30 giugno 2012

The Three Beggars

Di seguito pubblico un'avventura in inglese che ho scritto un annetto fa per il Gioco di Ruolo Fighting Fantasy.

L'avventura usa un set di home rules che non sono spiegate nel testo, ma che potete trovare cliccando qui e qui per il sistema di Punti Esperienza.

Questo scenario è il seguito di The Gates of Hellwinter.

the three beggars

Adventure synopsis
This scenario assumes the adventurers have accepted Baron Bedivére Grayson’s task to guard the borderlands of his feud, thus receiving the investiture as new Wardens of Hellwinter. The party will take on the quest of a dying Elf Knight in order to recover the legendary Staff of Hamaskar, a powerful artefact of times past.

The adventurers will have to travel north through the Crystal Mountains, facing many perils, to the long forgotten Temple of Hamaskar. There they will have to confront and thwart the evil plans of the undead Necromancer Tulsidas, who wants the staff for himself.

From ancient and forbidden lore, Tulsidas has learned the Staff of Hamaskar is the only key to unlock the doors to the Library of Skelo. So he has amassed a wretched army of Undead by cruelly slaying everyone he met in his bloody path, only to resurrect him under his foul banner as a loyal and mindless servant.

Now he has under his command more than forty Undead with which he plans to retrieve the staff and kill everyone who would dare to oppose his fiendish machination. Tulsidas is aided in his dark quest by his lieutenants, three Demons of cruel power. These fiends are Khorades, the lustful Mistress of the DEMONCROWS, Torc, Ruler of the dreaded BLACK STAGS and Wynoc, Liege of the FIREFOXES and master of cunning and illusion.

Tulsidas has summoned them from the fiery pits of Hell itself, tapping the magic from the impending astral conjunction of the Three Beggars.

The Three Beggars’ alignment on an Astral Chart.

Were Tulsidas be able to retrieve the Staff of Hamaskar, he will unlock the Library of Skelo and lay his putrid claws on a most ancient, powerful and forbidden lore with which he will subdue the entire region under his heel.

I - The Three Beggars' Night
The adventure starts in a frigid night of one of the last weeks of winter. It’s dusk, and the cold winds that sweep Hellwinter’s Tower are blowing from all day. As the night lies down her mantle of darkness upon the land, vivid stars light up the sky, ever so bright.

Looking to the southwest, the sentry on duty may behold that the village of Gallows End is floodlit, as if some sort of celebration were taking place. Suddenly, as if in answer to their questions, a carrier pigeon will fly out of the night to the tower, delivering a message for the PCs. The message has been written by the Headman of Gallows End with an uncertain calligraphy.

A SKILL (Lore) roll is required to remember some informations about the Night of The Three Beggars. This night is marked by an exceptional stellar conjunction which occurs only once a year. The constellations of The Fox, The Raven and The Fawn (scilicet the Three Beggars) align the sky’s horizon and manifest themselves altogether for one night only. It’s a night for magic and mystery, a night of new things to be undertaken.
The party should accept the invitation to the festival.

In order to persuade the adventurers, the Storyteller may point at the fact that in these last weeks the borderlands have been absolutely safe and there is nothing that hints at an impending threat to the feud. Since it may be assumed the party has by then familiarised with the surroundings, the travel through the Forest of Iwereth to the village will be swift and uneventful, taking only half a day. The adventurers will reach Gallows End in the core of the celebrations for the Night of The Three Beggars.

Coloured paper lanterns have been hanged up all around the village, and the whole community has gathered in the town square. The square is crowded by merchants’ booths and carts and a group of wandering strolling players are warming the feast with their licentious ballads. As promised, the adventurers are heartily welcomed by Headman Ion Killean and all the merry folk of Gallows End.

They will be treated as noble knights and offered spicy boar and strong ale at will. Every PC must successfully Test for Stamina or get drunk, thus suffering a -1 penalty on his SKILL score for the rest of the night.

The merchants’ carts have plenty of wares to trade, albeit at rather high prices, because Gallows End is quite far from the main trade routes.

