The Wounded Land – Major Encounters

 

“The Pilgrims”

 

Of all the inhabitants of the Wounded Land, the various groups of disenfranchised settlers are perhaps the most peculiar. Even sickened, the land is still rich. There are some who risk the unknown wrath of the Eldren rather than face the known oppression of their neighbors. Encamped in the rebuilt remains of an Yrken village in the plains west of the Ferus Hills is a community of refugees unlike any other. Driven away from the lands of North Yrkenland by the persecution of the predominantly Ambrosian populace, the Cult has prospered in the Wounded Land.

 

The following depicts the components of the community:

Geoff Karat – The charismatic leader who gathered the Cultists together, and led the march into Tristram. Though not prideful enough to name himself a Priest of Tharizdun, Geoff does have limited access to His holy powers. Geoff has a twisted leg, the result of a horrid beating by Yrken villagers. He was born with his hump, twisted neck, and protruding forehead.

Yosh  Imo – An adventurer from the southern lands, Yosh came with a strong party to test himself against the Eldren. He and his band were brutally defeated, with only Yosh surviving. Arriving at the village missing an eye, he was instantly embraced. Though not quite sure what to make of it, Yoshi stayed on to rest and heal. Geoff has recently bound him with a Charm spell. Now, he is used as a scout to assure that any that approach the village are at least known of, if not controlled.

Arnhault – None in the village know just who Arnhault was, but when he wandered into the village addled and bleeding he was welcomed. Towering, massive, and completely brain-damaged, he is completely loyal to Geoff and seen by the villagers as a walking example of the Physical Paradox. Arnhault has the scar of a horrid wound on the right side of his head, as if it were partially blown off, and can talk only in tortured groans. His eyes wander lazily of their own accord, right independent from the left.

Old Max – This old geezer forms with Geoff the spiritual guidance of the community. A committed Cultist, older than any other in the village by a great deal, Max knows more of the old stories than even Geoff. He can often be seen teaching the children and younger members, and his role as ceremonial storyteller gives him great prominence. Max is missing both his arms and both his legs, and is generally carried about by Arnhault. Max also has limited access to psionics.

Mir – This handsome young man is one of the “Captives” described below. The acolyte of an Ambrosian monk who followed rumors of a settlement across the Troos, Mir has been charmed and subjugated by Geoff. None too bright, he is well in his grip, despite a feeling of dread that is expressed in every interaction. He is the only unmaimed individual in the village…Geoff refuses to perform the Rite while he is charmed, preferring to work at conversion.

The Veterans (87) – The majority of the “able-bodied” men and women in the community are veterans (or victims) of the Eldren war, and show the horrid evidence. Missing arms and legs are common, as is blindness and massive scarring of the face. All are committed Cultists, and loyal to Geoff and Max.

The “Captives”(13)  – Though they do not consider themselves such thanks to Geoff’s charming talent, these previously able-bodied folk were unfortunate enough to wander within reach of the Cultists. They have been shown the Cult’s love…unlike the other inhabitants, nearly all of them are young women of child-bearing age, and all show evidence of specific maiming…twisted legs from hobbling, odd gaits from being hamstrung, eyes put out, etc.

The Children (12) – There are few children in the community, and most are infants or toddlers. Every child shows some evidence of maiming wounds. Most prominent are: facial scarring, twisted limbs. One in four is missing an eye.

 

“The Pilgrims” – Village Layout

 

The village, once known as Durum,  is situated on a low rise in the midst of the plains west of the Ferus Hills, due north of the Troos’ bend to the southwest. Lost in the sea of grass, the inhabitants have so far avoided the attention of the Duke, and the far more dangerous Eldren. The village was situated on rich farmland, and was abandoned summarily during the Eldren conquest of Tristram…the Cult is self-sufficient, and more than happy to avoid the gaze of the world while they dream of Lost Tharizdun.

 

The village is typical of the settlements sprinkled across Tristram…a strong defensive layout, with key facilities in the central circle. A low stone wall crumbles along the periphery, except where the dirt track that once led to other settlements ran. There, crude gates of bound thornbush have been repaired, and are watched at all hours. The buildings are of mud brick and thatch, save the central hall, which is an imposing structure of stone with a slate roof. The arrow slits in its walls indicate its design purpose…a last haven against attack from Charnish raiders.

 

There is very little livestock…some scrawny chickens scratch away,  a couple pigs root at garbage in the communal pit, and a small pen holds oxen for pulling plows. A few acres have been tilled and planted with wheat. A few gardens grow vegetables. It is simple subsistence farming, although the opportunity to grow much more presents itself all around.

 

“The Pilgrims” – Scenario

 

Geoff is a devout Cultist…no party need fear an open attack. However, he is quite keen on the inclusion of more members.

 

Yosh is used as a lure…charismatic and friendly, he can be counted on to bring any he finds back to the village for a supper and a safe bed. The Ambrosian monk and Mir were the latest victims. Once a group is within the wall, Geoff takes over, trying to bring a sense of safety to the forefront. The effort peaks at the communal dinner the village partakes in each evening.

 

Unknown to their guests, their portions at the dinner will be spiked with a paralysis poison. Once rendered harmless, the victims will be stripped of weapons, bound, and taken to the second floor of the Hall…the Shrine of Tharizdun. Once recovered, the Rites of Maiming will begin with the gentle first steps…leading eventually to the crippling Rites, the crushing of the spirit, and conversion.

 

The one factor that makes the situation precarious for Geoff is…Geoff. Despite a feeling of dread, he has begun to test the limits of the Paradox with his use of charm spells. Should he die, all the Captives will awake as if from a daze, and things will get sticky very quickly. None of the true Cultists have a whit of combat ability in their crippled state, and without Geoff or Max, Arnhault is useless. Yosh is a deadly fighter, and once he realizes what has been done to him, he will wreak horrible vengeance…if he does not go mad first.

