Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dangerous Encounter: Dying Of Thirst

A two-man hunting party that left the village two days ago has not yet returned. The village elder has approached the PCs and asked them to investigate. The elder is especially interested on information about a nearby tribe of Apemen (MF Rulebook, pg. 60). Rumors have been floating through the village that they may be massing for an attack. “They may have captured the hunters and are torturing them for information,” he whispers. (The elder is wrong. The Apemen have nothing to do with the hunters’ disappearance and – in fact – they are pacifists.) The PCs are given a rough description of the two missing humanoids and a crude map of the surrounding area. They are then pointed down the path the hunters took out of town.

Several hours of walking later, the PCs should spy a pair of Apemen lurking in the woods. They seem to be watching the party, but will not disturb or intercept them. If the party ignores them, the two Apemen follow them silently for a while before skulking off to their tribe to report. If the party attempts to contact them, the two Apemen (named Keaf and Bulo) will chatter and screech at them, holding their weapons over their head and shaking them threateningly. Keaf is carrying a spiked mace (DG 1d6+2) and Bulo is armed with a crude spear (DG 1d8+2). Have the party members roll to see if they recognize these weapons as being the same weapons the two missing hunters were reportedly armed with. The party is free to try to talk to the Apemen again (The Apemen don’t trust the PCs, so it’s going to take some good reaction rolls.) or the party may just decide to attack. If attacked, Keaf and Bulo will surrender after taking a few solid hits from the PCs and will answer their questions honestly.

Apemen (2) (AL N, MV 120' (40'), AC 6, HD 7 (Keaf: 35 hp; Bulo: 41 hp), #AT 1 (weapon), DG see weapon description, SV L5, ML 9, Mutations: none)

When talking with the two Apemen, they explain they came across an abandoned campsite nearby and “helped” themselves to the weapons. They are happy to show the PCs the campsite. However, if the party has been mistreating them, Keaf and Bulo will lead the party in the opposite direction and will try to escape at a suitable time.

Upon reaching the campsite, the party will see two small bedrolls, a knapsack of food, and a burned-out campfire sitting next to a shallow spring-fed pool of water. Oddly, all of the personal possessions of the hunters (with the exception of the weapons held by the Apemen) are scattered about the site, including metal bits of the hunters’ armor, jewelry, and any other metal or stonework they were wearing. If the party looks about a bit further, they notice that the water in the spring is unusually clear and does not appear to have any fish or other life in it.

The “pool of water” is actually a Glass Plasm (New creature, click here for a link to a description). The hunters found the “spring” and decided to set up camp near it. However, once they got too close, the Glass Plasm attacked and consumed them both, expelling the metal and stone items of its victims once done. Later, when Keaf and Bulo entered the site, they grabbed the weapons and ran off before the Glass Plasm could make a move to grab them. (The Apemen are unaware as to the nature of the Glass Plasm.) Once the party moves to inspect the pool, the Glass Plasm will lash out and attack them.

Glass Plasm (1) (AL N, MV 45' (15'), AC 6, HD 6, #AT 1, DG special, SV L3, ML 11, Mutations: chameleon epidermis (special), toxic weapon)

Keaf and Bulo will assist the party in killing the Glass Plasm if the PCs have been civil to them. If the PCs have mistreated them, the Apemen will run off, leaving the PCs to their doom.

Once the Glass Plasm is defeated and the fate of the hunters has been determined, the PCs may want to strike up a friendship with the two Apemen (if they’ve become allies) and put an end to the rumors of the imminent Apemen attack. This could be the springboard for a new adventure as they try to form a peace treaty and/or defeat a mutual foe.

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