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November 7, 2005, 7:25 pm

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Michael Jotne Slayer

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The Blue Books: Part I

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The characters are stranded on an island, where a wizard, corrupted by the powers of the first Blue Book, has been killed by his own magical experiments. They will discover the awful truth that lurks in his subterranean workshop, and a seed of evil will be sown…

A terrific storm overturns the characters’ galley and they are left floundering amidst the deafening fury of the waves. The next morning they are washed up on an island. From the sea they can see a small jetty set into the cliffs, and on the far side of the island, they might just glimpse a short tower, its windows glinting in the morning sun.

At the jetty all they will find is the rotting hulk of a rowing boat half-filled with putrefying carcasses and dismembered limbs.

The island seems to be deserted, but they will soon encounter the weird and twisted fauna: primarily manticores and other magical hybrids. There are some paddocks and cages around the island, some of which are broken open, others still intact, containing starving creatures.

The tower and island belongs to Panath Aesiron, a young wizard who fled from the mainland years ago having stolen the Erikathikon, the first of the infamous Blue Books of magic. He experimented with the magics he found inside its covers, forging unpleasant lifeforms from limbs he had delivered from the mainland, always believing he was furthering the cause of science and magic, ever deepening the pit he had dug himself.

The last page of the Blue Book details the creation of a particularly evil horror, to which no name is attributed. It is this creature which he spent his last weeks creating, neglecting his other creatures. Eventually it turned on him and killed him.

Around the island may be found leaves from Panath’s diary which have blown from his study desk through an open window, detailing his last days: how he could hear the screeches of the other creatures when they escaped their cages, how they howled and bristled when he tried to feed them, sensing the evil on his hands, and the final page which the characters will find in the study of the tower itself, where in his last moments, he described the silence of the other creatures when the nameless horror escaped from his cellars, trapping him in his attic, hearing the scratching on the floor below…

One of the characters will be corrupted by the Erikathikon, and take it without the others knowing (the character could do this unconsciously through the power of the artefact).

The last big battle could be with the nameless thing in the cellars.



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Comments ( 12 )
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Strolen
May 23, 2002, 16:05
0xp
This one has so many possible options. Could turn it into an entire adventure lasting many many sessions or you can slim it down to a perfect sidetrek to last only a few. A good one to put in you DM book of ideas for that moment where the game needs a good kick.
DaWergyling
December 9, 2002, 15:43
0xp
I agree with strolen. The possibilities are endless. You can make it sort of like Myst, and have it focus on puzzles to get the book, or a quest bent on finding who is responsible for all the demons roaming the island.
MoonHunter
December 6, 2003, 4:22
0xp
Marvellous plot. Lots of options. Adaptable to any setting. The puzzle aspect is nice and there is enough violence pending out there to either scare the players or satisfy the combat monsters.
Barbarian Horde
December 14, 2003, 6:55
0xp
nice but you really need to do a lot of work to make this one work. First how were they on the boat, second how do they get off the island. Thirdly, if you allow your characters to get this blue book you have to determine what is in it. Plus you have to develop what all these "hybrids" are as well as the nameless beasts. If you like a lot of planning this is the one for you otherwise people should post their suggestions to this so you can use this more quickly
ephemeralstability
December 15, 2003, 3:05
0xp
The question of how they come to be on the ship I left open so as to make it easier to fit into GMs' campaign worlds without modification. It could be they're emigrating; maybe they're troops being transported to a faraway city, or being returned home from one; maybe they're merchants.

The question of how they get off the island is a good one: perhaps one of the evil spells in the Blue Book would help? Or maybe they'd be better off just making a boat out of wood from the island (or even repairing the little boat at the jetty). Basically, leave it up to the players' ingenuity (or lack of it).

The Blue Book I imagine as being full of crazy chaotic patterns and evil spells. Look up some fractals or hyperbolic tilings and modify a few standard necromancy spells if you don't want too much work.

The exact nature of the hybrids I leave to your imagination. It shouldn't be too hard to weld together a few creatures from the Monstrous Manual (or game-equivalent!) and create a truly abhorrent individual...

ephe!
Barbarian Horde
January 7, 2004, 21:50
0xp
How to keep them from using the Blue Book? This is too easy...an RPG staple...the unreadable language!

Have them need a translator of some sort, and then have it get lost or stolen before they find it. POOF! New quest idea!
Barbarian Horde
March 19, 2005, 10:17
0xp
The problem of how the characters arrive at the island could be solved by using the unmanned vessel plot that is on this forum.
Voted Ancient Gamer
November 7, 2005, 19:12
0xp
Ah, a good old-skool plot. This was posted way before the computer game "Far Cry" was released, but it kept reminding me of the game nonetheless. Perhaps they read your stuff ephe?
Voted Michael Jotne Slayer
February 13, 2006, 5:53
0xp
Surprise Bump for the Oldies!
Voted valadaar
April 25, 2011, 11:15
0xp

Great straightforward plot!

Voted PoisonAlchemist
August 15, 2011, 3:50
0xp
It's just a damn good plot idea. It's versatility is great and it's laced with intrigue to keep the players interested. Its sum is more than its parts, yet parts that are unsuited to a game can easily be moved, replaced, or removed. Not a fan of stranded islands? Stick it in a remote forest somewhere. Players not into fluff? Understanding the plot is optional. *squirrels idea away*
Voted axlerowes
January 21, 2012, 19:17
0xp

I like this, it sounds like a video game, which is not a bad thing.  Some areas you could expand to make this even easier for lazy GMs would be to write these pages from the diary so they could be used as handouts.  You could also add some descriptions of the monsters.  Overall though a nice solid start for any adventure and a great first adventure for a new party. 

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       By: Agar

A culture has a tradition of wearing animal pelts as a sign of status or job. Carpenters might wear beaver skins, Masons have a moleskin hood to their cloak, Gaurdsmen might have badger pelts. Done to show the culture's respect for nature and how much of nature is equal to each other.

Ideas  ( Society/ Organization ) | December 13, 2002 | View | UpVote 1xp


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