Sword50 Gold Crowns
Wooden shield10 Gold Crowns
Two-handed sword65 Gold Crowns
Leather jacket80 Gold Crowns
Fur-lined camping tent30 Gold Crowns
Lantern6 Gold Crowns
Quill, ink and paper4 Gold Crowns
Longbow25 Gold Crowns
Arrows, a row of six4 Gold Crowns
Spear12 Gold Crowns
Horse50 Gold Crowns
Candles, a dozen4 Silver Florins

There is also a wandering Alchemist’s booth, Kylock the Sage, who offers the adventurers his precious concoctions.

Potion of Stamina20 Gold Crowns
A bunch of Thricewort5 Gold Crowns
Potion of Fortune30 Gold Crowns
Potion of Cold Resistance10 Gold Crowns
Blue Crystals, each10 Gold Crowns
A Goblin’s Tooth12 Gold Crowns
A Phial of Antidote8 Gold Crowns
A magnifying glass28 Gold Crowns
A Grimoire60 Gold Crowns

The Grimoire contains the following spells: Faerie Fires, Hurricane, Languages & Lore and Stench. Kylock will let the party’s Wizard take a look at the tome, in order to more shrewdly judging purchase.

After drinking with the merry folk and dancing with the beautifully attired girls of Gallows End, the PCs will spot a strange tent that has been erected apart from the clamour of the feast. The tent is embroidered with arcane star symbols and a wisp of blue smoke, smelling of incense, emanates from the tent’s entrance.

This is the tent of Alianna the Seer, and the party will find her sitting on a low ebony stool, just behind a small three-legged round table on which a crystal balls pulsates with faint amber light. If a PC wants Alianna to foretell his future, he must pay her 2 Gold Crowns. Then the seer will stare deeply in her Crystal Ball, scrying the Fates. After some minutes she will begin to talk in a whisper.

Alianna the Seer

«I see… the Night of The Three Beggars is a night of beginnings…But it may also mean the beginning of ruin! When you’ll face all the Three Beggars, then someone will have to die... Beware of the comets’ shower...»

Alianna will not be able to explain the meaning of her prophecy. She will tell the party that she enters a state of deep trance when she makes her forecasts. The seer has some ware to trade, too.

Potion of Stamina15 Gold Crowns
An astrolabe10 Gold Crowns
A small hourglass9 Gold Crowns
A beautiful lute25 Gold Crowns

Attacking Alianna - or harming her in any way - is a very shameful act, which causes to each character the loss of 1 point from the Initial LUCK.

Nothing else interesting happens during the festival, so the adventurers may leave Gallows End when they wish to.

II - The dying Elf
On their way back to Hellwinter’s Tower the PCs will make a nasty encounter.
While crossing the Forest of Iwereth, soaked in the darkest murkiness of the night, they’ll overhear piercing screams from the depths of the woods. As the party approaches to investigate the noises, they’ll arrive in a small clearing where a tragic scene is taking place.

A female elven Knight lies on the ground, her armour badly battered as her body, daubed in her own blood. Three ferocious FIREFOXES are savaging the wretched Elf, and she is about to surrender to the beasts. These beasts are as large as wolves, covered in a rich fiery-red fur and with a magnificent brush of a tail.

Hopefully the adventurers will aid the Elf, so a battle against the FIREFOXES will begin.

First FIREFOX762
Second FIREFOX761
Third FIREFOX761
Claws and bite111222

If a FIREFOX is wounded at any time, in the next round it will suddenly burst into flames and leap on its opponent. If its attack is successful, it will burn him for 5 points of STAMINA damage; if not, the creature will be wounded as usual. This ‘flame on’ is not without cost for the FIREFOX, for it will lose 1 SKILL and 1 STAMINA point for the tremendous energy it burns up. After its attack it will return to normal, but every time it is wounded again it will attack in flames the round after, until either the FIREFOX or its opponent is dead. The fiery-red pelt of a FIREFOX is very valuable, especially to Wizards, for it is an essential ingredient in all manner of fire-producing spells and potions.

