Son of 101 Encounters

For GameMasters who want to ask advice of other GMs, get GMing tips, and talk about plot hooks, gaming aids and accessories of all kinds; things that could make a GM's job easier.

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Re: Son of 101 Encounters

#26 Post by bcwhite » Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:36 am

Wilderness Encounter

The Haunted Mansion

The PCs come across a neatly kept house in a small clearing out in the wilderness. Looking through a window will show an apparently lived in place but no sign of any people. The door is unlocked and perhaps a bit ajar. When the PCs enter the house, it will seem almost as though the family should be coming into the main room for supper, but of course, all is quiet. It will soon be recognized that things are somewhat out of place. A few things are tipped over and things hanging on the wall may have fallen or be askew, almost as if the entire house had received a bump. There is a trap door to a secret cellar/workshop that has fallen closed and will likely not be seen unless a search is conducted. Then the fun really begins.

Out in the middle of nowhere, two Melderyni magi and their daughter were studying some arcane artifacts. The father was trying to divine an amulet but did not realize that it imprisoned a very powerful ethereal spirit. Once released, it immediately possessed him (he being somewhat tired by the divination), fed on his spirit, and went looking for more.

Pretending to be the father, he summoned his daughter down into the cellar and destroyed her spirit as well. The mother, coming down after dishing out the evening meal, was not prepared for the attack but nonetheless defended herself well. They battled for a short while but the mother was unable to defeat the being unaided. Instead, she gave the last of her life energy to hold the spirit (and indeed, the whole house) in a "suspended" state. She stands in an aggressive pose but had just started to slump when the spell kicked in.

The spirit had started to leave the man's body in order to more successfully attack the woman. The appearance would be like that of a snake shedding its skin. Because of this, however, it is also more vulnerable. The amulet, created to imprison such a creature, will pulse faintly from its place on a table. If in contact with the skin of the entity or man when the suspension is lifted, the spirit will again be drawn into it, though it may have time to make a few attacks against the party at the GM's discretion. Some notes scribbled on some paper on the desk indicate options and what did not work:

Activate by:
- command
- contact with entity
- psychic (crossed out)

Release by:
- command
- touch (crossed out)
- psychic (crossed out)

There is what appears to be a single phrase (the release phrase) written around the outside of the amulet. The PCs will not be able to read it.

The daughter's body will be warm to the touch, just as though it were alive, but one look into the eyes will reveal that no spirit lives there any longer.

The mother's hand is extended and what appears to be a fragile glass ball dropping from it. The image of a house appears suspended within it. Breaking that ball will break the "suspension" spell. If the amulet has not somehow been placed in contact with the man or the entity when the ball is shattered, the spirit will likely consume them all, one by one unless they run and hide or managed to touch the amulet to the entity (not an easy feat).

The food is delicious, hot, and filling. However, it will immediately turn to dust when the spell is broken or if taken from the house. Also, because of the house's peculiar state of being, it won't be possible to find their way back to it again.

--------------------------------------------------

Here's a short summary of how my players handled this...

What you did notice, however, was some sort of light barely visible in the forest below. Threading through the woods in the general direction, you eventually came to a small clearing with a neat little family house in the center. Everything appeared in order at first glance but nobody seemed to be home despite obvious evidence that someone had been just recently preparing to sit down for dinner.

Some exploration revealed that something was definitely wrong and camping outside overnight showed no changes in the morning light. The candles burning on the table had not diminished in the slightest and the warm food recently taken from the stove was still warm. Karl and Herim eventually gave in to the good smells and ate a hearty meal. Afterwards, Karl did some searching and found a trap door down to a basement workplace.

Things got decidedly terrifying from there. The appearance of some sort of gruesome entity emerging from the body of a man, shedding the skin almost like a snake, made everybody believe that there couldn't be a worse sight anywhere. There was a girl (daughter?) to one side slumped lightly against the stone wall and a woman (wife?) with a crystal sphere dropping from one hand but suspended in mid-air. Closer examination of the girl showed an apparently healthy exterior but eyes so "dead" that you felt the skin was nothing more than an empty shell. On the desk was a book in an unrecognized script about various (magical?) items, an amulet with a some engraved runes and a single "phrase" of script around the outside, and a note with some "activate" and "release" comments. The sphere appears to have a miniature version of the house and clearing suspended within it.

