenrick’s March harshly stamps out any nearby banditry and thievery. Occasionally a gang thinks themselves capable of a quick smash and grab operation and are beaten like dogs. Rumors say the people of Fenrick’s March are unforgiving in the justice they dole out. Rarely do invaders live to tell tales of the warriors who wear the mist like a cloak. It’s this brutality which protects Fenrick’s March as much as the strength of her militia. Prisoner’s heads are stacked at the borders. Eyes and teeth removed. Jaws locked open. Tongues weighed down with an ocher stone.
Many years have passed since the Marchers last knew fear. Then in the dark hours of one terrible morning a few short weeks ago, it was not a force of bandits, but of organized Cryx attackers who descended upon the town. Although the alarm sounded and militia formed up, they failed. Surprisingly few died. Disarmed and captured alive, their fate is unknown. This defeat has shocked the tiny hamlet. Survivors have barricaded themselves in Rhulstone Tower, the modest temple of Menoth, and the more extravagant Morrowan church. Villagers hide fearing for their lives. While only ten or so were killed, forty militia members were taken. The handful who remain are too old or too sick to defend the village. For the first time in a generation Fenrick’s March is defenseless.
Since that time the same adventurers who rescued them have sought to deal with the consequences of involving themselves in such a secluded and suspicious group of individuals. Having played an integral part in ensuring the future safety of the hamlet, a few more twists occur and a second Cryxian attack take place before the full consequences are realised, leading, perhaps to a memorable conclusion.
Orgoth ruins and tombs are far from commonplace in the Iron Kingdoms, so the discovery of any tend to draw attention. Powerful beings intent on collecting dark artifacts and magics scour these stones for any scrap of old might which can be gleaned. Karyx Bloodstar and her Bile Thrall Quartermaster Etienne have come across one such place of power. The duo were creating a powerful necromantic component using captured villagers from Fenrick’s March. Although stopped more than two weeks ago, there remnants of their crew with the inclusion of a second ship’s arrival, bodes poorly for the people of the hamlet.
Karyx bore a necklace which granted powers at the cost of privacy. Her every action was watched by a minor lich lord. Her discovery of the Cavern of Fear and Loathing put into place a hastily organized effort to secure the ruins for exploitation of this new resource. The hamlet of Fenrick’s March did not see the last of the Nightmare Empire with the token force led by the Satyxis captain. More will be arriving very soon.
The Cavern of Fear and Loathing
Recent activities by mercenary and adventuring parties have rediscovered the contents of the Cavern of Fear and Loathing and the hidden tomb within. The ancient Orgoth Lord was either destroyed or temporarily pacified leading to a wealth of previously untapped knowledge. Also discovered were the remains of Favia di Graza.
The local Orgoth Lord ruled the area more benevolently than would be expected. This is due in no small part to an Orgoth Relic which permitted the lord to magically subjugate his people. That relic, previously recovered, sits in the basement of Rhulstone Tower.
This tomb is still an important location as it can be a source of research and rediscovery unlike what the Marchers have had access to for generations. Allyss has taken its pacification very seriously. If the Orgoth Lord was destroyed then she can often be found within researching, otherwise she encourages the party to rid the region of the dangerous specter.
Cast of Characters, Antagonists, Allies, and Locales:
In addition to the characters brought by the players, a number of non-player characters fulfill necessary roles in the story. Antagonists are outlined in detail in their first encounter. NPCs which are not expected to require stats may reference a page in the Core Rules or relevant supplement instead.
An easily forgettable hamlet, Fenrick’s March has a small common square around which a modest Inn, which doubles as a community center when needed, a Morrowan church which is also capable of housing the entire village, a small Menite temple built more like a fort than a church, and a very old shelled stage used during festivals and court hearings. On the stage there is a large crank driven siren which calls up the militia. A gift from a generous traveler years ago. Farms that are little more than subsistence plots surround the region with the furthest a mile or so away. Both livestock and fields are surrounded by sturdy fences. The road through Fenrick’s March could go anywhere, but truly goes nowhere. Other than some nearby Orgoth ruins there is nothing special about this place at all. It is just another inn for the occasionally traveler to use so that they do not have to camp in the wilderness. Secretly record positive and negative actions to determine how the townsfolk feel about the players. Assume that any theft is later discovered and natural distrust causes the people to blame (even if they do not formally accuse) the party. The standing of the party within Fenrick’s March will be of great consequence in Part 4 of this series. Make an effort to carry positive and negative effects forward during every visit to the hamlet.
Town Magistrate: Allyss Fenrick (human, 60s, cold and serious)
Allyss has served as magistrate for thirty years. Although she has begun training an apprentice to receive the title after her, the severity of her personality has caused a number of possible trainees to suddenly decide farmwork back home wasn’t so bad. Even with the majority of the village gone, she does not descend into despair. Her husband was captured and killed by the Cryx who invaded along with much of the militia. Even this has done nothing except deepen her resolve to protect Fenrick’s March. Upon hearing the news tears began to trickle down her face. This constant flow of tears cannot be heard in her voice and she does not acknowledge their presence. Allyss potential for villainy has been tempted in a way she has never faced. It is unlikely she expected the consequences of so many decades of viciousness would have on her soul.
Militia Captain: Georick Fenrick (human, 60s, militant and disciplined)
All that is left of Georick is a journal of regrets. He has had great difficulty enacting the terrible vengeance upon those who cross the March with hostile intentions. Any time spent reading the journal reveals not only his reservations, but also his resolve to never share that trepidation with his wife. She believes firmly that her methods are sound. He was perhaps the person most aware of the consequences of actions and his journal reveals long years of questioning the wisdom of his wife’s command for brutality. His body is interred in the modest catacomb beneath the Menite Temple.
Morrowan Rector: Reverend Betilda Atchley (human, 70s, warm and welcoming)
Batilda has served the tiny hamlet of Fenrick’s March for nearly her entire life. It is almost as though the priesthood placed her and forgot her. It has been 50 years since the most recent visit from a vicar and nearly as long since the last tithe was advanced beyond the care of the local church. Betilda loves her flock dearly and would do nothing to risk their safety. This compassion has caused her to turn a blind eye to the actions of Allyss and the militia in ensuring no evil enters from the outside. She is warm and welcoming to outsiders, but tells everything shared with her to Allyss during their weekly confessions. Reverend Atchley holds a great secret, her and Father Rhinehart have been in an intimate relationship for 40 years. Each believes the town ignorant of their dalliances, while the town is aware that any acknowledgement of the relationship has the chance to call down the attention of those further up the hierarchy. The consequences of that happening would likely result in Betilda being reassigned or even stripped of her robes.
Morrowan Acolyte: Acolyte Judas Oberan (human, 30s, wormy and conniving)
utmost respect for Reverend Atchley. Over time he discovered the indiscretions between his Rector and a local Menite priest and immediately grew disimpassioned with her. The breach of faith caused him to eye the pulpit. As he is not at all loved by the populace and she is nearly regarded as much as an Ascendant, his chances of casting her off were slim to none. Recent developments have opened a door to allow him to push her out disgraced. Although the town is generally aware of some kind of relationship between Betilda and Egan, Judas’s ire has blinded him to their awareness and apathy of the situation.