Once the FIREFOXES have been defeated, the party may turn to the Elf. It will soon be clear to the adventurers that the Knight is beyond every hope and that nothing could prevent her from dying. The Elf will urge the PCs to let her speak her last words.

«My… my name is Elbereth… Elbereth of the House of Faelar… I was sent by my Lady on a desperate, yet indispensable, quest… I… I have… I had to retrieve the Staff of Hamaskar from the Temple, for it’s no any longer safe over there… My Lady has learned that Tulsidas, the Necromancer, has rallied undead troops and, even as I speak, he’s marching towards the Temple of Hamaskar to desecrate it and take that ancient and arcane elven artefact. But my journey took place under unfortunate stars. I was soon uncovered and hunted down like a prey. I tried to escape the hunt by descending the mountains, but… what you witnessed is the sad epilogue of my mission… Still, it may not necessarily be its failure… Please, adventurers: take on my quest, because the fate of the whole Realm itself is at stake… D… don’t blight me. If Tulsidas were to retrieve the Staff of Hamaskar, then he’ll be able to unl...»

Then Elbereth will die.

Before leaving the area, the PCs who successfully Test for SKILL (Sixth Sense) will have a sudden glimpse of someone… or something watching them from among the trees. It looks like a giant fox standing on his hind-legs. A moment after it will disappear as if the vision were made of the same stuff as dreams’. The PCs ought not know it for now, but they have just spotted Wynoc, who is very disappointed from the turn of events.

Regardless whether the party spots Wynoc, he will manage to avoid any direct confrontation with the PCs and to escape. The adventurers will meet him again in the Temple of Hamaskar’s area 3.

If the characters wish, they may search Elbereth’s body. They will find:

  • A sword
  • A pair of Elven Boots, suitable only by female characters
  • A silver dagger
  • 2 rations of Lembas, the remarkable elven “waybread”; eating a ration of Lembas will restore 1 LUCK point

III - Venturing the mountains
The adventurers should take Elbereth’s corpse with them, in order to bury her in the small cemetery just behind the tower’s courtyard, where all the Heroes of Hellwinter come to eternally rest. Then, the PCs will have to make plans for their journey to the Temple of Hamaskar to thwart Tulsidas’s evil doings. The party will probably have no idea on how to get to the Temple. Here’s some guidelines:

  • A successful SKILL (Lore) roll, with a malus of +2, will reveal the PC some pieces of ancient elven lore. The Crystal Mountains range north of Hellwinter was once home to the legendary High White Elves of Kiryel Than, the secluded noble houses who chose not to have any deal with the kingdoms of men. The Temple of Hamaskar was the White Elves’ most sacred place, so it’s likely to be found on the most impervious mountain’s reaches.
  • Another good idea may be to trace back Elbereth’s tracks in order to have some hints about the general direction to the temple. At least three SKILL (Tracking) rolls, with an increasing difficulty of +1, +2 and +3 must be succeeded to search out the Elf’s traces.

Another problem is the nearly unbearable frost that tightens its grip on the mountain range. The PCs must prepare the journey carefully to avoid freezing to death. They’ll need a lined tent, adequate clothing and food for the voyage, because it’s unlikely they will be able to hunt for food in the Crystal Mountains’ Icy Wastes. If the PCs start their trek without adequate equipment, the Storyteller must impart the PCs severe STAMINA and SKILL losses for every night the party spends in the mountains, until the adventurers die or go back. Anyway, after a three-days trek in the desolate and ominous mountain landscape (remember to keep exact trace of meals remaining to the PCs), the party will reach the last part of its journey.

1) The chasm: The pathway is brusquely interrupted by a vast chasm. The chasm spans for over three kilometres and it’s 500 metres wide. Spanning the chasm is, however, possible, thanks to a narrow slippery walkway which may be crossed only one at a time. The Storyteller should ask the PCs to Test for SKILL (Athletics) in order to pace the walkaway.
In the other side of the chasm a YETI lies in wait, indistinguishable among the snow and ice. The beast is hungry and will immediately attack the first PC who crosses the chasm.