Various actions were taken, many involving transporting various items away from the house. The body of the woman was dragged out past the clearing where she rapidly decomposed. Other items taken into the woods seemed to lose their state of suspension-in-time. Eventually, the amulet itself was touched against the body of the entity and, though it did make physical contact, nothing changed. Wearing the amulet and touching the entity while speaking various words also had no effect.

After much discussion, it was decided that the remaining possible actions (or sequence of actions) involving the amulet and sphere were too dangerous to risk and so the group left the house and prepared to continue back to Geda.
Brian (Internet Hârnica: http://www.backgroundexposure.com/harn/)
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Re: Son of 101 Encounters

#27 Post by CASTLEMIKE » Mon Jul 28, 2008 2:25 pm

Haunted Mansion could be tweaked to Murder Mystery Most Foul using a silver dinar (in the possession of the etheral when he was killed before he was robbed (unless it is a very distinct or foreign coin it will almost be impossible to catch as the coin is passed along from person to person without spell casting)) or a dagger (weapon that originally killed the ethereal) possessed by the etheral in almost any locale. Binding the etheral to a more common or mundane item makes it harder to identify the etheral than something like a unique jewelled heraldric bastard sword or signet ring.

The etheral can be a complete psychotic enjoying his quasi-immortality killing at random or ritually (perhaps growing in power) or fixiated on a certain type of individual or determined to destroy all the surviving living members of the clan that murdered him (twist can include some of his own clan members because of marraige and children).

The etheral may only be able to be activive during the 3 days of the full moon (Maybe he was killed by a lycanthrope) which would make it pretty involved solving roleplaying several months of investigations (This can be a nice option with a spell casting group as the coin goes dormant and either doesn't detect or detects unclearly depending on the P Harn).

Lots of ways for the PCs to become involved depending on the spin.

The person possessed is completely unaware of what happened even if witnessed by dozens remains assured of their innocence and very frightened and confused (Manor lord or his squire, maybe the local peonian priest......).

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Re: Son of 101 Encounters

#28 Post by viper394 » Mon Nov 10, 2008 2:57 pm

I'm not to good at writing a scenario, or at least making my notes intelligible to any one but me so here's an Idea that some one else more eloquent than me can use.


With apologies To Akira Kurasawa

A strong bandit gang has ben raiding villages. One of the villagers overhears one of the bandits saying that they will return when the wheat has ben harvested. Normally the lord would do something but He is old and infirm and has no sons, what few yeomen that still live are old or cowards or both.The villagers speak to the lord of the village, He is old and weak but his mind is still strong. 'Hire Warriors.'
'With what Lord, We have no silver, nothing but what little food the bandits leave us to eat.'
'Find hungry warriors.'

For the rest of the story see 'The seven samurai' or 'The magnificent seven.'

For the easy and boring version play the warriors. For a twist have the PC's play the villagers.
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Re: Son of 101 Encounters

#29 Post by lawrence » Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:19 am

The PC's are riding in some deep dark forest along a well marked but perhaps not all well traveled road. A body is spotted along the edge of the road. It is still warm and the blood from its severed arm has not fully coagulated. The arm was cleanly severed, not ripped off. Death was apparently from exsanguination. The body is a male in its 30's, nondescript urban clothes, a few coins, a short dagger sheath but no dagger. The position of the body indicates the man was running toward the party when he fell.

The road turns the left a short distance ahead. Around the bend is a large, fully barded, war horse, partially blocking the road. It snorts and looks at them warily, it's eyes not at all friendly. A thin rein is draped, not tied, over a branch. It will not take kindly to strangers approaching too close.

On the other side a large lance is buried in an oak tree, the weight of another man's body with the lance through it, causing the lance to dip slightly towards the ground. The blood from that wound also barely coagulated on the ground below.