Menite Priest: Father Egan Rhinehart (human, 80s, compassionate and disciplined)
Father Rhinehart has long served as a member of the Paladins of the Order of the Wall. Although his tower shield and sword are secreted out of sight, a sun has not yet risen which did not shine through the windows of the temple to gleam off his weapons’ polished surfaces as he works through Trionfante Militante. His strength is hardly sufficient to finish his meditations, but his devotion is unwavering. He immediately noticed the lovely young priestess of Morrow upon his arrival at the fortress temple and before long the two were a couple. Egan was disheartened by the extreme measures enacted by the new Magistrate, however he knew well the teaching role served by such methods. Refusing to participate, but likewise refusing to condemn, Father Rhinehart quietly permitted the actions. He previously advised Captain Georick and served as confidante to the morally conflicted man. Father Rhinehart has spent decades in an intimate relationship with Rev Betilda of the Morrown church. Such impropriety would result in wracking if it were discovered. Given his advanced age, the wrack would most certainly end him.
Inn Keeper: Freitag Sigmur (rhulic, 40s, mercantile and suspicious)
The inn of Fenrick’s March is an expertly crafted six story building named Rhulstone Tower. Beneath is a secret room used many generations ago by Freitag’s forebearers and Fenrick Storigg himself. Within are many monuments and relics of the Orgoth occupation. Nearly all are inert with a notable exception of an altar which powers all of Rhulstone Tower through mysterious energies. Freitag’s family tied their lot to Fenrick’s March when Fenrick’s expedition first passed through this beautiful out of the way region. Now, eight human generations later, the Sigmur clan continue to honor their commitment to the hamlet. Although a young Sigmur will journey back to Rhul to find a wife, there have always been a small handful who remain to watch over Rhulstone Tower. Within is an alchemical laboratory, a mechanika shop, along with a kitchen, common room, and guest accommodations as well. Though often referred to as the Inn Keeper by the humans of the hamlet, Freitag is actually Master of the Tower and oversees the work of his cousins, a few aunts and uncles, and his children who make life in Fenrick’s March that much easier. He carries the burden of his great great great grandfather by caring for the descendants of Fenrick just as Fenrick was cared for by his ancestor. Freitag knows well the consequences of tradition and obligation as his children have slowly moved either back to Rhul or sought more interesting homes.
Militia and Defenses
Depleted to around 20 well trained men and women between 15 and 60. Armed with voulge-rifles and short swords with pistols scattered throughout the ranks, this small group has lost a great deal of confidence in their abilities. Now that so many of the militia are depleted there is a fear that crime will rise before the militia reaches full strength. The first crime of passion in decades has already taken place as a murder-suicide rocks the tiny hamlet.
Having been summoned by Acolyte Oberan, a small, well-armed group led by the Prof-Reverend Franklin Falsworth comes to Fenrick’s March in order to address the impropriety of her local faith leader and re-establish connections with the church hierarchy.
Prof-Reverend Franklin Falsworth (human, 50s, power hungry and well-connected)
The good Prof-Reverend has served within the Sancteum as a teacher and preacher renowned for his strong Cygnaran ties. While the Church of Morrow is not intended to uplift one nation as superior to others, the nationalistic message of the Prof-Reverend has enamored many during the years of war. He speaks strongly against all indiscretions and is well known for his theologically dubious application of what he calls the Divine Volition. While the church of Morrow preaches that it is the Volition of each person to act in a positive manner, Prof-Reverend Falsworth speaks of a greater Volition which surpasses human Volition and can appear at a glance to be part of the “dark path” of Thamar, but is in reality the greater good guidance of Morrow beyond simple definitions. He has brought with him a young priestess to replace Reverend Betilda and to take her away to trial.
Captain Markus Gaunt (human, mid-20s, loyal and ruthless)
Markus Brocker’s earliest memories are of being an urchin beholden to the older boys running the streets and back alleys near the Sancteum. He was caught stealing from an offering box by a young Prof-Reverend Falsworth. Rather than turning the boy in, the Prof-Reverend had more long-term goals and a faithful guard dog would play an important role. Taking the boy off the street, Falsworth gave him the name Markus in honor of the Patron Ascendant of soldiers. He had him trained as a Precursor Knight and through his growing influence accelerated Markus to the rank of Captain. Markus serves as the head of the personal guard of Prof-Reverend Falsworth and owes the man everything.
Morrowan Rector: Reverend Savina Rolfe (human, late-20s, cold and arrogant)
Sabina is one of many young rectors devoted to the Prof-Reverend’s teachings. She has studied under him in the Sancteum and is eager to be given her first local church assignment. The antithesis of Reverend Batilda, Sabina is a cold young woman who is so certain of her own rightness and righteousness that any understanding of the failures of others is completely dismissed. She intends to correct the misguided teachings of the aged old woman (who was probably in the early stage of dementia) and reconnect Fenrick’s March to the Morrowan Church at large. Regardless of the actions of the party she will not be in place long.
The Cavern of Fear and Loathing
Recent excursions into the Cavern of Fear and Loathing have revealed a dangerous Orgoth crypt sealed away for hundreds of years. Built into the back of a shallow 80 foot cavern, fairly well preserved piping and stonework are still intact. On one side is a raised platform. Three store pedestals with bowl-like tops sit beneath hooks set deep into the ceiling. Partially decomposed piping runs behind the platform to a large face set into the wall. The face has been carved in the Orgoth style with a look of abject terror frozen on its features. The mouth extends out and opens upward toward the broken piping. On the opposite side are small dry aqueducts that run to a second carved face. An unmistakable look of disgust marks this face. Again mouth is open and extends ready to catch what falls from the ancient plumbing. Three figures of carved stone lean heavily against the rear wall. Human in size and appearance, the naked statues are either holding something in or trying to push down the wall. Each has mouth open and lifted except for one whose head was long ago destroyed. Only an empty void which leads down through the neck remains. Above the three figures is a single massive entity. Infernal in appearance, the creature appears to be pulling is massive body through the wall. Clawed hands press against the stone as half its chest, neck, and head extend outward. Wicked fangs fill the gaping open mouth and a long rippled tongue stretches out above a bowl topped stone pillar. The wall to either side of the beast is covered in a repeating pattern which an astute researcher would discern as writing. Within is a long tunnel driven deeper using a sacrifice of blood. A number of dreads and an entombed guard the crypt where their Deathless Lord sits enthroned. Within the first large chamber a pack of man-eater barrow mawgs have tunneled into the complex.
