[Adventure] Secrets of Noctis Labyrinthus AP

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[Adventure] Secrets of Noctis Labyrinthus AP

Postby Chimpman » Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:51 am

I had a bout of inspiration hit me over the past several days and started working on the outline for the first Mystara 2300BC adventure path. For inspiration I've been drawing from the following threads (among others I'm sure):
World of Mystara 2300 BC
Outer World: Taymora 2300 BC, 24 miles per hex
[Mystaraspace] Map of M-Mars
Working towards a 4E Adventure Path

So without further ado, here is

BCAP 1: Secrets of Noctis Labyrinthus Adventure Path
The Secrets of Noctis Labyrinthus Adventure Path will take player characters on a journey across the ancient land of Taymora and beyond. During their struggles with the vampire queen Nashane, ruler of the city state of Tycur, the PCs will discover that an even darker storm is brewing - a storm that stretches all the way to the Red Planet itself!

BCAP 1-1: Secrets of Noctis Labyrinthus - In Sheep's Clothing
BCAP 1-2: Secrets of Noctis Labyrinthus - Royal Blood
BCAP 1-3: Secrets of Noctis Labyrinthus - Stormclouds Breaking
BCAP 1-4: Secrets of Noctis Labyrinthus - Red Planet

Of course everything that is presented here so far is only a rough overview, and I'm hoping that with community input we can create something fun and playable - so please contribute!
Last edited by Chimpman on Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:39 pm, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: [Mystara 2300BC] Secrets of Noctis Labyrinthus AP

Postby Chimpman » Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:55 am

BCAP 1-1: Secrets of Noctis Labyrinthus - In Sheep's Clothing

Adventure Synopsis:
The folk of Pseiros are being terrorized by a horrifying series of events, and the PCs get caught up in the midst of them. Villagers disappear at night, some never to be seen again, while others are found savaged on the edge of the forest. Whatever the cause of these mishaps, one thing is certain... Kitada, a prominent villager, lies at the center of them. The PCs must stop him before more innocents are harmed.

When the relief that Queen Nashane sends fails to arrive, the PCs must travel through the dark forests of Taymora to discover the reason. By the time they stumble on the lone survivor of the expedition, the minotaur Yidara, he is fighting for his life. To save the village the PCs must save this fierce warrior from a fate worse than death.

With clues provided by Yidara, the PCs make their way toward Fort Noctis, where an insidious cult plots the conquest of all of Taymora. If the PCs can not put an end to their schemes, this cult will overrun the nation with their Children of the Night.

Encounters:

Terror at Night
While Pseiros fall nominally under the protection of Queen Nashane of Tycur, its rich resources make it a tempting target for many southern kings. Unknown to all Kitada, a prominent villager, is secretly working for a cabal of the southern kingdoms. He has been infecting his competitors with a terrifying disease that transforms people into unthinking bestial forms when the sun sets. The PCs must stop his wickedness before it is too late.

Horned Champion
Word has reached Nashane that something is threatening her holdings in Pseiros and she has sent some of here elite warriors to investigate. However, when none of them reach the village, the PCs are sent out to determine why. The PCs must save the minotaur Yidara from a grisly fate and gain his trust in order to locate the real threat to Pseiros.

Fort Noctis
The PCs track the beast plague down to Fort Noctis at the mouth of the Noctis Labyrinthus, where a cabal of Taymoran lords meets in an effort to create a servant race that they can control through force of will alone. So far their experiments haven't yielded the results that they desire, for most of the creatures created are too bestial to be controlled. The PCs will have to navigate the dangers of the fort to put an end to this plague.

Factions:

Village folk of Pseiros
The folk of Pseiros populate a boom town on the Taymoran frontier and many can see wealth and prosperity within their grasps. Outside pressures from two directions weigh heavily on the minds of most villagers. Soon they must decide if they will submit themselves to Nashane's rule or ally with the free city of Solaclea in opposing her rule.

Southern Coalition
Although the vampiric rulers of Taymora seldom work together, a few causes are important enough to warrant their cooperation. A handful of southern lords have been working to develop a strain of lycanthropy that will allow them to dominate their subjects through force of will. They have decided to test their theories on the village of Pseiros, figuring that if their experiments work they will have gained a valuable territory in the process (and deprived Nashane of the same).

Queen Nashane
Nashane has ruled over Tycur and the surrounding territories for nearly a hundred years. Although she and her vampire court rarely leave the confines of the city, she has many powerful minions and allies to do her bidding. Unfortunately her wealth and power have made her a target of her contemporaries and Nashane sees plots against her in every quarter, many of them real.

Conclusion:
The end of this adventure should bring some level of respite for the people of Pseiros, however the PCs should be left with a feeling of unresolved matters. What the cult's ultimate plans were may still be unknown, but it should be clear that more than one of the Taymoran noble families are working together towards some sinister goal.

The Village of Pseiros should become a familiar place to the PCs, and the people that they meet should become dear friends and bitter rivals. Later on in this adventure path, based on the PCs own actions, Pseiros may become a rallying point for Taymoran rebels or a hotbed of noble intrigue.

