Horror of the Old Ones: Introduction

Horror of the Old Ones is the upcoming module (June 2007) by Unicorn Rampant Publishing. This serves as a preliminary version of its introduction.


Major Issues and Themes
* Baron von Stieglitz has lost control of his lieutenants and become a pale wight
* Onuago has multiple troubles
* Elsemere is bring overrun by the forest
* Shada Monastery has poisoned the forest
* Great Elsemere Wood has been poisoned
* The Great Marsh is full of trolls and other beasts, having overgrown the old road
* The Lazy River has changed course, an inauspicious event

Flow of Events

Part 1: Ominous Beginnings – party learns of what has happened in and around Onuago
Part 2: Travels Abroad – party travels to Elsemere and possibly Castle Stieglitz
Part 3: World in Chaos – party returns to an overrun Onuago and then Harpy Point, culminatng in an encounter with an Old One

Introduction to Part 1: Ominous Beginnings

Your wounded vessel, the Pelagic Bounty, thuds against the dark pier. Sailors leap off the gunwale and begin securing the ship to the dock with ropes. Captain Tarquen lets out a sigh of relief, which you share. For several tense moments there you were not sure if the mainmast of the vessel would hold. Even with the sails furled, it had creaked and groaned ominously as you entered the harbor. The fireball blast had nearly felled it during the battle with the corsairs two hours ago and you can see long splinters of wood slivering off from the mast. The mizzenmast is completely destroyed. Its riggings, sails, and top third section are so much flotsam floating in the open sea now.

You step gingerly over gaping holes, the bodies of sailors and corsairs, and charred and bloody sections of the maindeck, making your way across the gangway and onto the pier. Standing on the dock, you can see more of the damage to the Pelagic Bounty’s hull. A cold and bitter wind blows clouds across the night sky and the moon’s gleam is briefly obscured. It begins raining again.

After awhile, you realize that you have seen no curious fisherman, crew from other ships, merchants, or late-night carousers-anyone at all from this harbor city. Through the rain however, you spot some lights in the buildings further into town.

Captain Tarquen suggests looking for supplies and repair materials there. In particular, he needs materials to repair the mainmast and the worst of the hull damage. You look towards the lights in the town and hope that you will find what you need quickly. You have an urgent appointment with the Viceroy of Galorad by the next full moon.

Drawing your cloak tight about you, you begin walking up the pier on this uneasy night of the 13th day of autumn in the Year of the Salamander.

The wharves are completely deserted as well as you can discern. You walk past dark edifices that might have been used as warehouses or merchant offices once. They are in severe disrepair now. Not a single light gleams from their windows, many of which were shattered long ago. Rats scurry from under your feet, and squeak indignantly at you from the safety of crannies and junk piles as you intrude through their territory. After a few minutes, you come out of the warehouse district and find yourself walking up a hill. The cobblestone street runs west from the docks. At the crest of the hill, you can look back and see the Pelagic Bounty some distance away against the surging darkness that is the unquiet ocean.

Here the buildings appear to be more like habitations. Tenements sit shoulder to shoulder with a few alley and side streets relieving the stifling closeness. All of them are in advanced stages of ruin. Some have shutters that hang askew from their hinges and broken windows, doors that stand wide open and hang loosely from the frames, and a few buildings have large sections of wall and roof that have collapsed. Just when you despair of finding anyone in this desolate place, you see a building ahead of you with lights coming from its unshattered windows. As you approach closer you can hear the faint din of conversation and some music.

You pass one of the windows on your way to the entrance and take a glance inside. There are a surprising number of people inside (or perhaps not so many but that they stand in sharp contrast to the desolation outside). Above the door you see a weathered plank hanging from rusty wire with the words “Snug Harbor Inn” in fresh black paint. You open the door and step inside.

The smell of fried fish assails your nose. Cheap tobacco smoke too. The noise of the conversation subsides as everyone turns to see who these new arrivals are. One and all, they regard you carefully for a moment. The sight of your gear, weapons, and armor seem to convince them that you aren’t worth robbing, bullying, or killing…and you don’t pose any immediate threat to them. After a moment they return to their conversations. In the corner of the room to your right, a bard goes back to plucking chords on his lyre. You scan the room and see a few faces. Most of these locals have protruding ears and noses that are more bulbous than what your people look like. At one end of the bar you notice a woman in her sixties. She looks at you and arches an eyebrow.

A greasy man with dark hair, mutton chops, bulbous nose and protruding ears walks up to you, wiping his hands on a splotchy apron. You can see lice squirming in his beard and hair when he walks up to. He does not seem to have a concept of personal space as he gets right in your face and says, “I’m Caad. I own this here inn. You’s strangers be wanting some ale, chow, a room, or what?”

The party begins at the Snug Harbor Inn located in the Wharf District. A longer description of Onuago is also available.

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