Fenrick’s March Disposition Toward the Party
Throughout these four adventures the successes and failures of the party can affect the disposition of the hamlet as a whole toward the group. During various points in this adventure the general feelings of the Marchers toward the group should be used in considering how easy it is to get help from the citizens of this paranoid corner of Caen. Secretly track this disposition for the final scene of the adventure, show the feelings of the town whenever appropriate.
Reaping What Is Sown
A small group of Morrowan soldiers, led by a priest arrive at Fenrick’s March in order to take away Reverend Atchley. They have received word of her indiscretions and must take her back with them in order to put her on trial. With them is a young arrogant priestess eager to take on the wayward flock led by a recalcitrant shephard. As the scene plays out it becomes obvious that Father Rhinehart (if still living) will not hand her over for removal. The party must decide how they will deal with the conflict. Resolutions range from diplomatic negotiations to armed conflict with inaction in the middle. Egan will lead a small group of Menite faithful militia against the Morrowan dispatch if no action is taken. In the event of his prior demise, the very same acolyte who sent the information to the church will stand opposed to the bringing of an outsider and take a diplomatic stance against the political invaders. A multi-sided standoff begins.
Getting the PCs Involved
Consequences: The Rewards of Your Efforts does not establish either a specific geographic region or purpose for the PCs arrival at Fenrick’s March. Although reasonably close proximity to the coast is assumed to be within raiding distance of a Cryx ship, any location could work without too much difficulty. Some possible hooks to draw them into the next adventure are below:
- Following the events of Consequences: The Memories of the Forgotten, the party feels a certain responsibility to the hamlet and wants to see to the long term protection of the people.
- A small group of Rhulic merchants travel through the town in which the party is staying. Casual conversation reveals that they are from a place called Rhulstone Tower in Fenrick’s March. It seems the defenders of the hamlet were recently slaughtered in a fight and it is no longer as safe as it once was. They are sure that the people would appreciate relief from the dangers around them, but until that happens it is best to find new markets.
- Through the Morrowan or Menite church the party receives word of a priest/priestess who is in an ill fated relationship with a member of the opposite religious body. While the practices of small parishes on the fringes of civilization may otherwise be irrelevant, it is simply inappropriate for the priest/priestess to engage in such behavior. They must be retrieved.
- A desperate letter arrives from a small hamlet. Their defenses have been depleted and bandits are on the prowl. They have the means to defend themselves but need a hardy group to help accomplish the finals steps before the defenses can be activated. If someone would come to assist them then there would be a modest reward.
Mixing hooks and giving partial information to various party members can reinforce the importance of investigating this area and in many ways will elevate the mystique surrounding it. Additional information about Fenrick’s March is incredibly difficult to find. First and foremost, it is a tiny nearly insignificant place. Outside of its own internal history, nothing of note has ever taken place there or at least is nowhere recorded. Second, an unusually high concentration of Orgoth ruins in the vicinity has had a perception blocking effect on anyone trying to nail down what is present in the region. Any skills used to gain information about Fenrick’s March suffer a -5 penalty.
Diplomatic Encounter 1
More Unwelcome Visitors
The sun rises on the arrival of several armed men and women bearing the mark of Morrow. They are led by Prof-Reverend Franklin Fallsworth, a high ranking priest eager to put into place a sycophant to oversee the correction of misguided theology of a rogue priestess. He announces his arrival from the bandshell in the town square. Allyss and Freitag attempt to referee the vocal conflict which develops, but both are hesitant to immediately take a side. In the event of physical violence, the militia will quickly move to keep the conflict contained without directly participating. Allyss will attempt to end the fight before either the Prof-Reverend or his Captain are killed. She cares nothing for the nameless mooks who accompanied him. Physical violence will cause her to side with the Morrowan Dispatch as appeasing them becomes her top priority. Allyss’s long term goal is for peace within Fenrick’s March and a bloody fight with outside forces will not promote that goal.
This conflict is defined by a number of sides each seeking their own ends. Players are encouraged to explore the motivations and goals of each leader and decide who they will support. Once they have chosen the conflict can resolve by the means they feel is best.
Acolyte Judas Oberan: Oberan wants the title of Rector to be granted to him. He has served in the community and knew Betilda well. A number of Morrowan locals gather with him to give weight to his claim. He is completely uninterested in violence and has to talk down a particularly hot-headed local championing his cause. He supports the taking away of Reverend Batilda for trial believing that she will be at worst stripped of her mantle and returned to Fenrick’s March.
Prof-Reverend Franklin Fallsworth: Fallsworth wants to install a sycophant into this congregation. He cares nothing for the people or their teaching, he is merely building his support base to strengthen his stance in Council. The Prof-Reverend will not shy away from violence and in fact came prepared to take Betilda back with him by force if necessary. He intends to make a name for himself trying this priestess and seeks the stripping of her stole followed by execution for heresy, imprudence, and inapposite fornication.
Father Egan Rhinehart: Rhinehart, if still living, will not stand for the taking away of Betilda. His demeanor at the bandshell is militant. Sword and shield are born and bared. It is only over his dead body that the Rector will leave Fenrick’s March. Nothing can sway him from his course and everyone will need to decide whether that path is the one they want to travel or not.
Magistrate Allyss Fenrick: Above all else Allyss wants this problem to go away. She does not necessarily want to see Betilda taken away to what she suspects will be a kangaroo court, however she also does not want the attention that comes with violence against an agent of the Church of Morrow. The militia and rest of the town await her decision as to which way to lean before mob justice ends the encounter. Even if violence breaks out she will not step in until the Prof-Reverend’s life is in danger. She knows that his death would bring a weight of unwarranted attention beyond what she wants to deal with. At this point she does not realize that the activation of the shield will resolve this conflict.
Morrowan Rector Reverend Betilda Atchley: Betilda is passive throughout the ordeal. She has repressed guilt for both defying the her obligations to the larger Church of Morrow and her feelings for the Menite Priest. She will not speak on her behalf unless Egan lives. Peaceful resolution is her greatest goal, no matter what that causes the outcome to be.
A Morrowan soldier will bang on doors to awaken and gather all of the townsfolk in order to hear the message brought by the Prof-Reverend. Once all have come, or a sizable portion at least, the Prof-Reverend begins his message.
Read the following aloud
On the very same stage that you fought off the last of the Cryxian assault on the town stands a tall thin man. He wears the vestments of a high ranking Morrowan priest. To his right is a young blond woman in priestly robes. Her features are cool and indecipherable as she scans the gathered masses. Behind him and to his left stands a vicious warrior likewise watching the crowd. His gaze reminds you of an alpha predator looking for the ideal prey in a herd of cattle. Nearly the entire town has turned out for the surprise visit and even Allyss rises from her attempts to get the shield working in order to see what is happening. “Greetings children of Morrow!” Booms a voice with tones ideal for addressing large crowds. “May you touch this day with the gleam of truth guiding your steps along the path of light! I am Prof-Revered Franklin Fallsworth and I have come here today to bring to you illumination that is so desperately needed in this moment of dimness. Recently I learned that decades have passed in which you have been given little more than starlight when the fullness of the sun’s brightness is needed. You have been led where you need not ever have gone.” The crescendo of his voice has a powerful compulsion which pulls you deeper into his message. “I have received word that your teaching has been marred by improper relations and tainted with the touch of the vengeful Menoth. Today you shall receive your salvation from that sorrowful misguided teaching! Today you shall be redeemed and returned to the proper path! Here with me today is the torch that will illume your dark hamlet. Here with me today is our faithful sister and devoted priestess, Sabina Rolff.” For another 20 minutes the Prof-Reverend continues his tirade against Reverend Batilda, never naming her, but explicitly outlining the dangers of fraternization with those outside the faith and quiet acceptance of heretical teachings. Despite their love of their long serving rector, the crowd seems undecided and begins migrating into like-minded cliques.