Design Notes:
This adventure is designed to introduce PCs to the Mystara 2300 BC setting and rural Taymora. The village of Pseiros should act as a good low level entry point into the culture - providing details about Taymoran society without the pressures of a big city (and the undead that might bring with it). Because Pseiros is also in the Taymoran borderlands it is a good opportunity to showcase the wilder areas of this country.

This adventure should also begin to lay the groundwork for the liberation of the Taymoran populace from their vampiric overlords. Even though at this point the vampire Nashane and her court are far away, their influence should still be felt. It will also reveal that the vampire lords have something sinister in store for their subjects - experiments leading to Mythic Lycanthropy giving vampires the ability to control the very minds of their subjects.

Noctis Labyrinthus is a terrifying location that the characters hsould hear plenty of rumors about, but that none of them should have ever visited. They will get the chance to do so at the end of this adventure, however they will only experience the outermost portions of this land feature. It should be quite clear to them that if they go further in at this point in their careers, they will never come back out.

At its heart this adventure should also be a wilderness adventure, in contrast to the next adventure in this path which will focus much more heavily on city life and more civilized areas of Taymora.
Last edited by Chimpman on Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [Mystara 2300BC] Secrets of Noctis Labyrinthus AP

Postby Chimpman » Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:39 am

BCAP 1-2: Secrets of Noctis Labyrinthus - Royal Blood

Adventure Synopsis:
A shipment from the city state of Tycur has gone missing while under the direct protection of Nashane's elite guards, and the queen has reason to believe that it has been secreted away in the Noctis Labyrinthus. Unknown to most, the shipment contains several vials of the vampire queen's own blood and was to be used in the creation of a bestial servitor race. Now her own handmaiden has betrayed her, intent on gaining vampiric immortality for herself, and Nashane sends the PCs to track her down.

The PCs must brave the dangers of Noctis Labyrinthus and recover Queen Nashane's prize from her once loyal servant, the minotaur Puradnh. Once the vials have been recovered the PCs encounter a group of Taymoran Freedom fighters from the free city state of Soleclea. They will try to convince the PCs that the vials must be sanctified and disposed of properly at the Shrine of Ixion.

Regardless of whether the PCs decide to destroy the vials, or to return them to their rightful owner, Queen Nashane is loath to let them live. They will have to battle for their lives against some of her most trusted servants in order to escape.

Encounters:

Herald of Tycur
Responding to a summons to Tycur, the PCs must journey to that city and meet with servants of Queen Nashane. They explain to the PCs that the Queen has heard of their exploits and has a task she thinks they might be suited for. The streets of Tycur are dangerous though, and the PCs find themselves confronted by a group of minotaurs who don't want them to set out on their quest.

Ruins of Noctis
Queen Nashane sent an elite force to take control of Fort Noctis, but she hasn't heard from them since. To make matters worse, they were guarding an valuable prize there and the Queen wants it back. The PCs must brave the denizens of the Labyrinthus, both native and newcomer alike, in order to seize their prize. Unknown to them, the minotaur Puradnh has betrayed her former master and already has plans in store for her ill gotten gains.

Shrine of Ixion
The PCs must pass the trials set to them by the priesthood of Ixion in order to prove their worthiness. Should they fail, the consequences could be dire, but should they succeed they will walk away with a powerful weapon with which to combat the vampire lords of Taymora.

Nashane's Minions
Whether it is to recover Nashane's vials, or to punish the PCs for destroying them, the vampire queen's minions will attack them. No quarter is asked for and none is given in this fight, but if the PCs have already helped Ixion's priesthood they should have a powerful weapon with which to face their foes.

Factions:

Tycur Minotaurs
Once the elite guards of Queen Nashane, the minotaurs have since seen their own chance to grab power and subsequently betrayed their former mistress. These creatures have become obsessed with the Noctis Labyrinthus and all of the secrets that it holds.

Soleclea
The city of Solelclea threw off the bonds of its vampiric overlord decades ago, and now stands as a shining beacon to the rest of Taymora and a testament to what life free of oppression can be like. They didn't get where they are by being soft however, for the Solecleans believe in spreading their own political ideals by force if necessary. Tycur is their next target, and after that city has been freed the Solecleans hope to enlist its inhabitants and push further south.

Priesthood of Ixion
Although the priesthood of Ixion is considered by most to be an extension of Soleclea itself, they do in fact have distinctly separate goals. Their main concern is the destruction of vampires in general, and the replacement of Nyx and her dark pantheon with their own patron Ixion.

Conclusion:
Whether the PCs return the vials of blood to Queen Nashane or not, they will have earned her ire and made a powerful enemy. In addition, many of Puradnh's lieutenants escaped deeper into the Labyrintha with a few stolen vials of Nashane's blood. They may come back to haunt the PCs at a later date.

Both Soleclea and the priesthood of Ixion will insinuate themselves into the daily lives of the folk of Pseiros, bringing them a peace they have never known, but also making them a target for all the nobles of Taymora. The PCs may have to increase their efforts to keep that village safe and allow it to grow into the thriving town it is destined to be.