Claws and fangs222233

The YETI has a mouth brimming with sharp tusks and razor-like teeth, and paws full of claws each as long as a man’s hand! The YETI’s blows are so violent and rabid that they will do an additional die of STAMINA damage each time it scores a successful hit. That wandering monster has no treasure.

2)Torc's camp: Tulsidas has ordered his minion Torc to set up a camp here and to stay on sentry duty in order to avoid any interruption. Torc resides here with four of his loyal BLACK STAGS, fierce humanoid creatures, with deer hindquarters, brawny bodies and head of stags, entirely ermined in horsetail-like black fur. The party could find a way to cross the encampment undetected. Should the party were to be uncovered, the fight against Torc and the BLACK STAGS will be certain. As soon as the battles starts, one of Khorades’ DEMONCROWS will fly to the Temple of Hamaskar in order to warn his master of the adventurers’ coming. A single successful shot is sufficient to kill the spiteful beast in flight. If the courier bird were to escape, it will reach Tulsidas and warn him of the threat the PCs may represent.

Two-handed stone club222333

Torc has a natural armour of 1 and regenerates 1 STAMINA point per combat round.

Second BLACK STAG761
Fourth BLACK STAG681
Fists and horns222233

The first attack of a BLACK STAG is its fearsome charge, which causes the loss of 5 STAMINA points on a hit. The beasts can use this special attack only once at the beginning of the combat. Due to its demonic origins, a silver weapon will inflict a BLACK STAG +1 on the Damage Table.
Rummaging in the camp, the party may find:

  • Some sacks of human rotting flesh: the BLACK STAGS’ food.
  • A small wooden flute, which may be useful once in the Temple of Hamaskar, because it was given to Torc by Khorades, in order to let him enter her quarters without being attacked by her fellow DEMONCROWS
  • 18 Gold Crowns and 10 Silver Florins
  • A pair of Cursed Dice: if an adventurer should ever roll the dice, he will lose an amount of STAMINA points equal to the result of the roll

3) A Black Dragon!: This path skirts the mountain range to the left. The front of the range, stormed by snow-laden winds, is gigantic: an awe-inspiring sight, indeed! One of the range’s ravine is the lair of a BLACK DRAGON. The creature will certainly spot the adventurers and fly up to them, in order to bully the PCs for a while, before eating them alive!
However, a successful SKILL (Courtesy) roll will reveal the PC that DRAGONS are a conceited lot. They love to be flattered and to share learned arguments with Wizards concerning the lore of the ancients. A fight may be avoided, if the PCs are smart and thoughtful.
They may even try to establish some kind of companionship with the DRAGON, whose name is Kerrang the Direful. Kerrang may be befriended if the PCs treat him with due respect and wisely honour his archaic ancestry. The creature is not too cruel and, due to his elder age, he desires al less bothers as possible from men. So he will be quite forthcoming towards an honest agreement with the adventurers. Kerrang may be a valiant ally for Hellwinter but, before shaking any deal with the adventurers, he will enlighten the point he has absolutely no intention of ever leaving Hellwinter and its immediate surroundings. Rather, he will accept to take on the sentry duty on Hellwinter when the PCs go venturing. In exchange, Kerrang will ask the adventurers not to let any Dragon Slayer ever trespass Hellwinter. He will give them an artefact of bygone Ages: the Palantir, an orb made of the purest crystal, which seems to contain a thunderstorm. By mere concentration, a PC staring at the Palantir may confer with Kerrang wherever he may be.
Finally, the adventurers must remember that Kerrang is too large to enter inside the Temple of Hamaskar, but he may stay with the PCs as long as they wander in the Icy Wastes in search of the temple’s entrance.
However, if a battle were to start, the DRAGON’s awesome Statistics are given below.