He eventually gets to a point in which he demands either the turning over of Reverend Batilda to be tried for her crimes or the installation of his sycophant as the new rector. Whichever occurs, an interruption rings out, if Egan lives he will be the one to stand against the rambling of the interim priest, otherwise Oberlan speaks up in his own defense when it is clear that the Prof-Reverend has no interest in elevating him to what he sees as his proper post. Exchange an argument back and forth until steel is bared by either Prof-Reverend Fallsworth’s man Markus or Egan. At that point Allyss turns to you:
“Please, speak with these gathered here and cause the end to this idiocy. I would prefer no blood be shed. I would hate for the church to continue sending enforcers to deal with what is purely a local issue.” She looks at you with her tear stained cheeks, “The towns people are nervous and on the edge of a riot. Just do something.”
Allow the party sufficient time to choose someone to side with or otherwise attempt to diffuse the situation. Various target numbers and suggested skills are outlined below. When a PC acts outside of the predicted patterns, consider well the motives of each person to set the difficulty of the TN. Failing to pacify the crowd while attempting to choose a side will result in a riot.
Each round of this Encounter move the slider of the Crowd Temperament one space to the left. Addressing the crowd and failing moves the slider one space, failing by five or more moves the slider two spaces. If the Crowd Temperament ever reaches -6 a riot breaks out and the Prof-Reverend and his entourage attempt to escape the melee. Egan will take the opportunity to attack in the defense of his love if a riot occurs. The crowd is already on edge and the closer they get to breaking, the more difficult it is to address them rationally.
The first failure addressing Fallwsorth, Egan, or Oberlan elevates their ire rather than pacifying it. Two failures in a row addressing the same person makes them visibly frustrated. Three failures in a row causes them or someone in the entourage to bare steel suggesting violence, this likewise causes the Crowd’s Temperament to go down 1. Four failures in a row evokes some kind of desperate action which drops the Crowd’s Temperament by 2.
Every pair of successes regardless of which side they address raises the Crowd’s Temperament by +1. When the Crowd’s Temperament reaches 8 they start a chant which mimics the goal the party has been seeking pressuring the sides to act in accordance with their wishes. If the party’s goal is unclear reduce the Crowd’s Temperament by -4 out of frustration.
The outcome of this Diplomatic Encounter depends greatly on the goals of the party and the persons still living.
Worst case scenario is the crowd rioting and forcing out the Prof-Reverend and his entourage. This causes Egan, if living, to directly attack the Morrowans and the crowd to press in angrily. A Game Master can decide if an additional combat is best in this situation or if it would be better for the group to play this out as narrative chaos. Playing the aftermath out as a combat encounter will make this scenario very combat heavy. Consider the narrative chaos instead as it shows that the consequences of all actions can have story ramifications and that combat will not solve all conflicts.
If Fallsworth gets his way, Betilda (if still living) is taken away for trial and replaced by Sabina. A few weeks later Betilda will be executed, but it is very likely no one in Fenrick’s March will ever hear of her fate. This is doubly true if the memory shield goes up at the end of this adventure.
Oberlan getting his way would mean he is instilled as the Rector for Fenrick’s March. Betilda’s fate (again, if she is living) is dependant on how much information the party was able to get Falsworth to admit to during the conflict. If at any point he suggested she would be imprisoned or executed then Betilda will remain in Fenrick’s March stripped of her position. The people will continue to treat her as the Rector though and see Oberlan as merely the bearer of a title rather than one who sits in the actual position. If Fallsworth never admitted to imprisonment or execution then Betilda will be sent away with Fallsworth for trial. She will then be tried and killed for apostasy, but the Marchers will never hear of her fate.
Egan getting his way is the only way that Betilda remains in Fenrick’s March with her title. Keeping her in Fenrick’s March disgraces her in the eyes of the larger Morrowan Church and causes the Prof-Reverend to see the Party as enemies rather than just opponents. No one stands against him without suffering for it. Even if the shield blocks away memory of Fenrick’s March itself, the party are not Marchers and will be remembered with an indescribable hatred as nothing about the exchange involving people of Fenrick’s March will persist outside the magical barrier. Betilda retains her local position as well. If Betilda is to go with the Prof-Reverend, then he will try to free her in the night. The GM is encouraged to decide if he dies in the attempt or the two successfully flee Fenrick’s March. Either way, Egan will not be present the next morning unless Betilda was saved from captivity.
Realizing the tension present in the town, the Prof-Reverend does not stick around. Instead he plans on leaving a number of faithful soldiers to support and protect the new rector (if she was installed) and he expects to exit the next day. Very early the next morning, the Cryxian forces will return to assault Fenrick’s March with destruction in mind. The Prof-Reverend will do nothing to assist and will be seen hastily leaving town during the fray.
Successfully talking off the outsiders causes Fenrick’s March Disposition to increase by 1. Being seen as siding with outsiders in any way causes Fenrick’s March Disposition to decrease by 2.
Allow the party sufficient time to explore or pursue whatever they feel is best in the wake of the Prof-Reverend’s visit. Before the inevitable attack coming the next morning.
Combat Encounter 1
A Worse Morning
Consider where and what the Party may be doing before this combat begins. It is most likely that they will be awakened by the alarm siren and join the fray along with the remaining militia. If they left town for any reason give them the opportunity to hear the alarm in the distance only to arrive to a massacre. Without the party’s strength to help protect them, all remaining Marchers will be holed up in Rhulstone Tower and the Menite Temple, every other building, including the Morrowan Church will be burning or already destroyed. Assuming the party stayed in Fenrick’s March for the evening they arrive to the town square to see militia fighters everywhere lacking much direction (unless Egan yet lives AND Betilda was saved from arrest, in which case he is very effectively leading the remaining militia). There are two read aloud texts below, the first is if the party remained in Fenrick’s March, the second is if they were for any reason somewhere else. The Shrike is there to oversee, scout, and lend only token support to the Soulhunter and Bane Warriors attacking the hamlet. If the Soulhunter is destroyed the Shrike will return to its controller. Do everything possible, even if it means pulling out of battle early to ensure the Shrike’s survival. Throughout the combat civilians and militia will enter the fray. Consider the number of militia members remaining as this encounter will further deplete their already minuscule numbers. Civilians will also be fleeing the chaotic battlefield in a desperate attempt to reach safety. Keep track of NPCs killed.