Design Notes:
As opposed the previous adventure, this one is designed to showcase civilized Taymora using the city of Tycur as its centerpiece. Tycur has been under the rule of the vampire queen, Nashane for decades (since she usurped power from her former mistress), and although Nashane shouldn't play a direct role in this adventure, her influence should be felt.

This adventure will also introduce the city of Soleclea - a Taymoran city that has already managed to throw off the shackles of its vampiric rulers. Soleclea can also serve as a counterpoint to Tycur, showing the differences between a Taymor ruled by the undead, and one ruled by the living. Soleclea will also provide the PCs with willing allies in their fight against the vampires in later adventures, and the priesthood of Ixion will provide them with a weapon to use in their struggles. Soleclea is not free from outside threats however, because it is very close to Inti territory.

Nashane's guard of minotaur warriors has been corrupted by Puradnh by this point, and she has sent several of them back to Tycur in order to stop the PCs. This might be a good point for them to interact again with Yidara - perhaps he can give them a warning of sorts, or perhaps he may even join their cause. During the battle with Puradnh, Yidara should become infected with vampire blood and flee further into the labyrinth.
Last edited by Chimpman on Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [Mystara 2300BC] Secrets of Noctis Labyrinthus AP

Postby JohnBiles » Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:54 am

Looks pretty cool so far.
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Re: [Mystara 2300BC] Secrets of Noctis Labyrinthus AP

Postby Chimpman » Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:23 pm

JohnBiles wrote:Looks pretty cool so far.

Thanks John! I had a lot of fun working on the Barimoor AP and though I'd give something similar a try. Hopefully something good will come of it.
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Re: [Mystara 2300BC] Secrets of Noctis Labyrinthus AP

Postby Chimpman » Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:25 pm

BCAP 1-3: Secrets of Noctis Labyrinthus - Stormclouds Breaking

Adventure Synopsis:
Queen Nashane has learned of the PCs efforts against her and has vowed to destroy them before they can do the same to her. The PCs must prevent the destruction of a new shrine being consecrated to Ixionin the village of Pseiros. Clues that they find at the site of the attack all point to Queen Nashane who is jealous of their new found fame and glory and terrified that Solaclea might free the Taymorans under her rule.

In order to assault the queen's stronghold however, the PCs must venture forth to foreign lands and gather what allies they can, be they mercenaries or true friends. From there they will storm the walls of Tycur and destroy the Tower of Night, preventing Queen Nashan's escape. Only then will the confront the vampire queen in her own sanctuary.

But not all is as it seems. Though it is true that Nashane would much rather see the PCs dead than alive, she is not the architect behind these plots. From deep within the Noctis Labyrinthus an old friend devises a coup of his own.

Encounters:

The Sun Drenched Shrine
A new shrine to Ixion is being dedicated in the village of Pseiros, but this happy event is soon to be overshadowed when bizarre creatures attempt to destroy the village. All clues found point to Queen Nashane as the instigator, but this is actually false. Yidara suspects that Nashane could exert control over him if he ever set foot on Mystara, and so wants her out of the way. He is secretly enlisting the PCs to do this for him.

Gathering Allies
The list of Taymora's friends are few and far between, for many despise and fear the rule of the vampire lords, however the PCs will have to gather allies if they are to succeed against the vampire queen, Nashane. This can be an excuse to showcase some of the other nations and cultures of the time period. Dwarves from the Shimmering Lands, lizardfolk from Mogreth, agents of Adhuza, etc...

Clouds Over Tycur
Much of the success will depend on finding and destroying the artifact that creates perpetual darkness over the city. These dark clouds emanate from the Tower of Night at the center of the city, and once they have been eliminated, Nashane's movement will be severely restricted.

Nashane's Stronghold
In order to insure that Pseiros remains safe the PCs realize that Nashane must be dealt with and removed from power. Using the power of the artifact they found earlier, they must assault her stronghold and destroy Nashane for good.

Factions:

Clergy of Nyx
Nashane is the head of Nyx's clergy in the city of Tycur, but the religious order is far older and strictly speaking does not answer directly to her in matters of the faith. Nyx's church is matriarchal, and was one of the leading contributors advocating vampirism as a means to combat the dreaded Wasting disease. As the disease has declined since the Great Rain of Fire the clergy has begun to loose ground with the general populace - although the vampiric lords now ruling over Taymora still pay them lip service.

Elven Merchants
The elves have always had good relationships with the Taymorans. Many cities contain some small elven conclave made up of forerunners in Ilsundal's migration. Although not numerous, the trade that the elves conducts makes them very wealthy and powerful individuals. Some may decide to help in exchange for concessions allowing elves to form permanent autonomous settlements in the area. These elves may be the ancestors of those who eventually colonize Colhador. The elves are distrustful of Adhuza and will not work with them in any way.

Dwarven Mercenaries
Folk of the Shimmering Lands are generally not welcome visitors in Taymore due to their unsavory reputation and deviant practices. These dwarves are outcasts of their own people, and mercenary to the core. They are tolerated by the Taymorans only because of their usefulness and have actually made a decent living in the area. The dwarves hate the elves, but will work with almost anyone else.

