Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dangerous Encounter: Poached Eggs

This encounter could happen during some lengthy downtime for the PCs. While resting up between adventures, a trader will come into the village set up his booth. The PCs are encouraged to check out his wares. Perhaps they can find a few minor pieces of equipment to barter for. While shopping, the trader can be seen checking them out and sizing them up. Once he's satisfied that they're "the ones for the job," he'll approach and make them the following offer:

"On my way here, I noticed some Hemofowls (MF rulebook, pg. 75) circling overhead. I'll bet they've got a nest near some old Ancient pumping equipment about 2 miles south of here. I'm running mighty low on Hemofowl eggs, so I'll tell ya what. I'll pay ya 10 gold pieces for each one you bring to me. I might even let ya take something from my wagon for half-price for your troubles."

The location of the Ancient pumping station should be known to the PCs if they're from the area. If not, it's a simple matter of walking two miles south, then following an overgrown path that leads off of the main road. As described by the trader, there are a pair of Hemofowls circling high over head.

Hemofowls (2) (AL N, MV 90’ (30’), Fly: 180' (60'), AC 6, HD 5, #AT 2 (beak, special), DG 1d6, SV L6, ML 7, mutations: toxic weapon)

If the party watches the Hemofowls for a while, they'll just see them circling and circling, refusing to come down. Particularly cautious PCs (or any with a mutation that allows them to hear over long distances) may hear a hissing sound in the distance.

When the PCs get to the pumping station, that hissing sound will be even louder (any who had not heard if before will notice it now). The hissing sound seems to be keeping the Hemofowls away. With a little bit of searching, the PCs will find a nest on the ground with a few green leathery eggs inside it. Observant PCs will realize that these are not Hemofowl eggs. The hissing becomes an angry snarl and two Crocotinae (new creature, click here for a description) will come charging out of the brush, angry that their nest has been disturbed. Using their metaconcert mutation, they will call forth six other Crocotinae who will arrive in five rounds. All of the Crocotinae will fight to the death defending their nest.

Crocotinae (8)
(AL N, MV 70’ (30’), Fly: 140' (60'), AC 7, HD 2, #AT 1, DG 1d8, SV L2, ML 7, mutations: metaconcert)

Once the Crocotinae are dealt with, the Hemofowls (who were driven from their nesting area by the highly aggressive snapping waddlers) may decide to fly in and land at their nest which is nestled in a nearby tree bough. Otherwise the PCs will have to try to find the nest on their own. The Crocotinae nest has five eggs in it and the Hemofowl nest has seven eggs. The Hemofowl nest also has 25 gold pieces in it.

The trader had no idea that there was a flock of Crocotinae keeping the Hemofowls at bay and he will pay 20 gold pieces for each Crocotinae egg the PCs bring back. (Crocotinae fledglings can be trained to be excellent "watch-ducks," he'll explain.) He will also make good on his 10 gp per Hemofowl egg offer as well as a 50% discount on any one item on his wagon.

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