Just ahead sitting on a log beside the road is a knight in full armor, a massive man with a powerful physique. His helm is off resting beside him, his hands busy cleaning a long two handed sword, that is either glowing in the dark of the forest or has caught a rare bit of sunlight that does occasionally slip through the leaves and light up the forest floor.

He turns to the party and stands up, gazes at the party for a moment before slowly sheathing his sword. "Is the other one dead?" he asks the party, as he bends over and casually picks up the severed arm by its fingers.

When this came up from a random encounter table (party meets a knight on the road) I had a flash of an idea and adlibbed the above to make it a bit more interesting. How it plays out at this point will depend entirely on what the party does, of course.

The knight is Fartineous Windbreaker, an extremely powerful Laranian knight, cursed with an extremely foul temper. He comes from a long line of cursed men, the history of which he either does not know or will not discuss. He is somewhat sorry for the two deaths and intends to retrieve the bodies and bury them. If asked what the two victims had done, he will reply, sadly, that they had laughed when he told them his name. (In my game I told the players that if they asked him his name and if the players laughed, that I would assume their characters were laughing.) His rage has been sated by the recent killings and remorse has set in. He is a real loner, taciturn, and standoffish. Yet he misses the warmth of human interaction. So he will stay with the party for a few days.

In my game he went with them for a few days, actually was very helpful in a nasty encounter <hint, hint> and eventually parted company at a fork in the road. They were glad to be rid of him.

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Re: Son of 101 Encounters

#30 Post by Jwatson19 » Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:44 am

Encounter the ghost of Prince Brant at or near Baseta.

I did this one in a module titled the Royal treasure of Narnia which is much too long to post here but will make it available if anyone is interested.
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Re: Son of 101 Encounters

#31 Post by Terminus Est » Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:23 am

Wow! What a goldmine this is: be it for my Hârn tabletop campaign or the online RPG's I'm mastering, you can never have too many ideas for scenarios (even if it's to keep 20% and make it your own).

Thanks everyone for contributing, and I'll try to do my part once my campaign starts rolling a bit ;)

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Re: Son of 101 Encounters

#32 Post by High Plains Gamer » Sun Aug 09, 2015 7:46 am

I have been toying with a several of ideas, a couple involve recurring NPCs.

Idea 1: The party arrives in a small village. There is a lot of activity because the village is preparing to celebrate a local wedding between a peasant boy and a peasant girl. That evening, the party is sitting in an inn. A very pretty and very young Sindarin bard is performing for tips in the pub. Most of her songs are very sad and they tend to be about boys and breakups. After her set, the bard joins the party and begins to tell her tale of woe. Her name is Tay Tay (and she looks a lot like Taylor Swift). She has developed a real crush on one of the local peasant boys. Since she is an elf, she does not care at all about social standing. She chatters on, as only a young elf girl can, about how nice he is, how pretty he is, how smart he is, and so on. (She has not yet developed the gravitas one usually associates with the Sindarin.) Then she bursts into tears because her beloved is the groom in tomorrows wedding, and she will lose him forever. She eventually leaves the table.

The next morning is the day of the wedding, and the party is convinced to stick around for the festivities by the local villagers. The wedding begins at noon in the local Peonian chapel. The party is standing around at the front of the chapel because there are no seats left. A priest of Peoni starts the wedding ceremony. He gets to the part of "If anyone present knows of any reason why this man should not marry this woman, speak now or forever hold your peace," (by the way, this language is about legal impediments to the marriage). Tay Tay, pops up next to the party, apparently unaware of human customs or manners, and begins to sing:

"Don't say yes, run away now,
I'll meet you when you're out,
Of the church at the back door,
Don't wait or say a single vow,
You need to hear me out,"


(You may recognize the song, and can play up the description of the wedding to match the descriptions in the song) The villagers are shocked and angry at this interruption of a white veil occasion. Some of them start shouting racial epithets like "Get that pointy eared freak!" and worse. Some of the bride's brothers get up with the intent of causing physical harm to Tay Tay. In any case, the church erupts into chaos.