If in Fenrick’s March, read the following aloud
A howl pulls you from your slumber. It takes a few moments to realize what the sound is supposed to be. The town alarm siren! An attack! “About time you woke up.” Horgorth’s Head is awake nearby and staring sideways your way. “I’ve been up all night wondering what you wanted, but it looks like it’s not you who woke me up.” This is the makings of a very bad morning.
Give the party a few moments to respond. If they look out the window they will see a number of warriors rushing in from one side of town. Egan or the Menite who attempted to perform the adhan in Consequences 03 will be on the stage sounding the alarm. A metal beast the size of a small donkey will be flying above the mass of attackers. Townsfolk are running toward the Morrowan church, Menite temple, and Rhulstone Tower being cut down along the way. Scatterings of militia members are trying to defend the escaping people. If Egan died or is gone they are individuals fighting losing battles. If Egan is present they will be in groups of 3-5 and fighting much more effectively. Descending Rhulstone Tower militia members will be assembling on the ground floor as villagers stream through the doors. Freitag will be armored and organizing the defense.
Horgorth knows that pouring the Ichor of Fate in the statues’ mouths in the cavern cause them to push. He also knows that the headless statue represents himself. He does not actually know that the Ichor of Fate is what wakes him up. Why he is awake is a true mystery to him as everytime he has been awakened it has been with someone looking at him expectantly and wanting something.
You arrive into the chaos just as the doors of the Morrowan Church are sealed and the building surrounded. Ever present fog ebbs and flows in clouds across the town. As it briefly clears you see a wave of attackers crash at full speed into the walls of the church only to be knocked backwards seemingly shaken by their failure to simply pass through. Despite the initial delay, the warriors shatter windows and begin to flood the building. In moments, the circling metal monstrosity sweeps down and shatters the front doors of the church with a single charge. A fog bank engulfs the scene leaving only screams and volleys of gunshots to hint at what is taking place.
If outside of town, read the following aloud
Allow each party member a Detection TN:14 check, if failed they hear only the first sentence of the following read aloud text, if successful read it all:
You hear an odd sound in the distance. At first it seemed to be the wind, but you realize that in your entire time around Fenrick’s March you have never heard rustling trees our howling winds. The alarm! It has to be the town alarm! “Do you want something or not?” Horgorth’s Head is awake and has apparently been waiting to see what you need. “I’ve been up awhile now, but the peace and quiet without you pestering me was too good to give up.” You fear this will be the start of a very bad morning.
Upon the party’s eventual arrival at Fenrick’s March.
A massacre has taken place in your absence. Allyss’s fear that the militia would prove insufficient in its weakened state was absolutely correct. The evidence even at the edge of town suggests that unlike before, prisoners were not required. Bodies of townsfolk are peppered along your path. Occasionally a militia members body is present as well and even more rarely what appears to be an undead warrior slowly fading into nothingness. Where the church of Morrow once stood is now a smoking ruin, the last beams collapsing into the mass of ash in its center. From where you entered town you can see a number of warriors surrounding the Menite Temple and others around the base of Rhulstone Tower. Gun shots, from what you assume to be volgue-rifles ring out from both the top of the minaret of the temple and the upper windows of the tower. Each building seems to be on the verge of being overrun as the amassed warriors slam against the doors, although their forms are repelled, their axes still take chunks from the fortifications. A dark metal monstrosity the size of a small donkey circles in the air above.
Upon being noticed by the attackers, read the following aloud
A massive half-horse-half-monstrous humanoid points a scythe in your direction. Its voice, hissing like grave winds through hanging moss, carriers above the din of the massacre. The words, assuming words are within the dissonant whispers, are those of the undying and are nonsense to your living ears. However, the dead seem to understand perfectly as a number of Bane Warriors and their officer simultaneously break off from their assault and face your direction. Hunting dogs leashed nearby snarl and strain against their bindings.
As soon as the party is detected, the Soulhunter calls attention to the party and makes a slashing motion with its scythe before pointing to a group of civilians running for their lives and cutting one down as he passes by. The Cryx fight to their destruction trying to kill as many civilians and militia members as they can.
Meddling players have brought the Cryx down on Fenrick’s March hard. No mercy is given. Every enemy tries to kill as many of the civilians and militia members as they can. Every round of combat at the top of the initiative count roll 2d6 civilians to enter from a random side of the battlefield. This group of civilians will run to the nearest place of safety. In this case either the Menite Shrine, Rhulstone Tower, or any area with three or more PCs in a small group. Also, add 1d3 militia members to the fray from a different random side of the map. The Bane Warriors and the Soulhunter will cut down any that they can prioritizing militia members, then civilians, and only intentionally engaging party members if they are the only valid target.
The hamlet’s center square is full of debris and obstacles. Most importantly there are drifting fog clouds which obscure the battlefield.
Fog Clouds: Six very large fog clouds drift around the battlefield. Using the rules for scatter shift all of the fog clouds on initiative count 15. Any character within 1” of the edge of the fog cloud gains concealment. Any character deeper than 1” from any edge of a fog cloud is completely obscured and considered invisible to any creature outside of that same cloud. Fog Clouds block line of sight.
Market Stall: A stall grants cover to any creature within 1” of it. Strength TN:10 can topple the stall creating a 10’x10’ area of difficult terrain.
Leashed Dogs: Someone must have brought their hunting dogs with them into town when they abandoned the exterior farms. A successful Animal Handling TN:10 will sic them on the Bane Warriors. Failure by 5 or more causes one to attack the player who attempted to release them as the other run away. For every 3 that the player exceeds the TN an additional dog attacks up to the five leashed dogs.
The slaughter is immense. Many NPCs should have died in this attack. For every 5 who died Fenrick’s March Disposition drops 1 further. If the PC were not present when the fight began consider half the remaining militia members to have been slain (only ¼ if Egan lived to organize them) and a disturbing number of civilians. During the fray the Prof-Reverend and much of his entourage slipped away instead of using their strength to defend the town. Keeping fewer than 5 from dying or devoting a great deal of effort rather than indifference to saving those attacked will cause Fenrick’s March Disposition to increase by 1.
This Ends Now!
Alyss has reached the limit of her patience. She has now seen her hamlet attacked violently twice. Is painfully aware of how helpless her people have become and had to oversee an execution (maybe even a guilt-driven suicide) as the townsfolk themselves fall apart. Pressure from external authorities compounds her stress to an unmaintainable level. Fortunately, her study and work has paid off. The shield is ready. While she is only partially certain of what will happen, she is confident that once the shield is in place her people will be safe.
Narrative Encounter 3
Alyss must speak with the party, she tasks them with finding the source of the Cryx threat and ending it. She promises rewards and favors. If pressed she will offer partial or even complete rewards up front. Anything to get the party out of town long enough for her to finish setting the shield in place.