 

Unknown to Geoff and Max, the abduction of Mir and subsequent death of the monk (by his own hand)  have attracted attention they do not want…a party of five Ambrosian Knights from Galava Province have risked their lives to rescue the monk, crossing into Tristram. Should the stern Ambrosians find Mir with the Cultists, they will slay all mercilessly…no questions asked, no names taken.

 


“The Pilgrims” – Stats

 

Geoff Karat

AC:         10

HD:        Priest, Level 5

HP:         23

MV:        6” (crippled)

AL:         L, E tendencies

Equip:   Black woolen robe with hood, rope sash, sandals, staff

Att:         1

Dmg:      1-6 (-1)

Spells:

1st            0              0              0              0

2nd          0              0              0

3rd           0

 

Preferred Spells:

1st            Command, Cure Light Wounds, Sanctuary, Protection from Good

2nd          Charm Person, Enthrall,  Hold Person, Produce Flame

3rd           Feign Death, Cause Blindness, Cause Deafness, Cause Disease

 

Old Max

AC:         10

HD:        Normal man (1/2), Wild Psionicist

HP:         3

MV:        1” (crippled)

AL:         N, E tendencies

Equip:   Woolen robe, rope sash, dagger

Att:         1

Dmg:      1-4 (-2)

Psionics: (Wild, 29 points)

                Devotions:           Ballistic Attack – Launch up to 1 lb. Missile for 1-6 dmg

                                                                (PS: 13, Cost: 5/0, range 30 yds)

Control Body – Control other like a puppet

                (PS: 13, Cost 8/8, rand 80 yds)

                Sciences:               Telekinesis – Max doesn’t have the strength to use

 

Arnhault

AC:         8

HD:        4th Level Fighter

HP:         48

MV:        12” (9” when carrying Max)

AL:         None (brain-damaged)

Equip:   Woolen robe, tattered cavalry boots, wide leather belt with insignia of Galava buckle, huge club

Att:         1

Dmg:      1-8 +7

Special: Arnhault’s exceptional strength and dim wit give him a special attack, the body slam. If he hits, he lifts his victim over his head, then slams him to the ground. This assault does 1d6+7, and stuns for 1d2 rounds.


Yosh Imo

AC:         4

HD:        6th Level Fighter

HP:         35

MV:        6”

AL:         LN (charmed – as per Geoff)

Equip:   Chain mail, bastard sword, halberd, 2x daggers, quality clothing and adventuring gear

Att:         3/2 at +2 with bastard sword, 1 at +1 with others

Dmg:      2-8 +3 with bastard sword, 1d10 +1 w/ halberd, 1-4 +1 w/ daggers

 

Mir

AC:         9

HD:        2nd Level Priest

HP:         11

MV:        12”

AL:         LG (charmed – as per Geoff)

Equip:   Gray robe, quality belt and boots, mace, staff

Att:         1

Dmg:      2-7 +1

Spells:   (none while charmed, and Geoff has his holy symbol stashed)

1st:           0              0              0              0

Preferred:

1st:           CLW, Bless, Command, Detect Evil

Special: Mir is an impressive specimen – Str 17, I 12, W 18, C 16, Ch 18

 

The Veterans and Captives

AC:         10

HP:         2              2              2              2              2              2              2              2              2              2

                2              2              2              2              2              2              2              2              2              2

                2              2              2              2              2              2              2              2              2              2

                2              2              2              2              2              2              2              2              2              2             

                2              2              2              2              2              2              2              2              2              2

                2              2              2              2              2              2              2              2              2              2

                2              2              2              2              2              2              2              2              2              2

                2              2              2              2              2              2              2              2              2              2

                2              2              2              2              2              2              2              2              2              2

                2              2              2              2              2              2              2              2              2              2

Att:         1

Dmg:      1-4

 

The Children

AC:         10

HP:         1              1              1              1              1              1              1              1              1              1

                1              1              1

Att:         0


“The Pilgrims” – Rescue Force

 

As depicted earlier, a force of knights has departed from Galava in search of the Monk Bardu and his acolyte Mir. Led by an Ambrosian paladin, the force is deadly cavalry, swift and battle-hardened. The paladin Manfred was a devoted student of Bardu and will be merciless to the evil ones who have slain him should such be discovered.

 

Manfred

AC:         0 (Chain mail +1, Shield +1, dexterity)

HD:        5th Level Paladin

HP:         55

MV:        9” on foot, 24” mounted

AL:         LG

Equip:   Chain Mail +1, Shield +1 w/ Ambrosian star in gold on blue field, high quality warrior gear, lance, long sword (2x spec), short sword

Att:         Long sword 3/2, others 1

Dmg:      Long sword 1-8 +7, lance 2-7 +4 (x2 if charging), short sword 1-6 +4

Special: Detect evil, +2 on all saves, immune to disease, lay hands (10), cure disease, prot from evil 10’ radius, turn undead

 

Clout, Manfred’s War horse

AC:         5 (light leather barding)

HD:        2+2

HP:         16

MV:        24”

AL:         LG

Att:         2 (hooves) +1 (overbear)

Dmg:      2-8 per, or knocked down

 

The Squad

AC:         3 (Chain and Shield+1)

HD:        4th Level Fighters x 4

HP:         30           30           30           30

MV:        6” on foot, 21” mounted

AL:         LG

Equip:   Chain Mail, Shield +1 w/ Galava arms, high quality warrior gear, lance, hand axe x 4, short sword

Att:         3/2 with thrown hand axe, 1 otherwise

Dmg:      axe 1-6 +3, 2-7 +1 (x2 if charging), short sword 1-6 +1

Special: Highly trained cavalry, will use tactics accordingly