A Faerie Tale
Once there was a beautiful Princess, who would attract suitors from all over the land. Night and day the Princess would be constantly harrassed by all sorts of men, it got so bad that the King and Queen had to build a second palace just so all those seeking the Princess’s hand in marriage would not get in the way of royal affairs. One day the Princess had enough, she was only ten years old did not want this kind of attention at all. She vowed that no man would ever claim her as his own, and ran away from the kingdom. Ten years later she returned and was perhaps the most beautiful woman that anyone had ever seen. Without a word to anyone, for everyone instantly knew she was the lost Princess, she climbed to the tallest tower and proclaimed. “I have traveled far and wide searching for a suitable man to wed me and thus inherit the throne, but I have failed. Tomorrow I will be gone again, for I will travel south to a terrible dungeon that I myself have spent years building. This dungeon is filled with traps, secrets, and monsters. Then if there are any who survive past all of that at the bottom of this dungeon there is a fearsom warrior, undefeated in battle and whose blood lust knows no equal, whose sole goal is to stop anyone who enters the dungeon from claiming it’s prize. The prize is my token, anyone who can bring the token back to the King will be allowed to marry me.” With that she retired for the night, and was gone the next day. There have been so many expeditions to retreive the token and so many lives were lost that eventually the suitors finally gave up, and the dungeon was lost in faerie tale.
An Old Man’s Fancy
After he is done telling the tale Brightfeather will sigh wistfully and retrieve a painting from under a stack of junk and show it to the PC’s. “This portrait was found on one of my adventures. At first I didn’t know what it was, but with some digging I found out that it had been brought back by a squire of a Knight that had disapeared long ago while searching for the Lost Princess. Upon further inspection I have placed her dungeon just south of Bryndas, but by the time I had figured it out I was far to old to travel such a distance. But, now I have you! You guys can travel for months with no civilazation in sight, delve into the mysterious a decrepit dungeon, face the unknown terrors within, and then possibly have to fight one of the most powerful warriors in all of history! …and be rewarded as well..” The last part was added almost sheepily. The old man is desperate for the Princess’s token and will try anything to get the PC’s to go, if they resist all other forms of persuasion he will then break down and finally tell the PC’s that the town of Bryndas was placed under a curse the night the Princess left, and that only returning with her token will break the curse and set the people of Bryndas free. Aengus of course doesn’t believe this, but does know that there is some truth to the myth of the curse.
Where to go
The first thing that will need to happen is that if the PC’s did not get the map back from the orc when they first met Brightfeather they will have to get it back by a series of gather info, perception, and either diplomacy or intimidate checks. Once they retrieve the map then they can be on their way to Bryndas, and as soon as they are on the road there is a feeling that someone is following them. With a perception check vs stealth the PC’s have a chance to spot the half giant’s two lackies following them. If they spot them the orcs will run away, but if they do not the orcs will ambush the PC’s in the middle of their first night on the road. The Orcs will try to sneak into the camp and steal stuff, but more than likely there will be a fight. When either Orc gets to 1/4 of his health or both get to 1/2 they will plead for their lives. If allowed to live the Orcs will go back to the half giant and tell on the PC’s, if killed the half giant will then proclaim the PC’s as mortal enemies. (but this will not come back to them until they return). After that ordeal the PC’s will then travel south east towards the town of Rozenn.