Read the following aloud
“I can tolerate this no longer. Please come with me to the laboratory.” Alyss appears as she often has these past few weeks. Suddenly and rather mysteriously. Her all too familiar tear streaks are the most pronounced they have ever been. She has begun darkening her eyes with a makeup that runs down her face from her sorrow. It is difficult to image that this is anything other than intentional. Perhaps she has adopted grief as part of her persona as a means to adapt. Maybe some part of her has snapped. Hard to be certain. Either way you follow her below Rhulstone Tower yet again.
Familiarity has stolen awe as you enter one more time the artifact-laden laboratory. On the dais above the altar the shield has been joined by the multi-limbed Krakaita statue and gem fragments collected during your previous adventures. A chaotic mix of antiquities and modern sciences are stacked on each other in a mess of forced concordism which defies any easy interpretation.
“Dangers have grown beyond control. Enemies both openly hostile and subtly subversive are attacking my people in ever increasing numbers. I fear for the group I sent to the cavern a few days ago. Today was the last attack I can tolerate. Something deep inside me has shattered. I must do something. We must do something. You must do something. Our defenses are insignificant before the threats facing us, but as you showed everyone on the green today, truly only the might of your hand can free us. Twice now the Cryx have come. They must be nearby as it seems unlikely that small detachment was roaming the wilderness. Find them. Destroy them. Wipe this threat away and I believe it will buy me sufficient time to activate the barrier. I simply cannot risk additional attacks. I can offer you anything within my power. Any reward, any favor, any service to see this task complete. Name your price. Will you find them?”
Give the party time to interact with and negotiate for their reward. Alyss does not have an inexhaustible treasury, but she has great reserves of wealth which can be called upon from the recent clearing of the Tomb of Fear and Loathing. Additionally, she can offer Orgoth artwork and artifacts of notable power or value. Volgue-rifles are easy to get now that the militia has been so completely wiped out. She suggests starting at the cavern as there may at very least be a clue as to where the creatures are rallying.
Combat Encounter 2
A Final Visit
Skarlock Commander Sethos has been sent by his lich lord. This same unknown lich has been observing the party through the necklace once held by Karyx Bloodstar. If Etienne or any of the other member of her crew survived they are now under Sethos’s command. Sethos arrived with a retinue of Bane Warriors, various thralls, and Soulhunters along with a single shrike. His total fighting strength was 12 Bane Warriors, 2 Bane Warrior Officers, 2 Soulhunters, 5 mechanithralls, 2 brute thralls, 3 bile thralls, and of course his Shrike. Reduce these numbers according to the combat encounters over Parts 3 and 4 of Consequences. The remaining forces have overrun the Cavern of Fear and Loathing and are occupying the tomb. 1d6+3 rounds into the final fight with Sethos, Alyss activates the barrier and a growing bubble begins to travel outward from the center of the hamlet. Immediately, the players (unless they have reached “famous” on the Fenrick’s March Disposition) experience a cold empty feeling. As the barrier expands that feeling expands to pinpricks along their extremities like limbs on the verge of going to sleep. Any one who is not a friend to Fenrick’s March is pushed outward by the barrier to the eight foot statues the party saw on the way into the hamlet.
Fog rolls in thickly yet again as the party journeys to the Cavern of Fear and Loathing. Unbeknownst to them the research group sent by Alyss has been overrun and the tomb itself broken into. Consider the state of the tomb from the previous visits and work that into the narrative. If any creatures survived previous encounters they will be present at the appropriate times and places. The fight works its way through to the throne room before it is interrupted by the activation of the barrier. Inside the cavern a number of Bloat Thralls oversee the extraction of the Ichor of Fate using the research expedition as the raw resource. If Etienne survived Part 1 of the adventure he is here instead of the Shrike. The Shrike exists to harass the party and does not intend to fight to its destruction.
Read the following aloud
As you approach the Cavern of Fear and Loathing a number of moans can be heard escaping the cave. Rather than the ominous groans of the undead, these are the pain filled voices of the research expedition. Within is a grisly scene. Ichor of Fate flow freely from the central statue’s mouth. On the dias above a bloat thrall and mechanithrall ensure that the blood flows. A hasty mess of hoses appears to be bypassing the aqueduct as a second bloat thrall ensure that a pair of mechanithralls continue working a manual pump. Under the central dais two more mechanithralls, a bloat thrall and a third larger figure swap full barrels for empty as they create gallons of ichor using the lifeblood of the Marchers.
Whether or not Etienne survived Part 01 determines the identity of the final figure. If it is Etienne, he has reattached to a new bloat thrall body, but persists in referring to itself and its body with the same third person cadence. Etienne’s death in Part 01 means the Shrike is pacing along the back guarding the open door to the tomb.
Etienne will again attempt to stall the party without regard for combat. Otherwise the bloat thralls attempt to keep their distance and attack from range while the mechanithralls are sent in to tie up the dangerous party members. Given the opportunity Etienne (or the central bloat thrall) will carry a barrel of Ichor of Fate up to the dying Marchers, finish them off, and pour it over their bodies. In 1d3 turns the dead Marchers will become risen thralls.
Within the cavern are a number of relevant terrain features which could frustrate or facilitate the player’s combat. Oh, and don’t forget the bats.
Stalactites: These stone teeth are partially smooth on top with sufficient space for a person or creature to perch. A creature on the top of a stalactite is out of range of non-reach weapons used from the cavern floor. Stalactites are hardcover.
Platforms: Along one sidewall and the back of the cavern there are raised platforms. The back wall platform is five feet off the ground, while the sidewall platform is ten from the ground.
Aqueduct: The opposite side of the chamber has a stonework aqueduct which is in disrepair. Either a STR 13 push or dealing 10 damage to the ARM 14 structure will cause it to collapse into the cavern. Any creature within 12’ of the aqueduct and on the innermost side will suffer a POW 12 auto-hitting knockdown attack. The resulting debris is treated as difficult terrain.
Etienne will fake his death if he is destroyed and unless the party specifically attacks his skeletal form atop the bloat thrall he will crawl away yet again. The Shrike will escape into the tomb if the fight is going poorly to regroup with Sethos in the Throne Room. One last fight must occur before the threat is eradicated.
Read the following aloud
“Well, that was certainly unpleasant business. Thank you for dealing with such a sticky issue. We are not used to crime of that caliber and are glad you were here to lend a hand. The potion is finished, but I am exhausted. Tomorrow I shall drink, delve into Favia’s memories and finish the device we so badly need in order to be safe once again. Obviously we must move quickly. Fenrick’s March is bending under the strain. A murder. A murder? We have not dealt with such violence among ourselves in decades.” She shakes her head and holds her temples between thumb and middle finger. You notice the faintest glimpse of a tear roll down her cheek.