Talons, fangs and tail333445

The BLACK DRAGON’s breath creates a huge stinking cloud of poisonous gas, which affects only living beings (no Undead nor demon kin). When this happens, the Storyteller rolls one die:

1DBreath effect
1 to 3The breath misses and there's no damage
4 to 5The breath hits its target for 5 STAMINA points of damage
5 to 6The breath hits directly the target, who must Test his Luck or face an instant death

The BLACK DRAGON can produce such a cloud only once every four combat rounds.
The BLACK DRAGON’s hoard is nested in an almost inaccessible cavern on the top of the Crystal Mountains range. The treasure consists of:

  • 114 Gold Crowns
  • 10 gems worth 8 Gold Crowns each
  • A pair of Griffin Feathered Boots: these wonderful boots are absolutely waterproof and always warm and are also magically resistant to the extreme cold or hot
  • Three Scrolls with the following spells: Battle Blessing, Feather Falling and Ignite
  • An alchemist’s purse containing one Blue Crystal, a little burner and a linchpin

Lastly, the skin of a BLACK DRAGON will easily fetch 200 Gold Crowns in a large trading city, where it can be used to make superb armour. The same may be attempted by a character with the Crafter Talent, provided he has the necessary tools to forge armours.

4) The Elven Tower: The party arrives at the ruins of an elven watchtower. This place was once called Minas Kalyr, the Bastion to the South. Then it was abandoned when the High White Elves of Kiryel Than decided to withdraw from the rest of the Realms. For the last two centuries, the ruins have been home to Ungul, an ancient and powerful SPIDER KING which elected the tower and the surroundings as its hunting. The creature has decorated the ruins with cobweb drapes and golden net-like webs. It will attack mercilessly any intruder.


The dire Spider King

Its first move will be to release a huge spider’s web on to the adventurers and the party will have to try to escape from it. In order to escape from the web, an adventurer must roll a total of 12 or more in the following way: the first roll - made with two dice - counts toward his total; the second roll counts against this total; the third roll is added to this new total; the fourth is subtracted; the fifth roll is added; and so on. The adventurer must keep on rolling until he has a running total of 12 or more - which could take some time! When this happens, the adventurer is free from the web. Needles to say, the SPIDER KING will take full advantage of the situation.
The bite of the SPIDER KING may also prove fatal. Every time it hits and adventurer, the Storyteller rolls one die: if the result is 1 to 5 the monster will inflict normal damage according to the Damage Table; but a result of 6 means the creature has poisoned the PC. The unfortunate adventurer will die in 6 combat rounds unless he ingests a measure of antidote or he’s cured by magic.
The SPIDER KING’s treasure consists of:

  • 125 Gold Crowns
  • 200 Silver Florins
  • A Potion of Gaseous Form
  • An old-fashioned Elven Cloak
  • An elven longbow with a quiver, but no arrows

5) Entrance to the Temple of Hamaskar: The last 600 metres before the party eventually arrives to a wide stone portal, entirely carved into the mountains’ stone, are littered with dozens of crushed and mutilated undead corpses. A SKILL (Sixth Sense or Tracking) roll will reveal that these monsters have been somehow destroyed by a powerful warding magic while attempting to break open the doors to the temple. The portal - however - is open, meaning that Tulsidas has already entered the temple, in spite of everything. But the tremendous effort costed him almost all his undead servants. The portal’s arcade is masterfully fancied with elven Runes. An Elf or a character who speaks elvish may translate the inscriptions on the portal. A Languages & Lore spell will do the same. The inscription recites:

«Welcome, trespasser. The blessing of the Elves is with you. Thou shalt travel light and swift, and be not harbinger of woe to the House of Kiryel.»

By reading aloud the arcade’s Runes a curative blessing will be bestowed on the party; the blessing will restore the STAMINA of each adventurer to its Initial score! That blessing will work only once. All elven characters will also receive a +1 bonus on their Attack Strength until they’re within the temple. Quite obviously, the entrance leads to the subterranean Temple of Hamaskar.