Adhuzan Agents
The Adhuzan Dominarchy has a strained relationship with Taymora. Often times they will trade with one another as much as they fight. The Adhuzans are represented by Oltecs, phanatons, and aranea from the Isle of Dread, as well as minotaurs and dwarves from Davania, and portions of Skothar and Brun. Although helpful at first, any aid given by the Adhuzans comes with heavy strings attached, and will most likely end up being detrimental to a free Taymora cause.

Mogreth Spies
Lizardfolk are not usually welcome in Taymora, but the folk of Mogreth still maintain eyes and ears in the heart of their enemy's territory. Many are saboteurs and instigators of social unrest, as Mogreth rarely passes by an opportunity to cause Taymora discomfort. If they can be found, the spies of Mogreth may go a long way in helping to overthrow Nashane, however like Adhuza the long term repercussions may be detrimental to say the least.

Conclusion:
With Queen Nashane's rule toppled, the PCs can help rebuild northern Taymora in their own vision. Not all will accept such changes however. Southern vampire lords will surely try to seize power for themselves, and the city of Soleclea may try to claim dominion over Tycur as well.

In addition, the allies that the PCs choose to help them overthrow Nashane will have long term repercussions for the future of the city, and perhaps for this region of Taymora as well. Working with Adhuzans will allow the Dominarchy to insinuate its puppets into the new government, and if the public ever found out the PCs worked with Mogreth they would be the next on the chopping block. The dwarves of the Shimmering Lands are unsavory, but will probably impact Taymora the least. Of all potential allies, only the elves can be considered to be friendly to Taymorans, however working with them will mean an increased elven presence in the area.

Design Notes:
Like the last adventure, this one is again set mostly in the city of Tycur, however now the PCs should be familiar with that place and comfortable enough to get around it. Unlike the other adventures the PCs will spend a good amount of time exploring their world for allies against Queen Nashane. Some kind of mechanic should be developed to see how gathering each ally may help in the final battles of the adventure. The allies shouldn't interact directly at this point (that will come in the next adventure), but having them or not should affect the outcome of various encounters.

This adventure can also be an excuse to showcase some of the other nations and cultures of the time period. Dwarven mercenaries from the Shimmering Lands, lizardfolk spies from Mogreth, agents of Adhuza, etc... Gathering these allies will be more of a political intrigue type adventure although combat may ensue under certain circumstances. Those allies that are gathered may also have an impact in how the city is run (and ruled) after Nashane is overthrown.

The final battles will be more of a dungeon crawl, as the PCs navigate their way through the inner sanctum of the Tycur palace.
Last edited by Chimpman on Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [Mystara 2300BC] Secrets of Noctis Labyrinthus AP

Postby Chimpman » Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:17 pm

BCAP 1-4: Secrets of Noctis Labyrinthus - Red Planet

Adventure Synopsis:
Even as the city of Tycur is adjusting to its new power structure, a new threat appears from the depths of Noctis Labyrinthus. The PCs must gather their forces and meet an invading army of monsters from beyond this world or risk loosing the city of Tycur and surrounding territory to the despotic vampiric minotaur, Yidara. The allies and enemies that the PCs made while overthrowing Nashane will all play a part in how the battle unfolds.

Now aware of the real threat to Taymora, the PCs must solve the puzzles of the Noctis Labyrinthus in order to confront their deadliest rival and one time friend, Yidara. With their armies left behind them, the PCs will journey into the very deepest sections of the labyrinth in order to solve the puzzles within. Each mystery that they reveal brings them one step closer to their goal, and one step farther from the planet they call home.

Finally the PCs will emerge on the other side of the Noctis Labyrinthus, an enormous structure that exists on the planet Vaniae. There they will have to face all of the dangers that the red planet has to offer in order to find Yidara and put an end to his corruption. Yidara is not the only threat to their homelands however. An ancient native menace has taken note of all of the recent activity in the Noctis Labyrinthus and the PCs must race home and close the gate before it can follow them.

Encounters:

Holding the Pass
The PCs must convince their new found allies to meet a new menace issuing forth from the Noctis Labyrinthus before it threatens to overrun the entire region. The coffers of Tycur's treasury are now open to them, but they must decide wisely how much to spend in order to keep their new freedom intact.

Noctis Labyrinthus
Negotiating the layers of Noctis Labyrinthus is a deadly affair, but somewhere in its depths the minotaur Yidara has made his stronghold. Traversing the labyrinth is more than just a matter of traveling distances however. Its puzzles must be solved before it will deliver travelers to their desired destinations. After besting the best that the labyrinth has to offer the PCs will find that the maze has left them somewhere they least expected - far from Mystara on the surface of an alien world.

Vaniae
Visible in most night skies, the Red Planet has long been looked to by warriors and soldiers alike - a symbol of martial prowess and fortitude. Now the PCs stand on its very surface and must come face to face with the corrupted Yidara. Defeating the vampiric minotaur will tax the PCs to their limits, and returning home may be just as perilous.

