Why isn’t this working!?
Maybe this human is too weak.
So find more humans to test it on!
As you walk into town you are greeted with hurriedly slammed doors, barred windows, and suspicious stares from the few who do not run into the nearest building at your mere presence. This was a friendly town the last time you passed through. Everyone had a warm smile and an outgoing personality, always willing to help out. Now it smelled of fear and mistrust. The inns you stayed in always had joyful music pouring out of them. Just as a bardic like Silversong should. Now there was silence. Silence and fear. The joyful songs were gone, the friendly smiles, its as if the entire town has come under some sort of dark magic. No one will look you in the eyes. When you ask the locals about the news they skitter away, quick to be about their business. The local guard has been eyeing you since you entered. They never seem to be more than a hundred feet from you at any time. You are getting the distinct feeling that you aren’t very welcome here right now. Nevertheless it is late and you find yourself wanting a hot meal and a warm bed. Too many nights under the stars have made you anxious for the relative clam of an inn compared to the wild.
As it starts growing dark out you notice that the streets suddenly become barren of all signs of life. The commoners have all barred themselves in their house and the inns are closed up. Even the guard has suddenly disappeared leaving you to yourself on the abandoned streets. You would think the thieves would be out with the night, taking advantage of the darkness and the lack of guards. Even they seem unwilling to be out during this time. As you head toward the nearest inn you find the door locked tight. You rattle it a little but it will not open. Knocking doesn’t do any good. You hear a voice from inside, Get lost! Door doesn’t open after dark! You try another inn with the same result… then you hear it. A howl in the distance, followed by another, and a third. You’ve been in the wild long enough to know that that is no normal wolf howl. You have one last hope. An old acquaintance of yours lives in this town, not too far from here. But you haven’t spoken to him years. Not since the business with the sorcerer… seven years ago. Has it been seven years already?
The howls are getting closer. No time to ponder what could have been. You need to find safety and you need to find it fast. You head down the street at a jog putting the sounds behind you. As you turn the corner you feel a presence behind you. You turn and look and your heart stops for a brief second. Looking directly at you is the largest wolf you’ve ever seen… with glowing red eyes and fangs as long as your daggers. Its skin starts to ripple and you start to run. Only two blocks away. You know you can never outrun this thing but its better than simply giving yourself to death.
As you run you wonder why you don’t hear anything behind you. You turn your head to glance back and there is nothing there. You start to wonder if you had imagined it. As you turn around you come face to face with a monster out of your nightmares. It is standing on two legs but has all the features of a wolf. Shaggy black and gray fur covers its body, it is snarling and you can see the sharp teeth covering the powerful jaw. A jaw that could tear your throat out. The eyes are what really gets to you, they are the same glowing red as the wolf’s that you had just seen. Now you are mine little human.
It reaches for you with clawed hands but you are used to danger. You’ve been forged by danger and react quickly. With one blur of motion you have a dagger out of its sheath and on its way to your target. It sinks in with a very satisfying thud. The sound of the blade sinking into flesh with the hilt pounding the dagger to a stop. The beast howls and yanks the dagger out. You are already running past it. The house is in sight. Only a few more feet. Suddenly you are on the ground, the wind knocked out of you. As you struggle to breathe you turn over and see the monster standing above you. A bit of spittle drips above your left breast. The beast is drooling over you like a starved hound over a fresh steak.
You try to scurry backwards and you bump into another figure. With horror in your eyes you look up, dreading what you might see. Your hands are already going for another pair of daggers hidden on you. You know they won’t be out in time but you aren’t the type to lay down and die. You hear the sound of a crossbow releasing a bolt above you and the bolt streaks to its target, tearing open the chest of the monster that was looming over you. As your eyes finally finish making their way up to the figure you bumped into you see with relief your old acquaintance Vargoth, holding a recently fired crossbow. You have a knack for bringing trouble down on my head Atianna. Let’s get inside before more of them show up. As you leap to your feet you notice the beast is finally still. You rush in the door right behind Vargoth and he slams the door shut, quickly barring it. They won’t bother this house, but I feel sorry for the poor fool who does get taken tonight. They’ll be very angry that one of their own is down.