IV - The Temple of Hamaskar
At last the party enters the temple. The temperature inside is mild, a more than welcome relief from the mountains’ frost. The Temple of Hamaskar is an intricate subterranean complex that winds among ogival arcades enriched by labyrinthian adornments. The ancient temple had been dedicate to Tuculcha, Elven Goddess of Life. Dull frescoes ornate the walls, depicting intricate florals. The whole temple’s passages are lit by an azure glow that emanates from tiny, leaf-shaped crystal baubles dangling from the ceiling’s recesses in a whispered tinkle. It will prove impossible for the PCs to reach in any way the baubles.

1) The Hall of Tuculcha: A wonderful statue, entirely carved from a single block of diamond, lies on a quartz dais which occupies the north-eastern corner of the room.
Only a successful SKILL (Lore) roll, with a +1 malus, will reveal the statue’s identity: she is Tuculcha, the High White Elves’ Goddess of Life. The Goddess is represented as a sitting female Elf with three arms and three faces. One of her hands holds a ritual weapon, similar to a trident, whose ancient elven name is Lanovar. Her three faces symbolise childhood, adulthood and hoar.
At a closer look, or with a SKILL (Sixth Sense) roll, an adventurer will see that the trident can be removed and used as a two-handed weapon, whose Damage Table is:


The Goddess Tuculcha knows the adventurers’ sake and she is benevolent towards them. She will not anger if the PCs take the Lanovar with them.

The statue of Tuculcha

2) A Murder of Demoncrows: The PCs have entered the lair of Khorades. Khorades is an astonishing beautiful dark witch, with raven hair and ember eyes. She wears only a loose crow-feathers cape on her naked body! The room, once a hall of meditation, now resembles a raven’s nest. From every dark corner of the room, hundreds of tiny fiery eyes gaze at the adventurers relentlessly.
Khorades will try to seduce and lure any male adventurer into siding with her. She will promise power, wealth and… lust, of course! But at the slightest hint of any offensive action toward her, she will immediately order her DEMONCROWS to attack. After 1 to 6 combat rounds (roll one die), she will join the fight, slashing the adventurers with magically grown raven’s talons.

If the PCs have found the wooden flute in area 2 of the Icy Wastes, they may play it in order to quell the DEMONCROWS. A successful SKILL (Courtesy) roll is necessary in order to play a proper tune. Then the DEMONCROWS will immediately stop cawing and will swiftly return to their nests in the ceiling.

Khorades' talons122233
Demoncrows' talons111223

Khorades’ most deadly power is her bewitching gaze. A PC gazed by Khorades must successfully Test for Luck or remain stunned for one die combat rounds. The fiend may use this power at will but can’t attack in the same turn in which she casts her gaze. Furthermore, if the DEMONCROWS die while Khorades is still alive, she will immediately summon another flock of the foul beasts out of the Tar Pit of Hell.
Remember that a PC wounded by the DEMONCROWS must immediately Test his Luck in order not to be completely surrounded by the flock and be blinded (-3 to Attack Strength) for two combat rounds.

3) Storage room: When the PCs will arrive in this small room, now assigned as a repository, they will witness a treason act. Wynoc has sensed something is going horribly wrong in the whole matter, and he wants to side with Tulsidas no more. So he has decided to steal the Necromancer’s Banner of the Black Moon and flee. This is really a mournful artefact: all the dead of a battle fought under the malign omen of this foul banner will awaken as Undead under the commands of the battle’s winner!
Wynoc will cast Invisibility on himself and then he’ll try to flee. If the party is able to intercept him somehow, he will ask the adventurers to spare his life. Wynoc will gladly exchange the banner with his escape, if the PCs were to spare him. But he may also prove himself wrathful in battle!

Claws and bite122333

First of all, Wynoc will cast Mirror Selves on himself, then he will engage the adventurers in combat. When his STAMINA reaches 3 or lower, he will cast Invisibility on himself once again, in a desperate last run. Wynoc has no treasure with him, but the grisly artefact itself. Needless to say, the best thing to do with the banner is to burn it.

