The Hunters Pray:
A hunting party realizes a druid has been foiling it’s hunting efforts and shifts it’s focus from hunting wild game to hunting the druid. The druid is suffering from an arrow wound when the party encounters him in a wooded area. He managed to escape a deadly confrontation with the hunting party by using the last of his magic. He has been disabled from his wound and the hunters may be closing in on his position.
The Druid’s familiar, (either a fox, dog, or wolf) has been captured within a cage or snare. If freed, the familiar will lend assistance to the party by protecting its master or helping the party track with its keen sense of smell. The hunting party has been poaching on the land of a noble that is under the protection of the druid who has been temporarily commissioned as a ranger. The druid will ask for assistance in bringing the poachers to justice. It is necessary that they be captured alive. Poaching has been increasingly common in the last few months and the noble wishes to launch an investigation into the cause and take preventive measures.
Objectives: Save the familiar, save the disabled druid, bring the poachers to justice.
If the party succeeds in bringing the poachers to justice, they may be given additional information and asked to join the investigative efforts of the noble. The poaching efforts of the hunting party are just part of a larger picture involving something more sinister than simple poaching.
-reward party, druid and noble will reward and may invite.
Food Processor (continuation)
The Noble may assign a constable or ranger to accompany the party as it investigates.
The Noble will have the party report periodically
Through the course of the noble’s investigation, a number of poaching parties will be brought to justice. It will be found that the hunting of animals is occuring on a massive scale and local wildlife is suffering endangerment of extinction. At the same time, local butcheries are having a difficult time procuring meat. -It doesn’t add up.
Legal hunting grounds are already barren of anything larger than a rabbit, so the braver hunters turn to poaching while the rest are fanning out into foreign lands which is causing diplomatic tension between the noble families.
The Noble will ask for the party to track a hunting party to the source of the problem. The hunters will lead the characters to a compound. They go in the front door with carcases, unload, and leave. Outside, they portion out money and each go their separate ways. Optionally, the GM may simply have this location revealed during interrogation of a hunter.
The hunters have all been working for a gentleman who pays them incredibly well for animal carcases. They gotta be fresh, and he pays according to volume, so large prey is favorable. None of the hunters know what the animals are being used for. They aren’t paid for asking questions and the buyer is not sociable so this remains a mystery even to locals. Locals will merely identify the buyer as a reclusive mage of some sort who keeps to himself.
The corpses are being harvested for astral energy. Energy is drawn out and released in the confines of a compound that has an astral bubble around it which prevents harvested energy from escaping. Mr Evil has decided that it would be more lowkey and safer/humane to harvest animals than humans. Mr Evil has nearly perfected the art of harvesting energy from animal biomass. Little matter remains after the conversion, which occurs rapidly, due to a spell he’s developed. This spell will be part of the spoils for defeating Mr Evil.
Mr Evil is gathering a magnificent store of astral energy in an effort to bring the primal and astral planes closer together. He has been in contact with an outerplanar entity which has given him much knowledge and power in exchange for freedom. Because the planes are close together, this demon can partially manifest in the primal plane. The demon attacks any strangers whom enter the compound uninvited.
Noble sends an investigator to meet with Mr Evil and investigator disappears?
Mage was previously convicted of crimes concerning the summoning of demons. Fled judgement. (Or committed other crimes and evaded authorities)
Farmers have reported losses in livestock and some are suspicious of the poaching parties. The Noble may have an agent slaughter a few branded cattle belonging to a local farmer and attempt a sale. After the sale, Mr Evil will be in possession of the incriminating evidence and be unable to deny knowledge of the cattle being illegal property.
If the flow of meat to Mr Evil comes to a stop, he will have to resort to something else. He will continue buying meat, but more carefully. By the time the party intervenes, he is already very close to opening a rift between the planes. He will simply decide upon using the party as meat to finish the job.
Confronting mage / demon
It will be necessary to safely berid of the concentrated area of astral energy to prevent any extraplanar travel/manifestation.
-Party gets spell for efficiently/quickly converting biomass to astral energy. Also useful method of disposing of incriminating corpses.
-Party can absorb energy from the big bubble (refill mana reserves)
-If party wishes, they may spend a few days ‘in the bubble’ for casting of high level magics (all casting rolls are assisted here, and magic effects increased.)
-spellbook and studies of Mr Evil. Primarily necromancy.
-Hunting privaleges on private land
-Druid as friend/contact (Also reward from)
-Noble friend/contact (Also reward from)
-Cash reward for assisting the Noble.
-After Druid recovers, he may join the party if seeking adventure, at the least, he will offer a reward. Perhaps a blessing of companionship and assistance of Nature. He may form an ongoing friendship with any magic users and act as an advisor / overseer from time to time.