Sealing the Gate
To end the threat from the Red Planet, the PCs must seal the gateway of Noctis Labyrinthus behind them. Unknown to them something ancient follows them back through the portal. Trapped on Vaniae for centuries, this horror from across the galaxy must not be allowed to enter their homeland.

Factions:

Vaniae Minotaurs
The few minotaurs that managed to escape the PCs wrath in previous encounters have made their way to Vaniae. Many of them succumbed to Yidara's depredations and have since become vampires. Of these the PCs will face a few, but the others will survive to form the nation of Noctauris on Vaniae in the subsequent centuries.

Vaniae Natives
These creatures range from earth elementals to the Sandfolk. Small populations of them have been subjugated by Yidara, either by threat and force or with the promise of power and of colonizing new lands.

Ancient Horror
This may be the ancient artifact left on Vaniae by the Beagle when it first visited the planet millennia ago. It has many minions, both mundane and powerful, that it can send against the PCs, but at the end it will send one of it's own avatars to deal with them.

Conclusion:
With the dual threats of Nashane and the Noctis Labyrintha both removed, northern Taymora can now prosper once again. The PCs will have to decide how to fill the power gap left by Queen Nashane. Some vampiric lord will be sure to try and take her place, but the PCs may also be able to bring freedom to the area with the help of city Soleclea.

The gateway to Vaniae has been sealed, but not destroyed. For now however, the external threat to Taymora has been ended.

Design Notes:
This adventure is designed to introduce some mass combat into play. PCs will have the chance to lead their allies into battle before moving onto the final confrontation deep in the labyrinth and finally to the red planet. This can play out as several battles in which the PCs are the main combatants, or it can play out using some kind of mass combat rules - or possibly a bit of both.

This adventure should also contain plenty of puzzles to solve within the maze. Each time the party solves a puzzle they are allowed to move further into the labyrinth and therefore closer to their goal of reaching Vaniae. The crossing between planets should be imperceptible to them, but once they have completed all the tests they will be fully on the other planet.
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Re: [Mystara 2300BC] Secrets of Noctis Labyrinthus AP

Postby Chimpman » Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:29 am

I've added some design notes to each entry. Next will be to go back through and develop a few NPCs and villains for each section.
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Re: [Mystara 2300BC] Secrets of Noctis Labyrinthus AP

Postby Havard » Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:43 pm

Impressive work!

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Re: [Mystara 2300BC] Secrets of Noctis Labyrinthus AP

Postby Chimpman » Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:48 pm

Thanks :D - you know this whole thing started back on Vaniae when we were trying to figure out how to get minotaurs to mars ;). Just goes to show how sometimes small ideas can grow into something larger.
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Re: [Mystara 2300BC] Secrets of Noctis Labyrinthus AP

Postby Chimpman » Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:02 pm

BCAP 1-1: Secrets of Noctis Labyrinthus - In Sheep's Clothing
Part I - Terror at Night
While Pseiros fall nominally under the protection of Queen Nashane of Tycur, its rich resources make it a tempting target for many southern kings. Unknown to all Kitaru, a prominent villager, is secretly working for a cabal of the southern kingdoms. She has been infecting her competitors with a terrifying disease that transforms people into unthinking bestial forms when the sun sets. The PCs must stop her wickedness before it is too late.

Village of Pseiros
Ittiush has been using her wealth in the saffron trade to help expand the communal dwellings of the village - starting with her own family's section and moving outward from there (the the barracks - under the providence of her husband Mijara). Meanwhile the grains and nuts that used to be a staple of the area (controlled by Kitaru) have been steadily declining. Portions of the dwellings should be under construction during this adventure.

Pseiros itself houses several hundred villagers, although many of those also have small dwellings near their farmlands. The village is protected by a wooden palisade that is also slowly being converted into a circular stone wall. The lowest sections are already stone, while the higher sections are still made from sharpened logs.

Grainery

Stables

Barracks

Wall

Communal Living Quarters

Shrine to Nyx



Encounters
Warhound Madness
Several of the warhounds kept in the stables break free from their own and go on a rampage inside the city. This event should happen in the early evening. The hounds are being controlled by the vampire watching over Kitaru. He may send them after the PCs once they start getting close to his trail.

Wolf Attack
This event can take place any evening that the PCs are outside the walls of the village. Perhaps they hear the wolves attacking some helpless villagers and rush to rescue them. Regardless, once the PCs arrive all the wolves turn on them. They fight intelligently because they are under the control of the vampire lurking in the village.

Night Stalker
A wolf-like humanoid creeps into the village at night and attacks some helpless villagers. This is one of the people who previously disappeared - they contracted lycanthropy and have been hiding in the forest during the day. The vampire is directing its actions, making the creature attack people who's death would destabilize the area (these also happen to be people who Kitaru despises). The PCs may also encounter the creature in its lair (during the daytime) if they search the wilderness for it.

Transformation
One of the villagers who is infected has been fighting the disease off for several nights. They will transform before the PCs eyes (possibly also in Kitaru's presence). When Kitaru orders the creature to kill the PCs, she is attacked first instead (the vampire sees her as a liability now). She will hold her amulet forth and try to control the creature, but will fail (since the amulet does nothing anyway). Unfortunately once the transformation happens there is no cure. The creature will fight to the death.