Narrative Encounter 4
Into the Tomb
Sethos has opened the tomb all the way back to the throne room. If Abdiel was destroyed by the party in a previous scene, Sethos will occupy the throne in the rear. In this case skip this Narrative Encounter other than some threats and such from Sethos. Abdiel’s presence in the tomb means Sethos is currently in audience with the Deathless Lord negotiating as you once did. The Entombed seems pleased with Sethos in this case. Abdiel is thrilled to see the party return and is eager to introduce them to a new ally from the sea far away. How the next few minutes play out determine if the party is in for a hell of a difficult fight or one that is much easier. Either way, Alyss will finish the device at the start of the conversation. After the tingling sensation cut off any mentions of Fenrick’s March with a prompt that the character does not remember anything at all about a place called Fenrick’s March.
The Barrier and Fenrick’s March Disposition: As the barrier extends it shuts out any knowledge within from knowledge without. Those inside the barrier have no memory or understanding of those or anything for that matter outside of it. The same is true for those outside the barrier. Anything within is blocked from the mind. Consult Fenrick’s March Disposition as the barrier comes into play as it will have a different effect on the party members depending on their status in the community.
- Persons and creatures hostile to Fenrick’s March burst into flame as the barrier touches them and are slammed 1d6” directly away (TN:12 PHY or AGI resists the knockdown).
- Those who are anything more than hostile, but less than heroes are slammed directly away from the barrier 1d6” and are knocked prone (TN:12 PHY or AGI resists the knockdown). Being pressed between the barrier and an immovable object is likely fatal.
- Heroes and residents of Fenrick’s March pass through the skin of the expanding barrier and lose all knowledge of anything outside its edge.
Read the following aloud
The tomb is most certainly occupied. While you and your allies have done much to purify this dreaded place, new threats have taken up residence. Now the tomb stands wide open and deep within its maw is the conclusion to this threat on Fenrick’s March. Hopefully Alyss will soon finish the device and the people can rest easy and safe. As you walk into the tomb you see in the distance, where the throne room sits, are a number of figures.
As before, entering the tomb causes a gust of wind extinguishing all light sources. That wind is repeated whenever the central rune is touched as an even more powerful gust of wind bursts forth and light sources (including the orange glowing wall orbs) are again extinguished. All players are pushed 1d3” in a random direction, Physique or Agility TN:12 resists the push. The wall orbs relight themselves after 1d3 rounds casting dim light at first then bright light the next round. This may happen in the middle of combat. If so, treat any character without darkvision as though they were blind. The entire tomb is open and there is nothing of note in the foyer except for the pit traps which the party should already know exist.
If Abdiel was NOT destroyed previously, Read the following aloud
A few moments pass before the temperature drops and the Entombed guardian rises up from the stone floor. Spread across his face is a look of disgust more pronounced than the statue of loathing carved outside. He motions for you to follow and leads you into the throne room. Among the treasures of the throne room is a prostate skeletal form. Sickly green mists leak from the top and bottom of tattered robes. “My lord” hisses a bone dry voice. “I have been sent by my masters to learn from your greatness. We have come to understand your expertise over the creation of servants and marvel at your powers to subjugate the masses. Were it not for magical compulsion tied to my very soul, I know my master would lose me to your service.” As the sycophant continues Abdiel takes notice of your arrival. “Slaves! You have returned! Come! Kiss my royal boot and meet one who may be hired as your overseer.”
All of you suddenly feel an internal tremor and coldness. Your extremities take on the feeling just before the pins and needles set in when an arm starts to go to sleep. A pulse of a headache arcs through your mind’s like a crackle of electricity. You sense a moment of emptiness you cannot explain. As it passes you see that the creature on the floor and even Abdiel himself seem to be recovering from a similar experience. “What did you do to me!” Abdiel barks.
Over the next few moments try the party’s patience with inane requests and chatter. If they show anything other than deference the final fight will place the Entombed and Abdiel on Sethos’s side of the battle. Showing sufficient humility will cause the final fight to be performed at the pleasure of the Deathless Lord and will not include his participation against the group.
If Abdiel was destroyed previously, Read the following aloud
The tomb is as silent as a tomb. Which is itself odd given the events which have transpired within this walls. Entering the throne room you see a skeletal figure seeping an ethereal green mist from beneath its robes. A fleshless face and eye sockets showing only the faintest glimmers of a toxic shine stare at you from the figure sitting upon the throne. “So you are the troublemakers? My master will be so very pleased that I have found you at last.”
All of you suddenly feel an internal tremor and coldness. Your extremities take on the feeling just before the pins and needles set in when an arm starts to go to sleep. A pulse of a headache arcs through your mind’s like a crackle of electricity. You sense a moment of emptiness you cannot explain. As it passes you see that the creature seems to be recovering from a similar experience.
Allow the narrative scene to play out as long as feels appropriate. As both Sethos and the party have mutually experienced something unusual there is a calm before the storm of battle. Abdiel must be calmed down if he has not yet been destroyed. Either way, once the exchange has run its course Combat begins.
Combat Encounter 3
More Terrible Surprises
Sethos has been sent to destroy the party and the party have been sent to destroy Sethos. One way or another this combat was going to take place. The Deathless and Entombed will merely watch bemused by the conflict unless the party were openly defiant in the previous encounter. Alongside Sethos are the last of his forces: a likely heavily damaged Shrike, two brute thralls, a soulhunter, and in the unlikely event she survived Captain Karyx herself. Allow the combat to play out for two rounds then begin asking one of the players to roll a d6. One a six the edge of the barrier begins to pass through the side of the Throne Room’s wall. Each round a six is not rolled add one to the roll until the total is six or more. The barrier is directly tied to Fenrick’s March Disposition which has been tracked since Part 1. Once the barrier reaches the Throne Room begin Skill Encounter 1.
Read the following aloud
You have been sent to end this threat, so end it you must. One way or another the danger to Fenrick’s March ends here and now!
This final encounter is highly unlikely to play out in its entirety. As the party is more than likely exhausted, spent and limping by now.
If the Deathless and Entombed join the fray then Abdiel will target the most physically imposing character in order to test his or her mettle. His Entombed servant drops through the floor and arises to attack weaker looking support characters. Sethos keeps his distance blasting away with spells whenever the opportunity presents itself. The undead and bonejack forces supporting Sethos attempt to flank and cut off the party denying them escape. Whenever it can the soulhunter charges into and out of battle triggering opportunity strikes if necessary to circle around for another pass. Have one of Sethos’s chafe forces become incinerated when the bubble arrives so that everyone is fully aware of the looming danger.
Taking place in what amounts to a throne room, various items litter the space. Stacks of coins, the central pedestal and multiple armor and weapons stands litter the room.
Stacks of Coins: Each stack of the three stacks of coins contains approximately 12,000 or so Orgoth silver pieces. This makes the stack take up an area three feet tall and about one foot wide. The stacks grant cover from one attack before scattering around the room. Intact stacks of coins are difficult terrain and are scattered after a creature moves through them.
Pedestal: The central pedestal provides cover.