The town of Rozenn is famed for it’s fields of wild flowers, it also has many alchemists and perfume makers. If the PC’s don’t just breeze through the town they will be able to take in the sights of this beautiful town. The town is very old France style (Belle’s home town)and is very inclusive. The townsfolk are overly interseted in adventurers and seem to have romantized the whole delve into a deep hole to get a shiney object thing. On a whole the town is pleasant and a good place to gather information on Brightfeather and his past, if the PC’s are interested. If they dig deep enough they will learn that Aengus was a part of a rather large adventuring party that for reasons unknown split up, very high checks will result in a few names of party members. Any and all townspeople will be more than happy to help the party, a few will even offer to escort the PC’s through the flower fields so they don’t get lost. No matter what the PC’s do in town eventually they will leave via the south eastern path, there is no road just walking paths and the flowers seem to go on forever towards the south. In the distance the PC’s will notice a small pink house surrounded by beautiful deep red roses, if the PC’s have an escort they will only be able get bits and pieces of information of who lives there. The house belongs to “Spooky Old Alice” an elderly human woman who seems to have no living relatives, and who never leaves her property. If the PC’s are feeling nosey they can peek in the windows, or speak to Alice if she’s outside. (depending on the time of day) She will be cordial, but there’s always a hit of unease and when they leave the PC’s will feel slightly freaked out. Alice’s property marks the end of the flowers and the escort (if they got one) will then turn around and leave bidding them good luck.
To The River
It will take a week for the PC’s to reach the begining of the Yuuga River, it is marked by a bubbling pond that is slowly pouring water out into the river bed. Around the pond there will be some very odd coloured trees, and with a passed knowledge check (20) they can be identified as dryads. If anyone knows sylvan or druid they will be able to comunticate with the Dryads, if not then nothing short of attacking a tree will make them turn. If the PC’s communticate they will learn that the Dryads are being harrassed by a group of bandits who think the Dryads are Nymphs. If they decide to help then the Dryads will reward them with Master Work weapons that they have made from their own bark, if not then the PC’s will simply stumble upon the bandit camp as they continue downriver.
Regaurdless if they are led by the Dryads or the PC’s just happen upon the camp the bandits will either all be sleeping save for one watchman, or all be drunk save for one watchman. The watchman is a rather muscular Dark Elf male. He will introduce himself as Barnaby Fisher (if questioned about the name he will reply that he was adopted)He will apologize to the Dryads if they are there, and promise that he will insist on moving camp further down river so the men won’t bother them. He’ll then go into a long winder explanation of how the men are so bored, because the leader has become obsessed with a locket that was given to him after he saved an elderly man from a group of Orcs. If questioned he will state the the locket is supposedly from the lost city of Bryndas and has (again suposedly) a picture of the most beautiful woman in it. The bandits used to be of the Robin Hood sort, but now the leader only stays in his tent wasting away staring at that picture. What the PC’s do with the information is up to them, and could result in either fight or friendship with the bandits. If they get to see the locket then they can definatly tell it is a picture of the Lost Princess.
The Yuuga River starts off slow and lazy but will eventually turn into a mess of white water rapids and water falls, and it is encredably dangerous to cross once the PC’s reach further down. There is a very large water fall where the Gangika River splits from the Yuuga, this water fall is over 250 ft tall and holds a secret tribe of Fish Men behind it who will be hostile if discovered. There is only 10 Fish Men and they will all be lvl 3 fighters and will try to flee further into the caves via a completely underwater tunnel once the fight turns in the PC’s favor. They don’t have any treasure, but further inspection of the cave will reveal a very old half buried treasure chest. The chest has been clawed at and the lock messed with, but it obviously has not been opened. The lock is masterwork (not sure of DC) but I’m sure the PC’s will be able to figure out a different way of opening it. Inside is a sort of time capsule of an adventuring party; there is a wand of fireball with three charges left, five matching rings, a belt of change gender, four health potions, a canopic jar containing the remains of a cat, a journal, and an odd map.
The Gangika River
If this could be called a river at all, this calming and beautiful brooke stretches souteast for miles. Accourding to the map to Bryndas following this river is the next step. The days are getting shorter and a nice fog starts to roll in on the second day of travel, and odd shapes can be seen. On the fourth day of travel the fog still has not let up, and now voices can be heard in the mist. As the PC’s start to travel on the fifth day they will catch up to a large royal procession. It seems that a well to do Prince is on his way to gain the aproval to marry a very beautiful and powerful princess. (it’ll come to no surprise that he’s talking about the lost princess)What the PC’s are experiencing is a sort of time slip, and they are actually heading towards Old Bryndas the day the Princess returned. If the PC’s ask around they will find out that the prince is far to young and inexperienced to wed, and that the whole wedding is actually the idea of the court wizard (whom nobody trusts).
