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ID: 198

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April 1, 2006, 7:26 pm

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Sour Grapes

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The PCs traveling through the mountain end up in the the small village of Bitterfruit, this tiny village is the epitome of paradise, but even paradise has its secrets.

In the beginning the PCs set out to find a rare flower said to grow in the fiery peaks , known as the flame orchid, this flower is said to grow high in those peaks above the snow line and can be decanted to create a cure for vampircy.

This flower does in fact grow in the peaks and when decanted by a wizard skilled in alchemy creates a potion that completely cures a vampire of their disease from sunrise to sunrise. 1 flower can be decanted for enough for 3 potions, they can not be transplanted and can only grow in the acidic soil of the inactive volcano.

While traveling over the mountains as they approach the supposed site they are attacked by an orcish patrol.

This patrol is the vanguard of an orcish army traveling over the mountains to wage war on another orcish tribe, 7 orcs and 3 goblins pursue them into a cave, here in the dark cave the PCs fall and are knocked unconscious.
When the PCs awake they are in a tiny hamlet deep in the mountains called BitterFruit , a narrow valley about 8 miles wide in a bowl depression surrounded by a tall escarpment. There is only one pass into or out of the valley and it is usually blocked by ice and heavy snowfall. Hot springs keep the valley a mild 72 degrees year around and pure water flowing from the peaks creating lush farmlands on the valley floor. The town population is around 200 and the town is self sufficient and isolated, receiving few visitors. The Mayor of the hamlet is Gumf Thatcherson, a small rotund fellow who is very personable.

Gwiddeon Magus is the towns fool, an old woman appearing to be in her 70s she is prone to outbursts of nonsensical musings. She acts as though confused about her surroundings and sometimes has fits as if trying to leave but cant find her way out. Her Granddaughter is Marion Landersdotter, an herbalist who takes care of her grandmother and takes care of the sick in town.

Only 3 horses in the town are owned by the farming families, the Talburts , the Pinebarks, and the Tampishs.

The sons of the community have organized themselves into 2 military units. Percy Talburt, the son of the Quinton Talburt is the Primus of “The 1st BitterFruit Regulars� and Jance Tampish, son of Darius Tampish, is the leftenant of “The 1st Bitterfruit Dismouted Lancers�. These two units number about 20 each and are always beating back patrols of goblins and orcs who maraud into town form the surrounding treelike.

Every family in town has an enormous house but no servants or horses.

The community seems to be the most prosperous town in the world , the fields grown more grain than can be eaten with only a couple hours work each day, the women are the most beautiful and the men the most handsome of any town , no one in town ever gets sick or injured and every item produced by any of the tradesmen are masterworks. The cows are fat and the animals strong. When the PCs enter the valley a great feast is held for 3 nights and day to celebrate the coming of visitors. Anything the PCs could want is provided.

Everyone wants to hear about the PC’s adventures, every story captivates the people keeping them spellbound. Every chance they get the citizens get they ask about what the pcs have done or where they have been.

   A dreamweaver is a huge magical plant who feeds off of the heat and energy of living creatures. Weavers usually live in dark caves or shallow caverns, when a living sentient creature enters their lair they attempt to entangle them with their vines. Once entangled the weaver injects the creature with a sleeping toxin . Once under they power of the weaver , the victim is subjected to a powerful charm person like spell, and the minds of all the weavers victims are interlinked into a dream realm of the weavers creation.
   The weaver constructs a dream realm around all the wants and desires of the victims. Anything the victim wants or thinks about will be supplied for them, while in the real world the weaver keeps the body alive in a form of stasis, and slowly leeches the life from them , covering them in the thick poison barbed vines. This stasis can last for hundreds of years in some situations. Though after a few years the body of the victim is too damaged to ever leave the stasis of the weavers care. If a weaver is destroyed all victims in his dream realm must make a fortitude check , the dc is equal to the number of years they have been under the weavers sway, if the check passes they are alive but their stats and hit points are reduced by the number of years they have been in stasis to a minimum of 1.
   In combat the weaver attempts to poison his combatants if possible to put them in the dream realm, if the weaver sees that he wont be able to poison the victim he attempts to kill them with the tentacles.

The inhabitants of the village of Bitterfruit are living in a dream realm created by a dreamweaver.

In the real world the villagers were attempting to cross the mountains and got bogged down in the valley, there on the brink of starvation the villagers made their way to a small cave where they were taken by the weaver. That was 600 years ago and the villagers are still living in the dream realm. After so many years of experiencing the same dreams of all the bitterfruits villagers they long for new dreams to experience. The weaver cannot mimic the bodies and personalities of living creatures , it can for a short time create a body for itself in this realm but only for a span of a couple hours at a time.