Armor & Weapon Stands: These stands provide cover and can be knocked over with a STR TN:10 push. A creature within 1” (6’) of a shoved over stand must make an AGI TN:12 roll or be knocked down and suffer a POW 8 attack. Toppled stands create a 1”x1” area of difficult terrain.
Hanging Tapestries: Attacking a hanging tapestry will cause it to fall from the wall and entrap any creature within a 9’x12’ area adjacent to the wall. Agility TN:12 avoids the heavy rug, otherwise the target is knocked down and restrained until a successful Escape Artist TN:12 roll.
The Barrier: Any contact with the barrier by a creature hostile to Fenrick’s March will cause it to spontaneously burst into flames and be pushed away from the shield. Those above hostile, but not community members or heroes of the community are pushed away from the crackling barrier. Anyone belonging to Fenrick’s March or one of its greatest heroes pass through the skin without harm or difficulty. The Barrier is expanding from Fenrick’s March itself and will grow until it reaches the sentinels about one and a half miles outside of town in all directions.
The initial aftermath of this battle is the appearance of the barrier and a desperate attempt to escape its perimeter.
Skill Encounter 1
Out of the Pan or Into the Fire
Escape, death, or becoming a permanent resident are the only options as the barrier expands. In order to get away from the growing barrier the party must disengage from the fight, escape the tomb, cross the river, and run through the open fields and forests of the region around Fenrick’s March. The scene plays out using the chase rules found in Appendix B of Bitter Medicine except the players are being chased by a constant inevitability rather than a pursuer. Set up the modified chase track and place the Party within the Throne Room along with any remaining antagonists from the previous encounter.
When the barrier appears, Read the following aloud
As the chaos of battle swirls around you the numbness which has been wracking you has crescendoed into a full body tingle. The combination of every limb falling asleep at once and the accompanying headache momentarily cripple everyone in the area. As you open your eyes you see one of the undead off to one side of the throne room burst into flame. A glimmering heat shimmer like those which rise above a desert waste passes into the throne room from the Fenrick’s March side of the tomb. The corpse is completely engulfed in an inferno. When the thrall crumples to the floor the advancing barrier pushes its remaining bits rolling them into ash and grinding it into nothingness. Sethos gives the glowing wall and then the party a quick glance and dashes for the exit.
On their turn a player may make any two of the following actions. An action can only be chosen once unless otherwise indicated: chase action to flee, combat action to help allies or hinder enemies, movement action to continue up the track. A Character’s second action may be forfeited to gain a +2 bonus to a Chase Action. Some Locations allow the Movement Action to be taken twice. Other actions may be forfeited to negate the attacking penalty of a Combat action. Forfeiting any action allows a knocked down character to stand up.
- Chase Action – choose or suggest a relevant action in the Location you occupy to attempt to advance up the Chase Track more quickly or impede the movement of any character behind you on the track.
- Combat Action – make a melee attack against any creature within 1 space of you or a ranged attack against any character within three spaces of your position on the track. Attacks suffer a -1 penalty for every space between the attacker and the target and an additional -2 penalty for any attacks made to targets behind you on the track. Forfeiting all actions other than the Combat Action negates this penalty.
- Movement Action – divide your speed by two (round down) and advance that many spaces up the Chase Track. All the characters are too busy trying to avoid the barrier to take free strikes.
Any remaining Cryx will continue to harass the party and try to harass them in the desperate flight. Make every effort to catch up to and attack the fleeing party members. Only Sethos is solely concerned with his safety and flees exclusively. Sethos is also the only Cryx in this combat smart enough to make efforts to slow down the party if he gets in front of them on the Chase Track.
The Barrier activates last and advances 1d3 spaces. Add an additional 1d3 to the roll every odd numbered round as it speeds up over time. Contact with the barrier causes an automatically successful slam attack sending a character 1d3 spaces up the track and knocking them down at the end of the slam (TN:12 PHY or AGI avoids the knockdown). If the Location has an (Obstruction) in the Chase action the slam also deals POW 8 damage. Hostile creatures affected by this slam attack gain the continuous fire effect.
At Location 7 a character should choose Field, Forest, or Road and only has access to the Chase Actions of that Location. Be certain to emphasize that the barrier is speeding up over time and a head start is not a reason to slow down. Location’s with (Obstruction) also grant +2 Defense to all targets of ranged attacks in that Location.
A (Forced) Chase Action is compulsory and does not count as a chosen action. The first time a character enters an area with a (Forced) Chase Action they must immediately make the appropriate check. The penalty for failure is in the Result column. Success allows a character to continue with their turn. Multiple (Forced) Chase Actions may be in a Location, but there may not be more than there are spaces in that Location. Only 1 (Forced) Chase Action must be addressed per turn. Additional (Forced) Chase Actions will only apply to a character who starts their next turn in the same Location.
As characters cross the final space on the Chase Track, so too do they pass one of the 8-foot tall statues standing guard at a 16-foot obelisk. They are safe, but cannot remember what lays beyond the barrier. For some reason they feel as though weeks have passed and even if they have new equipment they cannot explain how they acquired it. If the party managed to reach Hero status on the Fenrick’s March Disposition track and choose to be subsumed by the barrier read the second Read Aloud text, otherwise the story concludes with the first Read Aloud paragraph. A player with Hero status may freely pass through the barrier, but in so doing loses all memory of what is on the side from which they just passed.
If the Players escape the barrier, Read the following aloud
What a relief! For a moment there is looked very bad. Where ever that barrier came from it seems to be made of powerful, even ancient magic. A strange tingling sensation courses through your body. Deep within your chest you feel a cold shudder. After a moment it passes. You strain to recall the escape from the barrier, but your mind is oddly blank. Other than a primal need to get away from that wall and judging by the sweat on your brow what was a harrowing chase, you cannot recall the last few moments at all. At least you got away though, you would hate to think what the consequences might be otherwise.
If the Players are able to enter the barrier, Read the following aloud
Safe at last. Every fiber of your being feels an overwhelming sense of security. Alyss probably wants to hear about the fight with the Cryx and the removal of the threat they pose. It will take many years, but Fenrick’s March is made of tough stuff and will recover. While Fenrick’s March is safe, you cannot shake the feeling that there would be severe consequences if you tried to pass through the barrier. Better get back and see how you can help.
Two outcomes of this adventure are possible.
Either the party escapes and forgets everything about Fenrick’s March and the events of the past few weeks.
Or they pass into the barrier and subsequently forget about the outside world.
The former concludes this four part adventure hammering home the consequences and true difficulty of earning the trust of a suspicious people. The latter can lead to a longer engagement with the people of Fenrick’s March and the Orgoth ruins spread across this small area. What happens if the party try to push through the barrier? Can they accept that the world is really just 4000 or so acres?
- Stopping the Morrowans from taking Betilda 1 XP
- Managing to stop them without a fight 1 XP
- Destroying the Shrike 1 XP
- Destroying Sethos 1 XP
- Escaping the Barrier 2 XP