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December 24, 2005, 12:28 pm

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Man's Best Friend: Part Two

By:

Set a number of decades after part one.

Prince Tibalt survived his unique birth into the world and is now grown into the King of Jaegerwald. Jaegerwald is no stranger to werewolves, but when members of the kings staff and council start transforming with no apprent contact with werewolves, the PCs are charged with finding and destroying this hidden monster.

With the passing of Princess Adeline, the young prince Tibalt was heir to his grandfathers kingdom of Jaegerwald. The incident with the werewolf around the time of his birth has had no apparent effect on him. He is much like his mother, and has hunted Werewolves ever since he was able.

Prince Tibalt was betrothed to Princess Hedda Isold. He came of age and was married, although the ceremony was pure politics. Their relationship was cold, she left to her chambermaids for companionship, while he sampled seeming any other woman he could do so with a modicum of discretion.

Then, about 4 months ago, King Tibalt came back from a hunt weakened. It had been a close thing that the werewolf had been slain and not him. It seemed his towering confidence had been chipped, leaving him exposed and weakened. The dalliances stopped, and his weapons were left unattended.

The next full moon, the other warrior nobles left for thier hunt as normal, but King Tibalt stayed in, begging off the hunt due to a weakness. His closest friend, Prince Volker, stayed behind with him, locked in the King’s audience chamber. But it did him little good, as the hunt came to him.

The King’s gaurd heard a werewolf and desperate fighting, and charged into the Audience chamber to find King Tibalt locked in combat with a werewolf. He had them seal and gaurd the exits, but told them not to engage the beast. He struck the killing blow with tears in his eyes, and the creature died to reveal the body of Prince Volker.

News of the Princes change spread quickly, and most recalled him coming back from the last hunt covered in the blood of the werewolf he and the King had narrowly slain. They surmised he must have hidden a wound made by that werewolf.

The King sunk deeper into his isolation, cutting off contact from all but a former mistress and maid Rikka. She was the only one allowed to bring the King his meals, often prepared herself. Queen Hedda set spys on her, and if she were to show any sign of pregnancy, she was to be executed.

The next full moon, a werewolf stalked the palace again. The kings quarters were devestated, furniture smashed and ripped, part of it on fire from coals scattered from the hearth, and the body of the maid Rikka, pinned to the foot of the kings bed by a cerimonial spear that normally hung over the fireplace. The king was found after the fires were put out, naked and weeping in a corner.

The second attack seemed to temper the king’s resolve. He recovered his weapons and began restoring his abilities in earnest. The king called on his oldest childhood friend, Prince Jarvis, to aid him in his sparring and weaponship. Court was held again, and a ball. The king and queen danced, and all gossip centered around how the king gazed at the queen as if seeing her for the first time.

The king surprised the land agian by schedualing another ball a mere two weeks after the first, on the night of the full moon. The palace was packed and rife with rumor that the royal couple had finally shattered thier icy relationship and conumated thier marriage and were going to announce thier pregnancy. Queen Hedda would have no such thing, of course, after being ignored and abandoned for so long, she was going to make King Tibalt work to reclaim his wife. If he remained loyal and attentive through another ball, she would allow him to begin to court her.

The ball did not go as planned, as at the rising of the full moon, Prince Jarvis turned into a werewolf in the dance hall. The queen saw a deeper side of her husband as he fought his childhood friend, trying to do everything in his power to keep from killing him, but in the end, there was no other way.

Queen Hedda put aside her own plans to make him suffer as she had seen him suffer more than she could have ever thought possible. They warmed to each other and she became his friend and council. Unable to find a source of the three werewolves, she convinced him to send out the call to hire adventurers to find the beast that is spawning werewolves in the kings court.

====================

In the King’s audience chamber, the PC’s recieve most all the above information and are charged with finding the source of the werewolves. Other rumors floating around the crowd include black wizardy, a plague, and a curse on the kings house. As the King and Queen leave the chamber, the PCs are priviliged to witness their first kiss before being told that they have 3 weeks to find the source, 3 weeks before the next full moon.

===================

Now the evil twist.