The city is surrounded by three large lakes, each one a different colour. The first lake is a bright orange, the second a deep purple, and the third a cool blue. The lakes are different colours because of flowers that grow on the bottom, the water itself is actually pure and clear, and there are absolutely no fish or any kind of fauna living in the water. All the trees have white bark and dark green leaves, and everything is just fairy tale beautiful. The ivory and lavander palace can be seen from the city’s golden gate, and next to it further towards the orange lake is the second palace which is much smaller and mostly a polished cherry wood and jade. The PC’s will witness the Princess’ return and her speech, they will then get to see Prince Phillip being thrown out of the castle. If the PC’s care they will be able to notice with a perception check of (20) that none of the paintings in the castle match any pictures of the Princess that they have seen so far. A huge fight between him and the Court Wizard will ensue and the Prince will banish her, she then gets pissed off at the King and Queen for not accepting her proposal and will shout out a curse the first thing in the morning. “Your mistake will cost you dearly, all who inhabit this city today will never be allowed to leave. Trapped forever until the Princess agrees to marry in this hall.” Unfortunatly the wizard caught herself in the curse and did not realize that the Princess had allready left. (Princess arives, gives speech, audiance is granted next morning, wizard curses city after some people have allready left)
The Real City
With the last word of the curse uttered the fog will descend upon the PC’s and blanket the entire town then as quickly as it came the mist lifts to reveal the city over grown with weeds and flowers. The trees are four times as tall with their roots upheaving the roads, the buildings are almost collasping supported only by the thick vines that have overtaken them, and the castle’s are delaptated with the jade and wood one’s foundation almost overtaken by the orange lake and has an orange moss growing on it. The whole place is a ghost town, quite literally as the PC’s will figure out if they investigate. Anything the PC’s purchased and have in their possesion will be fine, but everything that has been left behind is subject to the thousand something years of aging. The ivory palace is the center of the haunting, and will have the actual aggresive ghosts in it. There will access to the King’s vault if the PC’s decide to find it, but it will be difficult to get by all the ghostly gaurds. A gentle reminder will be made that the Princess was seen heading South, hopefully stiring the PC’s to travel. Once again the PC’s will be given the chance to figure out that the girl that arrived at the city was not the Princess by looking at portraits of her as a child (perception check (20) or wis of same).
Once the PC’s are out of the city limits they will notice the almost imediate change in the flora. The forest is overgrown and wild, but the tall birch trees make it easier to nagivate than say a forest of pine. With a survival check of (25) the PC’s will be able to make out a very old trail leading South, but with out they will be forced to use other means to locate the direction of the dungeon. The first snowfall of the year will start the next morning, and will be nothing special but a few flurries. It will drop the tempurature drastically though. The PC’s will notice that the forest is strangly silent this morning, and have a perception check (20) to notice a few small animals fleeing the oposite way the PC’s are going. A few minutes later there will be a stealth check (27) as the PC’s happen upon two dire bears eating a large buck. If noticed combat will insue. As the PC’s continue traveling south they will start to notice a ruined town made of cobble stone. The town was a human settlement (religion/history check (25) ) and though no one can remember the name they can vaguely recall a small town of human worshipers of (LG main goddess) that moved to Elouna once Bryndas disapeared. In the ruined town they will come across a “statue” of a dwarven paladin, upon further inspection it will be revealed that it is a man in suspended animation. Unless the PC’s have some way of disenchanting him they won’t be able to release him, that is unless the wand of fireball is used on him. The magicks will cancel eachother out and create a way for the paladin to escape (he will escape when the curse is released for the same reasons and will not be there when the PC’s start to travel back). The Paladin will be cordial towards the PC’s if he meets them, but won’t release any details about who he is or what happend to him. His name is Hruodland and unless the PC’s do something terribly retarded he will leave almost immediatly after figuring out how long he was trapped.