Does Tay Tay escape? Manage to hide in a nearby wood (She is an elf, after all)? Does the party intervene? Do they help her? Try to stop her? In all the chaos, the groom has disappeared. Does he meet up with Tay Tay later?

I see this as a bittersweet encounter, which is quite different from the typical RPG encounter. It offers a lot of local color and insight into peasant life. It is basically non violent as the party really is not at personal risk, unless they draw arms to protect Tay Tay.

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Re: Son of 101 Encounters

#33 Post by High Plains Gamer » Sun Aug 09, 2015 7:59 am

Idea 2 is really the beginning of an adventure in embryonic form. Tay Tay, yes, the same elf bard, is obsessed with seeing a Pegacorn (unicorn + Pegasus). She does not want to own it because elves are not interested in possessions (that's for greedy Dwarves). She just wants to experience a Pegacorn. So she has been singing a lot of songs about them and talking about them -- a lot. Of course, everyone knows they are a mythical creature that does not exist -- except Tay Tay. She recently has heard a rumor that a Pegacorn has been spotted in the Shava forest and is trying to persuade others to join her in a quest for the Pegacorn.

As it turns out, Pegacorns do exist (perhaps as a form of Ivashu?) And one can be found in the Shava forest. Except that a band of rogues has heard these same rumors and has decided to brave the Shava forest to capture the pegacorn. Somehow, they manage to evade the Sindarin of the Shava forest and capture the Pegacorn and somehow manage to neutralize its magic and ability to fly away. They plan on selling the Pegacorn to a circus, or perhaps as a spectacle in the Pamesani arena in the Thardic Republic. A Pegacorn does have psychic powers, and has been invading Tay Tays's thoughts in dreams hoping she will rescue it.

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Re: Son of 101 Encounters

#34 Post by High Plains Gamer » Sun Aug 09, 2015 8:12 am

Idea 3 is another embryonic adventure: The mercantyler's guild of Tashal feels that the lack of a navigable river to the outside world is posing a real impediment to commerce in Tashal. Unfortunately, ships simply cannot pass through the Tuleme falls. The solution appears to be to build a portage at the Tuleme Falls, so that goods can be transferred from River barges at the top of the falls, to sailing ships at the bottom of the falls.

However, there are several problems with this plan. First of all, the Paegelin are concerned about any encroachment by Kaldor into their tribal lands. Second, the merchants of Shiran are worried that sea trade to Tashal might weaken commerce in Shiran. Third, the Tuleme falls border Evael, and the elves are an unknown factor.

In any case, an ambassador is being sent by the guild to negotiate with the Paegelin. Maybe the ambassador is a member of the party, maybe an NPC (an NPC might be more interesting). A party is being gathered to accompany and protect the ambassador. Of course, a member of the embassy is a spy and saboteur sent by the merchants of Shiran who have received word of the plan. Plus a young elf, Tay Tay, has been hired to deal with the elves. (Not many Sindarin can be found in Kaldor, so options are limited. But unkown to anyone, Tay Tay actually belongs to a very prominent clan of Sindarin harpers, and she is very well known in Eval -- especially among young female Sindarin. Once word gets around that she is there, Sindarin groupies will start showing up. Yes, a touch of comedy here.)

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Re: Son of 101 Encounters

#35 Post by High Plains Gamer » Sun Aug 09, 2015 8:34 am

Idea 4 is a seed for a set of recurring encounters. As the party is travelling along the road, they encounter an enclosed wagon. On the side of the wagon, in big letters, is a sign reading, "Dr. Marvel's Magick Potions." Dr. Marvel is a fast talking con man (think of the Wizard of Oz) who offers all sorts of magick potions. The only one the party can afford, however, is a healing potion. If any member of the party is gullible enough to buy a potion, they will find it does not work -- at the worst possible moment. And it tastes vile.

Of course, for a comedic twist, if a party member does buy a potion, and is receiving a ration of $#@! from the other party members for being gullible, the potion works beyond all expectations.