Just over 3 months ago, during that close battle where King Tibalt and Prince Volker and their party barely managed to slay a werewolf, the king and prince returned with a secret.

The KING had been wounded by the werewolf.

Prince Volker helped him tend the wound and concel it. The King was shattered by the thought he only had a month before he left his kingdom heirless, but the Prince agreed to help him. If the Kingdom’s ruler is slain before an heir is produced, the Queen may rule and re-marry. They entered into what was basically a suicide pact. Prince Volker was to slay the King after he became a werewolf, then kill himself to spare him the executioner’s tortures.

The problem is that the king was exposed to lycanthropy in the womb. Effectivly, he’s immune. But, the werewolf wound infected him. He’s a carrier. Prince Volker was exposed when his own wounds got the King’s blood on them while helping him conceal them.

The Maid Rikka ... wasn’t exposed to blood, but exposed non the less through kissing and such…

Prince Jarvis and the King sparred with steel, and wounded each other, and Jarvis got exposed.

...

Now the King and Queen have just shared thier first kiss.

...

If you want a melencholy ending, think up a cure for lycanthropy. Otherwise, they’s all screwed.



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Comments ( 7 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

EchoMirage
May 15, 2005, 4:43
0xp
Now this is a great twist: while the PCs maysuspect the king is the werewolf, there is no proof as he simply does not transform... for a less unhappy ending, perhaps while the queen will become a shapeshifter, perhaps she can either learn to control the curse, or be locked away every full moon.

Howcan the PCs solve this mystery though? There is little in the way of hints and information - it may be possible that the PCs just run around a bit, learn nothing, and the full moon is upon them...
MoonHunter
May 15, 2005, 9:40
0xp
So why are lycanthropes almost always the bad guys? They are just so misunderstood. :)
Agar
May 15, 2005, 12:35
0xp
@ Moon, they're not always the bad guys. I think Dragonstorm, the collectible card roleplaying game, is still in print. ALL the good guys (except the orc) are shapeshifters. The bad guys are necromancers. And there's the werewolf game.

This plot is a hard one to "get right". It introduces the PC's to a concept that stands what they know on it's head: Sympathetic Lycanthropy. They have the best chance of figuring out the truth by talking to the castle workers and freinds of Rikka, as she became a werewolf with no wounds or even ever going on a hunt.

The queen doesn't HAVE to be doomed. You could say that the king is only contagious on or around the full moon. Volker got exposed redressing the wounds a last time, Jarvis sparred with him that afternoon, and Rikka ... inturrupted a moment. (I think there's a scene like that in one of the "American werewolf in ..." movies)

The king would just have to manage and limit his exposure to other people at certain times of the month then, and it would become a kingdoms dirty little secret. Now, wether or not this trait is dominate or even passable to his children ... well, it almost leads into another plot.
MoonHunter
May 15, 2005, 13:28
0xp
The only problem I have with this set of scenarios... the decade or two between the two scenarios. How much "play time" will occur between the two events? I mean, I believe in foreshadowing events and building upon the past to add versimilitude to the game, but how are we going to be in both scenarios?
Agar
May 15, 2005, 14:03
0xp
Generally you're not.

For the timeline to be belivable, you'll basically have a different party returning to the same lands. Or a party of long lived humanoids.

This was never intended as a first part of an adventure, then the second, more like Episode one and Episode two kinda thing. More accuratly, Episode 3 and 4, but that's splitting hairs.
Voted Dragon Lord
May 16, 2005, 8:27
0xp
Well Agar, I said I couldn't wait for Part 2 and you haven't disappointed me.

This is every bit is good as Part 1, if not better - pretty much same moral questions as the first instalment plus a complex mystery to be solved - definitely one for the role-players rather than the hack-n-slashers.

5/5

Suggestion for MoonHunter:
How about running this as a stand-along (or as Episode 1 if there is going to be more) with the events of the first module as part of the history the PCs must learn to solve the mystery?
Barbarian Horde
June 13, 2005, 23:15
0xp
Second plot I've read. Very evil. I'm glad you're using your skills for good.

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