UAC Scientists have discovered a strange artifact on the surface of Phobos. They wish to transport it to an 'off-the-radar' base above Saturn's moon, Titan, but fear that space pirates may have gained intel on the artifact. Additional protection is needed; this is where you come in!
A Cosmic Era, Event Horizon/Doom-influenced Plot, for the optional Occult Brotherhood quest.
Lazarus Lightward waits in the town of Lockmour - he desires the Whitebone tomes to study demons and learn their weaknesses. Will the party help him out?
Lavish glade and lush green field,
Wizen'd oaks; to the blight all yield.
Weeping trees of crimson blood,
the Fields of Flesh turn life to mud.
Will you tread and smile and sleep
where devils dance and angels weep?
The tough, hardy adventurers equip up and go out to kill a pack of goblins terrorising the city. Of course, they succeed without trouble and make their way back but their first encounter with a guard patrol on the way back, tells them something is not right…
When the characters approach a clearing in the forest, they will see 4 ogres who are guarding, and preventing from escape, 4 human males, and 3 human females. The ogres will see the party and leap to attack. The females will scream "OUR SAVIORS!!" and run screaming straight across the currently forming battlefield, in between ogres and party members, to hide behind the rearmost party members. They will be safe there. The males will try to skirt the battle to the north side to join the women.
To the south, giants will be hiding in the thick underbrush until the party has engaged the ogres and then attack the most opportune target EXCEPT the ones that the females are next to.
It should be noted that the female commoners are not female commoners at all, nor are the male commoners actually male commoners. The female commoners are the hags, who have polymorphed themselves as the commoners in their stewpot to escape detection. The males skirting the battle are actually MORE ogres, the hags were in the process of polymorphing ALL the ogres into regular humans for ambush purposes. The REAL commoners are already dead, having found their way into the coven's cauldron for dinner.
The hags (the women) will position themselves near to any spellcasters in the rear first, and then near anyone else in the back of the fight. The ogres (the men) will wait until the hags shift form, and then attack first the rear folks, then shift into the melee.
It is possible that the characters, as they approach the ogres, will notice the giants in the bush, and be able to warn the others of the ambush.
GAME NOTES: If you sell the screaming women correctly, they will not even be suspected until it is too late. Therein lay the problem. This encounter is ESPECIALLY deadly to the rear eschelon of the party. It is entirely possible that the hags will finish off half the party before they even realize they have been duped. Caution is required if the game master wishes to avoid a TPK(total party kill).