Monday, September 19, 2011

Dangerous Encounter: You Should Stay Awhile

This encounter should be one that "sneaks up" on the unsuspecting PCs. At some point in their travels, let them stumble upon an Ancient apartment complex that has been converted into the self-contained village of "Oakwoodapts". Long ago, the village founders discovered the building containing numerous self-contained living spaces for their people. They moved in, turning the bottom floors into homes for the villagers, whereas the upper floors are the residence of the elders and shopkeepers. With lookouts and armed security on the roof and an easily secured main entrance, Oakwoodapts is a perfect self-contained village.

Oakwoodapts is a bit off the usual paths, but the villagers are welcoming and accommodating to travelers for both information, trading purposes, etc. The PCs should come to view Oakwoodapts as a nice place to stop by and equip themselves, perhaps even performing an occasional job for the elders. They should come to know some of the villagers and they may even consider moving into one of the few remaining apartments as their own base of operations.

The next time they return for a visit, they may notice the villagers seem very excited to see them return. If they haven't already set up a home there, they may start hinting that they should "settle down among friends" and "having a place to come home to is important in this uncertain world." Something should seem "off" though. Some of their closest acquaintances seem to have forgotten details from previous visits. A small child may seem afraid of his own parents. The PCs may notice something scuttling by in the shadows.

During their absence, the village has been invaded by a small group of 10 Soul Riders. These creatures have taken over eight of the villagers already, and are looking for two new hosts for the remaining two Soul Riders.

Soul Rider (10) (AL C, MV 180’ (60’), AC 8, HD 2, #AT Special, DG Special, SV L2, ML 7, mutations: possession, metaconcert, quickness)

The Soul Riders have taken over most of the stronger villagers or those holding leadership positions using possession. They have determined that two of the PCs will make perfect additions to their nest. They hope to take over the PCs while they have their guard down, perhaps as they sleep or if one is separated from the group. If successful, the "ridden" PCs will demand to stay at Oakwoodapts, refusing to leave and offering to become one of the village's sentries.

If the Soul Riders are discovered, they will attack the PCs using the mind-controlled villagers as thralls. They'll use their metaconcert mutation to keep in contact with each other and with their "puppets," coordinating their movements as they try to capture the PCs. Any non-controlled villagers will be deceived by the controlled villagerss, as the PCs will be accused of theft, murder, etc. in hopes that the other villagers will join in the capture. The PCs will have their hands full as they should not want to harm their mind-controlled friends, but they will have to find the Soul Riders hidden somewhere within the village. A tense game of hide-and-seek could ensue as they try to avoid their pursuers while trying to locate their masters.

If more than half of the Soul Riders are found and dispatched, the others will break their control and skitter off using their quickness mutation to make their escape. The PCs will be lauded as heroes and Oakwoodapts will gladly offer them their own upper-level living area to use as a base of operations.

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