Trek across the Outlands
|Recommended Levels: n/a|
|Author: Orri EiríkssonEmail: galore... |
Perfect for players that need to get away from Sigil for awhile for one reason or another. Perhaps they are being hunted by the law or ticked off a factol or two, but whatever their motives, they are looking for a portal out of Sigil. Preferably somewhere safe and remote.
It is by these circumstances that they meet a basher named Vincent Amul. He is a lowly member of the merkhant sect, with an even lowlier budget (all those pikin´ misers say that) who is looking for a few desperadoes that are willing to escort a caravan of his between portals in the Outlands. Sounds straightforward enough, doesn't it? It isn't.
Amul doesn't plan to stay lowly and his cargo is a part of his plan to secure him a prosperous future. The caravan consists of eight wagons, seven thereof which contain nothing more than bytopian tools & industrial products. The eight caravan is a large cage made out of a strange, black metal and is covered with thick canvas, making it impossible to see what's inside. The driver is a shambling hulk of a man, all wrapped up in a dark cloak. Later, the players will find out that he is a zombie (or a mindless undead of some sort).
Inside the wagon is the real cargo: a baby baku (not a holy one, just a normal baku). See, Amul is dealing with evil baku, who are pouring jink into his pockets for this favor. The players should not find out. If asked about the eighth wagon, Amul will inform them that he has been paid to deliver an escaped prisoner to Ribcage. He also warns them to mind their own business and leave the canvas alone, since the prisoner can´t really stand the light of day (subtly hints it is a vampire).
Now, the trouble is that Amul´s ambitions have made him a few enemies within the merkhant sect, notably a blood named Gordon Mashutra. Gordon has gotten wind of the baku delivery and is desperately trying to sabotage it. Gordon doesn't give a living sod for the baku, he is only worried that Amul will give him stiff competition with contacts like that. So Gordon has hired a being called Vortex.
Vortex (probably not it´s real name) is a Concordonach. It´s motives are generally unknown, but for this assignment it takes payment in jink.
The PC´s should have some sort of warning that there may be a doppleganger hidden among the caravan members, perhaps a rumour or maybe a warning to the PC who has the best underground contacts. What they will not know is that Vortex brought along a lackey, a lesser concordanach (same as c., but less hit dice and intelligence, can be hit by non-magical weapons).
The concordonachs will switch from one body to another during the course of the adventure, the lackey killing it´s victims and Vortex taking them alive and stoving them away in a magical chest he brings along. They've set the caravan up for several attacks along the way (bandits, varguille, etc..) to create cover for them to switch.
Some key targets include: Trokar, the hobgoblin taskmaster, Lochatar, a wizard travelling with the caravan, Carl, the head driver, Shania, Amul´s wife and, during the final stages, Amul himself and the PC´s.
Vortex is a spellcaster and attempts to detect his presence magically will prove impossible (unless the PC´s are really high level and have access to true seeing or such, and then they are probably too powerful for this adventure – unless the DM gives Vortex some sort of protection from this) and very careful (ESP will not work). If the PC´s try to use psionic powers to detect the concordonachs, Vortex will find out (using it´s detect psionics spell) and accuse the PC involved of mind control.
In the end, if the PC´s manage to kill Vortex or drive it off, they will find his chest (possibly with Amul inside it) and release it´s prisoners. The caravan will make it all the way to Ribcage and Amul will give them a bonus (a small one). If the PC´s find out about the baku they can easily convince Amul of letting it go if they can make him realize that it was probably the reason for the concordonach attack.