Wednesday, November 03, 2010

One Page Plot: The Icon of Golden Reverie...

Good Morning, All:

Here's another One Page Plot, this one quite linear in implementation. Sadly, given the random plot seed I started with, there wasn't much room for a more open plot structure. Still, it should make for a few entertaining evenings, one would think.

Title: The Icon of Golden Reverie

Synopsis: The party must retrieve a lost work of art from a remote location, in competition with a religious zealot.

Adversaries: Shimmering Mind of the Piercing Scepter is a zealous servant of a Midnight Lord, an undead necromancer with dreams of animating a dead god and imbuing itself with its divine spark. A talented spellsword, Shimmering Mind went insane long ago by extensive exposure to the corrupting taint of a dead god's blood, and is devoted to gathering the power of the dead god so that the Midnight Lord may be reborn as the heir to the god's divine power. Shimmering Mind's immediate goal is the recovery of the Icon of Golden Reverie, which is said to be forged from godflesh given freely before the death of the fallen goddess. His ultimate goal, however, is to see the dead god rise once again (whether in the form of the Midnight Lord or otherwise), and become of the greatest of its worshipers. Shimmering Mind prefers the devastation of fire-based magic over that of others, and has a magic sword that grants him protection from fire-based attacks.

Other NPCs: Scholar-Magus Oleandros is a sage who believes he has discovered the location of the Shrine of Inscrutable Mists. Given that the shrine is located in an isolated region atop a lofty mountain peak, Magus Oleandros seeks the service of professional explorers to retrieve the Icon of Golden Reverie, which is said to lie within the shrine.

Locales: The Shrine of Inscrutable Mists is located high atop Chimera's Peak. Given the region's significance to the fallen goddess known as the Lady of Woes, the slopes team with aberrant lifeforms twisted by the presence of the goddess's ichor. The Shrine itself is protected by a Sovereign Orb, which is perhaps one of the goddess's own eyes.

Plot Hooks: The party may become involved in this plot through a number of means:

* The party may be hired by the Scholar-Magus Oleandros to retrieve the Icon of Golden Reverie from the Shrine of Inscrutable Mists.

* The party may discover a small group of burnt and charred corpses. Searching the bodies uncovers a letter from Oleandros explaining the quest to the adventurers that had since become the victims of Shimmering Mind, and providing a map to the Shrine and description of the Icon.

* The party could uncover references to the Shrine and Icon in an ancient tome found in a reference library affiliated with a Midnight Lord or located within the Madlands.

Basic Outline: This adventure is fairly linear, as far as adventures go. Once the party discovers the existence of the Icon and the location of the Shrine, this adventure only becomes active once they start off into the wilderness in search of Chimera's Peak.

In addition to the usual wilderness encounters, the party will discover signs that another adventurer is traveling in the same direction, and has control over powerful fire-based magic.

At the base of the mountain, the party will need to deal with, or bypass, a tribe of Chimera-herding savages that stalk the area. These savages view the mountain as sacred territory, and do their best to prevent others from trespassing.

In addition to chimeras, numerous aberrations and other divinely warped creatures inhabit the slopes of Chimera's Peak, causing problems for those that make their way up the mountain side.

The peak is shrouded in clouds and mist, and the shrine is difficult to find. When the party arrives, Shimmering Mind is there in meditation before the Shrine. He will not enter until he has recited a lengthy mantra that requires the better part of a day in meditation. The party may enter with him, or travel in alone. Although a zealous dedicant, Shimmering Mind does not appear more unstable than any other worshiper of a fallen god under most circumstances.

The shrine itself is a small complex of four or five rooms, the innermost of which contains a Sovereign Orb, which Shimmering Mind will regard as the eye of the fallen goddess. He will attempt to gain the Icon through persuasion, and only resort to subdual strikes against the Orb if persuasion fails and combat ensues. If the party prematurely initiates combat in the presence of Shimmering Mind, he will defend the Orb first, then resume his efforts to persuade it to relinquish the Icon.

The return trip from the Shrine to civilization offers little new that wasn't encountered previously on the trip to the Shrine.

Complications: The party may encounter a number of complications over the course of this adventure:

* Shimmering Mind is a warped and twisted soul whose fanaticism may not be readily apparent, but may cause complications as events unfold.

* The Chimera Herders are vigilant against trespassers onto the sacred ground of Chimera's Peak.

* The Sovereign Orb is the final guardian of the Icon of Golden Reverie, and does not respond well when attacked.

Rewards: The Icon of Golden Reverie is made from the flesh of a fallen goddess, gilded by gold leaf. It bears an unusual dweomer that grants its bearer mystical insight into the dreams and desires of others, and even a limited ability to read thoughts. With proper control, the Icon can even cause confusion.


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