Chasing Charity (3.5e Quest)
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Intended for four level 1-5 adventurers.
A thief has stolen something from one of the players! After chasing her, the players realize that more is at stake then meets the eye.
- Prep Time 15 — 30 mins
- Play Time 1 ½+ hrs
A good way to force your players into some fun encounters. Throw this at them when things get slow.
This can happen at almost any time, so long as the party is in a large city. In my game, the players needed to find a way outside of a city (Arcus), when the gates were closed to all traffic due to growing war times and fear of terrorist activity.
It starts when a young street girl steals something expensive off the back of one of the player characters. They do not see her steal the item, but they do see her running off. She then leads them on a wild goose chase through the sewers.
Charity, a young street girl is working very hard to help her two younger sisters. They are both very sick and need to see a healer. Unfortunately for Charity, a doctor can not be stolen. She must find something very valuable and sell it for enough gold to pay for the healer's work. The sisters have a sickness similar to Devil Chills.
- Charity (3.5e NPC), a level 3 rogue.
- Grace (3.5e NPC), a level 2 expert.
- Alice (DnD NPC), a young psionic.
- Vile Beard (3.5e NPC), a Kobold Half Fiend Sorcerer.
- Fiendish Snake, Huge Viper (DnD Creature)
Stage One: The Chase
Something important and valuable is lifted off one of the players. In my game, it was a magical bastard sword worth approximately 2,000 gold. My fighter had a low enough wisdom that I was able to justify the theft. I pretended to roll the dice, but the truth is I didn’t.
The thief, a small street girl named Charity is spotted only a moment after the theft. She is running away and if they chase, will lead them down an alley where she drops into the sewers. You might want to fudge the rules here because you wouldn’t want them to catch her too soon.
She then runs a path with many turns, in an attempt to escape her pursuers. It is obvious that she knows what she is doing and where she is going. I gave her a very large circumstance modifier for being so familiar with her environment.
If the players lose her they can find the path again a few different ways. In my game, our cleric used detect magic to feel the presence of the magical sword, which gave away her hiding place. Also I made the tracks rather easy to follow.
Whenever the dice rolls suggested that they might actually catch up to her, I had them trip on a trip wire, that Charity had already known about. Occasionally she would dive through a smaller pipe, which the player characters could not fit through.
Stage Two: The Kobold Cult
In her last attempt to ditch her pursuers, Charity leads them to a minor cult ceremony room (map soon to come). The entrance to this chamber was well marked with flags and totems and sacrifices. A knowledge religions or arcane would reveal more information about this cult.
When the players approach the room, they can see they are on a ledge looking down on a ritual below. There are 4-8 kobolds standing in a circle. At their center, is a kobold half-fiend wearing dark robes. The players are unaware it is a half-fiend until it reveals itself.
The cult is up to something. They are summoning a very large snake which they intend to release onto the city.
Charity can be seen, with a successful spot check, scaling the wall on the other side of the room. She is also above the cultists, and is about even with the ledge the players are on. A small hole in the wall can be seen, which Charity is attempting to reach. She is almost there!
Then Charity makes her first mistake. She slips and falls, with a crash, down into the cultist room. The Kobolds hear her, of course, and leave the ritual to investigate the intruder. The summoning spell is complete, and only needs a few moments to release the snake.
I don’t know what your players will do, but my players quickly changed their attitudes from "get that little girl!" to "save that little girl!"
A wonderful fight will follow. When the Kobolds are almost taken care of, a Huge Fiendish Viper will erupt out of the summoning circle. If you want to make the encounter more challenging, you can have the snake emerge early during the action. You could even add a second snake.
Stage Three: Crow Castle
The little girl is not in good shape. She broke her leg during the fall and was probably stabbed a few times by the kobolds before the players were able to rescue her. She needs help badly.
Charity starts to cry and tries to convince the party that she is sorry. She tells them about her sisters being sick and begs to be released. She also tries her hardest to convince the party they should help her. It may be hard for them to believe her. In my game I had her steal from them a few times in earlier sessions just for foreshadowing. She had lied to them a few times already.
If they refuse to help her, she will try again, this time using her bluff, diplomacy and other skills to further convince.
When they ask Charity where she lives, or where they must go she answers "to my castle"
She leads them to a nook in the sewers that she has turned into a home. It took her months, but she was able to find a spot that was suitable. A few rooms that were easier to defend, protected by traps and with only one way in or out. (blaw, flush this out later)But most importantly, it had a dry spot to live in, and a pipe with hot water. It is very important to stay dry and clean when living in a sewer.
This is her home, and right now Charity's two younger sisters, Grace and Alice, are very sick. The two young girls are both in bed, they are pale, pasty and feel frightfully cold to the touch. A knowledge (biology) check reveals Devil Chills.
There are many ways to save the girls.
With a knowledge (alchemy), knowledge (biology), Survival check the players are able to figure out, that a healing potion and a treatment with Great White Owl Feathers would be enough to lead the infection in the right way. But still requires a few months in bed. Potion of Light Purity requirements: 6 Puri flowers condenced with fresh mountain water. (these ingredients + while owl feathers costs around 1000gp in all).
Great White Owl Feathers Great White Owls are large flying creatures, an to be found in the mountainforests. A knowledge (creature) vs DC14 will reveal that feathers it could be a good idea to bring the Owls some food first.
Puri Flowers Puri Flowers grow on top of the hills on the mountains. They are very popular, which causes them to be hard to find. Also, if there are Puri Flower areas, they might be inhabited by Goblins or maybe Hill Giants or such. Reason is, that they are very pleasurable to eat raw.
Stage Four: Rewards
If the players manage to save the day, they have just earned themselves some very helpful friends.
Charity is a natural rogue and knows her way around town very well. She could probably help them steal anything they need and if they ever get thrown in jail she could probably bust them out.
Grace is a wonderful toolmaker and tinker. I define a tinker as some one who works with gadgets that have gears and springs, perhaps even steam power. Basically, she is a mechanic. She can put an extra sharp edge on a weapon (+1 attack and damage, one hit and its edge returns to normal). She can also mend armor and clothing. If one of your players wants to have something special made she can always do her best. In my game, the rogue of the party asked for a spring blade and a hollow heel added to his boot. She also built a little spring loaded dart into his other boot. She is also an inventor and has just made a spring loaded grappling hook launcher. It is similar to a crossbow, only powered by a strong spring.
Alice is not much help at all. All she does is stare at the players and creep them out. She doesn’t talk.
Crow Castle is well supplied. There is food and drink and other supplies. Charity has been working hard it would seem. There are stashes of arrows, bolts, rope, clothing, weapons and other useful things. They don’t seem to have much treasure aside from some simple, obviously stolen, decorations.
Unfortunately the Crow Sisters are rather ignorant. So occasionally they make mistakes. Use this opportunity to add some surprises to the game. For example; my rogue asked Grace to put sleeping poison on the dart in his boot, she got her poisons mixed up and used blinding poison instead. No one knows she has made this mistake yet. As another example; Charity gave the party directions through the sewers and out of the city. But she failed to tell them about the Fiendish giant Crocodile waiting at the exit, and the 60 foot drop into a pond of sewer water at the end of the pipe.