Assuming the potion does not work, the party encounters Dr. Marvel at some festive occasion -- perhaps the wedding in Idea 1 above -- or at a fair. He is at his wagon, surrounded by a crowd, giving his sales pitch. If encountered by the party, about how his potions don't work, he always has a quick answer (e.g., "What do you mean, you drank the potion?! Of course it didn't work. Your are supposed to pour the potion directly on the wound! Do you want to buy another one and try it again?"

Another encounter would be where a local apothecary or alchemist does not like the competition he is getting from Dr. Marvel and has hired some thugs to rough him up and encourage him to get out of Dodge. Does the party intervene to stop the thugs? Help the thugs? Are they hired as the thugs?

At a later point, they encounter Dr. Marvel on the road. His wagon and wares are gone. He has been tarred and feathered. Of course tarring and feathering is very bad for a person because it usually involves some fairly serious burns. Dr. Marvel is weak, and perhaps even dying. Does the party render aid? If the party contains a Peonian cleric, does she use her healing skills (if so she gets beaucoup piety points.)

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Re: Son of 101 Encounters

#36 Post by High Plains Gamer » Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:04 am

Idea 5: I have been toying with this addition to the Field of Daisy's adventure, which I am hoping to run shortly. I have added another cave to the cavern complex, near the secret door with the pillars. The pillars found outside this cave continues into the cave. However, the party walks up from the lower levels because this cave sits at the original ground level. (elevation -0) There is another mine tunnel at the far end of the cave.

The background here is the Dwarves who were mining the cavern over a thousand years ago started another mine looking for more ore. Unfortunately for them, while they were digging their mine, they encountered a pocket of methane gas. A spark ignited the methane gas which had escaped, causing an explosion causing most of the tunnel to collapse. Still methane gas continued to escape from the pocket and eventually filled the cave. Most of it escapes through fissures at the top of the cave, but the cave is still filled with methane gas. Since the cave is higher than the surrounding complex, and since methane is less dense than normal air, the methane has remained confined largely to this cavern.

Of course, methane is highly flammable, will explode in a confined space, and is an asphyxiate. It is also invisible and odorless.

Part 2, long after the dwarves abandoned the mines, another prospector found the old mine entrance and began to explore it. Since dwarves can see in the dark, he did not carry a lighted torch into the cave, igniting the methane which had accumulated. However, he did asphyxiate from the methane gas, and his mummified body is still sitting next to one of the pillars. Since he died in his sleep, his restless soul never realized that he died. His ghost still haunts the cave, still looking for copper ore and is excited when it finds it.

Now enter our party, who is searching for a lost boy. Since they are humans they need torches to see in the dark. Presumably, they are not carrying a canary to warn them of gas. (How many dungeon delving parties have ever brought a canary with them?) When they start climbing up to the cave, they can vaguely see the body resting against a pillar, but they cannot make out exactly what it is. Since a dwarf is about the same height as the child they are looking for, it would be easy for them to assume they have found the child (who is actually bound and gagged in a nearby hidden room).

As they enter the cave, their torch(es) start getting brighter and more excited by the presence of methane gas (the GM is being nice here.) This should be a warning to the party that something is amiss. Additionally, the ghost of the dwarf prospector, will beckon the party to enter the cave. However, the light is dim and the party cannot see that the figure waving at them is, in fact, a ghost.

If they continue into the cavern, they will be given the opportunity to roll against agility to see if they can escape the explosion when the torch ignites the methane. Roll at the back of the party first. Any party member who fails the agility roll blocks the ability of anyone in front of them to escape. Any party member who does not evade the explosion suffers 2D6 fire damage and is blown back 2D6 feet, suffering 1D6 blunt damage for every five feet, or fraction thereof they are thrown back.

Of course, any fire incinerates the mummy, his backpack and equipment, and could lead the party to conclude that it killed the boy they were looking for.