Vampire Spawn
The vampire sent to conduct the lycanthropy experiments is always hiding in the background (probably in animal form), whenever the PCs face off with some of its controlled minions (dogs, wolves, or lycanthropes). The PCs may have a chance to spot it, but at this point they are no match for him. Luckily the vampire's orders are not to reveal himself for any reason, so he will always choose to flee an encounter rather than fight.


NPCs
Kitaru - Prominent village woman, and merchant, Kitaru is from one of the founding families of this village. She has become selfish and greedy, but also quite afraid of the influence she sees coming from Tycur. In her desperation to maintain control over the village she has made bargains with the Eastern Lords to help them test out a new form of lycanthropy. She believes that the amulet she wears (given to her by the Coalition) grants her control over the beasts that she creates. In reality one of the vampire lords lurks nearby exerting his own control. This may backfire on her at an opportune moment.

Jadipi - Mostly subservient to his wife Kitara, Jadipi is well traveled and a fair merchant in his own rights. Although he agrees with his wife's opposition of Ittiush, and will back up her claims throughout the early adventure, Jadipi will be horrified to discover the lengths that Kitaru actually goes to (allying with the Eastern Lords). Secretly he is a worshiper of Ixion and a supporter of Soleclea. He may be able to support the PCs later on if he can gain their trust (and avoid being tied to the despicable acts of his wife and run out of town).

Banushti - A woodsman and tracker who comes to the village infrequently to sell pelts and meat, Banushti's visit coincides with some of the latest disappearances. It may be an easy matter for Kitaru to shift blame onto the loner, but he is not responsible. He may be able to provide the PCs with valuable information about the surrounding countryside.

Ittiush - Another prominent woman in the village, Ittiush deals in rare herbs and spices that many of the villages grow nearby. A major competitor with Kitaru, Ittiush has recently allied herself with agents of Queen Nashane from Tycur. She believes that an alliance with that powerful city will help to cement her control in the area. Her younger son has already succumbed to one of the bestial attacks, and Ittiush is looking for revenge.

Mijara - Ittiush's husband and the captain of the guard in Pseiros, Mijara supports his wife both in her political views and in her desire for revenge for the loss of their son. He will be most suspicious of Banushti (and any other outsiders entering the village at this point), and may decide to take matters into his own hands. Mijara is brash and uncouth and most villagers have had a run-in with him at some point in their lives.

Durish - The daughter of Ittiush, Durish is the envy of every woman and the desire of every man in the village. She may become involved with one of the male PCs. At the end of this adventure (or beginning of the next) her mother will send her to Tycur as tribute to Queen Nashane. As a dutiful daughter, Durish goes willingly, in order to please her mother and gain protection for her village. In later adventures she may make a return as a vampire under Nashane's control.
Last edited by Chimpman on Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [Mystara 2300BC] Secrets of Noctis Labyrinthus AP

Postby Chimpman » Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:07 pm

In an effort to keep things manageable I'm going to continue expanding these adventures in separate posts. I'll keep the index up to data in the first post to help folks follow along.

Please feel free to contribute if the mood hits you. I'd like to start developing the Taymoran village of Pseiros. Keep in mind that the Mystara 2300 BC version of Taymora differs in some ways from other fan versions. We're basing this more off of Minoan culture (rather than Sumerian/Babylonian).
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Re: [Mystara 2300BC] Secrets of Noctis Labyrinthus AP

Postby Chimpman » Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:04 pm

BCAP 1-1: Secrets of Noctis Labyrinthus - In Sheep's Clothing
Part II - Horned Champion
Word has reached Nashane that something is threatening her holdings in Pseiros and she has sent some of here elite warriors to investigate. However, when none of them reach the village, the PCs are sent out to determine why. The PCs must save the minotaur Yidara from a grisly fate and gain his trust in order to locate the real threat to Pseiros.

Wilderness Features
Noctis Labyrinthus
This is a series of deep set canyons that crisscross over the landscape south of the XXX Mountains. Cut by ever changing river patterns in the area, the canyons are deep enough in some places that the light of the sun only reaches them at high noon when it is directly overhead. The Labyrinth plays a major role in this adventure path, and will be detailed more fully in later adventures. For now, the PCs will only experience it's outermost perimeter.

Steam Pools
These azure pools dot the landscape. Rimed with multicolored crystaline deposits, the heat from these pools is palpable with steam constantly flitting across their surface. Many of these pools are themselves geysers that spray scalding water into the sky sporadically. On cold days the steam rising from the pools can be enough to create a light fog that clings to the underbrush, making the air damp and travel slow and dangerous.

Forest XXX
Most of the wooded land near Pseiros has been cleared away for agriculture, but the dark forest still lingers around the perimeter. Still wild and deadly, dark and brooding creatures lurk within, waiting for a chance to strike out at those who have destroyed their home.

River XXX Ford
The river slows here as it grows wide enough to safely ford across.

