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ID: 57


October 24, 2005, 3:22 pm

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Double Agents


War is brewing over the new fertile lands next to the Otane River. Trade has ceased and conflict is thick in the air. Contacts must be kept and messages must still be sent to allies in each of the cities. Spies are untrustworthy and the loyal ones cannot be spared. The need for those competent and smart enough to deliver state secrets is desperately needed.

War is brewing between the East and the West over the rich farmlands skirting the Otane River. The area has been dead for over five decades and has been long abandoned by both sides. Rains have flooded the Otane River for the past 3 years, but the flood lines are now receding leaving miles of fertile land in the place of the barrens. The food surplus gained from the cultivation of this land could give a great boost to the economy of whoever finally claims it. Now the East and West are declaring the land theirs and small skirmishes have been continuous ever since. Forces are being mobilized and all diplomacy has failed to come to a resolution. Neither side is willing to back down, times are bad and not willing to back down. Now the two nations are on the brink of all out war. North and South are staying neutral since they have no prior claim. Perhaps they have ideas of coming in after the East and West have exhausted themselves.

Through all this there are still many on either side that are still friendly to each other. Smuggling has slowly begun but is severely punished and is only undertaken by the most foolhardy so it hasn’t established itself yet.

The players would be approached by a noble in the East city and asked to take a package to the West. They are asked to do it because most spies from each city are pretty well known and so the package could not be safely carried by them in fear of them being recognized. Spy rings on both sides are all in question and those they can completely trust they cannot be risked in carrying packages. They are offered whatever they may need for the trip as well as a more then adequate compensation and promised more once they arrive in the West from their contact. The package is important to the East’s war effort but must remain sealed so the contact will understand that the info has not been compromised.

Through whatever hardships desired they finally make it to the West and meet their contact. As promised they receive more compensation and are thanked profusely and commended for their bravery and reminded of the absolute secrecy needed.

As they leave the city they are attacked by a small group of skilled fighters. It should be a close battle but the attackers will retreat after a few of their number are killed and should be allowed to escape. Their mission as spies is more important then killing the players, they can’t afford to lose too many. They will not allow their dead comrades to be seen by anybody else either and will stay near watching, perhaps attacking again when they think they have an advantage.

The attackers are spies from the East that found out that the players have brought the war plans of the East to the West. The players have just given the West all the battle plans that the East has prepared and taken away any surprise that they may have had. The attackers have already sent runners back to the East to notify them of the treason.

Now it is up to the characters to try and defend their innocence, try and convince the East that the Noble is at fault, or perhaps the more unscrupulous players find it a good time to switch sides and dodge the danger they have gotten into.

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Comments ( 5 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

January 31, 2004, 18:58
This is an interesting plot, but if there are so many spies around that you can not trust to use even your best and most loyal, then why would they hire some unknown people? Okay, you have to get new spies to replace dead and "defective" ones, but you never give them such an important mission right away, only if it an decoy, wich could be a set up for the players or the enemy nation. Secondly if there are so many spies around and the two nations are at war, crossing the border will be very difficult, a unknown "mercenary" group will have it even harder, if the borders arent allready closed.
What if the players open the package? Then they could sell it to the other nation. They could take it back and expose the rat. But if the package is so important, then they propably are tailed to ensure it arrives or if it dosent arrive to the target the players will propably get trouble.
If the players do exactly as you told there, why would they have plead for innocence? They "enemy" nation are sure to protect them for such a gift. And as there are so many spies around and only some of the most high ranked people have acces to the battle plans it should not take long to figure out who leaked the information and only used them as mules. In any case the players would be considered as traitors and propably never be able to return to the original country safe...
This is in interesting plot with many opportunities.
Voted Scrasamax
June 4, 2006, 11:28
While I think this submission gets bogged down in the minutae of spy versus spy, I think it has an easily overlooked and great idea. Having a previously uninhabited barren region of land suddenly become viable again, enough that multiple claimants desire it. Myself, I would play this as a war of escalation, starting between the two barons who border the terrain, likely both having claimed it, but with no pretense of occupation. The war escalates until it becomes a matter between two kingdoms.

Not bad.
Voted manfred
June 4, 2006, 14:40
Note to self: never forget to leave a few 'empty' areas, where there is apparently little going on... until the next plot hook comes along.

Nice reminder.
Voted Silveressa
January 23, 2011, 21:16

A nice  example of how to run spy style plots in a fantasy setting, and can make for a nice switch from the more typical adventures out there. If noting else it will make players second guess things a bit more rather then accept everything at face value, which is always a good thing.

Voted valadaar
May 4, 2011, 11:54

I would not use this one lightly, unless the PCs had little real interest in the region, for the label of traitor is not one easily lifted.




Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Raptyr

Nine times out of ten, it’s the undead that do the running.

Not strictly animal or vegetable, the Corpse bud is a peculiar individual that shares characteristics from multiple kingdoms and species. In appearance, all corpse buds bear a shape of a large rounded top bud divided into four lateral segments, and a much longer, narrower bottom bud, also divided into four segments. Between the two halves are a set of four radial limbs, rounded on top and flat on the bottom, covered with tiny serrated hooks facing towards the body. In overall size, it’s limbs reach as wide as a spread hand, with the body being as thick as a fist. It is as long as a human hand from top to bottom.

Internally, the top bud of the corpse bud contains a bacteria filled membrane that produces the hydrogen that the corpse bud uses to stay aloft, and a series of fungal gills for the dispersal of spores for reproduction. The lower half of the bud contains a number of fine filaments, as well as a sharp barbed stinger containing a powerful local anaesthesia.

The Corpse Bud mobilizes by inflating its top bud, and steers by rotating its arms rapidly about its body. The corpse bud ordinarily drifts with the wind, orienting towards the scent of recent decay and death. It preys on the recently dead, burrowing the lower bud into the victim, using the anaesthesia in case the victim is dying, and not truly deceased. Once embedded, it releases its filaments into the body, replacing the current nervous system. This gives it full animation of the body, and allows the corpse bud to direct it.

Corpse buds are not a malevolent species, being primarily concerned with breaking down the host body for food, and infecting the reproductive cycle with spores in order to mate with other corpse-bud bodies. To preserve the corpse for this purpose, Corpse buds will seek out dry locations to prevent bacteria from destroying the corpses. This often causes a large number of corpse buds to gather in a single location.

In culture, Corpse buds are used to repair broken spines or degenerative diseases, as the sentient mind will easily overcome the mind of the non-sentient corpse bud. Once infected by a corpse bud, however, removal is usually fatal, and the infected individual cannot reproduce, or risk infecting another. Thus, it is a technique often reserved for the elderly, or a last resort.

Necromancers and other dark sorcerers will often preserve the corpses of their victims magically, and infect them with corpse buds, creating traditional undead as well, so as to seed their lairs with undead both offensive and non, in order to throw their enemies off balance. They will also enslave the rudimentary minds of the corpse buds, and transform the docile things into a plague. There have also been accounts of magically transformed corpse buds with stronger minds and a taste for living flesh, but thus far all accounts are unproven rumors.

Ideas  ( Lifeforms ) | October 12, 2011 | View | UpVote 3xp

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