As the summary says this is not a full submission but more of a test on my part to see the effectiveness of those who read submissions. As this is a free form site that has many brilliant minds that contribute on a daily basis I wanted to take a step further in the direction I feel this site was intended.
Now. What I mean by that is simple. I feel (correct me if I am wrong anyone) that Strolen’s was created for the group as a whole by the whole. By everyone that comes here to contribute and add their ideas and written voice. It has however turned into individuals trying to get the highest vote, the highest rated or commented submission when it should be how much content we as a whole group can add together.
Seeing Murometz and Scrasamax work so well together I was curious to see what the whole site as a group could do. We have seen the individual workings for the Quests, of course everyones' individual submissions, and the Dynamic Duo Muromax. But what I want to see is everyone put a hand in and try to come up with a fully detailed Strolen’s Citadel only submission. And for that, we have the Continuous Plot submission.
I will add in what we have done thus far however, if a different idea presents itself then we can run with it. Special Thanks to CaptainPenguin and Ancient Gamer for getting this started.
Additional Ideas (6)
It will emerge that the duplicate is, in fact, more powerful and blessed than the original. The one who made the copy is, it will turn out, the Chosen One, and creation of this religious symbol imbued it with power from a deity. The lack of faith seen by superiors appears as rebellion, was in fact due to a higher understanding of the articles of faith... the church has been making mistakes for decades. The "unfaithful" one has been driven away, and must be found as the answers to many question can be found with him.
The PCs are aided by three prominent clergymen, all but one with secret motives beyond that of their faith.
Clergyman 1) A young accolyte recently raised to the cloth. He has been found to have a very strong faith unusual for someone so young. He has already been seen to do powerful feats regarding faith, that while they are not miracles they are non-the-less important.
He has been instructed by his superiors to quietly moniter those looking for the lost item. He is to report to them anything he sees and gain the item when it is safe at all costs. Their god will forgive him for his trangressions should he need to stray from the path of their faith to obtain this item.
He is young, eager, and nieve. Normally very trusting, he is afraid that everyone he come into contact with knows of his instructions from his superiors and is worried they will find out his plans and stop him.
Clergyman 2) A aging man of many talents. His eyes are his only young and vibrant feature, his back bends and his legs and hands shake. He is known for his knowledge of religious artifacts and their use, abiities, and their histories. Among those present at the temple where the item was taken, he knows more about what it could be used for and who could possibly know about it and want the item. He slows the group down physically but his keen intellect and reasoning is a hope to lead them to the right direction faster. He also carries the knuckle bone of Saint Rhender, a well known Saint of the church for his faith and work with lost souls.
The lost item is desired by a local criminal organization whose leader is dying. According to his healers, only the power of the religious item can heal him. This of course is the assumption of the original item to be stolen. The criminal leader is afflicted with an evil disease which was placed upon him as a curse when he disturbed the tomb of the ancient Witch-Kings. It has been gnawing at him for years, but only now in it's terminal stages can he be cured.
Two of the three acolytes killed in the theft were brothers. Their father was a powerful patron of the church and in his maddened grief he constantly approach the PCs, making outrageous demands. His overtures include threats (if they do not hurry up, he will personally make sure the repercussions will be dire), promises (if they succeed he will be eternally grateful) and aid (in the form of equipment, hired help and... agents monitoring their progress).
If the PCs catch a bad guy, chances are the grief struck father will make an attempt at getting his vengeance, either through his hired goons or by doing it himself.
Could be fun/frustrating if he kills witnesses or wrongly accused individuals.
Secretly, the acolytes' father made his fortune in the same criminal business as the criminal leader, and they were old partners in crime. The criminal leader that has been afflicted with this disease blames the acolytes father for his condition as he feels it was at the hands of his Gods that caused him to become ill and sick. He has stolen this artifact and killed his sons as a means to get back at his old friend and to heal him of his illness.
The acolytes father however, has no clue it is his old friend who has done this and will be stricken with grief for his losses should he determine the truth. However, he has a duty to his patron to have the item returned and he has a duty as a father to avenge his children. Time and situation will tell which one he will choose.
The 3rd clergyman is a plain looking man of average height and build, but has a crooked nose from being broken in bar fights and has the tough hands of a brawler rather than the delicate hands of a scribe.
He thought that when his father became ill, his chance had come at last. He was understandably infuriated when the healers announced that the artifact could heal him. He knows that the artifact that was stolen was merely a copy of the original, but he thinks it is an inferior one.
He has kept his silence, hoping that the copy will prove insufficent to heal his father. Should his father die, despite the artifact, he also plans to have the healers killed when he takes over, ostensibly for betraying the leader, but in reality in revenge for spoiling his chances.
Due to his conversion, Clergyman 3 has been long out of touch with the criminal world, but when he finally meets up with his old friend, he will learn of the stealing of the artefact, and also of the sons plots to become leader of the underground.
After Clergyman 3 tells the Criminals son of the groups plan to find and retrieve the artefact, the son decides that this will be of benefit to him; if nothing else than to delay the artefacts passage to the king. Thus the party has an unlikely ally in the midst of their enemies.
Through consultation with Clergyman 2, the PCs had narrowed down the list of suspects to 3 possible parties:
1. The Order of Wisdom from the Earth which have a long rivalry with the Church over followers and conflicting theologies. It was speculated that the theft of the artifact might be an attempt to discredit the faith of the Heavenly Sight. The rumors currently flowing around town on the church angering their own deity and the artifact having been taken back as punishment seem to support this theory.
2. The "Unfaithful One" who was banished and just before his banishment was caught trying to taint the artifact with his unholy stain. While more protection had been put in around the artifact after the attempt, the "Unfaithful One" has his own unholy powers and his familiarity with the church would give him a reasonable chance of success in stealing away the artifact.
3. An overzealous patron of the Church who had expressed his desire to house the artifact in his own mansion in 'proper splendour'. It was clear that he had both the resources and the possible motivation for arranging for the artifact to be stolen.
1) The unfaithful "chosen one" stole the original and replaced it with the more powerful fake...which was also stolen. So there are two items missing. However, it took the "chosen one" many attempts to get to the point where he could truly make a good duplicate that could stand the scrutiny and be accepted as real. This stash of duplicates were not destroyed and were found. Their are upwards of 10 of them, each being sold on the black market as the "true" item. They were dispersed quickly and expertly as a know scam by the Criminal's son to make finding the real one even more difficult to find. All these items have different levels of power since even a "chosen one" mistake can be powerful.
2) The unfaithful "chose one" is long gone from the city with the original. By the time he is done with it, it will be much more powerful than anything left behind.
3) Almost any of the fake items made by the "chosen one" are strong enough to cure the Criminal Lord. The PCs will find that the "chosen one" is gone from the city and that word will get to the son. It would be suspicious if he couldn't get his hands on one of the items so he is able to find one and claim that it is the "real" one. He knows it is one of the random duplicates and expects his father to die when they use it on him. Much to his surprise, the junk item actually does heal his father.