The PCs come to place where a sidetrack branches off from the main road.
A man dressed in peasant garb stops the PCs and requests their aid. He claims that his village, which lies down the sidetrack, is sorely plagued and in need of brave adventures such as themselves.
If the PCs inquire further he states that the village priest is a demon in human form and that he has been performing unspeakable rituals in the name of his dark gods.
He asks the PCs to go to the village church and deal with the demonic cleric.
1. Evil in the Church
The village priest has indeed been replaced by some demonic or undead doppelganger. The creature is extremely tough and virtually impossible to kill in a straight-on fight.
The real priest is being held prisoner by powerful enchantments, kept alive only because the demon needs his life force to maintain its presence on the mundane plane.
The key is to break the enchantments, thereby releasing the priest and destroying the demon.
2. Petty Vengeance
The village priest is just that, a village priest.
A man of very little imagination he tends to take the teachings of the Holy Books a bit too literally and, as a result, imposes quite a lot of fines and penances for a variety of petty offences that most priests turn a blind eye to. This has, of course, made him deeply unpopular with the villagers.
The peasant, having had one penance too many imposed upon him, has finally had enough and decided to give the priest a taste of his own medicine. He figures that a bunch a violent monster-killers (enter the PCs) are just what he needs to give the priest a really good scare.
As above, the priest is simply a priest.
However the peasant is a demon seeking to spread as much mayhem as possible. Sending a group of honourable adventures to kill an upstanding village priest is just the sort of thing he finds entertaining.
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? Responses (11)-11
Good Job! Each of the options given could produce a challenging adventure.
I picture the evil double sharing any damage done to it with the priest, so that the PCs need to find some way to overcome it that doesn't depend on swordplay.
In the third option, the deceiving demon might have planted evidence to implicate the priest in evil deeds, so that the adventurers are more likely to kill the good man without hearing his explanations. Perhaps the thing can't enter the sacred ground of the temple, but once innocent blood has been spilled there...
Solid and straightforward, those PCs who act on so sketchy info get what they deserve...
short and sweet, but good! I like #2, and for some weird reason, I can see a Goodman Slatterbite cameo is this plot somehow!
Slatterbite is just the sort to send adventurers after an innocent preacher, especially if the man has spoken against his persecution of women and the "unrighteous". He'd probably leave his mask and staff behind for such a task, appearing as a simple yeoman farmer.
Alternatively, a rulebound and judgmental clergyman might find the vengeful man and his Staff of Scorn as his allies, recruiting others to "drive out those adventurers that spit upon our ways and prey upon innocent priests!"
Tales of Adventure are not dead yet!
Few would be convinced by a simple peasant, but suspicions can be easily raised. And if there is a hint or few, passing a village can become a LONG detour. This is an easy plot that can get compicated very fast.
Great work! I was little confused what "touch" in the following sentence meant: "The creature is extremely touch and virtually impossible to kill in a straight-on fight."
The power of the subtle, spellchecker-proof typo!
Oops - sorry about the typo Stephie - corrected it now
Wolfhere, I like your idea that the demonic doppelganger might share damage with real priest - really nasty
A decent plot for a quick side-quest. A few more possibilities to add to the brew:
1. The peasant is the demon, and his target is the players. If he can get them to kill an innocent man (the priest), it will ruin their budding reputation as do-gooders.
2. There is a demon in the town, but he is not the priest in disguise -- he is posessing/controlling the poor man instead. If the players can discover this in time, perhaps they can find a way to free the priest from the demon's clutches without killing him.
3. There is no demon at all. The townfolk and the mission are pulling a scam on passing adventurers, and they will split the profits once the players are dead.
4. There is no town. The peasant is actually a brigand who is trying to lure the party into a trap further in the forest.
Yep -- all good options
Sounds like you've given this some thought -- all to the good