The Entrance to the Dungeon
It takes a week of trudging through the woods for the PC’s to discover the small doorway in the side of a hill that is the entrance. The only clue being a flat stone of ivory acting as a sort of welcome mat with the word “Banphrionsa” (Princess) carved into it. The door seems to be made of polished wood, and is bright red in colour. Once one of them tries to open it a woman’s voice will echo throughout the woods. “Know this my fine sutor, there is only death down here and nothing more. None who enter shall ever rest until either the token is removed or I draw my last breath. No matter the outcome love for you is not something you will find in this dungeon. Please turn back and cause yourself no further harm.” After that happens glowing black text will apear in Elven. “Just for one password, this door will allow entrance. The answer will be my name.” If the PC’s get the wrong answer or just try to force the door open four skeletons will arise from the ground. It won’t take much for the PC’s to realize that these undead are former sutors that didn’t quite make it. (if the PC’s are decimating them then three more firey skeletons will apear). The answer is Marina, which is the Princess’s name, or Suvall, the fake princess. If they say Marina then the door will open with no problem, if they say Suvall then the magic trap will be activated. The trap will activate the wall of souls (Primrose’s wall of scary) and will need a will save of (20) or the players will be frightened for 1hr and need a will save of (15) to actually enter the dungeon.
Inside the Dungeon
The door will lead to a fourty foot drop masked by a simple illusion spell (perception (20) or reflex (25) ) and once the PC’s get down to the bottom they will discover two sutors who weren’t a perceptive or swift. The skeletons will have nice clothes, mythril half plate armor, and each will have a very ornate long sword that when put together seem to make a larger sword. (Background story Twin Princes) The room that the PC’s are in is only ten by fifteen. The roof goes up the fourty feet with black and green tile covering every bit of wall and floor, the only way out seems to be a solid steel door with an odd handle right in the middle.
As it turns out the fearsome warrior is actually the Princess, and once the PC’s defeat her she will reveal that she is Princess Marina and that her and Suvall had met by chance while both were running away. They traveled south and found an abandoned house that they lived in together for years, until one of the huntsmen found them and tried to force himself on the girls (who were then fifteen). After that the girls trained and built the dungeon so that no one else could disturb them. They had planned for Marina to bring back her own token so that she would be in charge of her own marital choices, but when they had come back the town was empty. So Marina and Suvall stayed in the dungeon fending off the sutors who had heard of her through rumor and story until Suvall succumbed to age. Not knowing what else to do Marina will leave with the PC’s and return to her abandoned city, if the PC’s say anything about the curse Marina will try to undo it. (returning to the throne room will be enough) The result will be the restoration of the city and Marina being held on trail for crimes against the kingdom.
The PC’s will be held as witnesses and not prisoners, of course this could change if they become hostile. Marina will be found guilty and sentanced to become a robed sentinal. If rescued she will take off with the PC’s and change her name.
The return trip home with be uneventful, the only changes being that the group of bandits are now nowhere to be found. (don’t forget the paladin statue was gone) A grave marker can be found with the Lieutenant’s name on it and the locket draped over it. On their way back they will hear odd noises comming from Alice’s house, and if they choose to interfere they will interupt a devil summoning. If the PC’s can get the devil to half health it will posses Alice and disapear. If the PC’s fall then they will awaken to the Dwarven Paladin Hruodland driving the devil off (again it will flee using Alice’s body). When they get back to Brightfeather they can haggle for whatever it is that they found. The PC’s will have at least two months to get comfortable in the town of Jost before they are summoned to Brightfeather’s again.