Monday, April 1, 2019

A Dark Sun Adventure: The Great Erdlu Caper

Plot Summary: Near Nibenay (or any city state with scrub planes nearby) lived a poor erldu herder named Roget. Roget lost most of his herd to sickness and has a single erdlu left. Roget named this erdlu Tongo. Roget loved to sing and play the flute with Tongo nearby and Tongo always seemed soothed by the music.
Tongo spied a female erdlu with her owner in another field one day and dragged Roget over to them. Roget met Enita and her erdlu, Kirdeta. Roget and Enita fell madly in love, mainly because there are few choices for erdlu herders. Enita had almost all of her teeth and Roget didn't smell that bad, so they soon built a hut and herded erdlu together.
It wasn't long before Kirdeta started laying eggs. Now, Enita's old friend came to visit her. She's a merchant named Humilda Diablo. She wanted to know when the erdlu were hatched. Roget doesn't like Humilda, but Enita assures him that she's harmless.
Eventually, the eggs hatched and the herders now had fifteen healthly erdlu chicks. Humilda returned and offered to buy them all for half of what they were worth. Roget refused. He wanted to rebuild his herd and could not do it with such a paltry sum. Humilda left their hut in a furious state.
A few weeks later, when the erdlu chicks were old enough to survive without their mother, Roget and Enita took Tongo and Kirdeta out to forage. While they were gone the pen was broken into by two thugs, Jast and Horak, who stole the erdlu chicks. Roget suspects Humilda, but does not have the resources to go after her.
This is where the player characters enter the adventure.

 Roget travels to Nibenay (or whatever city state the adventure is set) looking for assistance from mercenaries. Promising them two or three erdlus (each erdlu chick is worth 5 ceramic pieces) for their help. Roget will offer up to five erdlu if the characters press him. Adjust reward based upon your campaign. Enita knows where Humilda's trading enterprise has a small trade fort and gives the characters the directions. It is two days away.
When the characters arrive at the small fort, they find it is well protected by a dozen guards. It has a few adult erdlu, but no chicks. If the characters manage to sneak into one of the offices, or bribe a guard, they discover a supply fort a days walk away. The guards consist of ten fighters (a level or two less than the characters), a psionicist (of equal level to the characters), and a defiler (of equal level to the characters).
Small Trade Fort
The trade fort has a lot of trade goods, specializing in foodstuffs and whatever suits the region. There are six traders stationed in the trade fort, including Humilda. They will deny any knowledge of the erdlu chicks and will make sure the psionicist is with them during any questioning. The traders are loyal and will not betray Humilda for less than a gold piece.
The supply fort has only nine guards, one psionicist and eight fighters. The characters will not be allowed inside and will be directed to the trade fort instead. There are no traders stationed at the supply fort. If the characters sneak into the fort, they will find the fifteen erdlu chicks, along with eighty-four other erdlu chicks. If the sneaking character stays for a just a few minutes, he will learn that a professional tanner is coming to slaughter the chicks in the morning, it seems Humilda wants to make leather slippers from their soft hides.
Small Supply Fort
The characters can attack the fort, or be stealthy, and all of the erdlu chicks will follow them with little encouragement. Now, the characters need to travel two and a half days back to Roget and Enita's hut with a large herd of erdlu chicks. In the morning, Humilda will receive word that the erdlu chicks have been stolen, sooner if the psionicist was not killed or later if everyone was killed. Humilda (trader one level higher than the characters) will get Jast and Horak (fighters two levels higher than the characters), and will pursue the characters on riding crodlu (movement 18).
The characters will have to out-maneuver or out-fight Humilda and her minions. Once the characters get back to Roget and Enita's and turn over the chicks, Roget and Enita will be extremely pleased. If the characters bring more erdlu chicks than were stolen, Roget will offer the characters a greater number of chicks as payment. Roget is happy to split the chicks with the characters, but will offer them a quarter of the number first.
Depending on how, or if, the characters out-maneuver Humilda and her thugs, Humilda will return to Roget and Enita's hut to search for the characters and the erdlu. If they are present, Humilda will attack, but if they are not, Humilda will leave to search elsewhere and not return.
The End

I hope you all have a happy April.

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