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November 5, 2005, 9:19 am

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Lost Ancestors


The heroes find a small crypt somewhere and being brave adventurers they want to check it for evil forces (=graverobbing). Or for any other reason.

The heroes find a small crypt somewhere and being brave adventurers they want to check it for evil forces (=graverobbing). Or for any other reason .

The crypt is undisturbed and with some dangerous traps it
includes a bit treasure . The coffin too. BUT , there is no corpse found anywhere in that crypt. It is also certain that it wasnt opened or disturbed since building. No secret doors/things either. No ghosts or undead for that matter.

Should the players make no conclusions about this , point to the fact that the usual religious ceremonies have been carried out (whatever it means and however it is shown)-
which is not done if the body is missing.

If you wish to force them to some further investigations,
make them subjects to some kind of curse,better not serious but annoying.
OR better yet , let them decipher the name of the ‘user’ of the crypt, accidentally being the same as one of the heroes’ family name.

I dont know any solutions to this , but it may be interesting to adapt the players theories and twist them someway.

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Comments ( 17 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

December 13, 2001, 8:28
It could be that the corpse that was found missing later turns up in the game as a enemy. Maybe it is a liche now, or perhaps other graverobbers found the corpse of a vampire but didn't know/understand it and removed a piece of wood (stake) from the crypt thereby freeing the vampire. It could even be some kind of dead abomination terrorizing a distant town and the only way to defeat it is to return it to its original grave, and we know who the only ones that know where that grave is don't we.
December 13, 2001, 8:28
Hmmm... perhaps there was some (evil?) spirit inside,calmed in its grave and now it is free to revenge on the builder of its grave and his descendants (after 200 years it may be a few). If the heroes dont save this people,they are on the list.
December 13, 2001, 8:28
And if they have some powerful enemies,stealing the corpse of their ancestors could lead to some unusual form of revenge.
The least imaginative thing would be animating to kill...
but try something like erasing their existence before they were even born.
December 13, 2001, 8:28
Last idea for tonight: let there be evidence of direct relation to that evil unbeatable necromancer/lich/vampire .
What to do if its your own family?
Ria Hawk
October 2, 2002, 2:08
And then you have all the fun of possible reincarnation angles.
Melvins Cat
July 28, 2003, 10:33
For those of you that like to play mind games with over paranoid players (I don't know why, but mine get that way after a week):
The real story is that there was some kind of ooze/gel with the corpse in the stone coffin. the ooze consumed the entire corpse (bones & all) & over the years dried up until nothing was left. While not much of a "true" adventure, it can lead to very interesting atempts by PC's, especially those that have good reason not to trust the DM/GM.
My players are actually going on a quest to seek out an ancient hermit-sage just to find out the real "story".
July 29, 2003, 4:59
I am glad someone found a use for it.

Please write about the quest's results, if there are any, when the time comes.
Barbarian Horde
August 6, 2003, 10:30
just for fun: 'user' of the crypt is one of PC's.
Barbarian Horde
January 7, 2004, 20:47
If you use the vampire or litch angles, you better figure out why there is no mention of it on the grave site...they wouldn't just stake a vampire or kill a litch, and then give it a proper burial with no warnings!

Maybe those who buried the body didn't know the cause of death, or maybe something reanimated it after burial.
January 8, 2004, 1:09
We also have the ancestors haunting the PC whos ancestor was in the tomb.

We could have an interesting twist- a non magical curse. The person died of a plague from centuries gone by. You open the tomb, and now you are exposed. If you can't get to clerical assistance, you might not make it. And lets keep in mind everyone down wind is exposed as well.

(Oh we can have bad guys taking the tomb at the same time who run away, but are exposed. The cleric who heals you tells you, that you need to stop him before he gets to a city or a caravan point and the disease spreads faster than the clerics can stop it),
Barbarian Horde
March 29, 2005, 8:40
how do you find out if have a vampire as a ancester?
March 30, 2005, 9:53
re: the horde's question It usually kills you.

Of course, the person could be the equivalent of a saint to some diety... and the body was "absorbed" by the diety. Maybe the church came by and took the body to make holy items of the saints various bones.

Of course the Evil church could of done the same thing... for really bad purposes.
Voted Wulfhere
February 8, 2007, 23:30
of course, you could take a page from H.P. Lovecraft and have the ancient nameplate on the sarcophagus match the name of one of the PCs. Given their line of work, knowing that a nice tomb is ready for them should be a comfort... But somehow, I doubt they'll take it that way.
Voted MysticMoon
April 18, 2011, 10:06

I like the mystery. It gets the wheels turning.

Perhaps the corpse went the way of Yoda or "Ascended" and is now trying to look out for its descendants. Being non-corporeal, it is having a devil of a time. What luck for it that the adventurers caught its attention. Now it will follow them around, trying to get them to listen (unintentionally causing havoc in the process) until they agree to help sort out some injustice for its distant progeny.

Voted Scrasamax
April 19, 2011, 13:28

The 'occupant' of the tomb went missing many years ago, and once hope was given up of their return, the crypt was built as a way of saying goodbye for the community. This could have been a local hero, person of importance, a mage, etc. That being said, the 'loot' in the crypt consists of funeral offerings and grave goods donated by the same said local community. When these things show up in the would be heroes hands, the locals are going to be a special kind of pissed off. The main lesson to be learned is that not every crypt or tomb is a place to be looted. Some are places to show some respect for the dead. May the PCs be so lucky that upon their demise the friends they have made and people they have influenced would be willing to raise a memorial in their honor

Voted valadaar
April 26, 2011, 11:30

A basic starter, greatly enhanced by the comments it brought forward.

Voted PoisonAlchemist
August 12, 2011, 2:27

I am also quite partial to the mystery of this submission. My addition is that when I think of a crypt it is usuall one for an entire family. Imagine a crypt intended for several generations completely devoid of bodies. Perhaps the family had some sort of special link to the underworld that made them particularly desierable as undead. Perhaps the crypt is so ancient absolutely everything has been eaten away by time. New Orleans buries their dead above ground to prevent the corpses from floating about during floods, perhaps something similar (or the reverse) happened.

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Ideas  ( Plots ) | May 22, 2004 | View | UpVote 0xp

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