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Rating: 2.375
Condition: Normal
ID: 181


April 1, 2006, 8:29 pm

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Lost Artifact


When an old map is found in a floating bottle by a fishing ship, and is sent to a mage for solving what the ancient symbols on it mean, the old piece of paper becomes more than a map.

An old map is found by a PC when he/she is on a trip aboard a fishing boat. The map has symbols written in an ancient language, one lost for hundreds of years, yet the PC becomes very curious to what the symbols may mean, if they have any meaning at all.

The PC takes the map to a mage that may hold the keys to the lost language, if it acctualy is one. Another PC hears about it from the shadowed alleys of the city, in which the PC carrying the map has asked for directions to where he might find such a person that could give meaning to the symbols. The new PC joins the party and helps take the map to an old friend of hi/hers which happens to be a mage that has the skill and tools necesary to fisure out what the map says.

The map shows the exact location of a ruined temple, where a gemstone was hidden. All this happened before the great wars that doomed the temple and the city beneath it. The gemstone used the energy that was found deep inside the earth to keep the gateway between the two worlds, that of chaos and the normal one, closed. When the great wars arrived, a scholar by the name of Kinuriel took the stone away from its rightfull place, in the chamber, and has taken it to the surface, away from the fighting that was going to take place underground.

When the wars were over, Kinuriel had survived, if barely, and had returned to Dreanor, the name of the underground city, to replace the gemstone and strengthen back the gateway. The stone could not find the energy it needed to sustain the portal at the surface, thus the gateway had beed weakening. Unfortunately, the wars had left him too weak to be able to venture back into the devastated city so he left the gemstone in a temple, built above the ancient city by the survivors so that it could hide the entrance to Draenor. He had also written a map, so that a stronger and braver warrior that himself might one day replace the stone.

The PCs must find this ancient temple and replace the stone into its rightfull place, on a pedestal, in a room, deep into the heart of the city.

Along the way, the PCs will fight the ancient horrors of the old city as well as the spirits of the fallen warriors that fought in the great war.

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

October 31, 2004, 1:47

First of all, why can only a great mage read this old language? Shouldn't anyone who can read eventually know the language?
Why is the gem a portal? Why is the barrier weakening?


October 31, 2004, 2:56
Don't be so harsh, Captain. The plot's rough and, yes, full of cliches, but nevertheless it's a plot that will take the PC's to a nice little adventure in the ruins of long lost city and so on and so on.

But still, I'd recommend editing too. Like Captain said(asked), why only a mage? Wouldn't any linquistic do? Why is the gem a portal, how was it created, by whom and why? And yes, why is the barrier between the two worlds weakening. If you could add these things, it would give the plot more realistic sense and so on.

I'm going to withhold my vote until it's edited.
October 31, 2004, 10:34
That was my very first plot so it may be a bit rusty, well, maybe a very rusty so I will edit it with the sugestions. Thank you!
October 31, 2004, 12:55
The thing about a cliche that most people forget is the reason that it is a cliche. It is a cliche because it works, and though this isnt the best, it is certainly far from the worst. (playing good cop/bad cop...heh heh)

To be certain, it does have many cliches, from relying on the doddering old magus for the answers, to lost cities and gems as keys. Why is this cliche, because since it works, it has been overworked, like a good field not left fallow on occassion.

The question becomes how to make it fresh, how to make it good again. This can be done with a little thought, and a lot of attention to details, as they say, the Devil is in the details.

My main problem with this plot is there is not much of a hook. If the characters are of a mercenary nature, they will likely just sell the map. There has to be something to draw them in moreso than just an old scrap of paper in a bottle. Perhaps this chaos barrier is slowly failing, and the PCs are brought face to face with chaos monsters and warp demons before finding the map. Then the map becomes important, especially if the demons were powerful and hard to banish.

As always Detail detail detail
will rate after some editing
October 31, 2004, 19:47
Pretty much agree with the content (not necessarily the tone) of what others said: Rough, needs hook, needs some telling details.

First, on detail - Don't confuse lots of detail with the telling detail. Lots of mundane detail won't actually help, it will just take up space. You need a few critical details, often tailored to your current PCs, that will allow the players to grasp the situation and their possible roles.

For example, if you have a PC with Art Appreciation, you might make the bottle interesting: "Oh, that's pre-Meduin - quite rare, because Dreanor was more or less obliterated three centuries ago, and this looks like a Priest-class double-ungent jar that would have been in use then. See, the top opens normally, but the bottom is hidden... oh, what's this?" That immediately creates context in the PC world (and makes the players happy that they took weird proficiencies).

Next, why a fishing boat? I'll guess that this is your explanation of why this has not been discovered previously - but unless your campaign is dominated by Fate or similar, the player response is likely to be "So what?" Scras is right that the apparently random discovery may or may not be important to your PCs.

Another suggestion, if you have mostly mercenary PC's who might not volunteer to "Save the World", would be to divide the information into two parts. First, give them a reasonably likely map to a gemstone in some foreign temple - get them motivated to go get it for personal gain. However, the journey turns into something very weird: Chaos monsters, etc., and maybe some bizarre effects on the PC's themselves, and chaos increases (but not yet dangerously so) as they near the gem. It's only when they get to the hiding place that they get the rest of the story - and discover that they won't be able to escape to spend their loot, because if chaos has gotten this far, it's not going to let them out.

In truth, I don't think you need to dwell too much more on plot (assuming your group is happy with a good dungeon crawl), but rather on some effects that set this apart and make it memorable. Develop the Chaos affects, the ghosts of the war (can some be made allies? - more potential plot!), and the setting, and go for it.

Hope this helps.
December 4, 2007, 5:19
This post is interesting. Not in itself, but in the comments and assistance the author was given. It is a good example of the need to brainstorm with others to expand a rough idea. I have a feeling this plot could be made into a nice rpg adventure or even a book - there are lots of so-called *recognized* fantasy authors that make do with a lot less... *cough* Eddings *cough, cough*
Voted valadaar
May 6, 2013, 11:48
Another sub where the discussion it elicits is better than the source.

An overly harsh intro, and he never submitted anything afterward.

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       By: manfred

There are crimes for which a man is not killed, but chased into the wilds, away from his home and country, to not return or be killed on the spot. In one culture is the condemned mutilated, and even his vocal cords are damaged so that the voice is unrecognizable to his friends and family. This is the punishment for people too obsessed with their own prestige.

Ideas  ( Society/ Organization ) | December 30, 2005 | View | UpVote 2xp

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