Because here I can brainstorm and vent my ideas without the need for formatting, rereading and all that nonsense. Here I can be creative, no strings attached.
I do not wish the contents of this thread to be moved without my consent. I will move it when I have the time, which is not very often. Please respect this.
The Curse of Potter-Town
The Guild Master has been approached by a client offering the guild 300 gold for the elimination of the Warlock Deng Arun, master potter of the Guild of Potters. Should be fairly straightforward.
It is not. The Warlock and his four apprentices have been cursed, transforming them into the "Nex Derja, The Apostles of Wrath". The Nex Derja walk hinged, almost on their knuckles, and their once human faces have been impossibly contorted into beastial, snarling visages of hatred and intentions most murderous. The Nex Derja stalk the shadows, climb steep walls, often jumping thrice their own height, whilst whispering empowered words that send listeners into near sleep, or sometimes drive a deep fear into their souls, before they burst from the shadows, tearing at the hapless victim with inhuman strength, their teeth gnawing and gnashing at windpipes, claws rending the skin.
The client knows of this, but has neglected to tell the guild representative this, knowing well that the price would multiply fourfold. This is in violation of the contract, but it would prove difficult to prove anything. Only the Guild Master's client representative has meet the client, and the PCs have never even met him/her (the representative). If questioned by the Guild Master, the representative will say that the client seemed a bit nervous, as if wanting to finish the negotiations early. This enabled the representative to press the prices, hence the huge reward (150 Gold Moons for the Guild, 150 for the assassins).
The Quarter of the Merchants District known as Potter-Town seems oddly quiet. The few people met outside seems to hurry away when the PCs approach, and the first they manage to get in contact with will be a corpse, shred to pieces, horribly so, his legs ripped loose from the abdomen, as has the arms and head. (Nex Derja has done this). As the PCs enter the Potter Guild, the stench will be unbearable, the source quickly revealing itself: tens of torn corpses, half gnawed, fully mutilated. They have entered the Den of the Nex Derja.
The Nature of the Curse
The Guild Master, the Warlock-Potter Deng Arun, was once married to a beautiful woman. Her name was Ajin Enu, and for years all was well. It was the year Deng turned forty that he had an affair, a sexual thing with a young apprentice and soon they were the talk of the guild. As such things are wont to play out, Ajin was the last to hear, and her heart broke. She tried to get Deng to talk, but his lied would not end, and in the end she found love within the arms of another: Maq Xao, a city guard ten years younger than the aging Deng.
Ajin had decided to leave Deng, to flee his abode under the cover of night, but she was found out, perhaps she even wanted to be found out, and sobbing she revealed everything to Deng. What had she hoped for? Perhaps to win back his heart, or to balance out his sins, enabling them to go on, blemished but equal. Perhaps she dreamed of him crying, begging forgivance, begging her to stay, so they could go on with their lives, the love they once had. Yes, perhaps she dreamed of this, but it was not to be.
His heart turned dark with hatred, his thoughts churning, balking in the face of this most treacherous deceit, Deng Arun slammed his elbow into Ajin's nose, instantly breaking it, its sickly crunch heard even outside their room, droplets of blood on the antique wallpaper. Shocked, aghast, Ajin recoiled, but Deng would not relent, already harnessing his sorcerous power, wrapping her soul in ethereal chains. With a silver candlestick he smashed her skull, the left side of the face caving in. Ajin was dead, but her soul could not move on.
Chest heaving, breath heavy and heart pumping, Deng, the Master potter, sat down at the Potter's wheel. Soft clay was shaped into a thin, tapering vase, whereupon her soul was bound to the item. After having baked in the kiln, it was lacquered black. Drink that has been in the vase for more than a day will dishearten any imbiber, filling him with hopelessness, grief and a profound sense of futility.
Maq Xao is the source of the curse, for when Ajin never returned, never came outside to his waiting arms, he realized something horrible had happened. For weeks he fluttered about the building, a relentless phantom, a frantic madman. In the end he learnt of her fate as he overheard apprentice potters whisper about her fate as they left the building.
Despondent, dejected, he cried out as he collapsed by the outer Guild wall. He smashed his head into the stonework, blood soon flowing. As the Guild guards came to remove him, carried him away, he uttered his curse, his voice dead as stone, flat and emotionless. The words were not impressive, but his tone was, for he meant every single word, promising the guilty of the Guild a fate appropriate to their actions.
Solving the assignment
The client, who is not Maq, wants the Guild cleared. As a matter of fact she represents the survivors of the Guild who wants an end to the madness and business started anew. Little does she know that with blood on her hands, she will be responsible for actions such as those committed by her Guild Master. As a member of the Guild she will inherit the curse should the players successfully cleanse the guild. But no one knows of this.
Should the players prove conscientious and lift the curse (before killing the target or not, most probably they will), the curse will not be inherited.
Lifting the curse requires reuniting Ajin's vase with the now buried body of Maq. If they enter his tomb and place the vase in his embalmed embrace, why, the curse will have lifted.