Marion Landersdotter is the weavers persona in the dream realm, though the characters should suspect the mayor. She appears to be the only person in town who has a skill , as an herbalist. If the PCs enter her house, it is the only house in town which is actually smallish. In her greenhouse she has several small vines, which she makes them think she is using as herbs. These are actually the personas of spores the weaver has laid.

Gwiddeon Magus is a mage who was caught when attempting to cross the mountain in search of the Fire Orchid. She has been in this village for 200 years and knows that this place is not real. The weaver has driven the wizard insane over the course of 2 centuries, the weaver enjoys toying with the mage.

Gumf Thatcherson is the towns mayor, he is the oldest resident of the weavers realm , in the real world he was small town official who was driven out of his town when it was discovered that he was murdering young women in the village and keeping the bodies in his basement. The weaver plays on his psychopathic urges and uses his twisted dreams to punish the mage. The mage is frequently forced to watch as Gumf plays out his urges on a younger version of the mages body. The weaver keeps the mayor as a pet and has given him a position of power to keep the other villagers in line.

The older townsfolk of the village suspect that they are living in a dreamworld and they enjoy their illusionary existence as they were all poor migratory farmers looking for work across the mountains, but their children have been in the dreamworld since they were infants and only know this existence. The children cannot be made to believe that they are not in the real world.

The intelligence of the weaver is not enough to fully understand the minds of intelligent creatures, and so he doesn’t know every thought of the creatures he has under his sway, so the creatures he has , can plan and he cant understand their musings.

The PC’s will discover in the course of the adventure many details about their surroundings that give clues to the nature of the dream realm.
- doors that are fake, only fixtures there for looks.
- The people of the town start to aquire items exact like those the PC’s own or describe seeing.
- The town has no necessities, such as a blacksmith or a general store.
- All the townspeople live in huge houses but no carpenters or other professionals
- There are only 3 horses since the weaver only captured three horses in the real world
- A orcish warband composed of 7 orcs and 3 goblins always attack in exactly the same numbers, a closer inspection will reveal that they are the same creatures each time, the warband took shelter in the weavers cave and are trying to escape and so it is giving them to the youths of the village for sport.
- Everyone looks to be in the prime of their life even the fathers and mothers look to be roughly the same age as their children.
- Marion will try to soe the seeds of apprehension about the other townsfolk and away from her.
- The pcs may discover the mayor in his house torturing and killing the body of the mage.
- The mage has in her possessions a picture of her young self.

If the pcs discover their situation they will be attacked first by the mayor , who fights as a mage level 15

If the pcs kill the mayor they are attacked by Marion, who fights as a fighter mage, and uses plant based magic. If they kill the weaver in the dreamrealm they are ejected by the weaver as it recovers. They immediately awaken and must now fight the weaver who fights to the death to destroy the pcs for their insult.

When the denizens awaken the orcs awaken and try to kill the pcs (7 orcs and 3 goblins)

Encounters: while in the dreamrealm, if the characters try to find the cave they fell in they walk in circles and always end up back in the valley, the cave is not there.

The pcs encounter the orc warband on several occasion , anytime they venture through the woods and anytime they range with the local soldiers.

After they escape

If the PCs actually wander down into the valley they see a desolate blighted place, in the bottom of the valley are a few graves , and a marker that reads “here lies the Remains of the loved ones of the Percy Talburt’s expedition over the mountains , 200 pressed on to reach the city of AlbanPercidious, May the gods have mercy on their souls,� dated 600 years earlier.



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Comments ( 2 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Barbarian Horde
February 13, 2005, 15:22
0xp
This is a nice story, I like it alot. I'm going to run it with my friends as soon as I can. :)
Alec_Shadowkin
March 10, 2005, 11:14
0xp
Very well thought out, though I do have a couple suggestions.
1) Try to make things a bit more game-independent. "The mayor will fight as a level 15 mage", and the bit about the fortitude save against the plant releasing them. While these are somewhat general, they have an obvious leaning toward DnD, which I can tell you from experience is a game shunned and cursed by a number of people at the Citadel. I myself play the WotC game and know what you are talking about, but many others may not, or will prefer not to.

2) I think my only other real advice would be to leave the "7 orcs and 3 goblins" as a suggestion. For a higher level game to successfully run this plot, they would need a larger threat to drive them into the caves and keep them occupied once within the dream-reality. Also, once(if) the players destroy the plant, you may want to leave the orcs and goblins instantly attacking them more open to roleplay. I can easily imagine such creatures being grudgingly grateful that the players have released them from this dream and hence, they wouldn't neccessarily attack on sight.

Those are my two cents, and like I already said, I think its a good idea and I will see if I can use it myself. 4/5


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