A priest, and particularly the Peonian cleric with the group might want to free the ghost and eventually recognize that this is one of the innocent dead. She must convince the ghost that he did, in fact die (which he did not realize given the manner of his death). This may require the party to take the remains to Azadmere for a proper burial/cremation.

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Re: Son of 101 Encounters

#37 Post by High Plains Gamer » Sun Aug 09, 2015 10:21 am

Idea 6: This is stolen from an episode of Firefly: A member of the party (male or female) gets a letter from a Halean priestess whom he or she previously "befriended." The priestess has since left her temple is now residing in a remote community somewhere in the boonies. And she is in desperate need of help.

When (and if) the party arrives, they find that the priestess is running a whorehouse. (And they are whores because they are not Halean priestesses). It turns out that a real bad guy was running the brothel but the Halean priestess used her wiles to oust him and now she is running the operation. Except that this is more of a refuge for the girls. The former priestess does not tolerate any abuse of her girls, and being a good Halean, makes sure that both the girls and the house are well paid for the services they are providing.

A local bad knight has knocked up one of the girls and he wants to assert his fatherly rights since his wife is barren. He has been to the brothel several times to rough up some of the girls and to threaten his pregnant girlfriend. He and his bully boys are threatening to tear up the whole place if she does not turn over the kid once born. Needless to say, he would be a thoroughly rotten father.

The Halean priestess is looking for help to meet this threat. I have a nice 25mm inn I got from the Miniature Building Authority, and would probably use this to fight the ensuing battle with either Battlelust or some other medieval skirmish rules. It would basically be a fight between a heavily armored knight and his lesser armored retainers, against a group of lightly armored or non-armored peasant women. Except the players would be there to help even the score. Of course, the players would be treated very well in the process.

This seems to be a great way of weening a party away from playing rather boring Laranian or Peonian clerics and opt for something a little more colorful.

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Re: Son of 101 Encounters

#38 Post by High Plains Gamer » Sun Aug 09, 2015 10:32 am

Idea 7: Another steal from Firefly:

The characters spent the prior evening celebrating (something) at a local village. The party was getting pretty wild, with peasants having a lot of fun. The party members all were getting pretty drunk. One of the party members, preferably the leader, meets a pretty young woman (played by Christina Hendricks in the series) who hand him a wreath, gives him a drink and dances with him. With the local custom, that is the marriage ceremony.

The next morning when the character wakes up (in his bedroll, in the inn, etc.), there is Saffron. She now claims to be his wife, and kow tows to his every demand. Cooking for him, doing his laundry, etc., etc. If he objects, a priest in the party will know the marriage customs and inform the character that he is indeed married to her -- and there is a special place in Hell for an older character to take advantage of and have carnal knowledge of such a young woman. If played right, this part of the scene should be hilarious.

Of course, she is up to no good. In the television series, she led the party into an ambush, which they narrowly escaped. In this case, she could lead the to an ambush along the road, where the party will be stripped of their goods, and possibly even their clothes -- if the clothes are nice enough.

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Re: Son of 101 Encounters

#39 Post by High Plains Gamer » Sun Aug 09, 2015 10:53 am

Idea 8: This is an idea that I have had for an after death journey. It could also be used in other circumstances, perhaps as a vision to the Ilviran faithful. It presents a different way of viewing Gods, perhaps one which is rather unconventional.

In any case, after floating around in the afterlife, the character arrives in a fairly bright room. There are all sorts of flasks, vials and strange devices around the room In part of the room there is a group of circular glass containers. In the containers are a variety of Ivashu: different size containers depending upon the size of the critter in it. Some of the creatures are truly unknown, and others might be common in our world, but not Harn. But they are just floating in the liquid in their containers. None seem to be alive.

The party sees a short, pudgy, older balding man wearing horn rimmed glasses. He is wearing what we would call a lab coat. He is doing something with a test tube over what we would call a Bunsen burner. At first he does not seem to see the character.

Then he introduces himself, saying that his name is Ilvir. Then he comments, "We seem to have complimentary problems. You have a soul without a body, and I have a bunch of bodies without souls. I think we can work out a deal..."

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