4) Hall of the Wizard Priest: This dank room was once elegant and bucolic. A strange circular bronze basin, gnawed by rust, stands in the middle of the room, magically levitating from the ground. A stone fountain, resembling a wistful boy, still gently pours fresh water that drips into a crack in the floor. Two bowls of different sizes stand on a bronze corbel. After some minutes the PCs enter the room, the ghost of its last denizen, the Wizard Priest Aerna, will appear. He will talk to the PCs in a distant, yet commanding voice enriched by dull echoes. The ghost of Aerna will ask the PCs a riddle:

The fountain

«To prove yourselves worthy of my advice, you must fill the Sacred Basin with exactly four litres of water, not a drop more, nor a drop less. You may draw as much water as you need from the fountain, but you wont’ have a four-litres bowl. Only a three-litres and a five-litres one. It’s up to you to find the right solution.»

The solution is as it follows: fill the five-litres bowl, then pour the water in the three-litres bowl until it fills. Now you have 2 litres of water in the bigger bowl. Empty the smaller bowl. Then pour again the content of the five-litres bowl in the three-litres one, which will now contain two litres of water. Fill again the five-litres bowl and pour its content in the three-litres bowl until it fills with the last litre-capacity it has. Now you have exactly four litres of water in the five-litres bowl, that can be poured into the bronze basin.
The adventurers may try experimenting with the bowls as many times as they wish. But once they’ll pour the water in the basin the answer will be considered as given. If they can’t find the solution, or if they attack the ghost, Aerna will turn into an enraged WRAITH and will assault the party.

Claws and bite112344

The WRAITH may be wounded only by magical or silver weapons or by sheer magic.
If the adventurers respond correctly, the ghost will open the secret passage to area 5 and then it will disappear forever.
If they anger the ghost and kill him, they will never be able to enter area 5, so the Storyteller may want to be collaborative with the PCs regarding the riddle’s solution, if he finds them in worry.

5) Shrine of the Elven God: This ancestral shrine is entirely carved from a huge, single, pure emerald crystal! A golden circle, engraved in the middle of the floor, glows with faint golden light. Just inside the circle, three objects are clearly visible: a crystal key, a bronze cap and a silvery sword.

  • A crystal key, which opens the door to area 7
  • The Harlequin’s Crest, a cap made of antique bronze and embroidered with rainbow-coloured precious stones, which grants 1 point of armour against any damage from magical source (note that magical weapons’ damage counts as normal damage in this respect)
  • An elven silver sword

The adventurers may take with them all the items they wish to: this is their deserved reward for their cunning!

The elven silver sword

6) The Room of Dust: When the PCs enter this room, they will find completely covered with a fine cinder-like dust. These are, in fact, the ashes of dozens of Undead who were destroyed by the powerful magic of the mirror hanging on the opposite wall. There’s a shovel leaning against a wall, used by the last squad of Undead sent here in order to investigate, before they were incinerated too!
The magic of the mirror activates whenever someone stares into it. The mirror will explode in a mighty shower of blinding-light meteors that will bathe the entire room, destroying all kind of Undead. On the PCs the meteor shower will have a random effect the Storyteller determines by rolling one die:

1DMagical light's effect
1Nothing happens.
2The holy light blesses the adventurer restoring his STAMINA to its Initial level
3The character’s eyes and hair are forever turned to a crystalline nuance of amethyst
4The character must successfully Test his Luck or be blinded for 1 to 6 hours (roll one die)
5The adventurer suffers the loss of one SKILL point
6The adventurer must Test for Luck; on an unsuccessful roll, the character will be instantly incinerated!

Elven characters will be unaffected at all by the light.

The Room of dust

If the PCs search the room with the aid of the shovel, they will find a small leather pouch containing one Tricky Gold Crown. A Languages & Lore spell will reveal the artefact’s power: whenever the coin is flipped it will always face tails. But, if examined, the Tricky Crown will appear normal in all regards!

7) The Staff's chamber: The access to this room is prohibited by a huge crystal slab. There’s a complex mechanism which lets the slab slide away. The mechanism can only be activated in two ways. If the PCs have the crystal key of area 5, the slab will gently slide away as the party approaches. Otherwise the adventurers must solve the numeric enigma which is carved on the slab, just under a golden dial set in the crystal.