We’ve captured three more of the humans but a silvered crossbow bolt took Donatol clean through the heart.
Useless mutt! Get back to work on the disease! I want the world to see this by the next full moon! And no more excuses!
After you are safely inside Vargoth starts to tell the tale of what has happened in this town during the last 6 months.
About a week after your last visit we noticed the first disappearance. There was a commotion at a local merchant’s stall shortly after dark. The merchant had a customer that night who was taking a while to decide and the merchant was late packing up. When the guards arrived the stall had been smashed to pieces, the merchandise scattered everywhere, and the merchant was no where to be found. Strangely all the goods were left alone, with the exception of being thrown all over the place. It looked like a kidnapping but the merchant wasn’t wealthy enough to truly warrant a ransom. He hasn’t been seen again. That wasn’t the first though. It was just the first anyone had noticed.
Wasn’t the first? How did no one else notice missing people? replied Atianna.
No one had noticed because the first to disappear were the beggars. The people who live on the streets. It wasn’t until after the merchant’s disappearance that anyone noticed that the city had been rather clean of beggars for the last week or so. After the beggars and the merchant 16 more people have gone missing. The beasts can appear as a wolf or a wolf on two legs. They are intelligent also. They know our speech. Only thing that can kill them so far is silver. Even so you still have to hit a vital spot. Normal weapons just anger them. They still feel the pain but they heal those wounds so fast you might as well have not even hit them.
What kind of beasts are these? And why are they stealing the people of the town?
We don’t know what they want with us. What we do know is that anyone who is taken isn’t seen from again. Some people have fled in panic already. The guard is powerless to stop these things. They are much stronger and faster than us and they are very hard to kill. There aren’t a lot of silver weapons around and the blacksmith was one of the first to go so silver weapons aren’t going to be coming any time soon. We tried sending a couple runners to the closest town but no one has heard anything back yet. Seeing as its a three day ride to Charn I don’t expect we shall see them again.
The werewolves are tired of being despised and hunted by humans. Their numbers are simply too few to stand up to them so they hide and they move, never in the same place for long. They steal their food… and sport… when they can. One of them has a solution though. If the humans were all werewolves then they wouldn’t be hunted anymore. But if there aren’t enough werewolves to simply stand up to the humans then there certainly aren’t enough to infect enough humans to make a difference. With the aid of powerful sorcery and a few ‘volunteer’ werewolves they hope to create an air-born version of the lycanthropy that has been their curse. Currently they have not had any results but with each human they steal from Silversong they get closer to finding out how to make it work.
Depending on when you want your party to enter this town there could be quite a few possibilities.
They could enter during the beginning of the kidnappings and have the discover what is snatching people. Then they would have to hunt the werewolves down and eradicate them. Fairly straightforward and this early on in the werewolves plot there wouldn’t be any worry about the disease yet.
If they come in closer to when the werewolves are ready to release the disease there is a good chance that the party will become infected when they go to hunt down the werewolves. Thereby becoming the very things the townsfolk are afraid of. If the party succeeds in eliminating the werewolves they will have the problem of having become werewolves themselves. It would take powerful magic to remove the disease from themselves. The townsfolk will be completely unwilling to help if the party is even foolish enough to go back there. Alternatively the part can choose to stay as werewolves.
If they come after the disease has been released and the town has turned to werewolves things could get very interesting. The disease is only active for a couple of days so the party won’t turn into werewolves but they will have the problem of an entire town of werewolves. Werewolves that were recently human, still have most of their humanity left, and conscience, and don’t really want to be werewolves. They are still werewolves and they do still need to feed though. Could be a very interesting in town with them being the only humans in sight. Most of the werewolves will try and hold back but some won’t be able to overcome the feeding frenzy. The party has the moral decision of trying to kill an entire town of reluctant ‘monsters’ or trying to find help for them. The real werewolves will have moved in and taken over town since they are stronger than all the newly made werewolves.