Fort Noctis
Built long ago by an unknown culture, Fort Noctis has stood at the entrance to Noctis Labyrinthus since before the Taymorans migrated into the area hundreds of years ago. Although its ancient walls are crumbling, it is still a formidable structure. Over the years various groups have attempted to occupy it, but none succeed for very long.

Mount Tauris (Volcano)
A sacred place, said to be the resting place of the Great Bull of the Earth. The volcano rumbles and shakes and lets out great gouts of smoke and ash every so often, but lava flows are rare events. Many Taymoran cities lead pilgrimages here once a year during the proscribed times. All those on pilgrimage are considered sacrosanct, and by custom no violence may be don to them during this period. A small group of clerics and mystics maintain the temple here.

Encounters
Soleclean Guerrillas
This small band of freedom fighters led by Anarasab will challenge the PCs as to their loyalties, and may end up becoming either friend or foe. The band is composed of humans and lupins from the westernmost cities. The lupins are all seeking family members who have disappeared from their homes over the past several months (kidnapped to be used in lycanthropy experiments). The guerrillas will be hostile if the party is with Yidara (they have already had one run-in with the Night Horns) or shows any open support to one of the local vampire lords.

Restless Dead
Many mindless undead who happen to escape the control of their masters gravitate together, forming small bands that roam the dark forests intent on causing destruction to whatever living soul is unlucky enough to stumble by. One such band has been dominated again by the vampire spawn now inhabiting Fort Noctis. They will be thrown againts the PCs and their allies as a first line of defense against any interlopers.

Lycanthrope's Den
This small hollow was being used by a pair of lycanthropes (former villagers of Pseiros) during the daytime hours when they would sleep. The PCs should have fought one of the creatures already when it attacked the village, but the other can be found here. In addition to signs of the creatures, the PCs may uncover evidence of their vampiric controller.

Great Bull of the Earth
The PCs experience the volcanic activity in the area - steam vents, earthquakes, etc. This is the great bull trapped beneath the earth. During the minor quake something within the pools is awakened to attack the PCs. This should be some kind of heat loving creature or water/earth elemental of some kind.

Smashed Stone Garden
The PCs stumble upon a "garden" of statues in the middle of the forest. The mad ex-priest Kikesheru has been leading unwary travelers near the den of a gorgon and the beast petrifies them once they come too near. Many of the statues have been smashed and the ground is difficult terrain to move through. Kikesheru often sneaks back after the gorgon goes to sleap and breaks the hands off of the statues. These he keeps in his own abode. This may be the climactic battle of this part of the adventure, with the PCs saving Yidara from the gorgon.

NPCs
Anarasab - A priestess of Ixion, and member of the Soleclean resistance, Anarasab and her small band of warriors have been living in the wilderness near Pseiros for several months fighting a guerrilla war with the Taymoran vampire lords in the area. She has recently joined forces with a group of Lupin from the city of XXX who have come to the area in search of several abducted family members.

Yidara - Yidara is a minotaur and a member of the Night Horns, the elite guards of Queen Nashane of Tycur. He is an honorable warrior and totally devoted to his mistress. When the PCs find him, Yidara is badly wounded. He is the only survivor of an advanced scouting force sent from Tycur to investigate strange goings on at Noctis Labyrinthus.

Paros - A minor noble and vampire spawn from one of the western cities, Paros was sent here by his lord to help oversee the creation of a new servitor race... one suitably controllable through vampiric compulsion. While his masters toil away in Fort Noctis, Paros has been tasked as the first line of defense to insure their safety. He lurks in the surrounding woods, ready to deal with any trespassers that should come by. He has recently gained control of mindless undead gone rogue and will put them to good use in his own defense.

Puradnh - Commander of the Night Horns, Puradnh is considered to be the handmaiden of Queen Nashane. Although more than a competent warrior, Puradnh is somewhat unstable, with her ambition being matched only by her sadism. She is Yidara's commanding officer.

Kikesheru - Unkempt and filthy, Kikesheru is a hermit who worships the Great Bull of the Earth. Rumor has it that at one time he was the High Priest of the Bull residing at Mt. Tauris, but some heresy led to his expulsion from that order. Now he worships the Bull in his own way, luring the unwary into the path of the gorgon who lives nearby.

Mhesshu - This once great saurian warrior was cursed by his own people to walk the endless spans of the earth for the rest of his days. Although he has no great love for the Taymoran people, neither does he love his own. He has spent the past several months investigating the lad near the ruins of Fort Noctis, and if befriended may provide valuable information as to what may be found there. He may have ties to the native lizardfolk populations in the north, as well as to the dwarven mercenaries currently based out of Tycur.

Draigha - A lupin from one of the southwestern city states, Draigha and several of his kin are searching for an abducted loved one. Several lupin villagers have gone missing over that past few months, and Draigha and his lupin companions intend to get to the bottom of the mystery. Their only desire is to bring their loved ones home, whether they be alive or dead.
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Re: [Mystara 2300BC] Secrets of Noctis Labyrinthus AP

Postby Chimpman » Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:45 pm

[Note: This part is not as well fleshed out, especially in the area of the keep, but I figured I should post what I have so far in order to keep my momentum going.]

