|Recommended Levels: n/a|
|Author: Orri EiríkssonEmail: PCs get to race through the Hive, chasing a dangerous maniac. |
A few weeks ago, several Doomguards set fire to the Gatehouse, the Bleak Cabal headquarters. Since then, most of the damages have been repaired. It is not known what the Sinkers were up to, but the fire has had some consequences. Several barmies have escaped, and although most of them have been either caught or simply blended in with the rest of the Hive (rather easier for madmen than for other, more sane people), at least one notable and dangerous one got away. The Bleakers are refusing to chase after her, saying that the repair of the Gatehouse is far more important, and the Harmonium, as is well known, won't enter the Hive in force unless it is necessary (for them). Therefore, the Guvners have advertised for brave cutters to 'put a stop to the madwoman, preferably delivering her alive to the authorities'. Nobody seems to be signing up for the job.
Now, if the PCs ignore this offer, the adventure never begins and they stay at home and watch the rain. The barmy rampages, killing several people before she is stopped, permanently. But if they decide to be brave and at least find out what is being offered and who is on the loose, then they will run into the following rumor (method of delivery up to the DM):
The barmy is a former astral deva warrioress, who got caught by a tanar'ri blood war scout force while patrolling the Astral. She managed to escape with her life – barely – with her wings torn off and her sanity in tatters as well. Apparently she spent several hundred years trying to escape the Astral, having lost her plane-shifting powers, but in her state of near madness she couldn't reach her allies. Finally, she ended up in Sigil. By then she was totally mad and saw the diverse races of the Cage as fiendish....her rampage was horrifying and only brought to an end after several weeks. She was deemed mad and turned over to the Bleakers, who prepared a special cell for her. Now, she seems to have escaped.
The rumor turns out to be right – unusually right. Fact is, the PCs are being subtly manipulated by the deva's peers, astral devas who watch over the barmy sod to make sure she doesn't do herself or others harm. But it is against their rules to take direct action in the Cage...because the last time they tried to stop the mad one, the Lady of Pain intervened. At least one of the devas never returned to the upper planes. Why the Lady did this is as dark as...well, the Lady herself.
-A moral issue-
The Guvners are putting up 15.000 jinx for stopping the deva "by any means possible, short of those mentioned in subclauses G through U, both included". The subclauses mention among other things, unnecessary destruction of probity in the Hive and any sort of disturbance in the other wards. If the PCs sign up for the job, they'll be approached by a knight named Joshua. Joshua is a paladin, and a member of the Harmonium to boot, but he won't be what the PCs expect. He is lightly armored and garbed in such a way as not to draw attention, his attitude is quiet and contemplative, never speaking without thinking at least twice about it. He says that he is on a holy quest to save the devas mind....and he is, only he's not telling them that the disgruntled devas who are watching sent him to 'guide' them. In all other aspects, he is honest and surprisingly without fanaticism. Wisdom, it would seem, comes to all....eventually.
-To catch a deva-
This is never going to be easy for the players. The deva is nearly impossible to restrain, magically or otherwise, and, though a bit slower than a fully healed astral deva, can still fly at a rate of 30 with manuverability class B. Their best bet is probably to utilize any allies they might have, or be able to hire, in the Hive to recognize the deva before she strikes and prepare a trap. She strikes only once every 24 hours and then goes into hiding in a near catatonic state, although she makes sure that she has lost any pursuers before. And of course, Joshua begs them to spare the deva's life...
Any number of complications could happen: Fiends might become interested in the deva, and try to capture her in front of the PCs noses, the deva might escape through a portal, possibly even to the Astral, and the Lady of Pain might show up if a large number of people start getting killed, although strangely, not if the deva is the killer... If the PCs manage to capture and restrain the deva, Joshua asks them to help him get her through a portal to mt. Celestia he knows of, instead of going with her to the gatehouse. He offers them the same amount of money, but explains that the deva's mind could be saved if she'd be returned to her homeland. If the PCs demand an explanation, he'll admit he is working for the celestials, who didn't dare to get her out of the Gatehouse. If the deva is brought to mt. Celestia, the celestials will be grudgingly thankful, even if the PCs have undesirable alliances, and tell them that they owe them exactly one favor for one recovered soul. Of course, they will see it as their holy duty to try and convert any or all of the PCs to their religion (although they will not do so forcibly at this time...) and offer them to stay as long as they want in the mount, in hope that the mount will infect them with a bit of lawful goodness.