The slab's enigma

The solution to the enigma can be found by determining the total number of triangles contained in the design and turning the dial’s pointer to the same number. The total number of triangles in the figure is 13.
Quite obviously, Tulsidas has already solved the riddle and entered the room.
The party will find him climbing the stairs of the massive stone dais at the centre of this huge hexagonal room. Tulsidas has almost reached the last step to the top of the dais and to the Staff of Hamaskar, which rests on a bracket surrounded by a magical mist of light. In order to avoid that Tulsidas takes the staff, the PCs must halt his stride by casting magic spells while the PCs skilled in combat climb the stairs to engage him in direct confrontation. Otherwise, Tulsidas will take the staff and will use it effectively against the adventurers!

If the carrier DEMONCROW of the Icy Wastes’ area 2 has escaped during the adventurers’ attack to Torc’s encampment, then the PCs will find Tulsidas has already seized the Staff of Hamaskar.


The undead Necromancer has tapped the darkest powers of the Three Beggars astral conjunction, granting himself that his STAMINA will regenerate at the rate of 2 points per combat round while Khorades, Torc and Wynoc are still alive.
Tulsidas fights with his obsidian cursed dagger Nadzag. The dagger bestows on him a +1 bonus to his SKILL and Attacks scores - both already considered in his Statistics - and to the Damage dealt. Every combat round the Storyteller rolls a die to determine the attack Tulsidas will choose for that turn.

1DTulsidas' attack
1Dagger attack.
2Grip of the Grave, a spell which causes the loss of 1 Initial SKILL point; the black energy bolt may be avoided if the PC succeeds in Testing his Skill (Athletics)
3Dagger attack
4Vampire Touch, a chilling touch which drains one dice STAMINA points from the victim and adds the same amount to Tulsidas’s STAMINA score; in all other respects, it takes place as a normal attack
5Dagger attack
6Blindness, a spell which blinds the victim for one die rounds; the spell may be resisted if the PC successfully Tests his Luck

Tulsidas will die in a thunderstorm of dark energies, as the wretched souls imprisoned in the rotting bodies of his undead legion are freed at last! Any surviving minion of the Necromancer will hastily flee, never to be seen again in Hellwinter. A Languages & Lore spell will reveal the legendary lore about the Staff of Hamaskar and Nadzag.

Staff of Hamaskar
Staff + 1 Initial MAGIC, free Light spell, Indestructible
This wonderful Staff comes with a bane: no other weapon, whether magical or mundane, may be ever used nor carried by the Staff’s wielder. The Staff of Hamaskar is said to be the only key that can open the magically sealed doors to the legendary Library of Skelo.

Dagger + 1 SKILL, +1 Attacks, +1 Damage
Forged in the hellish Pits of Zagora, this Obsidian Dagger bestows many magical gifts on its owner. But on the seventh day from its first use, its wielder will become a sentient Undead! Such was the sad fate of Tulsidas himself...

On their return home, the party will be escorted by the Kerrang the Direful if he has been befriended by the adventurers. Our heroes should inform Sir Grayson of their noble deeds. He will be honoured to offer them the investiture as Knights of Hellwinter, during a grand ball in Tyntern where all the nobility of Baron Bedivére Grayson’s Feud will be invited. They will receive from the Baron’s hands the surcoats emblazoned with the Black Dragon: the bygone coat-of-arms of Hellwinter. Grayson will grant our heroes the right to rule the lands of Hellwinter and to collect some small taxes from the village of Gallows End (no more than 15 Gold Crowns a month in the overall) as a generous, yet fair, sustain for the Knights who so valiantly protect the folk. Besides, at the act of their investiture Sir Grayson will let the adventurers choose to be gifted with a war horse and a lance or a knightly armour (DE:3 - HI:2 - RE: 30). Last but not least, the Storyteller may award each player 2 Experience points, plus another one if they have allied with Kerrang the Direful.

Furthermore, the adventurers’ knightly deeds have drawn the benevolent attention of the elusive High White Elves of Kiryel Than...

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