BCAP 1-1: Secrets of Noctis Labyrinthus - In Sheep's Clothing
Part III - Fort Noctis
The PCs track the beast plague down to Fort Noctis at the mouth of the Noctis Labyrinthus, where a cabal of Taymoran lords meets in an effort to create a servant race that they can control through force of will alone. So far their experiments haven't yielded the results that they desire, for most of the creatures created are too bestial to be controlled. The PCs will have to navigate the dangers of the fort to put an end to this plague.

Fort Noctis was built by an ancient race, long gone even before the Taymorans made their westward trek into the area. Over the subsequent centuries many different factions have found refuge within is crumbling, yet still strong, walls.

Fort Noctis
Outer Keep
Taymorans have know about Fort Noctis since they immigrated into the area nearly two centuries ago, and many bands have occupied the structure for some period of time since then. The outer walls are still strong strong enough to hold back any but the largest of armies, and the keep and other inner structures still stand. Many of these have been partially repaired over the years.

- Gatehouse

- Towers and Wall

- Courtyard

- Old Stables/Aerie (nest) - perhaps the stables were designed for flying creatures? Shaped like a gigantic tree, but made of stone.

Inner Keep
This is the level that the vampires have taken over for their experiments. It needs to be populated with vampires, Taymoran guards, and lycnathropes.

- Map Room - perhaps give some hit here that the labyrinth spans across two worlds? If there is evidence here, it would mean that whoever built the fort knew of this property.

- Armory - converted to sleeping quarters for the vampires during the day?

- Barracks - too bright for the vampires in the daytime, this is used as a holding pen for their experiments.

Deep Levels
Unknown things live here. They could be left overs from a former age, or things that moved in before the vampires.

- Dungeons

- Gate to Noctis Labyrinthus - The fortress holds one (of many) means of entering the labyrinth deep within its dungeons. This entrance lead to a portion of the labyrinth that is partially mapped however, so it might be a good starting point for exploring it further (perhaps in later adventures).

Encounters
Captive Lupins
These creatures are unconscious and strapped down to stone tables. Vials and tubes of liquid are placed all around them and incense burns in the background.

Shackled Villager
This villager is in shackles. He is infected with lycanthropy and is only awaiting nightfall before his final transformation begins. If found before this time, he will plead with the PCs to help him, but there is nothing they can do. Once he transforms he will attack.

Wolfmen
These creatures look like wolves who walk on two legs. They are villagers who have already been transformed by the lycanthropic curse. They are wild and violent, and unless they are being directed by one of their vampiric masters, they will fly into a frenzy (possibly attacking both friend and foe). Several packs of these creatures can be found throughout the vampire controlled sections.

Vampire Minions
Several vampire spawn minions lurk about the buildings, each attending to their own tasks.

Vampire Leader
This minor noble is in charge of the lycanthropic experiments. He will not want anyone to discover his activities here.

Night Spiders
These planar spider variants evolved in the dark reaches of Vaniae's Noctis Labyrinthus region, and have managed to make their way through the passage to Mystara. They are quite mad, and subsequently eager to attack anything they come upon. They should be carrying with them artifacts and treasures that the PCs have never seen before.

Sea Breeze
Some might feel a sea breeze emanating from within Noctis Labyrinthus. This should be a foreshadowing of events to come. Perhaps some winged creature (more often found on the coast) can fly by and attack. Perhaps some other kind of coastal creature will be encountered. Regardless the creatures should appear slightly strange - as if they are not part of this world. They do in fact come from Vaniae.

NPCs
Ariash - The current leader of this group, Ariash was tasked by her own mistress with the dual goals of creating a subservient wolfman army and destabilizing this area.

Widushti - Widushti is obsessed with wolves - their hunting prowess and the terror that brings to travelers in the wild. He has been trying to create a canine servitor race by mixing his blood along with the blood of canine creatures (wolves, lupin, and others) and injecting that into kidnapped villagers. Widushti himself is slightly feral, having already taken his own experimental concoctions.

Nashros - A wily sycophant who prefers to act from the shadows, Nashros is the field agent who has been taking control of lycanthropes in Pseiros once they are created. The PCs may have encountered him briefly in Part I, but should not have fought him directly. Because he has been spying on the PCs for some time now, Nashros will know their tactics very well and may use this knowledge against them.

Iteshara - A thrall of Ariash, Iteshara is a military genius and is in charge of the group's defenses. Rather than focus on this task however, he has been plotting ways to kill his mistress and finally break free from her powers. Should he accomplish this (or should the PCs accomplish this for him) he may set out on his own in an attempt to carve out a kingdom for himself. He would steal as much of the wolfmen research as possible and set up shop elsewhere.

Kubikuru - A master of control and domination, Kubikuru delights in dominating others through the shear force of her will alone. She has been in charge of gathering subjects for the group's experiments from the wild, and is also now testing her powers of control over their new lycanthropic creations. Lately she has been sending a dominated creature out into the wilderness just to test how far her powers can reach. Creatures who escape her control are set loose on the countryside.
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